Astronomy Tools

Permanent Focus

The PerfectStar controller has always had a “shutdown” feature that stores the current position in non-volatile memory so that there is no need to set the zero position the next time you use it.  Furthermore, the shutdown feature is invoked automatically when an ASCOM-connected application disconnects from the controller.  Building on this feature, Permanent Focus (available in firmware version 5.2) also remembers the last established reference position and temperature (the “reference point”) for temperature compensation (TC).  To use the Permanent Focus feature, simply enable TC before executing the shutdown/disconnect.  When the controller is next powered up (or if the shutdown/lock […]

Hotech SCA (Self-Centering Adapter)

Almost every customer for our MRT adapter has asked, “This is great, but how do I attach it to my telescope?”  The answer has always been that a direct threaded connection is best, but since most telescopes don’t have T-threads, the next best solution (and one that is far more universal) is the SCA made by Hotech.  So to make it even easier for you, we have arranged to be able to offer you this brilliant product. The SCA is like a standard 2” nosepiece-to-T-thread adapter, except that instead of using one or two thumbscrews to secure the adapter (leaving […]

MRT (Mister T) T Mount Adapter

Astro-photography with a DSLR camera is a great way to go for high quality images with minimal expense and headache, but the traditional T mount adapter was never intended for this application and leaves much to be desired.  MRT solves the problem. First, MRT has 3 set screws that tighten against the lens flange of your camera to dramatically improve the rigidity of the connection between camera and telescope.  The set screws have nylon tips, so they won’t mar the finish on your camera. As if that wasn’t enough, MRT also provides a much better camera rotation capability.  Standard T […]

PerfectTemp Temperature Sensor

Temperature compensation is a great feature of the PerfectStar focus controllers (excluding PerfectStarLite), but to perform to its full potential the sensor must read the temperature of the telescope accurately and not be influenced by the surrounding air, since they will change at very different rates.  That is, the sensor must be thermally coupled to the telescope tube and insulated from the air. This can be done with the standard sensor, but requires some planning an effort on the part of the user.  PerfectTemp makes it much easier:  Just place the sensor block face down on the telescope tube, secure […]

PerfectStar Focus Motor for SCT

The PerfectStar Focus Motor for SCT is designed to provide precise control of focus with Schmidt-Cassegrain Telescopes (SCTs).  Although intended specifically for use with the PerfectStar Focus Controller, the motor is also compatible with controllers from many other manufacturers.   The standard mounting for the PerfectStar motor works well for most refractors and Newtonian reflectors, but required customization to work with the typical SCT focus mechanism, which works by moving the primary mirror rather than moving a draw tube.  With the PS SCT Motor it is now very easy to install a focus motor on an SCT. The motor is […]

PerfectStar Focus Motor

The PerfectStar Focus Motor is a premium stepper motor designed to provide precise control of focus with many types and models of telescope.  Although intended specifically for use with the PerfectStar Focus Controller, the motor unit is also compatible with controllers from many other manufacturers.   Based on a top-quality stepper motor from Hurst, it provides the reliability and precision needed for demanding astrophotography applications. The motor is enclosed to protect the motor from dust and moisture. Likewise, the aluminum mounting collar encloses the focuser shaft (and reduction mechanism where present) to prevent dust from getting into this sensitive mechanism. […]

PerfectStar Focus Controller

With version 5.0 of the firmware and version 6.0 of the ASCOM driver, PerfectStar is now completely updated. Most functionality is now embedded in the controller itself rather than the driver, which makes it more robust and allows access to many features without a computer connection. The absolute position value is maintained in the controller – even when powered off.  The hand controller (now standard) is used to toggle temperature compensation, set the zero point, report the current position, and prepare for focuser lock and shutdown.  A new double speed mode provides faster rough positioning, which is very useful when […]