CATSEYETM CUSTOMER FEEDBACK


Mike Bugeja Comber Ontario Canada 12/25/13 "I must admit, your template and sticker method is worth the money. Well packaged, fast shipping. Well thought out. Worked great. Thanks for the prompt service and a great product."
Michael Trapman Amersfoort, Netherlands 11/16/13 "I've had the opportunity to use the collimation tools a couple of times now, and wanted to let you know that I'm really glad I made this investment! Now I'm able to collimate my scope from focuser to primary and can detect weaknesses of my system. The best thing is that collimating is now a matter of minutes and I can repeat the process with the same results. Also, the hotspot works like a charm! I can and will reccommand your products with my fellow astronomers here in the Netherlands!" Astroforum.nl post 11/29/13 Dutch: "Ik wil hierbij mijn ervaringen delen met de Catseye Collimation Tools. Ik heb sinds een paar maanden een 10" flextube: een verademing en letterlijke eyeopener na bijna twee jaar waarnemen met een 80mm shorttube refractor! Het eerste wat mij echter opviel was dat het collimeren niet zo goed ging met een zelfgemaakte sighttube en (gebarlowde) laser. Ondanks TeleVue oculairen zag ik een aardig dikke rand met coma. Dat moet beter kunnen dacht ik, en zodoende kwam ik bij Jim Fly van Catseye terecht. Na wat emailwisseling heb ik een telecat (een sighttube en chesire in ťťn) en infinity xlkp autocollimator, samen met de gele hotspots,besteld. Om kort te zijn: de tools werken fantastisch! Met de sighttube was het relatief makkelijk om de vangspiegel en focuser tov elkaar te richten. Dit kostte relatief veel tijd, maar is daarna gelukkig niet meer nodig. De rest van het collimeren met de chesire en autocollimator werkt heel nauwkeurig en is na enige oefening zelfs heel makkelijk (met name dankzij de hotspot). Het allerbelangrijkste is dat de coma nagenoeg is verdwenen, en dat de scope keer op keer te collimeren is met hetzelfde resultaat! Tot slot wil ik Jim Fly nog een pluim geven: ik had 2 extra hotspots gevraagd die helaas niet meeverzonden waren. Een mailtje was genoeg en zonder morren werden deze alsnog (zeer snel) opgestuurd. Ook al mijn andere mails werden zeer snel beantwoord. Dat is nog eens service!" English: "I would like to share my experiences with the Catseye Collimation Tools. I have a 10 " Skywatcher flextube for a few months: a breath of fresh air and literally an eye-opener after nearly two years of observing with a 80mm short tube refractor. The first thing I noticed, however, was that collimating it did not go so well with a homemade sight tube and (barlowed) laser. Even despite the Televue eyepieces that I use I saw a thick edge of coma. That could be improved, I thought, and so I came upon Jim Fly of Catseye. After some exchange of emails I orderderd a telecat (both a sight tube and a chesire in one) and infinity xlkp autocollimator, along with the yellow hotspots. In short: the tools work great! With the sight tube it was relatively easy to adjust the secondary mirror and focuser relative to each other. This still took a long time, but it is fortunately not necesary to repeat. The other part of collimating with the chesire and autocollimator works very accurate and is, after some practice, even very easy to do (especially thanks to the hotspot). The most important thing is that the coma has almost disappeared, and I can collimate the scope again and again with the same result! Finally, I would like to give kudos to Fly Jim: I had requested two additional hotspots, which were unfortunately not included. However, one email was enough and they were sent without a murmur (and very fast). All my other emails were also answered very quickly. Now that's what I call service!"
Derek Wong Glendale, California 11/8/13 "... FYI the XLK was fantastic on my Teeter Dob. After using these upgraded tools, I don't think I will ever use a laser again unless it is dark."
Bob English Franklin, Tennessee 03/15/13 "Jim, I've been meaning to write you and let you know just how impressed I was with my recent purchase of sight tube, cheshire eyepiece and xlk autocollimator and accessories. From the way everything was packaged for shipping to the way the tools performed on my scope, it was obvious that your reputation for high quality is well deserved, and that every detail had been carefully thought out. The first night I used the tools I felt like I had just a little more snap to the focus. Very impressed, and got a nice image of Jupiter the same evening. Anyway, just wanted to thank you for a job well done. I really feel like I'm getting the most I can out of my scope now."
Tom Garan Bridgeport, Ohio 12/5/12 "I am sending this note as a note of thanks. I wish I hadn't messed with lasers before. While this system takes a little bit of time to master, I think I've got it down enough to get by until I have enough practice. I've tried using the Orion Collimating eyepiece but never felt comfortable with it. The Catseye, with it's simplicity, just seems to work. I think it takes the intimidation out of collimating. For the first time, I believe my scope might just be collimated!! Also, the triangles make it a little easier to figure out where you have to go with your adjustments. And the template makes spotting your mirror a cinch!!! Can't wait for the clouds to clear which, by the forecast, may not be until sometime 2014. My only complaint about the entire thing is that the Catseye should come in some sort of a velvet lined box, similar to jewelery, as that's how mine will be treated. ; ) Thanks again Tom Garan"
Paul Hart Stony Brook, New York Yahoo "Tscopes" Forum Post 11/18/2012 Last night I decided to check out my Tscope to see how it survived Hurricane Sandy in the outdoor shed it is kept in. Both the transparency and seeing were excellent Somehow since I used it last, the 1.25 to 2 inch eyepiece adapter went missing. Normally when I collimate I use a 1.25 inch Helix laser which is accurately aligned. However since that option wasn't available I used the Catseye sight tube, Cheshire ep and Autocollimator. I was simply astounded as to how sharp everything looked. Jupiter was as sharp and crisp in the eyepiece as in any telescope I've ever looked through. Previously the sharpest image of Jupiter and its 4 large moons were seen through a Clestron C11. In my opinion, the images I saw last night rivaled that view. While using the Catseye collimation tools take longer than just popping in a laser, the effort is worth it. My mirror is a Raycraft Pyrex (excellent BTW).
Doug LeGrand Plano, Texas 6/20/12 "These tools are WONDERFUL!!! If I had any idea how much easier they make optical collimation (and I might add I am very good at optical collimation), we would have bought them a long time ago. Thank you for making this great system"
Bob Gillette Ossipee, New Hampshire 5/27/12 "I want to thank you for persuading me to spend the extra funds on your Infinity XLK Autocollimater, as a replacement for my older autocollimator. First try on my ASA f/3.6 astrograph produced a residual collimation error -- according to CCD Inspector -- of, yes, 0.0 arc-seconds. Not bad."
Greg Shaffer Bogart, Georgia 4/14/12 "Just wanted to say I am amazed, truely amazed at the difference adding a pass with the AC as my final touch on collimation made. Last night was by far the best view of Saturn I have ever seen in a scope I own. Previously I just took what I got with the Glatter and Blug laser and it wasnt bad at all. Still use that but adding the XLK AC (and HotSpot) to the end of the sequence makes an almost jaw dropping difference. Took me 3 outings to get good with it, knowing which knob to turn for the intended result etc. Last night I unloaded and setup my 20" and had it perfectly collimated in 15 min (including alignment with the DSC's) .....I could barely take my eyes off M37 with a 24mm, perfect little pin points of light filling the EP. It was nice before but truely memorable after adding the AC to the routine. Thank you for a great product that will always be with me :)"
Steven Plant Lakewood, Colorado Cloudy Nights "Reflectors" Forum Post 10/29/2012 "... Using Catseye collimation tools isn't a modification (to my 16" Lightbridge) but I have to list it (as a significant improvement impact). OMG these rock. They are fast and easy to use and the difference at the eye piece is noticeable when you have the collimation correct..." Cloudy Nights "Reflectors" Forum Post 12/26/2011 "... I took time to collimate with the Catseye tools before taking everything outside. I have to say it was a snap. I had some trepidation about the new seemingly complicated system however, after reading the info they sent, reading at their website, and watching the online videos, collimating with the tools seemed second nature very soon. This is actually a very easy set to use and I was able to achieve collimation very fast. I will never be without these tools again...."
Alex Pettit Jr. Orlando, Florida 10/23/11 "GREAT Alignment Hardware! As many times as I've tried with a Laser, I give up in total frustration .. just too dependent on perfect eyepiece tube alignment .. Yours work Exceedingly Well !" 10/24/11 "Last night the Florida skies were very stable = excellent viewing. With my 8" Zambuto DOB, CatsEye collimated, I was surprised how easy it was to discern the Trapezium E and F stars within the constellation Orion - and moreso : the amount of true black space between stars C and F .. a first. The viewing of Jupiter was very impressive... Jupiter's moon's were interesing in that it was easy to observe that they were 'extended' objects and not star-like .. Io and Ganymeade were sufficiently close to readily tell they were of a differing size ! ( I made the observations first, took some notes, and then checked my planetarium software - my data was not biasedby some pre-supposed answer .. I did not even know moon sizes Were observable ! ) I was very impressed. Thanks Again Jim !"
Jeff Porter Salt Lake City, Utah Cloudy Nights "Reflectors" Forum Post 09/23/11 "Using the 15" Catseye template I found that the original Orion center spot on my mirror was off by a few millimeters. Now with the mirror re-spotted, and using an auto-collimator (Catseye Infinity XLK), there is a noticeable improvement in the quality of the image produced. DSOs and star images are tighter, focus has a little more snap to it, and I find that I can use a bit more magnification whereas before I simply thought I was being limited by seeing. This experience has taught me the benefit of utilizing a precise collimation technique to maximize the potential of my telescope, especially one with a f/4.7 focal ratio."
