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Star party slimdown

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#26 Dwight J

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Posted 15 August 2014 - 05:25 PM

After almost 30 yrs of star parties I have learned what equipment gets used and what to leave at home.  I used to pack astro photography scopes and gear but rarely used it once I started looking through my 16" Dob.  Now it's down to one scope and one pair of binos.  I attend the Saskatchewan Star Party where each site has power and water with a main shower building.  There is a restaurant nearby for meals so the cooler only needs to carry water and beer.  As I got older I found the more rustic star parties unattractive due to a lack of amenities.  I downgraded from RV's to a tent with a cot to make it simpler yet.  Keeping it simple makes it a recreational experience, not a chore.  



#27 Dan Finnerty

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Posted 15 August 2014 - 06:59 PM

 

The Boy Scout saw is "Think ounces, save pounds".  The Ranger adage is "Travel light, freeze by night" (as if you ever get a chance to sleep at night).

... I have collapsible Lexan martini glasses, Lexan flasks for adult goodies, a Lexan cocktail shaker, folding chopsticks for asian fusion meals, titanium sporks, nesting pots and pans, a main stove and a back-up stove, ...

- Jim

 

 Can I be your Sou Chef on your next trip? :)



#28 jrbarnett

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Posted 15 August 2014 - 09:55 PM

 

 

The Boy Scout saw is "Think ounces, save pounds".  The Ranger adage is "Travel light, freeze by night" (as if you ever get a chance to sleep at night).

... I have collapsible Lexan martini glasses, Lexan flasks for adult goodies, a Lexan cocktail shaker, folding chopsticks for asian fusion meals, titanium sporks, nesting pots and pans, a main stove and a back-up stove, ...

- Jim

 

 Can I be your Sou Chef on your next trip? :)

 

Of course!

 

The menu planning is underway.  I'm thinking an Iliad/Mediterranean theme this time.  Perhaps some Sigalas Athiri-Assyrtico blend from the volcanic slopes of ancient Thera, Gaia Retsina (yes, there is "good" retsina, believe it or not).  Maybe some Metaxa Ouzo or Turkish Raki instead of pastis.  Grilled chicken Shawerma with hummus, tahini, lettuce, tomato and a feta lemon-mustard dressing salad on the side.  Chicken, preserved lemon, olive tagine over seasoned coucous another night.  Grilled cumin and coriander scented beef kabobs with veggies for lunch, and of course Mexican one night.  Marinated flat-iron steak asada with jalapeno black beans, guacamole and tortillas, Carta Blancas and fresh lime, Herradura and Cointreau and blue agave with lemon-sugar-salt margaritas...  See, now I'm doing it again.  :lol:

 

- Jim 



#29 Mike B

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Posted 18 August 2014 - 01:50 PM

Like, seriously wild, man.



#30 GeneT

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Posted 18 August 2014 - 03:00 PM

Yes--I also just take the stuff I really need. One eyepiece case (large) holds most of my eyepieces; an observer's  chair, and a folding table to hold the eyepiece case and star maps. My Portaball's UTA nestles in the sphere, and the whole thing sits in my front seat. The sphere also holds the shroud and Telrad. The trusses sit nestle in a small tube. If I stay overnight, I pack a tent and chest for drinks and food. I also can just lay one of the front seats back in my SUV for sleep.

When you get older, you learn to keep it simple.



#31 csrlice12

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Posted 18 August 2014 - 06:01 PM

10"dob, eyepiece case, stool, accessory case, a small cloth cooler w/drinks, and a small table...and I'm set for the night......oh, and mosquito repellent (in season).



#32 Feidb

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Posted 18 August 2014 - 10:46 PM

 

Star parties are about people, who all have different approaches, perspectives, experience, and agendas. 

I intend to do serious observing, but that falls by the wayside.

I try to say hello to everyone at least once, take interest in what others are doing, and take peeks thru interesting scopes. It's good form, and good manners, to act in such manner at a star party. I freely dispense advice, and receive the same with an open mind. 

 

When I have done "serious" observing, it's been after midnight when most of the other other attendees are asleep. 

 

(Its not even easy for me to claim "serious observing". The longer I'm I this hobby, the more I realize nothing I've done is really serious (Robert Burnham Jr serious)  Most of it is enjoyable however. )

Binojunky, to me, the whole point of going to annual star parties is to take the only scope I use (though I have many) and do some serious observing. Star parties aren't social events to me. The social part is just a side issue (bonus). I'm not about to waste my vacation time and dark sky nights just to sit around and look through other people's scopes when I have a perfectly good one of my own.

 

I can't even relate to your statement.

 

The Ardent,

 

Let me clarify what I actually DO at the star parties I attend. While I DO have my own agenda, and it doesn't include simply socializing and not using my own scope during the two or three days I'm there, that doesn't mean I'm a hermit. Far from it. Okay, I left a few things out. As with each of our events here in Las Vegas, they're public, which means, since I have one of the larger scopes, the first few hours of the evening are dedicated to outreach. That means, until about ten each evening, I usually have a long line at my scope and stick mostly to the "tourist objects." Of course, if I have certain observing goals for the evening I need to sneak in before the objects go down, and they're not too obscure, I add them to what I show.

 

I do a lot of nudging, adjusting the ladder, talking, explaining, and generally holding my bladder while I keep the crowd happy for hours. As for circulating, I usually do that before it gets dark. I get to my "serious" okay, change that silly word to "dedicated" observing after the crowd dies down. What does that mean? I then start chasing my faint fuzzies (see other thread about that term). That might mean, I work in silence for several hours. It might mean, someone comes up and asks for help to confirm an object they just found, or it might mean I go over to my Mallincam friend for verification of something I just found (or another scope). I DO circulate, depending on what's going on with everyone else. I also check with any astrophotographers to make sure I don't aim my green laser pointer where they're imaging.

 

So, in conclusion, when I go to star parties, I don't isolate myself and become a hermit in some corner. I just don't come scope-less and spend my time looking through everyone else's scopes. I make the most use of my time. Get the most bang for my buck and still say hi to everyone.

 

I hope that clarifies that for you.

 

All the best.



#33 Binojunky

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Posted 19 August 2014 - 02:39 PM

Well it looks like my annual party is going to be a no go this year, recovering from a nasty summer cold and cough and a very poor weather forecast, clouds and rain for several days, anyway theirs always next year. Dave. :sigh:



#34 csrlice12

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Posted 19 August 2014 - 05:55 PM

Best unplanned starparty was about three weeks ago when I went out to the dark site with my dob.  Thought I'd have the place to myself, but at dusk a car shows up and a guy had a new WO f6.9 102mm triplet APO he brought to try out (all he had was a photo tripod though), but, we tried the longer f/l XWs in it on the crescent moon and on Saturn....He was finally able to get Saturn with a 5mm XW in view (nice view,but almost impossible to track, guess it shows how "serious"  he was.  Along about 10pm a truck pulling a trailer pulls into the dark site....inside the trailer was a 20" Webster with a Zambuto Mirror and GoTo AND set up for binoviewing.  Saw M13 thru it (bino'd ES68* 20mm's) and was just floored.  There were only four of us there that night total, but we had fun viewing......


Edited by csrlice12, 19 August 2014 - 05:55 PM.


#35 MarcF650R

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Posted 20 August 2014 - 08:17 AM

We slimmed down for StarFest...Just our two lovable Tele Vues, our 8X56 binocs and our SP-C6...still dragging out the EQ6 though...


Edited by MarcF650R, 20 August 2014 - 08:18 AM.







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