MoonLite CSL 2.5 inch Large Format Crayford SCT/RC Focusers (Specify Flange, Drawtube, & Color)
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The modular design of the CSL large 2.5" large format focuser makes it very versatile. Just pick the options you need in these 4 categories: Flange, Drawtube, Focus knob/motor, and Color.
The CSL is a heavy duty 2.5" larger format focuser design using a double bearing crayford configuration. The double bearing high pressure design allows the crayford focuser to handle greater load capacities over the the regular CS 2" model focuser, making it ideal for large imaging set ups. We offer everything from our heavy duty tri-knob reduction unit with shaft lock system to different types of motor options for both visual or imaging configurations. Our "High Res" stepper motor options use PC based interfaces, providing automated focus ability running today's ASCOM software. Different draw tube travels and configurations are available. Our collimatable mounting flanges provide flexibility for achieving perfect mechanical centerline collimation should the need arise. 6 Custom anodized colors are available. A motorized rotating flange option will be offerd as a customer installed add on later this year.
MoonLite manufactures many flanges that fit a variety of different SCT, RC, and Vixen OTAs. Please use the pull down menu to select the flange located at the bottom of this page.
All current CSL flanges feature a 2 piece rotating flange design with a lock knob providing camera angle adjustment. It consist of an upper flange part and a lower flange part on a rotatable radial dove tail design. The upper flange part bolts on to the focuser body with 3 bolts. The lower flange part has the threads pattern that matches the visual back and connects in to the upper flange. The thickness and diameter of the lower flange is designed for the telescope it is to be installed on. This 2 part rotating flange system provides collimation ability using a simple 3-point push pull bolt/setscrew arraignment. Please note all focusers are factory collimated dead on before we ship them, and do not require any adjustment. The only time collimation should be changed is if the OTA has some kind of defect causing the focuser to set slanted on the tube. In this case the focuser's collimation ability would come in handy to correct the mechanical centerline collimation of the OTA in question. Flanges can be swapped on the bottom of the focuser so it will fit different OTAs. Replacement bottom flanges are sold separately for $95 if you need a different flange at a later time.
The flanges come in 8 thread sizes for SCTs and RCs. The 3 1/4" Celestron thread size, 3 1/4" Meade thread size, 4" thread size for Meade 16" scopes, RC 6" / 8" thread size, RC 10" / 12" thread size, and Vixen 260L thread size. The 3 1/4" Celestron threaded flanges fit 11" and 14" Celestron visual backs. The special taller EDGE flange fits the new 11" and 14" Celestron Edge scopes. We make a special EDGE flange for the 9.25" EDGE that has a cut shape on the bottom to clear the mirror focus knob. The 3 1/4" Meade threaded flanges fit Meade 10" ,12" and 14" Meade Visual backs. Please note; The CSL large format focuser is not intended for the smaller 8" SCT scopes due to the small 2" SCT threaded visual back. Please look at the CS 2" format size focuser for all 8" SCTs with the smaller visual back thread size. It is important to pick a matching drawtube and flange combination when configuring the MoonLite focuser. We recommend the drawtube length for each flange listed below.
- The 3 1/4" Celestron thread regular profile flange fits 11, and 14" Celestron SCTs. It is rotatable and collimatable. The correct drawtube length for this flange are any of our 1" travel versions, including the sliding focal reducer adjustable position drawtube.
- The The 3 1/4" Meade thread regular profile flange fits 10, 12", and 14" Meade SCTs. It is rotatable and collimatable. The correct drawtube length for this flange are any of our 1" travel versions, including the sliding focal reducer adjustable position drawtube.
- The large 4" Meade thread flange fits only the 16" Meade SCTs with the 4" visual back. It is rotatable and collimatable. The correct drawtube length for this flange are any of our 1" travel versions, including the sliding focal reducer adjustable position drawtube.
- Vixen flange fits the VMC260. The correct drawtube length for this flange are any of our 1" travel versions.
- The 3 1/4" Celestron thread EDGE flange fits the EDGE 11", and 14" Celestron SCTs. It is rotatable and collimatable. The correct drawtube length for this flange are any of our 1.5" travel versions. This flange is slightly taller then the regular Celestron flange above to provide the ideal spacing / profile if the new EDGE Focal Reducers are used. Please note the EDGE focal reducers do not fit inside the focuser. The focuser threads on to the Focal reducer for all of the EDGE model scopes. The longer 1.5" travel 68mm thread top drawtube is the popular and best match for this flange.
