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Nebraska Star Party 2014

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#51 City Kid

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Posted 17 July 2014 - 02:24 PM

I'm wondering how a canopy will hold up in that wind? Hate to go out and buy a new canopy just to have it torn up by the wind on it's maiden trip :(


I have lost two canopies at NSP due to the wind but I will still continue to take one every year. If you intend to spend the days on the observing field you will need one. Both canopies I lost were my fault for not using guy lines and each time it was at the end of the week when it happened which gave me a false sense of security. From now on I will either use guy lines or I will lower it and take the canopy off the frame if it's very windy, or both.

#52 txmnjim

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Posted 17 July 2014 - 09:19 PM

I'm wondering how a canopy will hold up in that wind? Hate to go out and buy a new canopy just to have it torn up by the wind on it's maiden trip :(


I have lost two canopies at NSP due to the wind but I will still continue to take one every year. If you intend to spend the days on the observing field you will need one. Both canopies I lost were my fault for not using guy lines and each time it was at the end of the week when it happened which gave me a false sense of security. From now on I will either use guy lines or I will lower it and take the canopy off the frame if it's very windy, or both.

thanks for the heads up! I will get one and make sure to get some rope for guidelines ;)

#53 City Kid

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Posted 19 July 2014 - 02:26 PM

I started going through all of my camping gear today to get ready for the star party. I should probably apologize in advance 'cause I have a new toy to use in Nebraska (binoviewers) so I hope I'm not jinxing the skies.

#54 omahaastro

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Posted 19 July 2014 - 10:22 PM

This is the first opportunity I've had to bring my 30" out there, so I'm expecting a total cloud out.

#55 txmnjim

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Posted 20 July 2014 - 09:17 PM

ya'll stop all that negativity! it will be HOT with clear skies ;)

#56 kfiscus

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Posted 20 July 2014 - 10:46 PM

In 168 hours, I'll be in stargazing heaven...

#57 OMA

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Posted 21 July 2014 - 04:31 PM

I have a question.

How do you get a scope from where you park to where you set it up. Are they all camping spots you can drive to?

Also, if I don't register and just show up, what disadvantage will that leave me at?

Thanks.

#58 City Kid

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Posted 21 July 2014 - 04:52 PM

You can park and set up your stuff anywhere on the observing field you want. The only issue would be if you want to leave the observing field during the night. In that case there is designated parking for those that don't want to stay all night. I park and observe right next to my tent.

As far as I know there is no disadvantage to registering when you get there other than you don't get the discount you would have gotten for early registration.

#59 City Kid

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Posted 21 July 2014 - 06:19 PM

OMA, just to give you an idea, here is a picture of my set up last year. There are no actual campsites on the observing field but you can camp there and I always do. But if you prefer there are plenty of campgrounds around Merritt Reservoir including one right by the observing field.

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#60 txmnjim

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Posted 21 July 2014 - 07:40 PM

just saw the weather and apparently it hit 105 in Valentine today! this star party is definitely not for the faint of heart, particularly if your tent camping like me :(
Edited to add; Just saw a forecast for next week and there will be a cool down with highs in mid-80's ;)

#61 OMA

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Posted 21 July 2014 - 09:10 PM

Didn't know if I should bring my scope or not. I will now, thanks to that picture.

Thanks City Kid.

#62 omahaastro

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Posted 21 July 2014 - 09:40 PM

Yeah, extended forecast is definitely looking on the cool side... hopefully followed with a nice high pressure system. Bring layers, it will get cold at night.

#63 txmnjim

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Posted 21 July 2014 - 10:36 PM

I plan on finishing my Messier's (already have a binocular Messier) and maybe doing a little fishing ;) I also will bring an old Edmunds Scientific GEM for sale/trade at the swap meet if anyone is interested;
http://www.cloudynig...ct=105632&so...

just thought i'd mention the mount is spoken for but i will also have much of the parts you would need to build an 8" Newtonian; spider w/ secondary mirror, mirror cell, 2" Crayford-style focuser,2 inch focuser extension,etc. Will be looking for an extra redlight since i didn't have time to order one and mine is on its last leg ;)

#64 jerwin

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Posted 22 July 2014 - 12:16 AM

you captured my little truck in the background last year. I got a new forester this year that can hopefully haul more gear.

OMA, just to give you an idea, here is a picture of my set up last year. There are no actual campsites on the observing field but you can camp there and I always do. But if you prefer there are plenty of campgrounds around Merritt Reservoir including one right by the observing field.

