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FLO

New Skywatcher Heritage Virtuoso telescopes

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Bought one in May last year and just have a chance to use it and took some photos with my iPhone4s.

<iframe width="853" height="480" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/TldWLBjfYts?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

<iframe width="853" height="480" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/zJ4-YVM5aEA?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

01_whole%20body.jpg

Moon_mak90_iphone4s.jpg

sunspots_small.jpg

Virtuoso_baader.jpg

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Here are more detailed photos on this grab and go scope. Love it!

The whole dob mount

04_mount_whole.jpg

Battery cover

02_1_battery_cover.jpg

Battery cell

02_2_battery_cell.jpg

the dob mount where the battery housing is located

02_side_battery.jpg

the Vixen style clamp, made of hard plastic. Seem rigid enough.

03_clamp.jpg

the azimuth with release/lock lever. Spirit level is builtin.

05_mount_azimuth.jpg

the builtin controller. Though convenient due to being at the fixed place; but give noticeable image shaking when pressing any button. It has backlit light.

06_controller.jpg

Let see a close up view of all the buttons

07_controller_closeup.jpg

there are three ports (left to right): canon camera shutter release, DC in (12V, 2.1x5.5mm dc plug), and RJ12? 6-pin port for optional AZ goto controller.

08_ports.jpg

Under the mount base, there is a standard female  3/8" for attaching the whole telescope to the medium-size camera/video tripod.

09_tripod_screw.jpg

The objective cell of the included Mak 90. It came with a plastic cover and a Baader solar filter ready to put in front of the Mak corrector objective.

10_1_objective_cell.jpg

The scope is now mounted to the dob. The telescope tube is made of roll-aluminuim sheet and have a Vixen-style dovetail fixed at the tube. The dovetail is rather short (around 4" long) and may not have enough length for proper scope balancing, especially when you have a rather heavy DSLR camera attached to the scope for photographing.

10_mak90_mounted.jpg

a better view of the aluminium dovetail.

11_scope_dovetail.jpg

The included finder base is made of hard plastic which is compatible with a 11mm red-dot finder clamp. Though the Virtuoso model came with a 5x24 optical finder, you can replace it with a red-dot finder later, if you prefer.

12_finder_base.jpg

The finder bracket is cleverly designed to be used as a Solar finder. By removing the included 5x24 finder, you can point the scope to the Sun by trying to align the Sun disk projected from the front bracket onto the lifed white platic screen. I found it rather useful and work quite well.

17_1_solar_finder_down.jpg

the white hard plastic screen is lifted, ready to work as a Solar finder.

17_solar_finder.jpg

the included Baader solar filter. It fits very well in the front cell. No worry that it will fall out during Solar observing. Unfortunately, the filter has narrower diameter (only 60mm) than the scope objective which is 90mm; but no complaint for free stuff; and it gives a very clear view of the Sun.

18_solar_filter.jpg

Solar finder ready.

22_solar_finder_in_action.jpg

The 1.25" rear cell is quite rigid and the tube has two thumb screws, great.

13_rear_cell.jpg

It is a slow telescope.

14_focal_length.jpg

A lot of standard accessories: mirror diagonal (platic cell), 26mm and 10mm eyepiece (lower grade than Plossl), mobile phone mounting base, Canon-compatible shutter release cord, L-bar to attach DSLR, compact camera, and/or mobile phone. We can attach two cameras. A small compass for help orienting the telescope to the North during the initial setup.

15_accessories.jpg

A close up view of the L-bar
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All assembled and ready to use. (The Vixen zoom eyepiece shown in the photo is a quality one I own).

21_ready.jpg

My son is viewing the Sunspots (not sure he was viewing with his eye or nose :)

23_Sean.jpg

Another setup at night ready to view Jupiter.

24_observe_jupiter.jpg

The telescope is easy to setup for a quick observation. I bought a small 3800mah li-ion battery (12v) box (around $15 from eBay, shipped) and attach it to the mount, which makes it much easier to grab the whole set at one go.

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This video shows how I used the included mobile phone adapter to take the Moon photo by attaching it to a cheap Chinese universal bracket. The mobile phone bracket can be mounted horizontally too.

http://youtu.be/LO35danxKlY

The mobile phone bracket, bottom up.

20_phone_holder.jpg

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Canon 300D attached to the included L-bracket.

