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Equipment Discussions >> Refractors

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CollinofAlabama
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 11/24/03

Loc: Lubbock, Texas, USA
102mm achro for cheap
      #5951937 - 07/02/13 07:25 PM

I was wondering around the web briefly over my lunch hour today and found this ...

102mm NexStar GT $119 shipped!

Holy smokes, Batman! This is one good deal. I don't need a 4" achro right now, thank you, and F/9.8 is a little too long for my preference, but how often does a fellow see a brand new, shipped to your door, 4" refractor with Celestron warranty for $120? We live in interesting times, amigos. Now it comes with almost nothing. There's an attachable dovetail, so not even tube rings, but it is a Vixen style, so pretty universal to mount. You'll need a mount, diagonal(s), eyepieces ... but, if you have those things and want a second scope to putz around with, or have been out of things for a while and need something to play with, without arousing the wife's financial ire, this is the ticket!


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Binojunky
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 12/25/10

Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: CollinofAlabama]
      #5952873 - 07/03/13 10:43 AM

Ed Ting reviewed that scope, did well,DA.

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lynntx
sage


Reged: 03/25/04

Loc: Texas, USA
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: CollinofAlabama]
      #5953160 - 07/03/13 01:42 PM

Wow! I couldn't resist the bargain so I ordered one today.
Free shipping from Ca. Amazing. My old Burgess 127 is kinda big to set up for short sessions, so I will try the 102. I used to have a 90mm F10 scope and regretted selling it. Frankly I have not been viewing for a while, so maybe the new toy will motivate me. Thanks for posting this great deal on the forum. About as good as the recent 90mm frenzy.


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csrlice12
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: lynntx]
      #5953235 - 07/03/13 02:23 PM

102mm f9.8 Achros are to refractors as 8" dobs are to reflectors. Synta pumps these things out in droves in many different configurations of mounts. Some are collimateable and some are not, depends on price; but overall, they're one of the best astro deals going.

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BigC
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 09/29/10

Loc: SE Indiana
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: CollinofAlabama]
      #5955157 - 07/04/13 07:08 PM

The whole Celestron(Costco) Nexstar 102 with goto mount and a set of H oculars often sell for $200.A bit of searching on ebay,amazon,etc. should find at least one.

I put a 2" diagonal in mine for more viewing options.

Now if the clouds.......


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Chassetter
sage
*****

Reged: 07/08/09

Loc: New Brunswick, Canada
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: BigC]
      #5955243 - 07/04/13 08:32 PM

Does factory closeout mean Celestron is discontinuing these?

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mdowns
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 06/12/10

Loc: Englewood,FL
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: CollinofAlabama]
      #5955366 - 07/04/13 10:57 PM

Thanks so much for the heads up! I just ordered one for use as a loaner in the club were trying to start up. BTW,this is the second scope I bought after finding a 'heads up' kinda post about the 6" rfr I have. Got to to love cnights!

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pdxmoon
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 06/27/13

Loc: Oregon
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: mdowns]
      #5955536 - 07/05/13 02:22 AM

I'd be really interested, as a newbie, to read how you all plan to complete the scope: what brand diagonal, mount, eyepieces.

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mdowns
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 06/12/10

Loc: Englewood,FL
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: pdxmoon]
      #5955716 - 07/05/13 08:50 AM

Hi Barnum
In my instance I intend to set this up as a loaner. I have a spare low end 2" diagonal and a 6x30 finder ( I think its an orion). I also have a low end 2" 30mm widefield that will give 33x with over a 2 degree afov and then can sprinkle in 3 plossls,9mm,12.5mm and 17mm. Throw in a 2x barlow and this scope will be able to provide a wide range of viewing options. I'll mount this ota on a cg5 with dual drives. Before loaning out we will have to give whoever a fair amount of basic instruction on using a gem. Bottom line,this will be a great learning scope for someone with a moderate interest level.BTW,if I was'nt using this as a loaner I would still use the same basic arrangement as described,buying what I needed used on either cnights or amart.You can find used 1.25" diagonals often in the 20-30 dollar range. A used finder 30-50mm,with mounting shoe (use a orion/celestron),30-45 bucks and then a wide variety of used eyepieces as cheap as say 20 bucks apiece( meade 4000 chinese plossls,orion sirius plossls,etc) if your patient.


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pdxmoon
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 06/27/13

Loc: Oregon
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: mdowns]
      #5956022 - 07/05/13 12:27 PM

mdowns:

Continuing my education--

What hardware would you suggest as a mount for a Porta II, and what hardware would you suggest to mount the ota on a cg5? A link to a product helps--I'm a visual learner :-)


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rguasto
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 11/18/10

Loc: Long Island, NY
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: pdxmoon]
      #5956566 - 07/05/13 06:48 PM Attachment (172 downloads)

I'm really very pleased with mine. Rings, dovetail, diagonal and finder all from CN classifieds.

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ggalilei
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 09/01/11

Loc: Kentucky
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: rguasto]
      #5956678 - 07/05/13 08:10 PM

I purchased one of these (used) myself some time ago. I'm really impressed with the optics. At powers around 100-120x I cannot immediately tell the difference in visible details between this and a top quality 4" apo. Not saying that there is no difference, just that it doesn't jump at you, except for a slight purple halo around bright targets. But that's for $ 100 vs $ 3000. I haven't pushed the magnification past 120x yet. I mount it on an ES Twilight II, but the tube is not heavy, so a number of mounts should be adequate.

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mdowns
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 06/12/10

Loc: Englewood,FL
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: pdxmoon]
      #5956699 - 07/05/13 08:33 PM

Barnum,
I've never had or used a porta 11 and cant answer in that regard.However this ota comes with a vixen dovetail which would mount directly to a cg5 or current version of a cg4.


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pdxmoon
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 06/27/13

Loc: Oregon
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: rguasto]
      #5958116 - 07/06/13 08:00 PM

Quote:

I'm really very pleased with mine. Rings, dovetail, diagonal and finder all from CN classifieds.




My friend, if I'm understanding right, the scope comes with the dovetail but is in need of rings--no? Also, what is that mount in the picture.

Thank you!


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Jay_Bird
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 01/04/06

Loc: USA
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: pdxmoon]
      #5958134 - 07/06/13 08:24 PM

Hi Barnum

The short dovetail that is screwed onto the 102 GT tube is of little use.

Rings and a new longer dovetail attached to the rings let you balance heavier eyepieces and a finder.

The sale scope would need:

+ mount
+ rings and longer dovetail
+ diagonal
+ you already said you need mid-high power eyepieces for lunar viewing

I got a pair of Orion 100mm tube rings and 8-inch dovetail. It's OK on my Porta (original) but sits higher off the ground on an old pier-mounted equatorial mount. Being able to use a 2-inch diagonal and widest field eyepiece (for over 2 degree field of view) makes the scope pretty versatile.


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Madratter
Post Laureate


Reged: 01/14/13

Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: Jay_Bird]
      #5958169 - 07/06/13 09:11 PM

I have one of these (Costco 102gt) and I was very impressed. I'm sure the quality varies but the optics in mine are excellent. The mount on the other hand is wobbly as all get out.

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DaveG
super member
*****

Reged: 12/28/03

Loc: Ohio
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: Madratter]
      #5958173 - 07/06/13 09:15 PM

I replaced the tripod legs on mine with wooden legs from Hands On Optics and it's a completely different mount now. Very stable with little vibrations.

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gunfighter48
sage
*****

Reged: 03/18/13

Loc: Mill Creek, Washington
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: DaveG]
      #5958211 - 07/06/13 09:56 PM

Does anyone know how much the OTA weighs? I tried to find out on the net but none of the specs list the weight of the OTA. I just bought one a couple of days ago. I am thinking of getting the iOptron Cube Pro mount for it. But I want to make sure the mount can handle the weight of the OTA, 2" diagonal, finder and eyepiece. This will be strictly for visual observing and not for AP.

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rguasto
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 11/18/10

Loc: Long Island, NY
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: pdxmoon]
      #5958741 - 07/07/13 11:10 AM

The dovetail that comes with the scope is too small and not placed correctly making balance impossible. A set of rings and a longer dovetail are needed. The mount is an astro tech voyager.

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smallscopefanLeo
sage
*****

Reged: 01/23/11

Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: rguasto]
      #5959250 - 07/07/13 04:49 PM

Orion is having a sale on accessories and I just ordered the 100mm Rings http://www.telescope.com/Mounts-Tripods/Mount-Tripod-Accessories/Orion-Tube-R... from them early this morning (along with a few other goodies), for my Costco Special black-with-some-orange-trim beauty.

I concur that the built-in dovetail is the pits, and only barely acceptable if you will be using the lightest eyepieces combined with a small plastic-fantastic red dot finder such as is provided in some of these scope packages, and not much more.

I already have a 13" vixen-type dovetail here waiting to be used from a previous order from Agena Astro. But the Orion accessory sale makes these dovetails intriguingly priced: (I was slightly tempted to get an extra one or two but didn't. You already know to factor in shipping, and tax if you are in CA) http://www.telescope.com/Mounts-Tripods/Mount-Tripod-Accessories/Orion-Doveta... (no affiliation with Orion except for several successful purchases from them over the years)


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jag767
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 06/20/13

Loc: Massapequa, NY
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: smallscopefanLeo]
      #5960160 - 07/08/13 08:36 AM

This is probably one of my favorite scopes, especially for the value. I threw a set of rings on it, 2" dual speed focuser, vixen red dot, and 2" dielectric diagonal and it certainly does not disappoint. views with my meade 5k 82 degree are extremely pleasing.

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Laz
member


Reged: 10/18/12

Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: CollinofAlabama]
      #5961601 - 07/09/13 02:10 AM Attachment (131 downloads)

I got mine for $59 !!, made an alt az pipe mount and put it all on a n8i tripod for a grab and go. Optics are very good.

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labmand
sage
*****

Reged: 02/08/11

Loc: Michigan USA
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: Laz]
      #5963074 - 07/09/13 10:06 PM

Nice job Laz, I like it, did you do something to the Lens/dew shield, does not look stock? Also looks like AZ circles?

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Laz
member


Reged: 10/18/12

Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: labmand]
      #5963413 - 07/10/13 01:42 AM

I roll a dew shield with black art paper and tape it together. It retracts backwards onto the tube so I can still use the lens cap. Yes I added an az circle plus an alt scale and bubble level,-- works well for finding dso's with Sky Safari app.

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pdxmoon
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 06/27/13

Loc: Oregon
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: Laz]
      #5963534 - 07/10/13 05:28 AM

Newb question:

Can I mount this onto the mount below ill need to purchase rings?


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Laz
member


Reged: 10/18/12

Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: pdxmoon]
      #5963559 - 07/10/13 06:14 AM

Orion sells 100mm rings which fit this scope

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labmand
sage
*****

Reged: 02/08/11

Loc: Michigan USA
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: Laz]
      #5963870 - 07/10/13 11:07 AM


Thanks Laz, I have used a digital level for the Alt with a
Az circle, this coupled with a Orion 8x50 raci finder, very
easy and fast to find objects, just didn't like doing the look ups for current alt/az readings but have not tried
the app you mentioned, will have to check it out.

Quote:

I roll a dew shield with black art paper and tape it together. It retracts backwards onto the tube so I can still use the lens cap. Yes I added an az circle plus an alt scale and bubble level,-- works well for finding dso's with Sky Safari app.




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Binojunky
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 12/25/10

Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: labmand]
      #5963887 - 07/10/13 11:16 AM

Thought about getting one, however by the time I pay for shipping to Canada and customs have their share it becomes a $200 OTA, not worth it, for me anyway , what annoys me is that you see all sorts of great deals in the USA but in Canada its the old take it or leave it with the prices,DA.

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Laz
member


Reged: 10/18/12

Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: Binojunky]
      #5965048 - 07/11/13 12:25 AM

blame your distant relatives for being loyalists

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labmand
sage
*****

Reged: 02/08/11

Loc: Michigan USA
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: Binojunky]
      #5965670 - 07/11/13 01:08 PM

Think I paid about $30 for a digital level at Sears
most hardware type stores sell them I believe.

Quote:

Thought about getting one, however by the time I pay for shipping to Canada and customs have their share it becomes a $200 OTA, not worth it, for me anyway , what annoys me is that you see all sorts of great deals in the USA but in Canada its the old take it or leave it with the prices,DA.




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JimK
Skygazer
*****

Reged: 09/18/05

Loc: Albuquerque, NM USA
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: gunfighter48]
      #5966406 - 07/11/13 09:43 PM

Quote:

Does anyone know how much the OTA weighs? I tried to find out on the net but none of the specs list the weight of the OTA. ...


Per the Celestron manual (at this link) on pg 15, the OTA weighs 8 lb. Be sure to add the weight of accessories (finder, diagonal, eyepiece, rings/dovetail, dewshield, etc.) to get the full weight for your situation.

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gunfighter48
sage
*****

Reged: 03/18/13

Loc: Mill Creek, Washington
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: JimK]
      #5966434 - 07/11/13 10:04 PM

UPS just delivered my 102 GT OTA yesterday. Nice scope!! This is my first refractor. I've had newts and SCTs in the past and present.

I didn't care for the OEM focuser so I ordered a GSO dual speed Crayford and it will be here early next week. I looked at several mounts and wanted a goto that I could afford. So I ordered a iOptron Cube Pro. The tube out of the box weights 6.5lbs. The new focuser adds about 5oz to that weight. I'll be using 1.25 eyepieces most of the time. So the Cube Pro should handle the weight ok. The advertised payload for the Cube Pro runs from 6 to 12 pounds. iOptron started out saying 12lbs and now says 8lbs. I've read a few reviews with the owners running 10 to 16lbs and they weren't having any problems with the mount. I'll see how it handles the tube length and balance.

I also ordered a longer vixen style dovetail and 2 100mm rings for it. I can then mount the tube in the rings and be able to balance it on the mount better. If this all works out it will be a great grab and go scope.

Edited by gunfighter48 (07/11/13 10:12 PM)


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Laz
member


Reged: 10/18/12

Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: gunfighter48]
      #5966599 - 07/11/13 11:49 PM

Sounds great, post a picture when done and let us know how stable it is on the mount. Howard

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lynntx
sage


Reged: 03/25/04

Loc: Texas, USA
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: jag767]
      #5967242 - 07/12/13 11:35 AM

I rec'd my scope on Wed. It was packaged very professionally in double box and everything looked good when I unpacked it. Still have not mounted it yet. We had couple nights of clouds since rec'd. It is a nice looking refractor for such a cheap scope. I have a 2" diagonal and pretty nice mix of eyepieces so I am looking forwarding to testing it out maybe this weekend. Light pollution over DFW is pretty bad, but I will check out some of the brighter targets.

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mdowns
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 06/12/10

Loc: Englewood,FL
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: lynntx]
      #5968580 - 07/13/13 06:59 AM

The one I ordered arrived the other day. I had just a moment to put it under the stars. As several had said earlier the included dovetail is woefully inadequate. Have ordered a longer dovetail and rings. The scope itself was actually surprising in its performance. With a 8mm Brandon and a 2x tele extender saturn remained sharp and detailed,very pleasing really.Between rolling thunderheads I also used a 20mm ES WA and got some teriffic starfields with pinpoint stars and excellent contrast.At the lower power color was very well managed though I did'nt get to try any higher powered views of bright stars. The stars btw, remained sharp to the edge of the 68* afov.This ota was bought to use as a loaner and when I replace the dovetail and add the rings I believe it will serve very very well in that capcity.

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jag767
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 06/20/13

Loc: Massapequa, NY
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: mdowns]
      #5968939 - 07/13/13 12:41 PM



Got mine ready for tonight!


