Procedures and Regulations
UPDATE - 4-13-2013: Wireless is turned on. This is the new Gen4 Satelitte system from Hughesnet and we are looking forward to better internet service for all of you. You are required to have the Username and Password to access the system which is available from the Lyman Run Park office (814) 435-5010, or from any of the Park Rangers. This will be changed randomly so I suggest that you check just before arriving at the park. Our continued thanks to ASH and CPO for their generous donations that keep this system going at no fee for the astronomers! Many thanks!! You can also thanks these clubs by attending their annual star parties held at Cherry Springs. The Cherry Springs Star Party is sponsored by the Astronomical Society of Harrisburg (ASH) and the Black Forest Star Party is sponsored by the Central Pennsylvania Observers.
*Please note that the new system will probably not be fully operational until the second week of May.
***SMART PHONE USERS! - please turn off your automatic wireless login setting. When left on the "Auto" setting, you phone remains as a "user" on our system even if you are not using the internet. There are only 20 slots available at a time and your phone may be using, and therefore blocking, one of these slots. Please have the courtesy of complying with this request. Your cell phone can really interfere with the service we are trying to provide to all astronomers on the Observation Field.
Please remember that this is a satellite system, not cable - and therefore, we have a limited amount of bandwidth available to us in a 24 hour period. Large file downloads will cause the system to "FAP" reducing the bandwidth to almost nothing and the speed to less than dial-up. Your cooperation is extremely necessary. We plan to set the system up so that you will have a 10 minute window of use, then you will be booted off. Please compose your emails off-line to save yourself time. The system is essentially designed for you to check the weather and to send emails. You may upload files of any size, but remember that you do have a time limit. iPHONE USERS - make sure you are not "automatically" connecting to wifi with your device when you use your phone...this takes up a slot. Only turn your wifi access on when you actually want to log onto the internet PLEASE! You can do this through your "Settings App".
PLEASE NOTE THE INFORMATION BELOW!
YOU MUST HAVE YOUR AUTOMATIC UPDATES FOR ALL SOFTWARE (including virus ware) TURNED OFF PRIOR TO LOGGING ONTO THE WIRELESS SYSTEM. LARGE DOWNLOADS CAN CAUSE THE BANDWIDTH TO BE REDUCED TO EXTREMELY LOW LEVELS AND THIS REDUCED BANDWIDTH WILL CONTINUE FOR A 24 HOUR PERIOD. SEE BELOW FOR INSTRUCTIONS TO DISABLE YOUR AUTO UPDATES:
For instance - for Windows XP, go to Control Panel, then click on Microsoft Updates. The dialog box that comes up with show you if you are on Automatic updates or not. If so, click on "Pick at Time to Install Updates". This will bring you to another dialog box that will allow you to turn your automatic updates off. You must do this PRIOR to logging into the wireless internet at the park. Failure to do so could result in you received a large update file that will close the system down and you can be removed from the wireless access permanently if you fail to adjust your computer settings. For other operating systems, please consult your HELP files to get instructions for temporarily turning off your automatic updates.
Also good advice from Astronomer Mark Starner:
Please refrain from using programs such as Skype, which uses a video interface..this is also a big use of bandwidth...save these activities for when you are at home, please. Once issued a username and password, you will be solely responsible for their usage and again, abuses of the system will not be tolerated. Please respect your other astronomers and their need for checking into weather sites or to check their email.
If you are set up in the very back portion of the field, you may experience too weak of a signal and might need to move up towards the center of the field to use the internet. Security software will be able to detect if someone is abusing the system by downloading large files or going into illegal websites. In that case, the person doing so will be permanently removed from the system. If you have any questions at this time, please email me at the above address. If it is a technical questions, I can pass it on to our installer.
Wireless access installation was in part financed with a grant from the Pennsylvania Parks and Forests Foundation - of which the Dark Sky Fund/Association is a part. For further information about PPFF, please click on the link provided on the side-bar menu. Many thanks to the great folks at PPFF and to those astronomers who donated money to match the grant for this project!