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102mm achro for cheap

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#1 CollinofAlabama

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Posted 02 July 2013 - 06:25 PM

I was wondering around the web briefly over my lunch hour today and found this ...

102mm NexStar GT $119 shipped!

Holy smokes, Batman! This is one good deal. I don't need a 4" achro right now, thank you, and F/9.8 is a little too long for my preference, but how often does a fellow see a brand new, shipped to your door, 4" refractor with Celestron warranty for $120? We live in interesting times, amigos. Now it comes with almost nothing. There's an attachable dovetail, so not even tube rings, but it is a Vixen style, so pretty universal to mount. You'll need a mount, diagonal(s), eyepieces ... but, if you have those things and want a second scope to putz around with, or have been out of things for a while and need something to play with, without arousing the wife's financial ire, this is the ticket!

#2 Binojunky

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Posted 03 July 2013 - 09:43 AM

Ed Ting reviewed that scope, did well,DA.

#3 lynntx

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Posted 03 July 2013 - 12:42 PM

Wow! I couldn't resist the bargain so I ordered one today.
Free shipping from Ca. Amazing. My old Burgess 127 is kinda big to set up for short sessions, so I will try the 102. I used to have a 90mm F10 scope and regretted selling it. Frankly I have not been viewing for a while, so maybe the new toy will motivate me. Thanks for posting this great deal on the forum. About as good as the recent 90mm frenzy. :jump::jump:

#4 csrlice12

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Posted 03 July 2013 - 01:23 PM

102mm f9.8 Achros are to refractors as 8" dobs are to reflectors. Synta pumps these things out in droves in many different configurations of mounts. Some are collimateable and some are not, depends on price; but overall, they're one of the best astro deals going.

#5 BigC

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Posted 04 July 2013 - 06:08 PM

The whole Celestron(Costco) Nexstar 102 with goto mount and a set of H oculars often sell for $200.A bit of searching on ebay,amazon,etc. should find at least one.

I put a 2" diagonal in mine for more viewing options.

Now if the clouds.......

#6 Chassetter

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Posted 04 July 2013 - 07:32 PM

Does factory closeout mean Celestron is discontinuing these? :question:

#7 mdowns

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Posted 04 July 2013 - 09:57 PM

Thanks so much for the heads up! I just ordered one for use as a loaner in the club were trying to start up. BTW,this is the second scope I bought after finding a 'heads up' kinda post about the 6" rfr I have. Got to to love cnights!

#8 pdxmoon

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Posted 05 July 2013 - 01:22 AM

I'd be really interested, as a newbie, to read how you all plan to complete the scope: what brand diagonal, mount, eyepieces.

#9 mdowns

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Posted 05 July 2013 - 07:50 AM

Hi Barnum
In my instance I intend to set this up as a loaner. I have a spare low end 2" diagonal and a 6x30 finder ( I think its an orion). I also have a low end 2" 30mm widefield that will give 33x with over a 2 degree afov and then can sprinkle in 3 plossls,9mm,12.5mm and 17mm. Throw in a 2x barlow and this scope will be able to provide a wide range of viewing options. I'll mount this ota on a cg5 with dual drives. Before loaning out we will have to give whoever a fair amount of basic instruction on using a gem. Bottom line,this will be a great learning scope for someone with a moderate interest level.BTW,if I was'nt using this as a loaner I would still use the same basic arrangement as described,buying what I needed used on either cnights or amart.You can find used 1.25" diagonals often in the 20-30 dollar range. A used finder 30-50mm,with mounting shoe (use a orion/celestron),30-45 bucks and then a wide variety of used eyepieces as cheap as say 20 bucks apiece( meade 4000 chinese plossls,orion sirius plossls,etc) if your patient.

#10 pdxmoon

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Posted 05 July 2013 - 11:27 AM

mdowns:

Continuing my education--

What hardware would you suggest as a mount for a Porta II, and what hardware would you suggest to mount the ota on a cg5? A link to a product helps--I'm a visual learner :-)

#11 rguasto

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Posted 05 July 2013 - 05:48 PM

I'm really very pleased with mine. Rings, dovetail, diagonal and finder all from CN classifieds.

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#12 ggalilei

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Posted 05 July 2013 - 07:10 PM

I purchased one of these (used) myself some time ago. I'm really impressed with the optics. At powers around 100-120x I cannot immediately tell the difference in visible details between this and a top quality 4" apo. Not saying that there is no difference, just that it doesn't jump at you, except for a slight purple halo around bright targets. But that's for $ 100 vs $ 3000. I haven't pushed the magnification past 120x yet. I mount it on an ES Twilight II, but the tube is not heavy, so a number of mounts should be adequate.

