Return to the Cloudy Nights Telescope Reviews home pageAstronomics discounts for Cloudy Nights members
· Get a Cloudy Nights T-Shirt · Submit a Review / Article

Click here if you are having trouble logging into the forums

Privacy Policy | Please read our Terms of Service | Signup and Troubleshooting FAQ | Problems? PM a Red or a Green Gu… uh, User

General Astronomy >> General Observing and Astronomy

Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | (show all)
Sean13
sage


Reged: 11/17/12

Loc: North Platte, Nebraska
Re: Unattended Telescope Security? new [Re: Sean13]
      #5818416 - 04/23/13 06:58 PM

Really liking that observing tent as well, may have to save some money and just purchase that and a basic proximity alarm.

I would love to be able to stay awake while my scope is in use (I do photography only, I don't even own an eyepiece), but it just doesn't always happen. Not to mention a lot of my work is done in the ice cold of winter, while I sit inside my warm garage or tent operating the scope with my computer. Telescopes are amazing, but seeing it take the same picture over and over again for hours gets a little boring, and sleep gets the best of me. I suppose I could just leave the scope at home only if I wanted to eliminate risk, but if thats the case it makes me wonder why I even bought a portable scope in the first place.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Achernar
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 02/25/06

Loc: Mobile, Alabama, USA
Re: Unattended Telescope Security? new [Re: Sean13]
      #5818464 - 04/23/13 07:16 PM

I leave mine set up at star parties or my front yard, and when I am using it at home, I am always nearby. At star parties I cover the primary mirror, or if incliment weather is coming, stow in in the car with the eyepieces before retiring for the night. I do not think someone would steal my large Dob, but they could steal eyepieces or vandalize my telescope. That is why I do not leave my equipment unattended, there are a lot of brats or thugs in training out there who will destroy someone's equipment any chance they get. Also, if I feel there is any potential for danger to my person, I will not observe there.

Taras


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
City Kid
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/06/09

Loc: Northern Indiana
Re: Unattended Telescope Security? new [Re: Sean13]
      #5818474 - 04/23/13 07:22 PM

At the Nebraska Star Party I regularly leave my scope unattended during the day. I suppose someone could steal it but I guess I'll continue to take my chances. At night I'm always using my scope so it's never unattended. My eyepieces and other small valuables get locked away anytime I'm not with them.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
tomcody
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 07/06/08

Loc: Titusville, Florida
Re: Unattended Telescope Security? new [Re: Sean13]
      #5818492 - 04/23/13 07:30 PM

link
You could use a product like the pet tracker (see link). If you attached it to your scope and it moved outside of a user defined area, an alarm is sent to your smart phone, you can then track it anywhere. And you can use it for the dog (or kid ) when not on the scope.
Rex


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Sean13
sage


Reged: 11/17/12

Loc: North Platte, Nebraska
Re: Unattended Telescope Security? new [Re: tomcody]
      #5818980 - 04/24/13 12:08 AM

Another great idea! Although I don't like the idea of continually having to pay a monthly fee, I guess the fee is pretty small for the piece of mind of being able to track your equipment.

I'm glad to hear that most everyone has positive experiences at the Nebraska star party. I'm really looking forward to it as this will be my first large star party and the skies up there around Valentine are so incredibly dark its almost scary to be out at night. Not to mention the fishing at Merritt res. is usually fantastic, so be sure to bring your fishing gear if your into that.

Looking forward to seeing all you guys there. I think I've got a pretty good handle on security of my scope now with all your recommendations. Thanks a ton!


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Greyhaven
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/11/04

Loc: Greater downtown Maine
Re: Unattended Telescope Security? new [Re: Sean13]
      #5819025 - 04/24/13 01:01 AM

I never leave small items unattended at star parties.But, I camp where I observe the scopes are left out but covered .I can not imagine not being awake and close by if I was
imaging. I think the only thing that disappeared at a star party was a cheap green laser that I Had adapted to be powered by my power tank.Never really cared for it anyway over rated and quite unneeded bit of kit,unless maybe suiting an outreach events with novices.
Be well
Grey


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
berobertsmd
super member


Reged: 09/28/09

Loc: Brandon, Mississippi
Re: Unattended Telescope Security? new [Re: Greyhaven]
      #5819210 - 04/24/13 06:45 AM

