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What is the best collimator for the money?

collimation Celestron
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#26 REC

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Posted 26 January 2019 - 02:14 PM

The Hotech 2" is a marvel of accuracy and ease of use. I verified it was collimated, then collimated the scope in about five minutes.  Pricey but it costs a lot less than many eyepieces touted on these very boards.

After setting everything I removed the Hotech, rotated it 180 and rechecked... spot on. did this test several times. My focuser is precise, that may be why it works so well.

If you get a bad one send it back.

+1


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#27 Cfreerksen

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Posted 26 January 2019 - 11:26 PM

I thought the best for the money was a star?

 

Chris



#28 emflocater

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Posted 26 January 2019 - 11:28 PM

I thought the best for the money was a star?

 

Chris

It is. Known as the Hubble Optics 5-Star Artificial Star

Cheers

Don


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#29 Ranger Tim

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Posted 27 January 2019 - 03:57 PM

Lots of ways to collimate. The person's skill level is the most variable factor that I've seen. Lots of bad secondaries out there too. The sight tube/cheshire combo puts it all together correctly.

 

Here's the DIY el cheapo method: You can make a sight tube from 1-1/4 inch sink tailpiece from Home Depot or Lowe's. Use an old 35mm film canister top with a hole centered in it for a collimation cap, especially if you line the underside with white reflective material. You can even get some nylon thread and make cross-hairs for the tube if you want.

 

Me? I have a Ho-Tech, cheshire, sight tube, dedicated barlow, and collimation caps. I'm picky about collimation... Just not rich enough for the Glatter... yet. BTW, I gave my Orion laser away a long time ago.



#30 tfigs121

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Posted 27 February 2019 - 04:25 PM

The Hotech 2" is a marvel of accuracy and ease of use. I verified it was collimated, then collimated the scope in about five minutes.  Pricey but it costs a lot less than many eyepieces touted on these very boards.

After setting everything I removed the Hotech, rotated it 180 and rechecked... spot on. did this test several times. My focuser is precise, that may be why it works so well.

If you get a bad one send it back.

I just picked one of these up.  Had been using the laser collimator that came with the scope.  Got the HoTech with the crosshairs.  Simple to use.  All my eyepieces are 2", so I liked that the HoTech was also 2".  Its expensive though and I am considering returning it.  In your opinion, is it really worth the price?  

 

Thanks.

 

Thom



#31 Conaxian

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Posted 27 February 2019 - 10:39 PM

I just picked one of these up.  Had been using the laser collimator that came with the scope.  Got the HoTech with the crosshairs.  Simple to use.  All my eyepieces are 2", so I liked that the HoTech was also 2".  Its expensive though and I am considering returning it.  In your opinion, is it really worth the price?  

 

Thanks.

 

Thom

I'm having a hard time answering the question due to the polar weather has dampened my enthusiasm so I put it off for a nicer night. I view star-gazing as a fun activity and this weather is less than pleasant.  Anyway, I haven't used the scope I collimated with the ho tec.

  I figure it has to be better than a unit that has the focuser set screw tightened down to hold it in place. I don't need an adapter either that would add yet another variable.

 The design appeals to me for its clever expanding o-ring arrangement and the machine work is top notch. The beam is nice and tight, so for me it is worth it, but a regular collimator might work just as well for all I know. I don't have one to compare it with.

I can tell by handling it the people at ho tec tried to make it as good quality as they could.



#32 havasman

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Posted 27 February 2019 - 10:58 PM

What did you spend on your scope?

 

To what percentage of its potential would you like it to work?

 

​It has always seemed to me that the answer to those 2 questions made the answer to the value of a top rank collimation device like a Glatter or maybe Hotech easier to discern.

 

Plus, the Barlowed laser technique can be effective with a less than perfect laser.

 

Me? Glatter laser/Tublug/Parallizer works just great and is a tremendous bargain. But I got mine way back when they were sold for much less than they are worth.


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#33 JOEinCO

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Posted 28 February 2019 - 11:16 AM

The title says "What is the best collimator for the money".

