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Has anyone successfully used AstroZap Artificial Star?

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#1 reifheck

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Posted 22 January 2022 - 05:22 PM

Hi guys,

 

Has anyone here successfully used AstroZap Artificial Star to collimate their SCT?

 

I don't want to hear about laser collimators or real star alignment. Just AstroZap. It seems like the best one for SCTs when the weather is bad or I cannot lock onto a real star with my StarSense (been having some issues with alignment).

 

Thanks for your opinions!

Reif


Edited by reifheck, 22 January 2022 - 05:24 PM.

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#2 jimhoward999

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Posted 22 January 2022 - 05:32 PM

I have.  It is fairly dim, but otherwise works fine.    I put it on a tripod in the yard.  I prefer it to a real star because it avoids atmospheric turbulence.  I use it with a planetary camera.   That helps with the dimness issue and also allows the the airy disk to be displayed at high magnification on a laptop screen.


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#3 reifheck

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Posted 22 January 2022 - 05:39 PM

I have.  It is fairly dim, but otherwise works fine.    I put it on a tripod in the yard.  I prefer it to a real star because it avoids atmospheric turbulence.  I use it with a planetary camera.   That helps with the dimness issue and also allows the the airy disk to be displayed at high magnification on a laptop screen.

Thank you Jim! smile.gif

 

I ordered one and will be using it with my Canon EOS 7D attached to my Evolution 9.25" SCT. I will use BackYardEos to look at the Airy Disk and adjust collimation while looking at it on my laptop.

 

Thanks again,

Reif



#4 markb

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Posted 22 January 2022 - 05:39 PM

No, but I use a 1/2" chromed ball bearing (amazon) in direct sunlight OR lit by a green laser pointer frequently.

 

And the Hubble Artificial Star device.

 

When I find where I put it I also use the excellent Hubble Optics 5 'star' (different apertures / intensities) Artificial Star with equal success. The astrozap-artificial-star never made the buy list once I got the excellent Hubble unit, and the chromed bearing also has been great.

 

Back stopping any artificial star with black paper eases things.if anyone tries the bearing, I found a cheap garden hose shutoff valve standing on end makes a perfect holder/stand.

 

Note that you cannot star test, Ala Suiter, unless you have a substantial distance with SCTs (false SA indications)but collimation has proven to be distance insensitive.

 

How close? I once got a very weird astigmatism on one side of focus while daytime collimating, and figured out I had accidentally set up at the near focus limit, distorting the primary as I went on the near side limit  stressing the internal arm.

 

I no longer worry about collimating the SCTs at short distances.

 

I do check at night on Polaris but normally collimation is still good. Conditions permitting, and they often don't.

 

Tri Bahtinov and Duncan masks do well for coarser adjustments with artificial stars, too.

 

EDIT I was typing, and late to the thread as the OP ordered.You will like the freedom of artificial stars, and the Astrozap-artificial-star is a very good one.


Edited by markb, 22 January 2022 - 05:46 PM.


#5 reifheck

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Posted 22 January 2022 - 05:43 PM

No, but I use a 1/2" chromed ball bearing (amazon) in direct sunlight OR lit by a green laser pointer frequently.

 

And the Hubble Artificial Star device.

 

When I find where I put it I also use the excellent Hubble Optics 5 'star' (different apertures / intensities) Artificial Star with equal success. The astrozap-artificial-star never made the buy list once I got the excellent Hubble unit, and the chromed bear also has been great.

 

Note that you cannot star test, Ala Suiter, unless you have a substantial distance with SCTs (false SA indications)but collimation has proven to be distance insensitive.

 

How close? I once got a very weird astigmatism on one side of focus while daytime collimating, and figured out I had accidentally set up at the near focus limit, distorting the primary as I went on the near side limit  stressing the internal arm.

 

I no longer worry about collimating the SCTs at short distances.

 

I do check at night on Polaris but normally collimation is still good. Conditions permitting, and they often don't.

 

Tri Bahtinov and Duncan masks do well for coarser adjustments with artificial stars, too.

Thank you Mark,

 

I'm not interested in the star test at the moment. Just the collimation. It's on the way so I won't be using ball bearings in the sun as it is cloudy and snowy here.

 

Thanks again,

Reif


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