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Equipment Discussions >> Refractors

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Smack
super member


Reged: 07/24/09

Re: Takahashi focusers new [Re: Mike Clemens]
      #5603568 - 01/03/13 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


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CounterWeight
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Reged: 10/05/08

Loc: Palo alto, CA.
Re: Takahashi focusers new [Re: Smack]
      #5604199 - 01/04/13 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.


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etsleds
sage
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Reged: 11/14/09

Re: Takahashi focusers new [Re: johnnyha]
      #5606034 - 01/05/13 05:11 AM

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

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Pete-LH
sage
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Reged: 03/25/09

Loc: Wilmington, DE
Re: Takahashi focusers new [Re: CounterWeight]
      #5606087 - 01/05/13 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.


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johnnyha
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Reged: 11/12/06

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Re: Takahashi focusers new [Re: etsleds]
      #5606579 - 01/05/13 01:02 PM

Quote:

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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tomcody
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 07/06/08

Loc: Titusville, Florida
Re: Takahashi focusers new [Re: Pete-LH]
      #5610630 - 01/07/13 05:51 PM

Quote:

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.



Pete,
Are you using this method to adjust your focuser:
1. loosen the pinion pressure on the rack
2. loosen the glue on the three small allen screws located along the top of the focuser with acetone ( I use a drop of nail polish remover on a toothpick)
3. tighten those three screws , center first, then front then back until the focuser tube feels right
4. adjust the tension on the pinion
Done
Note this works best if the focuser tube has been removed, old grease cleaned and a very thin coat of new grease applied.
Rex
P.S. Anyone know what grease Takahashi uses?


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tomcody
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Reged: 07/06/08

Loc: Titusville, Florida
Re: Takahashi focusers new [Re: Denimsky]
      #5610717 - 01/07/13 06:52 PM

I beleive that Tak focusers reqiure fairly frequent adjustments to stay tight and precise. They are designed to be adjustable and this is a plus for them.
The OP mentioned CAA adustments and from my experiance those are mostly due to the grease in them either drying out and getting stiff or spreading and leaving play in the CAA.
The one issue that I see with the design Takahashi uses is that the focuser housing is thick cast material and the focuser tube is thin, probably extruded material and the mass and density differences between the two allow changes in temperature to affect clearances.
Rex


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tomcody
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Reged: 07/06/08

Loc: Titusville, Florida
Re: Takahashi focusers new [Re: tomcody]
      #5720374 - 03/08/13 11:56 AM Attachment (56 downloads)

For anyone interested, Starlight has just come up with a one piece adapter for the TSA102/FS102 and the FT3035 focuser. And there may be more new adapters coming (at Neaf? ) .
I just got my 3035 and adapter for the FS012 and will post soon as to comparative lengths and weights of the two. For a quick synopsis, the FT is al lot shorter given that it has a rotator built in (don't need the Tak CAA) and the FT 2" nosepiece adapter is about 15mm shorter than the Tak version. All this matters on the FS102 if you bino, not so much on the TSA102 as it has 30mm more in-focus than the FS. More to come.
Rex


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Gardner
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Reged: 01/19/04

Loc: New Hampshire
Re: Takahashi focusers new [Re: tomcody]
      #5721078 - 03/08/13 07:29 PM

My FSQ-106N had a small amount of shift to it, it tended to rotate about 1-2 millimeters with a change of direction. The Tak fine focus accessory helped a little, I could focus slowly with the fine knob and not see any shift.

I admit I was a bit disappointed in the focuser given that the optics were so darn good.

Going to the F-T might cost a bundle, but the Tak-specific spacers and adapters don't come cheap either.


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andysea
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Reged: 09/03/10

Loc: Seattle, WA
Re: Takahashi focusers new [Re: Gardner]
      #5721120 - 03/08/13 08:17 PM

I have the TOA130NS with the 2.7" focuser 2010 S/N. I'm definitely not happy with the stock focuser. I can adjust it and remove the slop but it will be very tight to turn. If I make it smooth then I have slop and image shift.
I also have the FSQ105EDX III and its 4" focuser is way better. Very solid, no slop and very smooth to adjust with no image shift.
I think eventually I will have to replace the TOA's focuser with either a Moonlite or a feathertouch. I am leaning towards the Moonlite because they have a focuser with the takahashi thread size drawtube so that I will be able to use all my accessories.


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tomcody
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Reged: 07/06/08

Loc: Titusville, Florida
Re: Takahashi focusers new [Re: andysea]
      #5721181 - 03/08/13 08:51 PM

The FT3035 has a 72mm end cap available so you can use Tak adapters.

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tomcody
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 07/06/08

Loc: Titusville, Florida
Re: Takahashi focusers new [Re: tomcody]
      #5722000 - 03/09/13 10:46 AM

As an addendum to my post above, here is a more complete description of adjusting the Tak 2.7" focuser:

To adjust it properly, you must first remove the cover from the rack and pinion. by unscrewing the small flat chrome screw on the bottom of the focuser (use a bent paper clip in the shape of a U or a pair of sharp tipped tweezers as a spanner wrench to loosen that chrome screw. Then remove the cover over the rack gears and LOOSEN the two screws that tighten the tension clearance on the gears ( you will need a small #3 Phillips head screw driver, get the clearance loose and sloppy, but still able to turn the focuser knobs and move the focuser in and out.

(WHY? The three screws along the top of the focuser adjust the play in the focuser tube by pressing the tube against the bottom of the focuser housing, if you do not loosen the pinion gear shaft, you are just pressing the focuser tube against the pinion gear, not the bottom of the focuser housing).

