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Takahashi focusers

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#1 Denimsky

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 01:12 PM

I really hope Takahashi uses Feather Touch focusers or develops a new focusing system.

Their foucusers just aren't same league as their optics.
I had FS-102 and now I have TSA-102. Both focusers have noticeable image shifts. It is OK for visual but it isn't just ideal for imaging. Hack even for visual users should not suffer from the image shifts especially with these high end scopes.

I just read too many focser and CAA problems about TAK. Why does users have to tweak the fouser and CAA out of the box while paying that much money?
Also just see how many people (I included) use a Feather Touch micro focuser on their TAK focusers after paying so much money on their scopes.

At least I wish Takahashi gives us an option to buy their scopes without focusers so that I can save some money and use Feather Touch or Moonlite instead.

I love their scopes (I own three TAKs) but not the focuser.

#2 Mike Clemens

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 01:23 PM

My 2005? FS128 NSV focuser left a lot to be desired. It had field rotation during focusing. That's how I ended up with this: http://www.pbase.com...846091/original
Fortunately, the NSV had tremendous in-focus so this worked well.

#3 Denimsky

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 01:37 PM

My 2005? FS128 NSV focuser left a lot to be desired. It had field rotation during focusing. That's how I ended up with this: http://www.pbase.com...846091/original
Fortunately, the NSV had tremendous in-focus so this worked well.


Yes. Why do we have to do these? It is so frustrating.
I don't have much experience Asian focusers (like StellarVue, WO or Synta EON or Esprit ones) but I'm not even confident anymore that TAK 2.7" focusers are better than them. At least I don't see any image shifts from them.

I'm wondering TAK 4" is better but I also read the focuser flexure problem from another FSQ-106ED thread going on right now.

I think it is time to put some pressure on Takahashi (I don't think it will work though).

#4 Astrojensen

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 02:03 PM

I had a chance to try some Tak scopes at ATT 2012 in Essen, Germany. The focuser on the 4" TSA-102 seemed to be superb, but the 4" focuser on the TOA 150 was, erm, not very impressive at all... The focuser on the FS-60 was also superb, but had very short travel. The focuser on the Sky-Watcher Esprit 150mm f/7 triplet was superb. I was also most impressed with the Astro-Physics rack and pinion focusers I tried.


Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark

#5 Aquarist

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 02:37 PM

I have a TOA 150 coming for which I have already ordered the Feather Touch replacement. Just the cost of doing business I guess, but what a PIA.

#6 M44

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 04:25 PM

I do agree with 'OP'. When comparing 2.7" focusers of AP and Tak scopes, There is too much gap in the capabilities.

Instead of improving Taks by going for CAA and FT pinion assembly, I would rather purchase a 3" FT focuser to have meaningful improvement.

#7 RAKing

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 07:19 PM

I really hope Takahashi uses Feather Touch focusers or develops a new focusing system.

Their foucusers just aren't same league as their optics.
I had FS-102 and now I have TSA-102. Both focusers have noticeable image shifts. It is OK for visual but it isn't just ideal for imaging. Hack even for visual users should not suffer from the image shifts especially with these high end scopes.

I just read too many focser and CAA problems about TAK. Why does users have to tweak the fouser and CAA out of the box while paying that much money?
Also just see how many people (I included) use a Feather Touch micro focuser on their TAK focusers after paying so much money on their scopes.

At least I wish Takahashi gives us an option to buy their scopes without focusers so that I can save some money and use Feather Touch or Moonlite instead.

I love their scopes (I own three TAKs) but not the focuser.


Yup - been there done that. :p

I also love Tak optics, but not their focusers. I talked to the guys at TNR and they said I could send the scope back to them for shimming, but I felt like I was using an SCT and sent my money to Starlight for a new FT3545. When I sold the scope, I kept the FeatherTouch and used it on my new scope.

Cheers,

Ron

#8 Pete-LH

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 08:07 PM

Donghun,
I am almost glad to read this with a misery loves company slant to it.
I have an FS-102. I had read other reviews that describe it as buttery smooth and that is true if you relieve the tension. But at that tension it will not hold a 2" lens like the 35mm Panoptic. I have almost reached a compromised tension but in cold temperatures there is enough dimensional change that it will slip. I tried the FT 2 speed but FT does not supply a pinion and uses the Tak pinon which is a very soft metal and is not usually true. So this causes and uneven movement. I finally went back to the original focuser and use it with tension that will hold a 2" lens but it is not buttery smooth.
I am contemplating buyiing the complete feather touch unit because I love the optics.
NOTE: I think the tight tension is what causes the image shift.

ALSO NOTE: I do not have enough in focus on my FS-102 to handle the two focuser solution shown above.

#9 Svezda

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 08:52 PM

I have a 1995 FS-102 and the focuser looks and feels great...if you don't have an eyepiece heavier than, say, a 16NT5 + a diagonal in there...otherwise it slips down when the scope is aimed over, say, 35-45 degrees up (unless you tighten it up so much that you can't easily focus). These focusers look really high quality but the fact is that they will slip with heavier eyepieces with a diagonal. I wish we could get a special 'Tak look-alike' FeatherTouch model to replace them since I like the Tak looks and I don't think the FT is a good match aesthetically with Tak scopes.

#10 johnnyha

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 09:16 PM

When I switched out my Tak focuser for an FT3545, I got lucky because Starlight Instruments had a special "shorty" adapter sitting around that they had made for a TOA130. It turns out the adapter was so short that the drawtube had to be sawed off an inch to prevent it hitting the last baffle of the TOA! After measuting the inside of my FS152 I realized the last baffle was inset at least 6" so I would have no problems. I have installed the FT3545 on my FS152 with this shorty adapter and could not be happier. Even with a standard "non-bino" tube I am able to reach focus with my MKV binos at 1X with 1/2" to spare... and with the long 4.5" drawtube I am also able to reach focus at 2.6X without adding an extension.

