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Topics - John Pierce

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1
Annual Star Parties / CalStar 2017
« on: July 03, 2017, 11:22:08 PM »
Looks like the dates have been set for CalStar 2017, its September 20-24, at Whisper Canyon again, in South Monterey County...

Full details:  http://calstar.observers.org/

2
Observing Sites / Pinnacles
« on: June 28, 2017, 02:55:13 PM »
dunno why this wasn't listed before!

Pinnacles is a National Park.    visitors, including astronomers, must pay day use fees (unless you have a national park pass).   West side entrance has an automatic gate that closes to incoming traffic at 8pm, but allows leaving at any time.   

https://www.nps.gov/pinn/planyourvisit/maps.htm  is a handy map for the whole park.

setup areas on west side include the parking lot near the Visitors Center, as well as the Chaparral Trailhead at the end of the road.

GPS Coordinates of Visitor Center Parking:  36.478425,-121.2276078    access is from Soledad on highway 101, take state route 146 to the park.

East Side has steep ridges on both sides of entrance, there is, however, a campground (privately operated park concession), which requires reservations.  Campground itself is rather sandy, but there's a few places to setup telescopes in the parking lots farther up, specifically the Bear Gulch parking lot and trailhead.

3
SCAC is planning on going to Pinnacles West on July 22 for a star party...   As usual, anyone else who wants to show up is welcome.   I believe the entrance gate auto-locks at 8pm, so be sure to arrive well before that... the gate will allow exiting at any time.    I'm not quite sure where we're going to setup, probably in the main parking lot near the Visitors Center.

4
TAC Visual / Yosemite club weekends this year...
« on: June 12, 2017, 05:52:45 PM »
heads up, all you folks who join various astronomy clubs Glacier Point weekends.   The Bridalveil Creek Campground where they normally bunk 'us' won't open until August ....  and they aren't doing what they did in 2005, which was to put us at Badger Pass in an overflow parking lot, so my club, who has next weekend, is scrambling to find alternatives... EVERYTHING is booked solid except some $$$$ B&B kinda places in Oakhurst or Coarsegold (2 hours+ from Glacier Pt, ugh!)

5
NGC/IC Project / Corrected NGC v0 online
« on: April 26, 2017, 12:56:03 PM »
I've crudely organized the raw NGC html files I got from Akarsh in folders per 100, and put them up here, http://www.ngcicproject.org/NGC/  so at least there's SOMETHING here.

So who has the IC data?

6
NGC/IC Project / NGC/IC Project
« on: April 24, 2017, 02:48:22 PM »
The long running ngcicproject.org website almost was lost forever when the original website owner passed away.  We are in the process of pulling together the pieces and recreating it.

This forum section is for discussions related to the process of resurrecting and restoring this valuable astronomy resource, and ongoing maintenance once its back in place.


7
Equipment Discussions / new toys
« on: April 19, 2017, 11:50:40 AM »


(new ones being the 18 and 24)

now I guess we get bad weather inspite of the forecast?

9
TAC Imaging / A question for you DSLR imagers...
« on: April 07, 2017, 05:28:22 PM »
About to dive back into DSLR astrophotography, initially using my 80 f/11 on a losmandy made CI-700 (yeah, overkill!)...    will be using my Windows laptop to handle autoguiding via phd2, yada yada.    Wondering whats the SW of choice for Canon DSLR management, is it still BackyardEOS ?

10
Annual Star Parties / Lake San Antonio reopens!
« on: March 29, 2017, 09:14:12 PM »
heard on the teevee news (KSBW) last night that LSA has reopened, weekends for now, and 7 days/week in may.

does this mean CalStar might move back to LSA, or is it likely to stay at Whisper Canyon?

11
Equipment Discussions / acquired a celestron ci700 (losmandy g11)
« on: March 23, 2017, 02:04:02 PM »
so I just acquired a rather nice CI700 equatorial mount, this was a celestron branded 'cheapened' version of the Losmandy G11...   its a beast.  has alt and dec slo-mo motors but no goto.









I initially was thinking of using it for unguided piggyback as I don't really have a suitable scope for it, but now I'm wondering if I couldn't rebuild my Coulter 10" F/4.5 ... use one of Mark's Astrogoods alloy tubes, a better focuser than I now have, shorten up the tube enough that I can achieve focus with my DSLR (the secondary on the coulter is huge).  I have already replaced the coulter's primary mirror cell with one of Mark's creations, and the secondary spider with a curved vane spider from 1800destiny. 

http://www.astrogoods.com/atmparts.shtml

am I nuts for thinking this is a good idea?   the mount is rated for 60 lbs of instruments, 100 lbs total.   Celestron sold it with  C11 and C14 telescopes on it :-O


12
TAC Visual / Solar Binocs!
« on: March 01, 2017, 08:13:04 PM »


those are 100mm binoculars, with the 14mm eyepieces, they are 42X

thats V0.1 ...   the yellow frames were 3D printed and not quite dimensionally accurate, so I need to do some tweaking.  I have some felt strips I'm going to add to the top and bottom so they fit more securely.    The ThousandOaks solar film wrinkled a bit when I taped it down, so I need to lift the tape, and trim the edges just a bit, then tape it down again.   Finally, I want to cover in black gaffers tape to reduce glare from the yellow plastic.    I might move the solar film to the front when I trim it.


13
TAC Visual / Eclipse Glasses for uber Nerds...
« on: March 01, 2017, 06:25:22 PM »


thats a pair of Hobart welding goggles, retrofitted with shade 14 50mm lenses (they come with shade 5 which is far too light for sun viewing).

coming soon, my optician said they can cut me my Rx onto 50mm circular plastic, and index mark them so I install them correctly :)   this should be good :)

actually, since taking that selfie, I've also shortened the bridge so they fit tighter to my nose and are parallel and not walleyed like in the pic.

and after the eclipse, I guess I could wear them to burning man!

14
Forum stuff / fixed a dns registration problem!
« on: February 01, 2017, 10:31:01 PM »
I found and fixed a dns registraiton problem for the observers.org domain, so access to this forum should be much more reliable.   It was causing erratic DNS not found errors before.

15
Annual Star Parties / GSSP 2017!
« on: January 22, 2017, 09:54:02 PM »
Coming Soon, GSSP 2017!    June 21-25, 2017, at Frosty Acres Ranch

http://goldenstatestarparty.org

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