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Astrotelescopes AT102F11

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#1 KarlL

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 06:01 PM

Any impressions of the Astrotelescopes AT102F11? CA? Build quality? Image quality?

Regards,

Karl

#2 tomcody

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 11:20 AM

If I remember correctly Dennis DiCicco did a great review of it about a year ago in Sky & Telescope.
One nice thing about a slow scope (F11) is that low cost eyepieces will work well in it.
Rex

#3 Pete-LH

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 05:24 PM

Check out

http://www.cloudynig...rd=refractor...

There have been quite a few discussions on this OTA, mostly very positive. This is one of the first. I also think there was a review in S&T Magazine.

#4 terraclarke

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 08:12 PM

I love mine. I've had it for over a year now; got it after they resolved the focuser issue. It's excellent optically and mechanically. I should add however that I am old school and strictly a visual observer. The reviews in S&T and on the web (chuck hawks) ore straight on. I've looked through 4 inch Unitrons, and as they say, it is very compatible. Mine is definitely a keeper.

#5 bob midiri

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 01:58 AM

Sorry i don't mean to hijack the thread but Terra have you ever did a side by side with your Sears 6344 and the astrotelescope? I own the same Sears as you and I feel the optics are pretty fantastic!! Was just curious as to how they compare. Again, i don't mean to hijack the thread , so if you want to PM me, that would be great. Bob

#6 terraclarke

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 09:43 AM

Hi Bob,

I've never had them out at the same time, but I should do that. My Sears 6344, like yours is amazing- really Unitron like in quality, both optically, and in many ways, mechanically. I plan on setting it up along with my 3 inch Unitron that will soon be equatorially mounted and become a 142. I imagine it would be a close race. I have had both the Sears and the 102 F/11 set up on the same day but different times to do solar, using a Lunt 1.25 inch wedge and a Baader continuum filter and they were pretty much identical on sunspot detail and granulation; of course there the limit is placed on daytime seeing (conventional turbulence) so you can't take either up to the magnification limit of theoretical resolution. The same when I set them up for H-alpha. They are both excellent and I wouldn't trade either. I'll let you know when I do a couple of side by sides on Jupiter when the weather warms up a bit.

Terra

#7 mattyfatz

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 10:12 AM

I have this scope and I really like it. One thing to consider is its size. It is very big for a 4" scope and it needs a very stable mount.

#8 terraclarke

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 02:18 PM

I find the CG-4 to be quite capable with this scope.

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#9 bob midiri

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 04:29 PM

Hi Bob,

I've never had them out at the same time, but I should do that. My Sears 6344, like yours is amazing- really Unitron like in quality, both optically, and in many ways, mechanically. I plan on setting it up along with my 3 inch Unitron that will soon be equatorially mounted and become a 142. I imagine it would be a close race. I have had both the Sears and the 102 F/11 set up on the same day but different times to do solar, using a Lunt 1.25 inch wedge and a Baader continuum filter and they were pretty much identical on sunspot detail and granulation; of course there the limit is placed on daytime seeing (conventional turbulence) so you can't take either up to the magnification limit of theoretical resolution. The same when I set them up for H-alpha. They are both excellent and I wouldn't trade either. I'll let you know when I do a couple of side by sides on Jupiter when the weather warms up a bit.

Terra


thanks Terra!! bob

#10 Mike W

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 06:50 PM

Good build quality and very good image quality. If you are puzzling over a finder The mounting bracket for a schmidt cass bolts on the top of the rings.

Any impressions of the Astrotelescopes AT102F11? CA? Build quality? Image quality?

Regards,

Karl

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#11 Mike W

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 06:51 PM

Here's a couple more photos

Good build quality and very good image quality. If you are puzzling over a finder The mounting bracket for a schmidt cass bolts on the top of the rings.

Any impressions of the Astrotelescopes AT102F11? CA? Build quality? Image quality?

Regards,

Karl

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#12 Mike W

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 06:52 PM

It's a keeper but so is my TV102. I just have a thing for longer f/l refractors.[quote name="Mike W"]Good build quality and very good image quality. If you are puzzling over a finder The mounting bracket for a schmidt cass bolts on the top of the rings. [quote]Any impressions of the Astrotelescopes AT102F11? CA? Build quality? Image quality?

Regards,

Karl [/quote] [/quote] [/quote]

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#13 terraclarke

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 09:58 PM

If you look at the photograph of mine in the post above, you will notice that the large finder is attached to a special mounting ring sitting just above the focuser housing and below the balance weight. However you will also notice that a reflex finder is attached by a standard finder shoe to the focuser housing. If you examine the focuser housing carefully you will notice that there are two recessed Allen head screws (M4) nor right and one left of center on the upper part of the housing. These are removable and do nothing but provide a threaded hole for attaching a finder. This is a well kept secret and you will find nothing about it in the literature or the reviews. However, they are there and are quite serviceable.

Terra

#14 Mike W

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 08:29 AM

Good find! Although I find it much easier on the back and knees having the focuser moved forward. I have the old style focoser(crayford) and i'm not sure those holes are there, have to look. Also I see you have a 90deg. finder and I prefer a strait throuth. I guess it would come down to which finder you prefer.

