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    Matt Neilssen


    Robert Mitchell

    QCAS BOARD MEETING, 6 March 2019

    Mike Gacioch
    Robert Mitchell
    Matt Neilssen
    Jeff Struve

    Messier Marathon cancelled due to weather

    Next regular meeting, Mar 18: Augustana Planetarium tour with PAC
    Next board meeting, Apr 3
    Regular meeting, Apr 15, back at St. Ambrose
    Astronomy Day, May 11: Bettendorf High School by day, Sherman Park that night with St. Ambrose
    Green Iowa at Menke, July 9

    A call from Hannah Williams, Adventurous Babes Society (no kidding, that’s what they’re called)
    They want to learn astronomy with no prior experience. Jeff is searching for a date for them: The only via date is July 6 within the time frame the Society asked for. Jeff will call her back, suggest talking with the Society over supper at the Legion before sunset (preparation and etiquette)

    Robert will continue to ask about educational discount for WiFi at Menke.
    Satellite internet would not work as well as land-line.
    WeBoost: links to a cellular tower to make internet hotspot; low bandwidth, probably wouldn’t be enough for 50 devices at EISP

    Steve Kawaler: key person with TESS and Kepler; he might be able to talk in person at EISP (he’s an Iowa resident). If he works for NASA, there’ll be no charge.
    If WiFi is not an option, Jeff is asking about acquiring data files on detecting exoplanets for a presentation.

    Jeff is concerned about the level of organization so far, this close to EISP. Still need door prizes; Mike G and Jeff are in talks to get some.
    $15 fee for star party and speakers. $10 extra for electricity.
    Most money should be collected prior to EISP. Any money collected on site should all be collected at the door.
    Most important concerns for EISP: Door prizes, planning out spaces for attendees.
    Matt: If we get another $100 gift certificate for software, we will buy a copy of SkyX immediately.

    Meteor Shower party gets such large crowds: Good place for another raffle.

    Website and Meridian
    No need to create the traditional Meridian anymore, now that we have the blog version.
    Meeting minutes will no longer need to be part of the Meridian.
    Software can gather all the blogs into a quarterly newsletter if needed.
    Meeting presentations will be in separate blogs.

    Observatory Relocation
    David Levy sent a letter wholeheartedly endorsing the expansion project.
    Dr. Sipiero declined to send a letter.
    Dr. Anderson never responded to Jeff’s request for a letter.
    David Levy expressed interest in having a star party at the Field of Dreams.
    Jeff has two free walnut plaques from MidAmerican Energy; we could etch donor names on them for mounting in the new building.

    Mike G: What committees do we need for the relocation project?
    Jeff: Have as few committees as possible since we have few members.
    Mike G: Most important committee should be for business planning and marketing (for outside donations).
    Jeff’s four proposed committees:
    Purpose and Benefits (this is how we’re helping everyone and every organization involved).
    Design and Specifications (building size, pads, control room, equipment needs, WiFi, etc.)
    Business Planning (proposal, create packet to take to potential donors)
    Fund Acquisition (grants? talk to donors and/or companies?)
    We need to work more on the specific purposes and benefits of the expansion. We need to ask more from Wapsi River and Scott County on how the expansion will benefit them. We need to ask ourselves how it will benefit the public.
    Jeff is reaching out to many different organizations for many different benefits an expanded observatory will bring.
    $30,000 up front could build the roll-off building, enough to move the equipment over and store the dome.
    If more money comes in later, we can build the dome and install computer systems.
    Fund Acquisition committee would argue between an all-in-one vs. a phased approach.
    Committees would report to Board but otherwise work independently.

    Treasurer’s Report:
    General fund $2,015.35
    Events fund $500.00
    Observatory fund: $4,380.00
    Total: $6,895.35

    Discussion of who exactly can officially qualify for the Messier Club donation level.
    Could we create other donation levels with their own names?

