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AT102ED - on sale, has anyone used one?

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#101 punk35

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Posted 09 June 2018 - 06:23 PM

Just for fun: size comparo. 

Skywatcher 120/8.3

Celestron 100/10

AT 102/7

 

And their focusers. The 120 has the original C4R unit. The C4R has an old Orion ed80 unit. 

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#102 Jaimo!

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Posted 09 June 2018 - 07:05 PM

I feel bad for the other two scopes...  They will not be seeing any starlight anytime soon.

 

Jaimo!


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#103 KevH

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Posted 09 June 2018 - 07:48 PM

How much play do folks have in their draw tubes? If I rack mine out about half way, I can move the drawtube up and down and side to side. Doing the same on my ED81S results in no movement at all. A quick indoor test showed no real image shift when focussing but the fact there is so much play AND the notchiness is a bit bothersome. Optics look to be quite good though on my quick test.

#104 Thomas Marshall

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Posted 09 June 2018 - 08:33 PM

Thanks to jeremiah 2229. All 3 of those screws were less than tight, and snugging them down seems to have made definite improvement. Less notchy and no slip on fine focus so far.  I also used a toothbrush to clean grooves on brass, going back and forth to brush out any black marks/particles, - without trying to wash away the grease. I then lightly applied some Vaseline along grooves. (hope that's OK as I didn't have any special greases available).  All in all, it seems pretty good now. I did not put any diagonals/eyepieces/binoviewers or anything on, - just worked on the focuser alone at the kitchen table.  If it works in the field as it is testing now, - I will be good with it. NOTE: Each tube ring has 5 threaded holes for mounting what you will. I mounted a laser mount. IF you mount in the center hole, - the Thickness of the metal is less than at the other holes, and you have More Danger of going Too Deep, - and Marring the paint/finish of the OTA. IF you do this, a little porcelain white touch up paint, (the kind you highlight gunsights with), will cover it well, And you can always keep this spot under the rings, - if you want.  smirk.gif



#105 Jond105

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Posted 09 June 2018 - 08:36 PM

I feel bad for the other two scopes... They will not be seeing any starlight anytime soon.

Jaimo!


I guarantee that Skywatcher will be getting a descent amount of starlight very soon its future. 🤑

#106 jeremiah2229

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Posted 09 June 2018 - 08:57 PM

If I had my old scope in hand I would help more but I won't go from my lousy memory to mess something up. The cosmoline is in there for a reason but if you feel comfortable in dropping the pinion then all you need to do is add a wee bit of the lube you have on hand to thin this out just a bit, just let the two mix and that will relieve stiffness over time in using. I do not advise on completely removing the cosmoline unless you understand why it is used and have something suitable on hand to replace it. Sadly, focusers can be easily damaged/knock out of tune during shipping no matter who makes them. And the constant vibration during shipping just does them no benefit.

 

As to the sagging/rocking draw tube, on the scope I had here there were two screws to adjust the tension of the padding. I cannot remember if on the top, bottom or where but these could be gingerly snugged to prevent that and I would pay attention to check if there is any focus shift when adjusting/adjusted.

 

I wish my memory was better and I could be of more help. Also note that I did not have the AT102 here but the same/similar focuser. Sorry...

 

Peace...



#107 Brollen

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Posted 09 June 2018 - 09:00 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...

I tried a combination of lithium grease and adjusting those 3 screws - no discernible improvement unfortunately.



#108 Cpk133

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Posted 09 June 2018 - 09:01 PM

Thanks to jeremiah 2229. All 3 of those screws were less than tight, and snugging them down seems to have made definite improvement. Less notchy and no slip on fine focus so far.  I also used a toothbrush to clean grooves on brass, going back and forth to brush out any black marks/particles, - without trying to wash away the grease. I then lightly applied some Vaseline along grooves. (hope that's OK as I didn't have any special greases available).  All in all, it seems pretty good now. I did not put any diagonals/eyepieces/binoviewers or anything on, - just worked on the focuser alone at the kitchen table.  If it works in the field as it is testing now, - I will be good with it. NOTE: Each tube ring has 5 threaded holes for mounting what you will. I mounted a laser mount. IF you mount in the center hole, - the Thickness of the metal is less than at the other holes, and you have More Danger of going Too Deep, - and Marring the paint/finish of the OTA. IF you do this, a little porcelain white touch up paint, (the kind you highlight gunsights with), will cover it well, And you can always keep this spot under the rings, - if you want.  smirk.gif

 

It's better than KY lol.gif



#109 MortonH

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Posted 10 June 2018 - 07:17 AM

Anyone know if the tube is a standard size that would accept something like a GSO focuser?


