Astronomy tests a great new collimator

Align your SCT quickly, easily, and in broad daylight with HOTECH’s Advanced CT Laser Collimator.
By | Published: March 24, 2014 | Last updated on May 18, 2023
HOTECH Advanced CT Laser Collimator
HOTECH designed its Advanced CT Laser Collimator to allow observers to align Schmidt-Cassegrain telescopes easily — even during the daytime.
Astronomy: William Zuback
No other telescope design offers the combination of features and portability as a Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope (SCT). You may not consider it the best for any one application, but it does everything pretty well. One thing it’s not so great at, though, is holding optical alignment, i.e., collimation. Good collimation is a critical step to ensure that you get the best image possible.

Until fairly recently, the best way to collimate an SCT was the star test — checking optical alignment by using a star at night. This can be a frustrating process, especially if the user is unaware of specifics that can affect the test, like poor seeing, an uncooled telescope, differences between mechanical and optical alignment, and other issues. But worst of all for me, star collimation eats into my rather limited observing time.

Wouldn’t it be nice to have an easy way to collimate an SCT during the day? Well, HOTECH has developed the Advanced CT Laser Collimator for just this purpose.

Manufacturers made a few attempts at creating SCT laser collimators in the past, with mixed results. Most of these devices only succeeded in returning you to a known good configuration. In other words, you first had to collimate using the star test. The Advanced CT Laser Collimator does not have that restriction. In addition, the product works for many types of Cassegrain designs — not just SCTs.

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