TCF Focuser Series
TCF - Temperature Compensating Focusers
Back in 1999 Optec's Gerald Persha designed and introduced the first all-digital motorized telescope focuser. Featuring a closed-loop design with external hand control box and built-in temperature compensation, that very first TCF Temperature Compensating Focuser continues to operate every clear night at the Optec Observatory. Utilizing a best-fit linear model to correct for temperature induced focal shifts, the TCF performs superbly without requiring a re-focus of the telescope for weeks at a time.
As the first few focusers rolled out to customers, we quickly saw the need for PC computer control. By adding a serial UART chip and ASCII command set to the control circuit, the TCF-S was born. Now focus control, along with serial "go-to" telescope mounts and imaging cameras could be controlled by a host of software packages. The remotely controlled observatory became a reality for many amateurs and small colleges using off-the-shelf products. The revolutionary TCF-S was awarded a Sky & Telescope Hot Product award in 2000 for its contribution to this dramatic change in the way astronomy research and imaging was being accomplished.
Since that time the TCF Focuser Series has grown to include larger focusers, focusers with integrated electronics, and new more durable controllers such as the FocusLynx which expands the serial protocols to include USB, Ethernet, and wireless WiFi capablity. Optec engineers continue the innovation with linear encoder versions for sub-micron positional accuracy. Throughout all this growth, Optec has continually acheived the overarching goal of robust mechanical design with intelligent electronics for remote observatory operations.
TCF Focuser 2-inch Models
Original TCF-S Temperature Compensating Focuser
The original TCF-S Temperature Compensating Focuser is still available with many improvements made over the years. Now with a fifth generation serial control circuit, the TCF-S continues to be a highly sought after all-digital premium focuser.
With 2.2 micron steps and over 15mm of travel, the TCF-S provides excellent resolution and plenty of focus travel for computer auto-focusing. Naturally, temperature compensation is built in and the external control box allows manual and closed-loop control as well as PC and Mac computer control. Fully ASCOM compliant, the TCF-S remains the most robust 2-inch digital focuser available. Click here for full details or to order the TCF-S Temperature Compensating Focuser.
TCF-Si Integrated Temperature Compensating Focuser
Both varieties of TCF-S focuser are also available with a control system that is integrated into the focuser. This allows users to have direct computer control of their focuser and eliminates the need for an external control box and control cable, thus making this variant an excellent choice for telescope owners with limited space or surfaces.
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TCF-Lynx Temperature Compensating Focuser
TCF Focuser 3-inch Models
TCF-S3 Large 3-inch Temperature Compensating Focuser
The TCF-S3 3-inch Focuser is the big brother of the TCF-S. This larger focuser is not only bigger, but stronger in order to accommodate the ever-increasing size of astronomical instrument packages. However, the upscaling process has not impacted the focuser's performance. the TCF-S3 maintains the high degree of optical and thermal precision necessary to create the exact focus needed for both film and CCD astrophotography.
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