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Martthebass

Altair Ascent 102ED - Views?

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I've been hanging around for a while to see if a decent Celestron 6 SCT or a 100mm ED refractor came available on the used market but alas so far I've been too slow or the collection only has beaten me.  To this end I've been looking at the Altair Ascent 102ED as a new purchase.  This will be used for visual use only as I use my WO GT71 for AP and will be used on a SW AZEQ5 mount.

Aside from the Sky at Night review I can't find much on the scope so I wondered if there were some impartial users on here who could comment.   

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You might have a long wait from Altair, it's out of stock.

 

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From what I can tell I think most scopes are out of stock.........part of the reason I concentrated on looking at the used market at first.

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I had chance to check out the Ascent just over a year ago, but only in daylight. It's a beautiful refractor that could satisfy an intelligent observer for a lifetime. Similar is the AstroTech 102ED which I have used alongside a 100mm Takahashi fluorite apo. The AT was a delight to use and very capable! If you're finding it hard to find one new, you could always put out a wanted ad and see what comes up.

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I can’t work out how to post a link here but if you look at my activity I posted a review recently. I’ve been very pleased with it although I only had a 120 achro to compare it with.  The build quality is excellent and I love the views. It’s a good compromise for widefield with a 2” 40mm eyepiece up to planets and tight double stars with a Barlow and zoom. I think the very popular Sky-Watcher 100ed might be better at some things (and a little more expensive) but the Ascent is a very versatile scope. There is a long thread on the AT 102ed on Cloudy Nights. The company which sponsors the forum buys in and badges up what is believed to be the same scope and its owners seem very enthusiastic about it.

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Thanks for this Rob.  Looks the ticket for my needs.  I'll just have to have a little patience until they come back into stock, though I'll put out a want ad and keep scouring the 'for sale' on the off chance.

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2 hours ago, robhatherton said:

I can’t work out how to post a link here but if you look at my activity I posted a review recently. I’ve been very pleased with it although I only had a 120 achro to compare it with.  The build quality is excellent and I love the views. It’s a good compromise for widefield with a 2” 40mm eyepiece up to planets and tight double stars with a Barlow and zoom. I think the very popular Sky-Watcher 100ed might be better at some things (and a little more expensive) but the Ascent is a very versatile scope. There is a long thread on the AT 102ed on Cloudy Nights. The company which sponsors the forum buys in and badges up what is believed to be the same scope and its owners seem very enthusiastic about it.

+1

I'm fairly new to astronomy but I'm really pleased with mine.

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There was a recent (last year) thread on its merits and I know several people had concerns with the focuser and sent them back for replacement. If you do a search it may pop up.

It looks a cracking scope for the price though 👍 

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And the thread it relates too -

Its certainly a lot of scope for the money and you can always get the odd lemon.

 

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Thanks Neil, the lemons always concern me but unless it's a Tak or an A-P then I guess the risk is higher.....however I'm just looking for a relatively cheap G&G without imaging so I'll not be too critical.  Hopefully I'll find one that has a decent figure unlike the 120mm Konus Achro I had 20 years ago with it's amazing triangular stars. 

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No problem at all with the focuser on mine and it holds 2” diagonal and eyepiece or camera with no hint of slippage. 

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3 hours ago, Martthebass said:

Thanks Neil, the lemons always concern me but unless it's a Tak or an A-P then I guess the risk is higher.....however I'm just looking for a relatively cheap G&G without imaging so I'll not be too critical.  Hopefully I'll find one that has a decent figure unlike the 120mm Konus Achro I had 20 years ago with it's amazing triangular stars. 

Yep understood, and for the price they are extremely good value, also on my radar as a grab and go visual companion 👍 

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Posted (edited)

F7 or F11? Both must be popular at those prices. The F11 is on my xmas list, it must be an excellent visual luna/planetary scope. F7 probably better as an all rounder though, imaging/visual G&G.

Edited by Franklin
bad grammer

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F7 for me, want to be sure the mount can handle the scope with ease.

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There is quite a big difference between F/11 and F/7 re: mounting requirements.

 

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On 27/08/2020 at 13:56, Martthebass said:

Thanks Neil, the lemons always concern me but unless it's a Tak or an A-P then I guess the risk is higher.....however I'm just looking for a relatively cheap G&G without imaging so I'll not be too critical.  Hopefully I'll find one that has a decent figure unlike the 120mm Konus Achro I had 20 years ago with it's amazing triangular stars. 

May be the likelihood of getting lumbered with a lemon is more in our imagination than in reality. In the last 20 years I've only seen three duff 4" apo's and they've all been high end. One TMB, one Astrophysics and one Tak FC100DF. The TMB didn't have good star images, the AP had a faulty focuser and gave very poor images of Jupiter indicating it had been treated harshly somewhere down the line, and the Tak DF had a mangled front baffle. Not bad really considering ive lost count of the refractors I've used over that time. So statistically there's a high probability you'll get a good scope whichever make or brand you choose to go with.

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Posted (edited)

It wasn't as bad as that Mike!

The front baffle had some deep scratches etched into it though showing the metal underneath.  Not mangled though.

I probably have the pics somewhere that I took before sending it back 😁.

Never had that problem with a SkyWatcher 🙂

 

Edited by paulastro

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What size mount would you recommend for the Altair Ascent 102ed f11 for visual astronomy?

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9 hours ago, Franklin said:

What size mount would you recommend for the Altair Ascent 102ed f11 for visual astronomy?

If equatorial, a Vixen GP or Celestron AVX would do the job. For alt-azimuth I think the Skytee II or Ercole would be suitable.

It's a long tube so a tall tripod or tripod plus pillar is very nice to have as well.

Perhaps start another thread to get more opinions ?

 

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I use a losmandy AZ8 with my F7 and love it. It’s solid, we’ll machined and would take the F11. It’s quite expensive and there’s not much I could find between this an the SW stuff. 

1B6FD43D-8EBD-49F2-BDE4-8AAC38BE2EF9.jpeg

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47 minutes ago, Dantooine said:

I use a losmandy AZ8 with my F7 and love it. It’s solid, we’ll machined and would take the F11. It’s quite expensive and there’s not much I could find between this an the SW stuff.

I agree that there is a niche for a good alt-az mount priced between the Skytee II / Ercole and the AZ8 / Rowan AZ100.

 

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3 hours ago, John said:

I agree that there is a niche for a good alt-az mount priced between the Skytee II / Ercole and the AZ8 / Rowan AZ100.

 

There is a niche however, I ended up with quite a nice mount I wouldn’t have bought  and I won’t be looking for another 😎

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1 hour ago, Dantooine said:

There is a niche however, I ended up with quite a nice mount I wouldn’t have bought  and I won’t be looking for another 😎

The AZ8 is a nice mount. I looked into it when I was looking for a mount for my 130mm F/9 triplet but I don't think it would handle that tube too well from feedback I got from other AZ8 owners. Very good for your 102mm F/7 though :thumbsup:

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9 minutes ago, John said:

The AZ8 is a nice mount. I looked into it when I was looking for a mount for my 130mm F/9 triplet but I don't think it would handle that tube too well from feedback I got from other AZ8 owners. Very good for your 102mm F/7 though :thumbsup:

It’s well within its limits with the 102 and more forgiving with lumps of glass in the diagonal. Don’t need to counter balance with that telescope either. 

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