Go back to TSP ATM page

Here are some of the 2012 TSP Amateur Telescope-making entries!


Barry Lieb (Fort Worth TX) – 18″ Dobsonian
Craftsman Merit Award

Barry had just finished this beautiful 18” Dobsonian in time for TSP. Working mostly in high grade plywood Barry had showed off his craftsmanship skills to produce not only a superb finish, but also some very nice design features.

We especially liked the sealing covers on the front and back of the main mirror cell, thereby excluding most of the Prude Ranch dust that tries to get into everywhere. His finderscope was nicely held into a “v” support by just two retaining springs which provided both for a quick and repeatable assembly procedure, plus easy rotation to bring the eyepiece to a comfortable angle.


Barry Lieb - 18" Dobsonian - Craftsman Merit

Barry Lieb - 18" Dobsonian - Craftman Merit

Barry Lieb - Finder Scope Mount

Barry Lieb - Vented Primary Cover

Shawn Colyer (Coatesville PA) – Tripod
Ingenuity Merit Award.

Shawn had acquired his 16” LX200 from a college that had it mounted on a pillar. Faced with the cost and size of the Meade giant tripod he came up with a perfect home brew solution. His very sturdy wooden tripod conceals a screw jack in each leg which allows him to set up and level his mount with ease.

The judges were also taken with his modified motorbike lift which enables Shawn to raise the telescope tube assembly onto the forks without risk to either his back, or the telescope!
As a bonus Shawn revealed the work he had done to replace the original Meade drives with his own servo upgrade. Clearly a resourceful chap!

Shawn Colyer - Tripod - Ingenuity Merit

Shawn Colyer - Tripod - Ingenuity Merit

Shawn Colyer - Tripod - Ingenuity Merit

Shawn Colyer - altitude drive modifications

Shawn Colyer - altitude encoder mounting

Shawn Colyer - altitude encoder drive

Jimi Lowrey (Ft Davis TX) – 28″ Dobsonian
Merit Award
Believe it or not this is Jimi’s “travel scope”. Well if your home scope is a 48” Dobsonian then you’re no going to settle for anything less than 28” it would seem! Actually this scope is destined for a one way trip to Chile and so portability was not the driving requirement.

We were impressed with the “no compromise” approach to this build, clearly important to Jimi if he was not to be frustrated with its performance compared with his home scope. Everything from the very stiff secondary mount down to the base board was built to he highest standards. Jimi had adopted a new pendulum based encoder design for the elevation readout which simplifies the mount design and he says it is working just fine. We expect to see this adopted by others in the future more and more.

Jimi Lowrey 28" Dobsonian

Jimi Lowrey - Pendulum Encoder

Jimi Lowrey - ServoCat installation

Jimi Lowrey - last minute counterweight to balance new telescope shroud

Linda Flores (Corpus Christi TX) – First Timer
6″ Dobsonian
This was Linda’s first TSP and this was her first ATM project. A 6” Dobsonian using mostly materials and components she had to hand. It was good basic design and Linda was clearly learning fast. We liked the creative use of stone fleck paint on the main tube to hide surface blemishes.

With some help from fellow TSP observers she got it collimated and achieved “first light” on the Tuesday evening. Well done Linda!

Lida Flores - 6" Dobsonian

Linda Flores - 6" Dobsonian

David Hofland (Centre AL) – 22″ Dobsonian
Prius Custom Fit
David drives a Prius and designed his 22” Dobsonian to be stowed neatly and with ease into the rear of the car, (the car is black too!). The design featured a very low profile primary mirror cell and rocker box.

This scope had been finished for a while before TSP and we were impressed with how the standard household latex paint was holding up against the wear and tear of transportation and use.

David Hofland - 22" Dobsonian - Custom Fit

David Hofland - 22" Dobsonian - Custom Fit

Allen Scott (Belen NM) – 20″ Dobsonian
Allen built this 20” Dobsonian to the absolute minimum weight he could. Everything was basic and purely functional, but worked just fine too!

We were especially taken by the extremely large setting circles on both axes, which were also helpfully finished in white. No chance of not finding these in the dark!

Allen Scott - 20" Ultralight

Allen Scott - Ultralight 20" Dobsonian

Allen Scott - Ultralight 20" Dobsonian

Allen Scott - Ultralight 20" Dobsonian

Allen Scott - Ultralight 20" Dobsonian

Allen Scott - Ultralight 20" Dobsonian