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CollinofAlabama
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 11/24/03

Loc: Lubbock, Texas, USA
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: jag767]
      #5968999 - 07/13/13 01:17 PM

Jag767,

Is that an Astrozap mount? A nice setup for a weekend night out!

Thanks


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jag767
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 06/20/13

Loc: Massapequa, NY
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: CollinofAlabama]
      #5969026 - 07/13/13 01:36 PM

Quote:

Jag767,

Is that an Astrozap mount? A nice setup for a weekend night out!

Thanks




Nope, cg5 mount. Yeah I really enjoy it as a portable setup. Still trying to figure out a nice fairly local place to go with it but I think it will serve me well!


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DaveG
super member
*****

Reged: 12/28/03

Loc: Ohio
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: jag767]
      #5969050 - 07/13/13 01:51 PM

Nice! Did you paint the OTA? I really like the white around the dew shield.

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jag767
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 06/20/13

Loc: Massapequa, NY
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: DaveG]
      #5969058 - 07/13/13 02:02 PM

Thanks! I was going to paint it but i had a bunch of rolls of colored electrical tape and the white caught my eye. Impossible to tell its tape even right next to it. Just pop the ring off, wrap it and tuck the excess under it. Put it back on and there ya go!

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DaveG
super member
*****

Reged: 12/28/03

Loc: Ohio
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: jag767]
      #5969608 - 07/13/13 08:52 PM Attachment (119 downloads)

Here's my 102GT, ready to go tonight.

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Starlon
super member


Reged: 04/18/06

Loc: desert, USA
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: DaveG]
      #5972502 - 07/15/13 03:17 PM

Huh. I also jumped on the sale. It's a good scope - good price. But look what I just found: http://www.telescopes.com/telescopes/go-to-telescopes/celestronnexstar102gtco...

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joseph07081
sage


Reged: 11/26/05

Loc: Chippewa, PA
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: Starlon]
      #5978805 - 07/18/13 10:08 PM

I ordered one of these today to ride on my Voyager mount as a grab n go scope. This will take the place of my AT72 which is now setup on me new Edge.

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gunfighter48
sage
*****

Reged: 03/18/13

Loc: Mill Creek, Washington
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: joseph07081]
      #5979184 - 07/19/13 05:31 AM

I finally received everything I ordered to setup the C102 GT. I bought a Vixen style 11" dovetail bar, two 4 in rings to mount the scope in, a Williams Optics 9X50 correct image finder, a GSO Crayford Dual Speed focuser and rings that fit the focuser for 50mm finder scopes, and the iOptron Cube Pro mount. The dovetail bar and rings put the scope far enough away from the legs so that the tube misses the legs (just barely) when in the vertical alignment position. I have to turn the focuser so the knobs are to the outside of the scope tube. Once the alignment is done then I can turn them to the correct position for observing. The scope rings make balancing the tube much easier. I mounted the rings about 9" apart to help eliminate tube flexing. With the 2" diagonal the tube weighs about 10.25 lbs and with the 1.25" diagonal it weighs about 9.75 lbs. So even with my heaviest eyepiece the OTA weight is still under 12 lbs and the mount does just fine with the weight. The manual that came with the mount still list the payload as 12 lbs. The Cube Pro is pretty much maxed out with the 102 tube but will work fine for a grab and go scope. The red thing on top of the mount is a 2 way spirit level that I got at Lowe's. I mounted it with some double sided taped foam squares. Should make leveling a whole lot easier than using the bullseye level that comes on the mount. The mount has to be level to get the best goto pointing out of it.

I haven't had a chance to get it out and observe with it but tomorrow night is supposed to be clear again so I'm hoping to get some time at the eyepiece then.



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batfire
newbie


Reged: 06/12/13

Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: smallscopefanLeo]
      #5980580 - 07/19/13 10:11 PM

It seems that tube is now even a better price:

Celestron 102mm NexStar GT Optical Tube Only
Item # CE-102-98 Availability: In stock
Regular Price: $119.95 Special Price: $59.98

Seems like a half price blowout now.


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jag767
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 06/20/13

Loc: Massapequa, NY
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: batfire]
      #5980670 - 07/19/13 11:21 PM

Wow! I wish I needed another one for that price! 102mm f10 binocs?

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pdxmoon
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 06/27/13

Loc: Oregon
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: jag767]
      #5980894 - 07/20/13 04:52 AM

Ok, for $60 I had to do this. I'll see how it rides on my Vixen Polaris. In alt az it should be able to take the payload.

It's a 4", and this should help me understand what I can see with that aperture. I understand I'll have CA, but at this price I can deal with it.

100mm rings on order. Since I can only use one scope at a time (I have one mount) the OTA can borrow the upgraded diagonal from the 80ED.

Edited by pdxmoon (07/20/13 05:21 AM)


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joseph07081
sage


Reged: 11/26/05

Loc: Chippewa, PA
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: pdxmoon]
      #5981245 - 07/20/13 11:24 AM

Always happens....
The day after you order something it goes on sale...



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Binojunky
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 12/25/10

Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: joseph07081]
      #5981496 - 07/20/13 02:04 PM

Ordered one myself, heck at 60 bucks its as cheap as chips,DA.
(got to stop buying astro gear, got to stop buying astro gear)


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FeynmanFan
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Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: Binojunky]
      #5981574 - 07/20/13 03:01 PM

Call me crazy-I've already got a 4"-but for $60, with free shipping, I couldn't help myself. They're giving these things away!

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gunfighter48
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Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: gunfighter48]
      #5982023 - 07/20/13 09:04 PM

Quote:

I finally received everything I ordered to setup the C102 GT. I bought a Vixen style 11" dovetail bar, two 4 in rings to mount the scope in, a Williams Optics 9X50 correct image finder, a GSO Crayford Dual Speed focuser and rings that fit the focuser for 50mm finder scopes, and the iOptron Cube Pro mount. The dovetail bar and rings put the scope far enough away from the legs so that the tube misses the legs (just barely) when in the vertical alignment position. I have to turn the focuser so the knobs are to the outside of the scope tube. Once the alignment is done then I can turn them to the correct position for observing. The scope rings make balancing the tube much easier. I mounted the rings about 9" apart to help eliminate tube flexing. With the 2" diagonal the tube weighs about 10.25 lbs and with the 1.25" diagonal it weighs about 9.75 lbs. So even with my heaviest eyepiece the OTA weight is still under 12 lbs and the mount does just fine with the weight. The manual that came with the mount still list the payload as 12 lbs. The Cube Pro is pretty much maxed out with the 102 tube but will work fine for a grab and go scope. The red thing on top of the mount is a 2 way spirit level that I got at Lowe's. I mounted it with some double sided taped foam squares. Should make leveling a whole lot easier than using the bullseye level that comes on the mount. The mount has to be level to get the best goto pointing out of it.

I haven't had a chance to get it out and observe with it but tomorrow night is supposed to be clear again so I'm hoping to get some time at the eyepiece then.






I finally got out last night with the scope and it's first light. I messed up the setup routine for the alignment. But with the moon out about all I could see was Saturn. The Cube Pro handled the weight of the scope and 2" eyepieces just fine. But the tripod is definitely maxed out and then some. It needs a better tripod for the 12lb payload limit. It's ok for visual observing but there's no way you could do AP with it and the 102 GT OTA. It needs spreader bars like many tripods have and it could use 2" legs. Overall I'm ok with the Cube Pro and the 102GT. It's just going to be my grab and go scope for those times when there might be a hour or two of clear sky available. I'm definitely going to spend some time learning the mount and it's settings. There's a lot of settings that I didn't even get a chance to try out.

The 102 GT OTA is very good to excellent IMO. Looking at the moon there was a very slight yellow - blue - violet fringe around the moon, the color depended on the eyepiece I was using. It's was not objectionable at all and didn't bother me in the least. It was very sharp and had great contrast on the rest of the moon and craters, with no fringing. The GSO Crayford focuser had trouble focusing the 2" Q70 38mm, 32mm, and 26mm eyepieces. I had it racked out to the max and had to back the diagonal out about 3/8 in to reach focus. Other than that I really like the focuser. I ordered a 2" eyepiece extender from Agena last night when I got home and that should solve the problem. It worked fine with the 1.25in eyepieces. The OEM focuser had a tube about 3" longer than the GSO. So I figured I might run into a problem with focusing some eyepieces.

I used a ES 11mm 82deg and 8mm Celestron Ultima LX 70deg eyepiece and they worked great with the scope. Got very good views of the moon. This was the first time using the Celestron 8mm and it's great, very sharp and excellent contrast. But it is a beast of an eyepiece, about 21oz.

Saturn was getting low in the sky when I got a chance to look at it. The seeing was shimmering and didn't give a good image of Saturn.

All things considered I'm happy with the Cube Pro but the 102GT is the max you would want to try on it. I will be on the lookout for a more substantial tripod that I can modify for the Cube mount. This is my first refractor and it's a real learning experience for me.


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djeber2
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Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: FeynmanFan]
      #5982162 - 07/20/13 10:48 PM

Quote:

Call me crazy-I've already got a 4"-but for $60, with free shipping, I couldn't help myself. They're giving these things away!



Same here. I did not need another scope but for the price I went ahead and got this.


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Bob101
super member


Reged: 01/03/07

Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: djeber2]
      #5983285 - 07/21/13 04:40 PM

It has a price of $59.99 when I load the page but when I put it into my cart it says $119.

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FeynmanFan
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Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: Bob101]
      #5983309 - 07/21/13 05:02 PM

I used the phone. I know it's old school, but it works.

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Bob101
super member


Reged: 01/03/07

Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: FeynmanFan]
      #5983330 - 07/21/13 05:20 PM

If you have a phone I'm sure it does

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Bob101
super member


Reged: 01/03/07

Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: Bob101]
      #5983341 - 07/21/13 05:32 PM

Removed now so I guess it doesn't matter.

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*skyguy*
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 12/31/08

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Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: Bob101]
      #5983595 - 07/21/13 08:23 PM

Back up at $59.98 ... 8:16PM EDT ... ordered one and it went through! Just what I need ... another OTA!

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Rainguy
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Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: *skyguy*]
      #5983848 - 07/21/13 11:33 PM

Sunday night. Just ordered one for $79.95 w/free shipping, but now it's a whole package that includes diagonal, dovetail bar, 2 eyepieces. And, I think, a red dot finder. Ordered it so fast I just skimmed the details.

Tom, where did you order your 102 mounting rings from?

Doug


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pdxmoon
professor emeritus
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Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: Rainguy]
      #5983851 - 07/21/13 11:36 PM

Hi Doug, got them from Orion. Boy, you got a lot extra for that $20!

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WarmWeatherGuy
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Reged: 08/27/11

Loc: Orlando, FL 28° N, 81° W
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: Rainguy]
      #5983920 - 07/22/13 12:37 AM

Quote:

Sunday night. Just ordered one for $79.95 w/free shipping, but now it's a whole package that includes diagonal, dovetail bar, 2 eyepieces. And, I think, a red dot finder. Ordered it so fast I just skimmed the details.

Doug




It looks like that package is "waiting list" now instead of "in stock." It does include a red dot finder. They have other packages though, here:

http://www.optcorp.com/specials/celestron-102mm-ota-s-50-off.html


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pugliano
super member


Reged: 06/16/11

Loc: Michigan
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: DaveG]
      #5984267 - 07/22/13 10:36 AM

Thanks for the heads-up! Jumped on the one with the 2" diagonal.

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anirudha
member


Reged: 12/03/12

Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: pugliano]
      #5984274 - 07/22/13 10:43 AM

Awwww man I wish this came up when I was in the US while I was there last week. Or the shipping to India wasn't ridiculous!

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Starlon
super member


Reged: 04/18/06

Loc: desert, USA
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: FeynmanFan]
      #5984673 - 07/22/13 03:43 PM

Quote:

Call me crazy-I've already got a 4"-but for $60, with free shipping, I couldn't help myself. They're giving these things away!




Hey - I'm right there with ya ! Like I needed another hole in my head, I too jumped at the deal for the second time. This time I went for the 2" star diagonal option. All for the princely sum of $79.98 - delivered! You can hardly find the diagonal for that little!

.. 'they're coming to take me away ha-ha..

I wonder - are telescopes like boats ? But instead of that hole in the water to throw money into, we have that hole in the sky (or many holes!) to throw money into ?

Edited by Starlon (07/22/13 03:47 PM)


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PeterR280
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 05/27/13

Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: Starlon]
      #5984698 - 07/22/13 03:58 PM

i almost bought it and then i asked myself what will i do with it? I have a TV102, an ED80 with and an AP130GT on its way.

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Starlon
super member


Reged: 04/18/06

Loc: desert, USA
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: PeterR280]
      #5984757 - 07/22/13 04:44 PM

I seem to remember an old Candid Camera show where they were handing out free money. Maybe $1.00 bills. Anyway, the big surprise? The number of people that looked but then decided to keep on walking away...

NOT me! At $59 this 4-inch refractor is nearly the same as free. I once scrimped and saved and borrowed to buy a brand new 4-inch refractor that cost me $465. That was in 1965 and the telescope was a Unitron Model 150. A 4-inch refractor.

I'd love to see a side-by-side test of a 4-inch Unitron and this 4-inch Celestron refractor. In today's dollars that Unitron must be a few thousand bucks! Unbelievable. Some of them were quite good. Not all though. Not as good as this Celstron with its fully multi-coated lens!


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Bob101
super member


Reged: 01/03/07

Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: Starlon]
      #5984794 - 07/22/13 05:06 PM

I got one ordered. I'm going to try and make a pipe mount to go onto my tripod and make it a little more portable than my Atlas.

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Binojunky
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 12/25/10

Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: Bob101]
      #5989695 - 07/25/13 02:42 PM

Had to cancel mine, with shipping and brokerage, taxes etc it was doubling in price from $60 to $120, don,t need it badly enough, once again living in Canada has its price,DA.

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Michael Rapp
Post Laureate
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Reged: 04/27/04

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Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: Binojunky]
      #5989923 - 07/25/13 04:43 PM

Yep, picked one up too! I agonized for a bit over the 2" diagonal or the one with the 1.25" accessory package. I went with the latter as it comes with a red dot finder that fits and is meant for that tube.

While I would have loved to get the 2" diagonal (it would have given me a nice excuse to pick up my first 2" eyepiece), I decided I'd rather have a fitted red-dot finder and I can pickup a nice 2" diagonal later on.


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pdxmoon
professor emeritus
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Reged: 06/27/13

Loc: Oregon
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: Michael Rapp]
      #5990218 - 07/25/13 08:18 PM Attachment (58 downloads)

Mine came today. It's a beautiful monster size. Really excited to look through a 4" refractor!

I have it mounted right now on the Porta II. The weight limit may be high. I'll carefully try it first--it will ride better on the Vixen Polaris but I think I'd need to take the dovetail off the OTA to mount with tube rings, because when I tried mounting it with the rings and the tail it would not fit.

Anyway, it looks formidable!

As a side note, OPT accidently shipped me the package with the 2" diagonal instead of the red dot, etc. My string of luck continues because they are now shipping me the right package and I get to keep the 2". (I know, I now--my good luck continues. It's crazy.) Great customer service, BTW.

So I get to play in the 2" world. If you have 2" eps, I could use your help--I've started a thread in the EP DEPT.


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Rainguy
member
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Reged: 03/03/12

Loc: Lake Oswego, Oregon
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: pdxmoon]
      #5991051 - 07/26/13 10:58 AM

Hi Thom.

