Establishing a Telescope Parking Position

Astronomy

In my current circumstance at home, I have a lot of trees. But I decided to establish a Telescope Parking Position anyway.  We got a couple of clear nights in a row so on Friday April 10, 2020, I sought establishing my parking position. I purchased 6 stakes to hammer into the ground for the three legs of my Celestron Advanced VX Mount.  I aligned the telescope to Polaris using the Polaris Pointer and adjusting the position.  I checked the level of the three legs and adjusted to the level position accordingly. I hammered the three stakes into the ground and proceeded to do a star alignment with my StarSense accordingly.  I couldn’t do an auto alignment due to the trees so I did a star alignment.  I chose Arcturus as my alignment star.  Well, I went back to the telescopes home position and tried to see if I could get back to Arcturus and it I was succesful in finding the star in my finder scope but not in my ocular.  I tried calobrating StarSense but I am not sure if I followed all the instructions correctly and once again found Arcturus in the finder scope. I didn’t think I was perfectly aligned but I saw the moon rising in the trees and decided to have StarSense go to the moon.  I was happy that it traveled to the correct direction but ended up just below the moon but not within finder field view.  

At the suggestion of members in my astronomy club, The Raleigh Astronomy ClubI purchased the Celestron SkySync GPS Accessory.  I think it actually helps give you a correct starting point.

I have been struggling to get my StarSense to find targets as easy as Celestron shows in the video but have not been successful but I will not give up. I now see that in the past I did not level my tripod. I also think the date had been wrong.

The other day I was listening to the ALPO podcast and they pledged if they mentioned the Covid-19 virus in the podcast they would drink a shot of whisky. I didn’t mention that in my whole article….oops 

 

Stake 1

Stake 2 Tripod 2

Stake 3 Tripod 3

Level 1

Level 2

Level 3

Celestron 8″ Edge HD Telescope

My Testimony

My Testimony

 

ACTS 1:5 For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.

I was baptized by my pastor at the Rock Church of Virginia Beach, VA, but I was also later baptized by the Holy Ghost.  I remember that day it happened and when I fell down, I came back singing unto the Lord.   You can believe what you want but this happened to me.

I wish I could say I am a perfect person but I am not.  In my early years we went to church and as I became a teen we strayed away from going to church and then we went into the world. I didn’t hang around with the bad crowd or get into trouble but did stray away from church.  I joined  a multilevel marketing plan (Amway) and we had meetings out of town and in those meetings they had church on Sunday. I went to that church and they invited me to their local church in Virginia Beach, VA, The Rock Church.   They were an independent pentecostal style church and the pastor was a recovered drug addict and gave the glory to God for his recovery.  I went to church every time the door opened and served in the ministry by taking turns recording the sermons in the back room. Old fashion tape recorder.  I was the only one in my family going to church. One day I got an offer for a promotion with  my company to move to Raleigh, NC.  I accepted that offer and it took me to Raleigh, NC and I tried to find a new church home but strayed away for 30 years until I found The Passage Church in Knightdale, NC. (After I moved to North Carolina my whole family had started going to church again.) 

I’ve told my current pastor that I had never witnessed to anyone about Jesus but I hope this posting encourages anyone in this area.  In my fathers hometown Rockingham, NC, there is a story about Preacher Davis.  Everyone he met he would ask them if they knew Jesus. I want to be more like him.

At our weekly bible study the subject of spiritual gifts came up and a reference was given to me of 1 Corinthians 12. I am trying to figure out my spiritual gifts and what I can use to glorify God. I use an app on my iPad called  Blue Letter Bible . As you can tell by my webpage I enjoy astronomy, amateur radio and more. I felt I needed to somehow have a gift of knowing the scriptures from cover to cover and then I could get involved in my own mission telling people about Jesus.  But in reading One Corinthians 12 this morning

1 Corinthians 12:4 (ESV)
Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit;
and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord;
and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone.

In further studying using the lookup feature of the app for variety I see varieties mean The quality of being different or diverse; the absence of uniformity, sameness or monotony.

I am subject to changing my thoughts but  I guess what I am seeing I am using my gifts when I am showing friends the planet Saturn for the first time or the moon, I am using my unique gifts same way a preacher uses his gifts to teach scripture to his flock. 

I am still studying so if you wish to send me comments please do so. markgibson6822@gmail.com.

As a service to my readers, I invite you to submit prayer request using the following forms.  I will not share your personal data with anyone but may share your prayer request with other believers.  As your prayer requests are answered feel free to contact me at markgibson6822@gmail.com.

 

 

Amateur Astronomy

Astronomy

I credit my neighbor Emmet Tobin of Norfolk, VA for getting me into astronomy as early as back in the 1970’s.   He had many hobbies including, archery, astronomy, and model airplanes. He was a member of the Norfolk Astronomical Society and invited the neighborhood kids to view the stars through his 4.25″ refractor telescope. When he passed away I checked into purchasing his telescope from the estate. I was successful.  Unfortunately a bigger telescope he had built was missing.  I regret selling that telescope I did purchase a few years ago.

My First Telescope 

My first telescope 1977? 4 1/4” refractor telescope. My neighbor built it.

My Celestron 8 Edge HD telescope.

