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Lozscott1971

SkyWatcher heritage 130p help required please.

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Hi there people, 

Firstly can I say what a joy it has been reading and learning from some great posts by your community. 

My question (as a complete newbie) has probably been asked and answered many times before but some posts are quite old so I hope that you don't mind me re-asking in case there are more upto date answers.

Ok, I am looking at purchasing the SkyWatcher heritage 130p as I want a portable telescope to take to South Africa with me and after reading the forums it seems like a good option. I will be there for a few months including being next to the Kruger National Park where light pollution will be at an absolute minimum so I am hoping for good results . 

I have read that a 150mm would obviously be preferable but is there one that is portable  ?? I carry very little luggage so I can accommodate a reasonable size perhaps upto around 10 kilos or so if such a scope exists and would fit into a case that can go into cargo or would this be a no-no ?

If there are any options please can someone advise. 

If I do end up with the 130p then I will have a budget of upto £150 to get any additional equipment (ie :- eyepieces) that may be required or would I be better of spending £300(approx) on a different scope with little to no budget for extras ? My intention initially and perhaps ultimately with a travel-scope would be observing the planets only and would obviously like as much planetary detail as feasibly possible but I certainly don't expect Hubble like images !

I have intentions of purchasing a larger scope at a later date for home use so it really is just about a portable telescope at this stage. 

Can I say many thanks already in anticipation of some quality feedback from you lovely people !!

Laurence 

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The heritage 130P is a terrific scope and will give you fantastic views HOWEVER,  the mount is not very compact and there for not really suited to  being used as a Travel Scope. It does not disassemble. 

You could look at the likes of  https://www.firstlightoptics.com/sky-watcher-az-gti-wifi/sky-watcher-skymax-102-az-gti.html   which would make for a VERY portable system.  and would be Terrific for planetary views. 

Depending on budget of course you could get the Heritage 130p  and the AZ-GTi Mount,  and use the heritage optical tube with the AZ-GTi.

 

However Seems your also thinking about taking pictures?  what camera are you going to be using?  the Heritage is not aswell suited to Astrophotography as for example the skymax 102 would be.

 

 

Edited by Keltoi

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Many thanks for the swift response and sound advice Keltoi.

I had looked at this model and was attracted by the wi-fi goto capabilities. Is it true that it provides it's own signal as I will NOT be able to use my own data due to the exorbitant roaming prices.

Also at it's price range (doable) would it require any extras or would it provide similar capabilities as a 130mm ?

Yes, I would love to be able to take photos but realised very quickly that this would not be possible with the 130p and as such was willing to sacrifice this option until I got a "at home telescope ". If I did decided on astrophotography then for now I would only be using my Galaxy Note 10 plus smartphone. 

Again many thanks for your response. 

Edited by Lozscott1971
Additional information

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yes it provides its own wifi, but only for  remote control via your phone, NOT for internet connection.

It comes with the same eyepieces as the heritage which are adequate however if your budget allows I would advise purchasing a couple of BST starguider eyepieces or a couple of second hand plossi's .  

it is a very capable scope but more suited to planets than DSO''s than the 130 would be,   However you can always pick up a second hand 130 OTA at a later date if you wanted.

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This might be of interest to you, the heritage 130p used on a decent photo tripod. The 25mm works fine, the gap might be in the 15-16mm range and a better 8-10mm eyepiece if you really wanted extra straight away.

link here

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1 hour ago, Lozscott1971 said:

My intention initially and perhaps ultimately with a travel-scope would be observing the planets only and would obviously like as much planetary detail as feasibly possible

That would be a shame as you'd be wasting those wonderful dark skies! You can see the planets from literally anywhere, so if you do get something to take with you to dark skies you might want to focus on the DSOs that you'd never ever see from home. 

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My personal choice if I was you and your budget stretches to it  would be the Following  -- https://www.firstlightoptics.com/skywatcher-mounts/sky-watcher-az-gti-wifi-alt-az-mount-tripod.html   at  £289  and a Heritage 130P optical tube,   New would be £143  or you could look for a second hand one  ( https://www.firstlightoptics.com/heritage/skywatcher-heritage-130p-flextube.html )  along with a 15mm and 8 mm  BST Starguider eyepiece.     could add a 2x barlow. 

