Saturday, July 25, 2009

Way Out! The "Old 102" gets collimated

My sneaking suspicions about the "Old 102" were confirmed today as I set up the collimating tool and the OTA and it was out. No, it was WAY OUT! I started to notice that I could not get a very sharp image from it when lined up against the Pronto or the Antares 105. Since the other two were sharing the load, the SP-C102 was shelved into the background. Yet something was always nagging at me because, despite the greater false colour (although far from annoying), it's an easier refractor to work with than the longer Antares.

Following the instructions in my last posting, Refractor Collimation, I was able to get the two donuts together using the push-pull cell. It wasn't difficult, just a bit time consuming although at one point I thought I was going in circles. The other problem I had was that one screw is looking at bit stripped but I managed. Now the only thing I am waiting for are clear skies which if you have been following (check the right hand side of the blog), aren't going to be anytime soon.

Just to check and compare, I decided to look at the Pronto's collimation and to my surprise, its now worse than the SP-C102. This does not come as a shock as the Pronto being second hand, needs to visit Uncle Al at Tele Vue to get a tune up. The Pronto has been delivering some excellent views despite this small handicap, but I expect it will head down towards the end of this year for some servicing. You cannot adjust a Pronto's lens cell, it has to go down to the shop.

Maybe I will have a report on the SP-C102 soon, but I expect clouds and more rain until at least mid to late next week...which stinks!



  1. I really like your description of the fun of a good old push/pull lens cell. I have had many times with my old Coulter, and CR150 with the dots going in circles!

    Hope your skies return soon!

  2. If the review goes well, if I get out again anytime soon, it should be interesting to see if the older C102 will declare the Antares surplus. Hard to tell right now.