Sean,
For your consideration. There is a "Gun Sitter" type system available on Amazon that may fit your needs for $27.96. Go to Amazon and search for Dakota Alert Cable Alarm DK-CA-01. If you chose a cable system, any of your equipment that did not have a opening to thread the cable thru,(like a DSLR camera)could probably be temporarily attached to the cable with a zip tie. Take care-
Bruce


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
rookie
Good Night Nurse
*****

Reged: 01/14/06

Loc: St. Petersburg, FL
Re: Unattended Telescope Security? new [Re: berobertsmd]
      #5819232 - 04/24/13 07:16 AM

I set up my CPC8 at a city science festival for solar observing. Late afternoon we started putting equipment away. I had put the caps on the OTA and diagonal and put the accessories in my gear box. I had my back turned for less than 1 minute. When I returned to the scope all caps had been remove and were missing. I looked around at the milling crowd and saw a young teenager with my 8" OTA cover in his hand. He was already 100 ft away. I rescued all my gear and am thankful I spotted the kid.

I've heard of people losing gear in the dark too. I have nice ep's and put out of sight those not in use particularly at public viewings.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Pharquart
sage
*****

Reged: 11/11/09

Loc: Southwest Minneapolis Metro
Re: Unattended Telescope Security? new [Re: rookie]
      #5819267 - 04/24/13 08:02 AM

Quote:

When I returned to the scope all caps had been remove and were missing. I looked around at the milling crowd and saw a young teenager with my 8" OTA cover in his hand.




Those OTA caps have a really high street value, after all.

I've always figured that some venues or activities lend themselves to more honorable behavior. I've done tons of tent camping my whole life. If there was ever a place with tons of gear, some very expensive, left out in the open, unsecured, that would be it. I rarely worry about it, and I've (fortunately) never had anything stolen. When I was a kid growing up in Wisconsin, deer hunting was a big thing in November. You park the car along side the road where you walk into the woods. Lock it, sure. But you don't want to carry jangly keys with you in the woods, so what do you do with them? Put them on top of the right front tire. I'll bet I could walk up to 20 cars along side the road during deer season, and 19 of them would have the car keys on the right front tire. Not only could you steal whatever was in the car, you could steal the car! Maybe it's changed since then. If there's a sudden rash of car thefts during deer season now, I'll alert the cops to start browsing the astronomy forums!

Brian


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Sean13
sage


Reged: 11/17/12

Loc: North Platte, Nebraska
Re: Unattended Telescope Security? new [Re: rookie]
      #5819462 - 04/24/13 10:35 AM

Quote:

I set up my CPC8 at a city science festival for solar observing. Late afternoon we started putting equipment away. I had put the caps on the OTA and diagonal and put the accessories in my gear box. I had my back turned for less than 1 minute. When I returned to the scope all caps had been remove and were missing. I looked around at the milling crowd and saw a young teenager with my 8" OTA cover in his hand. He was already 100 ft away. I rescued all my gear and am thankful I spotted the kid.

I've heard of people losing gear in the dark too. I have nice ep's and put out of sight those not in use particularly at public viewings.




This is the mentality of many of people I that I feel live around this area. Doesn't matter if its worth $1 or $10k, they will steal it just to steal it. I own a small business here in town and have nailed shoplifters for stealing products less then $1. I just can't understand what is going thru their heads to make them do this, it scares me that someone could be so stupid, and yet I see it happen daily. I just don't get it...


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
amicus sidera
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 10/14/11

Loc: East of the Sun, West of the M...
Re: Unattended Telescope Security? new [Re: Sean13]
      #5819697 - 04/24/13 12:35 PM

Quote:


This is the mentality of many of people I that I feel live around this area. Doesn't matter if its worth $1 or $10k, they will steal it just to steal it. I own a small business here in town and have nailed shoplifters for stealing products less then $1. I just can't understand what is going thru their heads to make them do this, it scares me that someone could be so stupid, and yet I see it happen daily. I just don't get it...




Respectfully, I think that you may be mistaking evil for stupidity.

No one likes to think that there are individuals in our midst who are evil, which tends to blind us to its presence. We mark it down to stupidity, or some other lesser affliction. No, we are surrounded by evil on all sides, it's just that we have given it other names; to do otherwise would disturb our equanimity. However, once evil reaches a certain festering level, the masks we have placed upon it cannot but fall away, revealing its true form in all its wicked glory. Considering the depraved downward death-spiral which society appears to be in, it would be the part of wisdom to drop any illusions regarding the virtue of others, unless proven otherwise to our satisfaction.

