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Messages - Dave Ittner

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Hi folks,
This amazing scope was donated to the club a while back and it is now time to find it a new home.
You can check out some recent pics here:

This scope was last sold in 2014.  Here is the ad in Astromart:

Some differences from the ad to what is available now
- Argo Navis DSC included (not the sky commander)
- no Paracorr
- no Telrad Finder
- no Desert Storm Cover
The scope does come with vehicle ramps though.

This scope will be on view at the upcoming SJAA Swap Meet (unless it is sold prior to that)
feel free to email me if you have any questions

Details about the event have now been updated, please see website.
We will have some great deals being offered so stop on by.
And maybe even a 24" f/4.2 dob ...

SJAA is pleased to announce they will be hosting their Annual Fall Swap Meet
Sunday October 29th at Houge Park, Bldg #1, from Noon to 3 pm.
Details will be updated and available here:
Meetup also has an event posted:
The current details are not completely accurate ... I am just trying to get the word out so folks (and clubs can put it on their calendars)
SJAA will only have 1 table worth of items and maybe a few scopes, so will be taking up very little room.

TAC Visual / Pinnacles NP Road Closure
« on: May 28, 2017, 11:10:22 AM »
Hi folks,

Just a heads up that the road leading in and out of Pinnacles National Park - West Side will be completely closed between the hours of 9 pm to 6 am during the entire month of June.  No idea as to why.

Also, there is a huge construction sign near the visitor's center that is flashing this warning notice in the direction of the parking lot.  It's bright and very irritating.

That means anyone in the park at night will be stuck there till the road reopens in the morning.


(sorry, originally stated Yosemite ... had mush for brains this morning)

Calendar: Announcements by Clubs, Societies, etc. / Re: SJAA Fall Swap Meet
« on: November 07, 2016, 09:06:13 AM »
Just a friendly little reminder that the swap meet is this coming Sunday.
Sellers will be allowed in the building at 11 am.
Doors will open for public at Noon.

Every time this event is held, the place is packed from wall to wall with all sorts of goodies.
You gotta come check it out!

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 / Re: Montebello
« on: August 30, 2016, 12:41:42 AM »
you didn't close/lock the gate behind you?

I think each club has their own viewing locations.

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?

Important information for sellers:

Thank you for taking part in the SJAA Swap Meet as a seller!

The aim of this event is to provide SJAA members and the local amateur astronomy community an opportunity to buy, sell, and trade their little used astronomy gear.  SJAA wants this to be a fun, fair and positive experience for everyone.  As someone who will have items to sell, please be aware of and agree to the following:
a.    Please read and sign this form before setting up.
b.    You will receive a name tag, please write your name on it and wear it where people can see it.
c.    You should have prices in mind ahead of time for all your items and ideally have the pieces labeled with the price.
d.    It’s a good idea to have a towel or sheet to place over your items in case you need to step away. 
e.    Though we don’t expect any nefarious types, SJAA cannot be held responsible for any missing or damaged items
f.    Keep it fair: please refrain from conducting business before the official noon start time, which is when the doors open.
g.    Keep all the business inside the Hall rather than out on the grounds of the park.
h.    If there are any questions or need assistance, please see any of the volunteers.
i.    This event is run 100% by volunteers. The suggested donation to SJAA is 10% of sales.

Thanks for your cooperation.


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"

Hey folks, we solicited comments from the astro community and the members of SJAA and the response we got back was for us to conduct another swap meet instead of an auction.    So that is what we will be doing this coming March.   The details of the event will be posted a month or so ahead of time. 

I would like to thank all of those who took the time to respond with their very thoughtful comments.

FWIW we are also looking into holding 3 swap meets per year (versus the 1 auction in the spring and 1 swap meet in the fall).  One every 4 months.   That should provide folks with plenty of opportunities to buy and sell astro gear. 

hehe John, we (SJAA and myself) very much want everyone's thoughts.  The auction serves the entire astro community which is far larger than just the SJAA membership.  So this change will impact a lot of folks.   Please do share your thoughts and concerns. 

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

A big thanks to all of those who attended.   Great food and great company. 

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