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Thinking about this scope.. (Skywatcher Heritage 130p Flextube)


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Hi guy's/girl's,

I'm thinking about this for my first telescope http://www.firstlightoptics.com/dobsonians/skywatcher-heritage-130p-flextube.html I live in a flat and can't drive so need something I can pick up and walk to my local dark spot with, which isn't that far really. Would this be the best scope to walk around with or would something else be a bit better? I was also thinking about getting this http://www.firstlightoptics.com/books/david-chandler-night-sky-planisphere.html along with this http://www.firstlightoptics.com/torches/skywatcher-dual-led.html to help me learn the night sky a bit more I worked out tonight while looking out and about that technology (Apps) isn't always the best! And need something I can rely on!

How does the David Chandler Planisphere compare to the Philip's one? Or are they just the same?

Sorry if I have asked any stupid questions I'm just trying to learn! :)

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The Chandler planisphere is nice. It splits the map into two sides which means the southern constellations look better on the map; with a regular one-sided planisphere they look squashed. It's well made too, and I think it's more compact overall than the big Phillips one.

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Okay, I'm in a similar situation - live in a flat, and though I drive, space is still limited.

I've been impressed with it as a scope. I've been observing since March, and I'm about 60% of the way through the Messier list. It looks a bit, well, toy like, but it does perform. I don't know about if there are better scopes for that portability, but I doubt you'll find anything for the same price, aperture and portability. I could carry mine, well, indefinitely, though a backpack for the other bits would be useful.

What other bits? Well, a seat - I plonk the scope on the ground, and sit next to it on a folding camping seat. I also carry some old roll mat in case I need to sit on the ground. Eyepieces - they need something to carry them too. Rather than a planisphere, I'd recommend Sky and Telescope's Pocket atlas, and probably 'Turn Left at Orion' so you have an idea of what things would be good to look for (those two are like a road map, and a tourist guide respectively)

The planisphere is good, give you a good feel for the sky and what should be where and when - I just find the atlas more useful in practice.

I have the skywatcher torch - it is, to be honest, a bit shoddily made, though it pretty much works. I'm still looking for a good, dim torch.

You will probably want (though maybe not need immediately) a collimation tool - I recommend a Cheshire sight tube. Collimation is about making the optics aligned, and I've got to be honest, my 130p came perfectly collimated, but it's something you'll want to check from time to time.

Oh, and you might want to make a shroud for around the open bit of your tube, depending on local light pollution. I posted on here about making one out of neoprene that has worked rather well.

Other than that? Warm clothes, maybe a cold beer.

So, my standard kit to drag out is:

  • Scope
  • Folding seat in the shoulder bag it came in
  • Flight case with eyepieces in it
  • Waterproof sack containing books, torch, shroud, roll mat, hat, scarf and gloves. Oh, and pencil case and notebook.

If I'm travelling light I pick a couple of eyepieces and stick them in a pocket - leave the rest and the flight case behind. I could walk all day like that.

Honestly, I've been really impressed with what I've seen with the Heritage 130p - they're a popular scope. I won't deny, I am thinking of something with more aperture in the future - but I'll be keeping the 130p too.

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You could pick up a decent pair of binoculars, 8x42 or 10x50, a good quality pair will bring you about half way to a 150P telescope's low end magnification, no doubt a bit closer than that to the 130P. Binoculars are a worth-while investment, they are the most portable piece of observing kit you can own and will show you a lot that the naked eye can't see. A usable cheap pair can be had for as little as £20, but a decent quality pair might cost more like £100 or so.

A dual white-red LED torch is a good idea, I have the Skywatcher one.

There is a backpack Meade scope package, I don't know if it's available any more but it sounds ideal for your needs. It's the ETX80, a goto, maybe not really for the beginner though.

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Andy said it all- The Heritage 130p is a great device and the maximum you can carry in a backpack unless you get a more expensive ultra light 8"-10" (Sumerian, reise-teleskop.de) or a Litescope.

A little more chubby then a 90mm Mak or a 70-80mm short-focallength/widefield refractor, but at least as good, shows more deepsky details, and no chromatic aberration at higher magnifications on planets.

I agree with Jonathan, a 8x60, 10x50 or similar is a great addition to telescopes and also great for a quick view if you don't want to cary everything along for a quick trip outside.

Also it's useful to find things in the sky due to lower magnification and wider field of view.

But a telescope will be the only device that will show you details on planets and small DSO.

You can get one of those 1 eur/gbp/usd red bike lights from ebay and either put in old batteries or solder in a resistor or poti. If you are into that sort of stuff.

