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markse68

Binocular collimation using the Sun!

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Posted (edited)

Thanks to @DaveL59 for his link to this technique and in preparation for re-cementing the doublets in my ancient Ross binos I had a go at this today and i’m glad i did!

I jerry rigged a collimation stand using my stepperised Tal-1 mount so that it would follow the sun a bit better. The rig is just a long beam strapped to the mount with a target screen at the bottom end and a small mounting platform for the binos. I need to think about it more and find a better way to mount them more rigidly as they move about too much while making adjustments. 

564E9E61-F713-48E0-95E4-4F42298A017A.jpeg

89C66C60-AFDC-4DA4-9874-23C54C9D159B.jpeg

 

I drew up a target of concentric rings spaced for my ipd ~ 66mm

CB02AE21-8E6D-49E4-9DB3-D231C20CD4B1.jpeg

The binos are just lashed to the mounting plate and a welding rod resting on the ep cups gives a horizontal reference to align the target.

I measured the height of the centre of the eps for each bino I wanted to check and put an offset horizontal line for each. 

IPD was set accurately using callipers 

CC05EBCD-5B48-4B12-B5B7-F49862BBC675.jpeg

8D067568-92D2-468D-8FEA-3B0C7771E1B8.jpeg

The idea is that the sun projects an effectively collimated beam of light down through the objectives which should be projected parallel from the eps onto the target.

First test was my Jenoptems. They’d never felt right and i now wonder if it was because of this- collimation was way off!

70F9C8FE-DCFB-470E-9C21-C12BAD8B6384.jpeg

Adjusting the objectives is tricky and a bit just trial and error. First i removed the aluminium beauty cover- it just unscrews from the cell. Then I removed the locking rings from the cells using a screwdriver blade- very carefully! a special tool would have been better. Then you have to adjust the 2 eccentric rings holding the lens elements. I found it easiest to move them both together after slackening the side grub screw (which was missing from mine!) then locking the outer ring with the grub screw and adjusting the inner ring. 

1F4AF2B2-D29E-4819-8735-0B62B2E8B22A.jpeg

Eventually I got somewhere much better looking. Locking the outer ring again with the grub screw the locking ring was refitted and tightened. Tested them on distant buildings and they’re certainly no worse than before ;) Job done :)

1916CCE4-4F40-41FB-B75E-52D7F1AE86F7.jpeg

Well worth the effort if just to check your binos I think 👍

Mark

 

Edited by markse68
never try editing a post on an iphone!
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Posted (edited)

Nice one Mark, will have to consider knocking up a rig for one of my mounts then. You can get tripod clamps that lock onto the central hinge tho they might marr the paint, could be worth it to hold the bino steady. A trad collimation rig would clamp one side of the body so that the other can pivot to check the IPD range.

For sure tho and up/down vertical alignment error would hurt after a while, the horizontal you'd be boss eyed after long use lol or even a short while if that badly out. With my old japanese 10x50 pair the effect was instant. When I first picked those up and sorted refit of the occular it felt like my eyes were being torn out of my head they were so far out in both axes. Clearly had been apart before and the original prism shims lost.

A proper lens spanner will help a lot, if not just to de-risk operations as you're real close to glass and coatings with loose screwdrivers. Did you really have to remove the retaining ring tho, or just slack it off a touch? On the Chinnon pair the lens would drop out if the retainer was removed, tho tilted up I guess would save that happening 😉 

Edited by DaveL59

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It’s just easier to get to the eccentric rings with it removed Dave- the outer ones slot is pretty well covered by the clamp ring.

The ross binos would be tricky to hold that way 😬

I had to wait for clouds to clear but just checked my russian BNU4s and they’re pretty good so i’ll leave them alone ;)

Mark

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5E0BE823-80B3-457F-948B-C341F847F328.jpeg

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Came up with an adjustable support that holds the binos pretty solidly now. Double V’s for the eyepiece end set at my ipd allow binos to be squeezed in to set correct ipd, and adjustable wedges at the objective end allow levelling of the entrance optical axis for different models whilst preventing lateral motion. Works surprisingly well for a few bits of flimsy plastic sheet!

58A9630B-B394-4CCA-BA33-83D64EB337BD.jpeg

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BFDE49D4-5BBF-45DB-B6D8-31FF9C20BCF8.jpeg

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972658056_ScreenShot2020-03-24at9_23.08AMcopy.thumb.jpg.2cd1b7c997ff90539f94eff3084fe099.jpg

On 09/08/2020 at 10:29, markse68 said:

Thanks to @DaveL59 for his link to this technique and in preparation for re-cementing the doublets in my ancient Ross binos I had a go at this today and i’m glad i did!

