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Outreach and cell phones

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#1 DSOGabe

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Posted 23 April 2024 - 12:54 PM

Kind of subject that requires some level of tact.

I am seeing at every outreach session we do more and more people who want to take a pic with their mobile at the eyepiece. I always warn them that it can be difficult to do-that it can require a very steady hand.

The issue is that it can be time consuming and there is a line behind that person who wants to see and/or also has the mobile ready to go. How do others handle this without alienating the guests?

I sometimes think about bringing a second set up and steering them over to that one for taking the photo.


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#2 hyiger

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Posted 23 April 2024 - 12:59 PM

Kind of subject that requires some level of tact.

I am seeing at every outreach session we do more and more people who want to take a pic with their mobile at the eyepiece. I always warn them that it can be difficult to do-that it can require a very steady hand.

The issue is that it can be time consuming and there is a line behind that person who wants to see and/or also has the mobile ready to go. How do others handle this without alienating the guests?

I sometimes think about bringing a second set up and steering them over to that one for taking the photo.

During outreach I only setup for EAA and have 1 iPad per scope. They are welcome to take photos of the iPad screen. 


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#3 ubcastro

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Posted 23 April 2024 - 01:30 PM

If it's busy, I tell them to not take too long since there's people in line, or to wait until the line is clear before trying to take a photo. 

 

If it's not busy I sometimes offer to help since have quite a bit of experience photographing through the eyepiece. 


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#4 havasman

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Posted 23 April 2024 - 01:50 PM

+1 for the strategy in post #3

 

Once it dawned on me that folks relate to their world through their phones I made some accommodation from my prior stance: no, it doesn't work and you're eating up too much time. But I offer no assistance as I have very little experience in the matter. I do not favor a 2nd setup. Maybe it's just that I haven't the capacity to allow for the dilution of attention required. But it's not gone well when I tried it.

 

I have been to a few rock shows in the last several years and that's the silliest cell phone overapplication I've seen to date. We're impressively odd sometimes.


Edited by havasman, 23 April 2024 - 01:54 PM.

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#5 ShaulaB

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Posted 23 April 2024 - 02:00 PM

When we have hundreds of people at an outreach event, I explain that taking a picture with a phone slows down the line at the eyepiece. "Come back later when we have fewer guests waiting in line" like UBCastro says. Some club members have the devices that connect a phone to an eyepiece, although most of these devices only work with 1 1/4 inch eyepieces.

 

I personally would not set up a second telescope for "phone only." People who don't know much about telescopes may bump the mount and/or tripod, or grab the eyepiece. It amazes me how people push on an OTA or a mount and think nothing will happen. So the people with phones would need supervision, which I can't give if I am talking to a visitor at my main telescope.

 

I like the idea of using EAA and having visitors get a picture of the output.

 

People at the eyepiece have the most luck with the Moon, Jupiter, and sometimes Saturn. With EAA, they can get DSO's too.



#6 DSOGabe

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Posted 23 April 2024 - 03:56 PM

Everyone, thanks for the suggestions.

As the post begins-"Kind of subject that requires some level of tact" - it can be difficult for me since tact is one thing I sometimes do not have. 



#7 kfiscus

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Posted 23 April 2024 - 08:10 PM

At the public outreach nights where I help out, I have a setup for taking cellphone pix of the moon.  It is a separate scope away from the other scopes that may be looking at the moon or a DSO.  I tell people that they can try photos at the EP although it's challenging.  I sometimes have a 2nd moon scope that is sending its image via a cheap Meade digital EP to a monitor.  That is much more satisfying for the public.

 

They walk away very happy and serve as great advertising for our observatory.  They can rightfully brag "I took this photo!".


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#8 Phil Cowell

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Posted 23 April 2024 - 08:43 PM

Using a Smart Device solves the problem as it takes less than a minute to send the image by email.

 

Everyone, thanks for the suggestions.

As the post begins-"Kind of subject that requires some level of tact" - it can be difficult for me since tact is one thing I sometimes do not have. 


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#9 CharLakeAstro

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Posted 23 April 2024 - 09:06 PM

Like Hyiger and others, I use a camera for outreach. Laptop, RDP the mount PC via WiFi... print screen and email.

