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Dark site pier leases

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#1 arrowspace90

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Posted 26 May 2021 - 12:46 PM

I recently drove 8 hours to the dark site.  Whereupon, it was cloudy for all three nights I was there.  Isn't that typical?  Ha, I didn't get a frame.  But I did practice setting up my scope and connecting to their ethernet/wifi.  Big whoop.

 

But while I was there I was allowed to look inside a small building with a roll-off roof that hosted about 6 nice scopes that are "privately owned" .  The place supposedly, in principle, does "pier rentals", where the subscriber supplies everything from the mount, up.  

Right now, they have no vacancies, but I put my name on a waiting list.

 

I am tired of being victimized with bortle 6/7 conditions that place huge, tough gradients into my subs, requiring monumental LP removal.

But, the cost of a 2nd rig aside, which we know is LARGE, I suspect my interest might be in vain.

 

Does anyone have a real idea about what pier rental leases go for at a dark site?  This place had nice security, nice internet, wifi, etc.  And a resident tech.

If someone says, yeah, you can get all this for ONLY a thousand dollars a month, ha it's back to the driveway or a search for partners.

 

Anyone venture an informed guess?  The fact that these places want to talk about everything but price tells me that it's one of those, "if you have to ask the price, you can't afford it" things.



#2 crgood2

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Posted 26 May 2021 - 12:51 PM

I think most places that have the amenities you describe typically go for between 6-8k annually, although some can be much more than that.  Having a partner or a team definitely helps subsidize it, and can even make it more enjoyable if you have a friend or partner to discuss targets, work through issues together, etc.


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#3 arrowspace90

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Posted 26 May 2021 - 01:50 PM

That's definitely very expensive.

The place looks like this.  All the scopes in there save 1 look identical.  Some sort of big refractor, all had same cameras, same EAFs/EAFs.  Looks as though the clients just purchased a done deal from the owners.

One scope is a big, 11inch Celestron reflector, didn't see what kind.

I would, only in theory, love to put a RASA 11 in there, but then calibration frames become an issue and EFWs can't be managed.

The idea of a partner or 2 actually sounds fun.  When I have problems at home with stuff, and I have plenty, there's a limited amount of help available that amounts to more than a sentence or two.

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#4 dustyc

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Posted 26 May 2021 - 02:45 PM

How about one of those places where you rent by the hour? Some have a wide variety of scopes to choose from. They are responsible for upkeep and troubleshooting. You remote control the session and get your data after the run. 

And you could rent time for Southern Hemisphere targets!



#5 arrowspace90

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Posted 26 May 2021 - 09:10 PM

How about one of those places where you rent by the hour? Some have a wide variety of scopes to choose from. They are responsible for upkeep and troubleshooting. You remote control the session and get your data after the run. 

And you could rent time for Southern Hemisphere targets!

I want to somehow be able to think that it's my photo.  If I am choosing a target to put "my" scope on, perhaps that would put me in the right place.  At home, I enjoy being able to work and troubleshoot my own equipment.  But the LP is draining me.  And at 500 feet ASL, I am almost always "seeing limited".  So it wouldn't matter how big of a scope I had in my driveway.



#6 jcj380

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Posted 27 May 2021 - 07:59 PM

I want to somehow be able to think that it's my photo.  If I am choosing a target to put "my" scope on, perhaps that would put me in the right place.  At home, I enjoy being able to work and troubleshoot my own equipment.

Have you looked into slooh.com?  Not your personal scope(s), but seems to give users more control than some of the other remote imaging services.


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#7 DocJim

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Posted 02 June 2021 - 01:01 AM

Greetings "arrowspace90" with some too long delayed information regarding your post about pier leases. We can address your questions based upon our experience investing in a Backyard Observatory constructed remote ROR at a site now sporting Bortle 2/3 skies (originally Bortle 1/2) located at just under 3,000 feet in elevation in the Texas Panhandle. When BYO constructed it in 2012 the skies were much darker and now there is a light dome to about 30* altitude in the SE quadrant (120* to 140*) but it is truly dark to the horizon in all but that dome plus a narrow slice in the SW which has a minor light dome to less than 20* from a community of under 9,000 located roughly 30-miles away. The skies from the brightest area (a town of less than 800) darken quickly rising toward the Meridian, and remain extremely dark from due east to due west at Bortle 1/2. I will check the skies with a recently purchased Unihedron SQM-L when the T-storms clear here in the Texas Panhandle. We never refuse rain. We have 3 piers in this wonderful BYO observatory and will use it for the remainder of our lives.

