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102mm f/11 Refractor

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#1 clusterbuster

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Posted 14 February 2020 - 10:33 AM

I got a Sky Rover 102mm f/11 Refractor last Saturday.

It has a Dual Speed Focuser.

The Views through this Refractor are just Beautiful.

It is actually longer than my 6" Yard Cannon.

If any of you are or (have been) observing with a Refractor of these specs, please chime in !

Thx Mark

 

This Scope could be producing the BEST Star Points that I have ever seen !

Tomorrow night I am taking it to the Dark Sky Site, where I am sure it will be outstanding !

85156660_3022996557733993_3587861846234759168_o.jpg

 

The White one on the right !


Edited by clusterbuster, 14 February 2020 - 10:33 AM.

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#2 clusterbuster

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Posted 14 February 2020 - 10:35 AM

The Sky Rover just sits on the Twilight Mount when not in use.

I put it on the Meade LX70 when I observe with it !

 Mark


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#3 Xeroid

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Posted 14 February 2020 - 10:40 AM

Mount it on a Stellarvue M2C ALT-AZ mount with Astro Devices Nexus II and encoders and you will go ga-ga

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#4 helpwanted

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Posted 14 February 2020 - 10:42 AM

I think that might be the same specs as something Gary Hand sold a few years back, don't remember the brand he carried... someone else might remember it



#5 MalVeauX

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Posted 14 February 2020 - 11:08 AM

The Sky Rover just sits on the Twilight Mount when not in use.

I was going to ask about that... I am interested in a long 4" frac for planets, but I was weary that a Twilight I would even handle it, as my Twilight I cannot handle a 120 F8, so I would think a 102mm F11 would also be too much scope for that mount. But, I don't have it to try. Have you tried it? Undermounted on that?

 

Very best,



#6 k5apl

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Posted 14 February 2020 - 11:24 AM

Let us know about it after your dark site visit.  I think you will continue to be impressed.

 

I have a 102mm f13 refractor from the past, and it is surprisingly good too.  Many accomplished observers have looked through it and were impressed too.  The general comment was "I didn't think long FL refractors would be this good".

 

I use mine on a Celestron CG5 ASGT mount.  Its a fun scope.

Wes


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#7 Defenderslideguitar

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Posted 14 February 2020 - 11:26 AM

I have the twilight  and it is fine for my 80mm scopes   all night long. With a 4 inch refractor it vibrates  so I use the LX70  or other mounts for the 4 inchers


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#8 Astrojensen

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Posted 14 February 2020 - 01:51 PM

I got a Sky Rover 102mm f/11 Refractor last Saturday.

It has a Dual Speed Focuser.

The Views through this Refractor are just Beautiful.

It is actually longer than my 6" Yard Cannon.

If any of you are or (have been) observing with a Refractor of these specs, please chime in !

Thx Mark

 

This Scope could be producing the BEST Star Points that I have ever seen !

Tomorrow night I am taking it to the Dark Sky Site, where I am sure it will be outstanding !

attachicon.gif85156660_3022996557733993_3587861846234759168_o.jpg

 

The White one on the right !

I have the ED version of your scope and it's absolutely stunning! Essentially perfect color correction, with superb sharpness, contrast and clarity. It cools down pretty quickly, if the temperature delta is not too large. It's lightweight and very pleasant to handle. I temporarily had it mounted on my Vixen Saturn mount, but that mount now holds my 152mm ED, so the 4" is now back on the Zeiss 1b mount, which is a very pleasing combination. Quite stable, but not too heavy and cumbersome.

 

(Picture is from last year, just after I received the scope; I've since modified it a little) 

 

gallery_55742_4772_351883.jpg

 

 

Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark


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#9 m9x18

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Posted 14 February 2020 - 02:09 PM

Such beautiful long-focus refractors! I'm sure the lunar, planetary and double star views are breathtaking!  


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#10 Astrojensen

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Posted 14 February 2020 - 02:23 PM

Such beautiful long-focus refractors! I'm sure the lunar, planetary and double star views are breathtaking!  

I can assure you, that they are. Mine gives very sharp views of bright double stars at 716x, if the seeing allows it. I obviously don't use anywhere near that magnification on planets and the Moon, of course, preferring instead to use a binoviewer and relatively modest magnifications. 80x - 150x is usually best, about 1.5x - 2x that figure, if I use a single eyepiece (rarely). 

 

Deep-sky is of course all over the place, but a 9mm ES100 (125x) is quite superb on globular clusters and a 17mm ES92 (66x) is insanely good on almost everything. It shows far more details in the Messier objects than you'd expect. I can see the arms in M51, for example (from a dark sky site!).  

 

 

Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark


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#11 bobalex

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Posted 14 February 2020 - 02:27 PM

Gary Hand sold a 4" F-11 refractor nicknamed "The Planet Killer". I believe the optics were made in England.. I bought one about 10 years ago and it gives fantastic views in lunar, planetary and double star observations.

