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jerry10137
sage
*****

Reged: 01/26/13

Loc: Texas, USA
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: galaxy_jason]
      #5823334 - 04/25/13 10:59 PM

Quote:

Lets hope for some daytime thunderstorms (OK no hail). No really, the best ever starparty was '93 (or maybe '94). I line of t-storms moved through and settled all the dust in the area. Next night was the darkest sky and the snapiest milky way I have ever seen...and I haven't see better since.




That was 1993. I was there for that one and remember seeing everyone cleaning up their gear after the storm. And yes, the sky opened up like something from star wars!


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snorkler
Aperture Aficionado
*****

Reged: 10/11/04

Loc: Bay Area, California
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: jerry10137]
      #5823503 - 04/26/13 01:58 AM

Erika,

We use nails that are ~10" long, with ~2" diameter washers slid up to the nail heads, to stake down our indoor-outdoor carpeting, tents, etc. You want a 2 lb. hammer, or a sledge to drive the nails, and a pair of vice grips to twist the nails out of the ground for removal.

You want to cover your Dob and stake it down well. I saw that 17-1/2" Dob flying, and posted the photo of the cracked mirror in the TSP thread that year.

Sorry I won't be there to organize the annual CN ice cream social this year. A bunch of us NPS volunteers are having our own star party in SE UT conflicting with TSP.


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ErixAdministrator
Toad Lily
*****

Reged: 12/25/04

Loc: Texas, USA
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: snorkler]
      #5824029 - 04/26/13 10:31 AM

Thanks for the great advice, guys. It's really helpful.

Darrell, I'm really sorry you can't make it this year.

I've got a scope cover for my Dob that I was planning on strapping down and staking. I assume that's sufficient or are you suggesting that I cover it with a tarp that's staked to the ground as well?


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rockethead26
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 10/21/09

Loc: Arizona, USA
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: Erix]
      #5824078 - 04/26/13 10:48 AM

Erika,

My 14.5" Teeter survived the bad blow in 2010 on the middle field with my Telegizmos cover (made to be used in the horizontal position) and two long bungee cords stretched over and staked to the ground. I had pointed my scope in the direction of the prevailing winds before staking down.

I left just enough slack in the bungee cords to let the telescope swing maybe five degrees in either direction so it wouldn't be quite so rigid.


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rockethead26
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 10/21/09

Loc: Arizona, USA
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: snorkler]
      #5824085 - 04/26/13 10:51 AM

Quote:


Sorry I won't be there to organize the annual CN ice cream social this year. A bunch of us NPS volunteers are having our own star party in SE UT conflicting with TSP.




Sorry to miss you this year.


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Cotts
Just Wondering
*****

Reged: 10/10/05

Loc: Toronto, Ontario
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: DeanS]
      #5827234 - 04/27/13 08:06 PM

Quote:

Hi Dave,

Rob told me you are keeping your scope, will you bring it to TSP?




Hi, Dean. Despite my best intentions I will not be able to bring the 16" Zambuto to the TSP this year. A test fitting in my car failed this morning so I will be forced into Plan B - the TEC 200mm f/15.6 Mak/Cass on the AP Mach 1.

I really need a small trailer for the Dob. I may have found something, too. There is a welder here in Toronto who will build a box of whatever size on a frame with the wheels, lights etc. I will make a diagram to see what size I need and find out the price. The good news is that he can put one together in a couple of weeks so I'll have it for the majority of the Star Party season....

Dave


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DeanS
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 07/12/05

Loc: Central Kentucky
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: Cotts]
      #5827321 - 04/27/13 08:56 PM

Too bad as it would be a treat under those dark skies. But again you are welcome to use my 18" anytime, although we will be set up on the upper field. Maybe you can give me a quick lesson with the servocat and Sky Commander too. I have not used it much yet.

I have all my imaging gear packed and sitting by the truck ready to be loaded up. Dang I bring too much stuff!


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Cotts
Just Wondering
*****

Reged: 10/10/05

Loc: Toronto, Ontario
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: DeanS]
      #5829643 - 04/29/13 07:53 AM

Quote:

Too bad as it would be a treat under those dark skies. But again you are welcome to use my 18" anytime, although we will be set up on the upper field. I will find you. Maybe you can give me a quick lesson with the servocat and Sky Commander too. I would be happy to do so. I have not used it much yet.

I have all my imaging gear packed and sitting by the truck ready to be loaded up. Dang I bring too much stuff!




Dave


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rockethead26
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 10/21/09

Loc: Arizona, USA
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: Cotts]
      #5832747 - 04/30/13 04:52 PM

Does the 10 day forecast for Fort Davis always look this cloudy a few days out? If not, this doesn't look promising.

