Saint Petersburg Astronomy Club - Mirror Lab

Location

Science Center of Pinellas
7701 22nd Ave N
Saint Petersburg, FL 33710

We're available from 12 Noon to 4PM each Saturday

Our 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.

04/12/2012 more

Members

  • Ralph Craig - Lab Instructor
  • Allen Maroney - Lab Instructor
  • Ron Jones - The Figurer
  • Mike Davis - Casts Mirrors
  • Dimitri - Support

Friends

  • James Lerch - Robo Foucault
  • Matt Terry
  • Charlie Mullen
  • Bruce Kazcmarik
  • Keevy McAlavy

In Memorium

  • Irv Nadelhaft
  • Lenny Remetta

04/12/2012 more

Welcome

Where the 19th Century Art of Mirror Making Meets the 21st Century

The Saint Petersburg Mirror Lab is a small band of dedicated mirror grinders and telescope makers living in the Tampa Bay area of Florida. We offer a mirror making class for interested persons. We strive to create the best mirrors our home brew technology can muster. This includes robotic foucault testing and laser interferometry.

  Tom Greens f/4.9 Mirror
2011-01-15
Tom Green on the first day of polishing his 12.5" f/4.92 mirror. We were able to get an accurate
Foucault focal length of 61". After taking in to account the 1/8" bevel the mirror has a surface
diameter of 12.325".

  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

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