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SKYWATCHER HERITAGE 150P VIRTUOSO GTI WIFI DOBSONIAN TELESCOPE


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9 hours ago, going-supernova said:

I see the BST StarGuiders come up consistently in the recommendations on this forum, has anyone had any experience with the 5mm on the Heritage 150p or is that a stretch too far for this scope?

43 minutes ago, happy-kat said:

Your mirror is the same as other f5 150p skywatcher AFAIK which might help in reading eyepiece reviews.

Yes, the mirror is the same as the one used in their other OTAs.  The rule-of-thumb "maximum useful magnification" is 300x, though UK conditions will often limit it to something lower.  5mm would give you 150x, which will be OK most of the time.  I have a SW scope with the same mirror, and the Starguider 5mm (and all the Starguiders) works well at F/5.  Yes, you could get a longer EP and barlow it for your maximum magnification. Sometimes a barlowed combination isn't quite as good as a single EP, but it varies with different EPs and barlows. A decent zoom is also very useful. The Svbony models are good value for money.

10 hours ago, going-supernova said:

I thought the app would be more intuitive

It could be better. It's taken me some time to get into a routine with levelling and aligning that gets consistent results out of Synscan.

 

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@going-supernova It is great to hear things are going well! Interestingly I had my first frustrating experience with the scope last night -or rather the Syn Scan  - Simply wouldn't align properly, very odd. (Maybe those rechargable batteries!). I didn't get chance to properly try the new illuminated reticule  but this might help with more accurate alignment in the future. 

My Celestron Lithium LT power tank is arriving today so looking forward to testing that with the system.

I am finding the BST Startguider 2x barlow works well with the BST's in general (on this scope), and have found the 5mm version performs well on the moon for example (150x). You might find some wobble creeping in if you go much shorter. Weight is a consideration on the helical focuser, but I am using the Svbony barlow which works very well and is lightweight. The zoom offers sheer convenience and the good price and performance makes this one a good one to experiment with to see what you like. Its ability to quickly help you find the optimal magnification at any given moment on say Jupiter or a globular cluster is welcome.

The advice of not rushing out and buying loads of stuff rings true - I've realised that a small number of eyepieces or a zoom is enough to start appreciating what the scope can do, and learning the basics.

Despite GOTO not working for me last night, manually the planets were out in full glory - I'm looking forward to trying to see the double shadow transit on 4th Oct!

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12 hours ago, going-supernova said:

Thought I’d share my progress on how I’m getting on with the 150P Virtuoso.
I managed to use the telescope briefly on the first night but had issues trying to get the alignment to work correctly - I thought the app would be more intuitive.  Thankfully @Astro_Dad pointed me to the instructions for the app but I didn’t have clear enough skies to try it out.
That was until today!  It was a reasonably clear night so I went out to give it another crack.  I should mention first that I was using rechargeable batteries as I’ve not got round to purchasing the mains adapter or decided between a power tank or something like a car battery jump starter which a lot of people seem to use as its cheaper.
Following the instructions this time and now understanding what the flashing up/right arrows on the app mean I managed to get the alignment correct and working.
I was able to observe Jupiter, including the 4 Galilean moons with the included 10mm.  If I looked carefully I was just able to make out the banding.
I then moved over to Saturn, with the 10mm still on it was visible in the eye piece which I then cantered with a bit of fine tuning.  
I was able to make out the rings around Saturn which was super exciting, I know my daughter would be thrilled to bits to see the rings as it’s her second favourite planet (after earth of course).

I then turned my attention to M31 where I was able to make out the fuzzy patch in the sky with the included 25mm, I think I needed it to be darker to make it out more clearly.
Overall I’m super happy with my first real experience using my first telescope, I’m so glad I finally took the plunge.  Thank you to all for the tips and recommendations.
Its already got me wanting more, I’m already thinking about adding an alternative to the 10mm eye piece so I can get closer up to Jupiter and Saturn to make out more definition on Jupiter or even the Cassini division.
I see the BST StarGuiders come up consistently in the recommendations on this forum, has anyone had any experience with the 5mm on the Heritage 150p or is that a stretch too far for this scope?  Or would the 8mm be sufficient and/or with a Barlow?
Another recommendation has been the Svbony SV135 zoom 7-21mm.  Again any advice from anyone with any experience using this eyepiece on the 150p would be hugely appreciated.
I also now realise I have a lot to learn about DSO's, what I should be looking for and what I should be able to make out.  Now I have the tools I look forward to this.
 

