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Woe Is Me, contemplating the at115edt, again

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#1 Mitchell M.

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Posted 30 November 2020 - 07:00 PM

Hello All,

After viewing Ed Ting's review on the at115edt, I'm back to seriously contemplating purchasing this scope.

Up front, I'm strictly visual. Also have on order the at102ed.

1) Still uncertain whether or not the at115edt would reasonably work on a meade lx70 eq mount that I have on hand that's currently without a scope. Some say the lx70 is a cg5 clone capable to handle 30 lbs. Some places are saying the lx70 is only rated for 20 lbs. Not sure which to believe.  At 13 lbs., plus 2 for diagonal and eyepiece, maybe a little more for a red dot finder, would put me at 75% the lower weight rating. Part of me believe I should be okay but there's still that little nagging uncertainty.

2) Over twice the price of the at102ed I have on order ($600 vs. $1400). Being strictly visual, if I knew the view through the at115edt was/is vastly superior over the at102ed, the cost wouldn't bother me. Just the question of whether or not the view is worth the additional $$$. If the two scopes were set up next to each other, how noticeable would the difference be?

3) More than likely, whether it's the at115edt or the at102ed, it'll be the last scope I plan on purchasing. With this last scope, I feel I have a pretty well rounded collection of scopes to do any and all things I would be interested in doing, strictly visually speaking, of course.

What say y'all?



#2 JKAstro

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Posted 30 November 2020 - 07:44 PM

If your only mount is an LX70 eq, I'd opt for the AT102 and spend the savings on a Stellarvue M2.  But that's because I prefer a light alt az over a gem.  

 

Best,

JK


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#3 M11Mike

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Posted 30 November 2020 - 07:49 PM

From what I understand the OPTICS in the 115 are superior - setting aside aperture.  The QUALITY of the optics are everything when it comes to comparing refractors of similar aperture.   

 

Happy Holidays

 

M11Mike



#4 Stargezzer

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Posted 30 November 2020 - 08:15 PM

I have an AT-115 EDT and agree with Ed Ting....great scope for the money! I use it strictly for AP on a CGX mount. If you are only going visual and are not wanting to have to upgrade the mount stick with the AT 102.  


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#5 Chucky

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Posted 01 December 2020 - 09:46 AM

<<  it'll be the last scope I plan on purchasing.  >>

 

There is no such thing.


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#6 RAKing

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Posted 01 December 2020 - 10:19 AM

The 115 triplet is the better scope optically and the fact that it's also bigger by 1/2" more aperture just makes it an even better choice.  Yes, you pay more for quality and aperture, but the views are worth it, IMHO.

 

But your main problem is the mount.  For visual observing, you can use the mount all the way up to its rated capacity - even more if the tripod can also handle the load.  That is why the CG-5 is a good visual mount.  Celestron put 2-inch tripod legs underneath it and it could handle some pretty good loads.  I don't know the specs on your LX70, but the tripod is usually the weakest point on most economical mounts.

 

Even though you don't need an expensive mount to enjoy visual observing, a decent mount does make the hobby more fun and enjoyable.

 

My .02,

 

Ron


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#7 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 01 December 2020 - 10:32 AM

I don't know the specs on your LX70, but the tripod is usually the weakest point on most economical mounts.

 

 

I believe the LX-70 is a rebadged Celestron CG-4, it has the 1.75 inch SS tripod. 

 

https://www.meade.co...html#additional

 

It's probably borderline with the AT-115 EDT.

 

Jon


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#8 RAKing

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Posted 01 December 2020 - 11:40 AM

I believe the LX-70 is a rebadged Celestron CG-4, it has the 1.75 inch SS tripod. 

 

https://www.meade.co...html#additional

 

It's probably borderline with the AT-115 EDT.

 

Jon

Ugh!  Yes, the CG-4 would never work with a 115 triplet.  I had a CG-4 with a 102mm Achro doublet and it wasn't very good with that one, either.  Lots of jiggling and extended settle times.

 

Thanks,

 

Ron



#9 wrvond

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Posted 01 December 2020 - 11:51 AM

I've got a couple CG-5's, a CG-4 and an LX-70.

The LX-70 is funny because the mount itself is (other than GoTo) mechanically identical to the CG-5. The dimensions between the two mounts are identical, right down to the grooves in the sides. However, the tripod is the same as the CG-4 (1.75" legs).

My LX-70 came with the R5 (120/1000mm) refractor which I have outfitted with a GSO 2" rotating focuser, William Optics 2" Roto-Lock mirror diagonal with 1.25" Roto-Lock adapter, GLP and GSO 8x50 RACI finder. I haven't weighed this scope, but the LX-70 mount/tripod handles it just fine for visual with my 1.25" barreled TV Pans and Naglers (I haven't tried any of the big Naglers in it).

 

One of my CG-5's came with a C8 ASGT and the other holds my Sky-Watcher 120. Both are used for visual and work just fine.


Edited by wrvond, 01 December 2020 - 11:54 AM.


#10 havasman

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Posted 01 December 2020 - 12:02 PM

I too am a visual observer. I have an AT115EDT and think it's a really fine scope. I got it early, I think from the 2nd batch Astronomics imported. I do believe that if the AT102ED had been out I would have bought that one and would have been well served by it. Like you, I have larger aperture available in a Dob that's going to be used more and for the most critical observing so the refractors are complementary scopes.

