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SESTO SENSO robotic focusing motor


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I cant quite believe I missed this at Astrofest last week...I must have had my eyes shut!

https://www.primalucelab.com/astronomy/sesto-senso-robotic-focusing-motor.html

So there's me waiting and waiting for the replacement Baader SteelDrive and there is already what looks like a great bit of kit available now.

I saw a few people having sourced these but wonder actually what the kit is like and particularly the compatability and installation on a Baader Steel Track focuser. If anyone has installed this on the NT version I would be very interested to hear your comments.

 

Steve

 

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It is a nice piece of kit, although there is a forum member who had to return theirs due to the grub screw threads twice stripping whilst trying to mount it.  I never had such issues and it fitted ver

Yes I have both, and actually still rate the Lakeside probably a bit better from a simplicity and secure fixing point of view.  However, the controller for this is built in, and Lakeside still has qui

Damn, thought i saw an oppertunity there

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34 minutes ago, SteveA said:

I cant quite believe I missed this at Astrofest last week...I must have had my eyes shut!

https://www.primalucelab.com/astronomy/sesto-senso-robotic-focusing-motor.html

So there's me waiting and waiting for the replacement Baader SteelDrive and there is already what looks like a great bit of kit available now.

I saw a few people having sourced these but wonder actually what the kit is like and particularly the compatability and installation on a Baader Steel Track focuser. If anyone has installed this on the NT version I would be very interested to hear your comments.

 

Steve

 

It is a nice piece of kit, although there is a forum member who had to return theirs due to the grub screw threads twice stripping whilst trying to mount it.  I never had such issues and it fitted very easily and it seems to work very well.  Mine is on my Tak106 but I believe they fix in exactly the same way on the Baader.

The unit comes with a stand-alone programme on a USB stick, and also 32 and 64bit ASCOM drivers, which work perfectly in SGP.

It's pretty quick, but seemingly also pretty accurate.

So far very happy but early days yet.

Bright flashing LED is annoying and can't be switched off, so hopefully they will address that in a future update.

20180211_133843.thumb.jpg.9c5e49ed0461707ff29e6fb69596c8bc.jpg

 

Edited by RayD
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Thanks Ray.....I'm certainly going to give this some serious consideration. It does look like a very well engineered piece of kit, if a little on the expensive side.

From the images I've seen I take it that the drive clamps around the collar around the focuser shaft? The only disadvantage I can see over the old Baader unit is that you do of course loose the ability to manually focus with the fine focus knob

I'll probably wait until the new Baader drive is released before deciding which way to go on this. That's only a couple of months off now so having waited since last summer I may as well stick it out.

Thanks ..

Steve

 

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1 hour ago, SteveA said:

Thanks Ray.....I'm certainly going to give this some serious consideration. It does look like a very well engineered piece of kit, if a little on the expensive side.

From the images I've seen I take it that the drive clamps around the collar around the focuser shaft? The only disadvantage I can see over the old Baader unit is that you do of course loose the ability to manually focus with the fine focus knob

I'll probably wait until the new Baader drive is released before deciding which way to go on this. That's only a couple of months off now so having waited since last summer I may as well stick it out.

Thanks ..

Steve

 

Yes it seems quite well made, Steve, and yes you are right, it clamps over the collar and you then tickle up the 3 little grub screws to make sure it is really secure.  Price wise it is comparable with the others i.e. Lakeside, as you don't need a custom bracket and coupler (it comes with 5 or 6 different sized ones).  I've sorted out all the workings and software now so will be doing a video for my YouTube channel tonight showing it operating, and how to calibrate it etc.

With pretty much all focusers you lose the ability to manual focus unfortunately, Lakeside included.  Moonlite have a clutch system which lets you de-couple it, but they are one of the only ones (the only one I know of) that do this.

Edited by RayD
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58 minutes ago, Kaliska said:

How does this compare with the Lakeside focuser?

@RayD have you used both? As im considering upgrading to an electronic focuser pretty soon.

Yes I have both, and actually still rate the Lakeside probably a bit better from a simplicity and secure fixing point of view.  However, the controller for this is built in, and Lakeside still has quite a big box that you need to accommodate somewhere.

I'm not sure whether it is going to make a difference in the long-term, or whether one or the other is better as I can see benefits of each, but this one drives on the small micro shaft and not the high speed shaft like the Lakeside.  I think with ball bearing reduction you may see some slippage over time requiring a re-calibration, which of course you don't have with the Lakeside.  Whether this is likely to be problematic I'm not really sure, but probably only if you image remotely, but then you can have a known setpoint to calibrate it to I suspect.

If it were me just getting my first electronic focuser, honestly, I would go with Lakeside or other well tested and trusted brand like SharpSky.  This one appears to be really nice, looks lovely and initially seems to operate really well, but the only reason I got it was the lack of controller, which meant it fits in perfectly with what I am trying to achieve for this particular set up now using the Eagle2.

