Home Made Laser
The following pictures illustrate my design for a home made laser
Since my arms are not 4 feet long, I was tired of bobing between the
of the telescope and the top. At the core of the collimator is a cheap
$20 laser pointer. The only other parts are the base, which fits
into the telescope eyepiece and the tube, which allows you to "align"
Many thanks to the members of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada
(RASC) mail list for their helpful suggestions.
Above are all the parts, the tube, the base and the laser pen itself.
The base is turned from 1.5" dia. 6061 Aluminum. The only
dimension is the bottom of the base, which was turned to 1.248" dia. as
it must fit into the telescope eyepiece tube. All surfaces that
reflect the laser were painted a flat black.
This is the tube that holds the laser pen. Made from 1" dia.
aluminum, a the hole for the laser pen was bored from one end, and a
exit hole for the laser beam was drilled at the other end. Notice
the small holes, for set screws (two rows at 120 degrees apart) which
you to adjust the laser alignment. The 45 degree diagonal surface
(painted black) fits into the base.
Here's the assembled collimator. A white nylon screw is used
to press the switch on the laser pen. Small dot in the right
shows the path of the laser beam. Addition of the danger sticker
makes it look store bought! The end of the laser pen protudes out
the top, to allow easy access to the battery chamber. (acutally,
my boring bar is only 2" deep)
The collimator being used to align the mirrors. Much easier than
centering my eyeball over the mirrors, as all I have to do now is
the mirros to shoot the laser beam back up the small hole in the
tube. The picture on the right shows the red laser beam centered
on the 45 degree surface, as seen from the bottom of the scope, where
collimation knobs are!
Total cost: $10 for the laser pen, about $3 in aluminum round bar,
$2 in set screws + a few hours of machining. A lot less than
collimators, if you don't count my labour.
July 24th, 2002 presentation to the
Toronto Centre of the RASC about
DIY collimators - Adobe Acrobat .pdf format
Collimator Presentation - 240K
Drawings of DIY collimator .jpg picture format
Aluminum Collimator - 109K
Wood Collimator - 105K
Created: April 30, 2000
Updated: July 20rd, 2008