Installing Starizona MicroTouch Autofocus -- FocusMax?

Hi Group,

I’ve just received my MicroTouch focuser and will be installing it on my 12" Meade Classic over the next few days.
Since I’m new to both SGP and the Starizona product (and autofocusing in general), I have a basic question.
FocusMax is provided with the Starizona package. And their literature spends quite a bit of time discussing the setup with FocusMax.
But the best I can tell, FocusMax is not necessary and SGP will do the equivalent (or better) function.

Just install Starizona’s supplied software excluding FocusMax since I do not think SGP supports FocusMax. I believe Starizona’s software includes ASCOM which is required for SGP’s auto focusing.

I have very good experience with SGP’s auto focusing. I can’t say about FocusMax since I’ve never use it.


Thanks Peter,

I appreciate the response.


I used FocusMax for years and it is a fine program but operates a bit differently than SGP focus. FocusMax is free so coming with the focuser is nothing special…

The Starizona focuser is not made by Starizona, but by a third party, I use a system sold by Starlight Instruments that is essentially identical:

The short version:

Focusmax uses a single star and V-curves generated ahead of time to do the focus.

SGP uses many stars in your FOV to do a V-curve each time.

With SGP, you use SGP’s focus method and do not have the option to use Focusmax. A number of other programs do use FocusMax to focus including ACP and CCD Autopilot. I have found SGP to be at least as accurate as FocusMax although Focusmax may have a slight edge if you are focusing thru a narrowband filter as it can adjust exposure time on the fly as well as slew to a bright star if need be.

I have found SGP focus to be less finicky and less likely to barf out, although Focusmax is not bad.

There is much more to it than the above but that is the short version.

Wow…talk about timely answers to the questions on my mind tonight. My Feathertouch focuser and Starizona Microtouch arrive tomorrow. Thanks for the info guys!


Time are a changing, Focusmax is now free at $149 from CCDware - just makes SGP look like an out and out bargain.

Yup, it appears they have gone over to the dark side. I suppose one cannot blame them for wanting to make a bit of money but using FocusMax generally means using other SW as well that is even even more expensive such as MaxIm, CCD Autopilot, ACP, and such. I have tried or used all of those and IMHO SGP is as good as any of them and better than some. Add to that the price issue and it is a total no-brainer.

To be blunt there are only two reasons why an esthetic imager would use anything other than SGP.

  1. They have not yet tried it.
  2. They are terribly set in their ways.

I can think of a few reasons that dissuade:
3) It is priced so low, how can it possibly be any good?
4) It is not advertised
5) Unfounded concerns that because it is different- it has to be incompatible
6) It only Acquires (nobody realizes until too late that the global processing in Max DL and Neb just does not cut it)
7) How can two dudes do a better job than an entire company? (on the main sequence website Ken and Jared say it is a labor of love - that probably on reflection is not a great idea - sounds like a short term project and could move on any time)

Indeed, newbies may think “processing is processing”. Experienced users know better. The so-called
processing in MaxIm (at least 5.X - never used 6.X), for example, is almost completely worthless
by modern standards.

:smile: Yes, these may be the same folks that pay $100,000 for a set of speakers!