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moonlite or baader for ED80

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I've decided it's time to replace the standard focuser on my Skywatcher Evostar 80ED DS-Pro.

Main use is as an imaging scope although occasionally I'll put a Baader Hyperion Zoom Eyepiece on for some visual astronomy.

With the Baader eyepiece the focuser will slip when at the Zenith. Same when I have my imaging kit on.

My set up is as follows:

  • Skywatcher 9x50 finder scope used for guiding with QHY5-II guide camera (I need a finder shoe on my new focuser)
  • Atik 460ex camera
  • Celestron Skyris 5-Position 1.25" Filter Wheel (I may upgrade to Atik EFW2 so new focuser needs to handle extra weight)
  • Sky-Watcher .85x Reducer/Flattener for ED80

Future-proof features:

  • I will motorise my filter wheel (EFW2)
  • I will motorise my focuser

I don't want to spend too much so Starlight Feathertouch is out of reach. I'm looking for ease of setup. No modding.

I think my choices are:

1) Baader SteelTrack Diamond RT for Refractors

2) MoonLite CF Dual-Speed Crayford Focuser for Refractors

I think the Moonlite is the best choice as it has a finder shoe for my finder guider setup.

What do you all think?

  • Should I go for Moonlite as it's easy to slot into my current configuration?
  • Or should I consider Baader and an alternative attachment method for my finder guider?
  • Have I missed another option?


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One of the things I like about the Moonlite is I got 2 finder shoes on it. 

Great for a finder/guider and RDF too.

Installing it was a piece of cake.

Edited by kendg
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On 29/09/2018 at 19:23, kendg said:

Great for a finder/guider and RDF too.

RDF is a great idea. I had trouble finding targets for visual observation at the weekend as my finder has been repurposed.

I'll add an RDF to my Christmas list. ?

A probably crazy thought: Save the £360'ish and not purchase a Moonlite/Baader and save up for a £989 Sky-Watcher Esprit 80 ED PRO Triplet.

I had read that the focuser on the Esprit 80 ED is as good or better than the Moonlite focuser.

Thinking outload though: I'm in a different price bracket now (£989 Esprit + £119 flattener +£24 adapters/spacers)

Not likely to have a spare £1100+ soon so back to how to upgrade my Evostar ED80

It seems like I'm talking myself into it but it would be great to hear some other thoughts from you guys/gals.

Have others who upgraded the focuser on their ED80 wished they had saved their money for a scope upgrade?

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Someone once said you can either get on the Merry-go-round or watch. The sooner you get on, the longer you can ride. ?

I'm happy with my ED80, but eventually will move up to the Esprit 100. It may take a few years, but that's the goal.

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