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2nd scope advise

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#26 jgraham

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Posted 14 June 2019 - 09:52 AM

The nice thing about the 102ED is that it doesn't need too much in the way of a mount. I use my 100ED on a Twilight I most of the time. I use it on a LX70 GEM when I want a lightweight, driven, manual equatorial mount, and an LXD75 when I want a GoTo equatorial mount. Just about any GoTo should be able to handle it nicely. I suspect that the biggest difference that you will notice is how sharp the image is compared to any obstructed scope of a similar size (including the ETX, which puts up a pretty good image on its own). The ability to go wide with low power eyepieces will be a new feature (and very handy if you like to star-hop through the main scope).

 

Sooo, many good choices. :)



#27 NYJohn S

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Posted 14 June 2019 - 10:17 AM

I don't know, I have my AT102ED on a Twilight I and I'm not happy with it. It's under-mounted at high power as far as I'm concerned. I think the Stellarvue M2 on a decent tripod is much better choice but it's not cheap. 

 

I'm torn between that and the new Sky-Watcher AZ5 Mount. It has slow-motion controls and comes with a steel tripod. I just haven't heard any feedback on it yet. ED likes splitting doubles so a good mount will be important.


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#28 aeajr

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Posted 14 June 2019 - 10:43 AM

Thanks for all the advise.

 

The discussion on the central obstruction is something that I never realized.  Makes a lot of sense.

 

RKelly....thanks for the description on viewing Pleidies....I am looking for quality.  

 

I had the opportunity once to view thru a 14" scope at a university and was stunned at how dull the stars appeared.  Perhaps it was the conditions, but I recall thinking to myself that my little ETX, while not grabbing nearly the light had very sharp images.

 

Keep the comments and suggestions coming...

 

Ed

Not that it is all that relevant to this thread, I have looked at the Pleiades in all kinds of telescopes, large and small, but unless I am digging into the cluster, I like it best in 10X50 binoculars.


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#29 brentknight

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Posted 14 June 2019 - 02:39 PM

Ed,

 

It looks to me like you have simply outgrown your ETX-90.  With either of your original options, your basically getting a bigger version of what you already have.  And I've not heard any discussion of the difference a real mount will make over that of the tabletop mounting you already have.  Both of these upgrades will open up new opportunities for you, even if your local sky conditions don't change.  I think you need to look at your situation from this point of view - you are replacing the scope you have for something that can show you more.

 

Given this, I would recommend choosing something that will show you stuff you can't see now, or at least can't see well.  I was in a similar situation with my ETX-105.  I wanted to see more DSO's, and the Go2 was cool, but not necessary.  I chose an F6 10" dobsonian because I wanted brighter views of DSO's and could still get good views of planets, double-stars and the moon.  Sure, the views will be limited by your current sky conditions, but that size scope will show you quite a lot more than what you have now.  It would also be a true complement to what you have now.


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#30 aeajr

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Posted 14 June 2019 - 02:50 PM

I don't know, I have my AT102ED on a Twilight I and I'm not happy with it. It's under-mounted at high power as far as I'm concerned. I think the Stellarvue M2 on a decent tripod is much better choice but it's not cheap. 

 

I'm torn between that and the new Sky-Watcher AZ5 Mount. It has slow-motion controls and comes with a steel tripod. I just haven't heard any feedback on it yet. ED likes splitting doubles so a good mount will be important.

John,

 

You have a number of scopes including the AT102ED which I believe is your latest.  Which do you use most, and why?  When would you choose the AT102 ED over something else?

 

I could overview my scopes but I don't have a 102ED so I don't think my experience is quite as relevant. 

 

I know Ed has seen your observing reports but it might be helpful.  


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#31 NYJohn S

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Posted 14 June 2019 - 05:06 PM

John,

 

You have a number of scopes including the AT102ED which I believe is your latest.  Which do you use most, and why?  When would you choose the AT102 ED over something else?

 

I could overview my scopes but I don't have a 102ED so I don't think my experience is quite as relevant. 

 

I know Ed has seen your observing reports but it might be helpful.  

I ask myself all the time If I could only keep one scope which would it be? It always comes down to my 8" dob. My favorite objects are DSO so aperture wins. It can do a little of everything. It's good for planets, splitting stars, galaxies, globulars, open clusters. The fov is pretty wide, especially with 2" eyepieces. I leave it set up in the garage so it's easy to carry out and it's ready to go. It's nice and stable and with the 9x50 RACI it's great for star hopping. As a result It gets used the most. At times I just wish it was a 10" or 12".

 

Next is the AT102ED. I got it to use as a travel scope with my RV but find myself using it at home more than I expected. I have always liked the views through a refractor and it's a nice to have something that compliments the dob. Stars look different without the spider vain and the contrast seems better. With 4" of unobstructed aperture it shows a lot of open clusters well and does a nice job splitting doubles. At F7 it can go wider for larger objects. I adjust my targets to the scope so I usually view open clusters, doubles, planets & the Moon. I'll look for dso to practice finding them and work on my skills but I really use the XT8 for that. If I can learn to see them with the AT102ED, I'll see them better with the XT8. I also tend to take out the AT102 if the moon is out since I know I won't be viewing as many DSO. 

 

Then I have a Stellavue Access 80. This gets used the least because it's not much harder to setup the AT102ED and I know I'll see more with that. The SV80A travels with me if I'm really tight for space. I can use it on a photo tripod with a ball head or fluid head so it is the smallest and lightest by far. I find myself using it for shorter sessions or when the Moon is bright and I know I won't be looking for deep sky objects. I'll look at the Moon, split some doubles and view brighter open clusters. It goes wider than the other 2 so it's great for large objects. This is my newest scope and I haven't taken it to dark skies yet but I would imagine it's great for scanning the Milky Way. This is one step away from just using binoculars which I wind up doing quite often, especially in the winter. 

 

Do I need 3 scopes? Probably not. Sometimes I have a hard time getting them all out under the stars yet I still would like an ST80 and bigger dob smile.gif

  

As Ed said, He chooses targets based on the strengths of his ETX 90. Using different telescopes probably forces me to look at things I may not look at with another scope. Plus a little variety is nice at times.


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