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PostPosted: Sat May 11, 2019 4:20 pm 
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YES it is VERY cheap I agree, but

THREE points.

1. All clubs, forums, and especially magazines are finding it hard, because with the WWW you really need a club to offer something exceptional, and most, sorry SPA, RAS etc, do not, especially when you offer nothing in Scotland or Wales or UK wide. There need to be an incentive to join, what are they ?

2. There are so many forums that you have to offer something exceptional, which, these do not, and whilst it may cost a "little" time to run/maintain it, there are so VERY few people who post here.

3. Having a forum is a partial shop front, and to either make it members only or close it as the Sky at Night have done to theirs is very bad, because it is almost free publicity, and people who do come, may chose to join. Unfortunately non members contributing to a forum keep it going when there are so few who do.

I was a SPA member but there were no benefits to me being in Wales. I can not afford to travel to the one venue, London, there are none in Wales, which is a shame.

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Celestron 8" Edge HD Evolution, Esprit 120mm triplet, 72mm APO, Sky Tee 2, 6" reflecting scope, William Optics Binoviewer, Quark Daystar Ha Chromosphere on 72mm ED, LVW8mm eyepiece and Celestron 19mm Axiom, matched W.O 10 and 20mm, and a few others, D4s, D810,

For info, I am Autistic, Aspergers, ADHD, therefore if I come over as a little "short" on occasions it is not intended, thank you


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PostPosted: Sat May 11, 2019 6:16 pm 
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Skyhawk
Two benefits the SPA provides (and I think there may be more!) are -
1) a pretty good bi-monthly magazine - not too hard to understand.
2) Observing sections which any SPA member can join but not many seem to do.
Surprisingly I think you suggest the SPA is cheap - so why not continue to be a member?
I agree that the SPA chat forum seems to have relatively few members. I personally think there are pros & cons to that eg having at least a vague idea who you are mixed up with, NOT getting involved with stirrers who come quickly & then disappear quickly.
Best of luck from Cliff


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PostPosted: Sat May 11, 2019 6:43 pm 
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Cheap is, reall, relative, £22 a year is just £1.80 a month, but if you get nothing from it, then it is not cheap, as I don't read the magazine or find it at all interesting that just leaves events which I would happily attend if it meant I could attend one that was not 100 miles away

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Celestron 8" Edge HD Evolution, Esprit 120mm triplet, 72mm APO, Sky Tee 2, 6" reflecting scope, William Optics Binoviewer, Quark Daystar Ha Chromosphere on 72mm ED, LVW8mm eyepiece and Celestron 19mm Axiom, matched W.O 10 and 20mm, and a few others, D4s, D810,

For info, I am Autistic, Aspergers, ADHD, therefore if I come over as a little "short" on occasions it is not intended, thank you


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PostPosted: Sat May 11, 2019 7:50 pm 
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Skyhawk
You seem to have a fair bit of astronomy gear which I presume you use - so why not join one or two of the SPA's Observing Sections, after re-joining the SPA of course. I guestimate there are about 13 thousand stargazers in the UK so you could just want to be one of them or should I say one of the possible many of the 13,000 who just do their own thing !
Not that there is anything wrong just doing that of course, or just stirring it up
Whilst irrespective of not being an SPA member what do you find nice or interesting in using the SPA's chat forum ?
best of luck from Cliff


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PostPosted: Sun May 12, 2019 6:38 am 
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Joined: Sat Jul 24, 2004 6:06 pm
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Location: Walmer, Kent
skyhawk wrote:
I was a SPA member but there were no benefits to me being in Wales. I can not afford to travel to the one venue, London, there are none in Wales, which is a shame.


We had a meeting in Wales last year (Cardiff).

Almost all our meetings are now videoed, so that those who cannot attend may still view the talks.

There is no obligation to join. But I think 6p a day is a small price to pay to enjoy using the facilities.

Paul


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PostPosted: Sun May 12, 2019 9:31 am 
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A lot of what the SPA provides, such as the enormous amount of helpful material on the website and of course this forum, is available to all. In that respect it is worth supporting, and the cost of the annual subscription is really comparatively trivial to many people. Few of us will have to go without something for the sake of £22 a year. Many of our more experienced members remain with us for this very reason. If the magazine is of less use to them than when they were beginners, they could pass it on to someone thinking of starting out, or even put it in the doctor's waiting room!

It would be possible to change our model to one in which there is no charge at all, or a trivial one such as a pound or two a year, but without producing Popular Astronomy. But the evidence is that many members really value receiving the printed magazine. Producing it as a PDF would save a lot of money, of course, but I doubt that its arrival would be as welcome as a hard copy on the doormat. Another possibility might be to try to monetise the website and Forum by carrying advertising, along with our meeting videos.

