We hope that our telescope's optical elements are always perfectly aligned. Unfortunately, this near-perfect alignment is rarely the case, even with a new telescope. It is especially true with telescopes utilizing mirrors to direct light from an object to our eye. Optical alignment of these mirrors needs to be done frequently, especially if the telescope is moved or bumped a lot. This alignment process is known as collimation and using lasers to assist in the process is a relatively new development.
Howie Glatter is one of the most well-known and trusted names in astronomy lasers and collimation accessories. His uncompromising quality and dedication to excellence not only put his products above the rest - but in high demand as the finest available on today's market.
The solid-state laser diode in these devices emits an intense, low wattage beam through a small aperture, precisely along the axis of the collimator's cylindrical body. This beam provides a laser-precise reference line allowing alignment of the telescope's optical axes. A laser collimator's beam must be accurately aligned with the collimator's center axis, or the resultant alignment of the optics will be off-center and asymmetric, and the telescope will produce aberrated images.
Howie Glatter builds his collimators to be highly accurate and resistant to mechanical shock ensuring that internal laser alignment is maintained. The laser is first aligned within 15 arc seconds. Howie shock tests each collimator by hitting it against a block of plastic (to prevent marring), striking it several times on three axes. He then rechecks the laser alignment and if it has not changed, the collimator passes.
The collimators are supplied with a removable plastic aperture stop having a knife-edge, 1mm pin hole and a white screen front. The beam of all red diode lasers is blurry-edged and has an elliptical cross-section. The stop screws into the laser aperture and restricts the beam, producing a tiny circular dot (“impact”) surrounded by a series of concentric rings. The edge of the pinhole diffracts some of the laser light, forming the concentric rings which facilitate precise centering. With the stop attached to the collimator, the beam looks like a star diffraction pattern.
This 532nm green collimator version is much brighter than the red ones (632nm or 650nm) sold by Howie Glatter. In most circumstances it is overly bright for night time collimation, but it is useful for Barlowed or holographic collimation daylight or room light.
This combination size is 2" at the back and steps down to 1.25" at the front so it can be used in either 1.25" or 2" holders.
- Total length = 4.65" (118mm)
- Length of 2" barrel = 1.89" (48.1mm)
- Length of 1.25" barrel = 1.75" (44.5mm)
- Maximum width = 2.14" (54.4mm)
- Weight = 14.8oz. (422g)
- Powered by a CR123A lithium cell (included)