Last call for NOVAC’s “Sweet Sixteen” telescope

About 21 years ago, a group of NOVAC ATMs (amateur telescope makers) led by John Avellone combined surplus optics into a 16” diameter Dobsonian. The telescope build effort was described in an article in a 2001 NOVAC Newsletter.  Continue reading for additional technical information and your opportunity to acquire the Sweet 16!

This telescope was an interesting design experiment, but not very practical as intended for star parties.   The scope has been in storage for a number of years and with storage space a premium it is time for the club to let it go.

The telescope was built around a thin (1.5” disk) 16” f/7.5 spherical mirror that was stressed into a shape closer to a paraboloid. A fold flat in addition to the Newtonian pickoff brought the eyepiece to a more reasonable height. The telescope was hard to use and difficult to collimate.

The optics are comprised of the 16” primary, a 6” secondary fold flat, a 2” diagonal and the eyepiece. The structure includes some good plywood, aluminum struts, bearings, the mirror stressing mount, and miscellaneous hardware.

The surplus optics was tested and shown to be of high quality.

Additional technical information on the optical design is here

We are now offering it up to NOVAC members as a restoration-rebuild project. If you are interested and want to make an offer on the optics, structure, or both, contact Alan at

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