Mine arrived yesterday with the 1.25" package. It's huge. But not super heavy. I mounted it on my ES Twilight I mount and it looked and functioned great. But I also have the Orion rings and dovetail on order just to have mount and balance options. The EPs are, surprisingly, good ones: 25mm and 9mm Super Plossls fully multicoated. I'll probably sell these on EBay and recoup half the cost or more of what I paid for this. No, I didn't really need this but, to paraphrase one of your earlier comments: "Hey, all this for 80 bucks, I mean c'mon!"

That, and I am at that point in my life when Need and Want have melded into one.

Doug


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Widespread
professor emeritus


Reged: 05/11/11

Loc: Bowling Green, Kentucky
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: Rainguy]
      #5991078 - 07/26/13 11:11 AM

PDX,

Mine rides great on the original Porta, but I have wooden legs on it, which helps.

You are really on a hot streak; have you considered buying a lottery ticket?

Best,
David


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MDearingJaxFL
Astronomicus
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Reged: 08/28/04

Loc: Florida
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: Widespread]
      #5991196 - 07/26/13 12:21 PM

Just received my 102mm; looks nice.

:>) Mark


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csrlice12
Postmaster
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Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: Starlon]
      #5991273 - 07/26/13 01:09 PM

Quote:

Huh. I also jumped on the sale. It's a good scope - good price. But look what I just found: http://www.telescopes.com/telescopes/go-to-telescopes/celestronnexstar102gtco...




Looks like someone's picked up the Costco 102GT package year round now.......although at Costco is was $199.....maybe wait a few more month's and Costco will have them again....


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pdxmoon
professor emeritus
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Reged: 06/27/13

Loc: Oregon
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: Rainguy]
      #5991316 - 07/26/13 01:46 PM

Quote:

Hi Thom.

Mine arrived yesterday with the 1.25" package. It's huge. But not super heavy. I mounted it on my ES Twilight I mount and it looked and functioned great. But I also have the Orion rings and dovetail on order just to have mount and balance options. The EPs are, surprisingly, good ones: 25mm and 9mm Super Plossls fully multicoated. I'll probably sell these on EBay and recoup half the cost or more of what I paid for this. No, I didn't really need this but, to paraphrase one of your earlier comments: "Hey, all this for 80 bucks, I mean c'mon!"

That, and I am at that point in my life when Need and Want have melded into one.

Doug




Doug:

Mine vibrating like the devil on the Porta last night. But then again, I just had it mounted with the little dove that comes attached. Going to try with a bigger dove bar and rings, and if that doe't work, this one goes on the Vixen.

I know what you mean about "want" and "need!" I'm also there.


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jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
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Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: pdxmoon]
      #5991325 - 07/26/13 01:51 PM

Adding some vibration suppression pads to the feet of the tripod also will help a bit and be useful with any mount you have.

- Jim


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Koala117
sage


Reged: 05/11/13

Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5991619 - 07/26/13 04:38 PM

Removed by me. My question was answered in an above picture! For some reason, it didn't load when I read this thread. Ha!

Edited by Koala117 (07/26/13 04:40 PM)


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Starhawk
Space Ranger
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Reged: 09/16/08

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: Koala117]
      #5991714 - 07/26/13 05:42 PM

The Costco variant was already a stupid good deal- the mount by itself sold for $279, so when you got one for $200, they were paying you $79 to take a 102mm refractor and some beginner's eyepieces with it.

And to top it of, the scope is awesome. I know I will get incoming fire for this, but I have to tell the truth- it has less CA than a TV-85. Top that off with the mount actually works incredibly well with a C80ED or a C5, and it's definitely a kick-in the door to the hobby deal.

My only complaint is this wasn't available when I was 7.

-Rich

Edited by Starhawk (07/26/13 05:50 PM)


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jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
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Reged: 02/28/06

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Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: Starhawk]
      #5991744 - 07/26/13 06:05 PM

"My only complaint is this wasn't available when I was 7."

I find myself saying the same thing these days.

- Jim


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Koala117
sage


Reged: 05/11/13

Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: Starhawk]
      #5991760 - 07/26/13 06:16 PM

Starhawk, could the longer focal ratio of the 102(f/9.8) achro play enough of a role in the difference vs. the tv-85 focal ratio(f/7) to actually make it better than a very expensive thing like a TV vs. an $80 Celestron?

~f/10 isn't really that slow, if I understand FR correctly and how it affects CA. I have an f/11 80mm and there is a *little* on the Moon.

Bear in mind, I own neither of these and likely will never own a TV(yay being poor >.<). I am merely curious as to what it is about the 2 you mentioned that would make that the case!

Would you be willing to show pictures through each with similar magnifications with no filters? I bet lots would be interested to see this! I know I would as the Celestron 102 is something that I could actually afford(once I got a mount that supports it that is ).


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pugliano
super member


Reged: 06/16/11

Loc: Michigan
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: pugliano]
      #5991819 - 07/26/13 06:55 PM

IT's HERE!!! Now I just have to decide on a mount.

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dpippel
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 04/05/13

Loc: Desierto de Sonora
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: pugliano]
      #5991911 - 07/26/13 08:13 PM

Man, I just bought the Celestron C80 ED deal at AWB and then I had to go and see THIS. Mine, with the 1.25" package, will arrive next Tuesday. Time for some comparisons.

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JonNPR
sage
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Reged: 03/04/13

Loc: Oregon
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: pugliano]
      #5991947 - 07/26/13 08:40 PM

An offer I couldn't refuse! Wavered on the issue of the Costco model now also being offered because I don't have a mount for the scope - nor do I have any refractor in the stable. The premium for the Costco model is $100 over the Christmas pricing, plus needing a new diagonal. I could buy a very good eyepiece for my NexStar 8SE or 10" Dob for that money.

Decided I can worry about the mounting later. I have an old wide format heavy duty Majestic 1800 camera tripod that might be adapted (I have no idea, but someone wiser might advise on this).

Perhaps just for Immediate testing, I could attach the 102GT to the NexStar mount, using the admittedly questionable dovetail? Weight shouldn't be an issue if the OTA is around 10 pounds...similar to the C8. Wouldn't elevate a lot I imagine, but anyone see any serious damage potential trying this?

Thanks!

Jon


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PeterR280
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 05/27/13

Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: JonNPR]
      #5992022 - 07/26/13 09:23 PM

I ordered the Celestron C80 ED a few weeks ago and it finally arrived today. On a whim, I also bought the C 102 with the 2" diagonal for $79. That came today too. I am finding myself playing with the C80 ED more than the C102. If the clouds clear, I will test the C80 tonight. So far I really like the ergonomics of the C80. I will probably get a 2 speed Crayford style focuser from Agena Astro on it. It's sitting on an older CG5 I've had for a while. I really don't mind the mounting rings. The look like cast aluminum. For some reason I am just not as excited about testing the C102. I had one that I gave away a few years ago. I replaced it with a TV102 that I love. I have a feeling that the C102 is going to have the same color fringing that I didn't care for 10 years ago. I did put the 2" diagoanal on the C80. I would probably have paid at least $79 for a new 2" diagonal.

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Starhawk
Space Ranger
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Reged: 09/16/08

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: Koala117]
      #5992063 - 07/26/13 09:56 PM

Certainly, I believe this is exactly why. But there it is, isn't it? The lunar images from the C102 are wonderful. The C80ED has truly perfect color correction which the shorter ED scopes do not. I have often wondered why TV hasn't updated the TV-85. Maybe it's the eyepieces getting the love because they're the income, and that's all there is to it.

My current Refractor stable is the C102, C80ED, SkyWatcher Equinox 80ED f/6.25, AT66ED, and an AP130 EDFGT.

It sort of happened over time. I know the TV-85 has a huge following, and I have looked through one every chance I have gotten, but I have to say- get a C80ED. The color in the Equinox is about the same, and can be dealt with by pulling back about 1/10mm from sharpest focus.

Getting a stable like this took time- I ended up having 9 years to save up for the AP 130, which is satisfactorily amazing to look through.

The C102 is just a great deal. Not sure how they aren't losing the company letting them go for that.

-Rich

Quote:

Starhawk, could the longer focal ratio of the 102(f/9.8) achro play enough of a role in the difference vs. the tv-85 focal ratio(f/7) to actually make it better than a very expensive thing like a TV vs. an $80 Celestron?

~f/10 isn't really that slow, if I understand FR correctly and how it affects CA. I have an f/11 80mm and there is a *little* on the Moon.

Bear in mind, I own neither of these and likely will never own a TV(yay being poor >.<). I am merely curious as to what it is about the 2 you mentioned that would make that the case!

Would you be willing to show pictures through each with similar magnifications with no filters? I bet lots would be interested to see this! I know I would as the Celestron 102 is something that I could actually afford(once I got a mount that supports it that is ).




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Starhawk
Space Ranger
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Reged: 09/16/08

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: Starhawk]
      #5992071 - 07/26/13 10:01 PM

Getting some characteristic photos through the different scopes is a great idea. I'll have to get out from under the Monsoon, first. But I like the idea, especially since if enough of us posted full-color full moon refractor pix, it would really start to give a good idea of what the relative performance is between different refractors, and what some of the most cost effective gems are- note- this would need to be uncorrected data- best focus and shoot, scale to CN guidelines, and post.

-Rich


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pdxmoon
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Reged: 06/27/13

Loc: Oregon
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: pugliano]
      #5992080 - 07/26/13 10:07 PM Attachment (54 downloads)

Just transferred to the Vixen Polaris. Gonna be a much smoother ride, I think. It looks happier already. (I think I'll name it "Copernicus"... cause it's big and flashy to me...)

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pdxmoon
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Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: Starhawk]
      #5992100 - 07/26/13 10:15 PM Attachment (48 downloads)

Quote:

Getting some characteristic photos through the different scopes is a great idea. I'll have to get out from under the Monsoon, first. But I like the idea, especially since if enough of us posted full-color full moon refractor pix, it would really start to give a good idea of what the relative performance is between different refractors, and what some of the most cost effective gems are- note- this would need to be uncorrected data- best focus and shoot, scale to CN guidelines, and post.

-Rich




Good idea. I took this this morning with iphone through the ED80. It's hard to get really in focus with the phone; I have to buy a cheap point and shoot. The advantage to the iPhone is I can get it online faster!


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PeterR280
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Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: pdxmoon]
      #5992182 - 07/26/13 11:23 PM

I knew there was a catch with the C102. The built-in dovetail is at 90 degrees to the focuser a is so you can't rotate the focuser to be in-line with the dovetail since it is attached with 3 screws.

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jrbarnett
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Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: PeterR280]
      #5992243 - 07/27/13 12:10 AM

Most folks remove the dovetail anyway. It's too short and makes balancing difficult. Synta rings work and are cheap, and are more versatile.

http://www.telescope.com/catalog/product.jsp?productId=7370&utm_source=ch...

- Jim


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PeterR280
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Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5992273 - 07/27/13 12:41 AM

It's no longer a $60 scope with the Synta rings.

I had a chance to compare views of Saturn tonight with the C102GT and the C80ED. Both are quite impressive, I didn't notice any significant fringing with the C102 as I had expected. I used an 8mm eyepiece on the C102 and a 3-6mm zoom Nagler on the C80ED. I didn't have too much time since Saturn was dipping behind a large palm tree. At 125x the C102 showed nice detail. I could some banding. The planet and rings had a nice sharp border. The C80ED was nice and sharp to 4mm or 150 magnification. It started to get fuzzy at 3mm. It could be the seeing and the fact that Saturn is lower on the horizon. The C102 seemed to show a little more detail in the banding. The C80ED seemed sharper and cleaner. It could be the better eyepiece on the C80ED.

I hope I don't get disappointed when my AP130GT comes next month and I do a comparison. The Celestrons are very good. I really like the size of the C80ED. The C102 was surprisingly light. It felt like it weighed the same as the C102.


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pdxmoon
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Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: PeterR280]
      #5992363 - 07/27/13 02:29 AM

Quote:

It's no longer a $60 scope with the Synta rings.






It becomes a $90 scope. Add the dove bar for $16 and now it's a $106 scope.

And in my opinion it's still worth it.


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jag767
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Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: pdxmoon]
      #5992452 - 07/27/13 04:35 AM

That list can definiteky keep going, but when you have it out and about, the views rationalize most any additional cost to make it more functional. I just had mine out, and up until the dew got to the point where I had to throw in the white flag. I had some great views with this bad boy. I really love it for open star clusters, they just resolve so nicely into these crisp pinpoints one can endlessly gaze at. Now if I can only find a value like this in the 6 inch category!

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pugliano
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Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5992606 - 07/27/13 08:57 AM

Jim,

The link goes to rings that have a 90mm inside diameter. Won't those be too small for a 102mm tube? Also, how do the rings work? I see there is a screw on the top of the ring. Are there holes on the scope tube that they screw into?

Edited by pugliano (07/27/13 08:59 AM)


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dpippel
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Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5992803 - 07/27/13 11:16 AM

Quote:

Most folks remove the dovetail anyway. It's too short and makes balancing difficult. Synta rings work and are cheap, and are more versatile.

http://www.telescope.com/catalog/product.jsp?productId=7370&utm_source=ch...

- Jim




Twelve bucks cheaper here:

http://agenaastro.com/agena-telescope-tube-ring-3-5.html

and as was pointed out above you'll still need a dovetail, which is an additional $23:

http://agenaastro.com/agena-8-anodized-dovetail-bar-for-eq5-and-other-mounts....


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dpippel
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Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: PeterR280]
      #5992811 - 07/27/13 11:20 AM

Quote:

It's no longer a $60 scope with the Synta rings.




Well it's no longer a $60 scope with a mount either, and to be honest it wasn't really sixty bucks out the door anyway once you include the additional $10+ for shipping.

The point of this deal IMO is that you're getting a nice OTA on the cheap. This allows you to put it together with whatever other components *you* need to make it a viable grab-and-go at a very low cost.


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dpippel
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Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: pugliano]
      #5992850 - 07/27/13 11:41 AM

Quote:

Jim,

The link goes to rings that have a 90mm inside diameter. Won't those be too small for a 102mm tube? Also, how do the rings work? I see there is a screw on the top of the ring. Are there holes on the scope tube that they screw into?




The outer diameter of the OTA is a hair over 100mm, so 4" rings would probably be a better fit:

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

http://www.telescope.com/Mounts-Tripods/Mount-Tripod-Accessories/100mm-ID-Ori...

I think that the 90mm rings would still work in a pinch though.


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gunfighter48
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Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: dpippel]
      #5992867 - 07/27/13 11:55 AM

You will need 100mm / 4 in rings. These are what you'll need (or another brand). I bought a set of these for my C102GT and they fit just right.

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


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pdxmoon
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Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: dpippel]
      #5992881 - 07/27/13 12:07 PM

I have 100mm rings on mine; 90 on the C-80ED.

I had terrific views of La Luna with this last night-- higher mags were sharp and bright. It was really impressive. There was the slightest ring of violet--and it was slight--but it was in no way distracting. It seemed to be when the moon was at the corner of the ep, so perhaps the color was in some way the product of the ep. Either way, if that was the CA this scope puts out--I can live with it.

The ride, as predicted, was much more solid on the Vixen Polaris. This scope will stay on this mount. What vibration there was came from the focus mechanism--not the smoothest, but the moon is a very forgiving target until you get close in for higher magnification. Even then, in less than 3 seconds jiggle was gone.

I swept the scope high to the zenith and put on a 25 just to see the stars. The view was really nice. I now understand completely why folks who are into DSO use dobs and cats with their light bucket capacity. If I ever move beyond an occasional glimpse of DSO, I'll be wanting a reflector; I get it now.
Different tools for different needs. The next $59 8" dob I see, I'll buy, haha.

