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Star Party 2022


daz
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Hi all

Firstly - an apology for the delay in getting back to you all...

So, we have been working with the team at Lucksall again to see if we could make an event work - but sadly we believe that Lucksall is no longer a suitable venue for us....

The rally field has now been converted into hard-standing to accommodate more caravans and motor homes and the last two rows of the rally field (Hare) have now been converted to static holiday caravans. There was a glimmer of hope in the form of Long Meadow, but.... Because this lies at the bottom of the slope from the hill, and is below the level of the river, it is very prone to getting wet - and in fact, the recent wet weather has meant that Lucksall are not allowing the use of the grass pitches for this reason. There are 16 hard-standing pitches on Long Meadow, but these are not suitable for tent use, and the lines of trees that are in the meadow means many of the pitches have quite a restricted Southern view.

See the attached pictures showing the trees. The fence along the back of the first picture, is the bottom of what was the rally field. While it does give some screening, it would not block all the lights from that area...

 

All in all, not at all suitable for what we need.

 

So, where does this leave us?

Well, we have already begun the search for a new venue - but this is going to take some time to work through. We are looking at variety of factors (number of pitches, number of hook ups, toilets/showers, space for talks, dark sky levels, etc) and we are looking across all areas of the country. 

This is going to take some effort to work through, so bear with us while we do this.

 

We know it's disappointing, but hopefully we'll be able to find a suitable place and get back to meeting up again..

 

Daz, on behalf of all the Admin and Mod team

 

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south_view_18_19.jpg.834bfd9331fc9bd3597e441155132a30.jpg

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Not an easy task. I have been trying to find camps for my local group.
 

 Some campsites refuse to take party groups for fear of disturbing their other guests. 
 

Some are big enough but don’t have hook up except for campervans and caravans. 
 

Carole

Edited by carastro
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It's a tricky one indeed since many campsites are surrounded by trees and value the shelter from winds they provide and campsites with dark skies and open horizons seem almost as rare as hen's teeth!

Are hookups essential? I ask because if not perhaps Kemble Airfield might be a possibility. Like Lucksall, it's Bortle 4, has open horizons and they're used to hosting large groups in a mix of caravans, motorhomes and tents. For example, they're hosting the Didmarton Bluegrass Festival first weekend in September. AFAICT, the organisation to contact about booking the site would be the Ogri Motorcycle Club (https://www.ogrimcc.org/).

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4 hours ago, DaveS said:

For us imagers hookups ar pretty much esential.

Indeed and unfortunately one of my favourite campsites in Cumbria has huge pitches, all around great horizon views, bortle 3 skies and no leccy. ☹️

The Peak District is fairly central would the old Peaks Star Party venue not be suitable?

https://sites.google.com/site/shallowgrange/

 

Edited by ScouseSpaceCadet
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4 hours ago, DaveS said:

For us imagers hookups ar pretty much esential.

Sorry, I didn't understand that.

FWIW (and albeit that I'm a novice imager) my imaging rig runs entirely off a 12v power pack and a USB power brick -- even when I have 240v available. I know that Kemble Airfield has 240v because the Bluegrass festival had mains-powered PA and lighting and mains was provided for business stalls and those who needed it for medical reasons (e.g. rely on CPAP etc.) So it probably would be possible to at least recharge battery packs.

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I found a battery pack not really enough to run mount, cameras, dew heaters and computers, both a mini PC on the tripod (For mobile imaging) and laptop.

Just for reliability I feel much better with mains power.

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On 20/03/2022 at 19:30, Geoff_L said:

Sorry, I didn't understand that.

FWIW (and albeit that I'm a novice imager) my imaging rig runs entirely off a 12v power pack and a USB power brick -- even when I have 240v available. I know that Kemble Airfield has 240v because the Bluegrass festival had mains-powered PA and lighting and mains was provided for business stalls and those who needed it for medical reasons (e.g. rely on CPAP etc.) So it probably would be possible to at least recharge battery packs.

Will the power pack last best part of a week without re-charging ?

I too have a large power pack but I would only get one night out of it. 
Also if the imaging rig takes a fair bit of power then it is just so much easier to use mains power supply via an RCD (although the supply on a cmpsite I have no doubt will alreay be RCD protected.

 

Steve

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6 hours ago, teoria_del_big_bang said:

Will the power pack last best part of a week without re-charging ?

I too have a large power pack but I would only get one night out of it. 
Also if the imaging rig takes a fair bit of power then it is just so much easier to use mains power supply via an RCD (although the supply on a cmpsite I have no doubt will alreay be RCD protected.

 

Steve

FWIW, my power pack would probably last a couple of days between charges. However, I have solar on the motorhome roof and 220Ah of leisure batteries to top it up. That said, Kemble Airfied has 240v and so recharging should be possible. That said, it was only a suggestion in the absence of better venues...

