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Updated AT102ED arrival

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#101 joseph07081

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Posted 04 July 2019 - 08:12 PM

Thank you for linking that Linda. I just pulled the trigger on a Stellarvue M2C mount just now, so this is going to have to wait a bit.


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#102 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 06 July 2019 - 04:54 PM

Is the dew shield longer with this new AT-102 then the fixed dew shield model? It looks longer?

 

...Ralph

 

Ralph:

 

I can't say but we measured Jacks AT-102ED. It's approximately 24" long with the shield retracted, 29" with it extended.

 

Jack's scope arrived yesterday and before opening the smaller box, he drove the 130 miles from his place down to Boulevard where I witnessed opening the box and participated in first light..

 

I won't steal Jack's story other than to say the skies were dark and transparent, the seeing was not great but a nice split of the double-double was possible in the early evening but it deteriorated as the evening progressed.

 

It is one beautiful scope, the focuser is very nice, handled the 41 Panoptic as if nothing were there.. The views were very good.. it's hard to believe the this scope is only $600.

 

Jon

 

P.S.: I won't even mention that in the excitement to drive down here, Jack forgot his eyepieces.  :)


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#103 CHASLX200

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Posted 06 July 2019 - 05:00 PM

Ralph:

 

I can't say but we measured Jacks AT-102ED. It's approximately 24" long with the shield retracted, 29" with it extended.

 

Jack's scope arrived yesterday and before opening the smaller box, the drove the 130 miles from his place down to Boulevard where I witnessed opening the box and participated in first light..

 

I won't steal Jack's story other to say the skies were dark and transparent, the seeing was not great but a nice split of the double-double was possible in the early evening but it deteriorated as the evening progressed.

 

It is one beautiful scope, the focuser is very nice, handled the 41 Panoptic as the f nothing were there.. The views were very good.. it's hard to believe the thing is only $600.

 

Jon

Still the best bang for the buck scope like last year.


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#104 punk35

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Posted 06 July 2019 - 05:16 PM

I think mine performs great, and I’ll be waiting for Jack’s thoughts about his.  

 

Jon, maybe after Jack replies, you could give us your thoughts as well, comparing the newest version to your original version: did the optics seem the same, better, worse etc., and any other comments you may have about it.

 

Thanks.


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#105 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 06 July 2019 - 08:12 PM

Punk:

 

I was think about something like that.  My first AT-102ED is still in the family, I gave it to a friend as wedding gift. It's about 500 miles away up in the bay area.

 

I can say the focuser on the new one is much better than the original. Optically, I would have to compare them, my eyes, my memory have probably changed more than the scopes have. When I reviewed the original AT-102ED, I was 58, now I'm 71. And I have 10 years of observing with the NP-101.  That'll mess with my memory.

 

It sounds like fun, maybe I can arrange for my friend to ship me the scope when he gets back from a long trip.

 

Jon


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#106 NYJohn S

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Posted 07 July 2019 - 07:55 AM

Ralph:

 

I can't say but we measured Jacks AT-102ED. It's approximately 24" long with the shield retracted, 29" with it extended.

 

Jack's scope arrived yesterday and before opening the smaller box, he drove the 130 miles from his place down to Boulevard where I witnessed opening the box and participated in first light..

 

I won't steal Jack's story other than to say the skies were dark and transparent, the seeing was not great but a nice split of the double-double was possible in the early evening but it deteriorated as the evening progressed.

 

It is one beautiful scope, the focuser is very nice, handled the 41 Panoptic as if nothing were there.. The views were very good.. it's hard to believe the this scope is only $600.

 

Jon

 

P.S.: I won't even mention that in the excitement to drive down here, Jack forgot his eyepieces.  smile.gif

Jon, If I was meeting you to view with my AT102ED I'm pretty sure I'd forget my eyepieces too lol. I certainly don't have a 41 Panoptic to try. It's good to hear your assessment of the focuser. I thought mine was precise and smooth but I don't have your experience or anything else to compare it with.


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#107 Steve Cox

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Posted 07 July 2019 - 09:25 AM

NYJohn, forgive me if I'm "butting in" here, and I'm not sure which vintage AT102ED you own, but I believe what Jon is referring to the wrt the new focuser, is when compared to the older 2007 vintage crayford that came on the early 102ED's.  While pleasing to use, and smooth operation being a linear bearing crayford, the steel-track surface that the crayford pin rode on was a softer metal, which was quite prone to wearing holes (from dirt/grit) and flat spots (from focusing) at the focus points - more than any other crayford I've used.  And for whatever reason, mine had the uncanny ability to collect grime and dirt, which often got between the bearing surface and pin, causing the focuser to slip.  The older focuser was also much more sensitive to temperature changes, and required frequent adjustments especially as seasons changed.  The newer scope has an R&P focuser which is a big improvement and in my opinion, and probably just my opinion, is as pleasing to use as my Moonlite on my 6".


