Books By Robert Piekiel

… For The SCT User Or Telescope Buff

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Bob Piekiel has been a fixture in amateur astronomy in CNY for many years, both as a lecturer for local astronomy clubs and as the host of public viewing sessions at Baltimore Woods Nature Center and Green Lakes State Park. For questions or purchase inquiries about his many books, contact Bob at piekielrl _at_ netzero.com.

Testing And Evaluating The Optics Of SCTs

A fully illustrated text describing how to accurately test the optics of any CAT with easy-to-make tools. Covers Ronchi, Foucault, and diffraction tests, plus a WHOLE lot more. There are chapters on bench-testing and how to identify problems in the individual optical components (primary and corrector, for example), and also more advanced sections for ambitious ATMs wanting to learn secondary hand-matching procedures, as done by the master opticians in the big shops. Profusely illustrated with REAL photos of scopes under tests. No computer-generated images or hand sketches. Very little math is used. This book is for EVERYONE. Forward by noted SCT enthusiast Rod Mollise.

252 pages, B&W softcover, $29.95 + $3.00 shipping in CONUS

SCTs: What, How, Why, And What If

I actually wrote this 74-page book at the request of readers and fellow astro-buffs. It explains in easy-to-understand terms what SCTs are and how they work, and a lengthy chapter simulating (with the use of ATMOS optical design software) what happens to SCT performance if the optics are altered, moved, changed, re-positioned, etc. This can make everyone, novice or expert, understand more about the optical characteristics of SCTs.

74 pages, B&W softcover, $12.95 + $2.00 shipping in CONUS

Collimating SCTs

A straightforward guide to basic and advanced collimation of these popular scopes. Not only is secondary adjustment described in detail, but also primary mirror alignment and corrector centering. Details of easy-to-perform tests that determine if collimation problems are coming from something other than the secondary mirror, and how to handle them. Fully illustrated with REAL photos of scopes under examination. No computer-generated images or hand sketches.

80 pages, B&W softcover, $13.95 + $2.00 shipping in CONUS

Celestron: The Early Years

THE 1800-page Bible of SCT development, on CD-ROM. Chronicles the history of the commercial SCT from a back corner of Tom Johnson’s shop to the more modern scopes found today. Heavy emphasis on mechanical design and optics. TONS of full-color photos and engineering prints, many never before seen until now, with detailed repair procedures and extensive interviews of early Celestron opticians and engineers, including Tom Johnson himself. Any telescope buff or AstroMart user can highly benefit from this ebook. Whether you’re an ATM, a telescope user, equipment buff, optician, engineer, history buff, library curator, or an owner/user of an SCT, pick up a copy of Celestron The Early Years. Endorsed by Dennis DiCicco of S&T.

1800-page CD-ROM in PDF, $39.95 shipped in CONUS

Making Schmidt-Cassegrain Telescope Optics

This 320-page book is a guide for the more advanced ATM who wants to learn more about making SCT optics – primaries, secondaries, and the corrector plates. For those who were always interested in SCT optics but never gave it a try before, this book is for you. It takes the reader step-by-step through the phases of designing (or copying) optical components of SCTs through the use of basic optical math, and then instructs the reader how to turn these calculations into physical optics through the use of spherometers and other measuring devices.

The chapters cover the use of optics software TDESIGN and ATMOS, also manual calculations, the ability to make optics from scratch, copy existing optical components through careful measuring, and also back-engineering SCT optics. Testing techniques such as Foucault, knife-edge, and Ronchi methods are discussed, as well as the use of Hindle spheres and Gaviola lenses. The text deals extensively with the use of petal tools and laps, for grinding and figuring correctors and secondary mirrors. Specialty computer programs for easily drawing petal laps are shown, and various techniques on how to use them (NOTE: Schmidt’s original vacuum-pan method is NOT discussed here and only briefly mentioned, as there are other texts that deal with this method exclusively).

Chapters include:

How to read fringes, hand-matching the finished system, making correctors, primaries, secondaries, the use of computer software, going back and forth between match and optics vs. optics and math, optical flats, hardware, special testing setups, etc.

320 pages, B&W softcover, $32.95 + $4.00 shipping in CONUS

Telescope Finders, Building And Designing (*BRAND NEW*)

This book deals with the way finderscopes are built and designed, how to calculate magnification, exit-pupil size, and field of view. It explains how large finders can be made inexpensively using surplus lenses and ordinary, hardware-store materials. Covers specialty units like solar finders, illuminated reticles, also crosshair repair and other useful topics to allow you to easily upgrade your existing finder to make your viewing experience more pleasurable.. Even if you’ve never made a telescope, making a finder is EASY!

