Monthly Archives: January 2001

2001-01-31

Minutes of PGAS General Meeting – Jan 31, 2001

Meeting Hosted By: Bob Nelson
Number Attending: 12 members
Start Time: 7:30 pm

Read previous minutes/ agenda.

OLD BUSINESS:

R.A.S.C.:
As stated at the last executive meeting Brian B sent the letter to the RASC requesting the PGAS become a RASC Center.

Washrooms / Holding Tank Installation:

  • The weight to the shut off alarm still needs to be installed.
  • Gil is still talking to Jon about installing the freshwater. (see previous minutes for more details)
  • The lid to the tank still needs to be locked in some manner to prevent vandalism.
  • Bob K has installed the toilet and baseboard. Installing the sink requires additional work
  • The Jan 31, 2001 completion date will have to be extended hopefully, the washrooms will be installed for the upcoming open house season in March.

Dark Sky Activism:

  • Paul R. has been busy researching Dark Sky Activism – deciding what the goals and objectives of the committee should be and how to go about achieving them.
  • Paul R. will call a meeting of interested members in about two weeks to discuss. Gil S, Bob N, Fred V and Rob F all acknowledged a willingness to participate.

N.O.V.A. – New Observers to Visual Astronomy

  • Rob F. gave a short overview of what the part of the course will cover.
  • How to read Star Catalogues
  • How to run the telescopes
  • Finding and Identifying Constellations
  • NOVA will coincide with Members Night starting in March (every Saturday night)
  • Start Date: March 3 @ 8:00 pm

New Grant Application:

  • The wish list as it currently exists was presented to the members. (see previous minutes)
  • The members added additional items to the list.
  • Another washroom
  • Video system to project the scopes view into the classroom
  • Image intensifier (to go with video system)
  • Furniture – more chairs, a bed, new counters and cupboards.
  • Sound deadening
  • Portable planetarium
  • Carpeting in the main hall & entrance
  • Pop machine – create additional revenue from tours as well as a convenience for members.
  • The members started to categorize the list into most urgent and least urgent as well as long and short-term goals. The list so far:
  • Observing Deck and CCD camera were ranked as high priority – short-term.
  • Hiring a consultant to review the main scope and recommend changes to improve scope performance was ranked as the highest long-term priority.
  • Due to time restrictions work on the list was halted. The executive will work on prioritizing and categorizing the list at the next executive and present it to the members for review at the next meeting.

Gaming/ Financial Report:
Was sent in on Saturday, Jan 20, 2001 by Paul Roberts.

Finances:
At the last regular meeting (Dec 20, 2000) Paul was asked what the approximately $10,000 worth of miscellaneous expenses were for. At the time he did not know. At this meeting (Jan 31, 2001) he provided a breakdown of those expenses to the members.

NEW BUSINESS:

Finances:

  • Paul R. gave a brief report of the finances. Breakdown as follows:
  • Reg. Account (approx): $2,500.00
  • Gaming Account: $0
  • Cash (approx): $70.00
  • Total (approx) $2,570
  • Paul indicated that the gas bill has risen to about $126 / month.
  • Bob N brought up that we are paying Praxair about $70.00 / year for a hydrogen tank rental. The tank was used to hydrogenate 35mm film. No one has used it in the last few years. The club members voted to return it to save the money.

Technical:
Nothing New – Bob N

Fundraising:
Nothing new – still waiting for washrooms.

Security:
Gil S. still needs to look into the false alarms although; there hasn’t been any for a while.

Observing:

  • Brian B discussed his idea to have “Tour Hosts” and “Tour Helpers”
  • The idea is to have older more experienced members run the group tours with one or two newer less experienced members. This will help the newer members learn how to run tours and having more people involved will also help prevent burn-out among the members.
  • Brian has created a list of people wanting to be either hosts or helpers.
  • List of Hosts so far: Gil S, Bob N, Jon B, Brian P, Steve S, Brian B
  • List of Helpers so far: Doug W, Paul R, Frank B, Rob F.
  • Brian will send an email asking for more volunteers.
  • On Monday Feb 26 there will be a group tour of approximately 30 Brownies and Girl Guides. Jon B will host and Frank B will help out. Brian B will be unable to attend so a third person will need to be found.
  • Brian announced that he/ the club has taken on a work experience student from College Heights Secondary. As part of his work experience the student will: learn the constellations visible from PG, write an article for the Pegasus, give a presentation at the next meeting, keep an observing log, and use the main telescope to make observations in a variety of projects.
  • Brian B reported seeing an entry in the Resource Sign Out books at the observatory. Members are asked to please continue to use them so the club knows where its property is.

