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Dave Mitsky
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 04/08/02

Loc: PA, USA, Planet Earth
Re: Texas Star Party [Re: DeanS]
      #5835966 - 05/02/13 10:25 AM

It's a drive of almost 2000 miles for me.

Dave Mitsky


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Dr Benway
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 03/27/08

Loc: Abilene, TX
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: DeanS]
      #5836046 - 05/02/13 11:10 AM

Dean, I crawled under my RV yesterday afternoon and was appalled at the terrible state of my tires! Yikes!!! Got on the phone this morning with my tire guy. Ordered a fresh pair. They will be installed tomorrow along with repacking the wheel bearings. I don't want any roadside drama on the way to Fort Davis!

John


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StephAdministrator
Texas Wildflower
*****

Reged: 06/11/05

Loc: North Texas
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: Dr Benway]
      #5836187 - 05/02/13 12:29 PM

Drive careful, everyone, and have a great time!! We who cannot attend demand lots of pictures *during* the week.

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ErixAdministrator
Toad Lily
*****

Reged: 12/25/04

Loc: Texas, USA
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: Dr Benway]
      #5836326 - 05/02/13 01:34 PM

Quote:

Dean, I crawled under my RV yesterday afternoon and was appalled at the terrible state of my tires! Yikes!!! Got on the phone this morning with my tire guy. Ordered a fresh pair. They will be installed tomorrow along with repacking the wheel bearings. I don't want any roadside drama on the way to Fort Davis!

John




I hear you! I just had a tire repaired yesterday on my CRV.

Steph, will be thinking of you while I'm there.


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Steve Daniel
super member


Reged: 06/03/12

Loc: Austin, TX
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: Erix]
      #5836513 - 05/02/13 02:49 PM

I'm heading out from Austin Saturday, should be at the state park around 5 or 6. Then on Sunday into the ranch for my first TSP ... woohoo!

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rockethead26
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 10/21/09

Loc: Arizona, USA
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: Steve Daniel]
      #5836547 - 05/02/13 03:07 PM

Quote:

I'm heading out from Austin Saturday, should be at the state park around 5 or 6. Then on Sunday into the ranch for my first TSP ... woohoo!




Nice short drive, Steve! I'll have my Teeter on the middle field next to Dave Cotts with his 8" TEC Maksutov. Maybe we'll see you.


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Steve Daniel
super member


Reged: 06/03/12

Loc: Austin, TX
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: rockethead26]
      #5836704 - 05/02/13 04:38 PM

Thanks, Jim, I'll look for you guys. Not sure where I'll be set up exactly. I'll have my CPC8 out there.

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Steve Daniel
super member


Reged: 06/03/12

Loc: Austin, TX
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: bicparker]
      #5836706 - 05/02/13 04:40 PM

Does anyone know how cell coverage is around Prude Ranch and Ft. Davis?

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rockethead26
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 10/21/09

Loc: Arizona, USA
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: Steve Daniel]
      #5836781 - 05/02/13 05:20 PM

Quote:

Does anyone know how cell coverage is around Prude Ranch and Ft. Davis?




What I remember from 2010 is that next to a certain rock outside one of the bunkhouses I (and almost everybody else) could make a cell phone call, most of the time. It was the only magic spot. I don't know if things have improved any in three years.


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csa/montana
Den Mama
*****

Reged: 05/14/05

Loc: montana
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: Steph]
      #5836830 - 05/02/13 05:44 PM

Steph, I thought you & Erika were going together?

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StephAdministrator
Texas Wildflower
*****

Reged: 06/11/05

Loc: North Texas
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: csa/montana]
      #5837088 - 05/02/13 07:25 PM

That was the original plan, but I had to drop out due to health and work issues.

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csa/montana
Den Mama
*****

Reged: 05/14/05

Loc: montana
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: Steph]
      #5837103 - 05/02/13 07:37 PM

Really sorry to hear that Steph. Hopefully next year!

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DeanS
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 07/12/05

Loc: Central Kentucky
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: csa/montana]
      #5837145 - 05/02/13 08:05 PM Attachment (9 downloads)

Had to do one final thing to be ready to leave in the morning......

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rockethead26
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 10/21/09

Loc: Arizona, USA
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: DeanS]
      #5837165 - 05/02/13 08:18 PM

Nice touch, Dean! I'll be heading out in the AM, too.

