Alnitak Astrosystems' flagship product, the Flip-Flat, is a robotic lenscap and flat field illumination source for small to medium size refractors.
With hundreds of Flip-Flats already in the field being used by satisfied customers, we’re confident that our product continues to meet the needs of discriminating astro-imagers around the world.
The Flip-Flat employs advanced electroluminescent lamp panel technology to provide a uniform source of illumination for the production of high quality flat field frames necessary for serious astroimaging and photometric work. With the Flip-Flat, on-demand flat fields with uniformity errors less than 1% are now possible.
In addition to providing excellent flat fields, the Flip-Flat protects the objective lens of the telescope from dust that typically plagues remote installations where the user cannot manually replace the lenscap after an imaging session. The Flip-Flat is easily mounted to the front of any telescope tube (or rigid dewshield) with an OTA outside diameter between 4" (100mm) and 8-1/8" (206mm). The Flip-Flat is attached to the telescope OTA with industrial nylon zip straps and easily removable for transport and storage.
A simple Windows interface provides the ability to open and close the Flip-Flat and turn on the light source. The intensity of the light can be adjusted to one of 255 levels.
IMPORTANT: Note that the diameter of the fully illuminated lamp for each of the Flip-Flat models is 6.7" or 170mm, regardless of the model purchased. To accommodate the smaller 4" to 6" OTA's, we add a spacer to the mounting bracket which better centers the lamp over the OTA. For the larger OTA, the bracket is machined down and an oversized ring is added to block any stray light from interfering with the flat lamp.
- Lamp Diffuser Diameter: 7.7" (195mm)
- Lamp Illumination Diameter: 6.7" (170mm)
- Control Box Dimensions: 2.25" x 3.15" x 4.2" (57 x 80 x 106mm)
- Weight: 1 lb. 6 oz. (0.6 kg)
- Lamp Pivot Arm: 6.1" (155mm) length
- Range of Pivot Arm: 95-degrees **
- Power requirements: 5VDC provided by USB interface
- Minimum OTA/dewshield OD: 4" (stock #19050)
- Maximum OTA/dewshield OD: 8.125" (stock #19052)
- Alnitak Software Compatibility: Windows 7+.
- Command Line Program: AACmd.exe
- **Click the Options tab for 270-degree travel retrofit
Chris White has developed a clever 3D printed retrofit housing for existing owners of the Flip-Flat. This new design allows a full 270-degree rotation of the lamp to rest against the OTA. This tucks the lamp / cover safely out of the way.
Visit Chris's Overcast Observatory website for details: https://www.overcastobservatory.com/product/alnitak-270-case/
Joel Short (Buckeye Stargazer) has developed a clever clamp system to replace our standard zip-strap mounting method.
Visit his website at https://buckeyestargazer.net/Store/Alnitak.php
- Alnitak Flip-Flat
- OTA mount bracket
- Industrial zip straps
- USB cable
- "Demystifiying Flat Fields" Sky & Telescope has recently made Pete Kalajian's article available in PDF format.
- "Flip-Flat" review by Alan Smallbone reprinted from the June/July 2009 edition of AstroPhoto Insight Magazine.
- "Flip Flat - Imager's Best Friend" Product Review by Charlie Warren Reprinted from Amateur Astronomy magazine.
Visit the Alnitak Downloads page for the latest Quick Start Guide, Alnitak Installation Manual and Software Reference Guide, and Serial Command List.