September 5, 2020
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In this video we take a detailed look at the Sky Watcher Heritage Virtuoso 90 and 114P auto-tracking telescopes. These unusual and easy-to-use instruments have some extraordinary features and offer outstanding levels of stability and portability in a comprehensive low-cost package.

Stable, portable and low-cost? These aren’t terms of reference that are common bedfellows when talking about astronomical telescopes for sure – but when you add the Virtuoso’s abilities within the world of advanced digital photography and videography, they are quite simply unheard of.

If you think fibreboard is a material best left to IKEA flat-pack furniture, this video will make you think again. Our Dr Telescope, Robert J. Dalby, explains how the designers at Sky Watcher have exploited modern materials and the latest ideas in telescope design to deliver a new standard of starter scope that can be fully upgraded to more advanced functions as the user progresses.

Erratum: in the video Robert mentions that the Virtuoso cannot be fitted to a tripod: this is incorrect. In fact the Virtuoso telescope and camera mounting can be fitted to a ‘Prosumer’ type tripod with a 3/8″ UNC male tripod thread. It would be advisable to remove the head if possible and mount the Virtuoso directly to the tripod without the articulation of the pan&tilt or other head in between. There is a risk that the mount will be damaged operating the telescope on this type of tripod.

Presented by Robert J Dalby FRAS

Produced by DB Video Services for Astronomy and Nature TV

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45 COMMENTS

  1. propfella Posted on May 6, 2020 at 11:26 am

    A little advice please. I just ordered one of these and found it by entering "SKYWATCHER HERITAGE 90mm x 1250mm Maksutov "Virtuoso" auto-tracking table-top telescope" in Google. I assumed The Maker was Skywatcher, the Model range was Heritage and the actual model was Virtuoso. I ordered and paid for the telescope a few days ago, but today a friend told me what I'd purchased wasn't what is shown on this review. I purchased a "Dobsonian" and not a "Maksutov" This review only mentions a 114P as a bigger brother to this scope.

    I went back to the site where I purchased mine and it does say it's a dobsonian. After a little research I find it's nothing like a Maksutov and definitely not 1250 focal length. At least it isn't according to what I can find. Am I wrong, are they one and the same? The strange things is the listing shown for this model mentions the 90 Aperture but not the 1250 focal length. I'm hoping I've made a mess of it and I have purchased what's reviewed here. Can anyone set me straight please? I'd be very grateful for the help. Thank you.

    Reply
  2. DrummerAustin Posted on May 6, 2020 at 11:26 am

    So I have recently purchased a SkyWatcher Heritage 90 Virtuoso and thought it was brilliant the first time I used the scope and mount for terrestrial viewing. I was slewing the mount around with the four arrow keys on the mount and with the Synscan controller system very easily. The first time I used the scope at night I spent the whole night trying to star align the scope, but at some point throughout the night me being able to move the telescope with the Synscan controller and the four arrow keys on the mount stopped working. Since then I have not been able to move the telescope altogether with either the arrows keys on the mount or through the Synscan controller. Any help would be greatly appreciated as I dont know why it has stopped working as the mount still turns on and the red lights flash on the buttons and it still beeps in its intervals like it always has done.

    Cheers

    Reply
  3. Ferre Franckx Posted on May 6, 2020 at 11:26 am

    Bought myself the Mak-version but still not able to let it track … 🙁

    Reply
  4. luca panciera Posted on May 6, 2020 at 11:26 am

    i, it's possible i can use wifi controller like this (SYNSCAN WIFI ADAPTER (7961) ) or this (Scan Fi – Sky-Watcher Wifi Adapter for SynScan GoTo mounts) on telescope

    Reply
  5. faisal aashiq Posted on May 6, 2020 at 11:26 am

    Sky-Watcher Heritage 90 can attachable to most Prosumer tripods via 3/8" thread ? is that true ? can u tell us how .thnx

    Reply
  6. Xsauce Posted on May 6, 2020 at 11:26 am

    can i hold a 5 inch mak cass ?

    Reply
  7. Eric Groslevin Posted on May 6, 2020 at 11:26 am

    I made this for my P900 camera https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3371565

    Reply
  8. Captain 1985 Posted on May 6, 2020 at 11:26 am

    A few posters wrote that their scope was out of collimation on arrival. I've read all over YT that Mak telescopes are collimation free.

