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ja313
newbie


Reged: 10/27/10

Loc: Washington state, USA
Nexstar 102 GT
      #5422667 - 09/15/12 05:28 PM

Hi all, long time lurker first time poster,I was wondering if anyone has had any experience with the Celestron Nexstar 102 gt refractor that is currently being sold at Costco stores,I know that the general rule of thumb is to avoid department store telscopes but this one lookes like it could be the exception with the $200.00 price point it seems like it could be a pretty good deal.

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MikeBOKC
Post Laureate
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Reged: 05/10/10

Loc: Oklahoma City, OK
Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: ja313]
      #5422685 - 09/15/12 05:44 PM

For that price it is probably an OK beginner scope. Decent aperture, but with likely chromatic aberration. Go to, but a pretty lightweight mount that will do some shaking. All in all a starter scope a cut or two above department store level.

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csrlice12
Postmaster
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Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: MikeBOKC]
      #5422800 - 09/15/12 07:17 PM

Agree with Mike. I was in Costco Yesterday and saw the Nexstar102GT there. At F10 chromatic aberration won't be a serious problem, and this scope will be pretty forgiving of cheaper eyepieces. The mount is very light, and would need someway to stableize it such as putting a heavy weight hanging from the tripod. The mount was mostly plastic, so that can raise some concerns. However, If all I had was $200 and wanted GoTo, this would be the one I'd buy. All in all, the scope itself is pretty good, it's the mount/tripod that is the weak link here. But, for the money, not a bad buy.

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WaterMasterAdministrator
Moat Keeper
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Reged: 02/17/10

Loc: Southeast Idaho, USA
Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5423008 - 09/15/12 09:54 PM

Hi Ja313, welcome in from the shadows.

I used my Celestron 80mm NexStar for years and the mount never gave me any trouble. It is pretty shaky but as mentioned, there are ways to firm it up some (I hung a 10 pound weight from the tripod).

It's really a pretty good deal for a starter scope with goto.


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ja313
newbie


Reged: 10/27/10

Loc: Washington state, USA
Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: WaterMaster]
      #5424544 - 09/16/12 10:36 PM

Thank you all for the replies, after thinking this over and being that I already have a small scope (60mm refractor) on a shakey mount, I think I will save my $200.00 and put it towards an 8 or 10 inch Dob.

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ClusterHunter110
super member


Reged: 02/26/12

Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: ja313]
      #5424760 - 09/17/12 01:38 AM

Hm...now that I look on Costco's website, they have an Astromaster 90EQ (which was the first scope I wanted before I was really educated in Astronomy)...I'm seriously considering that, but I'm not sure. It's tempting me GREATLY.

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BigC
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 09/29/10

Loc: SE Indiana
Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: ClusterHunter110]
      #5425139 - 09/17/12 10:25 AM

The 102 doesn't apear when I search Costco for "telescope",although the 90Eq and 4 others do.

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howard929
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Reged: 01/02/11

Loc: Low End of High Ground
Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: ja313]
      #5425141 - 09/17/12 10:26 AM

Quote:

Thank you all for the replies, after thinking this over and being that I already have a small scope (60mm refractor) on a shakey mount, I think I will save my $200.00 and put it towards an 8 or 10 inch Dob.




Wise move.


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tnakazon
sage


Reged: 06/26/10

Loc: Los Angeles
Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: howard929]
      #5442313 - 09/26/12 08:10 PM Attachment (125 downloads)

A friend of mine alerted me to this scope at Costco a couple of days ago, so the next day after work, I went to the nearest store, bought an annual membership card ($55), then went ahead and purchased this scope.

Good news is that it has a 2" focuser (and comes with a 1.25" adapter). The not so good news is that the 5 eyepieces are of the 2-element variety, the same ones found in the Celestron FirstScope and its optional accessory kit (4 Huygens, 1 Ramsden eyepiece).

Haven't tested it yet, hoping that false color won't be much of a problem on the brighter objects, given its f/9.8 focal ratio.


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Dennis_S253
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 11/22/11

Loc: West Central Florida
Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: tnakazon]
      #5442484 - 09/26/12 09:42 PM

That would be a good first scope I would think. Like said, you may have to weight the tripot some. But still a 4" is nothing to sneeze at. Heck thats all I have used for years.

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tnakazon
sage


Reged: 06/26/10

Loc: Los Angeles
Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: Dennis_S253]
      #5442605 - 09/26/12 10:46 PM Attachment (149 downloads)

Same here - all of the observing I've been doing the past 2 years are with scopes around 4 inches in aperture. Shown here are my two workhorses - the 100mm Orion SkyScanner and the 114mm Orion Starblast 4.5 - both fast f/4.0 Newtonians.

Looking forward to seeing how the views through the slower NexStar 102GT f/9.8 achromat compare with these two, especially on the planets.


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newtoskies
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 07/15/12

Loc: SE Ma.
Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: tnakazon]
      #5442678 - 09/26/12 11:24 PM

Not too bad of a deal. Been thinking of getting a cheap beginner grabNgo scope.

Rob


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GOLGO13
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 11/05/05

Loc: St. Louis area
Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: newtoskies]
      #5443323 - 09/27/12 11:17 AM

Looks and sounds like an OK starting scope. The eyepieces are old school 2 element designs...which is somewhat surprising. But at 200 bucks you can afford to get new eyepeices. I'm reading pretty positive reviews online.

The biggest complaints were the eyepeices being old designs (I would actually kind of like that...trying out older designed eyepeices)and the tripod being shaky. I think vibration pads or hanging wieghts on the tripod could help there.

I think it looks like one of the better department store telescopes. Most of them look unuseable...especially the Meade ones at Sams Club and such.


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KWB
Postmaster
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Reged: 09/30/06

Loc: Westminster,Co Elev.5400 feet
Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: GOLGO13]
      #5443367 - 09/27/12 11:50 AM

I absolutely love the fact this telescope can utilise 2 inch eyepieces. About time for an entry level scope. Using an inexpensive aftermarket eyepiece like a 30mm GSO Superview,a little over a 2.0° TFOV capability is possible.

Despite the other obvious limitations when talking about a $200.00 setup,IMO that is at least a big step in the right direction.


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csrlice12
Postmaster
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Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: KWB]
      #5443374 - 09/27/12 11:54 AM

On another thread, somebody mentioned that this scope demands you use the tracking as it is not built for manually moving the scope. Is this true?

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KWB
Postmaster
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Reged: 09/30/06

Loc: Westminster,Co Elev.5400 feet
Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5443402 - 09/27/12 12:10 PM

Quote:

On another thread, somebody mentioned that this scope demands you use the tracking as it is not built for manually moving the scope. Is this true?



Not true. This telescope can manually be slewed in any direction. The GOTO feature doesn't need to be used.


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csrlice12
Postmaster
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Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: KWB]
      #5443505 - 09/27/12 01:17 PM

Thanks. I looked at this scope as a quick grabngo, but believe I'll just wait till Xmas and go for the Omni 102XLT instead....

but, since you can use it manually, that makes it a better deal...


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tnakazon
sage


Reged: 06/26/10

Loc: Los Angeles
Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: KWB]
      #5449327 - 09/30/12 10:29 PM

Quote:

Quote:

On another thread, somebody mentioned that this scope demands you use the tracking as it is not built for manually moving the scope. Is this true?



Not true. This telescope can manually be slewed in any direction. The GOTO feature doesn't need to be used.



The GOTO feature does not need to be used on this scope, but you still need to use the automatic tracking system to slew the scope across the sky. The scope can be moved manually (by hand) up-and-down, but not left-to-right.

So if you don't want to use an external power source, best to use another mount for it, such as the Vixen Portamount or Skywatcher AZ4 alt-azimuth mount.


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BigC
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 09/29/10

Loc: SE Indiana
Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: KWB]
      #5449540 - 10/01/12 02:02 AM

Quote:

Quote:

On another thread, somebody mentioned that this scope demands you use the tracking as it is not built for manually moving the scope. Is this true?



Not true. This telescope can manually be slewed in any direction. The GOTO feature doesn't need to be used.


I don't think so.Nexstar scopes typically can be moved up/down by hand but it more a safety feature for the motor than for observing.There are no clutch knobs to loosen.

The MEADE 102 GOTO refractor mount is different and the user can loosen the large knob on the bottom of the base for azimuth and the large knob on the arm for altitude,and then use the scope without batteries or electric and of course no tracking when manual.

One could buy the set,either one, and just use the OTA on a different mount.Then keep or sell the GOTO mount as desired.


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howard929
Member
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Reged: 01/02/11

Loc: Low End of High Ground
Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5449830 - 10/01/12 09:18 AM

Quote:

On another thread, somebody mentioned that this scope demands you use the tracking as it is not built for manually moving the scope. Is this true?




I have one of those (102 SLT) and have yet to find a way to manually move it side to side. Loosening the nut doesn't help since the two sections meet with a plastic gear on each side. Go-TO isn't required to move it but without a power source for the hand controller, it's a paper weight.


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Dave Hederich
sage


Reged: 09/12/07

Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: howard929]
      #5450105 - 10/01/12 12:55 PM

I have a NexStar 60GT mount I'm adapting to carry my 102mm mak, and in the instruction manual it says:

In case of a loss of power, the optical tube can be moved by hand.

I've tried it, and it can be manually moved either up and down or side to side.

However, in the 102GT manual, it says:

In case of a loss of power, the optical tube can be moved up and down by hand.

Odd that they would change that, as the mounts look virtually identical.


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csrlice12
Postmaster
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Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: Dave Hederich]
      #5450171 - 10/01/12 01:39 PM

That is a severe drawback if you ask me. Wonder why they made it this way? No doubt to save a couple of bucks, but you should at least be able to move ANY scope manually, if you can't, stay away, unless you like buying lots of batteries or being FULLY dependent upon power.

Also saw the 90mm on the EQ2 mount online for the same price...between the two, I'd go for the 90mm, believe it has a 1000mm f/l as well.

Edited by csrlice12 (10/01/12 01:42 PM)


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BigC
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 09/29/10

Loc: SE Indiana
Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5450183 - 10/01/12 01:48 PM

While the Meade DS mount can be used manually,and I have, the design is primarily aimed at Goto operation.It takes careful adjustment of the big knob tightness to get smooth manual motion without floppiness.

I find it is less aggravating to simply have two scopes ne manual and one computer-controlled.Just use the one that best serves the purpose at the time. Of course this means finding real good deals so one can afford two scopes.I really like my old Meade DS 90 white tube 90mm refractor AND my Celestron Firstscope 90 EQ !


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svrider1000
super member
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Reged: 06/28/12

Loc: Sylmar, California
Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: BigC]
      #5453583 - 10/03/12 01:55 PM

Hi,

I just sold my XT10i and ETX80AT. I wanted an 102mm or larger refractor so I went to Costco yesterday and bought the Nextstar 102 GT to test out.

I got rid of my f/4.7 dob because I wanted more magnification and go to rather than push to. My ETX80AT was very fast at f/5 I believe and had super wide views also.

Here is a quick personal review from last night which was the first and only time I have used this scope so far.

I am very happy with the 102 GT so far and do not miss my Dob or EXT80 yet. So far I am seeing much more magnified views of objects that I was not able to see very well in the past with my existing eyepieces.

The go to was on the money after aligning it with the moon. The scope can be removed quickly and stored very easily.