 

Price-dependent, my vote - hands down - goes for a Cheshire followed by a star. waytogo.gif 


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#34 csrlice12

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Posted 28 February 2019 - 11:22 AM

Living next door to Vic Menard....


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#35 gnowellsct

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Posted 02 March 2019 - 09:55 PM

The Takahashi collimation scope is IMO one of the best.  No laser required.  You are lining up with the center of an optical eyepiece.  I'm not sure it's possible to do better.  The Takahashi collimation scope frequently discovers small errors in the best laser scope alignments.  It's $300 but if you want the best collimator for the money I think that's the one.  

 

Greg N



#36 stanlothrop

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Posted 03 April 2019 - 08:09 PM

I'm starting to get a handle on colimating my 10" Skywatcher by using my 2.5x barlow with a colimated laser but I still need some kind of sight tube.

I'm not sure which sight tube I should get, 1 a used tactron (on C.N.classifides) or 2 a new astrosystems light pipe, both about the same price.

 

My views seem sharp but I've never had good enough seeing to star test over about 130x  The secondary looks good through my home made colimation cap?

 

This is my first real telescope ( F4.7 collapsible ) with which I have had at least 20 sessions in the last year since I got it. The clayford focuser has 1.5" travel and extends about 1/4" into the OTA at mid focus.

 

If anyone has an opinion on which multi tool is better, or any other suggestions your advice would be most appreciated

 

Thank you so much. You guys are very helpful.

 

EP's Baader, 31mm (72 degree) 17.5 Morpheus, Celestron 9mm X Cel LX and Lumions 2" 2.5x barlow 

 

Having lots of fun Clear Sky's



#37 sg6

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Posted 04 April 2019 - 09:41 AM

The "best" is the one that words for you. That is the aspect that gets forgotten, with or without budget limitations.

 

If you are in a club politely ask around and just gather information.

 

Reads that you should be able to adjust your laser to get it central, if so then give that a try. Usually a basic V block is required just so it sits correctly for you to rotate it. Probably going to take half an hour or more to work it all out.

 

Then comes does the now collimated laser sit correctly in the focuser. That I suspect could be a problem if it is poorly located.

 

Know anyone who does wood turning?

Get a fancy collimation cap made. Lower section should fit snugly in the focuser (1.25" eyepiece) then a slight lip to butt against the focuser tube and a central hole to view through. Here I bought some plugs from Astroboot and all the 1.25" ones have a central 3mm hole. Perfect as a collimation cap. Called "posh plug" on the astroboot web site in case you are in UK or EU, and want to have a look. Not worth the postage etc if in the US. But ideal (accidental) items for such.

 

For Stanlothrop (Victoria club??) I suggest either a simple collimation cap if it proves accurate enough or a cheshire. You want something that is quick and easy. A collapsable newtonian will I guess need checking just about every time, hence the quick and easy aspect.



#38 Starman1

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Posted 04 April 2019 - 09:58 AM

I'm starting to get a handle on collimating my 10" Skywatcher by using my 2.5x barlow with a collimated laser but I still need some kind of sight tube.

I'm not sure which sight tube I should get, 1 a used Tectron (on C.N.classifieds) or 2 a new Astrosystems light pipe, both about the same price.

 

My views seem sharp but I've never had good enough seeing to star test over about 130x  The secondary looks good through my home made collimation cap?

 

This is my first real telescope ( F4.7 collapsible ) with which I have had at least 20 sessions in the last year since I got it. The Crayford focuser has 1.5" travel and extends about 1/4" into the OTA at mid focus.

 

If anyone has an opinion on which multi tool is better, or any other suggestions your advice would be most appreciated

 

Thank you so much. You guys are very helpful.

 

EP's Baader, 31mm (72 degree) 17.5 Morpheus, Celestron 9mm X Cel LX and Luminos 2" 2.5x barlow 

 

Having lots of fun Clear Sky's

If you have a 2" focuser, get a 2" sight tube (e.g. Astrosystems Light Pipe or Catseye TeleTube) to eliminate one possible source of registration error--the adapter.

Personally, I prefer the Astrosystems, but either should work.