----------------

As for the OP, my opinions on securing one's telescope and equipment when out observing revolve around a layered defense. Firstly, resign one's self to the fact that one cannot be watching the equipment every moment, and that even if one could, criminals are expert at employing distraction to gain attention elsewhere. What is needed is a system that will be on guard at all times.

I feel that the first order of business is to secure the instrument. A plastic-coated steel cable threaded through the telescope base, and secured to a ground anchor is a start, and has worked well for me. I feel that equipment cases should also employ a similar measure, and should remain locked when not in use; at a public gathering, such a case should not be out in the open for any reason, IMO. Under such circumstances, I'd refrain from using a thumbscrew to secure eyepieces in the focuser, employing instead a headless slotted screw that is nearly flush to the focusing tube... while slowing down eyepiece changes considerably, and necessitating use of a tool and red light to do so, remember this: if one can remove their eyepieces quickly and easily, so can a thief.

Next, capacitive alarms are excellent, in my opinion, especially if one is observing alone and doesn't wish to pack the scope away upon retiring, or is doing tedious work such as astrophotography, where one's attention might wander.

With the aforemention measures in place, if someone attempts to make off with equipment they will be hindered in doing so by the cables, and the alarm will alert one to the attempted theft. Any false alarms encountered are a small price to pay for the continuous security such a system offers.

The third layer of defense is to be aware of one's surroundings. If observing in public, one can be comfortably certain that a not-inconsiderable number of the people nearby have criminal proclivities; these range from possible hardened felons down to members of the public who have lived their entire lives receiving handouts, and whose respect for the property of others is minimal at best. Use one's instincts: if one is uncomfortable, and feel that something is "off", it's likely a good idea to pack up and leave ASAP. Distancing one's self from potential thieves is an excellent defense, and there will be other nights to observe in.

Basically it comes down to this: I believe that one can live their life as a "mark", ready to be fleeced at any time, or one can be wise and proactive; taking even minimal steps to secure one's property will put one miles ahead of most others, and make for a considerably less attractive target.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
WesC
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 02/06/13

Loc: La Crescenta, CA
Re: Unattended Telescope Security? new [Re: amicus sidera]
      #5819784 - 04/24/13 01:18 PM

I think he means stupid to take the risk of being caught stealing for something of so little value.

And honestly I find that evil and stupidity often go hand in hand. Otherwise there would be a lot more criminals getting away with things. The only reason any of them do is out of sheer lack of resources to catch and deal with them. I've had more than one police officer tell me that I'd be better off shooting a thief caught on my property than calling the police to have them arrested.

The only real way to stop the casual thief is to make your property so much of a hassle to steal that they will move on to an easier target.

I agree with layering of defenses.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
kfiscus
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 07/09/12

Loc: Albert Lea, MN, USA
Re: Unattended Telescope Security? new [Re: amicus sidera]
      #5819785 - 04/24/13 01:18 PM

The PDF from the NE Star Party encourages people with larger scopes to think about using ground screws for wind security. This could give you some piece of mind on two fronts.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
MikeBOKC
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 05/10/10

Loc: Oklahoma City, OK
Re: Unattended Telescope Security? new [Re: kfiscus]
      #5819884 - 04/24/13 02:08 PM

If there is one saving grace in this hobby concerning theft, it is that thieves would have a very hard time disposing of the goods. It's not like TVs or stereos or guns, which are always in demand on the underground market. Very few pawn shop owners (read: fences) have any idea how to price telescopes. Luckily a lot of thieves might look at a case of eyepieces and think "no way I can move this . . . let's go bust into the guy's car and rip off his sound system."

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
John Kuraoka
sage
*****

Reged: 12/12/12

Loc: Sunny San Diego, CA
Re: Unattended Telescope Security? new [Re: kfiscus]
      #5819894 - 04/24/13 02:14 PM

OK, how about this, just as another layer in the defense: find some brightly colored, easily removable tape in some horrid, clashing colors - happy neon pink and toxic waste green, perhaps, and neatly cover the scope and other large components in it. They'll be harder to hide in a crowd of standard-colored tubes and accessories, plus the sheer ugliness/distinctiveness may make your stuff less of a target. Even if would-be thieves realize it's just tape, it would still add a step to the thieving process, encouraging them to give your stuff a miss. And, the tape may protect your scope's finish from dust and multiple grimy hands.

