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tnakazon
sage


Reged: 06/26/10

Loc: Los Angeles
Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: svrider1000]
      #5473109 - 10/16/12 11:19 AM

Sorry to hear that you can keep only one scope because of space limitations. All 10 of my scopes are small (ranging from the Galileoscope to the Starblast 6), so I store them in their carry bags/backpacks in my bedroom. I might store one or two in my office to use for public outreach after work, or to go observing with at my local semi-rural observing site immediately after work.

The stars looked sharp at high power with this long focal length scope (especially after collimation by shimming the focuser end) - nice Airy disks when I looked at the Trapezium. I'll need to do a shootout between this scope and my C90 Mak on double stars.


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maltydog
member


Reged: 09/13/12

Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: svrider1000]
      #5473199 - 10/16/12 12:10 PM

i returned mine also. had mixed feelings about that. i really liked the scope but the mount was practically unusable from a shakiness point of view. the go to worked good but the mount would shake and vibrate with the least little bit of breeze or touching the scope or focuser or even the hand controller. made it nearly impossible to focus. i did try adding weights and stuff and that helped some (but not enough) but then it was no longer as portable (an extra trip to haul more stuff in and out of the house).

anyway, i have my ES127 on an atlas mount to keep my warm and happy. obviously not a grab 'n go but a great combo and super stable with goto.


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svrider1000
super member
*****

Reged: 06/28/12

Loc: Sylmar, California
Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: maltydog]
      #5473225 - 10/16/12 12:23 PM

the 102gt was the lightest scope I have had I think but the shaking and the length were the main reasons I took it back. This thing was 1000mm long and my XT10i was 1200mm long but the eye piece was at the top on the dob so I did not have to bend down so much.

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Zamboni
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 01/03/05

Loc: Colorado Springs
Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: svrider1000]
      #5475980 - 10/17/12 10:16 PM

If Costco still has these a month from now (when I'll have the funds available) I'll definitely be snagging one. I've wanted a Synta 4" f/9.8 OTA since the C102-HD first started getting rave reviews, so this is a good chance to get one cheap. One question for those that bought it; is the focuser a R&P or a single speed crayford? Metal or plastic?

I'm getting a C8N-ASGT sometime next year, so I can use the OTA on the CG-5. I can then use the mount from the 102GT as a dedicated mount for my PST. Considering the optics are worth fhe asking price of this bundle I think it's worth getting even though the OTA is seriously undermounted.


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tomharri
sage
*****

Reged: 09/19/08

Loc: USA
Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: Zamboni]
      #5476545 - 10/18/12 08:51 AM Attachment (101 downloads)

Can't go wrong here, a decent optical tube for $200. That is what those leftover Jaegers lenses sell for. The optical performance is exactly the same: 250x max on Jupiter, sure there is a little purple haze, just can't go any higher cause the image gets fuzzy. Stars show nice little airey disc with one diffraction ring at higher powers. In the middle of the Plaiedes there is that dim double star with red/blue components- easy to see color difference.
Just add rings and dovebar, put it on a REAL mount, and it is good to go. Focuser is just like all the other syntas out there- acceptable and a 2".


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tnakazon
sage


Reged: 06/26/10

Loc: Los Angeles
Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: tomharri]
      #5478015 - 10/18/12 11:47 PM

Nice pic!

I bought the scope for the OTA, since I've never used a 4" F/9.8 refractor before. I didn't know what to expect from the GOTO because I never even considered using one until now.

Nice to hear from an expert's opinion that this scope performs admirably for $200. I haven't used the scope extensively yet, especially at higher powers. Besides the galaxies I mentioned on an earlier post and other bright clusters & asterisms I viewed at lower powers (80X and below), I did see the Trapezium stars at 133X with nice Airy disks, so I was pleased. I did have to collimate the scope after checking the alignment with a Cheshire eyepiece (I shimmed the focuser end).

Can't wait to view the planets and see bright colors on double stars (at high powers) with this refractor.


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Zamboni
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 01/03/05

Loc: Colorado Springs
Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: tnakazon]
      #5480220 - 10/20/12 11:31 AM

My astronomy club's Christmas party is in the middle of December and features a "White Elephant" gift exchange.

