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HoTech Advanced CT Laser Collimator

HoTech Advanced CT Laser Collimator
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Price:  £549.00(Inc. 20% VAT)
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Model:  ACT-M125
Brand:  HoTech



2 Year Warranty On All New Items
(Excluding Batteries & Globes)



New developed co-alignment technique making the colllimation even easier at higher level of accuracy

Collimate Your Cassegrain Telescope
- Without using a star
- Indoor or outdoor - day or night
- Focus stays at final view setting
- Within focal distance from your telescope
- One-man operation
- Portable and simple to setup and use
- Works on CT, SCT, SN Mak, & RC



Innovation brings Affortable and Portable Collimation into Reality

Since the invention of the Cassegrain Telescope in 1672 by the French sculptor Sieur Guillaume Cassegrain, the Cassegrain Telescope has evolved into various derivative designs such as the more popular Ritchey-Chrétien, Dall-Kirkham, Schmidt-Cassegrain, and Maksutov-Cassegrain. The designs have gained their popularity because of their compact and simple to produce a design. With different designs, star collimation is and has always been the only effective method to collimate for Cassegrain telescope owners.
Now, backyard astronomers have an alternative to achieve excellent collimation conveniently using the Advanced CT Laser Collimator. The Advanced CT Laser Collimator brings the collimating star to your telescope within arm reaching distance. With its short-range capability, you can perform collimation indoors - day or night - without being subjected to weather conditions. And best of all, this new collimator utilizes a clear and simple-to-read, large target display for the telescope alignment diagnostic. This large target display is positioned within a short focal distance of the telescope which allows you to collimate without guessing.

No Star Required to Collimate

To achieve an accurate star collimation, normally the amateur astronomer requires good seeing conditions with no cloud, no wind, stable temperature, no light pollution, a well-aligned telescope mount tracking system, telescope optical tube assemble (OTA) thermal equilibrium, and a good visible magnitude star. The visual quality of the referencing star is greatly affected by the prescribed factors most of which are all in God's hand as you can see in the photo. Adjusting the collimation is guessing game where you move between front and the back of the telescope adjusting the corresponding alignment screw and holding your breath peeping through a high magnification eyepiece referencing the concentricity of the unstable defocused image. This can be an incredibly frustrating experience.

An artificial star can never simulate a real star because it is impossible to collimate with the telescope focus set at infinity. After artificial star collimation, you will need to adjust your focus back to infinity to view a real star by moving the primary mirror to a different position. The distance the primary mirror has been adjusted can accumulate mechanical tolerance errors. For some of the mass produced SCTs, the “sticky baffle” on the primary mirror focusing mechanism may also cause mirror-flop. If a mirror-flop has ocurred, it will affect the alignment position which in turn will render the collimation useless. Ideally, It is best to collimate your optics at the same viewing focusing position without major optical displacements to correspond to the final view setting. The Advanced CT Laser Collimator can accomplish this task without all the possible accumulated errors.

The large target display on the Advanced CT Laser Collimator brings you a clear visual cue of three projecting laser dots as the alignment reference at a very comfortable visual distance providing an accurate axial alignment error diagnostic. And during the entire collimation process, no major focusing is needed, thus minimizing the possible accumulated errors from the focusing adjustments. The referencing adjustments are made by bringing the three discernable projected laser dots, projected on the target, into a concentric ring. No more peeping through the eyepiece looking for a changing, ambiguous star image. This alternative collimation method saves precious observing time by collimating the telescope and preparing the viewing programs at dusk or before dawn without the influences of the external environmental conditions.

Collimate Within Focal Distance From Your Telescope

The Advanced CT Laser Collimator does not require long focal distances to achieve high-accuracy collimation. Utilizing the installed flat mirror at the focal point (eyepiece location), the collimator lasers double-passes both your primary and secondary mirrors and magnifies the alignment errors to a higher accuracy level. In addition, it cuts the collimating distance in half achieving near-field alignment process. The collimator is stationed within your telescope's focal length directly in front of your telescope. Setting up for collimation, you will be standing between the telescope and the collimator aiming both the telescope and the collimator at each other. Then you will adjust the secondary mirror knob to bring the returning lasers on the same track. This is a very convenient one-man operation.

At a Fraction of the Cost of Wavefront Interferometer Technology
The state-of-the-art advanced laser optical alignment technology used in the Advanced CT Laser Collimator achieves the same rough alignment function of a costly large aperture interferometer commonly use in high-energy labs at a fraction of its cost.

The Advanced CT Laser Collimator uses three collimated lasers, evenly spaced apart, to sample large aperture optical elements in your telescope. The three parallel laser beams completely simulate the light path (flat-wavefront) from a distant star and pass through the entire telescope’s optical elements and reflect back to its target for a complete and accurate double-pass diagnostic reading of your telescope optical alignment. This innovative collimation technique and technology enables the amateur astronomer achieving far-field collimation as a near-field process.

Precision CNC Machined Panel and Components
This beautifully designed instrument is precision machined from a solid block of aero-space grade aluminum. It is then hardened and anodized to keep the entire mounted laser system thermally stable allowing you to achieve accurate collimation. The rigid, ultra thin profile, and light-weight design makes the unit portable and simple to setup and use.

