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Meade 102 or skywatcher 102 refractor

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#1 Cdryan90

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Posted 02 August 2020 - 09:46 PM

This would be my first telescope and i am looking for opinions on these two scopes. I live out in the country, so light pollution is low. The meade comes with the star navigator and the skywatcher model i was looking at comes on goto mount also. Any advice or opinion is welcome. Thanks.



#2 jessebear

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Posted 02 August 2020 - 10:27 PM

I have the Meade 102 (StarNavigator NG 102). The OTA is decent, but the focuser is a bit dodgy. The dovetail is also very short. I've added rings and a larger dovetail and eventually will replace the focuser with a two speed GSO crayford unit.

I have nothing positive to say about the mount or tripod. Meade customer service has been good though. I feel the 102 is too long, large, and heavy for the NG mount and I've grown tired of the clutches slipping and backlash issues so I only use the OTA on a manual mount now. The tripod is lightweight and far from stable.

I don't own the SkyWatcher, but a cursory look at their offerings and the included go-to mount that I'm assuming you are referring to looks more promising than the Meade. All-metal gear construction, from the looks of it, which would have been a boon on the Meade.

The StarNavigator NG 102 is a bit slower than the SkyWatcher though. The Meade is about F6.47 while it looks like the SkyWatcher is F5. Not a huge difference, but it merits mention.

Good luck!

#3 Cdryan90

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Posted 03 August 2020 - 07:02 PM

Thanks for the info.

#4 Cdryan90

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Posted 03 August 2020 - 07:02 PM

Thanks for the info.

#5 ShaulaB

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Posted 03 August 2020 - 07:12 PM

I have owned the older version (focal length 770mm) Meade Starnavigator 102mm with the audio star mount. The OTA has some very fragile parts, cardboard painted in silver for the focuser. The mount will track ok when sync-ed on an object. But following the owner's manual directions, alignment is iffy and go-tos are not so great.


Yes, I own other goto mounts that perform much better. This scope is used for teaching ( parts of a refractor scope) and outreach. It is not my preferred scope for personal observing. The mount is not appropriate for imaging other than EAA - electronically assisted astronomy, with an electronic eyepiece.

#6 TxStars

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Posted 03 August 2020 - 09:10 PM

This would be my first telescope and i am looking for opinions on these two scopes. I live out in the country, so light pollution is low. The meade comes with the star navigator and the skywatcher model i was looking at comes on goto mount also. Any advice or opinion is welcome. Thanks.

What are you wanting to use the telescope for?




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