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Collimation Knobs

     The three Brass Collimation Knobs, (ABOVE), were made by a fellow amateur astronomer and close friend, Jim, and were machined from a 1" round piece of brass bar stock. In my case, this modification came very cheep, about $15.00.

     In the photo, (ABOVE, LEFT), you can see the original collimation “wing nuts” and a factory installed 1/4"-20 thread bolt retainer insert. Brass was used for its natural thread lubricating qualities and the fact that the threads will “NEVER GAUL” from friction like steel against steel may do. Although brass is much softer then steel, you will not have to worry that the threads will ever strip out. Think about it, just how much do you think you will be turning these knobs? Not much as you will not wish to throw your telescope out of collimation. You will only turn these knobs when you need to re collimate your mirror and that will require just a very small turn of the knob. However, these knobs will make it much easier to collimate your mirror as they are easier to hold onto and turn then the original wing nuts. They are also aesthetically nice looking
     The bolt retainer was never mentioned in the instructions that came with the telescope and is unused in this telescope model just like three flat headed bolts that came with the Starfinder. I know, I called them and asked. However, this bolt retainer makes a great place to hang a counter balance weight, described in the Counter Balance Weights section from the main page.

     All bolts and bolt retainers used on the Starfinder are 1/4"-20 threads.

     There is no sense for me to present additional pages on Collimation as there are a couple really great sites on the Internet already that cover Collimation very well. Therefore, if you are interested in reading up on Collimation of the Primary and Secondary mirrors of your Starfinder, and I would recommend it, just click on the URL link below.

Collimation by Mel Bartels

     I would also like to recommend getting Orion's LaserMate Collimator for precision collimation. The LaserMate Collimator can also be obtained from Orion Telescopes.

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