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AT102ED - on sale, has anyone used one?

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#51 Jaimo!

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Posted 05 June 2018 - 11:51 AM

so it seems like the AT102ED has some CA making it not the best for astrophotography 

 

wouldnt that CA also make stars bloat and make it less desirable for visual....especially for like splitting double stars, etc

I believe the CA is very minor and some observers are more sensitive than others...  However, the CCD is more sensitive than any observer.

 

That being said, do a Google search for AT102ED and check out the images, there are many nice ones captured with this scope.  It is not impossible, but there are better suited scopes than this one.   Just looking at the AT site and keeping in the same price range, I'd lean towards the AT72EDII after reading the linked post, it lists for $470 and is an FPL-53 doublet, which is better glass than the AT102ED.

 

Also Joe, we have been involved in many posts together, what specifically are you wanting to image?  

 

Jaimo!


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#52 CHASLX200

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Posted 05 June 2018 - 06:04 PM

so it seems like the AT102ED has some CA making it not the best for astrophotography 

 

wouldnt that CA also make stars bloat and make it less desirable for visual....especially for like splitting double stars, etc

I am picky about CA and don't really see it much but on the edge of the moon or Venus. Deep sky i never see it.



#53 jeremiah2229

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Posted 05 June 2018 - 07:50 PM

Does it have a Crayford or rack-n-pinion focuser? Astronomics site starts out by stating a Crayford to then state the rack-n-pinion. Which is it?

 

 

Peace...



#54 Moondust

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Posted 05 June 2018 - 07:58 PM

Does it have a Crayford or rack-n-pinion focuser? Astronomics site starts out by stating a Crayford to then state the rack-n-pinion. Which is it?

 

 

Peace...

Rack and pinion. It's a misprint referring to the older scope which had a crayford. Confusing, yes!!   


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#55 jeremiah2229

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Posted 05 June 2018 - 08:02 PM

Rack and pinion. It's a misprint referring to the older scope which had a crayford. Confusing, yes!!   

Thank you!

 

You know, I wish they would have done one in the ~5" ish range. LOL, I can never be pleased it seems.

 

 

Peace...



#56 CHASLX200

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Posted 06 June 2018 - 05:14 AM

I hope they come out with a 5 or 5.5" F/8 ED one day.



#57 Thomas Marshall

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Posted 06 June 2018 - 05:20 AM

I got one in the mail today, and gave it a run thru. - As much as able anyway. First in the daytime to sight it in, - Images were nice, at powers high for terrestrial viewing. Did not notice any color problems. The focuser jumps and is rough. I'm not well versed in how to fix this, maybe cleaning and extra grease? It's annoying, I could still get fine focusing, but it felt like I would get stuck in a notch, or on top of one right at point of critical focus. I will try what I can to make it smoother as time permits. Venus did not look good or bad. Warm atmosphere, it's elevation, - I did not expect to see much. Could discern it's phase easy enough, but view still poor. Thin clouds hampered my views for a couple of hours, in most directions. I have an AR102, with a homemade laser mount for finder, so rather than start from scratch with the AT102, I figured I would just unclamp rings/dovetail/finder from AR102 and clamp whole assembly onto the AT102 tube. BUT, - they don't fit. Ring diameters look the same, - but no. And I didn't want to force anything. So, I rigged a laser for the AT102 rings/dovetail assembly and mounted it to the rings that have many threaded holes, for such stuff. No handle on the AT102 ring/dovetail assembly, but whole unit is lighter, which is nice. I put the scope on my SE6/8 goto mount, and it worked well, but of course you need to be careful to limit the vertical so you don't jam the focus end against the mount base. When I got to Vega I was impressed, - bright/white, - diffraction rings nice and concentric inside and outside of focus. Inside, - I think, - the view of dif/rings was bathed in purple or blue, - outside of focus not. In focus - Vega looked great. I'm not expert on this kind of stuff that many on this sight are, but I was pleased. Looked at M57, and reminded me this is still a 4" scope, and is limited in light gathering power. The Double/Double was my biggest smile. Clean, - pinpoint- separation. I used a Vixen 8x24mm zoom coupled with Antares 3X barlow and had clean split at lowest setting and highest. Jupiter had  the GRS, and showed extra belts and markings. The moons showed roundness and diff. size. Seeing conditions would not allow Too Much Power, but I was over 200X with some eyepieces. I think this scope will do 250 on good steady nights as I dug out some old Ortho's and the scope seemed to like them. I'm looking forward to Mars and Saturn, though I did look at Saturn, and it was quite good very low in the sky. I looked at "Graffias"? or some double star with a name similar to that, and it was a beauty. Just the fun of close stars should make this a great toy. Not a very professional review, I know, - maybe more in the future.   


