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Topics - Dave Ittner

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TAC Astro Classifieds / 20" Obsessioin for sale by SJAA
« on: October 04, 2016, 10:52:06 AM »
Hi folks,
SJAA is selling a 20" f/5 Obsession.  This is a donated scope so will be sold as is.
Obsession 20" f/5
Optical Finder
Argo Navis DSC
DSC Stalk Kit
not sure if there is a wireless stellarCAT controller
set of ramps (long and short ones)
removable wheelbarrow handles
Counterweight Kit
dew heater on secondary
powered ground board
6'+ ladder
aluminized cover
and possibly more.
The mirror has been gentility cleaned (no scrubbing).  The scope has been powered up and appears to be fully functional.
Interested parties can come by Houge Park at Noon this Sunday, October 9th to view this scope.
First person to pay gets the scope.  Asking $4500.  Check to be made out to SJAA.
Feel free to email me at should you have any questions.

PS Pic can be found here:

Calendar: Announcements by Clubs, Societies, etc. / SJAA Fall Swap Meet
« on: October 04, 2016, 10:23:42 AM »
SJAA will be conducting the annual Fall Swap Meet on Sunday November 13th.
Details will be on the website as well as in our Meetup Group

Observing Intents / Montebello
« on: August 29, 2016, 11:08:07 PM »
Haven't seen any OIs posted for Montebello in a long time.  Is it being used?  Folks still going up on Wednesdays?


The Swap Meet we held last fall was such a success that this year, the annual Spring Auction will be replaced by another Swap Meet. The date has not changed; it will take place on Sunday, March 20, 2016.  In this very low-key, flea market-like event, you can make your underused astronomy gear available to the local astronomy community, and make a couple bucks while you're at it.  If you are looking for gear, come by and see what's available.

The swap meet will be held from 12 noon until about 2:30 or 3pm, depending on how quickly things slow down.  If you plan on selling items, you can show up as early as 11am to set up.  One thing we learned from the fall is that things get confusing very quickly if people are trying to set up while others are browsing their tables.  People who are only there to possibly buy items will be asked to stay outside until the doors officially open at noon.  Likewise, we'll ask fellow 'sellers' not to browse around while others are setting up.  We appreciate the cooperation.

Details are posted at the link below. Please keep in mind that doors open to sellers at 11am.
We appreciate RSVPs.

And finally, remember that this is a service to the local astronomy community. Donations of 10% of sales to the SJAA are suggested.

Hope to see you there!
Rob Jaworski
San Jose Astronomical Association, est 1954
"Because You Need Your Space"

Hi folks,
SJAA conducts an Annual Auction each Spring. It's a great social event that allows longtime astronomy friends to see each other, it provides a way to buy and sell astronomy gear locally, and it serves as an important fundraiser for the SJAA. However, we’ve had a number of complaints about the auction.   The biggest issue we have heard is that anyone who buys or sells an item has to stay to the very end of the auction.  It is at that time that the books are “settled”, when the money from the buyers is collected and the sellers receive their proceeds from the sale.

This makes for a very long day for everyone involved, not just the buyers and sellers but also the volunteers who run the event.

Last month, we conducted the Annual Swap Meet and raised almost as much money as we did at the auction but with a number of significant benefits to all involved. Sellers were able to set up their wares and negotiate with potential buyers on the spot. The sellers were able to leave any time they felt like it.   Buyers were able to come in and examine all of the available items and also negotiate with sellers.  Once they had items in hand and did not find anything else of interest, they were free to leave. There was significantly less effort invested by those hosting this event.   So overall it appears that it is a win-win-win situation.

The leadership of the SJAA Swap and Auction programs is asking for input on this idea of dropping our Annual Auction and instead replacing it with another Swap Meet.   That would make it 2 swap meets per year.  One in the spring and one in the fall.
The club will advertise to the local amateur astronomy community as well as to the general public so as to maximize participation for all. 

Please reply here (or email with your comments.

Warm regards and best wishes for the Holidays,

Dave Ittner

Hi folks,

SJAA volunteers will help celebrate the winter solstice season where members (current and past), family and friends can get together and share our accomplishments of the year, and discuss ideas, plans and tips and tricks to make 2016 another great year for our astronomical pursuits.  This is an informal social gathering; don't expect a speaker or lecture, or any real structure to the evening. Just come, hang out and have fun!

The details are here:

Hope to see you there!
Rob Jaworski, Treasurer
San Jose Astronomical Association

Hi folks, it's that time of year again.  SJAA is hosting their Annual Fall Swap Meet at Houge Park, Sunday November 22nd.
Details here:

Event: SJAA In-depth Sky Safari Tutorial
Date: Saturday April 25
Time: 7:00pm - 9:00pm
Place: Houge Park, Bld. 1, San Jose
Presentor:  Teruo Utsumi

Members of Bay Area astronomy clubs are welcome!

This is an in-depth tutorial on the use of the Sky Safari astronomy app.  Bring your iOS, Android device or MacBook.  We'll be using Sky Safari 4.  SS3 doesn't have a few features but has almost all the functionality we'll cover.  Note the basic version doesn't have some key features.  We highly recommend either the Plus or Pro.

A number of us at the SJAA use the app as our primary sky atlas in the field.  It's also a great tool to educate yourself and others on many aspects of the night sky.

For details on the app see:
For a comparison of the basic, Plus, and Pro versions, see:

For this tutorial we assume that participants have a basic understanding of amateur astronomy (observing and/or imaging), equipment, and terminology.  The last half hour will be held outdoors so you can put the app through its paces.

Sign up is here:

The signup is optional, but any information will help us prepare for the tutorial.  Those who sign up will receive a confirmation email, map, and other details.

Hope to see you there!

Rants and Off Topic / SJAA Auction - Allowing Bidder to pay and go
« on: March 10, 2015, 03:57:43 PM »
Hi folks,

Another SJAA auction was completed this past Sunday.   Michael Packer did an excellent blog post about that you can read here:

We have everyone stay till the end.   That means all bidders are forced to hang around till well past 4 pm (the targeted auction ending time). 

I think this convention was put in place for a few reasons:
- have bidders pay for their items first
- thus the club would have the money on hand to pay the sellers off

But the club is writing a check to each seller (so we don't need the money at that moment, and the club has enough money in the bank to float the amount paid out to sellers).

I am looking for comments as to the pros and cons of allowing a bidder to pay for their item and leave prior to the end of the auction.



It's that time of year once again ... time for spring cleaning. 
SJAA will be hosting it's 35th Annual Auction
at Houge Park on Sunday March 8th.

For more details please see:,34.0.html
Note this is a work in progress

I am happy to say that an almost complete list of items have been provided for at the link above.
As well as pictures!

Hope to see everyone there.

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