Scope is much much quieter than my EXT and 80 GT scopes.

The Moon and Jupiter had no color issues since it is a slower refractor.

I saw the Andromeda galaxy last night better than I have in any of my other scopes.

Cons - The scope vibrates a lot but hopefully I can fix this. Also the scope is very light but super long I need to buy a really low stool or chair because even with the legs fully extended there are times I had to duck down and kneel really low to the ground to view some objects.

Comes with a battery power source that is external but I can live with that.

Works great with my right angle finder scope and regular eye pieces but with my Hyperion it is too heavy for the motor. So I have to use one or the other but not both. Maybe I will sell the RAFS and get a Telrad which I think will be lighter and can be placed higher up on the scope.


I loved the price of $199 and this is all the scope I need for my small back yard and somewhat light polluted area and until I can afford a nice 8 to 11 inch SCT. Also I may put it on a CG4 mount if I can find one at a reasonable price but if I can stabilize the current stand I may not be in a rush.

Edited by svrider1000 (10/03/12 01:59 PM)


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csrlice12
Postmaster
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Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: svrider1000]
      #5453648 - 10/03/12 02:31 PM

You'd be able to push mag better on that 10XTi then that 4". You would want a refractor for a wider FOV. Truthfully, a 4" refractor makes a good complimentary scope to a 10' Dob as its probably gonna give better contrast on planets and brighter objects. However, That Dob will see much fainter objects then that 4" refractor would even dream of.

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svrider1000
super member
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Reged: 06/28/12

Loc: Sylmar, California
Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5453685 - 10/03/12 02:59 PM

I used my dob every night. I carried it outside and used it. My back is tired now. And wife is mad cause it takes up a room in my house. Where I live at after a certain point the light is not good enough to view what I wanted to see at the magnification I wanted to see it at. I went to my friends with it who had 8 inch and 11 inch SCTs. I saw things I could not see in my 10 inch dob.

Since my yard is so small and my back hurts I was going to get a 6 inch reflector but I figured I would try out a 4 inch refractor first. I think for 200 dollars as I save for a SCT which is also f/10 would not be a bad idea. Plus my eyepieces should be fine on both of them.

I plan on testing this out for a week or so. if I do not like it you know Costco's return policy. Then I may go with a used 6 in reflector or maybe a 6 or 8 inch SCT if I can find one at a really good price. But they will cost more than $200.

Also f/4.7 Dob = wide field of view less magnification on objects. f/9.8 refractor narrower field of view but more magnification on object. And yes of course a 10 inch light bucket can see way more faint objects than a 4 inch anything.


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KWB
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Reged: 09/30/06

Loc: Westminster,Co Elev.5400 feet
Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: svrider1000]
      #5453709 - 10/03/12 03:17 PM

Hello and welcome svrider

FWIW,A 1200mm focal length, 10 inch dob is going to have more magnification using the same eyepiece(say a 10mm 52° AFOV plossl)than the 1000mm focal length,4 inch refractor,not less magnification.

This same eyepiece provides a slightly wider TFOV in the refractor(about .050 versus .040) than the dobsonian.

My 10 inch,F/5 GSO dob actually takes up less floor space than my 90mm,F/10 refractor/EQ3 setup. Good luck and enjoy whatever setup you have or so choose to use. A telescope that gathers dust from not being used is as good as useless.


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Jim Nelson
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 05/10/05

Loc: SE Michigan
Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: svrider1000]
      #5453714 - 10/03/12 03:21 PM

Quote:

Also f/4.7 Dob = wide field of view less magnification on objects. f/9.8 refractor narrower field of view but more magnification on object




The dob has a 1200mm focal length; the refractor about a 1000mm focal length. For any given eyepiece, the Dob will have somewhat higher magnification. The top power for the refractor will be around 200x (given the 50x/inch rule of thumb). The top power for the dob is much more than that, although atmospheric conditions and manual tracking may keep the practical power limit to 300x or less.


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JohnMurphyRN
sage
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Reged: 09/09/12

Loc: Near St Louis
Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: svrider1000]
      #5453721 - 10/03/12 03:25 PM

Quote:

Also f/4.7 Dob = wide field of view less magnification on objects. f/9.8 refractor narrower field of view but more magnification on object.




250mm Dob @ F4.7 = 1175mm focal length. 102mm refractor @ F9.8 = 1000mm focal length....Magnification = Focal length of primary divided by focal length of eyepiece = same eyepiece gives more mag in the dob.

Conclusion: Either I'm missing something, or . . .


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svrider1000
super member
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Reged: 06/28/12

Loc: Sylmar, California
Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: svrider1000]
      #5453888 - 10/03/12 05:20 PM

Guys sorry if I am saying this wrong. Without buying any new eyepieces I am seeing some M object more than I did with my other scopes. I am not sure if it because of light pollution or what. I am not saying that if I put the same sized in both the 102mm and the 254mm. Of course the Dob would win but because the FOV was so wide and I wanted to see objects larger in my eyepiece with less width I decided to try the 102mm which has a more narrow field of view.

I hope that makes sense.


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Jim Nelson
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 05/10/05

Loc: SE Michigan
Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: svrider1000]
      #5453911 - 10/03/12 05:39 PM

Quote:

I hope that makes sense.




Actually...not really. Sorry!

If you're using the same eyepieces on the dob and the refractor, the refractor will have a wider field of view and lower magnification and the objects will appear smaller.

If you're using the scope in a different *location* as well, then that could make a difference - many dim fuzzies will appear "larger" in darker skies, because the fainter outer portions will come into view.


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svrider1000
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Reged: 06/28/12

Loc: Sylmar, California
Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: Jim Nelson]
      #5453939 - 10/03/12 06:07 PM

These scopes are too far apart in size to compare with the same exact sized eyepiece. I am more saying I want a slower scope rather than a faster scope.

This is what I have been seeing all over when i get the cash I am going SCT.

http://www.cloudynights.com/ubbthreads/showflat.php/Cat/0/Number/4923095/Main/4922952


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csrlice12
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Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: svrider1000]
      #5454007 - 10/03/12 07:02 PM

Hey, as long as you can track, go with the narrow FOV, and those plossels will do you fine. The mount will be steadier as you shorten the legs.

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tnakazon
sage


Reged: 06/26/10

Loc: Los Angeles
Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: tnakazon]
      #5454413 - 10/04/12 12:22 AM Attachment (129 downloads)

Tested this scope out a few days ago. The SkyAlign 3-star alignment didn't work (it slewed the scope to the wrong location), but the 2-star align did the trick. All objects I selected were within the field of view through my 40mm eyepiece (25X magnification). Looking forward to good times with this scope.

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Starhawk
Space Ranger
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Reged: 09/16/08

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: tnakazon]
      #5459337 - 10/07/12 02:02 PM

So what's the difference between this mount and a Nexstar SLT? I'll be darned if I can figure out what the deal is.

-Rich


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svrider1000
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Reged: 06/28/12

Loc: Sylmar, California
Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: tnakazon]
      #5459390 - 10/07/12 02:35 PM

tnakazon

How was your night out? Yesterday I bought a used 40mm Televue Plossl for $50. I was very impressed. I have used it at 40mm then 20mm with 2x Barlow. Then I really pushed it with 4 x using two 2x Barlows to 10mm. The sky was not very clear but the Moon and Jupiter still looked very good through it.

I viewed Jupiter at 10 with my Hyperion at 10mm then 5mm. the images were very clear and I could see 3 or 4 bands. I cannot wait to to see it on a more clear night. I also used my 6mm and 4mm plossls and the views were just as good. So far I have take this scope down to 4mm and was able to view Jupiter just fine.

Still my only issue is the telescope is so long that it can move up and down to easily by accident and I lose my alignment sometimes. I am hoping I can tighten it up some to compensate for this.


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svrider1000
super member
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Reged: 06/28/12

Loc: Sylmar, California
Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: svrider1000]
      #5459893 - 10/07/12 11:14 PM

I took the chance and tightened the screw where the dovetail goes and now it is tight and holds my Right Angle Finder and huge Baader Hyperion eyepiece perfectly.

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Starhawk
Space Ranger
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Reged: 09/16/08

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: svrider1000]
      #5459951 - 10/08/12 12:17 AM

Wow- that would seem to be the one missing datum. These things seem too good to be true. But then again, Costco deals in volume, so maybe this is what's possible with enough orders.

-Rich


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BigC
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 09/29/10

Loc: SE Indiana
Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: Starhawk]
      #5460008 - 10/08/12 01:48 AM

It has been said numerous times that most of these inexpensive scopes have a good objective,and I note these new owners using high end eyepieces not the stock ones.

And maybe someone's 10" Dob had a mirror needing collimation OR a mirror that just barely passed the quality test at the factory.With mass production some will get a really great mirror,some a miror that barely passes ,and most a good mirror.It is not the user fault if he gets the lemon in a batch of peaches.

Because I would expect the view to be better in the 10" scope .

The BEST scope for anyone is still the scope they use ,not the one with better "specd" sitting in the closet.

I wonder how this Celestron 102 1000mm compares in view and operation to Meade's 102 800mm ? Both scopes seem to be limited availability .There are plenty of dealers offering the short Celestron 102 600mm.


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Starhawk
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Reged: 09/16/08

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: BigC]
      #5460265 - 10/08/12 09:13 AM

I played with one on display at Costco, yesterday. The azimuth axis does release and let you push it. It was stiffer than the altitude, and I can see a some adjustment would vastly improve it.

-Rich


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svrider1000
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Reged: 06/28/12

Loc: Sylmar, California
Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: Starhawk]
      #5460301 - 10/08/12 09:49 AM

I had a chance to get up early and see the Orion Nebula this morning. I was very impressed with the view. Also I tried to use the 5 eyepieces that came with the scope but the quality was very bad. I am not sure what to do with them.

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csrlice12
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Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: svrider1000]
      #5460355 - 10/08/12 10:29 AM

I got a .22, we could use them for target practice....

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BigC
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Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: svrider1000]
      #5460405 - 10/08/12 10:57 AM

I'm curious:does the new 102 seem better than the Maks you once had?

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svrider1000
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Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: BigC]
      #5460551 - 10/08/12 12:26 PM

Quote:

I'm curious:does the new 102 seem better than the Maks you once had?




Here is a quick story about my experience with these scopes.

I bought each scope used at super low prices. So I was able to sell each one for more than I bought it for. If I had paid full price for my Dob I would still have it.

The C130 was one of my favorite scopes. It had very nice views but then I saw the XT10i for $300 I sold it right away and got the Dob. So I did not get a really good chance to use it very much but I had money left over after that deal and a 10 inch Dob.

The Starguide 4 I got for $60 but it had no tripod and was harder to use on a table top so I used my Dob almost every night and rarely used the 4 inch Mak so I cannot really say how it compares.

In two months I used my Dob almost every night so I got a lot of use out of it. It was great with the push to feature. I was able to find lots of things with it.

If I find a good deal I am looking to buy a 6 or 8 inch SCT but I intend to keep this scope if I can. I want to keep a Go To scope from now on.


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tnakazon
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Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: svrider1000]
      #5461200 - 10/08/12 08:15 PM

Quote:

tnakazon

How was your night out? Yesterday I bought a used 40mm Televue Plossl for $50. I was very impressed. I have used it at 40mm then 20mm with 2x Barlow. Then I really pushed it with 4 x using two 2x Barlows to 10mm. The sky was not very clear but the Moon and Jupiter still looked very good through it.

