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SKYWATCHER HERITAGE 150P VIRTUOSO GTI WIFI DOBSONIAN TELESCOPE


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Thank you very much. Something I think it might be a problem is that it is not convenient neither to be stand, either sitted when observing. How is convenient for you?

Are these car battery starters suitable as powerbanks 12v?

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You’ll definitely need to find a comfortable observing position for longer sessions - I’ve found that standing the Heritage on a picnic bench works well for quickish grab and go sessions, but I find it becomes uncomfortable after a while standing and stooping over - depending on the position of your target. I tend to use a low, sturdy table for longer sessions and various chairs or stools. This is perfectly comfortable. Obviously a dedicated height adjustable  observing chair would work well here too. Some use this ‘scope directly on the floor with a low chair.

All fine - though  not quite as comfortable as an SCT or Mak in this regard, you’ll have no problems using the ‘scope on a low sturdy platform of some description. 

Re power packs, I know several options are used for powered ‘scopes with varying degrees of success. I’ve seen less than positive reviews of even the older style Skywatcher lead-acid power tanks, so I went with the newer lithium technology. 
I can’t comment on your specific kit but I’m sure you’ll find some helpful threads elsewhere on SGL. 

The technical requirements that need to be met with the official SW advice is:

“8 AA Size Batteries (not supplied) or External Power Supply (DC 7.5~14V, 1A) Tip Positive.

Sky-Watcher 7Ah or 17Ah  Power Tank Recommended”. 
 

 

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1 hour ago, planetman83 said:

Can I ask: does the goto, tracking system connect with sky safari? Or just with synscan? The synscan works fine?

The system connects with the Plus and Pro versions of Sky Safari , and also the Plus version of Stellarium. 

You first connect to the scope's wifi using the SynScan app, and then connect in the SS / Stellarium app. 

Synscan works fine, and things like "Tonight's Best" are useful, but is somewhat limited in that it doesn't give you the planetarium view. 

Edited by Gfamily
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During Freedom Find mode, does the star chart in the app move in sync with the manually slewed scope, so if you see an object through the eyepiece that you want to identify, all you have to do is look at the app to see what's in or near the center of the current field of view?

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3 minutes ago, Louis D said:

During Freedom Find mode, does the star chart in the app move in sync with the manually slewed scope, so if you see an object through the eyepiece that you want to identify, all you have to do is look at the app to see what's in or near the center of the current field of view?

Interesting question. I suspect the chart won't move, but there's an icon to indicate the current scope position, and I would expect the icon would show the 'freedom find ' movement.

The mount is not set up at the moment, so can't be sure.

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28 minutes ago, Louis D said:

During Freedom Find mode, does the star chart in the app move in sync with the manually slewed scope, so if you see an object through the eyepiece that you want to identify, all you have to do is look at the app to see what's in or near the center of the current field of view?

In Sky Safari, the "position indicator" (cross, finder circle or whatever option you have specified in the settings) will move on the chart to show the current pointing direction, which may or may not be on the chart displayed at the time. The chart can be dragged around to display where the indicator is, or positioned by choosing a new object and centering. So yes, you can just tap the object on the chart that matches what you see in the eyepiece, and display the associated information.

Sysncan also has an "identify" function, which looks for objects in its database that are near to (what it thinks is) the current pointing direction, but I think the Synscan database is much smaller.

 

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On 12/11/2021 at 10:36, going-supernova said:

Hi @Ataraxia

It's a regular tripod I have for my camera from about 10 years ago:Giotto's MTL9351 B Tripod + MH5011 Three Way Head Kit.
 

The picture is with the legs not extended and is how I keep it in the house and when using it.  I find this the ideal height for me.

Since the Virtuoso base has a tripod screw in the bottom its ideal and one of the reasons I went for this. 

Weather has been poor for me too, not taken it out for a while but I have just received my copy of turn left so plenty of reading to do while I wait

Hi @going-supernova,

Could you please explain how you fitted the Virtuoso base on the tripod? Maybe add a photo or two of the base's screw and how this secures the scope on the tripod. I have the Heritage 150P on the manually operated dob base, so maybe the two models differ in that perspective.

