- A mosaic of 4 images stitched together -
Barrie, ON Canada
"I purchased your system at least about 6-9 months ago, and I had used
the site tube mainly to do my collimation with the round sticker in my
mirror. I own a Orion xT8 that I purchased in August of 2021. I was just
lazy and didn't have time to disassemble my primary mirror and put the
triangle on, and do the collimation. Anyhow couple of nights ago, I
decided to do it, and after messing up the first 2 attempts to do the
centre marking with the triangle, I finally succeeded on the third attempt
and put a fresh triangle on the centre of my primary mirror. I could not
believe the amount of clarity in contrast that I got when I checked
Jupiter tonight. It was unbelievable, so much better and clearer. I
really wanted to thank you for this great system. It is the difference
between deciding to get a newer scope and just optimizing your current
one to get more clarity and enjoyment out of the current one that you
have. I am so happy that finally after 1 year of owning my scope, I
finally came to the conclusion that it's not the scope that is causing
hazy views of the planets, and I came to another conclusion that you can't
trust the manufacturers in doing a good job. Again I want to thank you and
Vic Menard for this great system."
"I've been using the telecat and autocollimator for some time now and
I'd just like to thank you for making tools of such high quality. It's
a pleasure to use them. I was able to tear down my Maksutov-Newtonian
MN190 for some necessary modifications and fixes and collimate it
afterwards without much difficulty. And this optical system is
notoriously sensitive to any secondary mirror and optical/mechanical
Johan de Sarcilly
"Your Catseye collimation kit is just incredible.I've measured less
than 30 nanomŤtres coma with my dob 3.3. I've done the measurements
with a precise shack Hartman" (wave-front sensor - Wikipedia)
Thanks you very much!
"Thank you very much for packaging the everything so well, and for
including the instructions for using the autocollimator and BlackCat
tools and the application of the HotSpot. Everything works really well,
and I'm very happy about the quality of the products..."
"I had a great night last night in Denmark splitting doubles and just
gazing at 61 Cygni..."
"I received the CatsEye tools that I ordered. - Thanks! As I told you
previously, this is my third complete set I've purchased from you, plus
I own a couple of one-off pieces. This new set is fantastic! The fit
and finish is superior to the other CatsEye stuff that I own. As an
example, the Catseye Cheschire I own from previous sets - both 1ľ and
2" are made from, I think, Delrin. I assume the accuracy is the same
if comparing old and new Catseye tools..."
Just wanted to let you know that I really like them..."
Northwood, New Hampshire
"I just received the Triple Pack Pro XLSKP set that I ordered from you,
and the quality and accuracy of the tools are incredible. I had gotten
collimation pretty close using other means, but the XLKP showed some
room for improvement. The included guide was incredibly easy to use!
What's interesting is the light-weight Feathertouch focuser I have
shifts as it travels due to wear marks where my most frequently used
eyepieces and (heavy) binoviewer come to focus. The shift is enough to
introduce FAE and throw off the autocollimator. So the autocollimator
and tools you created are actually more precise than the mechanical
precision of one of the best focusers on the market allows for. Thanks
again for the quality and ease of use of these collimation tools and
for getting them out so quickly!"
"I was able to use the template to respot the mirror. Using the same
vernier scale to measure I could not find any notable offset. After
collimating the scope again the difference in image quality is
astonishing! Also, now my flats shows a uniform and centered light cone.
So this is really great, but also scary to know that such a small offset
as 0,8 mm can have this severe effect. But your Catseye system is really
good when the spot is well centered. Just wanted to share this
experience with you as this might also be applicable for other users."
Comber Ontario Canada
"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."
"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
Astroforum.nl post 11/29/13
"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
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!"
"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
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!"
"... 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
"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."
"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. ; )
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
"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"
Ossipee, New Hampshire
"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,
"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 :)"
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
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.
"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 !"
"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 !"
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."
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.... "
Pittsboro, North Carolina
"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."
"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
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
"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 :-)"
"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!"
"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
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"."
Raleigh, North Carolina
Cloudy Nights "Reflectors" Forum Posts 04/05/10
"Actually, the Catseye system IS very easy to use, all three major
"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..."
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."
Levin, New Zealand
"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:
"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 close-up of craters with 2x barlow -
Needless to say, Iím very impressed with the Catseye collimation tools!"
