Jump to content

Just Purchased Celestron Explorer 102AZ


Recommended Posts

Hi Sarge,

Looks like a nice scope, I will be interested to hear how you get on with it.

My scope is also a refractor so obviously I am a fan of this type of scope.

I haven’t been doing this for long myself, but my tip would be to just try to learn your way around the sky in order that locating things is a bit easier.

There is a website called ‘Stellarium’ which is great for showing you what is in the sky at your location.

 

somewhere on the forum there is a previous thread about ‘pearls of wisdom’ and what people did right or wrong in this hobby. It might be worth seeing if you can locate it.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think these Synta f/6.5 achro's have been about for a long time and are sold under various brands and configurations. 

 

7LqUOeRl.jpg

 

It's not dissimilar to my slightly faster 'pimped out' 102mm Sky-Watcher StarTravel and basically made in the same factory in Jiangsu (mine has a custom aftermarket focuser). Your scope is basically a Fraunhofer achromat. There's an awful lot you can observe with a 102mm refractor. Patrick Moore always reckoned a 4" refractor was the equivalent of a 6" reflector. I believe him lol. 

 

 

I know someone who has the DX 102AZ, is also a beginner, and they love it. From what I can see the scope is pretty straightforward to set-up and use. The SkyPortal software is very good and is basically a freeware version of SkySafari. With the phone on the mount it basically makes it a 'push to' system so finding targets is a lot easier. As Marmot says, there are plenty of good freeware astronomy sites and apps. Stellarium has been going for years and there's also an Android version now.

 

rXAsVZQl.jpg

 

The online version of Stellarium (above and below) running on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS.

 

H9bvnHml.jpg

 

The included diagonal is an Amici roof 'erecting' prism which gives a non-reversed upright image. In the picture of my pimped out StarTravel you can see a 2" APM Amici diagonal. These are fine for daylight and lunar viewing. However, they can display a diffraction spike on bright stars or planets. Dedicated astronomical Amici prisms like Baader-Zeiss are quite expensive as they are made to more exacting tolerances. I regularly use a Baader Amici prism for lunar viewing. Most astronomical diagonals use mirrors or standard prisms and give an upright but mirror-reversed image. The advantage of these for astronomers is that the light path is more direct and efficient usually giving a better contrasted and defined image. Plus there are no problems with diffraction spiking. However, unlike many astronomers, I often use an Amici for some rich field and especially lunar viewing. So a conventional diagonal may be a later option. Good luck with the scope and have fun. 

Edited by Nightspore
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Marmot said:

Hi Sarge,

Looks like a nice scope, I will be interested to hear how you get on with it.

My scope is also a refractor so obviously I am a fan of this type of scope.

I haven’t been doing this for long myself, but my tip would be to just try to learn your way around the sky in order that locating things is a bit easier.

There is a website called ‘Stellarium’ which is great for showing you what is in the sky at your location.

 

somewhere on the forum there is a previous thread about ‘pearls of wisdom’ and what people did right or wrong in this hobby. It might be worth seeing if you can locate it.

 Hi Martin, I see your in Cumbria, there must be some excellent dark skies over there.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You’re quite right, there are some dark skies here, although at the moment they are very cloudy. The village where I live is apparently Bortle 4 (which apparently is quite good/dark). Unfortunately I do have a street light near my house so I usually make sure I am not viewing towards it!

 

Ask anything you want on this forum and you will always get an appropriate answer. Over the past year I have asked many basic questions and I have always had friendly and informative replies. There is so much to learn and even once you have your scope, there seems to be a huge selection of potentially expensive upgrades (Eyepieces etc). So ask questions to help you make the right decisions. I have made a few purchases after seeking advice on this forum and I have never regretted the decision. On the other hand, I have also avoided certain purchases having been advised of better alternatives. 

 

 

 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

There is much to consider when upgrading your EPs. Your budget is obviously one of the determining things.

If you look in the forum headed “equipment advice” there is a thread titled “eyepiece for glasses wearer”. This was started very recently when a similar question was asked. A lot of the information in that thread will be very relevant to your own situation. 

