Steeldrive II motor focuser with Controller

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Steeldrive II motor focuser with Controller

# 2957165

€ 665.00 Price excl. German VAT tax (19%): € 558.82

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  • High-precision, temperature-compensating focusing motor with toothed belt drive for heavy loads (up to 8 kg).
  • Prepared for connection to all Baader Steeltrack® focusers (classic and Diamond).
  • Contactless end sensor (homing switch) for precise, repeatable positioning to stored absolute positions
  • Incl. hand controller with intuitive operation, can alternatively be controlled via PC with USB interface via ASCOM or SteelGO software (for Windows)
  • Connection for temperature sensors and additional 12 V / 1A PWM current output, e.g. for dew cap heater
Important note: Updated SteelGo II version now available under Downloads. It fixes the problem with N.I.N.A. 3

Product Questions and Answers

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Is the Steeldrive II ASCOM driver an AnyCPU driver? If not is it 32 bit or 64 bit?
Question by: Jennifer on May 31, 2022 6:55:00 PM | 1 Answer(s)

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Great product! Is it possible to control the motor directly from an astrophotography software on the PC using the RJ-45 connector and an Ethernet cable (PC => Ethernet => motor), without going though the controller (PC => USB => controller => Ethernet => motor)?
Question by: Stephen on Apr 9, 2021 2:34:00 PM | 1 Answer(s)

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Can this be fitted to a FeatherTouch focuser?
Question by: Thomas B Fowler on Oct 27, 2022 1:11:00 AM | 1 Answer(s)

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How can I make sure that always the same COM-Port is used?
Question by: Matthias on Oct 1, 2021 1:27:00 PM | 1 Answer(s)

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Can the Steeldrive II be mounted to a 2 inch monorail focuser as fitted to a TS Optics Ritchey-Chretien.
Question by: Ron Giddy on Jan 25, 2019 12:04:00 PM | 1 Answer(s)

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We are interested to use the Steeldrive II motor to operate from remote the Baader FlipMirror II Star Diagonal, as noted in the manual of that flipmirror.
Is there a tutorial or some instructions which can help us to make that combination to work?
Question by: Shai Kaspi on Dec 13, 2023 2:37:00 PM | 1 Answer(s)

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After installing the motor, is it still possible to use the focus knobs manually, or will this cause damage to the motor?
Question by: Jonathan on Feb 25, 2021 11:50:00 AM | 1 Answer(s)

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I installed the Steeldrive II and the controller on one of my scopes. Works perfectly, thanks! You mention that he focusing motor will be sold separately. Is that already possible? I want to install the second motor on another telescope.
Question by: Bart Moors on Aug 7, 2019 12:08:00 PM | 1 Answer(s)

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The aux output for a dew heater is stated at up to 10w. If I attached a slightly higher rated dew strip (for example 15w) to that output, would it be able to operate safely (albeit limited to a maximum of 10w of power) or would there be a risk of damaging the controller?
Question by: Paul on Apr 26, 2019 1:13:00 AM | 1 Answer(s)

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Does it exist a Linux / Indi driver for Steeldrive II ?
Question by: marc on Apr 21, 2019 12:33:00 PM | 1 Answer(s)

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Baader Steeldrive II motor focuser for Diamond Steeltrack® Focusers and other Focusers

Baader Steeldrive II motor focuser with Controller, Baader BDS Diamond Steeltrack<sup>®</sup> and Nikon DSLR-camera attached to a Baader Apo 95/560 Travel Companion on a 10Micron GM 1000 HPS Mount
Baader Steeldrive II motor focuser with Controller, Baader BDS Diamond Steeltrack® and Nikon DSLR-camera attached to a Baader Apo 95/560 Travel Companion on a 10Micron GM 1000 HPS Mount

The aim of the development of the Baader Steeldrive II was not simply yet another motor focuser, but a complete platform which can adapt to the individual needs of amateur astronomers. That's why the "brain" of the Steeldrive II is not located in the tiny housing of the motor itself, but in a separate controller which also provides a keypad for manual control.

With a Steeldrive II motor focuser, you can automatically control your focuser with a computer as well as use the keys of the hand control for precise, vibration-free focusing.

The Steeldrive II consists of a motor unit, which is connected with a timing belt to the focuser's slow-motion-control to work without backlash, and of a control unit with the electronics, which also doubles as hand control. You can connect up to two temperature sensors at the same time, one on the motor unit and one on the control unit. One sensor is included with the Steeldrive II to compensate the drift automatically, if there are large temperature differences.

A control unit can control one motor unit at a time, but you can use a computer to control several controllers parallel.

The motor is designed to move to a saved position with highest precision if it is used together with the homing sensor – even if it has to move several kilograms over the complete travel of the focuser!

