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Celestron 127 SLT Great BUT!

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#1 orion61

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Posted 03 May 2013 - 08:21 PM

I have had my 127 SLT NexStar for about a year and a half, I found myself not using it. It wasn't because of the optics, they are 1st rate.
The darn tripod was so shaky it took about 7 seconds to settle down making fine focus nearly impossible.
I had a friend give me his old tripod from a Meade 90mm Refractor EQ mount. I used the head from the SLT tripod and took the plastic parts off the original legs, then took the leg caps off the new tripod.
I epoxied the old legs inside the new ones after I drove them in leaving about 14" sticking out, I also left the inner legs there so there is plenty height adjustment..
The results are a system that I use nearly every night.
The image settles down after only a couple seconds, and it will
reach a height that is comfortable for a guy 6' tall.
I think the tube will be a Classic.
They are built like a tank. Mine gives refractor like images.
I really dont think I have ever been as happy with a scope before!
If anybody has any questions about the computer be assured
it is as accurate as one would want.
even the Solar System align, Start by pointing level and North, choose whatever Planet is up and BINGO tracks great. I have even used it to find DSO's with the GO-TO while on the Solar System align!!
I even put my old Celestron/Vixen F11.4 80mm Refractor on the SLT mount!
In my opinion it is an A+ A best buy at about $400.00

#2 Midnight Dan

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Posted 04 May 2013 - 08:07 AM

Hi orion61:

Glad to hear you were able to put together a system that works for you! And you're in good company. There have been others here who have pointed out that the weak point of the SLT scopes is the jiggly tripod. Upgrading that can indeed make a nice system. Congrats!

-Dan

#3 orion61

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Posted 04 May 2013 - 11:04 AM

Thanks Dan, It has become my most used scope, I have a C8, C14, Dynamax 6" (don't laugh it has very good optics)
An LXD-75 mount with a 5" Refractor and SN-8 tube, multiple pea shooters ETX90 etc.
The 127 is just so darn handy. and with the beefier mount rock solid but moves in and out with ease.
I just cant figure out why they have gone to the feeble tripods?
The 8Se is another, the 6se is ok.

#4 Chaz659

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 08:14 AM

We've had our SLT for 5 months now. It's been great, but our experience has been exactly the same. This is our first scope and we are still learning our way around the sky. We have done a few suggested things to mitigate the vibration, pads, lower the tripod, tighten everything. Now the majority of vibration we experience is the after focus vibration. THAT is maddening. The tube and the optics are better than we both expected, as you said. But now, we are both beginning to feel the effects of aperture fever recently, so the SLT might take a backseat as we look to larger scopes and different designs. But I think we will keep the SLT just for the convenience.

BTW...I am Irish, English AND German...lol

Chaz & Beth

#5 Michael Miles

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 01:48 AM

I'm looking at the Nexstar 127 for a friend, and your posts made me realize that I've got my Nexstar mounted on a Meade 884 tripod (like the ETX125 used), and it's super stable. scopehead had them on sale on his ebay site (love that guy). Michael

#6 Chaz659

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Posted 08 August 2013 - 10:51 AM

Well then, I hadn't explored, or even considered that as an option. What other mounts would the 127 SLT fit on and how would I go about doing that?

Sorry, total newbie here and not incredibly mechanically gifted. Thanks in advance.

#7 Michael Miles

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Posted 08 August 2013 - 08:53 PM

Islip! A friend of mine just moved back to Islip...

Small planet.

I'll try to post a picture of the mount soon. It's a thousand percent more stable than the toy tripod from before.

Michael

#8 Chaz659

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Posted 08 August 2013 - 09:34 PM

Any idea what a used Meade 884 goes for????

You know someone from Islip? That's crazy...lol

#9 Michael Miles

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Posted 09 August 2013 - 01:54 AM

Hi Chaz:

Here's a picture of my Nexstar mounted on the Meade 884 tripod. Sorry it's such a bad photo, but my smart phone is limited (but easy to email the photos from). The scope is a Stelarvue 102mm, so this is at the limits of what the drive can handle, but careful balancing makes it work ok. This is my grab-n-goto computer drive, and it works great for planetary visual viewing.

So, I think the screw hole in the bottom of the nexstar drive is a 1/4"x20, so I just got a screw long enough to fit through the hole in the center of the 884 meade mount. Then I added some bushing material (I think they have these nylon sleeves at home depot) so the screw wouldn't wiggle in the hole. That's all it took.

Whoops! I found this link for the tripod on ebay:

http://www.ebay.com/...tx-125-/2212...

and I noticed that there isn't a hole in the center. I drilled a 3/8" hole to mount my Orion alt-az motor drive, but you could just drill a 1/4" hole for the Nexstar drive. I think if you look around, you could get a better price. For this price, you could use a surveyor's tripod that lots of scope guys use. For example:

http://www.ebay.com/...?pt=LH_Defau...

