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svrider1000
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Reged: 06/28/12

Loc: Sylmar, California
Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: Starhawk]
      #5460301 - 10/08/12 09:49 AM

I had a chance to get up early and see the Orion Nebula this morning. I was very impressed with the view. Also I tried to use the 5 eyepieces that came with the scope but the quality was very bad. I am not sure what to do with them.

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csrlice12
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Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: svrider1000]
      #5460355 - 10/08/12 10:29 AM

I got a .22, we could use them for target practice....

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BigC
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 09/29/10

Loc: SE Indiana
Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: svrider1000]
      #5460405 - 10/08/12 10:57 AM

I'm curious:does the new 102 seem better than the Maks you once had?

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svrider1000
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Reged: 06/28/12

Loc: Sylmar, California
Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: BigC]
      #5460551 - 10/08/12 12:26 PM

Quote:

I'm curious:does the new 102 seem better than the Maks you once had?




Here is a quick story about my experience with these scopes.

I bought each scope used at super low prices. So I was able to sell each one for more than I bought it for. If I had paid full price for my Dob I would still have it.

The C130 was one of my favorite scopes. It had very nice views but then I saw the XT10i for $300 I sold it right away and got the Dob. So I did not get a really good chance to use it very much but I had money left over after that deal and a 10 inch Dob.

The Starguide 4 I got for $60 but it had no tripod and was harder to use on a table top so I used my Dob almost every night and rarely used the 4 inch Mak so I cannot really say how it compares.

In two months I used my Dob almost every night so I got a lot of use out of it. It was great with the push to feature. I was able to find lots of things with it.

If I find a good deal I am looking to buy a 6 or 8 inch SCT but I intend to keep this scope if I can. I want to keep a Go To scope from now on.


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tnakazon
sage


Reged: 06/26/10

Loc: Los Angeles
Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: svrider1000]
      #5461200 - 10/08/12 08:15 PM

Quote:

tnakazon

How was your night out? Yesterday I bought a used 40mm Televue Plossl for $50. I was very impressed. I have used it at 40mm then 20mm with 2x Barlow. Then I really pushed it with 4 x using two 2x Barlows to 10mm. The sky was not very clear but the Moon and Jupiter still looked very good through it.

I viewed Jupiter at 10 with my Hyperion at 10mm then 5mm. the images were very clear and I could see 3 or 4 bands. I cannot wait to to see it on a more clear night. I also used my 6mm and 4mm plossls and the views were just as good. So far I have take this scope down to 4mm and was able to view Jupiter just fine.

Still my only issue is the telescope is so long that it can move up and down to easily by accident and I lose my alignment sometimes. I am hoping I can tighten it up some to compensate for this.




A few days ago I used a 6.3mm Plossl (158X) on Jupiter with this scope. The sky had a thin film of cloud, but I was still able to see four cloud bands. There was some purple haze, but it didn't detract from the overall view of this planet.

The only problem I have is with objects near the zenith, whereby the scope sometimes gets jammed on the tripod legs. I lose alignment when I pull the scope apart from the tripod. There is also the risk of damaging the OTA.


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tnakazon
sage


Reged: 06/26/10

Loc: Los Angeles
Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: BigC]
      #5461215 - 10/08/12 08:26 PM

Quote:

...I wonder how this Celestron 102 1000mm compares in view and operation to Meade's 102 800mm ? Both scopes seem to be limited availability .There are plenty of dealers offering the short Celestron 102 600mm.




The shorter focal length of the Meade (800mm) vs. the Celestron (1000mm) means more false color around bright objects like Jupiter or Venus. However the Meade should give you slightly larger fields of view.


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Gary Z
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Reged: 01/26/12

Loc: New Mexico
Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: svrider1000]
      #5461515 - 10/09/12 01:16 AM

Hello SVRider,

I totally understand about the back, which is why I also have an ETX-80 for easy grab and go, but not a reliable scope. My wonderful wife took pity on me and let me get a Celestron 8 SE SCT. Believe it or not, the scope is just about as easy to get around....in pieces and much more reliable. Now, I would suggest to try to go to a star party to view what others are using and why. This might help you determine what you like and don't like without having to spend more money...although that would be fun too!


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svrider1000
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Reged: 06/28/12

Loc: Sylmar, California
Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: Gary Z]
      #5461531 - 10/09/12 01:44 AM

Gary

I went to my friends to compare my 10 inch Dob with his 8 and 11 inch Celestron SCTs. After that night I decided I liked his scopes much better that is why I want to get a SCT. Also another friend has a 10 inch Meade SCT and I was also more impressed with it than my Dob.