But the views for my purposes are wonderful. There's lots to see before I grow out of this scope.

Those of us who bought this thing got a great deal. For me it's my first 4" scope, and I can't see any reason to look for another 4".

If you need a 4" and like refractors, this thing performs.

Edited by pdxmoon (07/27/13 12:12 PM)


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DaveG
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Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: pdxmoon]
      #5992907 - 07/27/13 12:20 PM

Just a FYI for anyone planning on replacing the stock R&P focuser with a crayford, I had to add an extension tube to reach focus on my 2 inch GSO dual speed.

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Michael Rapp
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Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: DaveG]
      #5992975 - 07/27/13 12:59 PM

Judging from the photos, the scope is a bit bigger than what I anticipated. (Not sure why that didn't click when I read the specs. It's 1000 mm fl, whereas my Dob with its big tube is 1200.) So this is on the high-end of a grab and go scope.

Still, I think it'll fit right in where I need it. My NELM is 3.5-4, so I typically don't go for deep sky from my house. So, For less than 15 minute observing sessions, I use my binoculars (this happens a lot in the summer, when sunset is not to long before I go to bed). For ~2 hour sessions, I use my 5" Mak, which can take a bit too cool down. Need something in that 15 minutes to 2 hour range.

I've been looking for a scope that would cool down faster and have better resolution for double stars than my 66 mm scope. (I much prefer the look of doubles in scopes without central obstructions). I think this scope will fit in right here.


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Michael Rapp
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Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: Michael Rapp]
      #5992978 - 07/27/13 01:00 PM

Question for those of you using the tube rings. This may become more obvious once my scope arrives on Tuesday, but are you removing the built-in dovetail on the scope?

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Starhawk
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Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: Michael Rapp]
      #5993036 - 07/27/13 01:29 PM

The circumfirence of the C102 GT is 314mm, meaning the true barrel diameter is extremely close to 100mm (Unless the rumors are true and in certain jurisdictions Pi is defined as 3, in which case the diameter of the telescope is indeterminate since 105mm rings are way too big).

For those of us still using science, working tube rings are ON SALE!

http://www.telescope.com/100mm-ID-Orion-Telescope-Tube-Rings/p/7371.uts?keywo...

Note, if you're able to do a bit of drilling (with countersink- you need a drill press to get this right), the dovetail gets to be right cheap from that same source:

http://www.telescope.com/catalog/search.cmd?form_state=searchForm&keyword...

-Rich


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DaveG
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Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: Michael Rapp]
      #5993057 - 07/27/13 01:43 PM

I removed mine, very easy process.

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Michael Rapp
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Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: DaveG]
      #5993559 - 07/27/13 08:09 PM Attachment (35 downloads)

I'm going to try something interesting to mount my OTA on my LXD-75. Rummaging through my parts bin, I found my old side-by-side dovetail from Ken's Rings (who I just learned has actually closed up shop as of last year).

One of the saddles can moved back and forth along the dovetail for balance, but this also allows it to be rotated 90 degrees so the tube will be parallel to the dove tail. I'll see if this works. The big question is whether I have to take the other saddle off for the tube to clear it.

This will get the OTA on my mount and give me a larger dovetail, but doesn't solve the problem of the focuser being 90 degrees to normal.


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joseph07081
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Reged: 11/26/05

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Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: Michael Rapp]
      #5993794 - 07/27/13 10:38 PM

First I bought the OTA assembly right before it went on sale, now I see that the same rings and dovetail that I just received from Orion are now on sale....

Can't win


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Bob101
super member


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Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: joseph07081]
      #5993801 - 07/27/13 10:40 PM

I didn't have anything else handy so I just used an oversized guider set of rings to hold mine for right now. I just threw mine on the mount outside and some funky stuff was going on. I brought it back in and will have take a look at it tomorrow.

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PeterR280
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Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: Bob101]
      #5993946 - 07/28/13 12:15 AM

I was out with the C102 tonight. It's an amazing telescope for the money.

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pdxmoon
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Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: smallscopefanLeo]
      #5994152 - 07/28/13 04:58 AM Attachment (54 downloads)

Great views of Luna tonight through this thing. Here's a snap, afocal, iPhone 4, no processing, but slightly cropped.

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DigitalFox
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Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: pdxmoon]
      #5994199 - 07/28/13 06:33 AM

I just came inside from my first observing session with the C102. I had a look at M57, the double double, zeta lyrae, M31, the double cluster and the moon. The views through this scope are beautiful and I'm quite impressed with it. I love pinpoint stars and this delivers the goods.

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Michael Rapp
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Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: DigitalFox]
      #6000551 - 07/31/13 08:46 PM Attachment (49 downloads)

Welp, my scope arrived today, well packed.

First, while it doesn't mean anything, the accessory packages are done by OPT. What I mean is, if you order the OTA with the 1.25" accessory package, the accessories are OPT branded accessories, not Celestron.

I got the scope out of the packaging and I was struck by two things immediately. One, the scope is longer than I thought and two, the scope is MUCH lighter than I thought. Indeed, the 10 lb counterweight on my LXD-75 is just a tad too much for it, so I improvised a 2.5 lb weight (at the end of the shaft, obviously) to balance it.

The skies are strangely clear so I am going to do the craziest thing one can do with an achromat for first light.

I am going to point it at Venus!

The scope looks nice sitting on the mount. A 4" achromat....after 20 years in astronomy, I finally have one. Yet another childhood dream accomplished. Check. I will report back later.


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dpippel
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Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: Michael Rapp]
      #6000553 - 07/31/13 08:52 PM

Have fun Michael!

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Michael Rapp
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Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: dpippel]
      #6000717 - 07/31/13 10:58 PM

I just had a very enjoyable grab-and-go night. I put the scope outside about 30 minutes prior to observing so I wouldn't get condensation the moment I took the lens cap off.

My first object was Venus. I was expecting to see a huge purple halo around it. I did not, but did see oscillating blues and reds on the limb, especially as I increased the power. Venus showed a clear gibbous phase and I was pleased with how well it snapped into focus. (The focuser on this scope, of course, is not great, but is more than acceptable, in my opinion.)

Next object was Saturn. Absolutely lovely. Details on the globe were easily visible at 80x, more so at 111x. (222x was a bit much.) There was a slight glow of false color around the planet and I noticed it mainly because I was looking for it. It is slight, but it is indeed there. For $100, I am not complaining one bit!

Before I go on, I must remark how nice it is that you can rotate the diagonal to a comfortable viewing position with a refractor. I had forgotten about that. Also, with the scope being so unexpectedly light, I was able to pick up the scope + mount (carefully) and move it around the yard. I did not think I was going to be able to do that. That is a huge unexpected plus.

I spent more time on Saturn than I expected and it was dark now, so I next went to a double star: Cor Caroli. Diamonds on a velvet background. I've really taken a liking to seeing the diffraction discs around stars, so I kicked up the power.

This is when something weird started happening. The double star seemed a bit...green. It was a light lime green. I actually have never looked at Cor Caroli before, so maybe it really was that green.

Well, I went over to Alcor/Mizar...also a lovely field. Pinpoint stars! Lovely! Again, I bumped up the power. Okay, now Alcor and Mizar have this light lime green color.

I don't have any experience with achromatic refractors so maybe this is normal as one increases the power on stellar objects. I wondered if it might be the OPT Plossls I was using so I switched to my Tele Vues (one wonders why I didn't just start there). The "greenness" was reduced, but the stars still had a overall green cast to them, especially at powers over 150x. On lower powers, 30-80x or so, the stars had more of a whitish appearance.

At this point the mosquitos started biting so I called it a night -- and enjoyed easily taking the entire thing indoors in just a few easy trips.

Do not misread me, I am more perplexed than disappointed at the green color I witnessed. It's a $100 scope that has already exceeded my expectations.

I am going to have a lot of fun with this scope. It's lightweight and Saturn was lovely. The cooldown time was amazing and the the ring of Saturn was crisp and sharp.

I need to go out again and make sure my eyes are not playing tricks on me on that green color.


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dennilfloss
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Reged: 01/06/13

Loc: Ottawa, Canada
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: Michael Rapp]
      #6000817 - 08/01/13 12:08 AM

Were you a little bit out of focus to see the diffraction rings?

Quote:

It’s actually quite easy to see if your achromatic refractor is properly
corrected for visual use. Although you can discern a lot in daytime tests,
a nighttime star test will be more sensitive. We’ll explore star testing in
much more detail in chapter “Testing Your Refractor”, but here’s a brief
overview. Take a nice, long-focus 3-in. F/15 instrument. Look at a bright
star such as Vega or Sirius (if you live in the Southern Hemisphere) using a
high magnification, say 30–50× per inch of aperture. First observe the star
at sharp focus. At this focal ratio, our 3-in. refractor should display little or
no false color when sharply focused. You’ll probably see a faint violet halo
around the brightest stars, but that’s quite normal. Now rack the focuser
outward until the image of the star takes on the form of a bright central
spot surrounded by a series of diffraction rings. Look at the color of the
rim of these rings. It should appear green or greenish yellow. Next rack
the focuser inward, past the position of best focus, until you get a similarly
sized diffraction pattern. The rim should now look purple-violet in color.




From: http://www.google.ca/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&...

Or maybe it's sligthly over/undercorrected.

http://books.google.ca/books?id=kS9UwBhqTsgC&pg=PA151&lpg=PA151&d...


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Michael Rapp
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Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: dennilfloss]
      #6001213 - 08/01/13 09:41 AM

Thanks, Dennis, for those links!

Yes, I did notice a difference of color as I was focusing at higher powers and thought this was exceptionally odd. Now I see that it is normal. I remember seeing a purple part and a green part; however, I don't remember what side of focus I was on or whether the green or purple part was on the outer or inner rings.

If the sky conditions hold, I will definitely give this a look tonight.


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KarlL
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Reged: 12/14/12

Loc: Northern Illinois
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: Michael Rapp]
      #6001260 - 08/01/13 10:20 AM

Like many of you I don't need another scope, but...

Can this one be collimated? Is the aperture stopped-down?

Regards,

Karl


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KevH
sage
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Reged: 03/08/10

Loc: Maine
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: KarlL]
      #6001306 - 08/01/13 11:10 AM

Quote:

Like many of you I don't need another scope, but...

Can this one be collimated? Is the aperture stopped-down?

Regards,

Karl




I don't own one of these but this thread indicates that it is stopped down to 97 mm.

Edit... Upon reading the thread it may only be stopped down to 100 mm. Hardly noticeable I would think.

Edited by KevH (08/01/13 11:17 AM)


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Widespread
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Reged: 05/11/11

Loc: Bowling Green, Kentucky
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: KevH]
      #6001354 - 08/01/13 11:50 AM

The 102GT is not designed to be user collimated.

Best,
David


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KarlL
sage
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Reged: 12/14/12

Loc: Northern Illinois
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: Widespread]
      #6001389 - 08/01/13 02:13 PM

Thanks for the information.

It's so tempting.

Regards,

Karl


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hill5673
member


Reged: 11/20/11

Loc: NY
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: Michael Rapp]
      #6001904 - 08/01/13 06:56 PM

Looks like no more free shipping. $80 shipped.. Hmmm decisions decisions...

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hill5673
member


Reged: 11/20/11

Loc: NY
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: hill5673]
      #6001913 - 08/01/13 06:58 PM

Would this be "useable" on my CG-2 from an Astromaster 76?

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jrbarnett
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Reged: 02/28/06

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Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: hill5673]
      #6001964 - 08/01/13 07:24 PM

Thetube is fairly long, though light, and will have a significant moment arm making it chancy on such a lightweight mount. I'd expect lots of vibration when touching the focuser for example.

- Jim


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hill5673
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Reged: 11/20/11

Loc: NY
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #6001972 - 08/01/13 07:29 PM

Ok, thank you. I am trying to decide between this, a used Meade DS-90 complete, and now I see the Meade Star navigator 102 is on sale for $225 complete.

Edited by hill5673 (08/01/13 07:35 PM)


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KarlL
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Loc: Northern Illinois
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: hill5673]
      #6003093 - 08/02/13 12:00 PM

FYI

OPT is out of the OTA-2" diag. combo.

Regards,

Karl


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jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
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Reged: 02/28/06

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Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: KarlL]
      #6004887 - 08/03/13 02:17 PM

Mine's here. I unpacked it this morning. It has a pretty dirty objective with two scratches on the interior surface of the front element and a blob of crud on the focuser-facing surface of the rear element (likely because it was shipped standing up, objective down so that any of the shavings from where the objective assembly is screwed into the tube material would fall on the glass). I also now despise styrofoam peanuts.

I'll first light it today and perhaps pull the objective, edge mark it and give it a thorough cleaning with ROR or Pursol to see if the scratches are scratches or coating sleaks. For $60, though, I can't whimper too loudly. I also need to see if my rings and dovetail for my Antares 105/1500 will fit the Celestron OTA. If I can get it cleaned up and it proves decent optically, I'm going to gift it to one of the guys that's going on our upcoming dark sky trip. He's a childhood buddy of one of our regular travelers, and likes astronomy but doesn't have a scope. I'll set him up at the event with one of my alt-az mounts and the Celestron OTA, and then let him know that he can take the OTA home when we scatter. Personally this OTA screams for a pipemount like the one in Ging-Li's article here on CN. I figure the recipient can have himself up and running with a little elbow grease for a minimal investment. And a 4" refractor is a good sized scope for anyone.

Pretty awesome if you ask me. Let's hope the figure is good.

- Jim

Edited by jrbarnett (08/03/13 05:05 PM)


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Jim7728
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Loc: Stoop Landing Observatory, NYC
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #6005004 - 08/03/13 03:24 PM Attachment (40 downloads)

Got mine earlier in the week, came double boxed with plenty of foam nuts. Objective had a couple of inconsequential dust motes between the elements, otherwise looks fine though I would have preferred a all metal lens cell over the plastic one which should be fine.

Didn't waste time pimping the ota with Long Perng tube rings and a GSO linear track focuser plus 2" extension for the Lunt solar wedge.


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*skyguy*
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 12/31/08

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Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: Jim7728]
      #6008524 - 08/05/13 10:27 PM Attachment (37 downloads)

There have been a number of posts by owners looking for cradle rings. I just received a set of Antares 4.0" Cradle Rings for only $24 dollars with free shipping (until 8/15) from Hands-On-Optics:

Antares 4" Cradle Rings

They fit perfectly and I now have my 102mm OTA mounted on a Vixen Polaris mount. This combination looks so "old school"!

BTW, I ordered the rings on Thursday and they came in the mail today (Monday). Hands-On-Optics is great company to purchase astronomy gear.


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dpippel
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Reged: 04/05/13

Loc: Desierto de Sonora
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: *skyguy*]
      #6008594 - 08/05/13 11:06 PM

Thanks for the heads-up on the rings deal skyguy! That's a good price. Just ordered a pair for mine.

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MikeCMP
super member


Reged: 07/12/11

Loc: Chardon OH
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: dpippel]
      #6009576 - 08/06/13 02:15 PM

Ring must not be on sale anymore

Says $32 now.

Mike


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Darren
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Reged: 07/17/03

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Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #6009673 - 08/06/13 03:07 PM

That's what I did. Took off the dovetial, just threw it on a standard alt-az mount and tripod with 102mm tube rings. It's a bit heavy for the mount, but for $50, I'm not complaining.

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Darren
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 07/17/03

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Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: pdxmoon]
      #6009690 - 08/06/13 03:18 PM

Completely agree with the below. Turned mine on Saturn the other night and was blown away. An admirable planetary performer.

Quote:

But the views for my purposes are wonderful. There's lots to see before I grow out of this scope.

