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Collimation and optical maintenance

Started by msloane, 04/05/2005 03:31PM
Posted 04/05/2005 03:31PM Opening Post
I am researching for my first telescope purchase, and am trying to understand all the pros and cons. I'm looking in the $300-$600 range.

I have read that (in general) refractors require little optical maintenance, but reflectors and catadioptic require periodic collimation and maintenance.

How hard are these tasks, and how often do you have to perform them? Is this something that end users can do, or do you send the scope back to the factory to "alligned"?

Is this issue something that should be considered in a first scope purchase?

Any help is appreciated!

Posted 04/05/2005 07:12PM #1
I collimate my Orion 10" dob every time I observe. The first time I used the laser collimator I got off track and it took 10 minutes. It now takes me about less than a minute to do. I sometimes re-check it after I have been observing for an hour and re-tweak it if needed.

It really is very easy to do so don't let it worry you at all.
Posted 04/12/2005 10:03PM | Edited 04/12/2005 10:05PM #2
1)If you purchase a SC telescope..get a set of "Bob's Knobs"..knurled oversize collimation "screws"..that replace the stock secondary mirror collimation screws. Invaluable..much easier in the dark without bringing out an allen wrench to the front of your corrector plate!
2)You can collimate on Jupiter as well, it works great and is quite easy. When the scope is out of collimation, you can bring the planet to focus, but you will see an edge halo (be sure planet is centered in the field of view). Collimate just as you would with a star, using the collimation screws to pull in the halo to the center of Jupiter, until it disappears..tah dah, the view will suddenly snap into sharper focus (be sure to center Jupiter after each tweak). Scope is now collimated. It takes a good steady night of seeing for the best results, just as with star collimation..but the results are stunning. You will see Jupiter at the best capability of your telescopes design and size.