Welcome to

Jim's Home Planet

Version 2.0

What's this all about?

Amateur Telescope Making!

Amateur Telescope Making (ATM) is a hobby that combines the craftsman's hands, the artist's eye, and the scavenger's nose. A very fine telescope can be built from almost anything. It is limited only by the maker's creativity and resourcefulness. Few other hobbies can claim the wide variety of technique and style that result in the production of instruments of discovery that will give a lifetime of rewards. I hope this little website will help to light the fire in yet another generation of ATM'ers.

Quick Links

Some old Star Party Reports from WUTS and RMSS
Some Telecopes I've Known
Some Telecopes I've Made
Freebies and Small Projects to Make
Getting Serious about Telescope Making
Some Articles of Interest
Other ATMer's Pages
Solar Observation and Spectroscopy
Astronomy and Space Exploration Links
Electronic Tinkering Help
Parts and Surplus Sources
Weather and Atmospheric

A Few Telescopes I've Known

The Gregory-Maksutov Telescope
Giving credit where due.
Tim's 10" TriSchiefspiegler
Marty's 10" Binoculars
Gary's 30-inch Newtonian

You can see photos of many more home made telescopes at the star party reports pages HERE.

A Few Telescopes I've Made

A Binocular Mount
Designed with Comfort in Mind
Observatory in a Bag
A 4-1/4 inch Newtonian
A 6 inch Newtonian for Christmas
A 6 inch f/18 Refractor of Unique Origin
An 8 inch f/16 Cassegrain
Built for Rough Roads
An 8 inch f/20 Windproof Cassegrain
(Which Will Withstand the Wildest Winds
Wyoming can Wage Without Wiggling)
A Prototype Spectrohelioscope

Freebies and Small Projects

Make your own
(A Print-and-Cut Project)
Print your own
Optic Calculator And Polar Alignment
(by Star Drift Method) Wallet Card

(A Print-and-Cut Project)

Make your own
Field Expedient Solar Spectroscope

Make a Focuser from a $5 Pawn Shop Camera Lens
Mount Your Digital Camera to Your Telescope
Make this adapter for afocal photography

Getting Serious about Telescope Making

Easy-to-Make Single-piece
Crayford-type FOCUSERS
Making strong, backlash-free
Tangent Nuts
for your Slow Motion Controls
Making Worm Gears on the Lathe
How to Make and Use a Dividing Head
Cassegrain Baffles and Mirror Cells
A Home Made Foundry

Articles of Interest

Celestron C65: Is it worth $70?
A Quick Primer on
Newtonian Telescope Collimation
Avoiding the Low-Power Landmine
Lens Glue
(and UN-gluing)
Impressions of the great
Leonid Meteor Storm of 2001

Some Choice ATM Pages

This is where it all started
in North America
David Stevick's Weird Telescope Page
Yolos, Trisheifspieglers, Herrigs, and others.
Peter Smith's Webpage
Excellent ATM Stuff
Mel Bartel's Telescope Making
This the place to start for lghtweight design
and computer control of telescopes
The Amateur Telescope Maker's E-Mail List
The ATM List Archives
Many Year's of ATM Discussions
The ATM Site
An Archive of ATM Articles
Star Astronomy Telescope Making
This gets you to the webring too.

Astronomy and Space Exploration

Harvard's Astronomical Headlines
New Objects and Ephemerides
(Just the facts, Ma'am.)
Orbital Elements for Software Packages
JPL's Photo Journal
NASA Real Time Human Spaceflight
J Track Real Time 3D Model of
Earth and Artificial Satellites

Devotional Astronomy
The Astrophysical Journal

Electronic Stuff

Electronic Parts Datasheets in PDF
Texas Instruments Logic Chips
Circuit Archive
More Circuits...
David Rowe's Dual Axis Stepper Motor Controller

Some Great Sources for Parts

At the very top of the list I have to place:
Surplus Shed
Sterling Resale Optics
Small but high quality optics re-seller.
Excellent service
Astromart Classifieds
The Ebay of Astro Gear
H. L. Clausing Inc.
High Quality Mirror Coatings
Industry's Hardware Store
If it's a tool or hardware it's here.
American Science and Surplus
From the Serious to the Sublime
Willmann-Bell, Inc.
Books, Mirror Kits and Supplies
Rolyn Optics Company
Many hard-to-find items, prisms, beamsplitters...
Newport Richardson
Diffraction Gratings
Newport Glass
Optical Glass Manufacturer
Edmund Optics
What the old Edmund became.
Anchor Optics
University Optics
High quality eyepieces don't have to cost a lot of money.
Books and cast mirror cells too.
Eyepiece Reviews
Not a source, but a great asset!
The Used Telescope Blue Book
History and Classifieds

Regarding Solar Observation and Spectroscopy

SOHO (Solar and Heliosperic Observatory)
Live Pictures of the Sun
The Spectrohelioscope Network
Managed by Fredrick Veio and Chris Westland
(Get your free PDF copy of Fred's book
on SHS construction here.)
Philippe Rousselle's Spectroheliographic Solar Observation Pages
The Spectrohelioscope Yahoo! Group
A Single Lens Reflective Slit Spectrohelioscope

Weather and Atmospheric Links

The Clear Sky Chart Home Page
North American Atmospheric Satellite Imagery
North American Weather Imagery - Closeup!
Live Doppler Radar
Vaisala's Lightning Explorer Map
Wind Speed and Direction Profiler

(Change AT to @)