 

Edited by terrain_inconnu
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54 minutes ago, Zermelo said:

In Sky Safari, the "position indicator" (cross, finder circle or whatever option you have specified in the settings) will move on the chart to show the current pointing direction, which may or may not be on the chart displayed at the time. The chart can be dragged around to display where the indicator is, or positioned by choosing a new object and centering. So yes, you can just tap the object on the chart that matches what you see in the eyepiece, and display the associated information.

Sysncan also has an "identify" function, which looks for objects in its database that are near to (what it thinks is) the current pointing direction, but I think the Synscan database is much smaller.

 

I've never used Sky Safari.  I was thinking in terms of SkEye that keeps the pointing direction centered while slewing the map as needed to achieve this.  What's the advantage of not slewing the map to the current pointing direction in real time, map rendering time?  Is there an option in Sky Safari to turn this on, so you don't have to go hunting for the current position indicator every time you move the scope?

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1 hour ago, terrain_inconnu said:

Hi @going-supernova,

Could you please explain how you fitted the Virtuoso base on the tripod? Maybe add a photo or two of the base's screw and how this secures the scope on the tripod. I have the Heritage 150P on the manually operated dob base, so maybe the two models differ in that perspective.

 

To answer my own question, the Virtuoso base comes equipped with an integrated 3/8'' thread, ready to be mounted on a tripod. The manually operated version lacks such a thread.

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43 minutes ago, Louis D said:

I've never used Sky Safari.  I was thinking in terms of SkEye that keeps the pointing direction centered while slewing the map as needed to achieve this.  What's the advantage of not slewing the map to the current pointing direction in real time, map rendering time?  Is there an option in Sky Safari to turn this on, so you don't have to go hunting for the current position indicator every time you move the scope?

I've not seen an option, though I agree it would be as well to have it available. It's never bothered me as I usually select an object from an observing list or search list, choose "centre" to align the chart onto that object, then manually move the scope to roughly the right area of sky and watch for the appearance of the circle on the chart.

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Just used a virtuoso v1 and synscan dongle. Connected and aligned the mount. Want to skysafari 4 plus and connected. The map updated to where the telescope was pointing. I then undid a clutch and moved manually the telescope and the skysafari map dynamically updated moving as I moved the telescope. But synscan after soon bombed and lost alignment. For freedom find to work with the synscan dongle in advanced settings I had to turn on auxiliary encoders. I've got a newer release of skysafari I'll try that.

Edit 1: need to use synscan pro app, auxillary encoders are not an option in the other version.

Also I used one star alignment twice as minimum to align first. I use this option as the mount goes to where it thinks the star is, of I use 2 star alignment the mount doesn't move and waits for me to direct it.

Edit 2: skysafari 5 pro behaved the same but didn't automatically move the map view to keep pace with the manual adjustments I made (might have been a setting I missed) unlike skysafari 4 plus.

Edit 3: to get around the dropped connection when in skysafari select ok at the prompt go to synscan pro and reconnect, select again auxiliary encoders, back to skysafari and connect. Alignment was intact.

Edit 4: changed the WiFi channel in the synscan app to 13, this was behaving better than the default 6 for me but it did still drop quite a lot but it's quick to reconnect again. Tonight's play and both 4 and 5 of skysafari did slew the map as I manually moved the mount but this wasn't all the time, though it's easy to pan the screen by hand to find the current position. I have a visible box for where the telescope is currently pointing as I've got a camera as my selected device in equipment so easy to see.

Edit 5: I'm using Android and synscan pro 2.0.6 with the synscan wifi dongle on the latest firmware and a virtuoso v1 mount.

Your mileage may very.

Edited by happy-kat
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I'm not aware of a pushto flavour in skysafari but if alignment has been performed then I found in skysafari plus 4 that the map view did follow my manual movements so I could see where I was.

I'm using the first virtuoso mount with the synscan dongle hopefully someone else will be able to add their experience to this using the current virtuoso mount.

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21 hours ago, happy-kat said:

For freedom find to work with the synscan dongle in advanced settings I had to turn on auxiliary encoders.

This is true also of the mounts with built-in wifi.

It's my biggest annoyance with Synscan - I usually remember to turn on the aux encoders, but sometimes I forget, and then you need to realign. And there's no setting that you can use to make it remember your preference across sessions.

