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Motorized focuser for my Skywatcher Esprit 100

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#1 Flasheart

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Posted 07 April 2020 - 04:48 PM

Guys,  Just starting out here and seeking advice on a focuser I can use with my Skywatcher Esprit 100, Losmandy G11G. I have been reading reviews and opinions but would like views on compatibility of these potential options, particularly from folks who have been through the same selection process:

 

- ASI ZWO Advanced Electronic Automatic Focuser (advantage -  alittle cheaper, and I already have an ASI 1290 Mini camera)

- PrimaLuceLab SESTO SENSO 2 (good reviews on this one)
- Optec directsync SW30 (advantage - manual operation and seems to get very good reviews)
- Pegasus focuscube (advantage - can use on multiple scopes)

 

Thanks

 



#2 Peregrinatum

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Posted 07 April 2020 - 05:16 PM

I have outfitted 3 differnt OTAs with the Optec autofocus system (not yours), costs a little more but you will not be disappointed along with excellent customer service... as  you noticed, you can manually use your focuser or engage the motor for autofocus (they also have a handpaddle for using the focus motor manually)


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#3 descott12

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Posted 07 April 2020 - 05:21 PM

The ZWO EAF is awesome quality and it works great. Highly recommended.

I also bought the pegasus for my SCT but it was SO unbelievably slow that I couldn't deal with. Maybe not a big deal on a refractor if your focus movements aren't too large. I also really hated the hand controller. There is no push and hold to focus. You had to keep twisting the knob. Really annoying and would probably wear out quickly.



#4 ZL4PLM

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Posted 07 April 2020 - 05:59 PM

my first sesto senso was garbage - it was noisy and inaccurate - I sold it off and within a few months the guy i sold it to say its died ... PLL was not interested at all and wanted 85 euro to send him a replacement board - it went in the bin - my ECCO sensor failed within a few months - PLL .. not interested - I won't be buying anything further beyond my two Eagles 

 

I have 2 EAF's now and both have been superb - I even modded my Moonlites to take the mounting bracket - both work extremely well 

 

There is a new mounting bracket for the Esprit too - please ask ZWO when ordering 


Edited by ZL4PLM, 07 April 2020 - 06:01 PM.

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#5 Marcelofig

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Posted 07 April 2020 - 08:39 PM

I can confirm that the FocusCube2 works perfectly with the Esprit 100. But I differ in that it can be installed in multiple telescopes, it is not a plug & play device and it requires some work to install it (you can install it in another telescope, but it requires work and the same applies to the rest of the devices mentioned).

 

For installation details see this post:

 

https://www.cloudyni...0/#entry9632351



#6 ChrisWhite

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Posted 07 April 2020 - 08:45 PM

I recently installed a sesto senso 2.  I've only had a chance to test it out but so far it seems great.  I've run an AF routine a half dozen times and it nailed it each time. 

 

I've also had the Optec on a past scope and really like that.  I was going to buy another but couldnt get a reply from them when I tried to order one.  After a couple weeks I gave up and bought the Sesto.

 

I briefly considered the ZWO, but several users report backlash, and I just dont want to deal with that. 



#7 ZL4PLM

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Posted 07 April 2020 - 09:44 PM

 

I briefly considered the ZWO, but several users report backlash, and I just dont want to deal with that. 

I don't think that is normal and certainly I see no more backlash than the moonlite stepper or the sesto senso - so not normal behaviour - one report I saw was that they had not tightened the coupling enough - so not normal behaviour


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#8 richorn

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Posted 07 April 2020 - 11:59 PM

I had a Sesto Senso briefly, and it didn't work out.  Probably not the fault of PrimaLuceLabs.  Regardless, I ended up with a FeatherTouch focuser from Starlight, and put their Starlight EFS on it.  

 

It is unbelievable.  I have it setup with the backlash setting in the controller, and temperature compensation.  It can also lift more weight than I could ever hang off it, never slips, etc.   With the internal backlash setting, you set that to 0 in your capture/focus software. I have just never had to think about it.

 

With properly setup filter offsets and temp compensation, Wayne jokes that you may never have to focus again!  I think he may be right.  My settings are getting there...

 

One of the more expensive options, but I was really tired of losing subs to bad focus. 



#9 tmyers

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Posted 10 April 2020 - 01:19 PM

Biggest difference I see between the Pegasus Focus Cube and the ZWO EAF is the steps per Rotation

 

Pegasus claims 11,510, what is interesting is that the spec sheet states .06255 degrees per step which works out to 5,760 steps per 360 degrees rotation

 

ZWO claims 5,760, which works out to .06355 degrees per step

 

Wonder which is correct 11,510 or .06355

 

Thoughts?



