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Ocal electronic collimator


Wonderweb
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Hi. 

Has anyone tried collimating an ioptron ritchey-chrétien rc6 with an ocal electronic collimator? I've tried everything from howie glatter laser collimators to bits of plastic with holes in and witchcraft but I never seem to get it good enough. 

I've just watched a video on YouTube about it from Cuiv the lazy geek and it looks like it might work but so did everything else I've tried. 

Thanks

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Do you have a guide camera?

Maybe ASI type with body like this:

image.png.703da7b6af90ec80b43a7f7ee4be4b4d.png

and wide cs lens like in the picture?

Why don't you try inserting that into your focuser with lens attached. Camera has 2" rim that will go nicely into 2" focuser and you'll get very nice centered image of your secondary and primary baffle tube.

Maybe you can then perform collimation by looking at the laptop screen?

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I looked at the OCAL PRO collimator and found it’s more than just a camera. It’s the software that’s the key part of it. Thought it looked good but a bit too pricy. No dealers in Europe seem to have stock although it can be ordered on Amazon.

BTW you need the PRO version to collimate an RC.

Edited by johninderby
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10 minutes ago, johninderby said:

I looked at the OCAL PRO collimator and found it’s more than just a camera. It’s the software that’s the key part of it. Thought it looked good but a bit too pricy. No dealers in Europe seem to have stock although it can be ordered on Amazon.

BTW you need the PRO version to collimate an RC.

Check out this video:

and imagine that you don't need to look at the tiny hole with illumination to see marking on the secondary - you can look at computer screen with SharpCap.

SharpCap has few reticle types - regular crosshairs or concentric circles that you can turn on.

As far as I can see - no need for special software - you just need to center things.

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I’ve been following developments on this Ocal device on another Forum. There seems to be a lack of clarity about which scopes it works on, tho Newts seem to be good. Problems with some DKs (one person found his collimation on a star was way off).

Perhaps this is not surprising as it’s a new device and is still being refined. Good news is that the developer seems to be engaged and helpful.

Would be good to see who has had success on and who hasn’t -and with which scopes.

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Just now, johninderby said:

Wonder exactly what the difference is between the standard and Pro versions and why only the Pro is suitable for  cassegrains? 🤔

Which cassegrains does it work with? I saw that Mewlons (Dall Kirkham) don’t work with it. Seems odd.

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5 minutes ago, johninderby said:

That does look interesting, John. Will have to look into it.

The video gives me more confidence that the Ocal ones.

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On 21/12/2021 at 11:33, johninderby said:

This looks very interesting. I'll keep my eye out for them coming back into stock and watch the YouTube video. 

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On 11/12/2021 at 21:37, johninderby said:

I looked at the OCAL PRO collimator and found it’s more than just a camera. It’s the software that’s the key part of it...

I  believe that you can download the software without actually purchasing the camera. There is an excel file of the camera serial numbers with some sort of calibration data that should be entered into the software. Not sure what that does, or what would happen if you didn't enter it?

I was thinking myself of just using my ASI385MC with all sky lens and the collimation rings in APT or even Al's Collimation Aid.

After all, this is just to get it close. You should still do a star test on a night with good seeing.

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I have been using the LED collimator for collimating my RC8 and found it works very well for getting the secondary aligned. I then alight the primary with a cheshire. (The LED collimator will not work with the Stella Lyra RC8 due to the baffle arrangement). I then do a star test and adjust the primary in line with the DSI collimation guide. This is usually pretty close but you can repeat the secondary collimation and star test again to get it 'perfect'. I would add that this suggests the alignment of my focuser and primary mirror are very good which may not be the case on all RC's. FWIW the LED collimator is pretty good for Newtonians too.

Just to add - this is the worlds most expensive LED light. A collimation cap with an LED light in it would serve the same purpose equally well.

Edited by Clarkey
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It's quite easy to make it. It cost me 50 quid to make it, but it can be done much cheaper if you think you can find a cheaper camera. 

Just follow the same steps to collamate your RC. I software I have written if free to use, and can be modified easily to add support for more camera.

One can try to use a guide cam, as suggested, using a wide angle lense, but the problem with that is you can't change focus using the software. So you have do either do it without it and use a defocused image to guide yourself, or take the cam out and refocus manually everytime you need to check/go back and forth. 

 

 

 

Edited by rsarwar
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I saw FLO had them in stock on 24 Dec so I ordered the basic version and it came yesterday :)

Spent the day collimating a 10" Newt, RC8 and SkyMax 180. I've known they were all out of collimation for a while and I have to say I found it very easy to use. I normally use a Cheshire for my Newt but never really liked it, especially as I can't see the effect of turning adjustment screws at the same time as doing it. That's one of the real benefits of this system. It's all on screen so you can see the effect of every adjustment straight away without having to bob backwards and forwards to the eyepiece.

Not had a chance to star test them yet though so I don't really know if it worked. But everything is concentric - which it wasn't before - so that surely has to be good. Doesn't it...?

If it works I love it. If the results don't match up then....? I'll let you know.

Mark

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