    We need more club support for manning events and filling board positions.
    How can we motivate members and educate them of the responsibilities of participating in the club?
    How can we motivate new people to become members? A new, expanded observatory would help.

    Robert Mitchell

    QCAS BOARD MEETING 3 April 2019

    Craig Cox
    Mike Dannenfeldt
    Robert Mitchell
    Matt Neilssen
    Jeff Struve

    Jeff: Pull everything to do with outreach out of the website
    Don’t want to advertise that we’re available for outreach. That’s not our main mission anymore and we can’t support that much outreach.
    Sherman Park public events will remain as usual

    Comanche School came out to Manke. Jeff hosted for the kids.
    Comanche wants another star party. Jeff will instead invite them to the Meteor Shower Party in August.

    Dr. Mitchell having Astronomy class field trip to Menke April 13.

    May 11: Astronomy Day
    June 17: Scott County Park, 300 cub scouts. PAC will handle it.
    July 6: Adventurous Babes. John Baker will help out at Menke.
    July 7-12: Timewell, Illinois event. Asking for help. Won’t do it if nobody from QCAS can make it. 8-9 works best for people.

    Elections: Current president, secretary, and treasurer are in their third year.
    Discussion about current health of club, continued support for observatory relocation, concern for lack of growth in membership
    Jeff worried about whether or not QCAS will be fully in a position to deliver on promises made to potential donors for relocation.
    Jeff argues companies will only be satisfied if they get a good return on their investments.
    Craig argues companies are more tolerant of potential shortcomings on investments.

    Committees for observatory relocation:
    Purpose and Benefits – put together a formal statement of intent
    Design and Specifications – design of physical building(s), pads
    Equipment – scopes, computers, software, etc.
    Business Planning – create proposal packet, compile list of potential donors
    Fund Acquisition – taking packet to potential donors and grants

    Design and Specifications: survey land, mark out where new buildings should/can be, check for possible problems with run-off, work with prospective designer regarding blueprints
    Can probably do dome very cheaply as a first step if necessary.
    Although, doing it in phases would require putting gear in storage for an indefinite period.

    24’x36′ roll-off
    12’x16′ control room (?)
    dome from Sherman Park
    Need to finalize how these parts of the building are arranged, and their exact sizes: Design and Specifications

    Next regular meeting:
    Focus on observatory relocation, introduce committees, ask for members willing to participate in committees.

    Robert Mitchell


    Mike Dannenfeldt
    Robert Mitchell
    Mike Ombrello
    Jim Rutenbeck
    Jeff Struve

    May 3-5: NCRAL

    May 11: Astronomy Day, Bettendorf High School and Sherman Park
    Jeff, Robert (evening), Rusty, Sam, Mike D?, Mike O? going

    May 20: regular QCAS meeting

    June 17: cub scout request, giving it to PAC

    July 6: Adventurous Babes at Menke
    Jeff, John Baker, Byron, Mike O, Mike D? going

    July 7: Night Owl Camp, Timewell, IL; 2.5 hour drive south; 10-60 attendees
    food and cabins supplied
    Jeff?, Craig? going; will have to cancel if no one else volunteers

    July 9 or 10: Newcomb Presbyterian at Menke

    Sherman Park cleanup: no fixed date yet

    Stuck roll-off roof at Menke Observatory:
    Idea to use scissor jack or pedestal jack and two-by-fours to push roof up just enough to dislodge it
    14″ scope in roll-off roof needs realigning

    August 3: Meteor Shower Party; better moon than actual Perseids peak
    Pleasant Valley Junior High
    Hope for 3 computers and 3 screens to set up
    Hopefully lights on sports complex will be shut off; will speak to person in charge there
    Raffle off leftover prizes from 2018 EISP?

