This review applies to version 3.2.
The latest version of this software will soon be reviewed by our
The RoboFocus is a remote focus driver to be installed on your existing focus mechanism. RoboFocus provides digital control and feedback of the focus position using a stepping motor controlled by a microprocessor.
The user sends commands from his computer to the RoboFocus to move the focus, and receives back digital position information. RoboFocus can also be used to control four remote 120VAC power outlets using the optional Remote Power Module. The software to control the RoboFocus provides a graphical interface, and is open source VB operating under Windows. It includes full ASCOM scripting capability. The user may also write code to control the focuser.
The RoboFocus is provided with alternative stepping motors and mounting brackets to serve different focusing devices. We can match almost any drive needed; however, here are the two most common:
• Rack & Pinion. The RoboFocus may be used on any rack and pinion or similar eyepiece holder that has an accessible 1/4-inch shaft. In a typical application, one rotation of the shaft will move the holder approximately 3/4 inch. Using a 0.1 degree stepping motor (3600 steps per rev), this provides approximately 0.0005 inch steps with a rotation rate of about 30 seconds per shaft revolution (about 2 minutes for the full travel of a typical focuser). The available torque is about 90 in-oz which is more than enough for moving and holding a color filter wheel and CCD camera (when/if the power is turned off the focuser, the scope should be horizontal to avoid focus creep).
• Schmidt-Cassegrain. RoboFocus may be used on the LX200 (standard) or similar S-C scopes (special order). These scopes have a large focus knob in the base plate that has approximately 40 turns. The stepping motor provided for this application normally has 0.1 degree per step giving a 5-8 minute full travel.
• JMI NGF-S/DX3. The popular JMI Crayford style focusers use a 12VDC motor. This can be removed and replaced with our stepping motor in a direct replacement.