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hpysheep
newbie


Reged: 10/11/12

Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: ja313]
      #5465652 - 10/11/12 04:42 PM

Hi,

I bought the 102gt from CostCo as my first GOTO telescope. The skyalign is real easy to do, and the first night out I was using the 4mm eyepiece, and getting views of Jupiter and its moons that looked just as good as the pics on Stellarium...the free program I use a lot to locate and find info about objects. Color was proper with the 4mm eyepiece, but was a bit yellow with the largest eyepieces.

I use the beach near my house for an unobstructed view, and have had no problems with the tripod, even at 250x power with the 4mm lens with the tripodlegs in the sand. The GOTO function places the previously viewed items right back into the center of the eyepiece. I am not sure of where those who needed the weights on their scopes were viewing. I did not have much of a wind at night and perhaps that helped the scope's stability.

I had read that as a rule of thumb, a Newtonian telescope mirror equivalent diameter will have to be twice the diameter of the objective lens on a refractor. So, I am guessing that I would need an 8" reflector to get the equivalent view.

I had some real bad experiences with the Meade 102, and was happy that to date, the Celestron 102gt telescope has done everything that it says it should do, and quite painlessly. I also really like the accuracy of the viewscope and its repeatability after tear down, and reassemly. I only had to adjust it the first time out, and it is right on the money the last 3 times I was out viewing.

I have not had a chance to try to find deep space objects, due to the moon phases and my inexperience. But it works great with the planets.

I also have not had a chance to try the computer RS232 interface cable with Stellarium.

I also liked the software that came bundled with the scope: First Light, and it is easy to use.


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svrider1000
super member
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Reged: 06/28/12

Loc: Sylmar, California
Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: hpysheep]
      #5465672 - 10/11/12 04:54 PM

hpysheep,

I am glad to see that you are enjoying your scope. I also like mine very much so far.

I think the rule is something like 1/3. Meaning you might be able to compare a good 4 inch APO to a 6 inch Newtonian reflector. Here is an article by Chuck Hawks that I read a while back.

http://www.chuckhawks.com/telescope_aperture.htm


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Jim Nelson
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 05/10/05

Loc: SE Michigan
Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: hpysheep]
      #5465836 - 10/11/12 07:07 PM

Quote:

'I had read that as a rule of thumb, a Newtonian telescope mirror equivalent diameter will have to be twice the diameter of the objective lens on a refractor."




Definitely not! A decent 8 inch reflector will easily outperform the best 4 inch refractor in the world on pretty much any objective measure of performance

The equivalent planetary performance is probably closer to 4inch vs. 6inch, and for deep sky more like 4inch vs. 5inch (rough rules of thumb based on my experience).

But there's a reason 4-inch refractors are so popular - they're a terribly convenient package at the aperture where things start to get interesting.

Edited by Jim Nelson (10/11/12 07:59 PM)


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Raldo
member


Reged: 03/24/11

Loc: PR
Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: howard929]
      #5466066 - 10/11/12 10:10 PM

I am considering this scope as a complement to my 8sct. Is it a good choice? Is it a good deal at 199.00? More reviews please.

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GOLGO13
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 11/05/05

Loc: St. Louis area
Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: hpysheep]
      #5466319 - 10/12/12 04:08 AM

yeah...twice as much needed between a refractor and a newt is pretty far off. An 8 inch newt would blow a 4 inch out of the water for most objects. I have a 6 inch newt and a 4 inch refractor (a little fancier than the 102GT). I feel the 6 inch does better on most objects. Still, that's a little more fair a fight than an 8.

I'd say given the same level of quality (it can be hard to find high quality newts at smaller sizes), I'd give the refractor an inch or so. So a 4 inch refractor would be like a 5 inch newt. And maybe a little more on an SCT given a little larger central obstruction? But I have no research. I have seen a few research ones on here, but hard to say how accurate they were.

Hey, either way it should be a nice scope Enjoy it! But I would advise you to get new eyepieces. It sounded like that was the only weak point in the package. Though I admit I would love to have some old school eyepiece designs for the fun of it. You should be able to find some used Plossl eyepieces for 15-20 bucks each.


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maltydog
member


Reged: 09/13/12

Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: GOLGO13]
      #5466433 - 10/12/12 07:23 AM

just bought this last night. amazingly, the clouds cleared out for about an hour for me to give it a try. not bad at all. of course the mount is shak'in like a leaf on a tree. will definitely play around with adding weights, etc.. the auto align and goto worked reasonably well. i used by ES16 eyepiece and the views were nice. split a couple doubles as well as take in M15 (glob) and the double cluster. M31and M110 looked much better than i anticipated. this will be a great grab 'n go scope once i can get the mount's vibration down. the red dot finder worked well. overall, i consider it a great value for $200; best of all if i later decide i don't like it, i can return to costco no questions asked (don't plan on doing that though).

