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Modification to my Voyager mount

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#1 TONGKW

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Posted 28 October 2013 - 11:06 AM

With the quest for more aperture but with portability, I modify my Voyager AltAz mount to make it smaller and lighter to carry 8” SCT to go star hopping travelling by public transport.
As can be seen, the C8 with the Voyager AltAz mount on an old Gitzo photo tripod is already a very portable setup. But the Voyager AltAz mount in its original configuration is too big to go into a backpack with the C8 OTA.
I modify my Voyager AltAz mount by replacing the long side arm with a piece of aluminum angle, similar to what I had done to my Porta AltAz mount.

K W TONG
C8+CG5 GT, TSA102+HEQ5 PRO, MK67+Voyager, NexStar 6SE, C5+Mizar K, WO ZS80FD+Kenko NES, Megrez 72FD+Kenko KDS, Mini Borg 50, PST

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#2 TONGKW

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Posted 28 October 2013 - 11:08 AM

The modified Voyager AltAz mount is shown carrying a Celestron C8 OTA on a Feisol 3471 photo tripod.

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#3 TONGKW

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Posted 28 October 2013 - 11:09 AM

The modified Voyager AltAz mount is shown carrying a Meade SC8 OTA on a Feisol 3471 photo tripod.

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#4 TONGKW

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Posted 28 October 2013 - 11:10 AM

A piece of 4” x 4” x 3/8” thick aluminum angle of 2.5” long has replaced the sidearm of the Voyager AltAz mount.
Shown here is the original side arm compared with the aluminum angle

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#5 TONGKW

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Posted 28 October 2013 - 11:11 AM

(D). The Voyager AltAz mount is shown before and after modification.
To revert the Voyager back to the original configuration, the aluminum angle is removed and replaced with the original side arm.
As can be seen, after modification, the reduction in size of the Voyager AltAz mount is considerable.
I have found there is no loss of stability in actual use.

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#6 TONGKW

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Posted 28 October 2013 - 11:13 AM

Now I can put my Celestron C8 OTA (or a Meade SC8 OTA) with the modified Voyager AltAz into an Orion backpack. The weight and size is manageable but as the backpack is rather big in size and I have to be careful not to bump into other passengers whilst travelling in public transport.
Celestron C8 and Meade SC8 each weigh roughly 12.5 lb.
The modified Voyager AltAz mount weighs 5.25 lb.
The Feisol 3471 carbon fiber tripod weighs 5 lb and is to be carried by hand.

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#7 Eddgie

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Posted 28 October 2013 - 01:34 PM

Very clever.

Thanks for posting. I like this very much....

#8 dpippel

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Posted 28 October 2013 - 01:40 PM

Very nice work.

#9 MikeCatfin

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Posted 28 October 2013 - 02:12 PM

Very cool. Very reminiscent of the Lapides mod for Tak Teegul mounts. Is the bolt at the end for flex prevention in the aluminum angle?

#10 mattz

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Posted 28 October 2013 - 03:12 PM

Hi Tongkw. Very nice! If you have a minute, can you post pics of just a Voyager gear, particularly showing how it attaches.

I bet you and I could figure out a cool mount using a mix of Voyager and Porta gears.

As could a lot of people here. There are a lot of smart and clever people on these forums. I've seen a lot of great ideas, and this is one of them.

#11 hottr6

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Posted 28 October 2013 - 03:34 PM

Yeah, that is a good idea, but I would be nervous with such a big honkin' OTA hanging off to one side of the COG of the tripod. I'd feel less nervous if the ready-to-observe OTA weighed less than, say, 10lbs.

Isn't that one of the key features of the Voyager/Portamount class of alt-az'? That the OTA centerline almost rides over the azimuth axis.

The top-dollar alt-az mounts often do it your way, but they will also often have a counterweight opposite the OTA.

Good luck to you!

#12 TONGKW

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Posted 28 October 2013 - 07:27 PM

Yes. The idea comes from the Lapides modification.
The aluminum angle is already quite stiff with no appreciable flex. The bolts at the end are there just in case.

#13 TONGKW

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Posted 28 October 2013 - 07:29 PM

Herewith is a picture of the modified Voyager showing more clearly how the aluminum angle is being attached.
The existing screw holes are being used.

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#14 hottr6

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Posted 09 June 2014 - 01:45 PM

This is such a good idea, I had to copy it. I used 1/2" steel angle rather than alloy. The payload capacity of the Voyager has increased significantly. My Synta Mak used to be marginal on the original Voyager, but in this configuration, I have run magnifications up to 360x and any vibration is easy to live with.

Great tip!

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#15 hottr6

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Posted 26 June 2014 - 12:48 PM

And some more modifications: Pier post and DSCs. This is working really well, and kills off vibrations must faster than when equipped with the arm and aluminum tripod.

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