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okieav8rAdministrator
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Breech of lighting etiquette at star parties.....
      #5467453 - 10/12/12 09:53 PM

This is a rant I've been meaning to get off my chest.

I've noticed over the last few years that many attendees at star parties seem to have gotten lax about adhearing to rules and etiquette regarding the use of light after lights-out rules go into effect. Too many people think that just because they have a red light, it doesn't matter how bright it is. I was surrounded by knuckleheads at Okie-Tex this year who either had no idea what light etiquette is, or had no intention of following said etiquette. A guy on one side of me had red lights that lit the area around him. The guy on the other side of me was using a white-light ball cap light after lights out and was practically painting the field with it. You could hear people across the field hollaring at him. We would ask him nicely and repeatedly to refrain. "Oh, sorry about that!". Thirty minutes later, he'd fire it up again! If you have a red light, get something with a dimmer. If you have a white light, please don't fire it up. I go to lengths to keep my observing site unlit. People travel hundreds, even thousands of miles for that rare dark sky experience. Please don't ruin it for the rest of us.

Oh, and another thing. I don't like your loud *BLEEP* music either. Keep it to yourself--or at least keep it turned down below intrusive! E-A-R-B-U-D-S dude!

If I sound curmudgeonly, sorry--just telling it like it is. Rant over.


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omahaastro
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Re: Breech of lighting etiquette at star parties..... new [Re: okieav8r]
      #5467696 - 10/13/12 02:39 AM

I agree... and I'm going to say it, they tend to be the astrophotography guys. I'm also sick of the trend of using lasers as finders.

Also, note... just because that strap on, head light you got from Walmart is red, doesn't mean it isn't still exceedingly bright. The fact is... maintaining dark seeing sensitivity is less about 'red' and more about 'dim'.


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Stacy
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Re: Breech of lighting etiquette at star parties..... new [Re: omahaastro]
      #5467745 - 10/13/12 04:49 AM

Seems you will almost always encounter this issue at a star party. The bigger the party, the more likely it will happen. Which is why I have come to expect just about anything at a large SP. I no longer attend the bigger parties with an expectation of doing any serious observing. I save that for smaller get togethers with like minded people. The big star parties seem more like a social and promotional function than aything else.

In the case of the oaf with the white light however, sometimes you just have to throw politeness (or him lol) out the door.

The big parties are becoming less atractive to me anyway as I travel hundreds of miles through open country, just to be wedged in like a sardine with hundreds of other campers from every experience level.

I'm not picking on the newcomers. Accidents can happen. My first star party, I found a new love of dark skies and the incredibly civilized social aspect of it all. But despite my best efforts, I accidently unleashed a light show on the main field when I mistakenly hit a button on my key fob that lit my car up like a christmas tree.

I do not plan to attend many large parties. A few people at a remote site has proven to be much more rewarding. Here in the NW, a new moon on a clear night is a precious thing. JMHO


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okieav8rAdministrator
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Re: Breech of lighting etiquette at star parties..... new [Re: Stacy]
      #5468073 - 10/13/12 11:08 AM

Quote:


In the case of the oaf with the white light however, sometimes you just have to throw politeness (or him lol) out the door.






You're right. I don't like being like that, but after several times of being nice about it, that's what I had to do. I even loaned the guy one of my dimmable LED lights to use, but he kept turning on that white light. You'd think a guy with a brand new Webster telescope would have a little more common sense. Maybe it was his first rodeo, but even a newbie gets it after a few times of saying 'please'. Go figure.

Having said that, I will of course continue to attend Okie-Tex. When it comes to observing in truly dark skies, it's the closest option for me. And I enjoy the social aspect of it when not observing. That's never been an issue. Most years are good, but the last two years have been the problem ones. Later in the evening, things settle down and I can get down to what I'm there for. I've also started going up to the Black Mesa area in the spring the last few years to get some observing done. Being the only one there, it’s bliss.


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amicus sidera
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Re: Breech of lighting etiquette at star parties..... new [Re: Stacy]
      #5468123 - 10/13/12 11:29 AM

Regarding the issue of light discipline and courtesy, many folks new to amateur astronomy fail to appreciate that light, while preferably red, must also be dim. One can, and must, forgive their ignorance, as they're but fledglings trying out their new wings. Another factor is youth... many years ago, when light discipline at star parties was not so strict as at present, the occasional inadvertant flash of bright red light, or even white light, failed to affect my night vision to any great degree; however, as I've aged, the recovery time after exposure has increased substantially.

In my experience, a considerable percentage of folks attending star parties today are age 40 or better, as opposed to the overall younger demographic that seemed to be extant 30 or 40 years ago... perhaps this is the reason behind the low tolerance level for inappropriate lighting at these events. I can certainly attest to the fact that years ago almost no one at the functions I attended found the occasional use of white light to be the mortal sin it appears to be currently.

As for music... considering that taste in music varies so widely, it's doubtless best to prohibit its audibility at any besides small private gatherings. I'm a music enthusiast and collector myself, and enjoy many, many varied styles, but wouldn't think of imposing my selections on others without their consent; that's simple good manners, as well as consideration for one's fellow man.


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mogur
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Re: Breech of lighting etiquette at star parties..... new [Re: amicus sidera]
      #5468260 - 10/13/12 12:35 PM

What irks me most about this subject are those who find it necessary to constantly lock and unlock their cars. These same people will disable their dome lights (nice), but forget that the headlights or parking lights flash when they push that button. When you're camped 10 feet from your car, why do you need to lock it anyway!?

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zerro1
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Re: Breech of lighting etiquette at star parties..... new [Re: omahaastro]
      #5468614 - 10/13/12 04:49 PM

Quote:

I agree... and I'm going to say it, they tend to be the astrophotography guys.




actually it's just idiots that do it. I'm an imager and the last thing I want is some fool destroying every other ten minute sub-exposure by shining a light at the end of my scope.

when you join together a bunch of people from all corners of a region... you will get fools along as well. It's the organizers responsibility to see that the rules are followed. It shouldn't be up to the people paying to attend these gatherings to be the "light police".


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amicus sidera
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Re: Breech of lighting etiquette at star parties..... new [Re: mogur]
      #5468628 - 10/13/12 04:59 PM

Quote:

When you're camped 10 feet from your car, why do you need to lock it anyway!?




Agreed, they could as easily use the key to open it... as for why they feel the need to lock it, probably for the same reasons I and many others do - that we aren't too trusting around other unknown folks in the dark.

It wasn't always this way... up until the late 1980's I never bothered locking my car at a star party, but the craze surrounding Halley's Comet had succeeded in attracting a rather wider audience to amateur astronomy than had existed previously... among these new folks were those whose intentions were less than honest.

I remember what big news it was, back around 1985 or so, when a vendor had items stolen from his table at the TSP; such a thing had not occurred before in living memory. By the time the 1990's had rolled around, this sort of theft was not so unusual... I know of many observers who had eyepieces, cameras and other items pilfered at various star parties. What more could a thief ask for - small, valuable items left unattended in near-total darkness - it was easy pickings.

Common sense dictates that care must be taken with one's valuables when attending any event which is open to the general public, star parties sadly included. At one time it could be posited that star parties were effectively not open to the general public, so relatively small was the interest in astronomy. One could say that people are less honest today, but I think that might be incorrect... I consider it more likely that a much narrower cross-section of the public attended amateur functions back in the pre-Halley days, which cross-section, by virtue of it being inherently much less a broad sample of the population at-large, was also less prone to criminality than that seen today.


