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Celestron Electronic Focus Motor For SCT and EdgeHD

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#801 rnyboy

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Posted 26 October 2020 - 07:11 AM

Fwiw, I have the Celestron Focuser on my 6SE and with the lowest focuser speed it does a fine manual focus of planets at about f/25.  However, I usually use the edge detection or Fourier Detail Detection focus options in SharpCap for focusing.  I personally like the Fourier Detail Detection on Jupiter best.

 

I also fooled around with various reducer combinations down to f/2.2 (no need to laugh too much) and have had zero problems focusing with the wider FOVs.



#802 mlord

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Posted 31 October 2020 - 10:53 PM

...

Is there any way to use a seperate hand control to focus? 

 

 

I plan to get an Evolution as soon as the dealers can find one for me, and the focus motor is planned for Day-1 as well.  Once I have the scope and motor, my personal plan is to interface a homebrew set of switches with an Arduino plugged into an AUX port to provide independent means of controlling focus.

 

But that won't happen until I get the scope.



#803 chazr

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Posted 05 November 2020 - 07:09 PM

I plan to get an Evolution as soon as the dealers can find one for me, and the focus motor is planned for Day-1 as well.  Once I have the scope and motor, my personal plan is to interface a homebrew set of switches with an Arduino plugged into an AUX port to provide independent means of controlling focus.

 

But that won't happen until I get the scope.

I'd love to hear how this pans out.  It's something I'd like to set up.  Do you have any instructions on how to do it at this time?



#804 KTAZ

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Posted 05 November 2020 - 07:52 PM

I plan to get an Evolution as soon as the dealers can find one for me, and the focus motor is planned for Day-1 as well.  Once I have the scope and motor, my personal plan is to interface a homebrew set of switches with an Arduino plugged into an AUX port to provide independent means of controlling focus.

 

But that won't happen until I get the scope.

You can also use a simple gamepad controller.



#805 Terrybythe sea

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Posted 06 November 2020 - 08:37 AM

You can also use a simple gamepad controller.

 

How does that work?



#806 KTAZ

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Posted 06 November 2020 - 09:11 AM

I bought a usb wired Logitech F310 ($17 at WMart). EQMOD includes gamepad control where you can configure the keys to handle all your slewing commands which allows you to eliminate your HC. Furthermore, EQMOD has an app called ASCOMPAD that allows you to setup additional buttons from your gamepad to run your focuser. This controller plugs into my USB hub mounted on my OTA rail.

 

So in my instance, I setup buttons in EQMOD to manage slewing but left the front triggers and buttons unallocated. Then run ASCOMPAD and set those up for running the focuser. The buttons above the triggers are set to change the increment up / down (left button cycles down through 1000/100/10/1 steps; right button cycles up through 1/10/100/1000 steps) the triggers themselves move the focuser in or out based on the step settings and allows me very precise focus control while looking through the eyepiece or when watching the computer screen.

 

The only conflict that I've found is that I must close ASCOMPAD if I want to run PHD2, since PHD2 wants to connect to, and control, the focuser. 

 

This setup works really well for me and I never have to remove the Celestron Focus Motor even if I am just using for visual.


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#807 Owk

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Posted 06 November 2020 - 09:22 AM

Ditto, but I use a Bluetooth XBox controller. Wire free mount and focuser control.

 

hemi



#808 Terrybythe sea

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Posted 06 November 2020 - 09:34 AM

I bought a usb wired Logitech F310 ($17 at WMart). EQMOD includes gamepad control ...

 

Interesting, thanks. It won't work for me with an Alt-Az mount, but that info is bound to help some folks.



#809 KTAZ

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Posted 06 November 2020 - 09:37 AM

Ditto, but I use a Bluetooth XBox controller. Wire free mount and focuser control.

 

hemi

I tried several BT gamepads but they would never stay connected. Out of curiosity, do you have a dedicated USB port on your laptop for it? I think my issue is based on the fact that I only have 1 USB port on my laptop, so the gamepad must plug into the hub at the mount.



#810 robodan

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Posted 06 November 2020 - 12:27 PM

How do you guys use a game controller? Unless your using a pc or laptop, dont see how its possible?