I certainly won't be selling my Lakeside any time soon, put it that way.

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Some very interesting comments there Ken...you clearly have plenty experience of these type of devices, which I haven't!

I'll await your You Tube video with interest and I will definitely at least wait until the new Baader drive is released before making any kind of decision on this.

Cheers

Steve

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One other advantage with the Lakeside is the ability to drive the focuser without being connected to a computer, such as visual work etc. by using the controller in manual mode and pressing the buttons on it.  That isn't possible with this device.  You have to have a computer connected to use it.

I suspect this is intended really for AP exclusively, where invariably you will be connected to a computer.

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6 minutes ago, RayD said:

One other advantage with the Lakeside is the ability to drive the focuser without being connected to a computer, such as visual work etc. by using the controller in manual mode and pressing the buttons on it.  That isn't possible with this device.  You have to have a computer connected to use it.

I suspect this is intended really for AP exclusively, where invariably you will be connected to a computer.

That wouldn't really be an issue for me as I've got a permanent setup and am pretty much reliant on the PC for most things anyway.

I have to admit that this really caught my eye because of the design, It certainly looks prettier than the Lakeside unit and I guess this is down to the Italian styling. Of course styling isn't everything but when it comes to making a decision on these things it might be one of the thing to consider.

Steve

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6 minutes ago, SteveA said:

That wouldn't really be an issue for me as I've got a permanent setup and am pretty much reliant on the PC for most things anyway.

I have to admit that this really caught my eye because of the design, It certainly looks prettier than the Lakeside unit and I guess this is down to the Italian styling. Of course styling isn't everything but when it comes to making a decision on these things it might be one of the thing to consider.

Steve

Oh without doubt, Steve.  The look, feel and to be fair operation so far for me (software) is typically Italian, absolutely beautiful, and not at all industrial like the Lakeside.

Edited by RayD
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That's also a pretty impressive set up you have there, the Eagle control unit looks ...frankly damn lovely! 

I was just viewing the Primalucelab video .....that looks like an amazing piece of equipment. I doubt I could sneak that one past the wife though:hmh:

Steve 

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14 minutes ago, SteveA said:

That's also a pretty impressive set up you have there, the Eagle control unit looks ...frankly damn lovely! 

I was just viewing the Primalucelab video .....that looks like an amazing piece of equipment. I doubt I could sneak that one past the wife though:hmh:

Steve 

Noooooooo don't tell the wife! :icon_biggrin:

It is very nice Steve, I really like it so far, but of course it comes with a premium price tag!

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11 minutes ago, Davey-T said:

I've often thought the Lakeside would benefit from a nice case, now that 3D printers are so common I can't see there'd be  problem smartening it up.

Dave

Yes I think you're spot on Dave.  Even Pegasus has a little cover on theirs, and it does make a difference to how it looks.  Let's face it, we all want things to work, but we do also like it when they look pretty.

Edited by RayD
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10 minutes ago, RayD said:

Yes I think you're spot on Dave.  Even Pegasus has a little cover on theirs, and it does make a difference to how it looks.  Let's face it, we all want things to work, but we do also like it when they look pretty.

It worries me sometimes when it's dripping in dew, doesn't seem to bother it though.

Dave

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You can buy an adapter if the standard fittings doesn't work: -

https://www.primalucelab.com/astronomy/sesto-senso-33mm-adapter.html

Having paid for two Moonlites that came in over £600+ and two lakesides that came in at £300+ I have to admit that if I had seen these first then would have bought them as I automate everything so no need for a hand controller.

The Lakside motor is agricultural and I like to fasten my dew controller to the outside which you can't do easily, the Lakeside controller is significantly;y better than the moonlite standard controller.

If I buy another scope then will deffo go the Sesto route..

Ray does it look like it will fit your Esprits?

Edited by Jkulin
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2 hours ago, Jkulin said:

You can buy an adapter if the standard fittings doesn't work: -

https://www.primalucelab.com/astronomy/sesto-senso-33mm-adapter.html

Having paid for two Moonlites that came in over £600+ and two lakesides that came in at £300+ I have to admit that if I had seen these first then would have bought them as I automate everything so no need for a hand controller.

The Lakside motor is agricultural and I like to fasten my dew controller to the outside which you can't do easily, the Lakeside controller is significantly;y better than the moonlite standard controller.

If I buy another scope then will deffo go the Sesto route..

Ray does it look like it will fit your Esprits?

I've not looked to be honest John.  I'll have a look tonight and let you know.

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I have a lakeside motor fitted on my FSQ-106ED and using a Hitecastro MountHub Pro Compact to drive it. I'm hellbent on migrating to INDI but there are no drivers yet for the Hitecastro MountHub Pro Compact... I'm in a stage of 'analysis paralysis' deciding between three options:

1- Buy a Pegasus Astro Controller only. It should be able to drive the Lakeside motor since the pinout of both motor and controller are compatible with Robofocus. It seems smaller in size than the Lakeside controller (and 20 quids cheaper).

