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Any Baader Steeldrive owners here?


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I'm pondering over the purchase of the Baader Steeldrive to fit on the Steeltrack I have on my SW ED80.

Yes I know they are expensive and that it's possible to fit a cheap SW autofous motor to it with some diy bracket and drivebelts etc.

I have to pack my scopes away after use and would rather have the more compact and seemingly more robust Baader motor fitted as that would fit in with storage space.

  • Anyone have a Steeldrive and regret the purchase or conversely well pleased with it?
  • It would save a few pounds buying the unit without manual controller but I'd like to keep the manual option open so wondered if it can be controlled by the SW hand unit or the HitecAstro DC focus controller (I have both).

Hopefully the Baader Focuser and Steeldrive would stay with me and move up when I upgrade or buy another refractor.

Thanks

Steve

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I am congentitally disposed to hate Crayfords but the Steeltrack I use on Yves' 14 inch seems to work with a heavy CCD rig.

Olly

Thanks Olly

I'm sure that it's news to all of SGL that you don't really like Crayfords, it's quite a well kept secret :grin:

Do you have the steeldrive motor fiited to it though? I did actually note your thumbs up for the Steeltracks before I bought mine, and it influenced my SCT focuser replacement too (got the Revelation superfocuser rack & pinion).

Steve

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Ah, sorry I see - as noted above, it's one heck of a price for a few pounds of motor. I have an old stepper and Arduino and am hopefully going to get it all connected together soon. Should give the same performance for a lot less dosh!

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I have the steel drive on my 3" Steeltrack. There were a lot of issues originally with the software, but these are mostly sorted now. Do a search for threads on steeldrive. I'm on my iPad at the moment so can't find them as I'm not yet up to speed with using the pad! Mechanically integrates very well with the Steeltrack. The stepper motor used is not compatible with independent controllers, so you have to use the supplied controllers. I drive mine direct from the pc. The only problem I have is with slippage of the Crayford, but that's nothing new. It does prevent autofocus though until I fix it. I need to understand what all the tension screws do on the Steeltrack.

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I use one on my MAK180. Compared to the OC1 I use on my OO 150 it is a big step forward.

It feels much better and it can handle much more weight.

Compared to the other focuser its only a little more expensive (SW, TS, Kepler ect....).

But I'm not able to tell you anything compared to Feather touch or moonlite who cost a lot more.

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I have the steel drive on my 3" Steeltrack. There were a lot of issues originally with the software, but these are mostly sorted now. Do a search for threads on steeldrive. I'm on my iPad at the moment so can't find them as I'm not yet up to speed with using the pad! Mechanically integrates very well with the Steeltrack. The stepper motor used is not compatible with independent controllers, so you have to use the supplied controllers. I drive mine direct from the pc. The only problem I have is with slippage of the Crayford, but that's nothing new. It does prevent autofocus though until I fix it. I need to understand what all the tension screws do on the Steeltrack.

Thanks that's very useful. I did do a search but I think I must have done it in the wrong section as there were very few hits - done correctly I can now see the driver discussions.

I use one on my MAK180. Compared to the OC1 I use on my OO 150 it is a big step forward.

It feels much better and it can handle much more weight.

Compared to the other focuser its only a little more expensive (SW, TS, Kepler ect....).

But I'm not able to tell you anything compared to Feather touch or moonlite who cost a lot more.

Thanks Astrobug it was the motor attachment the steeldrive that I was enquiring about, the focuser which I already have is the steeltrack with the cost of the focus motor perhaps it should be called stealdrive! :laugh:

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I fitted a SW focus motor to a Steeltrack with a bracket made of some 10mm ally stock, a toothed pulley and belt. It'd be dead easy to put a Robofocus motor on there instead of the SW DC motor.

8513451281_4b96a99945_z.jpg

Home-made (very) bracket to fit Skywatcher autofocuser to Baader Steeltrack focuser by Stephen Jennette, on Flickr

Or, if you're handy with a soldering iron, then a 12v stepper only costs a couple of quid:

http://www.ebay.co.u...=item35c71a94c8

Something like a Hitec Astro Focus Master could be used to interface the stepper to the PC:

http://www.hitecastr...focus&Itemid=54

Edited by Zakalwe
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The best option for me would be a kit that used the SW motor but fitted like the Baader one. For a lot less money of course. :shocked:

That is what we have on Yves' 14 inch ODK.

The automation is... me. I don't doubt that Yves could do better!

Olly

Edited by ollypenrice
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  • 2 months later...

I fitted a SW focus motor to a Steeltrack with a bracket made of some 10mm ally stock, a toothed pulley and belt. It'd be dead easy to put a Robofocus motor on there instead of the SW DC motor.

8513451281_4b96a99945_z.jpg

Home-made (very) bracket to fit Skywatcher autofocuser to Baader Steeltrack focuser by Stephen Jennette, on Flickr

Or, if you're handy with a soldering iron, then a 12v stepper only costs a couple of quid:

http://www.ebay.co.u...=item35c71a94c8

Something like a Hitec Astro Focus Master could be used to interface the stepper to the PC:

http://www.hitecastr...focus&Itemid=54

Hi  Stephen, where did you get the pulley and belt. I've just got the SW focus motor kit with the Hitec dc focus. I may need to find a toothed focus knob like yours to replace the knob on the feathertouch as well. Mounting the kit is not as simple with the feathertouch, but I'm working on it.

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Ok, anyone.??

There's a thread or two over at astronomyshed with links for the pulley & belt. The Baader steeltrack already has the toothed focuser, but I expect you'd realised that.

For anyone thinking of getting the steeltrack and doing the SW focuser mod - it's a slow movement really only suitable for imaging - the time taken to move the focuser fully in to fully out can be timed with a calendar!

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