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Classics at Stellafane

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#26 George N

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Posted 04 May 2019 - 12:09 PM

I sure wish they display some restored Caves this year!

 

Many a year ago (1990's I think) a good friend (tool maker at the time - now the head of a major college high-energy physics lab) - restored a beautiful Cave 8-inch Classical Cass on a Cave mount. The results were fantastic. He offered it for sale - pickup at Stellafane. Two guys contacted him, saying they *really* wanted this scope - but did not have the money he wanted. He relented - and sold it to them for a significantly lower amount.

Two hours later the scope was sitting in front of the Pink Clubhouse with a new for sale sign on it - at a price much higher than my friend had originally asked. It sold in like 20 minutes. My friend said "Well, at least it's in the hands of someone who will use it, rather than sitting back in the basement were I found it, covered in dirt."


Edited by George N, 04 May 2019 - 12:12 PM.

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#27 TOM KIEHL

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Posted 04 May 2019 - 12:56 PM

I sure wish they display some restored Caves this year!

2 yrs. ago

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#28 terraclarke

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Posted 04 May 2019 - 01:39 PM

All pre-registered and booked. We’re not camping for a change. Will be staying in Chester at an Inn.
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#29 DAVIDG

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Posted 04 May 2019 - 03:38 PM

 I'm here at Stellafane now. 

 

               - Dave 

 

stellafane542019.jpg


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#30 pbealo

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Posted 04 May 2019 - 04:27 PM

Please say hi to Burt and Francis for me!

 

Peter


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#31 tim53

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Posted 05 May 2019 - 10:12 AM

 I'll be there running the spectrohelioscope and the Porter Turret  on Friday and Saturday. Looking forward to see everyone again.

 

                  - Dave 

The views through the Porter turret scope, when you were at the helm when I attended in 2007 were spectacular.  The most amazing thing about that scope is how dark it can be inside the turret, which does wonders for one's ability to see faint nebulosity.  

 

-Tim.


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#32 George N

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Posted 05 May 2019 - 10:17 AM

 I'm here at Stellafane now. 

 

               - Dave 

 

attachicon.gif stellafane542019.jpg

Is there still snow on the ground?????  cool.gif 

 

….and who owns that giant 'toy hauler' RV that the webcam shows (morning, 5-5-2019) sitting were the food tent should be? I applaud the driver for getting that thing into the Stellafane site!  …..but it might still be sitting there in August.



#33 roscoe

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Posted 05 May 2019 - 01:57 PM

All pre-registered and booked. We’re not camping for a change. Will be staying in Chester at an Inn.

Well, I do understand.... there is indeed something to be said for a real bed, and one that's not parked on the side of a hill, but I sure am gonna miss morning coffee perked on the Coleman stove!!  bawling.gif


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#34 terraclarke

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Posted 05 May 2019 - 02:28 PM

Well, I do understand.... there is indeed something to be said for a real bed, and one that's not parked on the side of a hill, but I sure am gonna miss morning coffee perked on the Coleman stove!!  bawling.gif


Yes, it will be nice to have a real bed that’s level, to not have to assemble the yurt, to have a real bathroom with a daily (hot) water shower, and somebody else making coffee and cooking! I’ll be in heaven. wink.gif
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#35 Mike W

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Posted 05 May 2019 - 02:44 PM

That's why you need one of these!

 

IMG_4077.jpg


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#36 George N

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Posted 07 May 2019 - 10:52 AM

Yes, it will be nice to have a real bed that’s level, …..

I still remember one year when a friend rolled down the hill in the middle of the night in his tent.... and just went back to sleep! We found him in the morning wrapped up like a mummy in his rolled-up tent - asleep against a tree! If it were not for that tree -- he could have been a quarter mile away!  wink.gif

 

It's all a part of "the Stellafane Mythos" -- along with hearing the whispers of Russell Porter in the breezes thru the trees on a clear night! Porter is no doubt reminding you of the importance of collimation!   cool.gif 

Love Stellafane - been goin' since 1995 -- and should have gone years earlier when I made my first telescope.


Edited by George N, 07 May 2019 - 11:05 AM.

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#37 George N

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Posted 07 May 2019 - 11:00 AM

If you want to see some photos of "Classics at Stellafane" -- spend some time clicking around on their 'history pages' (https://stellafane.o...tory/index.html). Some of those old scopes from Conventions-past are fascinating.

