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Does Half Hitch telescope still exist?

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#1 Paul Wilson

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Posted 11 June 2012 - 08:30 PM

Same question applies regarding its proprietor. As is often typical when attempting to contact him, e-mail goes unanswered, the phone rings off the hook and voicemail is > /dev/null 2>&1. The disappearance of the Yahoo! group (nee eGroup) 'halfhitchtelescopeusers' would indicate an untimely demise, but I'd love to hear from others who might know otherwise.

Thanks,

-Paul W.

#2 okieav8r

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Posted 11 June 2012 - 09:00 PM

Yes, they're still in business. They've just come out with a new mount called the Mini Hitch.

http://www.halfhitchtelescope.com/

#3 Tamiji Homma

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Posted 12 June 2012 - 08:48 PM

Hi Paul,

Charles started Mini Hitch Yahoo group. I believe he is going to create other mount groups (4", 5", Nova, Super?) later.

http://tech.groups.y...i_hitch_alt_az/

Last time I had email exchange with him was May 25th 2012 regarding Super Hitch mount. He mentioned that he was going to put his effort to complete unfinished Super Halfhitch backlogs. So he must be very busy.

So he is in business as far I can tell.

Tammy

#4 Paul Wilson

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Posted 13 June 2012 - 08:32 PM

Thanks very much for the info Tammy. I've submitted my request to join the new group and we'll see what happens.

-Paul W.

Hi Paul,

Charles started Mini Hitch Yahoo group. I believe he is going to create other mount groups (4", 5", Nova, Super?) later.

http://tech.groups.y...i_hitch_alt_az/

Last time I had email exchange with him was May 25th 2012 regarding Super Hitch mount. He mentioned that he was going to put his effort to complete unfinished Super Halfhitch backlogs. So he must be very busy.

So he is in business as far I can tell.

Tammy



#5 johndgaul

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 09:53 AM

There's quite a bit of recent activity on the new Mini Hitch user group, including some interesting discussion on Charles Riddel's (Mr Half Hitch) upcoming project, the Nova Hitch.

The Nova looks to be a good concept - relatively simple (compared to the direct drive mounts) and high quality as usual.

#6 Figment

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 10:02 PM

I too was very disappointed and bit worried when the original halfhitch yahoo group suddenly disappeared.

The mini hitch group seems to be going quite strong and Charles has also created a group for those patiently waiting to get their Super's (myself included).

You can find the group here SHH Yahoo Group

...Jason... :)

#7 woodworkt

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Posted 03 July 2012 - 01:23 PM

I too have been a bit concerned about this business.

I had originally ordered a super half hitch last year, for my wife, who was having issues with one eye that severely limited her binocular observing, and needed a grab and go setup with a small scope instead.

Ultimately in March we had to make a painful decision to cancel, after several production delays that weren't really his fault, and order something else instead. It was getting too hard to watch Beth struggling with her observing, and it made me feel guilty whenever I set up for imaging instead of letting her use my scope for visual.

I received about a third of the refund from the cancelled order in late April, with an explanation from Charles that he was having trouble raising the funds (we had paid in advance, because the original expectation was that the mount would ship last fall). So I left it for a while and then tried to contact him again a couple of weeks ago, to find out the fate of the remainder, but as mentioned he's been hard to reach, and I haven't heard anything back.

So, I'm concerned for multiple reasons. I hope he succeeds with his new mount plans and keeping his business running; I think his gear seems great, and it would be a shame if he couldn't keep serving customers as he has in the past.

I don't want this to sound like bashing him, so if the moderators feel it's appropriate to edit this, I'm fine with that; I tried to keep this pretty factual. I just felt obligated to advise that at the moment, some note of caution might be appropriate when placing orders with this company.

Regards,
--Ken T.

#8 Denimsky

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Posted 04 July 2012 - 11:49 PM

Charles is usually very responsive to emails but sometimes an email is not answered right away by Charles so I needed to send another one. He was apologizing in those instances that he's getting lots of inquires so some emails can get missed by him.

Also Charles is very responsive in the Mini Hitch yahoo group so you should try to contact him through the group if you are not getting replies from him.

#9 thelostboson

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Posted 30 August 2012 - 11:25 AM

I just put in the order for a mini-hitch mount roughly 3 weeks ago. I am still waiting patiently for it. I spoke with him yesterday, and he is very busy with the assembly line right now (that's what I've been told). He is hopeful to be able to ship the mini-hitch mount in the next 10 days.

Ken, sorry to hear about your experience that you did not even get full refund for cancellation.

I did not know either that the mount still hasn't been assembled when I ordered it. The online order page said that there are a few "mini-hitch" left, and I misunderstood that these are ready to ship.

Honestly, I am worried too whether I will get the mount in time to use it. I should have bought the mini-hitch offered for sell in the classified section of CN. I just saw it a bit too late, and decided that may be my new mount will arrive soon.

#10 DanaJ

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Posted 05 November 2015 - 07:44 PM

I've been waiting for a mount or refund for almost 4 years now.  It's been very frustrating.



#11 lcaldero

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Posted 06 November 2015 - 07:44 AM

PM sent.



#12 WesC

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Posted 06 November 2015 - 08:29 PM

Tbis is the current Yahoo group... and its still quite active.

 

https://groups.yahoo...tch_alt_az/info


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#13 MikeMiller

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Posted 06 November 2015 - 08:37 PM

Charles posts updates on the progress of the FTXv2 to the group very frequently.

I believe CN rules prevent him from responding here.