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#108 makeitso

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Posted 07 July 2019 - 12:10 PM

As Jon said, I received the AT102ED on Friday and drove to Jon’s dark sight where we opened the inner box together. Let me say first that I’m not very experienced with telescopes in general, I’ve only been doing amateur astronomy since 2016.

 

The build quality is very good. Focuser is smooth, the dew shield slides like butter and stays put even at zenith. The tube rings look to be machined and not the cast type like on my other telescopes.

 

Splitting The double double was a clean split, better than my 8” newt gave me at the same location but on a different night. Like Jon said, seeing was good early on but deteriated later. Jupiter looked good too. Albireo was beautiful as usual. Stars were pinpoints. I did not understand what people meant about refractors until I looked though this. I viewed many things that night, a lot of which, I have no idea what it was but it looked great. Andromeda looked its usual self.

 

I am very happy with this purchase. I’m giving Jon the go ahead to post anything he wants regarding this adventure since he can give a much better assessment with his experience than I can. I have some pictures to post but will have to wait for now. I am very busy at the moment with other stuff.

 

Thanks to Jon for loaning me eyepieces to test it out with. Had I been going to a dark sight alone, I would have been empty handed and wasted time and money. I can’t wait to go out for another round with my own eyepieces this time.

 

The plan is to do some direct comparisons with my other scopes, that’s for another day.

 

Jack


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#109 Bill Barlow

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Posted 07 July 2019 - 04:47 PM

Would be interested to see how the AT102 compares with your C6.

 

Bill


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#110 dscarpa

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Posted 07 July 2019 - 04:51 PM

 Scope of Mystery or Scope Without a Brand! As for my sale bought Coronado 90 III DS's branding I was sad to see instead of the Coronado logo on the lens cap  it has a Big Eye with a Slash through it and a Danger warning worthy of the Lost in Space Robot!  Some what less than helpful when doing solar outreach.   David 


Edited by dscarpa, 07 July 2019 - 09:00 PM.


#111 CHASLX200

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Posted 07 July 2019 - 05:04 PM

Would be interested to see how the AT102 compares with your C6.

 

Bill

I did a side by side with my SW150 MAK.



#112 Astronomics

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Posted 07 July 2019 - 05:18 PM

Replacement dew shields, with a logo, should be here in October when the next shipment of scopes arrive. We will ship them out to customers as soon as they get here.
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#113 SFDENNIS

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Posted 07 July 2019 - 08:19 PM

Thank you Michael.  Astronomics exceptional service to their customers is one of the reasons I proudly own 12 Astro-Tech refractors.


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#114 makeitso

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Posted 08 July 2019 - 12:45 AM

Bill Barlow,

 

I will do that as soon as I can. I’m a little busy at the moment doing other things.

 

Jack



#115 NYJohn S

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Posted 08 July 2019 - 10:07 AM

NYJohn, forgive me if I'm "butting in" here, and I'm not sure which vintage AT102ED you own, but I believe what Jon is referring to the wrt the new focuser, is when compared to the older 2007 vintage crayford that came on the early 102ED's.  While pleasing to use, and smooth operation being a linear bearing crayford, the steel-track surface that the crayford pin rode on was a softer metal, which was quite prone to wearing holes (from dirt/grit) and flat spots (from focusing) at the focus points - more than any other crayford I've used.  And for whatever reason, mine had the uncanny ability to collect grime and dirt, which often got between the bearing surface and pin, causing the focuser to slip.  The older focuser was also much more sensitive to temperature changes, and required frequent adjustments especially as seasons changed.  The newer scope has an R&P focuser which is a big improvement and in my opinion, and probably just my opinion, is as pleasing to use as my Moonlite on my 6".

No problem Steve, I'm sure some will find the info on the older crayford focuser helpful. I have a new one from the previous batch that sold out with the R&P focuser and fixed dew shield. 

 

John


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#116 Bill Barlow

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Posted 08 July 2019 - 10:15 AM

I did a side by side with my SW150 MAK.

What did you see between these two scopes, one of them pull ahead of the other for planets/moon and deep sky objects?

 

Bill



#117 Bill Barlow

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Posted 08 July 2019 - 10:16 AM

Bill Barlow,

 

I will do that as soon as I can. I’m a little busy at the moment doing other things.

 

Jack

Understand, sometime down the road when it is convenient for you.

 

Bill


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#118 makeitso

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Posted 08 July 2019 - 10:53 AM

In a week or two I should be able to do this.

