Jump to content

  •  

CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.

Photo

How do you like the feather touch focuser on your SCT

  • Please log in to reply
19 replies to this topic

#1 starman876

starman876

    Nihon Seiko

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 20360
  • Joined: 28 Apr 2008
  • Loc: VA

Posted 20 July 2019 - 05:22 PM

Been wanting to try a feather touch and was wondering how much of an improvement they are over the stock SCT focuser.   I know they will not stop mirror flop.



#2 rkelley8493

rkelley8493

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 889
  • Joined: 19 Jan 2019
  • Loc: Southeast USA

Posted 20 July 2019 - 05:31 PM

Love it! I have the Meade LX90 which came with a single speed focus knob. The Feather Touch is a dramatic improvement compared to the stock focuser. Buttery smooth and so easy to fine focus. It still has some slight image shift, but nowhere near as bad as the original. The stock focuser was very stiff. You have to use your whole hand with force just to turn it, and there is no in between when trying to achieve perfect focus. I don't know how they got away with installing such a crappy focuser on a fine optical instrument. The Feather Touch was a great investment waytogo.gif


Edited by rkelley8493, 20 July 2019 - 06:31 PM.

  • Phil Cowell likes this

#3 petert913

petert913

    Gemini

  • *****
  • Posts: 3246
  • Joined: 27 May 2013
  • Loc: Portland, OR

Posted 20 July 2019 - 06:14 PM

Rats.....now I have to get one !  :)


  • rkelley8493 likes this

#4 CeeKay

CeeKay

    Vostok 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 126
  • Joined: 03 Sep 2017
  • Loc: Vancouver, WA

Posted 20 July 2019 - 06:39 PM

I've have one on my C8 and it makes a world of difference... well worth the money for the upgrade.  Easy to install!


Edited by CeeKay, 20 July 2019 - 06:40 PM.

  • Phil Cowell likes this

#5 starman876

starman876

    Nihon Seiko

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 20360
  • Joined: 28 Apr 2008
  • Loc: VA

Posted 20 July 2019 - 08:43 PM

Only two replies, but both with interesting satisfaction of the FT.  Maybe I will have to get one.  Any downside to the FT?



#6 sydney

sydney

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 625
  • Joined: 07 Apr 2010
  • Loc: Upstate NY

Posted 20 July 2019 - 08:58 PM

My older Meade 12 SCT has excessive backlash and image shift.  I replaced the stock focuser with a Feather Touch micro.  It helped a little but mostly just made a frustrating experience feel smoother on my finger.  I have since added a Baader Crayford to the back and rarely touch the Feather Touch.  I didn’t realize how good the optics of the scope are until adding the external Crayford.  Focusing is now a simple subconscious effort instead of a prolonged ordeal and the view is so much better being able to snap into focus with no ambiguity.



#7 starman876

starman876

    Nihon Seiko

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 20360
  • Joined: 28 Apr 2008
  • Loc: VA

Posted 20 July 2019 - 09:15 PM

My older Meade 12 SCT has excessive backlash and image shift.  I replaced the stock focuser with a Feather Touch micro.  It helped a little but mostly just made a frustrating experience feel smoother on my finger.  I have since added a Baader Crayford to the back and rarely touch the Feather Touch.  I didn’t realize how good the optics of the scope are until adding the external Crayford.  Focusing is now a simple subconscious effort instead of a prolonged ordeal and the view is so much better being able to snap into focus with no ambiguity.

I have done that on SCT's and also experienced an increase in performance.



#8 HenryB

HenryB

    Vostok 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 174
  • Joined: 11 Jan 2013

Posted 21 July 2019 - 06:16 AM

My older Meade 12 SCT has excessive backlash and image shift.  I replaced the stock focuser with a Feather Touch micro.  It helped a little but mostly just made a frustrating experience feel smoother on my finger.  I have since added a Baader Crayford to the back and rarely touch the Feather Touch.  I didn’t realize how good the optics of the scope are until adding the external Crayford.  Focusing is now a simple subconscious effort instead of a prolonged ordeal and the view is so much better being able to snap into focus with no ambiguity.

I experienced the same with a C14 Edge. I started with the Feather Touch micro but it did not fix the mirror flop, which was causing the collimation to shift depending on where the scope was pointed. When I added the Feather Touch Crayford and locked the primary mirror, the scope was suddenly much sharper regardless of the sky position. And focusing is a snap.


  • Eddgie and Orion68 like this

#9 starman876

starman876

    Nihon Seiko

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 20360
  • Joined: 28 Apr 2008
  • Loc: VA

Posted 21 July 2019 - 09:48 AM

Mirro flop will not be corrected by changing the original focuser device.  Mirror flop can only be corrected by fixing how the mirror moves on the baffle.  Best way is to lock the mirror down, recollimate the scope and use an external focuser where the visual back would go.  


  • Orion68 likes this

#10 Eddgie

Eddgie

    ISS

  • *****
  • Posts: 24446
  • Joined: 01 Feb 2006

Posted 21 July 2019 - 10:24 AM

HenryB has what I think is the best advice.

 

The Feathertouch Mirco-focuser might make focusing a bit easier, but it might not if your mirror is shifting.

 

Like Henry, my recommendation is an external focuser.

 

While the mirror shift is not fixed, once the scope has been oriented to one side of the meridian or the other, the mirror will settle into whatever angle allowed by the play between the mirror and the baffle.  This angle will not always be exactly the same, but it will usually be very close.   Now if the scope was collimated for this orientation (vs being collimated in a horizontal orientation) then the collimation should not change and when you use the external focuser, you will not have to worry about mirror shift.

 

Micro-focuser is nice.  I owned one of the first ones ever sold.  It is a nice product and I have high praise for it, but if mirror shift is the reason for pursuing an after-market solution, then I recommend that an external focuser be used. 


