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Focuser upgrade

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8 replies to this topic

#1 manostars

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Posted 13 December 2019 - 04:57 PM

So I'm getting a nice Christmas bonus and need advice on the purchase of a focuser with motor drive and possibly temperature compensation. I hear that Moonlite and Feathertouch appear to be the cream of the crop but was wondering if there are other options to consider. Crayford? Hybrid Crayford? Sesto Senso drive system? This will be mounted to an LX200 Classic that is equatorially mounted on a permanent pier and controlled from my observation room that is about 10' from the scope.It will also be supporting a Mallincam Xtreme for EAA. All thoughts and opinions are greatly appreciated.



#2 luxo II

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Posted 13 December 2019 - 05:26 PM

There are also the SteelTrak ones from TeleskopService, there are some to fit SCTs, and there is an optional motor drive. They’re very solidly built.

Better imho would be a R&P than a crayford, though, if you have a heavy load.

#3 Raginar

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Posted 13 December 2019 - 05:53 PM

I love my moonlite.  If you have the cash and can get one that rotates and everything... it's really worth it.


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#4 carolinaskies

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Posted 13 December 2019 - 05:54 PM

For our LX200s the external Crayford with electronic drive is preferred fine focus vs the internal mechanism.  You might find the need to motorize both if using various equipment.  But if you have a dedicated imaging system like the Malincam for EAA likely you won't need to coarse focus after initial setup. 

External Crayford systems have .9" travel and typically users place that external at 50% of travel and then coarse focus giving approximately .45" travel in and out to achieve fine focus via electronic control.  The typical external crayford can easily handle 6-8lbs of gear and only if you were using a heavier image train would I consider heavier duty units.   There are off-the shelf electronic motors as well as DIY parts for many different options of both external and internal focus drives. 

If you prefer spending the $$$ for off the shelf Primeluce has nice equipment, Moonlite, and even ZWO has the EAF for focus control.  Optec has a temperature compensating focuser as well for extravagant price by comparison but high-grade performance.  



#5 scadvice

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Posted 13 December 2019 - 06:31 PM

I think a FeatherTouch focuser is really nice with either their own electronic focusing kit or Optec Inc's.. I have a FeatherTouch 3” with a Optec Inc.  kit and really like it. My understanding is that Optec  designed the FeatherTouch kit for them.

 

Both of these setups allow you to instantly over-ride/disengage the motor system and use the focus knob freely, no fighting the motor gear train. A very nice feature. They are also machined aluminum, no plastic’s.

 

http://starlightinst...5&product_id=55

 

http://starlightinst...&product_id=407

 

https://www.optecinc...slynx/19978.htm

 

Like Moonlite these are not cheap systems.


Edited by scadvice, 13 December 2019 - 06:38 PM.


#6 macdonjh

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Posted 13 December 2019 - 07:08 PM

So I'm getting a nice Christmas bonus and need advice on the purchase of a focuser with motor drive and possibly temperature compensation. I hear that Moonlite and Feathertouch appear to be the cream of the crop but was wondering if there are other options to consider. Crayford? Hybrid Crayford? Sesto Senso drive system? This will be mounted to an LX200 Classic that is equatorially mounted on a permanent pier and controlled from my observation room that is about 10' from the scope.It will also be supporting a Mallincam Xtreme for EAA. All thoughts and opinions are greatly appreciated.

FYI: "Crayford" is a type of focuser, not a brand or manufacturer.  MoonLite makes Crayford style focusers.  Star Light Instruments makes both Crayford and rack-and-pinion focusers.

 

To your original question, I have one AstroPhysics focuser, one Star Light Instruments rack-and-pinion and three MoonLite Crayford focusers.  I like each of them.  None of them is motorized or temperature compensated, though.

 

As for other brands, you can also look at Finger Lakes Instruments, Optec, there are probably others.



#7 Jeff Struve

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Posted 27 December 2019 - 03:35 PM

Moonliite and Feathertouch are great focusers.

 

I decided that just going electronic was enough to solve my focuser concerns so I added the Rigel Systems to 5 of my scopes OEM focusers... ya don't even have to remove the focuser knobs, they are variable speed, anf it is easy to disengage them for manual focusing.



#8 25585

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Posted 28 December 2019 - 09:43 AM

How do Feather Touch Crayfords compare to Moonlites, & to FT r&p focusers. 



#9 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 28 December 2019 - 10:32 AM

How do Feather Touch Crayfords compare to Moonlites, & to FT r&p focusers. 

 

My thinking/Experience:

 

The Feathertouch Crayford is definitely the best Crayford out there. It's a very clever design that overcomes the design issues of the standard Crayford.

 

But it's still a Crayford that depends on friction.

 

Jon




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