Meade Premium Laser Collimator
Eyepieces: 1.25 inch
Supplier: Telescope House
Telephone: 01342 837098
The Meade collimator is nicely machined from a solid chunk of metal, and its one-piece body has a solid feel and high-quality finish.
There is a weighty, screw-on end cap, under which lies the internal laser unit where you can change the batteries (prepare yourself for the surprise effect of a strong spring).
The butch engineering comes at a price though – and this is the weight.
At 254g this is as heavy as a large eyepiece.
It’s also 146mm long, so your focuser will have to withstand a fair load without drooping.
If your focuser can handle large eyepieces or cameras, though, then this shouldn’t present a problem.
Inside the machined aluminium outer casing there is a separate laser unit.
This is suspended and accurately aligned inside the main body with three alignment screws.
Meade has thoughtfully left these screws exposed, so if you did drop the collimator you could correct any misalignment with a tiny Allen key.
The factory setting of this model at 5m was spot on.
Also in the box were some clear instruction sheets and, thoughtfully, a spare set of batteries.
The Meade’s beam is bright (rated at <5mW), but internal reflection/refraction causes the pattern to be broken and is not quite circular.
The switch is operated by turning a small silver screw.
This functions effectively, although it is possible to unscrew it all the way and drop it in the grass if you are careless.
Overall, though, this is a robust and powerful collimator.
This review appeared in the December 2010 issue of Sky at Night Magazine