Those of us who bought this thing got a great deal. For me it's my first 4" scope, and I can't see any reason to look for another 4".

If you need a 4" and like refractors, this thing performs.




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Jay_Bird
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Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: Darren]
      #6010083 - 08/06/13 06:40 PM

I’ll add a little about first and second nights with this scope.

My first use was from backyard with only the small stock dovetail on the side of the tube. To balance with a 2-inch diagonal I had to be creative and flip my Porta head so that a pan handle faced forward to add weight to the objective side. Timing can mean a lot with lunar viewing and it was lucky that the sun has recently risen over the Straight Wall on a waxing first quarter moon. At just over 50x and more than one degree field of view, 19 Panoptic framed the moon nicely with this scope and the lunar view was wonderful, with only a hint of yellow or green color coming in and out of view along the limb. Nothing about the scope got in the way of one of the best views of the Straight Wall I can remember, or made me regret $119 pricing at time of my purchase. Switching to 6mm showed that seeing was not perfect (nights that allow over 150x on C-8 are rare at home) but glimpses of lunar detail at steady moments were promising, but not definitive for higher magnification impressions. The 19mm went back in for nice glimpses of the Ring, Hercules cluster, and M15 before going in.

The next use was at a darker location approaching new moon, mounted with a new set of Orion 100mm rings (like the Antares rings above) and a Vixen-style dovetail. Now the handle could be used properly and the pan handle’s weight let me move the tube up, bringing the eyepiece closer to the mount head for less crouching with higher objects. Under darker skies, I never got beyond 40mm AT Titan II and 27mm Panoptic for about 25x/2.7° and 37x/1.8°. At f/10 both eyepieces made for a sharp-edged field of view, nice for framing objects or looking at associations. The Eastern Veil was a gray on black crescent with some feathery texture. Albireo was lovely as were Omicron Cygni and Alcor/Mizar. M27 showed nice apple core shape with a hint of surrounding halo but no color. Moving the tripod to work around trees, M51, M57, M71, M11, M16, M17, M20, M8, M80 were all found in a couple of hours. M13, M4 and M22 all showed faint sparkling stars; M4 with Antares just fitting in the field is always nice. A darker splotch in the most compact of the three bright globulars, M13, hinted at the propeller location. The Swan didn’t give up much to past views I remembered from 8-inch, and the Eagle showed some detail with the ‘pillars of creation’ embayment visible. M51 hinted at the whorl connecting the 2 cores. The double cluster was rising and soon after, the Andromeda galaxy. The 25x view of M31 and both companions was nicely framed.

I’ll be working over the Porta Mount head and tripod to try fine tuning to minimize the vibration and sensitivity to the long moment arm of the C-102, vs. the other 480mm (80 achro) to 750mm (6-inch Newtonian) focal length scopes I’ve used on the Porta.

The focuser is just a little finicky but otherwise this 4-inch scope seems like a great value.

I paid more, years ago, for a clearance 80mm f/6 Nighthawk achromat that’s airline portable and lots of fun, but is noticeably outdone by the C-102GT in most areas, in particular light grasp and to a lesser extent, I think also control of false color. The exceptions are smoother build of focuser and dew-shield, and wider (up to 5.5-6 degree) field of view capability with the Nighthawk, compared to maybe 2.7 degrees or so on the larger scope.


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JonNPR
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Reged: 03/04/13

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Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: Jay_Bird]
      #6010178 - 08/06/13 07:35 PM

Having only owned and observed with reflectors, I've been curious to see whether I could detect much visual difference. The many posts here on CN certainly whetted my appetite. But with considerable astigmatism as well as mild cataracts that my optometrists have all said are much too early to remove, I've been wondering about my visual astronomy perceptions compared to those of others. In particular, mentions of "pinpoint stars" have made me curious. In addition, I've been wanting to get a grab 'n go for quick sessions, and with a wider FOV than my workhorse SCT.

Stars don't look like perfect pinpoints in the various reflectors I have. Along with secondary vanes producing spikes plus the flare I see at night around street and traffic lights, I haven't been sure what aspects are due to the equipment and what are due to the condition of my eyes.

Now I know what pinpoint stars look like! This cheaply priced 4" achromat offers surprising views. With a handy old 32mm 2" Konig, a new ES 24 68*, and a Baader Hyperion 13, stars are indeed pinpoints and sky contrast is strong. My beautiful wife Staci - who has many fine traits - but amateur astronomer isn't among them, immediately exclaimed about the difference. OK, maybe no big deal to most of you guys, but for me - a thing of beauty! And a bit of relief, regrading my vision.

I mounted the OTA on my big camera tripod using 4" rings and a simple plate for mounting on camera tripods, both purchased from the Meridian sale. Reasonably stable and with a sturdy center post, it extends high enough for comfortable viewing towards zenith.

Last night I took the scope to what feels like my backyard site, the side of Mt. Baldy here in Oregon (it's 1.7 miles from my driveway). With a fine southern horizon, shirt sleeve weather and NO DEW, this was an excellent night for the site. Plus, no cougars showed up.

I spent most of the night observing with the 2" 32 mm that provided about a 2 degree TFOV. No GoTo aligning. No Sky Safari control and wires. No power tank. Just the scope, tripod, eyepieces, and my trusty observing buddy Jerry (and his new amazing 12.5" trackball scope; soon to be 12.5" *binocular* scope).

Testing with Jerry's extremely high power zoom EP produced a distinct, clear Airy disk. Unfortunately, somewhat poor collimation was also revealed: the rings were much more prominent on the right side of the disk. Still, for $59 it's a pretty amazing scope. And an extra $20 bought the 2" diagonal option.  

This isn't a true RFT scope. But it is my first taste of their appeal. I am still captivated by the framing of DSO's and star fields in this scope. Starting at the horizon and working up through Sagittarius, Serpens, Scutum...the Hit Parade of Messier objects - and accompanying NGC and IC open clusters - along with near infinite asterisms and diamond chips of brighter stars against the Milky Way multitudes brought me back to my childhood first views of these heavens. After midnight, the nebulae really extended and popped out. Honestly, these views emphasized that sheer sense of beauty I experienced as a kid looking through my first telescope in amazement. Not superior to just different from the intensive teasing out of faint fuzzy detail debating which direction do you think the spiral arms ARE extending? Best $79 I've spent in a long time! Our club gives away a couple of dobsonians to lucky kids at an annual summer star party. Now we are thinking that buying a few of these with the 1.25" diagonal package might be a good thing to do next year.

Jon


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PeterR280
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Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: JonNPR]
      #6010195 - 08/06/13 07:41 PM

I wonder if there is a way to collimate.

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pdxmoon
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Reged: 06/27/13

Loc: Oregon
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: Jay_Bird]
      #6010201 - 08/06/13 07:44 PM

Jon:

I'll be looking forward to hearing about the tweaks you make to the Porta II. I'm going to add some vibration pads, and, if necessary, wood tripod legs. I wonder if there are better and more flexible slo mo cables to be had? The porta cables I find stiff and awkward--although I love the mount!

Watch out for the cougars. I only have poodles to worry about here in PDX!

Thom


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tubehead999
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Reged: 11/25/08

Loc: Kennesaw, GA
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: JonNPR]
      #6010307 - 08/06/13 08:47 PM

If you wish to attack the collimation issue:

I have had two samples of these, and both arrived spot on collimated.

What one can do is loosen the retainer on the cell and see if the objective is canted in the cell; maybe the objective isn't seated in the cell properly or it left the factory in that condition. Or it may have been knocked around during shipment. Physically sight down the OTA and see if the the scope looks linear..possibility that the cell is crossed on the OTA as well.

If that seems fine, then loosening the mounting screws for the focuser and canting the focuser with a Cheshire installed is the easiest way to collimate.

Enjoy the scope.


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jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
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Reged: 02/28/06

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Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: tubehead999]
      #6010443 - 08/06/13 10:14 PM

Here's the other thing - the two elements of a 4" achromatic doublet at f/10 need only to be in the same county to be reasonably collimated. These are highly forgiving optics. Not like a fast Newt or f/10 Cat with fast mirrors. I wouldn't worry too much about collimation on these.

- Jim


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JonNPR
sage
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Reged: 03/04/13

Loc: Oregon
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #6010820 - 08/07/13 03:19 AM

Thanks for the collimation advice. I have been reluctant to mess with the quite pleasurable status quo so far, thinking as Jim has suggested: might not be a difference that makes a difference.

But if a simple adjustment could be made, why not? Short of dropping the objective out of the scope (!) , what's the worst that can happen loosening the retainer? Would the cell sit back properly, if it isn't fully seated? Could I make it worse by unseating the objective? I've never worked on a refractor.

My camera and tripod are a quarter century old Majestic 1800 on a Majestic 2500 tripod. It's all I have at hand. Awkward, as it CRANKS in altitude, but overall, pretty sturdy. I like cats, but I guess it would take out a cougar if it were him or me! We've had sightings on Baldy in June. The big hill (hardly a mountain!) rears up from a thinning out rural residential and farming area just over the city/county line in Eugene, but with no street lights. The hill blocks the direct light dome from town, so it's pretty sweet for so close to home. I'll be out again Wednesday night as our winning streak continues for clear nights during the moonless sequence each month, beginning in April iirc.

Jon


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T1R2
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 06/11/13

Loc: NeverWhere
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: JonNPR]
      #6010897 - 08/07/13 06:24 AM

Jon, it wont hurt anything to loosen the retaining ring, point the scope up, loosen the ring and tap around the edges with your knuckles, if that doesn't work you can turn the top lens slightly starting about 90* turn, you don't have to worry about wedge misalignment much in a F/10 scope just mark your lenses just in case your not satisfied with the results. I have a Vixen that showed collimation a little off and I fixed it buy doing this even though I was seeing if wedge misalignment mattered in a long focus refractor, its not hard just take your time, wear gloves without powder, and use a elevator instead of poking out the lenses with your finger, you can find more info on here or elsewhere about doing this, if its not that bad, you can choose not to do this but the best way to learn is to jump right in and do it then you'll have the know how next time you need it. Enjoy your scope

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PeterR280
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Reged: 05/27/13

Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: T1R2]
      #6011025 - 08/07/13 08:47 AM

If you really mess up, you just buy another one for $59.

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tubehead999
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 11/25/08

Loc: Kennesaw, GA
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: JonNPR]
      #6011091 - 08/07/13 09:26 AM

Actually, it does make a difference. If it is minor, you won't notice it, if it is major, such as your views suggest, I would most certainly repair it. Minor mis-collimation is inconsequential.

If you can see the optical aberration caused by a wedged element or skewed optical train, then, I would consider that worth resolving.


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PeterR280
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Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: tubehead999]
      #6011115 - 08/07/13 09:40 AM

I once got a 4" ED telescope where the lens cell was skewed pretty badly in the tube due to cross threading when it was first assembled. I sent it back. It doesn't sound like that was the case here.

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belgrade
sage


Reged: 10/05/07

Loc: Frisco, TX
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: tubehead999]
      #6011132 - 08/07/13 09:45 AM

I've received a set of 100mm rings and a 13" dovetail plate from Orion... Easy to install and fits the 102GT OTA nicely. Actually, I like how the set up looks like. The dovetail plate is really well made and I can see it being used with other OTAs down the road. The rings are strong while fit and finish is fine for the cost (purchased while they still had a good sale). I don't need anything fancier for a $50 or so OTA (bought it after Xmas, as soon as they slashed the price). I use the OTA with the LXD75 mount/tripod. Now I need a good RACI finderscope for the rig but I'm "cheap," I don't want to spend much...

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jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
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Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: JonNPR]
      #6011265 - 08/07/13 11:14 AM

The retaining ring really shouldn't be very tight. Most doublet achromats "click" just a little bit when shifted due to minimal tightness of the retainer. A very tight retaining ring can induce astigmatism and pinched optics.

There's really not much you can do to mess up this very simple design. Key to a dis-assembly of the optical group is to make sure you (1) maintain the order of the elements, (2) maintain the orientation of each element relative to front and back facing directions, and (3) maintain the rotational orientation of each element relative to the other. Marking the edge of each element as you disassemble with an index mark can help with this. A little black arrow on each element in a line will show correct facing of each element and correct rotational orientation of the elements relative to one another. Adding a "F" and a "R" next to the marks on the "front" and "rear" elements respectively can eliminate the other possibility of error, though probably isn't needed. I also take pictures as I take things apart. I'm most definitely *not* mechanically inclined and haven't messed up a doublet I've taken apart yet. If I can do it, anyone can. Seriously.

But...unless you already have a problem, you won't likely be improving anything (other than your experience) by braving the disassembly. If you do have a collimation issue (easily determined with a Cheshire eyepiece - cheap from Orion or other retailers) the easiest way to fix it with one of these scopes is likely on the focuser end. By slightly elongating the focuser screw holes you can make the focuser slightly "tiltable" relative to the objective. You can make minor collimation corrections that way.

Regards,

Jim


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desertlens
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Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #6011501 - 08/07/13 01:21 PM

Well... I couldn't resist... mine is on the way. The objective alone is probably worth $60. I've been looking at low cost achromats for a couple of months. For me, this was a no-brainer when I realized I had everything but rings in the parts bin. I'm pleased that initial reports are positive.

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jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
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Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: desertlens]
      #6011668 - 08/07/13 03:07 PM

We are Borg. Resistance is futile.

- Jim


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Gord
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 01/06/04

Loc: Toronto, ON, Canada
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #6011691 - 08/07/13 03:19 PM Attachment (38 downloads)

I'll post this here too since it's related.

There is also the Omni 102 XLT that I believe uses the same optics set as these, just in a little more upgraded tube. However, given how cheap these are going, there are likely to be some of these Omni's to be had for very little as well. They feature a collimatable lens cell.

Very impressive little scope with an excellent star test. Mine sees most use for solar observing, most recently with an added Lunt Herschel wedge. Here's a pic from "colder" times to help cool off from the hot summer!

Clear skies!


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jag767
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Reged: 06/20/13

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Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: Gord]
      #6011774 - 08/07/13 04:08 PM

I'm thinking about piggybacking a celestron onyx 80edf with my 102gt on my cg5. I figure that should give me some pretty nice widefield application to go with the 102!

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*skyguy*
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 12/31/08

Loc: Western New York
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: jag767]
      #6011901 - 08/07/13 05:22 PM Attachment (26 downloads)

Quote:

I'm thinking about piggybacking a celestron onyx 80edf with my 102gt on my cg5. I figure that should give me some pretty nice widefield application to go with the 102!




I piggybacked my 50mm finder onto the 102GT, which is on a Polaris mount. I just bolted a homemade wood plate onto the 102GT cradle rings and screwed on the cradle rings for the 50mm.

I thought about piggybacking my 70mm f/5 scope ... but, it's already being used on another mount. Piggybacking a 80mm onto the 120GT would make a great combination. Posts some pictures when you do it!


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Michael Rapp
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Reged: 04/27/04

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Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: *skyguy*]
      #6011933 - 08/07/13 05:38 PM

James, you just gave me an idea and probably just saved me $50 on a finder bracket!!

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desertlens
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Reged: 12/06/10

Loc: 36°N 105°W
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #6012020 - 08/07/13 06:11 PM

Quote:

We are Borg. Resistance is futile.




Well... that explains those voices in my head.


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choran
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 12/28/12

Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: desertlens]
      #6012104 - 08/07/13 06:52 PM

Well, you guys gave me the fever! You are all definitely a bad influence. I need it like a hole in the head, but for the price, couldn't say no. OTA only on the way. Was going to get the 2" diagonal too, but all sold out of that package, so I went OTA only. I'll worry about that, and mounting it to a Televue Gibraltar later. Or, I may just save it until I run into a family with a kid dying to get his first scope. Either way, hard to argue with the price.