Web Page:
Matthew B. has updated the site the group tour section of the web page to include the new tour rates.

Promotional:

  • Bob N will supply Brian B with logos and copy so he can create plaques to thank major contributors and founding members. – Brian has not received any info from Bob yet.
  • Brian B dropped off brochures at the PG Public Library and the Girl Guide office. People are also taking about 5 brochures per week from the counter at SpeeDee Printers.

RASC Calendars:
Paul R. took orders for the RASC calendar. He will order them in the next few weeks.
Gil S and Bob N both placed an order

RASC General Assembly:
The RASC General Assembly will be held in the month of June – London, Ontario
This is the meeting that the PGAS application for joining the RASC will be voted on.

Newsletter:
Gil S reported a there was a lack of articles in the January Pegasus. He made a bit of a plea to the members to write more articles so he can keep the newsletters “local” (not have to include articles from websites)

MEETING EVENTS:

Constellation of the Month:

  • Doug W gave a presentation about the constellation Monoceros: The Unicorn
  • Doug discussed many objects of interest in this often-overlooked constellation including the Cone Nebula and Christmas tree cluster.
  • Note: Doug W has found a great website with free constellation charts. The charts also have a list of objects to view visually, through binoculars and through telescopes. The site is www.skymaps.com

CCDSoft:
Gil S gave a brief demonstration of the clubs CCD operating software.

Shareware Astronomy Programs:
Bob N gave a presentation showing a collection of shareware and freeware astronomy programs including one he made himself! These programs are going to be included on the Members CD-Rom.

Black holes:
Paul R showed a computer movie that he downloaded from NASA on black holes.

Meeting Adjourned: 10:00 pm

2001-01-17

Minutes of PGAS Executive Meeting – Jan 17, 2001

Meeting Hosted By: Bob Nelson
Attending Executive: Gil Self, Brian Battersby, Steve Senger, Paul Roberts
Attending Committee Chairs: Bob Klick
Absent: Rob Frith

Start Time: 7:45 pm

Read previous minutes/ agenda.

OLD BUSINESS:

Washrooms / Holding Tank Installation:

  • The inside seam of the tank was sealed with tar.
  • The weight to the shut off alarm still needs to be installed.
  • Gil has been talking to Jon about the fresh water tank. Gil has set a deadline for the end of the week for Jon to get him the materials. If Jon doesn’t then Gil will make a list of the needed items and hand it over to Bob Klick. Bob will purchase from a supplier he knows to get a good price. The executive gave its okay to spending a couple of hundred dollars in order to get the necessary materials as needed.
  • The lid to the tank still needs to be locked in some manner to prevent vandalism.
  • Bob K will go out in the next 10 days and install the sink and toilet. He will also put the baseboard up.
  • The Jan 31, 2001 completion date is still to have the water/ sewage system up and working is still in effect.

Dark Sky Activism:
Paul R. will call a meeting of interested members to decide what the objectives of the group will be. One first thought is to get city council out for a tour/ meeting.

N.O.V.A. – New Observers to Visual Astronomy
Rob F. has an article regarding NOVA prepared for the next Pegasus issue.

New Grant Application:

  • Last years grant is spent.
  • Must make an application for a new grant.
  • A “wish list” of items needed by the club still needs to be made.
  • List so far: Deck, SVGA Projector, Software, Club Laptop, Hands-on science displays for the classroom and noise reduction for the classroom, viewing deck, finish parking lot, computer operated slide projector show, motorized drive system to open & close dome/ rotate, new CCD camera (buy a used one?), upgrade the network to high speed (10/100), buy a custom built professional drive for the scope, new worm gear for scope, new mount for scope (inverted fork design), Hire a design consultant to come up with a plan to modify the scope – Bob suggests brining in someone from the D.A.O. to this end.
  • The executive would like to make a 5-10 year plan for the building, telescope and classroom.

