Skywatcher Dobson: Heritage 114P Virtuoso

Look | Basic Data | First Photo Attempts | Final Word | Links

On this page, I present some information about my "short-term"* telescope (Dobson), a Sky-Watcher Heritage 114P Virtuoso - 114/500mm Newtonian with Auto Tracking (ordered at the beginning of May, 2016, received on May 19 "thanks" to DPD). What makes this Dobsonian telescope special, is its automatic tracking provided by the Virtuoso mount. The Virtuoso mount might be extended with a Sky-Watcher SynScan hand box for having GoTo control.

*) Note: Probably because of a loose connection, the Virtuoso mount did not work properly after a few days. I returned the telescope for a refund (mid-June 2016). I was unsure whether I should buy another Virtuoso mount and telescope, and had some consulting in this respect. I was advised to buy a telescope mount that can support more weight, namely the Sky-Watcher Star Discovery AZ GoTo telescope mount (and the 114P is not that much better than the 100P, which I already own). And in the end, I decided for this mount (and one less telescope...). The respective pages are in preparation.

Therefore, this page is no longer continued. Since the information that is offered on this page may be useful for one or the other visitor, I still keep the page "as is." For an a little more extensive reasoning why I did not buy the Virtuoso mount once more, see the Final Word below.

 

Look

Unpacking and Assembling

Outer package

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Package Dimensions:
Outer Package: 58.5 cm x 35 cm x 34 cm
Package: 57 cm x 32.5 cm x 33 cm

Gross weight: 9 kg, net weight: 7 kg

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Package of the Heritage 114P

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Outer package and package of the Heritage 114P

Opened package

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Package content, still packed up

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Tube unpacked

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Smaller parts unpacked

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Telescope assembled

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Telescope seen more from the front

Telescope side view, ...

... rear view, ....

... and front view

Accessories: 10mm and 25mm eyepieces, red dot finder, and more

Telescope Details

Looking into the telescope...

The control unit

Battery compartment and batteries

Battery compartment without...

...and with batteries

Battery compartment closed

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The euro EMC sun filter 600-105 is usable on this telescope if you place the filter holders inside the tube

Telescope with euro EMC sum filter 600-105 in place

Accessories: 10mm and 25mm eyepieces, red dot finder, and more

Comparison with Heritage P130 and Heritage 100P

Changing the Base

Since all three telescopes tube have the same type of mount for the base, I exchanged tubes and bases where it seemed to make sense:

114P on base for 100P, 100P on Virtuoso base

100P on base for P130, P130 on Virtuoso base, 114P on 100P base

P130 on Virtuoso base, 114P on P130 base

114P tube on base for P130 (left) and base for 100P (right); the latter is not very stable and can easily tilt over...

P130 tube on Virtuoso base

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The base for the Heritage 100P is suitable only for its own small tube. The Heritage 114P tube might fit in principle, but the whole thing tilts easily over, because the diameter of the 100P base is too small (see the photo in the middle row at the center). The tube of the Heritage 114P can, however, be mounted on the base of the P130 without problems, even though this base might perhaps look a little bit too big for the tube (see the photo in the middle row on the left).

The opportunity to mount the Heritage P130 tube on the Virtuoso base looked interesting to me, because, this way, I would have a larger telescope with tracking at my disposal. This is possible in principle, but the P130 tube seems a bit too heavy for the Virtuoso mount, which can carry a maximum of 4 kg. The "naked" P130 tube weighs already about 3.25 kg (P130-base = 3.1 kg P130 tube = 3.25 kg, according to my scales), and you have to add the weight of the eyepiece and, perhaps, a camera to this.

