Riverside Astronomical Society—Outreach, star parties, dark sky site, and you!

GMARS: Goat Mountain Astronomical Research Station

Connectivity at the RAS's Dark Sky Site

If you've been to GMARS or have read the other GMARS pages on this web site, you know that it's in a relatively remote location. The usual amenities of unlimited high-speed Internet, HD cable TV, and ubiquitous cell service simply don't exist at GMARS. But the RAS has done its best to provide basic communication services to those who desire or need them.

Internet Access & TV
As mentioned, high-speed Internet services such as cable, fiber optic, and DSL currently don't exist in the northern end of Landers, where GMARS is located. But through the efforts of the club membership and leadership, GMARS visitors are able to enjoy an Internet connection, as well as satellite television with some HD channels. Any visitor may watch TV or use the desktop PC located in the living room of the main house. In addition, by paying an annual access fee (separate from the club membership fee), members may use the GMARS Wi-Fi network to connect their laptop, tablet, or mobile device to the Internet.

Because the Internet connection has very limited bandwidth, some rules and restrictions must be implemented to ensure all Internet and Wi-Fi users are able to enjoy the connection. Subscribe to GMARS Wi-Fi and read the usage guidelines.

The GMARS computer, Internet modem, and wireless router.
The GMARS public PC and Internet access equipment.

Guidelines for using the desktop PC in the living room:
  • Be quick and efficient about your usage as others may be waiting to use it.
  • When logging in to a personalized or private web site, be sure NOT to select the option that says, "Remember my password" or "Remember me on this computer" or something similar. Be sure to log out of your web mail, banking site, or other personalized web sites before leaving the PC. The RAS cannot be held responsible for the privacy of any personal information you might leave available on the PC.
  • Do not install any software on the PC. The PC is for everyone's use and is not to be personalized to any individual's tastes. Also, installing software can adversely affect the performance of the PC, which then affects everyone who wishes to use it. If you feel there's a valuable piece of software that would benefit all users of the PC, please contact the about installing it.
  • Feel free to download small files or programs to your thumb drive, but do not save anything or install anything on the PC.
  • Do not disconnect or reboot the modem or router unnecessarily. Do not relocate either device. Do not attempt to change the settings of either device.
  • You may use an Ethernet cable (that you provide) to connect your computer directly to the router. If you do not need a wired connection to get on the Internet, please avoid setting up your laptop on the PC desk.

AT&T mobile phone service at GMARS—don't count on it.
AT&T signal strength at GMARS.

Mobile Phone Service
You are most likely to get cellular service at GMARS if you are a Verizon Wireless subscriber. You can typically get a signal for Sprint and AT&T but only if you're standing in the right spot at the right time, holding your phone in the right orientation, wearing a foil hat, and facing southeast. In case of an emergency, the GMARS main house does have a landline telephone. It's located in the kitchen, next to the back door (mounted on the wall).