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Hi all.

The collimation on my Skywatcher 127 Maksutov has slipped recently. I noticed it the other night when viewing Luna, and when I did a star test, sure enough, the airy disc was off to the top of the inside of the diffraction rings, and they are not circular any more.

The Mak has adjustment allen bolts at the rear, in push - pull style, and I downloaded the instructions on how to recollimate from here: http://www.company7.com/library/orion/Inst_makcasscollim.pdf

I followed the insturctions very carefully, using small adjustments as instructed, but could not notice it making any difference at all. After a while I started making larger adjustments, but again could not notice any difference at all (using a collimation eyepiece directly into the vis back). After a couple of hours I gave up and decided to contact the retailer I got it from and see if they had any advice.

They didn't, saying they were not experienced with collimating this style of telescope, but would contact OVL to see if it would be covered by warrenty. It's less than a year since I bought it. OVL replied by saying they did not consider it a fault and therefore would not do anything about it.

So. Who do you think I should contact about recollimating the Mak? My own efforts are not seeming to make any difference, so I wondered if I could get it done professionally - but where?

Many thanks for any ideas.

Ant :hello2:

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I was under the impression that you don't touch Mak-Cass primary mirrors. Problem here is that these scopes don't have a collimatable secondary so unless I'm wrong about the primary, you're a bit stuck.

If I'm right, then surely OVL should at least take it back for re-collimation or a replacement?

Tony..

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Well the instructions are quite correct for the scope - I've had one before and recollimated it quite successfully. The screws/bolts do what the pdf says they will do. But in this case although they are moving the view is not changing at all. Yes, he secondary is fixed and all adjustment is done by the tilt of the main mirror.

OVL said they would not take it back as it doesn't qualify as a 'fault'. They said if it was out of collimation when I first got it they would have done so, but not now.

Ant

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The retailer I spoke to said that there was no-one at OVL who was proficient in collimation or even anything to do with scope maintenence at all. While the retailer was very experienced at scope things, in this case it was not something he had had any success with in the past so tried to pass it on to OVL. Unfortunately they are not having any of it in this case. I am disappointed in OVL's resistance, especially as it is less than a year old and although I'm following collimation instructions they are not achieving anything. Maybe something is faulty? Is there any point in approaching OVL directly do you think, or is there somebody else completely who could help?

Thanks,

Ant

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Ant,

I have the 90mm version and can confirm that the link you provided is the one I used.

So if you are sure that you are following that procedure and NOTHING is moving then there must be something wrong.

Also unless you've banged it the collimation doesn't really slip in these scopes in my experience. so perhaps what you should be asking is for is a repair.

Does the scope focus all the way back and forward to the end of it's travel?

Could the mirror have moved at all? Has a spring become misplaced behind it or something?

I just ask because clearly the collimation bolts should do SOMETHING even if it's the wrong thing.

Also consider contacting Orion (US) for info (you could pretend to have an orion one in an Email or Phone call) Just to see if they can tell you what's happening. Their customer service is much better than OV.

Luke

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Thanks Luke.

This is sort of what I was thinking - if it's not changing the view something must be wrong. I am careful not to knock it, and carry it in a padded case, but no-one is perfect so it's entirely possible it may have had a little ding. Note, when I say collimation has slipped, I am slightly perfectionist. It is certainly off, and was shown by the fact I first suspected it when viewing Luna at 225x, but some people would likely say it was not off so much!

However, now I know it's off, and can't correct it, I'm getting a little bothered about it.

Focus is ok and does move back and forth no problem.

I don't know oif anything has come loose, except that I do not notice anything rattling or moving around inside.

I must admit I'm loath to contact Orion US, as even if they were good enough to do something about it, I'd have to get it to them! 9I know, I've heard their CS is excellent).

Do you think there is any point in asking another SW retailer to have a word with them? I mean, they all sell their scopes through OVL, yes....?

Ant

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I didn't really mean to send it to Orion but a call to them may tell you if it's broken or not.

Another retailer may be able to get OV to have a look at it ( if they have anyone who can that is!)

Other than that I only know one telescope repairer which is Barry Watts at Beacon Hill telescopes.

I think he has semi retired but may still be able to help. :hello2:

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Oh, I see Luke - sorry, slight misunderstanding there! Thanks.

Funny you should mention Barry...

A truly excellent scope person and very friendly and useful retailer, but on this occasion my problem is beyond him, as he has never had reason to adjust collimation on one, and would actually rather not 'have a go at it' as it were.

Please note, I would never wish to bring doubt on Barry's reputation, and do not blame him at all for being completely honest and open about his problem with my problem! 8)

Ant

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Ironically the time I asked He couldn't help either (optical vision had chosen at that time not to import spares for Tal scopes). He was very friendly however and made some genuinely useful suggestions.

Your problem is going to be finding anyone in the Uk who Knows the internal gubbins and is prepared to have a look.

Oh, one thing I thought of was to (and if the collimation is only a tad off maybe this isn't a good idea!)

you could back off all the screws right the way out and then set the scope on it's back and GENTLY tap it to try and level the mirror on the screws. then begin collimation from scratch. Obviously this would only be for a time when things cant get any worse so for now I'd maybe leave it :hello2:

And just to mention that contrary to the above post Maks are collimatable. the adjustments are done on the main mirror instead of the secondary like on sct's. The only difficulty is if the corrector plate is out as this is uncollimatable.

