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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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Otto Piechowski
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 09/20/05

Loc: Lexington, KY
Vixen MiniPorta2; Astrotech Voyager ATV
      #4491020 - 04/02/11 10:17 AM

Good morning,

Would you share with me your experience and knowledge concerning the comparative strengths and weakness of the Vixen MiniPorta2 and the Astrotech Voyager ATV altazimuth mounts.

Thank you.

Otto


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RTLR 12
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 12/04/08

Loc: The Great Pacific NorthWest
Re: Vixen MiniPorta2; Astrotech Voyager ATV new [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #4491129 - 04/02/11 11:12 AM

Otto,
As far as I know there is a Porta II and a Mini Porta, but I'm not aware of a Mini Porta II. The mini Porta has a capacity of 10# and the Porta II has a capacity of 20#.

I have the Porta II and the only complaint I have is that when getting close to the weight capacity of 20# the tripod is a little shaky. When using the Porta II with heavy loads I put the mount head on my CG-5 tripod. It's an exact fit and really adds to the stability of the mount. The slow Mo controls are very smooth regardless of the load. I really like this mount and I would buy this mount again.

Stan


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Otto Piechowski
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 09/20/05

Loc: Lexington, KY
Re: Vixen MiniPorta2; Astrotech Voyager ATV new [Re: RTLR 12]
      #4491144 - 04/02/11 11:16 AM

Stan,

Thank you.

My mistake, everyone. I meant the Vixen Porta 2 and the Astrotech Voyager ATV altazimuth.

Otto


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Don Trinko
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 07/05/09

Loc: Ohio
Re: Vixen MiniPorta2; Astrotech Voyager ATV new [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #4491545 - 04/02/11 02:06 PM

I have the Voyager. It is a reasonbly stable mount. The porta II is very similar. The "clutch' adjustment on the Voyager is via a thumb screw. At times I sometimes have to tighten this to get the scope to move vericaly. Probably because the scope was not well balanced. ( impossible with tripod socket adapter)
I think it is a allen wrench on the Potra II. I have the Mini porta and it is allen wrench on it.
They are both similar in price and quality. The arm that holds the scope has 3 positions that you can put it in on the Voyager. This may be an advantage. I think the arm on the porta II is fixed. (it is on the mini porta) Don T.


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JimmyMac
super member
*****

Reged: 12/01/10

Loc: North Carolina
Re: Vixen MiniPorta2; Astrotech Voyager ATV new [Re: Don Trinko]
      #4492594 - 04/03/11 01:56 AM

I think the weakness of the mounts is/are the tripods. At least for my Voyager, that's the way is seems. You could switch to a more sturdy one, but then that usually means it adds more weight. For me, that would defeat the purpose of grab-n-go. So I deal with it. I'm using it with my AT111EDT. This OTA weighs close to 17 lbs with my setup. The mount handles it pretty good. The light tripod causes the image to shake for a few seconds before it settles down. Balance is important for up/down motion. It would be preferred to leave the clutch thumbscrew tight for up/down unless if it's balanced very good. You'll know which way it's not balanced if you leave the thumbscrew loose and he scope doesn't move either up or down. So if it's front heavy, the scope won't slow-mo up. However, it should work regardless when the thumbscrew it tightened. I would just setup the OTA with the most used eye piece. Then, grab the dovetail plate and find the balance point. That should get you close enough. Depending whether you view sitting or standing, I would suggest the 8" extension.

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Terrance
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/11/04

Loc: Near Portland Or.
Re: Vixen MiniPorta2; Astrotech Voyager ATV new [Re: JimmyMac]
      #4493104 - 04/03/11 10:12 AM

I have both the original Portamount, and the Astro-tech Voyager. They are both roughly equivalent, and the choice between them is probably a matter of subjective taste as to which of their different features seems most useful. (The original Portamount is the same as the Portamount 2, except for the way it attaches to the tripod.) Both give me damping times of 2-3 seconds at 100x when I slap the leg or the OTA, with scope of about 12 pounds-SV102ED)

I also have a Portamount 2, and the 1st thing I did with it was to remove its head and put it on a CG-5 tripod, which I use for a heavier scope (16-20 pounds)

This feature of being able to easily remove the Porta 2 head, does give it an advantage over the Voyager. Many mount tripods like the CG-5 fit the Porta 2 head, so you can just screw it on, once you remove the CG-5's small Az post.


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JimmyMac
super member
*****

Reged: 12/01/10

Loc: North Carolina
Re: Vixen MiniPorta2; Astrotech Voyager ATV new [Re: Terrance]
      #4494722 - 04/03/11 11:30 PM

You can actually mount the Voyager head onto the CG-5 tripod as well. I have done so. But I prefer a lighter setup for grab and go. I was gonna use my CG-5 and 16" extension with my Voyager. But I was turned off by the weight.

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