As my signature shows, I have a Meade DS-2130AT. This is a 5.1-inch short-tube spherical newtonian with a Bird-Jones corrector. I am very frustrated by being completely unable to collimate the **** thing. And this has led me to think that the scope is a just a gigantic, utterly useless piece of junk anyway.
I have seen some collimation tips for a B-J where they say that the first step is to take off the B-J lens, and to do that, you have to completely disassemble the focuser. I'm sorry, but that just ain't happening. Number one, I feel very uncomfortable taking apart the scope: the focuser, the spider, etc. Number two, I just ain't that handy, so I feel like I will bust the thing up or not be able to put it back together again without screwing things up royally. So, please don't tell me "No, it'll be okay; just take it apart." You have to understand that I am simply not capable of doing that. No way. There has to be some other way.
Another thing is that I have no spatial conception ability whatsoever. Honestly, when I took the "folding the boxes" test in 6th grade, I scored in the 4th percentile - I'm that lame. Even with something as simple as aligning the secondary, I screw that up too - when I mess with the three screws, I have no idea what I'm doing, I can't get the stupid mirror in the right place, and I get very frustrated very quickly. I have a complete lack of mechanical aptitude.
I understand that a laser collimator doesn't work on a B-J scope. Not really a problem, since I don't have one. The scope also didn't come with a collimation cap OR a cheshire. And, of course, there is no center spot on the mirror. And, again, I have no confidence in my ability to take the telescope apart by removing the mirror to put a spot on it. However, if you can honestly tell me, "Yes, even though your scope is generally a POS, if you can get it collimated well, it will be decent," then I will be happy to spend the money to get some sort of collimation tool other than a laser.
There has got to be another way to collimate a B-J scope without taking everything apart. Is there a guide or a video online somewhere? I have looked, and other than a video on collimating a Celestron B-J, I haven't been able to find one that doesn't start out with "remove the B-J lens." Maybe there's somewhere I can go where they'll teach me how to do it? Local star parties have been getting called recently over and over again for the past month because of clouds.
Since I'm in Manhattan, can I just take it over to Adorama or B&H Photo or somewhere else and have them collimate the **** thing for me? I'll pay!!! Who should I ask for over there?
Or if not, should I just take a walk on the Brooklyn Bridge and pitch it over the side? Or would you suggest the George Washington Bridge instead? I wouldn't mind doing that, trust me. I feel like I wouldn't want to torture someone else by passing this POS along to them.
And second question - I would love to just forget this whole scope and buy an 8-inch dob instead. Someone please tell me that a normal, regular old dob is easier to collimate. I've watched a bunch of videos, and it just doesn't look too hard. I think even an uncoordinated putz like me could do what I see in the videos. But be honest with me - if I am unable to collimate this, does that sink my hopes for being able to collimate a dob? Should I just buy a refractor instead and be done with this whole collimation business?
What do you think? Help me, Obi-Wan, you're my only hope!
Edited by jgroub, 24 October 2014 - 03:42 AM.