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Getting a new 12" Dob???


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Sorry slightly OT but will any of you be at Mt Pinos on the weekend of 28th and 29th July? Will be visiting LA and may try to visit Pinos, do people do outreach there? Will they mind showing a view to the scopeless?

That's a nearly full moon weekend. I doubt there will be that many up there on that weekend but if you do most are more than happy to share views to the scopeless.

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George (Carbon) is right. Your best bet is to try to go on the the 21st if you are going to be in Los Angeles around that time. There is also a star party a little closer at Oak Park on the 21st.

But if you cant and you're only going to make it on the 28th, then you can definitely try Pinos like George said.

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That whole area which is part of the Los Padres National Forest is nice just to hang out as well. There are several campgrounds and mountain biking / hiking trails.

I discovered the star parties of Mt Pinos quite by accident several years ago when we went up there to go mountain biking. When we arrived at the big parking lot it was packed full of amateur astronomers.

Entering the National Forest by vehicle also requires a purchase of a day pass for $5 or $30 annual pass, btw.

George

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Thanks for the info George and Alex. We'll be in LA from the Thursday night then on the Monday will be going to Vegas/the grand canyon. Plan on driving up through death valley at some point and will be driving up the coast to San Francisco for the second part of the holiday. The final itinery is not set yet but I'm hoping we'll go thru some very dark skies. If there are any gatherings we could get to then that would be great.

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  • 2 weeks later...

You won't be disappointed! I have the skywatcher 12" solid O.T.A, and I am blown away by it's capabilities every time i observe! I live in the middle of liverpool and am able to pick out many fuzzies, but I too have to travel just outside the city to start to appreciate the awsome light grasp of my bucket :) Clear and dark!!

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Sorry slightly OT but will any of you be at Mt Pinos on the weekend of 28th and 29th July? Will be visiting LA and may try to visit Pinos, do people do outreach there? Will they mind showing a view to the scopeless?

I'm thinking about driving up to Mt Pinos this Saturday, the 21st, as soon as I get off work. This will be my first trek up to that site in exactly 10 years, when I left this hobby. Perhaps I'll recognize a few die hard folks I used to hang with...:.lol:..

It'll also be my first time taking my dob and the biggest aperture to a truly dark site. :)

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Sounds great George! Im almost sure that i will be going up to the Oak Park location i told you about. Im pretty sure ill be taking my dob as well. Im really excited about being in a dark site again, and actually taking my scope this time.

Depending on how tomorrow goes for me and my scope, i might sum up the courage to make the drive to Mt. Pinos next month.

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Alex, as I have never been to the Oak Park site do people set up next to their vehicles (as they do at Mt Pinos) or do you have to park and haul your gear to the observing area? Are you also allowed to be there all night long? I realize there's a community center there and they may have certain rules regarding star parties.

I've been wanting to take my dob to a dark site and this weekend coming was the first chance I've had.

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There are two different parking lots there. One is for the people with telescopes and one for people who are just visiting. And when you take your telescope you get to set up right next to your vehicle, so no hauling required. The parking for people with telescopes is also somewhat separated as well. Usually people who are there to image stay together on one side, and people to are there to observe stay on the other side of the parking area.

And it's a long, thin parking area. A single lane with parking lines on either side, do everyone sticks together and chats and checks out each other's equipment.

And it's kinda cool as well in the sense that it's kind-of a community thing of that park/city. So in the early evening there are a lot of people and kids who are jut there to see what it's all about and are just curious to learn about astronomy. And as the evening progresses, only the hardcore people people remain lol. And everyone just walks around and talks about their equipment.

I haven't gone since last year in June, and I had the rare privilege of looking through a 5" or 6" astrophysics refractor... Just wow!

I'm not sure if everyone stays all night? I assume they do since people are probably there doing some deep imaging projects. Maybe you can call them at Woodland Hills Telescope? I'm sure they'll know.

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Thanks for that info Alex. I've already packed my gear this morning and am at work in the Hollywood area now. From here I'm heading up to Pinos, around 4'ish.

I'm not a hot weather person and I'm sure there will be a good 30°F temp difference between Oak Park and Pinos this afternoon at least until the sun goes down. I'd like to get there at least a couple hours before sunset so I can mingle and check out other people's gear, as you say. :lol:

Edit: On second thought, I'm going to save Pinos for another night and go to Oak Park. It's less than half the distance and besides, I need to be at work Sunday morning. I'll save on gas and on the Forest pass.

Not my cup of tea but I guess I'll endure the near 100°F temp this afternoon.....:lol:

Edited by Carbon
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It was a pleasure meeting you Alex! It was a nice, cool star party with lots of pleasant folks. Although the skies were not as dark as Mt Pinos this was a great site not too far from my home which was a huge plus, especially having to go back to work by 9 the next morning. I'll definitely be back. :)

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Likewise George! It was a pleasure. And thanks for showing me your items on your telescope. Now i have an idea of what i should work on for my telescope.

Eventhough i havent been there in a year, i really enjoyed going again. And there are great friendly people who go there. And it feels nice to show things to curious people and hear "WOW!" Im already planning on returning on the 18th next month :grin:

I know the sky isnt the best it could be, but it not a bad drive, and that makes up for it a little bit.

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Through my Lightbridge I could not detect a big difference in the views of most nebulas I looked at between the much darker Oak Park site and my downtown LA back yard for some odd reason. The biggest differences I saw were with the globs as I was able to make out the dense core without having to use averted vision.

So anyway, I went ahead and ordered a 2" Baader Oxy III filter this morning, hoping for that WOW factor the next time I looked at the Veil, for instance.

I also decided to further "butcher" my dob base by reducing the size of the footprint/baseboard thereby reducing its overall size and to lighten the base somewhat. I already have in my head what I need to do to accomplish this and the end result.

I'll definitely be there at Oak Park again on the 18th of Aug but also a week before on the 11th I'd like to head up to Mt Pinos. :)

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