Edited by MortonH, 10 June 2018 - 07:19 AM.


#110 KevH

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Posted 10 June 2018 - 07:25 AM

Update on my focuser... The two screws at the 12 o'clock position were both loose. Snugging them up eliminated all of drawtube slop. While my coarse focus is still a bit notchy, it seems to be getting better with use. Fine focus feels nice. Other than some indoor testing, no outside time yet. I'll report back when I've had it outside at night. From what I've seen inside, the lens is really well corrected and sharp. Also, the scope is really well baffled. Four in the tube and eight in the focuser drawtube.

Edited by KevH, 10 June 2018 - 07:40 AM.

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#111 Brollen

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Posted 10 June 2018 - 07:30 AM

If I had my old scope in hand I would help more but I won't go from my lousy memory to mess something up. The cosmoline is in there for a reason but if you feel comfortable in dropping the pinion then all you need to do is add a wee bit of the lube you have on hand to thin this out just a bit, just let the two mix and that will relieve stiffness over time in using. I do not advise on completely removing the cosmoline unless you understand why it is used and have something suitable on hand to replace it. Sadly, focusers can be easily damaged/knock out of tune during shipping no matter who makes them. And the constant vibration during shipping just does them no benefit.

 

As to the sagging/rocking draw tube, on the scope I had here there were two screws to adjust the tension of the padding. I cannot remember if on the top, bottom or where but these could be gingerly snugged to prevent that and I would pay attention to check if there is any focus shift when adjusting/adjusted.

 

I wish my memory was better and I could be of more help. Also note that I did not have the AT102 here but the same/similar focuser. Sorry...

 

Peace...

Jeremiah - I think what we are speaking of is not a stiffness but an actual notchiness - definitely in my case at least. Stiffness I can deal with but this feels more like a bad or misaligned bearing.


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#112 russell23

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Posted 10 June 2018 - 08:17 AM

Anyone know if the tube is a standard size that would accept something like a GSO focuser?

I don't know if it would but I would look at the linear bearing GSO focuser if you going to go that route.  There is not guarantee you will get a GSO focuser without backlash or other problems. 

 

Given how good the optics are on these scopes you might just look down the road to invest in a Moonlite or Feathertouch focuser.

 

I'm confused by all these focuser problems being reported.  I thought these R&P focusers were supposed to be better than the typical stock crayford focuser.  



#113 MortonH

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Posted 10 June 2018 - 08:36 AM

I don't know if it would but I would look at the linear bearing GSO focuser if you going to go that route.  There is not guarantee you will get a GSO focuser without backlash or other problems. 

I certainly wouldn't WANT to switch to a GSO, more thinking about some time in the future if the R&P failed, given the issues being reported currently.  I'd much prefer a working R&P to a cheap Crayford.
 
Since I'm in Australia I'd only buy one of these scopes if Astronomics was prepared to open the box and check the focuser before shipping, which they perhaps need to consider for everyone.

Edited by MortonH, 10 June 2018 - 08:39 AM.

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#114 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 10 June 2018 - 09:10 AM

I don't know if it would but I would look at the linear bearing GSO focuser if you going to go that route.  There is not guarantee you will get a GSO focuser without backlash or other problems. 

 

Given how good the optics are on these scopes you might just look down the road to invest in a Moonlite or Feathertouch focuser.

 

I'm confused by all these focuser problems being reported.  I thought these R&P focusers were supposed to be better than the typical stock crayford focuser.  

David:

 

After working on your GSO linear bearing focuser, I do not recommend them,  The linear bearing is not sealed and there is no way I can see to clean it. The pinion assembly body is plastic and can crack, yours was cracked,

 

The devil is in the details. The Feathertouch rack and pinion is about $165 more than the Crayford. The beauty of the Crayford is that it's much easier to make a smooth tight focuser using the friction drive, the precision rack and pinion so themselves are expensive and require careful adjustment to avoid tight spots and looseness.

