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skywatcher virtuoso scopes and mounts.

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Hi all, came across these whilst done a bit of searching. I am after something for ease of setting up and moving around and I am also considering buying a solar filter too. I also like the idea that these track as well.

Has anyone got one?

I'm sure I read it had solar tracking as well as night sky? 

Would I be able to unscrew my old lxd55 mount and attach the new mount to the lxd55's tripod?

Also would the supplied eyepieces be suitable for viewing the solar eclipse, or would I need to add a wider eyepiece?

the maksutov 90 has a 50x and a 125x

the 114 reflector has 20x and 50x (both are supplied with a 10 and 25mm

Both models are currently £150 at warehouse express which seems really good value for money.

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I have the 114mm reflector.

It's a 500mm focal length 'scope. The optics are pretty fair although the supplied EPs aren't that great and you wouldn't expect much from the R&P focuser on a 'scope of that price.

The base will track at sidereal rate and the 4 buttons on the control panel can be used for slewing. You can also push-to the OTA. The "mount" isn't equatorially aligned and you have to put it on a flat surface and point it north to set it up. That can make leaning over the table it's sitting on a little awkward. You can also plug in a Synscan hand controller - but the idea of spending £150 to upgrade a £150 'scope doesn't appeal (and I've tried EQMod - it wouldn't connect).

However, the scope is cheap and it is lightweight. That makes it hand to transport and the setup is easy. The tracking and easy focus means you can use it for demos or "open evenings" and very little can go wrong. One other feature that's worthy of a mention: although it's a reflector, the only adjustment that is available is to align the secondary mirror (in the usual way). There is no access to the primary to collimate it. It's up to you to decide whether this is a good or bad thing.

Edited by pete_l
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The Maksutov 90 should not need collimating.

Though with the narrower field of view from the Mak 90 it would be worth getting an eyepeice to be able to get the maximun field of view possible in that scope to help you locate objects.

What are you mainly interested in viewing?

The Mak will probably give great views of the planets say Jupiter and the Moon because of the longer focal length but the 114 being bigger apperature and not as slow a telescope should make DSO slightly easier to find. Though DSO will still be a grey smudge they are in my 130mm.

I have even seen one member use their virtuoso mount with a heritage 130p attached to it, that was neat.

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Thanks for the replies so far, viewing wise, I suppose it would be things like jupiter, saturn. Definitely lunar, some nice closer views of the craters. Solar viewing and photographing the sun, of course would need a full aperture solar filter for it. Plus I would imagine the mount would be useful for imaging the night sky with a dslr. I do have an 8"sct lxd55, but the electronics have virtually had it and manually moving the mount drives me up the wall tbh. 

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I would suggest the best thing to do is separetly looks at review for the Skymax 90 that is pretty much the same telescope as the Maksutov 90 on this virtuoso mount.

The 114 again might fins similar review of a 114mm reflector to compare with.

If you are wanting the planets and the Moon then the mak 90 would give you the greatest magnification potential.

I have never looked though a mak90 to give a personal take but there are so many posts and reviews on the skymax 90 there is plenty to get a read of to make a choice with :)

The price for both the telescope and virtuoso mount is attractive for sure.

If your 8" SCT does not weight more than say 4 kilos it would go on the virtuoso mount as the payload is 5 kilos?

Perhaps the girth of the 8" is tooooooo wide though :)

There a standard camera tripod thread on the bottom of the virtuoso I think there might be. Worth checking the user PDF manaual it is easy to find on Skywatcher site to download and read pre purchase.

Edited by happy-kat
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I have had a look at the lxd 55 manual on line, the scope is 24lb apparently, so 10.8kg according to Google! I shall have a look and see if I can download the instructions.It looks like my lxd55 scew attachment is slightly different to a standard tripod, just tried one of my manfrotto heads and it wont screw into it, 

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