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APM Professional Telescopes

APM Professional Telescopes

1m F/8 Ritchey Chrétien with dual Nasmyth Foci, Cape Town (South Africa)

Another large telescope for the South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO). An 1m F/8 Alt-Az mounted Ritchey Chrétien for robotic use. It has dual Nasmyth Foci. The main telescopes used for research are located at the SAAO observing station (32°22.795’S 20°48,657’E) near Sutherland in the Northern Cape, a 4-hour drive from Cape Town.

Diffraction Limited CCD Kameras

Aluma CCD 695 a

Our most popular camera, the SBIG Aluma AC4040 is a large format Scientific CMOS camera, featuring a 16.8 megapixel sensor with 9 micron pixels.  The camera is compatible with the StarChaser SC-4 Guider and optional AO-X Adaptive Optics accessories.

Diffraction Limited Overview

Astrodon Filters

Astrodon Narrowband filters set a new bar of performance and durability for imaging and research. The narrow 5 and 3 nm bandwidths enhance contrast of emission targets by lowering your background signal. 

Astrodon Filters

Optolong Filters

Optolong filter adopts precision coating based on Ion-assisted deposition coating technology for durability and resistance to scratching, as well as stability on CWL(central wavelength) no deviation affected by temperature change.

Optolong Filters

SBIG Filterwheels

SBIG AFW Filter Wheels

SBIG AFW Filter Wheel 3 600x600 1SBIG AFW Filter Wheels are ultra-thin wheels that minimize back focus distance.

The standard version, which accommodates filters ranging from 1 mm to 3 mm thick, uses only 0.55″ (14 mm) back focus.The tall version, which accommodates 5 mm thick filters, uses only 0.65″ (16.5 mm) back focus.Compatible with our Full Line of SBIG Cameras.

Filter Size

  • 36mm Round
  • 50mm Round
  • 50mm Square
  • 50mm Square 5mm Tall

 

SBIG AFW Filter Wheels are ultra-thin wheels that minimize back focus distance.  The standard version, which accommodates filters ranging from 1 mm to 3 mm thick, uses only 0.55″ (14 mm) back focus.  The tall version, which accommodates 5 mm thick filters, uses only 0.65″ (16.5 mm) back focus.

AFW series wheels are compatible with all SBIG cameras using our “STX” style adapter plates.  This includes our popular Aluma AC Advanced CMOS models as well as our legacy STX and STXL models.

AFW wheels can be used on our compact cameras using our AFW to Small Format Camera Adapter.

Four Versions Available

  • AFW-16-36R
    • 16 Filter Slots
    • 36 mm Round Filters
    • Accommodates 1 mm, 2 mm, and 3 mm thick filters
  • AFW-12-50R
    • 12 Filter Slots
    • 50 mm Round Filters
    • Accommodates 1 mm, 2 mm, and 3 mm thick filters
  • AFW-10-50SQ
    • 10 Filter Slots
    • 50 mm Square Filters
    • Accommodates 1 mm, 2 mm, and 3 mm thick filters
  • AFW-10-50ST (tall version)
    • 10 Filter Slots
    • 50 mm Square Filters
    • Accommodates 1 mm, 2 mm, 3 mm, and 5 mm thick filters

Optical Filters

50 mm Square Optical Filters

squareSBIG 50 mm square optical filters are compatible with AFW-10-50SQ and FW7-STX filter wheels, which work with Aluma AC4040 cameras.  These filters are built for SBIG to our exacting specifications.  All filters are parfocal, which avoids unnecessary refocusing.


roundSBIG 36 mm round optical filters are compatible with FW8-8300 and FW8S-Aluma filter wheels, and the STC-428-P camera/filter wheel combo.  These filters are built for SBIG to our exacting specifications.  All filters are parfocal, which avoids unnecessary refocusing. They are 2mm thick.

SBIG Filters and Guide

Stackable

Two AFW wheels can be stacked to add even more filter slots, using the available Adapters.  “Virtual Slots” can be assigned, which map to different slots on the two wheels.  If you leave one slot empty in each wheel you get almost double (less two) available filter slots.  If you sometimes need to stack filters then you can have even more virtual slots.

sbig adapter

Fast Operation

AFW wheels switch filters quickly, requiring just 1 second to change to an adjacent slot. If the requested slot is on the far side of the carousel the maximum transition time is approximately 5 seconds.