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TL2101
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Re: Breech of lighting etiquette at star parties..... new [Re: zerro1]
      #5468638 - 10/13/12 05:04 PM

I remember the guy next to me that went into his SUV 5 or 6 times blinding me each time with the side light on his side view mirror. I kept thinking make a list what is it you keep forgetting to get!! I always thought astronomers should be more organized than this.

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star drop
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Re: Breech of lighting etiquette at star parties..... new [Re: TL2101]
      #5468967 - 10/13/12 09:26 PM

At this year's Black Forest Star Party a helicopter flew nearly over the field with its belly light on. Later on it did the same while flying in the opposite direction.

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mogur
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Re: Breech of lighting etiquette at star parties..... new [Re: star drop]
      #5469065 - 10/13/12 11:04 PM

Yes. Small valuables that would easily grow legs need to be kept safe. That's why I keep my EP case, binos, laptop, and the like in the tent with me when not in use!

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DeanS
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Re: Breech of lighting etiquette at star parties..... new [Re: star drop]
      #5469072 - 10/13/12 11:11 PM

Quote:

At this year's Black Forest Star Party a helicopter flew nearly over the field with its belly light on. Later on it did the same while flying in the opposite direction.




One year at WSP a boat went by us with all his spotlights on directed right at our island. I think the green lasers probably made a point


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square_peg
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Re: Breech of lighting etiquette at star parties..... new [Re: DeanS]
      #5469192 - 10/14/12 12:47 AM

If the organizers of your star party don't enforce the lighting policy then you just need to find another star party. And be sure to let them know why the attendance is dwindling.

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edwincjones
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Re: Breech of lighting etiquette at star parties..... new [Re: square_peg]
      #5470358 - 10/14/12 07:05 PM

Quote:

If the organizers of your star party don't enforce the lighting policy then you just need to find another star party. And be sure to let them know why the attendance is dwindling.




did you report the breach to the star party management?
did they do anything about it?
the rules are in place, but they HAVE to be enforced

edj


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okieav8rAdministrator
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Re: Breech of lighting etiquette at star parties..... new [Re: edwincjones]
      #5470381 - 10/14/12 07:17 PM

Quote:

Quote:

If the organizers of your star party don't enforce the lighting policy then you just need to find another star party. And be sure to let them know why the attendance is dwindling.




did you report the breach to the star party management?
did they do anything about it?
the rules are in place, but they HAVE to be enforced

edj


I did mention it to them, but they don't want to get involved unless you press the matter, and I never really expected them to be proactive about it. I think they pretty much consider the field to be self-policing. I finally got the schlub to put the thing away though. If I can take care of a conflict on my own, I prefer doing it that way. Might have to be gruff about it at times if being nice doesn't work at first, but that's how it goes.

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LivingNDixie
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Re: Breech of lighting etiquette at star parties..... new [Re: okieav8r]
      #5470600 - 10/14/12 09:32 PM

I am a little surprised by the Okie Tex folks not enforcing the lighting rules. At Texas Star Party, they don't play with folks about lights, they actually have folks who have as their job enforcement of the rules... and they do enforce them.

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George N
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Re: Breech of lighting etiquette at star parties..... new [Re: LivingNDixie]
      #5470829 - 10/15/12 12:11 AM

I’m pretty much in agreement that folks need better light discipline at star parties. Perhaps the organizers need to do more to make sure new folks know exactly what is expected? Maybe hand out detailed “light rules” sheets at the entrance?

All of the new auto lock systems can be a problem, but if folks check out their auto’s behavior before coming they can cover lights that come on when opening doors, etc. My problem is always from accidently “hitting the button” when sitting with the keys in my pocket. Apparently people are accidently dialing 911 the same way: pressing the key while their phone is in a pocket.

Music? A couple in their 20’s near me at Black Forest 2011 had an Australian bullroar (not exactly the kinda thing you expect to hear in the dark) and a guitar, felt the need to sing, and from the smell, I’m sure they weren’t smokin’ tobacco! ….and this was in a state park!!

The one exception to all of this is safety and health issues. Over the past 4 or 5 years I’ve been right next to persons experiencing sever health issues: a heart attack and a fellow observer’s girl friend almost dying from an asthma attack. In the latter case we were lucky that one of the star party organizers was also an MD. Needless to say, in both cases there were needs for lights for a while. I’ve also seen people tripping and falling over stuff like black cases and tripod legs, and if they fall over your gear left out in the dark, guess who gets sued: both you and the organizers. When you have large groups of people together you will have issues.


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okieav8rAdministrator
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Re: Breech of lighting etiquette at star parties..... new [Re: LivingNDixie]
      #5470868 - 10/15/12 12:46 AM

Quote:

I am a little surprised by the Okie Tex folks not enforcing the lighting rules. At Texas Star Party, they don't play with folks about lights, they actually have folks who have as their job enforcement of the rules... and they do enforce them.




Had I pressed the issue, they probably would have acted. I brought it to their attention, but I left it at that and we were able to get the situation resolved on our own.


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okieav8rAdministrator
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Re: Breech of lighting etiquette at star parties..... new [Re: George N]
      #5470874 - 10/15/12 12:54 AM

Quote:

I’m pretty much in agreement that folks need better light discipline at star parties. Perhaps the organizers need to do more to make sure new folks know exactly what is expected? Maybe hand out detailed “light rules” sheets at the entrance?






Okie-Tex does that. It's also outlined on their web site.

Quote:

I’ve also seen people tripping and falling over stuff like black cases and tripod legs, and if they fall over your gear left out in the dark, guess who gets sued: both you and the organizers. When you have large groups of people together you will have issues.




Most of the star parties I'm aware of require attendees to sign a waiver of liability. However, I don't know how effective these are in court. I have a hard time seeing how an attendee can be sued in such a situation where someone comes be-bopping along into your observing site. But, stranger things have happened.


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bicparker
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Re: Breech of lighting etiquette at star parties..... new [Re: okieav8r]
      #5471293 - 10/15/12 11:02 AM

Light enforcement at star parties is not easy and is even more challenging these days because of the newer and brighter forms of lighting that are coming onto the field. Tablets, phones, laptops (more of them and they are brighter), various pilot and status lights on cameras and mounts, and often surprising things that don't even come to mind initially (such as USB hubs, charging stations, etc.).

Another challenge is having someone willing to tell another person to correct their problem. Most of the times, this goes pretty well, but every now and then it gets more confrontational. I don't think anyone goes to a star party wanting to get into a confrontation, but sometimes it happens. Often it is because of other frustrations happening; the most frequent reason is that the person in question is having difficulties getting their equipment working.

It is tough. I would just simply recommend to those who are asked to dim their lights, understand that there are probably several others who are being affected who aren't making the request, but want the light intrusion to go away. I would also recommend to those who are enforcing light etiquette (whether as an individual or as star party management), make sure you understand the problem and have suggestions handy (one, of course, may end up being simply "turn it off"). Make it a learning experience where appropriate.

A final recommendation for the star party organizers... have at least two people, who are level headed, take on the responsibility of responding to light rules complaints and make sure everyone knows who it is. In many cases, just knowing that there is some accountability creates better self enforcement. But when that doesn't work, then there is someone to ensure that firm enforcement of the rules is accomplished. Also, with more people that the star party gets involved in this, you get a larger base of attendee ownership in the star party.

One other practical thing that we found handy as of late for TSP... carry a small roll of black electrical tape for the bright pilot/status lights on cameras, power supplies, USB hubs, et al. That often solves some simple problems easily, quickly, and to everyone's satisfaction.