- The EDGE 9.25" flange is tall like the regular EDGE flange above, but has a special machined shape at the bottom to provide clearance around the Mirror focus knob on the visual back. The correct drawtube is the 1.5" travel 68mm thread top when picking this flange.
- RC 6" / 8" flange fits the threaded visual back on RC8" and RC6" scope. It also fits the AstroTech, Orion, and GSO versions of the RC OTAs. The flange is rotatable and collimatable. The correct drawtube length is the 1.5" travel versions. This focuser threads on to the included spacer flanges that Astrotech provides to adjust the mounting position. However the longer 2" travel drawtube can also be picked if more out travel is needed for imaging set ups.
- RC 10" /12" flange fits the threaded visual back on RC10" and RC12" scope. It also fits the AstroTech, Orion, and GSO versions of the RC OTAs. The flange is rotatable and collimatable. The correct drawtube length is the 1.5" travel versions. This focuser threads on to the included spacer flanges that Astrotech provides to adjust the mounting position. However the longer 2" travel drawtube can also be picked if more out travel is needed for imaging set ups.
Please note that the EDGE focal reducers are designed to be installed directly on the back of all EDGE scope's visual back, then the focuser is installed on to the focal reducer. The EDGE distance spec of 147mm for the focal plane is the same with or with out the reducer installed. So the focuser will work fine installed on the reducer or directly on the back of the scope.
Two focuser configurations can be picked for the EDGE 11" and 14" scopes. The tall EDGE flange version with the 1.5" travel drawtube, or the shorter 3 1/4" Clestron thead regular profile flange with the 1" travel drawtube. The tall version of the focuser provides focus range to meet the EDGE's 147mm spec with a typical CCD camera. However if a Filter wheel or other item is to be used, then the shorter profile 3 1/4" Celestron regular flange may be a better pick to provide more room for a thicker filter wheel/camera set up.
Please note: Fork mounted SCTs may have limited clearance with the focuser swung down into the fork area. Please consider any clearance issues before picking a focuser.
The CSL focuser's lower flanges can be swapped easily allowing it to be installed on to different OTAs. CSL flanges are sold separately for $95 and can be ordered here: MoonLite CSL Replacement Flanges .
Draw tubes: MoonLite offers 3 different drawtube travel lengths for the CSL large format focuser. 1" travel, 1.5" travel, and 2" travel. Those travel length drawtube come in 2 different styles, 3 thumbscrew compression ring version and the new 68mm thread top version. The 1" travel drawtube size is also offered in a focal reducer version that allows the focal reducer to be installed inside the focuser. It is a sliding holder system that allows the focal reducer position to be be adjusted inside the focuser. We make 3 different sliding holders at this time. One holder is supplied free when this drawtube is selected. Additional sliding holders are available for $50 if needed.
Please use the pull down menu located at the bottom of this page to select the configuration you need.
Original 2.5" comp ring drawtube design option uses a 3 thumbscrew compression ring system and includes both a smooth bore 2.5" to 2" comp ring adapter and a 2.5" to 1.25" comp ring adapter.
Special 1" travel drawtube with sliding Focal reducer position system allows the focal reducer to be installed in to focuser and ride up and down with the drawtube at a set distance. The position can be moved about .8" up and down then locked into to place. This drawtube is offered in both the original 3 thumbscrew comp ring version, and the new 68mm thread top version.
Sliding holders are available in 3 styles. Regular focal reducer holder that works with traditional 6.3 and 3.3 SCT reducers. Filter thread size holder that works with any reducer using 2" filter thread standard like the AP CCDT67. The 3 set screw style holder for Lepus reducers.
Customers requiring heavy load capacity or a permanent configuration can pick our new 68mm threaded drawtube option. It provides a very rigid, no sag solution for imagers using heavy loads. The 2.5" format drawtube has a female 68mm x 1mm female thread in the top allowing any of our matching 68mm threaded tops to be installed. A 2" 3-thumbscrew brass comp ring adapter and a 1.25" brass comp ring adapter automatically come with the threaded drawtube option. However, we also make other thread-in 68mm male thread adapters such as a T-thread adapter, STL-thread adapter, SCT-thread adapter. This is the most popular drawtube style we make and is recommended for all of our larger format focusers. Customers still get the 3 thumbscrew comp ring thread in tops with this drawtube pick, so it makes sense to pick the 68mm version of drawtube. However if you want to use existing 2.5" smooth bore adapters from another focuser, then the original drawtube version may be the best pick.
