Sumerian Optics

Long ago, when I was a 6 year old boy, I looked up at the sky while stepping out of my parent's car, wondering what the twinkling lights were in the sky. Yes, they were stars. But what is a star? This is the earliest memory of my fascination with that world above us. Since that time, I needed to know everything related to astronomy, so I read many newspaper articles, books and magazines to find answers to all my questions.

My First Telescope

When I was ten years old I got my first telescope. A small telescope that my father made. A first step to explore the world above us. A few years later I finally got a real telescope. A 6 centimeter refractor, which was quickly exchanged for a 11.5 inch Newton. I have explored a lot with the 11.5 inch Newton telescope. 

Unfortunately, I had little interest in my hobby for a couple of years and my astronomical activities were very low. In the meantime, I found a new interest: woodwork. I designed and made furniture like cupboards, beds and kitchens etc.

Years later I bought a 20 centimeter F-4 Newton telescope. The F-4 Newton telescope requires an accurate collimation. I was not really familiar with collimation and I went looking for information on the Internet. While looking I was confronted with a, to me, new generation Dobsonian telescope: The truss Dobsonian.

Considering my woodwork experience I decided that it might be easy to craft a similar Dobsonian telecope for myself. But it was not as easy as I thought it was, because there was more to it than working with wood. I found a lot of information via astronomical forums.

Self Construction Dobson Telescopes

The first homebuilt telescope was a weird 40 cm truss Dobsonian (see black dob below). This was followed by a 20 cm Dobsonian Travel telecope in the superb design of Pierre Strock. This was the first time that I brought my 20 cm travel dobson (see blue baby dob below) as hand luggage to La Palma.

Meanwhile, I built more telescopes as a pilot project to receive useful information/feedback to improve the design, quality, stability etc. This was all necessary for starting my own business in Dobsonian telecopes.

Now I am fully engaged in the development and creation of commercial Dobsonian telescopes. I try wherever possible to meet the requirements and needs of my customers. A Dobson telescope is a very personal product and each person has different requirements. People want a solid and easy to use telescope. To me, the most important part of developing and creating telescopes is: quality.

Michael Kalshoven

                                             Some oldies.  You have to start somewhere :).