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Skywatcher Maksutovs are collimateable, though it is very rare that they require collimating as they hold collimination very well. I have only needed to collimate one that was dropped. It was a straightforward affair using the screws mentioned in the pdf file that you link to. I cannot explain why your Skymax 127 is not responding. Perhaps the secondary has slipped. Sometimes (when left in a hot car for example) the glue fixing the secondary can soften causing it to slip slightly. It isn't something that can be 'repaired'. They would probably replace the corrector-lens/secondary.

Regarding OVL, they are an importer/distributor, they support their dealers who in turn support the customer so it isn't really fair to criticise their 'customer' service. As a dealer I have found their service to be excellent.

Hope that helps.

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"Regarding OVL, they are an importer/distributor, they support their dealers who in turn support the customer so it isn't really fair to criticise their 'customer' service."

Understood Steve. 8)

So where does this leave me in this case? The original retailer has contacted them on his customer's behalf but they are unwilling to offer any 'service' this time round.

Anyway - I will keep on trying to adjust it myself in the meantime. You never know, perhaps something will give and it will suddenly come right! :hello2:

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Oh :shock: I wasn't criticising OV!

The truth is that Orion US are famous for there helpful and considerably more knowledgeable customer service. That's the only reason I suggested asking them.

Whilst I have had mixed responses from OV over the years with regard to helpfulness I've never actually had a problem. I'm not sure where that idea came from!

I simply stated the truth which is that they don't seem to offer a 'technical' service (although they do swap some bits or complete scopes)

Returning to the problem, I hadn't considered the secondary but still the primary would still do something even just make it worse!

TBH I'd be phoning the dealer I bought it off and asking if they could

a) try it

:p fix or replace it

And just to reiterate I'm not complaining about anyone in this post :hello2:

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My take on this is that the scope is under a year old.

The scope has lost collimation - they are right this isn't a fault.

The collimation adjustment screws do not adjust the collimation - THAT IS A FAULT.

If it's under a year old then they need to take more responsibility than they have.

Ant

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So where does this leave me in this case?

I'd be tempted to give part timer's suggestion a try.

Oh, one thing I thought of was to (and if the collimation is only a tad off maybe this isn't a good idea!)

you could back off all the screws right the way out and then set the scope on it's back and GENTLY tap it to try and level the mirror on the screws. then begin collimation from scratch. Obviously this would only be for a time when things cant get any worse so for now I'd maybe leave it :hello2:

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The truth is that Orion US are famous for there helpful and considerably more knowledgeable customer service.

Orion (US) sell direct to the customer, which is why they have a customer-service department. OVL don't sell to the customer, so don't. With Skywatcher products, your dealer is responsible for customer service. That is the only point I was making :hello2:

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Thank you all for the input. I'm going to spend some more time on it at the weekend, perhaps even doing what Part Timer suggested and freeing all the screws to a complete 'reset' position and see if anything happens. If it then adjusts and I am able to recollimate, I will be happy. If I cannot get anything to adjust and remain unable to change the collimation, I will then consider it faulty and get back in touch with the supplier and change my position slightly to that of owner of something under guarantee that doesn't work.

As mentioned, I may yet get it to do something myself, an this would be the best option! But thanks for the ideas folks!

PS I completely understand the points made about the difference between OVL and Orion US levels of customer service and the way those companies work with dealers and customers. Whilst I may wish that OVL were approachable directly and technically proficient in fixing scope things, sadly they aren't so we have to live with that!

Ant 8)

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The truth is that Orion US are famous for there helpful and considerably more knowledgeable customer service.

Orion (US) sell direct to the customer, which is why they have a customer-service department. OVL don't sell to the customer, so don't. With Skywatcher products, your dealer is responsible for customer service. That is the only point I was making :)

Understood chief :salute: :salute:

Just didn't follow first time Its been a long day and the wife's just given me a haircut :ogre: :):hello2::p:D

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Mine too, but she has yet to collimate my scopes!

Please keep us posted with how you get on. Fingers crossed, it'll all go back together following further fiddling!

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I don't know whether to laugh or cry. It seems I was being a little bit stoopid! :hello2:

I was making all those fine adjustments while concentrating on the "reflection of the inside of the tube" part of the image in the collimating eyepiece, which of course wasn't being affected. What I should have been concentrating on was the smaller, more central dark crescent that shows the "secondary reflection of inside of tube". This was being changed all the time I was making those adjustments!!!!

Man, I'm kicking myself all around the house! :?

So, the adjustment bolts were working perfectly all the time - only the operator was defective! I have spent about half an hour making some very fine adjustments now, and it all appears concentric again. I will do final adjustments on a star (if it ever clears again).

Now that I know what I'm doing and looking for, I'm confident I could even do it in the dark under a real live star now! The adjustment bolts are actually quite responsive.

So, apologies to anyone who took any flak from this post, including OVL and BeaconHill (though no offence cas intended).

:withstupid:

Ant

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