I viewed Jupiter at 10 with my Hyperion at 10mm then 5mm. the images were very clear and I could see 3 or 4 bands. I cannot wait to to see it on a more clear night. I also used my 6mm and 4mm plossls and the views were just as good. So far I have take this scope down to 4mm and was able to view Jupiter just fine.

Still my only issue is the telescope is so long that it can move up and down to easily by accident and I lose my alignment sometimes. I am hoping I can tighten it up some to compensate for this.




A few days ago I used a 6.3mm Plossl (158X) on Jupiter with this scope. The sky had a thin film of cloud, but I was still able to see four cloud bands. There was some purple haze, but it didn't detract from the overall view of this planet.

The only problem I have is with objects near the zenith, whereby the scope sometimes gets jammed on the tripod legs. I lose alignment when I pull the scope apart from the tripod. There is also the risk of damaging the OTA.


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tnakazon
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Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: BigC]
      #5461215 - 10/08/12 08:26 PM

Quote:

...I wonder how this Celestron 102 1000mm compares in view and operation to Meade's 102 800mm ? Both scopes seem to be limited availability .There are plenty of dealers offering the short Celestron 102 600mm.




The shorter focal length of the Meade (800mm) vs. the Celestron (1000mm) means more false color around bright objects like Jupiter or Venus. However the Meade should give you slightly larger fields of view.


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Gary Z
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Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: svrider1000]
      #5461515 - 10/09/12 01:16 AM

Hello SVRider,

I totally understand about the back, which is why I also have an ETX-80 for easy grab and go, but not a reliable scope. My wonderful wife took pity on me and let me get a Celestron 8 SE SCT. Believe it or not, the scope is just about as easy to get around....in pieces and much more reliable. Now, I would suggest to try to go to a star party to view what others are using and why. This might help you determine what you like and don't like without having to spend more money...although that would be fun too!


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svrider1000
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Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: Gary Z]
      #5461531 - 10/09/12 01:44 AM

Gary

I went to my friends to compare my 10 inch Dob with his 8 and 11 inch Celestron SCTs. After that night I decided I liked his scopes much better that is why I want to get a SCT. Also another friend has a 10 inch Meade SCT and I was also more impressed with it than my Dob.


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hpysheep
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Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: ja313]
      #5465652 - 10/11/12 04:42 PM

Hi,

I bought the 102gt from CostCo as my first GOTO telescope. The skyalign is real easy to do, and the first night out I was using the 4mm eyepiece, and getting views of Jupiter and its moons that looked just as good as the pics on Stellarium...the free program I use a lot to locate and find info about objects. Color was proper with the 4mm eyepiece, but was a bit yellow with the largest eyepieces.

I use the beach near my house for an unobstructed view, and have had no problems with the tripod, even at 250x power with the 4mm lens with the tripodlegs in the sand. The GOTO function places the previously viewed items right back into the center of the eyepiece. I am not sure of where those who needed the weights on their scopes were viewing. I did not have much of a wind at night and perhaps that helped the scope's stability.

I had read that as a rule of thumb, a Newtonian telescope mirror equivalent diameter will have to be twice the diameter of the objective lens on a refractor. So, I am guessing that I would need an 8" reflector to get the equivalent view.

I had some real bad experiences with the Meade 102, and was happy that to date, the Celestron 102gt telescope has done everything that it says it should do, and quite painlessly. I also really like the accuracy of the viewscope and its repeatability after tear down, and reassemly. I only had to adjust it the first time out, and it is right on the money the last 3 times I was out viewing.

I have not had a chance to try to find deep space objects, due to the moon phases and my inexperience. But it works great with the planets.

I also have not had a chance to try the computer RS232 interface cable with Stellarium.

I also liked the software that came bundled with the scope: First Light, and it is easy to use.


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svrider1000
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Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: hpysheep]
      #5465672 - 10/11/12 04:54 PM

hpysheep,

I am glad to see that you are enjoying your scope. I also like mine very much so far.

I think the rule is something like 1/3. Meaning you might be able to compare a good 4 inch APO to a 6 inch Newtonian reflector. Here is an article by Chuck Hawks that I read a while back.

http://www.chuckhawks.com/telescope_aperture.htm


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Jim Nelson
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Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: hpysheep]
      #5465836 - 10/11/12 07:07 PM

Quote:

'I had read that as a rule of thumb, a Newtonian telescope mirror equivalent diameter will have to be twice the diameter of the objective lens on a refractor."




Definitely not! A decent 8 inch reflector will easily outperform the best 4 inch refractor in the world on pretty much any objective measure of performance

The equivalent planetary performance is probably closer to 4inch vs. 6inch, and for deep sky more like 4inch vs. 5inch (rough rules of thumb based on my experience).

But there's a reason 4-inch refractors are so popular - they're a terribly convenient package at the aperture where things start to get interesting.

Edited by Jim Nelson (10/11/12 07:59 PM)


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Raldo
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Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: howard929]
      #5466066 - 10/11/12 10:10 PM

I am considering this scope as a complement to my 8sct. Is it a good choice? Is it a good deal at 199.00? More reviews please.

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GOLGO13
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Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: hpysheep]
      #5466319 - 10/12/12 04:08 AM

yeah...twice as much needed between a refractor and a newt is pretty far off. An 8 inch newt would blow a 4 inch out of the water for most objects. I have a 6 inch newt and a 4 inch refractor (a little fancier than the 102GT). I feel the 6 inch does better on most objects. Still, that's a little more fair a fight than an 8.

I'd say given the same level of quality (it can be hard to find high quality newts at smaller sizes), I'd give the refractor an inch or so. So a 4 inch refractor would be like a 5 inch newt. And maybe a little more on an SCT given a little larger central obstruction? But I have no research. I have seen a few research ones on here, but hard to say how accurate they were.

Hey, either way it should be a nice scope Enjoy it! But I would advise you to get new eyepieces. It sounded like that was the only weak point in the package. Though I admit I would love to have some old school eyepiece designs for the fun of it. You should be able to find some used Plossl eyepieces for 15-20 bucks each.


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maltydog
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Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: GOLGO13]
      #5466433 - 10/12/12 07:23 AM

just bought this last night. amazingly, the clouds cleared out for about an hour for me to give it a try. not bad at all. of course the mount is shak'in like a leaf on a tree. will definitely play around with adding weights, etc.. the auto align and goto worked reasonably well. i used by ES16 eyepiece and the views were nice. split a couple doubles as well as take in M15 (glob) and the double cluster. M31and M110 looked much better than i anticipated. this will be a great grab 'n go scope once i can get the mount's vibration down. the red dot finder worked well. overall, i consider it a great value for $200; best of all if i later decide i don't like it, i can return to costco no questions asked (don't plan on doing that though).

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maltydog
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Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: maltydog]
      #5467668 - 10/13/12 01:55 AM

tonight was mostly clear also - at least until about 20 minutes ago. tonight i used my unistar mount with the heavy duty tripod. i also used my 2" diagonal from my ES 127. amazing how much difference it makes when the scope/mount is steady. much more enjoyable and able to evaluate the scope better. since this was point and shoot i had to work a bit more especially since i only used the red dot finder and no finder scope. from my driveway i have fairly good shielding from street lights but very limited view of the sky so i looked at the same things as last night (but with a rock solid mount).

checked out M103 and M31; the main thing i wanted to do was split double stars. polaris was doable as well as almach and the double double. for the double double i used both a 9mm (nagler) and 6mm (delos). there would be periods of some waviness then periods of super clean separation. of course alberio for the colors. also looked a M15,M27, M57; all very nice. the dumbell neb was much better using a skyglow ultrablock filter. M13 was in a part of they sky where a lot of light pollution so although it was clearly visible it was washed out. i tried to see the veil but i can never get it from my house - even with O3 or ultrablock filters.

Came in for an hour and waited for jupiter. moved the scope to the back yard and look at jupiter for awhile. use 6 and 9 mm eyepieces; good view. then turned to the aruiga clusters (m36,37,38). surprised how dim they were in the 4 inch. i'll probably be blown away by the views the next time i take my 16 inch dob out. also looked at the pleides (subaru) and the double cluster with the pentax 30XW. wow!.

anyway, i am officially declaring this scope worthy of it's $200 price tag - at least for now. i just need to work with getting the goto mount stabilized; i wonder if i can mount the goto head on my UA heavy duty tripod. i'll play around with that tomorrow. if so that would solve my shaky mount problem and still get to use the goto. otherwise i'll use some weights and see how that works out - only thing adding weights kind of offsets the grab 'n go purpose of getting the scope in the first place.


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svrider1000
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Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: maltydog]
      #5467741 - 10/13/12 04:44 AM

maltydog

Thanks for the fantastic update.

I had to work late tonight. When I got home it was too late for me to get my scope out of my bedroom closet without waking the wife up.

I went outside and just wished I had some binoculars or something. Pleiades, Jupiter, Orion and his nebular were all staring at me from a clear sky.

Man I wish I had left my scope downstairs like I used to.


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tnakazon
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Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: maltydog]
      #5472374 - 10/15/12 10:06 PM Attachment (92 downloads)

Thanks for the update!

Took the scope out to Arizona over the weekend (All Arizona Star Party). Got invaluable assistance from others at the Party in getting the most accurate alignment possible from the NexStar GOTO.

With a 40mm Orion Highlight Plossl (25X), was able to detect some really difficult objects:

IC 342 in Camelopardis (visual 8.4, s.b. 14.9)
NGC 1055 in Cetus (visual 10.9, s.b. 14.0)
NGC 6822/Barnard's Galaxy in Sagittarius (visual 9.9, s.b. 15.5)

Using a 12.5mm Orion Plossl (80X), the GOTO was able to slew the scope to three smaller but brighter 11th magnitude galaxies in Cetus within the eyepiece FOV. If I'm able to maintain this level of GOTO accuracy in finding DSO's, it would be difficult to go back to star-hopping without such a mount ever again.


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svrider1000
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Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: tnakazon]
      #5472544 - 10/15/12 11:56 PM

tnakazon,

Nice post and picture.

I really liked the 102GT but I took it back to Costco and bought a used Orion Starmax 127mm Mak EQ for $25 more. The EQ mount is super sturdy. Hopefully tonight I can test out the new Mak scope.


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csrlice12
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Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: svrider1000]
      #5472868 - 10/16/12 08:25 AM

Just curious, what's the longest period you've owned any telescope?

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svrider1000
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Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5472948 - 10/16/12 09:41 AM

csrlice12,

I had my XT10i and EXT80 the longest and used the Dob at least 5 nights a week for about 3 or 4 months straight. I can only keep one scope because of storage limitations and a small back yard and high fence. So I am looking for something like I have now. I am spending so little on scopes I am able to test them out and see if they are what I am looking for and easily resell them for more. But I am saving up for an 8 inch SCT this is as close as I can get to one for under $300 dollars. I think I will take my time getting one so this should be the last scope I get for a long while before I decide to get one.

The 102GT had very nice views but after getting on the ground to see things because of how long it is, I decided to get this super deal I found. But the 102GT was much much lighter than this heavy scope. if I had the room I would have kept it.


