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New Orion Alt-Az Mounts

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#1 OldManInHawaii

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 12:23 AM

Just noticed Orion has added two new alt-az mounts: AZ-4 ($150) & the VersaGo III ($330). The VersaGo III looks like an interesting one. Am wondering how good these are.

http://www.telescope...35/p/101904.uts

#2 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 04:47 AM

The VersaGo III looks like an interesting one. Am wondering how good these are.



The VersaGo III looks like it uses the same gear boxes and dovetail mount as the Portamount but with adjustable friction. The SS legs, probably 1.75 inch, should make it quite stable. It is kinda of heavy at 19lbs but it could be a nice mount for a 4 inch refractor, a step up from the Voyager and the Portamount.

VersaGO III

Jon

#3 Manny Myles

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 06:12 AM

The VGIII looks like a cross between the Porta and Voyager

m2

#4 Locoman

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 08:00 AM

Telescopes.com has the same mount as the VersaGo lll but it's called "Explore Scientific Twilight l" for $299.99.

#5 Jim7728

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 11:06 AM

The VGIII looks like a cross between the Porta and Voyager

m2


Resembles the Voyager head in some aspects(same manufacturer?), however the AT Voyager appears to have a more robust altitude arm.

#6 caheaton

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 02:09 PM

The nomenclature will be a bit confusing, though. Orion's AZ4 is a "beefed up" AZ3, quite a different animal from Sky Watcher's AZ4, which was basically the same mount as the Versago II. :shrug:

Both look to be decent mounts, however.

#7 Locoman

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 03:57 PM

The Orion AZ4 Micro-Motion looks similar to the Meade tripod that came with the Meade 90 AZ-ADR here. It's not a "Beefed Up AZ3" I used to own the Meade AZ-ADR telescope and mount and the mount was decent for a light weight scope. I also used to have a AZ3 and it is a different animal than the mount on the Meade AZ-ADR. The mount with the Meade AZ-ADR that compares to the Orion AZ-4 Micro-Motion is definitely a better mount for sure than the AZ3 IMHO! The AZ3 had it's limitations in that for both Alt And AZ you could only go so far when turning the Slo-mo knobs until you had to adjust them back to the center of the turning mechanism. With the Meade you don't have to do this. I don't know how it would be with a beefier tripod but with smaller scopes it looks fun. And for about $150.00 and only 7 lbs it looks perfect for grab-n-go with a smaller scope.
As far as the Orion VersaGo lll it would compare to my StarGuy both of which weigh about the same. The thing with the Orion VersaGo lll that I notice is that it looks like the azimuth slo-mo control would interfere with the bottom of a scope the closer you get to zenith unlike the Porta mount.

#8 Manny Myles

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 05:26 PM

The VGIII looks like a cross between the Porta and Voyager

m2


Resembles the Voyager head in some aspects(same manufacturer?), however the AT Voyager appears to have a more robust altitude arm.

The main part that is common to both these mounts is the ability to go left or right handed as the Voyager has.
Looks or robustness was not mentioned as we don't know how robust the VG III will be.
Just pre-ordered mine so now the wait begins and mods to follow it's arrival.
m2

#9 OldManInHawaii

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 08:11 PM

"The thing with the Orion VersaGo lll that I notice is that it looks like the azimuth slo-mo control would interfere with the bottom of a scope the closer you get to zenith unlike the Porta mount.".... Interference might not be a problem. The Orion literature indicates that the mount arm angle can be adjusted to 30, 60, & 90 degrees, and the close-up photos seem to indicate that the slow motion knob can be removed and connected to the opposite end of the slow motion shaft 180-degrees from the current connection. Seems like an interesting design. The weight is a bit on the heavier side for me though.

#10 caheaton

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 09:39 PM

Thanks for the clarification, Locoman. I actually own the Meade "AZ3", but having never owned a normal AZ3 didn't realize the Meade was superior (good to know...as I use my Meade to carry a 5" MAK & now the ES 80mm). From the photo I assumed it was larger then it apparently is. The Meade works well as long as you're careful near zenith. (The Orion does come with a better tripod then the stock Meade...)

#11 OldManInHawaii

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Posted 28 April 2012 - 02:31 AM

I wonder why the VG III's mounting arm has the rectangular hole as opposed to being a solid piece of metal.

And as Locoman mentioned, the Telescopes.com website does specify it as the Explore Scientific Twilight I mount although I can't find any other company who advertises it (including Explore Scientific). It seems the Twilight II was built/designed before the Twilight I?

I notice the ship date is June 26 for both new mounts.

I like the lighter weight of the Orion AZ4 but I don't want to wait until the end of June to get a mount. I just ordered a new ES ED102 APO that's on sale (Astronomy Day Special) for my grab & go scope. The AZ4's 10-lb capacity will be at its limit w/ the ES ED102 APO though.

#12 Locoman

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Posted 28 April 2012 - 09:02 AM


Just pre-ordered mine so now the wait begins and mods to follow it's arrival.
m2 [/quote]
I look forward to your assessment of this mount!