For Dave's complete Post see: The Blackcat and Infinity Collimators
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
Mission British Columbia, Canada
"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
"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
Chriss Hoffman - One happy collimated astronomer!"
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!"
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
Grade: A+ To me, the catseye tools are easy to use once you get the
drill down, and actually kind of fun."
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..."
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!"
Theodore ACT Australia
"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
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."
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."
"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.
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
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
Piscataway, New Jersey
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
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
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.
If anyone wants to e-mail me about Jimís great collimation tools, I can
be reached at HizHiNess@aol.com"
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."
"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."
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
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
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
"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!"
Streaky Bay, South Australia
"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.
Great product and excellent instructions!!"
Chester, England, UK
"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."
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!"
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
La Center, Washington
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.
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!"
"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,
"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
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....
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 ..."
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."
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."
San Antonia, Texas
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."
"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."
Middlesex, New Jersey
"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."
"Obsessionusers@yahoogroups.com" SIG. Post response to "Randy" below ..
"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!
"Obsessionusers@yahoogroups.com" SIG. Post
"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.
"Astromart" Discussion Forum
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."
"email@example.com" SIG Post
" 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
"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
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"
-TeleTube telescoping Sight tube
-Black Cat Cheshire
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
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."
Albany, New York
"... 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 ..."
New Freedom, Pennsylvania
"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."
Post excerpt from "Collimate_Your_Telescope@yahoogroups.com" SIG.
"... 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
Albany, New York
"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."
Post excerpt from "AtlantaAreaVisualObservers@yahoogroups.com" SIG.
"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.
Reply to D. Eason's SIG Post above
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
A really nice tool.
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 ...
"firstname.lastname@example.org" SIG Post #13174
"... 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."
Albuquerque, New Mexico
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!"
La Verkin, Utah
"email@example.com" SIG Post
"...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"
"firstname.lastname@example.org SIG Post
"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."
"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."
"email@example.com" SIG Post
"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."
"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
"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.
Richard B. Duering
"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
Thanks Again, Rick"
Pembroke Pines, FL
"firstname.lastname@example.org" SIG Post
"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""
"Cloudy Nights Forum" Post #994189
"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
"... 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
"Cloudy Nights Forum" Post
"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.)
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
Make sure you check out the QuickTime movie clips! .avi is available
on Jim Fly's web site: http://www.catseyecollimation.com/cegallry.html"
"email@example.com" SIG Post
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!"
"firstname.lastname@example.org" SIG Post
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"
Oak Lawn, IL
"I have a RV-6 that I am restoring. Your CATSEYE is so nice and easy to
use that I need another one!"
"I hope my comments will help someone else discover how easy
collimating a scope can be."
Stephen M. Truitt
"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
"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
"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.).."
"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
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."
"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."
Castalian Springs, Tennessee
"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."
"... By the way I love your CATSEYE system - I'm so glad I didn't buy
a laser collimator."
"....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!"
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."
"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.
Treasurer, Flint River Astronomy Club"
"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."
"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."
"... 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
"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.
"... 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.
Harrington Park, New Jersey
"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!!"
"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."
"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"
"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.
"...I have two scopes done now; two more to go. Lovvvvve the CATSEYE!"
Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, England
"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
"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."
"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."
As Posted to s.a.a. 4/23/99
"I'd like to go on record in recommending the 'Cats Eye' system
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."
"Great product in my opinion. I found that I had previously
mis-marked the center of my main mirror"
Albuquerque, New Mexico
"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
...I will enthusiastically recommend your system to anyone who wants
to improve their collimation."
"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."
"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"
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"
"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."
"I set up your collimation system and was extremely pleased with the
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."
"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!"
"... 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!"
"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."
"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
Dale City, Virginia
"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
Atlanta Astronomy Club, Atlanta, GA
Those of you at the Star Gaze and/or the ATM meeting about collimation
will remember Jim Fly from Huntsville, and his Cat's Eye collimation
system. My never(soon?) ending battle to get my 8"F6 1979 Meade
Newtonian up to speed gave me the perfect opportunity to try this
First, I must say that I love his plastic template for marking the
center of the mirror. Much easier than cutting out construction paper,
etc., and definitely accurate.
