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 pre-programmed set of filters. The names, not just position numbers of these filters, are displayed on the eight character display and are also available to the camera operating software via an RS-232 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. 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 can be controlled by either the switches on the hand control, an SBIG camera controller, or by an external computer via an RS-232 interface. The RS-232 operating protocol is a set of simple ASCII commands that any programmer can easily implement. While any software capable of controlling the SBIG CFW-8 filter wheel can immediately control the IFW, we believe developers will incorporate the IFW serial operating protocol since it offers full feedback including filter names. Optec's IFW control software can be used for the filter description programming and also for filter selection and control. Swapping filter wheels takes only seconds and does NOT require removing the camera from the telescope.
Below you'll find a list of explanations regarding important accessories that may be required for this product. To add them to your order, just click on the "Accessories" tab and choose the appropriate items.
- If you wish to control the IFW via it's hand controller at any time, an Optec RJ-45 to DB-9 cable that connects the two is necessary. You can find different lengths of control cable in the "Accessories" tab.
- You will need a Mounting Ring for the IFW in order to attach it to CCD cameras or accessories such as the Temperature Compensating Focuser or JMI NGF-S.
- The Paramount ME Mounting and Wiring Kit is a specially designed mounting platform and hardware kit for mounting the IFW and TCF-S hand controllers to the telescope plate of Software Bisque's Paramount ME. Includes all hardware, tools, and wires needed to take advantage of the internal auxiliary ports of the mount. The IFW and TCF-S hand controls are placed at the telescope with minimal wiring clutter.
- The PC Serial Port Converter allows PC serial communications with the TCF-S Focuser and IFW Filter Wheel using any 9-pin serial port. If you purchase the PC Serial Port Converter, an RJ-12 Reverse Cable is also required for proper operation.
- The IFW-SBIG Camera Cables are designed to attach your SBIG ST-7, 8, 9, or 10 CCD camera to the IFW Hand Controller when using the Optec IFW's CFW8 emulation mode. You can choose from varying lengths...the cable has a pick-off female RJ-11 jack.
- In order to attach the IFW to your telescope, you'll need mounting hardware. There are mount adapters available for several makes and models.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our Internet Sales Department by email or by phone at 1-800-483-6287. Thanks!
Optec Product Number: 17350