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Equipment Discussions >> Refractors

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spongebob@55
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Reged: 12/26/11

Loc: Bergen Co. New Jersey
Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what?
      #5756337 - 03/25/13 02:53 PM

Like most of your I guess we like messin' with $59 OTAs, especially when the skies haven't been clear for what seems like months. Many of us bought the 'special' deal 102mm f/9.8
from OPT. What are you doing to yours to 'improve' it?
I'll start.

1. Remove with Synta Grease and replace with Pete's Red grease. I used Naptha. Is there anything better?

2. Remove short dovetail. Surprise, paint wasn't cured and two lines appear in finish from pressure of dovetail.

3. Insert 1/8" black hole plugs into dovetail holes. (plugs are on their way; not here yet.)

4. Replace metal focuser ring screws with black nylon ones so as to not mar accessories. M4's if I remember correctly.

5. Install flocking on dew shield.

6. Buy black 'foamies' from Jo-annes and make a longer dew shield.

7. Use a red dot finder b/c if I can't see it in that, its not going to be useful since I'm in a whiter than white zone. My light pollution laughs at your light pollution!

8. Rings and a long dovetail. Have to balance this thing!

9. Find some big honkin' jars/cans with plastic lids to fit and make aperature masks to test CA/detail reduction vs. apo or fringe filters on bright objects.

I think that someone somewhere here bought teflon and replaced the focuser gliders, but can't remember that...a little help here. Perhaps on a ST80 thread...

I would love a new focuser, but I don't think it would improve any visual qualities? Or?

Can you take the objective out of its cell and are the edges blackened?

Regards,
Bob

Edited by spongebob@55 (03/25/13 03:00 PM)


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PatHolland
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: spongebob@55]
      #5756442 - 03/25/13 03:34 PM

Bob, do you know what rings to get that clamp on (rather than delrin tips?) I think I will make that mod if I can.

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spongebob@55
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Reged: 12/26/11

Loc: Bergen Co. New Jersey
Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: PatHolland]
      #5756461 - 03/25/13 03:43 PM

Hey Pay, I bought the 4" from Scopestuff. http://www.scopestuff.com/ss_rings.htm I haven't gotten them yet, but I measured the OD of the OTA so I'm pretty sure that's right.

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buddyjesus
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Loc: Davison, Michigan
Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: spongebob@55]
      #5756533 - 03/25/13 04:34 PM

I had a bit of a head start on doing a kaizen treatment to my 102hd, but for all intents and purposes it is the same scope made by synta.

1. I cleaned out the grease and replaced with a light amount of white lithium lube.

2. I had to rotate the lenses to remove astigmatism. Took days but worth it.

3. Using a collimating laser, I had to do some butchery to the tube to make the focuser aligned with the optic. I made the screw holes(which had some rather sizable slop) into slots and this actually firmed up the focuser.

4. I had to dump the 6x30 finder and made my own rings and 7x50 finder out of a junk bino. This is going to be replaced soon with a used but proper 9x50 straight through finderscope. These are much cheaper than the RACI alternatives.

5. I added a classic tasco motorfocuser.

6. I chose to paint the inside of my dew shield flat black, but think felt will be coming to incrementally improve upon that eventually.

7. Made a long posterboard tube for use as a dew shield when in the city. This just slides inside the existing dew shield.

8. there is a bit of slop in the lens cell where it is screwed into the body. I pushed it down onto the tube all the way so I have that position as a reference in case the end of the tube gets bumped. I used a SMALL amount of wood filler inside the screw holes to firm it up. If it is messy, you are doing it wrong.

9. I lost my end cap for the objective, so I added a bit of electrical tape to the circumference of the dew shield so I would get a snug fit using the lid of an oatmeal box. I also used spares of this to make different sizes of aperture masks to recreate historic observations. My favorite is the 15mm mask for Galileo's observations.

10. Several more mods for the CG4 it sits on.

Edited by buddyjesus (03/25/13 04:35 PM)


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buddyjesus
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: buddyjesus]
      #5756543 - 03/25/13 04:38 PM

I am looking to also see about having a second tension screw added to the focuser by a buddy of mine that does machining. This will limit the tipping of the focuser draw tube I recon.

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spongebob@55
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Reged: 12/26/11

Loc: Bergen Co. New Jersey
Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: buddyjesus]
      #5756571 - 03/25/13 04:48 PM

Quote:

I am looking to also see about having a second tension screw added to the focuser by a buddy of mine that does machining. This will limit the tipping of the focuser draw tube I recon.




Hello Buddyjesus,
Do you recall if the objective lenses were blackened when you rotated them?
Some good ideas. I hope that someday the skies will clear and I can observe instead of spending too much time on these boards.


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buddyjesus
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: spongebob@55]
      #5756746 - 03/25/13 06:21 PM

no they werent. good idea, but would make aligning the lenses afterwards a bit tough possibly. What would you recommend blackening em with?

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audioaficionado
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Reged: 05/24/12

Loc: Medford, Orygun, USA
Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: spongebob@55]
      #5757503 - 03/26/13 04:47 AM

Quote:

I think that someone somewhere here bought teflon and replaced the focuser gliders, but can't remember that...a little help here. Perhaps on a ST80 thread...

Regards,
Bob




Reworking a Synta Focuser


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Widespread
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Reged: 05/11/11

Loc: Bowling Green, Kentucky
Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: buddyjesus]
      #5757808 - 03/26/13 09:53 AM

I opened the box, peeled off the protective material, and attached the OTA to my Porta II on a wooden tripod. That's it.

Of course, I may do more after first light, but for now it's just sitting there, dwarfing my SVR90T on its SLT tripod/mount.

Quote:

no they werent. good idea, but would make aligning the lenses afterwards a bit tough possibly. What would you recommend blackening em with?




The videos I've seen on modifying the ST80 recommended a black felt Magic Marker. I've always been too worried that I wouldn't be able to put things back together properly (in my case, a real risk, unfortunately), but if you can hacksaw your OTA, I'm sure you won't have that problem.


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t.r.
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: Widespread]
      #5757823 - 03/26/13 09:57 AM

"Buy black 'foamies' from Jo-annes and make a longer dew shield"

What exactly are these? Good for dewshields eh?


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spongebob@55
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Reged: 12/26/11

Loc: Bergen Co. New Jersey
Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: t.r.]
      #5758455 - 03/26/13 03:27 PM

Quote:

"Buy black 'foamies' from Jo-annes and make a longer dew shield"

What exactly are these? Good for dewshields eh?




They are 2 or 3mm thick foam sheets that come in all colors, black being the one of choice. I buy the 3mm ones and have made dew sheilds for my CPC1100, my C14 and now my 102GT by gluing them together and then velcroing a strip. I just wrap it around the scope, join the velcro and it stays on the end of the OTA. The foamies aren't super stiff, but they're stiff enough to hold a round shape. Especially true on a 102mm scope. You can also roll it up for easy storage. They cost about 1-2 bucks each, depending on the thickness and if you have a coupon from JoAnnes'
You can also use them to line storage boxes or shapes that touch your telescope so as to not scratch the OTA, etc.
bob

Edited by spongebob@55 (03/26/13 04:13 PM)


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spongebob@55
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 12/26/11

Loc: Bergen Co. New Jersey
Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: audioaficionado]
      #5758564 - 03/26/13 04:15 PM

Quote:

Quote:

I think that someone somewhere here bought teflon and replaced the focuser gliders, but can't remember that...a little help here. Perhaps on a ST80 thread...

Regards,
Bob




Reworking a Synta Focuser




thanks Steve.......


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avarakin
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Reged: 07/13/09

Loc: Parsippany NJ, USA
Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: buddyjesus]
      #5763194 - 03/28/13 09:10 PM

Quote:


2. I had to rotate the lenses to remove astigmatism. Took days but worth it.




Could you tell us how you did this?
It looks my scope has some astigmatism.

Alex


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buddyjesus
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Reged: 07/07/10

Loc: Davison, Michigan
Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: avarakin]
      #5763561 - 03/29/13 02:26 AM

some say that if you have a digital micrometer, you can line up the thinnest part of one of the lenses with the thicker part of the other. I didn't have one and went the old fashioned way.

I kept the flint stationary inside the tube while gently loosening the screw on part of the plastic cell. This really sticks the first time you loosen it so be prepared for the lenses to jump out at you. The lenses should not be have this tightened down so hard anyways as it will pinch the outside of the optic. Afterwards I tilt the tube down to let just the crown pop out. I wear rubber gloves to cut down on fingerprints. I marked the crown with a perminent marker for reference(12 o'clock position.) Then since you have astigmatism at your current spot, rotate about one hour on the clock face. Then you retest. Repeat, retest, repeat retest, etc. When you find your sweet spot, which might take a while, you keep it there. Next time you remove both lenses for cleaning, you want to mark the flint where it lines up with the line on the crown.

I hope this makes sense. If not I am around the boards a lot.


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audioaficionado
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Reged: 05/24/12

Loc: Medford, Orygun, USA
Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: buddyjesus]
      #5763651 - 03/29/13 05:09 AM

Quote:

some say that if you have a digital micrometer, you can line up the thinnest part of one of the lenses with the thicker part of the other. I didn't have one and went the old fashioned way.

I kept the flint stationary inside the tube while gently loosening the screw on part of the plastic cell. This really sticks the first time you loosen it so be prepared for the lenses to jump out at you. The lenses should not be have this tightened down so hard anyways as it will pinch the outside of the optic. Afterwards I tilt the tube down to let just the crown pop out. I wear rubber gloves to cut down on fingerprints. I marked the crown with a perminent marker for reference(12 o'clock position.) Then since you have astigmatism at your current spot, rotate about one hour on the clock face. Then you retest. Repeat, retest, repeat retest, etc. When you find your sweet spot, which might take a while, you keep it there. Next time you remove both lenses for cleaning, you want to mark the flint where it lines up with the line on the crown.

I hope this makes sense. If not I am around the boards a lot.




I have the exact same scope and mount you do. I'm thinking the person who previously owned my scope took it apart and messed things up quite a bit.


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spongebob@55
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Reged: 12/26/11

Loc: Bergen Co. New Jersey
Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: spongebob@55]
      #5764408 - 03/29/13 11:45 AM Attachment (101 downloads)

Here's a picture of the 'foamie' dew shield. The plastic dew shield opens up a bit the more forward it goes, so this is a good way to do it since the foamie stretches a little.

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spongebob@55
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 12/26/11

Loc: Bergen Co. New Jersey
Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: spongebob@55]
      #5764422 - 03/29/13 11:47 AM Attachment (87 downloads)

and here's a picture of the 1/8" plastic hole plugs plugging the dovetail bolt holes.

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rtomw77
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Loc: Deer Valley, AZ
Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: spongebob@55]
      #5766352 - 03/30/13 09:25 AM

The only things I plan to do are:

Make a longer light shield with either cardboard/flat black paint/duct tape or black foam as described above.

Attach a Rigel RDF. Rubber bands will do until I find the best spot for it.

Add some weight to the front of the tube so I can use the 2" diagonal and EP's. I have a spare Telrad base and might use rubber bands to put my Telrad at the front of the tube for now, and wait until later to mount the Rigel RDF.

Eventually get some 4" rings when I have some spare cash. Removing the short dovetail bar and using 1/8" plugs on the existing screw holes is a nice touch.

The New Scope Curse has prevented first light so far so I have plenty of spare time to play around.

Tom


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spongebob@55
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Reged: 12/26/11

Loc: Bergen Co. New Jersey
Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: rtomw77]
      #5766426 - 03/30/13 10:17 AM

Quote:

The only things I plan to do are:

Make a longer light shield with either cardboard/flat black paint/duct tape or black foam as described above.

Attach a Rigel RDF. Rubber bands will do until I find the best spot for it.

Add some weight to the front of the tube so I can use the 2" diagonal and EP's. I have a spare Telrad base and might use rubber bands to put my Telrad at the front of the tube for now, and wait until later to mount the Rigel RDF.

Eventually get some 4" rings when I have some spare cash. Removing the short dovetail bar and using 1/8" plugs on the existing screw holes is a nice touch.

The New Scope Curse has prevented first light so far so I have plenty of spare time to play around.

Tom




Hi Tom, some good ideas there. I like the Rigel. I have a red dot finder, but its still a little close to the OTA.
With 2" accessories, it is SOOOO back heavy, I had to use ankle / wrist weights attached to the front (and taped) to get it to balance.
Also, when I used flocking material for the dew shield, I realized that the inside of the plastic dew shield is shiny so a good roughing up and flat black paint is a very good thing to do.
Good luck with the scope and weather! We FINALLY look like we have a good, long night to observe tonight in the NE.
Clear skies
Bob


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rtomw77
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Loc: Deer Valley, AZ
Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: spongebob@55]
      #5766841 - 03/30/13 01:06 PM

SB@55

I put the OTA on my Vixen Porta II on the Hal-130 tripod (aka Star Guy) and played around with combinations of various accessories.

The balance with the included dovetail was fine with a 6X30 finder, a 1.25" diagonal, and a typical 1.25" EP.

Using rubber bands to mount a Telrad up front did improve the balance some with the 2" items. A dew shield extension should help some more.

How much extra length did you make your dew shield extension? It looks to be around 6" extra.

Thanks,

Tom


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spongebob@55
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 12/26/11

Loc: Bergen Co. New Jersey
Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: rtomw77]
      #5767147 - 03/30/13 04:47 PM

Hi Tom, the 'foamie' dew shield is 10" long, but once you put it on and adjust it, it can be up to 8" long. Remember the plastic dew shield is not a perfect cylinder, it flares larger so if you make one, consider that issue. Thats why I like the foamies; they stretch.
Regards,
bob


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buddyjesus
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Reged: 07/07/10

Loc: Davison, Michigan
Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: rtomw77]
      #5767846 - 03/30/13 11:14 PM

I use a finderscope mounted up near the top of the scope because it is more ergonomic. It can be tough to look through straight through finders mounted at the bottom of the scope.

I chose to pain flat black on the inside of the dew shield with improved but lacking improvement. Sort of moot since I made the posterboard shield, but want flexibility for different situations.


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rtomw77
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: buddyjesus]
      #5768188 - 03/31/13 08:10 AM

Had first light this AM using the OTA on a Porta II/HAL-130 on VSP using a 1.25" diagonal and EP.

The scope gives pleasant views with some color as expected.

The short dovetail bar is enough to balance things as long as you use lightweight 1.25" EP such as standard Plossls. Heavier 1.25" EP need extra weight added to the front of the OTA.

A set of 4" tube rings and a longer dovetail bar have become priority items for me.

Tom


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spongebob@55
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 12/26/11

Loc: Bergen Co. New Jersey
Re: Pimping your 102mm OTA.. Like what? new [Re: spongebob@55]
      #6037336 - 08/20/13 09:35 PM

Quote:

Like most of your I guess we like messin' with $59 OTAs, especially when the skies haven't been clear for what seems like months. Many of us bought the 'special' deal 102mm f/9.8
from OPT. What are you doing to yours to 'improve' it?
I'll start.