#13 mdowns

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Posted 05 July 2013 - 07:33 PM

Barnum,
I've never had or used a porta 11 and cant answer in that regard.However this ota comes with a vixen dovetail which would mount directly to a cg5 or current version of a cg4.

#14 pdxmoon

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Posted 06 July 2013 - 07:00 PM

I'm really very pleased with mine. Rings, dovetail, diagonal and finder all from CN classifieds.


My friend, if I'm understanding right, the scope comes with the dovetail but is in need of rings--no? Also, what is that mount in the picture.

Thank you!

#15 Jay_Bird

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Posted 06 July 2013 - 07:24 PM

Hi Barnum

The short dovetail that is screwed onto the 102 GT tube is of little use.

Rings and a new longer dovetail attached to the rings let you balance heavier eyepieces and a finder.

The sale scope would need:

+ mount
+ rings and longer dovetail
+ diagonal
+ you already said you need mid-high power eyepieces for lunar viewing

I got a pair of Orion 100mm tube rings and 8-inch dovetail. It's OK on my Porta (original) but sits higher off the ground on an old pier-mounted equatorial mount. Being able to use a 2-inch diagonal and widest field eyepiece (for over 2 degree field of view) makes the scope pretty versatile.

#16 Madratter

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Posted 06 July 2013 - 08:11 PM

I have one of these (Costco 102gt) and I was very impressed. I'm sure the quality varies but the optics in mine are excellent. The mount on the other hand is wobbly as all get out.

#17 DaveG

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Posted 06 July 2013 - 08:15 PM

I replaced the tripod legs on mine with wooden legs from Hands On Optics and it's a completely different mount now. Very stable with little vibrations.

#18 gunfighter48

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Posted 06 July 2013 - 08:56 PM

Does anyone know how much the OTA weighs? I tried to find out on the net but none of the specs list the weight of the OTA. I just bought one a couple of days ago. I am thinking of getting the iOptron Cube Pro mount for it. But I want to make sure the mount can handle the weight of the OTA, 2" diagonal, finder and eyepiece. This will be strictly for visual observing and not for AP.

#19 rguasto

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Posted 07 July 2013 - 10:10 AM

The dovetail that comes with the scope is too small and not placed correctly making balance impossible. A set of rings and a longer dovetail are needed. The mount is an astro tech voyager.

#20 smallscopefanLeo

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Posted 07 July 2013 - 03:49 PM

Orion is having a sale on accessories and I just ordered the 100mm Rings http://www.telescope...Orion-Tube-R... from them early this morning (along with a few other goodies), for my Costco Special black-with-some-orange-trim beauty.

I concur that the built-in dovetail is the pits, and only barely acceptable if you will be using the lightest eyepieces combined with a small plastic-fantastic red dot finder such as is provided in some of these scope packages, and not much more.

I already have a 13" vixen-type dovetail here waiting to be used from a previous order from Agena Astro. But the Orion accessory sale makes these dovetails intriguingly priced: (I was slightly tempted to get an extra one or two but didn't. You already know to factor in shipping, and tax if you are in CA) http://www.telescope...Orion-Doveta... (no affiliation with Orion except for several successful purchases from them over the years)

#21 jag767

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 07:36 AM

This is probably one of my favorite scopes, especially for the value. I threw a set of rings on it, 2" dual speed focuser, vixen red dot, and 2" dielectric diagonal and it certainly does not disappoint. views with my meade 5k 82 degree are extremely pleasing.

#22 Laz

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Posted 09 July 2013 - 01:10 AM

I got mine for $59 !!, made an alt az pipe mount and put it all on a n8i tripod for a grab and go. Optics are very good.

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#23 labmand

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Posted 09 July 2013 - 09:06 PM

Nice job Laz, I like it, did you do something to the Lens/dew shield, does not look stock? Also looks like AZ circles?

#24 Laz

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Posted 10 July 2013 - 12:42 AM

I roll a dew shield with black art paper and tape it together. It retracts backwards onto the tube so I can still use the lens cap. Yes I added an az circle plus an alt scale and bubble level,-- works well for finding dso's with Sky Safari app.

#25 pdxmoon

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Posted 10 July 2013 - 04:28 AM

Newb question:

Can I mount this onto the mount below ill need to purchase rings?






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