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

Manual Focuser for 2003 Meade 8” XL200GPS

accessories astrophotography beginner Meade SCT
  • Please log in to reply
3 replies to this topic

#1 august

august

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 4
  • Joined: 06 Aug 2020

Posted 25 October 2020 - 03:01 PM

I am just three months into owning a 2003 Meade 8” XL200GPS scope.  I have been pretty dissatisfied with the experience of focusing.  I installed the Peterson EZ Focus which helped some but the image shift is still really annoying.  The Meade Microfocuser with which it is equipped, even with its fastest rate is painfully slow and doesn’t let one focus back and forth to quickly zero in on best focus as you would with a knob.  And if the seeing is poor, which it often is where I live than it’s even more frustrating.  Use of a Bahtinov Mask helps.

So I am exploring possibilities for improvement.

Is there an easy hack to speed up the microfocuser?

Or, I may replace the microfocuser with a manual one.  One of my considerations would be its length relative to the scope still being able to point strait up and also still fitting the scope in its case.  Cost and single or dual focus would be others as well as smoothness and weight handling capacity.  I am currently looking at the Antares 2” Low Profile Focuser – Dual Speed (at around $250).  The height is just 5mm more than the Meade focuser.  Also, the JMI EV-2C focuser (at $260).  I don’t know the height yet.  No one lists it … I’ll call them tomorrow.  The focusers around $500 are out of my range.  I did research the GSO 2” Crayford focuser.  A good deal at $125 but reviewers had some troubles with heavier eyepiece/diagonal loads causing the focus to slip. Also, it’s longer than the Antares.  I haven’t been able to find any reviews of the Antares and JMI focusers.

I am currently just observing but may move into astrophotography at some point so a focuser that can handle some weight would seem prudent.

I am definitely a newbie at all this and would really appreciate some advice and sharing of experience!



#2 jhart

jhart

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • Posts: 23
  • Joined: 16 May 2020
  • Loc: Austin, Texas

Posted 26 October 2020 - 08:10 AM

I have the GSO Crayford on my LX200 and for me it works just fine with eyepieces or a camera.  There are two tension adjustment thumb screws, one to set the effort to move the focus mechanism and a second to lock it in place.  With proper adjustment the focuser does not slip or, in the case of the latter, move at all.



#3 august

august

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 4
  • Joined: 06 Aug 2020

Posted 27 October 2020 - 12:39 AM

Thank you jhart for the reply. 

With my 8” scope, doing the math, it seems that the GSO Crayford would hit the fork when pointed straight up with it adjusted to its farthest focus point. Is this your experience?  Is your LX200 an 8”?  A different size might have different clearance.



#4 carolinaskies

carolinaskies

    Vanguard

  • *****
  • Posts: 2,364
  • Joined: 12 Dec 2014
  • Loc: Greenville SC

Posted 27 October 2020 - 11:40 AM

The external focuser itself will not hit the base of the fork mount. 
The clearance is enough to fit a standard 1.25" diagonal with clearance directly into the focuser.  Some 2" diagonals or if you are using other accessories likely will hit the base.  To resolve this problem the telescope's maximum declination can be limited through the hand control.  

The external focuser travels just less than 1".  Non-cooled dedicated cameras will fit without any accesories between them and the focuser. Cooled cameras with deep cooling units will hit due to their increased height. 




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





Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: accessories, astrophotography, beginner, Meade, SCT



Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics