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q for astro-tech voyager owners

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#1 shams42

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Posted 18 August 2009 - 10:07 AM

I'm looking for a grab-and-go alt-az mount for my 6" SCT. The Voyager is currently at the top of my list.

My parents live under dark skies and I like to bring a telescope when I visit them. However, since the arrival of our new daughter, transporting a 10" dob in addition to our luggage and all her gear in my small minivan is impossible. I'm hoping to pull together an easily transportable setup that will fit in my car along with the baby stuff for long trips.

I've seen good reviews of the Voyager, but no one has spoken to the footprint of the mount when fully collapsed. Would any Voyager owners be willing to take some measurements for me, or post pictures?

I'm also interested in the WO Easy Touch and SkyView Alt/Az because I think it would be fun to be able to mount two scopes side by side (such as the 6" SCT and an ED80). I'm assuming that the configuration of the mount head (the "t" shape) would make it significantly less portable than the Voyager. Am I right about this?

Nonetheless, I am intrigued by the idea of observing simultaneously with another person. Sounds like fun!

#2 deepskytraveler

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Posted 18 August 2009 - 11:09 AM

As you suspect the AstroTech Voyager does make an excellent grab-and-go mount & tripod. I bought mine when they first came out. Just last week I received the pier extension for it, pictured here. Don't have the measurements readily available. If they aren't posted by someone else when I get home tonight I'll be glad to post them.

BTW this configuration is overkill for my PST; no vibration whatsoever. The Voyager with pier extension supports my 90mm f/7 refractor quite well.

Mark

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#3 mclewis1

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Posted 18 August 2009 - 11:27 AM

I disassembled my Voyager when I traveled with it by air. I usually use it with the Alt arm at the 45° position so it packed better when the arm was removed from the base. I also took the legs apart although in hindsight I didn't really have to remove them from the tripod head. Getting the feet off them allowed me to pack the whole think in a rolling suitcase. I believe that the aluminum legs are about 18" long when removed from both ends.

I really enjoy my C6 - AT Voyager combination. I use the Voyager almost nightly, only when I'm at home I put a heavier tripod (CG-5) and the Orion SVP extension under it so I can use it with a wider variety (heavier) scopes. The aluminum tripod is now used only for traveling.

#4 shams42

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Posted 18 August 2009 - 11:59 AM

Thanks for the informative replies. Mark, since you own the Voyager and the EZ-Touch, how do they compare in terms of portability and stability?

#5 mclewis1

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Posted 18 August 2009 - 02:28 PM

My EZ-Touch is the head only ... I put it on that same CG-5 tripod with extension I mentioned above, so I can't really give you a side by side comparison since I don't own the surveyor style tripod that comes with the complete EZ-T package ... but I will offer a few general comments.

The EZ-T is smoother and can handle more weight ... this is due to both the capability of the individual load carrying areas and the fact that you can counterbalance scopes on the EZ-T.
I really like the slow motion controls on the Voyager.
The arm on the Voyager is both a good and a bad thing. By being able to angle it 45° you get more flexibility, especially at the zenith. It does however allow a bit more "ringing" type of vibration to occur. Want to see "rock solid"? Try the EZ-T on the aforementioned CG-5 tripod (no extension), it's amazing. There are no moment arms or anything else to ring or vibrate ... other than the scope itself.
The mechanics of the Voyager can be accessed ... sort of, without too much effort. So you can go after the gear lash and such if you really really want to (although its definitely not recommended by Astronomics that you do so). I've never been inside the EZ-T, never needed to and I don't know how I would even if I wanted to.
The ability for the EZ-T to carry two scopes is fun and occasionally useful but I wouldn't put much value in this feature unless you were certain that you really needed it.

From what I've seen the Voyager is definitely the more portable of the two, the tripod is bigger and the head weighs more. If you really value portability and transportability then the Voyager is the best way to go. If it's only about portability into the back yard then it's a tougher decision, one that will likely depend on what scope(s) you plan to use. If you're still thinking about the C6 only I think you'll be fine with the Voyager. Besides you can always poke around for a cheap used steel tripod if you want more stability in your backyard and still be under the price of a new EZ-T.






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