 

Also, if you check in the “equipment reviews” threads, you will find a number of very useful reviews (by Nightspore) covering different EPs. One of the things I like about Nightspore reviews is that he covers EPs that are affordable by us mere mortals rather than those that cost more than the telescope itself😃

 

There is a thriving market in used Astronomy kit. Obviously EPs can be found on auction sites, but there is also a site called ‘Astrobuysell’ which was recommended to me by other forum members. (Just make sure you access the UK part of the site and not the Canadian part!)

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, Sgt Pepper said:

Can anyone recommend a couple of inexpensive eyepieces for my scope either used or new. Thanks.

 

What Marmot said. And the 'SvBony' 10mm and 23mm Aspherics. The links take you to Amazon, although you can get these 'plastic fantastics' from a few places. They're also sold under other names. Avoid the 4mm version though, it's basically a spectroscope lol.

 

UmXT7e3l.jpg

 

Below is a collection of eyepiece pairs for my bino. They range from Tele Vue Panoptics to a pair of GSO Plossls. You can see my 10mm SvBony aspheric pair just to the left of the right bino dioptre above two 'Altair' (GSO) SuperViews. I've swapped the aluminium barrels for chromed brass ones taken off a couple of Sky-Watcher MA's as I prefer smooth brass barrels in the dioptres. The quality for around 11 quid is astounding. Honestly. 

 

jWJLP2Rl.jpg

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

27 minutes ago, Nightspore said:

 

What Marmot said. And the 'SvBony' 10mm and 23mm Aspherics. The links take you to Amazon, although you can get these 'plastic fantastics' from a few places. They're also sold under other names. Avoid the 4mm version though, it's basically a spectroscope lol.

 

UmXT7e3l.jpg

 

Below is a collection of eyepiece pairs for my bino. They range from Tele Vue Panoptics to a pair of GSO Plossls. You can see my 10mm SvBony aspheric pair just to the left of the right bino dioptre above two 'Altair' (GSO) SuperViews. I've swapped the aluminium barrels for chromed brass ones taken off a couple of Sky-Watcher MA's as I prefer smooth brass barrels in the dioptres. The quality for around 11 quid is astounding. Honestly. 

 

jWJLP2Rl.jpg

 Wow thank you so much.

Edited by Sgt Pepper
Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 minutes ago, Sgt Pepper said:

 Wow thank you so much.

 

You're welcome. I'm not sure who actually manufactures these aspherics but they were often sold as 'Vite' and gained a very good reputation. Celestron and Meade also now market them. There were rumours that Synta planned to bundle the 10 & 23mm with some of their entry level scopes but ended up deciding they were too good as 'giveaways'. They're light and cheap but the main glass element is pretty good quality. The aspheric lens is almost certainly a polymer rather than glass. Mine have lasted a few years now. They have a nice 62 degree ergonomic field of view, especially the 23mm, and I can easily merge the 10mm pair in a bino.

 

SsykGwsl.png

 

Using a binoviewer isn't like looking through binoculars and you have to learn to merge the image in both eyepieces. This becomes increasingly more difficult with physically smaller and shorter focal length eyepieces. The plastic fantastics are pretty easy for me though. They hold their own against expensive Japanese orthoscopics and have a greater field of view.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 minutes ago, Nightspore said:

 

You're welcome. I'm not sure who actually manufactures these aspherics but they were often sold as 'Vite' and gained a very good reputation. Celestron and Meade also now market them. There were rumours that Synta planned to bundle the 10 & 23mm with some of their entry level scopes but ended up deciding they were too good as 'giveaways'. They're light and cheap but the main glass element is pretty good quality. The aspheric lens is almost certainly a polymer rather than glass. Mine have lasted a few years now. They have a nice 62 degree ergonomic field of view, especially the 23mm, and I can easily merge the 10mm pair in a bino.

 

SsykGwsl.png

 

Using a binoviewer isn't like looking through binoculars and you have to learn to merge the image in both eyepieces. This becomes increasingly more difficult with physically smaller and shorter focal length eyepieces. The plastic fantastics are pretty easy for me though. They hold their own against expensive Japanese orthoscopics and have a greater field of view.