#811 Linwood

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Posted 06 November 2020 - 12:30 PM

How do you guys use a game controller? Unless your using a pc or laptop, dont see how its possible?

I'm curious also, I have a NUC on the mount, no monitor or keyboard.  I'd love to have a BT or even USB handheld joystick that would just focus if I moved it.



#812 selectedpixels

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Posted 06 November 2020 - 01:01 PM

If you use CPWI, it has a function to take input from a controller.  Pair a wireless controller to your NUC and you can change focus and slew with joysticks.



#813 Linwood

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Posted 06 November 2020 - 01:58 PM

If you use CPWI, it has a function to take input from a controller.  Pair a wireless controller to your NUC and you can change focus and slew with joysticks.

I don't, I don't have a celestron mount at all (I think if I did the hand controller would work). 

 

I need something that would tie to the Celestron Focus control application, I think.



#814 Hugo52

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Posted 15 November 2020 - 05:43 AM

Pls be aware to use driver 1.5:

 

USB ASCOM Driver for Focuser  1.5.0  December-2019 

    Corrected bug causing frequent drop outs.
    Removed "backlash" features from main UI

 

 

https://www.celestro...anuals-software


Edited by Hugo52, 15 November 2020 - 05:49 AM.


#815 Hugo52

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Posted 17 November 2020 - 12:57 PM

BE AWARE !!!!

For a few days i am trying to find out why the focusser is losing contact and why other applications where stressed.

The reason was that the DC12v plug was sometomes has a bad contact(you can see it at the red led)

The focuser is then pulling to much power from the USB port and the focusser was losing contact, also other applications (working on USB) where sometimes also in stress.

 

There are 2 DC5.5 2.1 plug, a short and a long one.

You MUST use the long one.

 

Keep an eye on the red led when you wobble the DC plug.

Hugo


Edited by Hugo52, 17 November 2020 - 01:48 PM.


#816 Linwood

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Posted 17 November 2020 - 01:04 PM

The reason was that the DC12v plug was sometomes has a bad contact(you can see it at the red led)

Also be aware the DC 12V plug is 5.5/2.1mm.  Many focusers (I have a Lynx on a refractor for example) are 5.5/2.5mm.  If you have a 5.5/2.5mm connector it will fit into the focuser socket, but will make intermittent contact.  Be sure you use a 2.1mm inside post.

 

And may whoever decided to "standardize" on both 5.5/2.1 and 5.5/2.5 be condemned to the deepest circle of Dante's inferno where they must forever connect up wiring that almost, but not quite works. 


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#817 wargrafix

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Posted 19 November 2020 - 11:07 PM

I am considering the motor focuser. I normally control things from my laptop and I have been looking at a motor focus option. Square with me folks, did celestron score a win?

 

 

I use a triangular back Celestron 9.25 sct



#818 Linwood

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Posted 19 November 2020 - 11:15 PM

I've been quite happy with it with respect to an electronic focuser for imaging.  Fast, repeatable and reliable. 

 

But unless you have a Celestron mount with hand controller, I would not recommend it if you do any visual imaging, too painful to use.  I got a Lynx focuser for a refractor, and it has a very simple mechanism to disengage so you can manually focus -- they should have done that here. 



#819 Ittaku

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Posted 19 November 2020 - 11:15 PM

I am considering the motor focuser. I normally control things from my laptop and I have been looking at a motor focus option. Square with me folks, did celestron score a win?

 

 

I use a triangular back Celestron 9.25 sct

I found mounting it tight enough, but not too tight, a right royal pain to get right. Then I hate the fact you can no longer focus manually, and if you are obliged to focus from the hand-controller, it's a multi-button exercise to get to the stupid focusing submenu. Once it's installed and up and running, if you focus remotely it's an absolute win. Being able to move to previous focus settings that last worked save you a lot of time when you are altering your imaging train or eyepieces and get to know approximately where they focus - of course you have to fine tune them for every night, but it saves a heck of a lot of time, but most importantly you can get much finer control than the ancient knob that Celestron still include on all their OTAs.


