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Cart before the horse er Mount before the scope..

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18 replies to this topic

#1 bthrel

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Posted 27 October 2020 - 12:59 PM

Hello everyone, hope all is well..

 

So as the title says I have a mount coming and looking for ideas in a scope to put on it. Its a Stellarvue M002C Alt/AZ and I have some AstroDevices encoders coming as well so I can use it with my NexusII. My only other scope, as listed in my signature, is a ES 12" DOB. My budget is 800ish and Im leaning towards an Air-Spaced Doublet refractor, oh and Im a visual guy with no plans to do any imaging. Cats and Maks look interesting too...

 

Clear Skies

 

Brian



#2 alphatripleplus

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Posted 27 October 2020 - 01:19 PM

How about one of the Astro-tech refractors from Astronomics? The AT60ED and AT72EDII are  FPL-53 doublets, while the AT80ED and AT102ED are FK-61 doublets. All are within your budget.



#3 SonnyE

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Posted 27 October 2020 - 01:30 PM

Well, for visual you are probably on track.

 

I always suggest someone decides on what they would like to do in Astronomy, then pursue the equipment for that interest.

 

Specifically, Planetary would want different equipment than, say, Deep Space.

 

 

I'm specifically interested in DSO, Nebula imaging. But recently decided to do Binocular visual. It helps fill the time my telescope is engaged imaging with Moon gazing and planetary viewing.



#4 rustynpp

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Posted 27 October 2020 - 02:55 PM

Hey Brian,

 

In my experience, a 4" doublet refractor is a perfect match for the M2. For under $800 your best bet is the AT102ED, by a pretty wide margin (IMO). Stretching your budget a bit gets you an AT102EDL, or a similar 4" f7 FPL-53 doublet from William Optics, Stellarvue, Lunt, and probably a couple others, as well as an f9 doublet from Sky-Watcher. The non-AT scopes will have to be on the used market, as I don't believe that any of them are made new anymore (with the exception of the SW, and I'm not sure about the Lunt).

 

The big upgrade from the AT102ED to the AT102EDL is the glass type: FK-61 vs. FCD-100. The latter will show noticeably less false color on bright targets, although the optical quality beyond CA control should be similar. The more expensive EDL also comes with a rotating focuser and a handle, which happen to be two features I personally value very highly in a refractor. The more expensive scopes I listed above all have better glass (same as/similar to the EDL), and I believe they all have a rotating focuser (not sure on the Lunt and SW).

 

I entertained the idea of an Edge 8 SCT on my M2 mount, but found it to be less than ideal. With a 2" diagonal and heavy EPs, balancing the scope in the dovetail shoe meant pushing it all the way up, and even then I needed to add a bit of weight to the front of the scope to really get things balanced. The whole thing seemed less stable than my 4" refractor does on the M2, especially in moderately windy conditions.

 

Regardless of the scope you choose, make sure that you have a steel column and the pan-handle for the M2, as well as a substantial tripod. I consider these to be mandatory accessories if you intend to use this mount to its greatest potential.

 

Cheers,

Nick


Edited by rustynpp, 27 October 2020 - 03:04 PM.


#5 bthrel

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Posted 27 October 2020 - 03:16 PM

Nick,

 

Been looking at the AT102ED, and ES AR127 ( would that be too heavy). Going to try using a Gitzo G1327 Mountaineer Mk2 Carbon Fiber tripod I have on hand, its very heavy-duty and rated for a load of 26.5 lbs., worked well with some big Nikon glass I had back in the day on a ball head so figure it might be ok for this application, If it don't work out will start looking elsewhere.

 

Brian



#6 MarkMittlesteadt

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Posted 27 October 2020 - 03:20 PM

My M2C mount with my Lunt 102ED (virtually same as the AT 102ED) has been my most used setup.

 

6f106c_f8e0428fd6534f26960e90fbcf3be784~

 

I also used my Celestron 6SE on the M2C...

 

6f106c_c51bbabca6524b70aaa98d13d263f7f4~


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#7 bthrel

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Posted 27 October 2020 - 03:31 PM

Im thinking I made a good choice on the MC2, supposed to ship mid Nov so I have some time to figure out what scope to put on it.


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#8 Echolight

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Posted 27 October 2020 - 03:35 PM

I guess I would choose either an AT80ED, ED80, AT102ED, or an ST120.

 

Since I have suddenly fallen hard for widest field of view and would love a dedicated wide field or RFT, I'd be most tempted by the ST120. This is the least expensive option also, leaving plenty of room for a nice diagonal and wide field eyepiece.



