I’ve had three sessions now with the ST102 fitted with the MoonLite focuser and the AZ5 mount/tripod combination. The AZ5 is 4.9kg and the stock ST102 is 2.5kg. So, without accessories, this combination is at least feasible. When I fitted the TS Optics/GSO focuser I weighed the OTA and it was still about 2.5kg. So I assumed the GSO wasn’t really that much heavier than the stock Synta focuser. When I replaced the GSO with the Sky-Watcher/Long Perng focuser I weighed the OTA again. This time it was about 3kg. Still do-able with the AZ5 though. Bearing in mind at least another kilo could be added with the diagonal and eyepiece.
Saturday I had a three hour rich field session with the ST102 which enabled me to really put the MoonLite through its paces. It certainly didn’t disappoint me. Everything is so precise and using it is a delight. In fact, once I had become more familiar with the MoonLite I ceased thinking about actually using it and it just did its job. So I could sweep for open clusters, the occasional globular, planetary nebula and other DSO’s and concentrate on observing. Later I realised that the supposed extra weight of the MoonLite wasn’t a problem. So I weighed the OTA on bathroom scales. It was about 2.5kg. At first, this didn’t make sense, until I re-weighed the Long Perng focuser and compared it with the GSO. The Long Perng was 1.4kg!
So ignore what I said about the weight of the Long Perng focuser in an earlier post, I must have misread the scales (I have actually had brain damage). Just picking one of the units up after the other will show the difference in weight.
The OTA together with the APM diagonal weighs in at about 3kg, basically the same weight as the OTA with the Long Perng focuser.
Edited by Shorty Barlow, 12 April 2020 - 07:40 PM.