NOW adjust the three small allen hex screws along the top of the focuser (use a tiny drop of acetone to loosen the glue holding them) they take a 1.5mm allen wrench. Adjust the three screws while turning the focuser knob in and out until all slop in the focuser tube is removed and the tube still slides in and out without binding. (Start with the middle screw, then the front screw, then back screw).
Now go back and tighten the two phillips screws on the rack until you do not feel any slop when reversing direction of the focuser knob AND the rack moves smoothly without binding, (DO not over tighten this adjustment as it will cause rough movement and binding of the gears, also slop will only be felt as looseness or back lash in the gears and not hurt the scope movement, so a little loose is beter than too tight).
Replace the cover and screw and you are done.

EDIT: A few more points, the glue used to secure the three screws along the top of the focuser will re-dry in about an hour (if you don't use too much acetone to loosen them, if the stay loose? just use a drop of clear nail polish to re-secure them.
Let me know how this works for you?
Rex

Edited by tomcody (03/09/13 06:07 PM)


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andysea
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 09/03/10

Loc: Seattle, WA
Re: Takahashi focusers new [Re: tomcody]
      #5722511 - 03/09/13 03:44 PM

Thanks for the very complete explanation! I am going to try it this afternoon.
I will also look into the Feathertouch. If it comes with the Tak adapter that might be the way to go.

Andy


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andysea
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Reged: 09/03/10

Loc: Seattle, WA
Re: Takahashi focusers new [Re: tomcody]
      #5737488 - 03/16/13 10:23 PM

Rex,
I followed your procedure and adjusted the focuser. It's a lot better now! I am waiting for a focusing motor. Once I get it installed I will be able to test it and see if the focuser is adequate for imaging. I actually don't detect any slop and it's smooth to turn. There is no play in the rack and pinion. Since I had it taken apart I also regreased it:)

Andy


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timps
sage


Reged: 02/24/13

Re: Takahashi focusers new [Re: tomcody]
      #5738034 - 03/17/13 05:22 AM

A handy thing to know but one shouldn't have to go to these lengths after paying $6K - $7K on a premium instrument. It should be faultless. After all, Takahashi claim their instruments are quality.

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chboss
professor emeritus


Reged: 03/24/08

Loc: Zurich Switzerland
Re: Takahashi focusers new [Re: timps]
      #5738245 - 03/17/13 09:22 AM

There will always be some tolerances.... even with high quality manufacturers some QC mishaps will happen or the focuser may develop some play when in constant use. As long as the focuser is adjustable to fix the problem I see no real issue.

Show me a car that is faultless after a few years of use and they tend to cost you a lot of money....

best regards
Chris


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Stellarfire
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 07/10/11

Loc: Switzerland
Re: Takahashi focusers new [Re: chboss]
      #5738499 - 03/17/13 12:20 PM

Quote:

There will always be some tolerances.... even with high quality manufacturers some QC mishaps will happen or the focuser may develop some play when in constant use. As long as the focuser is adjustable to fix the problem I see no real issue.

best regards
Chris





Fully agreed.

But Takahashi should improve the tech manual situation. A lot of international Tak customers out there would be grateful to see written detailed step-by-step instructions in English language.

Stephan


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tomcody
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Reged: 07/06/08

Loc: Titusville, Florida
Re: Takahashi focusers new [Re: Stellarfire]
      #5738612 - 03/17/13 01:24 PM

Quote:

Quote:

There will always be some tolerances.... even with high quality manufacturers some QC mishaps will happen or the focuser may develop some play when in constant use. As long as the focuser is adjustable to fix the problem I see no real issue.

best regards
Chris





Fully agreed.

But Takahashi should improve the tech manual situation. A lot of international Tak customers out there would be grateful to see written detailed step-by-step instructions in English language.

Stephan



While I agree that better manuals would be nice, they may be at odds with keeping the importers/repairs stations in business, I am sure that adjustments and collimations generate a lot of the business for the repair stations and without that, I doubt that warrantee work alone would keep them open.
Rex


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andysea
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Reged: 09/03/10

Loc: Seattle, WA
Re: Takahashi focusers new [Re: timps]
      #5739377 - 03/17/13 06:45 PM

Quote:

A handy thing to know but one shouldn't have to go to these lengths after paying $6K - $7K on a premium instrument. It should be faultless. After all, Takahashi claim their instruments are quality.




I tend to agree with this statement. Plus the focuser is not the same quality as my Moonlite. It does not use bearings like my Moonlite and it's not as smooth. I suspect that there will always be a small amount of flex. Perhaps not detectable by wiggling the drawtube but most likely detectable by a CCD.
I am going to use it for a while as is and then decide whether or not to upgrade. I have to add that my TOA is a 2010 model, was upgraded to current production by TNR but I doubt that they also adjusted the focuser. Perhaps it went a little off with use. Even tho it's only been used a handful of times.


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chboss
professor emeritus


Reged: 03/24/08

Loc: Zurich Switzerland
Re: Takahashi focusers new [Re: Stellarfire]
      #5740081 - 03/18/13 04:32 AM

Quote:

But Takahashi should improve the tech manual situation. A lot of international Tak customers out there would be grateful to see written detailed step-by-step instructions in English language.




You have a valid point regarding the documentation. It is a general weakness of Japanese companies since they mostly focus on their local market. Sometimes they just do not have english speaking staff to translate the manuals..... the result is sub par documentation unless one of the international distributors takes things in its own hands.
This is unfortunately not an isolated issue for telescopes but a general thing I observe....

best regards
Chris


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