Teaching An Old Dog(house) New Tricks.

The Riverside Astronomical Society has a 22 inch hand made (by club members) Dobsonian that comes out to show the heavens up close and personal.

Capella

I cannot operate Capella, she (or he) is too much scope for me to handle.  Give me a computer and a goto mount and I can find anything.  Only our expert visual observers can locate anything, so if you want to find out how to star hop and see deep space objects through a truely magnificent scope, come to the next star part at GMARS (directions and information on star party dates can be found on the Club’s website at www.rivastro.org.  Capella has recently been upgraded with all new electronic setting circles, new cooling fans, a new spider and mirror support system and new coatings for the primary and secondary mirrors.

Tear Down 1

The problem was that the old doghouse, where Capella sleeps when not star gazing, has too many leaks and let dust and other creepy, crawly thing inside.  That was not going to happen to all the new equipment!  So the director of Capella operations, Carey Sublette, requested a work party to tear the old house down and build a new house for the pretty much new scope.

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Tear Down 2

So this past Saturday, the tear down and construction began.  Several club members helped with the project and it was completed in a single day.

Skeleton

Once the old material was removed, new side ribs were installed to hold the siding better.

A New Skin

A moisture barrier was added to prevent dust and water from eroding Capella’s mirrors.

Done

A positive pressure vent with a filter were also added.  A solar panel and battery will arrive soon and be added so that  there is always more air pressure on the inside than out, which will keep the elements at bay.  The solar panel is part of a club initiative to reduce our carbon footprint and save on electricity costs.  Although you can’t tell from this photo, GMARS is sunny most of the time, so we are going to start harnessing all that free energy with some upcoming projects.

Thanks to everyone that participated in the work party.

– Ex astris, scientia –

I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney in Pasadena, California and I am a Rising Star as rated by Super Lawyers Magazine.  As a former Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, I am a proud member of the Armed Service Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association working to aid all active duty and veterans in our communities. Connect with me on Google +, or by email.

Norman

New Stove Day At Gmars…Almost.

This Saturday, we tried to replace the old, worn out stove in the kitchen of GMARS (the Goat Mountain Astronomical Research Station), the dark sky site for the Riverside Astronomical Society.

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After making two trips into town to retrieve said stove from Home Depot (on mistaken phone call that it was in, then the real call 30 minutes later).  The stove arrived on the back of my truck.

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The new stove preparing to be unloaded.

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The old stove, alas, many a meal had been cooked on it over the past 8 years or so.

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Disconnecting the gas and old gas line before removal.

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Just to make sure, we turned the gas off with both valves.  Safety first.

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A lonely spot looking for something to be placed there.

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Unpacking the stove.  Mike and Bruce helping out along with Bob and Ken.

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The three foot move into the kitchen for inspection ……

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and then disaster struck….

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twice…actually, three times as the electric cord had been slightly nicked exposing the wires.

So back in the box, back on the truck, back to Home Depot to return and order another one.

[Heavy sigh….]

Three trips into town and nothing to show for it.  The people at Home Depot were great and got the replacement on order.  Hopefully in two weeks, the newly ordered stove will be installed.

P.S.  It doesn’t take Home Depot that long to order the stove, but our holiday party is this next Saturday and there won’t be anyone to install it, so I asked them to deliver it in two weeks.

Now if my back can take it, we will be set for the December star party.  Remember everyone is welcome to come out and play under the stars at GMARS any time.

– Ex astris, scientia –

I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney in Pasadena, California and I am a Rising Star as rated by Super Lawyers Magazine.  As a former Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, I am a proud member of the Armed Service Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association working to aid all active duty and veterans in our communities. Connect with me on Google +, or by email.

Norman

More From Software Bisque Weekend At GMARS.

I didn’t have time to process all the photos I took of this weekends events (lots of people around).  So here are some images of the event.

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Banners were made to announce the event on the side of the GMARS west house.  Lunch/dinner were held on the patio with plenty of seating for everyone.

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A banner on the GMARS east house set the stage for one half of the days events.  I don’t approve of calling it the GU Center (GMARS University), but there are factions in the club that think it is hilarious.  They will be dealt with…just wait and see Mark (not to name anyone, that could be any Mark).

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Inside the east house the learning center was waiting for attendees to learn all about the Sky X from Richard Wright.

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Over in the garage at the west house the hardware demonstration was being given by Steven and Sarah Bisque.  They showed off the new MYT mount along with their other two most recent mounts.

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Outside, another (older) Paramount was being set up under Steve and Richard’s watchful eyes (along with a couple of ne’er do wells from the club..Hi Frank and Mark [possibly not related to the Mark mentioned above]).

