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TV102 Performance

Started by kins, 01/01/2006 05:10AM
Posted 01/01/2006 05:10AM | Edited 01/01/2006 05:15AM Opening Post
I've been thinking about picking up a pre-owned TV102 when a good deal comes up on Astromart. I know opinions always vary, but you don't see too many of these for sale. I know TV Naglers and Pans are awesome, and I own a number of Naglers, so I know their performance is incredible. Therefore, it only seems logical that the TV102 would be a great scope.

Like many, I have been through quite a number of scopes ranging from APO's to SCT's and MCT's. I have recently come back to a Premium APO, but the investment is rather large.

Having owned two other Fluorites, of which were the most impresive of any of the scopes I have owned, I would really like to try the TV102. My curiousities goes like this:

1. Visually- the obvious, sharpness, detail etc.
2. Functionality- ease of use.
3. Focuser- Does the object come to focus easily, or is a microfocuser necessary?
4. How well does a starbeam finder work in comparison to an 8X50 with illuminated recticle?
5. I'm really attached to my 8X50, how would I attach it to the TV102?
6. Can you store the TV in its case with a Losmany Dovetail attached?
Any other comments?

Thanks for rehashing what I am sure is a question asked numerous times.


Posted 01/01/2006 05:56AM | Edited 01/01/2006 05:58AM #1
Hi Steve
While I've never used a TV102 I have used the TV85 and have now a TV101, so I think I can answer a few of your questions. First off I've heard nothing but outstanding comments from owners and users of the TV102 and I would expect it to be every bit as good as the TV85 I used to own and my current TV101, excellent optics as well as fit and finish. I believe the focuser is the same on all TV scopes now, and I never have had any problem knowing when I'm in focus with the TV scopes I've had...buttery smooth. However if you want to add a micro focuser there are two that I know of and all reports say they are easy to install. I have the Starbeam and like it. It is very stable and accurate once aligned and it stays that way. I've only tweaked the alignment once since mounting it about two years ago, and still haven't changed the battery. Adding an 8x50 should be easy depending on your mount bracket. Part number QRB-1002 will take the usual two screw and spring pin Quick Release Bracket found an many scopes and TV makes several other brackets. The mount ring that TV uses has two slots to mount such items. And last, Yes the Losmandy Dovetail, as well as the Starbeam, can be left on and will go in the case nicely.
Hope this helps
Posted 01/01/2006 09:01AM | Edited 01/01/2006 09:02AM #2
I have a TV102 and I would recommend replacing the TV focuser with a Starlight focuser

I have fitted the scope with paralax rings and a losmandy dovetail (for my gm8). I use a TAK 7 * 50 finder and a starbeam.

Posted 01/02/2006 12:09PM | Edited 01/02/2006 12:15PM #3
Hello there Steve,

I own my TV-102 (christened the Light Cup ;-)) for almost 5 years now and despite owning a very fine Tele Vue NP127 now, I've found it difficult to trade it with anything else!

To answer some of your questions, ...
>1. Visually- the obvious, sharpness, detail etc.
When seeing is steady (or during moments of steadiness), the view is very sharp, crisp, lots of planetary details visible with lots of contrast. It can go very deep on DSO under dark sky and caught many objects I thought was impossible with a 4-incher. Now if you'll take a look at the insane blown-up image of Mars through the TV-102; it was shocking too me despite thousands of times of magnification, the image was still well rendered (in my opinion ;-).

>2. Functionality- ease of use.
Because it's the skinniest of all 4-incher (same as NP-101) and one of the lightest doublet APO, it goes very easy on many mounts and very easy to handle. Note how easy it goes on the Telepod AltAz mount.
Also, it cools down extremely quick.

>3. Focuser- Does the object come to focus easily, or is a microfocuser necessary?
The Tele Vue R&P focuser is butterly smooth. Because the TV-102 gives you a general depth of focus and for this reason I have never had trouble finding exact focus. In my opinion, I find the 2-speed focuser unnecessary with the TV-102 (I have a Focusmate on my f/5.2 NP127 - dual-speed focuser is highly advisible addition for short f/ratio APO). Would a Focusmate or FT micro be nice? Sure ;-). But you can always add that later if you need one.

>4. How well does a starbeam finder work in comparison to an 8X50 with illuminated recticle?
In my opinion, the Starbeam is the best 1X finder period; its flip up mirror is neck saving ;-). I have an 8X50 finder on my Dob (though not illuminated) and I've never really like it much compared to my Starbeam. The Starbeam also hold alignment much, much better than my 8x50 finder! You can still mount your 8x50 finder on the clamshell using this.

These reviews may also give you additional ideas.

Best wishes.

Ron the 4-inch Tall Evangelist B[ee]