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My new (to me) Lunt 102ED...a quick take

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#1 MarkMittlesteadt

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Posted 03 August 2020 - 03:49 PM

I just received a Lunt 102ED refractor today that I bought off a fellow CN'er used. Absolutely gorgeous piece of equipment!

 

It came in its own foam padded case and double boxed. 

 

Of course I just had to open it and admire it for a while. The only refractors I've owned have been fast achromats (nice, but loads of CA of course). I can't afford an APO, but this is a 102ED that, according to reviews is very "apo-like" at f7. I've never owned a refractor this nice so of course I'm excited with my new acquisition...

 

A very nice, solid aluminum, padded case. Just as the previous owner modded the case to fit the 6X30 finder, I modded it a bit further to be able to include my diagonal and Zoom EP (my most used EP) since the case isn't long enough to accommodate the OTA with the diagonal in it. No biggee. Just a piece of foam between the diagonal/EP and the OTA and all is good. I could still find room for an additional EP or two and my 2X shorty Barlow. I need to look into a really nice wide FOV EP. 

 

6f106c_48c7864febb34bd3b30c3df0cff67efc~

 

  6f106c_d9cea7205a944140b63f22dae193ab52~

 

  6f106c_48fb3d0365514cd48fce98ca8fa51a6a~

 

Of course I had to take it out and examine/admire it before mounting it on my Stellarvue M2C mount. Beautiful fit and finish. It has some heft to it for an f7 ED doublet. 

 

Took me a while to find a perfect balance point with everything loaded, but once mounted it rides very smoothly on my mount. I can see I'm going to have to make a handle I can put on the rings as I want to be extra careful when mounting/dismounting it. The lens cap is a very heavy steel screw-on cap. The dew shield is quite long and retractable. Doesn't slide when pointed straight up. The dual speed focuser is very smooth and I love having the ability for micro-adjustments. The terrestrial view on anything at my highest power is extremely crisp, sharp and clean. Can't wait to get it out under the stars for a look through it

 

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Edited by MarkMittlesteadt, 04 August 2020 - 12:53 PM.

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#2 junomike

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Posted 03 August 2020 - 04:07 PM

Nice OTA, however you're going to get a few PM's from people asking where you got the "Lunt 120ED"....grin.gif


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#3 MarkMittlesteadt

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Posted 03 August 2020 - 04:17 PM

Nice OTA, however you're going to get a few PM's from people asking where you got the "Lunt 120ED"....grin.gif

I had to look for a typo in my post at first. Then I realized it was in my sig (now edited). wink.gif It does however look quite like a rather large beast on that mount. That dew shield is quite long and makes it appear much bigger than it really is. I can assure you it is only a 102ED. It's only 24" long with the dew shield retracted. The dew shield itself is almost 9" long.


Edited by MarkMittlesteadt, 03 August 2020 - 04:21 PM.

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#4 FreddyH

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Posted 03 August 2020 - 04:48 PM

I have one of these lunt 102ED scpoes and I use it as a grab and go 

the ED element is great at reducing CA

I think you will like the scope very much

have fun with it

Freddy


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#5 MarkMittlesteadt

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Posted 04 August 2020 - 08:59 AM

I want to add a handle to the mounting rings. Does anyone happen to know the thread size required? I've tried metric and 1/4 - 20 and they don't fit. 1/4 - 24 perhaps? Anyone know?

 

6f106c_e6ce2db1905f4223b2772d92e5f1116c~



#6 sunnyday

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Posted 04 August 2020 - 09:10 AM

congratulations, I have the same telescope. I use it for grab n go.
very good telescope the ca is almost nonexistent, a bit of yellow but I think it is my eyepieces that causes it.



#7 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 04 August 2020 - 09:14 AM

I want to add a handle to the mounting rings. Does anyone happen to know the thread size required? I've tried metric and 1/4 - 20 and they don't fit. 1/4 - 24 perhaps? Anyone know?

 

6f106c_e6ce2db1905f4223b2772d92e5f1116c~

 

I think they're metric.

 

Congratulations on your new scope.  I think they're beautiful scopes both mechanically and optically..

