I received the Laser collimator I ordered and promptly realized my new 8″ was badly out of collimation.  I had checked the scope when it arrived to find it was out, and noticed that the secondary was not showing “all” the primary, but I didn’t realize it was off by nearly two inches according to the laser collimator.   I double checked that the laser was itself aligned properly, and when it was, I went to work on the scope.  20 minutes later, we’re g2g.

I went right for Saturn to test it out, and again seeing was good enough to show the Cassini division with relatively good focus @ 333x.  Great views.  The outer ring looked greyer, the Cassini division looked black, and the inner rings looked more tan-ish.   The planet was more of a tannish-yellow, and I swear I could see some color banding.   I handed the scope off to Shelly to so she could try some afocal photography, but chaos, drama, and frustration quickly set in when she couldn’t get a good shot, and our smartphone rig couldn’t consistently keep the planet in the FOV even with the scope tracking with an AFOV EP.

Conundrum:  in order to get a camera properly centered in the exit pupil of the EP, you need to do it someplace bright.  I usually use my neighbor’s house during the day.  One you remove the EP from the rig, and then try to replace it, it’s near impossible to do in the dark and get it the correct distance for a good exit pupil alignment.   It’s also near impossible to use a smartphone camera to find the celestial object alone, even with a pinpoint accurate laser pointer.  I love my mount, but there’s enough wiggle in the controls that it takes forever to do it with the controller, but if I center by hand, by the time I get the motor locked in, I’ve lost the celestial body and have to use the controller to get it back.  which like I said is tough.  keep in mind that all of this is being done while zoomed in 333x…   it’s far easier at powers in the 100-150x range.

Either way, shelly wanted to see the moon through the 8″ so I set it up, then set out to collimate my 8″ konus scope.   somehow she lost the moon, got frustrated, quit, and got seriously mad at me.  we had a quick spat, got over it, and put everything up. FWIW, the moon looked fantastic at lower powers through the 8″ Orion…   we’ll try again tonight and i’ll make sure I know what she needs before going off on my own. 🙂

As for the Konus…  wow, it has serious issues.   using the laser collimator it appear that it wasn’t bad out of focus until I moved the focuser…  turns out the laser dot moves like 4″ laterally when working the focus knobs back and fourth…   what a PITA… I was able to get it so it only moved 1/4″, which will have to do.  I’ll have to finish the collimation tomorrow. time for bed.


Leave a Comment