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Skywatcher Heritage 76 Mini Dob first light review

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I thought I would share my thoughts on the Heritage 76 for anyone wanting a quality small 'scope for a younger child or a very small, cheap grab and go.

Being a responsible parent I don't like my kids to have too much chocolate over Easter so grandparents tend to send them money instead of Easter eggs. My 5 year old son has taken an interest in my renewed interest in astronomy so naturally wanted a telescope of his own. So after a bit of research I got him the Heritage 76.

Firstly lets take a look at the 'scope. It arrived well packaged within a double cardboard box with the inner retail packaging being a nice gift box showing pictures of the 'scope. The 'scope and accessories are well wrapped in plastic bags and bubble wrap and include 25mm and 10mm super MA eyepieces and a 6x24mm finder scope and mount. The 'scope is already assembled and only needs the finder attaching with 2 thumb screws. It is a well made little thing, very sturdy on its wooden dob mount and looks very attractive in its international year of astronomy design. It is very smooth in use and has a large knob for alt tension adjustment and a nut and bolt for azimuth. Standing it on a 12" high stool puts the smooth rack and pinion focuser at just the right height for my boy to use standing. There are 3 collimation screws on the secondary, which when used together can also adjust the inward travel as there is no centre screw. There are no primary collimation adjusters although with care some adjustment is available by slackening the mounting screws and moving the rear cap by hand. No adjustment was needed however as it was perfectly collimated out of the box.

Luckily there were clear skies on the day it arrived, so after dark I took my very excited son into the garden and set it up. With a focal length of only 300mm the supplied EPs give a magnification of 12x and 30x. First stop Pleiades. Lovely crisp stars in both eyepieces, a fantastic view of my favorite object, much crisper and brighter than in my old 114/900 reflector at 36x. With the low magnification I wasn't expecting much looking at the planets but the boy wanted to see anyway. What a surprise! Jupiter was a clear yellow disc and 4 moons were bright pinpricks of light. Turning to Saturn, again a nice yellowy colour. No rings visible obviously but the view showed a nice crisp oval shape. By this time it was getting cold and time for my son to go to bed but I was very impressed with the Heritage 76 and needless to say my son was over the moon (pun intended). We are now looking forward to seeing the moon tonight.

So overall the 'scope far outperforms its £46 price tag and offers a fantastic start for youngsters and won't end in the disappointment I had with my first 50mm refractor. It is robust and offers lovely views and will be used for many years to come I'm sure. It will be interesting to get the magnification up a bit with a new EP, I'm thinking a 6mm and a "x Barlow to give 100x. This should be well within the capacity of the Heritage and will give better views of the moon and planets. I have ordered an erecting eyepiece adapter so he can use it for wildlife observation as well, it compares well to my Hawke 20-60 x 80 spotting scope in this regard and of course no CA.The old tasco has been resigned to the corner of the room as this little 'scope has shown it to be well past its sell by date and the Heritages big brother, a Skyliner 200p or 250px, will be on order in a couple of weeks to replace it.

I hope this has been of use to someone as finding a good quality cheap small scope for a young beginner has to be the hardest thing in this hobby as there is so much rubbish out there.

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Great to hear that the small dobsonian works so well!

I have a €20 clone of these, simple white finish, black tube, and it needed a big amount of tinkering (and no finder, bad ep). But even with a 10€ 4mm Plössl and amazingly a 2.5mm Planetary €33 it does work acceptable now, I was amazed after pointing it at the moon with those magnifications (75x/125x). Better with thr 3.2 and 8mm though.

No chance for planets due to clouds though.

Many good & cloud-less observation hours to your son (and yourself) :-)

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  • 1 month later...

Hi there - I'm new to this site. I bought a Skywatcher Infinity 76 scope for my little boy. All was going well until the eye-piece completely lost grip.

Do you have any ideas on how to rectify this?



Hi and welcome to SGL.

Perhaps if you could give a little more info on the problem please, someone here could help.

I'm not familiar with the focuser on your scope, could you post a pic, or describe what you mean by 'the eyepiece completely lost grip'

Most focusers require a screw on the focuser to be tightened to secure the eyepiece.

If the scope is new, does it need to be returned ?

Hope we can help, Ed.

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  • 1 month later...

Hi, I have just registered on the site after having a quick look around.

I bought one of these for my daughter (8 years old) and we are experimenting with it as we have some very clear nights at the moment. I am also a total beginner at astronomy and this is our first telescope, I intend to buy something better for myself next year for more serious viewing.

This is a very nice cheap telescope and we have already had some really nice views of the moon, (I bought a moon filter with it) and am looking forward to many nights looking at more distant objects. So... Here is my question, for viewing plants with this small scope, would a 6mm and a 2x barlow be best as the luminova suggests? Or something else? I am a complete novice on the subject and will be trawling this community forum for many days absorbing as much information as possible :)

My budget is pretty limited and itll take a while to build up a good kit I am guessing. As for next year, well tbh I will do plenty of research before buying myself a bigger, better telescope..

Thanks for listening

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