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BigC
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 09/29/10

Loc: SE Indiana
Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: Usul]
      #5661791 - 02/04/13 01:32 PM

Quote:

Hello everyoe, I am a newbie, and after phone apps allowed me to start identifying a few things in the night sky, my wife gave me a 102GT this Christmas. I am now in a pickle. Normally, with a new hobby I'm interested in, I literally spend years researching it, haunting online forums, starting with basic equipment, and then picking the nicest equipment that I can afford (which thankfully, as a 40yr old doctor, is a lot).

So after my first views through the 102 GT, I was amazed to see a few bands on Jupiter and 5 moons. But I was disappointed that I had to nearly lie flat on my driveway to see it, and even then, it was as if it were mounted to my clothes dryer.

So, as with every other hobby I have loved, I will put in my time and faithfully go to my local Astronomy club meetings, I will read articles online for hundreds of hours, read Night Watch (etc.) and subscribe to Sky and Telescope, and I will figure this hobby out. (It took me three years to buy an espresso machine). I have heard every argument on the benefits of "putting in your dues" by the Sages of all of these hobbies, starting with entry-level equipment so that you can learn and appreciate the skills that you are developing. I have heard that someone who puts in their time can produce results with lesser gear that a newbie with expensive gear cannot.

But, for once in my life, I am questioning whether "don't jump in so quick" is a bad idea, and I shouldn't just return this scope and purchase one that I don't have to contort myself to view through, or tie weights to stabilize, buy new EP's, a 90° diagonal, a new stand and power source, and then eventually replace with a nicer scope in a year or so. HOWEVER, it seems that most of you really LOVE this telescope. So that totally confuses me.

I want portability, comfortable viewing, ease of use (to allow my 5yr old daughter to enjoy), and probably Go To capability. A Dobsonian seems too bulky for my interest at this point. Wouldn't I get a lot more bang out of a Nexstar 6SE or 8SE (or equivalent SCT), and couldn't I enjoy this for a much longer period without upgrading?
Thanks for any advice!


It happens that the 102 is currently really a bargain in terms of portabilty,goto, and a 4" refractor of good quality.It is not the sturdiest mount,and all long refractors can require awkward observer position when looking above the horizon.

The kind of scope best for a 5 year old and a 40 year old are going to be different.

I say for yourself get the 8SE ,or IF you think you'll want to do astrophotos,get the new Celestron AVX mount with a 8" sct package.If portability is more important then a 6SE will still show very impressive views.Call astronomics and talk with them.If you really don't mind spending a lot more money then go for the C11 on an EQ mount because the 11" will get you another magnitude of objects.You could spend a lifetime and never see everything an 11" scope will pick up. And get a scope dolly assuming it willb e stored in the garage or patio room between sessions.


For your 5 year-old I suggest the Orion Starblast 4.5" ;it is simple ,gives great wide views,needs no batteries or complicated setup.

For a child old enough to understand and use the computerized scopes but still small in stature ,the iOptrons seem very nice.My ioptron R80 GPS is very light and its goto is very good.


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cbourbeau32
journeyman
*****

Reged: 07/06/11

Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: BigC]
      #5776609 - 04/03/13 10:09 PM

Thanks to everyone who contributed to this thread. Since beginning to read this thread I have been searching for a GT102. I finally found one today on Ebay. It is new, but the box had been opened and I got it for $150 including shipping. I'll get back on here and post my two cents worth about it once I receive it and have a chance to play with it some. Thanks again, Charlie

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buddyjesus
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 07/07/10

Loc: Davison, Michigan
Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: cbourbeau32]
      #5776668 - 04/03/13 10:36 PM

GL with the new scope.

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Widespread
professor emeritus


Reged: 05/11/11

Loc: Bowling Green, Kentucky
Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: Astrosetz]
      #5777283 - 04/04/13 10:11 AM

Quote:

[...]If you're at all handy, $40 at your local Home Depot and 90 minutes with a handheld drill and handheld jigsaw will yield replacement legs that will transform the scope (see astrosetz.wordpress.com).[...]




I like the simplicity of your design. I assume the spreader is made from the 24"x24"x1" piece, but what are the finished dimensions of the spreader?

Best,
David


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BigC
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 09/29/10

Loc: SE Indiana
Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: cbourbeau32]
      #5777687 - 04/04/13 01:13 PM

Quote:

Thanks to everyone who contributed to this thread. Since beginning to read this thread I have been searching for a GT102. I finally found one today on Ebay. It is new, but the box had been opened and I got it for $150 including shipping. I'll get back on here and post my two cents worth about it once I receive it and have a chance to play with it some. Thanks again, Charlie




Sounds good.

And you even beat my total cost for a 102 of the same condition by almost $40!
Try to explore the Taurus and Orion before they disapear for the season,and the summer Sagittarius season will show you several nice nebula and great clusters.


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BluewaterObserva
Postmaster
***

Reged: 05/18/04

Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: BigC]
      #5779930 - 04/05/13 03:36 PM

We just picked one of these up on ebay with upgraded finder and upgraded eye pieces for $125.