Jim Elliot Sanford, North Carolina Yahoo "skyquest-telescopes" Forum Post 07/11/11 Jim is too much of a gentleman to hawk his own wares here in our forum, but I'm an extremely happy user of his excellent collimation tools! When I upgraded to my 18" f/4.5 Obsession, I knew accurate collimation was critical and after poking around, doing a lot of homework, and seeing various tools in action, I settled on the CatsEye set. I use the Teletube, Blackcat, and Infinity XLK set and couldn't be happier. Collimation takes less than 5 minutes each time I set up/move my truss tube scope and it always gives me outstanding results. The best views of Jupiter, Saturn, and Mars that I've ever seen where in that 18" Dob after collimating with Jim's tools. They aren't cheap, but the workmanship and quality are outstanding - they'll easily outlast all of your other astro-gear. If you use his teletube, you'll have the secondary properly centered, then using the Black Cat you'll get the primary properly aligned, then using the Infinity you'll get your secondary properly aligned. Lather, Rinse and Repeat until you are confident everything is perfect.... "
Matt McBee Pittsboro, North Carolina 6/28/11 "This is why I love my Catseye tools: I collimated my 8" f/4 Newtonian using your Blackcat cheshire and the Infinity XLK autocollimator, after carefully center-spotting my mirror with a Hotspot center spot. Please see the attached screenshot from CCDInspector -- a reported collimation error of 0.0" and no tilt! The best I could do with my old combination tube was around 15" of collimation error. As a beginning imager, I'm still developing skills and troubleshooting problems every time I set up, but collimation is not one of those problems anymore. Thanks for the excellent tools."
Joe Lopinot Bridgeton, Missouri 12/22/10 "I received the sight tube, Blackcat Cheshire and the autocollimator from you about three weeks ago. I had done my research and knew this was the system I wanted to purchase, not only for my f/4.9 Dob but particularly for my f/4.0 imaging Newtonian I will be purchasing in the coming months. I just want to say that everything exceeded my expectations. The quality of your tools is top notch. I read (and reread) the Vic Menard book before digging into collimating my Dob. It took a few tries, and some experimentation, but everything clicked and fell into place when following along with the book. I am still playing with the ghost images on the autocollimator, but after doing it a couple of times and following the decollimation procedure, the how not only made sense but more importantly the why. Last night all my images lined up perfectly, I was overjoyed! Anyway, I wanted to thank you for your excellent tools and the service you provided. I have my Catseye sticker on my scope, and will recommend your tools to everyone in my club with Newtonian collimation issues."
Klaas-Jan Rozema Krommenie Netherlands 12/19/10 "Just wanna say that I'm impressed with your tools I received a few weeks ago. It was packed well. Your package arrived safely here in The Netherlands, Europe. It was well worth the wait. (Thanksgiving, UPS having a long weekend..) These are the finest hand-crafted telescope equipment I have ever seen. Although it's really cloudy over here, I'm convinced my 200 mm f/4 Newton will perform much better. After collimating the old way with my laser and 1.25 inch cheshire, the 2 pupil autocollimator still revealed a large collimation error. Using the blackcat xl and the infinity xlk these errors were solved quickly. Especially the youtube movie was helpful. For me the movie worked was more fun then reading the manual :-)"
Bob Fitzhenry Houston, Texas 11/01/10 "Recieved the Triplepack Pro XL this past Thursday and recollimated per your supplied instructions. Wow!.... Wasnít expecting the results we got. I was convinced that the Catseye was going to help but what we got was near mind boggling. It basically took our 25"/F4 from being a cool conversation piece to a really exceptionally fine instrument. After we setup we fired up the Argo, we input coordinates for M13 and waited for the servocat to do itís thing. Stunning!......."Right out of the box" the cluster was crystal clear. All other stars were perfect little pinpoints as well! Incredible!..... Cannot thank you enough!"
Martin Doyle Rabat, Morocco 8/23/10 "Just a quick hi from me again, having got used to the tools I can now say I can reach accurate collimation much easier now. I get a brighter more contrasty image when collimating, making it easier to find the fainter out of collimation images. The off axis peephole really helps, it's not a gimmick. I'm now confident I am getting my money's worth from my equipment. I'm also confident these tools will last me for the rest of my days - and that's hopefully a LONG way away! Thanks for your efforts to produce real equipment with a real life value. Keep up the good work!"
Pat Meloy De Forest, Wisconsin Cloudy Nights "Reflectors" Forum Posts 05/30/10 "I just finished center spotting a 12" Orion mirror using the Catseye template and Hotspot sticker. The Orion center spot was indeed off center (by about 5mm). The Catseye directions were well written and easy to follow, which made a potentially stressfull procedure a snap. I also must say that the service and communication was top-notch. I only spent a few bucks on the template and a couple of spots, but I was treated like I spent a few hundred - order as well as shipping confirmations, and faster than expected shipping. I know that praise for this company's products and service is nothing new, but I just wanted to throw in my "thumbs up"."
Chris Mohr Raleigh, North Carolina Cloudy Nights "Reflectors" Forum Posts 04/05/10 "Actually, the Catseye system IS very easy to use, all three major components...." "Now if you have a really really fast-focal-ratio scope or are somewhat obsessive-compulsive about getting collimation...well, as close to perfect as reasonably possible, THEN spend the money for a full set of the Catseye tools. Absolutely first-rate and wonderful..."
Bob Forgacs Elizabeth, Colorado Cloudy Nights "Reflectors" Forum Post 01/16/10 "I got the Catseye collimation system with the Teletube, Blackcat, Infinity, and a white triangle center spot with spotting template. My telescope is an Orion XT12i and the original donut center spot was off center by 1/4 inch. Following the instructions from Catseye on removing the donut center spot was very easy. Center spotting the triangle was very easy with the provided spotting template. At first I was very nervous about removing and re-center spotting my mirror,... I followed the instructions from Catseye and it went very well. It's my humble opinion using the Teletube was the most accurate way to properly align the secondary mirror. Using the Infinity autocollimator worked very well with getting all 4 images to align properly."
Mike White Levin, New Zealand 11/23/2009 "I finally got to collimate my Orion XT10i dob using your Catseye collimations tools and now Iím just waiting on the weather to cooperate so I can go out and enjoy the splendid views that I know Iím going to have now! How do I know? Well, I was able to compare the after-effects of Catseye collimation with the view (at 240x magnification) of a line of trees about 200 meters away that I had looked at prior to collimation, and it almost made me cry (tears of joy that is)! I can now clearly see details in the bark and small pine cones that I simply couldnít before. The collimation process was quite easy, especially with the detailed instructions provided. Even the process of removing my existing center spot and replacing it with the reflective triangle was very straight-forward using the supplied template.... The Catseye tools are very easy to use and highly sensitive, and Iím sure that Iíll be checking my collimation more frequently from this time forwards! Seeing those triangles line up is a real treat!" Scope Performance Follow-up: 11/25/2009 "We did get some clear skies the night after I sent my email to you, and I was astounded by the detail I could see even in very average seeing conditions. The lunar images I took that night were far better than I have taken before. Usually I have to perform significant wavelet sharpening in Registax in order to bring the details out, but with the images taken after collimating with the Catseye tools, I used no wavelet sharpening whatsoever! Hereís a couple of links to 2 of the images from that night:-
- A mosaic of 4 images stitched together -

- A close-up of craters with 2x barlow -

Needless to say, Iím very impressed with the Catseye collimation tools!"

Dave Eason Duluth, Georgia Yahoo Atlanta Observers Forum Post 7/23/09 "... Jim Fly's Catseye collimation system is now time tested and well proven to do the job. On this night I was armed with the new Infinity XLK. I did the collimation procedure as usual and I could see the the mirror's center mark reflections and they were aligned well, not necessary perfect but pretty good. I then put in the XLK with the offset pupil. Instead of seeing the four reflections of the center mark aligned one on top of the other, the offset pupil separates the column of four reflections into two "sets" of two reflections each! I just stood there and smiled, somewhat amazed as I saw the new separated images provided by the XLK collimator. This gave an even clearer view of the center mark reflections and a better understanding of how to make the final adjustments. In short, the Infinity XLK is a g-r-e-a-t autocollimator!"
Mark McLaughlin Mission British Columbia, Canada 03/18/09 "My new toy got here today, thanks for the Catseye XLK. After trying it out on my 16' Lightbridge, I am amazed how easy it is to use.Now I have the best collimation in Canada! The triangles really do work better then the circles. I also checked my mirror spot,it was out by 1/8" at least - right from the factory! Now I know why this unit never performed at its best, despite many "experts" helping. Can't wait for the next new moon. You certainly have my endorsement and Iwill even try to sell a few at the next star party I attend." 03/18/09 follow-up ... "Just to let you know, I have over 40 years of (experience) spent at one type of scope or another .... I travel about one hour to a dark sky site, so a quick set up is important. Taking my time in my backyard, it took me ten minutes to get the best collimation I have seen to date with this scope. That extra "K hole" is absolutely amazing; how did it not be discovered before this? Jason is a genius & also Vic Menard for his CDP." Regards, Mark
Chriss Hoffman Plano, TX 10/20/08 "Started doing the collimation on the new 16" ASA Astrograph with your tools, They are really well made, and though it will take a little time to understand fully exactly how good our collimation is, just wanted to thank you for making such a high quality product. Sending the allen wrenches needed and clearly labeling every item in the kit was a big help! ... dealing with a small comany like Catseye Tools is a pleasure - especially after getting your package (well packed-no damage) and opening it to find everything we needed with very clear instructions. Thank you - I will be recomending your fine products to all that are in need of them -- Sincerely, Chriss Hoffman - One happy collimated astronomer!"