    Reply
  9. PSYZMECH Posted on May 6, 2020 at 11:26 am

    great review, how does compare against a meade etx 90

    Reply
  10. Die legendäre Kartoffel Posted on May 6, 2020 at 11:26 am

    The mount World be awesome for bigger telescopes( I'm Thinking of something like 5 or 6 inch.)

    Reply
  11. Thomas Beckett Posted on May 6, 2020 at 11:26 am

    This little telescope does have a tripod connection 3/8” on the base

    Reply
  12. Mike Myers Posted on May 6, 2020 at 11:26 am

    I have this for a few years, bought for my daughter. 15:52 is a big issue with this.
    All the nice features are enticing but this really kills it.
    My advice is get a a telescope with a tripod instead.
    A tripod that might hold this mount somewhat stable is a few hundred bucks, that's a very expensive fix for a bad idea.

    Reply
  13. Rodier Ratafakus Posted on May 6, 2020 at 11:26 am

    It this auto tracking or it have goto function? can it find start i need?

    Reply
  14. Raizal Mohammad Posted on May 6, 2020 at 11:26 am

    Probably the best Telescope review on youtube,…easy step by step explaination,..clear camera movements and lighting.. a clear and easy to understand english even the non english speaking audience will easily understand… You really convinced me to buy this telescope ….Great review on the 90mm virtuoso maksutov … A big thumbs up …! tks.

    Reply
  15. spallan100 Posted on May 6, 2020 at 11:26 am

    Hi Rob, is it possible to attach my canon eos DSLR directly onto the Sky-Watcher Heritage 90 scope?

    Reply
  16. TUD_Looneytunes Posted on May 6, 2020 at 11:26 am

    with how much "optical zoom" can you compare the Sky-Watcher Heritage 90 ?

    Reply
  17. Michel Crotman Posted on May 6, 2020 at 11:26 am

    Dear Sirs, I´m from Brazil and want to buy one of this telescopes. My question is if is there any problems with the positioning system since I will use it in the South hemisfere?

    Could you help me?

    Reply
  18. Douglas Casagrande Posted on May 6, 2020 at 11:26 am

    What if you live in the southern hemisphere? Is there a button you press to let it know? and where do you need to point it so the scope will know the sky?

    Reply
  19. Teuku Syahrani Posted on May 6, 2020 at 11:26 am

    just decided to purchase this scope finally thanks

    Reply
  20. BluesmanniakRecords Posted on May 6, 2020 at 11:26 am

    I watched this video because I had problems with proper tracking by Virtuoso and some help. Manual is not very friendly and my Polish version is even shortened. I noticed, that you say nothing about this very important procedure:
    For observers in the Northern Hemisphere:1. Rotate the altitude axis of the mount until the scale reads 0° (Figure 6).2. Turn the power off, then on again.3. Move the altitude axis of the mount until the scale reads your local latitude4. Press the buttons marked “2/b” and “3/c” at the same time to record your latitude setting.
    I found this at original US manual and have to say it's crucial to tracking!
    BTW, what could I do in case I can't see Polaris? (clouds on the north-side or big trees). Starting procedure needs to point tube to Polaris, every time before power-on – any advice?

    Reply
  21. Iain Corkett Posted on May 6, 2020 at 11:26 am

    Hi, probably a basic question, but as I'm looking for my first scope I'm still learning (lots) – Once you've aligned the scope, will it need to be done again If you stay in the same location?

    Reply
  22. AntunesDalsgaard Posted on May 6, 2020 at 11:26 am

    Dear A&NC TV, Thank you so much for your fabulously informative videos that I am just discovering now! I am a noob to telescopic sky-watching and very much like what I see in the Virtuoso 90 for various reasons: the size and price are amenable to my wife 🙂 ..and I like the photography possibilities of the mount. I just have a single question: has a newer and better (but similar feature-wise and price-wise) package come out in the last couple of years since you did your video? For instance, the "National Geographic 90/1250mm GoTo Cassegrain Telescope" seems to be more or less the same package, but with the GoTo software and star charts/trackers?

    Reply
  23. CoolSpace Posted on May 6, 2020 at 11:26 am

    Fantastic review! Best I have seen. I was interested in this mount due to a recent health problem where I lost the use of my left arm and you have demonstrated to me that I can manage this. Keep up the great work and thanks!

