Optec, Inc. is located in Lowell, Michigan, just east of the Grand Rapids metropolitan area. For many years now the company has been in the forefront of research and development of astronomical, visibility, and video/CCD microscopy optical instruments for both amateurs and professional alike.
Optec was incorporated in 1979 and is the successor to DOAA Enterprises; a Detroit-based company founded by an Oakland University college student, Gerald Persha. Under the leadership of Persha, Optec has grown from a small basement operation to a corporation employing 8 technicians, machinists, and sales staff. Optec's roots are founded strongly in astronomical research instrumentation with products such as the SSP line of photometers, the patented TCF temperature compensating focuser and the recent addition of the Pyxis LE, a high precision, low-profile camera field rotator.
In addition to the astronomical product line, Optec designs and manufactures optical couplers for video/CCD microscopy, atmospheric visibility measuring instruments such as the Model LPV transmissometer and the NGN integrating nephelometer. These unique instruments are used to monitor the air quality in many of the national parks in the USA as part of the Improve Network.
Optec maintains and uses the Optec Observatory, a small observatory and testing laboratory for Optec's astronomical product line. Optec Observatory is fully computer controlled with separate control room and observing deck. Recent additions to the observatory now allow remote operations of the telescope, SSP photometer, and CCD camera control software.
The telescope at the Observatory is a Meade 10-inch LX-200, mounted on a special heavy-duty wedge manufactured by Optec. The pier for the telescope is pyramid shaped and was constructed using 45 bags of concrete mixed by hand on site. The telescope is exclusively used for equipment testing and electronic observations, and is only used manually for collimation and finder adjustment.
Optec has a support staff of many diverse and qualified individuals who take great pride in their accomplishments at the company.
Jerry Persha is the founder of Optec. Though he is officially retired, Jerry is still an active volunteer within our company. Jerry began his career in college with DOAA Enterprises which was later incorporated as Optec, Inc.
Jeff Dickerman is the current president of Optec. His hard work ensures that every aspect of Optec runs smoothly and efficiently. Jeff also works tirelessly to bring Optec further into the public eye, and with the recent purchase of Alnitak Astrosystems, his efforts have begun to pay off.
Tina Dickerman is Optec's marketing and customer service manager. She is the primary voice our customers hear over the phone. As financial manager, Tina also ensures that Optec can continue to provide the high degree service and quality that our customers have come to expect, even when financial times are tough.
Mike Hayden has been with Optec for over 20 years and is the lead technician for the TCF-S and TCF-S 3" focuser. Mike is also responsible for the finish quality of all Optec products including the chemical blackening process used with our brass optical spacers. His attention to detail has reduced our warranty returns to near zero for the products under his responsibility.
Scott Lasby has been with our company for over 30 years and is the lead optical technician for Optec products. He manages the assembly and testing of all optical equipment from our visibility instruments to our SSP Photometers. It is also thanks to Scott that Optec has the capability to manufacture OEM Couplers for microscopy applications.
Candice Sparks is our shop manager and is responsible for running both the CNC turning and mill centers. She is a hard worker and not afraid about getting a little coolant in her hair. Handling 10 pound slugs of raw metal into and out of the machines keeps her lean and mean.
Lee Dickerman is the lead mechanical designer at Optec, and is responsible for creating the designs that Candice makes a reality. Also, Lee is always on the lookout for new ways to improve the efficiency of each product's manufacture.
Jordan Schaenzle is a software engineer that is working with Optec on a consultant basis to improve the quality of our products and workflows. Jordan also works with our in-house engineers on maintaining and upgrading software for all of our products, as well as writing new software for upcoming releases.
John V. is Optec's newest electronics technician. He is responsible for circuit board layout assembly, and quality control, as well as troubleshooting and testing of finished products. John stands by the motto that "A product consists of electronics - everything else is just packaging."
Culver Redd is a software engineer hired for the summers of 2011 and 2012. He has been updating Optec's webpage, which was formerly in sore need of repair, and is responsible for new website features like the Quote Creator as well as a new webpage file structure. Culver has also been assisting Jordan in testing and completing the FocusLynx focuser hub control software.
Zack Coon is an engineering intern hired for the summers of 2011 and 2012. He is working to assist our engineers and technicians in whatever ways he can in order to maintain our reputation of top quality equipment.
Kyle Stanford is a software engineering intern hired for the summer of 2012. He is currently developing software and implementing workflow changes to greatly streamline Optec's inventory management processes.