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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on 10 May 2013
OK, I'm seriously impressed with this. It's so easy to use, my telescope was properly and accurately collimated within about 10 minutes!

It's very well made. It feels solid, and not at all flimsy.

As other reviewers have recommended, I first checked the collimation of the collimator, in my case by placing it on a windowsill against the window frame, turning it on and gently turning it. No problems, it was delivered properly collimated, and the little red dot stayed stationery as I rotated it.

I next put it into the eyepiece holder on my telescope. As another reviewer said, it's very helpful if the centre spot of your primary mirror is marked, and I was pleased to see a very small circle at the centre point of my (Skywatcher) telescope's primary. The red dot from the collimator was way off, at least a centimetre, so I then adjusted the angle of the secondary mirror to centre the dot onto the primary.

I then moved to adjust the primary. As you can see from the pictures, the collimator has a cut away in the side, with a 'target' fitted in. You can turn the collimator in the eyepiece holder so you can see this target when you're up at the back end of the telescope. The red dot reflected back from the primary was a little off centre in my case, so I had to adjust the primary mirror to centre the reflection on the collimator target.

And that's it. My telescope is collimated, and I can check it whenever I need - certainly whenever I transport my telescope!

A very worthwhile purchase. I'd strongly recommend it to anyone with a reflector telescope.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on 22 March 2013
Very solidly built and robust piece of kit. Feels like it will last many a year so very impressed from that angle. However, a star knocked off since mine was not accurately enough collimated. From a distance of three meters the laser spot was prescribing a circle of about two inches radius on the wall. That is not accurate enough to collimate your scope properly and as such is disappointing. Fortunately it is a simple enough matter to collimate your laser collimator in half an hour or so if you know what you are doing and there are plenty of guides on the web to show you how. The three adjustment grub screws (Allen key required) are covered in sealant but just press your allen key through this sealant to get to the grub screws underneath.

You really should know how to collimate a laser collimator anyway and should check it every few months so for that reason only one star knocked off instead of two.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 9 March 2013
I was told by someone knowledgeable about amateur astronomy and telescopes that these kind of collimators are worse than useless (not just this product, but all of this kind). He said the problem lies with the fact is doesn't sit centrally at the optical axis in the focus tube/eye-piece adaptor. Not only can you wiggle it about in the focus tube (you see the laser dot dance all over the primary mirror) but once you have tightened up the grub screws and clamp it in place, this pushes the collimator against the side of the focus tube/eye-piece adaptor and hence away from the optical axis.

Maybe so, said a guy in a telescope shop in Stockport, but this is as accurate as you can expect to get it. Indeed, the way to check whether a telescope needs collimating is to de-focus on a star and look at its Airy disc. If the shadow of the secondary mirror isn't central in the Airy disc then it needs collimating. I checked this on mine and yes, the shadow was offset quite some way. So I bought this product anyway because of all the great reviews and followed a YouTube tutorial. The shadow of the secondary mirror is now central on the Airy disc, showing that it is nicely collimated.

Indeed, I have been trying to take webcam photos of Jupiter (I'm a beginner at all of this). I managed to get a hazy-looking picture showing two of its main cloud belts. After collimation: well, the photo wasn't great (but that was down to capture-software issues) but this time I saw more detail on the planet's surface. Okay, the seeing conditions may have been batter that day, and I might have focussed the 'scope better, but I reckon that this collimator did its job.

I found that the collimator itself didn't need collimating. I don't have a v-block, so I just held the collimator firm into the focus tube and rotated it. The laser dot on the primary mirror didn't move. After collimation, I secured the collimator into the focus tube at several different angles, rotating it inside the tube. The laser dot shone onto the central circle on the primary mirror each time. No issues seen then.

A final tip. If the guy I mentioned was right about the collimator being off the optical axis when you tighten the grub screws, well, what I did was to insert the eye-piece adaptor into the focus tube with its grub screws opposite to those of the focus tube's. If the adaptor is then pushed upwards against the side of the ficus tube by the screws, then the collimator is then pushed downwards against the side of the adaptor. These two offset errors therefore cancel somewhat (if not perfectly). Hope that makes sense.