    **Update: I received mine in the mail yesterday and was very impressed. I ordered mine with the 90mm Mak. The mount is easily managed with one hand and is clearly well built and solid. As you noted in the review, one has to consider what to put this on so it is comfortable to use. This is especially true with the little Mak. It has to be quite high for comfortable viewing. I found a solution that will make this very pleasant to use. I ordered a sturdy laptop stand. 
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B010SJ0Y0I?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00
    It is sturdy enough to hold this scope and very stable. It if fully adjustable in height from 33 to 53 inches which allows you to place the scope at the perfect height if you are seated. An added bonus is that the tripod base legs do not have a large footprint like a standard tripod. At 11 LBS, it is portable too.  
    I also purchased the Celestron power tank and a Meade 8-24mm zoom eyepiece to rid myself of the clutter of multiple eyepieces and caps. Next, I will purchase a 114mm Newtonian to round out this fine package.

    Reply
  24. Sergio Bahr Posted on May 6, 2020 at 11:26 am

    Would this little (pretty handsome) scope work for webcam imaging of planets?

    Reply
  25. miib2 Posted on May 6, 2020 at 11:26 am

    Great video… ^^
    can you also compare difference brand of the auto-tracking unit? see how they move when tracking.

    Reply
  26. junkjouster Posted on May 6, 2020 at 11:26 am

    where can i find the refactor version all i can find is the Newtonian version of the telescope. to clarify the telescope with the eyepiece in the rear.

    Reply
  27. BplusDrummer Posted on May 6, 2020 at 11:26 am

    Hello. Thank you for this video, it's very informative and interesting.
    I have a question: how are these two telescopes for sky watching in a relatively urban area (suburbs)? Is one of them better for that?

    Reply
  28. Alex Babiuc Posted on May 6, 2020 at 11:26 am

    Regarding the astronomical autotracking feature of the mount, the aligning setup is a little more complex than the video explanation. For the northern hemisphere, you have to align the scope to true north-south tilted at 0 degrees then turn it on. Then tilt it up to your latitude on globe (eg 45 degrees), marked on the mount's altitude scale and then press buttons 2 and 3 simultaneously. For the southern hemisphere you have to do this a little reversed: align the scope north-south, but tilted to your latitude this time. Then tilt it down to 0 degrees and press buttons 2 and 3.
    You can also find this information in the manual on Skywatcher's site here: http://www.skywatcher.com/downloads/MiniDOB.pdf

    Reply
  29. Nss Ssn Posted on May 6, 2020 at 11:26 am

    From what I understand, Sky-watcher Virtuoso can be mounted on a tripod. I am getting a one for my daughter, I'll let you know what I find out.

    Reply
  30. Tony Volante Posted on May 6, 2020 at 11:26 am

    I watched this video several times before deciding this was the scope for me. Just one minor point, the reviewer states that the scope cannot be mounted on a tripod.Wrong. There is a 3/8-19 UNC thread in the base. Most tripods use 1/4-20 thread, so you will need a converter, available on eBay. Does anyone know of any software to operate this scope from a PC/Laptop. Tried Stellarium, does not work. Don't want to buy Ursa Minor Skytour in case that wont work either.

    Reply
  31. Andrzej Papiewski Posted on May 6, 2020 at 11:26 am

    can you tell me what adapter I need to attach my Pentax K50 camera into it please?

    Reply
  32. Marcelo Iannini Posted on May 6, 2020 at 11:26 am

    Writing to inform that I have created a collimation mechanism. I used the lathe (nice first project!) to cut a aluminium ring about 4mm thick (106mm OD, 98mm ID) that fits inside the Virtuoso Mak 90 optical tube and the mirror can pass through the ring. I had to drill three holes on the tube about one inch further from the original plastic back cover, which hold the primary mirror. In the ring I drilled and tapped three M3 holes. On the plastic back cover (understand it as the mirror cell), I drilled three free passing holes and three M3 threaded holes. I then machined out of brass three long M3 screws that pushes the back plate and three shorter screws that pulls the back plate. This way, my Virtuoso Mak 90 now has collimation adjustment.
    I first collimated using artificial stars and fine-tuned on the real sky. It´s now very, very good!
    I called the Skywatcher distributor and they told me that the original Virtuoso Mak has no adjustment, that sometimes loosening the back cover and lightly tapping with a rubber hammer to deform the tube can bring a miscollimated telescope to good use. They offered to replace my faulty unit, but I came with a much funnier (and rewarding) solution. I hope I find the time post a video of this modification.

    Reply
  33. Kane856 Posted on May 6, 2020 at 11:26 am

    Is there anyway to align the mount if the pole star isn't in your field of view from the 'scope location?

