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sealcove
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Reged: 06/12/13

Loc: Mount Desert Island, Maine
Glatter collimation tools – A beginners experience
      #5992141 - 07/26/13 10:46 PM

Against the advice of most, I ended up splurging on a 2” Glatter collimator, tuBlug & holographic grid. I had read through a number of forum posts and guides to Newtonian collimation, and while I understand that good collimation requires nothing more than a Cheshire, I wanted something that was faster and could be done easily at night. Using a laser in general seemed quite attractive, but worrying about if my laser would hold collimation was not. Rather than try various less expensive solutions, I subscribed to the spend money once and have it for life philosophy and here is a synopsis of my initial experience with the new tools.

First, I just want to mention that buying from Mr. Glatter was an excellent experience. Despite my fumbling beginner understanding of what I was doing and what I needed, Howie was extremely patient with questions asked by phone and email. He even promptly informed me that I had ordered a superfluous component (the self-barlowed attachment) and reversed the order for me.

In terms of the collimation process, of all the tutorials I read, I found one by Don Reed to be the most succinct and easily repeatable from start to finish. The only deviation is section 4, where Mr. Reed is using The Blug rather than a tuBlug for adjusting the primary, and with the tuBlug it is a considerably easier step. Link to Don Reed’s guide: http://dandjreed.homedns.org/collimation/lasercoll.html

I was excited to run through the entire process even if some of the steps have negligible benefits for visual observing. If nothing else, I wanted to learn as much as possible about how all of the components in the scope work and not be afraid to tweak or adjust anything. With that in mind I dove into my new AD10 and went through the whole process twice. I will keep it brief, but here is what I found:

•In pulling out the spider and checking the focuser alignment, I found it to be as close to right as I could measure. The focuser assembly is 3” across and the laser hit right at 1.5”. The focuser also looked properly centered on the perpendicular axis. No shimming required.

•Using the holographic grid to center the secondary optically was easier than I thought it was going to be. It all made sense once I saw what changing the height of the mirror did to the grid.

•Adjusting the secondary was the same as before, though more reliable with an accurate laser. I did learn that I was not keeping proper tension in the system by backing off of one knob and tightening another same amount. I had been twisting and turning without thought, and I am sure my secondary was not under enough tension before to keep from moving if the scope jot jostled.

•The final step of adjusting the primary was a cakewalk with the tuBlug. I got the 635nm laser and the contrast on the white face was very easy to see in a fairly bright room. Working from the bottom of the OTA, it was quick and simple to get the shadow of my center mark centered on the face. That was the kind of convenience and accuracy I was hoping for!

Everything seemed to go very smoothly each time through, and while I am sure I have not done everything perfectly, I do feel that I learned a lot and I am much more comfortable adjusting the scope. It certainly gave me confidence knowing that the tools were solid and that I had an easily repeatable process to adjust the scope from top to bottom. Now I just need a clear night for a start test to see if I have done things even remotely well. Even without seeing results at the EP yet, I can say that Mr. Glatter’s tools are wonderfully constructed and appear to all have incredibly tight tolerances. Even though I am relatively new to amateur astronomy, I am pretty confident that this is not a purchase that I will ever regret.


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okieav8rAdministrator
I'd rather be flying!
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Reged: 03/01/09

Loc: Oklahoma!
Re: Glatter collimation tools – A beginners experience new [Re: sealcove]
      #5992149 - 07/26/13 10:50 PM

Sealcove, I think you made an excellent choice with the Glatter tools. It won't take many tries for you to realize how easy it is to do, and how well collimated your telescope will be.

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Jon Isaacs
Postmaster
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Reged: 06/16/04

Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: Glatter collimation tools – A beginners experience new [Re: sealcove]
      #5992206 - 07/26/13 11:42 PM

Quote:

Even without seeing results at the EP yet, I can say that Mr. Glatter’s tools are wonderfully constructed and appear to all have incredibly tight tolerances. Even though I am relatively new to amateur astronomy, I am pretty confident that this is not a purchase that I will ever regret.






I bought a 1.25 inch Howie Glatter collimator about 12 years ago. Howie makes lifetime tools and he supports them. There's even a couple of Howie Glatter collimators up on top of Mount Palomar in the Observatory, I think they are used to align artificial star system that is part of the adaptive optics..

Jon


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WOBentleyModerator
Deep Sky Denizen
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Reged: 09/16/09

Loc: Pacific Northwest USA
Re: Glatter collimation tools – A beginners experience new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5992211 - 07/26/13 11:45 PM

Agreed that while it was a later purchase in my hobby life it is a great system

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frito
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 10/05/12

Loc: Fremont, CA
Re: Glatter collimation tools – A beginners experience new [Re: WOBentley]
      #5992361 - 07/27/13 02:25 AM

Howie makes top notch stuff and its always money well spent, i did not end up buying his laser or TuBlug, I opted for the Hotech due to price but I did spring for his Parallizer and love it, simple yet elegant design and it alone makes my Hotech much easier to use on my dob than the SCA adapter it came with. If i had do it again i would have just went with his stuff, can't go wrong with it, it costs a bit more but its 100% quality and when it comes to collimation quality matters big time.