I jerry rigged a collimation stand using my stepperised Tal-1 mount so that it would follow the sun a bit better. The rig is just a long beam strapped to the mount with a target screen at the bottom end and a small mounting platform for the binos. I need to think about it more and find a better way to mount them more rigidly as they move about too much while making adjustments. 

564E9E61-F713-48E0-95E4-4F42298A017A.jpeg

89C66C60-AFDC-4DA4-9874-23C54C9D159B.jpeg

 

I drew up a target of concentric rings spaced for my ipd ~ 66mm

CB02AE21-8E6D-49E4-9DB3-D231C20CD4B1.jpeg

The binos are just lashed to the mounting plate and a welding rod resting on the ep cups gives a horizontal reference to align the target.

I measured the height of the centre of the eps for each bino I wanted to check and put an offset horizontal line for each. 

IPD was set accurately using callipers 

CC05EBCD-5B48-4B12-B5B7-F49862BBC675.jpeg

8D067568-92D2-468D-8FEA-3B0C7771E1B8.jpeg

The idea is that the sun projects an effectively collimated beam of light down through the objectives which should be projected parallel from the eps onto the target.

First test was my Jenoptems. They’d never felt right and i now wonder if it was because of this- collimation was way off!

70F9C8FE-DCFB-470E-9C21-C12BAD8B6384.jpeg

Adjusting the objectives is tricky and a bit just trial and error. First i removed the aluminium beauty cover- it just unscrews from the cell. Then I removed the locking rings from the cells using a screwdriver blade- very carefully! a special tool would have been better. Then you have to adjust the 2 eccentric rings holding the lens elements. I found it easiest to move them both together after slackening the side grub screw (which was missing from mine!) then locking the outer ring with the grub screw and adjusting the inner ring. 

1F4AF2B2-D29E-4819-8735-0B62B2E8B22A.jpeg

Eventually I got somewhere much better looking. Locking the outer ring again with the grub screw the locking ring was refitted and tightened. Tested them on distant buildings and they’re certainly no worse than before ;) Job done :)

1916CCE4-4F40-41FB-B75E-52D7F1AE86F7.jpeg

Well worth the effort if just to check your binos I think 👍

Mark

You have done your homework. I think the tracking mount and holder for the binos are a boon for this method. However, this provides conditional alignment only. If the error is small and the bino is going to be used at, or near, one IPD it may be all that is required. Even so, without knowing the doctrine, the screw tweaking CAN (in some cases) damage the instrument and almost always takes it farther from the 3-axis collimation used in most factories.

Bill

 

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I've already seen I'm not using this forum correctly. Forgive me; I'll learn ... I think.🐼

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Posted (edited)
17 minutes ago, WJC said:

You have done your homework. I think the tracking mount and holder for the binos are a boon for this method. However, this provides conditional alignment only. If the error is small and the bino is going to be used at, or near, one IPD it may be all that is required. Even so, without knowing the doctrine, the screw tweaking CAN (in some cases) damage the instrument and almost always takes it farther from the 3-axis collimation used in most factories.

 

 

 

Bill

Hi Bill, thanks for your comments. Yes you’re right about it only being conditional on my ipd. I have thought about making some differently spaced targets and “v” block holders but i’m not sure i have the patience to go through the whole process and i’m intending on making them right for me.

I have been thinking about some way to ensure perfect alignment of the mechanics of the bino- the hinge- as if that were possible I think a single alignment ought to be all that was needed?

Interesting remark about the screws- are you referring to prism tilt screws? I haven’t got any binos with that method- mine afaik all have eccentric adjusters but good advice for others contemplating diy collimation. 

Edited by markse68

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9 minutes ago, WJC said:

I've already seen I'm not using this forum correctly. Forgive me; I'll learn ... I think.🐼

Hi Bill and welcome aboard 🙂 

Am also on birdforum but under a different user there (did the HR/5 repair that you'd commented on)

 

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16 minutes ago, markse68 said:

Hi Bill, thanks for your comments. Yes you’re right about it only being conditional on my ipd. I have thought about making some differently spaced targets and “v” block holders but i’m not sure i have the patience to go through the whole process and i’m intending on making them right for me.

I have been thinking about some way to ensure perfect alignment of the mechanics of the bino- the hinge- as if that were possible I think a single alignment ought to be all that was needed?

Interesting remark about the screws- are you referring to prism tilt screws? I haven’t got any binos with that method- mine afaik all have eccentric adjusters but good advice for others contemplating diy collimation. 

Eccentrics only?! GOOD MAN!!! When I talk about collimation vs conditional alignment—because of my “cut to the chase” manner—the Snowflakes take me to be a number of bad things. That’s okay; I chose that road. I learned years ago that if you desire to be taken seriously you have to be bold enough and loud enough to be heard over the din of the incessant speculators.