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#820 robodan

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Posted 20 November 2020 - 01:06 AM

I dont find it as exercise with the handcontroller as I use starportal and keep the HC in to focus, easy.

#821 starbuckin

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Posted 20 November 2020 - 05:38 AM

I just do astrophotography (though I keep saying I will use those eyepieces again someday), but I just love it.

 

@Ittaku 's point is spot on. If you write down the 'ballpark' settings for each imaging train setup (I have an SCT with F10, F7, F1.9, plus various filters) you can punch it in and be generally in focus every time you swap setups. It saves a heck of a lot of time vs a manual focuser.



#822 KTAZ

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Posted 20 November 2020 - 09:01 AM

I am considering the motor focuser. I normally control things from my laptop and I have been looking at a motor focus option. Square with me folks, did celestron score a win?

 

 

I use a triangular back Celestron 9.25 sct

I have the same scope and I am very happy with it.

 

The main things to deal with have already been posted here, but the only 2 issues I had to deal with were;

 

1) Manual focus when not using NINA for AP (I always use a laptop and eliminated the HC). I added a cheap Gamepad and use both EQMOD and ASCOMPAD to control both slewing and focusing with the GP. This allows me to slip in an eyepiece whenever I want and do visual.

 

2) Take care when installing it to ensure your focus shaft is well centered in the CFM opening. If not, it will cause image shift at high powers. I did have to make an adjustment after noticing the issue with the off-axis torque. At high magnifications I noticed that the entire star image was making a slight circular rotation as the focuser turned a full 360 degrees. Clearly, the torque on the focus shaft was not centered. I traced this problem to the plastic grommet that is used to "step-down" the size of the focuser opening to the smaller 9.25" and 8" models. When the grub screw is tightened against the shaft, it pushes it to one side, which causes the shift. I wrapped 1 turn of painters tape onto the focuser shaft, then one wrap onto the outside of the grommet before reinstalling. That solved the problem completely. I don't imagine that folks with the larger shaft diameter have this issue.



#823 rnyboy

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Posted 20 November 2020 - 10:00 AM

Wargrafix...

 

So far I love the motor focus on my 6SE.  I guess I lucked out. better lucky than good wink.gif , and got the shaft centered on the first try; and that was with the panhead OEM screws that came with my 6SE and not countersunk screws that would properly fit the alignment holes on the motor focus attachment plate.  I never had any funny noises or binding of the shaft.  I've had the motor focus since around February of this year and haven't had to touch anything in regards to how it's mounted and it works fine in CPWI and SharpCap Pro. In fact I use SharpCap Pro's focus assist all the time for focusing. 


Edited by rnyboy, 20 November 2020 - 10:01 AM.


#824 SanjeevJoshi

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Posted 21 November 2020 - 10:25 AM

FYI I tried controlling game pad via CPWI and it’s not good for focusing.  I will try ASCOMPAD.



#825 mlord

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Posted 30 November 2020 - 12:14 PM

.. my personal plan is to interface a homebrew set of switches with an Arduino plugged into an AUX port to provide independent means of controlling focus.

I'd love to hear how this pans out.  It's something I'd like to set up.  Do you have any instructions on how to do it at this time?

Still just the 6se here, but I did get a Celestron Focus Motor for it.  After using the motor for several nights, I decided it was inferior to just turning the focus knob by hand and/or using a clothespin "extender" on the knob.  So the motor got returned and the cash used for other stuff.  smile.gif

 

But.. while I had the motor here, I did create a prototype hand-controller for it.  Just two buttons on the prototype, and it works fine.  The hardware is simply a very cheap Arduino Pro Mini (no USB!!) board, and two momentary contact push buttons.  It is wired/mounted onto a basic breadboard, and plugs into any available AUX port (or a splitter off of an AUX port).

 

focuser_hc.jpg

 

The Arduino code for this is attached, using D8,D9 pins for the buttons, with the other side of them grounded through a couple of 10K-ohm resistors.  One can easily tweak the code to adjust the ramping of the focus speed and other parameters if desired.

 

Attached File  nexstar_focus.ino.txt   6.65KB   178 downloads


Edited by mlord, 30 November 2020 - 12:20 PM.

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