Jump to content

  •  

CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.

Photo

AT-102ED on the way...New (to me)

  • Please log in to reply
79 replies to this topic

#1 Joe1950

Joe1950

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 10,445
  • Joined: 22 Aug 2015

Posted 22 February 2020 - 04:06 AM

I’ve  in the hobby since the mid 1960s.  I’ve had a few scopes along the way of most types and can say I’ve enjoyed them all.

 

Next month, March 16th, I will turn 70 (for those who wish to mark their calendar).  I consider that a milestone anniversary.  So I decided to buy myself a present... a pre-owned, AT-102ED which will arrive Monday!

 

From all I’ve read about the scope it is an excellent choice for me.  It’s not high end, not an Astro Physics scope or a Takahashi or TeleVue, etc., but certainly a very good quality instrument that I will thoroughly enjoy.  I’m very excited about getting it.

 

Something I keep rediscovering about telescopes is that one of their most important characteristics is ease of use.  Considering my age, interests, the limitations of my location and other factors, the AT-102ED will fit that requirement ideally. 

 

As an example of what I’m talking about, in 1970 I bought a brand new Celestron 8. I added the wedge and standard tripod. Recently I made a trade and ended up with the exact same set-up, though the recent model is from 1981. But still the same Orange tube, twin fork scope.

 

When I observe I have to move the scope around to see different objects, dodging neighbor’s spotlights, trees and houses obscuring the view. I ask the question... Why is the C-8 set-up I have now, at nearly 70 years old, so much heavier and difficult to carry than the almost exact set-up I had at age 20? 

 

I’m keeping the C-8 and other scopes since they will be used and eventually be given to my boys and my grandchildren. But for most of my excursions out under the New Jersey  Bortel 8, jet stream ruffled skies, the 102mm, F/7 scope with the James Bond Astin Martin Gray trim will get the nod.

 

joe


Edited by Joe1950, 22 February 2020 - 03:05 PM.

  • Jon Isaacs, peleuba, punk35 and 16 others like this

#2 CHASLX200

CHASLX200

    Hubble

  • *****
  • Posts: 19,259
  • Joined: 29 Sep 2007
  • Loc: Tampa area Florida

Posted 22 February 2020 - 06:49 AM

My AT102 was the best bang for the buck scope when i got it about two years ago. I had no problems with it.


  • Bomber Bob and Joe1950 like this

#3 Joe1950

Joe1950

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 10,445
  • Joined: 22 Aug 2015

Posted 22 February 2020 - 09:52 AM

That’s great to hear Chas!  It seems like what most owners are saying. Thanks very much.

 

I took out the questions. Probably unnecessary at this point to bother with and worry about. Better to just use and enjoy!


Edited by Joe1950, 22 February 2020 - 09:55 AM.

  • Jon Isaacs likes this

#4 sunnyday

sunnyday

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 5,132
  • Joined: 23 Sep 2019
  • Loc: Ottawa,Canada

Posted 22 February 2020 - 09:59 AM

I also order this kind of telescope, just not the same brand name. I chose this model after reading a post from jon issacs.and I wait for it to arrive.

 

me too it's for my birthday.


  • Jon Isaacs, punk35, stevew and 5 others like this

#5 Ihtegla Sar

Ihtegla Sar

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 523
  • Joined: 02 Apr 2019
  • Loc: Pacific Northwest

Posted 22 February 2020 - 10:41 AM

I hope you enjoy your new AT102ED. I too own an older C-8, although mine is from the 1990s, and I live under Bortle 7/8 skies. My 100mm refractor is so much easier to set up and so much quicker to cool down that it's my go to telescope when viewing from home. Primary targets are the moon and planets, double stars and brighter DSOs. My 100mm is one of those other brands you mentioned but I have read a lot of good things about those AT102EDs and they sure do look nice with the Aston Martin gray. I especially like the look of those that were made without the logos on the dewshields. I'm sure you will enjoy the AT102ED.
  • Jon Isaacs, Bomber Bob, gene 4181 and 2 others like this

#6 Joe1950

Joe1950

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 10,445
  • Joined: 22 Aug 2015

Posted 22 February 2020 - 11:14 AM

That’s wonderful, James! I have also learned very much from Jon and consider him a great friend!

Enjoy your new telescope and celebrate a very happy birthday!

 

You do very well with English!  Much better than I speak your native language!  grin.gif

 

Thank you, James!


