Jump to content

Stargazers Lounge Uses Cookies

Like most websites, SGL uses cookies in order to deliver a secure, personalised service, to provide social media functions and to analyse our traffic. Continued use of SGL indicates your acceptance of our cookie policy.

Doc

Moonlite v Feathertouch focusers.

Recommended Posts

I'm thinking in the long term to replace the focuser on my Clave 80/1203 refractor, it is the weakest part of the set up. 

I have never used a scope with a feathertouch focuser so need some advice.

How do the new Moonlite focusers compare to the Feathertouch focusers. 

The Feathertouch are about twice as much approaching the £700 barrier, are they worth this, can you tell the difference.

The Clave is a very unique scope, so I'm torn on the above two.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The FeatherTouch are just simply a better focuser.  I’ve had both and while the Moonlite is very good it just isn’t as well made or as smooth as the FT. The quality of materials used and just the sheer smoothness of operation make them such a pleasure to use.

Nicest focuser I’ve ever used was the one on my old WO FLT98.

446F6DA7-41A3-4DD9-B227-CF206A24D418.jpeg

CC134E09-20AC-410D-8197-789134D0B3C6.jpeg

Edited by johninderby
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You know that if you buy the Moonlite, although it might be nice and smooth, in the back of your mind you wished you had bought the Feathertouch.

Just saying....

Steve

  • Like 3
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Moonlite is the one you settle for when you decide the Feathertouch is too expensive.

Edited by johninderby
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Feathertouch are clearly the best, but pricey as has been mentioned. Don't rule out a Baader Diamond Steeltrack, I've always found them to be very good, or at least the original Steeltracks were, I've not tried a Diamond version. Much cheaper than FT.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Feathertouch every time - no comparison.

Literally - there is no comparison the FT is twice the price of the ML so its not really  a fair comparison.

If I was wanting to spend ML money I would buy the Baader Steeltrack.

 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been looking at a new focuser for my Borg 77ED II. I know Ron at Moonlite has one that fits the Borg 68mm .75 thread. APM also do a nice focuser, but it's 68mm 1mm pitch, damn. I think the feathertouch is out of my budget too.

 

Glen.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I upgraded my SW ED80 with the Moonlite focuser and my SW Esprit 150 with a Feathertouch.  Both are very good but I would say that the Feathertouch is better, although more expensive.

One item to watch for (if you are into imaging) is to ensure that your focuser supports an all screw connection, this is important for minimizing camera tilt.

Alan

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for all your suggestions guys it's basically cemented what I already knew, my next purchase after I have robbed a few piggy banks will be a feathertouch focuser.

The next dilema is which one. My tube is 90mm in diameter and I see the feathertouch 2.5" one has a M95x1 thread and the feathertouch 3.5" one has a M109x1 thread so If I go for the 2.5" one I need an adapter with a female M95 on one end and 90mm diameter on the other so I can drill three holes to secure the tube to is this correct?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd contact Starlight and discuss your dilemma. I'm sure between you, you would sort it.

Steve

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a similar issue. I need to upgrade the focuser on my Tal 200K. It is slipping when I'm imaging, especially on auto focus routines. The problem is the standard focuser is very low profile and I need a 2" SCT version. In the past Tal users have used Crawmach VLP focusers, but they are as rare as hen's teeth and I'm not getting any replies from Crawmach. I looked at Feathertouch, Moonlite and the Diamond SteelTrack. Discounted the Feathertouch: Profile height too big, couldn't achieve focus. Moonlight: Profile height just ok, dilemma on the holding weight. That leaves the SteelTrack: Low profile using T2 adaptor and by removing the 2" clamp. The holding weight is phenomenal.

That's me sorted then :)

Steve

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Though I am using refractors I prefer the Feathertouch over the Moonlite though the Moonlite is a very good focuser. 

I have a multi decades long issue of "steering" my refractors by the diagonal which puts a lot of stress on the drawtube. 

The Moonlites I will have to adjust at least once a year due to slippage but the Feathertouch focusers have never had to be adjusted at all and my oldest FT is 13 years old now. 

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can only mirror what's already been said. The Steeltracks are very good - and great value, though I would be wary of overloading them. Moonlites are a step up, but can be very heavy. My only experience of a Feathertouch is an FT2025 crayford - bought mainly to carry a heavy night vision set up - and it is absolutely superb. But shop around - prices vary. Widescreen Centre has for some time had the lowest sticker prices on its website, but I presume these do not include the additional adapter. Nevertheless, they are £200 less than some other outlets.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Moonlite is a nice smooth focuser for use on a Dob where it will remain horizontal. Where it has to hold a little weight, it is poor. Where it has to hold a lot of weight it is, in my experience and my opinion, useless. The drive roller runs against a shiny smooth anodized flat on the drawtube, which is clearly not the way to make a 'lifting' focuser. Baader realized this when they designed the Steeltrack where the roller drives a coarse steel strip but even that didn't meet all requirements so they replaced the steel track with the industrial diamond one. They didn't go through this process because a smooth anodized drawtube works just fine.

