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AT102ED - on sale, has anyone used one?

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#76 Brollen

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Posted 07 June 2018 - 06:06 PM

Business end

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#77 Brollen

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Posted 08 June 2018 - 07:40 AM

First light impressions from outing last night:

- night was clear but Seeing & Transparency where average
- had the AT102ED on my Porta 2 tripod/mount
- used a 2” GSO dielectric diagonal
- felt the Porta 2 was a little over matched
..... dampening times were excessive
..... balancing the scope was important
..... I say this because my WO Megrez 90 rides without issues
- used my Baader Morpheus EPs - 17.5, 12.5, 9 & 6.5mm ... incredible line!!
- also used my ES 4.7mm and Vixen 3.5mm
- spent much time on Jupiter
..... views were very good, no color at all
..... very good clarity and sharpness as I progressed through the EPs with no real image break down even with the 3.5 and considering viewing conditions
..... Vega showed a hint of purple but fiddling with the focuser helped to all but eliminate it
..... Double Double was crisply separated with the Morpheus 6.5
..... views I felt were of similar quality to my Megrez 90 (FPL53 doublet) but showing a bit more depth
..... once had an f/6 ED doublet that does not compare to this scope
- the focuser... it was very notchy out of the box, really notchy
..... the fine focus also displayed some non-smoothness but was better than the coarse focuser
..... something to watch, might need a replacement from Astronomics but we’ll see

Overall very impressed with the scope and the views it provided. I really like the size and weight of this scope and the really great views I saw. Right now the only concern is the focuser...

Clear skies!
Roger


Edited by Brollen, 08 June 2018 - 07:41 AM.

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#78 KevH

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Posted 08 June 2018 - 07:57 AM

- the focuser... it was very notchy out of the box, really notchy
..... the fine focus also displayed some non-smoothness but was better than the coarse focuser
..... something to watch, might need a replacement from Astronomics but we’ll see

Overall very impressed with the scope and the views it provided. I really like the size and weight of this scope and the really great views I saw. Right now the only concern is the focuser...

Clear skies!
Roger

This is the third report of a notchy focuser in this thread. Early reports all praised the focuser.  A bit troubling as I sit here and wait for mine...


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#79 MortonH

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Posted 08 June 2018 - 08:15 AM

This is the third report of a notchy focuser in this thread. Early reports all praised the focuser.  A bit troubling as I sit here and wait for mine...

I wonder if anyone has actually felt the need to ask for a replacement focuser?  Do they improve after using it for a while or are people just putting up with it?


#80 KevH

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Posted 08 June 2018 - 08:27 AM

My experience has been a notchy feel is almost always caused by the fine focus reduction and if it's there, it's not going to get any better.  One way to test is to disengage the fine focus and see if the coarse focus is suddenly smooth.  I also suspect that the fine focus is susceptible to damage from moderate impact. I wonder what the internals of this focuser look like.  Does it glide on bearings or teflon strips?

 

I'll be sure to report on mine when it arrives... which is tomorrow.


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#81 CHASLX200

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Posted 08 June 2018 - 09:49 AM

Mine seems to focus fine as wine.



#82 Moondust

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Posted 08 June 2018 - 10:11 AM

Mine seems to focus fine as wine.

Maybe you're just lucky yours isn't sucky. 


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#83 KevH

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Posted 08 June 2018 - 10:12 AM

Another report of a notchy focuser...  Astronomics sent a new one but I imagine that once these are out of stock people may be waiting a while for a replacement if needed.

 

https://www.cloudyni...ed-first-light/



#84 Moondust

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Posted 08 June 2018 - 10:17 AM

First light impressions from outing last night:

- night was clear but Seeing & Transparency where average
- had the AT102ED on my Porta 2 tripod/mount
- used a 2” GSO dielectric diagonal
- felt the Porta 2 was a little over matched
..... dampening times were excessive
..... balancing the scope was important
 

 

 

 

 

Were you using the stock aluminum tripod with the porta mount or a wooden one?  I was hoping the focuser was similar to or the same as the one on my AT72 ED 2.



