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Winter Star Party 2013

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#26 bakerman

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 09:33 AM

This will be my first time at WSP. Any suggestions about when to line up to get in on Monday morning? I am bringing a 4" refractor, and not doing astrophotography. Also, in looking at pictures of the WSP, some people use tarps on the ground under their equipment. Any pro/cons to a tarp? Are fire ants a problem on the observing field?
Thanks.

#27 bierbelly

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 10:17 AM

This will be my first time at WSP. Any suggestions about when to line up to get in on Monday morning? I am bringing a 4" refractor, and not doing astrophotography. Also, in looking at pictures of the WSP, some people use tarps on the ground under their equipment. Any pro/cons to a tarp? Are fire ants a problem on the observing field?
Thanks.


Fire ants are a problem all over the island. I think the tarps are more for avoiding the loss of items dropped in the dark. No reason to get in line before about 4pm Monday. (Don't want you in line ahead of me...).

Oh, and welcome to CN!

#28 Alvan Clark

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 02:12 PM

Any suggestions about when to line up to get in on Monday morning?


4AM if you want to be near the front of the line. With your setup, don't think it matters much. 4PM should work.

#29 bierbelly

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 02:15 PM

So that we CNers can identify ourselves at WSP, I propose that we all wear...pocket protectors!

#30 DeanS

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 05:11 PM

The Sheriff enforces the no parking along the road before set time. Look at the website so you don't get there too early and have to keep on driving. I think it is 6am?

#31 Cotts

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 10:44 PM

The "cops will not allow anyone to line up before 6am" myth is alive and well, I see. Several people at the front of the line park there every year the night before and sleep in their cars!!! At my first WSP, six years ago I arrived sharply at 6am and was 35th in line! 35th!!!!! That 'rule' does not exist.

I would recommend to Bakerman that you get there mid morning at the very latest so as to have a good shot at a nice spot inside. 4pm is waaaaaay too late, especially if you don't know your way around the site as a first-timer. They have indicated to me that this year's WSP will have a much larger crowd than in the past few years (apparently the Chickees are sold out, 6 people to a Chickee this year, a level of crowding that I have not seen since I first attended in 2007) -see Sergio's post upthread....

Get there early and hang out in the lineup, meet some folks, get some advice from veterans on good places to set up.

Dave

#32 Doc Willie

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 04:54 PM

Since I am driving all the way down there, I would like to spend a few more days, either in FL or GA. Any suggestions for a dark astrofriendly site?

#33 Cotts

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 06:45 PM

Hi, Willie. Bahia Honda State Park is right next door (under a couple of miles east... IIRC) You'd need your tent....

Also, PM sent.

Dave

#34 crazyqban

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 11:21 PM

Bakerman, bring a bag or two of fire ant killer pesticide. Sprinkle it around your campsite or scope and you don't have to worry about the fireants.

Willie, you could visit the Deerlick Astronomy Village in Georgia or the Chiefland Astronomy Village in Florida. Both are great but Chiefland has more restaurants and and stuff to do around the area.

#35 BJS

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 03:18 PM

I will be attending the WSP for the first time this year. I would like to know from those who have been there; what type of tent stakes work best? The "nail" style or the wider "military" style. See pictures to see what i am referring to.

Thanks, Brian

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#36 BJS

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 03:18 PM

Here is a picture of the "nail" style.

Brian

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#37 crazyqban

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 03:45 PM

Brian, I have always used the stakes that came with my Coleman tent with no issues. If you go too deep you can run into super hard coral. When we setup the vendor tents this happens all the time and we need a jack hammer. This is when using commercial grade stakes that are really heavy, long and thick. You should be ok with either one of the ones that you posted but make sure you have a mallet or hammer to drive them in should you encounter some concrete hard coral.

#38 Howie Glatter

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 07:51 PM

I think stout nail stakes are stronger and have a better chance of surviving if you are on coral rock. Bring a heavy hammer. The sheet metal stakes just buckle.
After dealing with the coral in the vendor area for ten years, I'm very happy to have graduated to a Sprinter van motor home.

#39 Doc Willie

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 10:45 PM

During really high winds, I found nothing that worked. There is only 4-6 in of soil, then you hit solid coral rock. My tent broke a strut. Two others ended up in the bushes somewhere. Jackhammer sounds like the best idea.

For me, chickee or I no go.