Tom Robison Seattle, WA Cloudy Nights "Reflectors" Forum Post 7/23/08 "... I have an Orion 10 XTi which I collimate using catseye tools, no laser. The views through the ep are absolutely stunning! I had no idea this reflector would provide the views it does. At present, it is my most used scope, making it the BEST scope for me!"
Walt Weaver Bozeman, MT Cloudy Nights "Equipment" Forum Post 3/23/08 "FIRST LIGHT: catseye XL collimation set. Yes, I've had these all winter and are very familiar with using'em, and I love'em. Last night was the first time I used'em outside. I used'em after the 12XTI had been out for about an hour, with the fan running. The sun was getting close to evening civil twilight and I pointed the scope toward the bright area above the sun. Stuck the sight tube in, aligned the crosshairs to the center spot using the secondary, then used the chesire to align the primary. Followed up with the autocollimator and got kind of a surprise. With all that light I was able to see four reflections of the center doughnut (never saw more than three before) and was able to stack'em by adjusting the secondary. Didn't do the "carefully decollimated primary" thing, but was very happy with what I saw.... Grade: A+ To me, the catseye tools are easy to use once you get the drill down, and actually kind of fun."
Dail Coppom Boulder, CO DDU Yahoo Forum Post, 12/8/07 "I recently bought a full set of 2" catseye tools and center spotted my new 16" Ostahowski mirror in the TeleKit I'm just finishing up. Tried the catseye tools on my Orion XT10i and they worked fantastic! Really helped center the secondary and get it adjusted correctly. The XT10 was good practice for collimating my Telekit as soon as I get there. I'm sold on Catseye too..."
Mike Wolford Spencer, IN DDU Yahoo Forum Post, 12/7/07 "...Get rid of the donut and get one of those funny red triangles stuck to your mirror and purchase some REAL collimation tools! After ten years of messing with different ways to collimate, I recently purchased the catseye set of tools --- these things are GREAT!"
Peter Higgs Theodore ACT Australia 11/13/07 "Package has arrived safe and sound. I have collimated my scope already and can say that your tools are the best I have used. They have delivered me the best collimation I have ever achieved with a minimum of fuss. Thank you for producing a great set of collimation tools for me."
Paul Haese Blackwood, South Australia Ice In Space "Equipment Equipment Discussions" Forum Post #28, 11/3/07 "I have been using Cats eye collimation tools on my SDM for nearly 5 months now and found that the collimating is the easiest I have ever performed. The collimation is very tight and only requires just the odd tweek with the barlowed laser to get the collimation very tight for imaging or viewing. Everything Jim's site says about his tools is 100% correct. The jupiter image on my SDM Blog was partly the result of the tight collimation obtained by this system. So if you are looking for an endorsement to Jim's product I am happy to confirm its worth. Buy the full kit and you will never look back."
Nicholas Delo Princeton, NJ Cloudy Nights "Reflectors" Forum Post 8/5/07 "To make a long story short, these CATSEYE tools are great. I have never seen better, more compact points of stars in my dob."
Steve Cox Bountiful, UT 7/23/07 "Just wanted to let you know I got my Teletube Triplepak XL tonight, and everything is in good condition. After a short learning curve (and remembering to read and follow all instruction manuals properly...) I got my XT-10 collimated the best it's ever been. Your system is a lifesaver for my dob and really gives me new insight to the collimation process and thanks to the autocollimator where the final tuning takes place - the secondary. Now if only we could get some good weather out here. Many thanks on a great product.
Chris Mohr Raleigh, NC Cloudy Nights "Beginners" Forum Post 6/3/07 "I bought a full set of the 2" CATSEYE collimation tools (the Triplepack Pro XL Kit in particular) - and the collimation I am able to achieve with them produces quite noticeably sharper images with my 12XTi over what I was able to get using my 1.25" Orion Collimating eyepiece or laser. What these tools do is to make misalignments much more easily visible, understandable, and correctable than with an inexpensive laser, sight tube/cheshire, or especially collimation cap. After you get CATSEYE tools, a convincing test is to first try using only your old tools to collimate your scope as accurately as you possibly can. Then check your results using the CATSEYE tools - you'll likely be surprised how much obvious, significant misalignment remains, even just checking with the new CATSEYE Sight Tube alone (called the "Teletube XL"). Worth the price IMHO. The triangular red center spot which comes with the kit also make it vastly easier, when you align the mirror so that the points of the triangle point directly toward the three respective collimation knobs, to understand exactly what effect each knob turned in which direction will have on the alignment of the primary mirror - and the spotting template which comes with the kit makes it easy to re-center spot your mirror with the triangle with a very high degree of accuracy, at least as good or better than the stock spot that came with your mirror. The autocollimator is very helpful (especially with getting your secondary accurately aligned with your scope's optical axis), yet a bit of a devil to master the use of. But even though I can't yet consistently get the several triangle reflections in the autocollimator to line up nearly so well as I'd like, I still get worthwhile improvements in image quality."
Del Du-Bois Piscataway, New Jersey 3/38/07 "Jim, I want to tell you how impressed I am with your collimation tools. I purchased your 2.00"/15" Max. TELECAT XL + INFINITY COMBOSET PRO Kit. They truly make perfect collimation feasible and easy to achieve. However before I describe what these tools can do for the owner of a fast scope (F 4.5), I want to say that few business owners would spend the time and effort that you did to ensure that I was able to achieve my goal of getting my telescope back into operational condition. Jim you truly went above the call of duty. Some background information first. I purchased from the original manufacture, Coulter, a 13.1" f/4.5 Dobsonian red tube scope. From the first day of ownership until I contacted you Jim, the scope never performed very well. I could get about 100X out of the scope, anything more and the images deteriorated badly. When I contacted the manufacture they told me send it back, at my expense, ($150+) and they would investigate. After the investigation they would ship the scope back to me again at my cost (another $150). I felt I had been sold an inferior product and it wasn't worth the time and money dealing with this manufacture. I thought that maybe the scope was out of collimation and I tried a laser collimator but I got no improvement. I then came across Jimís web site about CATSEYE collimation and immediately contacted him. He patiently explained to me that for my scope to function it had to be highly collimated. He explained the importance of having the focuser over the secondary mirror. Jim further explained that the secondary mirror and main mirror had to be perfectly aligned so that the reflected light from the main mirror was sent to the focuser exactly parallel to the focuser, any deviations and the image would rapidly deteriorate. The collimation tools Jim sells magnifies any errors in collimation so that they can be detected and easily eliminated. Today I used my scope for the first time after I had collimated it using Jimís "CATSEYE Collimation Tools". Seeing conditions were not great but I was able to use approximately 250 X on Saturn with no deterioration of image. I saw Cassini Division clearly and the faint bands on Saturn. The Moonís terminator was a maze of details that I have never before seen. I turned the scope on Castor and found with only about 120 X I was able to resolve this close pair into 2 separate objects with black space between them. When seeing conditions quieted down for a second or two, I was able to see the Airy Disks of the stars thus proving that my scope was performing well. The bottom line was that the manufacture had never set up the scope properly and refused to help. You Jim on the other hand spent the time and effort to help me get my scope so it operates properly and I can now use it after all these years to view the wonders of the night sky clearly and precisely. Without your collimation tools none of this would have been possible. For this I am deeply great full and recommend your collimation tools to anyone. They work and they work very well. Thank you Jim. Del Du-Bois. If anyone wants to e-mail me about Jimís great collimation tools, I can be reached at HizHiNess@aol.com"
Scott Brabec Elk River, Minnesota Cloudy Nights "Beginners" Forum Post 7/22/07 "... The collimation tools are, well wonderful! The catseye tools makes collimation fun if there is such a thing and I feel confident when I go out viewing now that my views at higher powers will not be limited due to poor collimation." 3/20/07 "Jim: I wanted to let you know how impressed I am with your new 2" XL version collimation tools. I purchased the Teletube XL, Black Cat XL and Infinity XL and mirror spotting for my Orion XT-10. Prior to your tools I was using 1 1/4" laser and Cheshire tools for collimation. For a couple of years worth of viewing the best I could do for viewing Saturn and Jupiter was about 125X magnification with an image that was somewhat fuzzy. After using your tools I found that my secondary mirror was not lined up properly with the focuser tube, and alignment of my primary and secondary mirrors were "close" but obviously not close enough. Last night we finally had a clear night here in Minnesota and after doing the "fine tuning" with the Infinity XL I was treated with an amazing view of Saturn. I started out with about 50X and got a very nice but small image. I threw in a 5X Televue Barlow and pushed the power to 250X and wow!!! The image of Saturn was nothing short of spectacular! The view was razor sharp with clear black definition between the rings and features noticeable on Saturn that I have never seen before. I was able to have my wife join me for the view and she was very impressed. I moved to Polaris and castor at 125X and got pin point stars versus the fuzzy looking stars and cleanly split the double stars. I am convinced that these tools are a must to get the best performance from your telescope. I feel at this point that I have a new scope! Thanks much for the high quality tools and for all your help in answering my questions."
