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Crawmach focuser for Meade AR6

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#1 Looker

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Posted 24 March 2013 - 11:50 AM

Hello all,

Has anyone upgraded an AR6 with a Crawmach focuser? Thinking about this option for my AR6 and wondering about upside/downside. Photos would be much appreciated as well.

Thanks,
Ron

#2 AlienRatDog

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Posted 24 March 2013 - 04:38 PM

Others can chime on on their experiences, most are very positive. Mine, not so much. I tried out a 2inch 2 speed Crawmach focuser about two years ago on my ED100. It came extremely rough and could not handle my 31mm Nagler without slippage (even when tightened all the way). The folks (actually I think it's a one man show) were VERY helpful and nice. I sent it back for repair...it came back more or less the same. I ended up getting a refund. I really wanted to like it (it looked gorgeous) and the folks were super pleasant but it was quite the downgrade from the GSO dual speed Crayford that was on my scope before. Unless the quality has changed over the past two years, I cannot recommend it. That was just my experience. Like I said, others had more positive experiences. I would recommend a Moonlight, Baader Steeltrack, or a GSO Crayford (they are pretty nice). Oh by the way I ended up finding a deal on a 2.5" Moonlight focuser, built like a tank (heavy though, but makes the 31mm Nagler feel like a flea).

#3 AZstar

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Posted 24 March 2013 - 05:26 PM

Ron,
I've been running that set-up for about a year and a half.
The Crawmach is certainly nicer then the original focuser.
I'd rate it as adequate but not exceptional.

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#4 Looker

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 06:04 PM

Thanks for the replies. I received from Danny ay Crawmach and he mentioned that the 2-speed focuser has been improved in the smoothness department. He also offered that a handle could be added as an option.

I think my biggest concern right now is how much the balance of the scope would be affected by the not having a counterweight. Any comments on the lack of a counterweight? Is the Crawmach heavy enoufh to balance the scope pretty well? I want to avoid having the scope sit lowin the saddle and have to endure all the extra motion of the eyepiece when pointing to different areas of the sky.

Thanks,
Ron

#5 Looker

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 06:11 PM

Sorry about the spelling on my last post, didn't get to preview it.

Ron

#6 jgraham

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 07:01 PM

I've got a gorgeous Moonlite 2-speed on my AR-6. No problem without the counterweight.

#7 turtledude1

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 07:52 PM

I went with the 2.5" Moonlight can't beat the quality for the cost. Not a problem with balancing the Moonlight is pretty hefty.

Russ

#8 herrointment

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 09:30 PM

Here's a few photos of a 2" model I've got sitting on a shelf. The action on this unit is good, the 10-1 is very smooth. With the 5 13/16" flange that's on this one it weighs a bit more than a quart of water (no scales around here). Feel free to PM me if you have more questions.

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#9 AZstar

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 11:08 PM

Ron,
The balance works out well.
I typically use a 2" diagonal and the balance point is about the center of the tube with a larger eyepiece.

#10 Ed Holland

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 02:56 PM

My AR5 has a William Optics focuser that I fitted last year. The fine focus speed reduction is not really necessary, but the smooth action and lower overall rate of the "Fast" knob is very nice in comparison to the original focuser. The only thing that was lost in the swap was the long travel of the original drawtube - I had to be careful that I'd get focus (incl 2" diagonal) somewhere nicely in the midrange of the Crayford. Balance shifted slightly, but not to any detriment of the setup on its LXD75 mount.

Edit: I know I'd posted pictures of this, they are here
Ed

#11 Ain Soph Aur

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 05:32 PM

I use the 2" Crawmach dual speed focuser on my 4" f/13 custom Carton and generally like it. I use a rather heavy Baader 2" Clicklock diagonal and the focuser does have lift issues with my heaviest eyepiece, the ES 30mm 82. It handles everything else well so far, including the Baader Q-Turret with 4 Brandons mounted. The focus action is excellent.

The original version of this focuser that I received had one set screw for the compression ring and didn't grip the Baader diagonal well at all, I actually almost lost it a few times. I returned it to Crawmach and Dan added two additional set screws which resolved the issue. Dan advised that all newer models would include the 3 set screws, but I recommend to verify this before ordering.

I am planning on order a few of his 1.25" focusers for some vintage 60mm scopes.

#12 Looker

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 07:29 PM

Hi,

Thanks for all the replies. I did consider Moonlight focusers. A friend has one and they are extremely nice, but a bit expensive for me. I am a visual observer so I was just looking for something better than stock. I like focusers that do not shift and have smooth action. I'm thinking the improved Crawmach will provide for my needs.

Danny and I have E-mailed and he mentioned not hollowing the inside of the backplate as much. This is one way to increase weight for balance. I think I may weigh my current focuser to give him a better idea what it is currently.

Ron

#13 dlpville

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Posted 30 March 2013 - 09:18 PM

My 2c.
I have an AR6, I wanted a better focuser than the stock Meade single speed. I contacted Russ Tanton at Explore Scientific (since retired), and asked about the rear assembly for the ES AR152 (achromat).
Final result? I got the 6" adapter and the two speed Crayford on my AR6 now. It's capable of holding my 17 Ethos as well as my Denk Big Easy with a pair of 25mm Plossls.
Maybe a call to Scott Roberts would be in order for one of these for your scope, for when you don't bring out the ES 152 triplet.

#14 Looker

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Posted 01 April 2013 - 05:52 PM

Hi dlp,

I actually thought about the possibility of obtaining the current ES AR152 focuser but never investigated. Too late for me now I ordered the Crawmach.

Ron

#15 Ain Soph Aur

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Posted 01 April 2013 - 06:30 PM

Ron, did you happen to ask him about the compression ring set screws? If not, I would recommend verifying your focuser will have three before he ships. Dan won't charge any extra, and you cannot go wrong with the extra security.

#16 Looker

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Posted 01 April 2013 - 06:49 PM

I just sent him an E-mail.

Thanks,
Ron






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