Optec FT20 FocusLynx Kit & Hand Control for 2" Feathertouch Focusers
How do you create a simple system that allows an astronomer to set up in the field and see the wonders of the universe though an eyepiece, then transform easily to a photographic setup with fully automated focusing? Optec has developed a solution to this problem, and the answer is the FocusLynx FT with QuickSync.
Optec is proud to announce the marriage of Optec’s digital automation and Starlight Instruments FeatherTouch feel. Combining the FocusLynx Controller Hub with a new motor housing featuring their QuickSync engagement system, the FocusLynx FT, offers the best of both worlds.
Here are some of the design goals Optec kept in mind while creating the FocusLynx FT:
Robust mountable case – no plastic
Dual focuser capability
Ethernet and WiFi connectivity
Smartphone compatibility and control
Simple serial connectivity for the hobbyist
Pulse-Width Modulation control of stepper motors
Higher focuser resolutions
Higher torque for heavier payload capacity
- Temperature compensation
The Optec FocusLynx Controller
The basic FocusLynx controller is a small, all aluminum case measuring 5 x 3 x 1-inches. On the bottom are well labeled connections for power, network, hand control, and serial cables. On top are two connectors for the focusers to be controlled. All cables are standard off-the-shelf cables with the exception of Optec’s proprietary USB/Serial cable which is included in the package.
Out-of-the-box, the FocusLynx controller will provide digital control for one focuser stepper motor. A second stepper board can be easily added to convert to dual focuser control.
Software Control & ASCOM
The FocusLynx system was built from the ground up to be fully compatible with ASCOM focuser standards and allows multiple connections from multiple ASCOM clients. That means you can connect up through the FocusLynx Commander (included), Maxim D/L, and FocusMax simultaneously without having to disconnect and reconnect. Automation programs like ACP, CCD AutoPilot, and CCD Commander can access the dual FocusLynx focusers with ease, regardless of the physical connection.
Whether you choose serial, USB, Ethernet, or WiFi connectivity, all ASCOM clients connect up easily, every time. Calibrating and aligning your FeatherTouch focuser is as simple as entering the actual focuser position and clicking the Sync button.
FocusLynx FT for FeatherTouch
While the FocusLynx system will control any unipolar stepper motor including the original TCF-S and MicroTouch© motors, the PWM control circuitry really achieves peak performance with bi-polar motors. When considering a replacement for the unipolar MicroTouch motor, Optec engineers considered the most important needs for digital focusing today. Among the most significant:
- High Resolution using smaller step sizes
- More Power for heavier camera payloads
Temperature Compensation for fewer re-focus adjustments
With new information revealing the Critical Focus Zone is smaller than originally thought, higher resolution and smaller step sizes are essential. The FocusLynx FT offers the highest resolution currently available with 1-micron steps. As camera and instrument packages continue to become heavier, the focuser must be able to move these heavier loads without slipping. Lab tests with a FeatherTouch 2.7- inch focuser pushed 35-lbs. vertically without hesitation. FocusLynx FT incorporates a temperature sensor at the telescope, where it belongs, and produces a much more reliable temperature compensation algorithm for accurate automatic temperature adjustments. An easy-to-use Temperature Compensation Wizard makes determining the system TC (temperature coefficient) simple without loss of imaging time.
Optec FocusLynx FT Motor Assembly
What really makes the FT motor assembly unique is QuickSync - a smooth clutch mechanism that allows simple manual engagement of the focus motor. Rotate the QuickSync motor housing forward to engage the motor and control the focuser electronically, then rotate the motor housing backward to disengage the motor and resume manual fine focus.
QuickSync - Simple, elegant, and beautifully implemented.
The Optec FocusLynx FT20 fits the 2" Feathertouch focusers. The package includes the FocusLynx controller, power supply, cables, software, a hand controller, and FT motor housing. A complete solution right out of the box, hardware and software installation takes less than 10 minutes.
- Additional Information
SKU OP-42010 Manufacturer Optec Focus Control Motorized
- Included Items
- Single Focuser Control
- FT QuickSync Motor
- Hand Control
- Power Supply
- Questions & Answers
Product QuestionsDoes this package include wireless capability "out of the box", or does a separate wireless card have to be added? Is the included FT20 motor housing compatible with the FeatherTouch micro focusers (ie. Celestron or SCT replacement focuser)? Is there an iPhone/iPad app?Question by: Greg on Sep 3, 2015 5:00:00 PMThe WiFi is not included with the OP-42010 package, but it is with the 42001 (same motor, no HC, WiFi - $675) or 42011 (same motor, with HC and WiFi - $875) packages. This version will work with Feathertouch FTM microfocusers and there are both iOS and Android apps available for either of the other packages. Please contact us to order one of the two packages listed.Answer by: Chris Hendren on Sep 3, 2015 6:37:00 PM
- Support / Downloads