#14 Starhawk

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Posted 07 November 2015 - 11:16 AM

He needs to reduce the parts count in these things- there's a huge additive time burden to build something with a lot of parts, and it's obviously driving up the cost at the same time tolerance stack up becomes a bigger problem.  Have you looked at the universal astronomics mounts? Welded goodness...

 

-Rich



#15 crixt

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Posted 07 November 2015 - 02:02 PM

He needs to reduce the parts count in these things- there's a huge additive time burden to build something with a lot of parts, and it's obviously driving up the cost at the same time tolerance stack up becomes a bigger problem.  Have you looked at the universal astronomics mounts? Welded goodness...

 

-Rich

 

The FTX is a fantastic mount. I'm glad someone is building very high quality, functional, beautiful mounts. I don't mind waiting, because his final products are nothing short of spectacular. 



#16 Seiko4169

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Posted 07 November 2015 - 03:45 PM

My experience was a very positive one with Charles keeping his word and delivering a superb product (the nova hitch).

I'm waiting on the tracking units and have no doubt he will once again deliver as promised.

I think he deserves a huge amount of credit for delivering some incredible products for the astronomy world.

#17 astrophile

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Posted 07 November 2015 - 10:00 PM

Have you looked at the universal astronomics mounts? Welded goodness...

 

-Rich

 

I've done more than looked... having owned and used both UA and Half Hitch flagship mounts.  Yes the UA is simple...with the additional benefits of being well-made and relatively cheap.  These admirable characteristics, however, do not translate to performance and "joy of use" that even approach those of the Nova Hitch or FTX.



#18 Alvin See

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Posted 08 November 2015 - 06:04 AM

I've been waiting for the Hitch Hiker since May this year. But Charles has been answering my e-mails to explain the day.



#19 Quintessence

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Posted 08 November 2015 - 08:33 AM

The Hitch Hiker is not yet in regular production.  Only a handful of units for a prototype batch were sold at a discount with the understanding that they would not be immediately available.  These few customers were also recently informed that they would receive the optional finder-bracket for free because it has taken the shop longer than I expected to produce the parts.  Basically, this small batch of parts was handled on a machine-availability basis because the batch size was far below the required production minimums for the shop.  The alternative was to have the prototypes machined as one-off units at the cost of $6,000 or more per unit.  The Hitch Hiker prototypes are nearly ready for delivery and detailed updates are being posted.

 

The Hitch Hiker has not been advertised generally -- and orders for it are not being accepted.  Only a few advance prototypes are now being assembled.  These are the only units involved -- and the customers involved knew that they were lending support to the development of a prototype mount.

 

Charles



#20 Starhawk

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Posted 08 November 2015 - 09:58 AM

If you say so.  I have just noticed the huge number of parts- when I have seen that in the past, it was a supplier running up the part count because they got paid by the piece, so they wanted to run up the number of pieces. Another thing is whoever is laying out the machined in webs in these parts has no idea what they are doing. I suppose they give a high tech look to the untrained eye, but they are vulnerable to flexure- especially twisting, in the patterns used here.  After having done that for a living for awhile, I wince when I see it done improperly. 

 

-Rich

 

 

He needs to reduce the parts count in these things- there's a huge additive time burden to build something with a lot of parts, and it's obviously driving up the cost at the same time tolerance stack up becomes a bigger problem.  Have you looked at the universal astronomics mounts? Welded goodness...

 

-Rich

 

The FTX is a fantastic mount. I'm glad someone is building very high quality, functional, beautiful mounts. I don't mind waiting, because his final products are nothing short of spectacular. 

 



#21 Alvin See

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Posted 08 November 2015 - 11:51 AM

The Hitch Hiker is not yet in regular production.  Only a handful of units for a prototype batch were sold at a discount with the understanding that they would not be immediately available.  These few customers were also recently informed that they would receive the optional finder-bracket for free because it has taken the shop longer than I expected to produce the parts.  Basically, this small batch of parts was handled on a machine-availability basis because the batch size was far below the required production minimums for the shop.  The alternative was to have the prototypes machined as one-off units at the cost of $6,000 or more per unit.  The Hitch Hiker prototypes are nearly ready for delivery and detailed updates are being posted.

 

The Hitch Hiker has not been advertised generally -- and orders for it are not being accepted.  Only a few advance prototypes are now being assembled.  These are the only units involved -- and the customers involved knew that they were lending support to the development of a prototype mount.

 

Charles

 

Hi Charles, I hope you don't misunderstand - what I said was not meant to be a complaint. I completely understand the cause for delays and I'm more than happy to wait. You have always answered my e-mails so that's a thumb up from me :)


Edited by Alvin See, 08 November 2015 - 12:35 PM.


#22 crixt

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Posted 09 November 2015 - 05:35 PM

 

If you say so.  I have just noticed the huge number of parts- when I have seen that in the past, it was a supplier running up the part count because they got paid by the piece, so they wanted to run up the number of pieces. Another thing is whoever is laying out the machined in webs in these parts has no idea what they are doing. I suppose they give a high tech look to the untrained eye, but they are vulnerable to flexure- especially twisting, in the patterns used here.  After having done that for a living for awhile, I wince when I see it done improperly. 

 

-Rich

 

 

He needs to reduce the parts count in these things- there's a huge additive time burden to build something with a lot of parts, and it's obviously driving up the cost at the same time tolerance stack up becomes a bigger problem.  Have you looked at the universal astronomics mounts? Welded goodness...

 

-Rich

 

The FTX is a fantastic mount. I'm glad someone is building very high quality, functional, beautiful mounts. I don't mind waiting, because his final products are nothing short of spectacular. 

 

 

 

Have you used one of these mounts before?  I ask because there is no flexing going on at all.  High tech look to an untrained eye?  What?  




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