134 pages, B&W softcover, $16.95 + $3.00 shipping in CONUS

Telescope Resolution

We all “know” that bigger telescopes give better resolution, but do you know why or how? Would it surprise you to know that the star images (Airy Discs) at the prime-focal plane of the 200-inch Hale telescope are exactly the same size as those formed by a Celestron Comet Catcher? It’s TRUE! This book will explain the rest…

40 pages, B&W softcover, $9.95 + $2 shipping in CONUS

The ATM’s Guide To Setting Up A Home Optics Shop

If you want to do woodworking in your home, you probably need a table saw, a drill press, and a sander. If you want to be an electrician, you probably have a toolbox containing a multi-meter, wire strippers, and cabling tools. If you want to be a mechanic, you probably have a socket set, a car jack, and an impact wrench, just to name a few things.

But what do you need if you want to do optics work in a home shop? Optics work can be very time-consuming and exacting. Dedicated amateurs can often produce optics that rival or exceed the quality of production telescopes, simply because they can spend much more time getting them exact. How can this work be made easier?

One way is to equip your shop with various tools and devices specifically tailored for optical work, something that you probably won’t find at the local hardware or your neighbor’s garage sale – or will you?

“The ATM’s Guide to Setting up a Home Optics Shop” is a non-technical books that lists and describes a variety of specialty items that you can buy or build, many at low cost, to greatly help in making optics work easier and more fun. It is DIFFERENT than all the other books on telescope making. Rather than teaching you HOW to make telescope mirrors, this book shows you what you should have at your fingertips to greatly streamline your efforts.

220 pages, only $19.95 + $3 shipping in CONUS

Tips For Making Optical Flats

This book talks about flats and nothing else. Why would you want a flat? A flat makes it a cinch to test and evaluate your optics while working in the comfort of your heated home. No more star tests in the freezing cold. No more setting up artificial stars 300 feet away from you telescope. No more “nothing to do” on a rainy or cloudy night. So go ahead – make a flat! It might be easier than you think. Even if you don’t want to make your own, this book will advise you in purchasing one.

68 pages, only $12.95 + $2 shipping in CONUS

Bad Seeing Or Bad Optics

If your scope delivers great images one night and poor images the next, it is probably due to bad seeing conditions, either near the scope, in the neighborhood, or high in the atmosphere. This book will help you identify such problems.

34 pages, $9.95 + $2.00 shipping in CONUS

The Telescope’s Exit Pupil

Do you or your companions have trouble viewing images in certain telescopes or with certain eyepieces? The problem is most likely caused by the exit beam coming out the eyepiece not matching up with your own eye. This small book explains how this happens, and what to do to help the situation.

28 pages, $9.95 + $2.00 shipping in CONUS

If you order 2-3 books, shipping is a flat-rate $6 in CONUS. Order 4-6 books and shipping is a flat-rate $12 in CONUS. NY residents add 8% sales tax.

Total for a complete set is $199.50

45 Thoughts on “Books By Robert Piekiel

  1. Pingback: CNYO Observing Log: Star Search! At Green Lakes State Park, 26 July 2013 | CNY Observers & Observing

  2. Pingback: CNYO Observing Log: Beaver Lake Nature Center, 8 August 2013 | CNY Observers & Observing

  3. Pingback: Official Announcement – Kopernik AstroFest: Friday, October 4th – Sunday, October 6th | CNY Observers & Observing

  4. Pingback: CNYO Observing Log: Baltimore Woods Solar Session, 24 August 2013 | CNY Observers & Observing

  5. Pingback: Highlights From Bob Piekiel’s Green Lakes Solar Observing Session, 8 February 2014 | CNY Observers & Observing

  6. Pingback: CNYO Observing Log: Baltimore Woods, 21 February 2014 | CNY Observers & Observing

  7. Pingback: CNYO Observing Log: Baltimore Woods Solar Session, 22 February 2014 | CNY Observers & Observing

  8. Pingback: CNYO Observing Log: Baltimore Woods, 22 March 2014 (And An Erigone Summary) | CNY Observers & Observing

  9. Pingback: Total Lunar Eclipse, Mars Just Past Opposition And A Very Early Observing Event At Baltimore Woods on April 15th | CNY Observers & Observing

  10. Pingback: 209P/LINEAR Meteor Shower, Bob Piekiel At Baltimore Woods, And CNYO’s Public Viewing Session At North Sportsman’s Club – All This Weekend (May 23rd and 24th)! | CNY Observers & Observing

  11. Pingback: Remembering The Godfather Of Solar Astronomy, Robert “Barlow Bob” Godfrey | CNY Observers & Observing

  12. Pingback: REMINDER & ANNOUNCEMENT: Bob Piekiel At Baltimore Woods This Friday (July 18th) And CNYO At NSC on Saturday (July 19th) | CNY Observers & Observing

  13. Pingback: Bob Piekiel Hosts Observing Sessions At Baltimore Woods (And More!) – 2014 Observing Schedule | CNY Observers & Observing

  14. Pingback: Event Announcement: Bob Piekiel At Green Lakes State Park – Friday, 25 July 2014 | CNY Observers & Observing

