NOVA Voyager Drill Press #2: Voyager Drill press, 3 months later.

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Blog entry by LittleBlackDuck posted 05-26-2017 03:56 AM 1827 reads 0 times favorited 1 comment Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: First impression of my new Nova Voyager drill press. Part 2 of NOVA Voyager Drill Press series no next part

I made the following reply to this PM I received from a fellow LJ to my blog about my first impression of the Voyager drill press.

I was wondering what your impressions are of the Nova after using it for
a couple months. What kind of run out and quill slop does it have?
Any info would be helpful and appreciated. ANON.

I have post it here (wit da spelin cowected) in case it may give others a greater insight on the Voyager after longer (albeit still too short) use, without having to type it again and remember my taradiddles.

I summed up my first impressions so I’ll try not to repeat too much. My main gripe was with NOVA support after reporting my issues with them. That gripe grew into being an annoyance which slowly percolated to pissed off. They did earn a “get out of Jail free” card when they advised that it was a new WEB site set up for the Voyager and had a lot of teething problems. At least the issue was NOT with Voyager support.

I will give you my long winded reply as I don’t particularly want to wear the burden of any ill-fated decision you may make and unpredictably get accosted in my local car park.

My major concerns were,
1. Inaudible alarm sound. I have been advised that the speakers were at full volume and they are not sure whether it can be fixed or not. I am guessing that this could be an issue as at least it would need a hardware upgrade and with speakers probably micro soldering…. Not really an issue but a small concern.
2. With “electronic depth stop enabled” it took 4 seconds for the motor to start up after the factory pre-set depth of quill travel (≈8mm). This I thought to be a safety hazard and was not fixed in the 1st. Firmware Upgrade (1FU). After many NOVA advice combined with my pig headedness and failure to read the response PROPERLY, the 4 second delay can be negated by turning the alarm off in the menu. As the alarm was so soft and as I knew how many paces there are in 8mm, this was no issue. The only issue with this is that it should have been highlighted in the manual… did take NOVA to task about it.

With the 1FU, a lot of the niggling issues were fixed but following issues were introduced. I will emphasise that NOVA are aware of it and they advised that they should be addressed with the 2FU,
1. With the auto “depth stop alarm” activated and motor braking enabled the drill automatically went into reverse mode for the next operation and had to be manually reset using the menu. This was easily bypassed by turning the braking feature off.
2. With the “electronic depth stop reached” alarm set, the depth and motor stoppage was NOR activated in an entirely random pattern. I tried many combinations and took about 1 hour of videos (which I sent to NOVA) no cause could be detected. The issue was fixed by me turning the alarm off.
3. On release, the reverse spin on depth reached feature (if enabled) did about 5 or 6 revolution (at 900RPM). With 1FU, this was increased to 2 seconds (if enabled) which translates to around 30 revs at 900RPM and of course much more at higher RPMs. With a small drill bit a high revs, if the pressure is not released on quill feed after the motor stops and the 2 second reverse cycle is activated, you could actually continue drilling deeper though at a somewhat limiting pace in reverse. While this is feed control (by me) it did concern me. NOVA took note and they didn’t clarify whether they’ll bring back the previous few revs or introduce a menu selected time setting.

With all of the above “gripes” I have a satisfactory “workaround” and with the flexibility of firmware upgrades/fixes, I’m confident that those bugs will be rectified and enhance.

That is my summary of issue.

Am I happy with the Voyager? Yes, very much so with all its great features, now that the workarounds have been applied.

In all respect to NOVA, they did offer me a full refund, but even after a short use combined with my initial apprehensions and disappointments, I broke into a cold sweat with faced with the choice of giving up the good features of the NOVA. Unfortunately, as with my variable speed lathe, once I used it, become familiar with their features and work out was to circumvent their short comings, there is no way I would not replace it with the same or a better upgrade.

After all that crapola, here is the answer to your question.

Re the runout, measured against the body of the chuck, is .05mm.
As for quill slop, if you mean quill rotation in a backward/forward rotation before the motor resists… none… as outlined above.

Bottom, bottom-line. Is it “worth” $2,400 (Aus)… NO… but is a Festool or Rolls-Royce “worth” its cost… NO. But if you can part with the shekels up front, it IS worth the cost. With the availability of its additional or improved feature, it is difficult to cost the difference between the poor quality/featured cheaper alternatives.

Do I regret buying it NOW… an emphatic NO and would not hesitate in buying it again (but I don’t need two), especially knowing what I do now.

Hope I have helped…

If nothing more you now should be sleepy enough to get a good night’s rest. Just don’t hold back on the doggy treats to justify the cost, unless you buy them for yourself.

LBD (aka Alex)

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

1 comment so far

View Dutchy's profile


3508 posts in 2779 days

#1 posted 05-26-2017 05:49 AM

Nice review Alex.


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