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Astrosetz
professor emeritus


Reged: 10/05/03

Loc: Wisconsin
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
sage


Reged: 10/22/12

Loc: Midlothian, Virginia
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
professor emeritus


Reged: 10/05/03

Loc: Wisconsin
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
super member
*****

Reged: 06/28/12

Loc: Sylmar, California
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
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 08/10/04

Loc: S.W.FLA
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
super member
*****

Reged: 06/28/12

Loc: Sylmar, California
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
journeyman


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
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 11/05/05

Loc: St. Louis area
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
super member
*****

Reged: 06/28/12

Loc: Sylmar, California
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
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 11/05/05

Loc: St. Louis area
Re: Nexstar 102 GT [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
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 05/10/10

Loc: Oklahoma City, OK
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
professor emeritus


Reged: 10/05/03

Loc: Wisconsin
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
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
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
sage
*****

Reged: 05/12/10

Loc: Chi-Town, USA, mother earth
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
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 04/05/05

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
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
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
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 03/10/06

Loc: WMass
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
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 09/29/10

Loc: SE Indiana
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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