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Orion Mak 102

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#1 Ken603a

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Posted 06 May 2005 - 11:42 AM

I bought a small Orion Starmax 102 with the equatorial mount, and also enjoy my 10 X 50 binoculars. The smallest eyepiece I use with the Mak 102 is a 10 mm (130X). I don't bother with a Barlow or higher magnifications because the objects tend to drift out of view fast enough with a 10mm. I can make out Cassini's division in Saturn’s rings, M42, M37, and other Messier objects with a light polluted sky, and I wonder if I will ever get tired of the crisp clarity of the lunar craters and shadows near the terminator. The 1/4-20 cork mount that came with the EQ2 mount didn't meet my expectations, so I ordered rings. The rings are solid.

Favorite Quote: You can't see the world from your backyard, but you can see the universe from there!

#2 Tim2723

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Posted 06 May 2005 - 05:32 PM

Hi Ken, and welcome to CN!

Glad to hear you like the scope. A 4" Mak makes a great companion. Ring mounting is a good idea too.

Once you get tired of high mag images drifting out of the field, I'd suggest you check out the RA drive that Orion sells for that mount.

Welcome aboard!

#3 RobertED

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Posted 06 May 2005 - 08:33 PM

Hi Ken!!,I'm glad you like your Orion StarMax 104.I own a StarMax 127mm and absolutely love it!!I do have the single axis drive motor and find it absolutely necessary!!It's amazing how much more you can see on planets and other objects when all you need to concentrate on is your observing,rather than having to center your object all the time!! Enjoy!!...and clear skies!!

#4 sienarot

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Posted 07 May 2005 - 10:31 AM

Welcome Ken!

I'd have to agree with you. I had the Sky-Watcher version of the same scope and it was fantastic! Very sharp views. It gave me my best views of Saturn and Jupiter so far. Combined with a good barlow and clear night, you shouldn't have any problems seeing Saturn's C-ring. The FOV is very narrow, but when you could get something within that field, you won't be dissappointed. I had it mounted on an EQ-2 mount myself without any drive motors, so I can feel your pain. I recently sold my scope to upgrade to a 80ED (which I haven't used yet), but there are times when I really regret selling it.

#5 erik

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Posted 07 May 2005 - 11:31 PM

congrats on the scope, ken, and welcome to CN! :)

#6 Scott Beith

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Posted 07 May 2005 - 11:40 PM

Ken,
Welcome to Cloudy Nights!
I owned the Starmax 127 and it was an excellent scope.
You will never tire of the Lunar views - it just won't happen. :grin:

Congrats on a fine scope.

#7 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 08 May 2005 - 11:20 AM

I have the 90mm Orion Mak and love it. It gives fantastic deep sky images when used with a wide field eyepiece. I have two of the Orion Wide Fields (9mm and 20mm) and they are simply magnificant. The planetary views are great as are the solar views. I got an Orion glass filter when I ordered the scope. A 16mm Nagler provides a breathtaking view, even at f/13.9. You just can't go wrong with these Orion Maks.

Joe

#8 Rich N

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Posted 08 May 2005 - 02:32 PM

How do you become a Contributing Editor to S&T?

Rich

#9 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 08 May 2005 - 03:53 PM

So as not to hijack this thread, I'll respond via private message if that's okay.

Joe

#10 Ken603a

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Posted 09 May 2005 - 01:22 PM

I ordered the standard shorty barlow from Orion, but I wasnt impressed. What would be a good Barlow to get for my Mak 102?

#11 erik

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Posted 09 May 2005 - 07:55 PM

the shorty plus from orion is better than the standard shorty. ...but i'm curious, what was it that you didn't like about the standard shorty?

#12 Ken603a

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Posted 10 May 2005 - 10:14 AM

The shorty image was kind of fading, of course at 225X to 270X I would expect the image to fade or fuzzy up a bit in this scope. I just preffer the images better when they were smaller and crisper.

#13 erik

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Posted 10 May 2005 - 09:10 PM

the magnification in the shorty barlows tend to be a bit more than 2x. it's usually between 2.2 and 2.4x, so too much magnification is the likely problem. i owned the shorty in the past, and while it did have some minor issues, it was a crisp, decent barlow, IMO. the shorty plus is better, but overmagnifying an image will produce blurry views no matter what barlow you use...

#14 Rat8bug

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Posted 10 May 2005 - 11:00 PM

The barlow is only one aspect of providing a decent image. What about the quality of the diagonal if you use one? I use a Celestron Ultima 2x barlow, and a Televue Everbrite diagonal with my Apex 127mm. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link....

http://www.barrie-tao.com/apex127.html

Ciao...Barry

#15 Ken603a

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Posted 12 May 2005 - 10:39 AM

I have no doubt that the diagonal that came with my Mak is inferior to the Televue. But at 225 dollars, it is more than half the cost of my scope. I dont know if a Mak 102 is worth hot rodding like that, but If I get a chance to borrow one, I will try it.