    Donation box for QCAS events, Menke Observatory, and EISP?
    Cedar Amateurs has Paypal for donations; Paypal charges a percentage transaction fee, but donations more than make up for it

    Telescope 101: Williams, Adam, or North; group telescope lessons at school, on night when there’s a Moon

    Upcoming elections:
    All current officers except Mike O due for replacement
    Need other members willing to run for positions
    Mike O: Need more nominations; people won’t come forward on their own
    Ask at next regular meeting: Who’s willing to step forward?
    If no one: Ask members to nominate others
    Those on the nominating committee cannot run for a board position, but they don’t have to have been members for a full year minimum

    Email reminders for dues need to be sent; need updated membership list

    Sept 26-29: Bootleggers party

    Sept 27-29: EISP
    $500 budget capped
    $15 admission fee; $10 extra if you want electricity
    Guest speakers:
    Steve Kawaler (Iowa State, NASA): TESS and Kepler
    Steve recommended Leslie Rogers (University of Chicago): TESS and Kepler data analysis and diagnostics
    Jeff will be third speaker if no one else available or affordable: how to use free exoplanet detection software
    Keep tabs on progress getting internet to Menke to see if Skype will be available by EISP
    Attempts to use Skype at Wapsi met with mixed results
    Jim can do prizes again? Perhaps just one expensive prize this time
    Jeff still in touch with AstroPhysics

    Observatory relocation:
    List of benefits prepared; take it to partners (St. Ambrose, Wapsi, park board, etc.) for them to add to list
    Structure and design committee measured location, planted pegs; need a diagram
    Equipment requirement list, rough draft prepared: computers, software, mounts, scopes, filters, cameras, etc.
    Committee can build on it, get price list
    Letters of reference in from Dr. Levy and St. Ambrose
    Jennifer Anderson agreed to write one, Paul persuaded to write one
    Jim Rutenbeck joining Equipment committee and Fund Acquisition committee
    $1000 from Bertha Paustian
    $1300 from St. Ambrose
    $ 480 from MEC
    $1600 from MidAmerican Energy

    Robert Mitchell

    QCAS BOARD MEETING 5 June 2019

    Craig Cox
    Mike Dannenfeldt
    Byron Davies
    Robert Mitchell
    Matt Neilssen
    Jim Rutenbeck
    Paul Saeger
    Sam Santiago
    Jeff Struve

    Friday: Jeff, Mike D, and Robert going to Menke to work on roll-off roof
    Saturday: Public event at Menke; decision by noon on weather cancellation
    June 17: club meeting; Paul S. volunteers to give talk on what not to do while observing
    June 19: Calamus Library wants a talk for 5- to 12-year-olds; Jeff will give general talk on the hobby, maybe bring solar scope
    June 21: 3rd Annual Founders’ Day Solar Viewing, Lutheran Assistant Care, 5-7 PM; Yes or no? It was weathered out the last two tries. Jeff, Craig, and Jim say yes.
    June 29: Jens-Wendt open house; weather call by noon
    July 6: Adventurous Babes cancelled, said it was too close to July 4th
    July 7: Timewell, IL cancelled
    July 9 or 10: Newcomb Presbyterian Church to Menke; Jeff, Bryon, Mike D; July 9th works best, email or call them
    July 10: Next board meeting
    July 15: Membership meeting
    July 19: GreenIowa event at Menke; Jeff and Robert
    Aug 3: Meteor Shower Party

    Clean-up day needed at Sherman Park: June 22 week

    Need to make list of officer position nominations before September

    One speaker lined up; still seeking second speaker
    $500 budget; still need prizes
    $15 attendance fee, $10 extra for electricity
    Jim suggests allocating club money to help pay for door prizes; Jeff suggests $100-150
    Mike O donated binocular tripod to club; if sell it, allocate money to EISP budget this year or next?