 

Meanwhile, we have kept a TEC refractor at Deep Sky West not far from Santa Fe, New Mexico since they opened in 2015 and can highly recommend them to you. Their prices for joining teams based there (except ours) are listed on the homepage and you can access some free material to download prior to joining if that interests you. We currently rent a pier site for a TEC-160FL (OTA #30) carried on a Paramount ME II for about $10K per year. It presently has a 16200 camera with Astrodon filters on the image train and we would be happy to share some data from it with you should you wish to do so. Significantly, we are about to add a second telescope---a brand-new TEC-180FL (OTA #104) using a 16803 camera with Astrodons to our team so if you have an interest in joining with us using either telescope then please write to me. I also urge you to review the work of our team members, either Alberto Pisabarro from Spain or Rick Stevenson of Australia (both post their images on Astrobin) who have been with us from the earliest days at DSW. They were gracious for not running elsewhere as fast as possible during that steep learning curve and have become genuine friends. We charge much less than most and vote on targets then I "pilot" the system and share all data via The Cloud. We use Flip-Flats to create our calibration frames, and keep updated libraries of flats, darks and bias subs for each quarter of the calendar year.

 

No kidding, if you are looking to place your own gear at a dark site then I highly recommend DSW or their new site in Chile, and whether you choose us or some other team to join you will find this to be a fine group to associate with whether on-site or asking questions using the Forum. Our new TEC-180FL has been sitting in the living room since March 2020 due to the COVID crisis which caused NM to close its borders for some time, but we are finally getting a window to place a lot of new equipment at DSW alongside our TEC-160FL. It is only a four-hour drive away but might as well have been across the planet with the travel restrictions we all endured. Finally, we have a C11 (carbon fiber OTA with a Hyperstar v3 and SXVR H-18 with filter drawer) and an STL-11000M with FT R&P focuser on a Paramount ME; a TMB-130SS with an SXVR 8300 camera on a Paramount MX; and a Televue 127is carrying another 16200 camera at our personal remote site. That data will also available for the team once we do some repainting on the building which already has power and internet since it is located on a family farm. Just FYI we had Scott Horstman and the crew build us a nice 10' x 10' ROR in the backyard here which is used for visual work since the city light pollution is probably just as bad as you suffer from too. Sorry for the long post---and please PM me if you are interested in joining with our team of imagers and give DSW serious consideration.
Jim and Linda 



#8 Moravianus

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Posted 02 June 2021 - 01:13 AM

http://www.spaceobs....lescope-Hosting

 

http://www.spaceobs....ope-Time-Rental



#9 Raginar

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Posted 02 June 2021 - 11:43 AM

I recently drove 8 hours to the dark site.  Whereupon, it was cloudy for all three nights I was there.  Isn't that typical?  Ha, I didn't get a frame.  But I did practice setting up my scope and connecting to their ethernet/wifi.  Big whoop.

 

But while I was there I was allowed to look inside a small building with a roll-off roof that hosted about 6 nice scopes that are "privately owned" .  The place supposedly, in principle, does "pier rentals", where the subscriber supplies everything from the mount, up.  

Right now, they have no vacancies, but I put my name on a waiting list.

 

I am tired of being victimized with bortle 6/7 conditions that place huge, tough gradients into my subs, requiring monumental LP removal.

But, the cost of a 2nd rig aside, which we know is LARGE, I suspect my interest might be in vain.

 

Does anyone have a real idea about what pier rental leases go for at a dark site?  This place had nice security, nice internet, wifi, etc.  And a resident tech.

If someone says, yeah, you can get all this for ONLY a thousand dollars a month, ha it's back to the driveway or a search for partners.

 

Anyone venture an informed guess?  The fact that these places want to talk about everything but price tells me that it's one of those, "if you have to ask the price, you can't afford it" things.

DSW costs about 1k a month.. it's pretty ridiculous.

 

Best bet is finding a broski in your club whose willing to share.  Our club has a giant ROR that has a single old scope in it.  It's a little frustrating.




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