The Steeldrive II motor focuser enables the automated focusing of a telescope via a computer, as well as precise and vibration-free focusing using the buttons on the handheld controller. It consists of a motor unit, which is connected via a toothed belt backlash freely with the fine drive of the focuser of the telescope, as well as a control unit, which receives the electronics and at the same time serves as a hand controller.
The Steeldrive II motor focuser includes:
- a motor unit with toothed belt and connection cable with a length of 3 meters, which can be adapted to all Baader Steeltrack® and Diamond Steeltrack® focuser .
- a 3D-printed magnet holder for the homing sensor, which is attached to the focuser. For Baader Diamond Steeltrack® focuser a metal magnet ring is available separately.
- the Baader Steeldrive Mark II controller with intuitive operation and manual control buttons, including 3 meter USB cable
- a temperature sensor with cable (1 meter), supports dewlap heating control
- 12V / 1,5A power supply, universal power supply for EU, GB and USA
- Velcro straps (cable ties) for strain-relieving cable fastening
- SteelGO software and ASCOM driver for controlling multiple motor focusers via a PC for download
High-precision focusing of heavy loads: The high-torque stepper motor is connected directly to the focuser via a toothed belt. This eliminates the backlash that would be caused by a transmission gear. The SteelDrive can move loads up to 8 kilograms quickly and precisely. The step resolution is about 2.5 microns.
The intuitive hand control allows you to quickly find the focus and save the focus position. There are several modes of movement:
- In Normal mode, the focuser moves as long as a directional button is pressed.
- In jogging mode, a distance that can be configured via SteelGo software (eg 0.1 mm) is covered per push of a button.
- In single-step mode, the smallest possible increment (approximately 2.5 microns) is driven per key press.
The configuration of the limits, the saving and resetting of a known position as well as the (de) activation of the temperature compensation are also possible with the hand controller. The backlight of the keyboard and the brightness of the status LEDs are dimmable.
Non-contact homing sensor: The SteelDrive motor unit has a non-contact (wear-free) homing sensor. The sensor is activated by a magnet, which can be attached to the moving part of the focuser. It enables the repeatable approach of stored positions and also serves as a reference of the mechanical limit stop. The delivery includes a simple holder for the magnet, which is attached to the focuser. For the Baader Diamond Steeltrack® Focuser, a metal magnet ring is available separately. However, the SteelDrive can also be used without a homing sensor, as the absolute position is saved at all times in the internal non-volatile memory. Even in the event of a power failure, the absolute position is maintained as long as the focuser is not moved by hand.
Temperature Compensation: Two digital temperature sensors can be used simultaneously. One each can be connected to the engine and the control unit. For automatic temperature compensation, one sensor can be selected or the average temperature of both sensors can be used. Thus, the compensation can be adapted to the local conditions (eg measurement outside and inside the telescope). The temperature compensation factor is calculated using the SteelGO software and can be stored locally in the SteelDrive control unit. The compensation period and the delta-T threshold can also be adjusted. This means that the temperature compensation can also be used in standalone mode (without a computer connected).
The SteelDrive has a 12V / 1A PWM output . This can be used with the optionally available adapter cable for the Steeldrive II controller AUX port to RCA jack for common heating pads (dew cap heating) up to 10W. The power can either be fixed in the SteelGO software, or it can be held in conjunction with one of the temperature sensors a target temperature. Thus, unnecessary heat input into the telescope is avoided by the dew cap is heated just above the dew point. Not only the temperature of dewlaps can be controlled with it, also the high-precision temperature control (+/- 0.1 ° C) of optical filters or the like. is possible.
All parts made in Germany. All mechanical parts are CNC machined from Alumnium. The electronic circuit boards were also completely developed and manufactured in Germany. Only high quality electronic components are used. The electronic boards are additionally coated.
Low power consumption : The motor current is automatically reduced when idle. The SteelDrive II then consumes about 0.7 watts