    Reply
  34. stuartmduncan Posted on May 6, 2020 at 11:26 am

    Hi! Are you able to specify (if possible) exactly how easy it would be to mount the telescope onto a tripod?  Obviously in the video it's been stated that the telescope is compatible with a 'prosumer tripod via a 3/8" thread' but what exactly does this mean?  Potentially buying one of these in the next few days and just want to be sure.  Excellent video 🙂

    Reply
  35. Marcelo Iannini Posted on May 6, 2020 at 11:26 am

    Hello again. I have confirmed that it's out of collimation. The Virtuoso does not have collimation screws, unlike it's siblings' Starmax/BK Mak series.
    I've noted that the tube shape is extremely important on these. My vendor told me that he loosens the three PH screws that hold the back plate to the tube, and lightly uses a rubber hammer to re-form the cylindrical shape of the tube, bringing it to collimation.
    Since I've changed the finder to a right angle and adapted an ETX motorfocus to my Virtuoso, I've opened this OTA a few times. Once I've replaced the back plate to nearly perfect collimation (best views from Eta Carniae at a star part out of 50+ telescopes). Trying to collimate by loosening/retightening the PH screws is nearly impossible.
    Instead of the hammering, I've disassembled the mirror and it's "focusing tube", unscrewing this internal tube from the plastic back plate. It has striped the plastic plate in the process (not to panic, as my virtuoso was useless as it was with over 1 collimation wave error!). Then I've drilled and tapped three M3 screws onto the 42 mm ring retainer that holds the mirror focusing tube to the plastic back plate and then I could finally tilt the primary mirror towards a more collimated state. I've used an Hubble artificial stars flashlight and after some two hours of tweaking the bolts, I've got into a very acceptable 1/7 wave aberration (according to http://legault.perso.sfr.fr/collim.html). This is not an easy to do modification (machine shop skills required) and even harder (very hard, indeed) to do the collimation using the 3-bolts I've inserted into the interior of the first ring that goes into the virtuoso Mak90. I have to remove the eyepiece every time to do an adjustment and that is pretty much a pain…
    Anyway, looking forward to a nice cloud-free night to give it a try.
    If I find it hard to accept, I'll try to create an internal metal ring inside the main tube and then create adjustable screw holes to attach the whole plastic back plate.
    And, yes, I'm quite novice, but already got int ATM business (just finished my first 200mm dob and it's awesome!).
    Thanks for the videos!

    Reply
  36. jedburgh01 Posted on May 6, 2020 at 11:26 am

    Hi, I recently bought one of these and get the best views of the moon I've ever had using a cheap 3x barlow lens. Dumb question but where do I put a moon filter? Great vid regards

    Reply
  37. SavageBoi Posted on May 6, 2020 at 11:26 am

    Can you hook it up to a computer with stellarium and be able to find objects with it?

    Reply
  38. Alec Ludlow Posted on May 6, 2020 at 11:26 am

    Robert, one of your best ever videos? Excellent demonstration. Thank you.

    Reply
  39. Ray Price Posted on May 6, 2020 at 11:26 am

    Superb video.  Is there anyway to collimate the Virtuoso 114p OTA?  There are no adjustment screws on the primary mirror and the box contained instructions for the mount setup only. I suspect that the primary mirror is permanently fixed and adjustment is via the secondary mirror, but, without a user guide, I am loathe to test my theory! Many thanks. Ray.

    Reply
  40. Maurice Heneghan Posted on May 6, 2020 at 11:26 am

    Can I use the non AZ synscan supplied with the NEQ6 pro with the heritage 90 ?

    Maurice.

    Reply
  41. jedburgh01 Posted on May 6, 2020 at 11:26 am

    hi, very informative, I have a meade goto handset, do you know if I can just plug and play it with this telescope?

    Reply
  42. skylinevspec000 Posted on May 6, 2020 at 11:26 am

    I cant find this in Australia. if I buy internationally does it have a southern hemisphere switch?

    Reply
  43. Simon Hill Posted on May 6, 2020 at 11:26 am

    I am currently looking to get the 90 version specifically for use with my SLR.  I assume there are no tracking issues with the motors when the weight of an SLR is added to the end of the scope?

    Reply
  44. fouloleron2002 Posted on May 6, 2020 at 11:26 am

    Having sorted out some teething troubles with mine, I can tell you that this scope is absolutely superb.

    Reply
  45. Jim L Posted on May 6, 2020 at 11:26 am

    great job as always…Ill be purchasing the mount as I already have both scopes similar to those. The mount looks great………

    Reply
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