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ES127ED FDC100 on a manual mount for visual a silly idea for what I want?

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#1 PPPPPP42

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Posted 17 June 2019 - 12:09 AM

I have a CPC800 but I find some nights I just can't be bothered or honestly have the time to lug the thing all the way from its spot in the basement to the yard and then wait for it to cool down and its really cutting into my viewing time.

I have been pondering for a good while a silver grade refurb ES127ED FCD100 for what was originally $500 off and now with the recent price increases is $700 off the current new price (so its $1500).

 

My logic for that specific scope is that 127 seems to be the sweet spot for me in the cost/weight/magnification balance since I think anything smaller wouldn't show me enough to stay interested.  I had actually considered an 80mm in the same FCD100 series also a refurb when one was available but decided everything would be too tiny for me to enjoy properly despite it being much lighter to carry and find a mount for. Maybe a 102mm but none of those on refurb at the moment and its not really a ton cheaper or lighter like the 80mm would be.

 

I want to pony up the cash for the FCD100 because I hate feeling like there is a significantly better version of what I have that I am missing, and the thing I think I loved the most looking through a scope ever was a view of the Pleiades on a rare excellent seeing (for WI) winter night all crystal clear blue white and shiny (like hurt your eyes bright) and I decided right then and there that I wanted the sharpest clearest views I could get from then on (budget permitting).

I'm the type of cheeseball that dropped a ton of cash on a 2" baader bbhs sitall clicklock mirror diagonal just because I wanted nothing whatsoever to be lost turning the corner on the way to my face.

 

Plus with this scope at that much of a discount its not worth getting a lesser version just to save money.

Looks like the soft case for it is even on sale right now.

 

As far as the exact mount I'll figure that out later (on another paycheck), I'm looking at a manual mount to keep things simple and then maybe I can understand what all the very heated arguments that occur every time a manual vs goto thread pops up is all about.

Basically I want something I can plop down on the grass, push the scope to point at the general area I want and then fine dial it in with the knobs to look at something specific. Sort of a heavy grab and go.

 

I have the 2" ES 9mm 120 and 20mm 100 degree eyepieces for use with my CPC 800, if I got this scope I would pick up the 5.5mm 100 next time its on sale (probably next year).

EDIT: Actually screwing around with astronomy.tools it looks like I could get better results just doing a 2x barlow or focal extender (still a little unclear on that) on my 9mm 120 degree rather than the 5.5mm.

 

I think the real question for me is does this sale make this the right scope for my purpose?  Were in not for the discount it wouldn't be worth it to me as I always wait for sales to make a move and over 2k for just the OTA would be too much.  I probably wouldn't even be able to use it until the right mount comes up on sale but then I am patient in putting it all together as I already have my other scope to use.

This is a big drop of cash and sort of the wrong time for me financially, but if the deal fits, buy it.


Edited by PPPPPP42, 17 June 2019 - 01:29 AM.


#2 Cali

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Posted 17 June 2019 - 12:30 AM

If you're going to use it over the CPC800, well yeah.

 

Life is short, man.

 

- Cal


Edited by Cali, 17 June 2019 - 01:08 AM.


#3 Ava

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Posted 17 June 2019 - 01:45 AM

I have done similar thing, feeling my CGEM is too much of a hassle to put up but in my case since the OTA is loose (I assume your is fitted permanently to the mount?) I could start off with just putting it on a manual mount. I personally prefer alt az mounts without fine tuning but all the same considerations apply.

 

Since then I have bought 3 refractors which I sometimes use exclusively and sometimes dual mount with the EdgeHD 800 (and sometimes with each other). The only negative with this is that I now put up the CGEM very rarely which often annoys me halfway through my session when I realize I would have liked tracking for relaxed high may viewing of something small Well, and the cost of getting to like refractors maybe a bit too much

 

Lastly, don’t discount a quality 80mm app. Mine complements the 8” beautifully and also makes for a perfect travel scope.



#4 havasman

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Posted 17 June 2019 - 04:32 AM

As long as you realize the size of the ES127. It is not a small scope when you're up close and personal.


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#5 PPPPPP42

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Posted 17 June 2019 - 06:53 AM

I have actually been looking at the 127 in videos so I know its where refractors start to dip into the piggy range for size and weight.

 

According to the Celestron website my CPC800 weights 42 lbs for the permanently attached OTA and mount which goes on top of the 19 lb tripod.  So carrying an 18lb OTA even with a bit of length to it should be a refreshing change.

