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Installation - Feather Touch focuser on my 10" Dob

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#1 Rinaldo

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Posted 25 January 2005 - 07:58 PM

Well, I’ve always been more than pleased with the optics of my 10” reflector. They provide nice sharp images on the planets, very close to the performance of my refractor, along with the deep sky performance of a 10” mirror. My observing through this dob is strictly visual. So, after getting spoiled by the Feather Touch upgrade I did on my Astro-Physics, I decided to do the same for my reflector. Up till now I had been using a JMI NGF-2. After placing my order with Warren, it took about three weeks for the focuser to arrive.

Here it is out of the box. Also packaged with it was a set of mounting screws and instructions.

Attached Thumbnails

  • 322278-03 FthrTch Pinion.jpg


#2 Rinaldo

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Posted 25 January 2005 - 07:59 PM

Here it is from underneath. You can see how the drawtube is baffled. This is the standard black anodized finish, but he is offering blue, gold, and red anodized as well (no not the baffles, the focuser!). I also went with the compression ring, and flat leveling base. The 4 brass circles near the corners are the bottoms of the leveling screws. You can buy a standard flat base for less money. For all of you with curved surfaces, he makes a curved base as well.

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  • 322280-04 FthrTch Baffles.jpg


#3 Rinaldo

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Posted 25 January 2005 - 08:01 PM

So the first step was to remove the old focuser. To remove the JMI, I had to pop off the focuser knobs w/ an allen wrench, which let me get to the allen screws underneath. This took about 5 minutes.

Here are the focusers side-by-side. The Feather Touch is about 20 oz, and the NGF-2 is around 18 oz (pictured w/ an AP 2” to 1-1/4” adapter here). My NGF is an older model, and the weight I just posted was based on their latest NGF-DX2.

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  • 322281-06 JMI FthrTch Comprsn.jpg


#4 Rinaldo

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Posted 25 January 2005 - 08:02 PM

It may be difficult to tell from the previous picture, but the outer diameter of the drawtube is larger on the Feather Touch compared to the NGF. This required enlarging the hole for the drawtube. Thankfully, the footprint for the mounting holes is identical, so no re-drilling was required in my case. My hand dexterity is limited, so I asked a buddy of mine to help me with the installation. The instructions recommend you use a drum sander to enlarge the hole for the drawtube if needed. A drum sander comes in two forms that I know of, one of which is table mounted, and the other is an attachment for a drill. We used neither. Instead, we used an assortment of curved hand files, as you can see here. After measuring and marking off the required enlargement, the sanding phase took about 15 minutes. Be sure to keep measuring as you file by testing to see if it fits. We want the tube to be completely free of any friction as it passes through the hole, but a tight enough gap to prevent any unnecessary light wandering in! NOTE: I removed the secondary from the spider before filing to prevent damage to the mirror!!!

Attached Thumbnails

  • 322283-07 Enlarge Hole.jpg


#5 Rinaldo

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Posted 25 January 2005 - 08:03 PM

Once the hole was at its proper size, the base was installed.

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  • 322285-08 AttchBase.jpg


#6 Rinaldo

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Posted 25 January 2005 - 08:04 PM

With the base installed, the focuser is kept in place by seating the unit onto the base, and the two setscrews on the base are tightened with a 1/16th allen wrench. Note the red arrows in the next few pictures.

Attached Thumbnails

  • 322287-08a Attch Focuser.jpg


#7 Rinaldo

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Posted 25 January 2005 - 08:06 PM

Seated...

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  • 322290-09 QuikReleaseBase.jpg


#8 Rinaldo

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Posted 25 January 2005 - 08:07 PM

It’s on!!!!!!!!!!!! :jump:

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  • 322292-13 FthrTch on Scope Closeup.jpg


#9 Rinaldo

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Posted 25 January 2005 - 08:08 PM

If leveling is needed, this can be done with the leveling screws, two of which are pointed out here. The other two are blocked by the focuser knobs. If you need to access those, you need to loosen the set screws on the base and pop the focuser off. You can possibly get away with rotating it as well, but I’m glad I didn’t need to do that.

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  • 322293-10 Base Level Screws.jpg


#10 Rinaldo

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Posted 25 January 2005 - 08:09 PM

Both the 2” barrel and 1-1/4” adapter have brass locking rings, however when you take out the 1-1/4” adapter, you can see the set screw for that ring does not come off with it. Hmmm. How does this work?

Attached Thumbnails

  • 322296-16 ComprsionRingScrew.jpg


#11 Rinaldo

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Posted 25 January 2005 - 08:11 PM

Well, when you place the 1-1/4” adapter back in the drawtube, you simply line up the socket for the compression screw with the compression screw, pictured here.

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  • 322299-17 CompresionRingSocket.jpg


#12 Rinaldo

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Posted 25 January 2005 - 08:12 PM

Awww man, that’s too complicated to do in the dark! Isn’t it? Not really, cause along the opposite front edge of the 2” barrel there is a divet for a screw that is on the face of the 1-1/4” adapter – both pictured here. Just slide it in and give a small twist until you feel it seat into its natural position.

Attached Thumbnails

  • 322302-18 Alignment Divet.jpg


#13 Rinaldo

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Posted 25 January 2005 - 08:13 PM

I’m very happy I bought this focuser. It has a precise feel to it, and is very smooth. The knobs aren’t very large, but they have rather deep grooves to help with gripping. When you order it, Warren may ask you at what angle the focuser will sit on your scope. If it is somewhat vertical, he offers a more heavy duty braking mechanism. My focuser sits at about 80º, almost horizontal, so gravity is not much of a factor.

#14 half meter

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Posted 25 January 2005 - 10:17 PM

Nice upgrade, Rinaldo!

I've been thinking about upgrading my NP-101 with a Feathertouch. Any scope that's around f/5 like the NP-101 can use all the fine focus possible to dial in the maximum sharpness.

#15 Bill Grass

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Posted 26 January 2005 - 12:12 AM

Great, Rinaldo! I really enjoyed the pictures. :waytogo:

#16 Scanning4Comets

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Posted 26 January 2005 - 09:08 PM

wow ...this kinda thing is what I look for.....GEAR GEAR GEAR !!!!...I would LOVE to see much more of this kind of stuff. Equipment upgrades and pics with telescopes !!!!...its GREAT to see every bit of info with the pics, as it excites me to no end !!!!!!!!!....I personally think that there should be a special place in this forum with lots of pics showing the progression of things as you go along ...just like this one...EXCELLENT WORK RINALDO.
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MARK
12" GSO DOB

#17 Rinaldo

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Posted 26 January 2005 - 10:34 PM

Glad you all found the pictures useful. 1/2-Meter, you won't regret upgrading your NP101. It performs great on my f/6 refractor, making those fine tweaks easy to do!


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