From time to time our observatory donates telescopes and optics to deserving youth from not so well off families.

This seems like an optimal donation scope for a budding sciences oriented teenager.


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Astrosetz
professor emeritus


Reged: 10/05/03

Loc: Wisconsin
Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: Widespread]
      #5781311 - 04/06/13 08:53 AM

Hi David,

I'll be posting detail drawings and an update on the project this weekend -- I'll post here once that's up.


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cbourbeau32
journeyman
*****

Reged: 07/06/11

Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: Astrosetz]
      #5791400 - 04/10/13 10:04 PM

Well the scope came today but the sky is cloudy so I guess it will be tomorrow night before she sees first light. I put it together and everything seems to function well. As someone stated here (or elsewhere) the scope looks pretty impressive when assembled. Can't wait for first light. I'll post again once I have a look at something besides a stop sign two blocks away.

Thanks, Charlie


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cbourbeau32
journeyman
*****

Reged: 07/06/11

Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: cbourbeau32]
      #5797934 - 04/14/13 08:16 AM

Well I had taken the scope out a couple of times to be sure everthing worked correctly and I can say I really like the Skyalign very well. I was a little concerned at first with the views as I was only able to view Jupiter the first few nights out and it was fuzzy at most powers, but it must have been poor viewing because last night when the moon was finally up enough to view it gave good views on all powers up to 125x and decent at 250x and Jupiter looked much better at all powers as well. I'm looking foward to new lenses. What brand of plossl gets the most recommendations on here?

Thanks, Charlie


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BigC
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 09/29/10

Loc: SE Indiana
Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: cbourbeau32]
      #5798039 - 04/14/13 10:10 AM

In my case,Meade SuperPlossl has a slight edge over Celestron Plossl.

For anyone who can't afford a new set of plossls, even MEADE MA or Celestron SMA ,and generic Kellners are a big improvement over the eyepieces shipped with the Costco Celestron 102.I think it would have been better of Celestron and Costco to have included the 25 and 10mm SMA eyepieces instead.


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BigC
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 09/29/10

Loc: SE Indiana
Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: BigC]
      #5798047 - 04/14/13 10:18 AM

Currently, both the Celestron (Costco model)102 and the Meade DS-102 can be found online at or very close to $200 ,some with shipping included.

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cbourbeau32
journeyman
*****

Reged: 07/06/11

Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: BigC]
      #5822043 - 04/25/13 12:57 PM

Regarding powering this unit. Has anyone tried snipping the wire just short of the battery holder and connecting these ends to a 12volt lead acid battery off of Ebay? Would this work?

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Widespread
professor emeritus


Reged: 05/11/11

Loc: Bowling Green, Kentucky
Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: Astrosetz]
      #5822328 - 04/25/13 02:35 PM

Quote:

Hi David,

I'll be posting detail drawings and an update on the project this weekend -- I'll post here once that's up.




Merci beaucoups.


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BigC
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 09/29/10

Loc: SE Indiana
Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: cbourbeau32]
      #5823109 - 04/25/13 08:57 PM

Certainly a 12v lead acid will work.

At home I prefer the AC power pack even if it does mean a long cord.

Better yet just get a jumpstarst pack and the appropiate cord.


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Astrosetz
professor emeritus


Reged: 10/05/03

Loc: Wisconsin
Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: BigC]
      #5823268 - 04/25/13 10:20 PM

Ok, some things in my personal life have caused my planned blog update to move to the back burner, but I should have it up THIS weekend

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Space_Girl1234
member


Reged: 03/06/11

Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: BigC]
      #5824389 - 04/26/13 01:10 PM

Where?

Do you think it will be cheaper like it was before?


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BigC
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 09/29/10

Loc: SE Indiana
Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: Space_Girl1234]
      #5825275 - 04/26/13 08:37 PM

Will what be cheaper?

If Costco sells the 102 this coming Christmas season then I expect there will be end-of-year markdowns and deals on store returns.That is typical for seasonal goods.And to many stores telescopes,like model trains, are just another holiday sales item.

If you are in the U.S. it seems likely some store in your area is having a special on a car jump-start pack that will work as well as the Celestron for powering a scope.


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Space_Girl1234
member


Reged: 03/06/11

Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: BigC]
      #5828727 - 04/28/13 04:46 PM

The Celestron 102 telescope and mount.

I cannot find it at the ~$150 price.

Does anyone know it is sold the cheapest?


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Astrosetz
professor emeritus


Reged: 10/05/03

Loc: Wisconsin
Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: Space_Girl1234]
      #5836339 - 05/02/13 01:41 PM

Sorry for the delay -- the design drawings are posted (finally). Please let me know if you build your own version!

They are PDF files available at astrosetz.wordpress.com


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Widespread
professor emeritus


Reged: 05/11/11

Loc: Bowling Green, Kentucky
Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: Astrosetz]
      #5838144 - 05/03/13 11:24 AM

Thanks!

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