 

I remember seeing a photo of one - taken about 1938 I think - that would fit every definition of a "Dobsonian" -- years before John re-invented (cool.gif ) the design. It used the 'stacked boxes' of a 'so-called Dobsonian' - just a very long time ago!


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#38 terraclarke

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Posted 07 May 2019 - 11:21 AM

We love Stellafane too! Just hate those stinky porta-potties that are getting ripe by Friday, and the cold showers (and the standing in line to get the cold shower). Looking forward to trying things a little differently this year. Plus it will be nice not to have to pack, drag, unpack, pack, drag, and again unpack all the camping gear.


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#39 mcolbert

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Posted 07 May 2019 - 04:49 PM

not to seem unfeeling about other people's commitments or situations preventing them from attending; it's just the but for me is to remember a couple of the losses that we as a community have experienced recently, Tom and Dionigi.  We must always keep in mind intentions for 'next year' and how fragile the future is for each of us. 


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#40 WIstargazer

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Posted 11 May 2019 - 12:14 PM

What a great thread here! Brings back SO many fond memories for me :-)

To begin, as a youngster, I lived in Springfield, MA. I used to go camping once in a while with a school friend and his family at Crown Point, which is (was?) in Perkinsville, VT, right near Springfield. Exactly 100 miles from Springfield to Springfield.

Unfortunately, I wasn't into astronomy then but really LOVED Vermont. 

Many years later, I was a member of Arunah Hill in Cummington, MA and was privileged to be able to say I worked many hours making it part of what it is today.

We took our Fitz-Clark refractor to Stellafane in 1996 and were awarded second place for mechanical design.

The lens was mounted on a WWII torpedo tube, and Joe Zuraw had made a spectacular dob mount for it from over 1,000 pieces of luan board.

I only went to Stellafane that one time, but it was an amazing experience I could never forget.

Would be great to get there again, but it's not looking too good. 

It is SO hard to believe that was 24 years ago!!

Astronomy out here in SW Wisconsin is nothing like it was back in the North East.

As an aside note, I was also able to spend time camping with the Rockland club in 94 or 95, as I lived a mere 20 miles from where they held their Summer star party. Don Urban was a great guy. I was also able to attend the first couple of NEAF events.

So, thanks to you all for bringing back these terrific memories and do have an awesome time there!!

May you have the clearest of skies!!


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#41 George N

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Posted 15 May 2019 - 08:33 PM

What a great thread here! Brings back SO many fond memories for me :-)

......

We took our Fitz-Clark refractor to Stellafane in 1996 and were awarded second place for mechanical design.

The lens was mounted on a WWII torpedo tube, and Joe Zuraw had made a spectacular dob mount for it from over 1,000 pieces of luan board.

I only went to Stellafane that one time, but it was an amazing experience I could never forget.

.....

Hey -- I remember that year! It was my 2nd year at Stellafane - and I had my little OGS 10-inch Ritchie and Byres 58 mount set up on Breezy Hill about 20 feet from the Fitz! In fact my rig (and my feet) ended up in the Sky & Tel photo of the big refractor in their article about Stellafane 1996. I remember that you guys had your own 'kitchen' and picnic table set up - with some guy cooking breakfast!

 

Alas, I never made it over to look thru the big refractor -- because I was having so much fun with my scope.

 

While Friday night was poor, it cleared out at dusk on Saturday for a spectacular night of observing. While there was a huge crowd in the evening -- and long lines at the refractor, and the Porter Turret - and even my scope -- by late night I was one of the few still observing on Breezy Hill. All my friends had found someplace to sleep -- and I remember indexing one more Globular (NGC-something) on the Bryes 58's setting circles - and seeing a very washed out cluster. I said something - and one of the few people still up said "Hey! It's dawn! Come over here and you can see Venus!" Sure enough - I was so into still observing that I missed how bright the sky had gotten!

That great night inspired me to return to Stellafane every year since - much more than my first year, when I was mostly 'lost' - with only a few clear hours to look thru the newly opened McGreggor and a guy's 32-inch Dob.

