I’ve built an electronic automatic focuser (EAF) for my Sky-Watcher Equinox 100ED refractor for automated and precise focusing. The focuser was built with a stepper motor from an old printer, a gearbox from an electronic screwdriver, A4988 stepper motor driver, and an Arduino Uno.
The focuser is ASCOM compliant and works with astronomy software such as the Nighttime Imaging N Astronomy (NINA) for automated focusing during unattended imaging. When the autofocus command is called, NINA takes a series of photos (with a Canon 50D DSLR) at various focus distances and measures the diameter of stars for star fields or the highest contrast for moon and planets. It then calculates the proper distance travel for best focus, and then moves the focuser to focus. An automatic focuser ensures that stars remain focused during unattended imaging runs while you are away from the telescope.
This DIY electronic focuser attached to a standard Crayford focuser features 50,000 focus positions, with buttons for manual focus adjustment and calibration. The controller keeps track of the draw tube’s current position and saves this information even when the focuser is powered off.
I have tested the focuser on several imaging runs now and it appears to be working fine, especially with planets in which I image at 3600 mm focal length.
DIY Electronic Automatic Focuser (EAF) | Reflector
DIY Electronic Automatic Focuser (EAF) | Telephoto Lens
Night Sky in Focus © Anthony Urbano | Bacoor, Philippines
2 thoughts on “DIY Electronic Focuser | Refractor”
That’s very clever and must have been a lot cheaper than buying an ‘off the shelf’ focuser.
It is also a lot of fun learning how to build one :)