My Viewing Log
K3's Astronomy Software
Registax Image Processing Software
Barko Software - GuideDog & More
ASCOM Standards - Scope Control Drivers
DSLR Focus - Digital Cam Control
Astrosnap - Imaging & Guiding
IRIS - free image processing
Image Plus - image processing
Groups, Clubs and Resources:
QCUIAG - Quick Cam Group
Autostarsuite.net - Meade's LPI
Meade Advanced Products Users Group
Yahoo Digital Astrophotography Group
Yahoo SCT Users Group
Yahoo Canon 300D Astro Group
Light Pollution Removal Tutorial
Other People's Pages:
Robert Gendler's Astroimaging
Hap Griffin's Imaging Infinity
Chris Hendren's Astrophotography
Astronomy Related Weather:
Lancaster, CA Clear Sky Clock
Edwards AFB Clear Sky Clock
Mt Pinos Clear Sky Clock
Papoose Flat Clear Sky Clock
Walker Pass Clear Sky Clock
Mesquite Springs Clear Sky Clock
Current weather map
Bryan & Tanya Duke's Homepage
Since 21 Dec 06:
Autofocus Installation: Getting perfect focus for an astrophoto is
one of the toughest things about astrophotography. Until now, all of my
images have been manually focused. Granted, programs like DSLR Focus make
this job easier, but there is still lots of room for error - making lots
of room for improvement.
I've been shopping around for about a year for a cheap and easy way to add
autofocus to my setup. There were several do-it-yourself projects out there,
but I never had the time to dedicate to building my own stepper motor mount and
controller. In Dec 2008, I noticed that several people were using the Orion
AccuFocus motor on their scopes.
has a focus motor USB controller, the FCUSB, for sale for around $70. I asked
Hap Griffin if that's what he
used to control his Orion 80ED's AccuFocus motor and he reported back that the
setup works well.
So, here are the parts I bought for the new autofocus setup for my Celestron 80ED.
The directions provided with the AccuFocus are good, but they're made for mounting the
AccuFocus to an Orion telescope. The process is similar, but there are a few
differences. Below you can see the AccuFocus motor with the Crayford (silver) and
rack-and-pinion (black) shaft couplers. I started the whole process by removing the
Crayford coupler & installing the rack-and-pinion coupler.
I spent over an hour trying to get the knob off of the telescope's focuser. Most
refractors have a set screw on either the side or end of the knob holding it in
place. After no luck online, I figured out that the knobs are threaded on to the
focuser shaft. It took a very hard twist, but after it popped loose, the knob
threaded off easily.
I looked at the three AccuFocus brackets and figured out which one would fit the C80ED's
focuser. I removed two screws on one side of the focuser and attached the bracket. I
didn't tighten the screws all the way (yet) to allow for alignment later.
I aligned the AccuFocus motor and tightened all screws. The focuser shaft does not
have a flat side, but the two set screws on the coupler seem to hold it well. Here's
the AccuFocus installed on my C80ED.
With the stock C80ED focuser grease (glue), the motor moves the focus very slowly
even at full speed. I'll strip the grease and use something better soon.
With the Shoestring Astronomy FCCBL-01 cable, the FCUSB will plug into the
AccuFocus directly. From there, you can use just about any focusing program
to control the focus motor. I plan on trying
on the PC &
Focus on the Mac.
I'll post autofocused images
here as soon as I can get the new setup out!