I ordered the Howie Glatter and the Blug. I thought this problem was solved. Why exactly do you need to collimate [better] at f /4.5 anyway? What is the process of collimating at f/4.5 [that's different from other f/ratios]. Aren't we splitting hairs here?
In my opinion, all the Catseye stuff is too expensive for my blood. Since there are no other 2" autocollimators on the Market? - What about this: Would this work with a 1.25 to 2" adaptor?
Seems to me I have purchased a telescope that has numerous design flaws and won't hold collimation. Maybe I'll just cancel the Order, and all the accessories, and buy an SCT.
There is no difference in the process of collimation at f/4.5 than at f/8. The difference is that the maximum allowable tolerances for miscollimation shrink substantially. Therefore, a user of a shorter f/ratio scope needs to hone his skills at collimation.
The likelihood is that the Glatter laser and BLUG, if repeated (recheck after using each tool once), will get you close enough to perfect collimation to give you star images as close to perfect as the scope and seeing conditions allow.
The autocollimator is a far more sensitive tool, and collimation using it is closer to perfect than not using it. Will you see it? Perhaps not. But if the scope's collimation drifts slightly during the night, if you were AC perfect at the start, the miscollimation that occurs is less likely to drift to a point where miscollimation is visible.
And, if you use a Paracorr (you may, you may not), tolerances tighten by a factor of 6, making use of the autocollimator nearly essential.
A good 1.25" autocollimator will work fine. I would suggest the one from Astrosystems or the one from Tectron (discontinued, but still out there) If you can afford a dedicated 2" adapter for it, you essentially have a 2" tool. The 1.25" AC won't have as wide a field of view as a 2", but I've seen them in use, and they work well. A used Catseye might be found. And there are a couple more brands coming out soon. It seems more and more people are discovering the advantages of using one.
You haven't bought a scope that is inherently flawed, where collimation is concerned, just a scope that needs collimation. Once collimated, there doesn't appear to be any reason why the scope shouldn't retain collimation. Even very expensive scopes need to have tweaks made, though. I've helped some owners of very large scopes more expensive than my car go through the "shakedown" problems one experiences with nearly every new scope. I had one friend with a $60K+ scope have collimation problems for almost a year before they were satisfactorily eliminated.
And spending a few hours on the mechanicals of a scope seem negigible when amortized over the life of a scope. I don't even want to mention how many hours I spent rebuilding and refinishing parts of my scope.
But it was worth it, I think.