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#58 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 06 June 2018 - 05:43 AM

so it seems like the AT102ED has some CA making it not the best for astrophotography 

 

wouldnt that CA also make stars bloat and make it less desirable for visual....especially for like splitting double stars, etc

 

Cameras capture a much broader spectrum than the human eye so color correction is much more critical.  This scope does not have the color correction of a 4 inch refractor costing $4000 but it is quite good and for close doubles quite good.

 

Jon


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#59 CHASLX200

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Posted 06 June 2018 - 06:13 AM

Cameras capture a much broader spectrum than the human eye so color correction is much more critical.  This scope does not have the color correction of a 4 inch refractor costing $4000 but it is quite good and for close doubles quite good.

 

Jon

The double double sure looked good in my AT102.  For $499 grab it fast.


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#60 starman876

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Posted 06 June 2018 - 07:08 AM

Cameras capture a much broader spectrum than the human eye so color correction is much more critical.  This scope does not have the color correction of a 4 inch refractor costing $4000 but it is quite good and for close doubles quite good.

 

Jon

That is so true.  Many of the CCD cameras are much more sensitive in the blue region of the spectrum. The CCD chips are much more sensitive that the human eye in this range.  That is why Roland from AP designed all his newer lenses so they would work using the new CCD cameras without showing these colors in this frequency range of the light spectrum. Well, not showing is not a good way to state this.  All the colors came to focus at the same point.  A difficult trick with short focal length  refractors.


Edited by starman876, 06 June 2018 - 09:28 AM.


#61 earlyriser

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Posted 06 June 2018 - 07:15 AM

I had the first version of the AT-102ED.. I actually had the very first one.  $500 for this new one, better focuser, presumably the same basic optics, no sliding dew shield.  That's unbelievable.  An AR-102 is $400, it comes with a dielectric diagonal but it's just an achromat.  

 

This is what I thought of the AT-102ED... 

 

https://www.cloudyni...h-at102ed-r1690

 

Jon

This deal makes the AR-102 look downright over-priced.


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#62 KevH

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Posted 06 June 2018 - 08:13 AM

I couldn't resist the sale... Just bought one.  I've been thinking about getting a 4" for a while to replace my current (very good) 3".  It will be interesting to see how a 3" with nearly perfect color correction does against a 4" with good color correction.  I did own the previous version of this scope many years ago and I remember it being better corrected than the specs suggested.  Given that Astronomics has stated that this new version has some refinements to the optical polish, I am excited to try it out.  I have a pretty good reference scope to compare against and plan to report back.


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#63 Astrojedi

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Posted 06 June 2018 - 10:08 AM

Thomas, congrats on the new scope. Give the focuser some time to break in. With some use the lubricant will spread out and the motion will be much smoother. I generally like the R&P focusers AT uses. I am amazed they can deliver the quality they do at this price point. For e.g. my AT60 can hold the 82deg 30mm with zero slippage and no need for any tension adjustments. The scope costs less than some of my EPs.