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tnakazon
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Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: svrider1000]
      #5473109 - 10/16/12 11:19 AM

Sorry to hear that you can keep only one scope because of space limitations. All 10 of my scopes are small (ranging from the Galileoscope to the Starblast 6), so I store them in their carry bags/backpacks in my bedroom. I might store one or two in my office to use for public outreach after work, or to go observing with at my local semi-rural observing site immediately after work.

The stars looked sharp at high power with this long focal length scope (especially after collimation by shimming the focuser end) - nice Airy disks when I looked at the Trapezium. I'll need to do a shootout between this scope and my C90 Mak on double stars.


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maltydog
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Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: svrider1000]
      #5473199 - 10/16/12 12:10 PM

i returned mine also. had mixed feelings about that. i really liked the scope but the mount was practically unusable from a shakiness point of view. the go to worked good but the mount would shake and vibrate with the least little bit of breeze or touching the scope or focuser or even the hand controller. made it nearly impossible to focus. i did try adding weights and stuff and that helped some (but not enough) but then it was no longer as portable (an extra trip to haul more stuff in and out of the house).

anyway, i have my ES127 on an atlas mount to keep my warm and happy. obviously not a grab 'n go but a great combo and super stable with goto.


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svrider1000
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Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: maltydog]
      #5473225 - 10/16/12 12:23 PM

the 102gt was the lightest scope I have had I think but the shaking and the length were the main reasons I took it back. This thing was 1000mm long and my XT10i was 1200mm long but the eye piece was at the top on the dob so I did not have to bend down so much.

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Zamboni
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Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: svrider1000]
      #5475980 - 10/17/12 10:16 PM

If Costco still has these a month from now (when I'll have the funds available) I'll definitely be snagging one. I've wanted a Synta 4" f/9.8 OTA since the C102-HD first started getting rave reviews, so this is a good chance to get one cheap. One question for those that bought it; is the focuser a R&P or a single speed crayford? Metal or plastic?

I'm getting a C8N-ASGT sometime next year, so I can use the OTA on the CG-5. I can then use the mount from the 102GT as a dedicated mount for my PST. Considering the optics are worth fhe asking price of this bundle I think it's worth getting even though the OTA is seriously undermounted.


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tomharri
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Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: Zamboni]
      #5476545 - 10/18/12 08:51 AM Attachment (103 downloads)

Can't go wrong here, a decent optical tube for $200. That is what those leftover Jaegers lenses sell for. The optical performance is exactly the same: 250x max on Jupiter, sure there is a little purple haze, just can't go any higher cause the image gets fuzzy. Stars show nice little airey disc with one diffraction ring at higher powers. In the middle of the Plaiedes there is that dim double star with red/blue components- easy to see color difference.
Just add rings and dovebar, put it on a REAL mount, and it is good to go. Focuser is just like all the other syntas out there- acceptable and a 2".


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tnakazon
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Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: tomharri]
      #5478015 - 10/18/12 11:47 PM

Nice pic!

I bought the scope for the OTA, since I've never used a 4" F/9.8 refractor before. I didn't know what to expect from the GOTO because I never even considered using one until now.

Nice to hear from an expert's opinion that this scope performs admirably for $200. I haven't used the scope extensively yet, especially at higher powers. Besides the galaxies I mentioned on an earlier post and other bright clusters & asterisms I viewed at lower powers (80X and below), I did see the Trapezium stars at 133X with nice Airy disks, so I was pleased. I did have to collimate the scope after checking the alignment with a Cheshire eyepiece (I shimmed the focuser end).

Can't wait to view the planets and see bright colors on double stars (at high powers) with this refractor.


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Zamboni
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Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: tnakazon]
      #5480220 - 10/20/12 11:31 AM

My astronomy club's Christmas party is in the middle of December and features a "White Elephant" gift exchange.

Boy howdy, I know what to do with those 2-element eyepieces now!

I find it somewhat bizarre that Celestron decided to include a 45* diagonal with this scope. Why tailor a Goto scope for terrestrial observing?


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tnakazon
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Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: Zamboni]
      #5480579 - 10/20/12 03:19 PM

Well, you figure that this scope was made to be sold to casual observers almost like a "department store" scope, otherwise they would be offering this scope on their website and not through Costco retailers. A terrestrial 45 degree diagonal would be useful for those less interested in astronomy and this, plus the 2-element eyepieces are cheaper to make and market.

The 2-element Huygens are terrible in the short-focal length Celestron FirstScope (very small FOV & blurry images immediately away from dead center FOV), but supposedly work better in longer focal length scopes like the NexStar 102. I haven't tried out these EP's yet on this refractor but I will make it a point to do so.


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Zamboni
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Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: tnakazon]
      #5480603 - 10/20/12 03:37 PM

Fair point, but when I already have a comprehensive collection of high quality Plössls, I don't think I'll have much use for Ramsdens and Huygens.

I may cannibalize the barrels to replace those of eyepieces that have annoying undercuts that get hung up on compression rings.


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tnakazon
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Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: Zamboni]
      #5480619 - 10/20/12 03:49 PM

That's a good use for these EP's...

I'm also going to try these EP's on my Galileoscope (2" achromat, F/10 similar to NexStar 102) and compare the views with my Plossls.


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Zamboni
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Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: tnakazon]
      #5480687 - 10/20/12 04:46 PM

I've been slowly in the process of replacing all of my eyepieces with undercuts on the barrels to smooth barrels. I have about four left that still have undercuts, so once I have this scope it'll be smooth sailing (pun intended). I don't even have the scope yet, but I've already got a long-term plan figured out for it. I'm going to build a PST bracket out of corner braces and an Astro-Tech 7" dovetail rail and use the Nexstar mount with that. I'll be removing the built-in dovetail from the OTA and replacing it with legit tube rings. Down the road I'll replace the focuser with a dual-speed crayford unit. I already have a spare 9x50 finder to use with it. Get a 2" dielectric diagonal and mount it on a CG-5? That'll be a reasonably formidable rig.

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csrlice12
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Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: Zamboni]
      #5482022 - 10/21/12 02:12 PM

Uh, by the time you do all that, you could have bought the Omni XLT, a much better scope.

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svrider1000
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Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5482204 - 10/21/12 04:17 PM

Hi,

Here is a picture of my Starmax 127 on a Nexstar 114GT mount.
I have not had a chance to test the tracking yet because the weather has been bad for a few days



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Zamboni
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Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5482341 - 10/21/12 05:11 PM

Quote:

Uh, by the time you do all that, you could have bought the Omni XLT, a much better scope.




The OTA is identical apart from the lens cell and I would be replacing the focuser and mount anyway. It's easier to get the OTA on the cheap since I wouldn't be keeping the CG4 mount and this way I have a cheap tracking mount for my PST.


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Starhawk
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Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: Zamboni]
      #5482556 - 10/21/12 07:25 PM

I was thinking of more like a kid goto scope.

-Rich


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svrider1000
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Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: Zamboni]
      #5483518 - 10/22/12 12:02 PM

Hi,

Here is a picture of the 102GT I used to have. It is very long for my super shallow back yard.



And here is my new shorter setup.





Edited by svrider1000 (10/22/12 12:05 PM)


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BigC
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Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: svrider1000]
      #5483581 - 10/22/12 12:34 PM

Nice scopes,the Mak should be great in your situation.You may want to eventually acquire a short fast refractor for low power wider views.I have plenty of space but just put a Bushnell 127 Mak on a Nexstar mount and it works fine.View of M42 was stunning,very 3-D like.Comparing the Mak to the SCT ,the Mak seems to me to have darker background sky and better contrast.

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svrider1000
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Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: BigC]
      #5483593 - 10/22/12 12:44 PM

BigC

Thanks. I think I may look for a nice 102 to 150 F/5 refractor. Also I still have the 114GT tube. I am thinking of removing the built in Barlow and take the focal length down from 1000mm to 500mm. Then make it a mini dob and use it for wide views if it works out. Hopefully it does.

Yes M42 looks awesome through this scope. What is your favorite eyepiece you use for it? If I use my Hyperion at 10mm it fits perfectly in my eyepiece.


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BigC
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Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: svrider1000]
      #5484698 - 10/23/12 01:36 AM

My favorite EP is a 26SP with barlows as needed ;no real high end EPs here.

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Meadeball
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Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: tnakazon]
      #5487110 - 10/24/12 02:35 PM

Quote:

Well, you figure that this scope was made to be sold to casual observers almost like a "department store" scope, otherwise they would be offering this scope on their website and not through Costco retailers.




For the record, it is on Celestron's website, just a little hard to find:

http://www.celestron.com/portal/nexstar-102-gt-computerized-telescope.html

If you click on "SUPPORT" about 2/3 down the page, you can watch a couple of videos and download the manual and a few other items like an accessories sheet. There's a nice "Specifications" tab too; it'll give you everything you ever wanted to know about the optics.

I've been hanging out on a similar thread in the Refractors forum; thought I'd post a little of my information here for y'all. For one thing, Costco offered the same scope last fall, which is when I bought mine. If you're thinking of one, keep an eye on your Costco's inventory and wait. Last year Costco did an unannounced $50 "coupon" on the telescope in November to get rid of stock, bringing it down to $149. (This scope wasn't on Costco's website last year either, but that didn't stop my store from selling about 50 of them in a month's time.)

The mount is a bit of a hybrid. No on-off switch and no in-mount battery compartment as on other Nexstar mounts; this one has an external, 8-AA battery pack whose pigtail you plug into the external DC jack on the side of the fork arm. Plug it in and the scope is running. This setup begs for an upgrade (like purchasing the 12-volt car lighter plug & cord) because it'll eat 8 AA Duracells in less than four hours of casual use.

The mount is shaky but not the shakiest I've used. The focuser is a nice 2-inch all-metal Synta with a focuser lock and aluminum knobs with rubber grip inlays. Long travel too -- like six inches. Yes, they throw in a 45-degree mirror diagonal; I quickly purchased an Orion right-image 90-degree diagonal that works great. You really have to have a 90-degree diagonal; that way you're only on your knees for anything overhead. A 45-degree would have you nearly on your back doing all kinds of Yoga moves.

All said, this scope is a great grab-n-go scope with optics that will surprise you for the price. I've been into astronomy for 36 years and owned a whole lot of scopes; yes, this one leans more toward the beginner side, but it'll sure see a heck of a lot more use than my old Celestron C8 or Criterion RV-6 did, for the simple reason that I can one-hand-carry the whole thing outside and have it aligned and be observing in five minutes. I got a nice Zhumell telescope case from telescopes.com to keep it all nice and portable too. If you buy one, you won't be disappointed as long as you keep in mind you paid about as much as you would for that 60mm Department Store Special that claims 600 power with plastic .965 eyepieces and a cheap Chinese equatorial mount. (And speaking of eyepieces, the five ones that come with the scope are enough to get you some decent views until you can afford some nicer ones. I actually like the little 25mm MH. Besides, most of us already have the nicer ones anyway, so what's the point.)

Meade

Edited by Meadeball (10/24/12 02:44 PM)


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csrlice12
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Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: Meadeball]
      #5487132 - 10/24/12 02:54 PM

It was mentioned earlier in this thread. Is it true you can only manually "move" the scope up/down and NOT right/left, that you HAVE to use the motors to skew the scope right or left?

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Meadeball
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Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5487231 - 10/24/12 03:59 PM

Correct; the manual advises you not to push the scope left or right as it will damage the drive gears. But you don't have to use GOTO commands either; the top slew speed is pretty fast. I agree it's a bit strange not being able to just swing the scope around by hand, but, well, it is what it is!

