Motorized Astronomical Focus & Zoom
Camera Lens, Coronado Solar Scope, Borg Astrograph ...

~ The WalterLee heliFocus ~


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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 is 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.

Controllers (Remote & Handheld): To operate the heliFocus, or any motorized focuser, a controller is required. Compatible controllers that work with the heliFocus are the (Rigel Systems 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.


Autofocus: 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 ...)5" and 6" heliFocus brackets of various colors.


Mounting Bracket: a 5" or 6" bracket and bolts will mount the heliFocus to a dovetail bar. It is designedCustomer heliFolcus bracket with a 30 degree bend in it. 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.



Optional Accessories & Upgrades


heliFocus drive belt package contgains 5 additonal belts 9.8" to 14.4"Belt-Drive 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.  


heliFocus Driect Drive upgrade eliminates the need for a timming beltDirect-Drive 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 theThe professional version requires a different controller and will not work with the same controllers used on the Deluxe version of the heliFocus problems associated with a sticky focuser.



Professional Version: 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)

IC 1396 - heliFocus Pro on a Nikon 600mm F4 lens
IC 1396 Emission Nebula Complex - SBIG2000XM & Nikon 600mm f4 Super Telephoto Lens, WalterLee heliFocus, Shoestring FCUSB, & Focusmax


"makes it fun, easy, and enjoyable focusing the stars, the moon, sun, and planets"

"summer is cool and winter warm; now I focus from a room indoors"

"I used to take picture after picture staring at a star and now I click focus from afar"