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AutoFocus With An FSQ-106EDXIII


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I'm exploring the options I have for autofocus through SkyX on my FSQ using MAC. The dealer I bought from hasn't been too helpful, basically saying nothing more than "use robofocus or Optec", no specifics. In a perfect world, I'd simply find someone else with the same kit and copy their imaging train. Anyone have useful opinions or thoughts?

Thanks,

Nate

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I use the Lakeside on both the 106 and the TEC-140. Good motor, very reliable. I do not use Lakeside's control unit, but rather my own design. The Lakeside control unit is good, though.

/per

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I think if it was me, I would get it all set up outside, hook everything up and start using it.

Forget investing more money just yet, use it.

You may find that focusing isn't much of an issue and it would be a waste of time.

Have you had first light yet, I may have missed your thread?

Cheers

Ant

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Actually I think that you will probably find that focussing IS an issue with this scope. It is very sensitive indeed to focus drift during cooldown and robotic focus is, in many environments, essential. We use the older fluorite 106 scopes here and they are far less fussy. However, give it a whizz and see how cooldown behaves. One thing I suggest to reduce the problem is using front and rear dewheaters to reduce the speed of the cooldown process. Reaching ambient temperature is not the key thing in terms of having good seeing within the tube. The key thing is that the tube itself have a stable internal temperature. If this is higher than ambient I don't think it matters. Tube currents do the damage.

I don't do robo focus but Per is very up on all this madness!

Olly

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I've started using Lakeside Auto Focusers - I have to say that I am now wondering how I ever coped without them - I love not having to worry about focus during the night. I have found both the scopes I have used, quite fickle for focus and certainly wouldn't last half a night. At least now I know that I have decent infocus data from a complete nights run.

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If you want to use your Mac under OSX (rather than Parallels, VMware or bootcamp) then you will need to be careful about equipment selection to ensure compatibility.  If you are going to be using The Sky X, go to the Focuser tab under 'Display' and the 'Focuser setup' and 'Choose'.  This will show you a list of the focus controller that the Sky X supports under OSX.  Sadly the Lakeside is not supported (unless you can find someone to write an X2 driver for it).  It seems at the moment you are limited to FLI, Moonlite, Starlight/Optec and Robofocus.

Are you using the standard Takahashi Focuser?  If so, Starlight have a motor and controller option that will definitely work under Mac.

Hope that helps

Nick 

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Olly, my post was more of a gentle encouragement to Nate, to get outside and use the scope. From what I can see Nate has had this setup for around 8-9 months now and I couldn't spot a first light thread.

Whenever I move house, I HATE setting up for the first time. But once I've done it and worked out positioning and cable runs etc. I take every opportunity...

Focusing isn't an issue of you don't use your kit, so my post was just encouragement to get outside and find out that he needs autofocus, rather than use it as a physiological barrier to going out.

Ant

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It isn't Nate.

But you have spent a huge amount of money on kit. Which is fantastic, you are going to have an absolute ball when you get out under the stars.

I was just trying to encourage you to do it, before assuming that you need more kit(and more things to learn about) to get going. I may be way off the mark, and I do sincerely apologise if I am, but from where I'm sitting you seem to be putting barriers in the way of actually getting out there and taking images.

Who cares if they are slightly out of focus, the thrill if seeing [insert target here] on the screen for the first time is an amazing feeling.

Ant

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Astro-imaging is a very steep learning curve, I would ease yourself in slowly and keep at it beyond all reasonable levels of perseverance or you're likely to get disheartened very quickly.

I'd echo Ant's sentiments. Start off with manual focussing and learn techniques and the kit you already have first, then get an electronic focuser later once you've made substantial progress.

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Thanks everyone for the advice. It's much appreciated. I now have the answers I wanted. I'll return to the forum if/when I ever have something worth sharing and/or contributing.

Best wishes/clear skies/all that jazz

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