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Meadeball
sage


Reged: 10/22/12

Loc: Midlothian, Virginia
Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: Locoman]
      #5533127 - 11/21/12 11:22 PM

Great; I'd love to do something like that. Only problem is, that tripod's MSRP is 1.5x the price of the scope. I'm looking for a dimestore solution; that is, unless you kind folks wanna pass the hat around for a (temporarily) poor fellow stargazer! (j/k)

Your pic does dispel any concerns I had about the ability of the GOTO portion of the mount to handle the weight of the refractor's OTA, however! Thanks!


Edited by Meadeball (11/21/12 11:26 PM)


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Locoman
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 03/09/09

Loc: Abilene, Kansas
Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: Meadeball]
      #5533153 - 11/21/12 11:46 PM

I've used my C6 newt on it and the mounts goto handled it fine. My C6-N with rings, 8" dove tail bar, diagonal and eyepiece weighs well over 12 lbs.

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Locoman
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 03/09/09

Loc: Abilene, Kansas
Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: Locoman]
      #5533161 - 11/21/12 11:53 PM Attachment (97 downloads)

Quote:

I've used my C6 newt on it and the mounts goto handled it fine. My C6-N with rings, 8" dove tail bar, diagonal and eyepiece weighs well over 12 lbs.



Here's a pic.


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Meadeball
sage


Reged: 10/22/12

Loc: Midlothian, Virginia
Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: Locoman]
      #5533183 - 11/22/12 12:10 AM

That's impressive! Just out of curiosity, how much higher than the stock tripod does that tripod place the eyepiece of the 102GT when pointed overhead?

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Locoman
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 03/09/09

Loc: Abilene, Kansas
Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: Meadeball]
      #5533435 - 11/22/12 07:02 AM

I really can't say because I have never used the tripod that came with it. I set it up with the scope on it when I first got it but didn't like it's stability so I use my Hal 130 with it. Even with the 102mm OTA on my Hal 130 I have to adjust my observing seat to it's lowest position and still have to bend over some.

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svrider1000
super member
*****

Reged: 06/28/12

Loc: Sylmar, California
Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: Locoman]
      #5533705 - 11/22/12 10:37 AM

Quote:

I put the mount on my Hal 130 tripod and with my C6 sct it is Rock Solid.




Anyone have any ideas for a lower costing tripod you think may work?


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stevenf
sage


Reged: 10/11/09

Loc: Vancouver, BC
Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: svrider1000]
      #5534369 - 11/22/12 07:47 PM

Wish the Costco's up here in Canada had these. Ours, at least in my area, have a new Meade 90mm Starnavigator in white, with what looks like a beefed up mount and tripod. Going for about $180.

Might be time for a quick trip across the border!


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BigC
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 09/29/10

Loc: SE Indiana
Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: stevenf]
      #5535128 - 11/23/12 09:42 AM

The Starnavigator 90mm isn't bad.The view of Andromeda Galaxy is practically identical in the DS-90 and DS-102 refractors. If you can't get the 102,a 90 isn't a bad scope to have.

Better make your move now-some people bought Costco scopes last couple Christmas seasons then offered them on craigslist for over $300!I refused to pay a local a $100 profit in January 2011 and he still had 1 of 2 in summer 2012 NIB but above store price!


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Live_Steam_Mad
sage


Reged: 07/24/07

Loc: Moss Bank, St.Helens, England
Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: BigC]
      #5535922 - 11/23/12 05:34 PM

What's the Star Test like on these Celestron 102 GT's (F9.8 not the short tube one) ? (Best tested at 100x (10mm eyepiece) on a 2nd magnitude star (like Polaris). Defocus by 12 waves either side of focus (approx 3mm tube travel either side, I use a coulple of stickers to show the position on the focusser!) and compare the diffraction patterns).

How much Chromatic Aberration is there compared to the Meade SN102? Noticeably different?

I have the Meade StarNavigator (SN) 102. It's 1/4 wave undercorrected for Spherical Aberration, and has a touch of Astigmatism (maybe less than 1/3 wave). My friend Jon H's SN102 has 1/2 wave undercorrected SA and rather more noticeable astigmastism. SN102 vibrates a lot, the drive is a bit noisy, the focusser has a quite a bit of deflection when used with heavy eyepieces, and the CA around Jupiter at 200x is quite noticeable, with 5 belts / bands visible on the best nights and sometimes some blotchy detail within the belts.