I too would recommend a good alt/az mount for simplicity and ease of use.



#11 Ihtegla Sar

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Posted 01 December 2020 - 12:07 PM

The LX70 is NOT a CG4.  I have a CG4 and the LX70 is substantially larger than the CG4.   I've also read here in the mounts forum that the LX70 is a CG5 clone. I haven't done any measurements but the LX70 appears to be the same size as my old Super Polaris that came with my 1990s vintage C-8.

 

I run a Takahashi FC100 DL on my LX70 and it is very stable.  Stable enough that I can guide manually by turning the RA knob without vibration.  Focusing causes small vibrations that dampen in about a second.  

 

Will the LX70 handle five more pounds than the FC100DL?  Based on how stable it is with my eight pound DL, I'd say probably yes, especially if you have a light finder.  My DL has a 8x50 finder and the Tak Clamshell is not light.

 

Depending on how much vibration you are willing to tolerate, the LX70 may be somewhat serviceable for an AT 115 that is five pounds heavier than my Tak.  However, my experience with the C-8 on the Super Polaris side by side with my Tak on the LX70 caused me to put the C-8 and the old Super Polaris back in storage.  Part of that decision was based on optics and the difficulties getting a C-8 to stabilize thermally but part of it was how long it took for vibrations to settle in the C-8 riding on the Super Polaris (3-4 seconds) vs the Tak on the LX70 (one second).

 

So, if it were me, I would probably be looking for a bigger mount for a 13 pound scope (or a lighter scope for the LX70 -- Love my Taks on the LX70), but if you can tolerate 3-4 second vibration dampening, then I think you might get the LX70 to work for your AT 115 for visual.  


Edited by Ihtegla Sar, 01 December 2020 - 12:26 PM.


#12 Applal

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Posted 01 December 2020 - 12:49 PM

I'd buy the 115. 

For visual the mount will be ok. It won't be great, but you're not looking for great, you're looking for acceptable. When I was using (overusing?) my CG-3 and 4s, if I found the trembling to be too much, I would shorten the legs to the shortest that would best server me (and that introduced me to chair astronomy, which I love to this day! I'm harder to hold steady than your telescope! LOL! And if that isn't enough, hang a 10# bag of sand from the center of the mount to add mass and help deaden the tripod. That can work wonders very cheaply. 

Best of luck and clear skies to you!


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#13 alphatripleplus

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Posted 01 December 2020 - 04:51 PM

Just to make your decision more complicated, consider that the new AT102EDL should be available in January from Astronomics. smile.gif


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#14 Mitchell M.

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Posted 01 December 2020 - 07:23 PM

Great discussion everybody. A lot of really good information. Still on the fence tho.



#15 russell23

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Posted 01 December 2020 - 07:27 PM

Hello All,

After viewing Ed Ting's review on the at115edt, I'm back to seriously contemplating purchasing this scope.

Up front, I'm strictly visual. Also have on order the at102ed.

1) Still uncertain whether or not the at115edt would reasonably work on a meade lx70 eq mount that I have on hand that's currently without a scope. Some say the lx70 is a cg5 clone capable to handle 30 lbs. Some places are saying the lx70 is only rated for 20 lbs. Not sure which to believe.  At 13 lbs., plus 2 for diagonal and eyepiece, maybe a little more for a red dot finder, would put me at 75% the lower weight rating. Part of me believe I should be okay but there's still that little nagging uncertainty.

2) Over twice the price of the at102ed I have on order ($600 vs. $1400). Being strictly visual, if I knew the view through the at115edt was/is vastly superior over the at102ed, the cost wouldn't bother me. Just the question of whether or not the view is worth the additional $$$. If the two scopes were set up next to each other, how noticeable would the difference be?

3) More than likely, whether it's the at115edt or the at102ed, it'll be the last scope I plan on purchasing. With this last scope, I feel I have a pretty well rounded collection of scopes to do any and all things I would be interested in doing, strictly visually speaking, of course.

What say y'all?

The AT115 is a 27% light gathering increase over the 102mm.  Is that worth the possible strain it will put on your mount?  Stability for visual is important too.  For years I had my SW120ED on a Vixen SP mount with a beefier set of tripod legs.  The hardware on those legs broke down so I had to go back to the original Vixen wood legs.  Those legs are insufficient to handle the 120 but the 102mm f/7 is just fine.  Basically the 120mm has received very little use since I had to switch to the Vixen legs.  

 

The light gathering difference between the 120 and the 102 is noticeable but not Earth shattering.

 

You really need to have a mount that can handle that 115mm scope.  


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#16 johrich

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Posted 01 December 2020 - 08:12 PM

For what it's worth, I have an LX70 motorized and have a Meade LX65 6 inch Maksatov on it that weighs about 12.7 lbs that I use for visual and planetary/lunar AP. It all works fine, though my MAK is a lot shorter than an AT115EDT refractor.

John
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#17 Bill Barlow

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Posted 03 December 2020 - 11:06 AM

For only a 27% light grasp gain, I wouldn’t buy the 115 since you might need a bigger mount for it.  I usually don’t buy a larger scope unless the light grasp gain approaches or exceedes 50%.

 

Bill


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