PerfectStar Focus Controller


perfectstarWith 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 starting from a full “in” position. The other speeds are now 1, 10, and 100 steps for easier numeric control.  And the controller firmware is now “flashable” so that future updates can be done by the user.

Enhanced temperature compensation maintains perfect focus throughout the night, no matter how much the temperature changes.

The new ASCOM driver provides a variety of new features, including arbitrary position set, power save mode, and automatic shutdown preparation.

Here is a list of the primary features of the PerfectStar Focus Controller:

Direct USB connectivity
Manual or computer-controlled focus
Backlash compensation (with separate optimization for manual and computer control)
Temperature compensation for continuous perfect focus (requires optional temperature sensor)
Motor holds position by magnetic lock or this can be disabled to save power
Power, USB connection, and motor active indicators (recessed LEDs)
12V DC power input
Up to 1 amp motor drive capability
Rotary control knob with detents (20 steps per revolution)
Motor step speed selection: 1, 10, or 100 steps per detent plus “continuous” double speed for rough positioning


Focus Controller Options and Configurations:

The base configuration of the PerfectStar controller includes the controller, hand unit, hand unit cable, and software disk. Motor units are sold and configured separately.

The available options are:

USB cable (2 or 5 meters)
DC power cord (with “cigarette lighter” plug)
AC adapter
Motor cable (with or without temperature sensor)


Pricing:

Main controller unit: $150
AC adapter: $20
DC power cord: $15
2 meter USB cable: $5
5 meter USB cable: $10

Motor cables are included with the PerfectStar Motor rather than with the controller, but may be purchased separately for use with other motors.  Contact me for pricing and availability.  See the PerfectStar Motor or PerfectStar SCT for details on this enhanced focus motor and its options.  For information on other motor options, please contact me.


Availability:

Orders for PerfectStar are now being accepted. Components (including the main controller) are generally available within 1 week. However, configuring a PerfectStar Motor for a particular telescope may take longer.

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About Greg Marshall

I am a retired electronics engineer and after a few months of enjoying my leisure I began to miss doing product development. My astronomy hobby always needed new solutions to unique problems, so I decided that whenever I came up with a good solution I would try to make it available to others.

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