All SCT customers should pick one of the 1" travel drawtubes as that length is a match for the flanges. RC customers should pick the 1.5" travel size drawtubes, or if a spacer is being used, then the 2" travel drawtube will work. Vixen 260 users should only pick the 1" travel drawtube as that is the only one that will work with the 260 flange we offer.
MoonLite has many knob and motor configurations. Our reduction systems and motor options are integrated into the focuser at the time of assembly. However we do offer new motor install kits now so a motor can be added easily at a later time by the customer. Please use the pull down menu located at the bottom of this page to select the configuration you need. Please note: Motor options replace the standard reduction unit when ordering the focuser, so a $100 credit off any motor option is calculated when ordering (i.e.- a $195.00 DC motor option will only cost $95.00 on a CFL focuser due to replacing the standard reduction unit).
- Standard dual rate -The standard CSL comes with our heavy-duty 1.5" Dual rate Tri-knob option. It is a dual rate (2 speed) configuration using our extremely smooth 8 to 1 reduction unit. It uses large 1.5" OD knobs and has both a coarse and a fine knob on one side and a coarse on the other. The larger tri-knob option is a heavy-duty version of the regular dual rate system found on our smaller CS focusers and has increased lifting capacity to 6 lbs. This is a good choice for a large SCTs/ RC or heavy loads. The fine focus adjustment knob is on the right by default, but can be made a lefty if needed.
- Dual rate Tri-knob w/ Shaft Lock ($25) - The dual rate with SHAFT LOCK knob option adds the shaft lock system to the coarse side knob. The shaft lock option uses a unique mini brass compression ring clamp sub system that allows the user to lock the shaft and focuser's position with out deflecting the drawtube. This type of focus lock is much better then the old "thumb screw against the draw tube" style that would shift the image when pressed against the draw tube. The shaft lock ability along with the 6 lb heavy-duty reduction unit make this option ideal for heavy demanding loads for both visual and imaging requirements. The fine knob is on the right by default, but can be made a lefty if needed. The whole point of the shaft lock option is to precisely lock focus position with no shift in image or change in focus.
- DC Motor ($195.00) – The DC motor with slip clutch option uses our Dual channel battery operated hand controller. It allows adjustable speed control for focus on the first channel, and the 2nd channel is available for running a 2nd focuser, or our rotating flange option. The slip clutch feature on the motor allows both manual operation using the knobs and electronic hand controller operation at the same time. The DC gear head motor and controller combination are ideal for operation of the focuser when a computer is not going to be used. The DC motor is ideal for visual or imaging and provides a 8 lb lifting capacity when installed on the focuser. a 6 foot long cable is supplied along with the hand held controller, but can be extended up to 200 feet with any regular 1/8" stereo cable. Please see Motor options for more details: Motor Focus Options
- High Resolution Stepper Motor/stand alone ($190.00) for customers that may all ready have a stepper motor controller. – The high resolution stepper motor option provides extremely fine .00008" focus resolution. The motor provides an 8 lb. load capacity once installed on a CSL focuser. It gives the focuser great repeatability and automated focus ability for today’s imaging requirements when using a PC. The high resolution stepper motor’s slip clutch feature allows both manual operation using the focusers knobs and electronic PC control at the same time. The stepper motor follows the 9 pin DBA standard pin out so it will work with ROBO focus (pin for pin) controllers along with many other brand controllers. We offer two different controllers below if you do not have a controller. Please see Motor options for more details: Motor Focus Options
- High Resolution Stepper Motor with MoonLite Mini V2 Controller ($440.00) – The high resolution stepper motor with mini V2 ASCOM compliant controller. The MoonLite Mini controller features a remote temp probe, Speed control and up/ down buttons on the controller box for manual operation of the motor alone with full PC control. It uses a USB connection to your PC and runs off standard 12 volt DC. We include an AC adapter with a universal plug so it will work in any country, USB cable, 9pin DBA cable, and remote temp probe. Works with all ASCOM based software once the driver is loaded. We also include a Non- ASCOM program for customers to operate the focuser that may not have ASCOM set up. The 8 lb. load rating and precise focus ability make this a good configuration for permanent or remote imaging platforms. The slip clutch feature for manual knob operation is always included with all Motor options so the focuser can be used in many configurations, manual knob, controller buttons, or remote PC operation. Please see Motor options for more details: Motor Focus Options
