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Academic & Professional Books  Reference  Physical Sciences  Cosmology & Astronomy

Collimating a Newtonian – Made Easier, Far Better and More Reliable Incorporating the Cave and Laser Telescope Collimators when useful

Handbook / Manual
By: Peter R Clark, FRAS(Author)
65 pages, colour & b/w photos, colour & b/w illustrations
Collimating a Newtonian – Made Easier, Far Better and More Reliable
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  • Collimating a Newtonian – Made Easier, Far Better and More Reliable ISBN: 9780957645400 Edition: 4 Paperback regular edition (15 pages) Mar 2017 In stock
    £7.50
    #221923
  • Collimating a Newtonian – Made Easier, Far Better and More Reliable ISBN: 9780957645431 Edition: 4 Paperback extended edition (65 pages) Mar 2017 In stock
    £13.50
    #236277
Selected version: £13.50
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Collimating a Newtonian – Made Easier, Far Better and More Reliable

About this book

Completed in 2014, the journey from adjusting both mirrors at every session for 5 years to just the primary mirror  twice a year has been very rewarding, mainly by eventually regarding the Newtonian telescope secondary mirror lateral adjusters as handle bars. Turning them without laying a bike over causes the rider to fall off by inertia. Similarly, adjusting these two bolts results only in distortion of a different shape. Attempts to compensation then follow, whereas the instructions chapter from the 3rd edition keeps one well clear of getting nowhere with fast optics.     Support by like minds was found subsequently in Norton's Star Atlas* 11th to 15th editions from 1950 p.50. Then on the internet from around the millennium there's the metalwork of R.F. (Bob) Royce in 'The Ultimate Newtonian,' Conrad Hoffman's secondary mirror 'Taming the dastardly thing,' and in Sky & Telescope Oct. 2010 you'll find Ed Jones's Tracking Travelscope also preventing falling into wrong instructions. They either don't fit the lateral bolts or they lock them into strictly following the axial one, thereby steering instructions into the procedure I have developed independently without metalwork.
     There is nothing axial rotation doesn't perform far more accurately and easily for both low and especially high magnification interests. Adjustment feels micrometer like with none of the hit or miss that can be endless in the persisting wrong written to look easy advice of fiddling with all the bolts that causes 'Maybe, occasionally and sometimes' to sprinkle most august intuitive approaches. Few have scaled up to the needs of better and faster optics, hardly deviating from what works for the Cassegrain. The instructions developed in this book put one right on course for correction of the equatorial mount and gyro compass and visa versa were I hail from.   

 

 

    The latest tools are 70% fascination, which includes my own Cave Collimator. The good news is any laser collimator's axial beam when proven accurate by rotating it, becomes essential for when black art no longer sets the secondary mirror better than just above or below the horizontal axis. A slightly off focus star magnified 100 x  or more will then show any remaining distortion for sorting by stages [5] to [7]. Do not steer the beam towards the centre.  From even further back in time than Norton's and with glass being only nearly a perfect solid, the EELT's mirror is to utilize an adaption of the 18th century Whippletree mechanism for equalising the efforts of carriage horse teams for countering the variable sag of it's segmented mirror and atmospherics.
   In the event of reliability still remaining elusive, take out the primary mirror and check it's mountings. For some old glued on ones, you should look to the adhesive having failed.

    *..and Reference Handbook by his friend, James Gall Inglis (1864-1939) of Edinburgh. Gall & Inglis were Edinburgh & London publishers of easy access astronomy books to 1960.                                                                                                                                                   

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Customer Reviews (3)

  • The instructions work well with good results
    By Peter 2 Mar 2018 Written for Paperback
    "Peter Clark's more scientific technique for Newtonian 'scopes works well and requires just a peephole eyepiece as the only gadget needed. I have used the method on my 6" and 10" telescopes with good results. I do not have either a Cheshire eyepiece or a laser collimator and having seen the latter used can appreciate the risk of an eyeful of laser beam! There is no electronic aid that can substitute for a sound understanding of how a Newtonian is constructed and set up."
    – Christopher Eagleton, Beverley

    Author's notes:
    Christopher's comment about the laser collimator is pretty fair for his two f 5 Newtonians, but by f 3.9 is proving essential for the increasing accuracy in vertical tilt needed by the secondary mirror. Laser collimators do not feature in my instructions until stage[6]. Its beam will then be well within the secondary mirror diameter. Neither big bolt heads nor establishment writer could help the review of a 3.8 on p.94 of Sky at Night Jan 2018.
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  • His Cave Collimator works and the book takes over
    By Peter 2 Mar 2018 Written for Paperback
    "I am currently converting old spherical f3 Newise mirrors to paraboloids for putting them into telescopes for wide angle work, using coma correctors. Naturally, collimation will be an issue so we will be making use of your work."
    – Peter Wise

    Author's notes:
    Peter is a recipient of the BAA's Horace Dall Medal for showing marked ability in the making of astronomical instruments.
    1 of 3 found this helpful - Was this helpful to you? Yes No
  • A practical way to collimate your scope
    By Gareth 6 Feb 2019 Written for Paperback
    Peter Wise (of Cape-Newise fame) recommended me to Peter and his book. At first, I was more than a little sceptical that such a simple set of steps could compete with the clear superiority of a ‘modern’ laser collimator and the associated alignment method. Then, after repeated failure with said laser collimation on my Cape-Newise - I could get the spots to line up in all the right places but the views remained terrible - I became desperate and actually sat down and systematically worked through the steps in his book.

    Much to my surprise, I discovered that Peter’s book illuminates some fundamental ‘truths' which seem to have been forgotten and overlooked in our rush to high-tech solutions - once you see them you will kick yourself like I did! Where I had previously languished in screw twiddling 'laser hell’, through applying his method I quickly managed to reliably and accurately set the collimation on my previously impossible to ‘tame' telescope. So if you want to collimate a fast Newtonian or one of their more exotic cousins, then I’d thoroughly recommend a careful read of this book - there really are gems in it!
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Handbook / Manual
By: Peter R Clark, FRAS(Author)
65 pages, colour & b/w photos, colour & b/w illustrations
Media reviews

"'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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