#9 MarkMittlesteadt

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Posted 27 October 2020 - 03:38 PM

The M2C is one of the best of the manual Alt-Az mounts available, unless you want to spend a small fortune on one. It's small, lightweight yet easily holds scopes around 20 lbs. 

 

Neither my Lunt 102ED nor my 6SE came anywhere near that weight. Super easy to control...solid and smooth. You'll really like it. I ordered mine directly from Stellarvue and received it within a week.

 

You do have options as to what scopes would work on the M2C. I think it would even hold an 8" SCT as they aren't all that heavy nor long.  



#10 rustynpp

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Posted 27 October 2020 - 03:51 PM

Nick,

 

Been looking at the AT102ED, and ES AR127 ( would that be too heavy). Going to try using a Gitzo G1327 Mountaineer Mk2 Carbon Fiber tripod I have on hand, its very heavy-duty and rated for a load of 26.5 lbs., worked well with some big Nikon glass I had back in the day on a ball head so figure it might be ok for this application, If it don't work out will start looking elsewhere.

 

Brian

Unfortunately I haven't tried a 5" refractor on this mount, nor do I have any experience with CF tripods. Just note that the AR127 is an achromat, so you'll see much more CA on bright targets than you will with an ED doublet apochromat. The 4" ED doublets I cited in my previous comment are much more well-rounded scopes than a 5" achromat, IMO.

 

You do have options as to what scopes would work on the M2C. I think it would even hold an 8" SCT as they aren't all that heavy nor long.  

That was my thought too, but I wasn't impressed with the way the M2 handled an 8" SCT. For a 4" f7-ish refractor, though, it's phenomenal.

 

Cheers,

Nick


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#11 weis14

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Posted 27 October 2020 - 08:41 PM

I have a M2C with encoders and an Astro Devices Nexus.  I use it as a grab and go with my Stowaway and it is a great mount.  I don't think there is anything better available without spending significantly more money.  

 

The Stowaway is close to perfect size for this mount, but it could hold a 100-110mm refractor easily.  I think that anything over 120mm will probably be pushing this mount, unless it is exceptionally light and/or fast.  A ST120 achromat would probably work, but a 120mm f/8 triplet would probably be too much for it due to weight and balance issues.


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#12 bthrel

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Posted 28 October 2020 - 06:05 AM

Thanks for all the replies, leaning towards the AT102ED, now if the would just get back in stock..

 

Cheers

 

Brian



#13 alphatripleplus

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Posted 28 October 2020 - 07:16 AM

If you miss it this time, Astronomics will probably have their next shipment in three months.



#14 bthrel

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Posted 28 October 2020 - 08:07 AM

Just pulled the trigger on a AT102ED at Astronomics, hope I get lucky and they get enough in the next shipment so I dont have to wait till 2021.


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#15 alphatripleplus

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Posted 28 October 2020 - 08:22 AM

Just pulled the trigger on a AT102ED at Astronomics, hope I get lucky and they get enough in the next shipment so I dont have to wait till 2021.

Congratulations. Keep your fingers crossed.



#16 bthrel

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Posted 28 October 2020 - 09:31 AM

Congratulations. Keep your fingers crossed.

What are my odds alphatripleplus? Dont want to bug Mike as I know they are so busy.



#17 MarkMittlesteadt

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Posted 28 October 2020 - 09:34 AM

Just pulled the trigger on a AT102ED at Astronomics, hope I get lucky and they get enough in the next shipment so I dont have to wait till 2021.

I have a Lunt 102ED which is pretty much identical to the AT102ED. In fact, what I wanted was the AT102ED, but I'm not a very patient person, so I scoured the CN classifieds and came across the Lunt 102ED. When I found out it was basically the same scope, I bought it immediately. 

 

You are going to love the AT102ED. No matter what scopes I've owned in the past I always come back to a 4" refractor. This time around I didn't want just another low budget achro. The AT102ED is that perfect scope at an ideal price...not too small, not too big, but just right. Lots of great reviews of it. 

Check out CN's own Jon Isaacs'  review of the AT102ED.


Edited by MarkMittlesteadt, 28 October 2020 - 09:34 AM.


#18 alphatripleplus

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Posted 28 October 2020 - 10:19 AM

What are my odds alphatripleplus? Dont want to bug Mike as I know they are so busy.

Your guess is as good as mine.lol.gif



#19 bthrel

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Posted 28 October 2020 - 03:46 PM

Do the new AT102s still come with a hard case? Just curious 




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