Posted 16 August 2013 - 03:15 PM
Posted 16 August 2013 - 07:41 PM
Posted 16 August 2013 - 09:57 PM
There were observations of a small vehicle arriving the day before with no astro equipment and no tent, sleeping bag, etc. The driver cruised around and found a shady place near the vendor's area and was working with an iPad. The driver then parked his vehicle outside of the gate towards evening and left shortly after the theft. This was realized too late. We need to be more vigilant on visitors to these things.
Posted 16 August 2013 - 11:27 PM
Sorry about your eyepiece loss, but worse the loss of your happy trustful feeling at your star party.
Posted 17 August 2013 - 11:35 AM
Beyond "outreach" the press reports of star parties are drawing in a number of curious people with no real background in astronomy. Also, to a kid, a fancy eyepiece looks like a real "treasure" to hide under the bed.
While I leave my scopes and other heavy stuff set up while away, I always put my eyepieces, cameras, and PC in my locked truck cab. I secure any small but high-value item. Nevertheless, I've never directly experienced any theft at a major star party and I've been going to them for nearly 20 years. None of my friends have had anything stolen either.... lost in the grass *yes*, stolen, nope.
Posted 17 August 2013 - 02:07 PM
Posted 17 August 2013 - 02:23 PM
Posted 18 August 2013 - 09:34 AM
I much preferred the insular and somewhat arcane amateur astronomy of old; like it or not, it tended to keep out the riff-raff... that horse isn't going back to the barn anytime soon, but it's within one's power to avoid astronomical gatherings that are open to the general public, which is the course of action I've taken since the early 1990's. Elitist, you say? No, simply common sense... just as I would not leave jewelry lying around a bus station and not expect it to grow legs, neither would I trust valuable, easily portable equipment to the tender mercies of current-day public star party attendees, among whom a not statistically-insignificant number may well be of lax morals.
My condolences to the OP on the loss of your eyepiece.
Posted 18 August 2013 - 05:24 PM
I've attended about 35 major star parties, and I've not seen a single incident involving an attendee (I've heard of a few losses from vendors). Certainly, it's not something that I've had to worry about.
As for public nights, I can say that some of my best memories are visiting with folks that come out to the public night. This was especially true of Shingletown Star Party when the group out of San Francisco organized it. The first year we went, we drove into Redding for lunch one day and had a nice chat with our waitress about it. On public night, she brought out her family to view with us. And she came out on each of the remaining years as well, until the event moved to Golden State.
Posted 24 August 2013 - 02:47 PM
Machinists frequently mark their precision tools, perhaps we should do this also. Engrave a number on the barrel. If it is stolen put the type of eyepiece and its number on any forum likely to find a buyer. At least it will be harder to sell. In fact, I am going mark mine this afternoon.
What, you say, its no longer mint! Hey if some person wants to buy an eyepiece and a unique identifying number bothers him/her, then they can pass on the sale. But I bet if I put a sign out saying "All my equipment is marked with unique identifiers" I suspect the thief will pass me by for an easier mark.
Sorry for your loss.
Posted 24 August 2013 - 08:39 PM
Considering the venue of the thefts, such signs would have to be dimly lit for the edification of the potential thieves and to avoid harming the dark adaption of stargazers in the area.
Posted 25 August 2013 - 06:47 AM
Posted 25 August 2013 - 12:03 PM
I have my doubts that these are professional thieves given that only single eyepieces seem to the stolen at any particular party. Not much potential profit. That brings up the creepy amateur hypothesis....
Posted 25 August 2013 - 11:18 PM
Posted 02 October 2013 - 09:45 PM
When it was over I packed up my 16 into my van, and stepped into the nearest porta potty for some relief before the long drive home.
I had foolishly left the tailgate of my van open.
After I emerged from the bathroom, I closed the tailgate, and said my farewells and headed home.
After I returned home I was unpacking my 16 and noticed that my 80mm finder scope had gone missing.
The thief had loosened all 6 alignment screws on the finder bracket and slid the finder out. [while it was in the back of my van]
I'm sure it was the sleazeball "friend" that also embezzled from our astronomy club, but I had no solid proof. Yet he was the only one within the vicinity of my van.
He had called me a few weeks later to go out observing, and I told him that I'd rather not go with him.
I haven't seen him since.
Be careful who you associate with...
This guy was slick, and a very good talker.
Ever since then when I go to any star party I no longer leave anything out that can be walked off with.
Posted 09 October 2013 - 02:51 PM
Posted 09 October 2013 - 09:08 PM
...nor do I think we are sinking into the abyss of moral relativism (whatever that is)
Moral Relativism is just what is says. It is the idea of no concrete right and wrong. In this view, everyone can have their own idea of what is right and wrong. If you have three of something, I can steal one because, in their view, you don't NEED three, so stealing in this case is not wrong. This is becoming the new reason for doing wrong things - just another way to make wrong seem right!
Posted 10 October 2013 - 04:29 AM
Posted 10 October 2013 - 06:26 AM
just the way it is
most people are good
a few are not
Posted 10 October 2013 - 06:48 AM
The people in some countries think that wars of agression based on lies, in which the perpertrators are unpunished is moral, so it may depend on how you define your morals.
Posted 10 October 2013 - 09:49 PM
exactly why I do not attend "star parties" or anything else involving scopes. Nothing more annoying than people blabbing or bothering me while enjoying the solitude of observing through a nice telescope. Add to that the kids messing with equipment, bums walking off with expensive eyepieces, and others asking for the fiftieth time our LAT LONG coordinates. Sounds like they are more trouble than they are worth.
Just curious, are your statements based on your personal experience or based on hearsay? If it's based on your reality then I suggest you attend higher quality star parties. Find those based in remote locations that require effort to get to. This is often a fine filter to cut out the majority of the riff raff. On the other hand as is known, some filters leak. Such is life. If you enjoy observing alone then do so and enjoy it. Star parties aren't for everyone.
99% of the time I observe alone so I attend star parties so that I can meet up with others who like to observe because for the most part I don't find that with my club. On the whole I expect my "hard core" observing to be somewhat disrupted by the star party atmosphere but I think it's a fair trade off. After all party is in the name. It is unfortunate about the OP's story but I won't let it sully my general opinion about star parties.
Posted 11 October 2013 - 12:36 PM