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Meade Max 20" ACF???

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#26 Rick Woods

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 11:21 PM

Yeah - for a 35K telescope, they better be ready to make house calls! (And if they're confident in the product, they would.)

#27 mmalik

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 12:12 AM

You're saying this is _expensive_ for a 20-inch ACF SCT on a huge mount?

Actually, I do feel prices are very "expensive" for 20" ACF; I feel it is quite feasible to bring prices down with simpler/lighter weight designs and serve masses instead of a few. That approach will generate even more profits for Meade. Kind of similar strategy Meade used to re-design RCX into LX800.

#28 skybsd

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 07:47 AM

You're saying this is _expensive_ for a 20-inch ACF SCT on a huge mount?

Actually, I do feel prices are very "expensive" for 20" ACF; I feel it is quite feasible to bring prices down with simpler/lighter weight designs and serve masses instead of a few. That approach will generate even more profits for Meade. Kind of similar strategy Meade used to re-design RCX into LX800.


I always worry when I read stuff like that..,

Regards..,

skybsd

#29 Starhawk

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 08:08 AM

The Meade rep told you exactly what this was built excel at- looking cool.

The Max 20" is supposed to be a halo product, but it looks like a parasitic development program to me. Their SEC filings indicate a very modest development budget, and excelling at bread-and-butter products is how you keep the doors open. This thing diverts effort away from that. There are people out there issuing some amazing big mounts and even more amazing big OTAs, and frankly this product has no hope of outperforming systems from companies whose core competency is in large mounts and large OTAs.

For the money, RCOS and Plane wave make proven OTAs and Software Bisque has a proven mount, as do AP and Losmandy. And none of them are selling them as something designed to look cool to try to sell other products.

I can only hope this project's termination means necessary effort went into making the newest Meade products really great.

-Rich

#30 rmollise

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 08:21 AM

Yeah - for a 35K telescope, they better be ready to make house calls! (And if they're confident in the product, they would.)


Thus far, Meade has gone a long way to support the Max scopes out there.

#31 rmollise

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 08:22 AM

Actually, I do feel prices are very "expensive" for 20" ACF; I feel it is quite feasible to bring prices down with simpler/lighter weight designs and serve masses instead of a few. That approach will generate even more profits for Meade. Kind of similar strategy Meade used to re-design RCX into LX800.


Looked at the price of a simple 20-inch Dobsonian lately? ;)

#32 jrcrilly

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 08:31 AM

You're saying this is _expensive_ for a 20-inch ACF SCT on a huge mount?

Actually, I do feel prices are very "expensive" for 20" ACF; I feel it is quite feasible to bring prices down with simpler/lighter weight designs and serve masses instead of a few. That approach will generate even more profits for Meade. Kind of similar strategy Meade used to re-design RCX into LX800.


The 16" LX200 has been available for nearly two decades at well under half the price of this big Meade and it hasn't served the masses. They build maybe ten per year (according to the Meade rep I asked several years ago). The masses are being served with more portable, less expensive gear. The big Cass market is a niche market and the big Meade has already established a new, very low price point within that market.

#33 jrcrilly

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 08:53 AM

For the money, RCOS and Plane wave make proven OTAs and Software Bisque has a proven mount, as do AP and Losmandy.


Of the mount manufacturers you mention, only AP offers a mount that will comfortably carry a 20" class OTA with imaging accessories. Software Bisque and Losmandy aren't in the game (though a very few others are). For the money of the Meade, you can't get close to a 20" class mount plus a 20" RCOS or Planewave OTA.

I'm not saying that anyone should run out and buy the Meade; I'm certainly not going to. I'm not a Meade fanboy, either - there's no Meade gear here at all. I just think the big Meade deserves recognition for what it is - a new, lower level entry into the big Cass field and an opportunity for folks who want to get into that class but who don't want to pay for an RCOS/El Capitan setup.

#34 rcdk

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 09:59 AM

They build maybe ten per year (according to the Meade rep I asked several years ago).


