Motofocus vs Moonlite

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destrehandave
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Motofocus vs Moonlite

Post by destrehandave » Thu May 07, 2009 1:45 pm

Hello; I am considering purchasing a fairly inexpensive MOTOFOCUS motor from JMI for my 80mm refractor with Crayford focusser.

I'm also very tempted to cough up about twice the investment to replace the focusser on my SkyWatcher Equinox 80 with a Moonlite CF with DC Servo Motor.

Intuitively and theoretically, it would seem to me that the 'direct drive, engineered into the focuser' design of the Moonlite would be vastly superior to the JMI's "turning the knob" approach.

My question is whether or not the differences in practice between the two solutions would justify spending $500 on the Moonlite versus $250 for the JMI solution.

If anyone has any input concerning either of these solutions, especially ease of use and performance using FCUSB and an ASCOM focus assisting program, I would really appreciate some feedback.

Thank you

Destrehan Dave

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Re: Motofocus vs Moonlite

Post by dpanderson » Thu May 07, 2009 3:08 pm

I have both focusers, and they are both very fine pieces of equipment. One advantage the JMI focus motor has is that it can be jacked up by turning a screw with your fingers and then the focuser can be turned manually. If you are ever in a situation where you weren't using the handcontroller or connected to a computer, this is nice.
Doug Anderson
Shoestring Astronomy
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destrehandave
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Re: Motofocus vs Moonlite

Post by destrehandave » Thu May 07, 2009 4:25 pm

Hi, Doug, and thanks.

I'm sort of biased, as I have a JMI NGF-MiniC, and in actual usage I found out the hard way that I didn't like having a separate focuser for my C9.25. Although the focuser is functionally sound, the people who support it are wonderful, and it works just fine, it sort of suffers from what I call 'Roger Tuthill Disease', that is, things like having to 'tighten a screw' to engage the motor, those non-compression band thumbscrews, having to remove screws to replace batteries; overall, it doesn't have that 'Mercedes' feel to it... it's kinda like a Chevy II.

Nevertheless, I don't want to spend $500 if I can spend $250 and get 'just as good'. So, again I ask:

Is it fair to say that from a purely functional standpoint, the Moonlite and the JMI motofocus are equivalent? Do they both move the focuser in and out smoothly and gracefully, without backlash or lag? Are they equally responsive to commands to move back and forth, do they have the same amount of backlash if any, and do either have little nagging things like an uber-short cord, or very short battery life, or ???

This is a very challenging hobby, and all I really need is for focusing to be as simple, easy, intuitive, and responsive as possible.

If you absolutely HAD to choose a winner, not based on the ability to use it without the hand controller, could you do so, even if by a very small margin? Is one more responsive than the other? Is one 'tighter'?' I'm not trying to impress my friends, but I have to feel good about my equipment, and everyone likes a positive 'feel' to their equipment.

Thanks for lisetning... I really would appreciate any more feedback that can be provided..

DD

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