1. Remove with Synta Grease and replace with Pete's Red grease. I used Naptha. Is there anything better?

2. Remove short dovetail. Surprise, paint wasn't cured and two lines appear in finish from pressure of dovetail.

3. Insert 1/8" black hole plugs into dovetail holes. (plugs are on their way; not here yet.)

4. Replace metal focuser ring screws with black nylon ones so as to not mar accessories. M4's if I remember correctly.

5. Install flocking on dew shield.

6. Buy black 'foamies' from Jo-annes and make a longer dew shield.

7. Use a red dot finder b/c if I can't see it in that, its not going to be useful since I'm in a whiter than white zone. My light pollution laughs at your light pollution!

8. Rings and a long dovetail. Have to balance this thing!

9. Find some big honkin' jars/cans with plastic lids to fit and make aperature masks to test CA/detail reduction vs. apo or fringe filters on bright objects.

I think that someone somewhere here bought teflon and replaced the focuser gliders, but can't remember that...a little help here. Perhaps on a ST80 thread...

I would love a new focuser, but I don't think it would improve any visual qualities? Or?

Can you take the objective out of its cell and are the edges blackened?

Regards,
Bob





With all the additional OTAs that have been purchased with this second round of $59 + shipping pricing, I thought I'd renew this thread.
I actually sold my original 102mm but have missed it so much, I just bought another, and it should be here on Friday.
Thanks to another poster, Jarrod, I also bought the AR102 ring assembly from Explore Scientific today. Much superior rings/dovetail/handle than what I had before. I now have to make my foamie dew shield and the other things above....
Bob

Edited by spongebob@55 (08/20/13 09:40 PM)


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dpippel
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Reged: 04/05/13

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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: spongebob@55]
      #6038056 - 08/21/13 10:35 AM

Quote:

and here's a picture of the 1/8" plastic hole plugs plugging the dovetail bolt holes.




Bob, thanks for reviving the thread. Where did you get your plastic plugs?


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spongebob@55
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 12/26/11

Loc: Bergen Co. New Jersey
Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: dpippel]
      #6038084 - 08/21/13 10:47 AM

Quote:

Quote:

and here's a picture of the 1/8" plastic hole plugs plugging the dovetail bolt holes.




Bob, thanks for reviving the thread. Where did you get your plastic plugs?




Hi, Got them at Lowes. They're in the fastener aisle, in one of the specialty fastener pull out drawers. I've used them in many of the tube overhauls....
Glad to help.
Bob


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dpippel
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: spongebob@55]
      #6038091 - 08/21/13 10:51 AM

Thanks man! Looks like I'll be making a stop this weekend.

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audioaficionado
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Reged: 05/24/12

Loc: Medford, Orygun, USA
Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: dpippel]
      #6038347 - 08/21/13 01:20 PM

I should get some of those plugs too. I just put the screws back in, but I don't know if they are causing any optical problems. Better safe than sorry.

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t.r.
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: audioaficionado]
      #6038457 - 08/21/13 02:30 PM

I will do nothing to OTA#1!!! I had a really good first light last night on the day of delivery. I was actually impressed by what I saw! I did outfit it with accessories I already had from years ago consisting of rings, 6x30RA finder and a 1.25" dielectric. Still quite light in weight and it worked very well on my old EQ3/CG4 mount. OTA#2 will be checked out tonight if the weather holds...hoping for a repeat of what I saw last night!!!

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Sarkikos
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: spongebob@55]
      #6038976 - 08/21/13 07:02 PM

Quote:

Quote:

"Buy black 'foamies' from Jo-annes and make a longer dew shield"

What exactly are these? Good for dewshields eh?




They are 2 or 3mm thick foam sheets that come in all colors, black being the one of choice. I buy the 3mm ones and have made dew sheilds for my CPC1100, my C14 and now my 102GT by gluing them together and then velcroing a strip. I just wrap it around the scope, join the velcro and it stays on the end of the OTA. The foamies aren't super stiff, but they're stiff enough to hold a round shape. Especially true on a 102mm scope. You can also roll it up for easy storage. They cost about 1-2 bucks each, depending on the thickness and if you have a coupon from JoAnnes'
You can also use them to line storage boxes or shapes that touch your telescope so as to not scratch the OTA, etc.
bob




I've made umpteen dew/light shields from these foam sheets for my scopes and binos. Best and easiest DIY project ... and cheap! To get fancy and improve the baffling properties, I line the inside with ProtoStar.

Mike


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PeterR280
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #6039165 - 08/21/13 09:06 PM Attachment (43 downloads)

The orange ring on the dew shield was annoying me so I unscrewed the dew shield, removed the ring and covered it with a thin black electrical tape. I trimmed the tape with a sharp knife so that it just covered the sides of the ring. It took just a few minutes. Now it doesn't look as like a toy as much.

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spongebob@55
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Reged: 12/26/11

Loc: Bergen Co. New Jersey
Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: PeterR280]
      #6039228 - 08/21/13 09:47 PM

Quote:

The orange ring on the dew shield was annoying me so I unscrewed the dew shield, removed the ring and covered it with a thin black electrical tape. I trimmed the tape with a sharp knife so that it just covered the sides of the ring. It took just a few minutes. Now it doesn't look as like a toy as much.




I like that idea! I feel the same about that plastic orange ring. So you just grab the dew shield and twist it off? And is the ring just in between and comes off? Perhaps it could be painted too and then just re-installed? Maybe silver to match the knobs or black like you did.... Thanks for the picture!
Bob


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spongebob@55
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: spongebob@55]
      #6039241 - 08/21/13 09:58 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

and here's a picture of the 1/8" plastic hole plugs plugging the dovetail bolt holes.




Bob, thanks for reviving the thread. Where did you get your plastic plugs?




Hi, Got them on Ebay. I've used them in many of the tube overhauls....Lowes has the bigger ones, but not 1/8"
Glad to help.
Bob




CORRECTION: I BOUGHT THESE ON EBAY. LOWES DOESN'T HAVE THEM IN 1/8". Just search '1/8" hole plugs' and they'll come up in black, in plastic and metal. I bought the plastic ones.
Sorry about that.
Bob


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PeterR280
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: spongebob@55]
      #6039311 - 08/21/13 10:45 PM

the front of the dew shield just twists right off and the orange ring is just sitting there loose. I was thinking of painting it but the tape was easier and cleaner. One of the things you could do is to paint the ring a color you like to customize the telescope.

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gunfighter48
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: PeterR280]
      #6039424 - 08/22/13 12:45 AM

When I got my first C102GT I replaced the focuser with a GSO Dual Speed focuser. I also bought a 11" dovetail and 4" rings for the scope. Balancing even with heavy 2" eyepieces is not a problem now. I just put black electrical tape over the holes from the original dovetail. I just bought my 2nd C102GT. at $60 + $15 shipping it was just too good to pass up. The sale on them is supposed to end on Aug. 25th.

I was out last night with the scope looking at the moon and trying out new eyepieces and the focuser is just great. I was using a ES 1.2" barlow and at very high power, the dual speed focuser made precise focusing a pleasure. The scope did excellent even with a ES 6.7mm eyepiece. The ES 11mm eyepiece did very well with the ES barlow.

My next project is to get some of the black foam and make a longer dew shield.

Edited by gunfighter48 (08/22/13 12:46 AM)


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audioaficionado
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: gunfighter48]
      #6039589 - 08/22/13 04:53 AM

Now they're selling 'em at half price

Great deal!


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Ed Holland
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Loc: San Jose, CA and Oxford, UK
Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: audioaficionado]
      #6039870 - 08/22/13 10:37 AM

No plans for the scope yet, bit I spent a bit of time on a mod for my EQ2 mount to enable it to carry the 102. Presently it has a bolt on tube clamp for the 4.5" Newtonian that it came with. I'm part way through completion of a DIY saddle, so that it can do grab and go duties with other scopes especially whilst my LXD 75 is awaiting repair parts

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Sarkikos
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: Ed Holland]
      #6040044 - 08/22/13 12:30 PM

Has anyone removed the original short dovetail from the C102GT and attached a longer dovetail directly to the OTA? I think I'd rather do that than order new rings. I had a Celestron 4" f/9.8 achro before that had rings. They always seemed like overkill for that scope. On the other hand, a refractor in rings would be more adjustable for balancing than one with an attached dovetail, even a long dovetail.

Mike


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pdxmoon
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #6040046 - 08/22/13 12:33 PM

Quote:

Has anyone removed the original short dovetail from the C102GT and attached a longer dovetail directly to the OTA? I think I'd rather do that than order new rings. I had a Celestron 4" f/9.8 achro before that had rings. They always seemed like overkill for that scope. On the other hand, a refractor in rings would be more adjustable for balancing than one with an attached dovetail, even a long dovetail.

Mike






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Jarrod
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: spongebob@55]
      #6040147 - 08/22/13 01:27 PM

Quote:

and here's a picture of the 1/8" plastic hole plugs plugging the dovetail bolt holes.




Quick question: What is the advantage of using these vs. just putting the screws back in? If I'm seeing this correctly, they still stand proud of the OTA and would prevent you from sliding that section of the tube past the rings.


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labmand
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #6040238 - 08/22/13 02:13 PM

Quote:

Has anyone removed the original short dovetail from the C102GT and attached a longer dovetail directly to the OTA? I think I'd rather do that than order new rings. I had a Celestron 4" f/9.8 achro before that had rings. They always seemed like overkill for that scope. On the other hand, a refractor in rings would be more adjustable for balancing than one with an attached dovetail, even a long dovetail.

Mike




Yes I did, Had a dovetail on hand and didn't want to wait
for the rings, and besides, Just didn't feel right paying almost as much for rings as I paid for the scope deleivered.
Placed new dovetail 90 degrees CW from orig. point
at the balance point so the focuser is in a better position.
Worked quite well on the LXD75. Hey if I would have messed it up I could have ordered another


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dpippel
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: spongebob@55]
      #6040239 - 08/22/13 02:17 PM

Quote:

CORRECTION: I BOUGHT THESE ON EBAY. LOWES DOESN'T HAVE THEM IN 1/8". Just search '1/8" hole plugs' and they'll come up in black, in plastic and metal. I bought the plastic ones.
Sorry about that.
Bob




No worries! Found 'em and ordered 'em. $3.26 shipped for eight pieces and it saved me a trip to Lowe's.


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Sarkikos
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: Jarrod]
      #6040256 - 08/22/13 02:27 PM

Quote:

Quote:

and here's a picture of the 1/8" plastic hole plugs plugging the dovetail bolt holes.




Quick question: What is the advantage of using these vs. just putting the screws back in? If I'm seeing this correctly, they still stand proud of the OTA and would prevent you from sliding that section of the tube past the rings.




I just cover little holes like that with black or white plastic tape, depending on OTA color.

Mike


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spongebob@55
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: Jarrod]
      #6040263 - 08/22/13 02:31 PM

Quote:

Quote:

and here's a picture of the 1/8" plastic hole plugs plugging the dovetail bolt holes.




Quick question: What is the advantage of using these vs. just putting the screws back in? If I'm seeing this correctly, they still stand proud of the OTA and would prevent you from sliding that section of the tube past the rings.




Hi Jarrod,
The plastic plug do stand just a tiny bit proud, but no where near the height of the round head screws. I had synta rings on a dovetail, and I used anywhere from very light 1.25" EPs to the glass gernade that is the ES 40mm 82* on a EQ-G GEM mount. When I would move the telescope around, it was much easier to slightly loosen one ring which would be able to slip over or past the plastic plug. It wouldn't be able to do that with the screw head since its so big. And the plastic becomes almost invisible from an aesthetic POV, instead of a phillips hole lookin' at you. But no doubt, you can just re insert the screws. If it works for your set up, then fine. If not, then step #2 would be the plugs.
Regards
Bob


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spongebob@55
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: labmand]
      #6040272 - 08/22/13 02:39 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Has anyone removed the original short dovetail from the C102GT and attached a longer dovetail directly to the OTA? I think I'd rather do that than order new rings. I had a Celestron 4" f/9.8 achro before that had rings. They always seemed like overkill for that scope. On the other hand, a refractor in rings would be more adjustable for balancing than one with an attached dovetail, even a long dovetail.

Mike




Yes I did, Had a dovetail on hand and didn't want to wait
for the rings, and besides, Just didn't feel right paying almost as much for rings as I paid for the scope deleivered.
Placed new dovetail 90 degrees CW from orig. point
at the balance point so the focuser is in a better position.
Worked quite well on the LXD75. Hey if I would have messed it up I could have ordered another




Did you use sheet metal/self tapping screws, or a machine screw and nut combination?
Is there any concern about not getting it on the tube perfectly parallel?
Regards,
Bob


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spongebob@55
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: spongebob@55]
      #6040299 - 08/22/13 02:58 PM

How about doing something with those plastic knobs?
Maybe bigger ones either aluminum or home made so that its easier for finer focus?
Maybe brass fasteners? (really pimpy) Could color match to the ring in the dew shield...(really, really pimpy)


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PeterR280
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: spongebob@55]
      #6040330 - 08/22/13 03:17 PM

The knobs are aluminum.

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Jarrod
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: spongebob@55]
      #6040476 - 08/22/13 05:09 PM

Quote:

The plastic plug do stand just a tiny bit proud, but no where near the height of the round head screws. I had synta rings on a dovetail, and I used anywhere from very light 1.25" EPs to the glass gernade that is the ES 40mm 82* on a EQ-G GEM mount. When I would move the telescope around, it was much easier to slightly loosen one ring which would be able to slip over or past the plastic plug. It wouldn't be able to do that with the screw head since its so big. And the plastic becomes almost invisible from an aesthetic POV, instead of a phillips hole lookin' at you. But no doubt, you can just re insert the screws. If it works for your set up, then fine. If not, then step #2 would be the plugs.




Bob - Makes sense. They do look much nicer. I have my rings clamped to the OTA at a position where I can balance the dec axis with my smallest (ES82 4.7mm) and largest (Meade 5k 30mm UWA) EPs by only sliding the dovetail up and down the saddle. It uses most of the length of the 8" dovetail to do this. Not sure if that is considered "best practice" or not, but that's what I've done for now.

Edited by Jarrod (08/22/13 05:11 PM)


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labmand
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: spongebob@55]
      #6040907 - 08/22/13 10:22 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

Has anyone removed the original short dovetail from the C102GT and attached a longer dovetail directly to the OTA? I think I'd rather do that than order new rings. I had a Celestron 4" f/9.8 achro before that had rings. They always seemed like overkill for that scope. On the other hand, a refractor in rings would be more adjustable for balancing than one with an attached dovetail, even a long dovetail.

Mike




Yes I did, Had a dovetail on hand and didn't want to wait
for the rings, and besides, Just didn't feel right paying almost as much for rings as I paid for the scope deleivered.
Placed new dovetail 90 degrees CW from orig. point
at the balance point so the focuser is in a better position.
Worked quite well on the LXD75. Hey if I would have messed it up I could have ordered another




Did you use sheet metal/self tapping screws, or a machine screw and nut combination?
Is there any concern about not getting it on the tube perfectly parallel?
Regards,
Bob




I used self tapping screws, I rarely do anything
perfectly just did the best I could to line
it up, seems to work fine.