On my SN102 using 50mm aperture mask the optics are perfect, Airy discs through the 8mm Radian eyepiece look incredibly sharp and round with reasonably faint 1st diffraction ring, wish full aperture performed the same *sigh*. I use Duracell Stay Charged 8 AA cells in the SN102, they are very good in the cold and last all night, the Goto on the SN102 is very good and it always aligns. Mind you I do level the top of the tripod always. Have to admit I have never used any 'scope as much as this SN102, simply because of the 5 min set up convenience and 25 mins max cool down time.

David Hinds, the UK Celestron importer, doesn't have these on their website, and I've never seen it for sale in any UK magazine advert or shop. Does Costco UK have it? In which case, in which branches? My local branch is Haydock, easy to get to, 10 mins away. Can I just walk into a Costco UK store without a membership card, or am I not even allowed in the store without a card? This F9.8 C102 GT isn't on the Costco UK website, but I see them on Ebay UK. Wish I had of known about this 'scope at the time, I would have maybe bought the Celestron instead.

Can you use Rechargeable NiMH cells with this Celestron 'scope? If so, does the GOTO keep it's accuracy for at least 2 hours? What cells do people here use with it? What capacity (mAh) ? How long before it becomes a bit dodgy and you have to recharge the cells?

Cheers,

Alistair G.

Edited by Live_Steam_Mad (11/23/12 05:42 PM)


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BigC
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 09/29/10

Loc: SE Indiana
Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: Live_Steam_Mad]
      #5536181 - 11/23/12 08:05 PM

There should be less CA as the Nexstar 102 f9.8 is a fair percentage improvement from the Meade DS-102 f7.7.Last night I viewed Jupiter using an iOptron R80 and ,boy was it colorful! An f5 achromat can make the sky psychedelic if not focused perfectly and if it is,there is still that lovely blue aura .This at 90x.

Haven't seen a side by side comparison of the Meade 102 vs. the Celestron 102 but certain one will be forthcoming.


The Celestron 102 OTA appears higher quality compared to the Meade.

But Meade included better EPs with the Starnavigator DS102. MA versus Hugenian in the Celestron package.

To my ears the Celestron motors are somewhat quieter than the Meade ;once aligned both track nicely ,at least for visual which is all my experience covers.

Both scopes will benfit from better EPs.Viewing M31 with my Ds90 f8.8 and Ds102 f7.7 in an impromptu comparison the only difference I detected was swapping plossl EP for the MA one was definitely an improvement.But at f7.7 the Meade isn't really a slow scope like the old long tube refractors.

I had already decided the Meade 102 is much beter for lower power wider views such as the entire Pleiades(beautiful) but my Meade DS-80 f11 is much better for planetary viewing ;there is a huge difference in CA between those two.
I wish the Meade and Celestron had been f12 but suspect merchandising and packaging have much to do with scope design,


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svrider1000
super member
*****

Reged: 06/28/12

Loc: Sylmar, California
Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: BigC]
      #5539051 - 11/25/12 04:27 PM

Last Night I took out the 102GT. I was looking at the Moon and for the first time I noticed CA around the Moon which I had not noticed before when viewing Jupiter. I also used the 5 eye pieces which seemed to be a lot better and more usable than I remembered from the first 102GT scope I had previously. Also I find using the red dot finder seems to be much easier to use for alignment than my RACI. After using the SkyAlign it seems to find targets very accurately so I do not really need the finder scope very much after alignment.

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Meadeball
sage


Reged: 10/22/12

Loc: Midlothian, Virginia
Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: svrider1000]
      #5539243 - 11/25/12 06:49 PM

Now, what other scope that is available new, with that aperture and in that price range (um, none?) can get a review like that from a seasoned observer? I was around (and a customer) when Meade introduced the original ETX (90mm, manually controlled) model in 1996, and they had what many called an "astronomical revolution" on their hands for $500. I think Celestron is really, really onto something here. I mean, think of it: According to Costco's website, it currently has 617 locations. If only half of those locations got a shipment of GTs, and say each one that did received 25, that's 7,500 scopes sold. And it did it last year too. So in two years, we could guesstimate that Celestron has sold 15,000 of these scopes, the majority of which probably went to newbie astronomers as Christmas presents (or gifts to themselves, lol). Sure, many will unfortunately end up as clothes racks in the corners of bedrooms, but think about what they've done for our hobby by getting a usable, capable piece of equipment out there that's interesting enough to keep 'em going until they learn something, and then some. I'm not sure how much profit margin there is on these things -- maybe Celestron or Synta had a you-know-whatload of 102mm OTAs and needed to clear the warehouses or something, or maybe -- just maybe -- they've got somebody who's a far-thinker, who saw what getting an impressive telescope into a beginner's hands might do down the road for repeat customers when they're a bit older with some more greenbacks in their pockets, and when they can afford the stuff that's got a much larger profit margin, they'll stay with Celestron? Whatever the reason, I think we should all be on the lookout for new faces in our club meetings come the first of the year -- and if your city has a local Costco, you just might want to speak to your treasurer about placing an ad for it (your club, that is; not Costco ) in the local paper or on the local "Events" website -- especially if you have a regular "skywatch" or whatever.

