The AZ-GTe base contains the electronics and gears for altaz operation with a battery Here we check out the company’s Startravel 102 AZ-GTe system which consists of a 102mm, short-focus refractor and a variant of its AZ-GTi mounts, the AZ-GTe. The tripod provides good support for the system and has adjustable legs allowing a height range of 80.5cm to 152cm. Choose your book when you subscribe to BBC Sky at Night Magazine today! Startravel 102 AZ-GTe is a great way to explore the heavens using a smartphone or tablet. the optical tube assembly is readily carried and with a compressed length of approximately 50cm (21.7") it is easily transported. compartment for eight AA batteries, a 12V power socket, ‘snap’ camera plug and an on/off switch. It can provide excellent vistas of star fields, clusters, nebulae, galaxies, planets, the Moon and (with correct filtering or by projection) the Sun. It is an achromat and works very well for visual use – its primary purpose – although it does display some chromatic aberration (where not all wavelengths come to the same focus) when used for imaging. Download the free SynScan app for iOS or Android to control the system from your device via a simple user interface. In practice, however, if you’re careful with the mount then you may not need that feature, and the AZ-GTe works perfectly well as a Go-To mount on its own merits. The app has up to 10,000 objects in its database covering a wide range of the most popular targets. The Startravel 102 is a two-element, air-spaced, achromatic 4-inch scope with a focal length of 500m. We process your personal data as stated in our Privacy Policy. It is also a fine terrestrial telescope when mounted on an alt-azimuth mount or a photographic tripod. If you’re not familiar with smart devices there’s the option of purchasing a SynScan handset, but for those us comfortable with the connected world, this is a smart new system. This Sky-Watcher 102mm (4") f/5 telescope is a two-element, air-spaced, fully multi-coated objective, achromatic refractor, which can give exciting "rich field" astronomical views. We then switched to NGC 7331, a galaxy in Pegasus, detecting a nice ‘sliver’ of light, although it was quite small. These hinge open to allow easy installation of the optical tube and the locks can be loosened during use to allow tube rotation and balancing. Levelling the tripod and powering up the mount we ensured the tube was pointing north and level. The mount also has a DSLR shutter release port for camera control. Get connected – the smart way to control your mount is with a mobile device. A red LED light flashes when a mobile device connects to the on-board Wi-Fi adaptor. Crisp images at a reasonable price make it an excellent beginner's "first telescope", or a great travelling telescope for a more advanced observer. The focuser is basic but quite sturdy with a smooth motion. Mounting the telescope on an alt-azimuth or an equatorial mount is quick and simple with the appropriate mounting plate. The Skywatcher Startravel-120 is a great telescope for the price. Overall it was a pleasure to explore the sky with the Startravel 102 AZ-GTe. The supplied adaptor allows standard 1.25-inch eyepieces to be used via the supplied 1.25-inch star diagonal. It is very similar in design to the Orion ShortTube 80 and it's variants. A 1.25-inch star diagonal and two basic but effective 1.25-inch eyepieces are supplied with the Startravel 102, one with 25mm focal length for wide field views and the other 10mm for higher magnification. The galaxy pair of M81 and M82 looked good in the 10mm whilst the Pleiades sparkled at their best in the 25mm eyepiece. This makes it a ‘fast’ system with a focal ratio of f/4.9, which helps with large wide-field views suitable for targets such as the Andromeda Galaxy and the Pleiades star cluster. A solid, equatorial mount and a method of guiding are required for longer exposure astrophotography. This gives a focal ratio of f/4.9 and so is considered relatively ‘fast’. We found the ‘Brightest Star’ alignment worked well using two stars enabling us to place our targets close to the centre of the view of the 25mm eyepiece after it had completed. The SynScan database covers the main popular targets most people would choose to view, so we went on a tour taking in M57, the Ring Nebula, Albireo (the stunning gold-blue double star in Cygnus) and M27, the Dumbbell Nebula. The clutch enables altitude adjustment and tensioning, while on the opposite side the scope is attached with a Vixen- style clamp. Android users can also connect with the SkySafari Planetarium app but Apple users should note that two devices are needed, the first running the SynScan app, the second running SkySafari; once done, though, we found it worked fine. The finder is a zero magnification red dot finder with variable brightness, which worked fine for the task at hand. This review originally appeared in the January 2019 issue of BBC Sky at Night Magazine, Milky Way bulge imaged in survey of 250 million stars, 6 deep-sky objects to observe around Polaris, TS Imaging Star 100Q 4-inch apo astrograph review, Daystar Solar Scout SS60-ds H-alpha telescope bundle, Orion StarBlast 62mm compact travel refractor review. The optical tube assembly comes with "tube mounting rings". The telescope itself is well suited to … The AZ-GTe mount differs from the AZ-GTi in that it does not incorporate the Freedom Find dual-axis encoders that allow you to hand-move the mount while retaining Go-To accuracy.