RTMC Astronomy Expo 2004

May 28-30, 2004, Big Bear, California - YMCA Camp Oakes

36th Annual RTMC Astronomy Expo

The AVAC had an incredible time at RTMC this year.  I can say that I owe the positive experience entirely to top-notch people like Matt and Suzanne Leone and Terry, Deborah and Katy Pedroza, who not only set up a 'club base' of operations where we handed out club informantion, but also where we had a spontaneous group lunch on Friday and a great homemade (by Debora) spaghetti dinner on Saturday evening.

We - got lots of the latest toys and gadgets that we've wanted to pick up all year.  Matt Leone got a fantastic deal on an older 13mm Nagler for just $100!

Lots of deals were to be had and both Terry and Matt both scored the new Thousand Oaks Hydrogen alpha filters for the sun.  Other popular items were eyepieces, binoculars, and parallelogram mounts.  Personally, I found some hard to find eyepiece caps and a red dot sight for my 12 x 80 binoculars.

We supported our Club's sponsor Woodland Hills Camera with (literally) thousands of dollars 


2004 RTMC Swap Meet - Anything for sale of interest to Amateur Astronomers Terry Pedroza negotiating for a H-Alpha solar filter
The AVAC had two winners of the RTMC Door Prizes!  Katy won a Messier Card and a Planisphere, and Steve Trotta won an 11 mm Nagler eyepiece!!
Terry Pedroza studying the new C20 $39,900 scope.  The low quality of the sky was a shame.  We wanted some nice dry, steady skies, but didn't find them over the viewing nights,  Dew ruled the night after 10:30 pm on Friday, but was marginally better on Saturday evening.
This scope got my award for the most innovative low $$$ scope!  The man said he had $30 invested in this 4" scope and he had paid $20 of that for the optics.  The bottom bucket is filled with water for stability.
A great idea to keep your secondary mirror clean.


Bill Reed of Pasadena offered this Maksutov Cassegrain and mount for the telescope makers competition.  This scope was truly an innovative, functional work of art.  Bill's work in aluminum was an inspiration to everyone who got the opportunity to see this gem.  He said he had learned much from AVAC founder Keith Lawson.  Haven't we all!?

Features include a perfectly smooth "Spider Bearing" for the azimuth, a quick-release for the entire scope to come off of the tripod, a really cool snap-on attachment tp put a Telrad on the scope, perfectly aligned in 2 seconds, a scope balancing adjustment so you could use any eyepiece with confidence.  
Awaiting the presentation of the Door Prizes.  

The Antelope Valley Astronomy Club was proud to be a Silver Level Sponsor of the event, so we had our name and website address on the back of all of the handouts!