Fifteen years ago, it was a comet named Hale-Bopp and a little telescope called the ETX. Now it's the Aztecs and a joint Celestron/Costco partnership -- but the new blood is on its way (or will be once Santa arrives), and it's our responsibility to mentor them right ... and, of course, to get them to start paying dues. Win-Win for everybody!

Meade

P.S. It's a crisp, clear 43 degree evening (on its way down to 30) here in the outskirts of Richmond. My GT's out on the deck cooling down for some M42, Jupiter and moon oogling later on.

Edited by Meadeball (11/25/12 07:11 PM)


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svrider1000
super member
*****

Reged: 06/28/12

Loc: Sylmar, California
Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: Meadeball]
      #5539347 - 11/25/12 07:59 PM

Quote:

Now, what other scope that is available new, with that aperture and in that price range (um, none?) can get a review like that from a seasoned observer? I was around (and a customer) when Meade introduced the original ETX (90mm, manually controlled) model in 1996, and they had what many called an "astronomical revolution" on their hands for $500. I think Celestron is really, really onto something here. I mean, think of it: According to Costco's website, it currently has 617 locations. If only half of those locations got a shipment of GTs, and say each one that did received 25, that's 7,500 scopes sold. And it did it last year too. So in two years, we could guesstimate that Celestron has sold 15,000 of these scopes, the majority of which probably went to newbie astronomers as Christmas presents (or gifts to themselves, lol). Sure, many will unfortunately end up as clothes racks in the corners of bedrooms, but think about what they've done for our hobby by getting a usable, capable piece of equipment out there that's interesting enough to keep 'em going until they learn something, and then some. I'm not sure how much profit margin there is on these things -- maybe Celestron or Synta had a you-know-whatload of 102mm OTAs and needed to clear the warehouses or something, or maybe -- just maybe -- they've got somebody who's a far-thinker, who saw what getting an impressive telescope into a beginner's hands might do down the road for repeat customers when they're a bit older with some more greenbacks in their pockets, and when they can afford the stuff that's got a much larger profit margin, they'll stay with Celestron? Whatever the reason, I think we should all be on the lookout for new faces in our club meetings come the first of the year -- and if your city has a local Costco, you just might want to speak to your treasurer about placing an ad for it (your club, that is; not Costco ) in the local paper or on the local "Events" website -- especially if you have a regular "skywatch" or whatever.

Fifteen years ago, it was a comet named Hale-Bopp and a little telescope called the ETX. Now it's the Aztecs and a joint Celestron/Costco partnership -- but the new blood is on its way (or will be once Santa arrives), and it's our responsibility to mentor them right ... and, of course, to get them to start paying dues. Win-Win for everybody!

Meade

P.S. It's a crisp, clear 43 degree evening (on its way down to 30) here in the outskirts of Richmond. My GT's out on the deck cooling down for some M42, Jupiter and moon oogling later on.




Meade,

I use my scopes 4 to 6 days a week. I think the length of it will make people not want to use it as much.

I live in Southern California so I have not had to really cool down any of my scopes but I will be looking at the same objects you mentioned in your post tonight also.

Jim


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Meadeball
sage


Reged: 10/22/12

Loc: Midlothian, Virginia
Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: svrider1000]
      #5539381 - 11/25/12 08:31 PM

Quote:

I use my scopes 4 to 6 days a week. I think the length of it will make people not want to use it as much.




Jim, that's easy to say when you have several scopes at your disposal. My first scope (well, the first usable one) was a 900mm refractor. That didn't stop me from taking it outside almost every clear night from when I was 11 until I was 13. And then I bought a Criterion RV-6 newtonian on a steel pier, and its 80-pound weight (and five-foot-long tube) didn't deter my interest in the hobby.