#40 Patrick

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 12:00 PM

Hi all,

I'm trying to evaluate my power needs for WSP at the observing site. Did I understand correctly that AC power is generally available provided I bring along my own extension cords? Are there areas that 'late comers' might get stuck with that won't have access to power? Should I plan on bringing extra batteries just in case?

Thanks,

Patrick

#41 Alvan Clark

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 03:41 PM

Should I plan on bringing extra batteries just in case?


Yes. They have several junction boxes for power. In the past they laid out cords and you plugged in your cords daisy chain fashion. This year they will stop doing that it seems. Not sure why.

the main junctions will probably be all used by someone else, so if the person next to you or a little ways down has power, then you need to ask them if you can daisy chain along.

#42 BJS

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 04:44 PM

Patrick

When are you leaving for florida? We plan to leave sunday late morning.
We plan on making a couple of stops on the way down, so we will arrive at the wsp late tue or wed.

As far as power: the wsp had a trailer full of their electrical equipment stollen. That is why there is some confusion about this years power setup. I would bring batteries as back up and an extension cord to connect to the available power.

Brian

#43 bakerman

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Posted 13 January 2013 - 09:53 AM

thanks to all who have responded to my newbie questions. see you down there.

peter

#44 crazyqban

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Posted 13 January 2013 - 08:49 PM

Hello all, I just spoke to the head of the WSP Host Committee and he told me that many of the answers to general WSP questions can be found on the WSP website. Here is the link...

Winter Star Party Official Site

In regards to the power question, here is the answer direct from the website...

"As in previous years, the WSP will be providing "power stations" conveniently located on the field to provide AC power for telescopes. However, the WSP will no longer be providing extension cords to run from the power stations to your equipment on the field. It is recommended that you bring a 100 ft electric extension cord and a multi-outlet surge protector (all outdoor rated) to the WSP to accommodate your electric needs."

He also told me that we have a Yahoo group and questions that are posted there are usually answered by him of the WSP director.

Not that I mind answering questions, but sometimes it takes a couple of days for me to reply. At the website you can get instant information and the yahoo group has the folks that run the event and they are very responsive. See you all in a couple of weeks :jump:

#45 crazyqban

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Posted 13 January 2013 - 08:53 PM

They have several junction boxes for power. In the past they laid out cords and you plugged in your cords daisy chain fashion. This year they will stop doing that it seems. Not sure why.


The trailer in which all of the infrastructure supplies for the WSP was stolen. In it were all of the power stations and extension cords. I don't think that they were able to replace all of the cords that were stolen at once. There were several hundred and they are pricey. Maybe after a couple of years of re-stocking on the extension cords there will be plenty for all once again but I am not sure of those are the plans.

#46 Doc Willie

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Posted 13 January 2013 - 08:54 PM

I am donating the base of my now disasembled Coulter telescope to the Ozark Skies Astronomy Club in Van Buren Missouri. Is anybody coming to WSP who would be going back that way who could drop it off for us? I would bring it down toe WSP. Shipping is pretty prohibitive for this hunk of particle board.

#47 Patrick

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 12:29 AM

Patrick

When are you leaving for florida? We plan to leave sunday late morning.
We plan on making a couple of stops on the way down, so we will arrive at the wsp late tue or wed.



Hi Brian,

I'm planning to leave on Friday but I'll be stopping in Tampa for a day. I should arrive at WSP on Monday sometime, hopefully not too late in the day.

Patrick

#48 bierbelly

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 10:06 AM

Patrick

When are you leaving for florida? We plan to leave sunday late morning.
We plan on making a couple of stops on the way down, so we will arrive at the wsp late tue or wed.



Hi Brian,

I'm planning to leave on Friday but I'll be stopping in Tampa for a day. I should arrive at WSP on Monday sometime, hopefully not too late in the day.

Patrick


Patrick,

I suspect that if you were to contact the powers that be at WSP and explain your need, they would find a way to accomodate you.

#49 DeanS

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 12:01 PM

After 7 in a row it looks like I may miss this one :(

Oh well, but I will be down in Key West the last week of Feb so not all is lost ;)

Hope the weather is great for everyone.

#50 crazyqban

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 08:28 PM

Patrick, Brian, all... Please be aware that at 7pm the main gate closes for all traffic. Please take this into account when making your travel plans. If you arrive after 7pm, they will not allow you to drive your car past the main gate.






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