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The New CATSEYE BLACKCAT XLV-WIFI Smart Phone Cheshire is now available!

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#1 CatseyeMan

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Posted 05 December 2021 - 04:21 PM

At long last, after years of waiting for the right camera to be developed and become commercially available, CATSEYEtm Collimation is excited and pleased to announce the addition of a limited-production of an evolutionary state-of-the art Cheshire product to its Newtonian collimation tool arsenal:

 

The long-overdue wireless BCXLV-WIFItm WIFI Camera Cheshire with phone app display is now a reality!

 

BCXLV-WIFI1-Cropped-200x200.JPG BCXLV-WIFI2-267x200.JPG

 

With the use of this CATSEYEtm exclusive tool, the age-old complaint and time-consuming hassle of requiring multiple trips to and from the back of the scope during the Primary tilt adjustment process has been resolved. The proverbial “Trial & error” incremental knob-tweak is no longer needed.

 

Using this tool, adjusting the Primary is now a quick & easy, 1-man, “once-&-done” Process!

 

This next-generation Cheshire tool utilizes a small telescopic WIFI camera inserted into the classic BLACKCAT XL-Atm Cheshire. Now, the Primary mirror axial-alignment adjustment process is painless and fun as you stand at the rear of the scope and observe the Cheshire ring/center spot reflections directly on your smart phone as you tweak the Primary tilt adjustment screws.

The camera’s built-in WIFI transmitter employs a device-unique ID signal to your personal I-phone or Android via the downloadable app, and comes with a USB charging cable to refresh its internal battery off-line prior to use. The adjustable, telescopic lens facilitates fine-tuning focus to deliver a magnified clear image of the center-spot and Cheshire ring reflection at any focal-length.

 

Get more Info at:  https://www.catseyecollimation.com/


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#2 Jason D

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Posted 06 December 2021 - 12:29 AM

As someone who tried a prototype of the product, I can attest that it does significantly expedite collimating your primary mirror with the cheshire. No need to go back and forth between the back end of the scope and the cheshire (in the focuser). You can complete the primary mirror collimation quickly and more accurately since there is no parallax error with this video-based cheshire tool compared to the visual cheshire. To clarify, when using the visual cheshire you need to keep the axis of your eye coincident with the axis of the tool for the most accurate reading which some might find hard to do. The camera of the video-based chesire axis is aligned precisely with the tool axis at the factory.

 

Hint: I enabled the "Zoom" utility under "Accessibility" in "Settings" on my iphone to magnify the screen for additional reading accuracy of the cheshire/center-spot images. I suppose you can capture your screen then magnify the captured image to examine the alignment if you need further reading accuracy but the "Zoom" utility is easier. This is only a hint. You can still clearly see the images without any need for magnification but as someone who is picky about my collimation, I found that the additional magnification to be helpful in my case.

 

Jason


Edited by Jason D, 06 December 2021 - 10:14 AM.

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#3 Vic Menard

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Posted 06 December 2021 - 03:33 PM

I agree with Jason's summation of this innovative primary mirror alignment tool. I've been working with Jim's "wired" video prototype tools for several years now, but I kept asking for a "wireless" tool that could be connected to a "smart phone". This new WIFI Camera Cheshire delivers! Parallax free, zoom capability, and triple-click (on my iPhone) for a night-friendly red screen. No need to motorize my primary mirror alignment screws, just insert the tool in my focuser drawtube, and watch the alignment on my phone while I adjust the screws--easy and precise, even if you wear glasses!

 

This Catseye WiFi Camera Cheshire has earned a place in my crowded eyepiece case. A couple of clip-on LED lights (also available from Catseye) make this tool the perfect choice for precise, after-dark primary mirror alignment.



#4 CatseyeMan

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Posted 06 December 2021 - 03:39 PM

Thank you both Jason & Vic for your kind endorsements! You guys are the best collimation Gurus on the planet and priceless CN contributors! bow.gif


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#5 rainycityastro

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Posted 25 January 2022 - 02:29 AM

Will this collimator work as well as the takahashi tools for collimating an epsilon hyperbolic Newtonian?

#6 CatseyeMan

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Posted 27 January 2022 - 09:06 PM

Will this collimator work as well as the takahashi tools for collimating an epsilon hyperbolic Newtonian?

I am not familiar with the Takahashi tools.  This tool works exactly like the standard CATSEYE BLACKCAT XL-A to adjust the Primary but the WIFI camera (in place of the eye) transmits the collimation visual queue image to a smart device screen located at the rear of the scope to facilitate real-time adjustment feedback as the collimation screws are turned versus the standard tool in which a cyclic iterative walk back and forth from the front to the rear of the scope (1-man collimation) is required to fine tune.



#7 jonbosley

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Posted 30 January 2022 - 11:48 PM

I take it you can also adjust the secondary using the Wi-Fi Cheshire as the description talks only about the primary?  On very large Dobs looking through a Cheshire and trying to adjust the secondary at the same time requires arms like Dr Strange. 



#8 Xeroid

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Posted 02 February 2022 - 11:19 AM

I'm a little bit confused (need a second cup of java..) on the models.

 

Is the "BCXLV-WIFItm" a standalone unit OR does it also require purchase of BLACKCAT XL-Atm unit as well?

 

Not clear on the website, what does "A-la-Carte" mean?

 

Thanks!



#9 CatseyeMan

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Posted 02 February 2022 - 11:57 AM

I'm a little bit confused (need a second cup of java..) on the models.