Improved Filter Compatibility

In order to accommodate the most popular filter sizes, convenient spacers are included:

  • 3 mm filters – do not use spacer
  • 2 mm filters – align notches in spacer with mounting screws
  • 1 mm filters – flip over spacer so notches face the filter
  • 5 mm filters – AFW-10-50ST only – adds tall spacers and mounting screws

Easy Installation

The AFW series filter wheels are designed to be quickly installed onto the camera without removing the carousel or individual filters.  Removing a single access cover provides access to the filter slots and camera mounting screws.

Two mounting screws are “captive” under the carousel, and can be accessed by turning the carousel by hand to align access holes with the screw heads.  The two remaining screws are freely accessible.  This makes installation and removal quick and easy.

Once the wheel is attached to the camera, a single cable is connected to the camera’s AUX port. This single cable provides all necessary power and control functions.

Dual Wheel Support

For those users requiring more filters, AFW series wheels include the ability to control two filter wheels. The filter wheels can be stacked using our AFW Dual Adapter. A matching three-port low profile cable is included to connect the two wheels to the camera’s control port.

USB FW 1Currently software support is available via an Aluma AC series camera and MaxIm LT or MaxIm DL Pro software.  Alternatively, the dual wheel can be controlled via our SBIG USB to Filter Wheel Adapter using its associated ASCOM driver.

The software allows you to configure “virtual” filter slots, that map to specific slots on wheel 1 and wheel 2.  Usually one slot is left blank in each wheel, allowing you to select filters from one wheel or the other.  It is also possible to arrange for two filters to be used per slot, depending on your requirements.

With one blank slot in each wheel, a pair of AFW-10-50SQ wheels allow you to use 18 filters.  Similarly a pair of AFW-12-50R wheels will allow you to use 22 filters, and a pair of AFW-16-36R wheels will allow you to use 30 filters.

AOX 1StarChaser Autoguider and AO-X Compatibility

AFW series wheels are compatible with StarChaser SC-3, providing self-guiding in front of the filters.  They also work with our popular AO-X Adaptive Optics unit, providing the tightest possible star images.

Camera Model Compatibility

Please note that when smaller filters are used they may vignette larger sensors.  Compact models will require the AFW to Small Format Camera Adapter.  Some cameras will require an 11066 cable adapter.  Some older products are not electrically compatible and need to use the USB-FW adapter.

AFW to Small Format Camera AdapterImg 2827

This adapter allows our large format AFW series slim filter wheels to be mounted to our smaller format cameras, such as the Aluma CCD series.

More

StarChaser/Aluma CCD/STC to DB9 Adapter Cables 11066

SC AO

Large format cameras and older camera models use a DB9 style AUX/I2C connector.  Smaller format compact cameras and guiders use the smaller Mini DIN 9 connector instead.  In some cases adapter cables will be required.

More

 

Additional compatibility notes:

STC-7 and STC-428-P:  The built-in filter wheel prevents the camera from controlling an external wheel.  Options are (a) to replace the built-in wheel with an STC-428-OEM front plate, or (b) stack the AFW on top and control the second wheel via a USB-FW adapter. The two wheels can be operated together using MaxIm DL’s Dual Wheel feature.  ACC14 is required.

ST series:  Not officially supported.  Requires an ACC14.  May work directly with camera but this is not guaranteed, as ST firmware is no longer under active support.  If there is an issue controlling the wheel than a USB-FW adapter will be required.

ACC08 1STL series:  Not officially supported.  The built-in filter wheel prevents the camera from controlling an external wheel. It is possible to attach an AFW wheel to the STL using the ACC10 STL to StarChaser Adapter and use a USB-FW to control it.  Since STL also has an internal filter wheel the combination is best supported using MaxIm DL’s Dual Wheel feature.

 

Download Product Data Sheet

Computer Interface

I2C

OS Compatibility

Windows 32 and 64 bit OS, Mac

Weight

4 lbs

Filter Size

36mm Round, 50mm Round, 50mm Square, 50mm Square 5mm Tall

 

Product overview

Product overview of AFW series filter wheels.

User’s Manual

Installation, and operation instructions for AWF-10 / AFW-12 Filter Wheels.


Backfocus Calculator Spreadsheet

This Excel spreadsheet helps you calculate backfocus distance for your system. If you do not have Excel it can be uploaded into Google Sheets.

APM Professional Telescopes

1m F/8 Ritchey Chrétien with dual Nasmyth Foci, Cape Town (South Africa)

Another large telescope for the South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO). An 1m F/8 Alt-Az mounted Ritchey Chrétien for robotic use. It has dual Nasmyth Foci. The main telescopes used for research are located at the SAAO observing station (32°22.795’S 20°48,657’E) near Sutherland in the Northern Cape, a 4-hour drive from Cape Town.

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