#1  
Old 23-05-2020, 08:54 AM
ProSatanos (Filip)
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1st Collimator?

Hi All
I've had a 8" Skywatcher Dob for quite a while now, but never collimated it.


Looking for a easy to use beginner Collimator.


These are the ones I've found


Bintel
- Orion LaserMate II Deluxe - Looks nice and easy

- FarPoint 1.25" - Stickers on mirror seems scary!



Ebay
- Cheap chinese lasers - mixed reliability and accuracy?


Thanks in advance!


Regards


Filip
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  #2  
Old 23-05-2020, 09:03 AM
croweater (Richard)
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Not scary Filip. Most people have their mirror marked with centre spot for collimation. I prefer a cheshire eyepiece to a laser. Have a look at bintel.com.au under accessories, then collimation to check them out.
Cheers Richard.
ps. They call it a collimating eyepiece

Last edited by croweater; 23-05-2020 at 09:20 AM.
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  #3  
Old 23-05-2020, 09:18 AM
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Outcast (Carlton)
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Hi Filip & welcome to the forum,

Collimation is not quite as scary as it sounds but, it pays to have an understanding of the process.

My experience (which is not very substantial) as a relatively newcomer to collimating newtonians (my 12" Truss Dob) is that a combination of a collimating cap, cheshire eyepiece & a good laser make the job relatively straight forward once you understand what you are trying to accomplish.

I know people who can collimate wonderfully using just a cheshire eyepiece or collimating cap but, I am not one of them. Conversely, despite claims from some manufacturers, collimating with just a laser can actually result in poor collimation.

Best guide I have found for collimating a Newtonian reflector is the Astrobaby guide; very well explained process with pictures to guide you in what each stage should look like. It is vital that you follow the process & get each stage correct as it influences the outcome of the next stage. My first go took me close to half an hour but, after only a few goes, I'm down to probably 5 minutes tops...

http://www.astro-baby.com/astrobaby/...ian-reflector/

I use a homemade collimating cap & a $13 Ebay Cheshire eyepiece (short one) for checking secondary alignment & a Hotech laser for confirming secondary alignment & adjusting my primary mirror. I chose the Hotech because it is self centreing & is not affected by the uneven pressure exerted by grub screws or even the brass compression rings. The Hotech is not a particularly cheap item & maybe a cheaper one would do the job but, I like using it & it allows me to get consistent results.

Using the tools above, I can get my collimation done as part of my setup in daylight & then just do a quick star test at the beginning of my observinig session. The star test occasionally results in me having to give the primary a teeny weeny tweak but, thus far, I've managed to get my collimation close to spot on.

Hope this helps

Cheers
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Old 23-05-2020, 12:35 PM
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multiweb (Marc)
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If you have a newt the best out there is still the catseye kit. https://www.catseyecollimation.com/
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Old 26-05-2020, 05:04 PM
ProSatanos (Filip)
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Thanks All
I think I understand the process but still seems a bit scary, but I guess I will have to give it a go sooner or later.


Let me expand my question.


"What off the shelf collimator available in Australia would you recommend?"


Thanks!
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Old 26-05-2020, 06:14 PM
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Outcast (Carlton)
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The Farpoint kit has everything you need; you only need to apply the included stickers if your primary mirror doesn't already have a centre spot marked.

Irrespective, if your primary centre spot isn't marked, you will need to mark it anyway in order to collimate it. Check your primary, if it already has centre spot marked (usually a circular design in the centre of the mirror of some sort) then, you won't need to stick anything more to it.

If you don't wish to spend that much on collimating kit, check out this online shop run by one of our forum members. They have a laser collimator for about $55 & a cheshire eyepiece for about $37.

There are also plenty of other reputable Australian astro shops such as Sirius Optics, Astro Anarchy, Andrews Communications, Sidereal Trading to name but a few...

BINTEL aren't the only show in town...
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Old 27-05-2020, 10:13 PM
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ChrisV (Chris)
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The Orion Cheshire Collimator. Easy to use and is quite instructive for learning about collimation. And I would imagine it is more than enough for visual?

But I've now got a cat's eye set. Love it, no turning back. Great for my imaging newt!
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Old 29-05-2020, 04:39 PM
etill (Elliot)
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I've ordered the catseye kit too, seems like it's loved by all who have them. Mine has been stuck in transit for a month now though.

You could try no collimator?

https://garyseronik.com/no-tools-telescope-collimation/
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  #9  
Old 29-05-2020, 11:53 PM
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barx1963 (Malcolm)
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Filip
Regardless which tools you buy, the important thing with collimation is not to be intimidated by it.
Watch carefully how much time you spend doing it. You read about people spending heaps of time to get it just right, but it is all about diminishing returns. Spend 10-15 minutes then stop. Use your scope, it it is drastically wrong and you can see it, by all means go back and do it again, but if views are good, just enjoy them. Each time you collimate you get a bit better and quicker and soon it will only take a couple of minutes.
Then if you want, do some research and learn to hyper tune it if you want (but realistically, on an 8" dob, probably not going to make a lot of difference!)

Malcolm
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Old 31-05-2020, 05:19 PM
Hans Tucker (Hans)
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I purchased a 10" f4.8 a while back and it has been sitting in its box because I am a great procrastinator plus I couldn't decide on what Collimation Tools to get. I spotted the TS-Optics 2@ LED Collimator and it looks so simple and easy to use.

https://www.siderealtrading.com.au/p...of-telescopes/
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  #11  
Old 31-05-2020, 10:55 PM
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wavelandscott (Scott)
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There are many great tools that can be used to collimate your telescope.

A good tool that helped me understand the basics was the Orion Telescope Collimating Eyepiece...no laser or batteries needed. Solid and consistent it is easy to use and helped me build me understanding of the process. My first scope was an 8 inch and the Orion too, worked a treat.

As I got bigger (and better) scopes I got bigger and better tools...including the Glatter Laser and Tu-blug and eventually a Catseye System.

I still use one or all depending on my purpose. All work and all give good results. Collimating a reflecting telescope sounds at first glance like it is complicated but once you understand what you are doing and how to do it, it is a snap.
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Old 02-06-2020, 05:50 PM
ProSatanos (Filip)
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Thanks all for the great advice.


This has triggered complete "Analysis Paralysis".


Arghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
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  #13  
Old 02-06-2020, 07:19 PM
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Outcast (Carlton)
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If I may be frank; I would start with the KISS principal & go with a cheshire eyepiece & a laser...

These represent a relatively simple & cost effective approach to be quite honest & using them allows me (as a fairly new comer to Newts) to effectively collimate both my 12" f5 & 5"f5 Newtonians in no time at all...

Whilst I did splash the cash a little for my laser (Hotech) after going through the process a few times now I must concede, I probably could have spent less.

Understand the 'Paralysis by analysis' conundrum, I often suffer from it as well but, if you stick to the KISS principal with this & follow Astrobaby's guide you will be collimating with ease in no time flat...

My 1.78 cents worth...

Cheers
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