If you look at the photograph of mine in the post above, you will notice that the large finder is attached to a special mounting ring sitting just above the focuser housing and below the balance weight. However you will also notice that a reflex finder is attached by a standard finder shoe to the focuser housing. If you examine the focuser housing carefully you will notice that there are two recessed Allen head screws (M4) nor right and one left of center on the upper part of the housing. These are removable and do nothing but provide a threaded hole for attaching a finder. This is a well kept secret and you will find nothing about it in the literature or the reviews. However, they are there and are quite serviceable.

Terra



#15 Don Taylor

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 08:30 AM

Yes, there are unused threaded holes in the new rack & piƱon focuser as well. I chose to use a strut to mount the finder shoe as the finder bracket I already had was not contoured for the small diameter of the focuser. Could have used a different finder and bracket with the existing holes.

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#16 Mike W

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 08:42 AM

My Crayford focuser doesn't have those holes, which in my case doesn't matter. I'd still mount it were it is but for a 90deg. finder that's great!

If you look at the photograph of mine in the post above, you will notice that the large finder is attached to a special mounting ring sitting just above the focuser housing and below the balance weight. However you will also notice that a reflex finder is attached by a standard finder shoe to the focuser housing. If you examine the focuser housing carefully you will notice that there are two recessed Allen head screws (M4) nor right and one left of center on the upper part of the housing. These are removable and do nothing but provide a threaded hole for attaching a finder. This is a well kept secret and you will find nothing about it in the literature or the reviews. However, they are there and are quite serviceable.

Terra



#17 terraclarke

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 10:56 AM

Hi Mike, I too prefer straight through and change finders amongst various scopes. That's why I put the reflex site on, only use it when the right angle finder is on the scope rather than the straight through. In fact this is the only right angle that I have amongst a half dozen straight thru. One thing I do like though is the correct rather than inverted or right-left backwards images when comparing what I am seeing in the finder to what I am seeing on a map.

#18 Mike W

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 05:54 PM

Thats why I bought the ES finder, its correct image is less confusing (I'm confused enough!) I have a reflex finder on my TV102 that I like even better. I broke down and bought another Gibraltar mount but this time with Sky Tour. Getting lazy I guess! Some nights I'll put the AT102 on my G-8 and find stuff with the TV & sky tour, look thru the reflex to see where it is and then find it in the AT102 and let the mount follow it. Also I can mount the two refractors side by side on the g-8 and not have to switch eyepieces for high or low mag.

Hi Mike, I too prefer straight through and change finders amongst various scopes. That's why I put the reflex site on, only use it when the right angle finder is on the scope rather than the straight through. In fact this is the only right angle that I have amongst a half dozen straight thru. One thing I do like though is the correct rather than inverted or right-left backwards images when comparing what I am seeing in the finder to what I am seeing on a map.



#19 lcaldero

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 09:04 PM

I don't mean to take this thread off-topic, but wow Terra you have solved problems I am still grappling with with for my Sv102a - f8.7', lovely ft focuser but no integral finder mount. I have tried a lot of SV's doo- dads to attach a finder to rings or clamshells, but I like my correct image straight through finder closer to the ep, and fiddling with the balance, argh. Can you tells us a little more about the counter-weight on OTA?

To the OP, this post should be a great help in your decision, attention to balance and mounting your finder are important details! Let us know what you decide!

#20 Mike W

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 09:39 PM

Not to answer for Terra but the counterweight is probably to slide the scope forward making the focuser easier to miss the tripod(Zenith observing) I would like to know where she got the counterweight?

#21 KarlL

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 10:48 AM

Yes, this thread is turning out to be very helpful. I'm still considering, but I'm leaning closer to the AstroTelescopes. I'll make my decision in March. The finder and mount are now items I'm hung-up on.

#22 Mike W

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 10:53 AM

Are you thinking alt azimuth or equitorial? Reflex or conventional finder?
Mike :refractor:

#23 terraclarke

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 12:23 PM

Thank you Mike. Exactly. That allows me to use a tripod without a pier extension, while keeping the eyepiece at a comfortable height. It works very well. The counter-balance assembly as well as the wide ring holding the right angle finder, which needs to be placed further up to keep me from bumping my forehead on the finder while using a two inch diagonal are custom. They were both made by Ken of Ken's Rings. Unfortunately he retired last year. Two bad because he was a real alternative to Parallax and nice as can be.

#24 Mike W

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 02:04 PM

Didn't know he retired, just talked to him sometime last year. I was going to have him make me one then came up with the finder mount in my pile of unwanted toys and made it work. Glad you were able to get the parts you needed. I'm gearing up to make some parts but hadn't thought about rings, will have to give it some thought. I suppose if I can machine these I could make some rings.

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#25 KarlL

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 03:00 PM

Alt/Az to begin. Terra's CG-4 would seem to be a good way to go for imaging. I'm considering a Telrad.

Any recommendations for finders and alt/az mounts for the scope?






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