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#65 BenT

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Posted 22 July 2014 - 09:51 PM

I'm looking forward to returning after missing the last two years.
I miss the sky there. My cousin Larry will be coming with. :jump:

#66 City Kid

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Posted 23 July 2014 - 08:54 PM

The weather forecast is looking pretty good right now.

#67 Pauls72

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 01:06 PM

The weather forecast is looking pretty good right now.


And even if it does get too hot, you can go to the beginners school and sit inside or go into town and sit in a restaurant or wander around in the stores. You can always sit in the shade of the NSP canopy or under the trees down by the reservoir. There is always enough of a breeze that with a little shade the high heat is tolerable.

#68 Pauls72

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 01:16 PM

Posted Image
you captured my little truck in the background last year. I got a new forester this year that can hopefully haul more gear.


Jim, Phil also captured Hoppy's Van, Ron's SUV, Martin's trailer and I think Bob & Deb's SUV in his picture.

#69 David Knisely

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 08:04 PM

Here is a view of that same observing area, also known as, "The Hill" (a low dune about 15 to 20 feet high on the northwest side of Dob Row). This is from NSP-19 when the sun was setting on the Hill as seen from the west end of Dob row:

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#70 David Knisely

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 08:07 PM

Much later on, I was doing this:

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#71 City Kid

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 08:46 PM

I'm packed and ready to go. I'm heading out tomorrow. So far it looks like it will be clear Saturday night and Sunday night. Rock and roll!

#72 Pauls72

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 09:25 PM

That's my black Durango on the hill. :grin:

Until you have been there or someplace similar it's hard to fathom how really dark it is and how much light there is from the glow of the Milky Way. Dave's second picture does a great job of capturing the Milky Way and it's glow.

#73 txmnjim

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 10:56 PM

Much later on, I was doing this:


nice one David!

#74 OMA

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Posted 25 July 2014 - 05:04 PM

Couple more questions came to mind:

1) I have some wide red tape, I suppose I should cover the dome lights? Anyone duct tape the exterior lights so you can start it to charge something or run a laptop off an inverter for a bit?

2) How secure are your things there? If walk off to go to the bathroom should I worry about that?

3) How is the cell service?

Thanks.

#75 David Knisely

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Posted 25 July 2014 - 07:41 PM

Couple more questions came to mind:

1) I have some wide red tape, I suppose I should cover the dome lights? Anyone duct tape the exterior lights so you can start it to charge something or run a laptop off an inverter for a bit?

2) How secure are your things there? If walk off to go to the bathroom should I worry about that?

3) How is the cell service?

Thanks.


1. Yes, if you cannot disable the interior dome lights, cover them with a double layer of red cellophane. However, running an engine even briefly on the observing fields is severely frowned upon, which is why most of us use big external battery packs for our electronics. I once also covered my backup lights with a layer of rubylith, although you have to be careful to remember to pull it off later on :). I can switch off all my minivan's interior lights using the main dashlight control on the dash, but the darn odometer still often sits there and glows bright green for a while if I open a door. I sometimes just throw my jacket over the dash to keep it from being seen. Some people who can't control their interior lights will put duct tape on one of the light pins in the doors to keep that spring-loaded switch in the off position.

2. I like to observe in a group (helps with security), and while over the past 21 years at NSP I have never had anyone mess with my stuff, I suppose it might happen.

3. Cell service is a little spotty depending on the carrier, although some people's data service is fairly good (good enough that one of my friends sets up a wi-fi hot spot for us down near his trailer).

Well, I have arrived in Valentine and checked into my motel for the week, but the satellite images show lines of developing thunderstorms approaching from the west that may get here in an hour or two. So much for tonight, although unlike the rest of Nebraska right now, the temperature is rather pleasant (75F in Valentine and a nice breeze in distinct contrast to my home in Beatrice where it is in the upper 90's with humidity approaching 60%). I just got back from the motel's bar/restaurant after a good beef brisket sandwich, so I guess there are worst places to be right now (nice just sitting on the bar's deck tonight and not doing anything after a 6-hour drive). I need a little more sleep anyway, as I didn't get much last night (I never seem to the night before I head out to NSP). Tomorrow is supposed to be clear, but lately, the National Weather Service forecast office has not exactly had a stellar track record in predicting sky conditions. Like most years at NSP, it is just wait and see....

Clear skies to you.






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