Meade


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BigC
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 09/29/10

Loc: SE Indiana
Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: svrider1000]
      #5539756 - 11/26/12 02:26 AM

And I think the length of it is more in line with what many people still expect a "real" telescope to look like, plus the longer tube should mean less CA compared to those cute short-tube achros.

The longer tube scopes ,like the old 60/900 are easier to eyeball or shotgun align on the target star.You know many people don't bother or understand aligning the finder before trying to use a new scope.Read the directions is still advice often ignored.


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svrider1000
super member
*****

Reged: 06/28/12

Loc: Sylmar, California
Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: Meadeball]
      #5541042 - 11/26/12 09:02 PM

Quote:

Quote:

I use my scopes 4 to 6 days a week. I think the length of it will make people not want to use it as much.




Jim, that's easy to say when you have several scopes at your disposal. My first scope (well, the first usable one) was a 900mm refractor. That didn't stop me from taking it outside almost every clear night from when I was 11 until I was 13. And then I bought a Criterion RV-6 newtonian on a steel pier, and its 80-pound weight (and five-foot-long tube) didn't deter my interest in the hobby.

Meade




Well I usually only have one or two scopes at a time. I only had the 102GT until today when my 6SE OTA arrived. I just mounted the 6 SE OTA on my GT mount. So far it seems to work very well with minimal vibrations. I still used the 102GT almost every night but am saying it is a real pain when I have to duck down so much. Of course I myself would still use it if it is my only scope but I mean new people may not like ducking down so much and may lose interest but of course people like us would deal with it is what I meant.

Also my 10 inch Dob was heavier but was easier to use once it was outside and I used it all the time.

I am not sure who did not align their finder scope but the 102GT and 6SE both were already aligned when I tested them.


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core
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 02/23/08

Loc: Mostly in Norman, OK
Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: svrider1000]
      #5541301 - 11/26/12 11:25 PM

Quote:

Quote:

I put the mount on my Hal 130 tripod and with my C6 sct it is Rock Solid.




Anyone have any ideas for a lower costing tripod you think may work?




Try Oberwerk Wooden Tripod - usually $100+shipping for the 'blemish' copies. Already comes with a 3/8" stub on the top for mounting. I picked up the 'tall' version ($130 blemish), found basically nothing wrong with the finish (other than a small ding in the wood). Haven't tried the GT/SLT mount on it yet, at the moment I have a Vixen Porta mount head on its, and it takes a C8 OTA very nicely.


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svrider1000
super member
*****

Reged: 06/28/12

Loc: Sylmar, California
Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: core]
      #5541401 - 11/27/12 12:32 AM

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

I put the mount on my Hal 130 tripod and with my C6 sct it is Rock Solid.




Anyone have any ideas for a lower costing tripod you think may work?




Try Oberwerk Wooden Tripod - usually $100+shipping for the 'blemish' copies. Already comes with a 3/8" stub on the top for mounting. I picked up the 'tall' version ($130 blemish), found basically nothing wrong with the finish (other than a small ding in the wood). Haven't tried the GT/SLT mount on it yet, at the moment I have a Vixen Porta mount head on its, and it takes a C8 OTA very nicely.




Thanks Peter. The price seems right I will see if I can find one.


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Astrosetz
professor emeritus


Reged: 10/05/03

Loc: Wisconsin
Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: core]
      #5541414 - 11/27/12 12:49 AM

I picked up a 102GT from Costco yesterday and had it out last night for maybe 20 minutes before the clouds came. For $200 this scope is a STEAL. After using the 45deg diagonal, which was optically ok (not great) but ergonomically poor, I tried a regular diagonal. The 12.5mm Hugenian eyepiece was pretty good on Jupiter. Then I swapped in a University Optics 12.5mm ortho, and WOW was I impressed. There were a lot of cloud bands, GRS, all very nice! More CA than my TV-85, but this thing did WAY better than I have a right to expect for 10% of the money SkyAlign worked great; I aligned on Castor, Jupiter and the Moon, and then told it to find M57. It was just out of the FOV of the stock 25mm Huygenian eyepiece (would have been in if I used a Plossl). Told it to slew to Jupiter and it was bang-on.

I'm seriously excited about people in our local area picking up these scopes for the holidays, and I hope a lot of them show up at our "How To Use Your Telescope" events after the New Year.


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Mike vp
newbie


Reged: 11/27/12

Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: Astrosetz]
      #5542732 - 11/27/12 08:01 PM

Hi All

It looks like this scope has great reviews, I already have a powerseeker 127eq but the hand control from the 102GT looks like a good update for me, I wonder if this could be a good trade?

anyone?


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