#39 Kipper-Feet

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Posted 04 April 2019 - 06:46 PM

To "stanlothrop" in post #36, please check your Personal Messenger Inbox.



#40 stanlothrop

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Posted 05 April 2019 - 07:55 PM

Thanks Aurora and Don for the prompt response

 

 My laser is collimated in it's 1 1/4 " 2" adapter, and fits nicely in the 2" focus tube. The laser has  a 2mm wide circular beam and registers good in the focuser. I use my barlow and can see the shadow of the primary's doughnut on the target of the collimator.

Unless I'm missing something I'm happy with that collimation of primary for now, proud of myself even smirk.gif  .....waytogo.gif I think.

 

I'm (some what) happy with the Collimatoin cap I made, the peep hole ended up being 4mm wide by the time I got concentric.  

 

I like the sound of the 2" light pipe but it"s over the budget for this year (about $125 Canadian to my door) 

 

I think that all I really need...?

Is a good quality sight tube with cross hairs.It would be more accurate then my collimation cap for checking or positioning the secondary, which is what I'm looking for.

 

My choices are

 

(A) a cheap combination tool from inside Canada, $40 Canadian

(B) the 1 1/4" light pipe, $75 Canadian

© try to find something used, $... ?

(D) try to build something.

 

I'm still undecided as to what I'm going to do but thanks for the advice

 

Looks like rain on the West Coast this weekbawling.gif



#41 Starman1

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Posted 05 April 2019 - 08:59 PM

Another choice but maybe too expensive is the First Light Optics Premium Cheshire/sight tube.
It comes in 1.25".

#42 Mike W.

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Posted 05 April 2019 - 10:47 PM

put your laser in the focuser and run it full travel, does the laser dot move? 

if so then adjust your focuser first, that can drive you nutz if it isn't.

 

[I used a long nylon "zip tie and then set that one one side of the draw-tube, let it hang and try to mark the edge where it touches the secondary side, then do the same for the other side, you can even do fore & aft adjustments.

 

once it measures the same rotation wise now use your laser to tweak the dot to the center spot on the primary, then Barlow and you're a step ahead.

 

No site tube needed. 


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#43 emflocater

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Posted 08 April 2019 - 09:39 AM



put your laser in the focuser and run it full travel, does the laser dot move? 

if so then adjust your focuser first, that can drive you nutz if it isn't.

 

[I used a long nylon "zip tie and then set that one one side of the draw-tube, let it hang and try to mark the edge where it touches the secondary side, then do the same for the other side, you can even do fore & aft adjustments.

 

once it measures the same rotation wise now use your laser to tweak the dot to the center spot on the primary, then Barlow and you're a step ahead.

 

No site tube needed. 

Huh! You lost me. Can you explain the zip tie deal a bit better please.

Cheers

Don


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#44 emflocater

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Posted 09 April 2019 - 09:08 AM

I'm starting to get a handle on colimating my 10" Skywatcher by using my 2.5x barlow with a colimated laser but I still need some kind of sight tube.

I'm not sure which sight tube I should get, 1 a used tactron (on C.N.classifides) or 2 a new astrosystems light pipe, both about the same price.

 

My views seem sharp but I've never had good enough seeing to star test over about 130x  The secondary looks good through my home made colimation cap?

 

This is my first real telescope ( F4.7 collapsible ) with which I have had at least 20 sessions in the last year since I got it. The clayford focuser has 1.5" travel and extends about 1/4" into the OTA at mid focus.

 

If anyone has an opinion on which multi tool is better, or any other suggestions your advice would be most appreciated

 

Thank you so much. You guys are very helpful.

 

EP's Baader, 31mm (72 degree) 17.5 Morpheus, Celestron 9mm X Cel LX and Lumions 2" 2.5x barlow 

 

Having lots of fun Clear Sky's

"I'm starting to get a handle on colimating my 10" Skywatcher by using my 2.5x barlow with a colimated laser but I still need some kind of sight tube."

 

Where are you mounting your handle!? bigshock.gif 

Cheers

Don 



#45 stanlothrop

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Posted 10 April 2019 - 06:43 PM

Thanks Surveyor 1 

That is a good idea. CHECK THE FOCUSER

 

I've seen the zip tie method for setting up the rotation of the secondary which looks quick and easy. Thanks Kipper-Feet, I may do that.

