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Equipment Discussions >> Refractors

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Ain Soph Aur
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 08/11/11

Loc: West Tennessee
Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: spongebob@55]
      #6053087 - 08/29/13 06:11 PM

After having plenty of nights under the stars with this OTA and being very impressed, I have decided this is going to be my main grab and go scope.

I have decided that the following will comprise the basic setup, everything marked * indicates that it is an item I already own:

*Explore Scientific Twilight II mount with pier extension
*ADM VDUP (counterweight system for opposite saddle of the Twilight II)
*Baader Zeiss T2 Prism diagonal
*50mm high rise finder cradle
*Baader Q-Turret + Q-Barlow
*Brandon EP set 8-32mm + 48mm
Explore Scientific 102 Cradle Ring
GSO Dual Speed Crayford with optional finder base
Stellarvue 50mm RACI finder F50M2 (black)
*Orion 20mm Reticle Eyepiece (for finder giving 10x 7° fov)
*Rigel PulseGuide Illuminator

With the GSO focuser and Baader T-2 prism diagonal, I suspect I will need to work an extension in to achieve focus with the Brandon 48mm. It appears there is no integrated extension for the GSO, but believe I can add a T-2 extension to the Baader T2 Prism between the 2" nosepiece and diagonal.

A stretch goal is a modest bino-viewer.

Everything should be delivered no later than Friday next, I will post pics and observations when it is complete.


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spongebob@55
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 12/26/11

Loc: Bergen Co. New Jersey
Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: Ain Soph Aur]
      #6053126 - 08/29/13 06:36 PM

Quote:

After having plenty of nights under the stars with this OTA and being very impressed, I have decided this is going to be my main grab and go scope.

I have decided that the following will comprise the basic setup, everything marked * indicates that it is an item I already own:

*Explore Scientific Twilight II mount with pier extension
*ADM VDUP (counterweight system for opposite saddle of the Twilight II)
*Baader Zeiss T2 Prism diagonal
*50mm high rise finder cradle
*Baader Q-Turret + Q-Barlow
*Brandon EP set 8-32mm + 48mm
Explore Scientific 102 Cradle Ring
GSO Dual Speed Crayford with optional finder base
Stellarvue 50mm RACI finder F50M2 (black)
*Orion 20mm Reticle Eyepiece (for finder giving 10x 7° fov)
*Rigel PulseGuide Illuminator

With the GSO focuser and Baader T-2 prism diagonal, I suspect I will need to work an extension in to achieve focus with the Brandon 48mm. It appears there is no integrated extension for the GSO, but believe I can add a T-2 extension to the Baader T2 Prism between the 2" nosepiece and diagonal.

A stretch goal is a modest bino-viewer.

Everything should be delivered no later than Friday next, I will post pics and observations when it is complete.




Nice Stuff! Can't wait to see the pictures and read your report!


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Ain Soph Aur
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 08/11/11

Loc: West Tennessee
Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: spongebob@55]
      #6053205 - 08/29/13 07:13 PM

I have some awesome kudos for Explore Scientific. I am posting this here as I am not sure were else would be appropriate. Perhaps the vendor announcement?

When I order ES items, it is always direct. They are located a hop north of Little Rock and everything I have ordered from them arrives next day here in the Memphis area. After advice on a few of these C102 threads, I was looking to order the ES Cradle Tube for the ES102 classic. ES didn't have this listed as in stock on their web site, so I called them at 8:32 AM this morning (two minute bonus for coffee, Mtn Dew or caffeine of choice).

ES rep Jacob promptly answered the early morning call and went back in the bowels of ES HQ to inquire if this arcane item was in stock. Yes. Took my details over the phone and said it would be shipped today.

I received an email from ES with tracking info earlier today, and I also recieved and email from Jacob at 4:59 PM saying my card didn't go through and that he would call me in Friday morning, obviously an indication of the card detail mis-communication but...

Explore Scientific went ahead and shipped the product today before even contacting me! Scheduled for delivery tomorrow.

