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Do you Feather Touch your Takahashi?

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#51 Tom Graham

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Posted 12 November 2020 - 09:54 PM

The Takahashi MEF3 Micro Edge Focuser was nice, and I would have preferred to stay all original Tak, but I have definitely preferred the Starlight Instruments Feather Touch MPA Micro Pinion Assembly.

 

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#52 dfva

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Posted 13 November 2020 - 01:18 PM

I've used many Feather Touch focusers and the standard equipment Tak focuser on my TOA 130 didn't compare so I made the switch.  I used some sticky tape to attach the old serial number plate to the new focuser.

 

 

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#53 Bill Barlow

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Posted 14 November 2020 - 11:58 AM

The Takahashi MEF3 Micro Edge Focuser was nice, and I would have preferred to stay all original Tak, but I have definitely preferred the Starlight Instruments Feather Touch MPA Micro Pinion Assembly.

Whey do you like the FT micro pinion focuser over the Tak MEF-3?

 

Bill



#54 Tom Graham

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Posted 14 November 2020 - 01:44 PM

Whey do you like the FT micro pinion focuser over the Tak MEF-3?

 

Bill

Bill,

Because I could always feel some flexure in the thin aluminum plate on the bottom. I could also see that it caused the two small screws to work loose. The screws could have been easily remedied with purple or blue Loctite, But, given my personal taste, I thought the FT MPA looks far better than the Tak MEF.

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#55 RAKing

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Posted 14 November 2020 - 03:55 PM

Whey do you like the FT micro pinion focuser over the Tak MEF-3?

 

Bill

Hi Bill!

 

I am not Tom, but I replaced my MEF-3 with the FT-MPA because the FT is a direct gear drive and will not slip.  I don't know the "innards" of the Tak as well, but Tak has a spring inside that you can adjust to keep the fine-focusing knob from slipping if you try to lift a heavy eyepiece.  If you haven't adjusted it tight enough, you also get a "mushy" feel sometimes.

 

The FT is a direct gear drive and doesn't need any friction to work, so the only thing you have to adjust is the gear mesh of the main pinion - and you only have to do it once.

 

Hope all is well!

 

Ron


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#56 Tom Graham

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Posted 14 November 2020 - 06:09 PM

“...I don't know the "innards" of the Tak as well, but Tak has a spring inside that you can adjust...”

Ron

Ron,

Before deciding to purchase that FT-MPA, I read up here on CN regarding the Tak MEF vs FT-MPA.

 

Then I took my original Tak MEF completely apart*, cleaned, lightly lubricated and re-assembled it. I still wasn’t satisfied with the feel. So I spoke with Darrin Lewer at Takahashi America and then shipped the Tak MEF off to him to him to look over. He took it completely apart again and relubed and adjusted it and said it is working essentially as well as a brand new MEF.  I tried it again and it still felt the same. 
 

Still not satisfied with the Tak MEF, I replaced it with the FT-MPA and have been very happy since.

 

*I did take some photos of the “innards” of the Tak MEF thinking that sometime we might want to start a thread of what some have called a “tear-down” (in this case of the Tak MEF) to take a peak inside the “innards” of some of our equipment. I’ve found that once I take a peak inside, I better understand and appreciate my gear. 



#57 RAKing

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Posted 14 November 2020 - 06:31 PM

Tom,

 

Thanks.  IIRC, the adjusting collar pushes a spring washer down on a rings of ball bearings to set the tension.  I have a couple of MEF units in my basement, but haven't felt like diving any deeper into it.  Televue came up with a dual speed focuser similar to the Tak MEF about 14 years ago and it also felt like an "add-on" with a similar piece of metal acting as an anti-rotation device.

 

I have been using the FT-MPA since then and I like how it works.

 

Some of your photos could be posted in the "Takitis" thread.  I'm sure all of us would love to see them.

 

Cheers,

 

Ron


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#58 Scott in NC

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Posted 14 November 2020 - 06:49 PM

I have been using the FT-MEF since then and I like how it works.

Did you mean to say FT-MPA?


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#59 Tom Graham

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Posted 14 November 2020 - 06:59 PM

FT- MPA’s, Tak MEF’s....Don’t you just love all these acronyms?
 

We all knew what you meant, Ron. Especially since you’ve told us that you have multiple Takahashi Micro Edge Focusers relegated to your basement. 


Edited by grahamtv, 14 November 2020 - 07:00 PM.

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#60 Scott in NC

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Posted 14 November 2020 - 07:03 PM

Yeah, too many acronyms, I agree.  And that’s what I get for responding before reading the whole thread. :foreheadslap:


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#61 25585

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Posted 15 November 2020 - 05:20 AM

Here's a question. You can buy Taks with their own MEF. You can buy Taks with a complete FT focuser. Why is an option for the FT micro pinion not included?


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#62 RAKing

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Posted 15 November 2020 - 08:34 AM

Did you mean to say FT-MPA?

Good catch!  My wife was calling for me to come down for dinner and I was faced with two choices: 1. Proofread and Starve, or 2. Post and Eat.  I picked #2. tongue2.gif  lol.gif

 

I can also admit to a bit of dyslexia.  I am mostly KO now, but MEF and MPA do tend to run together in my brain. Eyecrazy.gif

 

Cheers! grin.gif

 

Ron


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#63 RAKing

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Posted 15 November 2020 - 08:38 AM

Here's a question. You can buy Taks with their own MEF. You can buy Taks with a complete FT focuser. Why is an option for the FT micro pinion not included?

I was talking to Wayne at Starlight last year and they were in the middle of a big production run of focusers going to Takahashi.