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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: labmand]
      #6042840 - 08/24/13 01:45 AM

I got a little busy today making my 102 more functional. The home made dovetail plate/adapter for the EQ2 was completed. I then set about the scope. I had a dovetail of unknown rigin that came with an accessory mount that was on my C8. With a litte ingenuity, I made up some radius blocks, invested in some 5" hose clamps and with a little protective gasket paper I had a proper dovetail in a proper place on the telescope. The short dovetail is still in place until I can get some of the plugs mentioned earlier in the thread. All seems solid & steady enough, and it worked well during tonight's early observing - I was worried about achieving balance, but the tube is very similar in weight to the 4.5" Newtonian. Need to scare up a dovetail for that now, probably more DIY to come .

The only thing that does need attention is a small modification to my finderscope. It's (home made) design means it won't fit into the shoe on the focuser of the C102 without a spacer - Simples!

Oh and I cleaned, relubed and adjusted the focuser - it's really pretty good in my opinion, especially after a little TLC. Nor is a 1000mm focal length, f/10 too demanding in this department.

Great little telescope that is now setup as a perfect grab and go

Ed


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REC
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Reged: 10/20/10

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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: Ed Holland]
      #6043161 - 08/24/13 08:38 AM

Ed, did you replace the lube or just add to it? I have some White Lithium Grease I could use if it will make it a tighter, smoother operation?

Bob


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Sarkikos
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: REC]
      #6043217 - 08/24/13 09:23 AM

From what I've read & also IME, pure silicon is probably the best lube for focusers. IIRC, there was some talk about white lithium grease possibly degrading over time (?). In any case, pure silicon oil is easy to obtain at a hobby store. I use Diff Oil Pure Silicon #3000. Super Lube is also good.

Mike


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spongebob@55
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Loc: Bergen Co. New Jersey
Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #6043320 - 08/24/13 10:37 AM

I got mine yesterday afternoon. Surprised to see a tightening mark on the dovetail! Used? or tested? And the box only had styrofoam on one end of the inner box. But no damage.
When you touch the OTA, you get finger smudges all over it, like there's some super light oil on it.....anyone else notice that?
The dew shield had unscrewed a bit from shipping, but no problem and the objective looks fine.
I used the black tape over the orange ring suggestion by PeterR280 above and it certainly does look better. Replaced all the metal screws with black nylon. Took off the mini dovetail and had two very distinct lines in the paint...much more than my first one that you could barely see the mount lines..."Hey Celestron, why don't you wait until the paint cures a little!"
Can't wait to test it out. I ordered the 102 Explore Scientific rings/handle/dovetail for $44. Can't beat that over the cost of just rings. Love that handle for ease of mounting on my EQ-G.
Regards,
Bob

Edited by spongebob@55 (08/24/13 10:39 AM)


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audioaficionado
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Reged: 05/24/12

Loc: Medford, Orygun, USA
Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #6043500 - 08/24/13 12:21 PM

Quote:

From what I've read & also IME, pure silicon is probably the best lube for focusers. IIRC, there was some talk about white lithium grease possibly degrading over time (?). In any case, pure silicon oil is easy to obtain at a hobby store. I use Diff Oil Pure Silicon #3000. Super Lube is also good.

Mike



Vacuum grade stopcock grease is expensive but lasts almost forever.


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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: spongebob@55]
      #6043521 - 08/24/13 12:31 PM

I cleaned all the original grease out with mineral spirit and lubricated with molybdenum disulphide graphite engine assembly lube, but any decent grease will do.. use what you have. I'm not a fan of silicone lubricants as they can creep and are very difficult to clean up, but that is just personal preference. Also I prefer the feel of petroleum based greases, each to their own. If drying out ever becomes a problem, overhauling the focuser is easier than reworking my bicycle's wheel bearings

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PeterR280
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: Ed Holland]
      #6043575 - 08/24/13 12:59 PM

I like the Radio Shack lube gel. I bought a tube some years back and still have it.

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mg73
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cg4 mounting question new [Re: PeterR280]
      #6052719 - 08/29/13 02:46 PM

My 102gt is in the mail. I'm putting in on a cg4 mount that's also coming in he mail. I need rings and a dovetail. I'm new to refractors, dovetails and the cg4 mount. I understand that the rings will attach to the dovetail, and the dovetail to the cg4. Are the standard screws for the ring/dovetail and the dovetail/cg4? Or do I have to worry about different screws and threads for these attachment points? I'd like to get info so I know which dovetail and rings will mate.

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WarmWeatherGuy
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: mg73]
      #6052758 - 08/29/13 03:05 PM

Quote:

My 102gt is in the mail. I'm putting in on a cg4 mount that's also coming in he mail. I need rings and a dovetail. I'm new to refractors, dovetails and the cg4 mount. I understand that the rings will attach to the dovetail, and the dovetail to the cg4. Are the standard screws for the ring/dovetail and the dovetail/cg4? Or do I have to worry about different screws and threads for these attachment points? I'd like to get info so I know which dovetail and rings will mate.




I got my rings and dovetail from Orion. They had a short dovetail and a long one. They were the same price so I got the long one. Now I am really glad I did. The CM (center of mass) changes drastically when you turn the focus knob, change eyepieces, etc. Having more room to slide the scope in the CG-4's saddle mount is nice.

Screws come with the stuff from Orion although they stick out which means the dovetail cannot be slid into the saddle. You have to open the saddle enough to place the dovetail's mid section into it. Then you have plenty of room to slide it back and forth.

btw - please don't change the subject of an ongoing thread. I get an email telling me "the thread you have selected as one of your favorites (has a new post)" and I have no idea what is going on.

These worked for me on my CG-4 mount and I didn't need any additional hardware.

Rings (select 100mm)

Dovetail (select 13 inch)


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spongebob@55
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Loc: Bergen Co. New Jersey
Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: spongebob@55]
      #6052965 - 08/29/13 04:59 PM

Quote:

I got mine yesterday afternoon. Surprised to see a tightening mark on the dovetail! Used? or tested? And the box only had styrofoam on one end of the inner box. But no damage.
When you touch the OTA, you get finger smudges all over it, like there's some super light oil on it.....anyone else notice that?
The dew shield had unscrewed a bit from shipping, but no problem and the objective looks fine.
I used the black tape over the orange ring suggestion by PeterR280 above and it certainly does look better. Replaced all the metal screws with black nylon. Took off the mini dovetail and had two very distinct lines in the paint...much more than my first one that you could barely see the mount lines..."Hey Celestron, why don't you wait until the paint cures a little!"
Can't wait to test it out. I ordered the 102 Explore Scientific rings/handle/dovetail for $44. Can't beat that over the cost of just rings. Love that handle for ease of mounting on my EQ-G.


Well the rings are here and I added the shoe for the 70 'super finder' to the handle. Very high quality, although i did add another layer of black felt....the white would get too dirty imo.
So I don't know if I'll go with just the 70mm, or also add the finder, but I think I'll add a diagonal and illuminated EP to the 70mm and be done with it.
Now its time for some clear skies....
Bob

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spongebob@55
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: spongebob@55]
      #6052977 - 08/29/13 05:10 PM Attachment (13 downloads)

Quote:

Quote:

I got mine yesterday afternoon. Surprised to see a tightening mark on the dovetail! Used? or tested? And the box only had styrofoam on one end of the inner box. But no damage.
When you touch the OTA, you get finger smudges all over it, like there's some super light oil on it.....anyone else notice that?
The dew shield had unscrewed a bit from shipping, but no problem and the objective looks fine.
I used the black tape over the orange ring suggestion by PeterR280 above and it certainly does look better. Replaced all the metal screws with black nylon. Took off the mini dovetail and had two very distinct lines in the paint...much more than my first one that you could barely see the mount lines..."Hey Celestron, why don't you wait until the paint cures a little!"
Can't wait to test it out. I ordered the 102 Explore Scientific rings/handle/dovetail for $44. Can't beat that over the cost of just rings. Love that handle for ease of mounting on my EQ-G.


Well the rings are here and I added the shoe for the 70 'super finder' to the handle. Very high quality, although i did add another layer of black felt....the white would get too dirty imo.
So I don't know if I'll go with just the 70mm, or also add the finder, but I think I'll add a diagonal and illuminated EP to the 70mm and be done with it.
Now its time for some clear skies....
Bob




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Ain Soph Aur
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Reged: 08/11/11

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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
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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
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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
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Reged: 08/11/11

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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
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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
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Loc: Nyctophobia, 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*
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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
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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
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Reged: 10/20/10

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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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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PeterR280
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: mg73]
      #6055192 - 08/30/13 10:05 PM

limited balancing capability.

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Sarkikos
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: PeterR280]
      #6055966 - 08/31/13 12:19 PM

I definitely sold my 4" rings when I sold my C4R.

Now I've ordered the Explore Scientific "Cradle Assembly for White 102mm Telescope," which includes rings, dovetail and carrying handle. It has already shipped. Scheduled delivery is for Sept. 5th, next Thursday.

Mi


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spongebob@55
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Reged: 12/26/11

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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: smallscopefanLeo]
      #6055971 - 08/31/13 12:23 PM

Quote:

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 )




Leo, can you tell me about that Baader helical 1.25" micro-focusing eyepiece holder and nosepiece from Agena Astro? What does it do for your set up? Is it like a fine focuser? Since it adds light path length, do you have any problems coming to focus with anything? Thanks in advance..
Bob


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audioaficionado
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 05/24/12

Loc: Medford, Orygun, USA
Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: spongebob@55]
      #6056076 - 08/31/13 01:27 PM

The main thing I need for my OTA is a decent tripod. That wiggly aluminum jello one that can with my original Celestron CG-4 mount has gotta go into the metal recycle bin.

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Sarkikos
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: audioaficionado]
      #6056088 - 08/31/13 01:32 PM

Steve,

Maybe you can get replacement wooden legs for your CG4. That's what I did for mine years ago. I bought wooden legs for my CG4 from Hands On Optics.

Adjustable wooden leg set

The legs were a little less expensive when I bought mine about six years ago.

Mike


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REC
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Reged: 10/20/10

Loc: NC
Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #6056147 - 08/31/13 01:55 PM

I'm still considering mount options, used Nextar SLT, or just getting rings for my Orion EQ2 that I have been using for my C80ED?

Also I see some Orion VersaGo II AZ used???


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WarmWeatherGuy
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Reged: 08/27/11

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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: audioaficionado]
      #6056168 - 08/31/13 02:07 PM

Quote:

The main thing I need for my OTA is a decent tripod. That wiggly aluminum jello one that can with my original Celestron CG-4 mount has gotta go into the metal recycle bin.




I am guessing you are referring to one like this. I have this one and it is plenty sturdy for the C102.


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Locoman
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 03/09/09

Loc: Abilene, Kansas
Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: REC]
      #6056560 - 08/31/13 07:14 PM Attachment (40 downloads)

Quote:

I'm still considering mount options, used Nextar SLT, or just getting rings for my Orion EQ2 that I have been using for my C80ED?

Also I see some Orion VersaGo II AZ used???




Here's the Nexstar SLT on my Vixen Hal 130 tripod with the the 102 gt. Solid combination.


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dpippel
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 04/05/13

Loc: Desierto de Sonora
Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: Locoman]
      #6056612 - 08/31/13 07:52 PM

Lookin' good!

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REC
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Reged: 10/20/10

Loc: NC
Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: Locoman]
      #6057222 - 09/01/13 08:03 AM

Oh then the Nexstar mount would be ok then? The used one I'm looking at has the stock steel tubular tripod legs. The owner said it's ok for scopes weighing up to 7lbs. OUR 102 is 7.5 and EP and finder-scope make it 8+.

Do you get any twisting at all at the mounts?

Thanks a lot as I'm ready to pull the trigger on something today, had the scope a week now and would like to use it when it clears up next week. Here are my 3 choices;

1. Get rings for $40 and use on my EQ2,which has a80EDon it

2. Get a used VersaGoII for AZ mount for $120.

3. Get a used Nexstar SLT with aluminum legs for $120.

So fellow 102 gt owners, what do you think?

Bob


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REC
Post Laureate
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Reged: 10/20/10

Loc: NC
Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: Locoman]
      #6057552 - 09/01/13 12:04 PM

Can you use the SLT mount in basic manual mode without setting up the GOTO alignment? What I mean, can you just move it up and down side to side just by hitting the arrow keys on the controller?

Some nights I use scopes in the front of my house with street lights in the western sky and would have a hard time getting it aligned on guide stars. Just would like to put the object in the finder scope and be done?

Thanks,

Bob


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jag767
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: REC]
      #6057598 - 09/01/13 12:33 PM Attachment (29 downloads)

Here's my latest:

I hated the look of orions rings, so i sanded them down to bare metal, 3 coats of gloss black paint sanded in between, and refelted (I used flocking). Personally I'm very glad to have done it, looks so much better.


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jag767
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: jag767]
      #6057601 - 09/01/13 12:33 PM Attachment (29 downloads)

One more:

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Locoman
scholastic sledgehammer
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: REC]
      #6058307 - 09/01/13 09:04 PM

Quote:

Can you use the SLT mount in basic manual mode without setting up the GOTO alignment? What I mean, can you just move it up and down side to side just by hitting the arrow keys on the controller?

Some nights I use scopes in the front of my house with street lights in the western sky and would have a hard time getting it aligned on guide stars. Just would like to put the object in the finder scope and be done?

Thanks,

Bob

You can power it up and use the arrow keys but you cannot move it manually in azimuth. You can move it in Altitude manuall but I wouldn't do it very much.

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careysub
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Reged: 02/18/11

Loc: Rancho Cucamonga, CA
Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: Ed Holland]
      #6059606 - 09/02/13 04:20 PM

Quote:

I cleaned all the original grease out with mineral spirit and lubricated with molybdenum disulphide graphite engine assembly lube, but any decent grease will do.. use what you have. I'm not a fan of silicone lubricants as they can creep and are very difficult to clean up, but that is just personal preference. Also I prefer the feel of petroleum based greases, each to their own. If drying out ever becomes a problem, overhauling the focuser is easier than reworking my bicycle's wheel bearings




If any decent grease will do - but the original grease needs to go, clearly it is not decent. How can I be sure that some random grease that I have is "decent"?

I have a tube of Lucas white lithium grease - is that good for this?


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Ed Holland
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Reged: 06/16/10

Loc: San Jose, CA and Oxford, UK
Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: careysub]
      #6059683 - 09/02/13 05:05 PM

Yes. That should be a general purpose grease. The Synta stuff is a super viscous and sticky damping grease. Apply the new stuff sparingly, and things should stay smooth and clean.

Ed


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PeterR280
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Reged: 05/27/13

Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: Ed Holland]
      #6059695 - 09/02/13 05:15 PM

It should work fine. There isn't a lot of mechanical action going on. Like previously said, don't put too much.