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#64 Astronomics

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Posted 06 June 2018 - 12:21 PM

Does it have a Crayford or rack-n-pinion focuser? Astronomics site starts out by stating a Crayford to then state the rack-n-pinion. Which is it?

 

 

Peace...

Sorry about that.  Fixed it to be Rack and Pinion.  It happens when you are your own copy editor.....


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#65 CollinofAlabama

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Posted 06 June 2018 - 11:28 PM

This is one of the best deals going, for sure!  I own the Orion version, manufactured, like the AT, by Kunming Optical.  I had my horrid focuser replaced with a MoonLite single speed Crayford for a couple hundred bucks.  And I paid $750 for it something like 8 years ago.  For $500 this is THE BEST deal going right now, and the ES 28mm 68* is a pretty good deal, too, but this one, whoa nelly!  Don't miss it, folks, cause when it's gone, I'm sure it'll still be worth whatever price it goes back up to, but it won't be this kind of value.  This is THE BEST price you're gonna get on a 4" ED scope anytime soon.  It is not a true apo, like an FPL-53 optic, but it puts up a 4" F/7 field of view but has probably the same amount of chromatic aberration an F/16 4" achromat would deliver -- not so much.  It's not perfect, but it is perfectly priced, and it's actually quite good.  I am visual only, but I can't believe a good astrophotographer couldn't take out the little CA this scope would impart.  It's really not so much in the general scheme of 4" glass.  Not saying there aren't better choices for astrophotography, only that one will pay a good deal more for that extra performance, and in the SW 100 ED's case, one pays less in dollars than other choices (tho still $230 more), but especially in TFOV, and the additional tax of longer focal length on imaging times.  It's one fantastic deal.  Love mine, and I had to improve it a lot to get it to the state this one is delivered to your doorstep with -- and it comes with a warranty!  It's the scope in my avatar.  Enjoy!


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#66 Moondust

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Posted 07 June 2018 - 06:21 AM

This is one of the best deals going, for sure!  I own the Orion version, manufactured, like the AT, by Kunming Optical.  I had my horrid focuser replaced with a MoonLite single speed Crayford for a couple hundred bucks.  And I paid $750 for it something like 8 years ago.  For $500 this is THE BEST deal going right now, and the ES 28mm 68* is a pretty good deal, too, but this one, whoa nelly!  Don't miss it, folks, cause when it's gone, I'm sure it'll still be worth whatever price it goes back up to, but it won't be this kind of value.  This is THE BEST price you're gonna get on a 4" ED scope anytime soon.  It is not a true apo, like an FPL-53 optic, but it puts up a 4" F/7 field of view but has probably the same amount of chromatic aberration an F/16 4" achromat would deliver -- not so much.  It's not perfect, but it is perfectly priced, and it's actually quite good.  I am visual only, but I can't believe a good astrophotographer couldn't take out the little CA this scope would impart.  It's really not so much in the general scheme of 4" glass.  Not saying there aren't better choices for astrophotography, only that one will pay a good deal more for that extra performance, and in the SW 100 ED's case, one pays less in dollars than other choices (tho still $230 more), but especially in TFOV, and the additional tax of longer focal length on imaging times.  It's one fantastic deal.  Love mine, and I had to improve it a lot to get it to the state this one is delivered to your doorstep with -- and it comes with a warranty!  It's the scope in my avatar.  Enjoy!

I thought we were not going to build this scope up too much until after I got mine early next month? This man lies, think 10" dob people! shakecane.gif   


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#67 punk35

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Posted 07 June 2018 - 08:35 AM

Since I missed out on the 72EDII, I decided on the 102ed. I ordered it about ten minutes ago. It should be a nice step up from my C4R Achromat I hope.


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#68 Larry Carlino

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Posted 07 June 2018 - 09:53 AM

AT102ED - First light

 

I received my AT102ED earlier this week and achieved first light last night under a partly cloudy, somewhat hazy sky with seeing that ranged from mediocre to pathetic.