  • Jon Isaacs, airbleeder and sunnyday like this

#7 Joe1950

Joe1950

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 10,445
  • Joined: 22 Aug 2015

Posted 22 February 2020 - 11:28 AM

Thank you as well, Steve!  It’s a good thing there are different choices of telescopes for us to enjoy and ones that fit all budgets. It seems the 4 “ refractors of all types are very popular and easy to take out and use while delivering good and detailed images.  It’s a good all around size.

 

I still plan to use the C-8 when conditions are optimum and I have the energy to carry it out and set it up. But for a quick and easier effort, it will be great to have the 102mm. The key is to use and enjoy. I’m really looking forward to getting it.

 

Thank you, Steve



#8 gene 4181

gene 4181

    Aurora

  • *****
  • Posts: 4,970
  • Joined: 12 Nov 2013
  • Loc: n.e. ohio

Posted 22 February 2020 - 12:19 PM

 Congratulation  on you're 70 th., Joe .     I've got mine set up on a pileated wood peckers nesting site  right now , he's courting ,lol  , I've seen rough legged hawks down from the artic wheeling over the lagoons in a 35 Pan .   I wouldn't hesitate too buy another one   ,   smile.gif


  • Joe1950 likes this

#9 stevew

stevew

    Now I've done it

  • *****
  • Posts: 6,331
  • Joined: 03 Mar 2006
  • Loc: British Columbia Canada

Posted 22 February 2020 - 01:53 PM

Congratulations on the new scope, I think you will love it.

A good C8 and a 4 inch refractor is great combination! And quite frankly all that I would really need. [but don't tell my wife]

One day when I thin out my telescope menagerie I hope to end up with those two scopes.

 

Steve


Edited by stevew, 22 February 2020 - 01:55 PM.

  • Joe1950 likes this

#10 Joe1950

Joe1950

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 10,445
  • Joined: 22 Aug 2015

Posted 22 February 2020 - 02:50 PM

Thanks Gene!  When you’d not hesitate to buy another, that’s a testament to a good scope. Or anything for that matter!

 

You’re right Steve. The C-8 and 4” do make a nice combination to cover just about anything. I’ll certainly be using the C-8, especially for the limited DSOs I can see from here and looks at the planets when conditions allow, but the 4” will be my grab and go most times. Around here, conditions change quickly so you need something flexible and easy to move at a moments notice. smile.gif

 

Thanks very much!


  • stevew and Bomber Bob like this

#11 punk35

punk35

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1,396
  • Joined: 26 Jan 2005
  • Loc: Adrian Michigan

Posted 22 February 2020 - 03:09 PM

That’s great to hear Joe! I know you’ve been interested in this scope for awhile now, so congratulations and welcome to the club! It’s a great scope and I’m sure you’ll love it, and if you don’t I’m just a liar! lol.gif



#12 Jon Isaacs

Jon Isaacs

    ISS

  • *****
  • Posts: 82,953
  • Joined: 16 Jun 2004
  • Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA

Posted 22 February 2020 - 03:50 PM

 Congratulation  on you're 70 th., Joe .     I've got mine set up on a pileated wood peckers nesting site  right now , he's courting ,lol  , I've seen rough legged hawks down from the artic wheeling over the lagoons in a 35 Pan .   I wouldn't hesitate too buy another one   ,   smile.gif

waytogo.gif

 

This is a photo of a Osprey I took "digiscoping" with my AT-102ED.. 

 

Nice and sharp.. smile.gif

 

Osprey out of focus 1.jpg

 

This is the photo before I photoshopped it to look out of focus.   :lol:

 

6638360-Osprey 2 Bright CN.jpg
 
I always enjoy seeing the glint of the sun reflected off the bird's eye.  
 
Jon

  • peleuba, punk35, stevew and 7 others like this

#13 Steve Allison

Steve Allison

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1,272
  • Joined: 25 Nov 2016
  • Loc: Olympia, Wash. 98502

Posted 22 February 2020 - 03:54 PM

You scamp, you!


  • Jon Isaacs, punk35 and Joe1950 like this

#14 Joe1950

Joe1950

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 10,445
  • Joined: 22 Aug 2015

Posted 22 February 2020 - 04:28 PM

Had me going... I’ve seen that sharp original many times, and I thought, “Wha happened!”

 

I remember now what happened!...

