View Full Version here: : DIY ASCOM focuser

03-10-2017, 04:30 PM
I just priced an add-on stepper and controller for my MoonLite focuser. Wow! US$450 plus freight etc. Add in a conversion factor and you won't see much change, if any, out of A$600 or so.

As an alternative, I would like to investigate building my own using Arduino and a NEMA 17 stepper/gearbox. But I've never used any Arduino devices and am therefore hoping to find someone who has gone down this path and may have some tips and pointers.


03-10-2017, 05:57 PM
Did you consider the sharpsky option?


03-10-2017, 06:18 PM
Can't see how this is cheaper, GBP295 + 15 (+ 15) = GBP325 which is about AU$550. And it does not include motors.

03-10-2017, 06:24 PM
It does include motors and shipping and you've added on the extra 15 pounds for paypal which Peter might choose not to do.

03-10-2017, 06:34 PM

both of those are pretty cheap and easy to get together

03-10-2017, 07:21 PM
My bad about the motors, they are included. Should have looked more carefully :(

But the point still stands that there is not much price difference.
(And if you exclude the 15 pounds PayPal charge, the money still have to be transferred to UK somehow which will likely not be free).

03-10-2017, 07:58 PM
It's always good to have options. It comes with Ascom drivers that work. Also remember it has dew controller and pc control.

05-10-2017, 07:36 PM
Try this one N.Z. guy I have made one and works well

15-10-2017, 09:04 AM
It's not an issue in this case I realise, but a negative to the SharpSky Pro is that it only has ASCOM drivers, no INDI drivers.

Moonlite is supported or making your own can be supported by INDI as well.

15-10-2017, 06:38 PM
Chris - I don't know much about INDI but assume it is an alternative to ascom. I think PI are using creating an INDI telescope control option however ASCOM seems really entrenched. Are there any advantages of INDI over ascom?



15-10-2017, 09:32 PM
Check this out guys, total cost $ 30.00 (ASCOM or manual only).


15-10-2017, 10:00 PM
It's biggest advantage is being able to use platforms other than Windows, e.g. Linux. This can be useful if you want to use low powered devices like Raspberry Pi, etc for controlling your mount, imaging, etc.

Personally, I find the overall architecture design of INDI to be superior to ASCOM as well, e.g. INDI's local/remote systems support.

For more info on INDI, see here: http://www.indilib.org/

If it wasn't for the SharpSky Pro focuser I've got on my refractor, I think I would have gone pure Linux/INDI by now. I'm probably going to have to sell off that focuser sometime and replace it with something else - perhaps a DIY version like one of those linked. It's a shame it does not have an INDI driver since it's a very good focuser otherwise.