 

Jon


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#8 MarkMittlesteadt

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Posted 04 August 2020 - 09:34 AM

I think they're metric.

 

Congratulations on your new scope.  I think they're beautiful scopes both mechanically and optically..

 

Jon

Thanks Jon.

 

Now I just need the skies to clear. wink.gif

 

I brought some bolts with me from previous scope/mounts that were close, both metric and standard that barely started to thread in the ring holes, but got hung up. I didn't want to risk cross threading and damaging the threads. So I brought both bolts with me to work (I work in a hardware store).

 

The 1/4-28 didn't work. I took them home over lunch and they don't fit either. So, I got some metric M6-1.00. That's about all I have to work with. I'm hoping they fit. 

For the handle, I'm just going to cut a 1/2" square steel tube to length and put some 1/4" spacers between the steel tube and the rings to give me a little more clearance for a little more finger room (not much room in the case with a taller handle). I'll paint the steel handle black and put 1/2" black rubber leg tips on the ends (which will extend out past the rings a bit. 

I'm also going to try out a "scope-saver" bungee cord idea to use when mounting. Two bungee cords will be put around both ends of the handle (before bolting it to the rings). I'll leave them on. When I grab the scope, as I hold it to place by the handle, to mount it in the dovetail shoe, I can simply stretch each bungee cord over each knob on the mount...just in case the scope slips as I tighten it. Worst case, the scope dangles by the bungee cords, but doesn't drop on the ground nor hit the tripod. I hate the idea of risking the scope dropping because I didn't have it clamped in right. Don't ask me how I know the risk of mounting a scope. wink.gif

 

I'll have to take a pic of it when the scope is mounted. 

 

6f106c_1ae290a4e9854c138b31c381daf838f1~


Edited by MarkMittlesteadt, 04 August 2020 - 03:04 PM.

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#9 MarkMittlesteadt

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Posted 04 August 2020 - 05:27 PM

The M6-1.00 bolt fits.
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#10 dhkaiser

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Posted 04 August 2020 - 06:02 PM

I have the same telescope and use this handle...  https://www.amazon.c...0?ie=UTF8&psc=1


Edited by dhkaiser, 04 August 2020 - 06:03 PM.


#11 MarkMittlesteadt

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Posted 04 August 2020 - 06:57 PM

I just made my own handle from some square steel tubing I had and added some spacers under it. I needed it to still fit in my case. I cut the square steel tubing to length, then drilled the holes out, pulled on some thick walled electrical shrink tubing and then capped the ends off with rubber tips.

 

I also made my own "scope-saver" out of two bungee cords. This way if my scope ever slips while mounting or comes loose in the saddle on the mount it won't fall. The handle makes it easier to mount and I feel a little more at ease now mounting the scope. I simply put the scope dovetail rail in the bottom of the saddle, and then before tightening it, I put the bungee cords over the saddle lock down bolts.

 

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#12 stevew

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Posted 04 August 2020 - 08:07 PM

Congratulations on your new scope. 

Mine is an Orion branded version. They were also sold under Stellarvue, and Astro-Tech brand names as well as a few others.

They are made by Kunming United Optics and I'm pretty sure they use HFK61 as the ED element.

 

You can read Jon's review here https://www.cloudyni...h-at102ed-r1690

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#13 MarkMittlesteadt

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Posted 05 August 2020 - 09:36 AM

To clarify...I have the Stellarvuew M2C Alt-Az mount with the dual Vixen/Losmandy saddle. You can see in this pic where the top clamping bar of the saddle comes down over my Vixen style rail on my Lunt 102ED. There is a very slight amount of space between the "dovetail" part that is supposed to clamp in my rail and the squared flat part of the bottom of the saddle clamp.

 

What happens sometimes is that if I open the clamp a bit too far, the top of the Vixen rail gets caught under the "flat" part of the saddle instead of the angled "dovetail" part. So what happens is, as I tighten it down, the top of my rail gets clamped into the flat part, which of course is NOT SAFE. But it's really hard to see if its getting dark out when setting up.

 

This is why I use the bungee cords. In case I clamp the flat part of the saddle onto the Vixen rail instead of it sitting firmly in the dovetail, it seems like it's clamped in when it's not. I wish they would have designed it so the bottom flat part of the clamp was further away from the dovetail part so there is no way to accidentally clamp the rail down into the flat part of the saddle.

