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mbalkham

Baader SteelDrive vs SteelDrive II (vs anything else!)

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Hi All,

Looking to add a motor focuser to my baader diamond steeltrack for newtonian focuser. I see the new SteelDrive II is available but about twice the price of the original steeldrive. Does anyone know if the new one is worth the extra investment?! Open to ideas of other makes if appropriate. 

Thanks in advance

Matt

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I've got a Senso Sesto and a Diamond Steeltrack for Newtonian arriving in the next couple of days, so holding out hope for that combo. The SteelDrive II looks nice if you want manual control on-device, but it is pricey - one of the reasons I didn't go with it in the end.

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I looked at the SteelDrive II when I purchased my Baader diamond steeltrack, but it was far too expensive for what you get and eventually built a diy unit that is compatible with SGPro and works very well.

Steve

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Sorry just to be clear, I should say I'm very happy with the focuser and not looking go change that. Just looking for motor drive options. 

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I've now had first light with the Sesto Senso and it works well with the Baader Diamond; I'd definitely consider it if you have no need for manual control. Disengaging it is a bit fiddly but only a few grub screws - however, since it replaces the fine focus knob (which has a lot of mass in it, and which contributes quite significantly to the feel of the Baader) it's not a very pleasant thing to use disengaged. I'd be more inclined to go for something with manual control.

There's definitely a gap in the market for a generic handheld focus controller that can be configured to send commands to an INDI server. Thinking about making something now I have the Sesto Senso - an encoder, a few buttons, and a small screen on an ESP32 WiFi board sending generic commands to a server on the INDI box to act as a bridge, or something...

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