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Yes odd that a key advertised feature is so buried in the settings and “opt in”, rather than the default. Took me a while to find the setting the first time I used.  Should be an easy fix software wise I’d have thought. 

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34 minutes ago, happy-kat said:

Added a 4th edit to my post above as I tried changing the wifi channel.

Thanks for reporting your findings - I’m looking forward to testing this on mine when I get an opportunity. 

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I'm testing inside as it's not dark early enough yet, so the mount is on the table inside. I'm using alignment stars that would be visible for observing if it were dark. It's a shame that the auxiliary encoders aren't on by default in altaz mode.

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On 08/08/2022 at 22:18, happy-kat said:

hopefully someone else will be able to add their experience to this using the current virtuoso mount.

@Zermelo has effectively confirmed already but I wanted to test this with my set up (Heritage 150p Virtuoso GTi mount) as not done so before. Similarly to @happy-kat I performed a simple indoor pre-dark and approximate 2 star alignment. Once completed I toggled on the auxiliary encoders in the advanced settings. Then connected across to Sky Safari Pro. As expected the planetarium view in Sky Safari moved in accordance with the ‘scopes pointing direction as controlled by the SynScan app. I then loosened the clutches and moved manually - the view continued to track my pointing direction. On switching the auxiliary encoder position to off again (back in Syn Scan Pro ) and then back into Sky Safari, manual pointing was still tracked in the planetarium view. Excellent stuff - I hadn’t known this was possible previously. 
I then also tried another attempt at connecting to Stellarium pro (I’m on iOS) - but still no luck there. I’ve tried changing the port and host details but no joy. If anyone can point me in the right direction there Id be interested, just to be able to have a play around with the app. 

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I've got this telescope and I'm loving it. Just one drawback relating to the focuser...

As you know, the focuser it comes with is a helical type. I want to take photos of Jupiter and Saturn which are in the sky at the moment.

To do that, I need to add barlows and a mobile phone holder (plus the phone itself). All these things together add weight and the whole assembly has to be rotated to get focus. It's very cumbersome to rotate it with the phone attached and I'm scared the focuser will at the very least, get accidentally bent out of shape. 

Is it possible to replace the helical focuser with a more sturdy rack and pinion focuser? If yes, which one do I get?

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Rather than live with that focuser kludge, I'd probably just buy a GSO 6" f/5 Newtonian Reflector Telescope (in stock) or GSO 6" f/5 Newtonian Reflector Telescope with LB Focuser Upgrade (once they're back in stock).  Since I already have a decent alt-az setup, along with plenty of storage space, this would make more sense for my situation, and possibly others as well.

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I’ve also struggled using a phone adapter (Celestron NexYZ) to take images using the Heritage - it’s possible but tricky. 
My best photo attempts to date have been taken by simply holding the phone by hand over the eyepiece such as this moon shot:

F33A27EC-311B-4C74-AA13-1C46E4521A1A.thumb.jpeg.e8f5406edc7a943e193d7b3da9166c89.jpeg
Or using a dedicated planetary camera - small and lightweight and easy to achieve required focus by adjusting the degree of extension of the tube. My first attempt at moon:

05692F75-32D8-4053-A17A-10274F3D300F.thumb.jpeg.4c2078d0ec7be1c7cfe5c35a7b7c07be.jpeg
 

@Louis D Ah yes I remember finding this thread on the focuser mods when I was investigating the possibility myself. 6 years to the day - timely coincidence ! Quite a lot of work required to achieve this for sure. 

The GSO Newtonian suggestions could be sensible if looking to purchase a  main or first  ‘scope - or upgrade perhaps? These are high quality impressive instruments - there is a lot to be said for a well mounted traditional 6 inch Newt. The Heritage option with Virtuouso though is a great grab and go package that for me pays dividends when waiting a quick look see or for taking on holiday as I’m doing now. 

@Hits having already purchased and I think enjoying the Heritage 150p you’d possibly now benefit from some of the photographic suggestions mentioned here to make the most out of the investment you’ve made - unless you wanted to go down the ‘scope switch route to get a better focuser in the same aperture. 

There are some good videos on planetary imaging using the Heritage such as here:

Let us know how you get on 😀

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