Off To The Show.

I am heading out this morning to the RTMC and the Starlight Festival. I have gone to the bank just in case there is some little astronomical trinket that I cannot live without, and packed my camera.  I should have some photos for you for next weeks posts.

I hope those of you that can make it stop me and say hello if we meet.  You may not recognize me without the suit, but the face is a great give away.  That and the fact that I might have some drool out the corner of my mouth if I am near any of the high-end astronomy equipment (gee ma, it’s only $10,000 for that astrocamera!).  Of course my mantra usually is:  “I’m happy with my setup, I’m happy with my setup, I’m happy with my setup…”  As any of you that have any sort of hobby were equipment is involved (baking, RC vehicles, etc.), that mantra is a lie.  You can never have too much or not need the latest and greatest.  I think the thought goes like this: “If I have this one (or more) new piece of equipment, I’ll be able to do X, or I will finally be able to do Y, or I will have everything I need to accomplish my goal of Z!”  Really, that one thing will make me better at, or finally able to do the pinnacle of my hobby!  I’ll be able to turn professional!

Such are the dreams of hobbyists everywhere.  Never give up your dreams for the mundane.

Have a safe and festive holiday if you are in the U.S., and don’t forget to remember our veterans on Monday, we have a lot more now in need of help and acknowledgement than we have had since WWII.

– 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

Lots Of Upcomming Events.

First, the annual RTMC Astronomy Expo and the Big Bear Starlight Festival.

RTMC

The Big Bear Lake region is hosting two major astronomy events during the long Memorial Day weekend in 2014.  The RTMC Astronomy Expo, held since 1975, and the first Starlight Festival to Big Bear Lake’s Village area.

Beginning to advanced amateur astronomers will want to attend the RTMC  Astronomy Expo from Thursday to Monday to:

  • observing or taking astrophotos from the dark sky of YMCA Camp Oakes,
  • see new developments in amateur telescope making,
  • check out commercial telescopes and equipment brought by vendors for observers,
  • listen to presentations covering observing, telescopes, and getting started in astronomy,
  • check out the Saturday swap meet, and
  • socialize and observe with friends

 

On Saturday and Sunday, weekend visitors to Big Bear, of all ages, will learn more about astronomy and outdoor sciences at the Astronomy Outreach Network¡¯s Starlight Festival at Big Bear Lake’s Village for:

  • visiting with the sidewalk astronomers,
  • seeing exhibits by the Big Bear Solar Observatory, US National Forest Service, and others,
  • seeing commercial exhibits of science instruments, games, and activities, and
  • attending presentations on the current state of astronomy and space science

Come join the fun and learn about the universe your way.

TS Christmas Concert 2013

Next is not really astronomy related, but it is still fun. The Towne Singers (1987-2014) are holding a 2014 Spring Concert called “Celestial Songbook, Everthing Under the Stars.”

The Towne Singers are a community chorus open to people of all ages and background that like to sing.  The concert will be held on May 17th, 2014 at 7:00 pm, at the Arcadia Performing Arts Center, 188 Campus Drive, Arcadia, CA 91007.

Ticket Info
:

Adult tickets – $20
Child ticket – $10 (under 11 years of age)
Group Rate – $15 per ticket for 10 or more tickets

I hope that you will all be able to attend some of these fantastic events here in Southern California this month.

– 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

An amazing mount.

More updates from RTMC.

2013-05-25 03.14.25

Seated is Dann McCreary of McCreary Mounts next to his ingenious The Dickens mount.  According to Dann, this lightweight portable mount has so little error that it can track for hours.

2013-05-25 03.14.18

The inevitable question was asked…How does it work?  Well, being that there are two pivot points and one small motor it perplexed many people.

Luckily I know a little about astronomy, so I suggested that it was a super modified barn door tracker.  Close, but not quite.  Dann’s mount is much more accurate than the typical barn door tracker, but is based on some of the same principles.

2013-05-25 03.14.25 (closeup)

A closer look shows the two pivot points made from highly crafted, sub millimeter bearing with an unbelievable tolerance that Dann painstakingly searched high and low before purchasing them from Ebay for 12 bucks or so.  Sandwiched between two polyethylene pieces with tight tolerance holes drilled into them…just kidding.  Dann said that he just used a drill and a hole saw and made holes.  The hole point (get it?) of the mount is that by adjusting the two bearings to be aligned with the celestial north (quick quiz how many points does it take to make a line).

The Dickens

So by using this priciple Dann was able to construct this beautiful, and award winning, mount that tracks with extremely tight tolerances, without tons of machining time and other weapons of mass manufacturing.  Congratulations Dann, the award was well deserved.  If you would like more information about Dann and his work you can follow him here.

– Ex astris, scientia –

I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney in Pasadena, California. 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

Quick RTMC recap.

This weekend was the annual pilgrimage to Big Bear for the Society for Astronomical Sciences meetings and  RTMC.

The 2013 SAS Symposium on Telescope Science was held on May 21-23at the Northwoods Resort in Big Bear Lake, CA.  Over 100 professional and amateur astronomers meet each year for this event.  The Symposium has become one of the premiere events for amateur astronomers and for building pro-am collaborations.  Amateurs, and some professionals, make presentations covering a wide range of topics, from imaging basics, photometry, spectroscopy, instrumentation, and more. Observing targets reach from near-Earth to the edges of the Universe.  If you’re at least a little interested in astronomical research, this is one of the events attend each year.  More information about next years event can be found on their web site (link above).

Immediately after the SAS conference RTMC opens the gates at Camp Oakes, a YMCA camp, near Big Bear City. 

