Memories of Conferences Past


Clyde Tombaugh and his wife Patsy

Gerry Logan's 7" F/10 Schupmann folded refractor

William Ball received a merit Award for his 6" APO on a beautifully crafted mount

Richard Livitski received an Honorable Mention for his 13.1 binoculars

Jack Eastman with his 4" Alvan Clark & Sons Refractor

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Michael Gibbons received an Honorable Mention for his first telescope

Stephen J. O'Meara talks shop with Al Nalger

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Carter Roberts received a Merit Award
for his traveling astrophotography system

  Date: May 25-28, 1990

Attendance: 1,960

This conference was described by Stephen J. O'Meara as a 'multidimensional extravaganza that attempts to satisfy the whims of all amateur astronomers." It was dedicated to the memory of Robert E. Cox who passed away on December 15, 1989.

This conference was noted for the visit from Clyde Tombaugh, the discoverer of Pluto. The Western Amateur Astronomers introduced the Clyde Tombaugh Award for creative innovation is telescope design. The award was later inherited by the RTMC.

Brian Marsden of the International Astronomical Unit gave the Keynote Speech entitled: "Has the Hot Seat Gotten any Hotter?"

On an administrative front, the RTMC officially became the Riverside Telescope Makers Conference, Inc. on May 22, 1990. Since 1969, the RTMC had been an event sponsored by the Riverside Astronomical Society (RAS). The RAS itself had incorporated in 1983. From the mid 1970's to the early 1980's, the RTMC was co-sponsored by both the Riverside Astronomical Society and the San Bernardino Valley Amateur Astronomers (SBVAA). However, by the mid 1980's, the SBVAA participation was starting to dwindle and the RAS once again took full responsibility for the RTMC.

By now, many local clubs were helping provide the manpower necessary to but on an event of this magnitude. The Orange County Astronomers, OPTEC, The San Diego Astronomical Association, the SBVAA and the Ventura County Amateur Astronomers all helped the RAS put on the RTMC. At this time, Cliff Holmes, hoping to broaden the leadership of the RTMC, and encourage broader club participation, asked the RAS to spin off the RTMC as a separate entity. That was done, and the RTMC, Inc. was born, electing Clifford W. Holmes as its first Executive Director, Ashley McDermott as its first Vice President, and Robert Stephens as its first (and still only) Secretary and Chief Financial Officer.


  • Allen Abrams, "The Inner Reaches of Outer Space in Amateur Astronomy"
  • Paul Morefield, "Astrophoto Bloopers and How to Avoid Them, or Unexpected Astrophotos"
  • Charles Townsend, "New Vistas in the Teaching of Astronomy"
  • Don Parker, "Collimation, Mirror Cells and You"
  • John Bortle, "Great Comets From the 16th Century to the Present"
  • Ben Meyer, "Moonshine in Beijing"
  • George Keane, "Stars and Bars, Image Quality in Astronomy"
  • Russ Genet, "Robotic Telescopes"
  • Steve McArthur, "CCD Imaging and Astronomical Applications"
  • Open Forum, With Dr. Clyde Tombaugh and Dr. James Christy
  • Richard Berry, "Thoughts on Robert E. Cox"
  • Dr. Brian Marsden, "Has the Hot Seat Gotten any Hotter?"
  • Peter Ceravolo, "Aluminizing Your Own Mirror"
  • Matt Mazurek, "Observation of Variable Stars Using Binoculars and Small Telescopes"
  • Chris Schur, "Sky Shooting Cygnus, a Treasure Trove of Hydrogen Alpha Nebulosities"
  • John Labrode, "Construction of a Wright Schmidt"
  • Fr. Ronald Royer, "Video Clips of Jupiter"
  • Dan Gordon, "PluseGuide and PulseView (New Applications of Pulse Technology)"
  • Ronald S. Breasher, "Breaking New Ground: Edwin Hubble's Telescopes"
  • John Briggs, Thinking Big, the Group 70 Telescope Project"
  • Al Gorski, "How to Improve Your Meteor Photos"
  • Larry McDavid, "Mars Lander, Viking GCMS, Hardware in Inside Anedotes"
  • Stanley Gorodensky, "The Design and Construction of a Dome and Observatory Building by a Non-Engineer"

Merit Award Winners:

  • William Ball, Solid, well crafted wooded tripod/mount for 6" APO refractor
  • Carter Roberts, Traveling mounting system for astrophotography - single arm fork mounting
  • David John Shipman, Ultrasolid mobile 12.2" F/6 Newtonian
  • Steve Collett, 8" F/4.5 well-integrated Dobsonian Newtonian
  • Gerry Logan - 7" F/10 Schupmann Folded Refractor
  • James R. Brunkella, 16" F/4.5 Well-Crafted Dobsonian
  • Ray Magdziarz, 10" Dobsonian with D'Autumne mounting drive platform
  • Jackson Brown, Junior Division - 10" F/6

Honorable Mentions:

  • Vance C. Tree, Rigid break down box tube design for 12.5" Dobsonian
  • Richard Livitski, 13" Binocular design and construction
  • David Ambrose and Mary Henderson, Wood-Composite tube construction for their 8" F/20 Dall-Kirkham
  • Michael Gibbons - 8" F/8 Newtonian Equatorial
  • Mike Spooner, Homemade 6" Cassegrain
  • Devin Onesti, Junior Division - First Telescope, 4" Refractor
  • Ray Coutchie, 6" Dual convertible Newtonian

Cliff Holmes Award:

Dick Buchroeder

Clyde Tombaugh Award:

Clyde Tombaugh

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Arthur Guilfoil shows Steve (Fu Man) Edberg (middle)
and David Levy (right) his refractor

1999 Riverside Telescope Makers Conference, Inc.. All rights reserved.