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Factory focuser upgrade


vagk
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Is there a quality focuser for SW 12 truss Dobsonian that does not need to drill new holes on the tube ? I want to upgrade it...

If I can't avoid drilling new holes which are the best solutions ?

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Have you tried overhauling or adjusting the stock focuser?  The 2" and 1.25" adapters are not the ideal way to do it, but almost any replacement focuser will be a low profile focuser,

which will require a fairly thick stand-off block adapter between the tube and focuser.  You used to be able to get these from Moonlite in the US, but I'm uncertain if that is still true.

Plus, Moonlite no longer sells visual-use focusers.

Perhaps Starlight Instruments (long lead time)?

Maybe Baader makes such blocks for its SteelTrack focusers.  They don't advertise them, however, so such a tall block with specific mounting holes might be a custom piece from a local machine shop.

You see, other focusers don't use the dual adapters setup, so the tops of any other focuser would automatically be a lot lower than your current focuser with one of the 2 adapters.

It's a good reason to see about adjusting your current focuser to be smoother and more accurate in its movement.

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You could try this one:

 

https://en.lacerta-optics.com/index.php?menuliste=Non-optical accessories

It’s been used on SkyWatcher, though not a FlexTube:

 

https://www.cloudynights.com/topic/737238-lacerta-508n-octoplus-2-focuser-for-skywatcher-telescopes/

I was planning on buying one myself, but they were out of stock, and a Moonlight became available. I’m not certain I made the right decision. 
 

Strven

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2 hours ago, stevo58 said:

You could try this one:

 

https://en.lacerta-optics.com/index.php?menuliste=Non-optical accessories

It’s been used on SkyWatcher, though not a FlexTube:

 

https://www.cloudynights.com/topic/737238-lacerta-508n-octoplus-2-focuser-for-skywatcher-telescopes/

I was planning on buying one myself, but they were out of stock, and a Moonlight became available. I’m not certain I made the right decision. 
 

Strven

Bearing-wise, the Moonlite is a step up from the Long Perng (Lacerta), but Moonlite no longer makes visual-only focusers--they're all motorized now.

There are very few high-end visual focusers left in production.  There is the Starlight Instruments Feather Touch (with long back orders) and little else.

JMI is out of production, Moonlite is gone as a visual-only focuser, Baader SteelTrack is another Chinese focuser.

GSO and Long Perng seem to be cornering the market.

Which is OK, I guess, as some of their focusers are quite nice.

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The Baader Steeltrack is more durable than the Moonlite and a very popular high end focuser in Europe and the UK. German designed and German quality control applied before shipping from Germany.

Best thing I’ve found short of a FeatherTouch and then not a huge difference.

Edited by johninderby
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I upgraded the stock focuser for my 250 FlexTube with the Lacerta Dual Speed upgrade kit. Cost £67-ish and works perfectly. 

Turns it into a classy super smooth Crayford. You can't beat those for visual 👍

1896902640_IMG_0540_DxO1200.jpg.29be500dc1ca4bb032611509f13aa05e.jpg

216634174_IMG_0542_DxO1200.jpg.3f415d586b89d1a6e0111b0d8d683eb2.jpg

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Is the Octoplus a Long Perng? I know the others they sell are the same old same old, but I thought the Octoplus was their own design. I may have fallen for marketing hype, though. 

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17 minutes ago, stevo58 said:

Is the Octoplus a Long Perng? I know the others they sell are the same old same old, but I thought the Octoplus was their own design. I may have fallen for marketing hype, though. 

As a lot of Lacerta stuff seems to be made by Synta could be made to order for Lacerta to their own design.

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Has anyone use Baader Steeltrack with Sky-Watcher 12inch Newtonian telescope? Is installation difficult process (drilling holes, mechanical collimation etc) ?

Edited by vagk
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On 13/01/2022 at 09:52, stevo58 said:

Is the Octoplus a Long Perng? I know the others they sell are the same old same old, but I thought the Octoplus was their own design. I may have fallen for marketing hype, though. 

The focus mechanism says Long Perng, but it could be their own design.

