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Collimation Anger


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ive posted on here about collimation issues and without the help of the nice people on here I wouldn't have known what I was doing so don't see why your angry MR Q if you don't like the posts on collimation don't read them simple as that innit

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Or.... you could just circumvent the whole business and get a refractor :)

Refractors sometimes need collimation too. I've owned a number and at least 50% were not in collimation when I checked them. 

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Something is always easy when your familiar with it.

You may want to remember that when you start negative posting about being fed up about new people coming in to the hobby who dont quite grasp certain principles straight away or are not as methodical / logical in a beginners section.

This attitude is the reason why people who may be interested in getting into the telescope world shy away from asking questions for fear of appearing stupid and being on the receiving end of educated snobbery and intellectual arrogance.

I agree with this completely.

I just hope, MrQ, that when you start asking questions on subjects that other find easy that they don't react in the way you have here. Everybody struggles with things and we are here to provide help where we can. Not everyone will be able to answer every questions, so if there are my subjects that you don't want to answer any more, then just don't. There will be others.

Making posts like that may put people off posting - that's not good.

For the record I never mastered collimation, I failed so badly at it that I decided to ditch reflectors and buy a refractor instead. No matter who explained it, it just didn't make sense.

Ant

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Oh dear! In the 12 months since being a member of this wonderful forum, this is the first negative feedback I have encountered -sad.

If Q has responded with well meaning advice in the past then we'll done, I'm sure it would have been appreciated by the recipients. However, if some of this advice has been ignored by some which seemingly has resulted in obvious frustration to you, then surely the thing to do would have been to withdraw the benefit of your experience and just leave it at that?

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A large part of the collimation "battle" is caused by unhelpful adjustment facilities provided by the manufacturers. Many of the telescopes I have collimated to help visitors have been much harder to achieve because of screws being too tight, screws that undo the good work when retightened and primary mirror adjusters not being positive in their action. On the testing issue, I have often found that it is sometimes easier to test on a planet such as Jupiter. If the focus is racked out or in a little there will be a diffuse ring surrounding the disc, the concentricity of this ring being a measure of the collimation accuracy, helpfull when star images are not good enough.  :smiley:

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I will just say when ever someone posts on here asking for help on collimation i will always help if i can i will post good links and answer any questions i can to help as many times as i see them without getting upset. That is what forums are for and this forum is by far the friendliest.

Edited by wookie1965
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 The OP probably just got cut up in traffic, sat behind the person who did it (in freezing weather) then got flipped off for his troubles, one collimation straw later and the camels back is in need of gaffer tape :) With close to a billion people in the world wondering where their next glass of fresh water will come from, frustration or anger would probably seem a null point if considered in context.

We all have our bad days, at the very least if you read this thread wondering about collimation, do a star test first, then PM Mr. Q with questions :D

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Q, I don't completely understand your frustration. A star test will assess the state of the primary tilt but not the secondary tilt. For that, you'll need a tool. It's also easier to read off small misalignments of the primary with a good tool than with a star test, because seeing gets in the way. The only collimation tool that's notorious for needing to be user-collimated is the laser when used for adjusting secondary tilt. When it's used for primary tilt you can barlow it, which removes the need for alignment. Cheshires, sight-tubes, and auto-collimators either don't need collimation or can be made sufficiently robustly that it's a non-issue. Loose focusers and other mechanical problems are equipment issues which will affect the star test too (your eyepiece will be loose too) and can often be fixed if one is so inclined.

A lot of Newtonians need the collimation tweaked regularly, particularly when they're of a faster focal ratio. The easiest way to do this is with a collimation tool, since it's potentially more accurate than a star and because it's easier to see what you need to tweak in order to get things right. The best way to learn this is to spend a few hours at it on a Sunday afternoon. The beginners' questions are therefore reasonable.

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I needed help with collimation a while back and am sure glad a lot of members chipped in and told me how to do it and what to use.Its great to be able to just post a legit question and get so many answers.Some people just learn in different ways or maybe "need" to try different paths before finding the right one for themselves.

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I get the feeling that Mr Q is being a little misunderstood. He does clearly state that he loves helping those new to the field.

Maybe pinning a reassuring and informative thread entitled "Do I need to / how to?" in the getting started section wouldn't be a bad plan? (Probably not this thread....).

Paul

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I actually agree Paul - note the recent threads he has added for newbies and welcoming admissions of 'no matter how hard I try I cannot find X'. Perhaps the wording was suspect but let's see if he replies.