Bob


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#12 m9x18

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Posted 14 February 2020 - 03:21 PM

I bought two telescopes from Gary Hand. Such a fun and interesting person to talk to. Very knowledgeable too. I always learned something new from him every time we spoke. I'm glad you still have that scope. There is much to be said and had from these long-tubed instruments. 



#13 BFaucett

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Posted 14 February 2020 - 10:25 PM

I think that might be the same specs as something Gary Hand sold a few years back, don't remember the brand he carried... someone else might remember it

 

I think the one Gary Hand sold was branded as Astro Telescopes, IIRC. 

 

Astro Telescopes 102mm f/11 - first light report

Started by bobfowler, Sep 14 2009 08:41 AM 

https://www.cloudyni...t-light-report/

 

 

I have the version that was sold by Stellarvue.  I believe this was the last model of achromat that Stellarvue offered for sale. 

 

My scope:

 

med_gallery_230527_10980_101508.jpg

 

FL 1100 mm, 2" single speed Crayford 

 

Cheers!  Bob F.  smile.gif


Edited by BFaucett, 14 February 2020 - 10:29 PM.

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#14 Bean614

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Posted 14 February 2020 - 10:27 PM

Gary's 'brand' was Astro Telescopes.   I actually owned the one that was used in that Planet Killer  Review, but sold it when we moved out to Western Massachusetts.  Even when near Boston,  the views were incredible.  Not sure, but I always thought that Kunming had a hand in it.


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#15 JHub

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Posted 14 February 2020 - 11:24 PM

The Astro Telescopes 102 F/11 sold by Hands on Optics was indeed manufactured by Kunming United Optics, as was the 152 F/5.9. 

 

Kunming has made some very nice equipment.

 

John


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#16 GlenM

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Posted 15 February 2020 - 08:17 AM

Yes, all the rebranded 4" F/11's were made by Kunming Optics. I used to sell them myself under the Lyra Optic label before retiring. Great scope.

 

Glen.


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#17 Don Taylor

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Posted 15 February 2020 - 10:29 AM

The Astro Telescopes 102 F/11 sold by Hands on Optics was indeed manufactured by Kunming United Optics, as was the 152 F/5.9. 

 

Kunming has made some very nice equipment.

 

John

 

Yes, this is correct.  (I understand "Sky-Rover" is owned by or somehow closely associated with Kunming United. This has been mentioned in other CN threads IIRC).

 

I actually have the Astrotelescopes 102mm f11 achromat, the Altair Starwave 102 f11 ED scope,  and the 152 f5.9 scope - all 3 from Kunming. I've been very impressed with each of them.

 

As to mounts, I use the 102mm f11 scopes on CG-5 class equatorial mounts as I prefer tracking. I do have a Canadian Telescopes "Duo-T" alt-az mount  (also known as a "Sky-Tee" ) and the 152mm is used on that mount. I did try the 102mm achromat on the Porta II+HAL130 and it was very shaky. 


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#18 starguru

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Posted 17 February 2020 - 04:40 PM

Forgive the newb question, but what are the trade offs between these ~100mm scopes with longer focal ratios?  Most of the 4" refractors I see come in at the f7 range.  From my limited understanding a longer focal ratio means you get higher magnifications, but also means you get a narrower field of view and less light over all (slower for imaging).   Practically speaking, what's the effect on viewing?  If I had to guess planets would be much better with the longer focal length, as they are so bright, but you'd have trouble with DSOs like galaxies as you have a relatively small aperture for such a long length.  Do I get it or not?  Thanks!



#19 SteveG

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Posted 17 February 2020 - 05:27 PM

Forgive the newb question, but what are the trade offs between these ~100mm scopes with longer focal ratios?  Most of the 4" refractors I see come in at the f7 range.  From my limited understanding a longer focal ratio means you get higher magnifications, but also means you get a narrower field of view and less light over all (slower for imaging).   Practically speaking, what's the effect on viewing?  If I had to guess planets would be much better with the longer focal length, as they are so bright, but you'd have trouble with DSOs like galaxies as you have a relatively small aperture for such a long length.  Do I get it or not?  Thanks!

Some folks love the long 4" refractors for their classic looks. They are okay for planetary and don't require shorter focal length eyepieces. They are easier on low-cost, widefield eyepieces. The most popular 4" out there is the f9 Skywatcher ED100. The newer f7 models are much better for deep sky, wide-field viewing, something a small refractor is good at when used at a dark site. In addition, they don't require the larger, heavy mounts as the longer scopes do, thus being far more portable (grab & go). You can always use a barlow and/or short focal length eyepieces to get the same magnification as the long tubed versions. The bottom line though, is that a 4" anything is not going to excel at planetary or deep sky. YMMV


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#20 barbie

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Posted 17 February 2020 - 05:39 PM

Well my mileage has varied.  With 50 years of experience observing the planets, I've seen MUCH with 3 and 4 inch refractors!!  For me, they are portable and get used often, which is why I can see alot on the planets!  I see more with small, portable scopes because they get used, and used often. With a 4" aperture under DARK skies, I have seen dust lanes in M31 and the spiral arms in M51!!


