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SmartAstronomy 10:1 2" Crayford Style Focuser (SCT Style)

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I purchased this item from SmartAstronomy about a year ago. My well used 10” Meade LX 50 was getting a bit difficult to fine focus, so this seemed like a godsend for imaging and viewing. The price was very competitive, enough so that I was a bit concerned.

Upon receipt I was pleasantly surprised. The unit came very well packed, with a shaped foam rubber block that has since been transferred into my accessory box. The unit has an excellent fit and finish with the adapter to the SCT threading on smoothly, with the rotating/pivoting joint to the body moving equally as well, and securing with moderate force applied to its setscrew. The unit comes with an equally well made 1.25” adapter (brass ring style) so my nice new eyepieces will stay nice. The bore of the unit has a nice uniform matte black finish. On the table the coarse and fine focus knobs had nice action, and I took advantage of the warm, well lit room to adjust the slack on the fine focuser to a reasonable “grip”. There are two set screws and a Phillips head screw below the focuser shaft to adjust the clutch. The only problem I had was that no documentation came with the unit, so there was more “fiddling around” than I like to achieve a good “action” on the focuser.

The “first light” gremlins were in an unusually good mood (or perhaps they were pulling the rug out from under the outside temperature instead of messing with clouds this time). My itchy fingers and a clear sky caused me to pack up and head over to a local observing site. As I headed out the temperature was falling past 10 F with sub zeros predicted by midnight. Well I guess I’d see if the focuser would work well with gloves on wouldn’t I?

Equipment set up went well and alignment too, so then we were up to putting the focuser, which threaded on well even with Army issue gloves on. I popped in my Meade 4000 8-24mm, coarse focused on Saturn with the main focuser, and tried out the focuser.

I quickly became enamored with the focuser, as I was able to zoom in with the eyepiece further than I had been able to before and (hater of frostbite that I am) keep my gloves on too! An excellent view of Saturn, the best I had achieved with that scope and eyepiece.

To my surprise the there was no real difference in the feel even as the temperature plummeted, it remained smooth all night. Winter, spring and summer it has been a constant on may telescope, and has enhanced my viewing. Well made and affordable it has the advantage of being usable on multiple SCT’s and has improved my astrophotography. A (relatively) small investment that can be used with almost all (if not all) of your eyepiece accessories and improve their performance. I’d recommend these focusers as a class, and heartily endorse this one in particular. I am very glad I bought it.


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