I'm also hoping even at this size that cool down time will be much shorter than with the 8" sct.  That's one of the spots that's something of a hangup for me right now since many viewing sessions aren't even planned an hour ahead so I need something that cools fast. Often I seem to have clouds that will suddenly roll in right after full dark when things cool down outside and waste carrying it all out and setting it up early.

 

I wouldn't be against maybe a 102 with a big SCT combo, but I am almost using this as a trial for replacing the 8" entirely.  I like the extra light gathering but if I don't use it as much it sorta defeats the purpose.

 

If the refractor did push its way into being my main scope I would probably also get a CGEM II eventually to stick it on for tracking needs since I am familiar with Celestrons goto systems.


Edited by PPPPPP42, 17 June 2019 - 06:57 AM.


#6 Cali

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Posted 17 June 2019 - 07:59 AM

Pull the trigger. Get the 127. If not you will rue the day. 

 

The CPC800 is a young man's game. Leave it behind just like life's earlier foibles.

 

- Cal



#7 CHASLX200

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Posted 17 June 2019 - 05:36 PM

Nothing like a good built EQ mount without the GO-TO junk and set up time.  My AP800 does great with the SLO- MO's and no drives running for my taste.



#8 Mr. Mike

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Posted 17 June 2019 - 05:54 PM

Its probably larger than your expecting but its a fine visual scope and a good value.  I think you'll like it - just dont expect it to be super lightweight or anything.  It will still cool and be more forgiving than other scope types as far as setup and conditions are concerned though. 

 

Go for it! :)



#9 starman876

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Posted 17 June 2019 - 06:04 PM

The difference between an SCT and a refractor is a different world.  Aperture versus quality of image.   The 5" APO will truly open up another world of viewing.   Aperture is really handy on nights of really good seeing. The refractor will put up better images on nights when the seeing is not so great.  The refractor will also put up sharper images on most nights.  


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#10 PPPPPP42

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Posted 17 June 2019 - 06:06 PM

Right, so the stuff is on the way.  I actually got it from High Point Scientific who seems to end up with a lot of the ES silver grade refurbs. Looks like they got more than one of them as silver grade refurbs before the price increase because the item is still up after I bought it.  Even if more came along after this they would be a discount off the new price which is $200 more.

 

I'm not clear if I am allowed to post a link to what I bought but it was the scope plus the large ES soft case for that scope which just happened to be on sale right now.

So grand total for the pair was $1635.98 which is $734 off.  I don't think I will ever see that price on this quality level of optics in that size of scope for the rest of my life to be honest with you.  Hope its a good one because I don't think I will ever sell it.

The real joke here is I was taking advantage of the sale to get it before it was gone and I can't afford the mount or other few bits I will need yet. lol.gif

This is why we need more than one telescope of course.


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#11 Nippon

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Posted 17 June 2019 - 06:15 PM

How do you define manual mount? 


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#12 PPPPPP42

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Posted 17 June 2019 - 06:27 PM

Something I move myself that doesn't need any alignment other than maybe leveling and possibly polar alignment if its equatorial.  Maybe an ES twilight 2 or something?

 

If I ever want tracking with it I would pick up a CGEM II during one of the periodic sales they have to use as an alternate mount for when I need that.

 

Some day way down the road I will probably replace the CPC800 with something that has a larger aperture just to differentiate if from this refactor more, but only after I find a better way to store it close to where I use it for one thing.

The CPC800 is an awesome scope in so many ways especially for someone that wants one scope to do everything. I even have the Celestron heavy wedge for photography though that came with it when I bought it used and I have never tried it.  But my first scope was actually a little 6SE (sold it) and I used it more often and had more fun with it.

 

More than likely what will happen now is someone else will want to look at stuff too and I will end up having to set both the **** scopes up.



#13 HowardSD

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Posted 18 June 2019 - 04:35 AM

I'm in the same merry-go-round started out with a C8/AVX, then bought the ES AR127, then exceptional deal on a near new C11/AVX and last week feel like I got a good deal on an AT 102ED all in the space of 8 months.

 

I find the C8 stays in it's case more often than not. The C11 is great, a part from setting up/cool down & bulk so when I have plenty of time to plan my evening or go to dark site it gets light but honestly getting more enjoyment out of the AR127, cheapest of all my scopes (I picked up for $325, diagonal & finder scope in excellent used condition) and more often than not use it on a vixen porta mount for quick set ups, I know not ideal as vibration is a problem with that size scope but love the fact I can be up and running in 10 mins and if I really am bothered get out the suppression pads. 