Of course, then your gear might end up being confiscated by the camp host for being too loud after curfew ...


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
caheaton
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/26/09

Loc: SW Ohio
Re: Unattended Telescope Security? new [Re: kfiscus]
      #5819899 - 04/24/13 02:17 PM

At Cherry Springs I've had no qualms about leaving my equipment out (scopes under covers), but I would pack up the smaller bits and stow them under a tarp and under a table in the screen house (not so much for theft protection, however as for protection from the elements...didn't want to store in the car due to heat).

While camping in "regular" state campgrounds, what I've done is pack my gear back into their cases and then store it in a small screen house located next to my tent (one could also just use a small "supply" tent). In the morning I would unpack it all to be sure it had had a chance to thoroughly dry out and then repack and store in the screen house, again inside their cases. Other equipment was also stored in there (extra lawn chairs and such) which may or may not have helped to conceal the more expensive gear. I never had any problems with this arrangement.

If you absolutely must secure your gear for peace of mind, why not make a "raccoon proof" pantry box from plywood and use it to store your high dollar value gear. Said box could then be padlocked shut (and even chained to a tree if you prefer). You could also store some dry foodstuffs in there with it and to the casual onlooker it would simply be where you store your provisions. (Not to mention it really would be a handy way to store food and keep it safe from the little 4 legged thieves!)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
steveward53
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 05/14/12

Loc: Newmarket,UK
Re: Unattended Telescope Security? new [Re: Sean13]
      #5819906 - 04/24/13 02:20 PM

How about rigging an 'angling bite alarm' ... ?

They can be fitted with remote sounders that can be next to you in the tent .


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
GeneT
Ely Kid
*****

Reged: 11/07/08

Loc: South Texas
Re: Unattended Telescope Security? new [Re: Sean13]
      #5819924 - 04/24/13 02:28 PM

At home, my telescope is stored inside my house. When viewing at a star party, I know the members of my club and leave the telescope unattended for short periods of time. If out alone, I am sleeping near the telescope, or it is stored inside my vehicle. If out in the boonies, I would never leave it alone unattended. I would at least store it in my vehicle until I returned. Lastly, I don't view in my front yard because I don't know the people driving by. I don't want to advertise that I have an expensive telescope. The trees in the back yard are too high to view. Therefore, I have to travel away from home to view.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
csrlice12
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: Unattended Telescope Security? new [Re: GeneT]
      #5819949 - 04/24/13 02:41 PM

"Lastly, I don't view in my front yard because I don't know the people driving by. I don't want to advertise that I have an expensive telescope. The trees in the back yard are too high to view. Therefore, I have to travel away from home to view."

Same here. Although I can still view in my back yard for stuff above 45*, especially lunar, just not good viewing due to all the heat rising off the houses. But yea, that's why I don't view out front either.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Spaced
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 03/01/05

Loc: Tacoma, Washington, USA
Re: Unattended Telescope Security? new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5820120 - 04/24/13 04:00 PM

I strongly suggest you contact your insurance broker and ask about all-risk coverage for equipment. Your homeowner's or renter's policy probably covers some of it (possibly under "photographic equipment"), but additional coverage probably costs a lot less than you'd think. "All risk" means that it's covered whether you back over it with a truck, lose it to theft, or any other casualty your imagination might concoct. My policy covers specific items I list in a schedule, down to each eyepiece, and I estimate their value; the total comes to about 20K.

I'd much rather not have stuff stolen than having to make an insurance claim. On the other hand, knowing it's well insured releases me from constantly worrying about it, and that release is very valuable to me.

I have a call in to my broker. I'll edit this when she tells me the annual premium.

One last thing -- I think the best insurance against theft at star parties is simply to develop and maintain a good relationship with your neighbors and keep an eye on each other's stuff.

Edit: My $20K worth of coverage costs me $213/year, or $17.75/month.

Edited by Spaced (04/24/13 04:48 PM)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | (show all)


Extra information
2 registered and 15 anonymous users are browsing this forum.

Moderator:  cildarith, panhard, tecmage 

Print Thread

Forum Permissions
      You cannot start new topics
      You cannot reply to topics
      HTML is disabled
      UBBCode is enabled


Thread views: 2384

Jump to

CN Forums Home


Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics