Here’s the target I used last time I made one.
Dynamax 8 SCT Restore
Posted Yesterday, 11:12 AM
When I have rebuild Schmdt Cass, I use a target like Gil has shown in place of the corrector and then a laser collimator in the focuser. The rear cell is adjusted so the laser hits the center of the target. Now the mechanical axis of the mirror mount is concentric with the mechanical axis of the tube, but that doesn't mean the primary is correctly aligned.
The target is removed and I tape two pieces of string across the front of the scope at 90 degrees to each other and they cross exact in the middle of the opening for the corrector. Many time you can use the screw holes for the retainer ring as reference points to place the string at exactly 90 degrees to each other.
Now you stand back a couple of feet and look at the primary. You'll see the reflections of the strings in the primary. Move you head so the reflection are directly behind the strings. If the mirror is adjusted correctly the reflection should be exactly centered behind the strings if not then the mirror is tilted and needs to be adjusted as well so the optical axis of the mirror and the mechanical axis of the tube and mirror cell are the same. If not then you can try to collimate the scope until the cows come home and you'll never get it right.
Here is a picture that shows what I'm describing.
Now once you have the primary and mirror cell correctly aligned you can move on to the secondary and corrector. Check that the secondary is centered on the mounting plate. The figure on the secondary is NOT spherical so it is critical that the mechanical and optical axis are the same and that happens when it it centered on the mounting plate. Install the secondary cell in the corrector but don't fully tighten down it so you can move it.
Center the the corrector in it cell the best you can because they are not perfectly round. Now measure from the ID of the corrector cell to the center of the secondary cell. Now you snug up the secondary cell so it can not rotate it in the corrector. Rotate the whole assembly so one of the alignment screws is at 12:00 o'clock. This makes aligning the secondary much easier when viewing a star since the movement of the secondary matches the position of the alignment screw ie if you need to move the secondary up and down you only need to adjust one screw not a combination of screws.
Now install the retainer ring for the corrector. Tighten the screws evenly in a star pattern to tighten them and only a little past finger tight so not to warp the corrector.
With the optical axis and mechanical axis all concentric it will be easy to align the secondary to get round star images.
- highfnum, mdowns, Bomber Bob and 1 other like this
Posted Yesterday, 12:59 PM
God, I love this forum.
- mdowns likes this