 

Bill  

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24 minutes ago, DaveL59 said:

Hi Bill and welcome aboard 🙂 

Am also on birdforum but under a different user there (did the HR/5 repair that you'd commented on)

 

So, you’re aengus4h. Thanks for the courtesy. But, keep that and send dollars! By the way, how much is a GBP in REAL MONEY??? ‘Sorry, couldn’t resist; I take humor—I mean humour—wherever I can find it.

How’s your baby working out? Shortly after mine showed up on the cover of my first bino book ... I sold it to a friend in Boston. 🐼

Bill

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9 minutes ago, WJC said:

So, you’re aengus4h. Thanks for the courtesy. But, keep that and send dollars! By the way, how much is a GBP in REAL MONEY??? ‘Sorry, couldn’t resist; I take humor—I mean humour—wherever I can find it.

How’s your baby working out? Shortly after mine showed up on the cover of my first bino book ... I sold it to a friend in Boston. 🐼

 

 

 

Bill

 

Thanks Bill, yep the HR/5 is working very nicely, well worth the effort I think. Still pending a full clean but seems I'm going to have time on my hands for a while now so a job I'll be getting on with. Been finishing up an overhaul on one of my scopes (TAL-M) which I sorted the last piece for today and have an old vintage one that I'll be gradually renovating too 🙂 

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On 13/08/2020 at 23:35, WJC said:

Eccentrics only?! GOOD MAN!!! When I talk about collimation vs conditional alignment—because of my “cut to the chase” manner—the Snowflakes take me to be a number of bad things. That’s okay; I chose that road. I learned years ago that if you desire to be taken seriously you have to be bold enough and loud enough to be heard over the din of the incessant speculators.

 

 

 

Bill  

 

hi bill @WJC I just read one of your papers on collimation/conditional alignment and it mentioned prism lean. I guess you’re familiar with the prism assemblies from old Rochester B&L Zephyrs? What a beautiful thing the Zephyr is and what an interesting method for holding/adjusting prism alignment! A bent/twisted piece of flat wire 😳 Ingenious. Thanks to your paper I will try the ruled paper method for adjusting the lean which i think is a little out now since i removed the prisms to clean them...

Mark

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Hey, @WJC - good to see you on board here! (I missed your posts where you posted pages from your books, or I'd have cottoned on sooner).

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Hi, Steve,

Great to be in touch here! I hope you and yours are all well. I haven’t been inside a restaurant since March—Aaaarrrrgggg!!!!! And although I’m as conservative as a guy can get, I would like to apologize for that ignorant, arrogant bully in the White House. Of course, in this next election we will have to choose between that, “ignorant, arrogant bully” and “dyed-in-the-wool” socialist! That was not political commentary. It was just a seeker of truth watching his country going down the tubes. We have traded WHAT WORKS for WHAT SOUNDS GOOD. ‘Bad trade.

“However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results. — Winnie

My bino books are selling as well as can be expected for such geeky material. I have tried to reach out to astronomy clubs here and abroad, but I think my email messages are going to SPAM filters. Attached is an image of my last. I think I am going to turn it over to a bigger publisher ... I can’t speak Hindi.

Debbie and I have been on the Dave Ramsey plan since the middle of 2018 and, except for our mortgage, are debt free. When we get a little closer to visiting Jolly Old, Jolly Old, I’ll need to get your address. There’s a fellow on BirdForum—who lives across town from you, screen name PATUDO—who, being a paragon of optics and binocular knowledge, seems to feel the need to challenge almost everything I say or attack me personally. So, I have to get over there and try to make peace with him ... again.

Please don’t forget my real address: wjc1111@hotmail.com

Cheers

Bill

Screen Shot 2020-01-31 at 4.46.56 PM copy 2.jpg

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Patudo has access to some WX.... the pinnacle of binoculars. Had a great session with him at the “wetland centre” on my side of town. I educated him with the 30x70s! He mainly hunts peregrines in the city... must meet up again once the craziness passes....

Peter

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33 minutes ago, PeterW said:

Patudo has access to some WX.... the pinnacle of binoculars. Had a great session with him at the “wetland centre” on my side of town. I educated him with the 30x70s! He mainly hunts peregrines in the city... must meet up again once the craziness passes....

Peter

6K for 10x50s 😳 

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Not mine, tripod mounted, nasty eyecups, but SOOO WIDEEEE, even at the field stop (when you look sideways into the eyepiece) is sharp. Makes my Nagler bins feel claustrophobic!

Peter

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On 12/10/2020 at 17:54, WJC said:

Great to be in touch here! I hope you and yours are all well.

Thanks, Bill - yes, we're all well. I've just come out of retirement (yes, in my 8th decade! 🙂 ) and accepted a post as Dark Skies Advisor to the local International Dark Sky Reserve. Been volunteering for ages, but it's good to be useful!

Keep well, my friend.

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