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Equipment Discussions >> Cats & Casses

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Kevdog
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 07/11/12

Loc: Desert Hills, AZ
HoTech SCT Laser Collimator?
      #5824056 - 04/26/13 10:38 AM

Just came across this.
http://www.optcorp.com/ht-act-m2-2inch-advanced-ct-laser-collimator-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


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Jim W. Coleman
member
*****

Reged: 03/04/13

Loc: Puget Sound, Washington, USA
Re: HoTech SCT Laser Collimator? new [Re: Kevdog]
      #5824122 - 04/26/13 11:02 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.

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Jim W. Coleman
member
*****

Reged: 03/04/13

Loc: Puget Sound, Washington, USA
Re: HoTech SCT Laser Collimator? new [Re: Kevdog]
      #5824135 - 04/26/13 11:10 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.colemanapps.com/Wordpress/tna/?cat=46


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ubermick
super member
*****

Reged: 04/12/12

Loc: San Rafael, CA
Re: HoTech SCT Laser Collimator? new [Re: Jim W. Coleman]
      #5824641 - 04/26/13 03:13 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?

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Kevdog
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 07/11/12

Loc: Desert Hills, AZ
Re: HoTech SCT Laser Collimator? new [Re: ubermick]
      #5825015 - 04/26/13 06:21 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!


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ubermick
super member
*****

Reged: 04/12/12

Loc: San Rafael, CA
Re: HoTech SCT Laser Collimator? new [Re: Kevdog]
      #5825598 - 04/27/13 01:59 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.


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EFT
Vendor - Deep Space Products
*****

Reged: 05/07/07

Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Re: HoTech SCT Laser Collimator? new [Re: ubermick]
      #5826292 - 04/27/13 01:11 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.

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WesC
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 02/06/13

Loc: La Crescenta, CA
Re: HoTech SCT Laser Collimator? new [Re: EFT]
      #5826410 - 04/27/13 02:04 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.

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Mitchell Duke
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 04/22/08

Loc: Georgia
Re: HoTech SCT Laser Collimator? new [Re: WesC]
      #5826422 - 04/27/13 02:12 PM

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

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EFT
Vendor - Deep Space Products
*****

Reged: 05/07/07

Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Re: HoTech SCT Laser Collimator? new [Re: WesC]
      #5826423 - 04/27/13 02:12 PM

Quote:

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.


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Kevdog
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 07/11/12

Loc: Desert Hills, AZ
Re: HoTech SCT Laser Collimator? new [Re: EFT]
      #5830783 - 04/29/13 05:41 PM

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

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EFT
Vendor - Deep Space Products
*****

Reged: 05/07/07

Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Re: HoTech SCT Laser Collimator? new [Re: Kevdog]
      #5830793 - 04/29/13 05:46 PM

Quote:

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




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


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Kevdog
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 07/11/12

Loc: Desert Hills, AZ
Re: HoTech SCT Laser Collimator? new [Re: EFT]
      #5830873 - 04/29/13 06:27 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?


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EFT
Vendor - Deep Space Products
*****

Reged: 05/07/07

Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Re: HoTech SCT Laser Collimator? new [Re: Kevdog]
      #5830923 - 04/29/13 07:04 PM

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

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Kevdog
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 07/11/12

Loc: Desert Hills, AZ
Re: HoTech SCT Laser Collimator? new [Re: EFT]
      #5830950 - 04/29/13 07:25 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!

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Ed Wiley
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 05/18/05

Loc: Kansas, USA
Re: HoTech SCT Laser Collimator? new [Re: EFT]
      #5830956 - 04/29/13 07:30 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.sfr.fr/collim.html
http://www.astromart.com/articles/article.asp?article_id=548
http://skywatch.brainiac.com/collimation.pdf (Uncle Rod his self)

Ed


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Jim W. Coleman
member
*****

Reged: 03/04/13

Loc: Puget Sound, Washington, USA
Re: HoTech SCT Laser Collimator? new [Re: Kevdog]
      #5831041 - 04/29/13 08:25 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...

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Ed Wiley
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 05/18/05

Loc: Kansas, USA
Re: HoTech SCT Laser Collimator? new [Re: Jim W. Coleman]
      #5831193 - 04/29/13 10:00 PM

I am glad it works for you, Jim.

Ed


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Kevdog
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 07/11/12

Loc: Desert Hills, AZ
Re: HoTech SCT Laser Collimator? new [Re: Ed Wiley]
      #5831969 - 04/30/13 10:50 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!


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ur7x
professor emeritus


Reged: 01/08/12

Re: HoTech SCT Laser Collimator? new [Re: Jim W. Coleman]
      #5832382 - 04/30/13 01:47 PM

Quote:

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?


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