Michael

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#10 Michael Miles

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Posted 09 August 2013 - 02:11 AM

They cost $200 when they were new, and I got mine for $65 from telescope warehouse. Such a good deal I bought 2 and gave one to a friend of mine...

#11 Chaz659

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Posted 09 August 2013 - 07:57 AM

Thanks! I never even thought of doing something like that. I will keep my eyes open for any good deals.

#12 austingonzo

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Posted 09 August 2013 - 08:49 AM

Just ping Bill directly. He's very accessible. There's always a chance he has stuff that's not listed.

http://www.telescope-warehouse.com/

-austingonzo

#13 Michael Miles

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Posted 09 August 2013 - 11:27 PM

Ha! I couldn't find the Meade tripod, but here's the Celestron equivalent (and cheaper at $155):

http://www.celestron...nexstar-8i.html

You may not even have to drill any holes with this one.

Michael

#14 StarWars

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Posted 13 August 2013 - 11:51 PM




Interesting tripod tip!!


However what if you were to hang a 10 pound weight from the center of the tripod.

The extra 10 pound weight would have dampened the vibrations. :o


Thoughts??

#15 Michael Miles

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Posted 11 October 2013 - 03:23 PM

He's got an equivalent tripod for $80:

http://www.ebay.com/...lescope-Trip...

Michael

#16 derelicte

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Posted 15 October 2013 - 10:39 AM

These are great finds. Thanks!

I too feel the legs are the weak part of my slt mount. I've seriously thought about replacing them with these wooded replacement legs from hands on optics:

Posted Image
http://handsonoptics...&cPath=1_74&...

Has anyone tried these legs?

#17 *skyguy*

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Posted 15 October 2013 - 10:57 AM

I took my NexStar GT mount and placed it on a homemade wedge on a CST/Berger Surveyor tripod. It works great with my C102GT refractor ... very stable even when the legs are fully extended. The Berger tripod is available on Amazon for around $55.00 dollars.

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#18 derelicte

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Posted 15 October 2013 - 12:01 PM

That is the same scope I have. Do you know the model # of that tripod? Amazon has a few different ones that look like that.

Thanks!

#19 hardwarezone

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Posted 15 October 2013 - 01:25 PM

Does anybody have the length measurement of the 127 mak OTA from front cap to rear dust cap ?
The nexstar SLT manual says 12 inches but orion apex manual list it as 14.5 inches.

My concern is about storage space and I would want to avoid keeping the OTA fully vertical as the dust inside might settle on the front lens.
Thank you.

#20 orion61

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 01:16 PM

Does anybody have the length measurement of the 127 mak OTA from front cap to rear dust cap ?
The nexstar SLT manual says 12 inches but orion apex manual list it as 14.5 inches.

My concern is about storage space and I would want to avoid keeping the OTA fully vertical as the dust inside might settle on the front lens.
Thank you.

If you store it with the front cap down and Diagonal/eyepiece in it, the tube is sealed, there's no way for dust to get in it.

#21 derelicte

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Posted 28 October 2013 - 08:35 AM

I replaced the legs on my slt mount with the wooden replacement legs from hands on optics.

A used set came up in the classifieds for a decent price, so I bought them.

The good news is they have eliminated any wobble caused by the original flimsy legs. However it took some work to get them on there.

Pros:

1. Eliminated wobble from the legs. The mount is _very_ sturdy now.

2. They are quite a bit higher than the stock legs. I haven't measured the new height, but with a refractor they are much more usable now.

3. For the most part the wooden legs look nice, except for the color.

4. They are a lot heavier than the stock legs.

Cons:

1. They were not a direct fit. The bolts used to mount the legs to the slt base are bigger which required drilling out the holes in the base to accommodate the bigger bolts. Not a huge deal, but going back the the original legs will require some more work (for example if I sell the mount).

2. The inside corner of each leg interfered with the lip that runs around the top edge of the base. This required filing the inside edges a bit so they would clear. Again, not a huge deal, but now this section of the legs are unfinished.

3. The tray is kind of flimsy.

4. The overall finish is just ok. They aren't works of art, like say an Oberworks tripod. They look fine at night or a from a few feet away, but close up there are lots of dents, dings, etc. This could have been caused by the original owner though.

5. The "fork" at the top of each leg where it bolts to the base is a little bit wider than the base. I solved this by putting one 1/16" thick nylon washer to fill the gap. I may replace this single washer with two 1/32" ones instead if I can find them.

6. They are painted some putrid yellow/green/orange color. Not the most attractive choice.

Would I buy them again? Yes, if the price was right. I'm glad I didn't pay $100 for them. I haven't gotten a chance to use them at night, but just by assembling it and tapping on the telescope, I can tell they are a huge improvement.






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