 

As careful as I am, this has happened to me in the past with other scopes and I just don't want my new scope to fall out. At least the bungee cords will keep it "hanging in there" instead of falling off the mount and crashing to the ground. This idea may not work for everyone, but for those who use Alt-Az mounts exclusively this might be of use to them.

 

6f106c_2cd437dd1a9f45db9dd70bc64b7e7f30~


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#14 coopman

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Posted 05 August 2020 - 08:38 PM

Congrats on the new ED scope, Mark. You will love it.
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#15 Glass Man

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Posted 06 August 2020 - 09:45 AM

Another idea would be using a Losmandy “D” style dovetail bar since the M2C also has that capability. That way you’d never have to worry about the saddle’s flat part in the dark. A shorter version around 8” is still fairly lightweight too. As a bonus, you’d have four M6 bolts installed into the rings instead of only two, plus the holes have more thread depth to them at the outside locations.

 

Best and CS, Karl


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#16 MarkMittlesteadt

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Posted 06 August 2020 - 09:58 AM

Another idea would be using a Losmandy “D” style dovetail bar since the M2C also has that capability. That way you’d never have to worry about the saddle’s flat part in the dark. A shorter version around 8” is still fairly lightweight too. As a bonus, you’d have four M6 bolts installed into the rings instead of only two, plus the holes have more thread depth to them at the outside locations.

 

Best and CS, Karl

Yes, I have already considered buying one. There is a lot of clearance in the saddle for the Losmandy and no mistaking when it's in the dovetail grooves. 



#17 MarkMittlesteadt

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Posted 06 August 2020 - 12:41 PM

Congratulations on your new scope. 

Mine is an Orion branded version. They were also sold under Stellarvue, and Astro-Tech brand names as well as a few others.

They are made by Kunming United Optics and I'm pretty sure they use HFK61 as the ED element.

 

You can read Jon's review here https://www.cloudyni...h-at102ed-r1690

It was Jon's review that made me want to order the AT102ED from Astronomics. But, impatient person that I am, the wait for them to be in stock was more than I wanted and I happened upon this Lunt 102ED (essentially the same scope) in the CN classifieds here. Good deal on it, and the owner selling it was great to deal with. For as well cared for as it was (and coming with a custom, aluminum, padded case) it was as good as any brand new scope. 


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#18 MarkMittlesteadt

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Posted 06 August 2020 - 01:10 PM

I needed to find a way to get my Telrad mounted on the scope/rings somehow, but the Telrad base was just a tad too long to fit anywhere. It was like Goldilocks looking for a place to rest. Too long to mount the Telrad base on the OTA and still fit between the rings (at least not without cutting the Telrad base down on one end a bit...didn't want to do that), yet too short to mount on the rings themselves. Too far away to put on the dewshield when extended (plus there is a little play in the dew shield when extended...would mess up alignment if bumped). I didn't want to mount it directly to the rings where the handle was (it would have sat on the OTA sticking out sideways...workable but would have been too uncomfortably low with the scope pointed up). So, where to put it?

 

I just happened to have some very thick plastic corner stock sitting around from some unknown origin. So I made a right angle shelf to mount under the handle on the rings, and then angle over the top of the rings when mounted. The plastic shelf is bolted under the handle, and velcroed underneath to the rings on top. Very lightweight yet solid. Now it can proudly sit up high, slightly to the right of center but also high enough, meaning the EP in the diagonal is not in the way. Actually it is in almost the perfect position. When an EP is in my diagonal, I can look through the Telrad, and without moving my head much at all, look down into the EP. 

 

The location of it also still allows me to leave the shelf and the Telrad base on the rings and still fit it all in the scope case. 

 

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Edited by MarkMittlesteadt, 06 August 2020 - 01:12 PM.

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#19 MarkMittlesteadt

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Posted 06 August 2020 - 02:05 PM

The case is packed full, yet everything is secure...