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REC
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Reged: 10/20/10

Loc: NC
Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: PeterR280]
      #6059721 - 09/02/13 05:31 PM

Do you have to clean out the old stuff first....and take it apart to do so?

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PeterR280
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: REC]
      #6059729 - 09/02/13 05:40 PM

the grease Synta uses is like glue. You have to remove it to relube.

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WarmWeatherGuy
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: PeterR280]
      #6059867 - 09/02/13 07:27 PM

For anyone who hasn't seen the wonderful photos of the disassembly of the focuser check them out at this link.

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Ain Soph Aur
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Reged: 08/11/11

Loc: West Tennessee
Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: Ain Soph Aur]
      #6061187 - 09/03/13 03:24 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 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)




Everything has arrived! Comments on each:

ES Cradle Rings: the rings are barely to big, only a mm or so. I am either going to re-felt or modify the rings. Works ok so far but doesn't inspire confidence there will not be slippage with a heavy load on the focuser, i.e. baader herschel wedge and Leica zoom, ES82 30mm, etc)

GSO Dual-Speed Crayford: very nice, drop in replacement. Much, much better than the stock focuser. After reading the warnings on Agena's site that the focuser rotation action may not be very good, in my specific example it is silky smooth! More details on back focuse after I get it under the night sky. I still suspect I will need an extension for the 48mm Brandon.

Stellarvue 50mm RACI: Only one major issue: Hands On Optics sent the white version instead of the black. Doh! The order plainly specifies black version. Optics are fantastic, amazing for a finder! I do have a minor issue in that the set screw for the diagonal does not clamp very well if at all. With the heavyish Orion 20mm SWA guide eyepiece, the diagonal has a tendency to rotate. I also may be lacking a mm or less in-focus for this eyepiece. I will evaluate the stock reticle eyepiece this evening. I really like the optical quality of this finder!

No pictures. The white finder is an eyesore with all black scope. Waiting to hear back from Hands On Optics, hopefully they can cross ship a replacement. I will post pictures as soon as I get her looking good


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Ain Soph Aur
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Loc: West Tennessee
Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: Ain Soph Aur]
      #6061251 - 09/03/13 03:59 PM

Hands On Optics is shipping a black Stellarvue finder out Friday along with a return label for the white finder. Although it was disappointing to receive the wrong item, it is great that Hands On Optics replied very quickly with a resolution!

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Sarkikos
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Loc: Nyctophobia, Maryland, USA
Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: Ain Soph Aur]
      #6061628 - 09/03/13 08:43 PM

Quote:

ES Cradle Rings: the rings are barely to big, only a mm or so. I am either going to re-felt or modify the rings. Works ok so far but doesn't inspire confidence there will not be slippage with a heavy load on the focuser, i.e. baader herschel wedge and Leica zoom, ES82 30mm, etc)




If you observe at a very dewy site - like I do - you may have a problem with the OTA slipping down through the rings. I had this problem with the after-market Dob mount with rings that I bought for my C10NGT OTA (a 10" f/4.8 Newt). When the OTA became covered with dew - which doesn't take long some nights - and it was pointed up about 45 degrees or more, it began slipping down through the rings that came with the Dob mount. Not too fun when you're trying to focus on observing celestial objects. I don't enjoy futzing around with equipment in the dark. I'd rather be observing.

I replaced the felt on the rings with thicker felt. Still not quite good enough. Finally, I attached a third ring by itself on the OTA above the other two rings. This acted as a brake to any slippage of the OTA through the rings which attach to the altitude bearings. A royal PITA, but it works.

I hope thicker felt will be good enough to secure the C102 in the ES rings. I have ES rings coming this Thursday. I'll see how mine behave.

Mike


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Sarkikos
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #6065315 - 09/05/13 10:18 PM

My ES Cradle Rings arrived today. They are a little loose on my C102. If I hold the rings by the handle and move the C102 all around, the OTA stays put in the rings. But if I position the OTA vertically and then jerk the handle down sharply, the OTA will shift down a few inches in the rings. On the bright side, it is easy to hold the rings in one hand and shift the OTA up and down in the rings with the other hand, without having to open up the rings.

So I took my box of "Mount Stuff" out of the closet and removed the little baggie of felt squares and circles. I found a couple felt circles about an inch across. They have adhesive backing. IIRC, I originally bought the felt circles from K-Mart. I attached one felt circle in each of the rings, in the middle of the upper half.

These two little felt rings are all that is needed to keep the C102 from slipping in the ES rings. Now my C102 will not shift in the rings, even when the OTA is positioned vertically and the rings are forcibly jerked up and down. Problem solved.

Mike


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Sarkikos
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #6065320 - 09/05/13 10:23 PM

By the way, I did have to remove the little dovetail that came on the C102 before installing the ES rings. I'm just going to put little squares of black electrical tape over the four holes in the OTA. Not doing the little plugs. I'm concerned that if I insert plugs in the holes, they will get caught on the rings when I need to shift the OTA up or down. Or the plugs might damage the felt.

If form interferes with function, I find a form that doesn't interfere. Aesthetics is a secondary concern.

Mike


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PeterR280
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #6065352 - 09/05/13 10:49 PM

i use shiny electrical tape. it blends in.

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Ain Soph Aur
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #6066070 - 09/06/13 12:42 PM

Quote:

So I took my box of "Mount Stuff" out of the closet and removed the little baggie of felt squares and circles. I found a couple felt circles about an inch across. They have adhesive backing. IIRC, I originally bought the felt circles from K-Mart. I attached one felt circle in each of the rings, in the middle of the upper half.




Great solution. I had a package of adhesive back felt circles, but they were pretty thin. I evenly spaced three of them on the felt of each ring half (total of 12) and it worked perfectly. I had previously added a rubber gromet to each of the two ring locking scews and decided to leave them in place as they help keep the threads from sticking out so far.

I also decided to mount a Telrad base high up on the tube, aligned evenly with the Celestron logo. In addition to the convenience of quickly getting the scope close to target, the extra weight on the objective end helps balance the scope a little bit better.

As soon as the replacement black Stellarvue RACI finder arrives from Hands On Optics next week (should arrive Monday), this grab and go project will be finished. I will post pictures then.

I have had a great time with this scope the past few days. I started over on the AL Double Star Club list and am going to try to complete it solely with this scope. As of last night, I have logged 20 doubles. The scope nicely split Izar in moderate seeing.


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Ain Soph Aur
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: PeterR280]
      #6066274 - 09/06/13 02:41 PM

I ordered some of the 1/8" plastic hole plugs as recommened by another poster to hide the stock dovetail bolt holes. They are very low profile and don't cause any issue at all with the ring felt, perfect!

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WarmWeatherGuy
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #6066302 - 09/06/13 02:51 PM

Quote:

I'm just going to put little squares of black electrical tape over the four holes in the OTA. Not doing the little plugs.

Mike




My experience with black electrical tape is that it looks wonderful when first applied but over time it slides, leaving sticky goo exposed, if it is exposed to heat. If it is exposed to cold then the edges peel up leaving sticky goo exposed.

I've decided to leave the original dovetail attached. I have separate rings and a 13" dovetail so the short 4" dovetail really doesn't get in the way.

If I had to remove the little dovetail I would want some kind of nylon plugs to fill in the holes.


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PeterR280
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: WarmWeatherGuy]
      #6066336 - 09/06/13 03:07 PM

What's wrong with sticky goo?

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*skyguy*
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: PeterR280]
      #6066747 - 09/06/13 07:34 PM

Quote:

What's wrong with sticky goo?




There's enough sticky goo on this scope's focuser already!


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WarmWeatherGuy
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: PeterR280]
      #6066890 - 09/06/13 09:31 PM

Quote:

What's wrong with sticky goo?




The tape square that you cut will slide away from the hole. It will still be stuck to the scope but there will be sticky goo all around the hole, along with lint and fuzz. If you touch it you will get sticky goo on you.


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Sarkikos
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: WarmWeatherGuy]
      #6067599 - 09/07/13 11:05 AM

Quote:

Quote:

I'm just going to put little squares of black electrical tape over the four holes in the OTA. Not doing the little plugs.

Mike




My experience with black electrical tape is that it looks wonderful when first applied but over time it slides, leaving sticky goo exposed, if it is exposed to heat. If it is exposed to cold then the edges peel up leaving sticky goo exposed.

I've decided to leave the original dovetail attached. I have separate rings and a 13" dovetail so the short 4" dovetail really doesn't get in the way.

If I had to remove the little dovetail I would want some kind of nylon plugs to fill in the holes.




I don't set up any of my scopes until at most an hour before sunset, so the OTA's don't have a chance to get very warm. But then, I don't live in Florida! I've never experienced electrical tape coming off my OTA's, neither from heat nor cold.

I took the original dovetail off because it would definitely get in the way of my new ES rings. I don't see how it wouldn't, especially if I need to adjust the OTA's position in the rings because of difference in weight of accessories. Every refractor I've ever owned that's bigger than a finder has needed repositioning in the rings at some time or other.

Also, I like the ES rings. The handle is very convenient. I don't need a longer dovetail for the C102. A shorter one keeps the weight down a bit.

Mike


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Sarkikos
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: Ain Soph Aur]
      #6067602 - 09/07/13 11:09 AM

Quote:

I ordered some of the 1/8" plastic hole plugs as recommened by another poster to hide the stock dovetail bolt holes. They are very low profile and don't cause any issue at all with the ring felt, perfect!




You can move the rings back and forth over the plugs with no problem? I might try them, then.

Mike


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Sarkikos
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: buddyjesus]
      #6067691 - 09/07/13 11:59 AM

Quote:

I kept the flint stationary inside the tube while gently loosening the screw on part of the plastic cell. This really sticks the first time you loosen it so be prepared for the lenses to jump out at you. The lenses should not be have this tightened down so hard anyways as it will pinch the outside of the optic. Afterwards I tilt the tube down to let just the crown pop out. I wear rubber gloves to cut down on fingerprints. I marked the crown with a perminent marker for reference(12 o'clock position.) Then since you have astigmatism at your current spot, rotate about one hour on the clock face. Then you retest. Repeat, retest, repeat retest, etc. When you find your sweet spot, which might take a while, you keep it there. Next time you remove both lenses for cleaning, you want to mark the flint where it lines up with the line on the crown.




I wonder if it would be possible to do this but just test using an artificial star - one of the inexpensive Hubble stars - rather than have to keep lugging the scope outside for a star test. Should be easy enough to test for astigmatism. Using an artificial star will definitely reduce the time needed to find the best configuration of the lenses.

Mike


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Sarkikos
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #6067701 - 09/07/13 12:05 PM

How can I blacken the edges of the objective lenses and still mark the current relative positions of the lenses?

Why not blacken the edges, then mark the position with a couple small drops of white paint over the blackening?

Mike


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tubehead999
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #6067730 - 09/07/13 12:30 PM

Mark the inside of the cell with a Sharpie, remove the retainer, while keeping a wee bit of pressure on the face of the crown to prevent movement. Put a very small dot on the face of the crown near the edge at your index on the cell...drop the crown, hopefully without much movement of the flint..use your cell mark to put a small dot on the face of the flint...Do what you have to do, reindex everything, and you will be close to where you were.

The small dot on both elements means nothing in the real world .


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dpippel
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #6067782 - 09/07/13 01:06 PM

Quote:

Quote:

I ordered some of the 1/8" plastic hole plugs as recommened by another poster to hide the stock dovetail bolt holes. They are very low profile and don't cause any issue at all with the ring felt, perfect!




You can move the rings back and forth over the plugs with no problem? I might try them, then.

Mike




I got the same plastic plugs and while they're pretty low profile, they *will* snag the felt if you don't loosen the rings up enough. The plugs look great however and are certainly an improvement over the dovetail screws.


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Sarkikos
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: dpippel]
      #6067825 - 09/07/13 01:33 PM

You should need to loosen up the rings a bit in order to change the position of the OTA. Otherwise, the rings are too loose. On the other hand, I don't want to snag the felt. And I don't want to have to worry about opening up the rings more than I really need to move the OTA, just to avoid snagging the felt.

I suppose this is one more thing that you have to try for yourself. I've discovered over the years that what is high priority for other observers might not be a big deal for me, and vice versa. The things some folks sweat over just doesn't faze me at all. "Does it work? If it works, how well does it work?" Those are the two most important questions for me.


Mike


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dpippel
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #6067857 - 09/07/13 01:54 PM

Well, of course you need to loosen the rings in order to move the OTA Mike. I was merely pointing out that if they're not loose *enough*, the heads of these plastic plugs will snag on the felt. For around $4 shipped for a set of 8 it's well worth trying out for yourself.

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WarmWeatherGuy
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: WarmWeatherGuy]
      #6068000 - 09/07/13 03:27 PM Attachment (29 downloads)

I got my rings and dovetail from Orion. They had a short dovetail and a long one.

Rings (select 100mm)

Dovetail (select 13 inch)

I got the long one (13 inch). This allowed me to keep the 4" dovetail attached to my scope (see picture). The rings fit tightly onto the OTA with no slippage at all. To shift the scope for balance I move the dovetail relative to the mount's saddle, instead of sliding the OTA within the rings.


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Sarkikos
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: WarmWeatherGuy]
      #6068477 - 09/07/13 08:26 PM

Steve,

I had a set up similar to that for my old C4R, so I know how that can work. Still, you may want to adjust the OTA in the rings at some point, and the little dovetail could get in the way. But it would be no big deal to remove the dovetail at that point.

Mike


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WarmWeatherGuy
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #6068499 - 09/07/13 08:43 PM

Quote:

Steve,

I had a set up similar to that for my old C4R, so I know how that can work. Still, you may want to adjust the OTA in the rings at some point, and the little dovetail could get in the way. But it would be no big deal to remove the dovetail at that point.

Mike




Yes, I am surprised how much the center of mass moves on this scope. The focuser has a range of 5.5 inches. When I focus with my webcam the focuser is almost all the way out. With my binoviewer it still won't focus when it is all the way in. If/when I attach my 2 pound CCD it will be very rear-end heavy and I will need to move things forward. After running out of dovetail I will have to loosen the rings and move the OTA and the little 4 inch dovetail may very well get in the way.

I've been using a C5 and C8 mostly. I am not used to these long moment arms.

It boggles my mind that this scope comes with a 4" dovetail. It should come with a 20" one. The NexStar 102GT must only work with the supplied eyepiece and diagonal. If you change anything you will change the balance and burn out the little motor.


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PeterR280
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: WarmWeatherGuy]
      #6068531 - 09/07/13 09:03 PM

It was built as a low cost telescope.

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Stew57
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: PeterR280]
      #6068641 - 09/07/13 10:33 PM

The dove tail on the ES rings has a space between it and the rings. The screws are tight. It seems the geometry is a little off jamming the screws. Anyone else have this on theirs?