I would believe that about the 20", but the 16"? There seems to be a lot more of them out there than that. Still, even price aside the logistics of a 16" SCT pretty much limit it to such a specific set of circumstances that it can hardly be a mass-market item. A 16" dob can easily be a driveway scope.

When you retire to the country a 16" Meade would make a nice observatory scope that may cost less than the structure you put it in.

#35 freestar8n

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 11:25 AM

Of the mount manufacturers you mention, only AP offers a mount that will comfortably carry a 20" class OTA with imaging accessories. Software Bisque and Losmandy aren't in the game (though a very few others are). For the money of the Meade, you can't get close to a 20" class mount plus a 20" RCOS or Planewave OTA.


The cdk20 weighs 140 pounds and the carrying capacity of the paramount ME is stated at 150 lb. The two are offered as a package by Planewave at $49,214 and there are example images on the web showing good results from the combination.

The cdk20 is a flat field design at f/6.8 whereas the ACF has a curved field at f/8, so they are not optically equivalent in the first place.

I looked for example images with the 20" ACF on max mount, and I only found a couple that were not very compelling. It has been around for a while, so it seems like there should be good images with a large chip that show the optics and guiding are both working well. I couldn't find such examples with a search but I could find several for the cdk20 on paramount - and tons for the overall cdk line.

Frank

#36 kennyrichmond

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 02:36 PM

Frank,
You should check this information. It's the RC's and CDK's that need the flatteners, not the Meade. Jason Ware has many examples of 20" RCX photography. My examples are taken with a Canon 20Da and not up to his quality. Then there is the University of Ohio where the 20" RCX(as it was originally known) and the MaxMount is used for exo-planet discovery. Me, well I've gotten lazy so I just hang on a Seibert Black Knight Binoviewer with a pair of Panoptic 35's. It's not generally known, but a free retrofit coming up will bring the tracking accuracy on the Max Mount to a sub arc second level. Google Jason's web site.

Ken Richmond
Philadelphia

#37 freestar8n

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 02:55 PM

It's the RC's and CDK's that need the flatteners, not the Meade



CDK's don't *need* a flattener - they *have* a flattener. RC and ACF don't *have* a flattener, so they *have* a curved field.

Frank

#38 kennyrichmond

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 03:27 PM

Yeah, right. I forgot.


Ken Richmond

#39 Griffin!

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 04:04 PM

Kenny,

That's great that Meade is supplying you (and I assume other Max owners) with free upgrades. Any other details on what the upgrade may include? :)

#40 rmollise

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 04:15 PM


I looked for example images with the 20" ACF on max mount, and I only found a couple that were not very compelling. It has been around for a while, so it seems like there should be good images with a large chip that show the optics and guiding are both working well. I couldn't find such examples with a search but I could find several for the cdk20 on paramount - and tons for the overall cdk line.

Frank


Have you looked at Jason Ware's imaging with this scope? If not, you should.

It's not surprising that there's not much from the scope on the web. It's fairly expensive as amateur telescopes go, and has not been in sustained production that long. Also, not many folks really pine for a 20-incher with all that focal length unless they are set on doing images of small-medium galaxies or planetaries. ;)

#41 kennyrichmond

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 04:20 PM

New boards,worms,and controllers. Jason Ware has had a prototype and posted PEC results5 or six months ago that are in the 1/2 second range. I'm hoping for April refit when they'll be out here for NEAF.

Ken Richmond

#42 Alph

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 04:26 PM

The cdk20 is a flat field design at f/6.8 whereas the ACF has a curved field at f/8, so they are not optically equivalent in the first place.


Right, right, I hear you, but the 20" ACF has a large imaging circle and a big chunk of it must be pretty flat.