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skyglow78
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Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: Meadeball]
      #5493800 - 10/28/12 10:11 PM

Hey, could someone confirm the diagonal that comes with this scope at Costco? The Celestron website only mentions a 45 degree. I'm trying to estimate the total cost of this scope as a decent starter setup for someone on a tight budget. I would prefer they were able to get views good enough to help maintain their interest though, so it sounds like another 50 bucks for a 90 degree diagonal would be recommended (if it doesn't include one), plus possibly another $100 for a couple Plossls to replace the current set. Do you agree? Oh, and does it come with a red dot finder? Thanks.

Edited by skyglow78 (10/28/12 10:14 PM)


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Raldo
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Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: skyglow78]
      #5493825 - 10/28/12 10:33 PM

Yes it comes with a red dot finder and the diagonal is a prims one. Exelent scope for 199.00. The weakest points, in my opinion, are the tripod and the eyepieces set. The rest is worth every penny.

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svrider1000
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Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: skyglow78]
      #5493874 - 10/28/12 11:17 PM

Mine had a 45 degree and useless plossls maybe a newer person might be able to use them.

I am trying to get one of these again but for around $100 instead of $200.


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Locoman
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Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: ja313]
      #5493887 - 10/28/12 11:32 PM

Is the mount for the Nexstar 102 GT the same as the one sold with this ?

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tnakazon
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Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: Locoman]
      #5494038 - 10/29/12 02:30 AM

Looking closely at the pics, it looks exactly like the same one.

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core
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Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: Locoman]
      #5494050 - 10/29/12 03:01 AM

Quote:

Is the mount for the Nexstar 102 GT the same as the one sold with this ?




Almost - the SLT has an on/off switch, an AUX port, and internal space for 8x AA batteries. The GT is missing the switch and port, 8x AA batteries are in an external pack/pouch. Not sure if the firmwares are the same though.


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Locoman
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Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: core]
      #5494301 - 10/29/12 09:37 AM

Well, I just bought one for a $121.00 off ebay that's supposed to be a store return and in "Like new condition" and "still in perfect condition" so I'm keeping my fingers crossed hoping it's in working condition. I figure at least the OTA will be worth it. On celestrons web site it shows the 102 gt has a 40,000 objects in it's data base and the 102slt has 4,000 objects in it's data base.

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csrlice12
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Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: Locoman]
      #5494368 - 10/29/12 10:16 AM

Quote:

Well, I just bought one for a $121.00 off ebay that's supposed to be a store return and in "Like new condition" and "still in perfect condition" so I'm keeping my fingers crossed hoping it's in working condition. I figure at least the OTA will be worth it. On celestrons web site it shows the 102 gt has a 40,000 objects in it's data base and the 102slt has 4,000 objects in it's data base.




Noticed that at Costco in the store too, the display said 4,000, but the box says 40,000; so I'd go with the box.


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gmussman
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Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5508810 - 11/07/12 06:16 PM

Just putting my 2 cents in -- late, I guess. I just bought one of these second-hand. I actually like the optics quite a bit, but the focuser is complete *BLEEP*! I have big problems with image shift, Synta grease/glue gets all over my hands ... yuck.
But, for the record, I'm doubling down and putting on a crayford (not moonlight or feathertouch. I'm not that crazy). Total price is still alot less than the ES 102 achromat, though I'd actually like the faster focal ratio.


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Meadeball
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Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: gmussman]
      #5508944 - 11/07/12 07:50 PM

Gmussman, you're the first person I've seen on this or several other forums complain about the focuser on this scope. On mine it's very smooth and has no perceptible shift -- no overly abundant amounts of grease either. It's an all-metal focuser you see commonly on much more expensive refractors. Maybe you got a bad one or one that was abused or "re"-greased? Have you tried adjusting the spring-loaded set screws underneath? I'm just a little astounded because while there were areas of the scope that I criticized in my own review a year ago, the focuser was one part I praised up and down.

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Locoman
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Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: Meadeball]
      #5509064 - 11/07/12 09:24 PM

The focuser on mine works surprisingly good.

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Dave Hederich
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Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: Locoman]
      #5509079 - 11/07/12 09:37 PM

C4-R owner here. There are adjustments on the focuser to make it work more smoothly, and the Synta grease can be cleaned off and replaced pretty easily. I've come to like my adjusted, re-greased rack and pinion focuser so much that I've never even considered a Crayford.

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gmussman
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Re: Nexstar 102 GT *DELETED* new [Re: Dave Hederich]
      #5516902 - 11/12/12 10:16 PM

Post deleted by gmussman

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gmussman
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Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: gmussman]
      #5516907 - 11/12/12 10:17 PM

Meadeball, do you mind posting a link to your review? Caveat for my comments: I'm a newbie and its my first refractor. I'd like to hear how you evaluated it. Thanks!

Edited by gmussman (11/13/12 01:36 AM)


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Meadeball
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Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: gmussman]
      #5517286 - 11/13/12 05:13 AM

Sure thing. Here's a link to my review, which was over on the Refractors forum:

Meade's Nexstar 102 GT review

I also submitted a review to Celestron, which they posted on their product page. Here's the URL to that. (It's the second of four -- the author is "M." -- but all four reviews are worth reading):

Meade's review at Celestron.com

Have fun,

Meade

P.S. gmussman, I just PM'd you with a little info.

Edited by Meadeball (11/13/12 05:17 AM)


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svrider1000
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Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: Meadeball]
      #5533109 - 11/21/12 11:04 PM

I got another Nexstar 102GT. I found one for $100 and am loving it until my 6SE arrives on this Monday. My only complaint is the length of the scope. I have to crouch down really low to see some objects.

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Meadeball
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Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: svrider1000]
      #5533118 - 11/21/12 11:15 PM

Quote:

My only complaint is the length of the scope. I have to crouch down really low to see some objects.




Same here. Until I can afford upgrading the mount, I've been contemplating a few ideas to extend the height of the tripod. I measured the diameter of the legs and found that the upper leg sections are exactly the same diameter as shower curtain rods. They sell some pretty nice, durable (i.e. thick-walled) stainless steel ones at Home Depot for next to nothing price-wise; I could replace the upper leg sections, which are pretty short already, with sections that are about a foot taller. Shouldn't be too hard to cut and tap holes and such. If it doesn't work out, I haven't wasted a lot of money. Sure, it'll affect the stability somewhat, but it's already a bit twitchy. I'm looking into counterweights to address that issue.

I'm also considering another approach and coming up with some kind of stand or blocks or whatever to place the scope on. Someone on another forum said he had good results placing the entire scope on top of a sturdy circular outdoor dining table; he was able to keep the tripod fully "nested" (lowest height) and in doing so wound up with a very stable mount that was always high enough. I'm looking for something transportable though.

Just a few thoughts -- I'm very interested in hearing others.

Meade


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Locoman
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Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: svrider1000]
      #5533121 - 11/21/12 11:18 PM Attachment (51 downloads)

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

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Meadeball
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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
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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
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Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: Locoman]
      #5533161 - 11/21/12 11:53 PM Attachment (98 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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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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HGSkinner
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Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: Mike vp]
      #5544170 - 11/28/12 04:19 PM

I have been looking at the moon, stars, and planets with my young kids for about a year. Initially with just the naked eye, then the cheap binoculars I had on the shelf, and then a Galileoscope we built during a local astronomy event. My wife surprised us last week by bringing home the Celestron 102GT from Costco (although some hints may have been dropped). For a scope that I can setup quickly and share with my kids, it is fantastic. I will pick up a couple of nicer eyepieces, maybe a 90 degree diagonal, and maybe a recharagble battery pack.

My amateur impressions from two nights of use. Is it shaky? Yes, especially if the legs are extended fully. Things are much more stable with the tripod legs only extended about 6". This puts the eyepiece (in the 45 degree diagonal) at eye level for sitting in a chair, or on the ground, depending on how close we are to the zenith.

For $200 and a no-questions-asked one-year return policy, this was an easy scope to buy.

Edited by HGSkinner (11/28/12 05:26 PM)


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Ripper
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Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: Mike vp]
      #5544316 - 11/28/12 06:02 PM

Hello to everyone.
I just wanted to say thank you to all who posted in this thread. I did not own a telescope till I read this thread over and over again. I have always dreamed of owning my own scope and actually SEE something. I do have a very good spotting scope and made due with it for years, but never saw what I really wanted to experience. I have always watched the skies and thought, one day I will get a good telescope.

After rereading this thread, I went to Costco Sunday afternoon and bought it. Set it up and had an outstanding 3 hours in the cold. I observed Jupiter the entire time. I was so darn excited I couldn't stand it. I actually SAW Jupiter, it's moons, and 2 bands with the 25mm eyepiece. I could not believe it.

So thanks to all for your help. I am hooked.
Paul


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Locoman
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Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: Ripper]
      #5544369 - 11/28/12 06:39 PM

Glad to here you are enjoying your new scope. I sure like my 102gt.

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Meadeball
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Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: Locoman]
      #5544486 - 11/28/12 08:18 PM

Geez, lookie at this. You actually can get into the hobby for less than $500. I hope all the young people lurking on CN read this thread before turning away; the other threads in the beginners forums have everyone believing you have to spend at least $500 to get started in this hobby.

Enjoy the scopes guys! Thirteen months into ownership, mine gives me smiles (1) at night when I observe, and (2) in the daytime when I do my banking.

Meade

Edited by Meadeball (11/28/12 08:19 PM)


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Meadeball
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Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: Ripper]
      #5544491 - 11/28/12 08:22 PM

Quote:

I observed Jupiter the entire time. I was so darn excited I couldn't stand it.




Wait 'till you get your first look at SATURN!

Just think, Jupiter and his moons, Saturn and his rings, and countless other objects, have been up there, patiently waiting your entire lifetime for this moment. Such images can -- and do -- bring tears to grown men's eyes, and childlike giddiness is a frequent symptom displayed by adult newcomers to this hobby. Enjoy every minute of it!

And just think, every time you show one of these objects to a neighbor, friend, or even a complete stranger at a star party, you get to relive the moment all over again! It gets addictive. You've been warned.

Meade

Edited by Meadeball (11/28/12 08:29 PM)


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Astrosetz
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Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: Meadeball]
      #5548678 - 12/01/12 12:09 PM

I've just created a design for adjustable wooden replacement legs for the Nexstar 102GT. Part of this design is an accessory tray/spreader that is quick to attach and detach while contributing to the rigidity of the system. The goal is a highly-functional unit that can be made from common and inexpensive materials with a minimum amount of effort. I'm building the prototype this weekend, and once things are done I'll post the results

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svrider1000
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Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: Astrosetz]
      #5548705 - 12/01/12 12:25 PM

Quote:

I've just created a design for adjustable wooden replacement legs for the Nexstar 102GT. Part of this design is an accessory tray/spreader that is quick to attach and detach while contributing to the rigidity of the system. The goal is a highly-functional unit that can be made from common and inexpensive materials with a minimum amount of effort. I'm building the prototype this weekend, and once things are done I'll post the results




Awesome. I look forward to reading your post.

Thanks


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Astrosetz
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Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: svrider1000]
      #5548858 - 12/01/12 02:04 PM

I've posted some preliminary details on my blog regarding the Nexstar 102GT tripod leg replacement project at http://astrosetz.wordpress.com

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Meadeball
sage


Reged: 10/22/12

Loc: Midlothian, Virginia
Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: Astrosetz]
      #5548898 - 12/01/12 02:32 PM

Cool! I'll keep looking there.