    Draft email to committee members: list of committee members, link to website’s observatory relocation forum, where you can find benefits list, equipment list, letters of recommendation, etc.; committees invited/encouraged to post with ideas and information to boost momentum
    Ambrose wants more effort and more definite expectations for relocation project
    Need to have definite plan for new building
    Fundraising can’t begin until other committees gather info and ideas to present to donors and grants
    Craig: dome needs to be at least 25′ from roll-off building
    Jim: fundraising committee should give guidance as to how much detail other committees need
    Jeff: get all information together at once to present to everyone (Ambrose, grants, donors, etc.); complete picture of everything we want and more
    Craig: finalize location of new building

    Purpose and Benefits: outline on website
    Structure and Design: Jeff will send contact info for contractor; decide on 1, 2, or 3 separate buildings and location(s)
    Craig: roll-off building exactly where we want it; question is where to have dome and control room?
    Jeff: don’t attach if you don’t think it’s a good idea
    Equipment: list on website; confirm or submit other ideas
    Business and Planning: need to wait for other committee reports
    Reference Letters: David Levy, St. Ambrose, Jennifer Anderson, Dave Murcia writing one now and asked Roger Kean to write one; Jeff asked Grant Harkness and Ian Spangenberg for letters, asked Alan Sheidler for one from PAC, will go to girl scouts and boy scouts; all complete letters on website

    Grant Harkness’ non-disclosure agreement signed by board members tonight

    Robert Mitchell


    Robert Mitchell
    Matt Neilssen
    Mike Ombrello
    Jim Rutenbeck
    Sam Santiago
    Jeff Struve
    Steve VanHyfte

    Robert Mitchell


    Craig Cox
    Robert Mitchell
    Matt Neilssen
    Mike Ombrello
    Jim Rutenbeck
    Sam Santiago
    Jeff Struve
    Steve VanHyfte

    VOTE to put money raised in Meteor Shower Party’s Celestron raffle ($233) into Observatory fund: PASSED

    General: $1869.35
    Events: $500.00
    Observatory: $4613.00
    TOTAL: $6982.35

    NOVEMBER DINNER: need to book room
    Chinese restaurant again
    Start at 6:30 this year

    Nominations have been solicited but no nominees have been notified by email or accepted yet.
    Ballot due October before November elections

    Steve Kawaler, Kepler and TESS
    Possible speaker: Emily Gilbert, recent graduate in exoplanets
    Last year’s EISP cost $550, not counting speaker expenses or the new circuit breaker
    Alan will bring PACMO
    VOTE to reallocate $250 additional to Events Fund: PASSED
    General Fund now $1619.35
    Events Fund now $750.00
    Observatory Fund unchanged
    Can’t register through website yet: Must still mail checks.

    New vacuum cleaner
    New rope light
    Fixed carpet
    New fan
    Cleaning supplies
    Shelfing brackets
    Storage closets
    Reimburse Steve VanHyfte

    Perfect skies
    A couple dozen visitors showed up, event ran until almost 11 PM
    Metal equipment cabinet in Menke Observatory classroom needs replacing or needs lock repaired.

    Made $230 in ticket sales
    Next event needs more than one person, more books, and more pens at sign-in table.
    Didn’t really need projectors and screens: Everyone was staring at laptop screens. Will set up laptops only and cover entrances to school hallways with screens next time.
    Presentations with audio drew the most attention.
    Need red lights on tables.
    Steve: Need more telescopes, especially with eyepieces at kid level and especially with tracking mounts.
    Jeff: Don’t need any telescopes if you’re looking for meteors. Scopes may detract from meteor theme.

    Need final lists of new equipment for observatory relocation (minimum, practical, and ideal), and estimated cost of new building
    Suggestion to preserve ground space: Position control room underneath where new roll-off roof will open

    Robert Mitchell


    Robert: HughesNet offers satellite internet at 25/3 Mbps for as little as $70.00/mo if nighttime data is limited to 10 GB/mo, but allows changing plans to different data caps at any time. Propose buying plan with small nighttime data cap for usual business at Menke Observatory, switching temporarily to higher data caps (up to 50GB/mo) only for special events like EISP.
    Jeff: Look into ways to limit EISP registrants’ internet usage to prevent overages?
    May need Wi-Fi booster to cover entire grounds