  15. Pingback: CNYO Observing Log: Clark Reservation State Park, 29 August 2014 | CNY Observers & Observing

  16. Pingback: CNYO Observing Log: Lunar Eclipse And Syracuse Academy Of Science, 8 October 2014 | CNY Observers & Observing

  17. Pingback: Announcement – Kopernik AstroFest 2014 – 24-25 October, 2014 | CNY Observers & Observing

  18. Pingback: Astro Distro 3.0 Is Out – Just In Time For CNY’s Hibernating Observers | CNY Observers & Observing

  19. Pingback: Distro Astro 3.0 Is Out – Just In Time For CNY’s Hibernating Observers | CNY Observers & Observing

  20. Pingback: Liverpool Public Library Hosts A Course From futurelearn.com This January – In The Night Sky: Orion | CNY Observers & Observing

  21. Pingback: CNYO Observing Log: The Winter Of Lovejoy – Green Lakes, Jamesville Beach, And New Moon Telescopes HQ – January 9 to 14, 2015 | CNY Observers & Observing

  22. Pingback: www.somewhereville.com » Blog Archive » CNYO Observing Log: The Winter Of Lovejoy – Green Lakes, Jamesville Beach, And New Moon Telescopes HQ – January 9 to 14, 2015

  23. Pingback: Bob Piekiel Hosts Observing Sessions At Baltimore Woods (And More!) – 2015 Observing Schedule | CNY Observers & Observing

  24. Pingback: CNYO Observers Log: Green Lakes State Park Solar Session (7 March) and Monthly Baltimore Woods Session (13 March 2015) | CNY Observers & Observing

  25. Pingback: CNYO Saw The March 20th Total Eclipse With Barlow Bob Shining Bright | CNY Observers & Observing

  26. Pingback: June 30th Venus-Jupiter Conjunction – If Clear, Bob Piekiel Will Host A Session At The Skaneateles Conservation Area Parking Lot | CNY Observers & Observing

  27. Pingback: Bob Piekiel’s Yearly Nighttime Summer Session At Green Lakes State Park – Friday, 10 July 2015, 8:00 p.m. – ??? | CNY Observers & Observing

  28. Pingback: CNYO Observing Log: “Stars And S’mores” At Green Lakes State Park, 10 July 2015 | CNY Observers & Observing

  29. Pingback: CNYO Observing Log: Clark Reservation And Baltimore Woods, 18 July 2015 | CNY Observers & Observing

  30. Pingback: CNYO Observing Log: Perseid Week @ Marcellus Library, Baltimore Woods, Beaver Lake, and Green Lakes, 11 – 14 August 2015 | CNY Observers & Observing

  31. Pingback: Prepping For International Observe The Moon Night (Sept. 19) And A Total Lunar Eclipse (Sept. 27) | CNY Observers & Observing

  32. Pingback: Bob Piekiel Interview On thenewshouse.com – “Barefoot Astronomer Shares Passion With Stargazers” | CNY Observers & Observing

  33. Pingback: 2015 Geminid Meteor Shower Sessions At Baltimore Woods – Event And Weather Updates | CNY Observers & Observing

  34. Pingback: CNYO Observing Log: A Summary Of The Last Few Months Of 2015 In Rapid Succession | CNY Observers & Observing

  35. Pingback: Bob Piekiel Hosts Observing Sessions At Baltimore Woods (And More!) – 2016 Observing Schedule | CNY Observers & Observing

  36. Pingback: Bob Piekiel Hosting His Monthly New Moon Baltimore Woods Session Tonight, 5 February 2016, 7-9 p.m. | CNY Observers & Observing

  37. Pingback: CNYO Observing Log: Attempted Observing, Successful Lecture, And Maker Hall Session For January, 2016 | CNY Observers & Observing

  38. Pingback: Remembering The Godfather Of Solar Astronomy, Robert “Barlow Bob” Godfrey – Welcome to somewhereville.com

  39. Pingback: Bob Piekiel Hosts A Mercury/Jupiter-Centric Observing Session At Baltimore Woods, Friday – 15 April 2015 | CNY Observers & Observing

  40. Pingback: CNYO Spring 2016 Observing Session At Beaver Lake Nature Center On Thursday, April 28th (Raindate: May 5th) | CNY Observers & Observing

  41. Pingback: Transit Of Mercury Session @ Baltimore Woods, Monday May 9th – 8 a.m. To 10 a.m. | CNY Observers & Observing

  42. Pingback: Bob Piekiel Hosts His Monthly Observing Session At Baltimore Woods, Friday – 10 June 2016 | CNY Observers & Observing

  43. Pingback: CNYO Observing Log: Transit Of Mercury, 10 May 2016 | CNY Observers & Observing

  44. Pingback: Bob Piekiel Hosts Observing Sessions At Baltimore Woods (And More!) – 2017 Observing Schedule | CNY Observers & Observing

  45. Pingback: “Upstate NY Stargazing In February” Article Posted To newyorkupstate.com And syracuse.com | CNY Observers & Observing

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