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Setup is complete and waiting for….

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What is that telescope being moved into position…

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Why it is the brand new Takahasi 130 that was just shown a few weeks ago at the Arizona show.

– Ex astris, scientia –

I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney in Pasadena, California and I am a Rising Star as rated by Super Lawyers Magazine.  As a former Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, I am a proud member of the Armed Service Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association working to aid all active duty and veterans in our communities. Connect with me on Google +

Norman

Software Bisque Workshop Weekend At GMARS.

This past weekend saw the largest gathering of Paramount users at a single location.  The Riverside Astronomical Society was glad to be a part of this special workshop weekend.

Paramount owners were invited to come to our dark sky site, GMARS, in Landers, CA to take part in workshop to help owners of these wonderful mounts to get the most out of them.

Richard Wright and Steve Bisque and his production engineer daughter Sarah Bisque were there and conducted two one day workshops. For free!!!  Rarely do you get this kind of opportunity in the astronomy world to have the manufacturers of the equipment invite you to a dark sky location and then show you how to get the most out of your equipment.  Amazing.

Luckily, the weather cooperated for the most part and there were plenty of places for the attendees to set up their own equipment and put what they learned into practice that very day.

The learning center at GMARS got its first use since we authorized some renovations to increase the number of people that could be seated and added a projector and screen.

 

Although this wasn’t a sales meeting, but an educational event, we still invited both OPT (Oceanside Photo and Telescopes) and Woodland Hills Telescopes to setup sales areas.  Better safe than sorry.  Because, I can tell you how many times I have traveled to a far away place and forgot that one essential piece of equipment that makes everything go.  So, we thought it would be best to have some vendors onhand to make sure that everyone that attended could make the most out of the event.

If your company/group/association would like to spend a private weekend out at GMARS, or use our facilities for an outreach or student activities.  Please contact me at president@rivastro.org and we will do our best to accommodate your request.

– Ex astris, scientia –

I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney in Pasadena, California and I am a Rising Star as rated by Super Lawyers Magazine.  As a former Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, I am a proud member of the Armed Service Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association working to aid all active duty and veterans in our communities. Connect with me on Google +

Norman

Star Party Weekend.

For those of you that have a chance, you are more than welcome to come out to the Riverside Astronomical Societies dark sky site (GMARS).

Site map of GMARS

If you would like more information or directions, they can be found here.  We have two houses, 8 beds, 3 bathrooms, 1 kitchen, internet available, and lots of good people and good times.

Please be sure to come early in the afternoon on Saturday so that everyone can see who you are before it gets dark and you can meet and greet other club members.  It will also give you time to eat!  That’s right, we will be hosting our usual Star-B-Que Saturday evening.  It is free, but if you would like to bring something, it is a pot luck.

No matter what you skill level, you will find something to look at.  You don’t even need to bring your own telescope.  You can wander around and look through other peoples telescopes.  Don’t worry we are a friendly bunch ( except for that SOB of a Club President…wait…that’s me!).

If you would like to set up your own scope, we usually have pads available and there is a whole lot of field that you can also use.  There is electricity on the field that is also available.  It looks like the weather gods are going to be nice this weekend (the viewing was AWESOME last weekend).

I hope to see you there.  If not, I hope you can make an evening of observing somewhere.

– Ex astris, scientia –

I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney in Pasadena, California and I am a Rising Star as rated by Super Lawyers Magazine.  As a former Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, I am a proud member of the Armed Service Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association working to aid all active duty and veterans in our communities. Connect with me on Google +

Norman

Star Party Weekend!

I will be leaving today to go to the club’s dark sky sight for (hopefully) a good weekend of observing.

Along the way, we also have to do an outreach for a High School that is visiting nearby at Joshua Tree National Park.  We will be doing some solar viewing and a little night viewing.  I’ll still have plenty of night left to capture something.

We also have a group a students that will be staying overnight to observe with us.  We may even have a girl scout troop out this weekend.  Not sure how we will handle 30 girls, but I am counting on the women in our group to help us figure it out.

If you have the chance, come on out.  We will feed you for free Saturday afternoon about an hour before sunset.

If you would like to come visit us, you can find directions and etiquette here, and general information about the club here.

Not sure what I am going to try to image.  If you have any suggestions, leave them below.  Thanks.

– Ex astris, scientia –

I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney in Pasadena, California and I am a Rising Star as rated by Super Lawyers Magazine.  As a former Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, I am a proud member of the Armed Service Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association working to aid all active duty and veterans in our communities. Connect with me on Google +

Norman