Great to hear the scope is going well 👍 Very tempting little package that although I already have too many scopes (well according to the wife anyway 🤣)

M31 is a bit like that, I live in a relatively dark area and even with the 8 inch newt it's a bit of a fuzzy patch although still a bit of a wow moment when you first spot it, similar through binoculars to me anyway

Turn left at orion gives some realistic sketches of what you may see through the eyepiece - https://www.cambridge.org/turnleft/pages/seasonal_skies/oct-dec/popup/in_andromeda_the_andromeda_galaxy_m31_with_its_companions_m32_and_m110/small_3-4_newtonian_northern_hemisphere

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  • 2 weeks later...

I’ve had a few questions recently about eyepiece selection for the Heritage 150p. One of the main concerns is the weight of eyepieces or Barlow/eyepiece combinations using the somewhat restrictive helical focuser design in this instrument. Personally I’ve found the SvBony 7-21mm zoom to be workable given its diminutive (for a zoom) eyepiece but larger Barlows with “larger “ eyepieces may be a little unwieldy - for example the BST Starguider Barlow combined with the excellent BST Starguider eyepieces may work technically but feels slightly overweight. 
The lighter Astro Essentials Barlow (very versatile for AP and by virtue of the different configurations possible) combined with lighter weight Plossls (I typically use GSO’s) feels more balanced with this scope. Others mileage and experience may vary of course… 

The video by @Chris is excellent and  explores some of these ideas. 

 

Edited by Astro_Dad
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7 minutes ago, Astro_Dad said:

I’ve had a few questions recently about eyepiece selection for the Heritage 150p. One of the main concerns is the weight of eyepieces or Barlow/eyepiece combinations using the somewhat restrictive helical focuser design in this instrument. Personally I’ve found the SvBony 7-21mm zoom to be workable given its diminutive (for a zoom) eyepiece but larger Barlows with “larger “ eyepieces may be a little unwieldy - for example the BST Starguider Barlow combined with the excellent BST Starguider eyepieces May work technically but feels slightly overweight. 
The lighter Astro Essentials Barlow (very versatile for AP and by virtue of the different configurations possible) combined with a lighter weight Plossls (I typically use GSO’s) feels more balanced with this scope. Others mileage and experience may vary of course… 

The video by @Chris is excellent and  explores some of these ideas. 

 

Is it the strength of the sliding section that worries you , or the security of the fucus tube ? If so, don't, I've had a couple of evenings now using the secondhand maxbright 24mm eyepiece I bought on here, specifically to use in the little dob.The maxbright weighs 373g, which is more than double the BST at 165g , and I had no problem with the weight at all . I didn't even need to rebalance the 'scope with the dovetailclamp , which surprised me, as I needed to when switching between plossls and BSTs

This was on  the basic mount though, not the virtuoso, which might be your worry ?

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All combos seem to work technically but there is a little more “give” when much larger or heavier eyepieces are inserted into the helical focuser - I’m sure fine but feels less solid (and requires more time to dampen down vibrations) than with lighter pieces.  It would probably take a lot of sustained use of heavy pieces to cause excessive wear and tear but for overall weight balance and rigidity I think the lighter pieces feel better in use. Who knows long term - probably no issue in reality! 

 

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On 09/10/2021 at 22:05, Tiny Clanger said:

Is it the strength of the sliding section that worries you , or the security of the fucus tube ? If so, don't, I've had a couple of evenings now using the secondhand maxbright 24mm eyepiece I bought on here, specifically to use in the little dob.The maxbright weighs 373g, which is more than double the BST at 165g , and I had no problem with the weight at all . I didn't even need to rebalance the 'scope with the dovetailclamp , which surprised me, as I needed to when switching between plossls and BSTs

This was on  the basic mount though, not the virtuoso, which might be your worry ?