 

The top photo was taken through his NPN-101. The bottom photo taken through the AT-102ED. Aperture is king and that 1mm made a big difference!

 

Amazing how the bird stayed still for the two photos. But you know how those California birds love to have their picture taken!

lol.gif


Edited by Joe1950, 22 February 2020 - 04:43 PM.

  • Jon Isaacs and punk35 like this

#15 punk35

punk35

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1,396
  • Joined: 26 Jan 2005
  • Loc: Adrian Michigan

Posted 22 February 2020 - 04:54 PM

Jon’s up to his shenanigans again! He’s probably wearing one of his funky suits today.wink.gif


  • Jon Isaacs and Joe1950 like this

#16 REC

REC

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 11,693
  • Joined: 20 Oct 2010
  • Loc: NC

Posted 22 February 2020 - 04:56 PM

I’ve  in the hobby since the mid 1960s.  I’ve had a few scopes along the way of most types and can say I’ve enjoyed them all.

 

Next month, March 16th, I will turn 70 (for those who wish to mark their calendar).  I consider that a milestone anniversary.  So I decided to buy myself a present... a pre-owned, AT-102ED which will arrive Monday!

 

From all I’ve read about the scope it is an excellent choice for me.  It’s not high end, not an Astro Physics scope or a Takahashi or TeleVue, etc., but certainly a very good quality instrument that I will thoroughly enjoy.  I’m very excited about getting it.

 

Something I keep rediscovering about telescopes is that one of their most important characteristics is ease of use.  Considering my age, interests, the limitations of my location and other factors, the AT-102ED will fit that requirement ideally. 

 

As an example of what I’m talking about, in 1970 I bought a brand new Celestron 8. I added the wedge and standard tripod. Recently I made a trade and ended up with the exact same set-up, though the recent model is from 1981. But still the same Orange tube, twin fork scope.

 

When I observe I have to move the scope around to see different objects, dodging neighbor’s spotlights, trees and houses obscuring the view. I ask the question... Why is the C-8 set-up I have now, at nearly 70 years old, so much heavier and difficult to carry than the almost exact set-up I had at age 20? 

 

I’m keeping the C-8 and other scopes since they will be used and eventually be given to my boys and my grandchildren. But for most of my excursions out under the New Jersey  Bortel 8, jet stream ruffled skies, the 102mm, F/7 scope with the James Bond Astin Martin Gray trim will get the nod.

 

joe

It's heavier because your using a 70 year old body, not a twenty one! I have the same issue  at 70, everything seems heavier! That's why I use my C102 a lot more than the 8" SCT lol.gif 


  • Joe1950 likes this

#17 Joe1950

Joe1950

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 10,445
  • Joined: 22 Aug 2015

Posted 22 February 2020 - 05:10 PM

What? Impossible!

But true. crazy.gif

 

After retiring, I got a job at one of the big home stores.  When there was a sale on garden mulch, like $2 a bag, the cars were lined up as far as you could see. We went out and did what was referred to as ‘throwing mulch.’ 

 

A bag of dry mulch is not heavy, but when it’s wet it can be very heavy. And it was always wet. I think that did me in, strength wise.  grin.gif



#18 punk35

punk35

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1,396
  • Joined: 26 Jan 2005
  • Loc: Adrian Michigan

Posted 22 February 2020 - 06:04 PM

I’ll be looking forward to your observing reports.


  • Joe1950 likes this

#19 Bomber Bob

Bomber Bob

    Hubble

  • *****
  • Posts: 16,575
  • Joined: 09 Jul 2013
  • Loc: The Swamp, USA

Posted 22 February 2020 - 06:07 PM

Congratulations Joe on both your 70 & your 102.  I think you'll find them to be fine numbers!

 

I predict your AT102ED will endear itself to you very quickly.  It really is an ultimate grab & go (until the Chinese come out with a 6" F5 that's as easy to use as this 4" F7).  It delivers on every object.  I'm still learning mine -- best accessories, magnifications, etc. -- but no disappointments with any of the views.  Enjoy!!


  • Jon Isaacs, punk35 and Joe1950 like this

#20 Joe1950

Joe1950

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 10,445
  • Joined: 22 Aug 2015

Posted 22 February 2020 - 07:27 PM

Thanks very much, JW!  I haven't been this excited about a scope since...I can't remember! Getting old.