Since safety was also mentioned here, I will add on that we do have volunteers at TSP who work on light rules enforcement (as Preston pointed out). But they also serve other functions in those roles. During the walkthroughs, they also look for any safety issues (such as tent guy lines intruding into walking paths, or fire hazards), and power line violations (since we do provide power on the field for TSP).


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okieav8rAdministrator
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Re: Breech of lighting etiquette at star parties..... new [Re: bicparker]
      #5471487 - 10/15/12 12:42 PM

Quote:

Light enforcement at star parties is not easy and is even more challenging these days because of the newer and brighter forms of lighting that are coming onto the field. Tablets, phones, laptops (more of them and they are brighter), various pilot and status lights on cameras and mounts, and often surprising things that don't even come to mind initially (such as USB hubs, charging stations, etc.).

Another challenge is having someone willing to tell another person to correct their problem. Most of the times, this goes pretty well, but every now and then it gets more confrontational. I don't think anyone goes to a star party wanting to get into a confrontation, but sometimes it happens. Often it is because of other frustrations happening; the most frequent reason is that the person in question is having difficulties getting their equipment working.

It is tough. I would just simply recommend to those who are asked to dim their lights, understand that there are probably several others who are being affected who aren't making the request, but want the light intrusion to go away. I would also recommend to those who are enforcing light etiquette (whether as an individual or as star party management), make sure you understand the problem and have suggestions handy (one, of course, may end up being simply "turn it off"). Make it a learning experience where appropriate.

A final recommendation for the star party organizers... have at least two people, who are level headed, take on the responsibility of responding to light rules complaints and make sure everyone knows who it is. In many cases, just knowing that there is some accountability creates better self enforcement. But when that doesn't work, then there is someone to ensure that firm enforcement of the rules is accomplished. Also, with more people that the star party gets involved in this, you get a larger base of attendee ownership in the star party.

One other practical thing that we found handy as of late for TSP... carry a small roll of black electrical tape for the bright pilot/status lights on cameras, power supplies, USB hubs, et al. That often solves some simple problems easily, quickly, and to everyone's satisfaction.

Since safety was also mentioned here, I will add on that we do have volunteers at TSP who work on light rules enforcement (as Preston pointed out). But they also serve other functions in those roles. During the walkthroughs, they also look for any safety issues (such as tent guy lines intruding into walking paths, or fire hazards), and power line violations (since we do provide power on the field for TSP).




David, everything you say in your post makes sense and you have some good ideas.

I will say that the problem regarding the guy with the white lights was kind of perplexing. Several times we asked him, nicely, to refrain, and he said he would. It was his first star party, so we explained light etiquette to him. I even loaned him a red light with a dimmer. But then, thirty minutes later, he'd turn that white light on again. I don't get people like that. It was almost like it was a battle of wills between him and other observers around him.


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bicparker
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Re: Breech of lighting etiquette at star parties..... new [Re: okieav8r]
      #5471739 - 10/15/12 03:00 PM

Rex,
That is too bad this guy you describe was like that. It sounds like you did everything correctly, too, and I don't get that kind of behavior as a response, either. Sometimes, certain people only respond to a punitive measure (i.e., stop it or pack it up, fines, etc.). Of course, those can only come from the star party itself.

By the way, I don't want to sound like what we do at TSP is the perfect solution (in fact, I know that Okie-Tex, RTMC, WSP, et al have some really excellent volunteer operations for handling problems like this, too). There are no set solutions in dynamic settings. TSP is just the model with which I am most familiar. A lot of what we do at TSP has come about from over 30 years of experiences with a wide range of problems and situations. We do some things simply because we could give a hundred reasons why we do them, but the most important ones are the ones we can't think of.

However, we still get new things thrown our way and they always precipitate a bit of head scratching and inward looking as to how we can handle things better. The best solution is to be as proactive and prepared as possible. And part of that preparation should include the unexpected.


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TL2101
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Reged: 09/17/10

Loc: Concord, CA
Re: Breech of lighting etiquette at star parties..... new [Re: bicparker]
      #5471785 - 10/15/12 03:41 PM

The few star parties I have been to have dark enforced areas and casual viewing areas. I assume when I setup in a casual area there will be some leeway in enforcing the rules but dark enforced areas should have a zero tolerance rule. IMHO

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RobbW
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Re: Breech of lighting etiquette at star parties..... new [Re: mogur]
      #5471884 - 10/15/12 05:00 PM

Quote:

What irks me most about this subject are those who find it necessary to constantly lock and unlock their cars. These same people will disable their dome lights (nice), but forget that the headlights or parking lights flash when they push that button. When you're camped 10 feet from your car, why do you need to lock it anyway!?




Just yesterday, I returned home from the Enchanted Skies Star Party in Socorro, NM. I had flown into Albuquerque and rented a car for the trip. As this was a rental car and not my own, I was not familiar with how the lighting worked. I was able to turn off the dome light so it would not come on when the doors were opened. However, there were side lights in the doors that would come on when doors were opened and there was no way to turn them off, save pulling a fuse. Since this was a rental, I did not feel comfortable messing with the fuses and the electronics. Also, the car would flash its lights every time you locked/unlocked the vehicle. To avoid upsetting anyone at night, what I ended up doing was leaving the car unlocked so that I wouldn't have to operate the key fob and blast the site with multiple flashes of light. I felt pretty secure about leaving it unlocked because in the dark of the night, it would be pretty obvious if anyone tried to open a door as the side lights would light up the area. The other thing I ended up doing was rolling down one of the back windows in the car. Any gear that I did not have with me in the field, I left on the floor of the car in the back with a blanket over it. That way, I could reach into the car and grab what I needed without having to unlock or open any doors. Plus, my gear was covered so that no one could easily peer into the car to see what I had. Everything worked out fine for me.


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Jamesbaird
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Re: Breech of lighting etiquette at star parties..... new [Re: okieav8r]
      #5472146 - 10/15/12 07:14 PM

At a recent visit to Mount Pinos CA a group of about 30 "night hikers" wandered down from the higher elevations using very powerful forehead lights. When they came into our larg group gathering, they flat refused to turn the lamps off, away or down. Nice going Sierra Club drop outs. Worse still, they knew our gathering was engaged in astronomy...

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amicus sidera
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Re: Breech of lighting etiquette at star parties..... new [Re: George N]
      #5472167 - 10/15/12 07:29 PM

Quote:


Music? A couple in their 20’s near me at Black Forest 2011 had an Australian bullroar (not exactly the kinda thing you expect to hear in the dark) and a guitar, felt the need to sing, and from the smell, I’m sure they weren’t smokin’ tobacco! ….and this was in a state park!!





Can one safely assume that they were immediately expelled and/or arrested - and if not, why not?


Quote:

I’ve also seen people tripping and falling over stuff like black cases and tripod legs, and if they fall over your gear left out in the dark, guess who gets sued: both you and the organizers. When you have large groups of people together you will have issues.




In my opinion, in this litigious day and age, any star party organizers that don't have a fairly ironclad contract that attendees must sign stating that that one is responsible for one's own clumsiness/lack of perception in a dark environment, and that holds harmless both the organizers and attendees for any accidental injuries they might suffer, even if caused by the carelessness of others, is playing with fire... as is anyone attending such an event.

Even such precautions are no guarantee, of course, which is one reason among many for why I've sworn off attending other than private events for the last two decades.