 

However I've had this nagging in the back of my head whether I'm missing something not having an ED scope hence looking forward to the AT102 arriving on Thursday. It's the original AT 102ed with case/red dot finder & 2" diagonal apparently rarely used for the princely sum of $450 at my door. I have a feeling this might make my AR127 gather some dust.

 

So now I'm up to 4 scopes & 3 mounts and yet I still feel I've not arrived at my final destination which in my head is a C9.25 & an Orion Eon 120. I really like the C11 but its size and weight (for me 59 years young) is a bit intimidating every time I come to set up & dismantling and think the C9.25 would probably get more use. Regards the Eon 120 all I see are great reviews, similar in size to the AR127 but with the ED optics and better focuser than the skywatcher 120. I might be tempted by the ES 127 triplet especially the CF model but think I will have better luck finding a used EON.

 

This is all conjecture of course and depending on the difference I see between the 127 and the 102ED. I really think bang for buck the ES 127 will be hard to beat though... hoping to be proved wrong this weekend :)


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#14 Nippon

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Posted 18 June 2019 - 07:48 AM

Something I move myself that doesn't need any alignment other than maybe leveling and possibly polar alignment if its equatorial.  Maybe an ES twilight 2 or something?

 

If I ever want tracking with it I would pick up a CGEM II during one of the periodic sales they have to use as an alternate mount for when I need that.

 

Some day way down the road I will probably replace the CPC800 with something that has a larger aperture just to differentiate if from this refactor more, but only after I find a better way to store it close to where I use it for one thing.

The CPC800 is an awesome scope in so many ways especially for someone that wants one scope to do everything. I even have the Celestron heavy wedge for photography though that came with it when I bought it used and I have never tried it.  But my first scope was actually a little 6SE (sold it) and I used it more often and had more fun with it.

 

More than likely what will happen now is someone else will want to look at stuff too and I will end up having to set both the **** scopes up.

I find that my push to Alt/Az  (Stellarvue M2C) is the least hassle of my mounts. My Losmandy GM8 non goto but dual axis driven mount is not much more trouble especially if you do just a ballpark polar align. Trouble is simple RA driven mounts with the capacity to handle a 5" refractor are getting hard to find. Even Losmandy appears to have stopped producing them.



#15 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 18 June 2019 - 08:01 AM

As long as you realize the size of the ES127. It is not a small scope when you're up close and personal.

And I hope PPPPPP42 has a nice, adjustable observing chair.  A refractor like this is much longer than an SCT so the comfortable seat height changes dramatically.  It's down in the dirt to look through the eyepiece/diagonal viewing near the zenith, it's up over the top looking down when viewing near the horizon.  A good adjustable chair is a big help.

 

Jon


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#16 ascii

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Posted 18 June 2019 - 09:04 AM

I don't have any experience with the ES127 and Twilight 2 combination.  However, a quick look at the specs makes me wonder two things.

 

Is the mount, tripod, and extension going to make the eyepiece height sufficient even when seated?  My guess is it's borderline at best with a scope of that focal length and front-heavy triplet design.  You may have to consider a taller tripod or one of the other options you mentioned.

 

Second, are you willing to carry out the scope separately from the mount/tripod, because I'd bet you will end up with something in the 50 pound or greater range when you're done - even more with a GEM.  I wouldn't call that, as you say, "sort of a heavy grab and go".

 

I have a well-mounted 100 mm doublet on a manual alt-az that totals up to just over 30 pounds.  You may have different thresholds than I do, but for me, nothing much over that would end up in the heavy grab and go category. YMMV

 

IMG 0036 (1)


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#17 PPPPPP42

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Posted 18 June 2019 - 01:04 PM

Definitely will look up those alt/ az push to suggestions as that’s the sort of mount I think I am looking for.
When I need something more precise later I will just stick it on a heavy goto equatorial as needed.

#18 PPPPPP42

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Posted 21 June 2019 - 09:03 PM

Got the scope. There is a loose curly shaving of shiny aluminum trapped between the lens elements which is probably the silver grade issue with this one.  Sent a message to Explore Scientific to see if they can get it out, otherwise its going back to high point for exchange if there is still another available.  It bothers me to much wondering about glare if I take photos with it or stuff like that since I can see it through the diagonal if I look as well.

I will pay them extra if possible to open it up, check for optical complications (I was hoping for more cosmetic issues) and properly wrap the tube in bubble wrap as when I opened mine the edge of the retracted lens hood had cut through the warranty card and was working on the bottom of the box from banging without any protection.