 

I'm not sure what's going on here. It could be the pinion adjustment or it could be the two speed. 

 

Jon


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#115 Minimum_Wage

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Posted 10 June 2018 - 11:24 AM

Got mine out last night for a couple hours. Seeing was poor, gusty winds and eventually high clouds moved in and sent me inside around 11. Still very impressed with the scope. Spent most of the time with a 9mm Nagler. Saw nice detail on Jupiter during brief moments of calm. Could not really detect any CA on Jupiter except by throwing it out of focus. Slight blue ring visible around Vega. Tried double-double but too turbulent to split cleanly. Really nice view of M13, starts to resolve into individual stars with averted vision. Spent about 20mins there! No focuser issues for me last night, no image shift or drawtube play detectible. Very happy so far!
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#116 Tyson M

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Posted 10 June 2018 - 11:39 AM

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?


The focuser on the new AT60 was one of the best stock focusers I've used. Same with the new AT72 I've heard. I was very happy with it.

Only stock focuser I've liked better was sharpstar's black and silver dual speed one (like on the SV60EDS) but it was close.

#117 punk35

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Posted 10 June 2018 - 12:39 PM

Hi folks. 

I spent some time on the focuser today. 

I have no drawtube play.

In my case, loosening the screws in line with the pinion helped a tiny bit to smooth it out.

Also a bit of lube on the rack helped a tiny bit. 

 

Overall id say that although those two things helped a little, I was unsuccessful smoothing out the focuser and getting rid of the notchy growling feeling. I don’t know what to try next, if anything. I don’t know anything about the two speed mechanism, and don’t really want to have to take it apart. Kinda disappointed I couldn’t adjust the roughness out. 



#118 russell23

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Posted 10 June 2018 - 01:38 PM

The focuser on the new AT60 was one of the best stock focusers I've used. Same with the new AT72 I've heard. I was very happy with it.

Only stock focuser I've liked better was sharpstar's black and silver dual speed one (like on the SV60EDS) but it was close.

Thank you for sharing that information.   I'm looking to get the AT60, or the WO61, or the SV60 as a small scope for travel and really wide TFOV viewing.  Knowing that the focuser won't be a problem is helpful.


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#119 Tyson M

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Posted 10 June 2018 - 02:17 PM

You won't need to worry about the focusers on either selection. They are geared for imagers in mind. You can read about the focuser reviews on the massive AT60 thread and AT72II. Jay has the 72 and says the same thing I do about the 60. I don't think I've heard/read a single bad review.

I can't explain why the AT102 has the occasional issues though. Never owned one or used one.

#120 Astronomics

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Posted 10 June 2018 - 03:08 PM

This is a first really. I will have to open one up at work tomorrow and see what everyone is talking about. Usually it is grease needing to get smoothed out, or a screw needing to be tightened. This is a semi new design, but uses the mechanics from the EDT and ED series. I am surprised their are problems at all.
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#121 Brollen

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Posted 10 June 2018 - 03:25 PM

This is a first really. I will have to open one up at work tomorrow and see what everyone is talking about. Usually it is grease needing to get smoothed out, or a screw needing to be tightened. This is a semi new design, but uses the mechanics from the EDT and ED series. I am surprised their are problems at all.

Thank you Mike. Looking forward to what you encounter. In my estimation this is not a matter of smoothing out grease but more of a mechanical issue. 


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#122 Agatha

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Posted 10 June 2018 - 04:49 PM

I've been trying to resist for quite some time.  hmm.gif


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#123 CHASLX200

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Posted 10 June 2018 - 04:51 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...

That must be a older model. Mine is not black and has the same three screws, and then one next to them.


Edited by CHASLX200, 10 June 2018 - 05:00 PM.


#124 CHASLX200

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Posted 10 June 2018 - 04:54 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.

Who would have dreamed of a scope like this in the mid 80's, or even around 1998 or 10 years ago at this price?


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#125 Thomas Marshall

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Posted 10 June 2018 - 06:43 PM

It's better than KY lol.gif

I'm 69 yrs., - Monkish for over 35 yrs. - Had to Google to find out what you meant.  OK - Good joke. I was a little worried about grease/oil too  thin or with low melting point that might work it's way up to lens area, - but I used very little Vaseline  and with all the baffles it seems an unlikely scenario unless someone drenched the focuser in oil.


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