2013-05-24 21.28.14

This is the booth for discovering all the activities and sign up sheets for …

… the Big Bear Solar observatory.  Please note, the picture above is not to scale or snow depth.  It was actually a warm 78 degrees this year.  Due to the altitude, however, I have spent some Memorial weekends in the snow.

For the rest of the week, I am going to show images that I took at RTMC and some of the events that take place each year.  If you are looking for a brief astronomical event that the whole family can enjoy.  There is swimming, hiking, horse back riding and a whole bunch of other events for everyone to enjoy.

– Ex astris, scientia –

I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney in Pasadena, California. 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

 

Pacific Astronomy and Telescope Show Recap.

If you were not able to make it to PATS this weekend, I have some photos and stories for you.  This year there were even more vendors displaying their wares.

The Riverside Astronomical Society booth with our camera shy volunteers. Go Vicki and Cary!

Another RAS member started his own business providing unique trays for ALT-AZ mounts and wedges.

Wally Pacholka showing off his wonderful photography.  You can pick up Wally’s images at almost every national park or you can order prints here.

Williams Optics showcasing their new Beagle product for time lapse photography.

These two new mounts are showcasing some Williams Optics telescopes.  Our friends at Deep Space Products are the official U.S. distributors of the very sleek new mounts.  They are reasonably priced and can carry a heavy load.

Borg demonstrated their modified Canon(r) 60DA camera with cooling.  Very cool.

A Borg telescope sitting upon a nano-tracker.  I just purchase a nano and I was drooling over this accessory.  The nano-tracker is small (it will fit in your pocket), but it can hold around 2.5Kg (6lbs) of equipment.  I’ll write a post once I have time to work with mine.

Planewave showing off my next (hopefully) telescope.  A 24″ (0.6m) Corrected Dall-Kirkham.

Astro Haven was busy showing off their clam shell observatory.

These two views (above and below) of the 6″ Explora-dome observatory has me intrigued.

A much larger Explora-Dome for those lucky enough to have that Planewave above.

Meade showing the LX-80.  Unfortunately, all these had to be recalled. 😦

Another view of the LX-80.

The Deep Space Products booth showing off the second to the larges new mount from Morning Calm, this mount can handle 154lb payloads.  The hand (sitting on the yellow scopecase lower right) controller has a USB connector and is large enough to operate with gloves on.  Perfect for those high altitude or cold weather observing runs.  A matching pier can also be purchase.

John from TeleVue working his magic.

Software Bisque brought both a new Paramount ME2 above and a Paramount MX below to the show.  I have to report that neither mount left the show in the hands of any Bisque representative.  Both mounts are doing well in the hands of their new owners.

Richard from Software Bisque was lucky to leave the show with his personal 8″ F3 astrograph.  As reported above, the mount didn’t leave California.

Scott Kardel working the International Dark-Sky Association. This is an important organization dedicated to taking back the night sky and reducing light pollution.

These are only a few of the images that I took over the weekend.  All in all, the speakers and presentations were great and the hole in my pocket got a little deeper.  Too much good stuff in one place.  Ya’ gotta love it!

If you need help to protect your images by copyright, your invention by a patent, your brand by a trademark, or know someone that can use my help, please contact me for a free 30 minute consultation at nvantreeck@usip.com or call TOLL FREE at 1-855-UR IDEAS (1-855-874-3327) and ask for Norman.

– Ex astris, scientia –

I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney.  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

Pacific Astronomy and Telescope Show September 22 & 23, 2012

Mark your calendar’s and make your plans, the Pacific Astronomy and Telescope show will once again be held in Pasadena, CA at the Civic Center.  If you have never been to a major astronomy event, this is a great one to go find out what all the fuss is about.  My friends at RTMC have once again outdone themselves with this event.  If you are west of the Mississippi, or even farther east and want to visit sunny SoCal, this is your chance.

RTMC_CLogoJ.jpg (9992 bytes)

At PATS, you’ll be able to:
  • See firsthand the latest telescopes, cameras, mounts, software, and accessories from dozens of manufacturers and retailers — all under one roof.
  • Learn about making equipment choices for observing and imaging — at any experience level.
  • Examine books, star charts, and other astronomical resource materials for all levels of experience and all budgets.
  • Enjoy indoor presentations including talks by scientists, observers, industry experts and others.
  • Peer through an array of specialized solar telescopes offering breathtaking views of the Sun.
  • Attend the 2-day Riverside AstroImaging Workshop (RAW) on the Thursday and Friday before PATS — LEARN MORE
  • Tour the famous Mt. Wilson Observatory — REGISTER HERE

The Mt. Wilson Observatory is a blast.  You can actually rent the 60″ telescope for a night and have the operators swing the telescope to where ever you want.  This is the only telescope of this size I have looked through visually, and the view is phenomenal.  You can actually see color in nebulae!

The AstroImaging Workshop this year is scheduled to be a two day event.  One day of data collection and one day of learning how to totally process your own image!

Scheduled Presenters for RAW 2012:
Tony Hallas
Sean Walker
Tim Puckett
Fred Espenak
Tom Bash
Fred Metzler
Richard Wright
Kevin Nelson
Gary Palmer

If you are into astrophotography or just want to learn how to take amazing deep sky images, this is the place to learn.

If you have written an new show and need copyright protection, or know someone that can use my help, please contact me for a free 30 minute consultation at nvantreeck@usip.com or call TOLL FREE at 1-855-UR IDEAS (1-855-874-3327) and ask for Norman.

– Ex astris, scientia –

I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney.  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 +