Northeast Astronomy Forum (NEAF) 2007
April 28 & 29, 2007

Roland Christen proudly displays the new 130f6.3 StarFire and 140f7.5 StarFire Triplet Apochromat Refractors and our three outstanding German Equatorial Mounts from largest to smallest: 1200GTO, 900GTO and Mach1GTO.

Astro-Physics re-introduced the 130f6.3 StarFire Triplet Apochromat. Although we called this updated scope a Traveler at NEAF, we have decided it would cause far too much confusion to have both a 105 and 130 version of the Traveler. Over the years, people have referred to the original 105f6 version as the “Traveler". There is one and only one Traveler. Unless we think of another nifty name (to reflect the new features described below), this new 130f6 will retain its StarFire heritage.

In addition to the fine optics that are the hallmark of Astro-Physics, our new 130f6 features a compact, light-weight (about 15 lbs) tube assembly that can be easily disassembled into 3 pieces in order to fit into an airline transportable case. This is the scope to take on your dream trip to the southern skies or the next eclipse. The rotating focuser will make it easier to frame your images and the optional 2.7" Prime Focus Field Flattener (67PF562) will provide pinpoint star images across the field. This scope features a 2.7" Astro-Physics focuser with Feather Touch Micro 9:1 focusing knobs. We hope to ship the first scopes by the end of this year or early in 2008.

The 130f6.3 StarFire was mounted on our new Mach1GTO mount and Eagle 6 pier. 2006 NEAF participants may remember that we showed our prototype Mach1GTO at that time. We are now shipping our second production run of these mounts. This year, we also introduced the new Control Box Adapter for piers and tripods (great for the Mach1GTO as well as all of the 400GTO and 600EGTO mounts presently in the field) and 6" pier trays. We will have information on these new products on our website very soon.

We are also pleased to announce that the 140 f7.5 StarFire EDF introduced last year at NEAF is now well into production with delivery of the first scopes planned for this summer. This year, we showed the 140 with our substantial 4" focuser, though it can also be ordered with the 2.7" focuser. Both versions will include the Feather Touch Micro 9:1 focusing knobs. Since Roland designed this scope with approximately the same focal length our original 155mm f7 StarFire, it can be used with all of the same specialized astrophotography/imaging accessories that were designed for the 155 including the 4" Field Flattener (S155EDFFF), 2.7" Field Flattener (67PF582) and the new dedicated CCD Telecompressor (155TCC). We are certain that astro-imagers will find this scope a real joy to use. The 140 f7.5 was shown primarily on the 900GTO, although Roland did mount it on the Mach1GTO to demonstrate that it is suitable for that mount as well.

In addition to the 1200GTO and 900GTO mounts displayed at our AP booth, we were pleased to see that other vendors were using Astro-Physics mounts to demonstrate a their products. Greg Terrance of FingerLakes Instruments was using a 900GTO to demonstrate a portable imaging system incorporating his fine CCD cameras (sorry, Greg, you are hidden behind the scope in the photo below). Bob Denny demonstrated his powerful ACP Observatory Control Software with a 1200GTO mount and an 12" RC Optical tube assembly.

It was a great pleasure to talk to many long-time customers and other attendees. We always enjoy putting names and voices to faces. Many thanks to those Astro-Physics owners who took the time to fill out our scope/mount questionnaires. We do appreciate your input. We hope that you will enjoy wearing your new navy AP embroidered baseball caps or winter hat.
We'll see you all next year with more new goodies.

Click here to visit the NEAF website

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This page was last modified: June 6, 2008

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