    Robert Mitchell

    BOARD MEETING 4 Sept 2019

    Rolando Gamino
    Robert Mitchell
    Matt Neilssen
    Mike Ombrello
    Sam Santiago
    Jeff Struve

    Sept. 7: Sherman Park open house
    Sept. 16: regular meeting; Ombrello to talk about APT (AstroPhotography Tool) and PlateSolve 2; discuss nominations
    Sept. 21: Menke open house
    Sept. 27-29: EISP
    Oct. 2: board meeting; discuss outcomes of EISP
    Oct. 21: regular meeting; Jeff, John Baker, and Jim Rutenbeck out of town; Matt will officiate meeting
    Nov. dinner: 17 RSVP’s so far

    Requests for nominations sent out

    Two speakers: Steve Kawaler and Jeff Struve
    Assembly hall rented: $65/day; too many registrants to fit into classroom
    Door prizes: scopes, posters, Barlow and guide scope; Celestron donated binoculars and other things
    Matt selling raffle tickets
    11 registrants want electricity: need 100′ power cables
    Ask Jim Hannon if he can wire an exterior outlet to plug panel in outside
    Need to check supplies of bowls, napkins, utensils, garbage bags
    Need to purchase snacks and drinks
    Final supplies delivered to Menke by Wednesday before EISP

    Equipment list compiled
    Estimated $135,000 for entire project
    Still need finalized plans from Structure and Design committee; will finalize decision on location of new building
    Cecil offers to house his 30″ Dob at new observatory: estimated $10,000 to build a separate structure for it, and current design of new roll-off is too small for it
    No recent donations for relocation

    General: $1,554.35
    Events: $750.00
    Observatory: $4,613.00
    EISP Reservations: $735.00
    Total: $7,652.35

    Mike Gacioch buying binocular tripod from club for $125, to go into Observatory fund

    Have T-shirts or decals made with club logo? Question tabled.

    Mike O motions to adjourn. Robert M seconds.

    Robert Mitchell


    Mike Dannenfeldt
    Robert Mitchell
    Matt Neilssen
    Jim Rutenbeck
    Jeff Struve
    Steve VanHyfte

    EISP 2019
    30 attendees
    shirts and koozies cost $190.46; motion for club to pay for them APPROVED
    total proceeds: $1,502.53
    total cost: $727.75
    net profit: $774.78; motion to add profit to Observatory fund APPROVED
    Events fund is back to $750.00

    EISP 2020
    Proposed theme: Ancient Skies
    Proposed speaker: Mary Stewart, director of Headland International Dark Sky Park
    Proposed speaker: Lee Carkner on Western civilization folklore
    Proposed speaker: Dave Ruddy
    Proposed speaker: Jeff Struve

    Nominations due Oct 5

    20 people coming
    Dinner starts 6:15 PM
    Proposed bingo only

    Oct 12: Sherman Park night; cancelled
    Oct 19: Menke star party
    Nov 23: potential Sherman Park night
    Dec 28: potential Sherman Park night

    Sherman Park dome shutter’s weather stripping wearing out; Jeff contacted Ash Dome for assistance
    Aerial photos of Menke grounds, for use to select location options for new building
    Email to Scott Hortsmann, Backyard Observatories: ask about prices for new building, attached control room vs. separate control room
    Need to make decision on building design and location, and get bids to begin writing documentation for fundraising
    Ask around for other potential builders/contractors for roll-off buildings
    Matt: propose refurbishing 20″ on AstroPhysics GTO3600 mount, then mount additional scope on 20″
    New electricity needs to be laid down for new cement pads

    General: $1,604.35
    Events: $ 750.00
    Observatory: $5,572.78
    TOTAL $7,927.13

    MERCURY TRANSIT, Nov 11, 6:30AM-Noon
    Propose mounting Lunt scope on Menke 14″, broadcasting image via internet
    Propose test run beforehand
    XSplit itself can record; YouTube livestream records; Can we transmit intermittently to save internet data while still recording the entire event? Need to look into it

    Robert Mitchell


    Robert Mitchell
    Matt Neilssen
    Mike Ombrello
    Jim Rutenbeck
    Sam Santiago
    Jeff Struve

    Sam accepted nomination for Treasurer
    Robert accepted nomination for Vice President
    No other nominations. Will seek more at dinner meeting.