I hadn't thought about rebalancing the scope at the dovetail clamp after I added a heavier lens.  Thanks for the tip!

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10 minutes ago, going-supernova said:

I hadn't thought about rebalancing the scope at the dovetail clamp after I added a heavier lens. 

This is how I did it with my 127mm Mak. I marked the positions for "normal" (25mm eyepiece), binoviewer (with 2 eyepieces), and my D3200 DSLR. I used tippex and a coat of varnish, and sat the OTA on a piece of 40mm dishwasher waste pipe to act as the fulcrum.

494094746_SkymaxBackpack-Annotated(R).jpg.46fc5754e14ffc388757c8f0ade22870.jpg

On my other OTAs, I have just marked the balance point for use with a typical eyepiece. It speeds up assembly, and cuts down strain on the mounts' gear trains.

Geoff

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2 hours ago, going-supernova said:

I hadn't thought about rebalancing the scope at the dovetail clamp after I added a heavier lens.  Thanks for the tip!

I've not needed to mark the dovetail on my heritage to help  assemble it, because it stays as one unit. What I did when the balance was spoiled using my first BST eyepiece instead of a few lighter plossls was find an old heavy, strong, magnet (it had been salvaged from a broken audio speaker) put some sticky felt on one side to stop it scratching the paintwork. The magnet sat on the centre bolt of the base when not in use, when  I put the BST in the focuser I'd stick the magnet (felt side in) on a suitable spot on the solid tube below the pivot point . 

I've no idea if this would be a bad idea for the virtuoso, with it's extra electonics, but it worked a treat on the manual heritage.

Heather

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On 10/10/2021 at 08:57, happy-kat said:

The heritage 130p and also one sky are the same telescope truss and focuser design and have been used for years.

Absolutely 🙂

I just looked for the link to add to a response to a different question, this is the CN thread for the OneSky Newtonian, which is a rebadged heritage 130, sold to raise funds for a charity to distribute free 'scopes . Over 200 pages, over 5000 comments since it was started in 2014. I read the whole thing last year before buying my heritage dob, there have been a few more pages since then,  I don't recall anyone saying the focuser had let them down (and it was the firat place I read about the light shroud/PFTE tape mods too )

https://www.cloudynights.com/topic/463109-onesky-newtonian-astronomers-without-borders/page-216

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On 29/09/2021 at 23:21, going-supernova said:

Thought I’d share my progress on how I’m getting on with the 150P Virtuoso.
I managed to use the telescope briefly on the first night but had issues trying to get the alignment to work correctly - I thought the app would be more intuitive.  Thankfully @Astro_Dad pointed me to the instructions for the app but I didn’t have clear enough skies to try it out.
That was until today!  It was a reasonably clear night so I went out to give it another crack.  I should mention first that I was using rechargeable batteries as I’ve not got round to purchasing the mains adapter or decided between a power tank or something like a car battery jump starter which a lot of people seem to use as its cheaper.
Following the instructions this time and now understanding what the flashing up/right arrows on the app mean I managed to get the alignment correct and working.
I was able to observe Jupiter, including the 4 Galilean moons with the included 10mm.  If I looked carefully I was just able to make out the banding.
I then moved over to Saturn, with the 10mm still on it was visible in the eye piece which I then cantered with a bit of fine tuning.  
I was able to make out the rings around Saturn which was super exciting, I know my daughter would be thrilled to bits to see the rings as it’s her second favourite planet (after earth of course).

