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First light with the Lunt 102ED.

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#1 dennilfloss

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 09:13 PM

Got me a nice photography-lights bag that fits my OTA and everything but the tripod, so I can walk with this in one hand and the tripod in another (putting everything in the Orion 56" telescope bag proved too heavy). So around 8pm I went to a parking lot near the boulevard where I live to look at the moon which I had noticed on the way back from grocery shopping.

Unpacked everything and started setting the telescope up but I then had a bad surprise. I had unscrewed the handle on my AZ4 as I was worried about breaking it when stored in the Orion bag. The darn thing won't screw back in its hole; the threads don't seem to catch. I tell you, if I can get it back on, I won't remove it anymore. So I had to move the telescope by nudging the OTA, which worked well anyway even at 223x.

The lunar landscape was spectacular, very crisp & contrasty and I could see different shades of grey and many linear formations I'll have to learn from my lunar map. Ditto for peaks and other structures inside the larger craters. I was thinking recently about getting a 6mm eyepiece to push the scope to 297x but I am not so sure anymore. Will have to try the barlow in front of the diagonal first to see if that can still reach focus.

The image is very nice at 223x (55-56x per inch) but it starts to get dim. Looks like I won't need a lunar filter though as the brightness never was uncomfortable to me even at 89x or 20x. Saw more floaters in my old eyes than expected however. As for chromatic aberration, I occasionally saw a very thin, barely noticeable, very pale green rind along the bright lunar rim at 223x but I had to look for it and even then it seemed to come and go. It was, to say, ephemeral, almost not there and I'm not sure I did not imagine it because I expected it to be there.

I did not get a chance to look at stars even though the Summer Triangle was starting to show up in the sky. My scope kept attracting people who wanted to look through it, so I ended up doing sidewalk astronomy with the Moon. Unfortunately, this is Friday night and I live in the part of the city (The Market) where so many bars are located. Many of the young folks had already started the evening early it seems (many smelled of beer and/or pot), so I was constantly worried they'd break something. People kept asking how much the scope is worth and I was getting very anxious that I'd end up getting robbed. Kept an eye on my bag with the eyepieces. Every time a group of young people would approach, I'd feel insecure and worry they'd break my stuff just for fun. Many of them were surprised at how "rough" the edge of the Moon looks while they were seeing mountains and crater edges along the rim. It's as if they expected the Moon to be smooth. I'd say over 20 people looked at the Moon through the scope and in total they spent more time at the eyepiece during my 90-minute session than me.

First thing I did when I got home was to make sure nothing was missing. I had dropped my first screw while loosening the retaining rim on my barlow to put in the Baader zoom. Found it immediately but that was a good reminder to be more careful next time. Did not use the 36mm eyepiece at all this time. I easily found the Moon using only the zoom at 24mm and pointing the OTA in the general direction.

So all I can say is I bought the Lunt to look at Luna mostly and it fits the bill as far as I am concerned. Very pleased with what I saw through the Baader Zoom this evening. But I am spent in terms of energy (no thanks to CFS) and emotions. Now I'm gonna play some Skyrim and slay some dragons.

Earlier thread with several pics of the kit: http://www.cloudynig...ber=5979979&...

#2 dennilfloss

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 09:45 PM

OK. Found what the problem with the AZ4 handle is.

http://stargazerslou...sembly-problem/

I still may leave it off as nudging the OTA worked well and this means even less weight. One advantage of refractors over catadioptrics in this respect is the longer tube.

#3 Eric63

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 11:07 PM

I had the exact same problem until I realised that it had to go in at an angle :foreheadslap:

Eric

#4 dennilfloss

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 11:22 PM

I have figured out the angle. Was expecting a vertical angle but it's a lateral angle to make the handle go away from the OTA. Just removed the handle and placed it back a few times with no problem. :)

#5 dennilfloss

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 11:25 PM

Think I'll try some daytime use this weekend to see if the barlow works before the diagonal and see if I can use my HTC One phone camera to take afocal pics.

#6 Starhawk

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Posted 17 August 2013 - 08:46 AM

I suggest just turning the mount head over when you don't have a scope on it to have the handle rest on the bottom of the head. That will protect the dovetail knob as well.

But it is true otherwise- the refractors work really well.

-Rich

#7 GOLGO13

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Posted 18 August 2013 - 09:02 AM

Sounds like your scope performed very similar to the one I had which was made by the same folks. I think it's probably the best value on the market as far as buying a new refractor.

You may want to find a different place to observe though...that would be both fun and not fun. Maybe it would be better if you had a few other folks around. There should be some sort of observing group in your area.

Congrats on the new setup!

#8 dennilfloss

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Posted 18 August 2013 - 05:52 PM

Thanks. :) I think the moon looked better than it did in my former Celestar 8. Dimmer for sure above 200x but crisper and more contrasty. It felt like you were in space hovering above it. I'll probably look at stars soon but I hurt my back doing house chores yesterday. The focuser worked very smoothly and held up the weight of 2" glass with no problem. I stuck some Scotch tape inside the focuser cap so it's tighter now and won't fall off. The dew shield works wonderfully,just the right tightness to hold still without needing the screw even when aimed at the zenith. Overall wonderful mechanics in that scope. It felt solid, smooth and compact. :)

I'm planning to start observing from Parliament Hill (a 15 minute walk), in the shadow of one of the main buildings, with the RCMP nearby. There is a Yahoo! group of Ottawa astronomy friends but they observe from the other side of town in the suburbs, so I would need a lift from one of them when they have their sessions (I have no vehicle to go to dark sites). I have begun posting on their group and this may happen once I know them and they know me better. :)






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