Hello and welcome to the Atik newsletter for October 2013! It has been such a long time since the last newsletter because we have all been so busy over the summer months with new product development and getting out and about to meet as many customers as possible. We have had some great feed back about our products and services and would like to thank you all for your support!
On with our first bit of news! As production in Lisbon is busier than ever, we have had to take on a new member of staff. Raquel just joined us and she’ll be coordinating the logistics department. She has worked in the electronics business before, so she is feeling right at home. We all wish her a warm welcome to the Atik family.
As mentioned above we have been very busy out and about this summer! Here are a few words on the shows that we have attended. Starting with Rui in California.
Southern California Astronomy Exposition – SCAE
SCAE is held in the coastal city of Oceanside, about 80 miles south of Los Angeles. It is a single day event, where many of the most important astro gear manufacturers gather to be greeted by the host, Oceanside Photo and Telescope (aka OPT).
OPT’s team does the best to make sure this event is enjoyable for both exhibitors and attendees, and I can only say that they’re quite good at it! 😉 And speaking of attendance, this year event counted with several hundred visitors of all types, from beginners wanting to buy some binoculars or small telescope, to “hard core” observers and astrophotographers, wanting to see and get the latest eyepiece or greatest CCD camera available. And speaking of “greatest CCD cameras”, of course Atik was there! 😉
It was up to me to fly from Lisbon to California and participate this year, and what an enjoyable experience it was! A big thank you to all at OPT!
AME show in Germany
Rui also attended the AME show in Germany, where we were hosted by Teleskop Service, and stayed in their booth. It was the second time we visited (first was in 2010), and we’re looking forward to pay a visit again in future editions!
Australian Astro Imaging Conference
Astro Imaging is truly a global hobby, during August I was lucky to get the opportunity to make my longest trip to date, from Norwich, UK to Surfers Paradise in Australia. This turned out to be a real gem of a conference and well worth the 30 hours of traveling. Well done to the organisers lead by Mark Bolton in bringing some excellent speakers together and encouraging some thought provoking debates. Especially enjoyed hearing some intelligent conversation on how much processing is too much. Obviously very subjective but good to explore the basis on which people make their judgments. At the conference a friendly split appeared between whose wanting to make their pictures as exciting as possible and prepared to give nature a helping hand to get colour ranges optimised and astronomers wanting to portray a more natural look, even if nature was not being as arty as it could be. During trip we gained our second Atik Australian Dealer, Bintel who is now selling Atik cameras in Australia alongside Andrews Communications. For us pommies, Australia is about as far as we can go without a spaceship, but at the same time feels much like a warmer version of home. It would have been a shame to get on a plane straight after the conference so instead I got in a car and over the next few days travelled 2000 km North taking in the beautiful huge landscapes. I completed the trip at Cairns with some diving on the Great Barrier Reef making this a journey that will long be remembered.
South West Astronomy Fair
In August we again exhibited at the South West Astro fair held at the Norman Lockyer Observatory in Devon. This was a very well attended event going by the number of people both at our stand and circulating inside the exhibitors marquee, the weather helped being a lovely dry and sunny day. The local astronomy society on-site is very active and we enjoyed many interesting conversations with them about the many Atik camera’s that were much in evidence on the telescopes they had set-up in the society’s display area. Our dealers The Widescreen Centre also had a busy stand with a good display of many components. Many people who visited our stand were interested in starting astro photography for the first time or moving on from an SLR so hopefully they will become our future customers. Undoubtedly the most popular item on the stand was the new Atik 29Mega-pixel camera with it’s visibly huge sensor being on many people’s wish-list, certainly visitors enjoyed the opportunity to pick up and examine the products as well as take home the leaflets.
The event itself is definitely worth visiting given the historical nature of the site, all the various telescopes were open for visitors with society members answering questions and entertaining children whilst there was a full program of seminars in the lecture theatre for fellow astronomers.
Kelling Star Party Autumn 2013
Once again Steve and I attended the annual autumn star party at Kelling Heath camp site in Norfolk UK last weekend. This is the largest of this type of event in the UK and is always well attended. As ever we had stand in the traders row on the Saturday to talk to customers and show off any new products in the pipe line. This year we were joined by my dog Alfie who was a very popular with people walking past our stand! I’m happy to say that all the Atik camera owners that I talked with are very happy with their cameras and the level of support that we endeavour to give them. We were visited by many people looking to make a start in cooled CCD imaging after feeling that they had exhausted what they could achieve with a DSLR camera. We had one very clear night out of the three nights that I camped there but the were a few patches of passing clouds which really ruled out any serious imaging so my trusty binoculars got a good workout! A very enjoyable weekend.
Sneak Peek into the R+D office
We do not normally report what’s going on in our top secret research facility (just behind reception next to servicing) but this month is an exception. Pictured in my trembling hand is an all new camera which will take its place at the top of the Atik range in 2014. It features a 35mm format CCD from Truesense (ex Kodak) with no fewer than 29 million pixels.
I can’t show any pictures from the camera at the moment but the ones I have seen have been outstanding with more and more detail becoming evident as different parts of the image are zoomed into. The pixel size is 5.5um which we have found to be an excellent match to our Tak FSQ 106 refractor. More details will be announced in the coming months but to round off here I can say the camera I have seen sports an internal filterwheel and extensive heatsinks for deep cooling.
We finish off this edition of the newsletter with an excellent image taken by our Steve, taken from Norfolk, UK. It is of M27 The Dumbbell Nebula which can be found in Vupecula. It is around 1,360 light years away and is around 8 arcminutes across. It is a fine target for summer nights.
I hope you have enjoyed reading this edition of the newsletter. If you have any comments or would like to be added to our distribution list, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wishing you all clear skies