I then turned my attention to M31 where I was able to make out the fuzzy patch in the sky with the included 25mm, I think I needed it to be darker to make it out more clearly.
Overall I’m super happy with my first real experience using my first telescope, I’m so glad I finally took the plunge.  Thank you to all for the tips and recommendations.
Its already got me wanting more, I’m already thinking about adding an alternative to the 10mm eye piece so I can get closer up to Jupiter and Saturn to make out more definition on Jupiter or even the Cassini division.
I see the BST StarGuiders come up consistently in the recommendations on this forum, has anyone had any experience with the 5mm on the Heritage 150p or is that a stretch too far for this scope?  Or would the 8mm be sufficient and/or with a Barlow?
Another recommendation has been the Svbony SV135 zoom 7-21mm.  Again any advice from anyone with any experience using this eyepiece on the 150p would be hugely appreciated.
I also now realise I have a lot to learn about DSO's, what I should be looking for and what I should be able to make out.  Now I have the tools I look forward to this.
 

I don’t have the 150mm Dob but I have a Borg 90FL, which is a much smaller refractor, albeit one with excellent optics. I use the BST 5mm. At 100x it gave me some fantastic views of Jupiter. I even tried to use a cheap Barlow to push the power to 225x, but that is a bit too far for my small scope.

The Heritage 150p should fare just fine with the 5mm. 150x should be well within the capabilities of your scope.

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On 30/09/2021 at 12:01, doublevodka said:

Great to hear the scope is going well 👍 Very tempting little package that although I already have too many scopes (well according to the wife anyway 🤣)

M31 is a bit like that, I live in a relatively dark area and even with the 8 inch newt it's a bit of a fuzzy patch although still a bit of a wow moment when you first spot it, similar through binoculars to me anyway

Turn left at orion gives some realistic sketches of what you may see through the eyepiece - https://www.cambridge.org/turnleft/pages/seasonal_skies/oct-dec/popup/in_andromeda_the_andromeda_galaxy_m31_with_its_companions_m32_and_m110/small_3-4_newtonian_northern_hemisphere

M31 is a fun object to see though. It’s a fuzzy patch but a big one at that; it barely fit in my 90mm APO’s view at 20x. I recall seeing a little bit of spiral features but that might be my imagination.

I live in London and it’s amazing how much more I was able to see by going to the countryside. I could easily find M31 with my naked eye while in London I struggle to find it with a scope. I was also able to count the stars in Pleiades without a scope. Given the compact package of the Heritage, OP might benefit a lot from taking the scope to darker sites rather than dropping money on even more accessories.

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Latest update:

I've still not got round to doing the mods or buying a mains power adapter.

The rechargeable batteries seem to be coping OK so far for a few nights of around 1-1.5hrs usage per night.  I then top them up.  I did find it suddenly move of target (Jupiter) the other night though, in the middle of observing which was odd.  After I realigned it was OK again.

I recently got the SVBONY 7-21mm from ebay,  besides a distorted rubber on the cap and around the eyepiece (for which the seller offered a partial refund) the optics are thankfully OK.

I could make out the banding on Jupiter and see the rings on Saturn better with this at 7mm compared to the stock 10mm.

Wanting to see more I've gone ahead and ordered the BST 5mm.

Seeing conditions haven't been great over the past week so I've not been able to put it through its paces 

I have no other scope to compare it to but still very pleased with this overall and feel I made the right decision getting this.

I want to start exploring DSOs once conditions improve.  Thinking of ordering Turn Left at Orion for help on that subject.

Any recommendations on some DSO targets which a beginner could explore with the Heritage 150p?

Thanks!

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29 minutes ago, going-supernova said:

Latest update:

I've still not got round to doing the mods or buying a mains power adapter.

The rechargeable batteries seem to be coping OK so far for a few nights of around 1-1.5hrs usage per night.  I then top them up.  I did find it suddenly move of target (Jupiter) the other night though, in the middle of observing which was odd.  After I realigned it was OK again.

I recently got the SVBONY 7-21mm from ebay,  besides a distorted rubber on the cap and around the eyepiece (for which the seller offered a partial refund) the optics are thankfully OK.

I could make out the banding on Jupiter and see the rings on Saturn better with this at 7mm compared to the stock 10mm.

Wanting to see more I've gone ahead and ordered the BST 5mm.

Seeing conditions haven't been great over the past week so I've not been able to put it through its paces 

I have no other scope to compare it to but still very pleased with this overall and feel I made the right decision getting this.