Edited by FirstSight, 19 February 2020 - 10:02 PM.

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#21 Astrojensen

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Posted 18 February 2020 - 02:10 PM

Forgive the newb question, but what are the trade offs between these ~100mm scopes with longer focal ratios?  Most of the 4" refractors I see come in at the f7 range.  From my limited understanding a longer focal ratio means you get higher magnifications, but also means you get a narrower field of view and less light over all (slower for imaging).   Practically speaking, what's the effect on viewing?  If I had to guess planets would be much better with the longer focal length, as they are so bright, but you'd have trouble with DSOs like galaxies as you have a relatively small aperture for such a long length.  Do I get it or not?  Thanks!

A difference in focal ratio between two telescopes of identical aperture means nothing for visual observing, as long as you can get to the same magnification. 50x on a 4" is the same on a f/7, as it is on a f/11. The views will be practically identical, everything else equal. You just need two different eyepieces to get the same magnification. On the f/7, you need a 14mm, on the f/11, you need a 22mm. Image brightness is the same in both telescopes, if you keep the magnification the same. 

 

In practice, the longer f/ratio will be much more friendly to the eyepieces and you can make do with considerably less advanced eyepieces and still get sharp stars across the entire field or very nearly so. But it doesn't stop there, as the performance of advanced eyepieces is also a lot better and some of the best ones can have truly mindblowing performance, when used in long-focus telescopes. In my 4" f/11 ED, my 17mm ES92 delivers the most incredibly tiny pinpoint stars across the entire field. Faint stars are literally pinpoints, when they slip behind the field stop. 

 

Deep-sky performance is also not hurt at all, as long as you're not trying to look at the largest possible objects at the largest possible exit pupil. Here a shorter focal length scope will shine, but for all "normal" Messiers and bright NGC, an f/11 works perfectly fine. My 4" f/11 can reach a maximum possible field of 2.4°, easily large enough to frame most Messiers, except M31.

 

Personally, I really enjoy my 4" f/11 and don't find it to be a hassle to deal with at all, despite its length (which I find quite moderate, actually). The tube is very light and can be considerably shortened during transport. The views are really, really good. It somehow feels much more "relaxed" than the f/6 - f/8 refractors I've tried. Focus is easier and much less critical; my eyepieces work better; my binoviewers works better; prism diagonals work better; it just plain works. 

 

 

Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark 


Edited by Astrojensen, 18 February 2020 - 02:14 PM.

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#22 SteveG

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Posted 18 February 2020 - 06:49 PM

Well my mileage has varied.  With 50 years of experience observing the planets, I've seen MUCH with 3 and 4 inch refractors!!  For me, they are portable and get used often, which is why I can see alot on the planets!  I see more with small, portable scopes because they get used, and used often.  With a 4" aperture under DARK skies, I have seen dust lanes in M31 and the spiral arms in M51!!

My point being my 10" well-collimated dob blows away any 4" apo I've ever looked through on planets and deep sky. It's simply physics, not emotions.


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#23 Terra Nova

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Posted 18 February 2020 - 07:26 PM

Gary Hand sold a 4" F-11 refractor nicknamed "The Planet Killer". I believe the optics were made in England.. I bought one about 10 years ago and it gives fantastic views in lunar, planetary and double star observations.

Bob

I had one for a number of years. It was a very nice scope possessing good optics and robust build. Lest we drift into the realm of unicorns and pixies, lets defer the myth of the origin of the objective lens. They were (and I assume still are) made by Kunming Optical in mainland China (PRC), not England, Germany, or Japan.

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#24 kmparsons

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Posted 18 February 2020 - 07:32 PM

Yes, I also have the "Planet Killer" 102mm f/11 from Kunming. Though "only" an inexpensive achromat, I always thought the views were terrific. I have not used it in a while because it just is not stable on my alt-az mounts. Can anyone recommend an alt-az mount that would be sturdy enough to hold it steady? 


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#25 Terra Nova

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Posted 18 February 2020 - 07:44 PM

Yes, I also have the "Planet Killer" 102mm f/11 from Kunming. Though "only" an inexpensive achromat, I always thought the views were terrific. I have not used it in a while because it just is not stable on my alt-az mounts. Can anyone recommend an alt-az mount that would be sturdy enough to hold it steady? 

I used mine a lot on my Universal Astronomics Unistar Deluxe alt-az mount and wooden surveyors tripod. It worked very well. Unfortunately theUA mounts are nolonger made but they do come up periodically on the used market including the CN Classifieds here. I sold mine once I sold the 102mm F11, which was after I acquired my TeleVue Genesis SDF and Gibralter mount and tripod.

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Edited by Terra Nova, 18 February 2020 - 07:45 PM.

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