    Nov. 18
    6:15 reservations are set
    PowerPoint presentation: recap

    PAID MEMBERS, 2019
    Craig Cox
    Barry Garrels
    Cecil Ward
    Sam Santiago
    Don Robinson
    Robert Mitchell
    Jim Rutenbeck
    Dana Taylor
    Byron Davies
    Mike Dannenfeldt
    Ken Boquist
    Paul Levesque
    Rusty Case
    Dale Hendricks
    Alison Hendricks
    John Baker
    Paul Saeger
    Rolando Gamino
    Dino Milani
    Mitchell Milani
    Ellen Milani
    Matt Neilssen
    Candi Neilssen
    Jeff Struve
    Joanne Struve
    Steve VanHyfte
    Ian Spangenberg
    Steve Sinksen
    Tom Bullock
    Scott Dearinger
    Terry Dufek
    Matt Brown
    Alan Sheidler
    Dave Ruddy
    Sara Sheidler
    Mike Ombrello
    38 club members in 2019

    NEW MEMBERS, 2019
    Rusty Case
    Paul Saeger
    Rolando Gamino
    Dino, Ellen, and Mitchell Milani
    Steve Sinksen
    Mike and Wanda Gacioch
    Scott Dearinger
    Terry Dufek
    Matt Brown
    Barry Garrels
    13 new members

    2020 EVENTS
    Need to plan Sherman Park dates
    Need to plan Menke events
    Need to plan PAC events
    Jeff, Alan, and Robert will coordinate scheduling, and clubs should promote each other’s events

    Equipment list is prepared
    Only 1 proposal from 3 requested for how to set up buildings.
    Need to put documentation together and get pricing
    Mike O: Suggest build dome first, use it to support the club by offering a door prize of using it for next year’s EISP, and show that progress is being made. Might be able to break ground in 2020.
    Need to boost WiFi for entire field, and need to restrict access to prevent data overruns during star parties
    New Menke lease is finalized. All parties ready to sign.

    Observatory money from EISP 2019: $799.78
    $727 went back into events fund for 2020
    $750 from Verizon

    General fund: $1,654.35
    Observatory fund: $6,347.78
    Events fund: $750.00
    TOTAL: $8,752.13

    Breakdown of observatory fund:
    $1000 from Bertha Paustian
    $1300 from St. Ambrose
    $2080 from MidAmerican
    $185 for tripod ($125) and parallelogram ($60) sale
    $799.78 from EISP
    $750 from Verizon

    Proposed project: Photograph every object on PAC’s observation list

    Robert Mitchell


    Robert Mitchell
    Matt Neilssen
    Mike Ombrello
    Jim Rutenbeck
    Sam Santiago
    Jeff Struve

    Possible issue with Wapsi allowing us to roll the new roll-off roof over unplowed prairie grass.

    Dec 16: Regular meeting; possible presentation: David Levy star party
    Dec 28: Sherman Park night

    Jeff proposes more detailed, more competitive advertising for EISP

    Calendar made for QCAS, PAC, and Menke events
    Need themes for QCAS open houses

    Board votes to move control room to north side of new roll-off building
    Alternate proposal to move roll-off building to south edge of site is not viable: radiant heat would interfere with original dome’s viewing of south horizon

    Plan to set up Paypal account for QCAS

    St. Ambrose Maintenance will install stoppers to prevent accidentally closing the roof too far and getting it stuck again
    Proposal to have Ambrose Engineering department design a system to automate the current dome

    Proposed themes for 2020 EISP:
    Ancient skies and folklore
    visual, imaging, EAA
    CCD vs. CMOS vs. video
    Jim: Do we need a common theme for all talks?
    Need to decide soon in order to secure guest speakers
    Proposal: One talk on naked-eye astronomy that incorporates starlore

    General: $1,714.35
    Events: $ 750.00
    Observatory: $6,347.78
    TOTAL: $8,812.13

    Robert Mitchell


    Robert Mitchell
    Sam Santiago
    Jeff Struve
    Steve VanHyfte

    Final map of new buildings at Menke site already approved
    Reminders sent out to club members for dues. 25 replied.