This combo would leave you with a very Portable Scope  that will show you almost every thing the night sky has to offer. 

As to taking photo's  it is Possible with the Heritage, just takes a little more work than other scopes. 

 

this is what I actually use as my main set up most often. 

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Keltoi :- the wifi would only be in order to operate the gps phone system.  I wasn't  meaning that I would piggyback my phone of it ! 😀 

I have heard of the plossle's and they do appear to be good.  Again much appreciation for the valuable input.

Happy-kat :- that is a very plausible idea and something that I will look into. Not sure I understand the 15-16mm gap thing though ! Any more feedback on this would be wonderful. 

Also if I went down the 130p route would this sit on a table or likewise without the need for a tripod etc ?

 

Craig T82 :- a very valid point that you make !! Any suggestions on the best way forward ie scope and/or eyepiece requirements please.

A superb group of people on here !!!!

 

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Keltoi  :- just got your new post and thank you.

I think that I am starting to go out of my ideal price range with the suggestions made as it will be getting towards the £500 bracket. 

I know I want the earth but don't want to pay for it !! 

Any large amount of money will be spent on my permanent home scope in the future if I enjoy my travel telescope. 

Again great feedback though!

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I dont think that scope is very portable at all the base is pretty big as far as taking it on a plane.

Maybe some may consider it portable just going to the backyard and back in. Or in the cat trunk. But not on a plane.

Most compact scope and decent big is a 6 or 5 inch sct.put that on a good camera tripod add a camera slow motion controls and that's big yet portable 

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Hi Joe:- do you mean the heritage 130p and if so am I asking the impossible to get a decent portable that is able to be taken on a plane ?

Again my clothes I am able to take on as hand luggage (7kg allowance) so I could use a large case to put the scope in cargo (high risk) and I would rather it be the other way round.

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3 hours ago, CraigT82 said:

That would be a shame as you'd be wasting those wonderful dark skies! You can see the planets from literally anywhere, so if you do get something to take with you to dark skies you might want to focus on the DSOs that you'd never ever see from home. 

I agree with Craig here even in a white zone which is the worst. The planets look the same. If your interest are mainly planets then I say get a apo refractor.

Those small reflectors give ok views on that but something like a skywatcher evostar 4 inch f9 apo is sheepish and I think will put up a better view than a 130mm short tube reflector could.but this scope is not portable.  Unless u cut it half way and scew it together.

I would look at dso if it was me but not only that but as much as I can in the southern skies cause ince I cone back to the mid northern skies, I will never see those items again.

I probably wouldn't even look at northern dso cause that would be easier. Just get to any dark skies here

Joejaguar 

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30 minutes ago, Lozscott1971 said:

Hi Joe:- do you mean the heritage 130p and if so am I asking the impossible to get a decent portable that is able to be taken on a plane ?

Again my clothes I am able to take on as hand luggage (7kg allowance) so I could use a large case to put the scope in cargo (high risk) and I would rather it be the other way round.

Yes the 130 is not portable. I think a better fit is 5 or 6 sct.

But your other part if it's just planets I think apo is better but that also probably will be bit longish.

The wo does sell I think 103 f6 apo with sliding dewcap and its short but it's not cheap

Joejaguar 

Edited by joe aguiar

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Not sure what you are asking that's different to what the various replies above cover.

The OTA could always be be carried on if the airline accepts it as hand luggage, but you still need a tripod.

Edited by happy-kat

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If you go for the 130 you will need some collimation tools to check the mirror alignment from time to time so allow for this in the budget.

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Thanks for the response  happy-cat and apologies people as I neglected to make it clear that the Heritage 130p FLEXTUBE was telescope that I was looking at.

On reading some reviews I was in the hope that it would be acceptable (if not ideal) to place it on the many knee high flat rocks in the area that I stay. I thoroughly realise that photography will be a no-no and as such I am willing to sacrifice that for better optics.

