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Free Paramount Workshop!
Richard S. Wright Jr.'s Blog

Well, if that title doesn't get your attention, I don't know what else to say!  This Fall, Software Bisque is hosting a free workshop for Paramount owners at the Riverside Astronomical Society's dark sky site GMARS (Goat Mountain Astronomical Research Station). This is an excellent dark sky site with pads, power, and ample classroom space in the buildings. This site is near Joshua Tree National Park, and one of my favorite features is the Starbucks not too terribly far away <g>.  Details and a map to the location can be found here. (I spent one weekend there a few years ago and had some of my best nights imaging ever.)

This is not a sales meeting, rather a hands on educational experience for existing Paramount owners (so I guess it's technically not free since you already bought a Paramount).

In fact, if you want/can, we encourage you to bring your own Paramount to the event! I will be on deck, along with Steve Bisque, and our production engineer Sarah Bisque. We'll have a day long workshop with two rotating sessions: one focused on the Paramount hardware, and one focused on the integrated software suite that came with your mount (TheSkyX Professional Edition, Camera Add On, and TPoint Add On).

These workshops will be hands on and interactive class room sessions. Sunday's workshop will be a repeat of Saturday (so you only sign up for one day, Saturday November 15, or Sunday the 16th). You may stay at GMARS all weekend if you want, but class room space is limited to the day you've signed up for. If you stay overnight, you will also have to bring your own camping equipment or RV (sorry, no hookups!), and provide for your own non-workshop meals (Software Bisque will provide lunch and dinner as part of the day long workshop). Yucca Valley is a twenty minute drive away where there are hotels and restaurants available. Think of it as a weekend star party dedicated to learning more about your Paramount (the usual GMARS dorms beds will not be available btw...these are reserved for the staff and volunteers working the event).

GMARS has fifteen observatories, some with Paramounts installed. We hope to have some open observatories so you can see the installations. GMARS also has twenty-five concrete pads, and plenty of electricity to set up your own mount for the weekend.

The Paramount session will cover the details of your mount, all those knobs and settings you can adjust, how to perform routine maintenance, troubleshoot and upgrade your Paramount ME mount to the latest control system or install a WiFi adapter. The software session will teach you everything you need to know about the Paramount workflow, from polar alignment to TPoint and ProTrack. We'll bring some mounts, and, weather permitting, have live imaging demonstrations at night. If you bring your own mount, we'll even be available in the evening for some hands on help and tutoring. If you are already a Paramount wizard, we'd love to have you come along and share your knowledge and experiences with others.  Who knows, you may even pick up a few new tips yourself!

Space will fill up fast, and slots will be on a first-come, first-served basis. If you are interested, please email me at richard at bisque dot com, and specify your preferred day (Saturday or Sunday). I'll start confirming spots within a week's time of this posting.

Questions? You can email me about that too.

To submit your registration request, please email me your:

  • Name
  • Email address
  • Phone number (just in case)
  • What model Paramount do you own (for planning purposes)
  • Any special needs you may have (wheelchair access, food allergies, gluten free meal requirements, etc.)
  • Preferred day to attend (November 15 or November 16)

Remember, this is a first come, first served registration.

We hope to see you there!


Posted 08-12-2014 1:02 PM by Richard Wright
Filed under: ,


Richard Wright wrote re: Free Paramount Workshop!
on 08-15-2014 6:31 AM

A common question that I'm getting is if you can come even if you can't bring your mount. Of course! We are only telling you that if you like, you CAN bring your mount along. Often this isn't practical for many reasons, but if you can, and you would like, we'd love to have you bring it a long and even use it at GMARS if you can.

peter27284 wrote re: Free Paramount Workshop!
on 08-15-2014 10:37 AM


    Would you consider broadcasting one of the sessions on the internet?  gotowebmeeting for example or anything like that?  


Richard Wright wrote re: Free Paramount Workshop!
on 08-15-2014 11:21 AM

We won't have the internet bandwidth for broadcasting the workshops, but we may record them and then post them. Of course our plan is for these to be real hands-on workshops and interactive... not so much just a class. Rebroadcasting may not be that valuable, plus harder to record if we are moving around a bit.

Richard Wright wrote re: Free Paramount Workshop!
on 08-21-2014 12:55 PM

FYI if anyone is sitting on the fence. Saturday's workshop is about half full already, and we have not even sent out notices to our Paramount customers...

Jim Lawler wrote re: Free Paramount Workshop!
on 08-26-2014 11:17 AM


Do you expect to repeat this event, say next year?

