In my first article about my new AT8RC, I wrote a few things about collimating this Ritchey Chretien Telescope. I did use a Cheshire eyepiece, following the instructions, to find out that collimation seemed all right.
I wasn’t sure if it is was just my lack experience with collimation talking or if I was lucky enough to get a pretty well collimated scope. I decided that an actual star test would be the best judge.
A few weeks later, I went to my favorite dark site and quickly checked collimation with an eyepiece on a slightly out of focus star. Once more, I couldn’t tell if collimation was just good or if I couldn’t see the sign of bad collimation. I went ahead with about 6 hours of imaging and after a week of processing I concluded that no matter what my collimation was … it was just good enough
Just a few days ago I was reading thread about CCD Inspector on CN. I downloaded the evaluation version and in a matter of minutes my collimation was evaluated. The results confirmed a pretty good collimation and that made my day. After a few imaging sessions, it seems like the Pelican 1600 series case is doing a great job at protecting the scope from bumps and vibration as collimation hasn’t moved.
I have to admit I was somewhat anxious about collimation as many people had reported difficulty with adjusting it. I am also pretty happy about the fact there is a software that can evaluate it for me, at least until I get the eye for this type of things.
Below is a picture of the Map report from CCD Inspector of my collimated AT8RC.