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okieav8rAdministrator
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Re: Breech of lighting etiquette at star parties..... new [Re: amicus sidera]
      #5493996 - 10/29/12 01:13 AM

I just read Uncle Rod's astro blog this evening, and it has a little piece about light abusers and other undesireables at star parties. I've encountered everyone of them, and that's what made it so hiliarious to read. Find it here, about halfway down the page under the heading, Star Party Zoo. Funny, he calls those who don't get lighting etiquette 'Whiteliticus Rex'.


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Cow Jazz
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Reged: 11/24/03

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Re: Breech of lighting etiquette at star parties..... new [Re: okieav8r]
      #5505940 - 11/05/12 08:35 PM

"If the organizers of your star party don't enforce the lighting policy then you just need to find another star party. And be sure to let them know why the attendance is dwindling."

We have tried VERY hard at Starfest (tm) up here in Canada to strictly enforce lighting. We posted signs in many areas, had it in emails, Facebook, and our registration forms. Several of us are always walking the field. The biggest problems are computer displays, cars that drive in and out at all times (nothing we can do about the movement, but we do cover the lights with red as best we can), and red and green lasers (now banned). It's very difficult to get everyone to "behave", and we have had issues with some folks, including telling them that they can leave the next day if they continue with the lights.

Our other issue was people "stealing" power from the lines we run out that are for astro use only. We were always resetting circuit breakers because of coffee pots, tea kettles, coolers, etc. This year, we increased the cost of the power (all the way up the $5 a day) and strictly enforced it's use with tags on all power cables. The response from those in the field was really positive, and we had almost no issues once people realized that we were serious about it.

The people that run these events work their butts off for many months leading up to the starparty, and even harder at the party. So please go easy on us, we're doing the best we can. We like to spend some time observing the skies, too.


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Lew Chilton
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Reged: 10/20/05

Loc: SoCal
Re: Breech of lighting etiquette at star parties..... new [Re: bicparker]
      #5506283 - 11/06/12 02:16 AM

I have also noted the same breaches of star party etiquette at the monthly public Mt. Pinos star party. I call it the monthly 3-ring circus.

I've solved the problem by choosing an alternate observing nite, usually a few days before or after the regular Saturday nite star party. On one Thursday nite, only 6 of us shared the observing site instead of the usual 200 or so. It was a nite of tranquility and utter enjoyment.


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Cotts
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Reged: 10/10/05

Loc: Toronto, Ontario
Re: Breech of lighting etiquette at star parties..... new [Re: Lew Chilton]
      #5506609 - 11/06/12 10:17 AM

It amazes me that some people who go to Star Parties do not prepare their vehicles for the lights they may produce. Do you have dome lights, side door lights, headlights etc. that come on? Then cover them with red plastic or red electrical tape or cardboard or whatever before the first night of the star party.

Cover all your pilot lights, especially the green and blue ones with electrical tape. Keep all your gear on your tarp/carpet. (Corollary to this: don't walk THROUGH a person's site.) For tripod legs and black tent ropes I've found 'glow-in-the-dark' rope to be a wonderful and inexpensive way to mark your trip hazards - dim but visible and a MUCH better solution than some of the ridiculous, to the point of overkill, flashing lights or red glowing plastic strips etc..

Ounce of prevention........

About music. While there is observing going on? An absolute no-no IMHO. Put on your headphones. No 'live' jamming either (it's clear out! what did you come to the star party for?)

"Live" music - something I've been known to be involved in (hi John!) should be confined to cloudy nights (not too late) or during the day.

There. I feel better now.

Dave


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operascope
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Re: Breech of lighting etiquette at star parties..... new [Re: Cotts]
      #5507802 - 11/07/12 01:03 AM

Right on Dave!
-Lance


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PAW
sage


Reged: 10/12/06

Re: Breech of lighting etiquette at star parties..... new [Re: operascope]
      #5514009 - 11/11/12 05:52 AM

Expecting perfect (or even close to perfect) lighting etiquette/conditions at a Star Party borders on the ridiculous.

Keyword here is: Party

Can't have your cake and it eat it too.

If it's that much of an issue find a different location or date.


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mogur
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Re: Breech of lighting etiquette at star parties..... new [Re: PAW]
      #5514375 - 11/11/12 12:11 PM

Quote:

Expecting perfect (or even close to perfect) lighting etiquette/conditions at a Star Party borders on the ridiculous.

Keyword here is: Party

Can't have your cake and it eat it too.

If it's that much of an issue find a different location or date.




Well, PAW, the rest of us are there to do some observing. Please keep your "partying" done during the day, OK? If this is too difficult for you remember that partying can be done at other places. Go to a campground where lanterns and loud revelry is rampant. I pay good money to attend an event where all are as interested as I to do some observing. There are those of us who live in an area where observing at home is futile for anything but the moon and planets. For instance, I live in an apartment and have no yard to use. I can set up a scope in the driveway where cars are constantly going to and fro, but there is no where to use my dob unless I pack up the car and drive several miles to a park. There cars are also constantly coming and going, and I may get kicked out at any time because the park closes at 10 PM. Therefore, star parties are my only decent opportunity to observe DSO's in a dark setting.

Please try to have a little consideration for others during your "partying". Perhaps star parties should adopt a policy where certain areas could be held separate for partiers like PAW. They could have light shields around them so the lights wouldn't bother those more serious about observing. It's an idea anyway.


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okieav8rAdministrator
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Re: Breech of lighting etiquette at star parties..... new [Re: PAW]
      #5514995 - 11/11/12 07:51 PM

Quote:

Expecting perfect (or even close to perfect) lighting etiquette/conditions at a Star Party borders on the ridiculous.

Keyword here is: Party

Can't have your cake and it eat it too.

If it's that much of an issue find a different location or date.




So, you're saying it's a stretch to expect people who should know better to follow set rules?

The whole idea of a star "party" PAW, is for people to have a chance to observe under dark sky conditions that they usually don't otherwise have ready access to. My issue isn't with whether or not lighting conditions are perfect--I simply ask that persons who attend star parties use common sense and common courtesy, and follow the stated rules of the event. I would suggest that those who have a cavalier attitude toward following the light restriction rules are the ones who need to go elsewhere.

Edited by okieav8r (11/12/12 02:42 AM)


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George N
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Re: Breech of lighting etiquette at star parties..... new [Re: okieav8r]
      #5515811 - 11/12/12 11:21 AM

Quote:

Quote:

Expecting perfect (or even close to perfect) lighting etiquette/conditions at a Star Party borders on the ridiculous.

Keyword here is: Party

Can't have your cake and it eat it too.

If it's that much of an issue find a different location or date.




....The whole idea of a star "party" PAW, is for people to have a chance to observe under dark sky conditions that they usually don't otherwise have ready access to.......




While correct as far as it goes, a star party is also a social event, meaning that you are there to be with people of similar interest, in addition to observing under excellent conditions. Those other people will have widely differing ideas on what to expect, what ‘amateur astronomy’ is, what their level of commitment is, and what their level of expertise is. While one can reasonably expect “light and sound discipline conditions”, one needs to understand when dealing with people at a social event, there will be a variety of opinions, each of equal weight. If you need absolutely pristine conditions with behavior according your personal needs, ya need to find a private observing location, far from “the maddening crowd”.


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jrcrillyAdministrator
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Re: Breech of lighting etiquette at star parties..... new [Re: George N]
      #5515840 - 11/12/12 11:36 AM

Quote:

If you need absolutely pristine conditions with behavior according your personal needs, ya need to find a private observing location, far from “the maddening crowd”.




...or attend any properly-organized star party. Those always have rules in place forbidding intrusive light on the observing field.