 

I am sure if you can convince the executives at Tak to order the FT-MPA and offer it as an option, then I'll bet Starlight would be happy to supply those, too.  I think it would be the best of both worlds. waytogo.gif

 

Cheers,

 

Ron

 

Disclaimer:  I have no affiliation with Starlight other than as a loyal customer over the years.  My basement is littered with Starlight adapters from scopes long gone. smile.gif


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#64 bobhen

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Posted 15 November 2020 - 09:04 AM

I added a Moonlite focuser to my Mewlon 210. But, in the past, I've added aftermarket rear focusers to my SCTs as well. 

 

After 11 years, my Tak TSA 120 still uses the standard focuser. I'm sure a FT would be better (they would be better on any telescope) but I haven't seen the pressing need to add one. I'm not an imager and the standard focuser does the job just fine.

 

Bob


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#65 Scott in NC

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Posted 15 November 2020 - 09:16 AM

Good catch!  My wife was calling for me to come down for dinner and I was faced with two choices: 1. Proofread and Starve, or 2. Post and Eat.  I picked #2.

Any choice that includes getting to eat is usually the correct one. :grin:


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#66 Bill Barlow

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Posted 15 November 2020 - 12:06 PM

Bill,

Because I could always feel some flexure in the thin aluminum plate on the bottom. I could also see that it caused the two small screws to work loose. The screws could have been easily remedied with purple or blue Loctite, But, given my personal taste, I thought the FT MPA looks far better than the Tak MEF.

I’ve never experienced that problem with mine.  There is a screw under the cover on the focuser that you adjust the tension in the main focuser shaft to firm it up a bit.  The fine focus knob on my current one shows a slight amount of play but not too bad.  Might try and tighten it up a bit if I knew where the adjustment screw was.  



#67 Bill Barlow

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Posted 15 November 2020 - 12:10 PM

Hi Bill!

 

I am not Tom, but I replaced my MEF-3 with the FT-MPA because the FT is a direct gear drive and will not slip.  I don't know the "innards" of the Tak as well, but Tak has a spring inside that you can adjust to keep the fine-focusing knob from slipping if you try to lift a heavy eyepiece.  If you haven't adjusted it tight enough, you also get a "mushy" feel sometimes.

 

The FT is a direct gear drive and doesn't need any friction to work, so the only thing you have to adjust is the gear mesh of the main pinion - and you only have to do it once.

 

Hope all is well!

 

Ron

Hi Ron, all is well.  I like the look of the FT micro pinion focusers but since I already have the Tak one installed and it works well, no need to replace it yet.  But if I ever need another MEF-3 focuser, I will contact you I guess!

 

Bill


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#68 rkelley8493

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Posted 15 November 2020 - 10:20 PM

Here's a couple more angles of mine..flash.gif

FT 2.5 MPA with 'clear' fine focus knob.

 

small rig 2.jpg

small-rig.jpg


Edited by rkelley8493, 15 November 2020 - 11:20 PM.

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#69 rkelley8493

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Posted 15 November 2020 - 10:25 PM

ftf mpa 2.5.jpg

ftf wheels.jpg


Edited by rkelley8493, 15 November 2020 - 11:24 PM.

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#70 25585

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Posted 16 November 2020 - 08:52 AM

SI now make Jumbo size 3" fine focus knobs  https://starlightins...&product_id=326


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#71 gjanke

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Posted 16 November 2020 - 09:36 PM

Here's a couple more angles of mine..flash.gif

FT 2.5 MPA with 'clear' fine focus knob.

 

attachicon.gifsmall rig 2.jpg

attachicon.gifsmall-rig.jpg

I dig the mount. How steady is the viewing at around 160x - 180x?


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#72 John Fitzgerald

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Posted 17 November 2020 - 01:54 PM

SI now make Jumbo size 3" fine focus knobs  https://starlightins...&product_id=326

$50 for one brass knob? lol.gif



#73 rkelley8493

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Posted 17 November 2020 - 02:15 PM

I dig the mount. How steady is the viewing at around 160x - 180x?

Thanks! smile.gif It's pretty smooth when properly balanced. I wish it had some slow motion controls for tracking, but it's not that big of a deal.. I've got the Atlas Pro AZ/EQ-G for serious observing, but the Stellarvue M2C is great for grab & go and short nights out. 


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#74 noisejammer

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Posted 17 November 2020 - 02:40 PM

I've replaced the stock focuser on my TOA150 with a FTF3545 and a Tak 72mm compatible end cap.

 

My first FTF was on my APM 115/805 and it was night and day compared with the Tak. In truth, I got fed up with the stock focuser feeling mushy. In spite of trying, I couldn't get it right.

 

I needed a secure serial number on my scope for insurance purposes - it's attached to the FTF with Gorilla glue. scratchhead2.gif

FTF 3545 with the extra large focusing knob

 

On the jumbo fine focus knobs - I bought one at NEAF (it was a lot less expensive than the current asking price.) It is quite wonderful to adjust the focus with the lightest of touches.

Starlight Instruments oversized knobs for fine focus

The silver one was for the FTF3035 on my APM scope. It doesn't work as well as the monster.


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#75 213Cobra

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Posted 19 November 2020 - 03:17 AM

MEF-3 on FS60Q and FOA-60Q. Entirely functional; compact, controllable, lightweight, effective. FSQs 85 and 106EDs have Tak micro-focusers natively, so all set there.

 

I bought and installed the Feathertouch pinion on my trusty, 33 years old Epsilon 160 corrected astrograph, which I use visually. On that, the FT looks the part and justifies its bulk over the Tak MEF-3.

 

Phil


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