Heavenlyview
© all images copyright of alan chen (use prohibited without consent of me!)

Just a little about me

I have had an interest in astronomy for as long as I

can remember.  My parents supported this interest

by picking up one of those ubiquitous 60mm

refractors often picked up as a starter scope.  This

happened to be a Montgomery Wards (remember

them?) scope made in Japan.  It set my parents

back $50, was all metal and better quality than

what you generally see today! 

Back then, I often dreamed of buying a nice high-

quality scope, collecting Unitron, Cave and Parks

telescope catalogs!  As a teen, I ended up saving a

few bucks to pick up a 4.25” Edmunds reflector on

an equatorial mount, my first serious scope!  After

graduation from college, I followed that up with a

Coulter 10” red tube dob, a serious light bucket

back then.

My original website was started in back in 2002,

just a few years after picking up my first imaging

worthy setup.  That was a Meade 12” LX200,

coupled to a Starlight Xpress MX7C.  A few years

later, the Meade came off of the LX200 mount and

onto a Losmandy Titan, a mount more than capable

of handling the heft of the 12” OTA (along with

guidescope and cameras).  From there, I went to a

10” Newtonian with custom Royce F4 mirror, then a

12” AstroTech truss RC, picked up from a fellow

imaging friend, Steve Cooper.  Most recently, the

Titan was swapped out for an Astro-Physics AP1200

(from fellow astro-friend, Chuck Faranda).  Cameras

progressed from the SX MX7C to the H9C, to the

larger M25C and finally the full frame SXVR-H36, all

wonderful cameras from the mind of Terry Platt. 

Outside of astro-imaging, I enjoy spirited

competition sand volleyball, machining aluminum

(for the hobby or stuff that needs repair), fresh

water aquarium (60g custom tank), building

computers, high-end audio and video.  My sons also

share my interest in anything techy, but also enjoy

camping and travel with us to various sites around

the country.  We have evolved to a 30’ trailer, just

to have enough space for all of us, but it doubles as

my home away from home at all of those star

parties!  Talk about ‘roughing’ it!

About

On the professional side, even though I graduated from college with a Chemical Engineering degree, I

started work with Western Electric in Reading, PA on semiconductor processing of LEDs.  Work/study

programs allowed me to complete masters degrees in Electrical Engineering and Materials Engineering, and

my focus switched to bipolar devices.  In August of 1994, a transfer to the Orlando plant and the local Bell

Laboratories group to develop BiCMOS, SiGe CBiCMOS and advanced CMOS technologies occurred.  It was a

privilege to work with some of the best and brightest engineers on the planet!  After retiring from Bell Labs

in 2008, I joined and managed a newly created technology development group at TriQuint Semiconductor,

since merged with RFMD and now called Qorvo, Inc.  There, we develop the technologies to make advanced

SAW filters for mobile devices.  The majority of my 22 patents (as of mid 2016) came from my time at Bell

Labs, but several are now showing up from TriQuint/Qorvo.  It has been a fun ride, but hoping it lasts awhile

longer. 

After all, how can I afford all of this neat equipment needed for the hobby?