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HoTech SCT Laser Collimator?

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#1 Kevdog

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 09:38 AM

Just came across this.
http://www.optcorp.c...or-w-fine-ad...

As a relative newbie, I'm always wondering if my collimation is good or not. Was hoping this could either fix my collimation or at least assure me that I'm pretty close.

Anyone used the system and have comments about it?

I have a Carbon Fiber C11 (fork mounted) and would like to ensure I have good collimation!

Thanks

#2 Jim W. Coleman

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 10:02 AM

I have used this system to collimate my 12" Meade LX90 and it worked very very well. The main thing is to have patience and take your time. The OTA must be precisely aligned to the collimation plate, but they also provide slow motion fine tuning controls that make it pretty easy. I have been very impressed with the system - mainly because I live near Seattle and it's always cloudy or raining, so I can bring the scope in from the observatory and collimate it in my garage. :)

#3 Jim W. Coleman

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 10:10 AM

Here's a link to a pictorial I put up on how to use the Hotech Laser Collimator ... hope this helps (and hope the link comes through ... still new here and haven't figured everything out yet ... :)

http://www.colemanap...ess/tna/?cat=46

#4 ubermick

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 02:13 PM

I haven't collimated mine (but really bloody should get around to it!) but this seems like a bit overkill when from what I've repeatedly read, a star does the job nicely?

#5 Kevdog

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 05:21 PM

I think it's all about confidence. I've read 5437 articles about collimating an SCT, but that doesn't mean I'm confident I'm "getting it right" when I actually go to do it. When I first got my C11, the "donut" when it is far out of focus wasn't even centered, so I'm definitely better than that!

$400 is a bit steep for sure, and it'd be easier to swallow if it was $200 or so.

I'm still not sure about getting one, but I'm thinking a 2" diagonal and upgraded focuser would do me better. But it's hard to decide!

#6 ubermick

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 12:59 AM

Apologies Kev, wasn't trying to infer anything - like I said, I've never even attempted to collimate my wee C8. But if I had $400 to spend, then I'd probably go for their standard little laser collimator (which used to be something like $60 on Amazon, but is unavailable now) and spend the rest on a feathertouch.

Agree with what you say though. Anytime I've tried looking up info on collimating an SCT, most threads seem to devolve into a "Why waste your money, just use a star" type dealie, but those comments are always from folks who've done it plenty of times and are completely comfortable with the process.

#7 EFT

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 12:11 PM

It is a nice piece of equipment, but the reason I have one is because I collimate numerous scopes for other people. For my own scopes I was simply using a star or an artificial star. The question becomes, is it worth the cost if you only use it once or very rarely? That is up to you. If you watch for a little while, you can find one used for closer to $300 usually.

#8 WesC

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 01:04 PM

You know, it would be kinda cool to have a collective ownership of one of these things in a local area. That way we could distribute the cost and since its rarely used we could just pas it around when we need it. ;)

#9 Mitchell Duke

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 01:12 PM

Yes but does it collimate as good as a high power in focus star?

#10 EFT

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 01:12 PM

You know, it would be kinda cool to have a collective ownership of one of these things in a local area. That way we could distribute the cost and since its rarely used we could just pas it around when we need it. ;)


If you have a local club, they could get on and have a periodic collimation night for everyone to bring in their scopes.

#11 Kevdog

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 04:41 PM

Will try and find a used one.... good idea!

#12 EFT

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 04:46 PM

Will try and find a used one.... good idea!


There has been one up on AstroMart recently for under $300!!

#13 Kevdog

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 05:27 PM

I just looked on astroMart and found an ad for one, but can't see the full ad (not a member).

Is that one still current at under $300?

#14 EFT

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 06:04 PM

Yes. That is the one. It is listed for $285. Even if you pay the fee to join, $300 is a good price.

#15 Kevdog

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 06:25 PM

Now just have to scrape up another $300! The last $300 went on a new 2" diagonal and a new 2" eyepiece. Thanks for letting me know!

#16 Ed Wiley

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 06:30 PM

Haven't used one and don't feel I need one. If you learn to collimate using stars (artificial or real) you will not need anything extra. BTW: regular lasers, very useful for Newtonians, are not useful for SCTs IMO. For collimation see, for example:

http://legault.perso....fr/collim.html
http://www.astromart...?article_id=548
http://skywatch.brai...collimation.pdf (Uncle Rod his self)

Ed

#17 Jim W. Coleman

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 07:25 PM

I am reading comments from some similar to: "Why use a collimation device when the best way to do it is a star?" I agree. But living near Seattle, I don't get many stars to collimate by and when I do, I would rather be using my telescope. I purchased the Hotech system and used it to collimate my scopes over the winter, in the comfort of my garage. The system worked very well. It was pricey, yes. But it worked and when the skies started to clear in Spring, I was able to take the telescope back out to the observatory, throw it on the wedge and it's ready to go. I can fine-tune on stars over the summer but come next winter, I can bring everything back in and take my time to do a precise collimation indoors. Not everyone's situation is the same. Just my two cents...

#18 Ed Wiley

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 09:00 PM

I am glad it works for you, Jim. :jump:

Ed

#19 Kevdog

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Posted 30 April 2013 - 09:50 AM

Funny enough being in Arizona, I don't have the same problem with clouds, but I do have the problem of telescope time outside. And coming into summer the heat is starting to build up so we don't have a lot of thermal stability. When I bought my 8" SCT in June, I couldn't properly collimate it until October when it finally started cooling off. No, the views weren't great either, but when I did stay up until 3am for cooler skies, I wanted to be viewing, not collimating.

I think this will be a good investment for me, once I have the money!

#20 ur7x

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Posted 30 April 2013 - 12:47 PM

I am reading comments from some similar to: "Why use a collimation device when the best way to do it is a star?" I agree. But living near Seattle, I don't get many stars to collimate by and when I do, I would rather be using my telescope. I purchased the Hotech system and used it to collimate my scopes over the winter, in the comfort of my garage. The system worked very well. It was pricey, yes. But it worked and when the skies started to clear in Spring, I was able to take the telescope back out to the observatory, throw it on the wedge and it's ready to go. I can fine-tune on stars over the summer but come next winter, I can bring everything back in and take my time to do a precise collimation indoors. Not everyone's situation is the same. Just my two cents...


Ever think about renting time on your collimator?

I'm in Seattle/Renton/Bellevue a couple of times a year... I'm not interested in spending a few hundred on more laser gear... But I might be interested in trading a case of beer for an hour or two on one of these gizmos...

Anyone consider creating a national registry of Collimator owners who will rent time with their set up?

#21 bilgebay

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Posted 30 April 2013 - 12:55 PM

Come on! This will kill David's business :)

#22 ur7x

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Posted 30 April 2013 - 09:08 PM

Maybe, but imagine if every SCT dealer bought one and offered a $20 collimation service... or imagine if every star club bought one on a similar "club" deal...

I'm much more likely to drop a few hundred on this gizmo if I actually could try before I could buy... If I collimate with this thing and it produces the best views of Jupiter my 925 has ever produced then I'm very likely to buy one for my garage.

#23 WesC

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Posted 01 May 2013 - 01:46 PM

This thing is cool, but its really overpriced.

#24 JJK

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Posted 01 May 2013 - 03:00 PM

This thing is cool, but its really overpriced.


Given the cost of the scopes that could most benefit from the device, I agree. However, it's likely not worth building, marketing and shipping it at a far lower price point.

#25 Calypte

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Posted 01 May 2013 - 07:30 PM

This thing is cool, but its really overpriced.

What should the price be?






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