The Steeldrive II Motor Focuser includes

Baader Steeldrive Mark II Controller
  • one motor unit with belt drive and a 3m long connection cable. It can be connected to all Baader Steeltrack® and Diamond Steeltrack® focusers. Adapter for other focusers than the Steeltrack® (classic and Diamond) are not included! For FeatherTouch focusers, you need Steeldrive II motor adapter set for FeatherTouch 3.5" focuser (#2957270 , € 115,-)
  • a 3D-printed magent holder for homing sensor, which can be attached to the focuser. For Baader Diamond Steeltrack® focusers, a Metal Magnet Ring #2957264 is available separatley
  • one Steeldrive II Controller with intuitive handling and keys for manual control, incl. 3m USB-cable
  • one Temperature Sensor with 1m cable, also supports control of dew-shield-heating
  • 12V/1,5A power supply, universal power supply for EU, GB and USA
  • SteelGO Software and ASCOM-driver to control several motor focusers with a pc (as Download)
  • Velcro tapes (cable ties) for strain-relieving cable management

SD II Motor Unit

SteelGo II Software

SD II Controller

Video: Steeldrive II – Installation of
Motor Unit and Magnet Holder

Video: SteelGo II – Working with the Software

Video: Steeldrive II – Controller
Installation and Functions


  • High precision focusing of heavy loads
    The high-torque stepper motor is directly engaged with the focuser via a timing belt. This eliminates the backlash (and potential cause of defects) induced by gearboxes which would have to be used with lower power motors. The Steeldrive II can quickly move loads up to 8 kg with high precision. The focusing resolution is 2.5μm. 
  • Intuitive Operation
    The intuitive hand control makes it possible to find and save the focus point very fast. Several modes are available to move the focuser:
    Normal mode: The focuser moves as long as a key is pressed.
    Jogging mode: Each keystroke moves the focuser for a distance which is configurable in the SteelGo-software (e.g. 0.1 mm).
    Single step mod: Each keystroke moves the focuser for the smallest possible way (ca. 2.5 micrometer).
    The configuration of limits, saving and resetting of positions and (de)activating of the temperature control can also be done with the hand control. Brightness of backlight illumination and status LEDs are also configurable.
  • Contactless Homing Sensor
    The Steeldrive II motor unit features a contactless (wearfree) homing sensor (hall-effect sensor). It is activated by a magnet attached to the moving part of the focuser. It enables precise homing and repeatable approach of saved absolute positions as well as reference of the mechanical endstop. A simple mount for this magnet to be attached to the focuser is included in the scope of delivery. For Baader Diamond Steeltrack® focusers, an adapterring made of metal is available separately.
    However the Steeldrive II can also be used without the homing sensor as the absolute position is kept in a persistant circular eeprom buffer. Even if a power failure occures, the absolute position is loaded upon restart of the Steeldrive II, as long as the focuser wasn't moved by hand.
  • Temperature Compensation
    Two digital temperature sensors may be used simultaneously. One of each may be connected to the motor- and the controller unit. For the automatic temperature compensation, the specific sensor to be used can be selected, or the average temperature of both sensors may be used (eg. measuring the temperature above and below the telescope tube, or inside and outside), depending on your needs. The temperature compensation factor is for example calculated with the SteelGO software and can then be saved locally on the Steeldrive II controller unit. The compensation period and ∆T threshold can also be adjusted. The temperature compensation may then also be used in standalone mode of operation (without a connected computer).
  • 12V/1A PWM power output (PID-controllable)
    The Steeldrive II features a 12V/1A power output. It can be used with an optionally available adapter cable from Steeldrive II Controller AUX Port to Cinch with common dew-cap heaters #2957262 with up to 10W. The power can either be set in the SteelGo software, or you set a desired temperature for one of the temperature sensors. This prevents undesired heating of the telescope, because you keep the dew cap just above the dew point. It can also be used to control the exact temperature (+/-0.1 °C) of e.g. optical filters.
  • Made in Germany
    All mechanical parts are CNC-milled from Aluminium in our workshop. The electronical boards are also designed and made in Germany. We only use high-end electronical components. The electronic circuit boards are additionally protective coated.
  • Low Power Consumption
    The motor current is automatically reduced while in holding state. The Steeldrive II then consumes approximately 0.7 W.
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Additional Information

Manufacturer Baader Planetarium
SKU (#) 2957165
Net weight (kg) 0.73
EAN Code 4047825041258
Payload Capacity (kg) up to 8 kg
Resolution 2,5 Micrometer per step
Power Output 12V/1A PWM
Power consumption ca. 0,7 Watt
Software SteelGo II Software (Download)
Material Aluminium
Included Accessories Steeldrive Mark II Control unit, incl. 3m USB-cable, 12V/1,5A power supply, Steeldrive Mark II Motor unit, incl. 1m connection cable, Velcro tapes (cable ties) for strain-relieving cable management, Allen key (2 mm) one temperature sensor with 1m cable,

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5 Item(s)

Ruediger 121/05/2020 01/05/202012:03
  • Rating:
Rock solid, reliable and very precise
I am using 3 controller and motor units now for more than a year on three scopes: Meade LX 200 with a SteelTrack focuser, TEC 140 ED with Feathertouch and an TS 80/460.