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johnthomas
super member
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Reged: 10/18/11

Loc: Oklahoma City
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: choran]
      #6012169 - 08/07/13 07:26 PM

I'll admit it. I bought one too.. Got mine last Monday... what a deal! I'm a reflector guy, but was always looking for a good deal on used larger refractor. Now I just have to build/buy a mount.

I've got some Orion 100mm rings on Order, will probably build a alt-az pipe mount. I'm still considering re-using an older GEQ mount from a Meade 114mm reflector though...


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PeterR280
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 05/27/13

Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: johnthomas]
      #6012193 - 08/07/13 07:42 PM

You shouldn't let those sharp contrasty images and ease of setup corrupt your thinking John.

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Norm Meyer
sage
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Reged: 02/08/09

Loc: Warren, ME 04864
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: PeterR280]
      #6012224 - 08/07/13 07:59 PM

I just ordered one it was only $59.98 plus $21.31 shipping.
Help I'm buying telescopes and I can't stop!

regards Norm


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JonNPR
sage
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Reged: 03/04/13

Loc: Oregon
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: PeterR280]
      #6012233 - 08/07/13 08:03 PM

Thanks again, Jim. Good advice. Looks sadly cloudy tonight so I doubt I'll be able to go out. Instead will make closer inspection of the OTA and go from there. With virtually no rings visible on the left side of the Airy disk, seems worth trying to track down. Perhaps a simple focuser or 2" diagonal loose or cell not seated will be my hope. Or even the eyepiece Jerry used not fully seated and lined up. He used a 1.25" adapter.

Jon


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pdxmoon
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Reged: 06/27/13

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Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: JonNPR]
      #6012320 - 08/07/13 08:41 PM

Quote:

Looks sadly cloudy tonight so I doubt I'll be able to go out.
Jon




Yes, Jon--what's up with these clouds? It's summer--we're supposed to have clear skies!

Here in PDX I'm seeing some blue patches--I'm holding out hope that a bit of sky will open up for some quick views.


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JonNPR
sage
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Reged: 03/04/13

Loc: Oregon
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: pdxmoon]
      #6012769 - 08/08/13 12:20 AM

Exactly! Clear in April! Clear in May! But not in August? Is it the Apocalypse? Will the Cubs win the World Series??

So I am paging through the S&T PSA, imaging what "this" might look like through the 4", what "that" might look like. My first real telescope was the 4 1/4" pedestal mounted Edmond white tube Newtonian. My father and I drove to Edmond Scientific in Barrington to get it, for Christmas. I think I was 11. Still have it. Going to bring it out WHEN THE CLOUDS GO AWAY and do a side by side comparison with the Celestron, just for fun and old time's sake. Emphasis on "old".


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edwinh
super member
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Reged: 03/01/08

Loc: Chandler AZ
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: JonNPR]
      #6012851 - 08/08/13 02:30 AM

My $60 102GT tube & rings arrived today... just had it out for a few. Quick peeks at m6,7,11,13,27...Very nice!

Works well perched on my cg-5. And its light enough that it was smoother than I expected on my stellarvue m2 also.

R&P focuser is really better than I expected for the price. If only it rotated...

Have had a C80ED for several years, this is a good companion.

I can tell I will be happy with this for awhile.


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csrlice12
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Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: edwinh]
      #6013166 - 08/08/13 09:07 AM

The 4" f9.8 achro is a little workhorse. For Cost/Size/Ease of use/ & views; I don't think any other scope packs the whollop these little scopes do. They're like the little engine that could........

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edwinh
super member
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Reged: 03/01/08

Loc: Chandler AZ
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: edwinh]
      #6013661 - 08/08/13 01:09 PM

Anyone know of a good, not too expensive, padded case the right size for this thing? fits OTA + diagonal + finder?

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pdxmoon
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Reged: 06/27/13

Loc: Oregon
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: edwinh]
      #6013674 - 08/08/13 01:15 PM

I'm interested in the case question, too.

Also, what is needed to safely use this scope for solar viewing?


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DaveG
super member
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Reged: 12/28/03

Loc: Ohio
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: edwinh]
      #6013695 - 08/08/13 01:21 PM

I use this,

Promaster TB-6

Nice case, and fits the OTA perfectly. I put the finder in the external pouch on the front.


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DaveG
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Reged: 12/28/03

Loc: Ohio
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: pdxmoon]
      #6013701 - 08/08/13 01:22 PM

Quote:

I'm interested in the case question, too.

Also, what is needed to safely use this scope for solar viewing?




I'd recommend either a baader white light filter or a solar wedge. I have used a Lunt solar wedge with excellent results.


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dpippel
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 04/05/13

Loc: Desierto de Sonora
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: edwinh]
      #6013702 - 08/08/13 01:23 PM

Quote:

Anyone know of a good, not too expensive, padded case the right size for this thing? fits OTA + diagonal + finder?




I just ordered one of these:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002Y6BS1I/ref=oh_details_o00_s01_i00?ie=UTF...

But haven't received it yet. Should be here on Saturday. I'll report back with my impressions if you're interested.


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jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
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Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: dpippel]
      #6013739 - 08/08/13 01:37 PM

Nice. I too use padded light stand bags for many of my refractor OTAs. If you are careful with the dimensions, you can get it right every time. Once in awhile the specs are incorrect, though, and ou recive a bag that is smaller than the interior dimensions on the reseller's site suggest. My solution has been to buy a bit bigger than the minimum I need.

- Jim


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PeterR280
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Reged: 05/27/13

Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #6013870 - 08/08/13 02:31 PM

Is a solar wedge preferable to filter in fornt of the obective? It seems less safe to let the full solar radiation get close to being focused.

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jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
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Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: PeterR280]
      #6014129 - 08/08/13 04:48 PM

A wedge provides more surface detail (granulation) than a front filter. It is far more dangerous and your wedge has to be designed and manufactured correctly or you could have real problems with overheated components and burning yourself.

- Jim


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pdxmoon
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Reged: 06/27/13

Loc: Oregon
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #6014143 - 08/08/13 04:57 PM

Quote:

A wedge provides more surface detail (granulation) than a front filter. It is far more dangerous and your wedge has to be designed and manufactured correctly or you could have real problems with overheated components and burning yourself.

- Jim




Does one ever use both as a failsafe?


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choran
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Reged: 12/28/12

Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #6014153 - 08/08/13 05:00 PM

Wow, scope ordered yesterday afternoon, arrived about 10 minutes ago! I'm about 75 miles from the OPT store, no idea how they got it here that fast!

Anyway, ditto on the packing peanuts. PLENTY of 'em! Ditto also on the integral dovetail--not usable, as many have noted. Also on the wrong side for a unistar deluxe I have set up for another scope. Rings and a new plate it shall be!! Gave a quick measure of the OTA and it appears to be very close to 4". I'll tell ya, for $59 bucks, it's pretty cool. It's light, too. I'm tempted to stick an eyepiece in there and use it for a quick peek straight through like a pirate's spyglass. Aaaaarrgh!! LOL


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PeterR280
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Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: choran]
      #6014199 - 08/08/13 05:23 PM

I got mine in a day too Choran. I live in los angeles.

It's funny but the first thing i did was to put an eyepiece and diagonal in and look through it while it was perched on a ledge.


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desertlens
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Reged: 12/06/10

Loc: 36°N 105°W
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: PeterR280]
      #6014348 - 08/08/13 06:56 PM

Mine arrived today as well. Actually, I'm impressed, even at the $119 originally listed at OPT. Fit and finish are very good. The objective is spotless. The dovetail is too far forward, as expected, but I have rings on the way and a dovetail bar on hand. The focuser is a bit better than expected, slightly stiff but smooth and with no perceptible backlash when changing direction. Nice knobs, by the way. I managed a reasonable balance on my Porta II, mounted a 2"diagonal and an RDF. If the weather clears (fat chance), I'll check it out tonight... lookin' good so far.

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jrbarnett
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Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: pdxmoon]
      #6014396 - 08/08/13 07:24 PM

Nope. You wouldn't be able to see squat if you did. Each system kills 99.x% of the incoming light.

- Jim


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Astro Sky
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Reged: 05/06/06

Loc: Iowa, Louisiana, USA
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #6014547 - 08/08/13 08:40 PM

What is the weight the ota? Hope less 15 lbs.

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jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
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Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: Astro Sky]
      #6014553 - 08/08/13 08:44 PM

Much less. About 10 pounds.

- Jim


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dpippel
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 04/05/13

Loc: Desierto de Sonora
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: Astro Sky]
      #6014558 - 08/08/13 08:46 PM

Mine weighs in at exactly 6 lbs 2.6 ounces. That's just the OTA with the lens cap on and stock dovetail. No diagonal, eyepiece, or finder.

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Astro Sky
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Reged: 05/06/06

Loc: Iowa, Louisiana, USA
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #6014561 - 08/08/13 08:48 PM

Thanks Jrbarnett. That is lightweight, is plastic on dew shield?

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dpippel
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 04/05/13

Loc: Desierto de Sonora
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: Astro Sky]
      #6014564 - 08/08/13 08:49 PM

Yes, the dew shield is plastic.

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Astro Sky
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Loc: Iowa, Louisiana, USA
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: dpippel]
      #6014581 - 08/08/13 08:58 PM

Thanks, hope the Objective Lens not plastic.
I still can't believe weight only 6 lbs and 2 oz.


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dpippel
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 04/05/13

Loc: Desierto de Sonora
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: Astro Sky]
      #6014600 - 08/08/13 09:09 PM

Even though the OTA is light it's construction is solid and yes, the objective is glass.

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Michael Rapp
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Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: dpippel]
      #6015393 - 08/09/13 09:37 AM

And there is indeed glass. I do admit, when I first saw the price at OPT, I thought they had redefined OTA to mean exactly that, an optical tube assembly, with no objective...i.e. supply your own.

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PeterR280
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Reged: 05/27/13

Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: Michael Rapp]
      #6015434 - 08/09/13 09:57 AM

I have to use a 7.5 lb weight for the CG-5 since the tube is so light.

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ke4kso
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Reged: 07/18/10

Loc: Chiefland Fl.
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: PeterR280]
      #6015827 - 08/09/13 01:18 PM

Thinking about ordering one, Could I not slide the 11 lb weight up on the ASGT mount to balance? Thanks David

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jag767
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Reged: 06/20/13

Loc: Massapequa, NY
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: ke4kso]
      #6015884 - 08/09/13 01:45 PM

It can work with the 11. With my 2 inch diagonal and 24mm meade uwa and 9x50 finder is works on my cg5

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pugliano
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Reged: 06/16/11

Loc: Michigan
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: tubehead999]
      #6015889 - 08/09/13 01:46 PM

The price ($79!) was so amazing for a 4" refractor, 2" diagonal, and free shipping, I felt like I should have written OPT a thank-you note!

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desertlens
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Reged: 12/06/10

Loc: 36°N 105°W
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: ke4kso]
      #6015909 - 08/09/13 01:54 PM

First Light: Nexstar 102GT
Wonder of wonders, my skies cleared at about 10 PM on the day I received a new telescope. It was quickly mounted using the stock dovetail (rings on the way) and barely balanced but I couldn't resist the opportunity. Using a variety of EPs (both wide and narrow field) and a badly aligned finder, I managed to observe M8, M22 and M17 and do a bit of MW sweeping. In short, this is a very nice scope and would still be nice at twice the price. Yes, the focuser is a bit stiff and greasy (don't touch the silver drawtube) but the optical performance was impressive enough that I'm considering a Crayford (at 3x the price of the OTA). Stars were sharp and contrast was very good across the entire field. Image quality was significantly better than one might expect from a scope in this price range. On the whole, this will make an excellent "project" scope at a minimum initial investment. Many thanks to OPT for this opportunity.


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PeterR280
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Reged: 05/27/13

Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: desertlens]
      #6015979 - 08/09/13 02:29 PM

I put the GSO Crayford style and it works great. It reaches almost full extension on certain TeleVue eyepieces. I am using a high TeleVue 1.25" adapter and that gives plenty of room for travel. I am thinking of getting a 1" extension tube for the 2" diagonal.

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Michael Rapp
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Reged: 04/27/04

Loc: Dickinson, TX
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: desertlens]
      #6016265 - 08/09/13 05:35 PM

Quote:

(don't touch the silver drawtube)




I did that last night, trying to move the scope to another part of the sky. Icky! Icky! Icky!


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pdxmoon
professor emeritus
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Reged: 06/27/13

Loc: Oregon
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: Michael Rapp]
      #6016333 - 08/09/13 06:25 PM

Yeah, I got my hand in that goo reaching in the dark... yuk.

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desertlens
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Reged: 12/06/10

Loc: 36°N 105°W
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: pdxmoon]
      #6016409 - 08/09/13 06:58 PM

Someone in an earlier post suggested mineral spirits to remove this lubricant (or is that adhesive... sticky business). It should probably be replaced with something else but I have no suggestions at this point. I'll probably live with it and plan a focuser upgrade in the near term... a small inconvenience... the scope is still a deal.

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WarmWeatherGuy
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 08/27/11

Loc: Orlando, FL 28° N, 81° W
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: desertlens]
      #6016421 - 08/09/13 07:09 PM

Quote:

Someone in an earlier post suggested mineral spirits to remove this lubricant (or is that adhesive... sticky business). It should probably be replaced with something else but I have no suggestions at this point.




I would bet that Ed Thomas of Deep Space Products would recommend Super Lube from Ace Hardware (he always does, for just about everything). I would be interested in anyone's experience with replacing that nasty grease with Super Lube. Super Lube will probably result in less friction which might be bad but remember there is a screw on the side opposite the teeth that will lock the focus.


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Ain Soph Aur
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Reged: 08/11/11

Loc: West Tennessee
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: WarmWeatherGuy]
      #6016917 - 08/10/13 12:30 AM

I had to pick one of these up at this price! How is the collimation? Does the cell have collimition push/pull screws?

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*skyguy*
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 12/31/08

Loc: Western New York
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: Ain Soph Aur]
      #6017206 - 08/10/13 09:06 AM

Quote:

I had to pick one of these up at this price! How is the collimation? Does the cell have collimition push/pull screws?




No collimation screws ... but, the one I received was in perfect collimation (star tested).


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PeterR280
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 05/27/13

Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: *skyguy*]
      #6017256 - 08/10/13 09:51 AM

Mine has spot on collimation too.

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rguasto
professor emeritus
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Reged: 11/18/10

Loc: Long Island, NY
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: PeterR280]
      #6017324 - 08/10/13 10:24 AM

Quote:

Mine has spot on collimation too.




+2


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Ain Soph Aur
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Reged: 08/11/11

Loc: West Tennessee
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: rguasto]
      #6018154 - 08/10/13 07:41 PM

I hope this OTA has enough focus to handle Brandon eyepieces with the Baader Q-Turret!

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desertlens
professor emeritus
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Reged: 12/06/10

Loc: 36°N 105°W
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: Ain Soph Aur]
      #6018168 - 08/10/13 07:53 PM

It will probably be close with the Q-turret. Do what you can to shorten up: 1.25" diagonal and a low profile 1.25"/2" adapter (the stock one will likely be too long). It depends on where the Brandons come to focus as well.

Edit: I did some checking and you may be good with the turret. I'm using a 2" diagonal and most EPs come to focus with 40-50mm of extension. If I remember correctly, the Q-turret need about 37mm of travel. So, with a shorter diagonal you should be OK. Good luck and let us know if it works.