300D.jpg

The 3800mah Li-ion rechargeable battery is feeding both the mount and the camera.
300D_side.jpg

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I have the 90mm virtuoso.

I have actually taken the 90mm mak and placed it on my HEQ5 side by side with the 200p and instead use the virtuoso mount with the 130p - seems to stand up to it ok.

It is not an equatorial mount so field rotation does stop long exposure but then again if you wanted to do proper astrophotography you will need more than this type of equipment anyway in reality.

It is great for webcam shots of the moon/planets.

It is cheap, light and very easy to set up.

I am trying to find if it can be computer controlled from stellarium etc which would be great.

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I have the 90mm virtuoso.

I have actually taken the 90mm mak and placed it on my HEQ5 side by side with the 200p and instead use the virtuoso mount with the 130p - seems to stand up to it ok.

It is not an equatorial mount so field rotation does stop long exposure but then again if you wanted to do proper astrophotography you will need more than this type of equipment anyway in reality.

It is great for webcam shots of the moon/planets.

It is cheap, light and very easy to set up.

I am trying to find if it can be computer controlled from stellarium etc which would be great.

It shouldn't be a problem if you have a Synscan handset flashed with the latest firmware and the correct handset / mount cable.

Apparently the mount also has an equatorial tracking mode. Mount the base on a suitable tripod as described in the manual (printed page 9),  press button 5 on the keypad and then power up the mount. http://www.skywatcher.com/downloads/MiniDOB.pdf

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Watching this thread I'm now the proud owner of a Skywatcher Virtuoso, well my 8 year old will be when his birthday arrives next month lol

Very interested in the mobile phone mount and will be building something similar.

I snuck out last night and viewed Jupiter and could see coloured bands and what looked like 3 moons.

My father introduced me to astronomy as a child and he would borrow his works theodolite which had german made optics and provided excellent views of the moon.

The Virtuoso 10mm eyepiece was disappointing can anyone recommend a better replacement prime or zoom that would enhance the planet views.

Thanks and glad to part of this forum.

Rob

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The seben 8-24mm zoom eyepiece gets a lot of good reviews or for a bit more the meade 4000 8mm-24mm zoom eyepiece.

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Just got my Virtuoso 90mm Mak as my first scope and I'm in love with it. I thought I read an earlier version of the mount allowed you to put it into a Equitorial track mode if you had it oriented that way.

Since it fits on a standard camera tripod, had anybody tried setting the elevation to your latitude and using it in this way?

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I believe it can be put into EQ mode by way of certain button pushing - there is a section in the manual on it.

I have not tried it. You will need a wedge to get the angle right. My understanding is Tripod > wedge > mount

Have you seen the Virtuoso app (its now free so you might want to grab it). Its android but if you order the bluetooth adapter then you can control the mount via your mobile or pc with stellarium or Skysafari pro/plus - there is a separate thread on here about it.

The bluetooth adapter is £20 delivered from Brazil. I emailed them the other day. The website only does Brazil delivery but if you email all details are provided for UK delivery and payment.

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I have ordered the bluetooth module thanks to the recommendation from jpgr in this thread: http://stargazerslounge.com/topic/239925-skywatcher-heritage-virtuoso-controlled-via-bluetooth/

I remember reading about the EQ mode in this manual. Its worth trying the "Press 5" option as mentioned on page 9.

http://www.skywatcher.com/downloads/MiniDOB.pdf

But there are 2 other manuals out there that do not include any mention of this.

Sky-Watcher USA for the mount only:

http://www.skywatcherusa.com/downloads/manuals/mounts/virtuoso_manual.pdf

And the manual I received apparently from Celestron:

http://www.celestron.com/support/manuals-software

I found a possible explanation somewhere else on the forums in regards to Synscan controller...

http://stargazerslounge.com/topic/192325-synscan-az-goto-and-a-wedge/

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The 12v Li-ion 3800mAh, $16, from Aliexpress.com attaching to the mount arm with velcro tape.

Nice setup, your pictures inspired me to buy one of my own. How much life would you expect to get out of one charge?

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I've never measured it because I've never used my heritage longer than an hour per session. However it took only 5-10 minutes to fully recharge it. So I believe it would last several hours with push-track-push, but would last only a few hours with your bluetooth GOTO setup.

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