Jay Scheuerle Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Cloudy Nights "Reflectors" Forum Discussion Post 1/31/07 "I just received my CATSEYE TRIPLEPACK XL Kit yesterday from Jim Fly and couldn't wait to get home. The instructions and documentation provided are first rate - very thorough. Since two triangular mirror spots were included, I decided to spot both the Green Goblin and Big Red. Jim included great tips on removing the old spots and the template (and instructions) for positioning the new ones worked very well. The build quality of the 2" instruments (sight tube, Cheshire, autocollimator) was very solid and everything fit nice and snug in the focuser. By the time I was done both scopes, after following the instructions and taking my time, I really felt I had a decent grasp of what collimation was about and how to get it spot on. More than that, with the right tools (and confidence in them), the process actually felt enjoyable, and I'm looking forward to using them before my next viewing session. Obviously I'm thoroughly recommending the CATSEYE System for anybody who wants to feel more in touch with their inner collimator. - j"
Gerald Rhemann - ASA Astrographs GrŁnbach Austria ASA_Astrographs Yahoo Group 12/23/06 "Today I delivered one 10" 3.8 to an Austrian customer together with Wolfgang Promper, who has great experience in collimation of our Astrographs. We meet our customer on a parking lot and Wolfgang collimated the instrument in my car within 10 minutes with the cats eye and was surprised how easy the collimation was to handle with the 10".
Albert van Duin Netherlands 12/3/06 "The CATSEYE tools arrived last week Wednesday. The tools look great and they fit very well in the focuser. Fine craftsmanship! It took very little time to find out my collimation was way off... Especially the axial placement of the diagonal was wrong. Now my ASA Astrographs is collimated perfectly and I am waiting for the Moon to go away! Thanks for making things easy for me!"
Rich Bowden Streaky Bay, South Australia 11/24/06 "Following your instruction sheet to the letter made centre spotting the primary, using the template sheet an absolute breeze. The perforated triangle marker is dead on! In the past, using a Cheshire site tube and laser had got me fairly close with my 10" F4 Newtonian, but when I put the CATSEYE Infinity in, I could see where I had been out. I saw the true centre triangle and ghosting either side, telling me I was indeed close but not spot on. A small tweak on the secondary adjustment screws and they all merged together nicely. Now I don't see any ghosting to one side of my images as I did previously with this fast system which needs critical attention to collimation when imaging. This device may seem simplistic to the eye, but is genius in the way you can fine tune using it's highly reflective surface in conjunction with the red triangle spot. Well worth the investment and thoroughly recommend it to anyone who has a fast Newtonian, wishing to get the best possible performance from their valuable investment. Thanks Jim. Great product and excellent instructions!!"
Ray Noonan Chester, England, UK 10/4/06 "My compliments for your excellent system - your Blackcat Cheshire and perfectly-sized centre triangle made tweaking the primary on my new 8" f/6 Dob so simple and intuitive that even my first (ever) attempt at collimation was completed successfully in only 5 mins. A brilliant piece of design and an excellent quality product."
Keith Armstrong Airdrie, Alberta, Canada Yahoo "obsessionusers" Forum Post 8/8/06 "I use the red triangle with the hole in the center. I have the TeleTube, BlackCat Cheshire and Infinity Autocollimator and have found these tools excellent, easy to use and the triangle really shows up at night when I aim my red flashlight down the tube especially after transporting everything in the back of my Blazer!"
Douglas Drake Lake Elizabeth, California Yahoo "bigdob" Forum Post 4/4/06 "I have a 14.5" StarStucture telescope and use Jim Fly's CATSEYE system for collimation. Just before sunset I collimate my scope with the 2" BLACKCAT (Cheshire) and then finish off with the 2" INFINITY (autocollimator.) I collimate so no reflections appear and think the biggest thing I have learned is that rotation of the secondary holder is significant and the task of getting rid of reflection becomes easy using the 2" INFINITY... One thing that helps seeing the center of the main mirror is the CATSEYE red reflective triangle and the 2" CATSEYE system.... For me, I do not think you can collimate a Newtonian telescope, with any other tool, any better than using the CATSEYE system."
Craig Rowland La Center, Washington 3/2/06 "Hi Jim, I just wanted to say that I received your Infinity and CATSEYE collimation tools today. They are so far superior to any other collimation tools I've seen that I immediately ordered your 2" Telecat sight tube to complete my kit. Your tools make collimation so easy that other tools pale by comparison. Even my laser collimator is envious! Your product is indispensable for correct, fast and accurate Newtonian collimation and is worth every penny. Thanks, -- Craig"
Karl Perkins Dallas, Texas 3/5/06 "Hello Jim, My collimation tools were delivered on Tuesday, 2/28/06 and I received my chair from Ron on Friday, 3/2/06. I have used both the tools and the chair and they are both of outstanding quality. You and Ron are to be commended on your fine products and excellent service, and please list me as a very satisfied customer. Thanks again!"
Steve Miller Elmhurst, Illinois 2/17/06 "Received your center spotting template and reflective triangle. Wow! great product. I was expecting paper, not a nice layover. Instead of spending time making a template that probably would not have been right, I got my mirror center spotted in 10 minutes, with great accuracy with yours. One very happy customer, Steve"
Peter Staiger Bridgeport, Connecticut 1/28/06 "Thank you, I have nothing but praise for your 2" collimation tools. You've got a great web site, perfect instructions, and a butt-kicking product. I had not one problem in getting a great result on my first attempt at collimating my 12.5" f /6.3 Dob. I mean my first attempt at collimating any telescope ever! From checking the focuser, to applying the center triangle, and eventually merging the reflections in the autocollimator everything worked the first time. I can't begin to tell you how good the scope works now. It's just incredible on the planets. I was concerned about using the autocollimator, but it was so easy that now it's fun getting the reflections to stack. The first time I got them to stack, It was just so satisfying to watch them merge.... Thanks again."
Alan Levin Redondo Beach, CA Yahoo "starmaster_scopes" Forum Discussion Post 1/22/06 "I am using the Telecat combination sight tube Cheshire, and the Infinity autocollimator from CATSEYE (Jim Fly); both are well made and I am very pleased with them. They are two inch tools that fit directly into the two inch focuser without adapter. These two inch tools are brighter and easier to use than their 1.25" counterparts. Also, the Telecat has an adjustment for the F ratio of the telescope which is nice feature. My telescope is an 11" Starmaster ..."
Doug Culbertson Midway, Florida Cloudy Nights "Equipment" Forum Discussion Post 9/30/05 "... Best accessory over $100: CATSEYE collimation tool set. Best ever for the Dob owner, IMO." Follow up e-mail 10/2/05 "... My collimation has never been better since I got these tools, so I meant what I said. FWIW, I also have a Glatter Barlowed laser, but I will probably sell it as it is redundant with the CatsEye tools."
Russ Petersen Dacula, Georgia Cloudy Nights "Beginners" Forum Discussion Post 9/19/05 "Finally, I recently succumbed and bought some good collimating tools from CATSEYE (the 2" Cheshire and the Infinity Autocollimator). While good collimation supposedly mostly affects planet viewing I do believe it had a huge affect on my deep sky views also. This is probably because I had fooled with the collimation before with a cheap Cheshire and probably did more damage than good."
Gene Groover San Antonia, Texas 9/17/05 "Hey Jim, I think I got it done. It seems to be collimated by what the instructions said. I just have to wait until tonight to see. I can't hardly wait. I was really impressed with your system and how easy it was. I took my time today and slowly worked on putting my telescope back together. I even squared the focusing axis with the telescope tube. I figured I might as well start from the beginning. I started with nothing but a cardboard tube and built it back up to a telescope. I hope it works." 9/18/05 "Everything went real well, I had a good evening of viewing Jupiter and her 4 moons and our own full moon. It was so much better at higher magnifications. I was able to use my 2 inch lens which for some reason I had not been able to use for a while. I guess the collimation was so far out i just couldn't get it to focus. I'm really impressed with how easy it went collimating my scope. I'm still not completely confident about the physics of it, all I know is I followed the directions and it works. Thanks Gene Groover."
Dmitri Fradkin Middlesex, New Jersey 6/1/05 "Thank you for the great product. I got it a while ago, but yesterday was my first observing time since then. It works great, the triangle and the circle are visible very clearly at night when lit by a red light, and the sight tube worked great for me to square the focuser and position the secondary."
