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Options for automated focusing

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  • sc02492
    Dear all, I have been using Robofocus for years but have recently become interested in other options. I am aware that FLI has a digital focuser but don t know
    Message 1 of 7 , Sep 24, 2010
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      Dear all,

      I have been using Robofocus for years but have recently become interested in other options. I am aware that FLI has a digital focuser but don't know of similar units. If you could let me know (offline is fine) how this performs, whether it introduces flexure, whether it can deal with the heavy weight of a 16803 chip camera, and whether there are other digital focusers that I should consider, I would appreciate it. I would want the focuser to be compatible with Focusmax.

      Thanks

      Steve

      Steve Cannistra
      http://www.starrywonders.com
    • I.R. van de Stadt
      Hi folks, I d be most interested too, so I d like it the subject can be kept in the group. The only other one I ve come across is
      Message 2 of 7 , Sep 25, 2010
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        Hi folks,
        I'd be most interested too, so I'd like it the subject can be kept in the group. The only other one I've come across is
        http://www.optecinc.com/astronomy/tcf-s.htm
        I don't have a unit, so I can't give any comment your other questons you have.
        Clear Skies!
        Inge


        To: ccd-newastro@yahoogroups.com
        From: sc02492@...
        Date: Sat, 25 Sep 2010 06:13:21 +0000
        Subject: [ccd-newastro] Options for automated focusing




























        Dear all,



        I have been using Robofocus for years but have recently become interested in other options. I am aware that FLI has a digital focuser but don't know of similar units. If you could let me know (offline is fine) how this performs, whether it introduces flexure, whether it can deal with the heavy weight of a 16803 chip camera, and whether there are other digital focusers that I should consider, I would appreciate it. I would want the focuser to be compatible with Focusmax.



        Thanks



        Steve



        Steve Cannistra

        http://www.starrywonders.com



















        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • paulk@saber.net
        Hi Any news for a rotator for the CDK 17 ? Paulk Ukiah Ca Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry ... From: I.R. van de Stadt
        Message 3 of 7 , Sep 25, 2010
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          Hi
          Any news for a rotator for the CDK 17 ?
          Paulk
          Ukiah Ca
          Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

          -----Original Message-----
          From: "I.R. van de Stadt" <irvandestadt@...>
          Sender: ccd-newastro@yahoogroups.com
          Date: Sat, 25 Sep 2010 10:04:00
          To: <ccd-newastro@yahoogroups.com>
          Reply-To: ccd-newastro@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: RE: [ccd-newastro] Options for automated focusing


          Hi folks,
          I'd be most interested too, so I'd like it the subject can be kept in the group. The only other one I've come across is
          http://www.optecinc.com/astronomy/tcf-s.htm
          I don't have a unit, so I can't give any comment your other questons you have.
          Clear Skies!
          Inge


          To: ccd-newastro@yahoogroups.com
          From: sc02492@...
          Date: Sat, 25 Sep 2010 06:13:21 +0000
          Subject: [ccd-newastro] Options for automated focusing




























          Dear all,



          I have been using Robofocus for years but have recently become interested in other options. I am aware that FLI has a digital focuser but don't know of similar units. If you could let me know (offline is fine) how this performs, whether it introduces flexure, whether it can deal with the heavy weight of a 16803 chip camera, and whether there are other digital focusers that I should consider, I would appreciate it. I would want the focuser to be compatible with Focusmax.



          Thanks



          Steve



          Steve Cannistra

          http://www.starrywonders.com



















          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]



          ------------------------------------
        • astro danco
          Finger Lakes has three different focusers. The strongest one (and most expensive) appears to be the ATLAS. Finger Lakes had one set up at PATS recently while
          Message 4 of 7 , Sep 27, 2010
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            Finger Lakes has three different focusers. The strongest one (and most expensive) appears to be the ATLAS. Finger Lakes had one set up at PATS recently while I was there. It was supporting a somewhat heavy SBIG camera (an STX series I think) on the end of a very long tube as if it was nothing. Of course it's impossible to tell from a simple sales demo just how well it actually works in the real world, but it certainly appeared to be very strong and very stiff.

            If you have plenty of extra backfocus to burn, Optec makes the TCF-Si and the TCF-S3i. The Si requires an extra 3.5" of backfocus. The S3i requires an extra 5.5" (I think that's right) of backfocus. The S3i is MASSIVE. One of the advantages of these particular focusers is the nice hand wand that can be plugged into the temperature probe port to manually control the focuser when you're just doing visual at the acope. Can't do that with the FLI focusers.

            Note that I totally discount the temperature control feature. The way I see it, it's not particularly useful and in fact just gets in the way. I don't use that feature at all.

            I've had a TCF-S for ten years now that I recently had upgraded to a TCF-Si. It just plain chews up too much backfocus for the imaging trains I want to start using in the near future. I'm keeping it around for visual use though.

            I'm heavily leaning towards purchasing a FLI ATLAS focuser as well as an Optec Pyxis 3" camera rotator. Unfortunate that these two together cost as much as a mid-tier CCD camera!


            --- In ccd-newastro@yahoogroups.com, "sc02492" <sc02492@...> wrote:
            >
            > Dear all,
            >
            > I am aware that FLI has a digital focuser but don't know of similar units...
          • sc02492
            Thanks very much for this information. Steve Cannistra http://www.starrywonders.com
            Message 5 of 7 , Sep 28, 2010
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              Thanks very much for this information.

