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Thread: Collimating a scope is not quite as intuitive as I thought....

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    Darph Bobo's Avatar
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    Default Collimating a scope is not quite as intuitive as I thought....



    I had collimated a week or so ago just using the cap that came with my XT6i, and it 'looked' pretty good. That is, until I got my new laser collimator. Holy cow was it out of whack.

    I watched several Youtube vids and read several more explanations, and it still took me well over an hour to get it done.

    The secondary mirror corrections are not what I would call intuitive. Even after all my reading, I sill thought the center screw was essentially just there just to hold everything in place. That, of course, meant my secondary was completely out of whack. It also seemed to me that in order to get it centered properly and tightened down, you need a 3rd hand.

    At any rate, after FINALLY getting the laser centered on the primary, I got my little laser dot in the proper place.

    I can't wait to get it out tonight. It will not be freezing (at least not until after I will be back inside) and should be nice and clear.
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    Lowjiber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Collimating a scope is not quite as intuitive as I thought....

    What about the return? Did you have to adjust the main mirror to get the laser dot in the hole?

    Just askin'...
    John (Urban Astronomer)
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    Dale S's Avatar
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    Default Re: Collimating a scope is not quite as intuitive as I thought....

    Darph, be sure your laser collimator is collimated. My new Seben was off a substantial amount. It was a "garbage in, garbage out" situation. Seemed to really make a difference when I straightened it out. Here's a YouTube guide you might want to check out.
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    Darph Bobo (01-25-2014)

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    Default Re: Collimating a scope is not quite as intuitive as I thought....

    I hadn't even considered the possibility that the collimator itself could be out of whack. I did the 'quick and dirty' check of putting it in the focuser and spinning it around, and did not see any movement to speak of, so hopefully I am good on that end.
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    Default Re: Collimating a scope is not quite as intuitive as I thought....

    Quote Originally Posted by Lowjiber View Post
    What about the return? Did you have to adjust the main mirror to get the laser dot in the hole?

    Just askin'...
    Just a tiny little bit. I could see just a little red light outside of the black dot. When I checked the dot on the primary again, to my great surprise, it was still centered.
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    Default Re: Collimating a scope is not quite as intuitive as I thought....

    I got a laser collimator last week and needed to collimate it. I did it over a distance of 3m. Then I needed to collimate both the mirrors a bit on my scope.
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    Default Re: Collimating a scope is not quite as intuitive as I thought....

    Quote Originally Posted by Darph Bobo View Post
    I hadn't even considered the possibility that the collimator itself could be out of whack. I did the 'quick and dirty' check of putting it in the focuser and spinning it around, and did not see any movement to speak of, so hopefully I am good on that end.
    That's how I did it at first, before making a jig and doing it. Better to use a jig and greater distance than the [few feet] path between the mirrors (x2-ish).
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    Default Re: Collimating a scope is not quite as intuitive as I thought....

    I can tell you what WILL take your telescope out of alignment. Dropping the OTA on the base right behind the primary mirror. I thought I had tightened it down completely, but apparently I had tightened down the wrong side. When I picked it up to move it back inside - BANG! Right on the concrete porch.

    I just about had a heart attack.
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    Default Re: Collimating a scope is not quite as intuitive as I thought....

    Okay BoBo. That's enough.

    There are some of us Dob owners who are really old, and even the thought of dropping our Dob on concrete might cause us to have "the big one".

    Clear Skies
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    Default Re: Collimating a scope is not quite as intuitive as I thought....

    I watched videos and read articles on collimating and I still never quite got it until someone (Eric aka perigny270 on the forum) came over with his laser collimator and I got to see what it was supposed to look like through my cheshire after the fact. I don't have a laser but still collimate with the cheshire and now it's a 5 minute job tops but I have been at it for two hours in the past. Once you understand the relationship between what you are seeing and which adjustments do what then it becomes much easier. Also, from what I gather, there is alot of value in using both a laser and cheshire for collimating because some things just need to be done visually and it never hurts to verify if the laser collimator is doing it's job.

    Dropping your dob tube on concrete...the stuff of nightmares!!
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