#1  
Old 01-03-2014, 09:51 PM
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Spookyer (Brett)
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An automatic focuser

Hi all, I am looking at going automatic with my focuser now that I have a ccd camera and filter wheel. Used to do it manually no worries with the DSLR using Liveview but it is a bit trickier now and much more time consuming.

I currently have a 3.5" Feathertouch focuser (manual). I use Sequence Generator Pro to drive everything so would want something that is going to work with that seamlessly. Would also like to be able to manually move the focuser as well. And the focus motor unit has to come on and off the feathertouch easy so I can still put the scope in its custom box when it is time for it to go to bed.

I have found this that looks very interesting.
http://www.optecinc.com/astronomy/ca...paper_rev2.pdf

Has anyone used one of these? Are there any other suggestions that might be better?

Cheers
Brett
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  #2  
Old 07-03-2014, 05:23 PM
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No takers? Well I have just ordered one so will report on it when I get it.

cheers
Brett
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  #3  
Old 08-03-2014, 03:44 PM
Christoph (Chris)
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Hi Brett,
I hoped too, that someone would have experience with these and share them here....I've also just ordered one from Starlight Instruments to use on my NP101is. Infos here:http://starlightinstruments.com/stor...product_id=305
I went for the HSM20, to be able to manually override when used for visual observing.
Clear skies!
Cheers,
Christoph
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Old 09-03-2014, 03:45 PM
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I got the FT40 from Optec. Should have it within a week.

Brett
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Old 11-03-2014, 11:22 AM
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Why not use the same focusor you have and buy an autofocus unit from Starlight Instruments. It comes and off easily and will work with many autofocus programmes.
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Old 11-03-2014, 05:23 PM
Christoph (Chris)
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Hi Paul,
I am not sure what you mean. Both Brett and I have Starlight Instruments focusers, which means that the HSM attaches straight to them (TeleVue uses Feather-touch pinion assemblies on their later focusers even tough they are not branded as such). Optec and Starlight both sell the same thing under different brand names. The HSM allows to manually override the electronic focuser and also has a smaller step size compared to the micro touch motors. Another plus with this kit compared to the old micro touch kits is the option to control it via the network as well as the possibility to control a second focuser with the same hub. really neat.....
Cheers,
Christoph
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Old 11-03-2014, 05:38 PM
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OK fair enough.
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Old 23-03-2014, 09:05 AM
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I have now got my Focuslynx FT40 focuser going with SGP. It requires synching each time you setup and I am yet to work out how to let it access the full range of travel for the focuser but other than that which is easy enough to work around it seems to go well.

It is easy to install (no drilling etc) and I modified my scope case a bit internally so I can store the scope without having to take the focuser off. Overall I'd say it seems like a low fuss elegant solution for automating Feathertouch focusers.
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Old 23-03-2014, 10:43 AM
Christoph (Chris)
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Hi Brett,
great to hear that it is working for you. I am still waiting for mine, from Starlight Instruments and believe that it hasn't even shipped yet.....
Should have ordered from Optec I guess....
Cheers,
Christoph
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Old 23-03-2014, 11:40 AM
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That's a bugger, I got mine in about a week of ordering. Jeff was good getting back to me with a few questions I had when it arrived. The clouds have been the biggest issue with getting enough star time to work how to use it with SGP.
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Old 25-04-2014, 04:46 PM
Christoph (Chris)
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Finally got mine on Wednesday.... but it was worth the wait! Removed the two original focuser knobs on the NP101is and the HSM fitted straight on. I found that the little hex screw holding the 1:1 focuser knob is locked in by a second one, luckily I found that out before I used force....
Step size 1.3microns. Works like a treat, and integrates perfectly with SGP.
I would definitely recommend it as an elegant solution for automating focusing on Televue scopes....but pictures say more than words....
Cheers,
Christoph
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Old 01-05-2014, 08:02 PM
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Spookyer (Brett)
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Yes I can say my Optec FT40 unit is working well, I think it is 1 micron steps. Certainly a good solution for automating a feathertouch focuser.

Brett
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