Astronomy Events I Photographed

    1. Lunar Eclipse January 20–21, 2019

    1. Luna Day 8 September 7, 2019

Amateur Radio Activities

Amateur Radio
N4mqu at the shack

N4MQU Mark Gibson VFN #72 BH #19 sitting in front of his ham radio in his office.

Welcome to my amateur radio page.  I have been licensed since 1980.  How did I get started in amateur radio? I was at a star party in the middle of nowhere (near Tidewater, VA) so I could view some astronomical objects away from city lights. I was about 25 years old at that time and a friend needed to call home. This was before cell phones so my friend Don Wright used his amateur radio to allow my friend to call home. Shortly after that event I started studying for my license. Speaking of ham radio, are you currently licensed or do you need to upgrade? For free? Be sure to navigate to my Five County Ham Radio Enthusiasts club page. A lot of information on how to study and resources you can use for this new adventure you are about to take. The FCC allows Volunteer Examiner Clubs to charge a fee to help offset the cost of processing the exam. I never felt right about charging. I had noticed a couple of years ago one of the biggest Hamfest does not charge. I started checking and found out the Laurel VEC did not charge. I found out who to contact and after getting information I signed up. It turned out I started the first free team in North Carolina. We have so far administered 80 exams saving our applicants $1200. There now have 7 free teams in North Carolina.

A few notes about my amateur radio activities. I am an active member of the Virginia Fone Net. They have been in service since 1934. I call the net every Wednesday at 4:00 PM ET on the frequency of 3.947MHZ. I enjoy calling the net and I like to say it helped me recover from my shyness stage of many years. As you join the VFN you get a number assigned to you.  My number is #72.  We limit our membership to 150 members but do award lifetime membership periodically.  The picture on top of this article is of me in the hamshack.  You will see that I am wearing a Bandhoppers shirt.  Bandhoppers is a group founded in 2018. According to their about page “We believe that social media can add to the ham radio experience. It is a place where we can mentor new hams, share information, and plan activities.  I won the shirt In a lottery on one of the cofounders (Todd Lee N4USS) birthday.

I hope you enjoy my website.

 

Talk Radio

Talk Radio

As a teenager in the “Wonder Years” era, you know the show that features kids growing up in the 60’s, my mother taught me how to call a talk show. She would call and win contests, etc. I don’t remember what kind of shows she would call  but she taught me to wait until the last caller was about to hang up and dial the last number. The first national talk show I was on was the Kim Komando show I believe I called in on a day that you could call during certain hours when they recorded the caller for later broadcast. My question was how to make digital pictures from slides. She had the answer and suggested this Cobra scanner. She has her on store so she said she would send it to me. It works great but I have about 600 more slides to copy. 

 

Cobra Digital Scanner

My Calls to Rush

December 11, 2015 Here is the link to this Rush Limbaugh show for this call. As you can see this call is total different from his normal political discussion. I had a question about duplicate photos on apple products. He actually offered a suggestion that worked.  He is really smart on apple products and he enjoys talking to the callers about it. He is actually a beta tester and discusses interesting things when they first come out about apple products. A friend actually did not believe Rush talks about Apple products. Luckily another friend recorded most of the call and put it on YouTube.

September 13 2018 Here is the link to the call I made to Rush Limbaugh.  this is the second call I made to him. I always make sure I say I am from Wendell, NC because  I want them to know I am from Wendell, NC not Raleigh, NC. I think they let me in this time because the screener thought I said I was calling from Wilmington, NC and the Hurricane Florence was headed that way. I talked about how everyone ignored Obama missed deeds. Here is a hint, you have to listen to what the host wants to talk about and form your topic around that.

There was one more call to Rush but he was not on the show he had a guest host. His name is Mark Stein I do not know the date but I wanted to talk about if Trump would have the support of the congress. I do not remember the details. But I do remember when I first started talking mentioning it is always good when Mark’s get together. He laughed and mentioned at one time all of Rush’s guest host were Mark’s.

Dave Ramsey Entree Leadership Raleigh Book Tour

September 27, 2011.  Not really a talk show call but a talk show host. I have never called Dave Ramsey. When Dave Ramsey launches his new books, he does it right. He wants it to hit the New York Times Best Seller list. His Book Entree Leadership did just that. I want to say his first stop was Raleigh, NC, Not Durham, Not Charlotte but Raleigh. Well sure enough I was a loyal listener. I even got free tickets to the seminar. I did everything he said get there early. Get up front. I got to watch the event and when the seminar was over we traveled to a furniture store out towards the airport. I was there and folded my ticket like true amateur radio operators do and put it in the hat.  Dave had a little girl draw the ticket and guess what, It was mine. I was recording it but my battery in my phone was running out of current. I won $2,000 and decided to purchase my first MacBook with it. Here is the YouTube of me winning the money. I never say, I don’t win anything.

 

Other Radio

I was in the background for WPTF coverage of the Hurricane Hugo. I had a ham radio station on top (or near the top) of the building giving reports on what we were hearing. I was also on WPTF about Astronomy. 

 

Recent news

Miscellaneous

My family has been doing various activities during the North Carolina shutdown including cookouts, sitting around the fire pit and more. The first picture shows what looks like fire on my coax.

Yesterday April 9, 2020 it looks like wind took out some of our bushes in the front yard.