 

Considering everything, I think I've finally figured out that there are many variables when deciding on a scope, and ease of use and transport are very important... especially as one matures.

 

Thanks again to you and everyone!


  • punk35, Bomber Bob and airbleeder like this

#21 punk35

punk35

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1,396
  • Joined: 26 Jan 2005
  • Loc: Adrian Michigan

Posted 22 February 2020 - 07:31 PM

As I said above, you’ll love it or I’m a liar!wink.gif


  • Joe1950 likes this

#22 Joe1950

Joe1950

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 10,445
  • Joined: 22 Aug 2015

Posted 22 February 2020 - 07:33 PM

You have always been a straight shooter with me Wade!  salute.gif 

Thanks, bud!


  • punk35 likes this

#23 Joe1950

Joe1950

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 10,445
  • Joined: 22 Aug 2015

Posted 22 February 2020 - 08:22 PM

When I originally wrote this post, It was much, much longer and had 5 questions I asked about the scope. But upon further reflection, I thought it was too much and deleted the questions. I mean, I don't even have the scope yet.

 

But there is one question I'd like to pose, because It comes to mind with every refractor I've owned. 

 

I often venture into the ATM, Optics, DIY forum and annoy the folks there with juvenile question or comments. They are a great bunch, actually, and quite patient. But their knowledge about optics and telescopes is far above my level of understanding

 

What they write in posts, often sounds something like this to me...

 

Anyway, one thing that I did learn and consider important concerns the tightness of the retaining ring on the objective lens. Reflector people have a rule of thumb about the retaining clips of the mirror being the thickness of a business card from the mirror surface. And there is a rule of thumb for refractor objectives.

 

Let me try and state it, hopefully without error...

 

If your refractor has an objective that is a triplet, you don't make any adjustments to it at all unless you really know what you are doing and have sophisticated equipment as well. The reason being, the three lens elements must be concentric (on axis) to a very high tolerance to work properly. I believe I read 0.001", but don't hold me to that.

 

The triplets, should come from the manufacturer properly aligned and adjusted or they should go back. You just don't touch.

 

But, if your refractor has an objective that is a doublet, either an achromat or ED glass type, they often leave the manufacturer clamped too tightly, so that they will survive the trip from there to here without movement and possible damage, such as a clamshell chip.

 

They go on to say, that when you take the scope from a warm home at 70° to an outside of 30° with an over-tightened retaining ring, the ring will pinch your objective and give poor images until it is stabilized.

 

This is from many optical/materials experts who deal with this kind of thing as a vocation and know their stuff.

 

The suggested rule of thumb for a doublet is to have the lens cell retaining ring tightened just to the point where it touches the glass of the front element and no more. Some even go as far to say that if you were to hold the scope near the objective and shake it back and forth, you should feel a very slight movement!  Don't blame me. I'm just the messenger.

 

So I ask, do any refractor owners, including those with the AT-102ED, check the tightness of the retaining ring on their scopes and adjust it, if it is found to be very tight?

 

I realize the majority of owners would say to leave well enough alone. But this might be an important consideration just as so with the reflector folks and mirror clips.

 

 

Thanks very much!

joe


  • punk35 and Bomber Bob like this

#24 punk35

punk35

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1,396
  • Joined: 26 Jan 2005
  • Loc: Adrian Michigan

Posted 22 February 2020 - 09:20 PM

My At102ED gives very nice views. I haven’t touched the retaining ring, and don’t plan to. Personally, I’ve always thought of rattling lenses just mean a different amount of miscollimation depending where they settle after shaking. Maybe that was the norm and an easy fix for a slow achro. I don’t think that’s the case with more modern scopes. Maybe I’m wrong.If stars aren’t round initially then investigate. Otherwise I haven’t touched my retaining ring, and according to my views, I won’t be. YMMV


  • Joe1950 likes this

#25 Joe1950

Joe1950

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 10,445
  • Joined: 22 Aug 2015

Posted 22 February 2020 - 09:45 PM

Good point, Wade!  It may be an older guideline that doesn’t apply today. Never thought of that.

 

Most people will say the same as you;  don’t touch anything unless you see something odd. And even then get some advice. 

 

I will do exactly that.  I don’t go out when it gets too cold anyway. Being in Michigan you probably have observed in some cold temps.

 

Thanks. I think I’ll just forget about it.  

 

Joe


  • punk35 and gene 4181 like this


CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.


Recent Topics






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics