Resources for telescope design

Software tools

These are the tools that I found the most useful and were therefore used in my projects. The packages are usually free for non-commercial use:
PLOP:FE mirror cell simulation.
FlexPDE: Version 5 is a 3D PDE solver, get student licence.
CadStd: CAD, to make technical drawings, small and easy.
Eagle: Schematic capture and PCB layout / autorouter.
OSLO-LT: Optical design and analysis.

Data files

Some of the data that I have generated in the various projects, free for all to use as long as the source is mentioned:

CadStd: Primer scope,
Carry-on scope,
Floppy Foucault tester.
FlexPDE: Mirror cooling model.
Newt 2.5: 10", F/6.4 scope.
PLOP: 10", 6 point cell.
Eagle: CCD-237 camera,
Stepper drive.
Excel: Vignetting model,
Schief toolkit,
Wirespider sag estimation,
Scope design tools.
Various other: Background on steppers and driving them (zipped).

Useful links

Telescope making in general

STAR astronomy links
The ATM site
Mel Bartels' ATM links
Top Ten Ways of Improving Newtonian Telescope Optics

CCD stuff

Astronomical CCD & Night Vision Devices


Maps to find Messier objects