The Starlight Instruments Digital Feather Touch System incorporates a focus hub (DHUB20) that controls a Feather Touch focuser (with the addition of a motor, the MSM35 from either a computer through an ASCOM-compliant software interface, and /or a hand controller (DHC) with a digital display.
The precision engineered Starlight Instruments Digital Feather Touch System incorporates unique, advanced features not found in any other product in the telescope industry. The components of this system are made available separately to allow you to customize the system to your unique needs. By acquiring only those components required to optimize your system for your specific use, (Visual and/or CCD Imaging) your upgrade costs are kept to a minimum. Furthermore, as you expand your applications you can easily upgrade your system by purchasing additional components.
The Starlight Instruments Motorized Feather Touch System components are as follows:
MSM35 Stepper Motor Attachment...
The MSM35 incorporates a high torque stepper motor with a geared drive that seamlessly meshes with your existing 3.5" Feather Touch focuser. When hooked up to the DHUB20 focus drive hub, this system provides smooth, precise, powerful control that can move an 8-pound load at about 3 microns per step. By the way, these estimates are conservative...you could very well achieve results even better than this!
Attaching the motor housing to your Feather Touch is quick and simple. Using just a pair of socket wrenches, you can plug and play with the motorized version of your Feather Touch Focuser within seconds. You can have multiple telescopes fitted with individual MSM20's and simply switch Hub & Hand Controller cables.
DHUB20 Motorized Feather Touch Hub...
Central to the modularity of the system is the DHUB20, or the Digital Feather Touch Hub, which incorporates most of the electronics to drive the focuser into one neat little case that can sit right next to your telescope. Cables radiate from the Hub to the drive motor, Hand Controller, Temperature Sensor, Power, & PC Cable as needed. Your hand controller thus has a single cable leading to it, keeping the set up tidy. An optional temperature probe assembly (FTP-1) can be plugged into the hub to return temperature information to the ASCOM driver, so that supporting software can compensate focus during long exposures.
DHC Motorized Feather Touch Hand Controller...
The DHC lets you manually step the focuser in & out while displaying the current focuser position digitally. A high level of precision is achieved by ramping up the speed gradually as you hold the buttons down. Clicking the buttons without holding them down allows you to take micro steps to approach accurate focus.
To suit differing preferences of individual users, two cable sockets have been provided at the top and bottom...you can plug the cable at either end. When using the focuser through the computer interface, you can still use the hand controller if you wish to.
To control the Feathertouch focuser from your PC you must use an ASCOM compatible program like FocusMax or Maxim DL. You can get the most recent driver, as well as a list of ASCOM compatible programs from the manufacturer's website.
What Components Do You Need?
If you intend to use the Digital Feather Touch strictly for CCD imaging, you will need a MSM35 Stepper Motor Attachment and a DHUB20 (Digital Hub). The DHC hand controller would not be necessary because you could control the focuser from your computer screen with the proper software.
If, in addition, you use your system visually, you will also need the DHC hand controller, since you wouldn't want to move back and forth between the eyepiece and computer each time you focus. Adding a hand controller would also be the logical choice if you want to use your system for visual observation now, but anticipate CCD imaging in the future.