FLO Site Use Guidelines

Home » Content » FLO Site Use Guidelines

Updated: 22-July-2021


The Fred Lossing Observatory (FLO) is a facility operated by Ottawa chapter of RASC. Use of the site with your own equipment is a member privilege. There are power outlets available and a warm room -  a nice respite on cold or buggy nights. Members-only star parties are held monthly (depending on weather) on a Saturday near the date of new moon.

The main observatory on site is a roll-off roof structure housing an 18" DOB telescope with GoTo capability. Use of this telescope requires training and payment of a small additional annual fee to cover maintenance expenses. Two other structures with different telescope types and capabilities are in the process of being set up and commissioned.

Guests are ONLY permitted as long as they are accompanied and supervised by a club member. Guests may observe through the club telescopes but are NOT permitted to operate them.

The FLO is located at 365 Bennies Corners Road, Mississippi Mills (between Almonte and Pakenham, off County Road 29). Below are the guidelines for using the site:

  • first person in opens and leaves the gate OPEN, with the padlock locked on it and combination scrambled
  • last person out closes and locks the gate, locking the gate left-handed (see below)
  • drive slowly on the lane way, which is about 300m long 
  • the lane & parking lot are plowed during the winter after snowfalls of 2” or more. In  winter it may be necessary to use lock de-icer on the gate lock. 
  • at the parking lot, dim your lights (if possible) & swing around to park your car facing toward the lane, so that when you leave you are pointed away from other observers
  • set up your gear on one of the two observing mounds. Access the south mound via the slab pathway, not the partially seeded slope.
  • warm room is restricted to two persons or one family during Covid-19, with facemasks required.
  • use red lights while on site and shield your laptop/tablet/phone screens from other users
  • power is available from two outlets on the outside of the roll-off roof observatory on the south mound
  • fill out a short log book entry in the clubhouse to help us gauge site usage
  • there is mobile phone coverage though it can be marginal (one bar) and carrier dependent
  • site updates & training notices are posted on the “RASC Ottawa FLO” google group. Regular site users are encouraged to join this group.
  • Users of the club telescope should post when they plan to observe and are expected to share it with other members who wish to observe at the same time
  • Questions, requests, and issues should be emailed to the director at: flo@ottawa.rasc.ca 

Hold the lock in left hand when closing up, so that numbers are oriented facing up when it is re-locked.

Code is set by align at top of lock beside painted marks  (1111 in the example above - this is NOT the combination - contact the director to obtain the current code).