- High Resolution Stepper Motor with Dual Port DRO Display Controller ($685.00). This option includes a 2 port controller and can operate 2 separate focusers at the same time, or 1 focuser running both focus and a rotator. It is a full ASCOM compliant controller along with the high resolution stepper motor with slip clutch. Along with our ASCOM driver, we also include a basic Non- ASCOM program for customers to operate the focuser that may not have ASCOM set up. This controller is best for both visual and PC operation due to its buttons and full DRO display on the controller box located at the scope. It has a fine and fast mode using the buttons on either channel with a full DRO position readout on the display that shows the exact step count position just like in the software of your favorite imaging program. The controller has a remote temp probe just like the mini V2 above and full digital display, plus manual buttons for stand alone use. The 8 lb. load rating on a CSL model focuser and extreme precise focus ability at .00008” resolution and repeatability make this the ultimate configuration for permanent and remote imaging platforms. This controller / stepper motor option is recommended for both PC and hand held manual operation. It comes with universal voltage AC adapter and USB cable. The slip clutch feature for manual knob operation is always included with all Motor options so the focuser can be used in many configurations, manual knob, controller buttons, or remote PC operation. Please see Motor options for more details: Motor Focus Options
MoonLite offers ASCOM drivers to run with your existing imaging software, and a simple non ASCOM program for customers not running a full blown ASCOM automated system (for someone who just wants a simple automated control app to run the focuser). See the Download tab on our Web site for Software. Please note: Motor kits can be added at a later time, as we sell motor kits that customers can install themselves.
Please note: A $100 discount is given when a motor option is picked on a CSL focuser due to the $100 reduction unit being removed when the motor is installed. This credit is issued due to the focuser not being offered in a single rate configuration like our smaller 2" format focusers are. The base configuration for a CSL focuser is a Dual rate version, not a single rate.
The amount of slip can be adjusted on the new slip clutch by adjusting the tightness of the slip clutch ring. For manual knob operation of the focuser, turn the silver knurled ring loose. For motor operation of the focuser, tighten the silver knurled ring.
To adjust the knurled rings tension, it helps to hold the manual knob still with your right hand and turn the clutch ring with your left hand. Holding the manual knob in place will keep the shaft from turning allowing the clutch ring to tighten / loosen the clutch.
Note: Note: No damage will be done if the focuser motor continues to run past the mechanical stops of the drawtubes travel. Even if the clutch is tight, it will simply slip when the travel runs out.
- Lifting Capacity: The drawtube pressure can be adjusted to each user’s preference. Increasing the pressure increases the load capacity (vertical lifting capacity) of the focuser. Decreasing the pressure lowers the load capacity but gives the focuser a smoother focusing action. We set the focuser at approximately 6 lbs. at time of assembly; however, you can adjust it to be less or more depending on your specific needs. The ideal setting is to have it adjusted so the focuser can hold the heaviest load presented without slipping and requiring no additional force. This will give the focuser the best feel and still provide the vertical lifting capacity required.
To adjust - turn the aluminum thumbscrew located between the two setscrews on the bottom of the focuser CW to increase load capacity. The aluminum thumbscrew can only add pressure, not take away pressure. This is due to the 2 setscrews on each side of the thumbscrew applying a minimum set pressure amount. In some rare cases, it may be necessary to do a coarse adjustment by turning the 2 setscrews located on each side of the aluminum thumbscrew (1/8 allen wrench) a very small amount. Normally, 1/20 of a turn or less should be made on the setscrews in a CW direction, then check the lifting capacity pressure by racking the drawtube up and down.
- Collimation: To adjust collimation, turn the 4 mini setscrews located in the top part of the 2-part flange. A small amount of tip/tilt (.015 max) can be made by adjusting the setscrews. We collimate each focuser before shipping it so no adjustment should be required; however, if collimation is required due to some sort of visual back defect when the focuser is installed, then the tip/tilt ability will come in handy. Please Note: rotating the focuser will throw off collimation reference once the flange is tilted off plane so please do not collimate the focuser off center line unless it is absolutely necessary to fix a gross error in the OTA.
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