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9 hours ago, Live_Steam_Mad said:

I found this site in a Bortle 3 zone ;- https://www.fforestfields.co.uk/campsite-wales

They seem to have a decent sized field and electric hook ups (for the tents?) and facilities. Thoughts?

Regards,

AG

It looks like a lovely campsite and the setting is stunning.  I know the area quite well and have spent plenty of nights with relatives close by.  Maybe I've been unlucky but in around forty nights spent there over ten years I've had two clear nights, there always seems to be a lot of moisture in the air.

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8 hours ago, Geoff_L said:

FWIW, my power pack would probably last a couple of days between charges. However, I have solar on the motorhome roof and 220Ah of leisure batteries to top it up. That said, Kemble Airfied has 240v and so recharging should be possible. That said, it was only a suggestion in the absence of better venues...

And a good suggestion, I guess it is going to be difficult to get somewhere with enough pitches, hook ups AND no trees as a lot of camps like the trees for some privacy.
And I guess if people have to survive without permanent hook ups then they can ensure they are set up with sufficient battery packs but I think for many images over a sustained period it may prove difficult.
I have not yet been to a star camp as flooding and Covid put an end to my last 3 attempts to get on one so maybe not a much idea as yourself to what is possible but I would prefer a  hook-up, just one less worry.

Steve

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8 hours ago, Starflyer said:

It looks like a lovely campsite and the setting is stunning.  I know the area quite well and have spent plenty of nights with relatives close by.  Maybe I've been unlucky but in around forty nights spent there over ten years I've had two clear nights, there always seems to be a lot of moisture in the air.

Ahh maybe then we should pick somewhere that is drier. Maybe something in the East of England but not too near the coast? Any suggestions anyone?

Regards.

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2 hours ago, Live_Steam_Mad said:

That's not a bad idea. I just did a search over on UK Campsite for a somewhere with a rally field, EHU, that takes tents, caravans and motorhomes, and within a 30 mile radius of (GPS: 50.9, -2.5) and got 80 matches, many of which are in the low light pollution / many clear nights region North of Dorchester. One example (and I stress this is just the first looked at) is Oathill Farm Holiday And Touring Park (clicky link to UK Campsite entry) -- I didn't look too closely, but the photos on UK Campsite suggest that trees are limited and it seems to have reasonably open horizons. However, I have no idea whether they have street lighting within the site...

Here's a clicky link to the entire search results. Hopefully, it'll be of some use to the organisers...

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3 hours ago, Geoff_L said:

That's not a bad idea. I just did a search over on UK Campsite for a somewhere with a rally field, EHU, that takes tents, caravans and motorhomes, and within a 30 mile radius of (GPS: 50.9, -2.5) and got 80 matches, many of which are in the low light pollution / many clear nights region North of Dorchester. One example (and I stress this is just the first looked at) is Oathill Farm Holiday And Touring Park (clicky link to UK Campsite entry) -- I didn't look too closely, but the photos on UK Campsite suggest that trees are limited and it seems to have reasonably open horizons. However, I have no idea whether they have street lighting within the site...

Here's a clicky link to the entire search results. Hopefully, it'll be of some use to the organisers...

You would also have to exclude Adults Only and also exclude Members Only. But that's a very good idea, and would help a lot I think.

Regards.

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On 23/03/2022 at 18:10, cotterless45 said:

This used to be a great event at Church Farm campsite , Sixpenny Handley

http://www.swindonstargazers.com/clubnews/salisbury2009.htm

Chelmorton (PSP) was great , but with some light pollution from Buxton and the nearby quarries.

It'll such a shame if such meetings cannot take place ,

clearer skies ! 

Nick.

We went to a star party at Sixpenny Handley before - it was great - nice and dark on Salisbury plain, and plenty of EHU! Super cafe too!

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The old PSP site was ok-ish but quarry lights, glow off Buxton and a lot of aircraft (Manchester airport)...Freff who organises SWSP knows of some excellent sites. Pencelli is a good site but has tall trees around the hook up points...no cafe..plus points are a big field. Freff also has mentioned forests fields in previous meetings 

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On 03/04/2022 at 20:27, pcdunx said:

SteveWolves has asked me to post on his behalf to suggest Eastnor Castle

 

From the "Facilities" section of the Eastnor Castle Deer Park Campsite web page (clicky link), it seems they don't have electric hookups or toilets and all units must be self-contained. Was the recommendation for another part of the Eastnor Castle estate?

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On 31/03/2022 at 07:42, estwing said:

The old PSP site was ok-ish but quarry lights, glow off Buxton and a lot of aircraft (Manchester airport)...Freff who organises SWSP knows of some excellent sites. Pencelli is a good site but has tall trees around the hook up points...no cafe..plus points are a big field. Freff also has mentioned forests fields in previous meetings 

Pencelli is a great site for small Star parties, The big field unfortunately does not have EHU's.

Fforest Fields is better for it's pristine skies and large events field. Unfortunately, again the events field is limited for EHU's.

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