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Last Updated:
July 08, 2008



Special Interest Groups (SIGs)

"Big Dob" SIG

[NOTE: Participation in Special Interest Groups is limited to MAS members only.  For information about joining the MAS, please visit the membership page  at www.mnastro.org/membership.]


The Big Dob SIG is also known as the Big-A[perture] Dob Task Force. The purpose of this task force is to plan and execute a strategy to obtain, equip, house and operate a large-aperture telescope for the members of the Minnesota Astronomical Society.

Coordinator's Welcome

Thanks for your interest in the BigDob Task Force.

Although the MAS has acquired a 24" Starmaster Dobsonian telescope, our work is far from over. In fact, the toughest part is yet to come -- i.e., building a permanent home for the telescope.

Your participation is welcome -- both in discussions, plans and efforts to realize the dream of the BigDob. Thank you.

Upcoming Meetings / Events

No meetings are planned at this time. Watch the Bigdob email list or email for details: jacobson@ties.k12.mn.us

Task force meetings are scheduled on an ad-hoc basis -- about once every couple of months. Watch the BigDob mailing list for details, or contact the coordinator for an update of planned meetings.

Also, the BigDob task force is usually well represented at the monthly MAS membership meeting. That's a good place to ask questions and discuss various issues and ideas.

SIG Update

The BigDob Task Force has made tremendous progress toward its goals since the effort began in October 2002.

In October 2003, the MAS took possession of a 24" Starmaster Dobsonian telescope, and the BigDob Task Force installed it in temporary quarters at the Cherry Grove dark-sky site. The task force also has made several fundraising products available, including T-shirts, Hubble picture cards, books and astronomy video CDs. Plans are underway for a permanent observatory to house the BAD, but much work (and fundraising) remains to be done. Finally, the MAS Board has designated a BAD Maintenance & Administration Committee to manage the 'scope's operation, equipment and maintenance.

Recently Dick Jacobson donated an observing ladder, and built a special ladder accessory that provides a "half-step" option and a seat for observers' use.

Greg Haubrich donated a Televue Paracorr coma corrector.

Efforts are underway to validate the telescope's digital-setting-circle encoders and to finalize plans for an appropriate finder solution (to augment the Telrad reflex finder that is already available).

SIG Members Web Sites

If you have a useful BigDob Task Force-related website that you’d like to share with others, please email mtburr@msn.com

Useful Resources on the Internet





Willman Bell sells this and other books. Another good source is University Optics, whose prices seem to be slightly cheaper.

  • http://www.willbell.com/tm/dobtel.htm (“The Dobsonian Telescope” by Kriege & Berry. Kriege is the founder of Obsession Telescopes and Berry is one of the Granddaddys of ATMing. This is an outstanding book.)

E-mail Discussion List Instructions

The purpose of the list is to facilitate communication among members of the SIG. 

To join the group, visit http://lists.mnastro.org/mnastro/listinfo/bigdob and follow the instructions.  Use this site to manage your subscription as well, such as temporarily suspending your subscription or canceling it.  A link to an archive of all prior messages is available on this page, or you can access the archives directly by pointing your browser to http://lists.mnastro.org/pipermail/bigdob/.

Contact Information:

For more information regarding this Special Interest Group, please contact:

Dick Jacobson

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