 

Jack

Understand, sometime down the road when it is convenient for you.

 

Bill



#119 CHASLX200

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Posted 08 July 2019 - 05:52 PM

What did you see between these two scopes, one of them pull ahead of the other for planets/moon and deep sky objects?

 

Bill

It was close. I may have had a extra good SW150 Mak. That thing could do 600x on the moon and still look sharp, but getting dim.  I would say the Mak pulled ahead on Jupiter showing more color, the red spot just popped more color.  Otherwise they were both close and very sharp. I liked having a wider FOV from the AT102ED , what the Mak could not give me.  The AT102ED did 400x fine on the moon and compared to my TMB 105/650 is not far off.  The TMB 105/650 did have tighter star images and had the best true color when it came to the planets. Also had a darker sky background.  It was just so over built and heavy it needed a bigger mount and that made it not a grab and a go.

 

But for $500 scope to come close to a used $2500 TMB 105/650 that has to say something.  All three scopes were very good as i had all three at the same time.


Edited by CHASLX200, 08 July 2019 - 05:53 PM.

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#120 russell23

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Posted 08 July 2019 - 09:49 PM

Tonight I gave the AT102 a run through for the Moon & Jupiter. 

 

On both these objects it will show just a little chromatic aberration.

 

With the Moon I struggled to see any CA up to at least 175x.   At 350x I noticed a little CA as a red fringe on one side and a blue fringe on the other side of a crater rim. But the scope was very sharp for lunar observations. 

 

For Jupiter the CA appeared again as a red fringe on one side of the planet and a blue fringe on the other side.   At 110x-175x this fringe was not significant.  But with the Moon the red/blue fringes were not noticeable to my eyes in that same magnification range. 

 

I did not pull the 120mm ED out tonight, but the 102 struggles to keep up with the 120 for Jupiter in particular.   Just going based upon 4 1/2 years of observing Jupiter with the 120ED.   I am uncertain as to how much of this difference is aperture and how much is the small amount of CA visible in the AT102 whereas I really struggle to see any CA at all with the SW120ED. 

 

All that said, there is far less visible CA than I was expecting in the AT102 for lunar observations in particular.  I really did not see any until I pushed the magnification to 350x. 

 

In comparison to the 120ED, if we assign the 120ED a "10", then for deep sky I would give the AT102 a "9" or "9+".  For Lunar I would give the AT102 an "8".  For Jupiter I would give the AT102 a "6".  Again - in comparison to what the SW120ED provides.   And for portability - again given the SW120ED a "10" - I would give the AT102 a "14".


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#121 csphere.d

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Posted 08 July 2019 - 09:58 PM

How does it compare to your SV80A?



#122 makeitso

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Posted 09 July 2019 - 09:55 AM

Hi all,

 

Has anyone found a case that works good with this telescope? 

 

I’d prefer a soft case but don’t really care. all that really needs to fit is the telescope, maybe with the diagonal. It must be padded. The diagonal could be in separate compartment also.

 

Thanks, Jack



#123 joseph07081

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Posted 09 July 2019 - 07:24 PM

I purchased this to transport my C80ED awhile back. It also works for the AT102ED. I have the retractable dew shield and it fits with a 1.25 diagonal. There is some padding but there is also enough room for me to fit 1" foam around it as well for extra padding. This is where I am storing the 102 at the moment.

 

https://smile.amazon...e?ie=UTF8&psc=1


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#124 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 10 July 2019 - 12:22 AM

I did not pull the 120mm ED out tonight, but the 102 struggles to keep up with the 120 for Jupiter in particular.   Just going based upon 4 1/2 years of observing Jupiter with the 120ED.   I am uncertain as to how much of this difference is aperture and how much is the small amount of CA visible in the AT102 whereas I really struggle to see any CA at all with the SW120ED.

 

 

Dave:

 

I think it's mostly the aperture difference with maybe a bit of CA added in.  I had my 120mm Orion Eon for about 2 years and made some comparisons with my NP-101 but mostly like you, I knew both scopes quite well.  The 120mm was noticeably better than the NP-101 on the planets and split more difficult doubles.. With the NP-101, there is no CA on the planets, I think the difference is just the additional aperture... 

 

Friday, my replacement Eon arrives.. 

 

Jon


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#125 makeitso

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Posted 10 July 2019 - 12:42 AM

Joe, 

 

Thanks for the link. The price is great, does it hold up? 

 

Jon, replacement Eon? Nice!

 

Anyway, I’m happy so far with this telescope. I split the double double again tonight, checked out the moon and Jupiter. I’m still evaluating this scope. I have not compared it to any of my current scopes yet. Maybe this weekend or next week.

 

Jon and I could possibly do some side by sides in the near future.

 

Jack




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