Boy howdy, I know what to do with those 2-element eyepieces now!

I find it somewhat bizarre that Celestron decided to include a 45* diagonal with this scope. Why tailor a Goto scope for terrestrial observing?


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tnakazon
sage


Reged: 06/26/10

Loc: Los Angeles
Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: Zamboni]
      #5480579 - 10/20/12 03:19 PM

Well, you figure that this scope was made to be sold to casual observers almost like a "department store" scope, otherwise they would be offering this scope on their website and not through Costco retailers. A terrestrial 45 degree diagonal would be useful for those less interested in astronomy and this, plus the 2-element eyepieces are cheaper to make and market.

The 2-element Huygens are terrible in the short-focal length Celestron FirstScope (very small FOV & blurry images immediately away from dead center FOV), but supposedly work better in longer focal length scopes like the NexStar 102. I haven't tried out these EP's yet on this refractor but I will make it a point to do so.


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Zamboni
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 01/03/05

Loc: Colorado Springs
Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: tnakazon]
      #5480603 - 10/20/12 03:37 PM

Fair point, but when I already have a comprehensive collection of high quality Plössls, I don't think I'll have much use for Ramsdens and Huygens.

I may cannibalize the barrels to replace those of eyepieces that have annoying undercuts that get hung up on compression rings.


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tnakazon
sage


Reged: 06/26/10

Loc: Los Angeles
Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: Zamboni]
      #5480619 - 10/20/12 03:49 PM

That's a good use for these EP's...

I'm also going to try these EP's on my Galileoscope (2" achromat, F/10 similar to NexStar 102) and compare the views with my Plossls.


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Zamboni
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 01/03/05

Loc: Colorado Springs
Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: tnakazon]
      #5480687 - 10/20/12 04:46 PM

I've been slowly in the process of replacing all of my eyepieces with undercuts on the barrels to smooth barrels. I have about four left that still have undercuts, so once I have this scope it'll be smooth sailing (pun intended). I don't even have the scope yet, but I've already got a long-term plan figured out for it. I'm going to build a PST bracket out of corner braces and an Astro-Tech 7" dovetail rail and use the Nexstar mount with that. I'll be removing the built-in dovetail from the OTA and replacing it with legit tube rings. Down the road I'll replace the focuser with a dual-speed crayford unit. I already have a spare 9x50 finder to use with it. Get a 2" dielectric diagonal and mount it on a CG-5? That'll be a reasonably formidable rig.

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csrlice12
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: Zamboni]
      #5482022 - 10/21/12 02:12 PM

Uh, by the time you do all that, you could have bought the Omni XLT, a much better scope.

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svrider1000
super member
*****

Reged: 06/28/12

Loc: Sylmar, California
Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5482204 - 10/21/12 04:17 PM

Hi,

Here is a picture of my Starmax 127 on a Nexstar 114GT mount.
I have not had a chance to test the tracking yet because the weather has been bad for a few days



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Zamboni
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 01/03/05

Loc: Colorado Springs
Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5482341 - 10/21/12 05:11 PM

Quote:

Uh, by the time you do all that, you could have bought the Omni XLT, a much better scope.




The OTA is identical apart from the lens cell and I would be replacing the focuser and mount anyway. It's easier to get the OTA on the cheap since I wouldn't be keeping the CG4 mount and this way I have a cheap tracking mount for my PST.


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Starhawk
Space Ranger
*****

Reged: 09/16/08

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: Zamboni]
      #5482556 - 10/21/12 07:25 PM

I was thinking of more like a kid goto scope.

-Rich


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svrider1000
super member
*****

Reged: 06/28/12

Loc: Sylmar, California
Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: Zamboni]
      #5483518 - 10/22/12 12:02 PM

Hi,

Here is a picture of the 102GT I used to have. It is very long for my super shallow back yard.



And here is my new shorter setup.