    Facilities Director position offered to Steve VanHyfte. Steve accepts on a temporary basis.

    Proposal: Alternate between Davenport location and Moline location for monthly board meetings
    Proposal APPROVED: March board meeting in Moline, April meeting in Davenport, alternate from there

    Feb 17: Club meeting; Paul Levesque on constellation Monoceros, Alan Sheidler on 2019 Mercury transit
    Feb 22: Jens-Wendt open house; 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM; Jeff Struve

    Scott Hortsman sent sample plans for observatory buildings, quoted $30,000 price for 24×32 roll-off, concrete and electrical not included
    Plan on going to Jens-Wendt Feb 22 before open house, take detailed measurements of building inside and outside, plus available space inside with 20″ scope resting horizontal, to finalize planned size of new roll-off building
    Plan for this year: Build new dome, lay out concrete for as many new pads as current money allows

    Feb 29: Wilton Observatory grand opening

    Mar 3: Board meeting, Moline Village Inn (2123 53rd Street)

    Investigate using Skype at meetings at St. Ambrose: Software? Bandwidth?
    Investigate Skyping at Menke and Wapsi: Bandwidth?
    Robert and Sam used to have Skype accounts; Microsoft bought out Skype (Microsoft Link?)
    Plan: Sunday 1:00 at McCarthy, St. Ambrose, test run of Skype

    Scheduled dates sent out
    Guest speakers still pending

    General: $2,489.64
    Events: $ 750.00
    Observatory: $6,347.78
    Total: $9,587.42

    Robert Mitchell


    Robert Mitchell
    Sam Santiago
    Jeff Struve

    No change to membership: 36 members paid, 1 member pending

    Board meeting in Moline next month (Moline Village Inn, 2123 53rd Street)

    Feb 29 Wilton Observatory grand opening was cancelled due to equipment problems

    Mar 14: Jens-Wendt open house; 7-9 PM; Jeff and Sam available
    Mar 16: club meeting; Rusty Case will talk on EAA
    Ron Mullin offering to give a talk on Meteor Crater
    Mar 21: Messier Marathon
    Mar 26: Truman Elementary School scouts (tentative); Jeff and Cecil; solar viewing, Venus
    Apr 1: board meeting

    Skype test at St. Ambrose campus was successful

    Observatory Relocation
    Jeff and Robert plan to visit Menke next week to take measurements for new building
    John Baker: grant information from Scott County Regional Authority, for projects to be completed between June 1, 2020 and May 31, 2021
    St. Ambrose receives an annual donation for astronomy and the observatory. Would like to put this year’s donation toward completing the new dome and the 5 new eastern pads at Menke this year.
    Largest expense would be concrete and electrical
    Jeff will seek bids from contractors, possible new donors
    Discussion of options for construction of part of the expansion this year
    Conservative plan: Build new dome and 5 new eastern pads by Sept 1
    Optimistic plan: Build new dome, all new pads, lay concrete for roll-off building and control room, and lay all new electricity by Sept 1
    Need to find out how much money can come from Ambrose

    Events: $ 750.00
    Observatory: $6,347.78
    General: $2,059.64
    Total: $9,157.42
    Paid for 1 year’s utilities ($480), Sherman Park; paid for 1 year’s post office box ($130)

    Plan for near future to test Skype at Menke; try Skyping between Menke and Ambrose
    How much bandwidth is required? How much of Menke’s internet data will it use?
    Will HughesNet allow unused data to roll over into future months?

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