Celestron OMNI XLT 102 First Light
Posted 04 January 2013 - 11:23 PM
The telescope was in the foyer when I got home, two really big boxes. It took me a few minutes to get it together. I think the manual was excellent. The scope balanced easily with just the 7lb counter weight. I have no experience with stuff like this, but the mount seems extraordinarily substantial and smooth as silk. I set it up so it so with the eyepiece and diagonal at half focus it balances with the rear bolt head against the dovetail mount. This allows me to remove and replace the scope without having to re balance. The EQ setup was not intuitive as I assume the ALTAZ would be, but fooling around with it in the light of the living room I got use to it. When releasing the rings and taking the paper off I recommend loosing the bolts holding the rings to the dovetail mount. My rings were a little out of line. I was afraid tightening them would deform the tube. With the rings loosened on the mount I tightened the ring thumb screws on the tube snugly and then re tightened the bolts attaching the ring to the mount. I got moved outside by 1700. Polaris is hidden by the pines north of my house in Louisiana. I set the North side to north and the latitude to 31. There is a 7 story building with a light on top of it about a half mile from the house. I used it to line up the finder scope. The sky was 100% overcast. I set the scope to the South East in anticipation of Jupiter and waited for the sun to go down. At 1830 the South East was totally clouded over. Just to the North Capella, Castor and Pollux were stacked. I switched to Capella, my first light. As I brought the star into focus three meteors in formation crossed the lens from right to left or was it from right to left inverted, reversed? It was 1837. That was worth the price of admission. I’m hooked. I got a few glimpses of Jupiter and Betelgeuse through the clouds and pine branches. At 2000 I had about 20 minutes of solid cloud and quit for the night. So what should be my next ep, 10mm? Until the next time. Rob
Posted 05 January 2013 - 09:16 AM
Next eyepiece? It depends what you want to look at. If you are a planetary guy, then the higher power eyepieces are okay. If you like DSO, then lesser magnification and wider FOV is my suggestion.
You might also consider upgrading to a 2 inch diagonal. That will give you more options moving forward.
Posted 05 January 2013 - 09:35 AM
Posted 05 January 2013 - 11:20 AM
Posted 05 January 2013 - 01:03 PM
As far as eyepieces go, I've had good results with the ES 82 eyepieces. My highest power eyepiece is a Meade 5000 HD-60 4.5mm which is about the limit of the Omni 102. The HD-60 works really well on nights of good seeing and gives nice contrasty views. On nights of average seeing my 6.7mm ES 82 is about the maximum useful magnification.
Also, a 2" diagonal is worthy upgrade to the Omni 102. I got a 2" Astro-Tech dielectric for mine. It's $119 at Astronomics, which is a very good deal for this diagonal. Looks like they're currently out of stock though.
Astro-Tech 2" Dielectric
Posted 05 January 2013 - 06:00 PM
Posted 05 January 2013 - 06:56 PM
Posted 05 January 2013 - 11:39 PM
You will enjoy the 4 inch XLT. I have the same setup except I have an Orion 2 inch Crayford style 2 speed focuser, 2 inch Orion Dielectric diagonal and an Orion 9x50 RACI finder scope on it.
I, too, enjoy the smoothness of its movements on the CG-4 mount. I generally use Baader Hyperions in it and they work very well in it IMO. It compliments my 12 inch dob nicely. Its strong points are lunar, major planets, double stars, and open clusters, again IMHO.
Posted 06 January 2013 - 11:57 AM
Posted 06 January 2013 - 05:22 PM
Posted 07 January 2013 - 09:34 AM
Posted 07 January 2013 - 11:51 AM
Oddly though, I did note with my ES82 6.7mm I had a lot of field curvature?
I've noticed the same thing with mine.
Posted 07 January 2013 - 11:55 AM
Posted 07 January 2013 - 12:18 PM
+1 on the 2" diagonal. Got the Orion 2" Dielectric and it performs great in the 102XLT. Haven't tried my 2" eyepieces in it yet (too much weight difference between my 2" and 1.25" eyepieces), but plan on it soon. Definitely have to replace that finder scope though. Oddly though, I did note with my ES82 6.7mm I had a lot of field curvature? Whatever it was, the stars appeared pin-point, but kind of curved around near the outer 10% of the FOV as it exited the FOV. Just assuming it was FC from being a 4" scope with a high power wide-field. The view was sharp all the way across the FOV.
that is strange as i owned a f/6 scope with field curvature that was always more visible at low powers rather than higher mags. you should not have a lot of FC with a f/9 scope at over 100x.
lets ser what the experts have to say on this
Posted 07 January 2013 - 12:51 PM
Posted 07 January 2013 - 03:43 PM
Posted 12 January 2013 - 07:00 PM
Posted 13 January 2013 - 09:15 AM
What is your finder?
It's an Orion 9x50 RACI finder. I also use a Rigel Quickfinder because sometimes it can be difficult to know exactly where you're pointed with a right angle finder. I use the Rigel to center on a bright star and then use the 9x50 and a chart to hop from that point.
Posted 13 January 2013 - 12:22 PM
How do you mount a Telrad on the 102 ?
Posted 14 January 2013 - 09:40 AM
I opted for the celestron 8-24 wide field zoom EP, which works wonderfully. I too am deciding on new eyepieces and from what I can gather it seems like some people have experienced on being able to magnify to 160 or so ... which is about a 6mm EP. Has anyone else noticed this with the XLT102? Or has anyone used a 5mm EP with it? This matters to me because if 160x is the limit then I'll opt for a 6mm & 32mm Plossl. Otherwise I think I'll go for a quality barlow and a 32mm Plossl.