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maltydog
member


Reged: 09/13/12

Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: maltydog]
      #5467668 - 10/13/12 01:55 AM

tonight was mostly clear also - at least until about 20 minutes ago. tonight i used my unistar mount with the heavy duty tripod. i also used my 2" diagonal from my ES 127. amazing how much difference it makes when the scope/mount is steady. much more enjoyable and able to evaluate the scope better. since this was point and shoot i had to work a bit more especially since i only used the red dot finder and no finder scope. from my driveway i have fairly good shielding from street lights but very limited view of the sky so i looked at the same things as last night (but with a rock solid mount).

checked out M103 and M31; the main thing i wanted to do was split double stars. polaris was doable as well as almach and the double double. for the double double i used both a 9mm (nagler) and 6mm (delos). there would be periods of some waviness then periods of super clean separation. of course alberio for the colors. also looked a M15,M27, M57; all very nice. the dumbell neb was much better using a skyglow ultrablock filter. M13 was in a part of they sky where a lot of light pollution so although it was clearly visible it was washed out. i tried to see the veil but i can never get it from my house - even with O3 or ultrablock filters.

Came in for an hour and waited for jupiter. moved the scope to the back yard and look at jupiter for awhile. use 6 and 9 mm eyepieces; good view. then turned to the aruiga clusters (m36,37,38). surprised how dim they were in the 4 inch. i'll probably be blown away by the views the next time i take my 16 inch dob out. also looked at the pleides (subaru) and the double cluster with the pentax 30XW. wow!.

anyway, i am officially declaring this scope worthy of it's $200 price tag - at least for now. i just need to work with getting the goto mount stabilized; i wonder if i can mount the goto head on my UA heavy duty tripod. i'll play around with that tomorrow. if so that would solve my shaky mount problem and still get to use the goto. otherwise i'll use some weights and see how that works out - only thing adding weights kind of offsets the grab 'n go purpose of getting the scope in the first place.


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svrider1000
super member
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Reged: 06/28/12

Loc: Sylmar, California
Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: maltydog]
      #5467741 - 10/13/12 04:44 AM

maltydog

Thanks for the fantastic update.

I had to work late tonight. When I got home it was too late for me to get my scope out of my bedroom closet without waking the wife up.

I went outside and just wished I had some binoculars or something. Pleiades, Jupiter, Orion and his nebular were all staring at me from a clear sky.

Man I wish I had left my scope downstairs like I used to.


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tnakazon
sage


Reged: 06/26/10

Loc: Los Angeles
Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: maltydog]
      #5472374 - 10/15/12 10:06 PM Attachment (92 downloads)

Thanks for the update!

Took the scope out to Arizona over the weekend (All Arizona Star Party). Got invaluable assistance from others at the Party in getting the most accurate alignment possible from the NexStar GOTO.

With a 40mm Orion Highlight Plossl (25X), was able to detect some really difficult objects:

IC 342 in Camelopardis (visual 8.4, s.b. 14.9)
NGC 1055 in Cetus (visual 10.9, s.b. 14.0)
NGC 6822/Barnard's Galaxy in Sagittarius (visual 9.9, s.b. 15.5)

Using a 12.5mm Orion Plossl (80X), the GOTO was able to slew the scope to three smaller but brighter 11th magnitude galaxies in Cetus within the eyepiece FOV. If I'm able to maintain this level of GOTO accuracy in finding DSO's, it would be difficult to go back to star-hopping without such a mount ever again.


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svrider1000
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Reged: 06/28/12

Loc: Sylmar, California
Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: tnakazon]
      #5472544 - 10/15/12 11:56 PM

tnakazon,

Nice post and picture.

I really liked the 102GT but I took it back to Costco and bought a used Orion Starmax 127mm Mak EQ for $25 more. The EQ mount is super sturdy. Hopefully tonight I can test out the new Mak scope.


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csrlice12
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Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: svrider1000]
      #5472868 - 10/16/12 08:25 AM

Just curious, what's the longest period you've owned any telescope?

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svrider1000
super member
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Reged: 06/28/12

Loc: Sylmar, California
Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5472948 - 10/16/12 09:41 AM

csrlice12,

I had my XT10i and EXT80 the longest and used the Dob at least 5 nights a week for about 3 or 4 months straight. I can only keep one scope because of storage limitations and a small back yard and high fence. So I am looking for something like I have now. I am spending so little on scopes I am able to test them out and see if they are what I am looking for and easily resell them for more. But I am saving up for an 8 inch SCT this is as close as I can get to one for under $300 dollars. I think I will take my time getting one so this should be the last scope I get for a long while before I decide to get one.

The 102GT had very nice views but after getting on the ground to see things because of how long it is, I decided to get this super deal I found. But the 102GT was much much lighter than this heavy scope. if I had the room I would have kept it.


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