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Cotts
Just Wondering
*****

Reged: 10/10/05

Loc: Toronto, Ontario
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: MikeBOKC]
      #5837219 - 05/02/13 08:55 PM

Quote:

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




Hi Mike. Your weather report is encouraging. I'm in a motel in Miami, OK. It has been raining hevily since St. Louis. The temperature is 33F and there is now wet snow mixed with the rain. What the heck???

I'll see you in the store after lunch tomorrow. Looking forward to seeing the place and meeting the staff....

Dave


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MikeBOKC
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 05/10/10

Loc: Oklahoma City, OK
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: Cotts]
      #5837230 - 05/02/13 09:02 PM

I'm not in the store, just up the road in OKC. Mike Bieler is the guy you will see . . . he owns the place, I just give them most of my available cash.

This cruddy late spring cold front is moving out east so your drive tomorrow should be good. Lots of good places for lunch in downtown Norman near the store. Just don't buy too much!


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bicparker
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 02/07/05

Loc: Texas Hill Country
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: MikeBOKC]
      #5837354 - 05/02/13 10:17 PM

Leaving tomorrow morning for a long (just kidding) 6 hour drive. There are some final bits of work to get the site ready, and we have a lot of great volunteers getting things together. I, on the other hand, am the guy who everyone is trying to figure out what I actually do (if you find out, please let me know).

For all of you traveling long distances, safe travels and godspeed. I hope to see you at the line or gate on Sunday morning in good shape.


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Cotts
Just Wondering
*****

Reged: 10/10/05

Loc: Toronto, Ontario
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: MikeBOKC]
      #5837355 - 05/02/13 10:17 PM

OOPS! Wrong guy.

In my defense, how many guys named Mike B. who are into Astronomy and live in Norman can there be??

2, at least, apparently....

Dave


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galaxy_jason
Vendor


Reged: 05/22/07

Loc: Texas
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: Cotts]
      #5837478 - 05/02/13 11:44 PM

Stand on the magic tree stump outside of "cherry" for cell reception. I'm actually not kidding

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bicparker
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 02/07/05

Loc: Texas Hill Country
Re: Texas Star Party new [Re: Steve Daniel]
      #5837652 - 05/03/13 04:43 AM

Quote:

Does anyone know how cell coverage is around Prude Ranch and Ft. Davis?




Steve,
The short story is that the cell reception around the Prude Ranch is terrible and unreliable unless you stand on a stump (as Jason suggested), and even then it is sketchy. We're in the mountains and it is a remote area. Additionally, because one of the VLBA scopes is near the Prude, the ambient RF, especially in the high UHF and higher regions is kept, by law, fairly low (the onsite scope manager monitors for this and there are FCC regulations protecting the VLBA, apparently, there, which is good). So, the likelihood that a cell tower is installed there anytime soon is probably low.

On the other hand, AT&T service in Fort Davis itself is actually quite good along State Street (the main highway through the center of town), especially on its stretch before you get into downtown Fort Davis. When you get just off of State Street, the coverage will drop again at different spots rather quickly.

So, if you need to make calls back in for work, home, etc., I would schedule them for times you can run into town. Just park on the shoulder of the road and have a big time.

I saw where this is your first time at TSP. That is great and we look forward to seeing you there. On a related note and just so you know, there are several TSP staff members who are also Ham operators. The Sr. staff members and radio crew have on-hand radio capability to directly call emergency services dispatch through an emergency frequency in the event of an emergency on the ranch where we can't otherwise get to one of the ranch telephones quickly. Plus, we can also easily tie into the linked repeaters in the region.

The TSP radio crew also operates on HF, VHF, and UHF amateur bands from the TSP radio shack onsite (W5TSP) throughout the week. If you are ever interested, you should stop by the shack. They work contacts from all around the world there.

Also, during the week of TSP, the ranch campus becomes the largest Internet Cafe in West Texas! We do provide campus wide wi-fi throughout the ranch during TSP week. TSP has been continually investing in and upgrading this service over the years and it is pretty decent now.

So, while cell phones are a bit sketchy to use on the ranch, that doesn't mean we are out of touch. We are actually plugged in quite well, you just have to know the frequency to use.


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