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Alternative options for Moonlite Focuser controller?

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#1 bluesilver

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Posted 28 November 2023 - 11:53 PM

Hi,  i have a secondhand OTA that came with a Moonlite Focuser.

It didn't come with a controller for the focuser and the previous owner just used the Laptop to operate it.

 

I was hoping someone may know of an alternative option for the Mini-V2 controller for High res stepper motors as Moonlite is asking $250 US for one.

 

I have ZWO controller for the ZWO EAF,  not sure if i can adapt that to work with the Moonlite or not.

Or dose anyone have a option for a build your own design that will work?

 

I just don't really want to spend $250US on a hand controller,  when i convert that to AUD + Shipping,  it is something like $450

 

If there is an option to build my own and someone has a design that works,  that would be the best option.

 

Any information would be greatly appreciated,

Cheers.

 

 



#2 TelescopeGreg

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Posted 29 November 2023 - 12:29 AM

I'm not familiar with the Moonlite focusers, but if it's just a stepper motor (so, two coils, 4 wires total), and you are adventurous, a motor controller hat on a Raspberry Pi might drive it just fine.

 

I'm using that for my telescope.  There's a thread by Kevin Ross, who provided the idea and INDI driver for it.  https://www.cloudyni...s/#entry9494259

Attached Thumbnails

  • Focuser closeup.jpg

Edited by TelescopeGreg, 29 November 2023 - 12:30 AM.


#3 bluesilver

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Posted 29 November 2023 - 12:43 AM

Thanks for the reply,

I may have made the question sound a little confusing,  sorry about this.

Basically,  the Moonlite focusers comes with its own motor already installed,  at least mine did and looking at their site,  it appears this is how they all are shipped out now.

 

So i am looking for options on how to control this motor via a hand controller.

It says that it can be used by a PC,  but after downloading the program,  I can't see how to actually get it to move in and out like you would with a hand controller.

The PC program only basically lets you move it to pre determined positions,  which to me seams a bit odd.

I like to be about the move the focuser in and out to get the best focus,  I can do this by hand of course,  but being able o do by a hand controller is much better.

 

Or do i have to actually get the Moonlite hand controller for that huge price?



#4 santafe retiree

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Posted 29 November 2023 - 12:58 AM

Maybe this thread will help --

 

https://www.cloudyni...stepper-motors/

 

I googled "moonlite focuser controller" and that is one of the threads that popped up

 

Good luck

 

Tom



#5 Walter T

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Posted 29 November 2023 - 01:05 AM

I once bought a telescope that came with a Moonlite focuser but no controller, same situation as you.  There are other third party controllers that would work on the Moonlite ie. Rigel nStep, Pegasus Power Box Ultimate, etc. but those aren't any cheaper than just buying the Moonlite one to begin with.  If you're looking for a DIY solution maybe take a look at this: https://www.ngc7000....rolMoonLite.pdf

 

ps. I didn't actually build this but is one of the DIY solutions that I looked into when I was trying to come up with a controller.  I eventually sold the focuser instead and went with something else.



#6 italic

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Posted 29 November 2023 - 01:09 AM

The Pegasus motor controller will handle it just fine. I didn't want to spend that much money on one of the Moonlite boxes, so I went with Pegasus and have had a good time with it.



#7 ksouers

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Posted 29 November 2023 - 07:56 AM

Hi,  i have a secondhand OTA that came with a Moonlite Focuser.

It didn't come with a controller for the focuser and the previous owner just used the Laptop to operate it.

 

I was hoping someone may know of an alternative option for the Mini-V2 controller for High res stepper motors as Moonlite is asking $250 US for one.

 

I have ZWO controller for the ZWO EAF,  not sure if i can adapt that to work with the Moonlite or not.

Or dose anyone have a option for a build your own design that will work?

 

I just don't really want to spend $250US on a hand controller,  when i convert that to AUD + Shipping,  it is something like $450

 

If there is an option to build my own and someone has a design that works,  that would be the best option.

 

Any information would be greatly appreciated,

Cheers.

I've been using a Rigelsys usb-nStep for several years on my Moonlite CF. It works great, and has been very reliable.

Moonlite equipment is great but, yeah, it's a little pricey.

 

https://www.rigelsys...eppermotor.html

The controller is at the bottom of the page. Oh, and Leon is a member here on CN so if you need help, he's the man!

 

You will have to make up a cable for it but that's easy with off-the-shelf parts. Leon provides instructions online and with the controller.

 

 

Kevin



#8 RedLionNJ

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Posted 29 November 2023 - 01:08 PM

I had a similar situation when my ancient hand controller for my JMI NGF-S died. I chatted with Leon at RigelSys and he identified the part from him I'd need to replace the hand controller (and an optional part to make it all computer-controllable as well). Worked like a charm, still using it.  There's likely a very similar solution for a MoonLite.



#9 rigelsys

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Posted 29 November 2023 - 07:31 PM

I had a similar situation when my ancient hand controller for my JMI NGF-S died. I chatted with Leon at RigelSys and he identified the part from him I'd need to replace the hand controller (and an optional part to make it all computer-controllable as well). Worked like a charm, still using it.  There's likely a very similar solution for a MoonLite.

Yep,  just need the cable adapter from 6p6c to DB9 (ala the attached)

Attached Files



#10 jmiller1001

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Posted 30 November 2023 - 01:41 PM

+1 on the Rigelsys solution - I use it on all of my Moonlites with zero issues.




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