Collimates All CT, SCT, Makustov, & RC
The Advanced CT Laser Collimator simulates a real distant star light path, and as a result it can collimate most telescopes which primarily rely on star collimation. The collimation technique can be implemented on any size telescope. The current production model is designed to collimate telescopes with a primary mirror greater than 7-1/5-inches and a secondary mirror obstruction diameter less than 6-1/2-inches.

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Some items that are showing as in stock are in stock at our holding warehouses, not at the shop. To double check the stock levels at the shop, please contact us on 01909774369 or sales@rothervalleyoptics.co.uk.

The delivery times for most items is 1 - 2 days but again, please double check stock levels on important orders before placing an order via the website.

The delivery costs for courier next day are for mainland UK only. If you live in the Scottish Highlands/Islands, Channel Islands or Northern Ireland, then a shipping surchage will apply. please contact us for prices. Smaller items can still go 1st class via Royal Mail.

Please note that if you are wanting to take advantage of our Saturday and Sunday timed services or next day pre 12 or pre 10:30 services, you MUST check that the stock is here at the shop before placing orders. Also, orders using the Saturday and Sunday services must be placed before 1pm the previous working day. Also, please remember to check that the stock is here at the shop before placing orders. If the stock is not at the shop, we won't be able to ship on any of the timed services. 

Please note International customers will need to contact us for a shipping price prior to ordering via the website. We don't ship all items internationally. It is at our discretion what we ship outside of the UK. This all depends on the size and weight of the items. Please get in touch with us for any postage costs. Please note we do NOT ship telescopes or heavy items outside of the UK. This is due to massive postage costs and problems regarding returns.

If you have any questions regarding stock levels or delivery, please get in touch.

Zygo Interferometer Testing For ED Refractor Telescopes!

We are extremely pleased to announce our Zygo Interferometer is now installed and ready for use! Our experienced staff can test refractor lenses up to 120mm aperture and provide a comprehensive 2 page report showing the optical quality and Strehl ratio, plus much more information. We are using the very latest Zygo MX software to provide a more detailed report compared to other standard reports.

 

The interferometer is essentially a measuring instrument. Within the interferometer is a calibrated laser that is pointed through the optical test surface, then onto a high quality reference sphere, then back through the test subject then to an internal camera which gives us the measurement on the screen. From this, we can adjust the position of the test optic and the reference sphere to obtain a perfectly calibrated system. The more central the laser to the test optic and then on return, the better and more accurate reading and measurement we can take. This takes a lot of adjustment to get the best results from the optical surface. Once the measurement has been taken, we are provided with a series of results that show the optical quality of the surface plus other information. Continue reading for an explanation of the individual values and you can also see a test report that was done on one of our RVO Horizon 60 OTAs. 

We are offering certain telescopes with a Zygo test at an extra cost. Mainly ED doublets and triplets. All available telescopes with a Zygo test report are listed here. Just select Zygo Test Report from the drop down box at the top of the listing and we will test the optics in house and provide a full 2 page report with your scope. This will show you the optical quality of your telescope optics. We can also offer this service on your refractor telescope. Please get in touch for more details about this. 

At Rother Valley Optics, one thing we pride ourselves on is customer service and quality of our equipment. When we test your telescope, we will ensure that it is of the highest quality otherwise, we will reject the scope under our strict quality control and test another model for your peace of mind. One of the main values to look at when testing a refractor is the Strehl ratio. The higher this number, the higher quality lens you have. At Rother Valley Optics, we will guarantee the highest possible Strehl ratio for your telescope.  We will aim to provide 0.95 Strehl or higher on Takahashi, RVO Horizon, William Optics and many more! Generally, the higher the Strehl ratio, the lower the Astigmatism and Coma meaning a better image quality from your instrument. 

Other measurements such as the PV and RMS are important too. With these measurements, the lower the number the better as it shows less curvature on the lens. The flatter an optical lens, the better it will perform. The PV rating (Peak To Valley) is a measurement from the highest point (Peak) to the lowest point (Valley). From this we get the RMS (Root, Mean, Square). This is a similar figure to the PV and measured exactly the same way. The RMS is basically an average height difference from the PV so again, the lower the better. As you can see form the example below, we measured an RMS of just 0.027 wave which is a very good value.

We also measure the Power with our systems which is essentially the error from the reference sphere to the test optic. The reference sphere we use on our system is a very high quality sphere so the closer to zero the Power, the less error between the 2 elements thus ensuring a higher quality optical surface. 

You will also see some more values such as Astigmatism and Coma. Again, these are measured by the interferometer when we take measurements of the optical surface after adjustment. These are values which ideally would be at 0 but as our test optics are all curved lenses, there will always be astigmatism and coma present. The lower the number, the less of these aberations you will effectively see but with most refractors, you can buy field flatteners which will compensate for the coma anyway. The astigmatisms value is explaining the error between the symmetrical curvature of the lens. Basically, no lens will be perfectly symmetrical, the lower the astigmatism, the more symmetrical the lens surface is. 

Once the Zygo test report has been completed, the optical alignment is thoroughly tested and tuned to ensure they are spot on before they leave us. 

All available telescopes are on the website at the link below and ones we've tested already that are available straight away are also listed.

https://www.rothervalleyoptics.co.uk/zygo-tested-refractors.html

Here is an example of the test what we provide. This was a test on one of our Horizon 60 ED OTA's.

For any questions about this amazing new service, please either call 01909774369 or email sales@rothervalleyoptics.co.uk.

 


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