 

Is the "BCXLV-WIFItm" a standalone unit OR does it also require purchase of BLACKCAT XL-Atm unit as well?

 

Not clear on the website, what does "A-la-Carte" mean?

 

Thanks!

The WIFI Cheshire is a stand-alone unit.

 

A-la-carte pricing means you only pay for the purchase of that item as opposed to selecting "upgrade" if you also purchase any kit simultaneously containing the standard BCXL-A in which you want to substitute the WIFI model for it.



#10 Xeroid

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Posted 02 February 2022 - 02:57 PM

CatseyeMan,

Thanks for clearing up my confusion!

 

The WIFI Cheshire is a stand-alone unit.

 

A-la-carte pricing means you only pay for the purchase of that item as opposed to selecting "upgrade" if you also purchase any kit simultaneously containing the standard BCXL-A in which you want to substitute the WIFI model for it.



#11 Nemo51

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Posted 04 February 2022 - 07:38 PM

The WIFI Cheshire is a stand-alone unit.

 

A-la-carte pricing means you only pay for the purchase of that item as opposed to selecting "upgrade" if you also purchase any kit simultaneously containing the standard BCXL-A in which you want to substitute the WIFI model for it.

Sorry to be so dense, but is this for Newtonians?

 

what would one select to make up a kit?



#12 CatseyeMan

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Posted 04 February 2022 - 07:52 PM

Sorry to be so dense, but is this for Newtonians?

 

what would one select to make up a kit?

Yes, all CATSEYE tools are designed for use with Newtonians and Newtonian hybrids.

 

See all the kit options here: https://www.catseyecollimation.com/

 

Scroll down the left-hand menu bar until you see the kit options.



#13 Starman1

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Posted 06 February 2022 - 01:20 PM

Works great, and, as Jason and Vic noted--no parallax. 

There is only one problem: if collimating in bright sunlight, it's tough to see the image on the screen of my phone.

That's no different than trying to read a phone in the sunlight, though, not a fault of the tool.

I found it was best to set my phone's screen brightness to maximum, and turn my back to the sun to put the screen in shadow.

Even then, it was just a little difficult to see the image on the screen all that well.

I'm used to using a Cheshire in bright sun.  This one may be best used in late afternoon when the sun has nearly set.

Other than that, no complaints.

 

One big thing: it eliminates the need for a TuBlug if you have a small penlite to illuminate the center marker at night

and is easier to see than the screen on the Tublug when you're down below the scope.

If using it at night, then turn your phone screen brightness down to minimum to not find the screen brightness intolerable.


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#14 CatseyeMan

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Posted 07 February 2022 - 08:43 AM

Works great, and, as Jason and Vic noted--no parallax. 

There is only one problem: if collimating in bright sunlight, it's tough to see the image on the screen of my phone.

That's no different than trying to read a phone in the sunlight, though, not a fault of the tool.

I found it was best to set my phone's screen brightness to maximum, and turn my back to the sun to put the screen in shadow.

Even then, it was just a little difficult to see the image on the screen all that well.

I'm used to using a Cheshire in bright sun.  This one may be best used in late afternoon when the sun has nearly set.

Other than that, no complaints.

 

One big thing: it eliminates the need for a TuBlug if you have a small penlite to illuminate the center marker at night

and is easier to see than the screen on the Tublug when you're down below the scope.

If using it at night, then turn your phone screen brightness down to minimum to not find the screen brightness intolerable.

 

... if you have a small penlite to illuminate the center marker at night ...

Even better if you have the CATSEYE red LED clip light. grin.gif

 

Thanks for the report Don!



#15 Starman1

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Posted 07 February 2022 - 09:14 AM

This one, Jim?:

https://www.catseyec...cliplights.html



#16 CatseyeMan

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Posted 07 February 2022 - 09:25 AM

That's it! waytogo.gif



#17 CowTipton

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Posted 10 February 2022 - 05:26 PM

Would there be a way to have a crosshair and rings overlay added to the software so that this could also replace a sight tube?



#18 CatseyeMan

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Posted 15 February 2022 - 12:53 PM

Would there be a way to have a crosshair and rings overlay added to the software so that this could also replace a sight tube?

That feature would certainly be a nice enhancement but unfortunately the App software is 3rd-party written and CATSEYE has no association with the authors.


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#19 CatseyeMan

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Posted 07 April 2022 - 08:09 AM

*** Attention Android Users: Camera connectivity issues using Android Firmware Version 12 has been reported. Until further notice, do not order this product if your smart device is operating with Android Version 12.

 

To my knowledge, all previous versions of Android work fine.

 

Jim Fly

CATSEYE Collimation


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#20 dvb

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Posted 02 May 2022 - 01:37 PM

Would this be competitive with the OCAL  camera - based collimation system?

 

I've been using Catseye collimation tools for years!



#21 CatseyeMan

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Posted 02 May 2022 - 02:06 PM

I am not familiar with the OCAL system and it's capabilities. That said, this tool is nothing more than a "wireless" Cheshire that facilitates indirect viewing of the Cheshire/center-spot reflection signatures on your smart phone via a camera (instead of the eye) so that you can be positioned at the rear of the telescope while you make and watch the effect of Primary tilt adjustments real time.  This system eliminates the need for the proverbial and cumbersome multiple walks back to the focuser to evaluate adjustments when you are collimating solo.

 

Hope this clears it up for you.smile.gif


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