Menu
Cart 0

Hotech

Advanced CT Laser Collimator for Cassegrain Telescopes


  • 45500

This item is out of stock but you can place an order now and we’ll ship when it becomes available.


Overview

  • Collimate Your Cassegrain Telescope
    • Without using a star
    • Indoor or outdoor - day or night
    • Focus stays at final view setting
    • Within focal distance from your telescope
    • One-man operation
    • Portable and simple to setup and use
    • Works on CT, SCT, SN Mak, & RC

 

 

Description

Innovation brings Affordable and Portable Collimation into Reality

Since the invention of the Cassegrain Telescope in 1672 by the French sculptor Sieur Guillaume Cassegrain, the Cassegrain Telescope has evolved into a variety of designs such as the Ritchey-Chrétien, Dall-Kirkham, Schmidt-Cassegrain, and Maksutov-Cassegrain. These designs have gained their popularity because of their compact and simple designs. With each different design, up till now, star collimation is and has always been the only effective method to collimate Cassegrain telescopes.

Now, backyard astronomers have an alternative to achieve excellent collimation conveniently using the Advanced CT Laser Collimator. The Advanced CT Laser Collimator brings the collimating star to your telescope within arm reaching distance. With its short-range capability, you can perform collimation indoors - day or night - without being subjected to weather conditions. Best of all, this new collimator utilizes a clear and simple-to-read, large target display for the telescope alignment diagnostic.  This large target display is positioned within a short distance of the telescope, allowing you to collimate without guessing.

No Star Required to Collimate

To achieve an accurate star collimation, normally the amateur astronomer requires good seeing conditions with no clouds, no wind, stable temperatures, no light pollution, a well-aligned telescope mount tracking system, telescope optical tube assemble (OTA) in thermal equilibrium, and a good visible magnitude star. The visual quality of the referencing star is greatly affected by the prescribed factors, most of which are in God’s hands. Adjusting the collimation is a guessing game where you move between front and the back of the telescope adjusting the corresponding alignment screw. Holding your breath and peeping through a high magnification eyepiece while referencing the concentricity of the unstable defocused image. This can be an incredibly frustrating experience.

An artificial star can never simulate a real star because it is impossible to collimate with the telescope focus set at infinity. After artificial star collimation, you will need to adjust your focus back to infinity to view a real star by moving the primary mirror to a different position. The distance the primary mirror has been adjusted can accumulate mechanical tolerance errors. For some of the mass produced SCTs, the “sticky baffle” on the primary mirror focusing mechanism may also cause mirror-flop. If a mirror-flop has occurred, it will affect the alignment position, which in turn will render the collimation useless. Ideally, it is best to collimate your optics at the same viewing focusing position without major optical displacements to correspond to the final view setting. The Advanced CT Laser Collimator can accomplish this task without all the possible accumulated errors.

The large target display on the Advanced CT Laser Collimator brings you a clear visual cue with three projected laser dots as the alignment reference. They sit at a very comfortable visual distance, providing an accurate axial alignment error diagnostic. During the entire collimation process, no major focusing is needed thus minimizing the possible accumulated errors from the focusing adjustments. The referencing adjustments are made by bringing the three clearly discernable projected laser dots, projected on the target, into a concentric ring. No more peeping through the eyepiece looking for a changing, ambiguous star image. This alternative collimation method saves precious observing time by collimating the telescope and preparing the viewing programs at dusk or before dawn without the influences of the external environmental conditions.

Collimate Within the Focal Distance of Your Telescope

The Advanced CT Laser Collimator does not require long focal distances to achieve high-accuracy collimation. Utilizing the installed flat mirror at the focal point (eyepiece location), the collimator lasers double-passes both your primary and secondary mirrors and magnifies the alignment errors to a higher accuracy level. In addition, it also cuts the collimating distance in half achieving near-field alignment process. The collimator is stationed within your telescope's focal length directly in front of your telescope. Setting up for collimation, you will be standing between the telescope and the collimator aiming both the telescope and the collimator at each other. Then you will adjust the secondary mirror knob to bring the returning lasers on the same track. This is a very convenient one-man operation.

