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2013 Stellafane Convention

The 78th Convention of Amateur Telescope Makers on Breezy Hill in Springfield, Vermont, the 2013 Stellafane Convention, was held Thursday through Sunday August 8-11, 2013.


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Thanks to All!

The Springfield Telescope Makers would like to thank all those who attended the 2013 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 - we had a large set of interesting and innovative scopes this year.

Convention Summary

Bongo the Goat
There is always something new to see at Stellafane; this year Bongo the Goat visited us! Bongo is owned by an employee of one of our food vendors. Photo by Jim Beaty, STM
Bongo the Goat at Stellafane

Despite a huge downpour on Thursday evening and a damp, cloudy day on Friday, we had two of the best nights of observing in a long time this convention. Many people were surprised when we held optical competition on Friday evening, but it turned out to be an excellent night for it.

This year we again had a busy 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, and while only 5 entered the optical competition, the mechanical field was full of interesting scopes.

From the club's standpoint, this was again 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. We also believe this is the first time we have had a goat at Stellafane.


The overall convention schedule at a glance and details for most events are listed here. Our keynote speaker this year was Brother Guy Consolmagno of the Vatican Observatory who spoke on Comets. John Bortle gave the Shadowgram talk.

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


Al Takeda has made the slides available from his talk: The Wonderful World of Wideangle Astroimaging. It is in .PPS (PowerPoint Show) format and 131 Mb (lots of nice wide angle images inside!). Click to Download

Hartness House Workshop

Continuing a series begun in 2009, this year's Hartness House Workshop will focus on historical and modern aspects of solar astronomy. The program will include two lectures by leading historian of astronomy Dr. David DeVorkin of the Smithsonian Institution. Also featured will be many other speakers that will be listed shortly. Click this section title for more details.


The Springfield Telescope Makers would like to thank the following people and/or companies for donating prizes to the raffle at the 2013 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.

Donated 4 sets of fantastic eyepieces; each set was valued at $1500 to $2600!

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 four sets of Willmann-Bell books
.The sets were of varying values up to $600.

Dartmouth Printing

Hanover, NH

Sky & Telescope

Mars Globe

First Student, Inc.

and driver Cheryl

Astronomy Shoppe

Tony Costanzo

Howie's Laser Collimators

Howie Glatter

PTH Design LLC

Paul Hendrickson

Southern Cross
Astronomical Society
FAR Laboratories

Al Rifkin

Martie & Jim Erickson
Dr. Kristine Larsen  Walt Wheeler

Photo Gallery

The 2013 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 from the convention - most of the Saturday Evening Program, including the Shadowgram and Keynote are available.

Carl Lancaster
2013 1st Place Innovative Component Award winning Carbon-Fiber Collapsible Mount by Carl Lancaster.
2013 1st Place Innovative Component Award winning Carbon-Fiber Collapsible Mount by Carl Lancaster

Reports by Conventioneers

Reports on the experiences and observations of conventioneers by conventioneers.

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 .

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