B.C. Society Act Annual Report:
Paul Roberts will submit the report on Jan 18, 2001.

R.A.S.C.:
Brian B sent the letter to the RASC requesting the PGAS become a RASC Center.

Building Coordinator:
Bob K has accepted the position of Building Coordinator. (Thank you!)

Security:

  • Gil S. still needs to look into the false alarms although; there hasn’t been any for a while.
  • The security company should be able to provide info on which alarm has been set off so we can fix the problem.
  • Gil will also ask the security company who is on the emergency contact list.

Borrowing of Equipment:
Sign out books have been posted in the observatory. When members take equipment and resources are required to right down when they took it, where they took it and when they will bring it back. For major items (telescopes and accessories) Brian B must be phoned.

Parking Lot:
The club needs to put up markers to show where people can park. –not done yet.

New Members Handbook:
Brian B has started on the book. So far a rough outline has been created. Bob N will be forwarding his best collection of shareware astronomy software to include on the CD-Rom.

NEW BUSINESS:

Finances:
Reg. Account: $3,156.36
Gaming Account: $- 428.24
Total: $3,114.12 (Paul shouldn’t this be $2,728.12 ?)

Gaming/ Financial Report:
To be completed by Saturday, Jan 20, 2001 by Paul Roberts.

Membership:

  • Paul R. reports there are currently 20 paid members.
  • Steve S. will write up a notice for the next newsletter asking for the payment of outstanding dues. He will forward it to Brian B to be printed and inserted when the newsletter is put together.

Group Tours:

  • Due to a recent unexpectedly small donation after a group tour a rate system will be implemented. For tours of 15 or less a fee of $30.00 will be charged for each person over 15 an additional $2.00 will be added.
  • Brian B will create a list of 5 or 6 people to serve as tour hosts. Likely candidates are: Steve S, Gil S, Bob N, Jon & Jean B. Brian P will also be approached.
  • A list of apprentice host/ helpers will also be created so we can have enough help & security at the tours as well as train future hosts. Brian will ask for volunteers at the next meeting.

Technical:

  • Gil will install the modem he has into the classroom computer.
  • Newtonian secondary work is proceeding. Bob N is meeting with Claus in the next few days to work out an electronic control for flipping the new secondary mirror.
  • At Gil’s request Bob N will also ask Claus if he can design a circuit to enable 3 slide projectors to receive audio/ advance from a computer to enable a computer controlled slide show presentation. The idea would be to have a slide show run itself without the need for a club member to speak.
  • Matthew Burke has added Bob N’s new article on what you can do in astronomy to the web site. The article includes numerous www links to sites discussed in the article.

Building:

  • Bob K suggests not developing the room at the end of the hall into anything more than storage so the club will be able to keep the option of expanding the building to the east.
  • Paul R gave Brian B water tokens for the cooler at the observatory. Brian will take the empty bottles when he goes out to the Jan 18 group tour and return them at the next group tour, Jan 26.

Next Meeting:
Steve S will do the constellation of the month. Orion.

Newsletter:
Gil S will include a schedule of events in the newsletter. It will consist of meeting dates, times, location as well as things like yearly meteor showers. He will forward a copy to Brian B to be used in the new members handbook.

R.A.S.C.

  • Paul R. expressed an interest in representing the club at the next General Assembly of The Royal Astronomical Society of Canada. At the meeting the PGAS will hopefully be voted into the R.A.S.C.
  • Paul R. would like the date of the General Assembly printed in the newsletter and members encouraged to attend.
  • Paul R . would like to offer the opportunity to PGAS members to purchase a R.A.S.C. calendar. A notice will be placed in the next newsletter and the order will be placed following the January meeting.

Meeting Adjourned: 10:00 pm