And -- geesh,I remember that Celestron C6 ad! (But I think I remember the, um, "presenter" more than the "presentee" ...)

Meade


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Locoman
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Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: Astrosetz]
      #5548967 - 12/01/12 03:25 PM

If all it takes is an Electric Drill and a Jigsaw as you posted on your blog then I think I can handle building it. I look forward to it!!!!!

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Astrosetz
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Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: Locoman]
      #5549296 - 12/01/12 07:31 PM

An electric drill and jigsaw are all the power tools I have, so they'll have have to suffice! Ok, I do have a Roto-Zip I used when we did some work on the basement, but most people don't have one of those so I'm not going to use it for this project.

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BoriSpider
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Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: Astrosetz]
      #5550168 - 12/02/12 11:25 AM

Astrosetz I too will be watching your blog for tri-pod goodness
I might even try it out for my cg4 and c4-r. tnx.


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newtoskies
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Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: BoriSpider]
      #5550213 - 12/02/12 11:51 AM

I've been checking the Costco's in my area and none have this scope.
BTW, love the DIY tripod. Will also follow.


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Meadeball
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Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: newtoskies]
      #5550647 - 12/02/12 04:38 PM

Make sure you call the store or pay them a visit. It is *not* on the website, ever. (Even if you don't see it at the store, still check up front. The last time I was at my store, there wasn't a display model, and it was hard to see the stack of boxes in and amongst the other boxes around it containing Casio keyboards and other large objects.

Meade


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HGSkinner
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Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: Meadeball]
      #5551265 - 12/02/12 11:22 PM

Just came in from looking at Jupiter with a crick in my neck. Any recommendations for a 90 degree diagonal for this scope?

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Astrosetz
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Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: HGSkinner]
      #5551379 - 12/03/12 01:47 AM Attachment (61 downloads)

I was able to make what I'm now calling the "Everyone Tripod" in a few hours this afternoon. I have to admit a good chunk of that time was spent gathering the tools and remembering how they worked! Anyway, I thought people would like a picture:

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svrider1000
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Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: Astrosetz]
      #5551381 - 12/03/12 01:53 AM

Quote:

I was able to make what I'm now calling the "Everyone Tripod" in a few hours this afternoon. I have to admit a good chunk of that time was spent gathering the tools and remembering how they worked! Anyway, I thought people would like a picture:




Very nice looking. How sturdy do you think it is and how much weight do you think it can handle?


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Meadeball
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Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: HGSkinner]
      #5551727 - 12/03/12 09:37 AM

Quote:

Just came in from looking at Jupiter with a crick in my neck. Any recommendations for a 90 degree diagonal for this scope?




I picked up this one about a year ago after having the same "fun" with the 45-degree diagonal included with the scope. I always wanted to try out a correct-image diagonal, and this one does not disappoint!

Orion Correct-Image Diagonal

Meade


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HGSkinner
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Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: Meadeball]
      #5551789 - 12/03/12 10:34 AM

Quote:



I picked up this one about a year ago after having the same "fun" with the 45-degree diagonal included with the scope. I always wanted to try out a correct-image diagonal, and this one does not disappoint!

Orion Correct-Image Diagonal

Meade




Thank you Meade!

While we are at it, any Plössl recommendations for the 102GT? The Black Knight OWL Super Plössls seem like a good value ($65 for a set of 4).

Update: More specifically, I am thinking about getting the 40mm, 15mm, and 10mm Super Plössls and the 2x Barlow. Any thoughts on this combination would be most welcome.


Edit: Super Plössls

Edited by HGSkinner (12/03/12 12:14 PM)


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Astrosetz
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Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: HGSkinner]
      #5552051 - 12/03/12 01:29 PM

I'd personally recommend a standard 1.25" star diagonal, either prism or mirror type, over an erect-image prism (which are actually two prisms). Optical quality tends to be higher with the normal diagonals, in my experience. Plus, they're less expensive.

In terms of the eyepieces, I've used Celestron silvertop Plossls (26mm and 10mm) to good effect -- any decent Plossl will be a nice step up from the Huygens designs, so you almost can't go wrong there.


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Astrosetz
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Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: Astrosetz]
      #5552065 - 12/03/12 01:36 PM

The Everyone Tripod is ROCK SOLID and has exceeded my expectations! Since I designed the entire thing to have positive clamping pressure at each joint, it's really quite rigid -- hand pressure on the hub doesn't yield any translation or rotation when the wing nuts are tight. I'm not sure how much weight it'll handle -- it's probably as good as the materials one uses. Mine is made all out of finished pine boards available at Home Depot, which makes it lightweight (about 5 or 6 lbs) and inexpensive (around $40).

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Meadeball
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Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: Astrosetz]
      #5555352 - 12/05/12 09:40 AM

Setz ... How do you plan to protect/finish the bottom of the tripod feet? I see you've got some kind of "rubber bumpers" on your parts list, but I don't see them in use in the photo. Any thoughts?

I've gotten tired (and so has my back) of stooping all the time in this hobby. I think I might mod your version slightly for a total tripod height of 5.5 feet, which would place the dovetail bracket for the tube at about 6.5 feet. (That's six inches higher than I am tall, but how often do you look at things only 10 degrees off the horizon? I only dream about living on Mauna Kea!)

That way I'll also have the option of lowering it a tad and having the advantage of better stability.

Meade

Edited by Meadeball (12/05/12 09:49 AM)


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Astrosetz
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Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: Meadeball]
      #5560827 - 12/08/12 12:40 PM

I'm not going to do anything to the bottom of the tripod feet; I think they'll be fine, based on my experience with homebuilt Dobsonians and their feet. I want to keep this as inexpensive and simple as possible, so I may indeed just leave this rough prototype completely as-is and see how it fares over time.

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mayhem
journeyman


Reged: 12/16/12

Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: Astrosetz]
      #5599073 - 01/01/13 02:50 AM

Mods so far

1) Bluetooth control up to 100 Meters of Mount
2) Wireless Control of the Cannon 1100D, Not run from battery run from power tank
3) Wireless Control of the 1080p Digital Video camcorder Run from battery gives me 8 hours to play with while running. This is only used for large filed of view.
4) Every thing running of the power tank, no mains needed 12v
5) Bluetooth and wireless direct to 2 separate PCs , one for the DSLR & Camcorder and one for the Mount
6) Dumb bells weighing down the Mount




Is there any way on this earth i can add a auto star guider on this thing.

Edited by mayhem (01/01/13 02:51 AM)


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svrider1000
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Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: mayhem]
      #5599585 - 01/01/13 01:05 PM

Nice setup. I used weights on my first tripod I had and the the clamps that hold the tray got loose on me and I could not tighten them anymore so the tray would not stay level after awhile. Are you using a focal reducer on this? Happy Holidays to everyone

Jim


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mayhem
journeyman


Reged: 12/16/12

Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: svrider1000]
      #5600548 - 01/01/13 11:40 PM

No im not using a focus reducer just a zoom 7 to 21 eye peace.

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BoriSpider
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Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: mayhem]
      #5600804 - 01/02/13 07:44 AM

Astrosetz, you could use Sugru for the feet. Bolts w/ a dollop of Sugru
on them.


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svrider1000
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Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: svrider1000]
      #5604896 - 01/04/13 02:16 PM

Here are two pictures of my GT with its new taller tripod. I picked up a used Orion tripod legs for $30 dollars. I had loaned this scope to my friend to check out and just got it back this week. I did not realize how much I like this scope until it was gone for a few weeks. I actually really missed using it.






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Usul
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Reged: 01/04/13

Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: svrider1000]
      #5618260 - 01/12/13 12:04 AM

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!


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GOLGO13
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Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: Usul]
      #5618291 - 01/12/13 12:25 AM

Usul,

The 5 or 6 SE scopes would certainly take care of the issue you speak of. SCTs provide a very nice viewing position compared to a longer tubed refractor. I would guess the one you got doesn't have the longest tripod. That doesn't help with a longer tube like that. I'm sure the 102 GT is a great value though given it's price, but it will certainly have some limitations (I believe the eyepieces were somewhat old school designs).

I had the predecessor to the 5SE and it was pretty awesome. Those scopes are well reviewed and great beginner scopes.

I wouldn't give up on refractors completely. They are great telescopes. A shorter tube 80mm Apochromatic refractor is a great compliment scope to something like a 10 inch dob or a 6SE. With a shorter tube the viewing angle isn't so bad when well mounted.

No matter what you decide on, a good adjustable chair helps in most situations.


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svrider1000
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Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: Usul]
      #5618299 - 01/12/13 12:32 AM

My opinion is if you are into this hobbie and can afford a 6 or 8SE then go for it. Even a 4 or 5 SE are nice because of the long focal length and short tubes and are much lighter than the bigger scopes. So they may get used more often. When I got my 8SE I used it less than most of my other scopes because how heavy it was. Just my honest opinion.

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GOLGO13
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Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: svrider1000]
      #5618634 - 01/12/13 09:09 AM

Quote:

My opinion is if you are into this hobbie and can afford a 6 or 8SE then go for it. Even a 4 or 5 SE are nice because of the long focal length and short tubes and are much lighter than the bigger scopes. So they may get used more often. When I got my 8SE I used it less than most of my other scopes because how heavy it was. Just my honest opinion.




As svrider1000 points out, each person has their weight limits for scope setups. And or each person has their motivation limits for setting up a scope. A 8SE scope weighs 33 pounds all assembled. In telescope terms I'd call that a darn light scope. My 10 inch dob's OTA weighs about that much by itself.

Some scopes require a lot of assembly each time you want to observe...and that can cause a scope to stay in the closet sometimes.

Other times a huge heavy scope which needed a lot of steps to be assembled stays assembled in someone's garage or shed and just get's wheeled out. So it really depends on the situation. For instance, my 6 inch dob stay's assembled and sits in my closet. I can move it all at once outside (weighs 34 pounds). Whereas my 80mm refractor which I mount on my vixen porta mount is put away in it's soft case everytime. And the porta mount is stored away as well. It takes me 1 minute to get my 6 inch dob outside, whereas it takes me 10 minutes to get my 80mm outside. Little kids preclude me from keeping my 80mm setup.

All of these factors should be considered when deciding on a scope design/setup. Including the viewing position one will be in during observations. That being said, I didn't complain too much climbing a tall ladder to look through a 30 inch dob


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MikeBOKC
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Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: Usul]
      #5618727 - 01/12/13 10:13 AM

Usul since cost is not a major factor for you, you might also take a look at the CPC 800. The dual fork mouny adds a lot more stability, and transport, setup and viewing positions are all very nice.

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Astrosetz
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Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: MikeBOKC]
      #5618805 - 01/12/13 10:59 AM

As the owner of many telescopes, I can tell you that the Nexstar 102GT is a very good scope for a beginner, but there are a few shortcomings. 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). Get a 90-degree diagonal from eBay for $20 and you're good to go; the included eyepieces are actually not bad and quite usable. You'll have a wonderful 4" refractor on a stable mount and an eyepiece that will be at a comfortable level for adults as well as kids (the length of the tube and position when it's pointed skyward are actually advantageous here).

