What next?

Home Forums TSP General Discussion What next?

Viewing 4 posts - 1 through 4 (of 4 total)
  • Author
  • #1761
    David Kopacz

    I am new to star parties. I attended my first one a few months ago at the Okie-Tex and had a great time.

    At Okie-Tex, I arrived early with my SUV and trailer and picked a spot, setup and and made my telescope and trailer location my camp. I just slept on a cot in my trailer.

    For TSP, I decided to opt for a bunkhouse, but now I am wondering if that was the best option. I suspect it will be more comfortable than a cot in my trailer, but now I think it unlikely I will be right near my equipment.

    My question is simple. Where would I setup my equipment, trailer and park my SUV all together like Okie-Tex? Would my gear be near the bunkhouse or will it be located some distance away? I really need my gear and trailer together as all my accessories are in the trailer. Is that possible ata TSP? I would be a little concerned not being close to my equipment.

    I have been to the prude ranch once, and I know where one observing field is located just below the cabins. I stayed with my family in one of the cabins on my cisit there. I am not sure where the bunkhousze is located. I do know where the amatuer radio station is located. I am a well known international contester. My call sign is KY1V and I am the founder of the Young Ham Contests Program and the 6Y1V contest super station in Jamaica.

    Alternatively, I could setup my gear near my friends gear, he is coming with an RV.

    Could you please explain how this process works?

    I am really looking forward to my first TSP and exhibiting my new ASA system!


    Regarding your question about where to set up, while staying in one of the bunkhouses.

    First, check on the Prude Ranch map at:

    You can see the location of the 3 observing fields (that have power available for telescopes.

    Next, check your TSP Registration Request Confirmation email and note which bunkhouse that you are assigned to. Then locate it using the same map.

    Trailers must be parked along the edges of the Upper and Central observing fields. Note that if you park your trailer on the Upper field edge, you may not be able to move it until break-down day on Sunday. people and their scopes are in the way to get a car into most spots. Depending on your neighbors equipment, a gap might open up earlier.

    If you use the Central field, most of the trailer spaces there are adjacent to the roadway and no one will be in your way.

    There is more flexibility (especially to be next to your equipment) if you set up in the Lower field, as you can usually come or go as you please thru-out TSP.

    Regarding your friend who is in an RV. You would need the RV site number to determine his situation. I am not aware of anyone who sets their telescope up right next to their RV, except for some of the ones at 33-42 (there are some trees there).

    If you decide on the Upper field, you may want to see the two links we have on the What to Bring page, in the Observing Setup section:



    TSP is fabulous! Welcome to TSP!

    Having tried both bunkhouse and van camping at TSP, I endorse bunkhouse. All of the bunkhouses are convenient to upper and middle fields and the bunkhouse is an opportunity to meet interesting people and have coffee in the night. Bunkhouses are cooler during the day compared to camping (probably not an issue with the April TSP) and are a nice refuge in bad weather (it happens).

    You should be able to place your trailer close to your observing site on any of the observing fields. I recommend the upper field for its low southern horizon and large population of amazing observers. The two other fields are closer to the dining hall and snack bar. Try to arrive in the afternoon to have leisure to scout out your location. After nearly 20 TSPs, I still have anxiety in selecting a location (even though I observe with the same group of friends in the same area); if you are unhappy with your initial location, you can always move the next day, though it is always hard to move a scope that is polar aligned.

    My friends who have opted out of bunkhouses did so because they could not sleep with the coming and going of observers in the night and the observer snoring (can be ferocious, given the median age). Some find earplugs useful. Some who have these issues continue to stay in the bunkhouse for the fellowship. I am able to sleep through anything, so it is a joy, as I get to spend a week with old friends and have made many new friends and had wonderful conversations.

    I have been to one Okie-Tex (another great star party) and wished they had more bunkhouses.

    Dennis Webb,
    veteran of 2 years in Mountainside and over 10 years in the Harmony’s (names of bunkhouses)


    Hi David,

    We will be set up in the lower field since it is adjacent to our RV’s. There is plenty of space to set up and have your trailer and SUV next to the scope, just like at OkieTex. Less crowded but we are getting more people down there each year.

    The southern view is ok. We can image Omega just fine. And we are next to the all night snack bar too 🙂

    All fields are good and have their own character.


Viewing 4 posts - 1 through 4 (of 4 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.