Books  Physical Sciences  Cosmology & Astronomy 

Collimating a Newtonian – The Correct, Easier and Definitive Approach: Incorporating the Cave and Laser Telescope Collimators When Useful

Handbook / Manual

By: Peter R Clark(Author)

65 pages, colour & b/w photos, colour & b/w illustrations

Peter R Clark (privately published)

Paperback | extended edition (65 pages) | Mar 2017 | Edition: 4 | #236277 | ISBN-13: 9780957645431
Availability: Usually dispatched within 5 days Details
NHBS Price: £12.50 $16/€14 approx
Paperback | regular edition (15 pages) | Mar 2017 | Edition: 4 | #221923 | ISBN-13: 9780957645400
Availability: In stock
NHBS Price: £7.50 $10/€8 approx

About this book

This booklet contains instructions to getting telescope mirrors aligned for speed, accuracy and reliability, without any deep understanding beforehand. You just get on with it and enjoy. The extended fourth edition (65 pages) includes an extra 50 pages with the background story to this invention. The instruction manual part is the same as the regular 4th edition (15 pages) though.

Abstract of the instructions.

Published instructions, by omitting the better arrangement in bold italics below, are mostly all wrong on the secondary mirror. This is given by the way tracking error of a satellite dish or an EQ mount is corrected, how you change the direction of a bicycle quickly and how you should not.  
{1}. The two lateral adjuster bolts of the secondary mirror are not needed and that if fitted must only be used as strict slaves of the central bolt. It reduces the number of bolts used for collimation to 5. This brings the task to within the ability of the human brain to make the correct choices first time without 'sometimes, maybe and occasionally' procrastinations associated with the usual advice to adjust any of the three bolts just because they are there.
{2}. This easier, far more reliable most accurate method helps telescope users achieve excellence through from faint fuzzes to close or difficult double stars, when the wisdom has said expensive refractors of f/10 at the fastest and another for low power wide angle interests. Things now lean more towards what advances in eyepiece quality and ability can offer.
{3}. And from American telescope maker R.F. Royce, 'The Ultimate Newtonian', on which he writes, 'How many times have you struggled with a conventional 3 screws holder, and, after much frustration and bad language, found yourself looking at a secondary mirror skewed to one side under the focuser? That's because the basic adjustment design process is INCORRECT and ILLOGICAL and does not follow right angle relationships.
{4}. After just Stage {3} the Newtonian of f/5 and slower, is now likely to be fully collimated or indicating the primary mirror bolt still needing slight adjustment to complete. For faster ones, Stage {6} will  have slightly affected the reflection off the primary mirror by the magnified star in a degree of oval shape and so indicating the one adjuster that needs turning to round up the image, or for the same aberration but more horizontal, rotate the secondary mirror into the best shape achievable. Now the star will show which primary mirror adjuster turn is going to be the final move into excellent results. Hurray!  … now, then follow the instructions and enjoy!

"'The Cave Collimator was excellent for my Maksutov–Newtonian telescope and very good for my Rumak–Cassegrain."
- Professor Ian Morison, Jodrell Bank

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