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How to Collimate a Laser Collimator Cheaply!

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I've been looking at ways to collimate my laser collimator and ive seen various designs made from steel tubes to "V's" cut out of pieces of wood and stuck to a base.

Now while searching ive come across this home made collimator.

Talk about using your imagination and doing something quick and cheaply!!

It reminds me of about 30 years ago when a person i knew came up with an idea to make money cheaply and quickly, he advertised in a national newspaper selling "Humane Mouse Exterminators" and guaranteed they could kill around 20 - 30 mice a minute!!

and he was selling them for £2

when i asked what his "invention" was he showed me the product instructions that came with this Mouse exterminator.

on the instruction sheet was a picture of 2 blocks of wood showing how to put the mouse by the tail on the bottom block of wood, and then whacking the mouse over the head with the second block of wood!!

Im not sure how many he actually got round to selling, but i had to laugh at his ingenuity!

anyway..this laser collimator, collimator, reminded me a bit of that incredible Mouse Exterminator due t its simplicity and obvious thought that has gone into its making!

ps..i'll be making one later today if i can find the time!! :D

Laser Collimator Collimator

ps..not sure i will be able to find the time to make the "ultra-mega deluxe" version mind!

Edited by Mick UK
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Wow! I made one (the basic model :() and tested my Baader Planetarium Laser Colimator and it was out quite a bit :)

It is not now though :D

Thanks Mick UK :)

If thats the same Baader Laser Collimator that I used to have, they are so and so's to collimate because of their asymetrical body shape :confused:

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How about a device to check if the collimator body has a perfectly circular cross section? And of course another device that will make the focuser slop-free.

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I got an engineer friend to turn a small tube with a flange on it so that I could push it through a tightly prepared hole cut into a vertical mounted bit of MDF. Then I got him to cut a similar tube (also with a flange) so that it would slip 'very' snugly into the earlier prepared tube above. The aperture of this last tube is enough to allow the collimator to be placed inside with the minimum of movement (I have a Hotech type so I can now tighten to secure a very tight fit) The whole set up allows me to turn the collimator on only one axis (the V system introduces two points) without any slop and I use this small jig to project some twenty feet to get the collimation as accurate as possible.

Is this excessive, probably, but to pick up the collimator, fasten it inside a small tube, put that into the tube held in the MDF and you're away is great and would be very cheap to get machined, (though it did cost me a few pints - which probably works out dearer!)


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I just use a length of plastic tube clamped to a table with the collimator inserted into the end.

This is an easy way to deal with odd shaped Collimators

The main problem is the right - tight fitting - tube diameter

Vacuum cleaner tube of some makes are the right size or else

ABS 1 1/4" waste pipe (36mm external dia) is the dogs bollocks ....

Edited by Tinners
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How about a device to check if the collimator body has a perfectly circular cross section? And of course another device that will make the focuser slop-free. To be honest I'm happy enough with a Cheshire.

Good point, I will test it on a DTI. The focuser on my cheapo C150HD I have managed to reduce the "slop" to a minimum with PTFE tape and a compression ring holder but It is still far from perfect.

I don't use the laser on my SN10 (Moonlite Focuser), I use a Cats Eye. Very good piece of kit.

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How about a 10ft length of tube the correct diameter to take the Laser Collimator, cut dead square at both ends. You then glue an old secondary flat to one end and insert the LC in the other end. Once the light comes back up the tube and goes back on its self you are done. With this system you do not even have to keep the LC in one place, you can do it while sitting on the sofa or walking about.


Plus you do not have to rotate the LC, thus cutting out the chance of error!

Edited by sbooder
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In my case, I collimated my mass produced laser collimator against my Catseye tools. That is, I collimated my scope with high precision using Catseye tools then I inserted the laser collimator and adjusted it accordingly.

Interestingly, my laser collimator traces a circle with around 4mm radius at 1200mm distance.

The V-block is a good method but do not expect it to make a "Glatter" out of your mass produced laser collimator.


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