Time to remind everyone of the common rules for star party etiquette. As few simple considerations for your fellow star party participants help make the event more enjoyable for everyone.
Not to say these are hard rules, they will get broken. Try not do break these rules… It is simply a matter of courtesy to other star party participants. Be polite and you will be far more welcomed to share the experience under a dark sky.
The points of etiquette below apply to any star party you might attend, with a few added bits particular to our West Hawaii Astronomy Club events.
A few months back I was reminded that I was remiss in scheduling proper club star parties. Thus I set about fixing that!
What about a site? The MKVIS at Hale Pōhaku is a total zoo lately, too many tourists, folks from the club are hesitant to go there for a good dark experience. it can also be cold and windy up there. Since Vaughn left the island a few months back, no one is using the old upper road site at Puʻu Kuainiho.
Thus I compromised at using my favorite site at Kaʻohe. At 5,800ft the site is lower, warmer, and less windy than the VIS. It also represents about half the drive time it takes to get to the VIS, without the tourist crowd. The site is higher and offers more reliable skies than the Puʻu Kuainiho site
You may just have noted that DV was down for a few days. While I poked at the issue a bit I did not find the problem until today, Saturday. I finally had time to really sit down and figure out what was wrong.
It turns out the my service provider rearranged some things, the big one being the URL’s for the SQL database hosting machines. Thus, while all of the website files were there, they could not get to the databases that provide all of the actual content.
I probably received some e-mail explaining that there would be a change. I just ignored it in the usual torrent of messages I get every day.
Server names updated in the setup files and a few PHP scripts, it appears everything is back online. Sorry for any confusion!
Yes, a new/old telescope has arrived at Andrew’s Home for Wayward Telescopes… A beat up and neglected 8″ Cave Astrola. The new arrival has me thinking of the other telescopes that have come through recently…
Looking at what remains of the paint on an old Celestron C8 orange tube telescope
The RA and declination axis removed from the mount for further disassembly and restoration
Parts of the mount prepped and taped for painting
Parts of the TeleVue Renaissance Mount with a fresh coat of primer
A restored Celestron C8 on a similarly restored TeleVue Renaissance mount.
A completely disassembled Celestron Cometron telescope
A Celestron Cometron 62mm f/4.8 telescope.
Re-assembling the secondary cage on the 20″ Obsession. The truss tube clamps still need to be cleaned up and re-installed, same with the focuser.
A strut on the Obsession telescope elevation bearing
The rusted hardware removed from a 20″ Obsession telescope
Clamping the rocker box of a 20″ Obsession
A failed plywood joint
20″ f/4 Obsession #004 fully assembled for the first time in over a year. Ready for alignment and use!
The restored 20″ Obsession telescope set up at Hale Pohaku on the side of Mauna Kea
A group of local school students with the 20″ telescope
A Celestron FirstScope with somewhat larger company
A dismantled Celestron telescope mount awaiting cleanup and re-painting
Repainting the classic Celestron mount
Parts for the Hodgepodge field tripod drying in intense tropical sunlight
An old-school telescope drive corrector schematic
The circuitry for the drive corrector inside the mount, just a few wires left to connect.
The Meade wedge bolts to a Celestron field tripod head without modification
The Hodgepodge mount assembled for the first time
Hodgepodge setup on the side of Mauna Kea with the TV-76mm and Telrad on the plate
Hodgepodge set up at Grant’s Spring to photograph a total solar eclipse
The 2017 total solar eclipse as photographed from central Oregon
The 8″ Cave Astrola as it arrived
Focuser and missing finder on the 8″ Cave Astrola
Looking down the optical tube of the 8″ Cave Astrola
2017 was a good year for me personally. This is reflected in the blog, with an array of posts chronicling my life over the past year. The posts resulted in 60k visitors to the blog, and while that may be down from last year I will consider that an improvement given DarkerView was not hacked to serve porn this year.
It is interesting to check the most popular posts. These do not necessarily represent the top read posts for the year as most folks read the latest post on the home page. Rather the top posts are the ones that gather steady traffic from search results, people looking for information on the subject and finding it in the archive of back posts…
In the list only a few of the posts are from this year. Most represent popular posts from the past several years, posts that continue to be steadily popular. This is in many ways the measure of a good blog, people find the back archive of posts valuable, that Darker View represents good content.