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My Quest Fulfilled - The Starlight Instruments MicroFocuser for Meade SCTs.

Posted by Joe Metzger   06/02/2005 12:00AM

My Quest Fulfilled - The Starlight Instruments MicroFocuser for Meade SCTs.
The Starlight Instruments MicroFocuser for Meade SCTs.

It wasn't long after I bought my Meade LX-90 8" SCT four years ago that I began a long quest to find a perfect solution to that frustrating characteristic of most SCTs, namely "mirror flop", the very annoying image shift while focusing. I tried everything from peanut-butter jar lids, to new thrust bearings, to helical focusers, to $300+ crayford focusers. Some of the solutions solved the image shift problem, but caused new problems, such as the inability of the OTA to point to the zenith when using a crayford.

I had almost given up and resigned myself to just living with mirror shift, when I saw an advertisement on the Starizona web site for a Starlight Instruments FeatherTouch Focuser for Meade SCTs. I was familiar with the FeatherTouch, having used one on a small refractor, and I knew this could be the end of my quest. I contacted Starizona and was told that the FeatherTouch for the Meades was still in development, but should be available "soon". I put my name on the waiting list, and waited. I won't embarrass anyone by revealing exactly how long I waited, but the good news is that I recently took delivery of a focuser from the first run.

Was it worth the wait? Well, it was a very long wait, but the answer is yes. The focuser is a dream to use. There is still some minor mirror shift with the coarse focus, but when dialing in the fine focus, the mirror shift is essentially undetectable, and the focuser action is wonderfully smooth. I'm finally a happy camper. Easy, smooth, accurate focusing, and no issue with fork clearance.

As an added bonus, the price of the focuser was reduced from the original estimated retail price, but even at the original price I would have considered it a bargain.

J.D. Metzger

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