 Ordered both. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

52 minutes ago, Sgt Pepper said:

Just ordered this one from Amazon also, seems to have good reviews and thats me spent up for the next ten years 😋

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B0747MPC1H/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

PS

If I made a bad decision on this one I can return it.🤔

 

 

 

 

I had a pair of those, I wouldn't recommend it for f/5 though. Small field of view and an 8mm exit pupil. Might be OK for very low power viewing of faint nebulae. 40mm Plossls are a bit specialist and can have over-long eye relief and uncomfortable eye positioning. 

 

I'd return it if I were you for a 32mm Plossl. This will give a wider field.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

31 minutes ago, Nightspore said:

 

I had a pair of those, I wouldn't recommend it for f/5 though. Small field of view and an 8mm exit pupil. Might be OK for very low power viewing of faint nebulae. 40mm Plossls are a bit specialist and can have over-long eye relief and uncomfortable eye positioning. 

 

I'd return it if I were you for a 32mm Plossl. This will give a wider field.

Just canceled the order and ordered the 32mm.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

37 minutes ago, Sgt Pepper said:

Just canceled the order and ordered the 32mm.

 

 

A 32mm Plossl can be very useful on an f/5 refractor. Should give about 21x with your scope. Also, a useful 6.4mm exit pupil. Exit pupils larger than 7mm don't really use all the available light so are inefficient. A 32mm Plossl will give you roughly 2 arc degrees and 30 arc minutes of field (assuming the AFOV is 50 degrees). In comparison a Full Moon is roughly 30 arc minutes wide.

 

g5wyWAr.jpg

 

So a 32mm Plossl can make a good finder eyepiece and useful for observing open clusters and faint nebulae.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have a 32mm plossl (revelation) and really like it. It makes a great finder piece allowing you to locate targets easily before homing in on them with a higher mag EP. It also provides really nice wide views that can be enjoyed in their own right.

 

I have never tried a 40mm for just the reasons Nightspore has indicated. Apparently they have a narrow FOV whereas a 32mm gives a wider FOV. I don’t fully understand the technicalities, but it’s to do with the FOV being limited by the fact that the eyepiece has a 1.25” barrel. Once you move to EPs with a 2” barrel you can have a wider field in a longer focal length eyepiece.

 

there is a website called “astronomy tools” which allows you to input the details of an EP together with the details of a telescope and it will show you the field of view (by superimposing a circle over a given target).

I find this quite useful and interesting.

 

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have a bucket load of 1.25" 32mm Plossls lol.

 

mHIwn6vl.jpg

 

My favourite is the 30mm NPL, 2mm shorter but much better eye positioning.

 

tUwXfQPl.jpg

 

Plossls only have a 50 degree AFOV but a 32mm one is always useful to have in your collection. Astronomy isn't always about magnification.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Unfortunately having problems with FedEx, scope should have been here last Friday on overnight, then told today.......looked at tracking and it said Delayed so as I am a carer for my Mother visited her for half an hour this morning..they in the mean time tried to deliver, even though still showing delayed. I have a Ring door (just press and I can give instructions)bell which was ignored and my neighbour was working in his garden which was also ignored. Then told they would redeliver later on today......they haven't and returned it to their Depot........nightmare.😡

Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 minutes ago, Sgt Pepper said:

Unfortunately having problems with FedEx, scope should have been here last Friday on overnight, then told today.......looked at tracking and it said Delayed so as I am a carer for my Mother visited her for half an hour this morning..they in the mean time tried to deliver, even though still showing delayed. I have a Ring door (just press and I can give instructions)bell which was ignored and my neighbour was working in his garden which was also ignored. Then told they would redeliver later on today......they haven't and returned it to their Depot........nightmare.😡

 

Sounds about normal. I'm actually surprised these days when something turns up on time, with no problems, and I don't have to return it because it's in pieces. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 minute ago, Nightspore said:

 

Sounds about normal. I'm actually surprised these days when something turns up on time, with no problems, and I don't have to return it because it's in pieces. 

 

Just seems like the world has gone mad.🤯

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...