Edited by svrider1000 (10/22/12 12:05 PM)


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BigC
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 09/29/10

Loc: SE Indiana
Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: svrider1000]
      #5483581 - 10/22/12 12:34 PM

Nice scopes,the Mak should be great in your situation.You may want to eventually acquire a short fast refractor for low power wider views.I have plenty of space but just put a Bushnell 127 Mak on a Nexstar mount and it works fine.View of M42 was stunning,very 3-D like.Comparing the Mak to the SCT ,the Mak seems to me to have darker background sky and better contrast.

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svrider1000
super member
*****

Reged: 06/28/12

Loc: Sylmar, California
Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: BigC]
      #5483593 - 10/22/12 12:44 PM

BigC

Thanks. I think I may look for a nice 102 to 150 F/5 refractor. Also I still have the 114GT tube. I am thinking of removing the built in Barlow and take the focal length down from 1000mm to 500mm. Then make it a mini dob and use it for wide views if it works out. Hopefully it does.

Yes M42 looks awesome through this scope. What is your favorite eyepiece you use for it? If I use my Hyperion at 10mm it fits perfectly in my eyepiece.


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BigC
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 09/29/10

Loc: SE Indiana
Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: svrider1000]
      #5484698 - 10/23/12 01:36 AM

My favorite EP is a 26SP with barlows as needed ;no real high end EPs here.

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Meadeball
sage


Reged: 10/22/12

Loc: Midlothian, Virginia
Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: tnakazon]
      #5487110 - 10/24/12 02:35 PM

Quote:

Well, you figure that this scope was made to be sold to casual observers almost like a "department store" scope, otherwise they would be offering this scope on their website and not through Costco retailers.




For the record, it is on Celestron's website, just a little hard to find:

http://www.celestron.com/portal/nexstar-102-gt-computerized-telescope.html

If you click on "SUPPORT" about 2/3 down the page, you can watch a couple of videos and download the manual and a few other items like an accessories sheet. There's a nice "Specifications" tab too; it'll give you everything you ever wanted to know about the optics.

I've been hanging out on a similar thread in the Refractors forum; thought I'd post a little of my information here for y'all. For one thing, Costco offered the same scope last fall, which is when I bought mine. If you're thinking of one, keep an eye on your Costco's inventory and wait. Last year Costco did an unannounced $50 "coupon" on the telescope in November to get rid of stock, bringing it down to $149. (This scope wasn't on Costco's website last year either, but that didn't stop my store from selling about 50 of them in a month's time.)

The mount is a bit of a hybrid. No on-off switch and no in-mount battery compartment as on other Nexstar mounts; this one has an external, 8-AA battery pack whose pigtail you plug into the external DC jack on the side of the fork arm. Plug it in and the scope is running. This setup begs for an upgrade (like purchasing the 12-volt car lighter plug & cord) because it'll eat 8 AA Duracells in less than four hours of casual use.

The mount is shaky but not the shakiest I've used. The focuser is a nice 2-inch all-metal Synta with a focuser lock and aluminum knobs with rubber grip inlays. Long travel too -- like six inches. Yes, they throw in a 45-degree mirror diagonal; I quickly purchased an Orion right-image 90-degree diagonal that works great. You really have to have a 90-degree diagonal; that way you're only on your knees for anything overhead. A 45-degree would have you nearly on your back doing all kinds of Yoga moves.

All said, this scope is a great grab-n-go scope with optics that will surprise you for the price. I've been into astronomy for 36 years and owned a whole lot of scopes; yes, this one leans more toward the beginner side, but it'll sure see a heck of a lot more use than my old Celestron C8 or Criterion RV-6 did, for the simple reason that I can one-hand-carry the whole thing outside and have it aligned and be observing in five minutes. I got a nice Zhumell telescope case from telescopes.com to keep it all nice and portable too. If you buy one, you won't be disappointed as long as you keep in mind you paid about as much as you would for that 60mm Department Store Special that claims 600 power with plastic .965 eyepieces and a cheap Chinese equatorial mount. (And speaking of eyepieces, the five ones that come with the scope are enough to get you some decent views until you can afford some nicer ones. I actually like the little 25mm MH. Besides, most of us already have the nicer ones anyway, so what's the point.)

Meade

Edited by Meadeball (10/24/12 02:44 PM)


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