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2012 Stellafane Convention

The 77th Convention of Amateur Telescope Makers on Breezy Hill in Springfield, Vermont, the 2012 Stellafane Convention, was held Thursday through Sunday August 16-19, 2012. This convention was dedicated to all the Vermonters who suffered losses due to Tropical Storm Irene last year, and all those who helped in the recovery effort.


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We are very interested in feedback, comments or suggestions on any aspect of convention, we are always working to make improvements every year.

Thanks to All!

The Springfield Telescope Makers would like to thank all those who attended the 2012 Stellafane Convention and made it a success, especially all volunteers and club members who help with setup, program and operations and  cleanup, and all the excellent speakers who make their expertise and experience available through their talks and workshops. To those of you who brought homemade telescopes to display on breezy hill, a special thank you for sharing your accomplishments and inspiring the next generation of telescope makers.

Convention Summary

The McGregor Observatory
The 13-inch Schupmann Refractor in the McGregor Observatory by Peter Barvoets.
The 13-inch Schupmann Refractor
in the McGregor Observatory
by Peter Barvoets.

Both Thursday and Saturday provided clear nights for observing - Saturday being an outstanding crisp and clear night. Friday was cloudy most of the day but was dry until about 6:00 PM when rain showers started and continued through the night. Optical competition could not be held on Friday was completed on Saturday.

This year we again added to the program, keeping both the Pavilion and McGregor Library fully scheduled both Friday and Saturday. In several cases there were overflow crowds at the smaller McGregor Library facility. The telescope competition saw 31 entrants, although 3 withdrew or did not arrive so the actual number of competitors was 28, including 3 junior entrants.

From the club's standpoint, this was an easy year (unlike 2011 when we had extensive ice storm damage to the site to repair), and we were ready for convention in plenty of time, getting a few optional projects completed during preconvention.


The overall convention schedule at a glance and details for most events are listed here. Our keynote speakers this year where the Meteorite Men, stars of the science channel program of the same name.

You can also download the printable Convention Bulletin (PDF format) which is given to each attendee when they arrive.

Hartness House Workshop

For several years we have been offering an all-day workshop at the Hartness House on Thursday on special topics with excellent speakers. The year the topic will be Historical Telescopes and Related Instrumentation: Conservation and Study.


The Springfield Telescope Makers would like to thank the following people and/or companies for donating prizes to the raffle at the 2012 Stellafane convention or goods and services that are sold or used for the convention. We thank:

Tele Vue Logo

Special thanks to Tele Vue and Al & David Nagler for donating
sets of their Premium Eyepieces for many, many years.

This years prizes were 4 sets of fantastic eyepieces:

  • Set 4: Tele Vue Plossls: 32mm, 20mm, 15mm, 11mm; Nebuster Filter; Valued at $670.
  • Set 3: 22mm Nagler Type 4, 17mm Nagler Type 4, 10mm Nagler Type 6, 5mm Nagler Delos;
    OIII Bandmate Filer; Nebuster Filter; Valued at $2,000.
  • Set 2: 35, 24 & 19mm Panoptics; 13, 9, 7 & 5mm Nagler Type 6; Nebuster Filer; Valued at $2,105.
  • Set 1: 21mm, 13mm, 8mm & 4.7mm Ethos; Nebuster Filter; Valed at $3,105.
Willman-Bell Logo

Special thanks to Willmann-Bell and Perry & Patricia Remaklus for donating sets of their excellent Astronomy and Telescope Making Books for many, many years.

This year's book prizes were two sets of Willmann-Bell books:
A set of 17 books valued at $429 and a set of 12 books valued at $549.

Hands on Optics

Gary Hand

Sky & Telescope

Magazine & Astronomical Products

First Student, Inc.

and driver Sharon Ells

Aerolite Meteorites

Meteorite Man Geoff Notkin

Howie's Laser Collimators

Howie Glatter

PTH Design LLC

Paul Hendrickson

Astronomy Shoppe

Tony Costanzo

Meteorites and More

Meteorite Man Steve Arnold

FARR Laboratories

Al Rifkin

Alan Witzgall Martie & Jim Erickson
Kim Cassia‚ÄÉ
Mario Antonucci
Jessica Payson

Call for 2012 Convention
Photos, Videos & Reports

We would like to add your photos or convention report to our web pages, and link to your hosted videos on YouTube or other services. Your experiences gives a much more comprehensive view of the convention than we can do ourselves. Please send them via email

Photo Gallery

The 2012 Convention Photo gallery, with candid images taken by the Springfield Telescope Makers and many attendees who send us photos they have taken (See the pink box at right if you have photos to send us for posting on our web page).

Page 1: Photos by the Springfield Telescope Makers

Page 2: Photos by Convention Attendees

Videos and Time Lapses

Videos from the convention, including the Shadowgram and Keynote Addresses, and several  time lapse movies of the convention.

Reports by Conventioneers

Reports on the experiences and observations of conventioneers by conventioneers.

Bert Williard with his award winning Caustic Sundial
Special Award winning Caustic Sundial created by Bert Willard
Special Award winning Caustic
Sundial created by Bert Willard

Telescope Competition

Often considered the heart of the Stellafane Convention, the Optical & Mechanical Competition gives Amateur Telescope Makers a chance to show and share with others what they have done, and our expert judges pick the best in several categories to for recognition with awards. This page shows all the telescopes entered in the competition, and the awards that many have won.

General Information

This page contains much information about the convention, lighting policies, pet policies, food service, on-site bus service and where to set up your telescope. Check this page for answers to any questions you may have.

Lodging & Campgrounds

If you are not camping at Stellafane, you will need some place to stay. Here is a listing of Motels, Hotels, Bed & Breakfasts, and Campgrounds in the area.

Directions & Maps

Need to know how to get to Stellafane? Here are written directions and a map for after you get off the Interstate. We also have a site map of the convention area. See also Local Airport Information.

Do you have convention questions we haven't answered?
Comments or suggestions about the program?
Please direct these to our Convention Mailbox.

Do you have a comment, question or suggestion about
the web pages or online registration process?
Please direct these to the .

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