#10 Paul Garais

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Posted 10 April 2020 - 01:38 PM

I have to jump in for Sesto Senso! Why? It is one of the few astro equipment parts, that don't need extensive fiddling and optimization to work properly.

I am using the Sesto Senso 1 with my TS UNC200 and Sesto Senso 2 with my SkyWatcher ESPRIT 100ED. Both work great reliable. I get great focus and unattended refocussing in full night imaging while I was in my bed, worked without issues with N.I.N.A. through ASCOM.

The Sesto Senso 2 is very easy to attach to the ESPRIT and you don't need to buy any extra adapters.
Sesto Senso 1 needs some care to be properly attached to the focuser. But that was still easy enough. With 2 even people who are bad in using their Hands should have no issues ;D


—Paul

#11 tmyers

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Posted 10 April 2020 - 03:44 PM

I do like the idea of being able to use hand focus without releasing a set screw. When you apply coarse focus by hand does the Sesto Senso know where it is regarding steps, or does it need some sort of reset?

Sounds like you feel is is worth the extra $100 over the EAF!

Sent from my SM-N970U using Tapatalk

#12 descott12

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Posted 10 April 2020 - 03:53 PM

I do like the idea of being able to use hand focus without releasing a set screw. When you apply coarse focus by hand does the Sesto Senso know where it is regarding steps, or does it need some sort of reset?

Sounds like you feel is is worth the extra $100 over the EAF!

Sent from my SM-N970U using Tapatalk

The EAF does have an optional hand control so you can focus scope-side. It works well.


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#13 Paul Garais

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Posted 10 April 2020 - 03:59 PM

I do like the idea of being able to use hand focus without releasing a set screw. When you apply coarse focus by hand does the Sesto Senso know where it is regarding steps, or does it need some sort of reset?

Sounds like you feel is is worth the extra $100 over the EAF!

Sent from my SM-N970U using Tapatalk

With the Sesto Senso 2, you can just connect via WIFI through your smartphone and control it. It works simultaneously to the PC connection via USB.
You can also rotate manually but it will "loose" the position. But you do not need to make a full recalibration after that. You move in the focuser completely and set the 0 position with a one-button click. But that could be a downside if you use it regularly. I am using those focusers for automation.

Regarding price difference (it is 60,- € here): Can't say anything about the ZWO EAF. No experience with that product. I bought Sesto Senso 2 because the 1 worked great for me.

#14 Cristofori

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Posted 10 April 2020 - 04:14 PM

I have an Esprit 100 and I use the Optec DirectSync SWX30. It's an elegant solution that works well on the stock focuser. It attaches to the left side of the focuser and leaves the fine focus knob intact. No boxy look, no belts, simple and clean. Highly recommended.



#15 don314

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Posted 10 April 2020 - 05:31 PM

I went for an Optec DirectSync SVX30 motor with FocusLynx Controller on my Stellarvue SVF30 3-inch focuser, fit like a glove, worked first time and every time since (about 14 months now).  Like the manual clutch, can disengage motor and use the 1:1 or 10:1 focus knob, or to quickly rack in the focuser when packing the OTA.  I'm pretty sure that the controller & motor is also sold rebranded by FeatherTouch as the "Focuser Boss" and HSM motor for their focusers.



#16 NZhendo

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Posted 10 April 2020 - 05:41 PM

I have Esprit 100 with Pegasus FocusCube 2. I haven’t had any issues with it. I use autofocus with SGP and it works fine. There is a document you need to find to set it up properly In SGP. I did have to buy some longer screws to mount it to the Esprit as the ones that came with the FC2 weren’t quite long enough.



#17 ChrisWhite

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Posted 10 April 2020 - 05:41 PM

Optec now has a very elegant quicksync that has a controller built in.  Cost is a little less than having to buy the controller and motor separately. 



#18 OldManSky

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Posted 10 April 2020 - 06:49 PM

I have 2 ZWO EAFs, one on each of my two refractors. Both were 5 minute bolt right on installations, have little to no backlash, and have been accurately auofocusing over hundreds of unattended sessions in NINA. Not a single problem.



#19 Danweis1

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Posted 14 April 2020 - 07:12 PM

I have 2 ZWO EAFs, one on each of my two refractors. Both were 5 minute bolt right on installations, have little to no backlash, and have been accurately auofocusing over hundreds of unattended sessions in NINA. Not a single problem.

Paul, do you have a ZWO EAF on your Zenithstar 103 APO? I was told that the ZenithStar wasn’t one of the supported models. 
 

Thanks,

Dan




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