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StarSense Explorer DX 102

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#1 chocobo

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Posted 29 April 2020 - 07:36 PM

Hi,

 

How is this for a first time beginner scope?  There is not much on it.  Most reviews are for the 130 Newtonian.  I will be doing mostly viewing and maybe a little cell phone photography.  Also, would you know if I can put in a 2" diagonal into the focuser of the scope?

 

Thank you.


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#2 Augustus

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Posted 29 April 2020 - 07:39 PM

I just bought one and have it on the way (for a review, actually). It can definitely fit a 2" diagonal. The 130mm Newtonian has a weird focuser that doesn't come with a 2" adapter and you'd need to print one or similar (though it work work with no vignetting).

 

Honestly I would go with a Dob for the price, but the 4" refractor isn't a bad choice either.


Edited by Augustus, 29 April 2020 - 07:42 PM.

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#3 CuriousSubstance3

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Posted 29 April 2020 - 08:26 PM

I've had the DX 102AZ refractor for two months now and I'm happy. The software is excellent at what it does. Below is a link to my first impressions from a few weeks ago.

 

Things to keep in mind:

  • You want to be a few yards away from buildings or walls so the phone camera can get the widest view of the sky.
  • If you notice the target drifting you possibly have the camera off center from the mirror. Does not have to be perfectly centered.
  • Be sure the diagonal/eyepiece is on tight. I dropped mine on my foot early on and no damage done but my heart skipped a beat.
  • The slow motion controls need frequent tightening with the included allen wrench. Do it in day time!
  • The red dot finder died after a week oflight use. Took it apart and figured out it was the potentiometer. Celestron was very gracious and sent a better one for free.

So far I've logged 47 Messier objects, several nebulae I could never find with my Z8, and two comets (Atlas and Panstarr) from my backyard with this telescope. It's super easy to set up and use. Highly recommended. First impressions here:

 

https://theskysearch...php?f=13&t=8236

 

Hope this helps.


Edited by CuriousSubstance3, 29 April 2020 - 08:27 PM.

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#4 Jond105

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Posted 29 April 2020 - 08:36 PM

I dont have the scope, though I imagine will work great, but do have the StarSense adapter. Just reviewed it recently. 

 

https://www.cloudyni...#entry10145781 
 



#5 CuriousSubstance3

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Posted 29 April 2020 - 08:49 PM

I dont have the scope, though I imagine will work great, but do have the StarSense adapter. Just reviewed it recently. 

 

https://www.cloudyni...#entry10145781 
 

That's pretty cool how you mounted it on your 90mm telescope. I'm waiting for a mirror to arrive so I can use the phone camera both on the DX 102 and my Z8.


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#6 Jond105

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Posted 29 April 2020 - 09:47 PM

That's pretty cool how you mounted it on your 90mm telescope. I'm waiting for a mirror to arrive so I can use the phone camera both on the DX 102 and my Z8.

Thank you. Yes. My game plan as well is to hook something up to the mak next and try it out with that. That way I can just switch it out as I choose. 



#7 chocobo

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Posted 29 April 2020 - 10:37 PM

Thanks for the feedback.  So with the 2" diagonal, do I need to upgrade the focuser or the focuser has a 2" adapter?



#8 Jond105

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Posted 29 April 2020 - 10:38 PM

Thanks for the feedback.  So with the 2" diagonal, do I need to upgrade the focuser or the focuser has a 2" adapter?

The focuser is already a 2” and will have a 1.25” step down adapter attached to it. 


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#9 Jond105

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Posted 29 April 2020 - 11:08 PM

Thanks for the feedback.  So with the 2" diagonal, do I need to upgrade the focuser or the focuser has a 2" adapter?

I’ll say this though, you may only want to use 1.25” eyepieces. I don’t think the mount will handle the 2” eyepieces all that well with where the dovetail is mounted to keep it balanced. 


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#10 chocobo

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Posted 29 April 2020 - 11:09 PM

I see. OK, great.  Thanks!



#11 CuriousSubstance3

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Posted 30 April 2020 - 07:29 AM

I'm using 1.25 inch eyepieces exclusively. My favorite eyepiece on this refractor is the mid-range ES 16mm, It is powerful enough to see easy double stars and faint galaxies, and wide enough to catch large objects like clusters. Sometimes, on a clear night, I use a Meade 5.5mm UWA on the moon or comets, and the Celestron 32mm Ploessl but the 16mm stays on most of the time.

 

One eyepiece that I never use on the DX 102AZ is Celestron's 8-24mm zoom. I like it a lot on my Z8 but on this refractor it looks dim and muted somehow.

 

In short, a mid-range eyepiece is a good addition to this telescope. If you get a high magnification piece <8mm, I recommend one with a wide field of view because by the time you focus and the mount stops vibrating (2-4 seconds) your target will be almost out of view on an eyepiece with a narrow field of view.


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#12 GOLGO13

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Posted 30 April 2020 - 08:22 AM

Consider Celestron vibration pads. Make sure they are the name brand ones. They have worked in every situation I've thrown at them. And they are pretty cheap. Like an instant mount upgrade.


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#13 Jond105

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Posted 30 April 2020 - 09:01 AM

Consider Celestron vibration pads. Make sure they are the name brand ones. They have worked in every situation I've thrown at them. And they are pretty cheap. Like an instant mount upgrade.