Also, you can get a red transparency sheet, for example those used for red/green anaglyph glasses are very cheap, and cover your cellphone with it. The touchscreen will still work, and you can abuse it as dimable flashlight (as the red sheet will really cut out all white light, something the red mode apps don't, tft displays still emit white glow even when turned red or black).

Also you could use Astro Tools or Skyeye (Android) for example, though especially without a red sheet you will ruin your night vision with a cellphone. Still, nice thing to have sometimes, and with cheap "end-of-life" android phones around 30-50€ (no contract) they can even be used on a dobson as more or less a "push-to" system.

But the best of course is a real dimable lamp and printed maps (or books).

Also consider getting other eyepieces in the long term. The 25mm "Super" is okey, the 10mm acceptable. But a 30-32mm Plössl (15 to 30 Eur) will give you the maximum field of view on the 1,25" focuser and is inexpensive.

And the ultra wide eyepieces with 66 degree of field are available from 27gbp/30€ shipped at ebay, and while not perfect on a "fast" f/5 telescope, they are still great for the price.

3.2 or even 2.5mm HR Planetary is great to have for those rare, clear nights with excelent seeing conditions, and will really show nice planets. . . IF the mirror is decent and collimated.

So a 17€ achromatic barlow and the 6mm UWA eyepiece will probably be the budget solution.

Heck, I even went outside with just the 20mm UWA and 3x and 2x barlow. But for deepsky the conrast loss is noticable.

+1 for the cheshire-sighttube. A must-have imho, and much more reliable then the laser collimating tools, especially for adjusting the secondary, too.

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I had the same scope and planisphere. Definitely could recomend them both.

Used a Petzl head torch that had red and white, of course i didnt know it had red for a few weeks., but having hands free never hurts.

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I had the same scope and planisphere. Definitely could recomend them both.

Used a Petzl head torch that had red and white, of course i didnt know it had red for a few weeks., but having hands free never hurts.

Petzl Tikka Plus - I just got one. Thanks Macg! Yes, having free hands is useful when sketching.

Just to be clear, I always carry my scope in my hands - it has a handle - but the other stuff goes in a shoulder bag.

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The Heritage is a great scope. Very capable to show plenty of the larger DSO's (and a few smaller ones if you dont mind the image being tiny). Its so portable,you can nearly lift it with one finger (not a good idea as finger and scope may get broken........LOL.)

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Another vote for the Heriage 130P, a very nice scope indeed. Red torch, cheshire, planisphere and S&T Pocket Sky Atlas will give you a great start. Oh and don't forget to download Stellarium if you havn't already done that.

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I bought the skywatcher heritage 130p flextube in February and have enjoyed it since. The eyepieces that come with it have little or no contrast but I'm in the process of upgrading them in which I bought a vixen 10mm which was much better and only £37. I also bought a seben laser collimator for £20 which I had to collimate. It takes a while to get the hang of it but I just watched a YouTube video on how to do it and have had better views since. It did take a few attempts but worth it. I hope this helps.

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130p Heritage is a belter, I've got a 200p on an neq6 and last night I got the heritage out. It was pretty patchy with cloud so it was ideal. a couple of spots of rain so I simply picked it up and put it in the shed. if it was the other set-up, I'd probably have tarped it up and waited for the weather to improve. the 130p is no slouch on performance either and it can be carried under one arm. Get it, you won't regret it :)

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This is pretty much why i'll keep it if I get a bigger scope - so quick to grab and move.

On the thread about favourite scopes and why you like them, i really wanted to nominate my heritage because of its portability, but i went for my 8SE because of its aperture. The Heritage really punches above its weight. The one downside about the Heritage,which most people find out about in about a year after buying is its aperture. Its fine and performs well, but we all start suffering from it quickly enough. In saying that....................no one who owns a Heritage would dream of getting rid of it simply because it is so portable and it performs amazingly for a scope that costs about £100.

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Thank you to everyone who replied! I will look in to the sky atlas and also binos I'd like to see detail on some planets also though so will defiantly be getting the scope at some point next week. :) Will also get a copy of Turn Left at Orion have heard nothing but good stuff about that book! And will pick up a CCE at some point also to make sure its aligned properly. Thanks once again for all your help! :)

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Not sure you can go wrong with the Heritage 130P. I want one now because I'm in exactly the same boat - I have to walk to my dark site with it.

To throw the cat among the pigeons, I use a Startravel ST80. The reason I plumped for this over the 130P is that it's mounted on a proper tripod with an equatorial mount. You need to be able to put the Heritage 130 on something to be able to use it - not necessarily a problem but in Bushy Park this would involve me kneeling in deer do-do. The other big advantage of the ST80, especially if you're finding your way around the sky, is the wide field of view - this makes it easy to find stuff and star-hop. Not that the Heritage suffers from this problem. I can put my scope over my shoulder and walk it the quarter mile to the park to observe with little difficulty. Having said all this, I'm considering augmenting my set-up with a 130P next year because it has more aperture and deer poo washes out pretty easily anyway, so why worry?!

