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Celestron Electronic Focus Motor For SCT and EdgeHD

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#351 Renae Gage

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Posted 31 May 2019 - 01:21 AM

So let me get this straight.   I use the hand controller, not WiFi.  So...
 
Using the hand controller I initiate a GoTo and center/frame the object. Now it’s back to the menus to find the focusing menu and focus.  I decide to observe another object. Back to the menus to get to the database to find the object.  Once found it turns out that I need higher magnification so, pop in another eyepiece and, you guessed it, back to the menus to find the focus menu and focus.  
 
On on and on this goes all night.  
 
Pass


For your purposes, good choice. I really can't see the point of motorized focus for purely visual use, and that's coming from a pair of eyes in their sixth decade. I never had any trouble whatsoever getting my C8/C11 to "good enough" sharpness with the stock focuser at non-stupid magnification. It's only when you kick it up to f/30 and cram your image onto a tiny chip that focal imperfections show up.
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#352 Rac19

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Posted 31 May 2019 - 03:26 AM

So let me get this straight.   I use the hand controller, not WiFi.  So...

 

Using the hand controller I initiate a GoTo and center/frame the object. Now it’s back to the menus to find the focusing menu and focus.  I decide to observe another object. Back to the menus to get to the database to find the object.  Once found it turns out that I need higher magnification so, pop in another eyepiece and, you guessed it, back to the menus to find the focus menu and focus.  

 

On on and on this goes all night.  

 

Pass

I have to agree, that if you constantly need to switch between GoTo and focusing it’s going to be fiddly, probably unacceptably so.

 

I haven’t checked whether or not the manual slew slew buttons are available while focusing. They could be as the menu up/down buttons are used to focus and maybe the slew buttons are available at the same time.



#353 carlm01

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Posted 31 May 2019 - 03:41 AM

They need to come out with a seperate paddle to run this ... I find it to be a real pain....


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#354 Rac19

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Posted 31 May 2019 - 04:16 AM

They need to come out with a seperate paddle to run this ... I find it to be a real pain....

 

I would like to see a simple HC that just does manual slewing and focusing. It would be useful for ‘scope-side control when you are operating via remote control, using CPWI for example.


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#355 Michael_Swanson

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Posted 31 May 2019 - 07:03 AM

I would like to see a simple HC that just does manual slewing and focusing. It would be useful for ‘scope-side control when you are operating via remote control, using CPWI for example.

Sounds like a Raspberry Pi or Arduino project to me.  The device would connect to an AUX port and just need the capability to send a few AUX bus commands to get the job done.

 

Best regards,
Mike Swanson
Author of "The NexStar User's Guide II"
Author of "The NexStar User's Guide"
Author of "NexStar Observer List"
https://www.NexStarSite.com



#356 mclewis1

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Posted 31 May 2019 - 08:41 AM

If you guys think it's always easier picking up and putting down one of two "hand controllers" when moving between object selections and focusing you're kidding yourselves. Yes it's faster to focus when you have a hand controller with only two buttons. and having the focusing as part of NexStar hand controller menu does take some getting used to but after a while it becomes easier as you can guess which way in the menu will get you to the focuser selection faster. Plus a little planning on what you are observing will prevent you from swapping eyepieces too often.

 

Swapping between two hand controllers always seems to leave me worrying about dropping the NexStar one because of the coiled cable pulling on it ... and I have a few mounting options (on my lap, HC bracket, inside "rat cage", or just hanging if I keep the coiled cable short). My two button focuser controller (JMI) is mounted on the rear cell of my C11 and so stays in one place.



#357 Dave Bush

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Posted 31 May 2019 - 09:34 AM

If you guys think it's always easier picking up and putting down one of two "hand controllers" when moving between object selections and focusing you're kidding yourselves. 

 

My two button focuser controller (JMI) is mounted on the rear cell of my C11 and so stays in one place.

You just answered your own objection.  

 

I've used both controllers with no problems.  It's MUCH preferable for me.



#358 Rac19

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Posted 31 May 2019 - 02:48 PM

I would like to see a simple HC that just does manual slewing and focusing. It would be useful for ‘scope-side control when you are operating via remote control, using CPWI for example.

To expand further on this thought. It would also need to have separate speed up/down buttons and numeric displays for slew and focus speed indication and a numeric display for focus position. Wireless would be nice too. I am dreaming of course. It would probably be expensive.

 

ThIs is requirement is in the context of using CPWI as the primary means of remote control and GoTo operations and requiring a convenient means of scope-side control for manual slewing and focusing. I have suggested (in Team Celestron) that CPWI could support game controllers, similar to the way that NextRemote supports slewing and ASCOMPad supports slewing and focusing.



#359 tjay

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Posted 02 June 2019 - 12:05 AM

Hi Tom,
 
According to Celestron, no:
https://www.nexstars...nFocusMotor.htm
https://www.celestro...-sct-and-edgehd
 
though there has been speculation here that it might be possible to modify things to make it work.
 