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edwincjones
Close Enough
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Re: Breech of lighting etiquette at star parties..... new [Re: jrcrilly]
      #5519130 - 11/14/12 07:28 AM

all good points, all reasonable, but contradictory
so we need to pick the star parties that meet our needs
-hardcore dark sky folks to TSP
-families to GCSP or Cedar Key
-AP need small private

for me, I would rather take the RV, wife, dogs, grandkids to a state or national park to enjoy nature and the semidark skies (many star parties would prefer that also)

edj


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BlueGrass
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Re: Breech of lighting etiquette at star parties..... new [Re: edwincjones]
      #5709800 - 03/03/13 12:41 AM

Inviting the 'general' public to any star party, it's expected that light etiquette will not be followed. For star parties organized specifically for visual / imaging amateurs, light etiquette should be a given, Golden Rule. If you've been into this hobby for even a few months, you know the absolute value of dark sites and skies. For example, the F-150 I purchased for towing our RV has the ability to turn ALL lights off except for the odometer and engine status lights even when locking /unlocking / opening the cab doors and starting the engine. Put in this stealth mode, you never know when I get in or out of the truck and if it's locked or not. Being 95% an imager, my main concern when out with visual only folks is to try not and offend them. I really appreciate their need in maintaining their dark adaption. This year, I'm going even further with my home built equipment by installing higher value resistors to dim the status LEDs... I've attended a number of star parties over the years and while most have been enjoyable, I find that after midnight: Most of the non-dedicated public / amateurs have packed it in and left and those that are left, have their equipment setup and working, pretty much 'in the zone' ...

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Zamboni
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 01/03/05

Loc: Colorado Springs
Re: Breech of lighting etiquette at star parties..... new [Re: BlueGrass]
      #5711327 - 03/03/13 07:48 PM

One trick I've picked up to minimize chances of dome light infractions on the star party field is to replace all interior lighting bulbs with red LEDs. You can order them from www.superbrightleds.com

The red bulbs from this company are reasonably dim, too.

Typically, my only big annual star party is Rocky Mountain Star Stare, which my club organizes. It's largeish, but not ridiculously huge. Attendance is typically in the 300 range. I've come to prefer the smaller star parties because you get less of the riff-raff ruining everyone's observing.


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MadHungarian
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Reged: 11/18/10

Loc: Rainy WA
Re: Breech of lighting etiquette at star parties..... new [Re: Zamboni]
      #5712250 - 03/04/13 10:35 AM

And violaters of lighting etiquette should be punished by being forced to live in Western Washington State.

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David Knisely
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Reged: 04/19/04

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Re: Breech of lighting etiquette at star parties..... new [Re: jrcrilly]
      #5712579 - 03/04/13 01:48 PM

At the Nebraska Star Party, we have definite lighting restrictions, but it is hard to enforce them. We publish the restrictions in the registration packets, explain them at length during the Beginner's Field School, and mention them on the observing fields during the evening meals and programs, but with the site being a public park, you do get an occasional white light coming down a road into the area. If someone does violate those rules who really should know better, they do get talked to, but again, there are limits to what we can do. Even amongst experienced amateurs, some people still do not know just how dim (and shielded) their lighting must be to avoid impacting others. Still, there are setup locations away from the center of the observing fields which are shielded enough that one need not be bothered at all. Most people there are pretty well behaved when it comes to the proper use of lighting while observing. Clear skies to you.

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DeanS
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Re: Breech of lighting etiquette at star parties..... new [Re: David Knisely]
      #5740544 - 03/18/13 11:43 AM Attachment (22 downloads)

Here is a good example of what NOT to do at star parties. This guy was asked numerous times to keep the light off but continued for several nights. One night at around 2 am he came out in his robe and told us to keep it down as people are tying to sleep and we where being rude. I suggested to him that this is what people tend to do at star parties and perhaps a hotel room might have been a better choice

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csa/montana
Den Mama
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Reged: 05/14/05

Loc: montana
Re: Breech of lighting etiquette at star parties..... new [Re: DeanS]
      #5740576 - 03/18/13 12:04 PM

Complaining about others being rude; when he lights up the entire area, with no thought to others?

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The Planetman
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Reged: 01/27/06

Loc: Western KY
Re: Breech of lighting etiquette at star parties..... new [Re: csa/montana]
      #5740647 - 03/18/13 12:46 PM

Several years ago, when we hosted our star party at the observatory, a guy decided that he'd plug in his popup camper, which was a no-no, so he could have his TV on all night. He did this without asking or anyone noticing it.
Being the star party chair, when he started snoring, I took it upon myself to unplug it. When he woke up and complained, I explained that the TV was bright and distracting. Not to mention that many had come from great distances to enjoy some dark sky. He told me, in a hateful tone, that he'd driven 3 hours, and no one was going to tell him that he couldn't run his TV. That when I told him he had two choices; leave it off or pack up and go home. He left early the next morning. Wouldn't have been so bad if he did this when most everyone had gone to sleep. But it was 9:30! Haven't seen him since....
I was the hero that night. Especially when it turned out to be the best night of the party.


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WadeH237
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Reged: 02/24/07

Loc: Snohomish, WA
Re: Breech of lighting etiquette at star parties..... new [Re: DeanS]
      #5740813 - 03/18/13 02:20 PM

Quote:

This guy was asked numerous times to keep the light off but continued for several nights.




It's good to be polite when reminding people about their lights, but why wasn't this person ejected after the first night?


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DeanS
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Re: Breech of lighting etiquette at star parties..... new [Re: WadeH237]
      #5740836 - 03/18/13 02:33 PM

They would turn it off, then would come back on later for a while, then on and off like that until they went to sleep. Several different people had asked them to turn it off, and they would at the time.

When he confronted us about talking he reminded us that every time we asked him to turn off the lights he did. Like he was doing us a favor???

I can understand someone turning on a light by accident, but they should figure it out after being asked a few times.

Oh well, just bound to happen with a lot of people.


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Whichwayisnorth
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Re: Breech of lighting etiquette at star parties..... new [Re: DeanS]
      #5741253 - 03/18/13 05:43 PM

I wired around my back up lights and my day time running lights with switches so I could turn them off. I often get frustrated with weather and remind myself I have a cold wife and a hot bed waiting for me at home.

During outreach events it is expected people have white lights in your face. I now just use my computer screen to show people what my camera can see. I typically use a laptop tent and I make sure I am in a position where there are no other astronomers behind me but again, outreach, white light is expected.

I am non-confrontational for the most part so the worse people can expect from me is a dirty look. That and I have a temper so I make sure not to start any problems knowing I'll probably end up in jail.


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bicparker
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Reged: 02/07/05

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Re: Breech of lighting etiquette at star parties..... new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #5742327 - 03/19/13 06:22 AM

Being the light police at a star party is a difficult task. It is a balancing act to ensure that everyone at the star party has a positive experience. In my experience, most everyone who I have had to talk to about lighting problems did not intentionally create these issues and they were more than helpful in rectifying the problem. Many folks who breach the etiquette are seasoned veterans of star parties who just didn't realize they had some sort of light leak going on. Most people don't go to a star party with the sole intention of ticking everyone else off.

The bad situations that some have described where the person with the problem is confrontational are rare, but they do happen. And these are the ones that get all of the attention. There is no magic way to handle these situations, and on a very rare occasion, things have to be escalated.