 

Until further notice (translate = forever), my outreach is now restricted to private events, by invite only, a few friends, and my immediate family (spouse and offspring). I do occasionally attend "public" events with a local club, but my scope does not.

 

Using a Smart Device solves the problem as it takes less than a minute to send the image by email.

 

During outreach I only setup for EAA and have 1 iPad per scope. They are welcome to take photos of the iPad screen. 


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#10 tcifani

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Posted 24 April 2024 - 07:08 AM

At an outreach event I attend at a collage observatory (also several dobs and other scopes set up near the dome), they prohibit any cell phone use because it ruins dark adaptation. Simple rule. No worries.



#11 David Knisely

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Posted 24 April 2024 - 05:41 PM

During Hyde Observatory's 2024 Partial Eclipse coverage, we ran the NASA feed from various locations where totality would occur on our big video projector in the main lecture room (see image below).  During a couple of the totality times, I saw people near the front of the audience taking pictures of our screen with their cell phones with activated flash units!  One of our observatory staff (a "Deck Leader") does sometimes bring his cell-phone adapter with him on public nights so people can take shots of what some of our telescopes are viewing, but he does not do that routinely as it takes away time that would be better spent letting the public view the objects with their own eyes.  Mostly, we just tell people that just holding the cell phone up to the eyepiece may not work very well (which is often true).  We do have our eVscope available where people can pull the current image we are displaying on our tablet down to their phones, and that seems to work best when dealing with people who want to capture something with their phones.  Clear skies to you.

 

Eclipse2024LectureRoom1.JPG


Edited by David Knisely, 25 April 2024 - 03:05 AM.


#12 Richie2shoes

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Posted 26 April 2024 - 09:24 PM

Same as post #3.  I recently picked up a Hestia from Vaonis.  I mounted it to an old Meade DS mount I picked up and plan on taking it to star parties and keeping it on whichever target I'm looking at through my other scope.  Then they can just lay their phone on that to take the picture.

 

It's not a great device, but works for this purpose.  I got it from the kickstarter for $150.  It's no way worth what they're selling it at now.



#13 zman2100

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Posted 03 May 2024 - 09:27 AM

Same as post #3.  I recently picked up a Hestia from Vaonis.  I mounted it to an old Meade DS mount I picked up and plan on taking it to star parties and keeping it on whichever target I'm looking at through my other scope.  Then they can just lay their phone on that to take the picture.

 

It's not a great device, but works for this purpose.  I got it from the kickstarter for $150.  It's no way worth what they're selling it at now.

I scoffed at the Hestia on release as being a useless and overpriced device, but this is actually a good application for it. Definitely wouldn't pay $400 for it but at $150-$200, that's the range where it might make sense for a club to have one to offer an easy way for guests to take photos of the moon. 



#14 HagglePig420

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Posted 12 May 2024 - 02:46 PM

It's challenging... especially if it's busy... I usually say with a line, or a bunch of people, just view for now, but if they stick around till the crowd thins a little, I can help them out. I usually have more than 1 scope set up, and I have a couple cheap phone adapters and cheap EPs. Have them position the phone over the EP in the adapter, then they can just place the phone in the scope, focus, take a few pics real quick, good to go.

I think most of the time, they are aware that others are waiting and won't fiddle with it for too long

#15 Stevegeo

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Posted 12 May 2024 - 07:26 PM

Past 4 or five outreach i use the Vespera, going to my Iphone. Then  with a USB converter to HDMI to a 24 in flatscreen tv on a tripod.... Using my Jackery for power..Everyone gets to see, and take pics .. and if i  get photos  on my phone i can share by bluetooth to whoever wants..

 Everyone gets a photo , this generates great interest... and they keep coming back.

 

July we are doing a solar event with several solar scopes , cameras  and  a solar projector i built... if i get a few more clear days i will experiment with getting a larger image with a sun sheild tent like around .. will post my setup in the solar forum whe  it happens..


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#16 rockethead26

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Posted 14 May 2024 - 07:28 AM

At Lowell, we do the same as Shaula. We tell folks that if there is a line behind them, then, no but they can come back around and take as much time as they want if no one is behind them, waiting.




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