So to summarise, it works.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 30 July 2013
Aligning a reflector telescope is a challenging job and can leave you with doubts as to whether it is absolutely right. This simple piece of kit will remove that doubt. With a centre marked primary mirror, it is very easy to set up your secondary mirror. My Seben laser collimator arrived perfectly adjusted ( I checked it by rolling it in a V block!)and within minutes I was satisfied with the telescope alignment. It is orders of magnitude better than a Cheshire alignment tool. This is £20 very well spent and by the way it was the cheapest one advertised on Amazon. It is a robust and well made instrument and I am happy to give it the full five!!
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on 15 June 2012
I thought that with this being one of the cheaper collimators on the market I was a little doubtful as I clicked "confirm your order." I need not have worried in the slightest. I switched it on, popped it into my focusser and instantly saw how badly aligned my Dobsonian was. I decided to take my primary mirror out and mark the centre with a permanent marker. (I would advise this as you really need to have a centre point.) From there I was able to adjust my secondary to hit the centre exactly and then adjust the primary mirror so that it hit dead centre of the focusser. The beauty about this product is that you can see where the laser hits the focusser from the bottom of the scope as you adjust making it a one person job. All in all, about a half hour for the first collimation and now it's a simple 5 minute or less job to fine tune each time I transport my Dob.

I would recommend this product.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 19 March 2013
i was not sure about getting this collimator because it seemed so cheap but i am glad i did. i have been trying for ages to collimate my 10" dob with a chester collimator but for the life of me i could not do it. Use the seben laser and it took me 5 to 10 mins to get it spot on. checked after with the chester collimator and showed it was also spot on. i would recommend people to check out videos on youtube on collimating telescopes
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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on 27 December 2012
Its a very good collimator for the money. One thing I would say, is make sure you set it up right. A lot of people make the mistake of putting it straight into the view finder and collimating. However, the laser is probably not centered. Set the collimator up of a flat table on a v-block and shine the laser at the wall. if you rotate the collimator you will probably notice that laser is not straight, adjust the 3 grub screws to get the laser centered.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 16 March 2014
I've no idea why this thing has had such good reviews. It is utterly useless and a total waste of money. I ordered one to help collimate my 10'' Newtonian reflector. The laser itself required collimating when it arrived. This is fiddly and requires minute adjustment of the allen screws holding the laser in place. I got mine to within about 2mm over a distance of 3 metres. Unfortunately, within days of collimating the laser, I discovered that it had gone out of collimation. It if doesn't hold its collimation particularly well then what is the point of having it? I did use it once on my telescope but it couldn't really be trusted. In future I'll rely on my Cheshire/sighting tube and collimation cap. The laser has too much slop when in the focuser to be anywhere near accurate.

Please, save your money and buy something else.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 19 March 2014
Needed to Collimate the Collimator first, there are three hex screws around the body that adjusts the laser, the holes for them are filled with a mastic type filler, they should leave these clear so it can be adjusted easier. I needed to build a jig to rotate the device on to calibrating it, not the easiest thing to do if you have no idea what to do. But once done, works fine. solid build. shame it wasn't calibrated properly, otherwise I would have given it a five star rating, I wavered between two and three stars, but it is a solid device.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 10 January 2014
Arrived before expected date so very happy with delivery service.

The Collimator is very professionally built with a black painted metal body so will stand the rigors of time I think. It has 7 levels of output which are easily changed using the thumb wheel on the top.

High power (7) is very bright and a little more diffused than the other levels (which are perfect) but I doubt you would need above level 4-5.

The Collimation as delivered seem spot on, there are 3 adjustment screws that have been filled in with potting compound to set them so if it does take a knock is should be ok but there is the option of removing the potting compound if needed.

I would recommend this if you have a Newtonian you need to align.

Before purchasing I would check your scope is actually a Newtonian and not a Bird-Jones (usually sold as 'reflectors' rather than Newtonian). Collimating a Bird-Jones with a laser is possible but a laser might not be the best choice.
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