 

I'm going to build my own sight tube, for the long term so that I have a compatible sight tube for my scope as well.

 

Good stuff you guys Thanks! 



#46 Mike W.

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Posted 12 April 2019 - 07:48 AM

Huh! You lost me. Can you explain the zip tie deal a bit better please.

Cheers

Don

Morning Don, what you're doing is you're measuring from your fouser eyepiece holder to the edge of the mirror.

here's a guy doing it on YT.

https://www.youtube....7dn-nGGlo&t=11s

 

Instead of ZipTies, which I first used, I found a depth gauge that I rest in the eyepiece holder and measure with.



#47 Mike W.

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Posted 12 April 2019 - 08:06 AM

BTW, recently purchased an HG Tublug, now I know why I've heard such praise of his collimation tools.

Extremely sharp center spot reflection,

 

It may not be any more accurate to use than many other tools, but it sure is nice to use.

 

waytogo.gif


Edited by Mike W., 12 April 2019 - 08:06 AM.

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#48 Spacefreak1974

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Posted 12 April 2019 - 08:17 AM

In terms of a simple to use unit the Orion Lasermate II is tough to beat. I know the glatter systems are better quality, but as i'm the equipment loan coordinator for our club I collimate each scope before sending them out with a user and the Lasermate II has been so easy to use. At the $70 price point the other offerings, i.e. that come with the Apertura and other GSO dobs are known to be out of collimation themselves.

 

For collimating a run of the mill big brand dob with a less than optimal focuser you also need something rather lightweight as all of the focusers have some slop i've seen and any weight can make collimation really frustrating.

 

For folks starting out I recommend the Lasermate II as its an easy and quick way to get close to good collimation.

https://www.telescop...or/p/102109.uts

 

I'll probably get "those lasermates stink and are cheap and are not in collimation" responses, but they do the job and for the money they are tough to beat

 

Jon



#49 Vic Menard

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Posted 12 April 2019 - 05:55 PM

...For collimating a run of the mill big brand dob with a less than optimal focuser you also need something rather lightweight as all of the focusers have some slop i've seen and any weight can make collimation really frustrating.

 

For folks starting out I recommend the Lasermate II as its an easy and quick way to get close to good collimation.

https://www.telescop...or/p/102109.uts

 

I'll probably get "those lasermates stink and are cheap and are not in collimation" responses, but they do the job and for the money they are tough to beat...

I have an Orion laser that's identical to the one in the link you provided.

Mine arrived in collimation, but I managed to knock it out of collimation with "regular" (not rough) handling--you know, in the dark trying to get it inserted and registered in my Parallizer 2- to 1.25-inch adapter. Thankfully, it's not that difficult to realign...

 

I do recommend the Parallizer for any 1.25-inch laser that will be used in a 2-inch focuser as it eliminates most of the registration/focuser issues you noted. You can also dedicate a less expensive 2- to 1.25-inch adapter that's been trimmed out (tape/set screws) to deliver consistent registration (verified via rotation in the focuser).

 

Simple thin beam lasers like this are best for aligning the secondary mirror tilt (focuser axis), and if your scope is f/6 or slower, the return beam can be used for primary mirror tilt alignment. At f/5 (or faster), you'll get a better primary mirror alignment with a simple collimation cap (which is relatively insensitive to residual tilt errors in the focuser/adapter/laser). And if you have the simple thin beam laser and the collimation cap, you can do a pretty good job getting the secondary mirror placement sorted (see Jason's procedure here  https://www.cloudyni...ment/?p=5260727



#50 Conaxian

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Posted 13 April 2019 - 12:04 AM

I've ordered one of those Hubble artificial star flashlights. For the money, that's a good tool to have.  I like how you can take your time and get it collimated precisely, in the backyard at twilight, able to see the adjusting screws and collimate to a star that does not move, flicker or cloud over.

After using the laser and the cheshire, go to the star and finish up.  $25, free shipping ;)




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