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2015 Stellafane Convention

The 80th Convention of Amateur Telescope Makers on Breezy Hill in Springfield, Vermont, the 2015 Stellafane Convention, was held Thursday through Sunday, August 13-16, 2015.

The 2015 Convention was dedicated to these four long-time club members who passed away since the 2014 convention:
Bob 'Doc' Jackson,   'Old Uncle' Bill Kuriskin,   Carl Breuning,   and   Jonathan Morse.


Do you have a suggestion to improve any aspect of convention? We would like to hear about it! Please send them via email

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

Armilarry Sphere
Real Manseau of Drumondville, Quebec (center) with the Armillary Sphere he donated to Stellafane, and club president Dave Tabor, in the clubhouse. He entered this beautiful sphere in the 1982 competition, and the judges created the 'Special Award' category to recognize his fine work. (See also 1982 Photo) Photo by Richard Sanderson
Real Manseau with the armillary sphere he made and donated to Stellafane.
(See also 1982 Photo)

Thanks to All!

The Springfield Telescope Makers would like to thank all those who attended the 2015 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

We had a strong attendance, with quite a few first timers, which is really nice to see. The pre-registration of adults was the largest we have had since moving to on-line registration in 2008. Optical competition was clouded out on Friday night, but it did get completed on Saturday evening. Both days we had afternoon clouds, some showers, and various degrees of partly cloudy skies in the early evening observing times. In the Mechanical competition, there was many strong contenders, and judges had to deliberate for longer than usual to select the winners.

Our keynote speaker, Dr. Alan Stern, captivated and engaged the overflow crowd in the pavilion - this was one of the best keynotes speeches we have had over the years, just ask anyone who was there. John Bortle also presented an excellent Shadowgram on influence Stellafane had on the amateur astronomy and telescope making movement in the United States.

Long time club member Dennis di Cicco was awarded NERAL's Walter Scott Houston award earlier in the program for his life-long contributions to amateur astronomy, and the STM's are especially pleased he was recognized for this. Also during the program, Real Manseau presented a beautiful armillary sphere he made in 1972 (and the Special Award category was created that year due to this being entered). We are grateful to be given such a wonderful instrument.


The overall convention schedule at a glance and details for all scheduled events are listed here. Our keynote speaker this year was Dr. Alan Stern, Principal Investigator of the New Horizons mission. He spoke on the history of the project, and what was discovered last month as they passed through the Pluto system. John Bortle gave the Shadowgram talk describing Stellafane's role in the amateur astronomy movement in America.

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

Hartness House Workshop on
Innovation in Astronomy Education and Outreach

Continuing a series begun in 2009, this year's Hartness House Workshop focused on Innovation in Astronomy Education and Outreach. 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 2015 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 year, four sets were raffled off.

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 large sets of Willmann-Bell books.

Dartmouth Printing

Hanover, NH

Student Transportation of America

White River Jct., VT and driver Cheryl

Glatter Collimation

Howie Glatter

Astronomy Shoppe

Tony Costanzo

Orion Telescopes and Binoculars Texas Nautical Repair

Land, Sea and Sky

Richard Sanderson Jim & Martie Erickson Jeff Lowe
The Guercia's

Please contact us if this is incorrect.

Call for 2015 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 2015 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).

Glenn Jackson and his 14-inch f/4.5 Dob
Glenn Jackson and his 14-inch f/4.5 Dob took first place large optical, third place mechanical and second place craftsmanship at the 2015 convention.
Glenn Jackson and his 14-inch f/4.5 Dob took first place large optical, third place mechanical and second place craftsmanship at the 2015 convention.

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.


Videos from or about the convention. usually hosted on video sites such as YouTube or Vimeo, this page has embedded players and links to the host site.

General Information

This page contains important information about the convention, including 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?
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