NexStar 102 GT Computerized Telescope
- Product Review (submitted on September 29, 2012):
I had bought and returned a Meade StarNavigator102 before I bought this scope. The Meade was damaged in shipment, and we would have never looked at this scope if the Meade had not been damaged through lack of overpacking by the vendor.
However, now that I have seen both scopes, do yourself a favor, and don't bother with the Meade. I had thought Meade optics were the best....the other night, being able to see Jupiter with the 4mm Celestron eyepiece with 4 of its moons made me reconsider who has the best optics. Color was perfect, and the view through the eyepiece matched the pic of Jupiter on Stellarium.
I was also very impressed with the ease and repeatability of the GOTO function. Unlike Meade, where you have to know the stars by name, with the Celestron, you just pick out some bright stars, center them, and you are done. You also learn the names of the bright stars after the alignment is done, so it helps you learn the sky.
I was able to GOTO moon, and back to Jupiter with the 4mm eyepiece, and there was very little drift in the eyepiece of Jupiter. No bubble levels or compass is needed as with the Meade product. The Meade product never did align so perhaps that was due to shipping damage too. However, when I google on the web, it seem like there are a lot of other folks who also can't get their Meade GoTo scopes to GoTo with any repeatability or reliability.
The Celestron mount is soooo quiet, you have to question whether is is operating. The Meade mount sounded like a rechargeable flashlight being cranked.
The finderscope is light years better than the Meade. The Celestron finderscope has adjustable red dot intensity via a thumbwheel rather than just a hi/lo switch. Also, the Celestron finderscope is mounted better, and allows for repeatability which was missing in the Meade.
The power cord wrap with the Celestron is an issue, and having a longer cord to the controller would be nice, but, if you keep an eye on it, it is not to much of a hassle.
I am hoping to use it for my next summer weekly sky programs. We did not buy the Celestron 102gt until we waited over 2 months for Meade to replace their scope....it never happened. We had to use our old 60mm push to scope again this summer. In hindsight, we are glad Meade made us wait., and my very good friend: Starman alias Mike S., and his friends recommended Celestron product to us. This scope really rocks.
We ordered the RS232 cable and are looking forward to integrating this scope with Stellarium which is my favorite sky program.