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Focusers

Started by Jeremiahcole, 12/13/2014 08:10AM
Posted 12/13/2014 08:10AM Opening Post
First of all let me say I am fairly new to astronomy, but have been LOVING it! I am saying that because most of the threads are way over my head and I would love an answer, but please keep it basic.

My scope is a Celestron XLT 120. I have noticed the factory focuser seems to be a little sticky and it can be tough to get it to not focus through the object I am looking at. What are good replacement options?
Posted 12/13/2014 08:20AM #1
Jeremiah Cole said:

First of all let me say I am fairly new to astronomy, but have been LOVING it! I am saying that because most of the threads are way over my head and I would love an answer, but please keep it basic.

My scope is a Celestron XLT 120. I have noticed the factory focuser seems to be a little sticky and it can be tough to get it to not focus through the object I am looking at. What are good replacement options?

Personally I prefer Moonlight focusers and have them on all my scopes but one.....however there are also many other good options, some of them for less $$.....You definitely want a dual speed focuser though.....

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Posted 12/13/2014 10:29AM #2
Jeremiah:
Greg is correct about the Moonlight, it's definitely an upgrade. Another one, expensive though, is Feathertouch. Before replacing it, I would disassemble the focuser yo have (if you feel mechanically competent to do so) and make certain everything is clean, lubricated appropriately and tightened but not over tightened. Many times a simple overhaul will correct the issue.

George
Posted 12/15/2014 06:23AM #3
Jeremiah,

I agree with the others: fiddle with your current focuser before replacing it. You may find that the fix is as simple as loosening the locking screw. If that fails, take your existing focuser apart, clean it, regrease it with good grease and reassemble it. For some reason, telescope manufacturers seem to prize grease that is unsuitable for the parts they build.

I'm a big fan of Moonlite products, too. However, the price difference between them and Starlight Instruments (the Feathertouch people) has narrowed in recent years, so you should look at both if you're considering a premium focuser. The only thing negative I've heard about GSO focusers is that they need adjustment after purchase. William Optics make nice focusers, too, I hear. You might also check to see if Wyorock (spelling?) is still in business.

If you do decide to replace your focuser, you'll likely have the back end of your scope disassembled and it'll be a simple matter to drill a couple of holes in the telescope tube and bolt your finder mounting directly to the tube. Then you can use whatever focuser you want.
Posted 12/17/2014 09:06PM #4
Another thought would be to put a motor on the stock focuser: Orion AccuFocus Electronic Telescope Focuser is $80 and would do the work for you (by pushing a button) at a less expensive price than an upgraded focuser would cost you. I am really spoiled by my scopes with Feathertouch (R), but I'm going to try the electric focus add-on for a Celestron C-102 that I've had kicking around for several years.

Clear skies,

Ed