Here a just a few things I would encourage for everyone to remember when you are at a star party. This isn't an all encompassing list. Just some thoughts that bubbled up to the top for me.:

1. If a problem affects one person, it is affecting twenty others, as well. The star party organizers are trying to make this a great experience for up to several hundred people at once in close proximity. At night, this means that actions by a single person can affect many others. This is a group activity and it only really works when folks are part of the group, not separate.
2. It is dark on the field. You are not being singled out on a personal level if you are asked to change some lighting. Often the volunteers have no idea who the responsible parties are until they are right up on the situation, especially if some equipment is unattended. Don't get offended.
3. The volunteers monitoring for light violations are looking at the light levels on a large field level. If they are picking out a problem, it is often because they can see it across the field, not just right around in your area.
4. Set a good example for others. Work together with others in your area of the field and be "light aware". Talk it up, especially before the sun goes down. People around you will hear you and follow by example.
5. Help the volunteers. If you see a lighting problem, try to work it out. But if you don't feel comfortable doing that, talk to one of the staff and they may be able to help (it is sometimes easier for me, as a staff person, to talk to someone as a third party in resolving a light problem).
6. Remember that the volunteers policing the lights are star party attendees, also. They would rather be at their scope than policing lights.
7. Many light violations are created by reflected light situations, not direct ones. One example would be where someone sets up their laptops to face away from the field, only to have the light reflecting off of the white trailer behind them, which gives everyone the joy of a light dome.


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George N
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Re: Breech of lighting etiquette at star parties..... new [Re: bicparker]
      #5742721 - 03/19/13 11:35 AM

>.....One example would be where someone sets up their laptops to face away from the field, only to have the light reflecting.......

Has there been a discussion somewhere on CN about shielding laptops? I know about the red screens, but I'd also like some sort of 'cave' to put a laptop in.


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hm insulators
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Reged: 01/22/07

Re: Breech of lighting etiquette at star parties..... new [Re: csa/montana]
      #5742734 - 03/19/13 11:39 AM

Quote:

Complaining about others being rude; when he lights up the entire area, with no thought to others?




I was asking myself the same question. Gotta sit down one of these days and figure that one out!


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hm insulators
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Reged: 01/22/07

Re: Breech of lighting etiquette at star parties..... new [Re: DeanS]
      #5742752 - 03/19/13 11:46 AM

Quote:

Here is a good example of what NOT to do at star parties. This guy was asked numerous times to keep the light off but continued for several nights. One night at around 2 am he came out in his robe and told us to keep it down as people are tying to sleep and we where being rude. I suggested to him that this is what people tend to do at star parties and perhaps a hotel room might have been a better choice




Dean, I see coconut palms in the background, which of course don't grow in Kentucky. Was this star party in Florida?


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DeanS
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Re: Breech of lighting etiquette at star parties..... new [Re: hm insulators]
      #5742948 - 03/19/13 01:21 PM

Why yes it was

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csa/montana
Den Mama
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Reged: 05/14/05

Loc: montana
Re: Breech of lighting etiquette at star parties..... new [Re: George N]
      #5742980 - 03/19/13 01:35 PM

Quote:

but I'd also like some sort of 'cave' to put a laptop in.





There is one on the market. I'll see if I can find a link.

Edit: here's one Link

I believe there's one that's made out of a soft material also; I'll try to find that one.

Here it IS

Edited by csa/montana (03/19/13 01:44 PM)


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Matthew Ota
Hmmm


Reged: 04/30/05

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Re: Breech of lighting etiquette at star parties..... new [Re: bicparker]
      #5744048 - 03/19/13 09:35 PM

Astrophotographers should NEVER do any imaging at star parties. It is best done alone.

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zerro1
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Re: Breech of lighting etiquette at star parties..... new [Re: Matthew Ota]
      #5744228 - 03/19/13 11:04 PM

Quote:

Astrophotographers should NEVER do any imaging at star parties. It is best done alone.






Really? So what would be the point of paying the registration fee, travel costs and such to go to a dark site to "NOT DO" imaging, if you're an Astrophotographer?

I personally take every precuation to safeguard eveyone elses night vision. I most often have two rigs going at once: laptop screens are turned completely down and covered with red transparency film. All domelights of my vehicle are either covered or removed. Flashlight is red(and not LED). I don't bring white light. My car does not flash lights when the fob is used(But I never lock it anyway)... Plus I take the time to get aquainted with the people camped around me, I let them know that they should be anything but suttle if some light does leak.

Once I turn on the camera and start capturing, and light spills into the end of my scope from some stray source, that exposure is ruined, I'll never get it back. how does my need for adherence to SP etiquette differ from the Observer?


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DeanS
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Re: Breech of lighting etiquette at star parties..... new [Re: Matthew Ota]
      #5744677 - 03/20/13 08:43 AM

Quote:

Astrophotographers should NEVER do any imaging at star parties. It is best done alone.




I agree for out reach type programs.

But like Robert, I drive thousands of miles yearly to get to dark skies for imaging. I expect at these star parties that the attendees who have paid would know enough to keep the lights off.

Again I expect accidents to happen occasionally, and someone may not be aware they are too bright, but after being asked one time it should not happen again.


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The Planetman
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Re: Breech of lighting etiquette at star parties..... new [Re: DeanS]
      #5745050 - 03/20/13 12:29 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Astrophotographers should NEVER do any imaging at star parties. It is best done alone.




I agree for out reach type programs.

But like Robert, I drive thousands of miles yearly to get to dark skies for imaging. I expect at these star parties that the attendees who have paid would know enough to keep the lights off.

Again I expect accidents to happen occasionally, and someone may not be aware they are too bright, but after being asked one time it should not happen again.




Being a diehard deepsky observer and wanting my surrounding area to be as dark as possible, I will disagree that imagers should stay at home and not go to start parties.
They enjoy a dark sky just like the rest of us. Their style of enjoying the hobby and night sky is different from observers.
Other than the TV incident that I wrote about above, we've not had any major problems at Twin Lakes Star Party. I agree with Dean in that I believe nearly every light issue is an accident.
I'll even take it one step further. From my experience, the majority of the offenders of lighting are either beginners or they are first timers to a start party.


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skyquest25
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Reged: 08/22/12

Loc: United States
Re: Breech of lighting etiquette at star parties..... new [Re: DeanS]
      #5745051 - 03/20/13 12:29 PM

Astrophotography obviously requires more strict conditions due to obvious reasons. While I myself am very considerate of light etiquette, I can see a cause for disagreement here.

Why can't I use a laser in assisting myself navigate the skies? Or help teach my children at very dark skies where there's lots of stars they aren't use to? (I pose this rhetorically to express the other side of the fence)

So we all have quandaries to deal with. We just need to do the best to help each other and be considerate, in the end it's up to the host to determine the rules and the level of enforcement they want to place on certain aspects of those rules.

There's all kinds of people in the world, some don't give a #$#$. And some do.

When it comes down to it, hosting a star party requires you to mitigate those issues. It's just not going to be easy no matter how much you discuss it.


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t.r.
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Re: Breech of lighting etiquette at star parties..... new [Re: skyquest25]
      #5745269 - 03/20/13 02:29 PM

Well, after this thread, I now know how to thoroughly screw with a bunch of star party goers! And apparently all that is needed is a flashlight, what cheap fun!

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WadeH237
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Reged: 02/24/07

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Re: Breech of lighting etiquette at star parties..... new [Re: t.r.]
      #5745617 - 03/20/13 04:53 PM

As someone who does both imaging and visual observing, I disagree that imaging requires stricter controls.

It is very easy to destroy dark adaptation with just a little bit of (even red) light. This has a major impact on visual observing near the limits of magnitude, and it takes about 30 minutes to recover.

