by Peter Jenkins FRAS
From an interview with Gino Bucciol in May 2010
Our Company was born 10 years ago. Each of us comes from the experience of practical astronomy and all members of our staff are long time astronomy enthusiasts and high-level astrophotographers. Since the birth of the company we realized that there was a place on the world market for performing, innovative products with that touch of extra care for appearance and design. This feeling was confirmed when, about 5 years ago, we started operating on an international level, first of all in the USA, with our first participation at NEAF and RTMC, and also at other European exhibitions and events. From the very beginning our products were judged positively for their technical content, for their innovative design and the use of exclusive materials. Many people, especially in the USA, started calling our instruments "the Ferrari of telescopes" and this label is still following us. About two years ago we decided to change our "old" name A&M Astrotech Engineering to the new and more Italian one, "Officina Stellare". This was done with a view to making our customers more aware and focused on the Italian origin of our products and to diversify our products even more in respect to the competition. We are very proud to be able to take an Italian name around the world, particularly in a high level technological and competitive market such as that of amateur and professional astronomy.
A & M Astrotech Engineering changed their name to Officina Stellare about 2008 - my telescope must therefore have been manufactured before this date. (See interview excert below) The manufacture of this scope has been discontinued for some time now but occassionally one can be found second hand. I can now only find two suppliers with the scope available and the list price quoted by both is about £6500 plus delivery.
In all our refractors we use the highest quality optical sets available on the market. We’re currently using the APO triplet line designed by Thomas Back and produced at LZOS factory and produced with the highest quality standards. All LZOS triplet instruments come equipped, as standard, with an interferometric test report. All instruments are tested, verified and collimated before delivery on our autocollimation (double light passage type) optical bench with an artificial laser star at very high magnification.
The LZOS factory, with its huge structure placed near Moscow, is a recognized reference point for the manufacture of research instrumentation in the astronomy field and, thanks to the absolute high quality, especially in the professional one. Its productive capacities allow to produce monolithic mirrors up to various meters of diameter, and the company is among the very few capable of producing special raw materials for astronomy. Besides the life long experience of the technicians and the very modern equipment used, one of the most important strong points on refracting optics manufacturing, is the internal production of all glasses and optic materials necessary for the production of the finished objectives. This allows to control the true characteristics of light dispersion of the single glass casting and the attainment, during the manufacturing of the surfaces and their assembly, of the highest expectations in performance. Every objective produced is mounted, aligned and tested before delivery to Officina Stellare directly from LZOS. All our refractor OTAs are made of aluminium for the rear and front assembly (fully CNC machined) and true carbon-graphite fibre for the tube (high module true carbon-graphite fibre, obtained in high vacuum chamber). Each OTA is machined to the highest tolerances and is computer optimized to be lightweight with the best structural rigidity. The internal baffles (we use up to 7 internal baffles for the tube, from the lens to very close to the focuser and others directly inside the focuser) are laser cut from stainless steel and glued to the tube with a professional glue. The true carbon-graphite fibre allows to obtain a very stable focus position at very large temperature variations and is very lightweight, really useful for great diameter refractors. Our dew and light shield is fully retractable to make the tube size very compact for transport.
Model: Hiper APO 115
Type: Triplet APO refractor
Clear diameter: 115 mm
OTA assembly type: Carbon close tube / CNC aluminium
Focal length: 805 mm (500 mm @ F/4.3)
F ratio: F/7 native
Optical set glass: OK4 triplet APO
Weight: 7.2 Kg
Overall OTA length: 680 / 720 mm
Overall OTA diameter: 155 mm
Spot size: (@26 mm from axis)
From the original advertising material: