Howie Glatter 2″ Laser Collimator
All of the collimators are powered by a CR123A lithium cell, giving about 40 hours of service, and about 4 hours in the 532nm collimator. They come with one battery, a plastic case and collimation donuts. All Laser Collimators incorporates a solid state laser diode that does not fade or change with time and use. The Howie Glatter 2″ Laser Collimator is factory-aligned to 15 arc-seconds providing 0.1 inch accuracy at a distance of 20 feet. Shock resistant to keep its alignment – even when dropped.
The 635nm laser is more expensive, but it enables Barlowed or holographic collimation in higher levels of ambient light.
The Holographic and Barlow attachments (Sold Separately) can be used with any Howie Glatter collimator by simply removing the 1mm aperture stop at the end of the collimator and screwing on the attachment of choice.
Inside the collimator is a solid-state laser diode, which emits an intense laser beam through a front aperture, exactly along the central axis of the cylindrical collimator body. The beam acts as a “reference line” from which alignments are made. For a laser collimator it is of supreme importance that the beam be aligned with the collimator’s cylindrical axis, for if it is not, the resultant “alignment” of the telescope optics will be off-center and asymmetric, and the telescope will produce aberrated images.
“When I started manufacturing laser collimators I realized that in order to produce consistent and accurate results they must be highly resistant to mechanical shock, so that internal laser alignment is maintained. I experimented with this aspect of collimator construction and developed a design which tremendously increased shock resistance. After aligning the laser within 15 arc seconds, I shock test each collimator by whacking it against a block of urethane plastic (urethane prevents marring), striking it at least a dozen times on three axis. I then recheck the laser alignment, and if it has not changed the collimator passes. I believe this is the most important difference setting my collimator apart from all others I know of. They will withstand a shock equivalent to dropping from eyepiece position, up the ladder on a big Dob, without alteration of laser alignment.”
The beam from all red diode lasers used in collimators is fuzzy-edged and elliptical in cross-section. When collimating, you sometimes must judge the location of the center of the spot by eye. To improve collimating precision, all of my collimators (except 532nm) are supplied with a removable accessory plastic aperture stop having a 1mm hole, which push-fits into the laser aperture. It produces a tiny, circular beam impact which allows more accurate alignment. With the holographic collimators, it is not used at the same time as the optional holographic feature, and the diffractor must be removed to install the stop. With the stop inserted the beam impact at a distance of one meter or more looks like a star diffraction pattern, with a central dot surrounded by diffraction rings. The surrounding rings can help in centering the beam very accurately.
“I offer the red holographic collimators with a choice of either 650 nanometer or 635nm wavelength. The two lasers have the same radiometric power output, but because the human eye’s sensitivity to the shorter wavelength is greater, the 635nm. laser appears about two or three times brighter. The higher cost of 635nm laser diodes increases the collimator price, but it enables optional holographic collimation in brighter ambient light. If you intend to collimate in early twilight, it is a good choice. In darkness, however, the 650nm laser is quite adequate. Because single beam collimators concentrate all the laser light in the central beam, the 650nm laser is quite adequate for them.”
Precise… Accurate… and Durable… What more could you ask?