#43 mmalik

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 04:39 PM

Look folks, let's have a reality check here. I don't know how "they" have gotten to the price structure out there for big mount & big telescope market and how "we" have come to accept it and, even worse, have come to defend it. We seem to have been brain washed into thinking larger has to be outrageously expensive. Astronomy is weight business, weight (not technology) grows exponentially with size, but the same exponential formula can't be applied to pricing. We have got to get ourselves out of this price frenzy and strike some sense into 'so called' el Capitans (metaphorically I mean, no offense AP) of the astronomy market. Mounts are two motor systems, larger or small; don’t tell me a $30K mount has $30K technology packed into it; deadweight metal, of course! I am oversimplifying but you get the point. :)

#44 GeneT

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 04:45 PM

Meade got us all thinking and talking about their 20" ACF. That's what good PR is all about--creating buzz. However, the telescope has to deliver or it will all be for naught.

#45 skybsd

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 04:49 PM

Look folks, let's have a reality check here. I don't know how "they" have gotten to the price structure out there for big mount & big telescope market and how "we" have come to accept it and, even worse, have come to defend it. We seem to have been brain washed into thinking larger has to be outrageously expensive. Astronomy is weight business, weight (not technology) grows exponentially with size, but the same exponential formula can't be applied to pricing. We have got to get ourselves out of this price frenzy and strike some sense into 'so called' el Capitans (metaphorically I mean, no offense AP) of the astronomy market. Mounts are two motor systems, larger or small; don’t tell me a $30K mount has $30K technology packed into it; deadweight metal, of course! I am oversimplifying but you get the point. :)


Seems like some folks need to check where their heads are at.., I mean, since when do any of us fall into the market to which this product is targeted, anyways..,

"Masses".., for cryin' out loud.., Yep - me still worried :crazy:

Regards,

skybsd

#46 Alph

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 05:00 PM

I mean, since when do any of us fall into the market to which this product is targeted, anyways..,


In comparison to other offering, $35,000 for a mount and an OTA is not that bad at all. There is a recent thread about CDK20. One guy there spent $45,000 on a camera !!! The complete package cost him close to $100,000 !!!

#47 skybsd

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 05:07 PM

I mean, since when do any of us fall into the market to which this product is targeted, anyways..,


In comparison to other offering, $35,000 for a mount and an OTA is not that bad at all. There is a recent thread about CDK20. One guy there spent $45,000 on a camera !!! The complete package cost him close to $100,000 !!!


Puts the value offering of price of the Meade into perspective - you'd think..,

Regards,

skybsd

#48 kennyrichmond

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 05:15 PM

Let's see if I can keep this on point while adding a consideration or two. I see folks here in Philadelphia driving FWD,Crew Cab, F-250 with Power Stroke diesels. Now if you were inclined, you could get yourself a Scion and a 20" on a Max Mount and have change left for some Ethoi. You'd have to suffer considerable humiliation at the factory parking lot, but you would have 100 days a year of anticipatory bliss while getting maybe 15 to 20 nights of the real thing. (I'm talking about astronomy here) So after three years in a Scion, I had another choice to make - back to a Bimmer??? Hmmn, not so fast. It wasn't THAT bad at the parking lot. So I kept the Scion and did what? Well I got into medium format photography. It's all in the choices we can make. And, at least for now, we can still make them. So go out there and do it.

Ken Richmond

#49 Keith Howlett

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 05:19 PM

Rod's comment is on target. For example, a Planewave 20" OTA is $32K (sans mount).

I think Meade would have a winner here (and maybe they already do) if they can address concerns about quality. I would sure hate to pay to ship the thing back to Mexico.

JimC


I also have to agree with Rod about the price.

IIRC the 20 inch RCX launched at around $30k and then went up to $50k for a while where it would have been competing directly with the big CDK on a high quality mount.

Cheers,

Keith

#50 Aircrftr

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 11:25 PM

Ken, can you tell us (if your comfortable doing so) about the problems you've had with the scope? I had a 14" RCX and it was just one thing after another so I had to get rid of it. (back to the vendor) Is the quality any better for this one?






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