#85 Brollen

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Posted 08 June 2018 - 10:20 AM

I have the stock aluminum tripod - something I have considered replacing.


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#86 howardcano

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Posted 08 June 2018 - 11:42 AM

I have oak legs on my Porta, and they hold the AT102ED very nicely.

 

The focuser on mine is one of the nicest I've used.


Edited by howardcano, 08 June 2018 - 11:43 AM.

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#87 punk35

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Posted 08 June 2018 - 04:02 PM

Mine is also scheduled to arrive tomorrow. I’ll also report on how the focuser feels. Hoping for buttery grin.gif


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#88 Jaimo!

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Posted 08 June 2018 - 05:30 PM

Mine arrived today...

 

IMG_20180608_175928 - small.jpg

 

IMG_20180608_175942 - small.jpg

 

I'll have to agree the focuser is a bit notchy, definitely not buttery...  I feel a little dissapointed.  The ES AR102's focuser is much, much smoother.  But I think I can work with it...  after all it is a $500 ED, maybe with use it will smooth out a little bit.

 

Jaimo!  


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#89 punk35

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Posted 08 June 2018 - 05:54 PM

I won’t lie, I’m a little apprehensive about the focuser, only because of some of the reports. Others say it’s great. Honestly though, I’ve only used a Synta R&P before, and I swapped out the one on my C4R for a used ED80 Crayford.  I have to imagine the focuser on the 102ed should be much better than either of the aforementioned focusers. Like Jaimo! Says, maybe it’ll smooth out with some use/ user adjustments. 

 

Im still very excited to be getting this nice upgrade over my C4R! 


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#90 jeremiah2229

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Posted 08 June 2018 - 07:15 PM

If the focuser has three screws together as this image these need to be snug and maybe a bit more. They keep the bearing carrier from spinning and if it does spin it will also cause the fine focus to slip and it will "growl" (sound/feel like scraping) when you rack the focuser. And of course the focuser is packed with cosmoline so that takes away from the "buttery" smoothness. Just rack it out and add a dab of your favorite lube to the rack and then start racking to get the two to mix. If will free up the sticky movement after some use.

 

Peace...

 

 

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#91 Pat Rochford

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Posted 08 June 2018 - 07:58 PM

 

I'll have to agree the focuser is a bit notchy, definitely not buttery...  I feel a little dissapointed.  The ES AR102's focuser is much, much smoother.  But I think I can work with it...  after all it is a $500 ED, maybe with use it will smooth out a little bit.

 

Jaimo!  

 

I received one of the first 102's shipped (early February).  I removed the focuser, sent it back to Astronomics and had another one a few days later.  I don't know if Mike adjusted that one or replaced it with another, but what I have now is absolutely smooth in both course and fine movement.  Don't know what's causing this problem, but the design is very capable for use in any refractor, regardless of price.


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#92 Brollen

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Posted 08 June 2018 - 09:01 PM

If the focuser has three screws together as this image these need to be snug and maybe a bit more. They keep the bearing carrier from spinning and if it does spin it will also cause the fine focus to slip and it will "growl" (sound/feel like scraping) when you rack the focuser. And of course the focuser is packed with cosmoline so that takes away from the "buttery" smoothness. Just rack it out and add a dab of your favorite lube to the rack and then start racking to get the two to mix. If will free up the sticky movement after some use.

 

Peace...

Mine has those 3 screws. Thanks for the provided info - I plan to try it and will report back.

I also contacted our friends at Astronomics to see about a replacement.


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#93 belgrade

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Posted 08 June 2018 - 10:24 PM

Maybe it’s time for Mike to comment or address the focused-issue comments. Too bad that otherwise great ED gets a bad rep which would affect sale. IMHO, we should all be reasonable in our expectations what $500 can or should buy. Just my 2 cents no one asked for... 😁

#94 punk35

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Posted 09 June 2018 - 06:17 AM

Jeremiah thanks for the pic and info about the focuser. That’s very reassuring. Now I’ll stop worrying about it.  Thanks!


