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Orion ED80T CF Focuser Issue

Orion Refractor Equipment ATM
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#1 Dupree

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Posted 07 April 2021 - 09:44 AM

Good day folks!

I've got an 8 year old Orion ED80T CF and when I turn the focus knobs (course or fine) it feels like the focuser is stepped.  I expect that the focus should feel smooth when the knobs are racked in or out.  Yes, it’s been like this since day-1 but it honestly didn’t bother me until recently.  When racking the focus it feels like the focuser parts are stepped as if the gears are meshing too deeply.  I thought I’d post this question here before I try to correct it myself.

Has anyone else had this problem?  Can this issue be corrected by adjustments to the focus tensioning?

Thanks for any help!

 

Regards, David


Edited by Dupree, 07 April 2021 - 09:45 AM.


#2 KenD

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Posted 07 April 2021 - 10:49 AM

I have the same scope/focuser that likely dates to about the same time as yours.  I've had a fair amount of trouble with the focuser - mostly slipping due to weight of SBIG camera/filter wheel even with a lot of tension   I've disassembled the focuser and replaced a ball bearing which had a cracked housing.  The draw tube is a bit worn from rubbing against the ball bearings.  I contacted Orion but they would not sell parts or just the focuser.   I considered replacing the focuser with a feather touch or moonlight but instead bought a different scope with a better focuser.   I still have the scope and my replace the focuser at some point.

 

My guess is that the "steps" you feel is because the fine focus rod is bent.   I think you woud have to disassemble the fine focus mechanism to investigate.   I've done that on another focuser but not my Orion focuser.

 

Ken

 


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#3 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 07 April 2021 - 10:56 AM

I have worked on a number of focusers with this problem, notchy.  It's in the two speed and in my experience, there's not much that can be done except replace the two speed, the bearing races are damaged.  :(

 

Jon


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#4 tog

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Posted 07 April 2021 - 11:34 AM

Moonlite has the solution!


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#5 Dupree

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Posted 07 April 2021 - 12:57 PM

It would seem that I should start saving up for another Moonlite focuser.  I really like the scope, other than the focuser issue.  Although I was preparing for the ability to service it I sort of figured it might not be possible.

 

Thanks for the good advice.

 

Regards, David


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#6 areyoukiddingme

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Posted 07 April 2021 - 03:11 PM

I have the very same problem. The focuser got progressively more rough and unpleasant to use.

 

I pulled it apart and played around with adjustment. In my case, it appears that there a runner/bearing that the tube runs on that has become tight. Adjusting the pressure on the focuser tube and moving the runner back and forth has helped but not cured this.

 

Are you the first owner of the scope? I though that Orion's policy was to sell parts to first owners, but not beyond.

 

I think a Moonlight is the best solution in the long run. Though when my focuser was working well, I was perfectly happy with it.


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#7 KenD

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Posted 07 April 2021 - 03:57 PM

Elaborating on my comment above:  it could well be true that Orion would not sell me parts because I am not the first owner.   They requested a receipt which I could not provide since I purchased the scope through Cloudy Nights.   I too have been happy with the scope which is why I may buy a Moonlight and keep the scope for wide field.

 

Ken

 


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#8 Dupree

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Posted 07 April 2021 - 05:05 PM

I have the very same problem. The focuser got progressively more rough and unpleasant to use.

 

I pulled it apart and played around with adjustment. In my case, it appears that there a runner/bearing that the tube runs on that has become tight. Adjusting the pressure on the focuser tube and moving the runner back and forth has helped but not cured this.

 

Are you the first owner of the scope? I though that Orion's policy was to sell parts to first owners, but not beyond.

 

I think a Moonlight is the best solution in the long run. Though when my focuser was working well, I was perfectly happy with it.

Yes, I'm the original owner.  It's always felt a "bit" lumpy, but this past few months have seen it deteriorating.  Oh well, time to plan for a Moonlite.  I already have them on my C11 and C6R so I'm sold on their quality.

 

Thanks for your time.



#9 Dupree

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Posted 07 April 2021 - 05:07 PM

Elaborating on my comment above:  it could well be true that Orion would not sell me parts because I am not the first owner.   They requested a receipt which I could not provide since I purchased the scope through Cloudy Nights.   I too have been happy with the scope which is why I may buy a Moonlight and keep the scope for wide field.

 

Ken

Impossibly enough I still have the receipt from the original sale.  Maybe I should hit them up for some parts.  Um, no!  I think the time would be better spent busking for coins to buy that new Moonlite.



#10 areyoukiddingme

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Posted 07 April 2021 - 08:50 PM

I'm half inclined to ask them for parts (I'm the first owner) just out of principle.

 

It might be useful to others if we can find a common weak point that can be fixed.


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