Best regards,
Mike Swanson
Author of "The NexStar Users Guide II"
Author of "The NexStar Users Guide"
Author of "NexStar Observer List"
https://www.nexstarsite.com


Thanks Mike. Too bad.

#360 Ski-Patroller

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Posted 05 June 2019 - 12:38 AM

Am I correct that you can't use an iPhone with SkySafari to run the Focus Motor.   If you have the hand control connected and set to focus in the menu, can you still use SkySafari to run the mount?    I recall some comments that if you used the HC in conjunction with SkySafari, using anything but the directional keys would lock things up.  This is on an Evo 8 mount.

 

Do I understand correctly that the reason for calibrating the Focus Motor is only to establish the end positions?  If that is the case it must have an absolute encoder.   

 

I presume there is no way to program in focus points for specific eyepieces. 


Edited by Ski-Patroller, 05 June 2019 - 12:39 AM.


#361 Rac19

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Posted 05 June 2019 - 02:58 AM

Am I correct that you can't use an iPhone with SkySafari to run the Focus Motor.   If you have the hand control connected and set to focus in the menu, can you still use SkySafari to run the mount?    I recall some comments that if you used the HC in conjunction with SkySafari, using anything but the directional keys would lock things up.  This is on an Evo 8 mount.

 

Do I understand correctly that the reason for calibrating the Focus Motor is only to establish the end positions?  If that is the case it must have an absolute encoder.   

 

I presume there is no way to program in focus points for specific eyepieces. 

I haven’t used SkySafari for a long time but, as I recall, you could use the HC slew buttons for scope-side manual slewing after aligning with SkySafari, as long as no other buttons were used. I would expect that focus control should also work (using the menu up/down buttons). The question would be whether or not you can navigate to focus control menu without negating SkySafari’s synchronisation. I would hope so, but I don’t know for sure.



#362 Farzad_K

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Posted 05 June 2019 - 04:56 PM

Hi all! 

 

Just wanted to jump in to say I've been beta testing this focuser for about 6 months now and it works great smile.gif I'm using the ASCOM driver with sequence generator pro on the 11" Celestron RASA which is known for it's very precise and small focus range which is difficult at best with manual focussing. The individual steps are so small that even setting the fine focus to a range of 3-5 works great for a tight focus. 

 

Ironically I can't order another yet because I'll be getting at least 2 more for the other OTAs I have smile.gif

 

Dylan. 

 

PS .. here are 2 images I've taken with this focuser recently .. (feel free to zoom right in and see it warts and all) 

 

https://www.reddit.c...la_running_man/
https://www.reddit.c...r_skull_nebula/

Hi Jeff. By any chance can you please share your SGP auto focus settings? I am not able to get autofocus to produce good results in SGP with my C8 edge hd. And how do you deal with the backlash?

 

thanks.

 

Farzad



#363 jtrezzo

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Posted 05 June 2019 - 06:38 PM

I just got the Celestron Focus Motor installed on my RASA 11 this week and have now had the chance to use it on a few nights. It works great!

 

I replaced the Feathertouch MicroTouch and Rigel nStep stepper+bracket, which I was having major issues with. It kept missing focus no matter how many different step settings I tried. (I think it was an issue with the focuser sticking more than the Rigel, something may have happened in transit during it's recent trip back from Torrance). In any case, my problem instantly went away with the new motor.

 

In SGP, I used step size of 100 (9 points) with a backlash compensation IN of 200 steps. I also told it to reverse focuser direction so that it was finishing inwards against the mirror (CCW). Hopefully this will help a few people get started with settings in SGP though I have no idea if the RASA settings would be close to an Edge.

 

It was easy to install even having to put on the RASA 11 retrofit kit. The only downside I can see for imaging is that it doesn't have a temperature sensor in it so you either need another solution or to just focus at a set time interval. It would have been a really nice touch if Celestron had added this. However, I used it as an excuse to order an Astromi.ch Mbox which tracks temp, humidity, and pressure and interfaces with SGP through ASCOM. 

I am very pleased with this purchase. A couple images of the focus curve result which has excellent repeat-ability and nails it every time, and the motor installed: 
 

focus motor rasa.jpg

 

focus curve rasa.jpg

[cross posting this in the imaging forum]


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#364 Farzad_K

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Posted 05 June 2019 - 06:50 PM

Thanks a lot for sharing this. I am not sure if I have seen a backlash setting on SGP for this motor but will definitely look for it. Do you have screenshots for SGP settings?



#365 jtrezzo

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Posted 05 June 2019 - 07:39 PM

Thanks a lot for sharing this. I am not sure if I have seen a backlash setting on SGP for this motor but will definitely look for it. Do you have screenshots for SGP settings?

I don't have my astro PC near me but you need to go into Control Panel, Focus Tab, then click Other button. 

eaf1c62e33df1d9e0a112e2b291d98d6e9f00a78



 



#366 Phguy65

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Posted 06 June 2019 - 05:27 AM

Thanks Rac19! The discovery that the focuser can be used as a USB bridge is the bomb! I use an Eagle3 control unit and it seemed so senseless to have HC be the bridge. The focuser as the bridge works great! One less item on the rig to fiddle with.

