Amateur Telescope Makers Special Interest Group (ATM) is sponsored by the Texas Astronomical Society of Dallas.

For the up-to-date ATMSIG meeting time information, go to the TAS website and click on the Calendar
Just contact Dale Sander

Please send me your email to be added to the ATMSIG email list.  We have meetings about every other month.

ATMSIG Video Link to Vintage Scopes...

Check out this special ATMSIG video link.  At this regular meeting I asked the group to bring their first scope for a show and tell!  Also we had a club scope that had been in storage for many years. I hoped to discover the history of this scope.  By the end of the ATM meeting we had many more questions than answers.  More than a year later we discovered the optics and brass cell were from a 1860 Alvan Clark telescope!  In the video you get to see a group of us mounting this scope for viewing the first time in many years.

At our ATMSIG meeting January 13, 2013 we had a special Potluck Dinner gathering following our ATM meeting to celebrate Tom Noe's - Fifty years of Amateur Telescope Making!

If you missed our November, 2012 ATMSIG meeting check it out on TELESCOPEMAN.  Ken Clayton demonstrates how to make a mirror grinding tool out of dental plaster in this detailed presentation:  Just follow this link...

Carl Zambuto is starting work on the clubs 18" mirror.  Carl will ship us in a few months an 18", f4.5 mirror blank with a precurved front surface ready for fine grinding!  The plan is to put a team together within TAS to finish the grinding and polishing.  Tom and  I believe we need a team leader with some large mirror making experience.  As Tom said, "There's a big learning curve when moving up to larger mirrors."  If you have past experience with large mirrors or know someone that could help, please let us know!  Carl said he could finish out the mirror himself for $3,000.  I have only small mirror making experience but I certainly can help with the design and construction of our clubs new 18" Dobsonian telescope.  I would like to star test the mirror before we send it off to be coated.

The ATMSIG's 6 inch Dynascope restoration project is now complete. Thanks to everyone who helped with this rebuild project!  It is ready for use and stored at the clubs dark site. The motor drive has been cleaned, lubricated, rebuilt and now works great.  Gary Carter said he was impressed with the optics when he checked out the scope at the TAS picnic the other day!  This vintage Criterion RV-6 Dynascope design was state of the art in 1952.  In Sky&Telescope when I saw the ads for this scope in the 60's, I knew this was the scope for me.  I was very lucky to have been given a 4" Dynascope instead.  The light weight and great views made that 4" scope perfect for me at that time when I was so young.  Through this project I found the RV-6 is great but little heavy to move.  More than just the weight was the German equatorial mount does not lock so I generally would disassembled the scope to move it safely. 


The ATMSIG meeting
September 9,2012

ATMSIG topics,
Design a TAS ATMSIG workshop scope that is very cool, works well and is easy to assemble as a group project. 

One idea that may work best is a 12 inch Telescoping Truss Telescope Dob with a simple to build
design for a group construction project.  More on that later... 

The clubs 6 1/4 inch scope is moving along and I will bring it to share with the group.  Many people have worked on the mirror for this scope, TAS members, friends like John Dobson and most importantly lots and lots children at TAS public events over the years!  I talked to Joe Lalumia and he felt the best place for the clubs new 6 1/4 inch scope would in public observing. 

The 6 inch Dynascope is also being donated to TAS and will have a new home out at the Atoka dark site! 

Everyone is welcome to attend ATMSIG meetings so bring your friends!  If you  want to build a telescope at an upcoming ATM Workshop meeting, we need your input to help us design the scope you want to build. 

Also, anyone who has an ATM project in development or in any stage of construction please bring it to the meeting.  If you have a factory built telescope that needs some help, bring it along too!

If you missed a past ATMSIG meeting check out the TAS videos on TELESCOPEMAN

Telescope Building Workshop

Mirror Grinding and Polishing

At our first ATMSIG - Workshop
meeting on Sunday, July 8 We will explore telescope
mirror making.  This will be a hands on workshop presentation and is open to the public!  So if you know anyone that might like to learn how telescope mirrors are made, please invite them to the meeting.

ATMSIG Summer Telescope Building Workshop (TBW)

At our ATMSIG meeting on June 3 we explored what type of Telescope Building Workshop program would be best for the TAS membership.
There many ways this new program could be structured:
We could put a group of TAS members together all building the same  scope design or each member building something different that meets their own needs.  Also we could put together a more simple program for a parent and child to work together on with the help of the ATMSIG.  So many possibilities...

Also, if anyone has a website they would like posted to our new ATMSIG website links page, please sent it to me.

At our last ATMSIG on Sunday April 1st:

We viewed the sun with our clubs newly restored six inch refractor. The tube (about seven feet long) has a great new white finish and a new two inch focuser.  With its newly donated heavy duty tripod this scope is ready observing!  It will be setup for viewing at the TAS picnic June 16, along with the clubs newly restored 6" Dynascope

We need ideas for the next step for this  restored TAS ATMSIG 6" Dynascope project. 

Check out the April 1st, ATMSIG video on TELESCOPEMAN:

Dale Sander

Our ATMSIG meeting February 12th:
I mounted the 4" f/6 Bausch & Lomb 1950's lens on test a platform and I brought it to the meeting test it.  I now plan to complete the small scope for use as a low power, wide field club scope, for public observing.

The 6 inch Dynascope motor drive works well. We are now ready to assemble the scope in a new tube.  If you ever wanted to own a great vintage scope from the 1950's this scope can now be yours, some assembly required!  Glenn Fitzgerald is bringing the scope to the meeting.

If you missed our last ATMSIG meeting check out the video on TELESCOPEMAN:

I now have in temporary storage the glass blanks that were donated to TAS several years ago. I will bring some samples to the ATMSIG meeting to show everyone what we have. If you have an interest in the glass, please contact me.

Dale Sander

meeting December 4th: 

At the meeting we looked at some donated telescope parts built by Dick Phelps a former TAS member.  We have an equatorial mount and a metal scope tube with a  4" f/6 Bausch & Lomb with lens. Dick would like the ATMSIG to find a good home for his old scope project.

I now have in temporary storage the glass blanks that were donated to TAS several years ago. If you have an interest in the glass, all you need to do is submit a project plan to the TAS board for approval.

Also we have a Mirror Grinding Machine that's been in storage for several years.  We need a new place to store this resource where the ATMSIG can make use of it!

Dale Sander

Our September ATMSIG meeting:

With the restoration project for the Criterion 6" Dynascope the last few months, I've been thinking a lot about vintage telescopes.  My only scope before I joined TAS about 15 years ago was an old 4 inch reflector that was given to me in about 1963.  A next door neighbor was going off to college and he gave me his old telescope.  So over the years my old scope has been transformed into a important classic telescope!  The Criterion company started building and selling telescopes in 1954, my scope looks to be from 1954 or 1955.

Dale Sander

At our September ATMSIG meeting we explored vintage telescopes, just follow these two TelescopeMan video links to see what you missed...

Tom Noe with his first Teleports...

ATMSIG members with their vintage scopes...