 

OTA with rings, handle and Telrad base, and then along the side the OTA (left to right) is my 6X30 finderscope, 2X Barlow, Telrad (upside down), LED flashlight (velcroed to the underside of the Telrad), and my diagonal with my 8-24mm zoom EP. 

 

I just needed a little padding between the accessories and the OTA and it all fits in one case. 


6f106c_2dda2bb0d09e40b285dedd843faaa8ae~


Edited by MarkMittlesteadt, 06 August 2020 - 02:06 PM.

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#20 stevew

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Posted 06 August 2020 - 07:24 PM

I'm a big fan of the original Telrad, however, I use one of these https://www.astronom...cle-finder.html rather than a Telrad, as it fits onto the finder shoe on the focuser, and rotates with the focuser.


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#21 MarkMittlesteadt

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Posted 06 August 2020 - 08:14 PM

I'm a big fan of the original Telrad, however, I use one of these https://www.astronom...cle-finder.html rather than a Telrad, as it fits onto the finder shoe on the focuser, and rotates with the focuser.

I had one of those finders. I've had just about every kind of finder there is, but my favorite is still the Telrad. The reticle matches the one in SkySafari 6 Plus on my phone and it helps me a great deal, especially now that I'm using a refractor on a manual M2C Alt-Az mount.

Edited by MarkMittlesteadt, 06 August 2020 - 08:15 PM.

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#22 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 07 August 2020 - 06:59 AM

I had one of those finders. I've had just about every kind of finder there is, but my favorite is still the Telrad. The reticle matches the one in SkySafari 6 Plus on my phone and it helps me a great deal, especially now that I'm using a refractor on a manual M2C Alt-Az mount.

:waytogo:

 

NP-101 Telrad CN.jpg
 
That's the Telrad on a Scope Stuff Telrad-Vixen adapter.  Yeah, some people complain about the Telrad being a big ugly thing.  My wife doesn't complain about big, ugly things, why should I?  Like the Telrad, I am the best thing out there.  :lol:
 
Jon

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#23 MarkMittlesteadt

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Posted 07 August 2020 - 08:54 AM

 

waytogo.gif

 

 
 
That's the Telrad on a Scope Stuff Telrad-Vixen adapter.  Yeah, some people complain about the Telrad being a big ugly thing.  My wife doesn't complain about big, ugly things, why should I?  Like the Telrad, I am the best thing out there.  lol.gif
 
Jon

 

As finders go, for me nothing beats the Telrad. Sure, it's bulky but so what? It's not like I have to haul it around like some unwieldy mount. It's light and once on the scope, it just sits there like any other zero power finder, except it helps me a lot with star hopping because the reticle brightness is adjustable, and it matches my view in SkySafari.

 

I still have to figure out a phone holder for my scope/mount. Because I use a manual Alt-Az mount, when my phone is on my scope and roughly aligned with it, as I move the scope around SkySafari shows me a fairly close approximation to where my scope is pointing. While it's not GoTo, the view in SkySafari, with it's ability to zoom in, allows me to find something of interest in the general area. Then I can zoom in and use the reticle to locate the object.  


Edited by MarkMittlesteadt, 07 August 2020 - 08:55 AM.


#24 MarkMittlesteadt

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Posted 07 August 2020 - 09:03 AM

I think I will, at some point, customize my case and pull out all the foam. Then I will construct compartments that custom fit the OTA (following its outline). Then I will have more room for accessories (including a few more choice EP's) and can forego the foam pieces in between the OTA and everything else. I'll use new foam to keep everything padded.

 

I chose this mount and scope because I love simplicity. My tripod and mount is at the ready, all set up in my garage. The less I need to carry out the better. All I want is my tripod/mount and my scope case (with anything else I need) and nothing more. 

 

6f106c_2dda2bb0d09e40b285dedd843faaa8ae~


Edited by MarkMittlesteadt, 07 August 2020 - 09:05 AM.

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#25 MarkMittlesteadt

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Posted 10 August 2020 - 07:44 PM

I ordered a few extras for the scope. Nothing too extravagant.

Just a GSO 2" diagonal (for some future EP's), a GSO 32MM Plossl, and a Losmandy D style rail for safer mounting to my M2C mount.

I'm sure at some point I'll upgrade things.
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