The quality of packaging they use at the Chinese factory (the box is clearly shipped from there complete) is a horse that has already been beaten to death in other threads, but honestly when you think that this is a $2200 OTA and they couldn't spend an extra $5 per unit to package it correctly it really **** you off when you see how bad it is in person.  I'm going with the previously proposed theory that ES USA has lost control of various quality control in China since the buyout.

 

Would I buy another Explore Scientific product after this, absolutely.  This is just the crap you have to deal with for getting the same stuff for half the cost from China.  It think their customer service and warranty department have made up for it for people every time that I have heard.

 

I would upload pics of the aluminum shaving rattling around or the awesome packaging (took pictures right after opening the box top) but I can't seem to figure out how to upload on this forum and I don't feel like hosting them elsewhere.

The good news is if I can get a good one I think I will love the scope I tested the optics with the tube just sitting on the hood of my car using the included diagonal and my ES 20mm 100 degree and the resolution and lack of false color for a daytime view looked more like a good camera lens than a telescope.

Plus I love the size and weight.  For me this thing really is still a grab and go and the heavy optics I have help offset the triplet glass on the other end.

 

UPDATE: Turns out the aluminum bit and a few others I didn't even see were just stuck really well behind the front elements, I basically tipped the scope facing upright and spanked it and they dislodged and fell down behind some sort of baffle where they appear to be stuck firmly out of sight which is just fine with me (completely out would have been better). Go QC!

So looks like I will be keeping it and everything is good so far (untested at night yet).

 

So if you order one of these I would suggest having the store open it, re-position the foam blocks and bubble wrap around at least the lens hood area and then stuff the gaps with newspaper or something so the blocks cant shift in shipping.

 

And on the original topic of the mount after looking up the suggestions I am strongly leaning towards the M2C that was suggested but in the complete system version.

https://www.stellarv...e-mount-system/

Its on discount and according to high point is discontinued at least as a whole kit so I think I will buy now rather than wait even though I absolutely can't afford it right now.

Anyone have any further opinion on this as a complete mount unit?  It says total weight is 25 lbs and its meant to carry the stellarvue 130 so it should be just perfect for me to have the mount in one hand and the OTA in its case with accessories in the other and walk where I need which is to me "grab and go" (anything you can get out the door in one trip without dying).

 

2nd Update:

Got the complete mount from stellarvue and a handle for it too.

Haven't decided on a finder yet.  I normally use red dots but that's just for setting up my goto in a hurry.  I'm not sure if a straight through will work of if I will need a 90 degree finder with the way this will sit.  Have to see it on the mount before I pick one out and order.


Edited by PPPPPP42, 22 June 2019 - 08:14 PM.


#19 dscarpa

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Posted 22 June 2019 - 12:58 PM

  I recently got something similar length and weight wise with my Coronado 90 III DS which is on a Unistar-AP tripod  which is extended 6" I've had for awhile. It's considerably harder to carry around than my WO ZS110 triplet on a Twilight II-Oberwerk tripod  but  it's manageable.  Either wood tripod is quite a bit lighter with the Oberwerk being very light but strong than a 2" steel one plus extension. After putting some Triflow   lube on the az axis the Twilight II works very well with the ZS110. I  haven't tried it with the Coronado which is very stable on the Unistar. If a counter weight is needed to use the ES 127 on the Twilight  II your looking at something weight wise like my IM715D mak super stable on a Giro-Oberwerk tripod. It's quite a bit harder to move around than the Coronado -Unistar but still doable as a grab and go.  I'm 66, 5'10" and strong as  I work out. I hear good things about the M2C but it would be lighter on a wood tripod. Eyeballing the Oberwerk it would be at full extension if I had the Coronado on it.   At the discount price the M2C- steel tripod is a good deal, you could always get a wood tripod later if it didn't work out. I'm keeping the steel tripod-extention that came with my Twilight II as a spare.  For me a  heavy- all the more so if it's long as the mount's up there- scope that has be taken on and off a mount is tempting the Fates. With alt-az mounts  you've got a sidesaddle setup your're not putting it on top of the mount like with a GEM. All my scopes stay on  their mounts except for my 11" Tetter STS dob whose mount's low with nothing to tighten down. Just measured the height of the Unistar-AP tripod dovetail clamp height at 5'2" which is the minimum I need to view with the Coronado at zenith so you should be ok with the M2C package .   David


Edited by dscarpa, 22 June 2019 - 08:38 PM.



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