Edited by Lozscott1971

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I have the heritage 130p as my travel scope, it's a great little performer. I dont have it on it's original base though, I ditched that ages ago. I use it on a skywatcher AZ4 mount with aluminium legs. I have cut down the legs so that the whole lot fits in a small roll along case. When in use with the cut down legs I can just about get away with using it standing with a stoop, but it's better with a chair or high stool. 

As far as accesories go all I take is 3 eyepieces (25mm plossl, 18mm ortho and 6mm ortho), a 2x barlow and a cheshire sight tube (short version).

There are several useful modifications that can be made to the scope, which are well documented on the forum.  I have added a card light shroud, flocking and a better red dot finder (rigel quickfinder). 

The focuser is a bit of a weak spot on this scope but it's functional and with a bit of practice and some tpfe tape actually works pretty well. 

It's performs very well under dark skies with 130mm aperture, folds up small and crucially is dirt cheap so if it got smashed to bits in transit its not a big deal. 

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Excellent info there CraigT82 and thank you!

A lot there to digest and the eyepiece advice I will look into. 

To be honest the cheaper the scope, and spend a bit on a decent set of eyepieces, so that if the scope is damaged in transit then so be it and I could easily just replace the scope at that price for my next tour and still retain the eyepieces. 

 

 

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If observing from say a stool or sitting on a low rock then you can either use the heritage on it's mount from the floor or stick it on an upturned bucket to raise it a bit further. I use just a colimation cap to collimate mine.

For DSO I use a 16mm eyepiece.

For high power I have a 6mm though sometimes this is too much if the atmosphere is unstable and drop back to the 16mm.

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Thanks happy-kat, 

I'm hopeful that in South Africa that the sky should be wonderfully clear. 

What make etc of eyepieces do you use please?

If I buy the 130p flextube (which I think is my only option) then I will have about £150 for extras so any recommendation as to how best spend this would be nice. 

Best regards 

Edited by Lozscott1971
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I have in fact just purchased the 130p flextube for £142 inc delivery so I now have that £150approx budget so any further input on how to spend it would be lovely. 

 

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Firstly can I say welcome to SGL. I have a Heritage 130P and I have produced a number of threads outlining  modifications to this lovely little scope.

Firstly I would put the scope in your hand luggage. The OTA only weights about 3 kgs. Secondly for travel I would serious think about a zoom eyepiece - this one has received reasonable positive reviews - http://www.opticstar.com/Run/Astronomy/Astro-Accessories-Telescopes-Opticstar.asp?p=0_10_5_1_8_330 - the scope came with a 25mm plossl??? so its okay at the moment but can be replaced in the future.

Clearly the mount is the problem area and you could purchase a tripod + head + dovetail - this will cost addition funds. I know that its recommended not to take apart the wooden alt/az mount but if this is the only alternative I would take the risk. Carefully unscrew and do not over tighten when putting it back together. The downside is you might split the wood so be very careful. The mount could go into your main luggage in the hold.

If you don't want to take this risk we can recommend suitable mounts as an alternative.

 

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In the link in my earlier post is showing the OTA on a tripod for light travel.

My 16mm is a maxdvision and the 6mm SPL both not now advisable new. I do also have a 30mm Vixrn npl. I like trying different eyepieces and don't like sets or all the same.

I would buy a colimation cap at a minimum or make your own from a 35mm film pot.

A torch with red light or paint a cheap torch with red nail polish so you don't ruin your night vision.

The book turn left at Orion is a great starter to what's is where to observe and how to star hop to it. Get familiar with the main constellation stars and where they are.

 

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1 hour ago, Mark at Beaufort said:

know that its recommended not to take apart the wooden alt/az mount but if this is the only alternative I would take the risk. Carefully unscrew and do not over tighten when putting it back together. The downside is you might split the wood so be very careful

I've read somewhere, that a DIY modification was done by replacing the three wood screws, that fix the vertical part of the mount to the circular one, with cylinder screws, and threaded inserts in the vertical part. With this modification, all the mount's parts fold nicely flat, and could be taken, together with the OTA, as hand luggage.  Might be worth a try, if you have some woodworking skills.

Stephan

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