This class is over. To sign up for a Mirror Class, see the pink box on the Mirror Class Main Page.
Including brief notes about the session
Click Image for Photo Album
1: Saturday, October 16, 2004:
We are off to a good start with 6 new students and
2: Saturday, November 13, 2004:
Despite snow to the south, a good turnout. We now have
3: Saturday, December 11, 2004:
Threatening weather kept attendance low, but
4: Sunday, January 9, 2005:
We began pouring laps for this class, as many
5: Saturday, February 5, 2005 in Ludlow, MA
Chris finished his mirror, Andy is very close. The rest of
6: Saturday, March 5, 2005:
Good Turnout. 3 mirrors in final figuring.
7: Saturday, April 9, 2005, an extra session
Dick M. finished his 16" Mirror. On a fine spring day, many folks
Here is a report on what our participants are making, and at what stage they are at:
|Mark & Alec||6||6||Figure||2005-Jan-09|
|15 Mirror Makers||16 Mirrors||2 Done|
Thanks to our large group of volunteer instructors, we can hold these mirror class and give everyone the individualized attention they require. Several of our instructors work professionally in the optics industry, and many have competed dozens or mirrors and more complicated optics as amateurs.
Registration continues to be strong and as in previous years, we filled up well before class started. We enrolled 17 students, of which 9 were returning students from previous courses, and 8 brand new students.
Attendance was a bit lower this year from last. We had moderate weather and no cancellations. With new moons falling early in the month, we were able to add a 7th session in April without impacting convention site preparation work. The lower attendance for the one Sunday session (Jan 9), and one session held in Ludlow (Feb 5) is consistent with previous years.
|Category||Oct 16||Nov 13||Dec 11||Jan 9||Feb 5||Mar 5||Apr 9||Average|
Students: With a large number of returning students, we had a good mix of polishers and grinders at the start. Students came from VT (9), MA (5), NH (2) and NY (1).
Instructors were excellent again this year. We have now developed a strong core of instructors that work very well in mirror class. Thank you very much!
Completions were again disappointing, with only two mirrors actually completed this year by the end of class. One was Dick's 16", which he did largely on his own initiative off-site, checking in with us for guidance over the past 2 years, more so in the last few months as he was figuring. We have 2 people who are in final figuring, and we will work them informally in the coming months, I expect this total to increase.
Even if these complete, we will have 4/17 done, a rate of 24%, half of our 50% goal. We need to continue to improve in this area.
Facilities continue to be the biggest issue for us; they limit what we can do in many ways. Dave Prowten has completed work on a test tunnel, and Dave Kelly has provided us with test head with an auto-collimation flat, improving our testing situation. We need to get a video display setup working on this tester to improve testing throughput. Thanks to both of them for this great work.
The above tester can only handle 12" mirrors; Dick M. had to clean out the bunkhouse basement to make testing space for has 16", and it barely fit.
Our biggest need is more clean, heated space to adequately handle the figuring and polishing workload we have.
Telescope Making As Brad was giving the telescope construction lecture in session 6, he suggested we have a parts making session, so that students without access to tools could get parts cut out if they brought materials. We were able to schedule a 7th sessions, which turned out to be a warm and sunny spring day, and there was a big telescope making parts party on the front lawn of the bunkhouse. This was seen by all as a great success and great fun, and I'm sure we will do it again next year.
Future Demand: We have 6 new students on the waiting list in April for the next class, which is typical. With returning students from this year, and additional new student requests coming in before the next class, it looks like we be full next year.
Summary It was another good year with no weather related cancellations. Two (maybe 4) completions is at half our goal. Demand remains strong. Our biggest issue is adequate space.