How it Works: The heliFocus changes focus through a timing belt
that wraps around a lens; a pulley on the heliFocus turns the timing belt which
rotates the focuser. An operator uses a controller to move focus in or out. To
focus at the mount a hand operated controller
used. Focusing remotely from an office, the house, or a tent then a controller
that interfaces a PC is used. Controllers that provide both hand and remote
operated focusing are available.
Step Indicator: An LED visually indicates
the direction, rate, and duration of each step. Focus in one direction flashes
red and the other blue. Each time the light comes on this indicates a single
step, if blinking faster the rate has increased, slower and its decreased. The
LED indicates duration of step by remaining on as the motor turns, the longer it
is on the larger the step. Brightness can be increased for solar observing
during the day and decreases for night operations.
(Remote & Handheld): To operate the
heliFocus, or any motorized focuser, a controller is required. Compatible
controllers that work with the heliFocus are the (Rigel
nFocus Hand Controller and usb-nFocus Computer Interface, Shoestring Astronomy
USB Controller - FCUSB & FCUSB2, JMI Single and Dual MotoFocus Hand Control, JMI
Digital Readout Hand Unit, & JMI PC Focus Control, Orion
ShoeString Astronomy FCUSB.
Automated focus is provided by free software called
FocusMax, a computer interfaced controller is required. FocusMax integrates
with CCDSoft, MaxIm DL, and other popular imaging software with
ASCOM connectivity. Its advanced focusing algorithm is extremely accurate
and it has enhanced capabilities (star selection, temperature compensation,
acquisition, dim star detection, convergence ...)
Mounting Bracket: a 5" or 6" bracket and
bolts will mount the heliFocus to a dovetail bar. It is designed
to provide as much variability as possible in positioning the heliFocus in
relation to the scope. This makes it easier to adjust the belt drive tension and
makes it's possible for a single belt to work for different sized lenses.
Custom brackets available upon request.
Accessories & Upgrades
Package: a belt-drive package is available
that makes it possible to use the heliFocus across a borader range of equipment
. It comes with five belts in sizes ranging from 9.8" and 14.4". Maybe you have
a Solarmax, Borg Astrograph, and several camera lenses. Some customers have even
used the heliFocus on their Mak-Cass and Refractor.
Flex-Drive Coupling: This accessory is for difficult
equipment configurations and or for using the heliFocus on a Refracting,
Reflecting, or Compound telescope. The Flex-Drive coupling makes it easy to
connect the heliFocus to the knob of a Crawford focuser. A flexible 7" drive
shaft can snake through cables, conform to the curvature of an OTA, and pass
through small gaps.
Upgrade: For the best in precision focus, a direct-drive option
is available. Two spur gears mesh together removing the need for a timing belt.
When the motor changes focus this movement is directly transferred to the
focuser. Focusing results are more accurate and consistent. Reduces backlash. In
cold climates this option may be necessary as the colder it gets the stiffer a
timing belt will become. Eliminates the
problems associated with a sticky focuser.
The ultimate in positioning accuracy and repeatability!
The Pro model utilizes stepping motor technology for closed loop
positioning feedback - for serious
astrophotography and automated systems(CCDAutoPilot, CCDCommander, unattended autofocus).