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Cames
sage


Reged: 08/04/08

Re: Glatter collimation tools – A beginners experience *DELETED* new [Re: sealcove]
      #5992510 - 07/27/13 07:02 AM

Post deleted by Cames

Edited by Cames (07/27/13 07:27 AM)


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Ed Wiley
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 05/18/05

Loc: Kansas, USA
Re: Glatter collimation tools – A beginners experience new [Re: Cames]
      #5993001 - 07/27/13 01:13 PM

Good analysis. I have used the Glatter system for several years and really like it.

Ed


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Christopher Erickson
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 05/08/06

Loc: Waikoloa Village, Hawaii
Re: Glatter collimation tools – A beginners experience new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5993033 - 07/27/13 01:28 PM

Quote:

I bought a 1.25 inch Howie Glatter collimator about 12 years ago. Howie makes lifetime tools and he supports them. There's even a couple of Howie Glatter collimators up on top of Mount Palomar in the Observatory, I think they are used to align artificial star system that is part of the adaptive optics..

Jon




The only consumer-grade laser collimators I am aware of currently at Palomar is the HotechUSA SCA unit they use on the public outreach scopes.

But I'll ask again the next time I am there.


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lamplight
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 09/18/12

Loc: western MA, U.S.
Re: Glatter collimation tools – A beginners experience new [Re: Christopher Erickson]
      #5993148 - 07/27/13 02:50 PM

I should have bought mine from the beginning. I struggled for months.. partly because i didnt know ehat i was doing and different guides seemed to give different kinds of info. now its so easy. And a well collimated scope is SO noticeably better to look through. laser and tublug here. I also have the lower power less bright version and its PLENTY bright even in a well lit room in daylight.

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GeneT
Ely Kid
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Reged: 11/07/08

Loc: South Texas
Re: Glatter collimation tools – A beginners experience new [Re: sealcove]
      #5993216 - 07/27/13 03:52 PM

Quote:

Against the advice of most, I ended up splurging on a 2” Glatter collimator, tuBlug & holographic grid.




Excellent post! I don't know who would advise not buying the Glatter collimation products. The only downside is that they are expensive. However, like you said, properly taken care of, they should last a lifetime. I have had a few conversations with Howie. He is a very nice guy--and a very interesting conversationalist.


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sealcove
member


Reged: 06/12/13

Loc: Mount Desert Island, Maine
Re: Glatter collimation tools – A beginners experience new [Re: GeneT]
      #5993261 - 07/27/13 04:29 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Against the advice of most, I ended up splurging on a 2” Glatter collimator, tuBlug & holographic grid.




Excellent post! I don't know who would advise not buying the Glatter collimation products. The only downside is that they are expensive. However, like you said, properly taken care of, they should last a lifetime. I have had a few conversations with Howie. He is a very nice guy--and a very interesting conversationalist.




I should clarify that statement as it reads a bit funny now. The advice (both through the forum and from several friends) was geared toward what a beginner should be focusing on in terms of equipment and that taking a leap to the Glatter tools so early might be considered hasty given the cost. Everyone had great things to say about the tools.

I stewed on it for a couple of weeks, but I see more than a few forum posts with folks who end up with multiple lasers and other collimation tools that come close to or even exceed what the Glatter tools cost. I like good tools and easily repeatable results, so I decided that I was going to jump the gun and get the good stuff early!


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okieav8rAdministrator
I'd rather be flying!
*****

Reged: 03/01/09

Loc: Oklahoma!
Glatter collimation tools – A beginners experience new [Re: lamplight]
      #5993286 - 07/27/13 04:45 PM

Quote:

I should have bought mine from the beginning. I struggled for months.. partly because i didnt know ehat i was doing and different guides seemed to give different kinds of info. now its so easy. And a well collimated scope is SO noticeably better to look through. laser and tublug here. I also have the lower power less bright version and its PLENTY bright even in a well lit room in daylight.




I tried both the 635nm and 650nm lasers before I purchased my Glatter collimation tools. My own preference for the brighter laser is because I own 18" and 20" telescopes. I like the brighter 635nm laser over the 650nm laser because when using the Blug or TuBlug attachment to view the primary center spot on the screen, the image is much dimmer than a concentrated laser spot. In the 18" and 20" telescopes, the barlowed laser image becomes even dimmer due to the longer distance it travels. If I'm collimating before dusk or doing maintenance on my telescopes, the brighter laser makes it easier for me to see the dim image of the center spot on the screen. Granted, you can see a laser spot from the 650nm laser at anytime of day, but when the laser is in a barlow or TuBlug, The image it projects becomes becomes much dimmer.

I know that for many, the 650nm laser works just fine, but I prefer the 635nm. It's really a judgement call.


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GOLGO13
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 11/05/05

Loc: St. Louis area
Re: Glatter collimation tools – A beginners experience new [Re: sealcove]
      #5994368 - 07/28/13 09:28 AM

I really like my Glatter tools. I think you can't go wrong with either the Catseye or Glatter laser/tublug setup. I feel it's worth the investment especially if you have a fast focal ratio newtonian. And as you have mentioned Howie is a very good person to deal with.

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