To learn the sky, you're best off with binoculars. Turn Left at Orion is indispensible - I've taken to referring to it as "The Instruction Manual." I wish I'd had a copy when I started out...

DD

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You need to be able to put the Heritage 130 on something to be able to use it ...

Thanks to LukeSkywatcher's advice, I sit next to it on a folding camp chair - I've similar issues with sheep droppings when I go anywhere dark.

I have thought that maybe a refractor on an EQ mount might be better for planetary work, though. I just like the simplicity of a Dob.

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H130P on the eq platform ftw ;-)

You can mount the heritage on an alt z mount too, not that I've tried either type of mind you. A half decent one like this one

http://www.scopesnskies.com/prod/az4/alt-azimuth/mount.html

and I don't even know if it is actually solid or not, and it is already the price of the scope. Still, I am not bothered about having to put the scope on a chair or table or sit in the poo :) If you go out somewhere you may not have the luxury to carry an extra tripod on a bike anyway.

With regard to the Cheshire. I'd just get a collimation cap like this one to begin with

http://www.firstlightoptics.com/collimation/rigel-aline-collimation-cap.html

It is enough to get by with, unless you get the bad luck that I had when I got my Heritage delivered with a secondary mirror pointing the other way pretty much, and even with that I managed to get it collimated okay :) Chances are it will be collimated well enough on delivery, and if it does need tweaking, it will be the primary mirror more than likely, the cap is easy to use for that. For visual use a 100% accurate collimation is not all that important anyway. Even if you do get it "100%" collimated, the Heritage does have a slight weakness in that the focuser has a fair amount of slop on it, so that can be a limiting factor, depending on where the eyepiece points when focused, but it is nothing to be alarmed about. The views it provides are great and that's what counts :).

Edited by AlexB67
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Not sure you can go wrong with the Heritage 130P. I want one now because I'm in exactly the same boat - I have to walk to my dark site with it.

To throw the cat among the pigeons, I use a Startravel ST80. The reason I plumped for this over the 130P is that it's mounted on a proper tripod with an equatorial mount. You need to be able to put the Heritage 130 on something to be able to use it - not necessarily a problem but in Bushy Park this would involve me kneeling in deer do-do. The other big advantage of the ST80, especially if you're finding your way around the sky, is the wide field of view - this makes it easy to find stuff and star-hop. Not that the Heritage suffers from this problem. I can put my scope over my shoulder and walk it the quarter mile to the park to observe with little difficulty. Having said all this, I'm considering augmenting my set-up with a 130P next year because it has more aperture and deer poo washes out pretty easily anyway, so why worry?!

To learn the sky, you're best off with binoculars. Turn Left at Orion is indispensible - I've taken to referring to it as "The Instruction Manual." I wish I'd had a copy when I started out...

DD

You dont need to kneel in any deer poo etc to use the Heritage. If you bring a simple light weight camping chair with you, this WILL place your eye at the eyepiece without any major bending over. I'm in a wheelchair and i have no problems using this scope.

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You can mount the heritage on an alt z mount too, not that I've tried either type of mind you. A half decent one like this one

http://www.scopesnsk...muth/mount.html

and I don't even know if it is actually solid or not, and it is already the price of the scope. Still, I am not bothered about having to put the scope on a chair or table or sit in the poo :) If you go out somewhere you may not have the luxury to carry an extra tripod on a bike anyway.

With regard to the Cheshire. I'd just get a collimation cap like this one to begin with

http://www.firstligh...mation-cap.html

It is enough to get by with, unless you get the bad luck that I had when I got my Heritage delivered with a secondary mirror pointing the other way pretty much, and even with that I managed to get it collimated okay :) Chances are it will be collimated well enough on delivery, and if it does need tweaking, it will be the primary mirror more than likely, the cap is easy to use for that. For visual use a 100% accurate collimation is not all that important anyway. Even if you do get it "100%" collimated, the Heritage does have a slight weakness in that the focuser has a fair amount of slop on it, so that can be a limiting factor, depending on where the eyepiece points when focused, but it is nothing to be alarmed about. The views it provides are great and that's what counts :).

Ive seen the Heritage mounted on the AZ4. It looks weird but it works. Ive considered buying an AZ4 for some time now. I do like my Alt-Az type mount.

Edited by LukeSkywatcher
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