#367 Rac19

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Posted 06 June 2019 - 06:43 AM

Thanks Rac19! The discovery that the focuser can be used as a USB bridge is the bomb! I use an Eagle3 control unit and it seemed so senseless to have HC be the bridge. The focuser as the bridge works great! One less item on the rig to fiddle with.

I agree, I have never liked using the HC as USB bridge. I find that the scope connects instantly (from CPWI), the Focuser very soon after and the SS camera not long after that.

 

I have seen issues if both the the Aux port and USB are connected on power up. I think that there may be a “race condition” between the two to decide which is in control. I leave the USB disconnected for start up and connect it later.

 

Tonight I have connected FireCapture to the CPWI ASCOM interface and the auto tracking in working, although not so well when the clouds get in the wayconfused1.gif.

 

I still have the HC plugged in by the way, for scope-side manual slewing and focussing. I use the NexStar+ HC, it boots up faster and is seems less likely to fault on power up than the SS HC.


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#368 crn3371

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Posted 06 June 2019 - 12:18 PM

Can anyone with an Evo mount, or SkyPortal WiFi dongle, verify if you can slew and focus with the HC while using Skysafari and StarSense for alignment?

#369 Michael_Swanson

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Posted 06 June 2019 - 05:05 PM

Can anyone with an Evo mount, or SkyPortal WiFi dongle, verify if you can slew and focus with the HC while using Skysafari and StarSense for alignment?

Yes you can.  Just stay away from the ALIGN button and some of the MENU items will cause problems as well.

 

Best regards,
Mike Swanson
Author of "The NexStar User's Guide II"
Author of "The NexStar User's Guide"
Author of "NexStar Observer List"
https://www.NexStarSite.com



#370 Rac19

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Posted 06 June 2019 - 05:41 PM

Yes you can.  Just stay away from the ALIGN button and some of the MENU items will cause problems as well.

 

Best regards,
Mike Swanson
Author of "The NexStar User's Guide II"
Author of "The NexStar User's Guide"
Author of "NexStar Observer List"
https://www.NexStarSite.com

It has always been possible to use the HC manual slew buttons while aligned with SkyPortal, with a caution to avoid pressing “other buttons”.

 

You do have to use the menu to navigate to the focus controls on the HC and more buttons still to change slew speed and Focuser speed.

 

The question is whether or not any of that would “cancel” the SkySafari SS alignment. I suspect that it will work, although possibly with a slightly increased risk of pressing a wrong button (e.g, Align). I do it regularly with CPWI so I don’t see why it wouldn’t be the same with SkySafari. By the way, I use the NexStar+ HC rather than the SS HC, is powers up faster and is less likely to fail on power up.



#371 roelb

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Posted 09 June 2019 - 07:23 PM

It has always been possible to use the HC manual slew buttons while aligned with SkyPortal, with a caution to avoid pressing “other buttons”.

 

You do have to use the menu to navigate to the focus controls on the HC and more buttons still to change slew speed and Focuser speed.

 

The question is whether or not any of that would “cancel” the SkySafari SS alignment. I suspect that it will work, although possibly with a slightly increased risk of pressing a wrong button (e.g, Align). I do it regularly with CPWI so I don’t see why it wouldn’t be the same with SkySafari. By the way, I use the NexStar+ HC rather than the SS HC, is powers up faster and is less likely to fail on power up.

Sorry I'm confused: are you switching the SS-HC with the Nexstar+ after doing the SS alignment?



#372 crn3371

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Posted 09 June 2019 - 07:35 PM

Regarding the hand controllers, if you’re doing the StarSense alignment and GoTo via WiFi, is there any need for the StarSense HC?

#373 Gymbow

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Posted 09 June 2019 - 09:13 PM

“Currently, the focus motor is not compatible with the 9.25” EdgeHD when the optional 0.7x Focal Reducer is installed.”

 

It says it right on the website...  (I saw it ther a couple days ago, not sure how long it was up there before.)

 

https://www.celestro...sct-and-edgehd 

Figures!!  Someone at Celestron must hate 9.25 EdgeHD owners.  I guess in another 10 years, they’ll release a version compatible with the 9.25 EdgeHD, just like with their 0.7 Reducer.  



#374 Ptarmigan

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Posted 21 June 2019 - 11:22 AM

When it comes to calibrating the Celestron Electronic Focuser 94155, which is inward or outward focus, the one with the infinity symbol on the focuser?

 

https://celestron-si...M_English_F.pdf


Edited by Ptarmigan, 21 June 2019 - 11:23 AM.


#375 roelb

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Posted 21 June 2019 - 11:59 AM

When it comes to calibrating the Celestron Electronic Focuser 94155, which is inward or outward focus, the one with the infinity symbol on the focuser?

 

https://celestron-si...M_English_F.pdf

The positive direction, which is counter-clockwise, will move the mirror towards the Schmidt Corrector (position number will increase).

This is also called "inward travel" or "focus in-travel" or "focus to infinity".

MOVE OUT on the HC


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