With imaging, the damage occurs if light gets to the camera sensor. The kind of ground level lighting that is commonly associated with accidental light at star parties isn't much of an issue. Light that brightens the sky - especially green lasers - is very bad for imaging. The occasional attendee who naively shines their red light into an imaging scope is also really bad. And any light event with imaging affects only the one subexposure that was in progress during the event. There is no recovery time like there is with dark adaptation.

Honestly, in the last few years, I have seen lots light leakage coming from the imaging areas - enough that it can be a problem for visual observers. I do not see the reverse. In that way, I sympathize with the post above that imagers should avoid star parties - even though I strongly disagree.

I value dark skies as an imager as much as I do as an observer. I go to great lengths to avoid light leakage. I cover all LEDs with electrical tape. I use a 1/8th inch thick red shield on my laptop *and* keep the laptop display dimmed down to where it's barely legible. Often times, my imaging setup is also inside of my observatory tent, even with the above precautions. My goal is that my observing site is not noticeable from more than 10 feet away under a dark sky.

-Wade


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skyquest25
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Reged: 08/22/12

Loc: United States
Re: Breech of lighting etiquette at star parties..... new [Re: WadeH237]
      #5746858 - 03/21/13 03:08 AM

How can you disagree that imaging requires stricter conditions ? Your post even supports that position

You use one great example, shine a green laser, image ruined. Shine a green laser, visually not ruined.

Which required more strict conditions ?

I agree that both can suffer, I don't think anyone would disagree with that stance. But one allows recovery, the other doesn't, hence(again)more strict conditions apply to imaging.


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DeanS
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Re: Breech of lighting etiquette at star parties..... new [Re: skyquest25]
      #5747090 - 03/21/13 08:47 AM

WSP has a sky program using a laser pointer 1 night during the week. It is scheduled and runs about a hour right after dark. Not a big deal since we know it is going to happen. I was actually imaging during that time and not sure it really had any negative effects on my subs.

Many new imagers are pushing it a little with laptop monitors being too bright. Some don't realize that just night mode is not enough and a dark red plexi screen cover is a must. Even then the brightness should be turned down a bit.

I use a small hunting blind as my portable control room. Originally for the dew and cold protection, but also so I can set my red screens a bit brighter. However like someone suggested, I still need to be mindful when I exit as it can flood some light light out.

And the amount of light a small LED from a power supply can put out is amazing. The green and blue ones are particularly bad.

Dean


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DeanS
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Re: Breech of lighting etiquette at star parties..... new [Re: DeanS]
      #5747104 - 03/21/13 09:00 AM Attachment (19 downloads)

here is what lasers can do to imagers

PS, this was during a full cloud out, about our 4th night in a row so we all where getting a bit restless and bored.


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DeanS
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Re: Breech of lighting etiquette at star parties..... new [Re: DeanS]
      #5747120 - 03/21/13 09:04 AM Attachment (11 downloads)

TO get this effect we had to hold the laser in each position for a bit to get it to show. Just moving it quickly did not show it well.

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skyquest25
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Re: Breech of lighting etiquette at star parties..... new [Re: DeanS]
      #5747174 - 03/21/13 09:25 AM



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DeanS
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Re: Breech of lighting etiquette at star parties..... new [Re: skyquest25]
      #5747391 - 03/21/13 11:24 AM

Don't think the laser photos are against the terms are they? I am not promoting their use, but more to show how they can adversely effect imagers. That is my story at least.

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WadeH237
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Re: Breech of lighting etiquette at star parties..... new [Re: skyquest25]
      #5747439 - 03/21/13 11:51 AM

Quote:

How can you disagree that imaging requires stricter conditions ? Your post even supports that position




*One* case supports a problem for imaging. And even in that case, it only applies if the laser happens to cross the object that I'm imaging. And even then, it doesn't ruin the image, just a single subexposure.

Let me put it another way.

At the star parties I attend, green lasers are prohibited, except for a pre-scheduled program put on by the star party. I have not seen any green laser use outside of this in attending about 40 events. Stray light events from car door opening, hitting the wrong switch on a flashlight, someone turning on a light in an RV,etc. are quite common. Each of them hurts visual observing, but none of them bother imaging.

As a visual user, I don't even want to stroll through the imaging area when dark. The stray light from equipment LEDs, laptop screens, reflected light from people's faces, etc. *always* kills my dark adaptation for about a half hour afterwards.

They provide an imaging area that is separate from visual areas at OSP, a star party that I regularly attend. 15 years ago, they did this to protect imagers. Now, it serves mainly to protect serious visual observers trying to make the most of the very dark skies there. It's funny that the signs in the imaging area still say "severe light restrictions", because it is obvious that there's more stray light there than anywhere else at the site (outside of the late night vendors).

So my answer is not theoretical. I see it at all the events that I attend.

What I'm dreading, is the adoption of all these touch screen devices for telescope control. All of them require a backlit screen with no protective red screen. As adoption increases, it's going to become impossible to do any serious observing at visual limits at a group event.

I'll also throw in that I've never lost a subexposure at a star party due to stray light.


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skyquest25
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Re: Breech of lighting etiquette at star parties..... new [Re: WadeH237]
      #5747660 - 03/21/13 01:38 PM

I see your perspective. Thanks.

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Skylook123
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Re: Breech of lighting etiquette at star parties..... new [Re: csa/montana]
      #5748702 - 03/21/13 10:57 PM

Quote:

Quote:

but I'd also like some sort of 'cave' to put a laptop in.





There is one on the market. I'll see if I can find a link.

Edit: here's one Link

I believe there's one that's made out of a soft material also; I'll try to find that one.

Here it IS





Here's the CompuShade I use on my laptop for solar web cam use and night satellite tracking with a crowd. I also wrap a 3M privacy screen in rubylith or cellophane, depending on which computer use. The shade folds up againste the back of the screen when not in use (video at bottom of web site).

CompusShade


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George N
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Re: Breech of lighting etiquette at star parties..... new [Re: Skylook123]
      #5751580 - 03/23/13 11:12 AM

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

but I'd also like some sort of 'cave' to put a laptop in.





There is one on the market. I'll see if I can find a link.

Edit: here's one Link

I believe there's one that's made out of a soft material also; I'll try to find that one.

Here it IS





Here's the CompuShade I use on my laptop for solar web cam use and night satellite tracking with a crowd. I also wrap a 3M privacy screen in rubylith or cellophane, depending on which computer use. The shade folds up againste the back of the screen when not in use (video at bottom of web site).

CompusShade




Thanks guys..... I now have no excuse to have a naked laptop at the next star party!


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George N
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Re: Breech of lighting etiquette at star parties..... new [Re: t.r.]
      #5751588 - 03/23/13 11:14 AM

Quote:

Well, after this thread, I now know how to thoroughly screw with a bunch of star party goers! And apparently all that is needed is a flashlight, what cheap fun!




Ya better watch it there..... I have a box full of Rini eyepieces to thro at people with white-light flashlights.


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DarkSkys
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Re: Breech of lighting etiquette at star parties..... new [Re: WadeH237]
      #5753133 - 03/24/13 01:42 AM

Quote:

Quote:

How can you disagree that imaging requires stricter conditions ? Your post even supports that position




*One* case supports a problem for imaging. And even in that case, it only applies if the laser happens to cross the object that I'm imaging. And even then, it doesn't ruin the image, just a single subexposure.

Let me put it another way.