David Brooks Seattle, Washington "Obsessionusers@yahoogroups.com" SIG. Post response to "Randy" below .. 5/25/05 "I'll second that! I bought the CatEye tools a year ago and have been extremely pleased. I have a 25" f4, and collimation is critical. With the CatEye, it takes me just a minute or two to get the collimation dead- on. I used to fiddle around with lasers, various tools from Tectron, etc -- none is as accurate or as easy to use as the CatEye! David"
Randy Schenck Saline, Michigan "Obsessionusers@yahoogroups.com" SIG. Post 5/24/05 "Here's my two cents (I'm just learning). I recently purchased a used 20 inch Obsession. The scope came with a laser and center spotted secondary mirror. I spent several hours working with the laser, but never had confidence I had proper alignment. Based on some reviews I read in the group Obsession web site, I purchased the CATSEYE Collimation system. This was one of the best purchases I've made. Using the system for the first time takes you through all the steps to properly align the focuser, spider/ secondary (with offsets) and primary. Very detailed instructions are provided. After adjusting the secondary & primary, you use the autocollimator to verify and tweak the final mirror positions. Highly recommended!! Makes collimation easy and I have confidence that my mirrors are aligned. In fact, I have removed the secondary mirror spot (via acetone on a Q-tip) as it isn't needed. Good Luck! Randy #209"
Floyd Blue Bakersfield, California "Astromart" Discussion Forum 5/10/05 Hello everybody, I just got in my 2" Infinity Autocollimator today. I was working with the Starmaster anyway so I decided to give it a try and see how it worked and how well it worked day and night. Ok, first off this is a really nice piece of equipment. The workmanship is fantastic. It is able to be disassembled for cleaning and it comes with the Allen wrench and an extra set screw for this purpose. It fits the focuser barrel perfectly and does not need to be held in position with a set screw. In fact you are told not to use one unless it is needed to keep the unit in place. The multiple images that you see when the collimation is off are very easy to see. You can see them in daylight or in darkness with a red light. The red light shows extremely well with the triangle that he makes for center spotting you mirror. The Starmaster came with one of this triangles so I did not have to install one. The 10" Zambuto I have is not marked so I got one of the triangles for it. The sensitivity is remarkable. You can see the slightest amount of loss of collimation even in the focuser during it's travel. The smallest change in the collimation screws are detected in the unit. I check the collimation with the laser, site-tube and Cheshire and they were all in agreement after the autocollimator was used. Fit and finish is top notch. Ease of use is excellent. Delivery was very quick and packaged quite well in a shipping tube. It was shipped Priority Mail and arrived in four days including a weekend. I have not had a chance to observe after the collimation, but I can tell that it is going to be dead on the money. This is a great tool for only $80! Used with the Lasermax laser to set up the secondary to primary it collimates quickly and easily in a couple of minutes. I give it a full thumbs up." Follow-up e-mail 5/20/05 "I received the BlackCat and got the chance to use it last night. It was easy to use and worked quite well. The fit and finish, like the Infinity was excellent. I found a minimal amount of adjustment was needed with the Infinity following the use of the BlackCat. I also used the mirror template to center spot my 10" mirror. It was also a pleasure to use and worked better than any method I have tried previously. All three of these products have met with my expectations and have proven to be good choices for the job."
Kim Colter Washington, Missouri "starmaster_scopes@yahoogroups.com" SIG Post 4/29/05 " I just wanted to second Vic's recommendation of Jim Fly's Infinity II 2 inch autocollimator. The images of the four triangles one is trying to stack are brighter than in 1.25 inch auto-collimators. One can use it at night although I find it even easier to use during the day. I can rotate mine in the focuser when the triangles are stacked and they stay stacked. I particularly like the way it fits into my Feathertouch focuser--essentially no wiggle or slop. Try it, you'll like it. I also have no affiliation with the maker of any collimation tools."
Jane Smith Davis, California 2/12/05 "I purchased a 2" CatsEye system for my 18" Starmaster last year. I'm now going to use it on my new 10" as well, so I need some extra reflective triangles... Collimation was never easier nor more accurate. I love the system and gather converts every time someone sees me collimate."
Don Pensack Los Angeles, California Cloudy Nights Forum Discussion Post: 1/11/05 "... I just got a set of all 3 of his CATSEYE collimation tools for 2" focusers: -TeleTube telescoping Sight tube -Black Cat Cheshire -Infinity autocollimator. I collimated my assembled scope using all 3 of his tools: 1) The TeleTube telescoping sight tube is the first sight tube I could truly gauge the position of my secondary while using. I could insert it until the periphery of my secondary literally was coterminous with the inside of the sight tube. It was off, slightly. Now, it's PERFECTLY centered. 2) The sight tube's wires are very visible in the distance, because now they are large, and well-illuminated on the bottom. 3) The Black Cat Cheshire allowed a VERY easy primary alignment. Just too simple. And no side-light necessary. 4) The Infinity autocollimator showed the 4 reflected images of the center spot weren't perfectly converged into one image. After a few tweaks--they were. All 4! Wow! Then I installed my collimated, 2" Kendrick laser to check the scope. It showed the primary perfectly aligned and the secondary slightly off. So, I put a piece of graph paper on the wall, and the laser in the wood-block alignment setup I made, rotated the laser, and guess what? It was off just a smidge. The beam stayed in the same small box on the graph paper as I rotated it, but it did move just a little bit. Just a little. I spent easily 30 minutes getting it perfect so I could point to an intersection of lines, rotate the laser, and see NO movement. I put the laser back in the scope. Whoa! Now everything seemed to be lined up using the laser, too. In other words, the CATSEYE tools were more accurate than my laser, which, while very close to perfect, wasn't perfectly collimated. The Tectron tools were an awesome improvement on the eyeball method. The CATSEYE tools are an improvement on the Tectron tools. I'm going to have to send Jim Fly a letter of thanks.... ... Just awesome tools." Follow-up Post: 1/12/05 "The larger interior of the CATSEYE Infinity Autocollimator is substantially more reflective than the Tectron. Plus, its field of view is larger, allowing the multiple faint reflections of the primary mark (no matter what its shape) to be within the field of view. This allows small tweaks to be made to the secondary for total convergence of all the internal reflections to occur (I invite you to see Vic Menard's movie on his site). The field of view of the Tectron is too small to catch the other reflections if they happen to be a little more off-center than you would like. The CATSEYE telescoping site tube, the Tele-Tube, has similar advantages: the cross hairs are larger and more easily seen in the distant reflection from the primary mirror. Because you can lengthen the sight tube, this makes the reflected and near-field cross-hairs closer in size and more easily lined up behind one another. Because of its diameter and length, the CATSEYE Tele-Tube also allows you to "just" frame the outside of the secondary mirror to get perfect alignment of the secondary under the focuser, which automatically builds in the exact amount of offset you need. These are all features important to have in alignment tools, but difficult to achieve in instruments with longer focal lengths (i.e. Big Dobs) with 1-1/4" tools. I think if you used them, especially the 2" Infinity autocollimator, you'd see how easy they are to use and interpret, compared to the Tectron tools. The Tectron tools work great. These are just easier to use and freer from misinterpretation. IMHO, of course."
Peter Fernandez Albany, New York 1/6/05 "... You were asking about what kind of collimation tools you should get for your brother. After last night demonstrating to your brother all the different collimation tools, (Tectron, laser & Jim Fly), I have to say that Jim Fly has the only complete and best system by far and if you ask your brother I think he would also agree. What impressed me about Jim Fly's collimation tools are that the images are bigger, brighter and just plain easier to see. His 2" tools are not plagued with the wobble effects you see with the Tectron and laser tools. Jim Fly's tools fit precisely in a FeatherTouch focuser making for stable and repeatable observations through them. The new 2" sight tube amazed me by how easy it was for the first time to see both actual cross hairs and its reflection ..."
Paul Leuba New Freedom, Pennsylvania 12/13/04 "I have used the TeleTube and it worked wonderfully! No kidding. It turned the somewhat complex job of precisely, optically centering the secondary mirror under the focuser into a very easy task. I really liked being able to adjust the TeleTube to the exact focal ratio of my telescope. Because of this feature, there is no guesswork during the process of placing and offsetting the secondary mirror. In my case I have a StarMaster 14.5 with an F4.3 primary mirror. In my opinion after years of collimating reflectors, using the Tectron tools and a laser, most of the errors manifest themselves in the secondary placement, (rotation, tilt or offset). The Teletube goes a long way in mitigating these types of issues and errors .... ... All in all, I think the suite of tools that you have developed, specifically the 2" versions of the TeleTube, CatsEye and Infinity, are superior to anything else currently on the market. I truly mean that. In addition, I thank you for bringing a precision set of tools to market for folks like me strive for the absolute best collimation each and every time out. I never want my equipment to be my limiting factor. Your tools help that become a reality."
Dale Burkhardt Antioch, California Post excerpt from "Collimate_Your_Telescope@yahoogroups.com" SIG. 12/2/04 "... I recently purchased one of Jim's 2" autocollimators and I must admit that it does make a difference, at least with my 18" f/4.5. When I built the scope I took great pains to square the focuser with the optical axis so no adjustment there was needed. After an initial adjustment of the secondary with a Howie Glatter laser to the triangle center spot, adjustment of the primary with the Barlow face installed on the laser, and a final tweak/twist of the secondary with the autocollimator, all the triangle images converged. Total time: about three minutes. Maybe this was beginners luck but it was a much easier process than I seemed to be reading about. I took a mental note of lunar and stellar images prior to the final tweak with the A.C. and, although subjective, after the use of the A.C. the images were tighter and crisper."
Peter Fernandez Albany, New York 10/22/04 "I have to say that I have found your collimation tools the absolute best there is in the amateur market. I'm kind of a "collimation Nazi" when it comes to collimating my scope so I have tried about every collimation tool and system out there. I even use to own one of those fancy expensive lasers that project a holographic pattern. After many years of trying out all the different collimation gear out there, I would recommend yours tools first over anything else to anyone asking me for advise and recommendations on this subject."
