Winter Star Party 2002

by Mel Bartels (~500kb of images)

February 11-16, 2002, West Summerland Key, Florida

Invited by Tippy D'Auria to be a guest speaker, I was particularly interested in amateur built telescopes.

View of a portion of the star party along the southwest beach. The Winter Star Party is limited to 550 attendees, occuping a Girl Scout camp on the southern side of West Summerland Key.

Guest speaker Dave Sopchak and his Macintosh controlled all aluminum 18 inch. In addition, the scope features an ultra thin porthole mirror.

Dan Joyce's mirror grinding tent.

James Lerch and his computer driven 8 inch binoculars.

Two adjustment knobs quickly merge the images.

The computer drive on the altitude axis.

James Lerch and his blank cutting rig. Here James is cutting out a 10 inch blank from a sheet of plate glass.

James Lerch and his computerized Foucault tester. The machine not only controls the motorized Foucault stage, but also determines the zonal readings from the digitized web camera images.

Twin scopes from New York designed and built by Harvey LeMay.

The innovative spider mount (very rigid).

James Lerch, Tom Clark, Mel Bartels.

Mel Bartels, Tippy D'Auria, Dave Sopchak.

Barb Bajec, Mel's wife.

Mel and Barb, Key West, most southerly point in continental USA.

Key West architecture.