Fort Davis 10 Day Forecast


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bicparker
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 02/07/05

Loc: Texas Hill Country
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: rockethead26]
      #5832927 - 04/30/13 06:16 PM

I would be careful trying to read too much into that. Davis Mountain forecasts are very volatile. What is probably more important to watch is what is being driven up to Fort Davis from the Baja Peninsula. That is where a lot of the bad weather comes from, if it arrives. Right now, the radar and satellite pictures show the water vapor flow from there is pretty far south of Fort Davis, which is good (though it is probably also causing a lot of late snow up north). If the jet stream stays south, we may have some low fluffy clouds during the day, but pretty clear nights.

But things change... often.


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bicparker
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 02/07/05

Loc: Texas Hill Country
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: bicparker]
      #5832930 - 04/30/13 06:17 PM

By the way, last year, which was spectacularly good, looked anything but good about this time before the star party. It is just very hard to tell what will happen, sometimes.

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rockethead26
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 10/21/09

Loc: Arizona, USA
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: bicparker]
      #5833018 - 04/30/13 07:02 PM

Thanks, David, that's good news. Last time I attended was 2010 and I couldn't remember what the long range forecast looked like at this stage. I'll stay positive.

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DeanS
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 07/12/05

Loc: Central Kentucky
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: rockethead26]
      #5833280 - 04/30/13 09:46 PM

Weather can change so quick, for the better, or worse. I just go and am prepared for either. As in lots of cloudy night refreshments if needed. A good star party means I bring home most of what I brought too

Dean


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jerry10137
sage
*****

Reged: 01/26/13

Loc: Texas, USA
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: DeanS]
      #5833359 - 04/30/13 10:36 PM

I'm mostly packed and ready. This gravy train is heading west come Saturday. Rain, Sleet, Clouds.....I don't care. Just get me out of the big city garbage for some peace and quiet

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Unknownastron
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 04/06/05

Loc: CatsEye Observatory,Rural Sout...
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: jerry10137]
      #5834363 - 05/01/13 01:09 PM

Almost ready to leave. Since this is my first trip out in 2 years and post heart surgery I'm a little fearful of the altitude so we are taking it in steps. From home to Abilene, then tomorrow Abilene to Balmorhea State Park. This will be TSP #30 for me, as well as a couple of other star parties at Ft. Davis plus a half-dozen trips to view at McDonalds and we have always driven past Balmorhea! We have a cabin reserved for Thursday. Friday evening on to Alpine to spend Saturday doing Alpine things (museums, shops, restaurants)then an easy drive back to Ft. Davis on Sunday to arrive about 2:00 pm. No reason to arrive before we can check into the room. Unload to the room then set up on the field well before dark. The last according to weather, of course.
Regarding the weather discussion, I agree it is difficult to predictr even a few days in advance. Except under two conditions. One is the previously mentioned subtropical jet. It is now south of Texas. If it moves North, trouble. The other is if a storm system moves in from the West or Northwest and then stalls, with the dryline either just West of the Davis mountains or, worse, right overhead.
The best bet for observing at TSP is to stay all week. From my experience there is less than 5% chance for weather to be bad all week. I think this year will have 3 or 4 food nights, a couple of partly clear and 1 or 2 total cloud outs. I will have a good time whatever. See you there.
Clear skies and clean glass,
Mike


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Dave Mitsky
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 04/08/02

Loc: PA, USA, Planet Earth
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: Unknownastron]
      #5835613 - 05/02/13 02:51 AM

Robert Werkman and I will be departing for TSP early this afternoon.

Dave Mitsky


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rockethead26
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 10/21/09

Loc: Arizona, USA
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: Dave Mitsky]
      #5835678 - 05/02/13 06:12 AM

Have a safe trip everyone! I pack up today and leave Friday morning.
Looking forward to a great event.


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Cotts
Just Wondering
*****

Reged: 10/10/05

Loc: Toronto, Ontario
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: rockethead26]
      #5835728 - 05/02/13 07:31 AM

I left Wednesday morning. Stayed with friends near Fort Wayne IN last night. Today a 10-hour sprint to somewhere around Springfield MO. Friday to Norman OK where I will inspect 'ground zero' of Cloudy Nights, Astronomics!(Pics coming! Stay tuned)
Saturday, a long drive to the Prude Ranch....

Dave


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MikeBOKC
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 05/10/10

Loc: Oklahoma City, OK
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: Cotts]
      #5835865 - 05/02/13 09:31 AM

Dave forecast is pretty good for tomorrow here in Astronomicsland . . . clearing, 50s, into 60s and up over the weekend. Enjoy your stop in Norman!

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DeanS
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 07/12/05

Loc: Central Kentucky
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: MikeBOKC]
      #5835908 - 05/02/13 09:57 AM

Yep I leave early am tomorrow and drive to Abilene and camp out in front of Dr Benway's house. Long drive of 1075 miles. Then the two of us drive onto the State park for Sat night. If anyone else is at the park look for us, I will be in a small white Casita travel trailer, John has an Edge Trailer.

Everyone be careful.

Dean


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