The focuser mechanically is perfect, a HUGE improvement over the stock Tak 4" focuse especially due to the ability to rotate the entire thing. It also has a beautiful finderscope holder that I have installed my Tak 7x50 finder into, and the finder rotates with the focuser. No image shift, no slop, this is one precision instrument. All for the same price of a 21mm Ethos.

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#11 johnnyha

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 09:21 PM

Closer view...

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#12 Pete-LH

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 04:37 AM

Has anyone tried or know of someone who tried upgrading an FS-102 with a Baader SteelTrack Focuser?

#13 johne

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 06:55 AM

... but the 4" focuser on the TOA 150 was, erm, not very impressive at all...


Agreed. Not good at all. I replaced mine with a Feathertouch 3.5" dual-speed FTF3545B-A and the MicroTouch focusing kit. The conversion process, once I got the stock Tak focuser off (What a bear that was!), took only a few minutes. Yes, it was an expensive option to change it out, but what a difference the change made.

#14 Aquarist

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 07:22 AM

... but the 4" focuser on the TOA 150 was, erm, not very impressive at all...


Agreed. Not good at all. I replaced mine with a Feathertouch 3.5" dual-speed FTF3545B-A and the MicroTouch focusing kit. The conversion process, once I got the stock Tak focuser off (What a bear that was!), took only a few minutes. Yes, it was an expensive option to change it out, but what a difference the change made.


Why was getting the stock Tak focuser off such a bear? Any tips about making that easier?

#15 johne

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 08:34 AM

Why was getting the stock Tak focuser off such a bear? Any tips about making that easier?


According to Fred at Texas Nautical Instruments (TNR), it should not have been difficult. However, I bought my TOA150 used and who know what was done to it.

Fred suggested that I use a small-ish propane torch (like the small flame, refilable, hobby type torches) to warm the part of the focuser that screws onto the OTA. It worked like a charm and I don't see any permanent discoloration on the old focuser as a result of the warming.

#16 Aquarist

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 09:47 AM

Why was getting the stock Tak focuser off such a bear? Any tips about making that easier?


According to Fred at Texas Nautical Instruments (TNR), it should not have been difficult. However, I bought my TOA150 used and who know what was done to it.

Fred suggested that I use a small-ish propane torch (like the small flame, refilable, hobby type torches) to warm the part of the focuser that screws onto the OTA. It worked like a charm and I don't see any permanent discoloration on the old focuser as a result of the warming.


thanks much! Never heard of that problem, but I like the solution.

#17 johnnyha

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 11:39 AM

I got my stock focuser off my FS152 with a leather belt. :grin:

#18 payner

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 01:02 PM

I have a new TSA-120 and had it out for first light last night. I used a 21 mm ethos and was very pleased with the Tak focused; it has the 7:1 micro-focuser. I have a FT on my FS-152 and honestly the two are comparable in my estimation.

Best
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#19 ryderc1

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 03:11 PM

I assume you loosened the tiny set screw on the outer flange of the Tak focuser housing before removing the focuser?


... but the 4" focuser on the TOA 150 was, erm, not very impressive at all...


Agreed. Not good at all. I replaced mine with a Feathertouch 3.5" dual-speed FTF3545B-A and the MicroTouch focusing kit. The conversion process, once I got the stock Tak focuser off (What a bear that was!), took only a few minutes. Yes, it was an expensive option to change it out, but what a difference the change made.


Why was getting the stock Tak focuser off such a bear? Any tips about making that easier?



#20 Mike Clemens

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 03:24 PM

That's a dream setup!

#21 Smack

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 07:25 PM

I have a TSA-102 with the Feather Touch pinion retrofit and a CAA. I image with this setup (SBIG ST-8300M with filterwheel, various and sundry extensions and a TS-OAG9 and Orion SSAG on the back end). I've not noticed any sag with this setup.

Regards,

Steve

#22 CounterWeight

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 07:50 AM

i take a wait and see approach. i was plenty happy with the small focuser on my TOA130(s) version, held my ep's and SSPv2 for imaging just fine. There was at same time a larger focuser version for more $$ that I've no experience with. I've now had 3 diiferent FS Tak's and I've been happy with the focusers - 2 had the 10:1 mod but I'm unsure it's really reqired - no imaging but very happy with them for visual. I agree too that it's not just great optics that make a great imaging scope, the focuser is equally critical in all respects.

My TEC has the FT3545 and it's my reference point for a great focuser.

This frequent focuser questions I see... interesting to me and I'm wondering if I am understanding correctly - it's only an issue when not locking the focuser using moto focus setups? Not if the focuser is locked? I've been dreaming of getting an FSQ-106 or 85 - for imaging who doesn't? but i'd like to be clear on if it's an issue ONLY when using motorized focus, and that the user available adjustments aren't sufficient.

Thanks.

#23 etsleds

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 05:11 AM

Boy oh boy she's looking prettier than ever. Hope you're having a great time with great views!

#24 Pete-LH

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 07:35 AM

My issue is just with visual/manual focusing. I can adjust the focus tension with the bottom plate so that it is smooth. But (especially) when I observe in cold weather and I have a heavy lens in like a 35mm 2" Panoptic, the focus tube will slip when observing towards Zenith. I can adjust the tension to overcome this, but then at high magnification the image will shift when fine tuning the focuser.
Probably I have just not found that optimum yet and the issue is with my ineptitude. It's not a big enough problem that I don't enjoy using my FS-102. Just looking for that perfect place.

#25 johnnyha

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 01:02 PM

Boy oh boy she's looking prettier than ever. Hope you're having a great time with great views!

Yes I am Andrew! Happy New Year!






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