 

Basic Data for Sky-Watcher Dobson Telescope Heritage 114P Virtuoso (in Comparison)

Telescope
Meade
Sky-Watcher Skymax/Heritage
GSO
8" 10" 12" 16" ETX 90EC 102 76 100P 114P P130 GSD 680
Optical Design Newton
(Parabolic)
Newton
(Parabolic)
Newton
(Parabolic)
Newton
(Parabolic)
Maksutov-Cassegrain Maksutov-Cassegrain Newton (Spherical) Newton (Parabolic) Newton
(Parabolic)
Newton (Parabolic) Newton (Parabolic)
Primary Mirror Diameter 203 mm 254 mm 305 mm 406 mm 96 mm (90 mm) 102 mm 76 mm (3") 100 mm (4") 114 mm (4.5") 130 mm (5") 200 mm (8")
Focal Length, Focal Ratio 1219 mm
f/6
1270 mm
f/5
1524 mm
f/5
1829 mm
f/4.5
1250 mm
f/13.8
1300 mm
f/12.7
300 mm
f/3.95
400 mm
f/4
500 mm
f/4.38
650 mm
f/5
1200 mm
f/6
Resolving Power (arc secs) 0.56" 0.45" 0.38" 0.28" 1.3" 1.15" 1.51" 1.15" 1.01" 0.9" 0.58"
Limiting Visual Stellar Magnitude ca. 14 mag ca. 14.5 mag ca. 15 mag ca. 16 mag 11.7 mag 12.7 mag 11.2 mag 11.8 mag 12.1 mag 13.3 mag 14.5 mag
Maximum Practical Visual Power ca. 550 x ca. 600 x ca. 700 x ca. 900 x 325 x 204 x ca. 100 x (152 x) 150 x (200 x) 170 x (228 x) ca. 220 x (260 x) ca. 300 x (400 x)
Optical Tube Dimensions (diam. x length) 28 cm x 115 cm 35 cm x 119 cm 40 cm x 144 cm 51 cm x 170 cm 10.4 cm x 27.9 cm 10.4 cm x 27 cm n.a. 11.5 cm x 37 cm* n.a. Tube collapsed < 37 cm
(14.5") long
23 cm x 115 cm
Net Weight Basis 9 kg 12.2 kg 15 kg 24 kg 3.5 kg (complete) --- 1.75 kg (complete) 1.3 kg* 1.6 kg 3.1 kg* 11.2 kg
Net Weight Optical Tube 10.9 kg 17.2 kg 21.3 kg 33.6 kg 1.9 kg 1.2 kg*
(2.5*/2.8 kg complete)
3.7 kg
(5.3 kg complete)
3.25 kg*
(< 6.5 kg or 14 lbs. complete)
9.5 kg
(appr. 21 kg complete)

Dark Blue: Telescopes that I still own; italic and dark red: telescopes that I owned; black: for comparison; *) own measurement

 

First Photo Attempts

With Sun Filter

Photos taken with Leica X Vario using the 1:50 method

       

32 mm eyepice (more magnified)

 

16 mm eyepiece

 

6 mm eyepiece

 

Final Word

Probably because of a loose connection, the Virtuoso mount did not work properly after a few days. Actually, the mount seems to be very robust, as another dealer told me on the phone, but I seem to have got a "lemon"... I returned the telescope for a refund (experty, mid-June 2016) with no problems. All in all, this was a sad and somewhat nerve-straining affair for me, in which the dealer supported me well and friendly. I do not feel obliged to write something negative about the mount and the telescope after this experience. I simply had no luck with my sample of the Virtuoso mount!

I therefore asked myself, whether I should buy another Virtuoso mount with a telescope (or a comparable Merlin mount without a scope), and asked for some consulting in this respect. I was advised to buy a telescope mount that can support more weight, namely the Sky-Watcher Star Discovery AZ GoTo telescope mount. If you look into European information sources, you will find that the Virtuoso mount can carry up to 4 kg, but American sources warn you not to exceed 2 kg, which would be too little for my purposes. With the Star Discovery mount, I would give up the 114P telescope - but I already owned the 100P, which had become somewhat "redundant" with the 114P (the 114P does not gather that much more light than the 100P...) -, but would get a GoTo control, which might by useful at times... In the end, I decided for the Star Discovery mount (and one less telescope tube...). The respective pages are in preparation.

Therefore, this page is no longer continued. Since the information that is offered on this page may be useful for one or the other visitor, I still keep the page "as is."

 

Links

 

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24.10.2016