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IFW Intelligent Filter Wheel

by OPTEC
$0.00
SKU 17350

50mm or 2" filters with 5 mounted in each wheel

Standalone or PC interface with popular CCD cameras or control software

Basic IFW system with extra wheel

The Optec Intelligent Filter Wheel brings to astronomy a new level of sophisticated equipment for the benefit of the astro-imager. Astro-imaging in this age of astronomy requires the use of many color filters and the management of these filters during an observational session can sometimes be confusing. The use of the wrong filter could easily spoil an otherwise successful imaging run.

The Optec IFW has the ability to determine the identification (ID) of a particular wheel and apply that wheel ID to a preprogrammed set of filters. The names, not just position numbers of these filters, are read on the eight character display and are also available to the camera operating software via a serial interface using a simple command structure. Up to 5 different filter wheels can have separate IDs and each wheel can have up to 5 filters for a total of 25 identifiable filters.

The IFW filter wheel can easily be removed from the IFW system without tools or removal from the telescope. A hinged door is secured by a single captive thumbscrew. Once opened, the wheel can be extracted and another inserted in its place. The entire process takes only a few seconds. See the short movie on the "More Info" page.

Hitting the HOME switch on the hand control or invoking the HOME function in the operating program will set the wheel to position one and bring up the available filters for that wheel.

The IFW is not intended to be mounted close to the camera. The large filter size allow for mounting some inches away without vignetting the CCD. Dust specs on filters mounted close to the CCD will cause shadows which are hard to flat field out if the filter registration is not pixel perfect. When the filters are far removed from the CCD, the shadows are eliminated.

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Exceptional Mount

A couple of years ago, I wanted to replace my old VMA200 mount with something more modern.
While visiting the Paris Astronomy show (RCE 2012) I noticed the Nova120. At that time, it was a brand new offering that I have not seen before, hence my hesitation to purchase
I wanted to purchase a E.U product to guarantee the quality and ease of access to support in my own language. I checked the forums and heard nothing but good things about the Nova120 so I decided to purchase it.

I have used enough astronomical instruments in the last 30 years to know what great quality is. The Nova120 coupled with the PRISM v10 and a CDK20 (508 mm) helped me pull off 900s unguided images with great ease. (Raw FITS File here). Payload of this setup is about 80 kg (160 lb).

The dizzying slew speeds, excellent accuracy and painless tracking makes this hobby easy and enjoyable again.
After using this setup for a year and a half, the only problem I had was rebalacing the gear after changing scopes. The superb electronics and software included make this tasks even more easier that just eyeballing the scope for movement due to unbalance.

You can very easily watch the motor consumption and know where the unbalance is....that easy. I have so much data that it is becoming difficult yo keep up.
I have absolutely zero regrets, this purchase has made everything easier: No summer/winter worm-gear adjustments, no guiding... just start imaging night after night after night.

Eric Barbotin

Imaging Made Easy

Prism is my GoTo program for observatory control and imaging. Prism's many features make imaging taking a breeze.

I was concerned about giving Prism a try , especially as its quite expensive. So far Im very impressed and glad of my decision.
Im a beginner at all this so haven't tried other more recommended software, Prism appealed as it seems to do everything instead of using several programs 👍🏻

Great lightweight guide scope

This guide scope replaces a 400/80 that was waaay too heavy for what it did. The smaller 60mm scope does a great job guiding and I can RA balance with just one counter weight now - much better - and it looks like something Ferrari designed

Still learning Prism using Wireless links...

I have much of your software working at this time... I have it parked on my main computer, and a notebook... My main computer is a OverClock computer with 32 Gigs of RAM Clocking presently at 4400MHz with software parked on SSD drives... The rotation dome by NexDome is still not working... Most problems like this have to do with ASCOM Drivers... There is not very much detail information on how to use this software... I have to feel my way to a total operational staus... Second issue... The rain in the San Francisco Bay Area this year has limited my access to my larger telescope (12 inch SCT)... This rain has been so significant, I was force to weatherize my observatory... My goal here is,,, I am trying to remotely control my observatory totally. I have used Netgear Powerline 2000 to handle camera images and discover controlling rules to do that... High speed is vital for images with cameras over 3 Megs... I have both 12 Mega sensors and 24 Mega sensors... I am also using Netgear Nighthawk router and its mating extender to increase control signals to my observatory that is about 100 feet on the side of hill... I am also using Virtual Here software on a Raspberry Pi inside the observatory to solve the USB interface requirements... I started out using Model B and B+ on level 3 raspberry Pi's... I have moved to Level 4 Raspberry Pi to gain access to USB 3.0 technology... Big difference! I hope by early spring to have everything working... Bob Ritter MicTechS