Founder

Paul McNabb founded the mirror lab in 1997 in order to create the best amateur telecopes possible. Inch for inch our mirrors surpass store bought or commercial grade scopes.


Part of the Saint Petersburg Astronomy Club Home of the 2017 OBS Star Party

Lab Members

Ralph Craig is a lab instructor and has made mirrors from 6 inches to his recently completed 16 inch f5 mirror.


Allen Maroney
has completed three mirrors in the lab between 8 and 18 inches. Allen is also buiding a second robo foucault tester based on James design.


Mike Davis
casts his own mirror blanks.


Irv Nadelhaft


Charlie Mullen ground the mirrors for two years worth of rafflescopes but now has moved on the clear skys of New Mexico.


Lab T-Shirts Available

Lab Alumni

Lenny Remetta


Keevy McAlavy


Bruce Kazcmarik


James Lerch built our robo foucault tester and in house aluminizing chamber as well as a laser interferometry testing setup.


Ron Jones AKA the figurer is about the best mirror maker this side of the mississippi. You can see things in his 8 inch mirror that would impress a takahashi devotee.

Links

Russell W. Porter father of amateur astronomy and founder of Stellafane

Mel Bartels Website
Amateur Astronomer and innovator.

Stardate Website
Good overall observation site.


NGC Astronomers
Former member Matt Terry has his own astronomy club north of Tampa.

Southwest Florida
Astronomical Society

A nearby Astronomy club.

Telescope Software
Newt
Ray tracing program for determining all required dimensions for a newtonian reflector. (New Website)

Plop
Program for designing mirror cells.

Observing Software
Celestia
3-D interactive simulation of the solar system and beyond.

JupSat95
Plots the jovian satellites.

Lunar Phase
Shows all the phases of the move and more.

Mirror Lab Home Mirror Making Supplies Robo Foucault Tester Telescope Gallery SPAC Library

  Bobs Mirror
2010-12-06
This is the final and 49th test of Bob's mirror from the Robotic Foucault Tester. The 65nm
(nanometer) mark represents a 1/4 wave mirror (peak to valley) of green/yellow light's wavelength,
which is considered good enough for a commercial mirror. Bob's mirror, at 13th wave, is more
than three times better than that.

  New Mirror Completed
2010-12-06
Bob Helmling with his 10" f/5.9 mirror finished on December 4th, 2010. This is an amazing 13th
wave mirror with a good edge and a smooth, well polished surface.

  New Mirror Completed
2010-11-21
Dave Pearson with his newly finished 1/6th wave 10" mirror on 11-20-2010.

  New Mirror Completed
2010-09-26
Jim Hunter finished his extremely well polished one sixth wave 16" f/4.4 mirror on September 25th,
2010.

  New 16 and 18 inchers Debut at OBS 2010
2010-02-21
Ralph Craig and his 16inch f/5 Dob at the 2010 Orange Blossom Special (OBS) Star Party on 2-10-2010.
This was first light for this telescope, which was completed about a day before the star party
began. Ralph made the 16" mirror for this telescope at the OBS Optical Lab. Allen Maroney and
his 18inch f/4.89 dob during first light on 2-6-2010. Allen made the 18" mirror for this
telescope at the SPAC Optical Lab.

  We're still Here. Photos for 2009
2009-04-12
Lynn, Irv and Allen are all finishing up telescope projects. href=http://www.telescopelab.com/images/OpticalLab_2009/SPAC_Lab_2009a.htm>Here are some recent
pictures.

  Early 2008 Lab Update
2008-04-30
We haven't gone anywhere- just working on mirrors and haven't had time to post anything new to the
website.

Allen made an href=http://www.telescopelab.com/images/early_2008/SPAC_Lab_04-2008.htm>updated image page from
the last few months for your enjoyment.

From James Lerch...
There is a new place to get coatings: href=http://www.opticalmechanics.com/reflective_coatings/about.html>Optical Mechanics They
charge $10/inch with complete overcoatings. Very professional and quick turnaround time. If you
don't mind going without the overcoating James will still aluminize your mirror for $5/inch but he
now recommends Optical Mechanics.

From Ralph:
We just had two more mirrors finished.
Herb Conner 10" f/6
Pete S 8" f/4.5 for club scope


  Recent Mirror Completions
2007-11-17
September:
Julio Fernandez completed a 10inch f/5.84

October:
Lynn Joiner 10inch f/6
Peter Rimshaw 10inch f/6
November:
Joe Colontonio 14inch f/5.5 (special thin quartz mirror)


  Another Mirror Completed
2007-05-17
Jim Hunter finished his 12.5" mirror last weekend. I think it is a little under f/6. Came in at
1/8 wave. RC

  Joe starts work on his second mirror
2007-04-29
Joe is starting work on his second mirror using a fused quartz 14 inch blank. Here is a picture of
his first telescope made at the lab. It's a 10 inch f/6.

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