It is crafted from a solid aluminum block and is very stable. The keypad is easy to find in the dark thanks to the dimmable keypad, but also in a tactile way. You can feel the buttons with your fingertips. One big advantage is that the controller does not lose position when it gets unplugged (power or USB). In combination with the brackets the controller perfectly fits on the scope. Wiring can be made easily. The usage is intuitively and even visitors who have never operated such a device come to terms with it in seconds.
The power supply is standard 12V DC which makes it easy to integrate it into existing solutions. There are no special requirements.

Motor unit:
Also very solid and extremely precise. Only one minor potential improvement is the noise when moving, but this is complaining on highest level. Very positive is that you can use any CAT6 network patch cable to connect controller and motor unit. No special/unique cables are required and you can get the optimal length in any shop. The concept of belt drive is a big advantage over other geared solutions. The belt drive has no backlash. So you only have to handlethe potential backlash of the focuser.

The software is very stable now. Besides storing focuser’s positions it displays the temperatures and assists you very easily to set up temperature compensation. One big benefit: You can start multiple instances on the same computer to control more devices.

The Firmware can be updated with a few clicks via USB. So it is well prepared for future enhancements.

Though it is definitely not a cheap solution, it is simply working and reliable. For my point of view worth every cent. The support is excellent. Its capability to be attached to almost all focusers, makes it versatile and an option not only for SteelTracks.

Clear Skies
  • Reliable and rock solid
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Jerome 38/02/2019 08/02/201912:28
  • Rating:
Great products and support service
Very good products!
Of course a lot of problems with such level of complexity when we try to connect all the devices on centralized software but the support service has very fast reactivity and all is fixed correctly and friendly.
Great, well done!
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Jennifer 64/03/2019 06/03/201905:02
  • Rating:
SteelDrive II
The SteelDrive II is a solid piece of equipment. The design was very well thought out by the engineer. Installation to my NT Diamond SteelTrack focuser was a breeze. The hand controller is compact and is illuminated in red which will come in handy at night. Initially I was not able to get connected to the hand controller with my PC. My unit had a firmware issue that required a remote session with Baader and was fixed in less than 10 minutes. The SteelGo software has a nice user interface and is packed with many features that the user can customize. I am still getting familiar with it. I was able to get connected to APT and use the focuser with the ASCOM driver. The SteelDrive II was the last piece of the puzzle for me to implement fully automated imaging sessions. I look forward to imaging from the comfort of my climate controlled home during the winter and summer nights clear skies permitting.
  • Easy to install
  • Price is high and required firmware flash
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Paul BB 119/04/2019 30/04/201916:24
  • Rating:
Excellent with a couple of small suggestions
Overall, I'm very pleased. I'm using this with a BDS-NT on a maksutov newtonian. The focuser itself is excellently constructed, and although it took a bit of care in fitting I'm very satisfied with it once it's on. I just received the motor and controller kit, which I intend to also use for the inbuilt dew controller.

With regards to the focusing motor functionality, it's fairly quiet, very fast, and seems accurate and fits very neatly and nicely. The main reason I bought this particular unit was because, unlike almost all the others, it permits manual use of the focuser without removing the motor - very nice for switching to visual use occasionally. The movement with the focus motor attached is not difficult - it's a little notchy, and not as smooth as without the motor, but I guess that's to be expected, and it is totally usable - it's a little hard to make large movements, I found you have to turn the fine focus knob first to get it moving then simultanously apply gentle torque on the coarse focus knob if you need to make a large manual movement, but again, it's usable without the hassle of removing the motor, and that's the main thing.

In terms of the dew control, I spoke to Baader about the 1 amp limit of the port. After a detailed discussion, it seems they may consider uprating that port to 2 amps in a future production run of the controller, as the circuitry could handle that. For me, 1 amp is just about sufficient for the main scope I'll be using it with, it's a shame mine didn't come with the 2 amp capacity, as I feel that would be better sized for larger scopes you might use this on, but like I said, the 1 amp capacity of the controller as it is at the time of writing this review should be sufficient for most smaller to medium sized scopes.

All in all, I'd recommend this especially if you're fitting it to the Baader steeltrack as it's a perfect easy fitment with good functionality. The price, well, it's certainly not cheap - nothing else with manual override is cheaper though so whatever - I think it would certainly be nice to see the price come down, but the market will decide that and although it was a big chunk of cash I considered it worth the expense.
  • Mostly everything
  • Dew heater capacity a bit small, price a bit high
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KRUST Philippe 246/09/2019 04/09/201916:18
  • Rating:
Adaptation Crayford Baader
Le Steeldrive II d'adapte t'il sur mon Crayford BAADER mon avis dépendra de l'adaptation .
Cordialement Dr Philippe KRUST
Thanks for the question. This should be asked using our "Product Question" module, not as a product review. As mentioned in the description, the Steeldrive II fits onto all Baader Steeltrack (Classic and Diamond) focusers.
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