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Optic Craft Machining Clock Drive Review

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108 replies to this topic

#101 City Kid

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Posted 28 February 2013 - 06:57 PM

I think is sad you ended up on the hook for a 're-stocking fee' and the shipping. Considering that OC admitted it was in error and provided a sub-standard product, this horrible experience cost you a lot of time and aggravation, plus the further insult of a financial hit.

I'm not impressed.

I agree.

#102 johnnyha


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Posted 28 February 2013 - 08:34 PM

Post deleted by johnnyha

#103 telescopemullet


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Posted 28 February 2013 - 11:33 PM

I would ask a moderator to remove the johnnyha post as it borders on slander. Enough of this negative posting diarrhea.

#104 smallscopefanLeo


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Posted 01 March 2013 - 12:36 AM

Enough of this negative posting diarrhea.

+1 (regarding posters here in general, not any one person)

Cloudy Nights community, "I am dissapoint"


#105 johnnyha


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Posted 01 March 2013 - 12:39 AM

:foreheadslap: I sincerely apologize if I forefended anyone with what was obviously a joke.

I'm fairly confident my statements will stand up in a court of law. But at the risk of locking this thread I will delete my previous post (Hint: there IS NO SHOW called "Top Machinist" and I retract my statement that this guy would lose the first Quick Challenge.).

#106 jhayes_tucson



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Posted 01 March 2013 - 11:40 AM

I was the one who proposed the restocking fee. I had ordered a custom configuration and it is common to pay a restocking fee if a custom order has to be returned. Although the drive did not meet specifications, I felt that it was fair to pay shipping and the restocking fee. I was trying to be as reasonable as possible in this negotiation. When Mr. Clinard finally offered to unwind the deal, I was not trying to take advantage of him and went back to my original offer to return the drive.

I want to add a couple of thoughts here. Mr. Clinard clearly made a huge mistake when he delivered this drive and refused stand behind the product. He has acknowledged his mistakes and I've since had a number of behind the scenes friendly email exchanges with him. I have to tell you that it really sounds like he has come away with a whole new perspective on customer satisfaction. He comes across as a sincere guy who is trying his best. I still don't know how his shop is equipped and I have never seen any of his other work, so it's hard for me to say how he'll do on future orders. My guess is that within the range of his capabilities, he will try very hard to meet expectations. He's been around for a long time so I have to believe that he has delivered a lot of acceptable equipment. Hopefully this review will provide some guidance for anyone who wants to order anything from OCM. My understanding is that Ed Byers has cleaned out the last few drives from his shop and there just aren't many folks still making clock drive gears so OCM might be your only option.

#107 cspell


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Posted 22 March 2013 - 12:02 AM

Like others, I’m so glad to see the issue was apparently resolved. My recent quest for a mount (two requirements: hold a 50 lb OTA very steady for photometry, and at a price south of 3000) led me to Optic-craft and Terry Clinard. Having just received the system, my own experience was that the customer service and communication was great throughout the process- when I changed my mind about everything from optical encoders to the paint and styling, Terry accommodated my many wishes, changes and questions. When Terry became ill he notified me that shipment might be delayed a couple of weeks. After delivery he called me, over a weekend, to make sure the shipment arrived and there were no problems. The mount that arrived looks great, as does the 9-inch drive (I may post a photo when I get things set up).

I don’t write this to challenge the OP in any way; rather I thought I would give my perspective due to some of the comments that caused so much controversy earlier. I’m very happy with the product and the service. Clear and steady skies to all!

#108 azure1961p


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Posted 02 April 2013 - 09:58 PM

Thanks for this review.


#109 BYoesle


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Posted 21 April 2013 - 02:07 PM

Quality is your conception, not mine. I do not know how to answer your quality questions in light of never having a problem in the past 23 years of making drives from my numerous world wide customers... (Quote from Review)

I do not get negative reports from the field and consider this situation with Mr. Hayes to be an anomaly. (Quote from above)

This is not true, and Mr. Clinard knows it is not true. Therefore Mr. Clinard appears to have made a deliberately false statement to Mr. Hayes and on this forum.

I have also documented concerns previously on Cloudy Nights: http://www.cloudynig...1253787/page...

John Hayes' review is completely accurate, and more importantly is not an anomaly. I experienced nearly identical issues, which Mr. Clinard refused to address - see post linked to above. The Optic-Craft drive I paid $1200 (!!!) for was inferior to any other I have owned. It in no way met the specifications I had requested at the time of order.

My comments in the review are virtually the same ones that I made directly to him when I received the product and I’ve told you how he responded. I’ve moved on and the sole intent of my review was to provide a community service with some well-documented information about a product and a vendor. The community at large is better off if we share these kinds of experiences--both good and bad. I don’t have any hidden agenda. I gave Mr. Clinard ample opportunity to resolve this issue and he didn't take it so I originally had no intent of trying to get it resolved here...

Emphasis added.

This is not “vendor bashing” - it is the truth with regard to product quality, value, service, and business practices / ethics.

He has also publically stated that he will always try to make it right and if he can’t, he will stand behind his products with a money back guarantee.

There is no such “money back guarantee” anywhere on Mr. Clinard’s Optic-Craft web site. Few potential purchasers will ever see this thread to be able to hold him accountable to this "guarantee." And where does the statement refer to what the "guarantee" is for? Is it the tracking rate? What about defects of materials and workmanship? Or failure to meet specifications per industry standards and best practices? Would he agree to neutral arbitration for disputes and neutral review by a qualified machinist of his work -- in writing? I sincerely doubt it.

<< He and I both learned a lot from this episode >>

I certainly hope so. It's just too bad the both of you couldn't have worked out things privately.

As is similarly documented by Mr. Hayes, when I attempted to deal with Mr. Clinard “privately,” he became defensive, evasive, and ambivalent, and refused to refund me a dime for his similarly documented substandard workmanship. His only “warranty” is for “5 years parts and labor,” and is for the “accuracy” specification that “Drives produce one revolution in 1436.3 minutes +- 3 ARC second per sidereal day.”

This is what he explicitly told me when I requested a return and refund, and why he refused multiple additional requests to for a partial refund.

Perhaps I should have posted a review such as Mr. Hayes has done...

I fully believe the olive branch came only after the story broke and the damage done realized. There was no change of heart due to guilty conscience or ethics...let's be honest with ourselves. Bravo to CloudyNights and Astronomics for providing this service to protect and unite consumers together.


Mr. Clinard / Optic-Craft Machining promises a high-end product – at a high-end price – and touts deliveries to NASA, JPL, universities, etc, and posts pretty pictures. What you'll likely get is the defective rubbish like that documented by Mr. Hayes, myself, and others, which you can not under normal circumstances return for a refund.

You have been warned.

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