              Steve Cannistra
              http://www.starrywonders.com

              --- In ccd-newastro@yahoogroups.com, "astro danco" <astrodanco@...> wrote:
              >
              >
              > Finger Lakes has three different focusers. The strongest one (and most expensive) appears to be the ATLAS. Finger Lakes had one set up at PATS recently while I was there. It was supporting a somewhat heavy SBIG camera (an STX series I think) on the end of a very long tube as if it was nothing. Of course it's impossible to tell from a simple sales demo just how well it actually works in the real world, but it certainly appeared to be very strong and very stiff.
              >
              > If you have plenty of extra backfocus to burn, Optec makes the TCF-Si and the TCF-S3i. The Si requires an extra 3.5" of backfocus. The S3i requires an extra 5.5" (I think that's right) of backfocus. The S3i is MASSIVE. One of the advantages of these particular focusers is the nice hand wand that can be plugged into the temperature probe port to manually control the focuser when you're just doing visual at the acope. Can't do that with the FLI focusers.
              >
              > Note that I totally discount the temperature control feature. The way I see it, it's not particularly useful and in fact just gets in the way. I don't use that feature at all.
              >
              > I've had a TCF-S for ten years now that I recently had upgraded to a TCF-Si. It just plain chews up too much backfocus for the imaging trains I want to start using in the near future. I'm keeping it around for visual use though.
              >
              > I'm heavily leaning towards purchasing a FLI ATLAS focuser as well as an Optec Pyxis 3" camera rotator. Unfortunate that these two together cost as much as a mid-tier CCD camera!
              >
              >
              > --- In ccd-newastro@yahoogroups.com, "sc02492" <sc02492@> wrote:
              > >
              > > Dear all,
              > >
              > > I am aware that FLI has a digital focuser but don't know of similar units...
              >
            • ec welch
              I have an extremely heavy imaging train and needed more back focus as well. I wasted many bucks on heavy duty focusers and finally found the Clement focuser.
              Message 6 of 7 , Sep 28, 2010
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                I have an extremely heavy imaging train and needed more back focus as
                well. I wasted many bucks on "heavy duty" focusers and finally found the
                Clement focuser. Before buying a new focuser check this out.
                EC




















                '

                On 9/28/2010 12:33 PM, sc02492 wrote:
                > Thanks very much for this information.
                >
                > Steve Cannistra
                > http://www.starrywonders.com
                >
                > --- In ccd-newastro@yahoogroups.com, "astro danco"<astrodanco@...> wrote:
                >>
                >> Finger Lakes has three different focusers. The strongest one (and most expensive) appears to be the ATLAS. Finger Lakes had one set up at PATS recently while I was there. It was supporting a somewhat heavy SBIG camera (an STX series I think) on the end of a very long tube as if it was nothing. Of course it's impossible to tell from a simple sales demo just how well it actually works in the real world, but it certainly appeared to be very strong and very stiff.
                >>
                >> If you have plenty of extra backfocus to burn, Optec makes the TCF-Si and the TCF-S3i. The Si requires an extra 3.5" of backfocus. The S3i requires an extra 5.5" (I think that's right) of backfocus. The S3i is MASSIVE. One of the advantages of these particular focusers is the nice hand wand that can be plugged into the temperature probe port to manually control the focuser when you're just doing visual at the acope. Can't do that with the FLI focusers.
                >>
                >> Note that I totally discount the temperature control feature. The way I see it, it's not particularly useful and in fact just gets in the way. I don't use that feature at all.
                >>
                >> I've had a TCF-S for ten years now that I recently had upgraded to a TCF-Si. It just plain chews up too much backfocus for the imaging trains I want to start using in the near future. I'm keeping it around for visual use though.
                >>
                >> I'm heavily leaning towards purchasing a FLI ATLAS focuser as well as an Optec Pyxis 3" camera rotator. Unfortunate that these two together cost as much as a mid-tier CCD camera!
                >>
                >>
                >> --- In ccd-newastro@yahoogroups.com, "sc02492"<sc02492@> wrote:
                >>> Dear all,
                >>>
                >>> I am aware that FLI has a digital focuser but don't know of similar units...
                >
                >
              • astro danco
                Many years ago I had a prototype Clement focuser inside my year 2000 vintage C-14 OTA. That s correct, INSIDE. Clement focusers have doubtless come very far
                Message 7 of 7 , Sep 28, 2010
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                  Many years ago I had a prototype Clement focuser inside my year 2000 vintage C-14 OTA. That's correct, INSIDE. Clement focusers have doubtless come very far since then and that is good. I have recently gifted that particular C-14 OTA to Don. He tells me that he's going to put a new generation focuser inside it to replace the prototype. That should be interesting to see.

                  For me, a Clement focuser (on the back rather than inside) would be the clear choice to purchase if it did two things: 1) fit directly on the back of a C-14 EdgeHD like the TCF-Si does and did it without needing a 3/4" spacer to clear the focuser and lock knobs as the PDF and ATLAS do; and 2) had automation clearly integrated by design rather than tacked-on as an afterthought.

                  --- In ccd-newastro@yahoogroups.com, ec welch <ecw2f@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > I have an extremely heavy imaging train and needed more back focus as well. I wasted many bucks on "heavy duty" focusers and finally found the Clement focuser. Before buying a new focuser check this out.
                  > EC
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