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

GMARS: Goat Mountain Astronomical Research Station

Telescope Pad Use Rules

GMARS telescope pads with electrical outlets
GMARS telescope pads with electrical outlets

GMARS has several concrete pads with electrical outlets to make setting up and using your telescope easier and safer. The concrete pads are constructed and paid for by club members. Each pad has a specific authorized user associated with it. Certain rules and guidelines must be observed to ensure the authorized pad users get proper use from their pads, and to ensure the pads are available to others when the authorized pad user is not present. Therefore, the RAS observes the following rules for pad usage:

  • The current authorized pad user always has first rights to his or her pad. On any night, including star parties, the pad shall remain vacant and available for use by the authorized pad user until sunset. If it is after sunset and the authorized pad user has not arrived and not given any notice of late arrival, said pad is available to anyone for use that night. Additional details:

    • If the authorized pad user is arriving late (after sunset), he or she should contact someone at GMARS to let star party goers know that the pad will not be up for grabs that night.

    • If, after sunset, the authorized pad user has not called to announce his or her pending arrival or if the authorized pad user has notified GMARS that he or she WILL NOT be arriving that evening, then any visitor may use the pad for that evening.

    • Temporary pad users understand that the above rules grant usage for a single night, on a night-to-night basis. If the authorized pad user arrives the next day before sunset and intends to use his or her pad, the temporary user must vacate the pad unless the two parties agree to some other arrangement.

    • The authorized pad user may authorize a specific club member or guest to use his or her pad for a given evening or period of time. As an authorized temporary user, use of the specified pad is subject to the same rules above (i.e., you must arrive before sunset or notify someone at GMARS of your pending arrival). The authorized pad user shall not charge a fee for such usage (no subletting of pads is allowed).
  • The parking spaces adjacent to the pads are for authorized pad users only (or those legitimately using another's pad based on the rules above). Do not park in front of a pad if you are not using it and do not block other pad parking spaces by parking your vehicle carelessly.

  • The electrical outlets near the pads are primarily for use by pad users. If you are not using a pad, always ask adjacent pad users before plugging into a pad's electrical outlet. Keep in mind that there are a few "public" power posts on the observing field. These are available for any member or guest to use for telescope mounts, cameras, computers, telescope-related accessories, mobile device charging and similar uses. No electrical outlets on the telescope field are to be used for heaters, RV hookups, or other high-current uses.

  • Whether you are using a pad's electrical outlet or other outlet, always route extension cords in a safe manner so as to minimize the possibility of someone tripping and injuring him or herself.

We highly recommend bringing your own surge supressor or battery UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) to use with the telescope field outlets.

These rules are for the protection of those who have invested time, money, and effort into the improvement of GMARS. Their efforts provide a benefit to the club and all those who visit GMARS.