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On 14/01/2022 at 02:24, Louis D said:

Aren't there any European made focusers to compete with the Feather Touch?  It seems like there are plenty of high end machine shops over there that could do it.

I'd imagine it would be hard to sell enough of them to make it worthwhile given that they would cost as much as a Feather Touch but wouldn't have the brand and reputation behind them.

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On 13/01/2022 at 17:26, Mr Spock said:

I upgraded the stock focuser for my 250 FlexTube with the Lacerta Dual Speed upgrade kit. Cost £67-ish and works perfectly. 

Turns it into a classy super smooth Crayford. You can't beat those for visual 👍

1896902640_IMG_0540_DxO1200.jpg.29be500dc1ca4bb032611509f13aa05e.jpg

216634174_IMG_0542_DxO1200.jpg.3f415d586b89d1a6e0111b0d8d683eb2.jpg

I have added this upgrade on my 8” SW. It’s an amazing bit of kit making fine focusing a joy. One of my best Astro buys to date.

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On 14/01/2022 at 07:17, vagk said:

Has anyone use Baader Steeltrack with Sky-Watcher 12inch Newtonian telescope? Is installation difficult process (drilling holes, mechanical collimation etc) ?

Yes I’ve done this. You just need to drill 4 new holes. If you have the metal-tube newt, which I did, the main problem is making the pilot-indents good enough that the drill-bit doesn’t skitter away when you start: the tube paint is quite hard and shiny.

B3A0078C-C24B-4BB0-9FB8-92AA213DF44E.thumb.jpeg.b75542245ad90bccd440093cddab6437.jpeg

Magnus

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3 hours ago, Captain Scarlet said:

Yes I’ve done this. You just need to drill 4 new holes. If you have the metal-tube newt, which I did, the main problem is making the pilot-indents good enough that the drill-bit doesn’t skitter away when you start: the tube paint is quite hard and shiny.

B3A0078C-C24B-4BB0-9FB8-92AA213DF44E.thumb.jpeg.b75542245ad90bccd440093cddab6437.jpeg

Magnus

Thank you very much for your reply! And how you made focuser collimation to be vertical to the tube ? Can I put a laser collimator on factory focuser, mark with a pen the dot at the opposite site and then make the new focuser hit this dot ?

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On 13/01/2022 at 17:26, Mr Spock said:

I upgraded the stock focuser for my 250 FlexTube with the Lacerta Dual Speed upgrade kit. Cost £67-ish and works perfectly. 

Turns it into a classy super smooth Crayford. You can't beat those for visual 👍

1896902640_IMG_0540_DxO1200.jpg.29be500dc1ca4bb032611509f13aa05e.jpg

216634174_IMG_0542_DxO1200.jpg.3f415d586b89d1a6e0111b0d8d683eb2.jpg

Thanks for posting this. Until now I never knew that this product existed. Just tried to see if I could buy one and I can’t find anyone that has stock. So looks like I’ll have to wait :(

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6 hours ago, vagk said:

Thank you very much for your reply! And how you made focuser collimation to be vertical to the tube ? Can I put a laser collimator on factory focuser, mark with a pen the dot at the opposite site and then make the new focuser hit this dot ?

On the Steeltrak, the main focuser unit can be detached from the base-attachment-plate by means of 8 small recessed grub-screws. The base-plate can then be used as a template for easily marking the tube for drilling. The nature of the base-plate, essentially two "rails", means that it will automatically be square to the outside of the tube. Certainly a laser can be used to check the squareness, but the laser itself must be properly collimated, which only the fairly expensive reliably are. Also, the unit comes with shims to fit under the "rails" if necessary to lift it up for narrower tube diameters. Extra shims can be used on one side or the other to vary the direction but I've never found this necessary, and I've fitted this focuser to 4 different newts now.

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On 17/01/2022 at 18:31, PeterStudz said:

Thanks for posting this. Until now I never knew that this product existed. Just tried to see if I could buy one and I can’t find anyone that has stock. So looks like I’ll have to wait :(

I have one too.

Fab. :D

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