- round stars
I got the focuser as part of a holiday gift with matching telescope. I have been really happy with both. I know there is a bit of bad rap because this scope and products may be a conglomeration of existing items, but the fact that you take it out of the box, and use it with little setup, that has to be worth something. The focuser is the same, it just works. Took it out of the box, took off scope knob, put this focuser on, worked the first time. I have hand built 3 other focusers, I am currently building one, and am on week 2 of design, alignment, mounting, electronics and firmware modification. It is nice to just buy and go. This focuser is a good smooth operating focuser and appears to be well built with very little plastic (there may be some on the inside, but none shows on the outside). It has a "clutch" to allow you to operate the knob focuser while it is attached to the scope. The scope + focuser produce nice round stars and the overall focus is spot on. As far as driver support, I use INDI and Ekos, and was worried that I would have nothing. I was prepared to write up a USB driver if necessary, but I wanted something out of the box. Upon research, I saw that this unit was close to the FocusLynx design and I tried that, and it worked. This may help some ASIAir owners (I would NOT purchase this for use with ASIAir [yet, until it is supported], but if you have one and want to try, that is what I found).
N.I.N.A. works very well with this focuser and great 'V' graphs can be achieved with the right settings in N.I.N.A. The focuser runs smooth and has been fine running with night time temps in the upper 20's/F. Its incremental steps are small enough to achieve a laser quality focus point. Being able to manually unlock the clutch and adjust is a great convenience to get close to focus before running autofocus. Works well for when you are switching between visual and imaging as well. Easy install with one exception. You need to make sure you are aligned well on the stock focuser shaft. Any little skew will cause focuser to bind or have a 'sticky' spot. Set screws should be adjusted lightly, back to back, each a little at a time. Here is where a half star is taken away and it has no real bearing on OPT. Once installed, the software download is easy, albeit not a lot of documentation. You have to launch with the web interface before N.I.N.A. will see it and connect. Once connected, you can close the interface. It is important that you pick and always use the same USB port to keep the interface from getting confused. Connect power to the focuser, connect the USB cable from focuser to computer, launch the interface and it should auto find and allow connection. Note the port it used. Be sure when connecting up, you only have the focuser connected and no other equipment. It helps the program to easily locate focuser.