Okie-Tex Star Party Etiquette

Thank you for observing the following courtesies during the party:

Gate Closings/Lighting Restrictions

Dark out period will begin Sunday night and continue each night through Saturday night. At 9:00 PM each evening, the gate will be closed and lighting restrictions will begin. This is for the safety of star party participants and to prevent unwanted light in the observing area.

No vehicles will be permitted to travel into or out of the star party site after the gate is closed except in emergency situations.

No one will be allowed to travel within the star party site after the lighting restrictions begin. So if you plan to leave during the night, please park outside the gate before it closes and face your vehicle away from the observing field! The gate will be reopened at sunrise each morning.

All light emitting devices must be turned off when lighting restrictions begin. The only exceptions to this rule will be red-filtered lights and during inclement weather or emergencies. Emergencies may require the use of white light and whenever possible, a warning should be given to avoid interference with astrophotography or observing.

If you are using a personal computer on the observing field for the operation of your telescope or CCD the screen must be red-filtered. If your RV is near the observing field please cover the windows with dark material.

Please disable, and/or put car remotes in safe places so that flashing vehicle lights are not accidently turned on.

Electricity/Generator Use

The following guidelines for electricity/generator use are in effect for the duration of the star party:

Only telescope drive equipment, antidew gear, drive correctors, personal computers necessary to the operation of telescopes or CCD equipment, and 25watt or less red light bulbs may be connected to Okie-Tex power outlets. Personal computers not attached to telescopes or CCD’s or used for astronomical image processing, and appliances such as hot plates, coffee pots, fans, heaters and refrigerators are NOT to be connected to field electrical supplies. Medical devices, such as CPAP machines, are permissible.

If you use generators to recharge mobile battery packs please refrain from running the generators from dark until 11:00 AM. Generators will be allowed to run during the daytime hours only, but not before 11:00 AM. Anyone with a generator is asked to be aware of campers nearby and to store your generator out of site. We don't want to have the noise distraction from these running all of the time.

Music

Everyone has their favorite observing music that contributes to the star party experience but please respect your fellow observers! Music that can be heard across the observing field will not be allowed. If your neighbor doesn’t like your taste in music then turn it down a few decibels or plug in some headphones. A good rule of thumb would be: If your music can be heard more than 10 feet away it’s probably too loud!

Alcoholic Beverages

Camp Billy Joe is a Christian Youth Camp and the owners prefer that drinking not take place during the Okie-Tex Star Party. If you should bring liquor to our star party, under no circumstances should it be brought into the Dining Hall, Tent, Cosmic Cafe, Bath Houses, etc. Please keep it in your own personal area and out of sight!! Drunken behavior will not be tolerated!

Pets

Pets must be on a leash at all times. If your pet is aggressive or prone to barking please leave it at home. Pets are not allowed in the vendor building, chow hall, bathrooms, showers, bunk houses or meeting rooms. Pets will not be allowed on the observing field while lighting restrictions are in effect. You may walk your pet during daylight hours but please clean up after it!

Tents, Camping Trailers And Canopies

If you are camping please do not set up your tent or camping trailer on the observing field or in traffic ways. This includes canopies, pavilions and similar structures designed to provide shade. Please make sure that your tent is firmly staked down and the guy lines do not extend into the observing area for the safety of other star party participants. Please respect your neighbor’s view of the horizon.

RV hookups are not provided at the Okie-Tex Star Party site at this time. RV's and camping trailers are NOT to be powered by star party electricity outlets. Black Mesa State Park (approx. 5 miles from the site) provides full RV hookups if you require them.

Internet use

Okie-Tex provides wireless internet service for most of the observing fields and dining hall free of charge. There are also desktops in the tent. This is a single LTE connection, please do not use it to transmit or download large files, play online games, etc. Also, please disable your “Automatic Update” feature during the star party. Due to a wide number of variables, connection to the internet is not guaranteed. This is an unsecured network! There is no encryption, antivirus protection or firewall on this network! Please make sure your computer is adequately protected prior to connecting with both a firewall and antivirus software. The Okie-Tex Star Party is in no way responsible for any damage or loss of data for any cause resulting from your connection to this network. Your use of this network indicates that you understand and agree with this condition. If you are using an iPhone, Blackberry, etc., hand held type device to access the WiFi it is very important that you keep it turned off when not in use. If left on, It will hold a connection to the network and WiFi causing everyone to lose internet access due to congestion. Also, please keep your WiFi/Bluetooth connection disabled on your laptop when you are not on the internet, for the same reason. Please adhere to this policy so that everyone can share internet access while they are here. Do not operate any other personal wireless system that interferes with the OkieNet. Some of the wireless mount and scope controllers operate at the exact same frequency as the WiFi, so please be aware in case we have interference from them, and turn it off.

Laser Pointers

The use of laser pointers is banned. Serious and permanent eye damage can result, and you can ruin an imager’s work, so cloudy or clear, just keep them put away. Groups may use a laser pointer for educational purposes with advance permission from the star party, but no later than 9:30 PM.

Mesa Climbing

The Mesas on the East and South are yours to scale, at your own risk. The Mesa on the West is on private property and the owners have asked us not to trespass. Under no circumstances, is anyone allowed access to the Mesas after dark.

Meal Time

Meal time is a great time to sit and visit with new and old friends, alike. After you have eaten, please do not remain at the dining tables visiting. This will allow everyone to be able to find a place to sit and eat, also. This is also true in the Cosmic Cafe. Thanks for your kindness.

Cooking fires

Due to the local “Burn Ban” and possible damage to optical coatings, no smoky type open camp or charcoal cooking fires are allowed. Coleman type stoves are OK.

Current Lunar Phase Courtesy USNO Current Lunar Phase
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