+1


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#14 chocobo

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Posted 30 April 2020 - 09:25 PM

 

One eyepiece that I never use on the DX 102AZ is Celestron's 8-24mm zoom.

Oh no, I ordered that one :)  Oh well....

 

Thanks for that.  What about Light pollution filters?  I live in Bortle 9 area.  Will a UHC filter work for me for viewing or will a UHC only work when taking many pictures with long multiple exposures?

 

Thank you.
 



#15 Jond105

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Posted 30 April 2020 - 09:30 PM

Oh no, I ordered that one smile.gif  Oh well....

 

Thanks for that.  What about Light pollution filters?  I live in Bortle 9 area.  Will a UHC filter work for me for viewing or will a UHC only work when taking many pictures with long multiple exposures?

 

Thank you.
 

I live in a bortles 9 area myself. Don’t use filters yet. filters to me, hinder the view. You’re already fighting light pollution, the filters even dim out some of the stars. For now, I’d wait to see what you can without them. As you might actually be able to make out more objects without one. If you feel you want one, a UHC filter would be a good go to. 


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#16 Jond105

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Posted 30 April 2020 - 09:37 PM

I should just add this as to why, if you can’t see the target in a Bortles 9 zone without a filter, adding filter isn’t going to help you neither. Learn first on how to view smudges, then think about adding the filter. 


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#17 CuriousSubstance3

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Posted 01 May 2020 - 08:06 AM

Oh no, I ordered that one smile.gif  Oh well....

 

Thanks for that.  What about Light pollution filters?  I live in Bortle 9 area.  Will a UHC filter work for me for viewing or will a UHC only work when taking many pictures with long multiple exposures?

 

Thank you.
 

Hey chocobo, don't sweat it on the zoom. You have not made a mistake. It is a versatile eyepiece in many situations. Think of it as a tool to help you find objects. Experiment with it to see how it works for you. It certainly fills the gap between the 26mm and 10mm eyepieces included with the telescope. The 26mm is quite decent actually, and the zoom is better than the 10mm but that's my uneducated opinion.

 

Regarding filters, I bought a Lumicon OIII filter early on hoping to see planetary nebulae pop out magically. Has not happened a single time. As Jond105 said above, they obscure the view. Experienced users will tell you, however, they make a difference. Learning to see faint objects takes time and patience. One of the best articles on what you should expect to see is here: https://stargazerslo...-expect-to-see/


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#18 Augustus

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Posted 01 May 2020 - 07:29 PM

Well, I just spent some time with this scope. It's a reskinned Omni AZ 102 with worse eyepieces. The StarSense tech is debatably useful.


Edited by Augustus, 01 May 2020 - 08:38 PM.


#19 CuriousSubstance3

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Posted 02 May 2020 - 08:31 PM

Hey Chocobo, have you received your telescope yet?

 

Let us know so we can give you some tips and possible mods.



#20 chocobo

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Posted 03 May 2020 - 08:38 PM

Hey Chocobo, have you received your telescope yet?

 

Let us know so we can give you some tips and possible mods.

Not yet.

 

With this Covid thing, they say May 30.  1 and a half months delivery time from Amazon.  Long, huh?  Then from Los Angeles on May 30, I have to have it shipped to me in the Philippines, another month...  gonna take awhile... gonna be a lot more keyboard astronomy for me til then :)  I'll let you know and I'd like those tips and mods :)

 

Thanks!



#21 CuriousSubstance3

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Posted 03 May 2020 - 09:15 PM

Ah well. Hang in there chocobo. I think you will enjoy this telescope, I certainly am, and I envy your southern hemisphere views.

 

Stay in touch.


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#22 chocobo

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Posted 03 May 2020 - 09:34 PM

I will, thanks!  I'm still in the North... 14 degrees... a little bit above the equator.

 

Cheers.


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#23 halx

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Posted 03 May 2020 - 09:45 PM

Regarding filters, I bought a Lumicon OIII filter early on hoping to see planetary nebulae pop out magically. Has not happened a single time. As Jond105 said above, they obscure the view. Experienced users will tell you, however, they make a difference. Learning to see faint objects takes time and patience. One of the best articles on what you should expect to see is here: https://stargazerslo...-expect-to-see/

Narrow band filters (like that OIII) are indeed blocking a lot of light. That's why you need a larger aperture to compensate for that. I don't believe in them on anything under 10" aperture. With a 100mm aperture a good NB might work with brightest emission nebulae, but to appreciate that you need to learn how to fight for your darkness adaptation (preparing for it, building it, and preserving it at the eyepiece) in you B9 LPZ. That's the number one skill to master, with or without filters, B1 or B9. Do you know that simply looking through an UWA eyepiece in your B9 LPZ you are already damaging it rapidly? 


Edited by halx, 03 May 2020 - 09:48 PM.


#24 CuriousSubstance3

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Posted 04 May 2020 - 06:37 AM

Makes sense Alex. I bought the OIII for my Z8 originally. Didn't realize at the time it works best with large aperture.



#25 CuriousSubstance3

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Posted 04 May 2020 - 06:54 AM

I will, thanks!  I'm still in the North... 14 degrees... a little bit above the equator.

 

Cheers.

Sorry, I'm an ignoramus Chocobo! But still, interesting views from your latitude I would think. The Milky Way must be almost straight above you and Orion visible most of the year. I wonder if you are far enough south to see the Magellanic clouds and the Jewel Box cluster from your backyard?

 

https://skyandtelesc...hemisphere-sky/




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