It was back in October 2001 that I first
announced the plans we had developed for a high-speed internet
and wireless network capability at our Anza site. After many
setbacks along the way as of Friday May 18th, we have finally
completed the installation of the satellite Internet connection.
Just a quick re-cap on what we are trying
to do. Our Anza site is a long way away from the high-speed
internet access systems that most of us can access in the
heart of southern California. The idea is that with a high-speed
internet access system, among many other uses, members who
have their own observatories at Anza will be able to use this
system to remotely operate their telescopes (update: I had
the privilege of being the first person to see "Remote
First Light" from Star Cruiser observatory on Saturday
June 1st). It will also be possible for members who bring
along their own computer to gain access to the Internet from
almost any place on the Anza site - wherever they choose to
While this facility will be of great benefit
to the club and to many members, it is obviously not going
to be used by every member and although this service will
cost the club about $170 per month, it is expected the system
will be fully self-funded by member use in a short period
Over the next month we will be installing
and testing the wireless systems that will enable complete
access to this service. Look to the web site for more information
about this system - and to find out how you can become a user
of the service.
I would like to thank Jerry Mulchin for
his incredible dedication in making this vision a reality.
The Dish for the Internet connection has been installed
onto the east side of the observatory position.
A little reflection
The board has been working on a little project
over the past few months to develop a new club brochure. This
color brochure will help introduce potential new members to
the OCA by describing what we are all about. While developing
this brochure I again realized and appreciated just how much
the club owes to all the volunteers who help with the services
and facilities that are such an important part of the club.
Just go to the home page of the OCA's web site and you will
see a link to this new brochure.
The front page of the brochure starts with
a tag line of "Bringing the Universe into focus since
1967". That reminds me that we owe a lot to all the volunteers
that have come before us - with their efforts we have a wealth
of amazing resources available to us that make this hobby
such a rewarding one.
On the OCA volunteer front - I have some
sad news. Cathy Bailey-Weinberger has decided to take a break
from the many, many years that she has been running the clubs
extensive library. Cathy has done such an amazing job for
us over the years - she will be very much missed. But that
does not detract from the fact that Cathy has contributed
such a great deal to the club over the years. We all owe her
a great debt of thanks.
Thank you Cathy for all that you have done
for the club!
By an amazing coincidence on the very night
that Cathy discussed with me her desire to let "new blood"
have a chance of running the library - we found a willing
replacement right away. Karen Schnabel, senior program administrator
for Learning Tree University and a volunteer at the Aliso
Viejo Library has agreed to take on the task.
I am sure you will all welcome Karen to
her new role when you meet her at the next meeting. Thanks
Karen for agreeing to take on this very important and much
ANZA CLEAR-UP DAY.
We are planning a grand Anza clear-up day
at the June Star Party. We have quite a bit of "spare"
equipment and discarded items lying around the site and it
is time to do some "spring cleaning". Please come
along early on May 11th to help with the clear-out!
Members who have been with the club for
more than a year should know of the annual Star-B-Ques that
we run out at Anza. This is where we have a pot-luck/BBQ for
all members to enjoy a nice social gathering prior to a great
evening viewing in the comfortable environment of our site
at Anza. We are planning on a little different Star-B-Que
this year in both July and August. We are inviting the Riverside
Astronomical Society (RAS) members to join us at Anza for
the July event. The RAS is currently at the early stages of
building out their own dark-sky site and we would like to
extend whatever help we can with their task. One way to do
this of course is to allow them to experience for themselves
our Anza site. This will be a reciprocal arrangement where
our members will also get an invitation to experience the
new RAS site sometime. We are also looking to invite another
society to the August Star-B-Que. I will give further news
on this when the arrangements have been finalized.
"every day we are connecting ever more photons of light
from distant galaxies to the eyes, hearts, minds and imaginations
of our members and others in our community."