Wow..


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Ain Soph Aur
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 08/11/11

Loc: West Tennessee
Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: Ain Soph Aur]
      #6053354 - 08/29/13 08:55 PM

In reply to a PM. Total cost above and beyond the OTA and equipment I already own:

$159 Stellarvue Finder
$171 GSO focuser + finder shoe
$45 Rings/dovetail

$375 Total

Is the OTA worth the investment? I think so. The Stellarvue finder will do double duty on other scopes. The rings and focuser will likely be dedicated to this OTA.


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mg73
member
*****

Reged: 05/13/11

Loc: Boston
Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: Ain Soph Aur]
      #6053967 - 08/30/13 08:06 AM

Holy gazungas,
It seems rings for this scope are backordered or waitlisted everywhere in the world. We've wiped everyone out! I ordered the orion 13" dovetail plate but I can't find rings for it in stock. Anyone got a an extra set they want to sell me or point me to a store that has them?


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Sarkikos
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 12/18/07

Loc: Scotophobe Maryland, USA
Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: mg73]
      #6053974 - 08/30/13 08:13 AM

I may have sold my rings when I sold my C4R about a year ago. For now, I'll just make do with the short dovetail that's on the OTA. Maybe I'll replace the dovetail with a longer one. I need to look into my astronomy hardware that I have stored away. It's going to be cloudy and rainy this weekend any way.

Mike


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*skyguy*
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 12/31/08

Loc: Western New York
Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: mg73]
      #6054003 - 08/30/13 08:48 AM

Quote:

Holy gazungas,
It seems rings for this scope are backordered or waitlisted everywhere in the world. We've wiped everyone out! I ordered the orion 13" dovetail plate but I can't find rings for it in stock. Anyone got a an extra set they want to sell me or point me to a store that has them?




Try "Hands on Optics" ... they still have the Antares 4" Cradle rings available for $32 with free shipping:

Antares 4" Cradle Rings

These cradle rings have the 5mm attachment screw ... the same rings with the larger 6mm screws are listed as backordered.


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mg73
member
*****

Reged: 05/13/11

Loc: Boston
Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: *skyguy*]
      #6054220 - 08/30/13 11:24 AM

Before I order the Antares rings with the 5mm screws: Will they work with the Orion 13" dovetail I have on order? Not sure what the difference is between the 5mm and 6mm screws and how that impacts which dovetail they can mate with.

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derelicte
member


Reged: 08/30/13

Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: mg73]
      #6054236 - 08/30/13 11:31 AM

Quote:

Holy gazungas,
It seems rings for this scope are backordered or waitlisted everywhere in the world. We've wiped everyone out! I ordered the orion 13" dovetail plate but I can't find rings for it in stock. Anyone got a an extra set they want to sell me or point me to a store that has them?




I got mine from telescopes.net:

http://telescopes.net/store/orion-100mm-tube-rings.html

it doesn't say if they are in stock or not, but it took a couple of weeks to arrive. Try giving them a call.


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REC
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 10/20/10

Loc: NC
Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: derelicte]
      #6054243 - 08/30/13 11:34 AM

Well they should work on my Orion EQ2 I guess. $35 vs $40 at Orion....which is charging a flat $5 for shipping.

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REC
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 10/20/10

Loc: NC
Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: derelicte]
      #6054257 - 08/30/13 11:40 AM

They are charging $14 shipping, so Orion is the better deal. Maybe they will do a price match....I mean it's THEIR own product!

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smallscopefanLeo
sage
*****

Reged: 01/23/11

Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: REC]
      #6054804 - 08/30/13 05:26 PM Attachment (32 downloads)

Very cool mods! Lots of intriguing ideas above, thank you for sharing them.