Dave Eason Duluth, Georgia Post excerpt from "AtlantaAreaVisualObservers@yahoogroups.com" SIG. 5/31/04
For Dave's complete Post see: The Blackcat and Infinity Collimators

"I first met Jim Fly at our local star party in 1998. His 8" homemade
scope was set up only a few feet away from my scope. There was a super
nova in Ursa Major and many on the field were viewing it, including
Jim. He invited me over for a look and sure enough there it was. The
galaxy was easily held with dv and the super nova could be seen as a
pinpoint of light in the galactic haze. Jim suggested viewing it in my
18" so off we went. After a couple of minutes the galaxy was located
but the super nova was nowhere to be found! We focused and looked but
could not pull it into view. Jim looked at me and said, "It must be a
collimating issue." He was certainly right. Up to that point I
exclusively used a laser to collimate the primary AND secondary. I'd
put the laser in the focuser and adjust the secondary so the laser dot
was centered on the primary and then adjusted the primary to bring the
laser dot back to it's exit point on the laser collimator. I thought I
was done but that night the super nova showed me that "close" is just
not good enough when it comes to having your scope operating properly.

The next day Jim showed me his CATSEYE collimating tool and how it
works. This includes center spotting the primary with a red reflective
triangle and using a white reflective "donut" on the CATSEYE Cheshire.

... Both the Blackcat and the Infinity collimators are a welcomed
addition to my eyepiece case. I like not using the reducer to collimate
as most of my eyepieces have a 2" barrel... The 2" collimators also
help if you have a scope with a long focal length, say like 125"
inches! By the time the reflective white ring on the back of the
Blackcat makes it back to the focuser it has travel 250" inches/12"=
20.8 feet. Using the Infinity helps when you try to stack the center
spot reflections from over 20 feet away.

Regards, Dave"

Dallas Rodgers Cumming, Georgia Reply to D. Eason's SIG Post above 6/03/04 "Hi Dave, I echo your opinion on Jim's 2" autocol. It's a great addition to my collimation tools, and I find I no longer need the Tectron Autocol., since the ghost reflection images in Jim's design appear brighter, plus the collimated image is not affected by rotating or wobbling the autocol. A really nice tool. Dallas" 7/18/04 and a "follow-up" to me ... "... I'm in Utah now, and your products have been giving me great service, even in the dark. I am amazed at seeing so many reflections in the autocollimator. I could never see more than two ghost images before, and could never get them to exactly stack using the 1 1/4" tools, but having a 2" set of tools like yours makes everything easier! Thanks again - Dallas" See more of Dallas' previous comments below: More Comments from Dallas Rodgers ...
Tom Hole California, Maryland "starmaster_scopes@yahoogroups.com" SIG Post #13174 6/13/04 "... I have the Big Cat and Infinity auto collimator. Easiest collimation tools I have found. I never thought I would give up on my Barlowed laser, but the CATSEYE system has won me over."
Gordon Pegue Albuquerque, New Mexico 5/10/04 re: INFINITYTM Type II Autocollimator "Oh, what a pleasure it was to use the new tool! The increased surface area of the mirror, combined with the improved reflectivity made for an exceptionally easy job of final secondary tweaking.... With your fine system, it took me less than 5 minutes the other day to easily achieve accurate collimation AND when I did a spot check around midnight, I was pleasantly surprised at the ease with which I was able to see that my multiple center spot reflections were still stacked! I was so enthralled with how easy it was that I used my tools to quickly adjust a friends 17.5" f/4.3 scope - even though his center spot was the old fashion paper reinforcing donut! He was suitably impressed and commented on the quality of the images later that night.... All-in-all, I'm one very satisfied Cat's Eye system user!"
Jim VanBuskirk La Verkin, Utah "obsessionusers@yahoogroups.com" SIG Post 4/26/04 "...replaced the white ring with the red reflective triangle. used it on a 20' STARMASTER and now on my 25" Obsession. its the best. i can collimate in about 5 minutes using only a laser for rough alignment and the 2" autocollimator to stack the red reflective triangles. best of all i can do it in the total dark.... read Jim fly's instructions on his web site. it works exactly as he says. i really like it"
Bob Hardy Tehachapi, California "bigdob@yahoogroups.com SIG Post 4/27/04 "I use the CATSEYE system and love it. I have the 2" Cheshire and the 2" Auto Collimator. It is a very easy system to use and I find that my collimation is right on the money when I do it as per the instructions. I wear bifocals and have no problem using this system." 4/8/04 "About three nights ago I had First Light with my new Nightskyscope 14.5" F4.3. The seeing was so calm and steady. Not one star was seen twinkling. I was on Jupiter with my 14mm Meade UWA and a 2X Powermate and the image was clear and crisp begging for more power. I called to my wife to come out see Jupiter. She has never looked through a scope before and she said WOW, it is so clear and sharp. Unfortunately that was all the power I had at the time. Today I now have a Pentax XW 5mm for when those conditions arrive again. I am sure that it will and when it does the CATSEYE Collimation combined with the Pentax lens is going to be a real stunner of a view. Thanks for a high quality product that performs as advertised and is so easy to use." "argo_navis_dtc@yahoogroups.com" SIG Post 4/8/04 "Collimation.. I use the CATSEYE Collimating System. After I get the secondary adjusted with the Sight Tube, then I use the 2" Collimator to get the primary lined up with the secondary. After that I put in the 2" Autocollimator and tweak my secondary until I get three ghost images along with the primary image. I then merge the four images together in a Star of David. Volia..spot on collimation. Off course I go back and double check it with the Cheshire. I then recheck my collimation at least three times later in the evening. I love the triangle for the center spot because I have each tip pointing at my collimation adjusting knobs. If it is out of collimation, I know which handle to turn and in which direction to turn it. I love this system. It is so easy. Collimation was one thing that I was worried about learning how to do. It is really not that difficult. You just have to recheck it occasionally."
Steve Harris Jacksonville, Arkansas 4/6/04 "got all the stuff yesterday and am happy to report that I'm very impressed. I had no problem center spotting the mirror or using the Cheshire and autocollimator. After using the Cheshire, when I popped in the autocollimator the triangles were already lined up, which says a lot about how easy it is to use the Cheshire to get an accurate alignment. That's a first for me, since when I was using other (1.25") tools I could never seem to get the autocollimator reflections in the ballpark and eventually gave up using it. What was really nice though was the seeing was pretty good last night, and the view of Jupiter was the best I've ever seen. I really think the collimation played a big role, I think it's probably the first time my scope has been really collimated. So, thanks Steve
Mike Harvey Orlando, Florida 3/22/04 "Just a (late) note to tell you that I hooked up with Chuck Pisa at the Winter Star Party and got one of the new autocollimators from him. At first I was a bit put off by the 'ghosts'. It all seemed a bit too much. After using the device several times, however, I am singing its' praises to all who will listen. This tool NAILS collimation. What I thought was excellent performance from my 24" using the CATSEYE collimator and a final finish with a 'regular' autocollimator is no longer acceptable! At a star party this past weekend I had observers taking a look at Jupiter through my scope, then rushing off to drag their friends over to see what most of them termed "the most amazing detail I've ever seen through a telescope". Yes, I have an exceptional Zambuto mirror in this scope but it has never delivered the performance I'm now getting. THANKS!"