I want to start exploring DSOs once conditions improve.  Thinking of ordering Turn Left at Orion for help on that subject.

Any recommendations on some DSO targets which a beginner could explore with the Heritage 150p?

Thanks!

Can't do better (until you buy a copy of go left ..) for light polluted skies than start with the Loughton List https://las-astro.org.uk/docs/Loughton_List_v2_0.pdf

Armed with those and some practise, you won't need batteries anyway 🙂

Note that the targets are rated bronze/silver/gold by a coloured bar , bronze are the easiest

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9 minutes ago, Steve143 said:

I've got a copy of Turn Left, but this Loughton list is really useful too! Thanks for the link. 

If you are using both Turn Left and the Loughton List, and want a cross reference to those resources and Messier objects , Caldwell (Patrick Moore's) List and the Moore Winter Marathon (in a month or so ...) Jasonb and I adapted Don Pensack's 500 list spreadsheet to include those page references too :

 

 

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4 hours ago, going-supernova said:

Latest update:

I've still not got round to doing the mods or buying a mains power adapter.

The rechargeable batteries seem to be coping OK so far for a few nights of around 1-1.5hrs usage per night.  I then top them up.  I did find it suddenly move of target (Jupiter) the other night though, in the middle of observing which was odd.  After I realigned it was OK again.

I recently got the SVBONY 7-21mm from ebay,  besides a distorted rubber on the cap and around the eyepiece (for which the seller offered a partial refund) the optics are thankfully OK.

I could make out the banding on Jupiter and see the rings on Saturn better with this at 7mm compared to the stock 10mm.

Wanting to see more I've gone ahead and ordered the BST 5mm.

Seeing conditions haven't been great over the past week so I've not been able to put it through its paces 

I have no other scope to compare it to but still very pleased with this overall and feel I made the right decision getting this.

I want to start exploring DSOs once conditions improve.  Thinking of ordering Turn Left at Orion for help on that subject.

Any recommendations on some DSO targets which a beginner could explore with the Heritage 150p?

Thanks!

Hard to pick with so many to choose, but M2 and M15 are two lovely globulars you’ll enjoy through the Heritage at this time of year. Reading about the target, for example the collapsed core in M15 with potential central black hole adds to the sense of awe when you “see it” through the eyepiece.  The Pleiades (M45) looked stunning a few nights ago too (read up on the nebulously - blue reflection nebula- between the stars), M31 would be a must even if in the end it appears as a fuzzy patch! I’d say start with a few targets and enjoy learning about them and where they are located and take it from there. You’ll soon be hooked. Turn left is the bible, even with GOTO and tracking on hand it’s a great resource and nothing beats finding targets manually yourself. 

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3 hours ago, Tiny Clanger said:

If you are using both Turn Left and the Loughton List, and want a cross reference to those resources and Messier objects , Caldwell (Patrick Moore's) List and the Moore Winter Marathon (in a month or so ...) Jasonb and I adapted Don Pensack's 500 list spreadsheet to include those page references too :

 

 

Excellent thanks for sharing this with us -  a lot of time has been dedicated to building these resources clearly. The Loughton list is a new one for me - nice. 

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3 hours ago, happy-kat said:

The virtuoso mount has freedom find, with the odd shift when observing Jupiter you could try just reselecting Jupiter to view. Overall alignment shouldn't have been lost.

Freedom find is the proprietary name Skywatcher give to their dual encoder system, meaning in practice that manual movements of the scope do not interfere with alignment, and seems to work brilliantly.  However I’ve reported the same as what I think @going-supernova is seeing,  whereby strange things can happen randomly with alignment going out of kilter or targets moving out of view etc. I’m not sure this happens with other Freedom Find or even any other Syn Scan system others use, but I’d suggest maybe partly due to the insufficient voltage delivered by the rechargeable batteries as discussed earlier. No deal breaker though and as mentioned, those batteries do work. I’ll also test your suggestion @happy-kat as it may be the case that even in these apparently random moments core alignment is not lost (the sky model should still be saved in memory). 

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