View Full Version here: : Skywatcher electric focuser

04-09-2017, 07:43 AM
I notice Bintel have an electric focuser by Skywatcher and I was curious if anyone here has one and what do they think about it.

Its only $99 and given the prices these things can reach I wonder just how useful it may be.

A longer cord would help has anyone tried that or think a longer cord may be a problem...4 or 5 meters would suit me.


04-09-2017, 07:54 AM
I have one fitted to a TSA 120 and I think they are fantastic value. Go for it, you will not be disappointed.
Dave Cooke

04-09-2017, 08:05 AM
Thank you Dave. That is welcome news, it seemed to good to be true.
Have you put on a longer lead or do you control it via computer.

Man have I got a shopping list this week... I lost my bank card so a week has passed with no spending, other than the eight inch:D but should have a new one today other wise gotto do some transfer of funds into an account I just remembered will do the job.

Thanks again Dave.:thumbsup:

04-09-2017, 08:17 AM
I just use it sat at the eyepeice, it eliminates any vibration when focusing which is what I got it for. At 71 I am unlikely to start trying to control things with a computer. As for an extended cable I will let others advise you but it is surely possible.
Again, for the price I cannot speak too highly of this gizmo.
Dave Cooke

04-09-2017, 08:22 AM
Hi Alex,

I bought a 5 metre curly cable (from Jaycar) for the focuser and it works fine, these use a RJ11 connector which is harder to obtain than the more common RJ12 cables. I would have preferred a more lighter flat cable but Jaycar only had the curly cable which is a bit heavy.

Later on I ditched the 9V battery and installed a socket to provide 12V from a power pack to power it.


04-09-2017, 08:34 AM
Thanks for all that Bill.
I am excited about sitting...yes just sitting for a start...but sitting inside more so...and with that, the final piece of the puzzle will go in place.

I dont care if the cable is heavy that is a small price to pay.

Thanks again.


04-09-2017, 09:22 AM
I've fitted the SW focus motor to all my scopes...it's on the TS102 using a belt drive, on the ED80 and the spectroheliograph. Either direct hand controller or by using the Shoestring PC connection.
They work very well for me. Recommended.

04-09-2017, 09:30 AM
Thanks Ken I respect your recommendation highly.


04-09-2017, 12:59 PM

I have one fitted to a Vixen VC200L. Works great. Good variable speed range. Fine is very fine, course is fast enough to do a big focus change reasonably quickly. The 9V transistor battery lasts for ages. I always carry a couple of spare batteries in my accessory case. The SWELFOCUS has no clutch so if the battery does go flat, you either need to remove it in the dark or change the battery. Some early models had a problem with battery drain even when not in use. You may read about this in reviews. I purchased mine in 2014 and have had no such problems.

The battery life depends very much whether you have parfocalized eyepieces or not. If you are using it a lot to move the focusseer in and out, then obviously you wont get the same life from the battery as if you are only doing fine refocusing. If you find you are not getting the battery life you'd like, hooking in an external supply from your 12V scope supply via a DC-DC converter would be very simple.


04-09-2017, 01:15 PM
Now seriously Alex, seeing you would be using a Bahtinov to achieve a proper imaging focus, and one needs to physically put it on and remove it, is a long cable necessary? Just stand by it and do it, then move the laptop inside.

Unless you plan just eyeballing the focus?

04-09-2017, 02:19 PM
You present an interesting issue Lewis.
Must figure how to build one in, and a lens cover.

I have become obsessed with this four foot cube box observatory idea. And with a motorised lid and computer with a dongle I would have a remote observatory. So being able to move a mask on and off I would see as useful, and a lens cover ... convert an old dust bin.:D

But is an interesting exercise. Cheap, functional demountable self sustaining power and I have four survailance cameras maybe I could build in just to check the sky and stuff...kangaroos even.

The way I have this figured I will be so occupied in building up this rig that I wont notice the weather...

I was thinking today a van set up would be great just camp at the best spot for a coulple of months...Chilli maybe:D


04-09-2017, 02:36 PM
Thanks Joe

I like the idea of getting everything running ooff the 12 batteries. I have not tried to work out power needs, but I will have a guess. A remote opperation would need a lot of power. Anyways one step at a time.

I always have a large supply of 9 vlt batteries ..they are the ones that power my mini amp for my cigar box guitar... so thats good.

I think I have I little solar panel that would charge one of them...

Must see what one of those little panels can do to top up a battery...be a slow trickle thats for sure...which may not be a bad thing.


04-09-2017, 03:54 PM
A 4' x 4' x 4' enclosure with "soft top" - see message #10

The images show some of my SW motor arrangements...

04-09-2017, 06:47 PM
Thanks ... I have this 80mm short tube terrible scope but maybe useful for guiding if the first option does not work first up...but got it out and the focuser just does not work ..tiny gears interaction..annoying to make it work just the way it should which is not flash but at least ti should move it...need a new scope really.

04-09-2017, 06:51 PM
Well one on each scope couldnt hurt.

04-09-2017, 06:54 PM
That last shot would be a way out to save that scope.
Its worthless like it is even working the focuser was poor but with a bit of packing and a motor it should work well.
Great value probably worht getting a six pack for when some wear out.

04-09-2017, 07:55 PM
Just be aware you can't reliably use the DC motor focus drives for standalone auto-focus Alex.

But if that's not your goal, go for it. I've got one on my 8" Newt that was a game changer. With an FCUSB you can tweak focus away from the scope nicely over USB too.

05-09-2017, 08:17 AM
The SW motor isn't a Moonlite! but it can be a tremendous aid.
For planetary, lunar and solar there's no opportunity to use a Bahtinov mask.
Seriously, I don't think I'd be able to be as effective as I am with the spectroheliograph or solar Ha without the SW motor.