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Sarkikos
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: Stew57]
      #6068655 - 09/07/13 10:47 PM

No, my ES cradle is fine. If you can manage to loosen the screws, it probably needs a little adjustment

Mike


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Ain Soph Aur
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #6069047 - 09/08/13 08:47 AM

Quote:

Quote:

I ordered some of the 1/8" plastic hole plugs as recommened by another poster to hide the stock dovetail bolt holes. They are very low profile and don't cause any issue at all with the ring felt, perfect!




You can move the rings back and forth over the plugs with no problem? I might try them, then.




Yep, the felt slides right over them (ES Rings). Recommended! Your mileage may vary with felt on other rings...


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REC
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: WarmWeatherGuy]
      #6069146 - 09/08/13 09:45 AM Attachment (28 downloads)

Yeah, I was wondering why they put such a short dovetail on it to and also not centered on the tube??

I may have to buy the rings and dovetail from Orion. If so, I can use the rings for my EW2 if I want.

Whats the deal on the ES rings??

I just bought this mount used and it seems to work pretty good so far. I use the last 2" of the dovetail to seat on the mount...hope that's ok and will hold well. With a little 8x25 finder scope and lightweight 1.25" EP's it's just about balanced ok and I don't have to crank the Dec arm to tight.


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REC
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: REC]
      #6069150 - 09/08/13 09:46 AM Attachment (24 downloads)

Other side of the VersagoII mount.

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Ain Soph Aur
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: Stew57]
      #6069180 - 09/08/13 10:03 AM

Quote:

The dove tail on the ES rings has a space between it and the rings. The screws are tight. It seems the geometry is a little off jamming the screws. Anyone else have this on theirs?




Nope, mine is flush. You may want ask ES to send a replacement.


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labmand
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: REC]
      #6069298 - 09/08/13 11:07 AM

Quote:

Other side of the VersagoII mount.



Hey REC that looks like lean mean astro machine, like it


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Stew57
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: Ain Soph Aur]
      #6069398 - 09/08/13 12:15 PM

Taking the dovetail and reinstalling did the trick. Nice and fit now. I took some electrical tape and wound it around the recessed portion of the clamp bolts. It tightens the clamshell tighter so the ota can not slide any more. I think I may find some washers to take the place of the tape. I like this better than adding felt.

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Ain Soph Aur
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: Ain Soph Aur]
      #6069515 - 09/08/13 01:27 PM

Received an email update from Hands On Optics that the shipment of black Stellarvue finders won't arrive until Monday or Tuesday. Since it could be a week until I get the replacement, I decided to go ahead and post a pic of the current state of my pimped C102GT:



All I have left is to replace the white Stellarvue finder with the black model and modify the orange stripe on the dew shield. I am thinking about making it silver...

This is one awesome grab and go setup!


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REC
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: Ain Soph Aur]
      #6069539 - 09/08/13 01:41 PM

That's quite a Pimp!

Telrad, Finder Scope, ES rings, GSO focuser, Baader Turrent and ES Tripod.....did I get them all right?

Bob


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Ain Soph Aur
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: REC]
      #6069708 - 09/08/13 03:07 PM

Thanks, Bob! You ID'd everything correctly. This setup really is a great grab and go. The combination of decent aperature with immediate cool-down, outstanding optics, light-weight and manageable sized tube that works well on the excellent ES Twilight II is fantastic. I even find myself motivated to do a bit of observing in the mornings before work, something I would rarely do with one of my larger scopes due to set-up and cool-down.

I am finding the combination of the Telrad + 50mm finder to very helpful for alt-az work. I generally have mag 6+ skies and found myself struggling at times with just the 50mm finder due to so many stars generally in the f.o.v. Star hopping is much easier with the Telrad allowing me to quickly align on the initial bright object then moving to the finder for hopping to the target. I guess this is old news to experienced star hoppers


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*skyguy*
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: REC]
      #6069714 - 09/08/13 03:08 PM

Quote:

Yeah, I was wondering why they put such a short dovetail on it to and also not centered on the tube??

I may have to buy the rings and dovetail from Orion. If so, I can use the rings for my EW2 if I want.

Whats the deal on the ES rings??

I just bought this mount used and it seems to work pretty good so far. I use the last 2" of the dovetail to seat on the mount...hope that's ok and will hold well. With a little 8x25 finder scope and lightweight 1.25" EP's it's just about balanced ok and I don't have to crank the Dec arm to tight.




Where did you find an 8x25 right angle finder? What brand is it? Also, did the finder bracket come with the finderscope ... or, did you buy it separately?

Thanks .... Jim


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chemist
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: *skyguy*]
      #6069789 - 09/08/13 03:49 PM Attachment (27 downloads)

For those who already have a Celestron 6SE or 8SE, here's a mount mod that will extend the OTA so that it clears the base when vertical. The spacer is 1/2" thick aluminum bar stock (very rigid). It adds about 2 lbs to the total payload weight. Slewing and tracking remain the same and stability on the tripod is acceptable (better with anti-vibration pads).

Chemist


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Ain Soph Aur
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: chemist]
      #6069816 - 09/08/13 04:03 PM

Hi Chemist. Is this a stock or custom made item?

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chemist
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: Ain Soph Aur]
      #6069832 - 09/08/13 04:10 PM

I had it custom made at a local metal shop in Austin, Texas. It's just aluminum bar stock (bent & welded) with 1/4" holes for dovetail and ring attachment.

Chemist


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labmand
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: chemist]
      #6069836 - 09/08/13 04:13 PM

Quote:

For those who already have a Celestron 6SE or 8SE, here's a mount mod that will extend the OTA so that it clears the base when vertical. The spacer is 1/2" thick aluminum bar stock (very rigid). It adds about 2 lbs to the total payload weight. Slewing and tracking remain the same and stability on the tripod is acceptable (better with anti-vibration pads).

Chemist




Hey Chemist, looks good, how is the vibs after focus etc?
I did a simular thing but may not of used heavey enough
alm. My setup was a alm rectanular box, did the job but
I did not like the vibs when using a long tube, maybe I
need to revisit this build. I tried using a wedge I had on hand today with my 8se mount, seemed to work fine but when slewing in the EQ/polar mode tube came way to close for
comfort, had to do emergency stop to prevent contact, guess
I need to find/build a differnt wedge.....or go back to
what you did, nice job, I like it. The 8se is such an awesome mount I just hate to let it sit there while I'm
struggling trying to find hard to locate objects with the
very stable Polaris or lugging out the LXD75 and dealing
with it's suprises.


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chemist
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: labmand]
      #6069855 - 09/08/13 04:24 PM

Hi Dave:

Stability is pretty good using anti-vibration pads under the tripod legs. Last night I was splitting close doubles at 166x when the wind wasn't blowing. Vibration is about the same as a 6" or 8" SCT with long dew shield. The weak link is probably the standard tripod itself - need a HD with 2" legs!

Chemist


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labmand
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: chemist]
      #6069872 - 09/08/13 04:35 PM

Quote:

Hi Dave:

Stability is pretty good using anti-vibration pads under the tripod legs. Last night I was splitting close doubles at 166x when the wind wasn't blowing. Vibration is about the same as a 6" or 8" SCT with long dew shield. The weak link is probably the standard tripod itself - need a HD with 2" legs!

Chemist



Well... I like the tripod for it's lightweight, so will
give it a pass but always open to diy improvements. When
I can pick up the entire setup get out the door without
a struggle it makes for an enjoyable night, If I really want
to get serious I can load and lock the big stuff, but most
of my double star gazing don't require it.


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desertlens
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: Ain Soph Aur]
      #6069878 - 09/08/13 04:37 PM

Quote:






I dub thee Sir Pimpsalot.


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buddyjesus
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: chemist]
      #6069993 - 09/08/13 05:47 PM

Quote:

For those who already have a Celestron 6SE or 8SE, here's a mount mod that will extend the OTA so that it clears the base when vertical. The spacer is 1/2" thick aluminum bar stock (very rigid). It adds about 2 lbs to the total payload weight. Slewing and tracking remain the same and stability on the tripod is acceptable (better with anti-vibration pads).

Chemist




really cool. the problem with clearance with the mount when being pointed vertically was my main problem with this mount.


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spongebob@55
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: Ain Soph Aur]
      #6070068 - 09/08/13 06:42 PM

Quote:

Received an email update from Hands On Optics that the shipment of black Stellarvue finders won't arrive until Monday or Tuesday. Since it could be a week until I get the replacement, I decided to go ahead and post a pic of the current state of my pimped C102GT:



All I have left is to replace the white Stellarvue finder with the black model and modify the orange stripe on the dew shield. I am thinking about making it silver...

This is one awesome grab and go setup!




Silver/grey to match the scope graphics or bright silver to match the knobs/mount? Either way, post a picture please when you get it done.
S.Bob


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Ain Soph Aur
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: Ain Soph Aur]
      #6070129 - 09/08/13 07:37 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

I ordered some of the 1/8" plastic hole plugs as recommened by another poster to hide the stock dovetail bolt holes. They are very low profile and don't cause any issue at all with the ring felt, perfect!




You can move the rings back and forth over the plugs with no problem? I might try them, then.




Yep, the felt slides right over them (ES Rings). Recommended! Your mileage may vary with felt on other rings...




I need to walk this back. I've been experimenting with back focus with various eyepieces and diagonals this afternoon and found that plugs did get caught by the felt about half the time as I was rebalancing, depending on how much I loosened the rings.

I believe I am going to take the dremel to them and see what I can do.


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REC
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: *skyguy*]
      #6070819 - 09/09/13 08:15 AM

Jim, the finder bracket is one I took off another scope I had laying around. The 8x25 is off of one of my ETX scopes that came with one.

I might just switch it to a 6x30 straight view instead...depends on what I'm going to view.

Bob


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Sarkikos
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: spongebob@55]
      #6070821 - 09/09/13 08:17 AM

Quote:

1. Remove with Synta Grease and replace with Pete's Red grease. I used Naptha. Is there anything better?




How about Goop Gone or equivalent? Or is that Naptha? I wouldn't know where to get Naptha.

Mike


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buddyjesus
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #6070882 - 09/09/13 09:12 AM

naptha fine as a solvent. Should be available in a paint store or even walmart as camping fuel. Just restrict its use to unpainted metal and you should be fine.

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PeterR280
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: buddyjesus]
      #6070902 - 09/09/13 09:37 AM

I use Break Free CLP to get the goop off.

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Sarkikos
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: PeterR280]
      #6070977 - 09/09/13 10:25 AM

Goop Gone or equivalent should work fine, with no danger to paint. I use it all the time to remove sticky adhesive left on OTA's from double-sided tape for Telrads and such. Also, after I cut Velcro, Goop Gone does a good job cleaning the scissors.

Mike


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jag767
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #6070987 - 09/09/13 10:34 AM

Hey has anyone done anything with the reflectivity inside what passes as a dew shield? I had some flocking laying around so I threw it inside the shield and plastic around the lens cell. Since its been established the effective aperture of the scope is 100.55 and the flocking is about .5mm thick it shouldnt have any negative effects, and the plastic is insane reflective. I'm really not sure if theres any difference, but I'd be curious to hear someone elses thoughts

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jag767
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: jag767]
      #6070993 - 09/09/13 10:39 AM Attachment (28 downloads)

I didnt take a before so if someone wants to put one up to compare, here is the after:

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Ain Soph Aur
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: jag767]
      #6071023 - 09/09/13 10:55 AM

Great idea. I have been planning on buying some protostar flocking for another project...

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jag767
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: Ain Soph Aur]
      #6071044 - 09/09/13 11:08 AM

Quote:

Great idea. I have been planning on buying some protostar flocking for another project...




Nice! Well if you decide to give it a go cutting it to 1.5 inches for the dew shield and 7/8ths for the cell is about right. I was going for ~95% so that worked for me.


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Sarkikos
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: Ain Soph Aur]
      #6071164 - 09/09/13 11:59 AM

Quote:

Great idea. I have been planning on buying some protostar flocking for another project...




+1. It is a great idea to save some ProtoStar for these little flocking jobs. I always flock inside the dew shields.

I still need to flock the C102's dew shield, as well as construct a longer dew shield out of black foam sheeting to go over it.

Mike


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audioaficionado
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: Ain Soph Aur]
      #6071264 - 09/09/13 12:48 PM

Quote:

I need to walk this back. I've been experimenting with back focus with various eyepieces and diagonals this afternoon and found that plugs did get caught by the felt about half the time as I was rebalancing, depending on how much I loosened the rings.

I believe I am going to take the dremel to them and see what I can do.



Good to know. Looks like I'm just going to use tape to cover those holes.


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Ed Holland
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: audioaficionado]
      #6072771 - 09/10/13 08:35 AM

I recently experimented with home made "flocking". 100 grit sandpaper, sprayed with a light coat of matt black paint.

worked very well on the baffle tube of my Mak.

Just a thought for those wanting to maintain the budget theme

Ed


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t.r.
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: Ed Holland]
      #6072775 - 09/10/13 08:39 AM

Why shouldn't it work...Televue has been using Emery Cloth in its tubes for years.

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spongebob@55
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: Ed Holland]
      #6072859 - 09/10/13 09:51 AM

Quote:

I recently experimented with home made "flocking". 100 grit sandpaper, sprayed with a light coat of matt black paint.

worked very well on the baffle tube of my Mak.

Just a thought for those wanting to maintain the budget theme

Ed




Great idea Ed. Does the paint insure that the granules of grit don't release from the backing?

Love these ideas....
sBob


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amicus sidera
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: t.r.]
      #6072882 - 09/10/13 10:11 AM

Quote:

Why shouldn't it work...Televue has been using Emery Cloth in its tubes for years.




You know, I'd heard a rumor that they were doing that. Think I'll be keeping any type of grit far from my optics, thanks anyway!

As far as using flocking to line dew shields, how does one determine that all moisture has evaporated from the absorbent flocking material prior to capping the objective? Sounds iffy to me.

Fred


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jag767
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: amicus sidera]
      #6072924 - 09/10/13 10:35 AM

Quote:

Quote:

Why shouldn't it work...Televue has been using Emery Cloth in its tubes for years.




You know, I'd heard a rumor that they were doing that. Think I'll be keeping any type of grit far from my optics, thanks anyway!

As far as using flocking to line dew shields, how does one determine that all moisture has evaporated from the absorbent flocking material prior to capping the objective? Sounds iffy to me.

Fred




Cap it the next day?


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Sarkikos
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: Ed Holland]
      #6073011 - 09/10/13 11:14 AM

Quote:

I recently experimented with home made "flocking". 100 grit sandpaper, sprayed with a light coat of matt black paint.

worked very well on the baffle tube of my Mak.

Just a thought for those wanting to maintain the budget theme

Ed




I would prefer not to.

Mike


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Sarkikos
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: jag767]
      #6073025 - 09/10/13 11:17 AM

Quote:

Quote:

As far as using flocking to line dew shields, how does one determine that all moisture has evaporated from the absorbent flocking material prior to capping the objective? Sounds iffy to me.

Fred




Cap it the next day?




Yep, that'll work. When I arrive home from the dark site, I make sure everything I used is uncapped to air out while I'm sleeping. I don't cap things and put them away until I get up six-to-eight hours later.