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#95 Minimum_Wage

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Posted 09 June 2018 - 01:16 PM

FedEx just dropped mine off. First impressions very positive. No issues with focuser on mine. Maybe not as sliky-smooth as the Feathertouch I have on a TV-85, but not far off either. Hoping to try it out tonight.
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#96 punk35

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Posted 09 June 2018 - 01:37 PM

Well folks, mine arrived a few hours ago, a mere 50 hours after I placed my order.

 The box was perfect and undamaged. A big relief. 

A closer inspection revealed no flaws I could find, not in the paint which looks great, not in the glass which also looks great, or anywhere else.  The only thing I did notice was that the cover for the focuser knob was cracked, although there seems to be no indication of impact to the box. Maybe just a factory flaw that happened even before it was put on the focuser at the factory, idk.

 

The focuser seems very nice, although as others have reported, it is very rough and notchy feeling. Racking it in and out about ten or fifteen times smoothed it out a bit and also I will follow Jeremiah’s advice on adjusting the three screws and adding some lube to the rack then racking it in and out a bunch to see if that helps even more. 

 

The quality of this scope is leaps and bounds ahead of my C4R achro. It is definitely a very nice upgrade.

 

 

Overall im very happy with the AT102ED. The price is great and by all user reports the views should be too. Thanks for reading my initial review. I’ll give my thoughts on the views whenever I get a chance to test it. Of course it’s going to be raining and cloudy all weekend as it always is when we buy new astro gear.


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#97 Jaimo!

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Posted 09 June 2018 - 02:18 PM

IMG_20180608_230104-small.jpg

 

Surprising it was a slightly clear evening last night, some clouds but all were north and east of Jupiter, seeing was fair to reasonable.  But, excellent for receiving a new telescope that day!  Viewed Jupiter in the AT102ED with a 5.5mm Meade 5000 at ~130x and compared to the MK-67 with the Baader Zoom at ~150x.  I know it is not a scientific or fair comparison, certainly not a shootout, but my views were very interesting the AT102ED had a little more contrast than the Mak making the spot a little easier to see while the Mak could go deeper and handle more magnification for the seeing conditions.  I was pleasantly surprised that I did not notice any false color from the doubled when observing Jupiter with the AT102ED.  I think these two scopes will compliment each other well and this may be my planetary rig for the summer with Mars and Saturn oppositions quickly approaching.  I am pretty happy so far, but time will tell.

 

Still not particularly happy with the focuser, especially since my MK-67 has a MoonLite, although I have done nothing to remedy the situation...

 

Jaimo!


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#98 russell23

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Posted 09 June 2018 - 03:57 PM

Ok, so a few reports now about the focuser on these scopes.  Has anyone received one that was rough and been able to get it cleaned up by adjusting the screws?

 

Also - any similar problems with the AT60 or AT72?



#99 KevH

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Posted 09 June 2018 - 04:41 PM

Just unboxed mine. Nice looking scope. The gray anodize on mine has a few flaws from the factory but otherwise scope looks nice. My focuser is definitely notchy feeling. Snugging the three inline screws near the fine focus did nothing in my case. My ST80 focuser is smoother. The ED81S focuser is much much smoother.

A bit disappointed...

Edited by KevH, 09 June 2018 - 04:49 PM.


#100 howardcano

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Posted 09 June 2018 - 04:55 PM

For those of you with notchy- or gritty-feeling two-speed focusers, you might try removing the fine focus knob and flushing out the planetary ball reduction mechanism with lighter fluid or something similar, working the coarse focus knob back and forth while doing so.  Then add some light oil and work it around again.

 

Doing so seems to have removed whatever very fine grit was in the planetary ball reduction on one of my focusers, and it now functions much better.  This was on a TPO focuser, not the AT, but the reduction design is similar.


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