But in a world where fake news is rampant (virtually non-existent meteor showers regularly being given great prominence by the media as click-bait and even the BBC TV news), and where equipment dealers operating out of their garages are in competition with the well-established ones, this might compromise our independence and would mean entering an already crowded field.

We do try and organise meetings elsewhere than in London, even though when we do the attendance is relatively low. Not to put too fine a point on it, but Skyhawk was a member at the time yet did not apparently either know about it or attend. We are currently trying to organise one in Yorkshire, but the local society that we have approached hasn't bothered to answer our emails, I'm sure through sheer inefficiency rather than anything else.

With our Facebook campaigns we are actually trying to reach the beginners for whom the society is intended, just as we do with our print ads in Astronomy Now and Sky at Night. Skyhawk is absolutely spot-on in saying 'because it is almost free publicity, and people who do come, may choose to join.' So you can't then blame the SPA for asking people to join!


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PostPosted: Sun May 12, 2019 9:50 am 
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Cliff wrote:
Skyhawk
You seem to have a fair bit of astronomy gear which I presume you use - so why not join one or two of the SPA's Observing Sections, after re-joining the SPA of course. I guestimate there are about 13 thousand stargazers in the UK so you could just want to be one of them or should I say one of the possible many of the 13,000 who just do their own thing !
Not that there is anything wrong just doing that of course, or just stirring it up
Whilst irrespective of not being an SPA member what do you find nice or interesting in using the SPA's chat forum ?
best of luck from Cliff



Actually I WILL re join, NOT for the use I get from the SPA but to support them, after all when you think about it some people spend that much in just a Friday at the local and I do benefit from the forum, so go for it SPA, I am re joining

I would like to know "how" to find meets, and join/participate in "sections" though, please remember we are not all "normal" humans and for some it is not easy to find/translate information, see my signature (Autism, Aspergers), perhaps the "ease of use" for the less clever of us could do with a small look at :) :)

many thanks

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Celestron 8" Edge HD Evolution, Esprit 120mm triplet, 72mm APO, Sky Tee 2, 6" reflecting scope, William Optics Binoviewer, Quark Daystar Ha Chromosphere on 72mm ED, LVW8mm eyepiece and Celestron 19mm Axiom, matched W.O 10 and 20mm, and a few others, D4s, D810,

For info, I am Autistic, Aspergers, ADHD, therefore if I come over as a little "short" on occasions it is not intended, thank you


Last edited by skyhawk on Sun May 12, 2019 9:55 am, edited 3 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sun May 12, 2019 9:50 am 
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Paul Sutherland wrote:
skyhawk wrote:
I was a SPA member but there were no benefits to me being in Wales. I can not afford to travel to the one venue, London, there are none in Wales, which is a shame.


We had a meeting in Wales last year (Cardiff).

Almost all our meetings are now videoed, so that those who cannot attend may still view the talks.

There is no obligation to join. But I think 6p a day is a small price to pay to enjoy using the facilities.

Paul


Actually I will re join, it only ran out this year

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Celestron 8" Edge HD Evolution, Esprit 120mm triplet, 72mm APO, Sky Tee 2, 6" reflecting scope, William Optics Binoviewer, Quark Daystar Ha Chromosphere on 72mm ED, LVW8mm eyepiece and Celestron 19mm Axiom, matched W.O 10 and 20mm, and a few others, D4s, D810,

For info, I am Autistic, Aspergers, ADHD, therefore if I come over as a little "short" on occasions it is not intended, thank you


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PostPosted: Sun May 12, 2019 9:56 am 
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100% Cliff you are right, so yes I will pay the VERY small sum and re join again this year, are you on commission :)

Unfortunately I rarely use my gear, it has to be a combination of the right weather and how I feel, one of the drawbacks with aspergers.

I have NEVER used the Celestron as I have not managed to figure out star alignment, times, location, and when I have tried the star sense if left to itself it just keeps trying for ever, when I do it manually not enough stars so I give up. :(

THIS is why I wish there were local/ish SPAs who I could pay to help me, London too far, I never knew about cardiff bit then again can you take your scopes :(

Top give you an idea what your non normal members are up against (I can speak I am nutz :) :) :) ), I have had the Quark for a year and yet never seen anything, trying today for the first time on the 120

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Celestron 8" Edge HD Evolution, Esprit 120mm triplet, 72mm APO, Sky Tee 2, 6" reflecting scope, William Optics Binoviewer, Quark Daystar Ha Chromosphere on 72mm ED, LVW8mm eyepiece and Celestron 19mm Axiom, matched W.O 10 and 20mm, and a few others, D4s, D810,

For info, I am Autistic, Aspergers, ADHD, therefore if I come over as a little "short" on occasions it is not intended, thank you


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PostPosted: Sun May 12, 2019 10:36 am 
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Location: Portslade, Sussex Lat 50deg 51min Long 0deg 13mins West
As an old member, who did not rejoin some time ago, should I wish to join again, can I rejoin with my old number or do I need to join as a new member? Regards maf


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PostPosted: Sun May 12, 2019 11:02 am 
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Location: Flackwell Heath, Bucks, UK
Quote:
I have NEVER used the Celestron as I have not managed to figure out star alignment, times, location, and when I have tried the star sense if left to itself it just keeps trying for ever, when I do it manually not enough stars so I give up.


