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Wisbech Star Party - Chat Thread

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Ok, i think we have sufficient interest and paid up people to start this.

Please keep all chat and general discussion to this thread.

There is also the Wisbech Star Party Facebook group where further details will be published (its my attempt to not over spam SGL with new threads)

For those who have fully paid up

you will shortly be recieving a welcome pack outlining instructions for getting there, what to do once there and so on.

Also i have a few things planned to make it interesting.

There are a few beginners coming so i am hoping to arrange some mentoring. I will be coming a few days earlier for those who might be interested in making more than a weekend of it. I'll confirm that though.

Among other things, dependent on numbers, there will be a raffle, where the first prize will be a years free subscription to a robotic telescope project, including training.

I aim for other prizes as well like astro DVD's and so on.

If the nights are cloudy i intend an evening of Robotic astronomy where i will let you choose the objects.

so there is the above plus more in the pipline.

Many thanks for all your support :-)

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Ok I Give in can we come Please?

2 Adults 1 Dog.

Caravan with E.H.U

I Want to know what the suprise is....

I Take it its not Naturist Site Now? A BIT COLD in Oct lol

it used to be years ago or have I Spoilt your suprise A.T.:) lol


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  • 2 months later...

Hi Guys,

With this event now fast approaching, i thought i would give a brief run down on whats planned.

We have 17 pitches sold for this event (so far:-) With the anticipation of some 30 or more people coming.

There is nothing planned for the 8th talkwise as i anticipate more people will be arriving that day and just will want to setup their tents and kit.

The 9th there will be a talk on robotic telescopes where we hope to offer a demonstration. I have tried to get time on the Faulkes Telescope for this, but could not for the 9th unfortunately.

HOWEVER, i did manage to get it for the 8th (for those who get there in time that will be mid afternoonish) and i booked it again for the 10th in the morning.

So when i said i could increase the chance of clear skies, we mean this with a combination of Skylive and the Faulkes Telescope.

With internet access there, we can do this.

Between myself and Andrew Dumbleton i am sure we can pull something out of the hat.

There MIGHT be another talk depending on general mood, but we prefer it if people just mingled and asked questions. Learning what they can from the event.

As well as this, yes there is to be a raffle.

The HST has donated some nice books which will be raffled as prizes also a kind donation of a planetary EP from Skies the Limit will also be up for grabs to the lucky winner.

All proceeds of the raffle will go towards helping to arrange for other Star Parties like this one.

The other suprise, and i may as well say what it is now is that we are able to offer every pitch free copies of DVD's "Eyes on the Skies" and "15 years of Hubble"

I am hoping to have some star charts to help beginners along a little as well.

So there it is.

Here is hoping for an exciting event and i would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has supported and to SGL for allowing us to advertise it here.

Clear Skies


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ps, regarding the robotic telescope demo's, i am thinking of opening this up to the wider astro community.

Would non attendee's be interested in a little robotic observing?

At the moment its the Faulkes Telescope we have, with the likely addition of Skylive, Slooh (thats of course depending on Andrew who has an account with them)

What do people think?

I am a little hesistant canvassing robotic astronomy here as i know many of you are hands on practicle observers (nothing wrong with that i try to be as well :-)

Edited by AstroTiger
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Well following my rather tardy confirmation I've now gone into panic mode over what gear I need.

The last time I went camping was with mates over 20 years ago mostly using their gear so I've not a clue what I'll need. I've got some of the obvious...

A tent (probably bigger than I need)

One of those single gas ring cookers that takes the cans that look like aerosols (should suffice for just me for a couple of days)

Cooking and eating utensils

Sleeping bag & airbed & must get a camping mat too (always thought they were just for cutting up) - read elsewhere airbeds can feel cold.

Torches - mainly red.

Plenty of warm and waterproof clothes.

Last but not least, a couple of scopes & a pair of bins.

So what else do I need?

Edited by haitch
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Hmmm.... 3 or 4 season sleeping bag this time of year - it'll be cold. The air in an airbed will also be cold - I'd sooner kip on a camping mat with several layers of newspaper underneath - old copies of the Times are ideal. Storm guys and strong pegs just in case. Two ring stove with 2Kg gas bottle is more useful (boil rice and cook chilli at same time). Deck chair - small fold up table -

Power tank or ehu converter and connectors for scopes (if tracking/goto). Tent light and red cellophane, can/bottle opener - mallet for tent pegs and a peg pull out tool. If I think of more I'll add later. :icon_salut:

Edited by brantuk
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The sleeping bag is pretty warm - I'll get it out and check it's rating but I've slept in my car, in a ditch, at around 2000ft above sea level at -5 in 2ft of snow in central France (albeit fully dressed) in it.

So what are the (convenient and cost effective) alternatives to airbeds?

The tent came with more than enough pegs and spare rubbers. I'm going to get some spare cord for the guys.

If I can fit it in I've also got a party size paella burner and pan which I got my in-laws to bring me back from Spain when they moved back.

I'm covered on the chair and if I can get to the static caravan in Somerset between now and then I've got a folding picnic table.

My main scope is a dob so no power needed there. The refractor is just tracking drives which I run off a Maplin 17Ah jumper/compressor which is usually good for several nights although I've recently been given a 17Ah alarm battery that should handle slow drain use better than the car cranker.

Must sort out a red lantern.

Can/bottle opener on my Gerber multi-tool thingy although would benefit from a proper tin opener I think.

Mallet at static too - will have to try and get that back (reminds me I've got a windbreak there too).

Wondering now if I'm going to be better off coming in the van given everything I shall be bringing. Do you think the campsite would be a bit funny about me arriving in a slightly elderly Fiat Ducato (transit size) van?

Edited by haitch
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Here is what I posted on the Wisbech Facebook Discussion which you might find handy in case you havn`t seen it:-

"Always test and use your equipment before you go, which includes THE no.1 rule, put up your tent before you go, to make sure any parts are not missing and to be familiar with putting it up once you are in a windy field.

Another golden rule, be sure of adequate insulation from the ground when sleeping. An air bed is great, but a punctured air bed is useless, so a back up is useful. A couple of camping foam mattresses are cheap and easy to pack.

Warm feet and a warm head is essential to maintain body heat, so big boots with big socks and a nice warm hat should be on the essentials list!

If any essential equipment is forgotten or fails, don`t be afraid to ask for help, between us we can ensure all of us have a comfortable weekend."

What I take to sleep on is a mattress from a fold up bed which is about 3" thick and not too bulky.

If you run it through in your mind, things become obvious, such as if you want to cook you need to light it, once you have eaten you need to clean things etc. Thats how I do it anyway!

If you get chilly in the night the old thermal undies are great for sleeping in.

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