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Spoon

Steel track or Moonlite?

31 posts in this topic

Hi all,

I have a baader Steeltrack fitted to my 8"GSO F4 imaging newt, but I really like the look and feel of moonlites. Was just wondering. If it's worth upgrading? It will be holding a HX916 and eventually FW and Filters

Cheers

Cam

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Cam, I have two Baader Steeltracks (refractors), one Moonlite (dob) and one Feathertouch (refractor Rack & Pinion). They are all ace. In terms of focusing there is very little in it. I feel the Baader is a no-nonsense workhorse, the Moonlite does it effortlessly and with some flair, and the Feathertouch is a marvel of engineering that will still be going strong when I am gone. If I had any one of those three, I would stick, personally. My Moonlite doesn't have a ruler on it, I find that handy on the Baader and Feathertouch, I know that for solar h-alpha on my 120mm scope, it's around 4.3cm for focus. Give or take 0.5mm!

Edited by Luke
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Cam, I have two Baader Steeltracks (refractors), one Moonlite (dob) and one Feathertouch (refractor Rack & Pinion). They are all ace. In terms of focusing there is very little in it. I feel the Baader is a no-nonsense workhorse, the Moonlite does it effortlessly and with some flair, and the Feathertouch is a marvel of engineering that will still be going strong when I am gone. If I had any one of those three, I would stick, personally. My Moonlite doesn't have a ruler on it, I find that handy on the Baader and Feathertouch, I know that for solar h-alpha on my 120mm scope, it's around 4.3cm for focus. Give or take 0.5mm!

Thanks for the advice, don't get he wrong I love the baader, was just wondering :p

Thanks again

Cam

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I wouldn't bother either. A Feathertouch R and P, yes, but as Crayfords go the Steeltrack's a good one.

Olly

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I can't see any advantage in 'upgrading' from a Steeltrack to a Moonlite - both are excellent Crayfords. I'm with Olly, if you really want to upgrade for astrophotography then you need to go down the Starlight Instruments route and a Feathertouch R & P.

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Hope it is ok to join in with a question. Since the Baader steel track are not available anymore, has anyone experience with the TS acu clone (looks the same as my OO UK aco focuser on my vx10) I would like to upgrade the focuser on my 100ed and its either the new baader clones or a moonlite.

Edited by Bender

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Or one of these  :smiley:

http://www.firstlightoptics.com/starlight-instruments-feathertouch.html

I'm sure one or other of these will fit the bill.

Edit: Looks like David Hinds has the steeltrack in stock

http://www.baader-planetarium.uk.com/productinfo.php/focusers/focusers/508mm-steeltrack-focuser-newtonian/3554

Edited by DaveS

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I tend to agree with Olly here, I have the two best makes on the market and have had a TS one on my SC, all crayfords and there really is not that much in it apart from price tags. Maybe things would notice more if I were into AP, I imagine Olly is talking from this area having used his scopes for AP more so than visual. For me purely down to focusing for visual, there is not much in it, the quality of biuld is better on the Feather and Moonlite but should be for the cost.

Alan

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We used a Steeltrack on Yves' 14 inch ODK/Full frame mono CCD/ filterwheel for two years and it was OK. Coming from a notorious Crayford hater you could even call that high praise!

Olly

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We used a Steeltrack on Yves' 14 inch ODK/Full frame mono CCD/ filterwheel for two years and it was OK. Coming from a notorious Crayford hater you could even call that high praise!

Olly

See I'm not a massive fan of R+P's!

Cam

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Thanks for the advice, don't get he wrong I love the baader, was just wondering :p Thanks again Cam

I'm quite happy with my asrophysics's focusser on my 180 EDT ,nice smooth motion / action ,all these years later ........... 

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See I'm not a massive fan of R+P's! Cam

You do realize that, at my age, reading such heresy could provoke some kind of fatal convulsion or catastrophic attack of apoplexy???

:grin: lly

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You do realize that, at my age, reading such heresy could provoke some kind of fatal convulsion or catastrophic attack of apoplexy???

:grin: lly

Hahahaha

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I bought a Moonlite for my 190MN a year or two ago and am not impressed. So today, while visiting Baader on my way to Provence, I placed an order for the new version of the Steeltrack, called the "Diamant". This is totally different and uses some kind of diamond coating of the axis that has so high a friction that the thing lifts 6 kg without slipping. It is essentially equivalent to a rack and pinion but without the backlash and the cogging. I actually tried it with a 6 kg counter-weight on top of it and it didn't slip. Maybe it should be dubbed "Baaderford" or something, because it doesn't have any of the drawbacks of the standard Crayford, but all its advantages. I also tried to move the tube sideways and it didn't really bulge. Not a TEC large focuser, but certainly in the same neighborhood as the Feathertouch,which is more than I have to say about the Monlite that I have on the 190MN now.

Apart from an all new design of the housing, they changed the ball bearings to roller bearings, and the old embedded steel tracks that meet the bearings are now gone in favour of hardened milled off tracks. The diamond coated bar still meets a steel track, so the name appears to remain "Steeltrack". From what I understand, the old motor still fits and the 10:1 knob with belt coggs is the same as before.

These puppies are apparently being launched in a few weeks so my pre-order was accepted and I wil probably get one of the first production examples. Looking forward towards a straight and flat field from the 190 for the first time! I'll try to write a review as soon as I get it, but unfortunately the skies are bright as day until end of August :(

/per

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Sounds good. Baader are a serious firm.

Olly

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there is a need for a good quality european focuser. hope this delivers.

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I had a play with the baader diamant at the last IAS. Although it hasn't been released yet! It was a properly good focuser!

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Sounds good. Baader are a serious firm.

Olly

I can't see any sign of "catastrophic attack of apoplexy" here :confused:  :tongue:

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Shot a short movie before leaving for my next stop, and here's a 90 degree tilted iPhone clip with a Diamond Steeltrack lifting a 10Micron 6 kg counterweight (no software to rotate the movie :()

http://filer.frejvall.se/Diamant.mp4

It appears R&P-like in terms of lifting capacity...

/per

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That's a seriously good focuser. Wonder what sort of price......

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Per any update on this beastie in use?

Im very much in the FT Camp but this does look like a viable alternative, I read many reports (and in my experience) of other brands been tried and eventually ditched as they are not up to par for the job for various reasons.

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I should be getting my Diamond very soon. I'll make sure to report back when I do, even though the darkness is months away :)

/per

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Will be interesting, I nearly ordered a TS clone of the steeltrack as the baader version is no longer available. After reading this thread I decided to hold off and hope the new baader version is out soon

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Wise move... There is a difference and I have looked at all the various versions of the new Diamond Steeltrack. Fantastic focusers!

/per

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