Nightcrawler Focuser Rotator
MoonLite’s NiteCrawler models are a fully electronic focuser that uses fly by wire control technology for very accurate positioning in both focus and rotation. The patented design is intended for remote automation of large heavy imaging instruments providing extreme position accuracy that is repeatable down to .26 Microns. Vertical focus motion is handled by 3 Stainless Steel rails riding on 6 large 1/2" bearings under large pre load pressure. This allows the focuser to maintain center line mechanical point even with huge instrument loads hanging on it. Rotation is provided by an inner and out drawtube riding on a double row bearing track providing extreme rigidity. The drawtube is designed just like a tall bearing, but in this case is hollow. The Large stainless steel lead screws provide very accurate position and no backlash up to 25 lb instrument loads. The focuser holds heavy loads even with the power off and remembers position on power up, no need to re-home each time it is turned on.
The design of the NiteCrawler uses positioning technology currently in use in todays CNC machines. The NiteCrawler has a built in controller with display for positional information. It also provides manual Jog handles/ knobs on encoders for both focus and rotation input right at the focuser. The Jog rate of the input knobs can be selected on the controller allowing the user to pick the resolution of each click on the knob. Note the knobs have a 32 position indent feel, so each click of the knob will move the selected axis 1 unit or multiples of one unit depending on the jog rate picked.
ASCOM drivers and SKYX direct plug, or our MoonLite program can be used to operate the focuser remotely.
- 25 lb. instrument load capacity
- 2 axis no backlash lead screws
- Rotating drawtube .001 degree resolution
- WR25 374,920 steps per revolution
- WR30 444,080 steps per revolution
- WR35 505,960 steps per revolution
- Approx. .9” travel, 94,580 steps per inch resolution
- .0000105” per step or .2667 Microns per step
- Large ½” high capacity bearings
- 3 point stainless steel linear rails
- 5 jog rates with 32 indent encoder knobs
- Left knob rotation & Aux focuser/ Right knob focus
- Eccentric cam bearing collimation system
- Remote temperature probe
- ASCOM / non-ASCOM / SKYX
- Auxiliary motor port can run 3 optional accessories:
- Optional Mini Worm secondary focuser
- Optional automated dust cover
- Optional Focal reducer/ flattener elevator positioning system
- Most flange sizes in stock. Custom available on request
- 6 custom anodized colors
- Power 12 volt / 400mA (both motors running), 120mA (Idle)
- Weight - WR25 6 lbs. WR30 7 lbs. WR35 8 lbs.
- Flange extenders available for adjusting profile .7" thick and 1.7" thick sizes
- Thread in adapters for all cameras /reducers available
- Drawtube extender rings included .5” , 1”, 2” sizes
- 3.8” to 4.1" min profile, depends on lower flange picked
Auto Calibrate Mode - Hold down the right button while turning the power on. Let go of the button once the display comes up. The focuser will rotate in a CW direction finding the rotate home position first. It will then rack the drawtube down to find vertical focus home positon. This can take from 1 to 10 mins.
Note the limit indicator will go from Blue to Red when any of the magnetic position sensors are detected.
Auto Calibrate needs to only be done once, as the focuser remains at and remembers its last position when turned back on. However, the focuser can be re-calibrated at any time, even remotely using the utility program. This can be handy if cables get twisted or the focuser mechanical hits something to limit its motion. The motors are designed to simply stall if the focuser’s movement is restricted (runs in to the mount).
No harm will come to the drive systems, but a stall situation will require re-calibrating the focuser.
The Aux port (if an option is connected) can be ran using the left jog knob. Hold down the left Menu button for 3 seconds. The left jog knob will now operate the Aux port. Notice the 1 X rate indicator turns on in the AUX display area and turns off in the rotation area. To switch back, just hold the button down for 3 seconds again to change back to rotation mode. Aux port Accessories are Mini Worm focuser, automated dust cover, and 3rd axis FR/ flattener internal elevator positioning system (for WR35 model only).