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Feathertouch vs Motofocus

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So on my Evolution 9.25 I'm wanting to upgrade the focus mechanism... it's not so much the couple seconds of shaking after focusing that bothers me...that settles down quick enough it's not a huge deal... it's that it's doing that shaking WHILE focusing, so it makes it very difficult to fine-tune the focus with the factory setup.

The feathertouch gets a lot of praise, and to my surprise it's actually MORE expensive than the motofocus is... but if I'm still physically touching the focuser, won't I still have the same problem?

The motofocus I would think would eliminate that issue- though I'm not sure how finely you can move it compared to the FT... and having a wired controller to keep track of might be awkward in the field.

Also of concern it's not entirely clear from the pictures I've seen- but given the focuser is under the diagonal on this scope would either focuser upgrade stick out so much it'd interfere with moving the OTA toward zenith?

(any sorta crayford setup is out of consideration for the same move toward zenith concerns- the 2" GSO diag I have is already a minor issue in that regard)

so... thoughts? 

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  • 3 months later...

I use both Crayford's and have the JMI MotoFocus on two other scopes. I'll get to this in a moment.

First off, you say your scope has the 'shakes?' Do you have anti-vibration pads under the legs of your tripod? If not - they make a world of difference. You can buy ready-made one's for around $50 US from Orion USA, Meade dealers, and Celestron. They're all about the same. OR - look up Sorbothane in Amazon. Here's the link:


I use two pads in a plastic baggie (they are rather sticky and pick up debris otherwise) per leg. Cuts dampening-time to under 1 second. You can also top them with a piece of thin wood, etc. to take heavier loads without deforming.

Now for the JMI MotoFocus: I've had one on my 5" F/9.3 refractor since 2003. It works great - slow fine-tuning of the focus is it's specialty. Have no fear. And I'm sure the Feathertouch works great. It's up to you and spatial-logistics. I could be more specific if you listed the scopes you're planning to outfit. I see the Celestron one - you should have no issues with clearance using a JMI. It will make a world of difference in a good way. My Meade 12" LX90 (Peterson-equipped) has no issues, and that's likely a bit tighter than your 9.25 - nice scope by the way.

The owner of JMI is a very nice guy. I'm sure he'll gladly answer any questions you have.

Hope this helps -


Edited by Dave In Vermont
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I've used a JMI Moto and a Feathertouch Microfocuser on my C8, and I personally prefer the Microtouch.

The physical connection between the motofocus unit and the focus shaft is always a bit suspect to me, I've never really felt sure I was focusing in the right direction or how quickly.... maybe mine was a bit dodgy.

The microfocuser was absolutely superb. The tiniest pressure can adjust focus and once adjusted it sticks. I've never even needed the fine focus, but I'd be confident about astrophotography with this setup.

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