Amateur Telescope Making, Mel Bartels


Think You Know Who Invented the Reflecting Telescope?
Remembering John Dobson
Can the Dobsonian Revolution Happen Again?

Rich Field Scopes
Folding and Sliding Telescopes
The Morse Transformer Mount
The Holcombe Mount
Variations on the Ballscope
An Omni Latitude Equatorial Table
Three Axis Mounts
Ultra-Light Dobsonians
Telescope Vibration
Natural Telescope Design

Tips to Improve Your Telescope
Why am I Seeing More?
The Contrast Controversy
Collimating a f/3.0 Telescope
Flex Rockers
A Smaller Upper Cage
Off-Axis Masks
Largest Amateur Scopes (40+")

A New Way to Look at Things
Telescope Makers' Future
Amateur Astronomy's Future


Joy of Making Mirrors
...............Rough Grinding
...............Fine Grinding

Precision Molds for Slumping Mirrors
Large Thin Mirror Grinding
Rating Mirrors
Polishing Theory
Polish+Pitch Tips
Ronchi Mirror Test
Waineo Null test
Sagitta Calc
16 inch mirror figuring class


Diagonal Calculator
Dob Bearing Friction Calculator
All Calculators
2 Star Align Simulator
Computer Operated Telescopes
History of Computerized Telescopes


2013 Oregon Star Party
2012 Oregon Star Party
2011 Oregon Star Party
2010 Oregon Star Party
2010 RETA Spain
2009 Oregon Star Party
2008 Oregon Star Party
2007 Oregon Star Party
2006 Oregon Star Party
2005 Oregon Star Party
2004 Oregon Star Party
2003 Oregon Star Party
2002 Oregon Star Party
2002 Winter Star Party
2001 Oregon Star Party
1999 Oregon Star Party
1999 Okie-Tex Star Party
1998 Oregon Star Party


Seeing, Atmospheric Turbulence
Visual Detection at the Eyepiece
Observing dark nebulae
Count the Pleiades
Drawings at the Eyepiece
The Green Flash (and blue flash)
A Mountain Meditation
Lunar Graze Occultation
Messier Observations

CCD Images

Telescope slang

2012 Waimea Hawaii AltAzInitiative conference

2009 Asian Solar Eclipse
2001 African Solar Eclipse
1999 Turkey Solar Eclipse
1998 Caribbean Solar Eclipse
1991 Mexican Eclipse
1979 Oregon Eclipse

My Telescopes

10.5 inch F/2.7 Dob

6 inch F/2.8 Dob

13 inch F/3.0 Zip-Dob
20 inch Tri-Dob

 6 inch Tri-Dob
 20 inch computerized scopes
24 inch trailered scopes
14 inch horseshoe, observatory
10 inch fork, cold camera

8 inch horseshoe
various 8 inch Dobs
6 inch travel scope
various small scopes
Lensless Schmidt camera
30 inch telescope

10 inch Torque Tube drives
10 inch Dob
17 inch horseshoe
12 inch club scope
17 inch early Dob
12 inch Rob-a-Dob


One of my most vivid memories as a child is resting in the back of my parents station wagon while driving back home to the city. The stars were so bright and the sky so black as I peered out the window. In grade school, my parents bought me a 4 inch Tasco reflector for a science project. Focusing on Mars reminded me of the last scene in, "You Will Go to the Moon", one my favorite books as a tyke. Mars was so small and so distant and so tantalizing.