At a Fraction of the Cost of Wavefront Interferometer Technology

The state-of-the-art advanced laser optical alignment technology used in the Advanced CT Laser Collimator achieves the same rough alignment function of a costly large aperture interferometer commonly use in high-energy labs at a fraction of its cost.

The Advanced CT Laser Collimator uses three collimated lasers, evenly spaced apart, to sample large aperture optical elements in your telescope. The three parallel laser beams completely simulate the light path (flat-wavefront) from a distant star and pass through the entire telescope’s optical elements and reflect to its target for a complete and accurate double-pass diagnostic reading of your telescope optical alignment. This innovative collimation technique and technology enables the amateur astronomer achieving far-field collimation as a near-field process.

 Precision CNC Machined Panel and Components

This beautifully designed instrument is precision machined from a solid block of aero-space grade aluminum. It is then hardened and anodized to keep the entire mounted laser system thermally stable allowing you to achieve accurate collimation. The rigid, ultra thin profile, and light-weight design makes the unit portable and simple to setup and use.

Collimates All CT, SCT, Makustov, & RC

The Advanced CT Laser Collimator simulates a real distant star light path, and as a result it can collimate most telescopes which primarily rely on star collimation. The collimation technique can be implemented on any size telescope. The current production model is designed to collimate telescopes with a primary mirror greater than 7-1/5-inches and a secondary mirror obstruction diameter less than 6-1/2-inches. For other larger sized telescope, please email (info@hotechusa.com) or call us for custom sizes.

Personal testimonials from renowned astrophotographers and users can be viewed here.

 

 Specifications 

Collimates following types of telescopes
- Classic Cassegrain
- Schmidt Cassegrain
- Maksutov-Cassegrain
- Ritchey-Chretien
- Dall-Kirkham
- and most dervative Cassegrain telescope designs
Laser Specifications:
- Output Power: Class II, 1mW
- Wavelength: 650nm
- Alignment Lasers: 170mm diameter spaced apart
- Crosshair Laser: 90 deg. divergent optic
- Power Supply: One CR123, 3V Lithium battery
Telescope aperture limitation on ACT-M2 model:
- Primary mirror larger than 170mm(6.7") diameter to accept the alignment lasers
- Secondary mirror obstruction smaller than 170mm(6.7") diameter without blocking the alignment lasers
Telescope aperture limitation on ACT-M125 model:
- Primary mirror larger than 170mm(6.7") diameter to accept the alignment lasers
- Secondary mirror obstruction smaller than 170mm(6.7") diameter without blocking the alignment lasers
Additional Reflector Mirrors

2" Mirror Specification:
Type: Plano-Flat Laser Mirror
Material: BK7A
Surface Flatness: λ/8 @ 650nm
Coating : S1, Aluminum, R>98% for random polarization. Uncoated transparent on S2
Mirror Position (measured from drawtube shoulder to the first surface of the mirror):
- 0.59"/15mm
Dimension:
- 2" Reflector Mirror: 2"/55mm dia. x 6.25"/159mm (L)
- 1.25" Reflector Mirror: 1.25"/31.75mm dia. x 4"/102mm (L)
Weight:
- 2" Reflector Mirror: 3 oz.
- 1.25" Reflector Mirror: 1.86 oz.
1.25" Mirror Specification:
Type: Plano-Flat Laser Mirror
Material: BK7A
Surface Flatness: λ/8 @ 650nm
Coating : S1, Aluminum, R>98% for random polarization. Uncoated transparent on S2
Mirror Position (measured from drawtube shoulder to the first surface of the mirror):
- 0.59"/15mm
Dimension:
- 2" Reflector Mirror: 2"/55mm dia. x 6.25"/159mm (L)
- 1.25" Reflector Mirror: 1.25"/31.75mm dia. x 4"/102mm (L)
Weight:
- 2" Reflector Mirror: 3 oz.
- 1.25" Reflector Mirror: 1.86 oz.

Customer Experiences

Introducing...

 

Our Zero-Risk

Telescope Upgrade Path

For our customers who dream of expanding their horizons and gazing deeper into the night sky, we offer personalized telescope upgrade paths. Learn More> 


Shop For...