A Newtonian 12inch Telescope was scratchbuilt to the size of a Picknick Bag in early Summer 2007...
Supported by Cambridge University members at
the Department of Zoology, Vivian's initial idea was a compact ATM
inspired reflector telescope for observing and digiscoping remote
vertebrates in nocturnal or twilight conditions, where conventional
camera optics come to their limits of resolution and luminosity.
First prototypes worked great, so we
dared a little ad in Sky &
to introduce it as a minimalist portable astronomical
telescope in the IYA
The 'LiteScope MOUNTAIN' 12inch Travel Telescope was awarded a 'HOT PRODUCT 2009' by the editors of Sky &
Telescope magazine USA.
|Minimalist Reflector Telescopes to See More with Ease
Techniques, materials, and components go into individually designed
that are extremely light, sturdy, functional, and very compact
LiteScope would not exist without the kind support of the University of Cambridge and
the generous help of
Maddrell, Prof. Charlie
Ellington, Neil Parker, and the incredible kind
help & patience of
staff members of the Department
...and got benevolent
comments from members of the
Cambridge Astronomical Association, the British
Astronomical Association, the Royal Greenwich Observatory, the Royal
Society of Southern Africa, the Hawaiian Astronomical
Society and the
2009 Secretariat of the
European Southern Observatory and the European Space Agency
|Lighter Telescopes for
On the Ground with a comfortable Folding Seat to lean back
|Friendly Voices about the New
Cambridge Lightweight Telescope
On behalf of all
the editors of Sky
& Telescope, I am pleased to announce that
among the items featured in “Hot New Products for
is your 12-inch LiteScope.
I continue to be
amazed at the
remarkable innovations coming from astronomical vendors, both those
long established and those never to the
There is a
tremendous amount of
creativity and cleverness being displayed, all backed by a fervent
devotion to making the sky more accessible
enthusiasts at all levels. It is truly inspiring. Thank you for all
your efforts, and my heartiest congratulations on your
this year’s selection of Hot Products!
Thanks so much for your email and the great work you are doing!
All good things
Jason Kessler / Executive
This is a great product!
International Year of Astronomy 2009 Coordinator
International Astronomical Union
a. IAU IYA2009 Secretariat
D-85748 Garching bei München
Congratulation on the Hot Products.
you for producing a great telescope. I could tell from your
designs that you would eventually make a real winner.
I appreciate that someone finally came up with a truly portable
Thank you for your kind words in your "about" section.
recently built a very simple style flying telescope by taking as many
part from a classic Dobsonian and putting it in a carry on home built
take care and best wishes
First Sight to First Light - A new Love Affair for Astronomers?
may I say thank you for sharing your wonderful telescope design with
us. It was an absorbing and uplifting experience for us both!
know Brian and I have strong connections with astronomy through
Cambridge Astronomical Association and through our own life interest.
We are both passionate and deeply committed to our subject.
we both regularly make and use telescopes of all types – from
found in professional observatories to some of the finest amateur
Our CAA connections
also make us most aware of the needs and issues faced by those
beginning astronomy and of those who choose to pursue
astronomy at a semi professional level.
this experience in mind I can say that I have never seen such an
elegant and technically sophisticated solution to Newtonian telescope
manufacture as you have achieved with this latest creation. I have
personally researched the leading edge of amateur designs over many
I know this is where technical excellence and innovation is
often to be found. Based on this research I believe you have a superior
instrument which is at vanguard of present possibilities given the
You are to be greatly congratulated. It is
a superbly practical piece of art and also a fantastic scientific
instrument. So as we say in England – I take my hat of to you!
We were greatly impressed by the following features:
The elegant and simple minimalist construction techniques
The appropriate use of modern technology
Excellent potential for scalability of size
The extraordinary and beautiful aesthetics of the design
A wonderfully low overall weight
Fantastic build and optical quality
The extreme elegance of the design geometry
I believe real practical benefits for owners of this telescope will
Superb ease of use (the scope you use most is the easiest one to use!)
Fantastic portability. This is critically important to modern
Wonderfully low weight. No problem for air travel to dark skies here
Simple to assemble and easy to use. This scope welcomes the newcomer!!!
Large aperture. For extreme versatility and deep sky capability
Fits the modern lifestyle. Easy storage and transport, used by all the
conclusion let me say you have made a thing of great beauty in this
instrument. It has beauty of purpose and of construction. You will know
astronomers often fall somewhat in love with
the instruments that connect them so fundamentally with the Universe.
Keen observers own many scopes
and are eager to
share their knowledge with others. They consider this a wonderful if
not beautiful experience. In this sense you have a product which
is easy to love. I predict this product will have passionate Champions!
hope you are able to protect your design and find in this special place
which is Cambridge those who can help you bring this design to the
Those who do help will help not only you,
but generations of astronomers to come. Those who understand their
shared duty in helping humankind
know our wonderful planet and its greater place in the space
our life experience, including many years in design and manufacture, we
know that there is a long way to go before you can sell the scope
commercially. Your determination so far, working with limited
resources, shows you have the passion and will to succeed.
there is any way in which I can further assist your endeavours please
let me know and I will do all I can to make help available.
further indicate the level of belief I have in your future success
please let me be the first to order one of you production telescopes
when they become available.
Again many thanks and our very best regards,
Barry Crellin ( and on behalf of Brian Lister)
"... I am amazed at how stable the scope is for such a lightweight structure.
Vibrations damp very quickly after movement, and collimation holds effectively.
My only concern is that azimuth motion is slightly sticky with the additional
counterbalance. I may need to add some lubrication to the azimuth surface.
The optics are very good. I have had excellent images even in fairly bright
suburban skies. I look forward to taking it to a truly dark site. Coma is
minimal despite the fast focal ratio. I have not need to use a Paracorr yet.
Setup and takedown are becoming very easy now that I have had practice.
I must congratulate you on the brilliant design. My observing companions are going to
be very impressed when I show up at the next star party with this scope in the
backpack. Based only on some e-mail discussions, I have already been asked to
write a short article about it for the Minnesota Astronomical Society newsletter
Overall, I am very impressed with the instrument. You have done an excellent
job designing and building it.
Cort Sylvester / Minneapolis - Minnesota USA
just got back from the Winter Star Party 2010 in Florida and using the
Mountain 12". My simple summary is fantastic, excellent,
superb. I had the best time using this scope and found its
performance to be outstanding. I assumed with a travel scope
light and simple, there would be compromises and performance would be
tolerable to trade off on its transportability. It turned out
be much, much better than just tolerable. It performed really
well and was so much fun. I will write up a full impression
and send it to you and am planning to do a review for Cloudy Nights if
that is OK with you.
I had no
problem with the pole assembly and everything else worked
perfectly. Easy to put together and take apart after I had
it once. I used the Ethos 8, 13, 17 and they were
Very easy to travel with.
If the 16 works as
good as the 12, then I will be so pleased.
Doug Dolginow, Maryland USA
|I was amazed how
stable it was in the wind. It hardly wiggled at all...
scope has really proved itself and I am very happy with it! Again,
thanks so much for all your help and understanding. You have made this
70 year old lady very happy.
Susan Girard, Hawaii
of the Hawaiian
|Copyright: 2021 Vvian
Bock. All rights reserved.
Revised: February, 2021
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