#13 Manny Myles

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Posted 28 April 2012 - 01:49 PM

Gonna be a while for that!
m2

#14 OCD_Astronomer

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 02:54 AM

Does anyone here have the VersaGo II? I recently bought a Celestron SP-C102 off Astromart and while I have an Orion AstroView 90 mm scope on thier EQ-2 mount, I don't think it is going to be substantial enough to support the bigger Celestron. I am ultimately going to get an SP/GP GEM for it, but I don't have the funds right now as they usually go for around $500. The VersaGo II can support up to 15 lbs and the reviews on the Orion's site state it is very stable and can be used with relatively high magnifications(200x). The price at $200 is within my budget.

#15 Locoman

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 09:02 AM

Does anyone here have the VersaGo II? I recently bought a Celestron SP-C102 off Astromart and while I have an Orion AstroView 90 mm scope on thier EQ-2 mount, I don't think it is going to be substantial enough to support the bigger Celestron. I am ultimately going to get an SP/GP GEM for it, but I don't have the funds right now as they usually go for around $500. The VersaGo II can support up to 15 lbs and the reviews on the Orion's site state it is very stable and can be used with relatively high magnifications(200x). The price at $200 is within my budget.

I have the VersaGo ll. It will handle your 102mm refractor. I can carry the VersaGo ll in one hand with ease. Vibration suppression pads will make even better. The movements on the VersaGo ll are very smooth. You might want to consider this instead. It's the same but with a beefier tripod. In the picture you will see my C6-N which is 27" long and weighs 12 lbs. The VersaGo handles it fine!

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#16 Widespread

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 09:16 AM

I ordered the AZ-4 for my ST80 the other day. I'll post my impressions when I've had a chance to use it.

Best,
David

#17 munchmeister

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 10:55 PM

I've been looking at the Astro Tech Voyager, back ordered, and the Orion Versa Go III, which won't ship till June, apparently. DANG IT !!

#18 OldManInHawaii

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 12:50 AM

If you really want the VG III now, you can buy it from Telescopes.com although it's listed as the Explore Scientific Twilight I mount. Their website shows it's in stock and selling for $299 as Locoman mentioned. BTW, I talked to a salesman at Explore Scientific who confirmed that the Twilight I mount is indeed their new product which should be available at their various retailers now. He said they even have it in stock at their own warehouse but haven't listed it at their website yet.

Meanwhile I looked at some old reviews of the Astro Tech Voyager, and I'm planning to order one when it becomes available. Looks like a great mount, is lighter than the VG III, and is a proven performer. Its mount arm can also be rotated 45-degrees similar to the 30/60 of the VG III. However, this might be all subject to change if one of you gentlemen buy the VG III and provide an outstanding review of it.

#19 Widespread

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 03:52 PM

I've been looking at the Astro Tech Voyager, back ordered, and the Orion Versa Go III, which won't ship till June, apparently. DANG IT !!


Yeah, I saw that. Canceled my order and tried to buy an AT Voyager mount on A-Mart. Someone _just_ beat me to it. :bawling:

David

#20 Locoman

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 05:45 PM

I've been looking at the Astro Tech Voyager, back ordered, and the Orion Versa Go III, which won't ship till June, apparently. DANG IT !!


Yeah, I saw that. Canceled my order and tried to buy an AT Voyager mount on A-Mart. Someone _just_ beat me to it. :bawling:

David

I have never used the AT Voyager so I can't say anything about it. It is $299.00 and stated at 47.75" tall. If you want it to equal about the same height as the comparable Orion VersaGo lll and the StarGuy you have to get the 8" extension tube which is $78.90 with shipping. The versaGo lll looks very comparable to to the StarGuy and the Voyager. For $299.00 at telescopes.com I would take a chance on it! It looks every bit as good as my StarGuy, maybe better! :question:

#21 Manny Myles

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 07:36 PM

Just checked the tracking on my ES version of the mount and looks like this Friday it will be here.
Thanks Locoman for the heads up on Telescopes.com having it.
m2

#22 OldManInHawaii

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 11:53 PM

m2,

I will be very interested in hearing your opinion of the ES Twilight I/VG III.

My ES 102ED APO just arrived today and it's crying out to be pointed at the night sky.

#23 munchmeister

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 04:41 PM

Me too ! I've got a new Orion 120 f/5 to mount.

#24 mekaone

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Posted 24 May 2012 - 02:52 AM

I'm very interested in the VG III too. I was about to ready to get the Vixen Porta II when I found this and the ES Twilight I. The ES and the VG III look like the same exact mounts. I think if I purchased one I would have to go with the ES because it is about $30 bucks cheeper. Both have free shipping. I think this would be a excellent mount for my ED80. Looking forward to seeing the reviews on them.

#25 mekaone

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Posted 24 May 2012 - 12:33 PM

The ES web page has them in stock and shipping. I called and they told me that they were posting photos and other info some time today. I am going to place my order for it tonight when I get home. I forgot to bring my credit card :-)
The web page:
http://store.explore...tandtripod.aspx






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