 

Initial impressions of the scope are quite positive:  It looks good, is fairly light, and can be mounted on a smallish alt-az or equatorial affording good stability and grab-and-go capability.  I mounted the scope on an Orion VersaGo II  with home-made maple legs substituting for the thin aluminum originals.  The short damping time allowed  for the easy use of high powers.   The gloss white tube has a few minor irregularities visible on close examination, but at the telescope's price point, is satisfactory.  The r@p focuser has a nicely calibrated draw tube with smooth motion over most of its range, but there is a glitch once every rotation of the coarse focus know where turning effort increases by about 50 percent.  There is also some "wander" of the image unless the focuser is clamped to a high-effort setting.  I'm trying to adjust the unit for better operation.

 

Optically, I would have to rate the AT102 as very good - about as capable as one might expect from an FPL-51 equivalent doublet.  Color correction is adequate for visual use, but there is a slight red excess that shows at higher magnifications.  Spherical aberration is well controlled.

 

My only disappointment was the view of Venus as it descended in the evening sky.  The disc of the planet was very sharp at 89 and 119x, but the poor seeing conditions created annoying flashes of red and violet as the focus shifted.

 

Jupiter, however, was another story.  In moments of decent seeing, the planet was loaded with high-contrast detail with many irregularities in the NEB, and well-defined Great Red Spot and RSH, and some fleeting details in both polar regions.  All four Galilean moons were pinpoint sharp at powers from 119 to 143x.

Certainly, the image displayed somewhat superior contrast and color saturation with my Takahashi FC-100D, but the AT did acquit itself well and showed no visible false color.

 

Double star resolution of the AT proved to be excellent.  Despite the poor seeing, the telescope easily and neatly resolved Epsilon Lyrae, Izar, RasAlgethi, Porrima, and the tough Delta Cygni.  Airy discs were hard and sharp, and the delicate first diffraction rings at 143x showed good optical correction.  However, orange or red stars did display an excess of red tint, the price to be paid for the scope's optical components.

 

Overall, the AT102ED is quite impressive for its low price point: Not perfect optically or mechanically, but a large step up from an achromat.

 

I'll be providing more observations in the future when the Western New York weather cooperates.

 

Larry Carlino

at102-1p.jpg at102-2p.jpg


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#69 MortonH

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Posted 07 June 2018 - 05:27 PM

The outer body of the focuser is very short so I'm not surprised there's some image shift. Still seems like a reasonable compromise to keep the price down.



#70 CHASLX200

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Posted 07 June 2018 - 05:38 PM

Looks like i have another fancy 4" APO coming to compare to the AT102 ED. Lets see how a $2500 scope compares. 



#71 CHASLX200

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Posted 07 June 2018 - 05:39 PM

The outer body of the focuser is very short so I'm not surprised there's some image shift. Still seems like a reasonable compromise to keep the price down.

I don't see any image shift.


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#72 Brollen

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Posted 07 June 2018 - 06:03 PM

I could not resist as well, having ordered one a few days back. I just got home - nice surprise... the AT102ED is here! 

 

It arrived in great shape - a very trim and sturdy box with no signs of damage, puncture or even scuff marks. It isn't double boxed but the scope was placed and secured well within the box with foam inserts and further buffered/protected with those cursed foam peanuts.

 

Wow - its a beautiful scope! Very attractive dimensions, color scheme and the focuser housing color adds a nice touch. The lens has beautiful coatings - I hope to try it out tonight ... if I can tear myself away from what is hopefully the last Stanley Cup game of the year! lol.gif

 

Unboxing pics follow.

 

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#73 Brollen

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Posted 07 June 2018 - 06:04 PM

Cont'd unboxing...

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#74 Brollen

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Posted 07 June 2018 - 06:04 PM

Cont'd unboxing...

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#75 Brollen

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Posted 07 June 2018 - 06:05 PM

Cont'd unboxing...

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