Edited by desertlens (08/10/13 08:46 PM)


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Ain Soph Aur
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Reged: 08/11/11

Loc: West Tennessee
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: desertlens]
      #6018228 - 08/10/13 08:42 PM

Thanks. I'll be using the Baader T2 Zeiss Prism (which has a very short light path). Fingers crossed...

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desertlens
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Reged: 12/06/10

Loc: 36°N 105°W
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: Ain Soph Aur]
      #6018233 - 08/10/13 08:48 PM

ASA,
I edited my post as you were writing, check above.


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Michael Rapp
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Reged: 04/27/04

Loc: Dickinson, TX
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: desertlens]
      #6020522 - 08/12/13 10:48 AM Attachment (38 downloads)

And here is mine with its new addition, a 7x50 Antares RACI finderscope. Like a few of you, one of the "struggles" is to keep the accessories from tripling the cost of the scope!

I had the finderscope, but I didn't have a bracket for it. Determined not to buy one, I went through my drawer of "rings, dovetails, and things" looking for a solution.

After a few false starts (the Orion guidescope mount does not fit Antares finderscopes, alas), I found the rings and dovetail that came with my Lunt solar scope. Its little dovetail bar just happens to have holes through which a 1/4-20 screw will fit through....and the Orion rings holding the C102, just happen to have a hole for that!

So here we go....now I might actually be able to star hop in my Mag 4 skies to some nice doubles / variables.


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Michael Rapp
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Reged: 04/27/04

Loc: Dickinson, TX
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: Michael Rapp]
      #6020531 - 08/12/13 10:53 AM

Of course, I now have to go by Academy and pick up another 2.5 lb weight. The Antares illuminated finderscopes are actually quite heavy, which as I now know, I don't need the illumination (where much of the weight is) -- even at a dark site, when dark adapted I can see the cross hairs.

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Jarrod
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Reged: 01/20/13

Loc: SE USA
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: Michael Rapp]
      #6021295 - 08/12/13 05:24 PM

Perfect - I've been wanting to get the Celestron Advanced VX mount while it was on sale but I didn't have a scope to use with it! Now I can have both without breaking the bank. No free shipping any more, but I ordered this (with the erecting diagonal, in case I want to use it for terrestrial views) delivered for $91. I already have a 2" dielectric diagonal. Probably will need some rings and a dovetail.

So far, this $60 scope has cost me $800


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PeterR280
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 05/27/13

Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: Jarrod]
      #6021379 - 08/12/13 06:19 PM

I bought a second one as back-up. Who knows if a deal like this will come up again. i am going to try to create binos using a dual saddle plate. I am going tot keep each scope independent. Let's see how well i can align it. I am planning on using two 1.25" diagonals on each to bring the focus closer to eye separation. I think I will have enough travel. Hope it doesn't vignette. I can always keep 2 scopes on the same mount with different eyepieces for visual observing. It's cheaper than a turret.

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Ain Soph Aur
professor emeritus
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Reged: 08/11/11

Loc: West Tennessee
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: PeterR280]
      #6021387 - 08/12/13 06:33 PM

I am looking forward to comparing this C102 f/10 to my excellent custom 4" f/13 with Carton objective.

Has anyone compared this C102 to the Astro Telescopes 4" f/11 Planet Killer?

My Carton f/13 OTA weighs in at 16.6 lb (with Crawmach 2" focuser and 10" dew shield), the package coming from OPT is 10 lb shipped. I imagine the stock OTA must be less than 8 lb?

Edited by Ain Soph Aur (08/12/13 07:23 PM)


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Jarrod
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Reged: 01/20/13

Loc: SE USA
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: Ain Soph Aur]
      #6021667 - 08/12/13 09:14 PM

I don't have rings or a dovetail. I decided to try this:

http://telescopes.net/store/explore-scientific-replacement-cradle-ring-set-fo...

I like the fact that it has a handle, and you can mount standard camera tripod accessories to it.


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Michael Rapp
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Reged: 04/27/04

Loc: Dickinson, TX
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: Jarrod]
      #6021872 - 08/12/13 11:03 PM

Brandon - it is quite light and really surprised me.

Jarrod - interesting find. I've sorta been using my dovetail as a "handle" when carrying the scope around. Of course, I lose the handleness when I go to put it on the mount!


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Michael Rapp
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Reged: 04/27/04

Loc: Dickinson, TX
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: Michael Rapp]
      #6021899 - 08/12/13 11:17 PM

Tonight was my first night on the moon. Seeing was very good. I was able to use 154x after only twenty minutes of acclimation. After an additional ten minutes, I was pushing 270x easily.

I was very surprised (and exceptionally pleased!) at the detail I was getting out of this 4" scope. I think I'm finally beginning to get this "refractor thing."

There was a certain "crispness" to the view that was wonderful. Even at 270x, it really wasn't all that soft. (Although it did start to dim a bit.) The area around Eudoxus has a certain texture....sandpaper-like that I've never seen it like this before. Sharpness, again, was wonderful.

The Moon's limb did have a yellow glow to it, as did the rims of some of the bright craters. While not horrible, it did detract from the view slightly. I believe I am one of those people who is sensitive to color fringing, I suppose. I blame two decades of being a reflector snob.

After a brief stop at Saturn, I went on to try to split Antares. Now, I've never tried to split Antares before so I do not have a good handle on how easy or hard it is supposed to be. Moreover, my seeing conditions were very good. At 270x, I saw several rings around Antares with a good amount of shimmering, but the rings maintained their ring-ness very well. In one of the rings, I detected a dotish thing. With averted vision, it was clear this was not seeing related -- there really was something there!

The detail in this sketch by Jeremy Perez shows exactly what I saw (minus the diffraction spikes, of course).

This scope has definitely turned into my weeknight scope!


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PeterR280
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 05/27/13

Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: Michael Rapp]
      #6021910 - 08/12/13 11:22 PM

The yellow isn't too bad. The older versions had pretty severe purple fringing which is really annoying.

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beanerds
sage


Reged: 07/15/08

Loc: Darwin Australia
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: Michael Rapp]
      #6021927 - 08/12/13 11:29 PM

Great story Micheal , this reminds me of a night a few years ago when mars was at it closest .
Up at our local observatory I had my Celestron C102HD set up beside our C14 , both scopes on mars and of course the C14 showed way more easier , but with 200x in my C102 and the C14 right there to find fine surface features , I was able to see them in my C102 , just knowing they were there and where to look helps immensely , awesome it was .
If you ever get a chance to do that beside a large scope , give it a go you will be surprised .

On that I seen E and F stars in the trapezium easily that night by seeing them in the 14 inch then looking in the same place with the C102 , great scopes that are very under-rated by some out there .

Peter you must have looked thru a dud , mate my 'Older C102HD' was almost colour free .
Brian.

Edited by beanerds (08/12/13 11:31 PM)


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PeterR280
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 05/27/13

Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: beanerds]
      #6021951 - 08/12/13 11:43 PM

I probably did have a dud. I got it in 2003. Purple was very visible.

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kyang
member
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Reged: 12/09/12

Loc: Fremont, CA
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: PeterR280]
      #6022060 - 08/13/13 01:02 AM

Just received mine...
Looking for a low price alt-az mount for quick setup.
Maybe build a pipe mount ;-)


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gunfighter48
sage
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Reged: 03/18/13

Loc: Mill Creek, Washington
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: kyang]
      #6022080 - 08/13/13 01:24 AM

I just ordered my second C102GT. At $60.00 plus $15.00 UPS I couldn't pass it up. My first one is now mounted on a Orion SkyView Pro Goto mount and performs excellently. Now I'll have an extra one!!!!!!!!!!!

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Rachal
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Reged: 04/07/09

Loc: Alexandria LA
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: Michael Rapp]
      #6022085 - 08/13/13 01:31 AM

"At 270x, I saw several rings around Antares with a good amount of shimmering, but the rings maintained their ring-ness very well. In one of the rings, I detected a dotish thing. With averted vision, it was clear this was not seeing related -- there really was something there!"


Michael, The position angle of Antares' companion is around 270 degrees(IIRC), which is near due West. If the object you are seeing precedes Antares in the field of the ocular, with no drive, you are seeing the companion. I used to get some nice views of it in my 8"F7 when the seeing was steady at around the magnification you are using.

Edited by Rachal (08/13/13 01:34 AM)


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pdxmoon
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Reged: 06/27/13

Loc: Oregon
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: Rachal]
      #6022113 - 08/13/13 01:59 AM

Worked out with the moon and this tonight. screwed the 2x barlow ring to the bottom of the Celestron 8-24mm zoom and used it almost exclusively, with an occasional switch out to a nice wide 25 to see the clouds roll over the surface.

I started before sunset and observed almost to moon set. Really solid, crisp images.

This scope is an exceptional value.


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John P
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Reged: 01/27/04

Loc: Honeoye Falls, NY USA
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: smallscopefanLeo]
      #6022482 - 08/13/13 09:13 AM

Got mine from OPT for "60.00 (OTA only) plus shipping. Might donate to a newbie or something.

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pdxmoon
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Loc: Oregon
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: John P]
      #6023924 - 08/13/13 08:42 PM

Do you think this mount/tripod would handle C102?
TWILIGHT II

I'd like a rock solid 2x mount/tripod that I could put the AT72 on one side, and either the C80ED or preferably this 102mm on the other side. Your thoughts?


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beanerds
sage


Reged: 07/15/08

Loc: Darwin Australia
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: pdxmoon]
      #6024240 - 08/14/13 12:01 AM

With ease , nice mount .
Brian.


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ggalilei
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Loc: Kentucky
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: pdxmoon]
      #6024619 - 08/14/13 08:22 AM

The Twilight II can handle way more than the 102GT and a 72mm scope (I just sold one on AM).
Tonino.


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pdxmoon
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Reged: 06/27/13

Loc: Oregon
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: ggalilei]
      #6025003 - 08/14/13 12:28 PM

My Astro Buddy Jim Barnett once wrote:"Consequently, I would regard a 4" refractor as a decent first and only scope for a beginner as an alternative to my #1 recommendation, the 8" f/6 Dob."
(Read the whole thread--its' worth it: HERE)

Now, I don't own a dob-- I may someday, to continue my education.

But as a beginner, which is what I am, I have to say that this inexpensive 102 is an absolutely incredible scope. No cool down issues, no collemation--none of the issues that scare beginners like me.

The $79 package with 1.25 diagonal and a finder and eps--you are almost set. Deal with the mounting rings and get a mount, and you're in the hobby with an affordable and remarkably value oriented first scope.


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Ain Soph Aur
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Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: ggalilei]
      #6025020 - 08/14/13 12:33 PM

Quote:

The Twilight II can handle way more than the 102GT and a 72mm scope (I just sold one on AM).
Tonino.




Mine handles a 10" f/4.7 newt with a 22 lb counter-weight on the opposite saddle just fine.


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pdxmoon
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Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: ggalilei]
      #6025051 - 08/14/13 12:41 PM

Does the Twilight II have slo mo controls?

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dakota
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Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: pdxmoon]
      #6025058 - 08/14/13 12:44 PM

No!

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ggalilei
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Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: dakota]
      #6025135 - 08/14/13 01:27 PM

Right, no slow motion controls, but it works fine without at reasonable magnifications, which increase with experience. There should be adequate, less expensive mounts for this telescope, though.

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dpippel
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Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: ggalilei]
      #6025140 - 08/14/13 01:30 PM

Personally I find slow motion controls an absolutely essential component of any good alt-az mount. Nudging at higher mags and/or with heavier loads just becomes an exercise in frustration that really detracts from the observing experience for me.

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KWB
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Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: dpippel]
      #6025150 - 08/14/13 01:36 PM

Quote:

Personally I find slow motion controls an absolutely essential component of any good alt-az mount. Nudging at higher mags and/or with heavier loads just becomes an exercise in frustration that really detracts from the observing experience for me.



You and me both.


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pdxmoon
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Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: dpippel]
      #6025151 - 08/14/13 01:36 PM

Quote:

Personally I find slow motion controls an absolutely essential component of any good alt-az mount. Nudging at higher mags and/or with heavier loads just becomes an exercise in frustration that really detracts from the observing experience for me.




Yes, I agree.

Any side by side really sturdy alt az mounts with slo mo controls?


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desertlens
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Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: pdxmoon]
      #6025175 - 08/14/13 01:49 PM

You might consider this one. You would also need to consider a tripod.

It's not side by side but I'm using a Vixen Porta. There is some significant moment arm with a scope this long but the movement settles in a second or so. I'd say it was a bit under mounted but very workable.


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pdxmoon
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Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: desertlens]
      #6025185 - 08/14/13 01:53 PM

Quote:

You might consider this one. You would also need to consider a tripod.

It's not side by side but I'm using a Vixen Porta. There is some significant moment arm with a scope this long but the movement settles in a second or so. I'd say it was a bit under mounted but very workable.




I've mounted the C102 with rings and a 12" dove (not the included short dove attached to the OTA) on the Porta. I agree it's undermounted, but with patience it's workable.

Edited by pdxmoon (08/14/13 05:10 PM)


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Ed Kessler
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Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: pdxmoon]
      #6025407 - 08/14/13 03:44 PM

I received mine today as well. As Jim experienced, the objective was dusty inside and out and there are a few spots on the coatings that I couldn't clean. I removed the dust.

I had just a moment between the clouds to test my 2" Lunt Wedge and initial impressions are that the contrast of the 102 was equal to my TV85 (at least for this purpose).

The focuser is much better than I expected . . . smooth with very little play.

Not bad for the price!


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csrlice12
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Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: Ain Soph Aur]
      #6025469 - 08/14/13 04:25 PM

Quote:

Quote:

The Twilight II can handle way more than the 102GT and a 72mm scope (I just sold one on AM).
Tonino.




Mine handles a 10" f/4.7 newt with a 22 lb counter-weight on the opposite saddle just fine.




Isn't a 10" f4.7 a bit much weight to be supported by a dovetail? Rings would be more stable.


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Ain Soph Aur
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Reged: 08/11/11

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Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: csrlice12]
      #6025943 - 08/14/13 08:29 PM

It has rings:



The mount handles smaller loads fine without counterweights, but I am pushing the limit with this OTA. I have pleasantly discovered that the Twilight II will handle this size load fine as long as the OTA is balanced and the opposite saddle is counter-balanced. Using the Leica zoom at 8.9mm (134x) it takes less than a second settle down after pushing. With the ES 30/82 there is no vibration.

Nice mount, and to think I listed it on CN earlier this year. Glad I took the ad down before it sold!


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*skyguy*
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Reged: 12/31/08

Loc: Western New York
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: Ed Kessler]
      #6025958 - 08/14/13 08:38 PM

Quote:

I received mine today as well. As Jim experienced, the objective was dusty inside and out and there are a few spots on the coatings that I couldn't clean. I removed the dust.





Just for the record ... my 102GT OTA was delivered with spotlessly, clean optics (no dust or fingerprints on the optics) with only a small piece foam and two very, very tiny, almost invisible metal shaving specks on the rear objective lens. I removed the foam piece using a yard stick and two sided tape ... left the metal shavings!


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Ain Soph Aur
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Reged: 08/11/11

Loc: West Tennessee
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: *skyguy*]
      #6025971 - 08/14/13 08:48 PM

Mine is due to arrive Friday.

Is this OTA baffled at all?


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PeterR280
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Reged: 05/27/13

Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: Ain Soph Aur]
      #6026002 - 08/14/13 09:10 PM

It has good baffling. Mine was very clean too. No dust or marks on lens.

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Astro Sky
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Reged: 05/06/06

Loc: Iowa, Louisiana, USA
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: PeterR280]
      #6026016 - 08/14/13 09:20 PM

Mine came in today, excellent condition.

