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RobertI

Skywatcher Heritage 130P flexitube

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I have just acquired a Heritage 130P Flexitube for quick observing sessions in the garden (thanks @JonF) and amazingly I had a chance to test it on the very first night under a very transparent and steady sky. This is what I found.....

Unboxing

It’s a lovely little package! The dob base is very nicely finished, solid and surprisingly heavy although the carrying handle makes it very grab and go. The movements are smooth and there is no play once adjusted. The dovetail shoe is very sturdy with a chunky knob. The OTA is very lightweight and nicely finished. The various parts of the OTA (struts, single spider vane, focusser platform) seem like they should not be solid enough but that does not seem to be the case, although I understand that the use of heavy eyepieces can cause some minor flexing so I restricted myself to use of lightweight eyepieces. The helical focusser as has been mentioned numerous times by other owners is too wobbly, but the previous owner has added plumbers tape to make the threads fit tighter. I checked collimation with a homemade collimation cap, attached the OTA to my mini giro (my preferred mount) and proceeded to the garden to observe…

In use

I have a bit of stray light in the garden and the first thing I noted was that this interfered with the light path and the views if you are pointing in the wrong direction. A shroud is definitely required unless one is in a very dark place. I quickly made a shroud from a C8 dew shield and proceeded. Observing at the zenith was a real pleasure with a newtonian and much more convenient that a frac or SCT. Away from the zenith I found I had to lean over the tube to view as the eyepiece was not far enough to the side. Sadly this is not adjustable, but is probably fine when on the dob base on a table and you are leaning down to view. It was a bit tricky knowing where to grab the scope to move it, the struts dont seem like a good place to grab, so I ended up pushing the base of the OTA. Vibration was not a problem, but the scope did take a few seconds to calm down after moving, probably due to the light weight mini giro mount. A light breeze might cause vibration issues though. The focusser was just about ok, although refocussing was needed regularly. The red dot finder worked fantastically, no complaints at all.

Optical Performance

With a seben 8-24 zoom in I started to view some well known objects. M13 was very nice with plenty of outer stars resolved. Many more stars were visible than in my Tal100RS but much less than in the C8, as expected I suppose, but great performance for such a cheap lightweight scope. The double double was an easy split on both pairs, instantly visible. Stars were very tight with nice diffraction rings, so no issues optically. The ring nebula M57 was surprisingly good, with brightening of the outer ring visible and a clear milkiness to the central hole. Next time I'll try a higher magnification. Alberio was a beautiful sight with lovely colours and tight stars. Towards the end of the session I thought I would have a go at the Eastern Veil, not expecting to find it with all the ambient light around, but to my amazement, there it was looking like a curved mini milky way, just larger than the field of view. There was detail in there for sure, with mottling and hints if strands, and on a dark night with an OIII filter I reckon I could spend a long time observing that one. 

Summary

After reading all the excellent reviews of the scope, I was not disappointed. It really is a cracking scope and just about as good as it gets for grab and go observing. Its 'back to basics' feel belies its optical capabilities, and strangely made me want to use simple cheap eyepieces to just to show what is possible with budget equipment. Next time I shall be using the supplied Kellner eyepieces and trying to resolve Einstein's Cross! :) 

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Excellent review there, Rob :) Those baby Dob's do pack a punch for their price. I was impressed with the tiny Heritage 100p, but narrowly managed to skip the Heritage 130p for the 150 Skyliner which I've been over the Moon with. 

The Heritage 130p sounds like a great addition to your arsenal, and will sit nicely in your sig between the RC6 and Tal RS....very good range of scopes you've collected now, Rob, I do admire your not selling ability I really do :icon_salut:

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The Heritage 130p keeps whispering my name,
 have resisted thus far......but?

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A very good and accurate review of this little Scope :happy11:.

 

Rune

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1 hour ago, Lockie said:

Excellent review there, Rob :) Those baby Dob's do pack a punch for their price. I was impressed with the tiny Heritage 100p, but narrowly managed to skip the Heritage 130p for the 150 Skyliner which I've been over the Moon with. 

The Heritage 130p sounds like a great addition to your arsenal, and will sit nicely in your sig between the RC6 and Tal RS....very good range of scopes you've collected now, Rob, I do admire your not selling ability I really do :icon_salut:

Thanks Chris, well I wouldn't the Tal or the Megrez if you hung on to yours, so thanks! :icon_biggrin:

1 hour ago, Alan White said:

The Heritage 130p keeps whispering my name,
 have resisted thus far......but?

 I would say it's definitely worth not resisting....if you see what I mean....

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Excellent review Rob, and I'm delighted you like it.

Jon

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I would echo the previous comments. For a newbie like myself its been a pleasure to use. I can have it set up in my back garden in 5 mins. The 10mm eyepiece gets mixed reviews but Ive found no ptobs so far. The views I got of the half moon last night were tremendous. Enjoy ur 130p

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6 hours ago, Apollo_95 said:

I would echo the previous comments. For a newbie like myself its been a pleasure to use. I can have it set up in my back garden in 5 mins. The 10mm eyepiece gets mixed reviews but Ive found no ptobs so far. The views I got of the half moon last night were tremendous. Enjoy ur 130p

I am certianly enjoying my 130P! Nice pic of Luna.

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My highlight so far was seeing a shadow transit on Jupiter though I think I was using the WO 6mm SPL.

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I'm very pleased as well with this small and very capable scope.

Just in case you shouldn't know (and for others interested), here's the link to the huge thread on this scope (called the One Sky Newtonian) from the CloudyNights forum:

https://www.cloudynights.com/topic/463109-onesky-newtonian-astronomers-without-borders/

and the excellent report by Neil English:

http://neilenglish.net/

Have fun; and Clear Skies!

Stephan

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7 hours ago, Nyctimene said:

I'm very pleased as well with this small and very capable scope.

Just in case you shouldn't know (and for others interested), here's the link to the huge thread on this scope (called the One Sky Newtonian) from the CloudyNights forum:

https://www.cloudynights.com/topic/463109-onesky-newtonian-astronomers-without-borders/

and the excellent report by Neil English:

http://neilenglish.net/

Have fun; and Clear Skies!

Stephan

Thanks for the link to the CN thread. ?

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