Edited by Eddgie, 21 July 2019 - 10:25 AM.

  • Orion68 and Ricky Redshirt like this

#11 Orion68

Orion68

    Vostok 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 180
  • Joined: 18 Jan 2014

Posted 21 July 2019 - 06:47 PM

I installed a Feather Touch on my C11 because the original focuser was missing the rubber knob. Very smooth and nice to have although at times there seems to be a rough spot where focusing seems a little more difficult. My guess is that the focuser is not to blame, but just a rough spot in the rail(s) where the mirror is mounted - not sure though.

 

My C8 has the original focuser and it is almost as smooth as the FT on my C11, only one speed though. If they made a FT for the C8 would I buy it? Probably not.  An external focuser, as others have suggested, is the way I would go.

 

Good luck.


  • Eddgie likes this

#12 Eddgie

Eddgie

    ISS

  • *****
  • Posts: 24446
  • Joined: 01 Feb 2006

Posted 21 July 2019 - 07:41 PM

 

 

My C8 has the original focuser and it is almost as smooth as the FT on my C11, only one speed though. If they made a FT for the C8 would I buy it? Probably not.  An external focuser, as others have suggested, is the way I would go.

 

Good luck.

Yeah, the C8 has a very light mirror, and with use, the threaded rod smooths out so that the C8 can have super smooth and light focus motion.  

The C14 on the other hand, has a lot of mirror to lift, and when aimed at zenith, every little irregularity in the threads can be felt.  In time I suppose it would wear in though, but I owned my C14 for seven or eight years, and it did not improve greatly. 


  • Orion68 likes this

#13 watchplanets

watchplanets

    Vostok 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 188
  • Joined: 20 Jun 2019

Posted 22 July 2019 - 05:54 AM

I have had mine for long time 10 to 12 years if u want fine focus then do it. The fine focus is so  buttery smooth u dont even cause vibrations even at high power.



#14 Lemonhawk

Lemonhawk

    Mariner 2

  • -----
  • Posts: 276
  • Joined: 02 Sep 2017
  • Loc: Palm Harbor, FL

Posted 22 July 2019 - 12:43 PM

I have the feather touch on my e9.25, much better than the original.  That said now that celestron has the motorized focuser, I wonder if it would be a better choice?



#15 WadeH237

WadeH237

    Aurora

  • *****
  • Posts: 4687
  • Joined: 24 Feb 2007
  • Loc: Snohomish, WA

Posted 22 July 2019 - 05:15 PM

Any downside to the FT?

I have a FeatherTouch SCT focus knob on my EdgeHD 8 and my C14, and I had it on a C8 that I used to have.

 

The only downside I have found, is that it is much longer than the stock focus knob.  If you are going to be imaging and using a focus motor with it, you will need to make sure that it won't hit the camera or filter wheel (it is *very* close to the filter wheel on my EdgeHD 8).  I have a JMI case for my C14, and the scope will not fit with the FeatherTouch attached, so I have to remove the focus knob (3 screws) each time I pack it.



#16 Spikey131

Spikey131

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 886
  • Joined: 07 Feb 2017

Posted 22 July 2019 - 05:33 PM

I put one on my C8.  Worth every penny.  I can just graze my finger across the fine focus knob to get perfect focus and no shakes.  I have zero mirror flop and great optics on my pedestrian C8.  So the Feathertouch transformed to a great visual scope.

 

Don’t try one.  If you do, you will be hooked.



#17 dr.who

dr.who

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Administrators
  • Posts: 13826
  • Joined: 05 Jan 2012

Posted 22 July 2019 - 05:55 PM

Won't get an SCT without it. The stock ones are rubbish when compared to FT ones. As noted: mirror flop... Better corrected with an external FT.



#18 rkelley8493

rkelley8493

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 889
  • Joined: 19 Jan 2019
  • Loc: Southeast USA

Posted 22 July 2019 - 07:28 PM

Two SCT mods that helped me the most, ClickLock & Feather Touch.

 

ftf1.jpg



#19 stevew

stevew

    Now I've done it

  • *****
  • Posts: 6034
  • Joined: 03 Mar 2006
  • Loc: British Columbia Canada

Posted 22 July 2019 - 08:42 PM

HenryB has what I think is the best advice.

 

The Feathertouch Mirco-focuser might make focusing a bit easier, but it might not if your mirror is shifting.

 

Like Henry, my recommendation is an external focuser.

 

While the mirror shift is not fixed, once the scope has been oriented to one side of the meridian or the other, the mirror will settle into whatever angle allowed by the play between the mirror and the baffle.  This angle will not always be exactly the same, but it will usually be very close.   Now if the scope was collimated for this orientation (vs being collimated in a horizontal orientation) then the collimation should not change and when you use the external focuser, you will not have to worry about mirror shift.

 

Micro-focuser is nice.  I owned one of the first ones ever sold.  It is a nice product and I have high praise for it, but if mirror shift is the reason for pursuing an after-market solution, then I recommend that an external focuser be used. 

Eddie, doesn't moving the focus so far back with an external focuser introduce more spherical aberration?



#20 RazvanUnderStars

RazvanUnderStars

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 678
  • Joined: 15 Jul 2014
  • Loc: Toronto, Canada

Posted 22 July 2019 - 09:34 PM

I have a Celestron Evolution SCT and use their motorized focuser released earlier this year. It makes a world of difference, finally I can focus accurately (it has 1000 steps/rotation) without shaking it. It works with either the hand controller (which I don't really use) or a computer - with SharpCap you can also automate focusing. I don't have experience with Feathertouch in particular but anything should be better than the stock one and FT looks like a nice product so if it works for you, I'd highly recommend upgrading from whatever the SCT came with.




CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.


Recent Topics






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics