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NEAF 2010 - Part 2

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2010 NEAF Report - Part 2
Tom Trusock

The Solar folks got lucky this year.  Saturday was a complete washout, but they had some sky on Sunday.  Unfortunately, Sunday at NEAF is usually the slower day - good for the folks that are there. 

Not so good for folks who want to share their new gear with others.  Daystar and Lunt were both showing off new product, but...

And here's the man himself - Andy Lunt showing off his new 6" baby.  While I'm not much of a solar guy (although I'm thinking about getting into it again), the views were pretty impressive.

What would the NEAF Solar Star Party be without Barlow Bob and his array of toys?

Back inside the fieldhouse, two of the major players - Meade and Celestron weren't showing anything earthshattering.  In fact, the biggest news to come out of NEAF about Celestron is that this year marks their 50 year anniversary, and they have a few commemerative products.

Sure was a cute little sucker.

This is Ed's - "It's been a long show" look.  We all kinda felt like that after a while.

I do like the new finish on the Meade LightSwitch.

Yeah, this Vixen AXD mount is awesome, but the new Starbook is AMAZING.

The Brothers Yang returned this year. 

This digital focus counter is now available on all their focusers.  The larger scopes have temp and humidity gauges on the sides as well.

Barry Christ.  Manufacturer of the biggest little scopes on the planet.  Where else can you get an 18" that fits on your desktop?

Yes, that's Normand Fullum standing next to the beast.  And with pride.  It seems to be something of an open secret that he designed and constructed the truss and optics for these (under contract to Orion).  Why Orion isn't screaming that from the hilltops, I'm not exactly sure.  And neither is he.  But hey.

Orion had a HUGE presense at the show this year. 

And a number of new and interesting products.

I'll be interested in hearing reports of these from the field and frankly hope to get a chance to see one for myself. 

Jon and Dena Joseph from Starlight.

Jon was showing off a new color accented focuser.  It will be interesting to see how well these sell.  Personally, I liked them, but reactions from others were a bit mixed.

A shot of the TV Starlight collaboration.  A FT with a Paracorr Type II installed within.

And here's Normand with a more typical example of his work.  His creations really are amazing.  His attention to detail is simply stunning.  These are true works of art.

And now for the other monster at the show:

Meet Jeff and the first in a series of Great Red Spot Dobs.  Most folks start with a 12 - 16 when beginning a lineup.  Jeff decided to do it a little differently....  (This thing is HUGE!)

If you get a light shield with it, it should double nicely as a tent.  About a 4 person model at that.

Recognize this man?  You should recognize his handiwork behind him.  It's Thomas Mathis and his grandson Andy.  I've admired his work for years and it was really nice to finally put a face with the name.

Russ from Denkmeier.

And John and Bill from EarthWin.  Look for an upcoming review of one of their systems on CN (assuming I ever get some clear weather...)

The return of the gummies!  And Markus Ludes from APM.

Ok, Nikon fans.  Drool away.  (I'd love to get a peek through a couple of these as well.)

In my opinion, this was one of the most interesting products at the show this year.  It's a multipass SCT colliminator from HOTECH.  It's not inexpensive, but given the only way to really collimate an SCT involves wasting observing time - I know I'm interested.

And here's David Ho.

Doug Baum from Nightvision  Astronomy showing off his BIPH.  This is an amazing piece of technology.  If you're curious to my thoughts in detail, look for my review in Astronomy this month and be sure to check out the video and articles on Cloudynights.com

Tom Peters and what's still one of the best mounts on the planet for a visual observer.

Ron and the guys at Moonlight have adapted their automatic focus controller to other types of scopes as well. This should be a big plus for them. 

Collimation guru and all around good guy Howie Glatter.

A man that really needs no introduction.  Roland Christen.

The guys from ED.  (Sounds like a 60's spy sitcom...)

One of the major sponsors of the show.

Craig Weatherwax from OPT pauses a moment to smile for the camera.

BCB relaxing in the CN booth. 

A shot of the CN Booth.

I'm not sure what Scotty's pointing at here, but I do know that I wouldn't want to be on the other end of that.  And from the looks of things, neither does Jason.


This was another very interesting little product...

A very small and lightweight tracking mount.

..offered by Robert Shen from LeoOPtronics.

And finally - Pop Quiz.  Anybody recognize this?  Here's a hint,  it's an oldie, but one is still in use today and at a top astronomy manufacturer...

There were MANY MANY more things I don't have pictures of.  To all the folks who weren't represented here - I apologize.  If I tired to do the entire NEAF experience in this format, I'd be at it all year (and probably exceed the storage space on the server).  I'd like to Thank Alan Traino and the Rockland Club  for putting on this event.  Alan you and your crew do a fantastic Job.  Oh, and for those of you wondering about numbers - yes, attendance was up this year, significantly. 

The CN volunteer crew puts a ton of work into NEAF (and our Sponsor - Astronomics - graciously covers the costs) , but even with the travel logs, web casts, interviews, chats, walkthroughs - you're really only getting a small piece of the picture.  If you really want to see what NEAF is like, there's only one thing to do.  Yup.  Come see for yourself.


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