Mel Bartels' Amateur Telescope Making

* = latest articles

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
Collimating a f/3.0 Telescope
Flex Rockers
A Smaller Upper Cage
Off-Axis Masks
Largest Amateur Scopes (40+")

* Telescope Innovation
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
* Review of George McHardie's "Preparation of Mirrors for Astronomical Telescopes"
Large Thin Mirror Grinding
Rating Mirrors
Polishing Theory
Polish+Pitch Tips
Ronchi Mirror Test
Waineo Null test
Sagitta Calc
16 inch mirror figuring class

* 2014 Oregon Star Party
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

* Unobserved wide angle nebulae

* Why am I Seeing More?
* 6000X
The Contrast Controversy
Seeing, Atmospheric Turbulence
Visual Detection at the Eyepiece
* Observing dark nebulae
Count the Pleiades
Drawings at the Eyepiece
* An electrophonic meteor and the Leonids
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

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

History of Computerized Telescopes
* 10.5 inch F/2.7 Dob

 13 inch F/3.0 Zip-Dob

6 inch Tri-Dob

24 inch trailered scopes

10 inch fork, cold camera

8 inch horseshoe

various small scopes

30 inch telescope

10 inch Dob

12 inch club scope

* 6 inch F/2.8 Dob

20 inch Tri-Dob

20 inch computerized scopes

14 inch horseshoe, observatory

various 8 inch Dobs

6 inch travel scope

Lensless Schmidt camera

10 inch Torque Tube drives

17 inch horseshoe

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.