Also part of the system is the primary center marker, which is a
triangular piece of reflective tape. For me personally, this has
several advantages. Most important, it is the first center marker to
work with all the various collimation tools I use. Since it is
reflective, it works with the AstroSystems laser. (The black square
used by Tectron did not work well with the laser.) And, if one wants
to use the Tectron Cheshire, it works perfectly with it, too. Before,
I used a notebook ring, so that I could use the laser. But using the
notebook ring with the Cheshire was difficult. The reflective marker
solved the problem, and is usable with all the different collimation
The center marker is triangular so that (when properly placed), you
know exactly which collimation screw to turn when adjusting the
primary. Many of you may remember one of the tricks I showed at the
ATM meeting on how to do this. But the triangular marker made this
really easy. What a superb idea!
The Cat's Eye itself is similar to the Cheshire. It has a reflective
ring inside that corresponds nicely to the size of the primary marker.
The Cat's Eye differs in how you introduce light into the telescope,
so that you can see what you're doing. With the Cat's Eye, you shine
a bright light down the telescope tube. With the Cheshire, you shine a
light into the side of the Cheshire itself. At this time, I still
prefer to have the light right there at the focuser, instead of having
to reach around the end of the tube. Using the Cat's Eye, it's just a
matter of time before I drop a flashlight down the tube! I must say
that I was encouraged that collimation results were identical, in that
both the Cheshire and Cat's Eye matched.
At the ATM meeting, Jim had mentioned how you can do an extra-fine
adjustment with the autocollimator and the Cat's Eye center marker, but
for the life of me I can't remember the procedure. Jim, I know you're
reading this, so please jump in and explain again!
I have not tried the Cat's Eye in the field yet, just in my dining
room! But at this point I'd certainly recommend the system. Not sure
if Jim includes a sight tube in the package. If not, hopefully it will
become part of it, as well as an autocollimator. Combined with a super
easy primary marking system, the Cat's Eye is a wonderful aid to
getting the most performance from a telescope. I'll let you know later
how the stuff works on the observing field, as well has how it performs
on the 15-inch F5.
"Just as an update to my earlier review....
It's been a few years since I wrote about the Cats Eye. Since then,
I've used the Cats Eye successfully in the field with my 8-inch
Newtonian. I also installed the system on my15-inch f/5 three years
ago and have used it since. And...I've also added a 24-inch
Starmaster, and for the past year I've used the Cats Eye on it too!
(Hmmm, does Cat's Eye cause aperture fever?) I use the 1.25-inch
version on the 8 and 15 inchers, and the 2-inch version on the
Why do I use the Cat's Eye? Because it's ACCURATE and it's EASY. The
triangle reflects a laser if you decide to use one (I use the laser to
help with the initial secondary alignments only). And the points tell
you which collimating screw to turn. Plus, when used in conjunction
with the Tectron autocollimator, the Cat's Eye system will take your
collimation to that final step of convergence. I'm flattered when
folks rave about my mirrors, but the dirty little secret is that the
best collimated scopes are the ones that give the best images. If I
ever get that 36-inch scope, you can bet that the Cat's Eye will be
collimating it too."
25 Aug. 2001
Just wanted to send you a (very) belated thanks for rounding out your
collimation tool line with the 2-inch autocollimator and the sight tube
(Teletube). I now have a complete set of tools that enables my scopes
to perform better than ever.
Two features that I especially appreciate...
No slop! The tolerances are snug, but not over-tight. My old set of
tools always had some slop in them, so I could never be sure of the
collimation. Your tools eliminate the doubt. And your making the site
tube adjustable for focal ratio makes the tool fine for all my scopes.
Secondly, I appreciate the brightness of the images in the
autocollimator and Cat's Eye. No more straining to see the images. It's
now a piece of cake to see those stacking triangles!
The night after improving my secondary collimation with your Teletube,
my scope went deeper than ever before, bagging a mag. 17.8 quasar with
the 24. I'm currently enjoying wonderfully-detailed views of Mars.
When seeing permits, I get the full 50x per inch in the 24, even more
in the 8-inch. And besides improving my own scope, I've used your
tools to help others with theirs. I politely decline when they offer
their tools, and use the Cat's Eye tools instead.
So, thanks again for making these tools available. When I think of the
investment I have in telescopes and eyepieces, your collimation tools
are a bargain considering how much they improve telescope performance.