Any new telescope-making book is a big deal, but one that is both new and important is a huge deal. I believe that’s what we have here with the arrival of Albert Highe’s Portable Newtonian Telescopes. It’s a very satisfying, and detailed volume that covers a great deal of territory not explored in any other telescope-making book. What makes it “important,” in my view, is that it not only advances the state of the art, but also provides a wealth of information that will stand the test of time. Albert, and his publisher Willmann-Bell, are to be congratulated on producing such a fine and valuable addition to the ATM’s bookshelf.
In the interest of full disclosure, I will say that I’m not entirely unbiased in my assessment. I read a pre-production version of the book and was sufficiently impressed to agree to write its forward. And, I will also admit, Albert is a telescope maker whose work I have long admired. Keeping all that in mind, I’d recommend this book to anyone who self-identifies as an amateur telescope maker.
The book’s full title is Engineering, Design and Construction of Portable Newtonian Telescopes, and that pretty much sums it up. But even if you don’t plan on making a lightweight Dob specifically, this book is worth having for its solid engineering material, which you can apply to virtually any telescope project.
To see the table of contents and a detailed description (and even read the forward I wrote), visit Willmann Bell’s web site.