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Rainguy
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Reged: 03/03/12

Loc: Lake Oswego, Oregon
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: Astro Sky]
      #6026210 - 08/14/13 11:29 PM

The ES Twilight I mount is a good mount for the 102GT. And it has slow motion controls. I had this combo out two nights ago and it worked wonderfully.

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Paul Schroeder
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Reged: 06/05/03

Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: DaveG]
      #6026746 - 08/15/13 09:28 AM

Quote:

I use this,

Promaster TB-6

Nice case, and fits the OTA perfectly. I put the finder in the external pouch on the front.




Thanks for the recommendation! I just received one of these yesterday and it works great.

Paul


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WStewart
professor emeritus


Reged: 11/02/05

Loc: Dallas, TX
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: Paul Schroeder]
      #6027023 - 08/15/13 12:01 PM

I got mine yesterday, too...it has a few dust spots inside the lens, no big deal. What's nice is that the bracket for the finder scope that came with my Z10 fits perfectly in the finder base on the tube...sweet.

About dovetail plates: are they universal or proprietary?
I'm thinking about getting a CG4 mount, and I'm wondering if Orion's dovetail plate will fit.


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belgrade
sage


Reged: 10/05/07

Loc: Frisco, TX
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: WStewart]
      #6027650 - 08/15/13 05:04 PM

Yes, it will.

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WStewart
professor emeritus


Reged: 11/02/05

Loc: Dallas, TX
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: belgrade]
      #6027762 - 08/15/13 06:05 PM

Great, thank you.

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Rainguy
member
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Reged: 03/03/12

Loc: Lake Oswego, Oregon
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: WStewart]
      #6027963 - 08/15/13 08:25 PM

It will fit. I have an Orion 9 x 50 RACI mounted on mine.

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Knight-Owl
member


Reged: 09/11/11

Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: Rainguy]
      #6027989 - 08/15/13 08:37 PM

I have the Celestron Astromaster 90mm OTA.

Is the extra .5" this has worth me dropping the $80 including shipping? I'm wondering if i'm better off putting that toward another ES eyepiece instead?

Opinions?


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BigC
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 09/29/10

Loc: SE Indiana
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: Knight-Owl]
      #6028020 - 08/15/13 08:51 PM

You would gain 28% brighter views and potentially 11% more resolution.

I found it difficult to see a difference in the view of say ,Andromeda, or Orion whilst comparing a 90 and a 102 set up side by side.

The 102 might be too much weight for your astromaster mount.


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Knight-Owl
member


Reged: 09/11/11

Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: BigC]
      #6028025 - 08/15/13 08:53 PM

The Astromaster mount is garbage - I have a hand-me-down mount coming to me from my uncle. I don't recall what it is, but it's a beefy old school mount he had his C8 on for many years.

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JonNPR
sage
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Reged: 03/04/13

Loc: Oregon
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: Rainguy]
      #6029300 - 08/16/13 02:31 PM

Received the Studiohut 44" Carry Bag Case for Light Stands or Tripods from Amazon yesterday - about $26 iirc. Appears to be a workable inexpensive case for the OTA. I attached the 2" diagonal and all still fits with a bit of room to spare. Also slipped my 8x50 RACI in rings and Synta foot on the focuser, and that also fits.

Question: handled with care, is moving or storing the OTA in the soft case and configured with the diagonal and the 8x50 finder a bad move? Too much torque on the shoe and thus the focuser? Diagonal issue? It feels ok, but I have no experience in this area.

Thanks!

Jon


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Jarrod
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Reged: 01/20/13

Loc: SE USA
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: JonNPR]
      #6029393 - 08/16/13 03:17 PM Attachment (27 downloads)

Oh boy...AVX, 102GT, and rings/dovetail just arrived.

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dpippel
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 04/05/13

Loc: Desierto de Sonora
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: Jarrod]
      #6029429 - 08/16/13 03:40 PM

Nice!

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cliffy54
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Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: Jarrod]
      #6029513 - 08/16/13 04:36 PM

Oh so you're the cause of all the rain in the S.E. predicted for this weekend.

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Jarrod
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Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: cliffy54]
      #6029567 - 08/16/13 05:08 PM

Quote:

Oh so you're the cause of all the rain in the S.E. predicted for this weekend.




Yeah, see my avatar?


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Jarrod
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Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: Jarrod]
      #6029633 - 08/16/13 05:50 PM Attachment (23 downloads)

As some have already reported, my scope has a few specks of dust inside the objective. Not sure if I will bother with that or not. Opinions welcomed.

The Explore Scientific cradle ring/dovetail kit (the one they make for their white AR102 - NOT the carbon fiber one) looks like it is going to work great with this scope. The one ES sent me has some small casting and machining marks on it, but these are very sturdy and the price was definitely right compared to other options ($51, drop shipped from ES via Woodland Hills). The handle is slotted so you can mount other stuff to it - in one of the youtube reviews of the AR102 they talk about mounting 1/4"-20 accessories up there, e.g. piggybacking a camera or what have you.

Edited by Jarrod (08/16/13 05:59 PM)


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pdxmoon
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Loc: Oregon
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: Jarrod]
      #6029646 - 08/16/13 05:56 PM

Quote:

The Explore Scientific cradle ring/dovetail kit (the one they make for their AR102) looks like it is going to work great with this scope. The one ES sent me has some small casting and machining marks on it, but these are very sturdy and the price was definitely right compared to other options ($51, drop shipped from ES via Woodland Hills). The handle is slotted so you can mount other stuff to it - in one of the youtube reviews of the AR102 they talk about mounting 1/4"-20 accessories up there, e.g. piggybacking a camera or what have you.




That looks great. Do you have a direct link for purchase?

Thanks!


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Jarrod
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Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: pdxmoon]
      #6029659 - 08/16/13 06:04 PM

Quote:

That looks great. Do you have a direct link for purchase?




http://telescopes.net/store/explore-scientific-replacement-cradle-ring-set-fo...

They will probably call and ask you which 102mm ES scope you have. Just tell them you need the one for the white scope *not* the carbon fiber one. The CF one has a bigger tube.

Edit: High Point Scientific also has it listed:
http://www.highpointscientific.com/product/EXS-TED102CRDL/Explore-Scientific-...

Edited by Jarrod (08/16/13 06:10 PM)


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DaveG
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Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: pdxmoon]
      #6029702 - 08/16/13 06:25 PM

Those ES rings are sharp!

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Ain Soph Aur
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Reged: 08/11/11

Loc: West Tennessee
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: Jarrod]
      #6029719 - 08/16/13 06:39 PM

Thanks Jarrod, Very nice to know this works. I have the same ES rings/dovetail system on my Comet Hunter albeit with larger size rings, and it is very nice. Excellent craftsmanship, light weight, excellent felt, convenient and a very nice price!

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desertlens
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Reged: 12/06/10

Loc: 36°N 105°W
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: Ain Soph Aur]
      #6029768 - 08/16/13 07:13 PM

I know I'm preachin' to the choir here but I continue to be impressed with the performance of this scope. I've had a few nights (first time this summer) with it and have had some excellent views of a variety of targets: nebulae, clusters, double stars, Saturn (a bit low in the sky to do much) and the Moon. The scope is collimation friendly, focus friendly and eyepiece friendly (the 27mm Panoptic was special). I'm even getting attached to the focuser since I removed some of that grease. At one point, I was thinking about a Crayford but I think I'll stick with the low cost spirit. For those who have yet to use their own $60 special, you're in for a treat.

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Ain Soph Aur
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Reged: 08/11/11

Loc: West Tennessee
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: Ain Soph Aur]
      #6029769 - 08/16/13 07:14 PM

My C102 arrived today in excellent condition. A bit of dust on external crown which was handled with a volcano blower. I do have a few specs that all appear to be located on the focuser side of the flint, but i don't think think they are of any issue especially since...

I checked collimation with a Cheshire and it is 110% perfect. Amazing, it couldn't be better. The 4 dust specs aren't worth disturbing the collimation.

I am planning on using a Baader T2 Prism diagonal with this scope, but I am waiting on a T2/2" nosepiece to arrive. I mounted a Baader 2" click-lock diagonal and it looks like that even with this very long optical path diagonal that my Brandon ep's on the Baader Q-turret will come to focus with a cm+ in-focus to spare. Waiting for a sucker hole to Luna to verify.

I have the OTA mounted on the Twilight II with the stock dovetail. With a ES 50mm finder and the Baader Q-turret fully loaded with Brandons mounted, it took a bit of ingenuity with some ADM tek on the opposite saddle to balance but it is balanced perfectly. With the alt and az handles unengaged, I can move the ota with a finger and no jiggle at all. I'll post some pics tomorrow.


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t.r.
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Reged: 02/14/08

Loc: Upstate NY
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: Ain Soph Aur]
      #6030456 - 08/17/13 08:32 AM

Still waiting (patiently?!?!) for arrival of the two I ordered. CA to NY...Tuesday. The better of the two will be added to my herd, the other will be given to some budding beginner. I wish this scope and price had been around when I started out in the '70s!

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pdxmoon
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Reged: 06/27/13

Loc: Oregon
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: t.r.]
      #6030826 - 08/17/13 12:04 PM

The two speed focuser on my AT72 has spoiled me. I believe the optics on this C102 warrant an upgrade.

Has anybody easily and successfully upgraded the focuser on this OTA, and can you point me to what you used?


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PeterR280
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Reged: 05/27/13

Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: pdxmoon]
      #6030941 - 08/17/13 01:02 PM

I upgraded to the 2 speed GSO Crayford style. It fits perfectly. I got it from Agenaastro. The link is below. They have a chart that describes which focuser to use by telescope brand,

http://agenaastro.com/gso-crayford-focuser-refractor-telescope-dual-speed-96m...


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PeterR280
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Reged: 05/27/13

Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: PeterR280]
      #6030948 - 08/17/13 01:05 PM

The only comment is that the GSO is reaching its limit at full extension for certain eyepieces. I am using a long 1.25" adapter on the 2" diagonal and that is doing the job. I am thinking of getting a 1" extension for the 2" focuser.

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pdxmoon
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Reged: 06/27/13

Loc: Oregon
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: PeterR280]
      #6030971 - 08/17/13 01:22 PM

Quote:

The only comment is that the GSO is reaching its limit at full extension for certain eyepieces. I am using a long 1.25" adapter on the 2" diagonal and that is doing the job. I am thinking of getting a 1" extension for the 2" focuser.




Not sure I understand. Which eps max out the GSO?


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PeterR280
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Reged: 05/27/13

Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: pdxmoon]
      #6030977 - 08/17/13 01:28 PM

Some Televue, i think the 3-6mm zoom. a 2" eyepiece maxed out too. The Crayford focuser has less travel than the stock focuser.

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PeterR280
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Reged: 05/27/13

Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: pdxmoon]
      #6030983 - 08/17/13 01:31 PM

Some TeleVues, i think the 3-6mm maxes out, My 2" 38mm maxed out too. The Crayford has less travel than the stock focuser.

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Ain Soph Aur
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Reged: 08/11/11

Loc: West Tennessee
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: Ain Soph Aur]
      #6031003 - 08/17/13 01:44 PM

Here are some pics of the C102 mounted on the ES Twilight II with pier extension. Mounted on the scope are a heavy Baader Herschel wedge, Leica ASPH zoom and an Explore Scientific 50mm finder. I don't have rings for this scope yet so am making do with a vixen dovetail mounted forward on the opposite saddle with an ADM VCW dovetail counterweight system with two 3.5lb weights mounted on the dovetail.

Perfectly balanced and super smooth. I can push the scope in alt-az with one finger and there are zero shakes.



I only got a few minutes of clear skies this morning to view the Sun and am very impressed, every bit as good of a view as the Carton 4" f/13.

Immediate plans for the C102 are a Baader T2 Prism diagonal (as soon as I get a 2" noise-piece for it), ES rings and a Stellarvue 50mm RACI finder.

Can hardly wait for clear skies!


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TomCorbett
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Reged: 07/08/13

Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: Ain Soph Aur]
      #6031091 - 08/17/13 02:27 PM

Ain Soph Aur...

Nice.


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KarlL
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Reged: 12/14/12

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Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: PeterR280]
      #6031216 - 08/17/13 03:31 PM

Peter -

Was the focuser upgrade worth it?

Regards,

Karl


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gunfighter48
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Reged: 03/18/13

Loc: Mill Creek, Washington
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: PeterR280]
      #6031242 - 08/17/13 03:42 PM

Quote:

The only comment is that the GSO is reaching its limit at full extension for certain eyepieces. I am using a long 1.25" adapter on the 2" diagonal and that is doing the job. I am thinking of getting a 1" extension for the 2" focuser.




I had to get a 2" extension to get my 2" 38mm, 32mm, and 28mm 70° eyepieces to focus with the GSO Dual Speed Focuser. Works good now, just had to re-balance the tube on the mount.


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PeterR280
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Reged: 05/27/13

Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: KarlL]
      #6031245 - 08/17/13 03:43 PM

The focuser is definitely smoother and not as stiff. I like it better. Given the focal length, I don't use the two speeds that often.

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smallscopefanLeo
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Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: Ain Soph Aur]
      #6032166 - 08/18/13 02:31 AM Attachment (34 downloads)

Quote:

Mine is due to arrive Friday.

Is this OTA baffled at all?




Well baffled! (Ain, congratulations, yours looks awesome on that Twilight II and with that wedge of Solar peace no less! Mine is below on the left, and my 80mm F/11.25 Skywatcher achro is on the right for comparison)
http://www.cloudynights.com/ubbthreads/showflat.php/Number/5586720


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Ain Soph Aur
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Reged: 08/11/11

Loc: West Tennessee
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: smallscopefanLeo]
      #6034493 - 08/19/13 12:33 PM

Yeah, I was pretty amazed at how well it is baffled!

I got a few hours viewing with the C102 last night, mainly Venus, Saturn and the Moon and a few doubles.

This scope is very well corrected for violet CA, there is hardly any even on Venus and the Moon, but what I do see is signicant yellow CA. I've not encountered this with any other achromatic. I am curious if, compared to the Baader click-lock dielectric mirror diagonal I am current using, the Baader T2 prism diagonal may effect this at all. I won't have the nosepiece for the diagonal to be able to compare until early next month.


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gunfighter48
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Reged: 03/18/13

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Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: Ain Soph Aur]
      #6034887 - 08/19/13 04:26 PM

When I had mine out looking at the full moon, I got yellow, blue, and violet fringing. But it depended on the eyepiece I was using as to which color and didn't seem to be a scope issue. But I'm new to refractors, have always had a reflector or a SCT. But it was fairly faint and not objectionable by any means.

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pdxmoon
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Reged: 06/27/13

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Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: gunfighter48]
      #6034919 - 08/19/13 04:47 PM

Long story short, I now have two.

I'm interested in using the second for solar observing and need to know what to do.

I've posted that question in the solar forum, HERE. I'd value your input on that thread.


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Ain Soph Aur
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Reged: 08/11/11

Loc: West Tennessee
Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: pdxmoon]
      #6035091 - 08/19/13 06:10 PM

I am planning on buying two more myself next month. One to trim down for bino use, and the other to give to my nephew in a few years. I was originally planning on giving him a nice vintage 60mm, but no need in that with this excellent OTA! If Opt still have any left in October, I may buy one more for a spare

By the way, if you go Herschel wedge for white light Solar, no need for two scopes. Put the second in a closet as a spare!


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pdxmoon
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Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: Ain Soph Aur]
      #6035209 - 08/19/13 07:02 PM

Can you explain why the C102 has to be cut up to use with bino viewers?

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Michael Rapp
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Re: 102mm achro for cheap new [Re: