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General Astronomy >> Beginners Forum

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ja313
newbie


Reged: 10/27/10

Loc: Washington state, USA
Nexstar 102 GT
      #5422667 - 09/15/12 05:28 PM

Hi all, long time lurker first time poster,I was wondering if anyone has had any experience with the Celestron Nexstar 102 gt refractor that is currently being sold at Costco stores,I know that the general rule of thumb is to avoid department store telscopes but this one lookes like it could be the exception with the $200.00 price point it seems like it could be a pretty good deal.

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MikeBOKC
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 05/10/10

Loc: Oklahoma City, OK
Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: ja313]
      #5422685 - 09/15/12 05:44 PM

For that price it is probably an OK beginner scope. Decent aperture, but with likely chromatic aberration. Go to, but a pretty lightweight mount that will do some shaking. All in all a starter scope a cut or two above department store level.

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csrlice12
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: MikeBOKC]
      #5422800 - 09/15/12 07:17 PM

Agree with Mike. I was in Costco Yesterday and saw the Nexstar102GT there. At F10 chromatic aberration won't be a serious problem, and this scope will be pretty forgiving of cheaper eyepieces. The mount is very light, and would need someway to stableize it such as putting a heavy weight hanging from the tripod. The mount was mostly plastic, so that can raise some concerns. However, If all I had was $200 and wanted GoTo, this would be the one I'd buy. All in all, the scope itself is pretty good, it's the mount/tripod that is the weak link here. But, for the money, not a bad buy.

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WaterMasterAdministrator
Moat Keeper
*****

Reged: 02/17/10

Loc: Southeast Idaho, USA
Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5423008 - 09/15/12 09:54 PM

Hi Ja313, welcome in from the shadows.

I used my Celestron 80mm NexStar for years and the mount never gave me any trouble. It is pretty shaky but as mentioned, there are ways to firm it up some (I hung a 10 pound weight from the tripod).

It's really a pretty good deal for a starter scope with goto.


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ja313
newbie


Reged: 10/27/10

Loc: Washington state, USA
Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: WaterMaster]
      #5424544 - 09/16/12 10:36 PM

Thank you all for the replies, after thinking this over and being that I already have a small scope (60mm refractor) on a shakey mount, I think I will save my $200.00 and put it towards an 8 or 10 inch Dob.

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ClusterHunter110
super member


Reged: 02/26/12

Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: ja313]
      #5424760 - 09/17/12 01:38 AM

Hm...now that I look on Costco's website, they have an Astromaster 90EQ (which was the first scope I wanted before I was really educated in Astronomy)...I'm seriously considering that, but I'm not sure. It's tempting me GREATLY.

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BigC
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 09/29/10

Loc: SE Indiana
Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: ClusterHunter110]
      #5425139 - 09/17/12 10:25 AM

The 102 doesn't apear when I search Costco for "telescope",although the 90Eq and 4 others do.

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howard929
Member
*****

Reged: 01/02/11

Loc: Low End of High Ground
Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: ja313]
      #5425141 - 09/17/12 10:26 AM

Quote:

Thank you all for the replies, after thinking this over and being that I already have a small scope (60mm refractor) on a shakey mount, I think I will save my $200.00 and put it towards an 8 or 10 inch Dob.




Wise move.


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tnakazon
sage


Reged: 06/26/10

Loc: Los Angeles
Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: howard929]
      #5442313 - 09/26/12 08:10 PM Attachment (125 downloads)

A friend of mine alerted me to this scope at Costco a couple of days ago, so the next day after work, I went to the nearest store, bought an annual membership card ($55), then went ahead and purchased this scope.

Good news is that it has a 2" focuser (and comes with a 1.25" adapter). The not so good news is that the 5 eyepieces are of the 2-element variety, the same ones found in the Celestron FirstScope and its optional accessory kit (4 Huygens, 1 Ramsden eyepiece).

Haven't tested it yet, hoping that false color won't be much of a problem on the brighter objects, given its f/9.8 focal ratio.


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Dennis_S253
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 11/22/11

Loc: West Central Florida
Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: tnakazon]
      #5442484 - 09/26/12 09:42 PM

That would be a good first scope I would think. Like said, you may have to weight the tripot some. But still a 4" is nothing to sneeze at. Heck thats all I have used for years.

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tnakazon
sage


Reged: 06/26/10

Loc: Los Angeles
Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: Dennis_S253]
      #5442605 - 09/26/12 10:46 PM Attachment (149 downloads)

Same here - all of the observing I've been doing the past 2 years are with scopes around 4 inches in aperture. Shown here are my two workhorses - the 100mm Orion SkyScanner and the 114mm Orion Starblast 4.5 - both fast f/4.0 Newtonians.