My own assessment says the Moonlite is essentially lousy but very pretty and the Feathertouch is absolutely the buisness. I do have both.

Olly

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, ollypenrice said:

The Moonlite is a nice smooth focuser for use on a Dob where it will remain horizontal. Where it has to hold a little weight, it is poor. Where it has to hold a lot of weight it is, in my experience and my opinion, useless. The drive roller runs against a shiny smooth anodized flat on the drawtube, which is clearly not the way to make a 'lifting' focuser.

[...]

My own assessment says the Moonlite is essentially lousy but very pretty and the Feathertouch is absolutely the buisness. I do have both.

Olly

 

To be honest I think the above post is very misleading.

I do believe that the FT design is better than Moonlite, but stating that Moonlite are poor or even useless with some weight is pure misinformation. 

I have loaded mine with 1kg eyepieces and never found image shift or miscollimation.

Edited by Piero
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have experience of three focusers:

The Tak rack and pinion with MEF-3 microfocuser on a visual TSA and the more robust version on the FSQ. If you didn’t have any experience with other focusers, you’d be more than happy.

The Feathertouch on the TEC140 is superb and ‘better’ than those of both my Taks.  I think as Ollie explained, if you want a secure focuser that has that ‘pull and hold’ for a heavy load (be it eyepieces or cameras), then the rack and pinion variety is the way to go. It has an underlying sure-footedness. The scale on the drawtube is also useful. Personally, for a refractor, that is the way to go in my opinion.

On my OO dob, I have a Moonlite CR2. It is superb for this application. It moves with a deftness of touch that doesn’t induce vibrations as you tweak focus. It holds my paracorr and 31mm Nagler or 21 MM Ethos with ease (but gravity is not working against it so much as the focuser is at 45 degrees). It just somehow feels right on this instrument and if someone was to ask which focuser I’d want on my dob, I’d say I prefer this, even over a Feathertouch!

Just my pennies worth!

Clear skies...

Damian

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have Moonlite, Feathertouch Crayford and Feathertouch R&P.

The Feathertouch Crayford is is certainly not in the same league as the Moonlite or the Featherlite R&P.

The R&P Focusers that came with my Esprits are really exceptional and certainly approaching the quality of the Feathertouch R&P

I find the backlash with the moonlite is really quite good, but the Feathtouch R&P is 50% better.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I found the FeatherTouch crayford (had a couple of them) to be be much better than the Moonlite. The FT R&P is of course better still.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As we're talking about aftermarket focusers, may I borrow the thread for a sec and ask if anyone knows whether it is possible to replace the stock WO focuser on a Megrez 90 with a Baader Diamond Steeltrack?

The M90 I've got is one of the later versions without the mounting shoe fixed onto the focuser flange.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 hours ago, sloz1664 said:

I have a similar issue. I need to upgrade the focuser on my Tal 200K. It is slipping when I'm imaging, especially on auto focus routines. The problem is the standard focuser is very low profile and I need a 2" SCT version. In the past Tal users have used Crawmach VLP focusers, but they are as rare as hen's teeth and I'm not getting any replies from Crawmach. I looked at Feathertouch, Moonlite and the Diamond SteelTrack. Discounted the Feathertouch: Profile height too big, couldn't achieve focus. Moonlight: Profile height just ok, dilemma on the holding weight. That leaves the SteelTrack: Low profile using T2 adaptor and by removing the 2" clamp. The holding weight is phenomenal.

That's me sorted then :)

Steve

I know Dan at Crawmach said he might be coming back to do more machining. I read last year he was starting to produce rings and dovetails. Sadly, nothing since. I used quite a few of his focusers. Never had a problem with them.

 

Glen.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks,John. I just wish he would start producing focusers again. They were spot on.

 

Glen.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is a need for a decent 1.25” focuser for small scopes. Hope he does at least do a limited production run someday.

Edited by johninderby
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I use the Moonlite CSL 2.5" with around 1.5kg of weight and have not experienced any slippage throughout a session, including when imaging vertically.

It's apparently set to hold up to 2.7kg from the factory and can be adjusted to hold more, although I've not put that claim to the test and I'm not sure how much more you could push it before breaking something. I don't know how it compares to other focuser's as I've not owned or used anything else beyond my scope's stock focuser.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.