I see collimation as a tool for getting images that are as good as possible. if you can see sharp stars and good planetary detail then no end of fiddling will make it that much better. if you are out under the stars, a quick tweak of the primary is all I'd ever do; I'd sooner be observing.

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to be fair dont you think this is a bit out of character for mr q, hes been on here a long time and i have never none him to react like this.

I think you hit the nail on the head there - I see it as a momentary lapse of frustration more than actual anger. Q's mostly keen to help beginners the majority of the time from what I've seen of his posts.

And at the risk of being controversial - some mods in the past have expressed frustration over folks who don't do a little research first before asking questions. We all go through that stage - myself included.

A useful way of dealing with it though - is to just take a step back and relax for a few days till you feel healthy enough to join in again - ranting doesn't help beginners cos it does create that "elite'ist, intellectual snobbery" impression  that none of us really wish to portray - as Ant and Finster rightly point out in post #29. :)

Edited by brantuk
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It is in our nature to 'fiddle' with things, it is how we learn.

I can't really get frustrated with anyone not knowing how to collimate a scope. As astronomers it's one of those skills we have to learn if we want the best out of our equipment. To some it is easy and to some it is not, but anything I can do to help someone I will do no matter how many times the question is asked.

For me, a star test is the way to go. You can get away with 'gadgets' on a Newtonian, but they don't work on an SCT. A good eye for rough alignment by looking down the front of the tube and then a star test. The hardest part is having to adjust when you can't reach adjusters and eyepiece together :)

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I built three Newtonians from scratch (first one when I was 17). I just knew both would be out of whack before even attempting a star test. Both were collimated in daylight first. At night I always first perform a star test, and only when necessary made adjustments (the first two where very good at keeping collimation, the last one is less so (but that is an F/4.3 rather than F/8, so is far more sensitive).

Conclusion: yes, do a star test, if at all possible, before getting the tools out.

No need to get your blood pressure up at all

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However good advice given to an individual is, the procedure  itself has to be executed by the recipient of said advice.

Unfortunately, it is true to say there are those who are capable, and those who are not so adept. I don't mean to be critical here,

but that's just the way life is.

There are times when we all fumble with things, whether it's optical alignment, or fitting a 13 Amp plug.

The latter possibly resulting in dire consequences if not done correctly. The former, not life threatening, but quite soul destroying

just the same.

So we must be very tolerant of the strugglers, and patiently persevere in helping them.

Ron.

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Time to step back and take a deep breath before reengaging with the forum!

SGL's no different from any other forum in respect of newbies asking similar/identical questions.

The difference here is that people are fantastic and (generally  :grin: ) extremely tolerant. I've witnessed newbies being ripped to shreds for not searching the answer to quite obscure questions on other forums!

However, I'd have to admit to being in the same boat as several others in not having witnessed a star test that comes anywhere close to the text book examples.  :rolleyes:

Cheers

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   I had nothing but good intentions when I finally decided to make my OP. If I knew there would be so many people angered at the post, I would have never done it and simply chose not to respond to any collimation questions, which I will do from now on. And when I did respond, I tried to offer some valuable info on the subject and the proper way to do it with a couple of links from "experts" who know more than I do on the subject but more times than not, it seems this "help" was ignored. That's what frustrates me the most - taking the time to offer some help and that help is ignored - not all the time but enough to bother me.

   Sometimes a "loud bang", such as my OP, can bring the issue to light, which it has appeared to do. I have tried other means to make my point - that doing a collimation is a task more suited to the experienced observer, not the beginner who has just unpacked his/her first scope  and starts messing with important adjustments. That was my goal, good or bad. Sorry if it offended some and thanks to those who have brought up my past activities in helping beginners, which I will continue to do when I can but when that brings up the issues of collimation, I won't offer any advice and let others with more patience take over.

   I will respond to one reply if it helps any - when I first got my 10" newt, I did many tests on its ability to split very close doubles and with useable "splitting" of doubles with close to 1 arc second separation (Dawes limit), I left the collimation alone. Yes after many months I did some retests and the scope held its collimation quite well. Maybe back in the 1980s scopes were made much better than today. And for the record, back then there was no web to get help in this procedure. The only info I had came with the instruction manual, which I read over and over before making any adjustments just to see if I could. Today? Seems like a lot of people just dive in and then cry for help on forums like this one. THAT'S what frustrates me the most. I guess the world is now full of people who want instant gratification with no effort needed to actually learn what they are doing.

   You all have made your points as well as myself so perhaps its time to let this thread die as quickly as it appeared.

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