Ray Cash

wplaneg.gif (24057 bytes)

Yes: I just jumped out of "a perfectly good airplane."

aloneg.gif (39584 bytes)

ripcordg.gif (43216 bytes)

The above images were taken during my "Level 7" Accelerated Freefall (AFF) class on 8/13/00. Exiting the aircraft at 14,000 feet and pulling the ripcord at about 4,000 feet results in about a 60-second freefall at 120mph--plenty of time to do back-flips, docking procedures, AND enjoy the view! Later that day, I took my final, Level 8 class and graduated from the course! I am a proud, novice skydiver!

If this appeals to you (and I heartily recommend it!), find a drop zone near you by visiting the United States Parachute Association's Website. I learned to skydive at  Bay Area Skydiving.  Check out their Tandem skydives. This is a great, inexpensive, THRILLING way to get a taste of this sport... You might just get hooked like I did! 

Update: Unfortunately, I decided to give up skydiving due to a bum knee I have (never injured through skydiving, however). A recent motorcycle accident on June 8, 2006 fractured my knee again--I  'T-boned' a red-light runner at a major intersection. . .  I and my attorneys are pursuing  a claim.


My other interests:





I have been happily married now for twenty-three years to lovely Marie-No, a native of Brittany, France, an ancient Celtic land.  Above is me and my honey at one of our favorite venues: Cirque Du Soleil.

We have no children, but we had a lovebird named Slim (at right)... Now we have two Ring-necked Parakeets: Update: now we have FIVE--Lily and Rocko (below) continue to have chicks!

marieno.gif (38705 bytes)

Lily and Rocko's first born: Godot, now a handsome three-year old (males have the colorful ringed neck).

Our latest clutch of twins: Beau and Belle, born in March of 2007. Here
they are only a few weeks old--and still a lil' scruffy!




A sampling of furniture I've made can be found here.




Though I have been interested in astronomy most of my life, it wasn't until 1988 that I purchased my first 4" telescope. Looking to join a club, I soon found John Dobson. (I had heard of the Dobsonian, but I didn't realize John was a local hero). John taught me how to make a 10 1/2" sidewalk telescope, as well as a 6" Dobsonian Sun telescope (right). sunscope.jpg (34284 bytes)


steve1B.gif (83164 bytes) Though I practice sidewalk astronomy here in San Francisco, I usually travel to a dark sky site near new moon time. I often travel three hours from The City to the Sierra foothills, to observe and camp-out, often with a few deep-sky buddies. Here is bud Steve Gottlieb, for example (my scope is in the background, on the left), at our favorite deep-sky site. 

I am an avid telescope maker. I have helped a number of folks with the carpentry skills required for some of the inevitable complications which seem to arise. I maintain The San Francisco Sidewalk Dobsonian Telescope Plans Website (below) and answer e-mail from folks around the world.

My own scopes include (at right): a truss-tube Dobsonian (17.5" Coulter mirror), complete with Takahashi 4" refractor and equatorial platform of my own construction. (Actually, I no longer have the Tak: a few years ago, I traded it and an Astro-Physics refractor for a motorcycle; but it's a killer photo, isn't it?).

At right was my first (1989) attempt at the truss design; the structure that formerly housed my 17.5" mirror.

Below is pictured my 13.1" telescope which collapses into a box making it "airline transportable."  I have taken this scope to Hawaii twice and, most recently (March 2005), Chile.  Steve Gottlieb has also taken this scope to Costa Rica twice. Plans for this scope are online. Here, you will also find advice--and links (my Dobsonian Evolution page)-- on more advanced designs.

17dob.gif (63219 bytes)

purpscop.gif (78697 bytes)

 13dob.gif (47965 bytes) 13bdob.gif (40342 bytes)


back to:


How to Build a Dobsonian Telescope

My Deep-Sky

The San Francisco Sidewalk Astronomers

How to Build a
13" Airline-Transportable
Travel Scope



Dobsonian Evolution