Northeast Astronomy Forum & Telescope Show (NEAF) 2011
April 16 to 17, 2011

The 20th Annual Northeast Astronomy Forum & Telescope Show (NEAF), along with the 6th Annual Northeast Astro-Imaging Conference (NEAIC), were bigger and better than ever this year with over 140 venders participating. The Rockland Astronomy Club hosts this renowned event at the Rockland Community College in Suffern, NY. It is amazing how this group of club members and volunteers organizes this event to run so smoothly and professionally. This year featured an expanded program of exhibits and activities for children.

Please also view our NEAIC 2011 page.

(Photo Credits: Marj Christen, Kirk Rogers, Howard Hedlund, and George Whitney)


Above left: The 24" PlaneWave CDK scope goes up onto the AP 3600GTO mount. It's a perfect combo for any backyard observatory...well, maybe not every one! The 3600GTO mount doesn't even break a sweat slewing around the 300 pound scope. Check out our new 3600GTO Poster as shown to the left in the photo.

Above right: Howard gives a demonstartion of AP Command Center (APCC) software.


Above: Astro-Physics Command Center (APCC) is in the beta testing stage. It will offer tracking and pointing that compensates for atmospheric refraction, highly sophisticated meridian advance/delay features, horizon limit controls, 3-D modeling of your telescope's position, and other advanced features.


Above: A flow chart was designed for NEAF to help show the many ways to control an AP mount. Versatility and ease of use are two features that are incorporated into every mount that we offer. Our mounts are equally at home in the field with the Keypad's portable sophistication and in the most advanced research settings controlled by robotic computer programs. Most important of all, our mounts will fill the perfect niche for you.

Above: Roland listens to some equipment concerns and shares some recommendations and solutions. Meeting our
customers and interested attendees and sharing stories and experiences is always what makes the show fun.


Above: AP support personnel, Wally Piorkowski (light blue shirt behind the table on the left), George Whitney (red shirt), and Howard
Hedlund (dark blue shirt behind the Mach1GTO), provide assistance and recommendations to interested customers and attendees.


Above: AP featured a number of new products this year at NEAF.
1- At the top left a new precision-adjust rotating pier base with a hi-res azimuth adjuster for the Mach1 is standard for new mounts currently in production and will be available as an upgrade for Mach1GTOs in the field. Please follow this link for more information.
2- The new 10x60 Baader Vario-Finder and re-designed AP Quick Release Mounting Bracket were shown on the 130 StarFire GT. The finder provides an erect image with illuminated crosshairs. Follow this link to our webpage.
3- New CNC machined knobs will add to the beauty of your Mach1GTO when attaching to your pier. The knob kit (three knobs with washers) can be purchased as a replacement for the existing plastic knobs. All new Mach1GTO mounts will include these knobs. This link will provide more information.
4- A new, shorter case is being provided with the AP 130 StarFire GT scopes now being shipped. It is now offered as a separate product for those previous owners who prefer its more compact size. More information found here.


Big Bear Observatory University of Hawaii at Mauna Kea Ercik Bondoux at Concordia Dome C University of St. Thomas Gary Walker, Macon, Georgia 3600 Prototype Setup University of Nice Erick Bondoux in Antarctica Astronomy Club of Hamburg, Germany Masking the tube of the Riccardi-Honders 3600 parts in machining Texas A&M University Joe Badal's 3600 setup

Above: The AP raffle brought the crowds. Towards the end of each day Marj held a raffle for a number of items. Winners took home logo shirts
and hats, Baader 2" color filter sets, Baader solar film, and Baader 2" visual observing filters. A SkyFi (courtesy of Southern Skies) and photos of the sun and Saturn (courtesy of Greg Piepol and Alan Friedman ) were also raffled on Sunday.


Above left: The Charlie Bates Solar Astronomy Project joined the NEAF Solar Star Party. Stephan Ramsden set up his solar scopes for a sunny Sunday. An attendee looks through the Lunt 152mm H-alpha scope which is a perfect match for the AP Mach1GTO on which it is mounted.

Above right: An attendee has the opportunity to view the sun through a 6" AP Star12ED refractor. A white light view
is provided by the use of a Hershel Wedge.


Above: Alan Friedman (facing camera wearing hat) and Greg Piepol (in orange shirt) are two highly acclaimed solar imagers
who had a booth at NEAF displaying some of their world-class images of the sun in H-alpha and Calcium K light.
Alan and Greg were panelists presenting at NEAF. Link to the websites of Alan Friedman and Greg Piepol.


Above left: Tim Benedictis of Southern Stars discusses the company's SkySafari software that can be used as a planetarium program to control telescopes via an iPad, iPhone, or iTouch. Their SkyFi device sets up a WiFi network to make this possible.

Above right: Gil Esquerdo and Scott Tucker with the company Starizona pose next to their 12.5" Hyperion Astrograph
that is mounted on an AP 1200GTO mount and AP 10x48" pier.


As NEAF drew to a close, our crew gathered before dismantling the AP booth. From left to right: Marj and Roland Christen (owners and founders of Astro-Physics), Wally Piorkowski (head of mount assembly department), George Whitney (technical support), and Howard Hedlund (technical support).

See you all next year!

Click here to visit the NEAF website

Copyright © 2011, Astro-Physics, Inc. - All Rights Reserved
This page was last modified: May 26, 2011

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