I have not purchased the mount yet but expect to within a year.  Or do you think it would be worth while to attend before receiving the mount?

Richard Wright wrote re: Free Paramount Workshop!
on 08-26-2014 7:53 PM


If the event is successful I imagine it could easily become a regular event. The slots are filling up quite nicely, so we are limiting attendance to existing Paramount owners, as this isn't meant to be a sales pitch. We want existing Paramount owners to have a hands-on learning experience that they can immediately take back and practice on their own mounts. It's also an opportunity for existing owners to come and ask questions and get help with anything they are having trouble with.

If we do not max out, we would probably allow 'interested parties' to attend, but I think that is unlikely to occur given the current registration rate.

Jim Lawler wrote re: Free Paramount Workshop!
on 08-27-2014 12:15 AM

Well this is what I have come to appreciate about Bisque brothers and engineers.  You guys are in it for the long haul and you really try to continually improve your products and incorporate new capabilities and help the users.  Certainly I wish you had a larger team of developers to speed things up, but I see you guys hands down above the other players.  Keep it up - please.

Richard Wright wrote re: Free Paramount Workshop!
on 08-27-2014 6:32 AM

Thanks Jim, we all appreciate comments like that. We just really love what we do. ;-)

Alex wrote re: Free Paramount Workshop!
on 08-28-2014 11:36 PM

Man, those Officina Stellare scopes and Paramounts were born to be together.  You need to get a red SGIB and you'll be fully color coordinated.

Richard Wright wrote re: Free Paramount Workshop!
on 08-29-2014 7:19 AM

Black cameras also accentuate the couple well. You'd be surprised how many people think SB and SBIG are the same company... drives me nuts (short drive...) at star parties. I'm probably the only one here that doesn't ever use an SBIG camera... partially for that reason ;-)

Don Moses wrote re: Free Paramount Workshop!
on 08-31-2014 3:32 PM

I don't expect to receive my MX+ before early October, so I will be a rookie of the lowest grade.  Is this workshop for me, or should I play around with it for a year before I consider this sort of thing?

Richard Wright wrote re: Free Paramount Workshop!
on 08-31-2014 4:55 PM

No, it's perfect for a rookie, no better way to get a turbo jump start. Send in your registration, there's still a couple for Saturday left, and Sunday is still wide open.

WEdward2 wrote re: Free Paramount Workshop!
on 09-03-2014 2:30 PM

How about a repeat at next years AIC Conference or at a Star Party on the East coast.....  

Thanks !


Richard Wright wrote re: Free Paramount Workshop!
on 09-03-2014 2:39 PM

Alrighty then... Saturday is now full. Lots of room still on Sunday!

Richard Wright wrote re: Free Paramount Workshop!
on 09-03-2014 3:03 PM

Next year at or near AIC... could happen. East Coast... a couple of locations come to mind. Let's see how it goes this year ;-)

peter27284 wrote re: Free Paramount Workshop!
on 09-04-2014 3:24 PM

I want to echo Jim's comments. SB has elevated the market with their products. This equipment is really well thought through. Unfortunately you raised our expectations. Now nothing short of excellence can be accepted!!  The stuff works and well and yes it's clear SB will be around for a very long time. Thank goodness!


nate wrote re: Free Paramount Workshop!
on 10-07-2014 12:28 PM

This workshop is a god send as a very new owner! Having had an initial issue with my mount, you guys have instilled confidence in how it was handled. The fact that my best old friend just happens to live in Golden and works for spyderco is the happiest of coincidences! Get to see an old friend and attend this workshop. This should be an epic weekend for me. Can't wait!!


vpcirc wrote re: Free Paramount Workshop!
on 10-25-2014 2:21 PM

Sign me up for Sunday!

Leo Heiland wrote re: Free Paramount Workshop!
on 11-05-2014 8:10 AM

I am registered for Sunday.  Can I set up my mount/scope Saturday evening?

Richard Wright wrote re: Free Paramount Workshop!
on 11-05-2014 8:19 AM

Yes, we anticipate that some of the Sunday folks will want to arrive Saturday night. GMARS is always open for visitors as well.


Starman99 wrote re: Free Paramount Workshop!
on 11-08-2014 8:05 AM

What about having one of these in Colorado at home base for Bisque? I'm in Santa Fe and would drive up for it.

Richard Wright wrote re: Free Paramount Workshop!
on 11-08-2014 9:13 PM

We originally were talking about doing something like this in Golden. We have close to 60 people signed up now... a bit much for the home office ;-)  Maybe a smaller event later... we'll see.


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