 

The next year (1997) was the last I have set up on Breezy Hill. After that they put in the 'no parking' restriction up there - and it became much less convenient to observe up there (I use to sleep in the back of my truck, and drive down to the tent in the morning). While the light discipline is better, the view of the sky -- especially the Southern Milky Way - is not as good as down at Stellafane East. However, my friends and I do very much miss the "history" and excitement of observing on Breezy Hill, with the Pink Clubhouse, the Porter, etc.


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#42 WIstargazer

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Posted 15 May 2019 - 11:02 PM

Yes, there sure were long lines at the Fitz.

We probably got to look through it less than anyone else, but it was really great to be able to share such an awesome piece of history.

It's good to hear that Stellafane has grown to what it is, but back then, it was also nice to be smaller.

You may also want to check out the Rockland Astronomy Club's Summer star party. (NEAF founders)

That is also a really fun time.

I lived 20 miles from the campground they used to use and felt SO lucky to live in a place that people would drive 200 miles and spend their week at a place I could get to any time I wanted.

I went to their campground the night they arrived and they were pretty pooped from driving from Long Island, but one guy set up his 18" dob and told me to have fun as he was going to bed.

Being fairly new, I was in heaven LOL.

Couldn't get enough of that scope!!

Another night, I was using my trusty 90mm Meade achromat on EQ mount and Don Urban (president at the time, rest his soul) came over and saw I was using the mount free handed. 

He came over and showed me how to use the setting circles in about 5 minutes.

(Something that was confusing before that).

Ahh more fond memories!  And WOW for people that lived so close to NYC, they had some really awesome scopes! 

 

They have it now in Plainfield, MA which is in the NW part of the state.

Check it out! I see they have all the details on their web site. rocklandastronomy.com


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#43 starman876

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Posted 16 May 2019 - 09:48 AM

Looks like a few months to go before we will see some pictures.   Wonder if I will have time to go.  Would be nice.   Been 50 years since I have been in Vermont.


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#44 roscoe

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Posted 16 May 2019 - 10:03 AM

It hasn't changed much..... The trees are taller, Burlington has turned into a metropolis,  and the factories along the Connecticut river valley have pretty much all closed down, but, mostly, it's still Vermont, same as it ever was.....


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#45 George N

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Posted 16 May 2019 - 11:13 AM

It hasn't changed much..... The trees are taller, Burlington has turned into a metropolis,  and the factories along the Connecticut river valley have pretty much all closed down, but, mostly, it's still Vermont, same as it ever was.....

Vermont! Love it. Any place that celebrates "Cow Appreciation Day" can't be all bad!

 

But while Stellafane has continued to improve -- and even get back close to the high attendance rates of the late '90s early 2000s - Springfield has, if anything, suffered some decline - pretty typical of 'inland-mountain' New England and Upstate NY.

 

We are very lucky that the lights of the state prison that was built in the area have been offset by other Light Pollution control measures taken by the State and locals. While the Stellafane skies are not like Cherry Springs, the Adirondacks, or the West -- most are very pleased to see a bright Milky Way -- and most of the LP is in the Northern sky.

 

It would be very nice to see more 'classic' scopes, and even old-time ATM efforts scanning those Vermont skies.


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#46 CharlieB

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Posted 16 May 2019 - 12:04 PM

I will be bring some classic scopes.  Just have to decide which ones.  I brought way too many last time. 


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#47 terraclarke

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Posted 16 May 2019 - 12:13 PM

I was just thinking about it today! I really missed not going last year!! I’m getting pretty stoked!!!

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#48 DAVIDG

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Posted 16 May 2019 - 12:30 PM

 Vermont hasn't changed  much, it still has crazy weather. This is what Stellafane looked like two days ago ie MAY 14 ! Yes that is SNOW 

 

               - Dave 

 

stellafanemay1142019.jpg


Edited by DAVIDG, 16 May 2019 - 03:10 PM.

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#49 terraclarke

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Posted 16 May 2019 - 12:41 PM

Vermont has changed  much it still has crazy weather. This is what Stellafane looked like two days ago ie MAY 14 ! Yes that is SNOW 
 
               - Dave



#50 terraclarke

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Posted 16 May 2019 - 12:41 PM

Vermont has changed  much it still has crazy weather. This is what Stellafane looked like two days ago ie MAY 14 ! Yes that is SNOW 
 
               - Dave

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