At the star parties I attend, green lasers are prohibited, except for a pre-scheduled program put on by the star party. I have not seen any green laser use outside of this in attending about 40 events. Stray light events from car door opening, hitting the wrong switch on a flashlight, someone turning on a light in an RV,etc. are quite common. Each of them hurts visual observing, but none of them bother imaging.

As a visual user, I don't even want to stroll through the imaging area when dark. The stray light from equipment LEDs, laptop screens, reflected light from people's faces, etc. *always* kills my dark adaptation for about a half hour afterwards.

They provide an imaging area that is separate from visual areas at OSP, a star party that I regularly attend. 15 years ago, they did this to protect imagers. Now, it serves mainly to protect serious visual observers trying to make the most of the very dark skies there. It's funny that the signs in the imaging area still say "severe light restrictions", because it is obvious that there's more stray light there than anywhere else at the site (outside of the late night vendors).

So my answer is not theoretical. I see it at all the events that I attend.

What I'm dreading, is the adoption of all these touch screen devices for telescope control. All of them require a backlit screen with no protective red screen. As adoption increases, it's going to become impossible to do any serious observing at visual limits at a group event.

I'll also throw in that I've never lost a subexposure at a star party due to stray light.




I'm not so sure of that part, I can put my touchscreen phone in a thick ziploc bag, and still work the screen just fine though the bag. It seems like a dark red plastic bag would be enough?


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George N
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Reged: 05/19/06

Loc: Binghamton & Indian Lake NY
Re: Breech of lighting etiquette at star parties..... new [Re: DeanS]
      #5758087 - 03/26/13 12:17 PM

Quote:

.....
Many new imagers are pushing it a little with laptop monitors being too bright. Some don't realize that just night mode is not enough and a dark red plexi screen cover is a must. Even then the brightness should be turned down a bit. .....
Dean




I suppose that this area (laptops, etc) needs more detail in star party light control rules. That way “new imagers” have no excuse about violations….. assuming that is what the star party organizers want.


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George N
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Re: Breech of lighting etiquette at star parties..... new [Re: George N]
      #5758178 - 03/26/13 12:50 PM

Last year at the Cherry Springs Star Party one group set up those little solar garden lights (with red bulbs) around the perimeter of “their” area. They didn’t have ‘no trespassing’ signs, but ya got the message to ‘stay out’, reinforced by glaring looks at anyone walking thru, day or night. From what I saw, this group included about 10 people – with about 5 moderate-size imaging rigs. I did not see any visual observing. On occasion their “light fence” became distracting. I suppose that this is part of what one can expect at today’s large star parties. Perhaps people just don’t understand, or don’t bother to read the rules.

I personally think that if an observer wants the ultimate in light control, attending a large star party is a mistake. It is never going to be “your way” at a social event. The ultimate dark sky observing/imaging requires a private location, or going to public observing areas on an off period. Many are pretty empty during the week.


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okieav8rAdministrator
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Re: Breech of lighting etiquette at star parties..... new [Re: George N]
      #5758985 - 03/26/13 07:50 PM

Quote:

Last year at the Cherry Springs Star Party one group set up those little solar garden lights (with red bulbs) around the perimeter of “their” area. They didn’t have ‘no trespassing’ signs, but ya got the message to ‘stay out’, reinforced by glaring looks at anyone walking thru, day or night. From what I saw, this group included about 10 people – with about 5 moderate-size imaging rigs. I did not see any visual observing. On occasion their “light fence” became distracting. I suppose that this is part of what one can expect at today’s large star parties. Perhaps people just don’t understand, or don’t bother to read the rules.

I personally think that if an observer wants the ultimate in light control, attending a large star party is a mistake. It is never going to be “your way” at a social event. The ultimate dark sky observing/imaging requires a private location, or going to public observing areas on an off period. Many are pretty empty during the week.




I agree, when attending a large star party, you can't expect things to be perfect with regard to other attendee's lights, but if people will just use some common sense, and take reasonable precautions not to be a beacon in the night, everyone would get along and have a much better time.


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Ed Wiley
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Reged: 05/18/05

Loc: Kansas, USA
Re: Breech of lighting etiquette at star parties..... new [Re: okieav8r]
      #5762742 - 03/28/13 05:14 PM

Re: Covers for computers. I use a computer tent sold by Astrogizmo. It even has a flap that allow use during the day by shielding the screen.

http://www.astrogizmos.com/computer.htm

Price was competitive. Naturally I also use a red screen.

Ed


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Zamboni
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Reged: 01/03/05

Loc: Colorado Springs
Re: Breech of lighting etiquette at star parties..... new [Re: DarkSkys]
      #5762889 - 03/28/13 06:24 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

How can you disagree that imaging requires stricter conditions ? Your post even supports that position




*One* case supports a problem for imaging. And even in that case, it only applies if the laser happens to cross the object that I'm imaging. And even then, it doesn't ruin the image, just a single subexposure.

Let me put it another way.

At the star parties I attend, green lasers are prohibited, except for a pre-scheduled program put on by the star party. I have not seen any green laser use outside of this in attending about 40 events. Stray light events from car door opening, hitting the wrong switch on a flashlight, someone turning on a light in an RV,etc. are quite common. Each of them hurts visual observing, but none of them bother imaging.

As a visual user, I don't even want to stroll through the imaging area when dark. The stray light from equipment LEDs, laptop screens, reflected light from people's faces, etc. *always* kills my dark adaptation for about a half hour afterwards.

They provide an imaging area that is separate from visual areas at OSP, a star party that I regularly attend. 15 years ago, they did this to protect imagers. Now, it serves mainly to protect serious visual observers trying to make the most of the very dark skies there. It's funny that the signs in the imaging area still say "severe light restrictions", because it is obvious that there's more stray light there than anywhere else at the site (outside of the late night vendors).

So my answer is not theoretical. I see it at all the events that I attend.

What I'm dreading, is the adoption of all these touch screen devices for telescope control. All of them require a backlit screen with no protective red screen. As adoption increases, it's going to become impossible to do any serious observing at visual limits at a group event.

I'll also throw in that I've never lost a subexposure at a star party due to stray light.




I'm not so sure of that part, I can put my touchscreen phone in a thick ziploc bag, and still work the screen just fine though the bag. It seems like a dark red plastic bag would be enough?




Using a red overlay does not significantly affect a touchscreen's performance, so there really is no reason a touchscreen device is necessarily going to hurt night vision. Are some people cheap/lazy/inconsiderate and don't bother doing that? Sure, just as there are people who unthinkingly use bright white light at star parties.

I use my iPhone regularly when observing for software like SkySafari, satellite flyover prediction, Clear Sky Clock, etc. I use these: http://www.astrogizmos.com/TransPVC.htm

Two layers are required to get a properly dim, red view. Touch sensitivity is reduced slightly, but not enough to be a hindrance. Several members of my club have these on iPads that they use for telescope control.

To say that touchscreen devices are going to destroy the hobby because they don't have red overlays out of the box is like saying that having a white light flashlight at home is going to ruin the hobby. Makes no sense whatsoever.


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WadeH237
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/24/07

Loc: Snohomish, WA
Re: Breech of lighting etiquette at star parties..... new [Re: Zamboni]
      #5763155 - 03/28/13 08:49 PM

Thanks for the link to red shield! I have Sky Safari on my iPad, but have not used it at a star party due to light emission. I'll give these a try.

And I also agree that if people mitigate the light by using something like this, it will address my concern. The trick now is to educate people to use them. I may buy extras, so that I can share them at a star party if needed.

-Wade


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