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jimbo747

Dark sites - good in practice..

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Bunch of big jessies, the lot of you lol! I've always been a lone gazer, ok, maybe not totally alone - the horses would sometimes be nosey and wonder what I was doing on the other side of the fence, but no humans keeping company in the dark countryside in a field, with the screeching of foxes and owls all around.  The biggest worry for me was the rumour of one of those big cats hanging around, but as long as the horses were ok, acting like my canaries - indicators should anything else be around.  You just got to think that you're probably the scariest thing out there.  xx

Edited by toilandtrouble123

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Hi Jimbo,

Have you ever heard a few foxes, they can screach the house down. Even the police have had mis-reports of attacks.

EMS have a dark site just outside Belper .It sounds as though you were there. The cricket club can be very dark, and on one occasion I had a complete layer of ice over it. Drop me pm if you are going again, always get  some   dutch courage at the Hurt Arms :grin:

Nah wasn't the cricket club, was belper lane end, then towards shottle down a  narrow country road- higher up and darker too.

I think if a fox did shriek at me in the pitch black it wouldn't be dust covering my lenses!

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a real strange thing happened at Elan on the road...but i'll let faulksy tell you!

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Nope its good. I make cameras based on the ps3 eye cam and mod them such as adding heatsinks, fans etc or my own personal one has peltier cooling and put the internals in a project box, and then lacquer the pcb. Just something I enjoy doing ( I refused to pay silly money for a Philips camera!)

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a real strange thing happened at Elan on the road...but i'll let faulksy tell you!

forgot about that calv. on this occasion there was a big group of us. myself,calv,swampthing,dan k and his gay mate, simon from sussex ,rustysplit and scooot and his bro. i hadnt been there long and just got my tent set up, i was down stream a bit so i faced everyone that was there, i seen this figure walking down the road and thoought nothing of it due to it could of been anyone from dobfest, then a few said who was that this figure had vanished. now this is a straight road with no were to hide. no one seen him approach us only that quick pass then he vanished. bearing in mind the nearest town must be 10 - 20 miles away either way. very strange

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I am a little concerned about this too.

At the moment, I'm having enough fun looking at stuff in the back garden, but my the amount of light pollution is eventually going to make me want to head for a dark site.

I was thinking about Sutton Bank as a possible target, but wonder what it would be like taking a young family there in the dark. Not bothered about animals, but might be a bit worrying in terms of who could be hanging around. I might take a trip up there in the daylight, and recce the place.

Myself and a fellow astronomer were at sutton bank one night down a little farm track and all was well, lovely night and the views were excellent for me and my friend was getting great imaging data.

Due to my friend being at work that morning I was left on my own around 2am.

Looking through the scope concentrating I heard noises behind me? Foot falls and breathing? reluctantly I raised my head from the eye piece and turned around to be confronted by two doe's and a stag deer about 5metre's away!

We stood looking at each other for what seemed like an age but I'll admit even in the dark the stag was huge with nostrils sucking in the cool morning air and it's antlers looking particularly menacing.

I took a step back away from the trio towards the car and with that the three turned sideways and leapt the 5ft fence at the side with no trouble at all charging off down the field.

Quite a moment and I took in a coffee to make sure they'd gone before I went back to the scope for more

Damian

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Cool, the only close encounter with an old dear was our neighbour. One night after I'd been at it a few weeks, there was a blinding flash from next door.

Next morning there was a knock on the front door. The back of a compact camera was thrust at me, with an explanation that they'd got a photo of a burglar in my garden. Me, in a hoodie.

I'm sorry to have laughed , as my uber nosey neighbours are great .

Nick.

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Cool, the only close encounter with an old dear was our neighbour. One night after I'd been at it a few weeks, there was a blinding flash from next door.

Next morning there was a knock on the front door. The back of a compact camera was thrust at me, with an explanation that they'd got a photo of a burglar in my garden. Me, in a hoodie.

I'm sorry to have laughed , as my uber nosey neighbours are great .

Nick.

I remember the story well Nick although it doesn't have quite the same effect as in person

Really funny

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I am not one to venture out alone, like was said above, I don't fear any other animals apart from other humans. Now im a pretty big guy so I could probably take care of my myself IF you hear them coming..

I used to go out with a friend to dark sites but he has since lost interest, so I stick to my back garden. Although I did manage to kick a hedgehog once, I don't know who was more scared, me feeling my foot hitting something as I walked or him getting kicked in the face!

Matt.

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I'm glad it's not only me - all we get is bats flying around in my back garden, but I must've had about 6 near coronaries last night catching a glimpse of some movement out of the corner of my eye as I looked away from the eyepiece, and I was within 6 foot of my house !  Probably more frightening was the missus shouting at me to "not walk over the carpet with my dirty shoes on" every time I popped back in to get another eyepiece etc.

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Loved reading all the replies, I have only ventured out to a dark site once as it's a bit of a drive, the most ideal spot I could use is often frequented at night by young lovers or herbal cigarette smokers! The area is very large and the chances of getting a free lay-by is slim. Venturing onto a farmers field is probably trespassing so that's a no-no.

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You could always try to visit a farm during the day or drop in a letter asking if you can use a small part of their land for using your telescope safely. I don't know how many may or may not be happy with this, but I have always pondered the thought.

Matt.

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Loved reading all the replies, I have only ventured out to a dark site once as it's a bit of a drive, the most ideal spot I could use is often frequented at night by young lovers or herbal cigarette smokers! The area is very large and the chances of getting a free lay-by is slim. Venturing onto a farmers field is probably trespassing so that's a no-no.

were was this, sounds ideal :smiley:

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I haven't ventured out of my garden as yet and the other night I was sitting at my scope (quiet as anything), wearing more clothes than my wife has in her wardrobe (it was chilly)... then THUMP... our frisky rabbit decided to launch into a riverdance extravaganza in her hutch, sequentially I banged my eye on the eyepiece.. felt like a Tyson left hook!

Think I should cut down on the Starbucks... giving me the night time jitters...  :grin:  :shocked:

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My "local" preferred dark site is, I suspect, starting to get too busy for me with people on strange night-time endeavours. Police apparently having a bit of fun in their 4x4 on a dirt road - fair enough. Endurance athletes - that's pretty cool. 3 youths in a 4x4 going 'off-roading at night' that were in order non-plussed, amazed and confused by comet Lovejoy was pretty cool. Apparently night time is the time to 'off-road' as there are few pedestrians to mow down (as long as the athletes aren't out).

However, the two vehicles with people in flagrante is starting to get a bit much. I do notice none of them bothered in the middle of winter when ice was forming on everything.

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