Looking forward to seeing how the views through the slower NexStar 102GT f/9.8 achromat compare with these two, especially on the planets.


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newtoskies
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 07/15/12

Loc: SE Ma.
Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: tnakazon]
      #5442678 - 09/26/12 11:24 PM

Not too bad of a deal. Been thinking of getting a cheap beginner grabNgo scope.

Rob


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GOLGO13
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 11/05/05

Loc: St. Louis area
Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: newtoskies]
      #5443323 - 09/27/12 11:17 AM

Looks and sounds like an OK starting scope. The eyepieces are old school 2 element designs...which is somewhat surprising. But at 200 bucks you can afford to get new eyepeices. I'm reading pretty positive reviews online.

The biggest complaints were the eyepeices being old designs (I would actually kind of like that...trying out older designed eyepeices)and the tripod being shaky. I think vibration pads or hanging wieghts on the tripod could help there.

I think it looks like one of the better department store telescopes. Most of them look unuseable...especially the Meade ones at Sams Club and such.


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KWB
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 09/30/06

Loc: Westminster,Co Elev.5400 feet
Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: GOLGO13]
      #5443367 - 09/27/12 11:50 AM

I absolutely love the fact this telescope can utilise 2 inch eyepieces. About time for an entry level scope. Using an inexpensive aftermarket eyepiece like a 30mm GSO Superview,a little over a 2.0° TFOV capability is possible.

Despite the other obvious limitations when talking about a $200.00 setup,IMO that is at least a big step in the right direction.


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csrlice12
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: KWB]
      #5443374 - 09/27/12 11:54 AM

On another thread, somebody mentioned that this scope demands you use the tracking as it is not built for manually moving the scope. Is this true?

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KWB
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 09/30/06

Loc: Westminster,Co Elev.5400 feet
Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5443402 - 09/27/12 12:10 PM

Quote:

On another thread, somebody mentioned that this scope demands you use the tracking as it is not built for manually moving the scope. Is this true?



Not true. This telescope can manually be slewed in any direction. The GOTO feature doesn't need to be used.


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csrlice12
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: KWB]
      #5443505 - 09/27/12 01:17 PM

Thanks. I looked at this scope as a quick grabngo, but believe I'll just wait till Xmas and go for the Omni 102XLT instead....

but, since you can use it manually, that makes it a better deal...


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tnakazon
sage


Reged: 06/26/10

Loc: Los Angeles
Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: KWB]
      #5449327 - 09/30/12 10:29 PM

Quote:

Quote:

On another thread, somebody mentioned that this scope demands you use the tracking as it is not built for manually moving the scope. Is this true?



Not true. This telescope can manually be slewed in any direction. The GOTO feature doesn't need to be used.



The GOTO feature does not need to be used on this scope, but you still need to use the automatic tracking system to slew the scope across the sky. The scope can be moved manually (by hand) up-and-down, but not left-to-right.

So if you don't want to use an external power source, best to use another mount for it, such as the Vixen Portamount or Skywatcher AZ4 alt-azimuth mount.


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BigC
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 09/29/10

Loc: SE Indiana
Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: KWB]
      #5449540 - 10/01/12 02:02 AM

Quote:

Quote:

On another thread, somebody mentioned that this scope demands you use the tracking as it is not built for manually moving the scope. Is this true?



Not true. This telescope can manually be slewed in any direction. The GOTO feature doesn't need to be used.


I don't think so.Nexstar scopes typically can be moved up/down by hand but it more a safety feature for the motor than for observing.There are no clutch knobs to loosen.

The MEADE 102 GOTO refractor mount is different and the user can loosen the large knob on the bottom of the base for azimuth and the large knob on the arm for altitude,and then use the scope without batteries or electric and of course no tracking when manual.

One could buy the set,either one, and just use the OTA on a different mount.Then keep or sell the GOTO mount as desired.


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howard929
Member
*****

Reged: 01/02/11

Loc: Low End of High Ground
Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5449830 - 10/01/12 09:18 AM

Quote:

On another thread, somebody mentioned that this scope demands you use the tracking as it is not built for manually moving the scope. Is this true?




I have one of those (102 SLT) and have yet to find a way to manually move it side to side. Loosening the nut doesn't help since the two sections meet with a plastic gear on each side. Go-TO isn't required to move it but without a power source for the hand controller, it's a paper weight.


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