#16 Ken603a

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Posted 12 May 2005 - 02:16 PM

Yes the Mak 102 has a theoretical limit of 241X. When I used a Barlow with a 10mm that would produce about 260X, so that explains why the image was a bit fuzzy. So far I have been happiest using my 12.5MM eyepiece, at 104X, the image of jupiter is a little less than 1/4" apparent diameter, and I can make out the lines, and can even see the spot. For a small scope, I am very happy with the results. Saturn looks pretty cool too. Star clusters pop when I find em. But the narrow view of the scope makes slewing for objects a little touchy. I have yet to see a galaxy, and I assume it is because I havent been to a dark sky site yet. I live in a large city, so my backyard skys are not the best.

#17 morden8uk

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Posted 27 May 2005 - 04:49 PM

Glad to see your enjoying the scope. I'm looking to buy the 102 or 127!!. Somebody mentioned a field flatner (I think thats right) could help give wider views?.

Rob

#18 scupking

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Posted 27 May 2005 - 08:26 PM

morden8uk
I ordered the 127 and it should be in tomorrow. I will let you know how it is. I have heard good things about the 90,102 and 127. I wanted the bigger aperture so that’s why I went with the 127 over the 102.

#19 CollinofAlabama

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Posted 28 May 2005 - 04:43 PM

I owned both the 4" and 5" Orion Maks over the last couple of three years. I liked them both very much, but in the mean time, I've discovered the 2" focuser and 2" eyepieces. Can't settle for less, now, at least as an option. I haven't gone crazy. I still only own a 1.25" barlow and I won't buy a 2" yet, but for widefield, nothing beats those views. At least with a 6" dob, one can be added easily enough, but Maks don't have this option, really (not without vignetting)

But, for the planets, most smaller planetary nebula and the moon at higher powers, both of these Maks deliver FANTASTIC images. The only real problem is FOV, cause they're remarkably portable. To this end, however, the 4" is MUCH better. It is a real grab 'n go, and the 5" is not (more like a 100mm refractor vs an 80mm short tube model) Also, the cool down time is phenomenally different. The 4" cools down a LOT faster.

But both produce great images.

Ciao amigos,

CDS

#20 Ken603a

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Posted 09 June 2005 - 01:49 PM

scupking:
So how do you like your new 127? I bet views of Jupiter, Saturn and the Moon will knock your socks off! The only thing I had trouble with initially, was getting used to the narrow field of view this scope has. I bought a 90 degree finder. I find it to be alot less awkward.

#21 scupking

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Posted 09 June 2005 - 09:55 PM

I like it a lot. I like the looks of the planets better through the 127 then I do with my XT6. I had them both out comparing side by side. I have the Celestron NexImage on order and will try to take some nice pics of the planets. I just received the Paragon-Plus™ XHD Tripod yesterday and put the scope on that. The Paragon-Plus XHD is a very stable tripod compared to the one I was using.

#22 Ken603a

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Posted 10 June 2005 - 09:28 AM

Glad you are happy with your setup. The Celestron NexImage sounds like a neat idea, :bow: I may have to get one of those too. I would like to take some moon shots, and try to get a good pic of saturn before it drops too low in the sky.

#23 Ken603a

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Posted 14 June 2005 - 01:44 PM

Hi Ken!!,I'm glad you like your Orion StarMax 104.I own a StarMax 127mm and absolutely love it!!I do have the single axis drive motor and find it absolutely necessary!!It's amazing how much more you can see on planets and other objects when all you need to concentrate on is your observing,rather than having to center your object all the time!! Enjoy!!...and clear skies!!


I did order the single axis motor drive this week. I wasn't sure if I wanted one at first, but after reading your message, I decided to order one as soon as the budget allowed. :jump:

#24 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 15 June 2005 - 03:05 PM

I have the Orion 90mm Mak-Cass and really like the views of Jupiter and the Moon (I missed Saturn).

I only have the 26mm EP that came with it. I'm trying to decide whether to get a 2x barlow, or a ~17mm EP for a little more magnification.

Also I want to get a 32mm or 40mm EP to make finding DSOs a little easier.

The scope I had before was a 60mm JC Penny special that I had for about 10 years, so this is much, much better!

#25 Ken603a

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Posted 15 June 2005 - 04:58 PM

The Barlow will work with the larger eyepieces. I recommend the 35MM for wide views, but I use the 26 just as often. You will want to get a 10mm for planetary views.
I tried a shorty barlow, but I didnt like it. If you do get a barlow, I would recommend the shorty Plus. Instead I prefer a 10mm eyepiece for high Magnifications.
Happy skies!

Ken


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