2- Buy a Sesto Senso. Very elegant solution that incorporates both controller and motor in the same unit albeit expensive at £329.

3- Get a Lakeside Controller. I'm put off by the bulkiness of the box since I want to fit it on the OTA.

4- Get both 1 & 2 or 2 & 3 so that I can fit a motorized focuser also on my other FS-60CB.

 You should be able to explain my profile signature... Advice anyone?

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On 20/02/2018 at 13:30, giorgio_ne said:

I have a lakeside motor fitted on my FSQ-106ED and using a Hitecastro MountHub Pro Compact to drive it. I'm hellbent on migrating to INDI but there are no drivers yet for the Hitecastro MountHub Pro Compact... I'm in a stage of 'analysis paralysis' deciding between three options:

1- Buy a Pegasus Astro Controller only. It should be able to drive the Lakeside motor since the pinout of both motor and controller are compatible with Robofocus. It seems smaller in size than the Lakeside controller (and 20 quids cheaper).

2- Buy a Sesto Senso. Very elegant solution that incorporates both controller and motor in the same unit albeit expensive at £329.

3- Get a Lakeside Controller. I'm put off by the bulkiness of the box since I want to fit it on the OTA.

4- Get both 1 & 2 or 2 & 3 so that I can fit a motorized focuser also on my other FS-60CB.

 You should be able to explain my profile signature... Advice anyone?

All very valid solutions.  

I run a Lakeside via my Pegasus Hub Ultimate and it was very easy to make a lead to suit (took 15 minutes or so).  The Sesto Sense is also very good at the moment, and you can see the 'bench' operation in my video here.  I haven't used it in anger yet, but I'm all set and in the position to do so now, so will add a video with it after proper use.  The obvious big benefit of the Sesto Sense is the lack of external controller.  You can move it by hand when powered down, but this means the calibration needs redoing as the counts are lost.

Yes I tend to agree with the bulkiness of the Lakeside controller.  It is very functional and reliable, but can be a bit of a chore to house it.  This is specifically why I went with running it from my Pegasus Hub, and it runs perfectly via that.

The benefit of the Lakeside over the Sesto Sense is that to use on multiple set ups you only need one controller, and can then get motors and brackets at a much cheaper price and run them by swapping over the controller.  You can't do this with the Sesto Sense and would need a complete unit for each one.

I'll keep people updated on its performance as the Lakeside has really proven itself in the long-term, but the Sesto Sense hasn't yet, so time will tell if it really is a viable contender.

Edited by RayD
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  • 1 month later...
3 hours ago, misterp said:

I have a Primaluce electric focuser and think it’s great.

One thing I would like is a hand control unit so when doing visual I don’t need a pc

Ian

I'e yet to hear anything bad about this...I'm finding it increasingly tempting!

I think I will wait though until Baader release their replacement SteelDrive...just to try and make a comparison..

I have to say it hadn't occurred to me that there was no hand controller available with the Primaluce unit, not particularly an issue for me, but I do take your point...

Steve

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  • 1 month later...

Questions guys, for those use the Primaluce focuser:

- I assume on a Takahashi TOA/FSQ, you loose the fine focus button if I understand correctly, right? That's where the focuser is mounted, with no possibility to mount it on the other side

- I do use the scope for visual too. In the manual I read that if you do not power on the unit, you can still use the focuser knob on the opposite site, be it a bit stiffer. Now, how stiff is stiff... Is it
a workable solution for visual work, given there is no hand controller for the focus motor (which does is available at the be it more expensive Lacerta focuser solution).

Thanks

 

Dodi

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  • 4 months later...

I am seriously considering the Sesto Senso and was wondering how those that have one are getting on with it ?

One thing I am confused about is how does it attach to your scope ?

I understand it clamps on the fine focus button shaft but where does the body of the focusser attach?

 

Edited by wornish
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It's pretty good, quick and very accurate.  There are a couple of down sides:

  1. The LED to way too bright, and it can't be turned off.  It is difficult to tape up as the top of the unit is translucent.  I asked for a firmware update to fix this but was told it was not possible with the hardware.
  2. The temperature sensor is very expensive and pretty long.  As the unit is positioned directly on the focuser, it could have just been an upstand type or, for this price, built in.

To fix to your focuser you gave a collar on the Sestosenso which clamps around the housing where you take your focus wheel off.  This has one main clamp screw and three small grub screws to centralise it.  Depending on your focuser you may need an additional adaptor which they sell separately (I needed it for my FT).  The unit comes with various couplers for the different sized focuser shafts.

It does work well and is extremely accurate.  I think the fact that it fixes to the micro focus shaft helps with this.  One benefit it does have is that the controller is built in, so no need for a separate box.  

Edited by RayD
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