Rodger Morris (rodger@FISHNET.NET)
Sat, 26 Jul 1997 19:01:49 -0700
I mailed out today (Saturday, 26 July 97) 47 sets of plans for building an
8" or 10" (20cm or 25cm) Newtonian reflector telescope with a Dobsonian
alt-azimuth mount from readily available materials. This set of plans
includes directions for grinding and polishing your own mirror.
I _STRONGLY_ recommend that if you intend to grind and polish your own mirror
that you locate somebody in your local area who has done this and who is
willing to coach you. Your local astronomical society is a good starting
Additionally, I have included a page from the Sidewalk Astronomers newsletter
with contact persons and telephone numbers in some parts of the USA and
Postage for these packages varies from US$1.01 within the USA, US$1.13 for
Canada to about US$1.50 for New Zealand. This, coupled with the cost of the
9"x12" (about 225mm x 300mm) mailing envelopes and the cost of photocopying
the material, makes the average cost come out to about US$2.50 per copy.
If money is a problem, don't worry about it. If you wish to help defray
the cost after you receive your set of plans (I'm almost US$100 out of
pocket right now), the assistance will be greatly appreciated.
The man who developed these plans is a world treasure. John Dobson did
this as a labor of love and with the intent of allowing all to see the
glories of the heavens, especially children. He travels around the world
teaching people how to make telescopes. Organizations who wish to have
him do this provide his airplane fare out and back, and a place of lodging
in a private residence as a houseguest whilst he is teaching the art of
telescope making. He reportedly refuses to live in a hotel.
John put these plans out to serve the public weal without asking for any
compensation. The "Wall Street Journal" did quite a good article about
John and the Sidewalk Astronomers in January of this year.
John is 82 years old, and does not have Social Security or Medicare. He
will be undergoing cataract surgery in October. The Sidewalk Astronomers
request that those who wish to support John Dobson's ongoing work send a
one-time US$25 donation made out to "John Dobson" in care of the Sidewalk
Astronomers. The address for the Sidewalk Astronomers is included in the
packet containing the plans.
They also advise that one should not be surprised if said check is not
cashed for six months or more, as John is a former monk and is quite
unworldly when it comes to managing money.
Personally, I gave the $25 in cash to the Sidewalk Astronomers with the
comment, "Let's see him try not to cash cash."
I urge all who use these plans to freely donate US$25 to this worthy cause.
We are Scouts and Scouters, and a Scout pays his own way.
If anyone else is interested in obtaining a set of plans, please e-mail
me with your mailing address, as these plans do not currently exist in
Likewise, if anyone has any questions about the process and/or where to
find or buy needed materials, I'll be happy to help out as best I can.
Yours in Scouting,
Rodger Morris <email@example.com>
Asst. Scoutmaster, Troop 808 Wood Badge 416-18
Ventura County Council at Philmont, 1973
Camarillo, California, USA "I used to be a Beaver..."
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City