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Astrosystems question

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#1 Hvezdoslav

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Posted 13 October 2020 - 12:19 PM

Has anyone had experience ordering from Astrosystems?

 

Thanks.



#2 havasman

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Posted 13 October 2020 - 12:51 PM

Never a full scope or kit but they are my only preferred supplier for spiders, secondary holders, secondary heaters and secondaries. Randy's easy to deal with and knows his products. He has always done exactly what he said he would. The website's prints for his secondary/spider systems are spot-on accurate which really helps planning a project. I have nothing but good to say of Astrosystems and have dealt with them several times over the last 5 or 6 years. The spider/secondary system I specified for the Teeter Dob under construction is all Astrosystems.



#3 rowdy388

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Posted 13 October 2020 - 12:54 PM

Ordered an upgraded secondary mirror from Astrosystems and had Randy install it on my old mount.

Great product and great service.


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#4 skywolf856

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Posted 13 October 2020 - 01:05 PM

When I try to open their website "www.astrosystems.biz" I get a browser block because of a suspicious top level domain? 



#5 Albanyco

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Posted 13 October 2020 - 02:29 PM

Just got a 2 inch light pipe from them. They are reputable.



#6 Hvezdoslav

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Posted 13 October 2020 - 02:39 PM

I am worried  because I ordered and paid for an autocollimator a month ago

and Randy wrote that he'd be sending it out in 1-2 days.  2 weeks later I call

about the status of my order (he wasn't replying to emails) and he apologized

that he was behind but that he would be mailing it in the next couple of days.  Now

it is two weeks later again and still nothing.  I can understand that someone

gets behind etc, but he should keep me informed and not string me along.

 

Michael



#7 BoldAxis1967

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Posted 13 October 2020 - 11:12 PM

The same thing happened to me with an autocollimator.  He got it to me.  I did not worry about it. I suspect that a bunch of these collimating tools are made in groups and he is just a little over ambitious with his time expenditures.  I also suspect that he is very meticulous, which is a good thing.  These sorts of things happen with relatively small businesses.



#8 OIC

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Posted 14 October 2020 - 09:03 AM

I ordered a lightpipe last December and had no problems, but Covid is slowing everything down.



#9 lphilpot

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Posted 14 October 2020 - 10:40 AM

The same thing happened to me with an autocollimator.  He got it to me.  I did not worry about it. I suspect that a bunch of these collimating tools are made in groups and he is just a little over ambitious with his time expenditures.  I also suspect that he is very meticulous, which is a good thing.  These sorts of things happen with relatively small businesses.

IME, you nailed it. Randy is meticulous, dependable and honest. But occasionally delivery estimates ended up being a little optimistic. Only happened to me once and it wasn't his doing - He was waiting for a part from a subcontractor, so I didn't get upset about it. I've heard the odd similar story here and there.

 

But the bottom line is, I'll deal with him again in a heartbeat. He's a good guy.


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#10 Hvezdoslav

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Posted 14 October 2020 - 03:57 PM

The same thing happened to me with an autocollimator.  He got it to me.  I did not worry about it. I suspect that a bunch of these collimating tools are made in groups and he is just a little over ambitious with his time expenditures.  I also suspect that he is very meticulous, which is a good thing.  These sorts of things happen with relatively small businesses.

Your note was encouraging and so I called him today and had a good chat with him about supplier problems, etc.  In any case, he said he's mailing it today.


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#11 joe nastasi

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Posted 18 October 2020 - 02:55 PM

Randy has been my supplier of spiders, secondary mirrors, and holders for 20 years. I have only the very best regards for him and his products.


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#12 okieav8r

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Posted 18 October 2020 - 10:58 PM

I've purchased many accessories from AstroSystems over the years, and always found Randy to be completely honest and above-board.  He'll deliver.


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#13 turtle86

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Posted 21 October 2020 - 06:09 PM

Has anyone had experience ordering from Astrosystems?

 

Thanks.

 

First-rate.  Only positive experiences with them over the years.


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#14 Hvezdoslav

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Posted 26 October 2020 - 12:29 AM

Autocollimator arrived and it;s all done and dusted, or in butter, as one might

say in German.  It's all good and Randy is a good egg.


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#15 Starman1

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Posted 26 October 2020 - 04:02 PM

a note about the autocollimator.

It is user-collimatable--the 3 screws on top allow you to eliminate any error in the tool (assuming there is any).

 

This is a single center-pupil autocollimator like the Catseye XL, so I recommend you use Vic Menard's CDP (carefully decollimated primary) technique to use the tool.

Here is the instruction sheet, with illustrations:

https://www.catseyec...om/vicsCDP.html

this works with shapes other than triangles, too.

A little better images:

https://www.catseyec...com/XLKCDP.html

Ignore the offset pupil pictures and instructions--not relevant to the Astrosystems tool.

 

As for collimation of the tool, which I found necessary:

--lightly tighten the tool in the focuser and look at the images of the center marker.

--follow the instructions to collimate the scope using the sight tube and cheshire..

--reinsert the AC and check the stack.  It might be a tad off, but it should be close.

--loosen the AC, rotate it 90° and retighten.  Did the jumble of 4 center markers merely rotate, or did the stack open up or close tighter?

--repeat, with another 90° of rotation.  If the stack opens and closes as you rotate the tool, the AC is not collimated.

[one complication is the center hole is a bit large, so there is some parallax.]

--you can turn a screw on the top until the stack stays accurately aligned through the rotation of the tool.

I did it this way:

1) used the sight tube to line up the secondary tilt.  I used a laser to verify I was on.

2) used a cheshire to line up the primary and checked with a barlowed laser.

3) returned to the secondary and did it again with the sight tube

4) returned to the Cheshire and did it again.

When no change was noted when switching tools, I inserted the AC.

5) I went through 360° of rotation and noticed some opening and closing of the stack.

6) I collimated using CDP until the stack was perfect, and rotated the AC 90°.  It was off.  I adjusted the tool until the stack was closer,

then repeated the sight tube and cheshire and reinserted the AC.

7) about the 3rd time I did this, I found the stack was a bit unstacked but the spacing seemed to be the same as I rotated the tool.

8) I collimated the secondary using the AC then did the primary with the Cheshire.

9) I eliminated any visible residual secondary error using the AC and rotated the AC and noted only a tiny bit of stack changes.  I adjusted a screw on the AC to 

improve the stack in the position/direction it was most in error.  This made all 3 other 90 degree rotations close to exactly the same error.

10) 2 or 3 other rotations and screw turning allowed me to stack the images and have the stack stay stacked though all 360° of rotation.

Note that I recollimated the primary in between each use of the AC to guarantee anything I saw unstacked could be corrected with the collimation screws.

11) I finally arrived at a collimation of the tool that showed a stacked centermarker all the way around 360° at the same time the Cheshire showed the primary was correct.

When I repeated the CDP, the 2 secondary center marker images were perfectly stacked already and the Cheshire collimated the primary.  The image through the AC

was then of one marker in a jet black field, and rotating the AC didn't change that.

 

But note that the tool did not come to me perfectly collimated.  I appreciate that it was user-correctable, but it took a while and part of an afternoon to get there.


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