Some Telescopes require adjustments to achieve a very accurate line of sight. Without the right tools, this process can become tedious and frustratingly inaccurate. The reason for the need for collimation is that, as light bounces off your telescope's primary mirror, slight misalignments will cause the beam to arrive at the secondary mirror at the incorrect angle. This light will then bounce off the secondary mirror and arrive at your eyepiece or camera ever so slightly off-center, making it impossible to reach perfect focus.
OPT offers all the collimation tools necessary to ensure the utmost accuracy for your telescope adjustments to improve your overall astronomy imaging and observing.
Laser Collimation Tools
Laser Collimators are designed to shine a beam of laser light down the focus tube of your reflector telescope, where it bounces off the secondary mirror to the primary mirror and back again. Because laser beams don't spread out like most other light sources, it's easy to see when your telescope is out of collimation because the reflected laser beam will not land back on itself. Instead, a poorly collimated telescope will return the laser beam slightly off center.
Other Telescope Collimation Tools
Cheshire Telescope Collimators
While most astronomers prefer laser collimators, there are other less expensive options available if price is a concern. A Cheshire eyepiece will help you collimate by placing crosshairs to aide in the alignment of your telescope's mirrors.
Artificial Star Collimating Tools
Another collimation option is an artificial star. These devices will allow collimation without having to worry about star drift from the earth's rotation or poor seeing conditions. This tool uses a very bright, small source of light of consistent brightness to produce diffraction rings when defocused in any eyepiece.
A collimation eyepiece is possibly the simplest of all collimation tools. No lenses or crosshairs are involved. Just a small hole for you to look through to aid in the collimation process.
Collimation Adjustment Knobs
On most telescopes collimation is achieved by adjusting a set of bolts with Philips screwdriver or Allen wrench. Given that many telescopes require collimation before every use, there is demand for tools to make the process easier. Enter Bob's Knobs. These simple add-ons allow you to leave the screwdriver or wrench at home, allowing you to achieve accurate collimation with just a turn of a knob.