Here is how I have 'outfitted' mine, for now (Day-Star mode)

1 pair of 100mm Rings from Orion
(2) 13" Vixen-type dovetails from Agena Astro

Solar Filter from Orion model 07747

Mil-Spec Duct Tape from Amazon for Telrad base and Solar filter securing

9x50mm Celestron finderscope on extra tall bracket stalk with removable 1.25" eyepiece holder modification, both from Astromart,
combined with Surplus Shed 23mm ~60 degree Konig yielding ~6 1/2 degree fields of view,
covered with Agena Astro 70mm cell / 30mm aperture Solar filter utilizing Baader AstroSolar film

Howie Glatter Parallizer 2" to 1.25" centering & "parallizing" adapter from Collimator.com

Lumicon lightweight multi-coated 1.25" prism diagonal made in Japan, from Ebay

Baader helical 1.25" micro-focusing eyepiece holder and nosepiece from Agena Astro

Smart Astronomy 1.25" 25mm 55 degree AFOV Plossl (40x magnification, 1.37 degree field of view, 2.5mm exit pupil)

Synta Skywatcher AZ4 Alt-Az mount from an 80mm achromat combo that was on clearance at Adorma

Stainless steel 2" diameter CG-5 legs from Astromart"

( http://www.cloudynights.com/ubbthreads/showflat.php/Cat/0/Number/5586702 )


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Ain Soph Aur
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 08/11/11

Loc: West Tennessee
Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: smallscopefanLeo]
      #6054815 - 08/30/13 05:33 PM

Nice!

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smallscopefanLeo
sage
*****

Reged: 01/23/11

Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: Ain Soph Aur]
      #6054879 - 08/30/13 06:22 PM

Quote:

Nice!




Thanks! I am looking forward to seeing your 102GT all decked out with that mucho drool-worthy gear you listed above, and all set to jam under the celestial sphere!


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belgrade
sage


Reged: 10/05/07

Loc: Frisco, TX
Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: smallscopefanLeo]
      #6054954 - 08/30/13 07:18 PM

That's a nice rig!

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Ed Holland
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 06/16/10

Loc: San Jose, CA and Oxford, UK
Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: smallscopefanLeo]
      #6054961 - 08/30/13 07:21 PM

I like the tall finder bracket. Might have to get busy at the workbench again

Now then - I used an accessory dovetail for my OTA, made somewooden radius blocks and used large stainless hose clamps to hold everything together. This looks (and works) much better than it sounds! Black "Felpro" gasket paper protects the OTA from the clamps. In parallel, I home-crafted a saddle to fit my EQ2 mount.

I think the short dovetail from the Nextar 102 can be bolted to the the tube clamp of the 4.5" Newt (the telescope rudely usurped from its home on the EQ2) to re-enable it's mounting on it's old home. Since balance-positioning can be adjusted using the tube clamp, the short dovetail is not a handicap. It's a win-win!


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PeterR280
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 05/27/13

Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: Ed Holland]
      #6055061 - 08/30/13 08:33 PM Attachment (31 downloads)

Mods on scope 1.
2 speed focuser, mounting rings and dovetail, all black dew shield.


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mg73
member
*****

Reged: 05/13/11

Loc: Boston
Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: PeterR280]
      #6055145 - 08/30/13 09:41 PM

Out of the box mounting idea using the original dovetail. Other than aesthetics, is there any mechanical reason one can't just rotate the tube 90 degrees so the side mounting plate points downward and then just attach it to an EQ mount? The focuser wheels will be vertical instead of horizontal, but so what... I can't think of any mechanical reason this won't work, can you?

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PeterR280
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 05/27/13

Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: mg73]
      #6055165 - 08/30/13 09:50 PM

It works. You can even rotate the focuser in the tube so it isn't that far off horizontal. You will not be bale to balance the tube though.

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mg73
member
*****

Reged: 05/13/11

Loc: Boston
Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: PeterR280]
      #6055180 - 08/30/13 09:58 PM

Quote:

It works. You can even rotate the focuser in the tube so it isn't that far off horizontal. You will not be bale to balance the tube though.




Good point. But can't you slide the dovetail forward/backward in the mounting plate? The would give you a limited balancing ability, no?


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