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Z3roCool

AutoFocuser for SW Esprit 80 or 100?

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Hi there, currently use a Canon 400mm lens but at some point soon will purchase a SW Esprit 80 or 100.

Once I get comfy with my setup I will want to go down the Auto Focus route with SGP running the process.

I have taken a look into what I would need to get this up and running but cannot find much info.

Can anyone advise on this at all? Probably fairly simple but have no knowledge at all.

 

Many thanks for your time,

Tom.

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Hi Tom,

I have experience of only one autofocus solution - the Lakeside system which Ian King Imaging is the dealer for. I've fitted these on all my telescopes to date - C14, TOA150, C11 and Altair Wave 80. I find they work very well, including integration into SGP (there's an ASCOM driver). Lakeside provide the motor, mechanical connectors, control unit and mounting bracket - if there's not an off-the-shelf bracket already available for your chosen 'scope, they'll make one - all you do in this case is make a few simple measurements of your telescope focuser geometry, using a diagram which Ian King will provide.

Other solutions available etc etc, but I've been very happy with my experience of Lakeside's offering.

Regards

Nigel

 

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30 minutes ago, NigeB said:

Hi Tom,

I have experience of only one autofocus solution - the Lakeside system which Ian King Imaging is the dealer for. I've fitted these on all my telescopes to date - C14, TOA150, C11 and Altair Wave 80. I find they work very well, including integration into SGP (there's an ASCOM driver). Lakeside provide the motor, mechanical connectors, control unit and mounting bracket - if there's not an off-the-shelf bracket already available for your chosen 'scope, they'll make one - all you do in this case is make a few simple measurements of your telescope focuser geometry, using a diagram which Ian King will provide.

Other solutions available etc etc, but I've been very happy with my experience of Lakeside's offering.

Regards

Nigel

 

Many thanks Nigel for the info. Sounds promising :) I will look into that for sure.

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Posted (edited)

I did one myself, with thermometer and etc.

Total price around £60, works perfectly with SPG and APT, one step = 2.42 microns.

Not electrician... So had to buy soldering equipment and multimeter (just in case, - handy to have anyway).

took a bit to read and learn, - but I have now the tool, which is kinda "unbreakable", if something will go off, - easy to fix as I know every part :)

https://sourceforge.net/projects/arduinofocuscontrollerpro/files/

The guy who shares his project, - worth Gold! :)

Edited by RolandKol
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10 minutes ago, RolandKol said:

I did one myself, with thermometer and etc.

Total price around £60, works perfectly with SPG and APT, one step = 2.42 microns.

Not electrician... So had to buy soldering equipment and multimeter (just in case, - handy to have anyway).

took a bit to read and learn, - but I have now the tool, which is kinda "unbreakable", if something will go off, - easy to fix as I know every part :)

https://sourceforge.net/projects/arduinofocuscontrollerpro/files/

The guy who shares his project, - worth Gold! :)

That sounds brilliant :)

May have a look at this...even though I did an Electronics & Engineering course many years ago...I am not the best when it comes to DIY but will have a go :)

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He has video tutorials and even other members did some vids, like this one https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5CMEGxixMP1wuNk-1mmfhA

Long, but tells all from A to Z, - he did a very basic one and software changed a bit since, but quite good introduction.

I used NEMA17 PG27 motor and DRV8825, - with direct shaft connect, almost Zero backslash, but if you will decide to use pulley, I am almost sure such a precise and expensive is motor is actually NOT needed, so total price can be even  50% lower.

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+1 for going down the DIY route.

I made one of these https://sourceforge.net/projects/arduinoascomfocuserpro2diy/ for my EdgeHD8 without really having a high level of soldering skill.  The instructions are excellent and Robert is responsive to questions on the sourceforge forum.  I think mine cost around £40, including buying loads more than I actually needed (I found it cost around the same to buy some components by the 100 as it does to buy 3 or 4) so when I make another for another scope it will cost even less.

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29 minutes ago, Z3roCool said:

That sounds brilliant :)

May have a look at this...even though I did an Electronics & Engineering course many years ago...I am not the best when it comes to DIY but will have a go :)

I'm currently in the process of building one of these for my telescope.  Actually, I've for enough parts to build 3!

I got it working at the weekend using a NEMA 14 Stepper motor, works like a charm.    My version even has a Bluetooth connection so there's no need for a cable from the computer.

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42 minutes ago, GraemeH said:

+1 for going down the DIY route.

I made one of these https://sourceforge.net/projects/arduinoascomfocuserpro2diy/ for my EdgeHD8 without really having a high level of soldering skill.  The instructions are excellent and Robert is responsive to questions on the sourceforge forum.  I think mine cost around £40, including buying loads more than I actually needed (I found it cost around the same to buy some components by the 100 as it does to buy 3 or 4) so when I make another for another scope it will cost even less.

Totally agree! :)

I am already on the second Autofocuser project, - for my piggyback setup :)

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On 11/03/2019 at 13:07, bottletopburly said:

+1 for deepskydad autofocus unit ?

https://deepskydad.com/

I personally cannot support deep sky dad. Not sure if things have been resolve, but check out this thread...

Turns out that Deep Sky Dad has been accused of plagerism.

I don't want to restart the debate / argument that hijacked my thread, just wanted to highlight that things are not all as it seems.

 

My opinion is to go for one of these https://sourceforge.net/projects/arduinoascomfocuserpro2diy/ as it's well supported by Robert, he's done a fantastic job.

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On 11/03/2019 at 11:56, RolandKol said:

I did one myself, with thermometer and etc.

Total price around £60, works perfectly with SPG and APT, one step = 2.42 microns.

Not electrician... So had to buy soldering equipment and multimeter (just in case, - handy to have anyway).

took a bit to read and learn, - but I have now the tool, which is kinda "unbreakable", if something will go off, - easy to fix as I know every part :)

https://sourceforge.net/projects/arduinofocuscontrollerpro/files/

The guy who shares his project, - worth Gold! :)

I have built 3 of Robert Browns Auto Focuser units and cannot fault any of them. As noted they work with SGP and also MaximDL. I have also build another of Robert's projects MySQM A fully functional sky quality meter with added rain and cloud sensors.

Steve

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I have not checked it yet, but I guess Robert does sell his Mini or Similar focuser.

If he does, 

At the end, I will buy one as a Thank You gesture. :) Even if I do not need it.

I learned a lot from him and I do have Actually Working Auto-focuser for peanuts! :)

As per DSD, - I had the same suspicion... It looked very very similar, I even thought maybe DSD is Robert himself....

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Posted (edited)
39 minutes ago, cjdawson said:

I personally cannot support deep sky dad. Not sure if things have been resolve, but check out this thread...

Turns out that Deep Sky Dad has been accused of plagerism.

I don't want to restart the debate / argument that hijacked my thread, just wanted to highlight that things are not all as it seems.

 

My opinion is to go for one of these https://sourceforge.net/projects/arduinoascomfocuserpro2diy/ as it's well supported by Robert, he's done a fantastic job.

The world has moved on since then just for the record- all code has been rewritten from the ground up , and newer version AF2 has WiFi built in , hand controller  and temp sensor as optional add ons .

Edited by bottletopburly
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