Mike


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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: spongebob@55]
      #6073959 - 09/10/13 09:20 PM

It seems to help... but I have not tested rigourously. The 3M aluminium oxide paper I used is pretty well bonded together to start with. For the inside of a dewshield, I think this is pretty safe stuff. It also seems to be a rather good light trap

Ed


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Sarkikos
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: Ed Holland]
      #6074046 - 09/10/13 10:24 PM

I've also heard of folks grinding up walnut shells and mixing with flat black paint for flocking.

Mike


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PeterR280
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #6074073 - 09/10/13 10:38 PM

why not just buy some flocking?

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Sarkikos
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: PeterR280]
      #6074464 - 09/11/13 06:48 AM

Quote:

why not just buy some flocking?




Yes, that's what I did. ScopeStuff and ProtoStar sell it. I just bought some from ScopeStuff.

Mike


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spongebob@55
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #6074493 - 09/11/13 07:12 AM

Has anyone just taken off the dew shield and lightly sanded the glossy plastic and/or flat black painted the inside?

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spongebob@55
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: spongebob@55]
      #6074627 - 09/11/13 09:14 AM

Does someone know what the thread is on the end of the focuser tube? I was thinking of getting a Baader Click Lock if there's one available for those synta threads. Would make it so much easier and precise to rotate the diagonal instead of loosening/tightening 2 screws all the time....
Thanks
Sbob


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cavefrog
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #6075265 - 09/11/13 02:37 PM

Quote:

I've also heard of folks grinding up walnut shells and mixing with flat black paint for flocking.

Mike




oof! I don't think I would do that. Walnut shells are so hard they are used for cleaning firearm cartridges for reloading. if any dust from them got on a lens, and was wiped....


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cavefrog
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: spongebob@55]
      #6075272 - 09/11/13 02:39 PM

Quote:

Has anyone just taken off the dew shield and lightly sanded the glossy plastic and/or flat black painted the inside?




That's what I did with mine. just sanded it. no paint.


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cavefrog
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: spongebob@55]
      #6075292 - 09/11/13 02:46 PM

Quote:

Does someone know what the thread is on the end of the focuser tube? I was thinking of getting a Baader Click Lock if there's one available for those synta threads. Would make it so much easier and precise to rotate the diagonal instead of loosening/tightening 2 screws all the time....
Thanks
Sbob




I am not positive, but I do not think Baader clicklock is made with that thread. because of these recent threads about the C-102 scopestuff is backordered on These


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Ain Soph Aur
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: cavefrog]
      #6075581 - 09/11/13 05:39 PM

If it is a M56 thread, then there is a 2" Clicklock that would work. Keep in mind that the adapter would cost around $100 and for another $50-60 you could replace the entire focuser with the excellent GSO.

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REC
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: Ain Soph Aur]
      #6076523 - 09/12/13 08:35 AM

Since I had such a good experience with the WO BV in the scope last night, I'm thinking of replacing the focuser with a GSO 10:1. The BV needs a stronger focuser.

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t.r.
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: REC]
      #6076540 - 09/12/13 08:50 AM

It is kind of funny, to load this $60 scope up, with my Leica zoom ($500), dielectric diagonal ($100) and or a binoviewer ($1000)! Everything I stick into the focuser is many times more expensive than the scope itself...but oh, do the accessories ever let the lens loose to perform to its full potential! The jury is still out, but I may use this scope as my first choice grab-n-go scope over the C6!

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spongebob@55
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: cavefrog]
      #6076544 - 09/12/13 08:52 AM

Quote:

Quote:

Does someone know what the thread is on the end of the focuser tube? I was thinking of getting a Baader Click Lock if there's one available for those synta threads. Would make it so much easier and precise to rotate the diagonal instead of loosening/tightening 2 screws all the time....
Thanks
Sbob




I am not positive, but I do not think Baader clicklock is made with that thread. because of these recent threads about the C-102 scopestuff is backordered on These




Thanks for that link. I was a bit surprised by how expensive that is, especially relative to the $59. I already put in vinyl bolts but you really have to crank down on them, especially with a quality 2" diagonal and a glass gernade EP. I guess this accessory would hold better, especially with the brass bolts, but I think I'll hold off for now. But thanks for the link!
Sbob


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Ed Holland
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: spongebob@55]
      #6076845 - 09/12/13 11:59 AM

Well my experiment was just that.. an experiment because I had no other flocking material. It worked well enough that I'm happy to leave it in place.

of course I understand the concerns about grit particles, but it seems fairly robust to me.


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REC
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: rtomw77]
      #6077032 - 09/12/13 01:38 PM

For the extra weight, I have a 2.5lb ankle weights that I just "wrap" around the front of the tube. I then can slide it up and down the tube the counter balance whatever I'm hanging off the back. Like last night I had a binoviewer and two EP's so it got pretty heavy back there.

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REC
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: gunfighter48]
      #6077056 - 09/12/13 01:45 PM

Wow, you where up over 180x and still looked good? I'm happy with my ES6.7 for 150x in mine.

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REC
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: Ain Soph Aur]
      #6077284 - 09/12/13 03:35 PM

How do you like the ES rings on it. Are they pretty light?

Is this the best way to mount it? The 4" dovetail bar is way too short and also not in the right spot on the tube.

Did you have to remove the old dovetail bar to use the ES ring or can you just leave it on?

The GSO focuser sound like a great idea for using my heavy BV on the back of the scope.

Thanks,

bob


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buddyjesus
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: REC]
      #6077388 - 09/12/13 04:34 PM

I routinely take mine to 200x on the moon and planets.

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Ed Holland
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: buddyjesus]
      #6077465 - 09/12/13 05:27 PM

Quote:

I routinely take mine to 200x on the moon and planets.




Despite the risks, I'm sure


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cavefrog
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: spongebob@55]
      #6077575 - 09/12/13 06:36 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

Does someone know what the thread is on the end of the focuser tube? I was thinking of getting a Baader Click Lock if there's one available for those synta threads. Would make it so much easier and precise to rotate the diagonal instead of loosening/tightening 2 screws all the time....
Thanks
Sbob




I am not positive, but I do not think Baader clicklock is made with that thread. because of these recent threads about the C-102 scopestuff is backordered on These




Thanks for that link. I was a bit surprised by how expensive that is, especially relative to the $59. I already put in vinyl bolts but you really have to crank down on them, especially with a quality 2" diagonal and a glass gernade EP. I guess this accessory would hold better, especially with the brass bolts, but I think I'll hold off for now. But thanks for the link!
Sbob




I had ordered one and got an email telling me they were backordered for a couple weeks. then a couple days later a GSO 96.6mm dual focus showed up in the classifieds for a good price. I have one of these on a C6R. I found out it fits both scopes.

Theo


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Ain Soph Aur
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: cavefrog]
      #6077606 - 09/12/13 07:01 PM

Bah, got an email from Hands On Optics saying the Stellarvue black finders will not arrive until next week. This has been going on since last week, then got an oops response then a new shipment will arrive Friday, then Monday or Tuesday and now next Monday or Tuesday. When I ordered the black Stellarvue finder it was in stock but they shipped a white one. Even the enclosed receipt with the shipment indicated the black model. Oh well... Maybe next week.

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BullTerrier
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: Ain Soph Aur]
      #6081052 - 09/14/13 08:38 PM

Well.. from the sound of all the posts, looks like you all got good samples of the C102. As for me, mine exhibits an annoying amount of CA. Purple haze around bright stars and green/yellow fringes around the edges of the moon. For me, this instrument will be best used on star clusters and the dso's within it's grasp.
What was I expecting for $59 ? But from what I've been reading, sounds like you folks lucked out with better optics.

Martin

Edited by BullTerrier (09/15/13 12:32 AM)


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CollinofAlabama
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: BullTerrier]
      #6081332 - 09/15/13 12:10 AM

Martin,

Your conclusion la Gershwin "ain't necessarily so". Different people have different reactions to CA. E.g., I own the Orion Premium Refractor, an F/7 102mm with the "poorer" glass (whichever the worst of the two is, FPL 51 or 53). It's extremely well color corrected compared to an achromat -- believe I read from a Jon Isaacs' post that it's equivalent to an F/21 102mm. In any event, around Jupiter, the moon, and Venus, there is, in fact, a very faint purple glow. Still, it's very, very unobtrusive, as one would expect from an F/20+ 4" achromat. But, there are plenty of APO purists who can't even stomach that. Just not up to triplet (or Newtonian) standards, and that's that. You may simply be one of those intolerant of very much CA. Look, there are folks happy with an Orion 120ST, an instrument I consider good for DSOs, but unacceptable for double star/planet/lunar viewing -- all things that, along with DSOs, I like viewing and don't like being limited from targets by the instrument. A 4" F/9.8 has a WHOLE lot more CA than my 102mm with the poorer, but still ED and not just crown flint glass. Plenty of folks don't mind this level of CA, plenty do. Your own preference just could be a particular intolerance of it, which is neither good nor bad, just you. I'm not saying your particular C102 GT isn't optically defective compared to others, it may be, but it is also just as possible, IMO, that your personal vision doesn't cotton to the misaligned color focus that is CA. Nothing at all to feel bad about. You simply may have higher standards for color purity than others here and that's alright.

To be honest, I'm a little worried about this myself. I've first lighted my C102GT, and it performed quite well, but it was only with double stars and DSOs, which it did up to my 102mm F/7's standards. How will it handle Jupiter this Winter, or even crescent Venus later this Fall, or gibbous Luna this week? Will I still like this scope or be looking at less colorful alternatives? Quite worried about that now, and your post gives me pause, since my standards of color purity are, at F/20+ equivalency, clearly quite high. I'm sure it won't do that well, but will I find the Venus, and particularly Jovian view acceptable? Time will tell.


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buddyjesus
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: CollinofAlabama]
      #6081449 - 09/15/13 02:55 AM

I used to think mine had terribad CA due to poor focus but have since collimated the scope and the views are much improved. Imagine my delight when I went from a maximum magnification of 143x on planets to 200x without breaking a sweat!

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audioaficionado
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: buddyjesus]
      #6081664 - 09/15/13 08:30 AM

If mine has excessive CA, I can't see it. My 60 year old eye lenses must have built in CA filtering (aka; yellowing due to age) LOL. Seriously I doubt there is going to be much difference between production scopes as it's a simple and relatively inexpensive design and not much would go wrong in production. It's possible, but not likely.

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REC
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: audioaficionado]
      #6081718 - 09/15/13 09:16 AM

I was out last night with mine along with my Dob and SCT and a clear night. Bounced around all three scopes and had great views the the 102g on the moon...sharp and I did not notice much CA except around the edge of the moon against the black of the night. Besides, I was mainly viewing the craters and they looked great. Then later I was cruising the Cygnus to Lyra area and the stars where very pinpoint and pleasing views in my 20mm SWA EP.

Also, it rides very nicely on top of the VersaGo2 tripod I have it on...very smooth movement.

Also, have I told you how great the view is with the 102 on the moon in my BV!


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PeterR280
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: REC]
      #6081804 - 09/15/13 10:24 AM

How did you collimate the C102GT? Lens cell is fixed.

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audioaficionado
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: PeterR280]
      #6082027 - 09/15/13 12:56 PM

Here's me with mine waiting for Venus and Saturn at the Brothers Oregon star party September 2013.



I had some very nice views with it. Others who had premium scopes said the views through it also looked good to them.


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amicus sidera
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: audioaficionado]
      #6082039 - 09/15/13 01:07 PM

Nice setup, Steve! Hope you had a great time there.

Fred


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buddyjesus
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: amicus sidera]
      #6082225 - 09/15/13 02:55 PM

I collimated mine by taking the screws out that connect the focuser to the tube and the screws that connect the cell to the tube. My collimation with them on was off center by an inch! The tube is square for the most part at the cell end so I press the cell firmly and squarely onto the tube so all the collimation is at the focuser end. The focuser end of the tube is off square by about 1/8th inch. I never bothered to redrill holes for the screws as they stay in the tube well on their own. I obviously wouldn't ship the scope this way though if I ever had to.

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Noisykids
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: buddyjesus]
      #6082639 - 09/15/13 07:12 PM

i took the focuser apart to get that grease out of it. mine did not look like the one shown the tutorial linked in this thread or the other thread. that grease is awful. i tried 91% isopropyl alcohol, denatured alcohol, acetone, plain old dish washing soap, and finally came up from the cellar with a jug of Krud Kutter, which i left on the counter. when we got back from a benefit for a family who lost a son to an as yet uncaught driver, where we won tickets to an ahl hockey game and a gift certificate to a restaurant in the same city, the Krud Kutter was gone. i asked my daughter what she did with it, and she said it was on the porch because it made the kitchen smell like moonshine. that was all the paper towels in the trash brimming with all the other solvents. the krud stuff got most of it off, but i had to chase the rack with the cut off stems of q-tips to get it all out. then i put a little light honing oil on it, which was the only thing i had right there, reassembled it, and it was much smoother. i thought i was going have to reach out to the people at fukushima to send me a couple of tablespoons of "hot" water to dissolve the stuff. can you imagine working with it? your fingers must be permanently sticky in spite of the inevitable gloves.

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SkyGibbon
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: Noisykids]
      #6082807 - 09/15/13 08:57 PM

Got mine about a month ago. Flocked inside the dew shield, swapped out the focuser with a GSO rotatable. Got new 100mm rings. I finally got to use it the other night after a month of clouds (monsoon). Seems to be a really nice scope. Pic of that night.



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spongebob@55
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: SkyGibbon]
      #6082839 - 09/15/13 09:24 PM

Quote:

Got mine about a month ago. Flocked inside the dew shield, swapped out the focuser with a GSO rotatable. Got new 100mm rings. I finally got to use it the other night after a month of clouds (monsoon). Seems to be a really nice scope. Pic of that night.






Very nice and glad you have a good result.
Have you and can you describe how it compares with your ES AR127? I would love to get a 127 or even a 150mm achromat depending.....CA and girth. Can you comment?
Thanks
Bob


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PeterR280
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: spongebob@55]
      #6082857 - 09/15/13 09:36 PM

I am not seeing CA in the moon picture.

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desertlens
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: PeterR280]
      #6083120 - 09/16/13 01:04 AM

The only evidence I've seen of CA on the moon was at the limb and that was minimal. It disappeared when I repositioned my eye a bit. I had a chance for a quick look at Venus through some nasty air and CA was obvious as expected with an object this bright.

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SkyGibbon
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: spongebob@55]
      #6083164 - 09/16/13 01:49 AM

Quote:



Very nice and glad you have a good result.
Have you and can you describe how it compares with your ES AR127? I would love to get a 127 or even a 150mm achromat depending.....CA and girth. Can you comment?
Thanks
Bob




Sure. Both do have CA, but I find that it only bothers me if I go looking for it. I don't consider it being a problem on either. I do have a fringe killer and a semi-apo filter, but I don't feel the need to use them most the time. As far as girth, the 127 is quite a bit more wieldy, but it is very managable. With my rings, finder and diagonal in the 127, it comes in about 18lbs. The ES is of course a better quality build and the view is a bit nicer, but it was $580.00 more.