Richard B. Duering Austin, TX 11/6/03 "Just wanted to let you know how much I'm enjoying your CATSEYE center spot and CATSEYE Cheshire. The instructions for the installation of the center spot was easy to follow. Routine collimation is now a snap - Laser the diagonal, CATSEYE Cheshire the primary mirror and Autocollimator for the focuser. Since using your Cheshire and CATSEYE center spot I can fine tune the primary mirror so that the Autocollimator images are right on. Could not do that with just the laser. Thanks Again, Rick"
Barry Press Pembroke Pines, FL "bigdob@yahoogroups.com" SIG Post 10/12/03 "I had my 14.5" scope for almost 5 years and have used the standard tools and lasers when I first got the scope. They were ok. Then I tried the CatsEye system. What a difference. I was skeptical at first because it looked too easy. Well it's too easy NOT TO USE. In under 5 minutes, you can get a scope so well tuned it scary, even in the dark. The instructions tell you exactly what to do and look for. I haven't used my laser since I got it. You will need an autocollimator though. The best part of the CatsEye is the cost.... ... I know it looks so simple to work, but it does and very well too. Once you use this, you'll never go back to "the old way""
Vic Menard "Cloudy Nights Forum" Post #994189 06/10/06 "For the extra $16 I like having the world's largest combo tool (the TeleCat). The BlackCat is important for primary mirror evaluation in darkness--the TeleCat works best in daylight conditions for basic setup, preliminary focuser axial alignment, diagonal alignment, and primary mirror axial alignment. You can switch out the BlackCat and TeleTube and get the same functionality, but it's fun (and fast) to be able to do it all with one tool." "Collimate_Your_Telescope@yahoogroups.com" SIG Post 3/14/05 "... I got the TeleCat from Jim when he first introduced the product. It's a great 2-inch "combo" device. There's something about not having to change tools to evaluate more than one aspect of the system collimation." "Cloudy Nights Forum" Post 12/16/04 "First--I would like to thank Nils Olof for taking the considerable time and making the magnanimous effort to provide us with a quantitative analysis of the autocollimator reflections. I would also like to thank Jim Fly for creating the Infinity II autocollimator. With its wider field of view and highly reflective first surface mirror, this tool enabled us to observe and verify the rather complicated theoretical analysis that Nils Olof has now finally completed. Controversial? I don't think so, if you stick to the analysis of the reflections as they relate to the actual axial offsets. What was proved: 1.) The autocollimator is the only (currently) available multi-pass collimation tool for both the focuser axis and the primary mirror axis. 2.) When ALL of the reflections are precisely stacked on top of each other, ALL axial defects are eliminated. 3.) Using the "carefully decollimated primary mirror" protocol (which I strongly urge if you are using the 2-inch autocollimator), the focuser axial error can be easily removed revealing the primary mirror axial error visually magnified eight times! This protocol is described on my web site, (scroll down to the autocollimator sections.) http://homepage.mac.com/vicmenard/telescopes/NPaddend.html 4.) Using the iterative protocol (which Nils Olof recommends) is in fact the same thing that is suggested in "New Perspectives..." Of course, with the recent availability of the 2-inch autocollimator, the fifth edition will encompass the newest protocols! 5.) Using the new 2-inch autocollimator is easy, predictable, and repeatable. If you're using the 1.25-inch autocollimator (with its limited fov), I would suggest that you skip the math and use the iterative procedure--it still works as advertised! 6.) As Nils Olof suggests, "Enjoy, but don't choke!" Even the "warnings" are a bit overstated--if you use the suggested protocol(s) it just works! And although the camera lens does indeed show significant defocusing of some of the reflections, in actual use the eye accommodates the differential focusing and even easily resolves the subtle parallax issues. Hopefully Nils Olof will soon have the opportunity to actually use an autocollimator so he can see for himself how effective the tool is! Finally, the autocollimator is not absolutely necessary for every Newtonian telescope or every Newtonian telescope owner! Some people have a knack for getting the collimation right with minimal tool support, others need help (or assurance), to finish the job. I don't think I can stress enough how much easier it is to use the new 2-inch Infinity II! If you've had problems with the 1.25-inch autocollimator, you will quickly become proficient with the 2-inch (and then fully understand what you were seeing "just off the edge of the field" in the 1.25!) Make sure you check out the QuickTime movie clips! .avi is available on Jim Fly's web site: http://www.catseyecollimation.com/cegallry.html" "starmasters_scopes@yahoogroups.com" SIG Post 4/24/03 "Dallas, Glad to hear you got the CatsEye mirror spot installed without much trouble. I was also happy to hear you're getting even better success with autocollimation after using a "calibrated" Cheshire. We re-center spotted 3 mirrors (a 14.5, 17.5 and 18) at our last club meeting with Jim Fly's overlay system. It works pretty good! Chuck Pisa (Wolf Camera) should have his 18 StarMaster "triangulated" by now. I've found that I can check primary mirror collimation with the Tectron Cheshire to verify the precision of my 2 to 1.25 adapters after I've used the 2-inch CatsEye Cheshire. I also still use the Tectron Cheshire as a makeshift sight tube when evaluating the diagonal positioning in a short focus (f/4.1 in my case) system. I doubt I'll give up any of my Tectron tools, they're still just too useful... Nevertheless, in the field, for routine touch-up collimation, it's laser (diagonal), CatsEye Cheshire (primary mirror), then autocollimator (focuser). A couple of iterations only takes a few minutes, and you KNOW it's right!"
Dallas Rodgers "starmasters_scopes@yahoogroups.com" SIG Post 4/24/03 "Hello Group, Although reported earlier by Vic Menard and others, I just installed my own CATSEYE triangle and am quite impressed with how easy it was to install, and also with the improved functionality. Collimation with the standard O-ring on the primary was something I felt pretty comfortable about, though I was never able to superimpose the donuts in the Autocollimator view. However, when placing the triangle on the mirror, the template demonstrated a slight change in the center spot, just perceptible and with the realm of variance with a sharpie wielded by a shaky hand! The small difference of centering the triangle resulted in virtually perfect shadowing of the ghost images of the triangle behind the direct image, and were more closely coincident than I'd ever been able to achieve before. This may be part luck and part skill, but the kit proved nearly foolproof in placing the triangle on the mirror at the center spot determined by the template. I followed the procedure outlined exactly and it worked flawlessly. Further, I found the collimation process was also more intuitive than with the O- ring, and was much easier in judging which knob on the primary to turn, and which direction to turn it! I made a simple diagram noting the directional changes by counter/clockwise motion of each adjustment knob. I also felt that night-time collimation was easier with the new triangle, though I had become comfortable doing that with the o-ring center spot. Optical performance of the scope last night was great, although the sky was a bit turbulent and lacking in seeing conditions - galaxies were a washout. However, I had fun with Jupiter, Saturn and numerous tight doubles in Virgo and Com. Ber. When I perform marginal to poor collimation, tight doubles less than 5" separation become challenging, so I felt the performance was as good or better than anything I'd achieved before the change. I'm glad I made the switch! One more step towards reducing the mythology of collimation! All the best - Dallas"
Matt Looby Oak Lawn, IL 4/1/02 "I have a RV-6 that I am restoring. Your CATSEYE is so nice and easy to use that I need another one!" 4/4/02 "I hope my comments will help someone else discover how easy collimating a scope can be."
Stephen M. Truitt Washington, DC 3/18/02 "The CATSEYE is simple, easy to use and collimates my Skyquest 8" with clarity and ease. The primary center triangle spot placement instructions and template were perfect. ... It really is a better mousetrap!"
Roger Lee Akron, Ohio 12/9/01 "I had my collimation " Almost " perfect with the Cheshire I have, but don't use anymore. I bought it from Orion thinking it would do the trick; not so. First of all the cross hairs are on a good 90 degree angle from each other but they are not centered. Secondly, the Cheshire tube does not fit in the focuser very well, a lot of slop. Not so with the eyepiece that came with the CatsEye. All I had to do was tighten the adapter screws so it wouldn't fall out. You sure have a very easy and well put together system, simple as it is. You oughta be able to corner the market as far as Newtonian collimators go with this product."
Larry Trutter Springfield, Illinois 10/28/01 "I have received the CATSEYE collimating tool several weeks ago. It seems to make a difference with Saturn (it looked exceptionally clear! The best view that I have ever seen on Saturn.).." 10/30/01 "I finally got to see Jupiter last night, it is the best that I have ever seen. Previously, I thought good view is very rare and Jupiter was blurry most of the time - 2 dark bands with no details. Now I was able to some hint of cloud patterns in the southern belt! I also see a little thin dark band above the northern belt. Saturn also spectacular. I was able to see about 80-90% of the features that was described in the book "Backyard Astronomer's Guide" (as in what can be seen in the telescope). Fantastic! CATSEYE mirror placing template is great! I loved the reflecting triangle. No longer am I reluctant to collimate often. The guesswork is gone. You were absolutely right about only having to use 2 knobs to adjust the primary mirror. It really works well, in my judgment."
Dan Henn Elgin, Illinois 10/1/01 "Not only did I get it, I've used it and it works great!!! Never knew collimating could be so easy. I have had my 6" Dob for 4 years and never really collimated it. with the CATSEYE it took all of one minute to see how out of collimation it was. Another 5 minutes and I was collimated and set up outside. After a cool down I pointed the scope at Jupiter and saw much more detail than ever before the red spot was easily seen where as before seeing had to be perfect. Next I pointed to Saturn a view that never disappoints but this time the Cassini division was clearly visible (never saw the Cassini division before). Thanks for a great product that is so simple to use. I feel like I just bought a new telescope."
Jim Opalek Castalian Springs, Tennessee 8/15/01 "I purchased your Cat's Eye collimating system about a year or so ago, and have to say what a great system it is. It easily allows me to "touch up" my 8" Meade in the field, and when trying different laser collimators that often don't agree because of minor "flopping" in my focuser, the Cat's Eye always holds true. Thanks for this product."
Shannon Hendrickson Portland Oregon 6/4/01 "... By the way I love your CATSEYE system - I'm so glad I didn't buy a laser collimator."
Bobby Cole Atlanta, Georgia 5/8/01 "....I've had very good luck with the CATSEYE. Couldn't be easier to use, and I've recommended it to others. I'm very close to completion on a 12.5" scope, and the CATSEYE will go on it as well. Thanks for making such a wonderful product!"
Larry (LVF) 5/7/01 As posted to S.A.A. 5/7/01 "I've tinkered with both many months, and got average results at best. The Tectron tools are good, but time consuming. I spent many hours "learning" how to properly use them. The laser was ok for a quickie, but the results were not great. (heavy laser in tall focuser=bad collimation). Then I tried Jim Fly's CATSEYE system. It is easy to use (day or night), fast, and precise. Check it out."
Steve Knight Griffin, Georgia 3/30/01 "Just wanted to let you know that the CATSEYE collimation system is the easiest to use and the least intimidating system that I have ever seen. I can't understand why no telescope companies offer this as an option on their scopes. I have a 14" f/4.5 Dobsonian telescope, and even with the fast optics, the collimation checks out consistently every time. Detail in the Orion nebula now extends out of the field of view even under marginal conditions. Most of the local club now has this system on their scopes, and couldn't be happier with it. When a group agrees, you are doing something right. Thanks again. Steve Knight Treasurer, Flint River Astronomy Club"
John Griffin Fairhope, Alabama 12/09/00 "Thanks for promptly fulfilling my order. Received it today in good order. I immediately put it to use and discovered that my previous method had been slightly off, and I do mean ever so slightly. My previous method employed a homemade Cheshire took quite a bit of time to accomplish. The CatsEye got me there in 5% of the time. The difference was incredible. Only wish the skys had stayed clearer a little bit longer tonight, since I only had about 1 hour before the high scud rolled over. Still I had Lunar and Jovian detail that I didn't think possible with my 4.5 Newtonian."