We do of course have an Instrument Adviser in Ian Morison. I don't believe he has that Celestron but through the resources of the society we should be able to help you get it working (as a member, of course!).

It would have to be by advice rather than personal attendance of course!

Robin


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PostPosted: Sun May 12, 2019 11:07 am 
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Quote:
As an old member, who did not rejoin some time ago, should I wish to join again, can I rejoin with my old number or do I need to join as a new member? Regards maf

Yes, we can certainly give you your original number, Mike. The joining procedure is quick and automatic (note that payment is taken by PayPal but you don't need to have a PayPal account to use it, or you can send a cheque if you prefer).

A new number is issued at the time of joining unless you are renewing within three months, but it's a simple matter for our Membership Secretary, Graham Jones, to restore your original number and indeed find it in the archives if you can't remember it. I do have your old number to hand, but won't put it in this message just in case someone is eager to impersonate you!

Best,

Robin


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PostPosted: Sun May 12, 2019 2:38 pm 
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Robin Scagell wrote:
Quote:
I have NEVER used the Celestron as I have not managed to figure out star alignment, times, location, and when I have tried the star sense if left to itself it just keeps trying for ever, when I do it manually not enough stars so I give up.


We do of course have an Instrument Adviser in Ian Morison. I don't believe he has that Celestron but through the resources of the society we should be able to help you get it working (as a member, of course!).

It would have to be by advice rather than personal attendance of course!

Robin


Ill join as soon as my PIP comes through next week, thank you

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Celestron 8" Edge HD Evolution, Esprit 120mm triplet, 72mm APO, Sky Tee 2, 6" reflecting scope, William Optics Binoviewer, Quark Daystar Ha Chromosphere on 72mm ED, LVW8mm eyepiece and Celestron 19mm Axiom, matched W.O 10 and 20mm, and a few others, D4s, D810,

For info, I am Autistic, Aspergers, ADHD, therefore if I come over as a little "short" on occasions it is not intended, thank you


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PostPosted: Sun May 12, 2019 7:45 pm 
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I'm really chuffed you are re-joining the SPA, Skyhawk - I hoped you would & thought you might.
Same applies to Mike !
Skyhawk, I'm not saying there's any specific need for you to join a SPA observing section but I think doing so could give you some enjoyment. I myself joined the SPA Solar Section a few years back, and the Section Director provided a lot of encouragement. I had a problem which made me feel like packing up observing the Sun - but the Section Director encouraged me to stick with it.
Of course observing the Sun might not particularly interest for you but there are several different observing sections and one or two might suit you.
I choose to observe the Sun because I'm getting a bit older and observing in cold conditions is uncomfortable for me. Even in summer I do almost all my observing of the Sun through a double glazed window in a relatively comfortable warm bed room.
Best of luck from Cliff


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PostPosted: Sun May 12, 2019 8:50 pm 
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Cliff wrote:
I'm really chuffed you are re-joining the SPA, Skyhawk - I hoped you would & thought you might.
Same applies to Mike !
Skyhawk, I'm not saying there's any specific need for you to join a SPA observing section but I think doing so could give you some enjoyment. I myself joined the SPA Solar Section a few years back, and the Section Director provided a lot of encouragement. I had a problem which made me feel like packing up observing the Sun - but the Section Director encouraged me to stick with it.
Of course observing the Sun might not particularly interest for you but there are several different observing sections and one or two might suit you.
I choose to observe the Sun because I'm getting a bit older and observing in cold conditions is uncomfortable for me. Even in summer I do almost all my observing of the Sun through a double glazed window in a relatively comfortable warm bed room.
Best of luck from Cliff


I think the problem is that I have not looked deeper into what is available from the SPA "online", I don't read magazines, that is my autism, I lose interest very fast, I went out tonight, and spent all of 10 minutes out there :( :(

The rubbish quality is the terrible file size allowed for upload

Attachment:
small.jpg
small.jpg [ 215.36 KiB | Viewed 572 times ]

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Celestron 8" Edge HD Evolution, Esprit 120mm triplet, 72mm APO, Sky Tee 2, 6" reflecting scope, William Optics Binoviewer, Quark Daystar Ha Chromosphere on 72mm ED, LVW8mm eyepiece and Celestron 19mm Axiom, matched W.O 10 and 20mm, and a few others, D4s, D810,

For info, I am Autistic, Aspergers, ADHD, therefore if I come over as a little "short" on occasions it is not intended, thank you


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