Here is a pic with the 127 the night after.





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REC
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: spongebob@55]
      #6083474 - 09/16/13 09:14 AM

How did you shoot this picture with the 102g?

Looks pretty good!


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derelicte
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: Noisykids]
      #6083559 - 09/16/13 10:01 AM

Quote:

i took the focuser apart to get that grease out of it. mine did not look like the one shown the tutorial linked in this thread or the other thread. that grease is awful. i tried 91% isopropyl alcohol, denatured alcohol, acetone, plain old dish washing soap, and finally came up from the cellar with a jug of Krud Kutter, which i left on the counter. when we got back from a benefit for a family who lost a son to an as yet uncaught driver, where we won tickets to an ahl hockey game and a gift certificate to a restaurant in the same city, the Krud Kutter was gone. i asked my daughter what she did with it, and she said it was on the porch because it made the kitchen smell like moonshine. that was all the paper towels in the trash brimming with all the other solvents. the krud stuff got most of it off, but i had to chase the rack with the cut off stems of q-tips to get it all out. then i put a little light honing oil on it, which was the only thing i had right there, reassembled it, and it was much smoother. i thought i was going have to reach out to the people at fukushima to send me a couple of tablespoons of "hot" water to dissolve the stuff. can you imagine working with it? your fingers must be permanently sticky in spite of the inevitable gloves.




I cleaned the grease off my focuser this weekend to. As mentioned by others, mineral spirits took it right off. I had problems removing it from the rack as the paper towel would get torn up. Eventually I figured out an old toothbrush worked wonders. I just dipped it in the mineral spirits and scrubbed it off no problem.


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spongebob@55
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: SkyGibbon]
      #6083587 - 09/16/13 10:18 AM

Quote:

Quote:



Very nice and glad you have a good result.
Have you and can you describe how it compares with your ES AR127? I would love to get a 127 or even a 150mm achromat depending.....CA and girth. Can you comment?
Thanks
Bob




Sure. Both do have CA, but I find that it only bothers me if I go looking for it. I don't consider it being a problem on either. I do have a fringe killer and a semi-apo filter, but I don't feel the need to use them most the time. As far as girth, the 127 is quite a bit more wieldy, but it is very managable. With my rings, finder and diagonal in the 127, it comes in about 18lbs. The ES is of course a better quality build and the view is a bit nicer, but it was $580.00 more.

Here is a pic with the 127 the night after.








Thanks SG...
I find the CA in my 102mm to be very minimal too. Like you, to notice it, I have to look for it on the Moon's limb at low power, using up to a 18mm EP. After that, it becomes a tiny bit more, but once again, its slight and doesn't bother me a bit. And I've returned a 152 triplet for excessive CA, so that gives you an idea of how sensitive I am to it......but then again, there's 'sensitive' at $59 and 'SENSITIVE' at $5,000.00! But serioiusly folks, the 102mm has so little I don't see it much on the moon. I haven't looked at Vega,(no reason to except for initial GO TO alignment, or Jupiter or Venus yet....
So the ES AR127 f6.5 has the equivalent CA to the 102 f/9.8.....very very tempting. Maybe a Celestron 152 f/8 would be good too....don't want to stray from the 'Pimping' subject though....just thinking out loud.
Bob


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buddyjesus
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: spongebob@55]
      #6083603 - 09/16/13 10:25 AM

I used the toothbrush too along with a small bit of gasoline.

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t.r.
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: spongebob@55]
      #6083607 - 09/16/13 10:27 AM

You will see CA on Jupiter, Vega, Venus! The moons image scale supresses the CA you see and the brightness kills the effects to a degree. Nonetheless, it is there.

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PeterR280
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: t.r.]
      #6083625 - 09/16/13 10:39 AM

i didn't see much CA on Jupiter. Vega has a light purple halo but it is less bothersome than an older 4" Celestron I had. Venus is interesting because it is low on the horizon and it's hard to figure out the color caused by the atmosphere versus the lens.

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REC
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: PeterR280]
      #6083646 - 09/16/13 10:48 AM

Last night on the Moon I saw some CA in the 19Pan along the dark side edge of the moon. The craters where very nice and sharp...nice views.

The I added a Baader Moon and Sky glow to the 19 and it gave it a cooler color almost some blue, but the CA was reduced pretty well. Then a real surprise...I put in my favorite "moon eyepiece" the Brandon 16mm. I was shocked that almost all the CA was gone...had to look for it and I would say 90% was gone.

Hmm, could different EP's do better on the CA? I next tried a Nagler 13t6 and that removed 70% of the CA I would estimate.

Nice scope for sure


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KevH
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: PeterR280]
      #6083650 - 09/16/13 10:49 AM

I'm a big fan of the affordable achro and enjoy using them. One area where I always notice CA is medium to high power lunar views... The crater shadows always have a purplish cast. Not terribly bothersome to me but definitely visible in all the achros I've looked through.

A bit jealous of everyone that picked these up for under a hundred bucks. What a deal!


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WarmWeatherGuy
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: PeterR280]
      #6083653 - 09/16/13 10:53 AM

Quote:

i didn't see much CA on Jupiter. Vega has a light purple halo but it is less bothersome than an older 4" Celestron I had. Venus is interesting because it is low on the horizon and it's hard to figure out the color caused by the atmosphere versus the lens.




I gave my first light report here. You get a purple haze around Jupiter due to the CA and you get an orange/blue tinge due to the atmosphere.

In the first picture the orange/blue is removed using RegiStax's RGB color align feature and in the second picture you see the orange/blue. The point is that the purple due to the CA is less annoying than the orange/blue you get due to the atmosphere.





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PeterR280
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: WarmWeatherGuy]
      #6083660 - 09/16/13 11:00 AM

The view of Jupiter I got is closer to the first processed picture. The atmosphere was very calm at 5AM.

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Sarkikos
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: REC]
      #6083667 - 09/16/13 11:04 AM

Quote:

The I added a Baader Moon and Sky glow to the 19 and it gave it a cooler color almost some blue, but the CA was reduced pretty well. Then a real surprise...I put in my favorite "moon eyepiece" the Brandon 16mm. I was shocked that almost all the CA was gone...had to look for it and I would say 90% was gone.




Brandons are great Moon eyepieces. Last night I had my 10" Dob inside my house, looking out a window at the Moon to check some equipment. As I switched from eyepiece to eyepiece to see if they came to focus in my new focuser, I noticed that the Brandons consistently gave the sharpest and most contrasty view of the lunar surface. And this despite the fact that I was looking through regular window glass and a window screen!

Mike


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Jarrod
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #6083810 - 09/16/13 12:10 PM

Quote:

Goop Gone or equivalent should work fine, with no danger to paint




I tried several things to remove the sticky glue grease, but what worked best was electric motor cleaner, which is methylene chloride, which is AKA paint stripper. So tread carefully around the painted areas, but this stuff worked great!


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Sarkikos
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: Jarrod]
      #6083852 - 09/16/13 12:27 PM

I had high hopes for the Goop Gone.

Mike


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audioaficionado
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #6084053 - 09/16/13 02:28 PM

I'm going to try that spray on brake cleaning fluid. Seemed to work real good on my greasy car parts. The red straw should do a good job directing fluid pressure into the R&P gears.

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SkyGibbon
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: REC]
      #6084063 - 09/16/13 02:34 PM

Quote:

How did you shoot this picture with the 102g?

Looks pretty good!


Hey REC. It was done lrgb on my Skyris 445 mono. 1000 frames L, 500 frames each color. Each stacked at 85% best frames in registax. I think I had a 1.6x corrector in at the time. The ota was on my Skyview Pro mount, with just the tracking motors at 2x sidereal. I did manually make minor tracking adjustments during the captures.

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CollinofAlabama
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: REC]
      #6084505 - 09/16/13 06:47 PM Attachment (13 downloads)

Bob, et alia,

Despite what everyone said -- the ES Rings/Dovetail was 'loose' fitting, but still fit -- I did not find this to be the case with my particular ES/GT combo. In fact, when we first-lighted it Saturday the 7th, we could look at things about 60* above the horizon without issue, but as one approached 90*, well, the whole thing just slid right on down, with the only thing to stop it either a focuser knob hitting a tripod leg, or the larger end of the tube where the lens was, or, of course, my hand (which did the work). Needless to say, this situation requires a remedy. To that end, using an Xacto knife, I scraped off a small amount of the existing felt, then installed thicker 1/2" felt segments with some gorilla glue to help the adhesive a bit. Left them to set in small vises last night. Need to pick up the grommets tonight or tomorrow, but I'm hopeful this will produce a thicker bind that's not too tight and inflexible, with a little wiggle room, but snug enough to point to zenith even with a 2" diagonal and ES 28mm 68* and O-III filter (time to look at the Veil, folks!) without sliding.


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CollinofAlabama
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: CollinofAlabama]
      #6084509 - 09/16/13 06:48 PM Attachment (19 downloads)

Setting last night ...

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PeterR280
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: CollinofAlabama]
      #6084532 - 09/16/13 07:06 PM

Can't beat Gorilla glue.

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spongebob@55
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: CollinofAlabama]
      #6084539 - 09/16/13 07:12 PM

I doubled up on my felt. I used a hair dryer to heat up the rings, thus releasing the adhesive and pealed off the ES Felt. Then I just added 2 layers of adhesive backed felt purchased at, where else, Jo-Annes. I also changed the color to black, since the white gets too dirty imo. Two layers of this felt is just perfect w/o being too thick.
Watch out for that Gorilla Glue, it expands a lot.
I also didn't like how much the bolts extended past the bottom of the ring, so I added a rubber grommet like also gives the rings a nice snug pressure w/o over tightening. See my posted pics above.....
Spongerator.
Sbob


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pugliano
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: spongebob@55]
      #6084651 - 09/16/13 08:13 PM

Does anyone know which rings I should buy that will actually FIT this scope? I like the ES cradle, but I'd rather not have to do work-arounds to get it to fit properly.

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WarmWeatherGuy
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: pugliano]
      #6084676 - 09/16/13 08:24 PM

Quote:

Does anyone know which rings I should buy that will actually FIT this scope? I like the ES cradle, but I'd rather not have to do work-arounds to get it to fit properly.




These work perfectly for me:

Rings (select 100mm)

Dovetail (select 13 inch)


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pugliano
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: WarmWeatherGuy]
      #6084704 - 09/16/13 08:43 PM

Thank you!

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amicus sidera
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: pugliano]
      #6084709 - 09/16/13 08:47 PM Attachment (15 downloads)

I used the Orion 100mm rings as shown here, and they fit perfectly.

Fred


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CollinofAlabama
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: spongebob@55]
      #6084754 - 09/16/13 09:06 PM

I used VERY little Gorilla Glue. In this application, "a little dab'll do ya". About two drops per strip of felt. Might need more strips, can't say right now. But I'm gonna give your ingenious grommets a go, first, SpongeBob. It's my express hope these two things, the strips of felt and grommets, do the trick on slipping.

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*skyguy*
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: CollinofAlabama]
      #6085202 - 09/17/13 02:08 AM

Quote:

I used VERY little Gorilla Glue. In this application, "a little dab'll do ya". About two drops per strip of felt. Might need more strips, can't say right now.




Rubber cement works perfectly to glue felt onto mounting rings. You can even layer felt pieces for a tighter fit. I've used it for many years and the felt stays in place, but it's easy to remove when the time comes for replacement.


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Sarkikos
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: *skyguy*]
      #6085358 - 09/17/13 07:02 AM

My K-Mart felt circles came with adhesive backing. I didn't need Gorilla Glue or rubber cement to apply them to the existing felt on the ES cradle rings. All I needed was one felt circle in the upper half of each of the rings to reach a secure fit with my C102. I didn't replace the original felt rings. I always try the easy way first.

Seems like some of you guys just like to be busy.

Mike


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Sarkikos
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: pugliano]
      #6085363 - 09/17/13 07:08 AM

Quote:

Does anyone know which rings I should buy that will actually FIT this scope? I like the ES cradle, but I'd rather not have to do work-arounds to get it to fit properly.




The ES cradle will work fine with the C102. All it needs is a couple little self-adhesive felt circles on the original felt in the rings. No big deal. Get'em at K-Mart for a couple bucks.

This is the easiest solution and it does work.

Mike


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REC
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: CollinofAlabama]
      #6085432 - 09/17/13 08:09 AM

What is that, weather stripping?

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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #6085435 - 09/17/13 08:11 AM

Where in Kmart did you find the felt strips?

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Jarrod
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #6085439 - 09/17/13 08:17 AM

If you have had issues with fit, have you actually been cranking down on the thumbscrews until the rings' tabs are touching each other? I have not had an issue, and my rings still have several mm to go if I change my mind.

I'm genuinely puzzled by all these comments about the ES ring fitment.


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Sarkikos
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: REC]
      #6085464 - 09/17/13 08:33 AM

Quote:

Where in Kmart did you find the felt strips?




Not felt strips, felt circles. Literally flat, felt circles with adhesive backing.

I can't find them online at K-Mart. I bought them from the local K-Mart years ago and still had some in my "Mount Stuff" box in my closet. Coincidentally, I think I had used them on the felt in the rings for my C4R.

Self-adhesive felt rings are a common item in arts-and-crafts and hobby stores, department stores, and hardware stores. And you can find them online, for instance:

White Felt Circles Pack of 25, 1.5", Adhesive

But I would try to find them at a local Target, K-Mart, Michael's, Jo Ann's, Lowe's, etc. I'd rather see them for myself, check out how thick they are, rather than take a chance by ordering online.

Mike


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spongebob@55
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: CollinofAlabama]
      #6085468 - 09/17/13 08:36 AM

Quote:

I used VERY little Gorilla Glue. In this application, "a little dab'll do ya". About two drops per strip of felt. Might need more strips, can't say right now. But I'm gonna give your ingenious grommets a go, first, SpongeBob. It's my express hope these two things, the strips of felt and grommets, do the trick on slipping.



I bought them at Lowes, in the specialty fastener area. I took one of the bolts to the store and got one that was big enough to squeeze over the bolt's thread but small enough that it won't fall off by itself, so look for that package.
I've been out about 3 times now with this configuration and
with the little plugs in the OTA, and 2 thin layers of felt, and these rubber grommets, it works perfectly. No slippage at zenith, even with 2" glass gernades. Have fun.
Sbob


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Sarkikos
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: Jarrod]
      #6085487 - 09/17/13 08:45 AM

Quote:

If you have had issues with fit, have you actually been cranking down on the thumbscrews until the rings' tabs are touching each other? I have not had an issue, and my rings still have several mm to go if I change my mind.

I'm genuinely puzzled by all these comments about the ES ring fitment.




Yes, of course, I fully tightened down on the rings. I've been in this hobby since the early '70's. I know how to tighten thumbscrews on rings. But when you tighten thumbscrews and you come to the end of the threads in the rings, that is a sure sign the rings are a bit too large for the OTA.