However, if you want to upgrade right away and are looking at SCTs, I'd suggest going to at least a 6SE. I have a Nexstar 5 in my collection; the view through the 102GT is superior in terms of sharpness, and there is barely any discernable difference in image brightness. A 8SE will be easy to use, light enough you can carry it outside assembled (if you're young and strong), and it's plenty stable for visual use. CPC 800 is another great choice, but at the expense of weight and cost. I used to tell people spending over $1,000 on a first telescope is foolish, no matter how much money you have. These days I push that limit a bit for the 8SE


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csrlice12
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Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: Astrosetz]
      #5619177 - 01/12/13 02:29 PM

5-year old daughter........

6" f8--Orion 6XTg. This is a scope that will give her (and you) fine views, is highly portable, is upgradeable, and will give you fine views for years to come. A 5 year old is normally right at the right height for just standing and looking thru a 6" XTg (worst casce scenereo is one of those cheap blue plastic step stools). As she grows, the scope can grow with her with better focusers, eyepieces, mirror, etc.... On the plus side, its fairly affordable, a highly rated scope, easy to use. As a goto, it will require you to initially do a two star alignment for her, but probably by the time she's seven, she'll be showing you how to do it better! Collimation is something else a dob requires, this is it's one "drawback"--However, a 6"f8 scope keeps its collimation well compared to larger scopes. A Cheshire & Collimation cap are all you will need to keep it collimated (pretty cheap)--and collimation is not hard to do. She'll probably be able to do that by age 7 too. People nowadays seem to feel young kids are incapable of understanding technical instructions--this is not true. How to collimate a scope and doing two star alignments, while they have a "technical" background, are easy to learn by doing--even for a 5-6 year olds--as long as you take the time to give repeated instructions over a period of time (months, not days)...Oh, and be prepared for a loooooootttttt of questions. Operating it---Its a GoTo---uses a hand-held--very primitive computer control--She probably already understands it better than you!

Please reconsider the Dob, neither you, nor your daughter, will regret it. Oh, and down the road, if you decide you all really like this hobby, the 6" makes a fine "pull it out into the back yard for a couple of hours" (just be sure you put it out an hour or two beforehand). I keep my dob stored in my shed.


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waso29
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Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5620063 - 01/13/13 12:23 AM

OPT is offering the 102gt ota for a little over a ben frank.
It's a good time for newbies. so many choices at bargain basement prices.


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Astraforce Paul
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Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: waso29]
      #5623187 - 01/14/13 06:22 PM

csrlice, the 6XTg sounds fascinating. However, I couldn't find a 6" go-to on the Orion site.

Or, did you mean the 6i, push-to?

Curious...


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csrlice12
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Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: Astraforce Paul]
      #5623324 - 01/14/13 08:04 PM

I believe orion also makes the 6" in a goto model. The "PushTo" is the Intelliscope. You provide the motor power for it.

Wow, just checked the site and it shows the XTg starting at 8" now. Give it a couple of years though, and the answer would be the 8XTg.

Edited by csrlice12 (01/14/13 08:09 PM)


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bherv
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Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: waso29]
      #5661411 - 02/04/13 10:00 AM

Quote:

OPT is offering the 102gt ota for a little over a ben frank.
It's a good time for newbies. so many choices at bargain basement prices.



I just ordered one yesterday. Will make a good grab and go scope when mounted on my Vixen Portamount. Already have a 2" diagonal and eyepieces so no extra investment needed.
Barry


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BigC
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Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: waso29]
      #5661742 - 02/04/13 01:06 PM

Quote:

OPT is offering the 102gt ota for a little over a ben frank.
It's a good time for newbies. so many choices at bargain basement prices.




Personally I think it a much better buy to spend TWO ben franklins and get the goto mount,hand controller and the simple but usuable eyepiece set.MY complete set was $189 shipped;no way would I pay $100 plus shipping just for the main optical tube!

But I suppose one could make some money buying the complete packages and parting them out.......


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BigC
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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
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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
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Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: cbourbeau32]
      #5776668 - 04/03/13 10:36 PM

GL with the new scope.

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Widespread
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: Astrosetz]
      #5838144 - 05/03/13 11:24 AM

Thanks!

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Space_Girl1234
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Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: Space_Girl1234]
      #5850952 - 05/09/13 09:24 PM

Quote:

The Celestron 102 telescope and mount.

I cannot find it at the ~$150 price.

Does anyone know it is sold the cheapest?





Anyone?


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Gert K A
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Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: Space_Girl1234]
      #5851025 - 05/09/13 10:08 PM

It looks to me like the Nexstar 102 GT is a old model and is replaced by the SLT and that is more expensive
so it's not ~150 unless you got a real good 2hand deal
From new it's more in the ~450 area
our own Astronomics has it and we get a discount from them just by being a member of CN
although it's not clear how much.


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csrlice12
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Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: Gert K A]
      #5851148 - 05/09/13 11:29 PM

I believe that scope was a special pkg they put together for Costco the last few years at Christmastime.

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cliffy54
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Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: Space_Girl1234]
      #5851443 - 05/10/13 06:56 AM

OPT has the OTA only in stock for $119, with 2" diagonal for $159.

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anirudha
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Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: cliffy54]
      #5881566 - 05/24/13 02:34 AM

there's also OTA with 1.25" Accessory Pack. Any reviews on these deals?

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mudnreo
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Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: anirudha]
      #5900781 - 06/03/13 11:10 PM

I have the 102 GT, I replaced the original tripod with my own version of the everyone tri pod, I made the legs longer and modified the accessory tray that came with it with 3 wood slats for the spreader, I also put light chains from the legs to a key ring in the center so that the legs don't unexpectedly spread to far as to let the scope fall while putting it up. The tri pod is rock solid, it does vibrate slightly when focusing but I CAN focus it while looking at an object and the vibration settles in just 2 or 3 seconds. When at zenith I can sit in a lawn chair while viewing, when at lower angles I use a stool to sit on. The tri pod cost me about $50 in material and 1 afternoon in the shed to build and was worth it. I highly recommend building the everyone tri pod for this scope.


I use a 90 degree and Celestron X-CEL LX eyepieces and a few plossls along with a power tank. And this scope is pretty good for the money.

Allen


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Astrosetz
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Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: mudnreo]
      #5901922 - 06/04/13 02:25 PM

Glad to hear the report, mudnreo! One of the things a solid tripod does is show the flexibility in the 102GT one-arm mount itself; as you mentioned, it improves this overall but one of these days I might get brave enough to tinker with the arm and see if I can stiffen it somehow.

I'd love to see pictures of your modifications!

Keep going, folks!


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Starlon
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Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: Gert K A]
      #5901956 - 06/04/13 02:46 PM

Quote:

It looks to me like the Nexstar 102 GT is a old model and is replaced by the SLT and that is more expensive
so it's not ~150 unless you got a real good 2hand deal
From new it's more in the ~450 area
our own Astronomics has it and we get a discount from them just by being a member of CN
although it's not clear how much.





I already had a Nexstar SLT - which is the rich-field, short FL model, 660mm. When I saw OPT had the 102GT - which is the long tube, 1000mm FL OTA for $119.00 total, shipping incl. I jumped at it. Now I can swap the OTA's and have either a rich-field view or the lunar & planetary views with the F-9.8 OTA. And go-to for both.

Of course, I 'only' get the 4,000 item menu with the SLT mount.. no biggie. And btw, the 102GT is an excellent scope. See Ed Ting's review.


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Astrosetz
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Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: Starlon]
      #5914308 - 06/10/13 11:36 PM

Took out the 102GT with the Everyone Tripod tonight, and had a good look at Saturn. Seeing tonight is above average, with no wind to speak of. Used standard Celestron Plossls 6mm and 4mm. Very bright and detailed in 6mm, with Cassini visible almost all around the rings, a few cloud bands and texture on the sphere. The 4mm yields 250x and looked like a bigger but dimmer version of the view in the 6mm.

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audioaficionado
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Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: Astrosetz]
      #5919802 - 06/14/13 12:07 AM

I've been using my 102 GT OTA on a CG4 mount looking at mostly bright objects in the orange-red skies at my house. Saturn looks good. I haven't been able to push it all the way to 200x, but it looks great at 111x. Might be the seeing or just me.

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csrlice12
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Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: audioaficionado]
      #5920140 - 06/14/13 08:25 AM

Could be worse, could be having the state burn down around you.......rain would actually be welcome here....(especeially if it would rain all week and clear up for the weekend)....

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SDTopensied
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Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5922251 - 06/15/13 01:06 PM

I had this scope for a bit. The mount and tripod weren't stout enough to keep it stable for my liking. Ended up selling the tripod and mount, and put the OTA on a CGEM. Later, I acquired an Explore Scientific ED127, and that has been my primary scope since (no comparison intended, of course).

A good bit of chromatic aberration around Jupiter, but easily mitigated with a moon filter. The moon and Saturn both looked good...much better than I expected. The focuser is much better than I expected as well. All in all, a very nice scope if you can find one.

csrlice12 -- I lived in Colorado Springs for a while, and live in Atlanta now. With the 80%+ humidity and 95+ degree temperatures, I long for the Colorado summers I remember.

But, then again, the state wasn't on fire back then! I imagine the wildfires aren't particularly good for the seeing, but that's the least of the problems.

-Steve


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cirrus1500
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Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: Locoman]
      #5970543 - 07/14/13 03:00 PM

Quote:

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.




Your pictures of the setup inspired me. I am deciding between a starboy and the ES Twilight I (aka Orion Versago III) to mount an old 6" F5 reflector as well as a Celestron Nexstar 102 GT scope that I intend to acquire soon. If I also want to use the Celestron GT mount on the ES Twilight tripod like what you did with the Starboy tripod, do you think the Nexstar mount and Twilight I tripod will be compatible?


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cirrus1500
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Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: cirrus1500]
      #5970553 - 07/14/13 03:08 PM

Also, which product do you think will handle the 6" F5 reflector and 102mm F9.8 refactor better? The Hal 130 tripod seems very steady but the ES Twilight1 is $100 cheaper. Which way should I go?

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Karthik
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Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: cirrus1500]
      #6112093 - 10/01/13 10:14 PM

I got this scope recently and have been very happy with the performance, if anyone else is interested they are still on sale:

http://www.telescopes.com/telescopes/go-to-telescopes/celestronnexstar102gtco...

Edited by Karthik (10/01/13 10:15 PM)


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Pastor Collux
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Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: Karthik]
      #6132782 - 10/12/13 10:49 AM

My wife recently ordered a Nexstar 102 GT. While we wait for delivery, I'm looking at what accessories she might need for it. She's already ordered the AC adapter and 12V cigarette lighter adapter. There is no need for a power tank as yet, since her observing spot will be within extension cord range of an outdoor outlet or her car in the garage.

I understand from reading through this thread that the length of the OTA combined with the supplied 45° diagonal is ill suited for astronomical work and that a 90° diagonal is critical for viewing comfort. Since this scope is equipped with a 2" focuser and she intends on getting at least one 2" low power eyepiece for her scope (she'll "borrow" my Zhumell 2" 30mm 68° in the meantime), she also ordered a Celestron #93519 2" 90° diagonal with SCT/Refractor barrel.

Anyone have any experience with this particular diagonal? Any issues with weight or balance on the 102GT when combined with a 2" 2x Barlow and 2" eyepiece?

If weight or balance is an issue, would it be necessary to attach a longer dovetail bracket on this scope to shift the OTA's CG and counter the effect?

