The UFC Telescope Adaptors:
This blog continues our series on the Baader Universal Filter Changer (UFC) system, with this one giving an overview of the telescope-side adaptors. Attaching a UFC system to a telescope may be done for example, by using a 1.25" or 2" push-fit nosepiece to go into a focuser drawtube for visual or imaging purposes, or to a focal reducer or field flattener for imaging use.
The image below shows the current range of adaptors, as well as the spacers (extensions), that are available that allow you to attach the UFC Filter Base (shown below left in the pink box) to a telescope. There are ten telescope adaptors and four telescope-side UFC extension tubes. Except for the two RASA adaptors, all the other eight telescope adaptor "bodies" are fully anodised matt-black. The two RASA adaptors have their inner central portion anodised black (where the light emanates from the RASA front lens group assembly) to stop any reflections.
Looking only at the telescope side adaptors in the green box - see below - the following information given is:
- Type of fitment that the telescope-side adaptor allows (e.g. T-2, M48 etc).
- Baader product code.
- The thickness of the adaptor contributes towards the overall thickness of the UFC system that takes up back focus.
here), and which is shown in the image below.
Every UFC telescope side adaptor features Baader's S70 (70mm diameter) dovetail on its camera side (i.e. the side of the telescope-adaptor that will face the camera once attached to the UFC Base). To attach one of these telescope-side adaptors to the UFC Base is simple. You simply insert the appropriate S70 adaptor for use with your equipment into the UFC Base's telescope-side S70 opening so that the adaptor is fully seated and tighten the six small hex-screws located around the UFC Base's edge (see here). These six screws when tightened clamp the telescope-side adaptor (and/or spacer) firmly and securely in place. The image below shows a T-2 telescope side adaptor fitted in the UFC Base.
To see how one of these S70 adaptors are secured, the image on the right side shows a side - view of an S70 dovetail adaptor (in this case the T-2 model) showing the dovetail "channel" around the edge. Also shown is one of the securing hex-screws being held with the small Allen-key supplied with the UFC Base. The hex-screw is shown up against the S70 dovetail "channel" to show how the screw (and the other five screws) are positioned (when tightened inside the UFC Base) to hold the telescope-side adaptor in place.
Some points to note about the telescope-side adaptors:
- The following adaptors have female threads in their central opening to accept male threaded accessories: T-2 (e.g. a T-2 to 2" push-fit nosepiece), M48 (e.g. to attach to a reducer/flattener) and 2" SC. The T-2 and M48 also have a small 1mm plastic spacer ring for attaching threaded accessories that may have slightly longer threads. The C8/11/925 Hyperstar adaptors also have female threads for attaching to the male thread on the end of a Hyperstar unit.
- The SP54 and M68 adaptors have male threads. The SP54 adaptor can be used with the Baader SP54 Stepper Rings so that the UFC system can be attached to a DSLR or camera lens. We will cover this in a later blog.
- The RASA 11" and 36cm models are made to fit over the RASA's front lens group assembly and is held in place by the large knurled ring that is supplied as standard with the RASA. Machined into the adaptors are three elongated holes that are for access to the RASA collimation screws (with the adaptor in place).
In addition to the telescope-side adaptors, Baader also offer four UFC spacers (or extension tubes) that go between the telescope side of the UFC Base and one of the S70 telescope adaptor's. These spacers can be used when a camera that is attached to the UFC Base is required to be at a specific point in the optical path. For example, when a sensor is needed to be at a set distance from a focal reducer/field flattener or when a camera is being used with a Hyperstar System. The spacers are shown below.
The four extensions options include three fixed length adaptors of 5mm, 15mm and 40mm in width, and a VariLock variable extension tube that extends between 15mm to 20mm. All four extension tubes have an S70 camera-side dovetail for fitting into the UFC Base, and an S70 dovetail clamping side that also feature six small hex screws for securing a telescope-side adaptor (or another S70 extension tube).
In the next blog we will look at some example of the UFC system in use.
About the author: Lee Sproats
Dr. Lee Sproats has been interested in astronomy since watching Star Wars in 1977 and has appeared on the UK Sky at Night TV programme. He then went on to study Astronomy where he obtained a degree and then a PhD in the subject at University College London/Mullard Space Science Laboratory. He has worked in Australia in radio astronomy and used optical/infrared telescopes on Hawaii and La Palma and Lowell and Kitt Peak observatories in the USA. After working for the University of Surrey to promote the use of computers for teaching in UK higher education and then as an IT trainer for a stock market company, he went on to work for Greenwich Observatory Ltd where he ran their northern branch and then worked for David Hinds Ltd dealing with our and Celestron products. He is often involved in flight excursions that take passengers to observe the northern lights, has led trips to see the great USA 2017 eclipse near Hopkinsville and was lead astronomer onboard a specially chartered 737 to view the 2015 total solar eclipse at 38,000ft. Lee`s astronomical interests include Lunar observing, astrophotography, photometry and pro-am collaborations.
Since David Hinds stopped operation in December 2020, Dr. Sproats works for Baader Planetarium as our UK representative/consultant and is responsible for looking after our UK/Eire dealers, dealing with Baader Planetarium/PlaneWave/10Micron product support, writing articles and also is involved in our large telescope and observatory instrumentation projects.