A cursory try of the C102 in the ES rings showed no problem. But if I held up the cradle at an angle of more than about 45 degrees, and started jerking down sharply on the cradle, the OTA would start to move. This is too loose, IMO & IME.

You can send the rings back and hope for a tighter replacement, or you can thicken the felt in the rings. In may case I found that all the rings needed was a couple circles of felt* on top of the original felt to allow a tight fit of the OTA. Problem solved, cheap and easy.

I live in an area which becomes very dewy at night. If an OTA is at all loose in the rings, it will begin to slip down during an observing session. Not too fun when trying to concentrate on actually seeing those objects in the sky. I hate futzing around with equipment during an observing session. The simpler and easier the better. I don't want any equipment problems while at the dark site, or even at the side of my house. It's much better to work out all problems before you even take the telescope out of the house.

Mike

* Literally flat little self-adhesive felt circles, about an inch-and-a-half or so in diameter.


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spongebob@55
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: Jarrod]
      #6085493 - 09/17/13 08:47 AM

Quote:

If you have had issues with fit, have you actually been cranking down on the thumbscrews until the rings' tabs are touching each other? I have not had an issue, and my rings still have several mm to go if I change my mind.

I'm genuinely puzzled by all these comments about the ES ring fitment.




two thing to consider. Personal peference....some people will crank them down until they almost touch each other, and some who thing this is too much (I'm in the later because then the bolts stick out too much). ES quality....I have personally had to return 2 larger sets of rings to ES due to very poor fit and misalignment and different diameters. I had on my prior 102 the synta rings, and no doubt, they fit better. But the build of the ES assembly, especially with the handle and dovetail, is superior to them for the price imo, even though they're a touch larger and I had to futz around with them a bit.
Sbob


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Jarrod
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: spongebob@55]
      #6085592 - 09/17/13 09:44 AM

Quote:

I have personally had to return 2 larger sets of rings to ES due to very poor fit and misalignment and different diameters.




Thanks. It's got to be this. I've been futzing with imaging M31 til the wee hours of the morning when dew has literally been dripping down the tube toward the camera when pointing at 60+. And I've not had even a hint of slip, and there is still room for me to crank down on the rings. I guess there is a variation here, and I just got lucky. I hope nobody took offense. I am just genuinely confused, and as the person who originally suggested this setup in the other thread, I feel somewhat responsible for the issues some are having! I wouldn't have recommended them so whole-heartedly if I thought there was going to be an issue.

Edited by Jarrod (09/17/13 09:45 AM)


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labmand
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: Jarrod]
      #6085841 - 09/17/13 12:09 PM

Quote:

Quote:

I have personally had to return 2 larger sets of rings to ES due to very poor fit and misalignment and different diameters.




Thanks. It's got to be this. I've been futzing with imaging M31 til the wee hours of the morning when dew has literally been dripping down the tube toward the camera when pointing at 60+. And I've not had even a hint of slip, and there is still room for me to crank down on the rings. I guess there is a variation here, and I just got lucky. I hope nobody took offense. I am just genuinely confused, and as the person who originally suggested this setup in the other thread, I feel somewhat responsible for the issues some are having! I wouldn't have recommended them so whole-heartedly if I thought there was going to be an issue.




Don't worry about it, I have not ordered my rings yet but will be ordering the ES rings, a 25 cent fix is no big deal
for a good product at a great price, so keep the reports/recommendations coming guys, I don't think we are
looking for perfection after all we did buy a $59 dollar
scope with free shipping. (well some of us got it)


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mg73
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: labmand]
      #6085948 - 09/17/13 12:56 PM

I bought these Antares 4" rings from agena astro and they fit the tube perfectly. They look like the same 4" rings offered by Orion.

http://agenaastro.com/antares-cradle-rings-4.html

I paired them up with the 13" Orion vixen dovetail. Get the longer dovetail. It gives you better balancing options for the long tube of the 102GT.


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Sarkikos
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: mg73]
      #6085992 - 09/17/13 01:16 PM

Those look like the rings I had for my C4R ... and sold with the C4R. They worked well enough, but IIRC I had to place a couple felt circles in those rings, too. Maybe my dewy area just needs a tighter fit. Dew is a wonderful lubricant for sleek OTA's.

Mike


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REC
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: labmand]
      #6086153 - 09/17/13 02:37 PM

Ordered the ES rings yesterday and just in case I bought a square of felt at a cloth store today for 25 cents! I plan on using double sided tape if I need more felt to make it tighter.

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Ain Soph Aur
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: REC]
      #6086203 - 09/17/13 03:07 PM

Adding a few small circular felt adhesive pads is so much easier. After adding 6 to each ring (3 on top and 3 on bottom), the ES rings hold the scope pointed directly at the zenith with a heavy Baader 2" Click-lock diagonal and the massive ES82* 30mm with no slippage.

Perhaps 2$ for a package of felt pads and 30 seconds to apply them evenly spaced directly on top of the stock felt. The only reason I can see in re-felting the ES rings is if you want black felt vs the white.


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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: Ain Soph Aur]
      #6086454 - 09/17/13 05:37 PM

Wow an ES 30mm in that scope must be awesome! Are you still using the stock focuser with that?

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spongebob@55
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: REC]
      #6086481 - 09/17/13 05:49 PM

I do. I use the 34mm ES EP at times. I use vinyl screws to attach my Baader Click Lock diagonal to the OE focuser and the click lock holds the EPs. No problems, but I really make sure those black vinyl set screws are set well. I adjusted the two set screws on the focuser just right, and use just a tiny bit of pressure on the top draw tube set bolt, which is also vinyl.
Spongerator Bob


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CollinofAlabama
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: CollinofAlabama]
      #6086947 - 09/17/13 10:26 PM

Update

Finally made it to Home Depot this afternoon. Fiddled with a bunch of different rubber grommets in their Hardware section. I got EVERBUILT 9/32nds. I actually got four of them. I also bought some big strips of EVERBUILT felt. But this evening, after I added the two grommets each to both sides (thanks SpongeBob!) ABOVE the top ring, I'm not getting any slippage. Looks like the large felt will head into one of my do-dad bins in the garage, unopened. This wasn't a real world test, and I didn't even put an eyepiece in my scope, much less mount it (the kids were still up), but the fit was MUCH more snug. In fact, the grommets provided enough resistance that I'm getting a tight fit with much more room to spare to tighten. I can tighten them pretty well and the tube, tho feeling secure, can still be rotated slightly. But I can also crank down on the rings with the bolts now and that puppy ain't going nowhere! OTOH, before the grommets and TINY additional felt (see pictures above), I could tighten the rings ALL the way down and they'd eventually just slip themselves, screwed in as closely as possible, and that was it.

I agree with what's been said here about the ES rings. They can have some unusual aspects. For example, one of my rings is slightly out-of-kilter, thread-wise with one of the big bolts. It closes, but it screws rather tightly. The other is smooth as silk. Still, these were on sale when I bought them, and cost me less than buying tube rings and a dovetail would. I like the handle, too. It certainly is an attractive looking cradle and gives me more than enough room to mount my Rigel, should I wish. But I like it as a handle and doubt I'll spoil that. Next big project will be installing my 80/100mm ED Orion focuser I bought off CN classifieds. This will probably be slightly heavier than the C102 GT's rack and pinion, which I like, since the more weight on the back, the higher up the focuser will be (very important when viewing near zenith). Yay! I'm liking this "little scope that could" more, too. Sure hope it doesn't disappoint on Optimus Maximus this Winter, and his Father and the God of War later in the year. May be able to give it a run on Saturday. Forecast looks good now, but as always in the ways of the weather, we'll see.


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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: CollinofAlabama]
      #6087417 - 09/18/13 07:39 AM

Ah, so YOUR the one who grabbed that focuser away from me

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pugliano
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: REC]
      #6087487 - 09/18/13 08:44 AM

Quote:

Ah, so YOUR the one who grabbed that focuser away from me




And YOU are the one who grabbed the mount away from ME! ARRGGH! I'm still mountless. Sigh.


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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: pugliano]
      #6087541 - 09/18/13 09:10 AM

Sorry....but yeah, really lucked out on that mount, very nice

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CollinofAlabama
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: REC]
      #6088547 - 09/18/13 05:56 PM

Now hold on, Bob. O, Fortuna smiled on me, as she's apt to do from time to time. I was on vacation in northern New Jersey when I saw Andy's ad, and he lives in Booklyn, only about 20 minutes away from where I was visiting, 1700 miles from my home. On top of that, he is a Math Editor and I work for a Math Department at Big State U in West Texas. In short, it was destiny I get that focuser. I certainly couldn't have planned all that, written in the stars, as it were. I'm not a very superstitious person, but had a wretched server upgrade on Friday the 13th, so even I can be a bit discombobulated by things astrological. Thank god(s), haven't seen a black cat all day!

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amicus sidera
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: CollinofAlabama]
      #6088803 - 09/18/13 08:26 PM

Quote:

Now hold on, Bob. O, Fortuna smiled on me, as she's apt to do from time to time. I was on vacation in northern New Jersey when...




People actually come here to vacation?? Willingly??



Seriously, glad you like your scope, Collin.

Fred


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dpippel
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: amicus sidera]
      #6088916 - 09/18/13 09:19 PM

At least you don't have to pump your own gas...

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Sarkikos
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: dpippel]
      #6089039 - 09/18/13 10:29 PM

No big deal to me. Been pumping my own gas ever since I got my license back in '72.

Mike


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dpippel
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #6089250 - 09/19/13 12:15 AM

It was a joke Mike. You can't pump your own gas in N.J. Not the last time I was there anyway.

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CollinofAlabama
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: amicus sidera]
      #6089290 - 09/19/13 12:56 AM

Obviously Mike doesn't make it up to Jersey very often. My wife's best friend from Grad School moved to Bridgewater with her husband and have a young family with somewhat similarly aged children. Hey, Duke Gardens are fantastically beautiful. We didn't go in early May, but Sandy Hook beach was nice in 2008 when my wife was pregnant with our first, and long before Hurricanes frequented the Mid-Atlantic states. Morristown, where the Ford Mansion and Fort Nonsense are is absolutely beautiful. A model of Colonial America. And the monument to the Northern Civil War Soldier in the town square is such an apt contrast to the monument to the Rebel Soldier in Richmond over the James River. His truth is marching on. Glory, glory hallelujah! To see the very house where Washington brokered the deal with Lafayette on France's involvement with the Colonists, thereby securing Washington's victory at Yorktown when Cornwallis viewed, instead of his expected British naval evacuation, the French Navy's grip sealing his fate. Also, the trip north from there up Loop 287 and across the Hudson River is some of the most beautiful scenery on God's Earth. And the campus of Princeton is more than worth a peek, too. I didn't take a telescope or do any astronomy there (I mean, I was in the East), but to visit, well worth the history. And get this, on the very day I drove in to Brooklyn to get the focuser, NPR ran an interview with none other than Mel Brooks discussing his (at that time in early May) upcoming PBS American Masters special later in the month. Of course, with the kids and all, I missed the special, but my wife got me an Apple TV for Father's Day, so I got to see it anyway. Laughed and laughed. And you know where Mel Brooks was born and raised? Brooklyn, New York. A fact he discussed at length with the interviewer, and how his brother Irving, for a History Exam, helped him memorize the signers of the Declaration of Independence because many streets in Brooklyn bore their names. I'm telling you, this was pure destiny! And the shots of my daughter walking down the Squib Bridge to the Brooklyn Piers, and all the playgrounds down there. Just wonderful, especially with a young 4-year old. Okay, maybe not the best place for astronomy, but if it's good enough for Einstein and Sky & Telescope, well, it's good enough for Einstein and Sky & Telescope! I do prefer living in the West, but being I was born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama, I will always adore green verdant hills, the ocean, and who can't admire the Big Apple? I don't want to live there, but I'd go back to visit in a heartbeat, tho I suspect it'll be more like four or five years. C'est la vie.

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Sarkikos
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: CollinofAlabama]
      #6089434 - 09/19/13 06:50 AM

Jersey? Which exit?

Maryland is Little America. Mountains, the Bay, big cities, farm land, big woods, rivers and lakes. Why go anywhere else? Well, there is the high taxes and light pollution.

Oh, I forgot about the Jersey Devil in the Pine Barrens! But Maryland does have Chessie and perhaps Big Foot out west.


Mike


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spongebob@55
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Softcase? new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #6091366 - 09/20/13 09:36 AM

Hey, I'm from New Jersey!

But sticking to the thread topic, what are you using for a soft case? My scope sits in the corner nook of my family room vertically on its dew shield and I'd rather have it in a soft case and lay it down, not to mention transporting it to a dark site.
Regards,
Bob


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dpippel
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Softcase? new [Re: spongebob@55]
      #6091409 - 09/20/13 09:58 AM

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002Y6BS1I/ref=oh_details_o04_s00_i00?ie=UTF...

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Sarkikos
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Softcase? new [Re: dpippel]
      #6091426 - 09/20/13 10:10 AM

That looks like a good case. Is it padded? The description only says that the two interior pockets are padded.

I have a case that looks similar to that one, but it opens differently. It is not padded. I bought mine for real cheap a couple years ago from Galileo on eBay.

Mike


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dpippel
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Softcase? new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #6091433 - 09/20/13 10:12 AM

Only the ends are padded Mike, but I find that it works pretty well. The material is fairly thick. I like this bag because it also fits my Vixen Porta II when it's fully assembled.

If padding is a requirement I've seen good reviews of this bag on eBay:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Promaster-SystemPRO-TB-6-Tripod-Bag-/251336601052?pt=...


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WarmWeatherGuy
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Softcase? new [Re: dpippel]
      #6091445 - 09/20/13 10:18 AM

I got this one. I just fits lengthwise.

Promaster SystemPRO Tripod Bag - TB-6


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JonNPR
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Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Softcase? new [Re: WarmWeatherGuy]
      #6091938 - 09/20/13 02:45 PM

I bought the StudioHut 44" and have used it several times. Very handy and seems to provide sufficient protection when handled with reasonable care.

Jon


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Ain Soph Aur
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Reged: 08/11/11

Loc: West Tennessee
Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: REC]
      #6095704 - 09/22/13 08:26 PM

Quote:

Wow an ES 30mm in that scope must be awesome! Are you still using the stock focuser with that?




Nope, I upgraded to the GSO dual speed crayford but the stock focuser handled the ES82*30 fine when I was using it.


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REC
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Reged: 10/20/10

Loc: NC
Re: Pimping your 102mm gt OTA.. Like what? new [Re: Ain Soph Aur]
      #6096620 - 09/23/13 11:03 AM

Brandon, which one did you get? I see the sell 2-3 of them under $200. Glad to hear the stock focuser works well with the ES30mm as I'm hanging a BV off of it.

Did you clean out the grease before you switched focusers?


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Ain Soph Aur
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 08/11/11

Loc: West Tennessee