David Ward Lovejoy, Georgia 5/29/00 "I finally got around to pulling the mirror out of my Celestron C6 (same OTA as Vixen R150S) Newtonian this weekend so I could install the cats eye... Wow ! ! !! (and that's an understatement). This is so easy. I have been using the Tectron Tools Collimation set for about a year & my C6 had a good reputation in the local clubs anyway. I've always been one of those types who checks collimation of my little scope every session. But I never really got the hang of using the autocollimator, until now! I found that my secondary was way too far in from the mount (the 3 triangles would line up, but were stacked), so after tweaking the secondary and a giving the primary a final adjustment the real test was in the field. I figured the double double was a fair test to see if there was any improvement (plus it was away from the local sky glow). Split both of them cleanly at 200x and it was not even the best viewing conditions (which is pretty darn good for a 6" f/5 750mm OTA). I can't wait to get out to the local dark sky site next month." 5/30/00 "... To read the book that comes with the Tectron tools set, the proper use of the autocollimator never really did sink in (with the pencil eraser method - tried it & didn't see what I was supposed to & finally gave up after a while). The red triangles made the concept much easier to see & understand - not to mention a breeze to correct problems. Thanks for making the "best little 6 inch around" even better."
John Theios Jupiter, Florida 5/09/00 "I just wanted to send you a quick note to let you know how pleased I am with the CATSEYE. It was really very easy to use and your instructions were very specific. Best of all it really works! I noticed an immediate improvement in my collimation versus what I was doing before. Thanks again. 5/10/00 "... Before the CATSEYE, I checked my collimation only infrequently, because it was such a hassle (and I didn't do a good job at that). Now I check the collimation before every observing session. Thanks, again."
Bob Hertel Harrington Park, New Jersey 10/30/99 "I love the reflective triangle idea for the center spot! I've never collimated a Newtonian before, and after a few minutes I was easily able to find which primary screws to adjust, rather than fumbling blindly. Great idea!!" 11/18/99 "Being a novice and a perfectionist is tough when it comes to collimating a scope for the first time. Although I was apprehensive, the CATSEYE made the job easy. Now I feel 'experienced', and the views from my Dob satisfy my very high standards. Images are now so crisp; my refractor is getting dusty." 11/23/99 "As someone who strives for perfection, I gave serious thought to a laser collimator, and wondered if I by one in addition to, or instead of the CATSEYE. I wanted to be sure collimation was spot-on at night, when the scope cooled off. However, the other night I used the CATSEYE with the flashlight I also purchased from Jim. The job couldn't have been easier. I canned the laser idea and bought a TV Plossl instead. Thanks Jim"
John Geres Snohomish, Washington 10/23/99 "I just finished installing your collimation "system" on the first of my four Newtonians. Very, very, impressive. NOW I know who those guys are at star party's who would rather fiddle with their collimation (in search of absolute perfection) all night instead of observe. 10/26/99 "...I have two scopes done now; two more to go. Lovvvvve the CATSEYE!"
Stephen Dale Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, England 6/22/99 "Had a chance to try my telescope last night and I am pleased to say that now it has been collimated with the CATSEYE it is now working just fine. As I stated in my letter it is a portable 8.75"/f4.4 with 2 truss tubes and I dismantled it and reassembled it in the dark collimated again and it was perfect. ...I am happy as now I can see stars again and not a lot of comets..."
L. John Greenfield, Jr. Ann Arbor, Michigan 5/10/99 "My CATSEYE kit arrived in good condition and I had little difficulty in applying the center spot to the primary mirror." "...I commend you for this well-designed and easily implemented technique - it ranks up there with the Telrad in elegance and general utility for the amateur astronomer." 5/17/99 "Well, I finally got the scope out Saturday night (briefly, before the clouds rolled in). As I was setting up I heard something go thunk and was concerned that one of the springs in the mirror cell had released. Sure enough, the mirror must have shifted, and the collimation was WAY off. I took out my red flashlight and it took me maybe 5 minutes to get it back into perfect alignment. The viewing of Mars and the appearance of stars as pinpoints were dramatically improved. The ability to do the collimation in the dark at your viewing site makes all the difference."
Bryan Jarvis Lewisville, Texas 4/23/99 As Posted to s.a.a. 4/23/99 "I'd like to go on record in recommending the 'Cats Eye' system (commercial product). It has a clear plastic sheet that is pre-marked for the center of several mirror sizes, with a hole in the center. It comes with an adhesive reflective triangle and an eyepiece. Once you get the adhesive reflective triangle onto the center of your mirror, you can look through the provided eyepiece and adjust the primary until the 3 apexes of the triangle touch the reflection of a special ring on the eyepiece." 4/24/99 "Great product in my opinion. I found that I had previously mis-marked the center of my main mirror"
Michael Desjarlais Albuquerque, New Mexico 4/22/99 "I received my CATSEYE today and have already set things up. It truly is a wonderful tool you've developed. Collimating the primary really did just take seconds. I took me considerably more time to get the final tuning of the secondary done using the autocollimator but I did eventually get a reasonable approximation to the Star of David pattern... ...I will enthusiastically recommend your system to anyone who wants to improve their collimation." 4/26/99 "Having practiced with the CATSEYE over the weekend I am feeling really comfortable with it. I find that I can see the multiple reflections in the autocollimator even better in the dark and doubt that I will ever invest in a laser collimator."
Ryan Rickerl Boise, Idaho 4/20/99 "I did receive it on Saturday, and am very pleased with it. It took only 5 - 10 min. to setup, and was easy to collimate. Thank you very much"
Kevin Cornwell Decatur, Alabama 3/23-24/99 As Posted to s.a.a. 3/23/99 "I spent literally hours trying to collimate my scope (an RV-6 http://www.photografix.net/astro) without having a clue as to whether I got it or not. I finally bought a sight tube (from Orion) which made it clear that my secondary was way off and allowed me to quickly set it to rights (the offset was incorrect). But, my best purchase was the CatsEye collimation system by Jim Fly (http://www.catseyecollimation.com/index.html). His system made center-dotting the primary a snap (took about 20 seconds to do). Then aligning the primary took another oh, maybe 40 seconds. I then put in the autocollimator and did nothing - it was perfect. I can't praise Jim's CatsEye system enough! I'm only angry that I didn't buy it sooner. I now know without a doubt that my RV-6 is perfectly collimated. No maybes. And, I know I can keep it there without difficulty every time I observer whether it's night or day. His system works in the dark! If you're having questions regarding the accuracy of your collimation, you owe it to yourself to check out the CatsEye. My 2 cents" 3/24/99 "I'm completely satisfied, no jubilant, at the ease and simplicity and confidence your CatsEye provides when collimating my RV-6! When I bought it you suggested I also have a sight tube and autocollimator. The sight tube showed me the secondary was quite a ways off and easily helped me put it right. I then used your CatsEye system to center-dot the primary and then align it. It was so easy and fast that I'm angry at all the time I wasted previously trying to collimate without the CatsEye. The autocollimator wasn't even necessary and only proved the CatsEye was right on. Thanks for you well thought out system which made a somewhat confusing process faster and easier than boiling eggs."
Joe Murray Alpharetta, Georgia 02/05/99 "I set up your collimation system and was extremely pleased with the results. Thanks. I am now using the Cat's Eye to tune up my telescope every time I go out. It takes about 2 minutes to do and really makes the viewing much crisper. Thanks again."
Bruce Lane Roswell, Georgia 01/10/99 "I want to second Richard Miller's remarks about Jim Fly's Cat's Eye System. I have it on my 12.5" Cave and it works great!" 01/14/99 "... Setting your Newtonian (Dobsonian) up with a CATSEYE is very easy. I recommend looking at Jim's web site for the full run down. If you have more questions I know Jim will answer your e-mail. My best advice is to get one. You won't be disappointed..." "Yes, please feel free to quote me about the CATSEYE, I love it!"
Richard Miller Snellville, Georgia 01/09/99 "I also have a 6" Dob and can see color on Saturn and Jupiter, but not until I tuned up my collimation with Jim Fly's Cat's eye system. Now I am addicted to touching up my collimation (2 minutes) if I transport the scope in the van."
Bob Birket Mesa, Arizona 11/9/98 "I just wanted to take a moment and E-mail you with my comments on the CATSEYE. I have a older Meade DS16 that has never shown a very good image. I didn't know if was bad collimation or just bad optics. I needed a accurate tool that would work. A good friend of mine, John Evelan had just ordered a CATSEYE and recommended it to me. When I applied the reflective triangle to the primary I found that the old spot on the mirror was off center about .100 inch. Now I knew the source of my problems. After setting the telescope up in the backyard, I collimated it following your directions. I was amazed with the star images from that telescope. It is the best I have ever seen. I sure will recommend the CATSEYE to all of my friends. Thanks a lot"

Jay Anderson Dale City, Virginia 8/17/98 Aligning the spotting template over the
mirror Applying the center spot to the
mirror Removing the template after
applying the center spot "I let my 13 year old daughter do the center spotting (with assistance from me) as she is going to enter the scope in the science fair. Anyway... all in all the circular alignment marks for 12.5" aligned perfectly setting right on the bevel of my mirror. Just a matter of shifting it about till all the lines were perfectly aligned and then pressing the spot down. I put 3 small marks on the mirror sides to indicate where the collimation bolts should line up to. Thanks, Jay"