Thanks!


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BigC
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Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: Pastor Collux]
      #6132886 - 10/12/13 11:40 AM

Adding the 2" diagonal and 2" eyepiece to my 102GT required a modest move of the OTA and original dovetail length is sufficient.

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Pastor Collux
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Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: BigC]
      #6133136 - 10/12/13 01:57 PM

Quote:

Adding the 2" diagonal and 2" eyepiece to my 102GT required a modest move of the OTA and original dovetail length is sufficient.




Thanks BigC. Good to know.

We plan to upgrade from the stock eyepiece set as well. We intend on keeping the upgrades budget-friendly, going with some Orion Expanse clones from Agena/GSO and at least one 2" low power piece. Any suggestions on what focal lengths would pair well with the 102GT?


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JonNPR
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Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: Pastor Collux]
      #6133361 - 10/12/13 04:10 PM

I was really pleased with the view through a newly acquired 38mm Agena SWA 2" EP. At the slow speed of the 102GT, performance of this EP is more than acceptable. Had what might be my last opportunity to observe with it and 32mm 2" Koenig at a 5,000' dark sky site on the west side of the Oregon Cascades last week. Snow on the gravel road will close it off soon.

With a TFOV of about 2.66 degrees gorgeous panoramic views of the Pleiades, the Double Cluster, and a multitude of other open clusters are possible. M31 in a dark sky was absolutely stunning. I still wasn't able to fit the entire expanse of the disk into the FOV; careful observing will trace the galaxy out much further. However what did fit within the view repaid prolonged observation. On the other hand, the Helix PN appeared rather small; it wasn't near the immediately detailed appearance of the Dumbbell M27, despite its small scale at such low power.

Around 2 a.m. Orion was standing above the eastern horizon. M42 appeared much larger than under suburban skies. In my old University Koenig 32mm, the Trapezium was cleanly resolved and the nebula nearly filled the roughly 1.9 degree TFOV.

I would recommend either focal length for the 102GT. Its slow speed is forgiving when viewing with the less expensive wide view EPs with 68 or 70 AFOV. The entire 70* AFOV in the Agena 38mm can be seen out to the field stop, unlike many of the newer ultra wide AFOVs with which one can or must move the eye around a fit to appreciate the entire field.

Jon


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Pastor Collux
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Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: JonNPR]
      #6133567 - 10/12/13 06:33 PM

Jon-

Thanks for the feedback. I've been considering the Agena SWAs for her low power finder eyepiece. The 38mm 70° sounds like a winner for the price. Gets very good reviews. My only concern is the weight. Any strain on the gears or motors of the 102GT with this piece?


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JonNPR
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Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: Pastor Collux]
      #6142175 - 10/17/13 01:08 AM

Pastor, I mount the OTA on an old large format camera tripod for now. I don't have one of the SLT or GT go to mounts.

Jon


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cirrus1500
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Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: Locoman]
      #6150043 - 10/21/13 03:11 PM Attachment (25 downloads)

Quote:

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




Hi Doug,

I believe I have the same 102GT mount and SX-HAL130 tripod. About putting the 102GT mount on the HAL130, I tried it and the base of the 102GT mount will sit over the 45mm hole of the HAL130. Upon close inspection of the 102GT base, there are 3 small metal parts protruding from the base (see pic below) making contact with the HAL130 so the contact area is rather small. Is it the same with yours? I am worried that it may affect stability. Also, when you said to get a long bolt to screw it into the mount, do you mean I have to remove the original HAL130 screw that normally goes into the porta mount adapter and replace it with this bolt? This screw has a knob which shows at the bottom of the HAL130 (see pics). I tried to remove it by pulling and turning this screw but the threaded part of the screw seems larger than the hole it is in, so it does not remove downward easily. How did you manage to remove it?


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Locoman
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Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: cirrus1500]
      #6150140 - 10/21/13 04:06 PM

Sorry, I got really confused. If you have the SX Hal130 then all you have to do is to unscrew the bolt that comes with the tripod. Get a bolt that will screw into your 102gt mount that is long enough to fit through your tripod head and into you 102gt mount. Also get two nuts and a wing nut that will fit onto the bolt. Screw one nut on the bolt then the wing nut then the other nut and tighten them down tight. That way you can use your fingers to tighten the mount to the tripod without a wrench. The bolt that comes with the tripod screws out and those protrubing knobs on the bottom of the 102gt mount don't effect stability if you tighten down the Mount to the tripod, at least it didn't for me. If I was at home I would take some pictures to show you but I'm away for a day. Oh yea, you need to get a washer or two to put onto the bolt to.
Doug


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Locoman
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Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: Locoman]
      #6150154 - 10/21/13 04:17 PM

I can't remember the size of the bolt but it is about three inches or so long and it is smaller than the hole on the tripod so it fits right throgh without screwing.

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Locoman
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Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: Locoman]
      #6150211 - 10/21/13 04:50 PM Attachment (33 downloads)

I found this picture on my phone of the 102 gt on my starguy. Its the closest close up picture I could find.

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cirrus1500
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Reged: 04/09/13

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Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: Locoman]
      #6150250 - 10/21/13 05:15 PM

Thank you Doug, now I have a rough idea of what to do. I will go shopping for the bolt and other hardware and bring my 102GT along to make sure they fit well. Hope I can find time to set this up by this weekend. Will report back on the progress.

Btw, it is amazing that you can use that C6 (or is that a C8?) on the 102GT mount. It looks quite massive for the 102GT, which I believe is lighter duty than the SE mount. Can't wait to try that on my new setup


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Locoman
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Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: cirrus1500]
      #6150360 - 10/21/13 06:23 PM Attachment (25 downloads)

Quote:

Thank you Doug, now I have a rough idea of what to do. I will go shopping for the bolt and other hardware and bring my 102GT along to make sure they fit well. Hope I can find time to set this up by this weekend. Will report back on the progress.

Btw, it is amazing that you can use that C6 (or is that a C8?) on the 102GT mount. It looks quite massive for the 102GT, which I believe is lighter duty than the SE mount. Can't wait to try that on my new setup




Its a C6 and is rock solid but it handles a 6" newt quite handley.


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Locoman
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Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: cirrus1500]
      #6153710 - 10/23/13 01:27 PM Attachment (31 downloads)

This is all I use to attach the mount to the StarGuy.

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cirrus1500
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Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: Locoman]
      #6170413 - 11/01/13 02:39 PM Attachment (15 downloads)

Hello Doug,

Sorry for taking so long to report back as I have been very busy. The picture you uploaded helps a lot. I finally bought the necessary hardware to attach the 102GT mount to my HAL130 tripod. I did it in the simplest way possible using only 1 washer and 1 wing nut as this seems to worked well enough. The combination feels very stable. I also did a small mod by cutting a donut-shaped rubber from a rubber mat I no longer use, and putting it between the 102GT mount and HAL base to prevent the protruding metal parts from scratching the tripod base, and also to increase contact area for the connection. Seems to works very well.


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cirrus1500
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Reged: 04/09/13

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Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: cirrus1500]
      #6170516 - 11/01/13 03:25 PM Attachment (19 downloads)

My 102GT OTA definitely feels more stable with the HAL130. The 102GT fork is stronger than I thought and it holds the 6" f5 reflector quite steadily too. I also have a C6 which comes with my Nexstar 6SE but have not tried mounting it because the C6 already seem well suited to its SE mount/tripod.

I got to test these scopes for a while under the stars. My 102GT OTA can be used up to around 120x before the image shakes too much while focusing. It is not really the fault of the setup because there is some play in the focuser which increases dampening time. As for my 6" f5, I use a 2x barlow + WO binoviewer with the WO 20mm EPs. I am not sure how to calculate the magnification of this configuration (I am seeing only half the moon in the 66* AFV, and it moves across the view quite quickly so magnification is quite high). The image shakes quite abit while focusing at this mag so that should be quite close to the limit of this setup. I remember being very frustrated with this exact binoviwer configuration when using this reflector on the 102GT mount with its original tripod. There is quite a bit less vibration with the HAL130.

I may leave the 102GT mount on the HAL130 for a while


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Kevdog
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Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: cirrus1500]
      #6170845 - 11/01/13 06:37 PM

My 102GT OTA arrived today. And if you look at my sky chart in my sig, you'll see something very very wrong. No clouds until tomorrow night!

Of course I'm going on vacation for the weekend, so the clouds have 2 more days to roll in before I can get it mounted on my tripod and out for viewing!


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Locoman
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Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: cirrus1500]
      #6171005 - 11/01/13 08:16 PM

Well you learned something from me and I learned something from you. That rubber mat idea is a great idea. I'll be looking to do the same. Like your pictures! I use rings and an 8" dovetail bar in the 102GT and its more stable than that little dovetail bar that comes with the scope.

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BigC
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Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: cirrus1500]
      #6171026 - 11/01/13 08:42 PM

The single most effective way found by me to cure the "telescope shakes" caused in focusing by hand is replacing fingrs with a motor. I can hardly believe how smooth and vibration free the image in my Nexstar 80GT is with an Orion motorized focuser installed.I did not experience overshoot which I thought would be a problem.

As time and finances permit I expect to equip several other scopes with a motorized focuser.


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JonNPR
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Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: BigC]
      #6171917 - 11/02/13 12:58 PM

Testing my 102GT on a just acquired Twilight 1 mount could happen tonight...IF a new dovetail order makes it here today. I plan on trying it first with the OTA in rings attached to the new long dovetail and mounted.

Will compare to replacing the tiny stock dovetail with the new Orion universal dovetail on my *second* OTA, mounted directly to the Twilight.

Caveat - the clouds have of course arrived this week!

Jon


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Kevdog
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Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: Kevdog]
      #6177197 - 11/05/13 11:28 AM

Quote:

My 102GT OTA arrived today. And if you look at my sky chart in my sig, you'll see something very very wrong. No clouds until tomorrow night!

Of course I'm going on vacation for the weekend, so the clouds have 2 more days to roll in before I can get it mounted on my tripod and out for viewing!




LOL, not only did the clouds come in, but I managed to get a full blown thunderstorm, which is unusual this time of year.

I did get it put on the mount as luckily it had the right sized dovetail and just bolted on.

Looks like I might get a look in tonight!


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pugliano
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Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: Kevdog]
      #6177269 - 11/05/13 12:13 PM

Will the Orion motorized focuser fit the C102 with 2" diagonal?

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JonNPR
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Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: pugliano]
      #6177301 - 11/05/13 12:33 PM

Well, the run of clear dark of the moons has finally crashed to a halt here. Still waiting for even a glimpse through the clouds. This was the best year of clear skies in the Willamette Valley that I can recall.

So the 102GT on a Twilight I remains indoors, now equipped with a Celestron/Baader OIII 2" filter. Patient. Waiting. Confident. Alert. Unlike me.

Meanwhile, anyone know whether there are any longer dovetails that can bolt directly onto the OTA using the stock drilled holes of the stock 4" bar? That four hole pattern is awfully short and wide.

Jon


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newtoskies
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Re: Nexstar 102 GT new [Re: JonNPR]
      #6213649 - 11/24/13 05:17 PM

Just getting caught up on this thread. Been thinking and looking for a used 102 GT or SLT goto. been spending lots of time over in the astro vid forum as I have that bug again..lol

How is the alignment and tracking on this scope/mount ??


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