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Parks Technical Service

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#1 joerbiker

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 10:59 PM

Hi all. I'm curious as to whether anyone else has successfully contacted Parks Technical Support staff?

Two emails have gone unanswered.

Thanks in advance for your help,

#2 actionhac

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 12:26 AM

Last time I did was a year ago and I spoke with Joe Beck using:
jbeck@parksoptical.com

Robert

#3 Datapanic

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 01:00 AM

I think Parks is out of business.

#4 joerbiker

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 07:10 AM

Thanks Robert and Dan. I'll try to do a little more digging, and use the direct email address.

Maybe, (Hopefully!) they're still around but just very busy.

Cheers,

#5 starman876

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 07:47 AM

I thought they had a phone number. That is how I used to deal with them

#6 Mirzam

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 08:02 AM

Good luck. I've also heard from multiple sources that Parks is out of business.

Maybe someone here could help you with a technical question?

JimC

#7 dgreyson

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 09:43 AM

Parks and Lumicon were subsidiaries of Scope city.

Lumicon was purchased and spun off as an independant company and is in business, Scope City and Parks have gone bankrupt, but the lady I recently spoke with at Parks has unrealistic hopes that someone with money will bring them back. I dont see that Parks has any future if Scope City couldnt make it. There is a Zombie website that is still up but no one is fulfilling orders or otherwise responding from it.

#8 tim53

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 10:22 AM

Someone would have to find a way to make the Parks telescopes more affordable in order for the business to have much of a chance in this day and age.

Sad, too. If you took the concept of a Cave Astrola and modernized it a bit with goto servo drives on both axes, and hollow RA and Dec shafts - maybe even more like a Schaffer mount - you'd could have a line of very capable instruments.

-Tim.

#9 actionhac

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 11:47 AM

Parks out of business, what a shame.
I ordered a few small things from Parks and I have a lot of Parks stuff around here in or on or part of my scopes.
They were one of the oldies, sad.
I'll be out of business soon and then Parks will be open 24/7. I won't need any telescope parts though. I'm going to hitch a ride on a comet and just sit in my lazyboy destination unknown.

Robert

#10 dgreyson

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 01:07 PM

Parks demise has a lot to do with the very reason I can no longer go to the hardware store and buy a porcelain lightning arrestor for the long wire aerial on my 1920 Atwater Kent radio, nor can I find the 90v B or Eveready #761 4½ volt "C" batteries I need for it anymore.

The demand is too low to support mass manufacturing, and because of that, you can’t really make a living making Cave style telescopes anymore. There is still a relatively good supply of Cave, Optical Craftsmen, Starliner and yes even the lowly Meade Starfinder scopes on the market.

Because of that, there is little demand for new manufacture I guess.

Small kitchen table vendors just haven’t completely stepped in to fill the shortfall for replacement parts even.

Parks Newtonian telescopes were too expensive for what you got, which resulted in low sales.
You can buy a Cave for a fraction of what Parks wanted for an identical scope.
Parks Newtonian telescopes represented an obsolete design that was too heavy and too bulky for the unwashed masses, which resulted in low sales.

Sometimes new technology such as the compact disc displaces older technology such as the LP even though the LP is absolutely and measurably superior simply due to the fact that CD’s are more convenient and you don’t have to mess with them all the time to keep them working like you have to do with vinyl.

Fortunately we have plenty of Luddites amoung us who keep these scopes from ending up abandonded in a field somewhere. I'm glad of that.

#11 rmollise

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 01:55 PM

Good luck. I've also heard from multiple sources that Parks is out of business.

Maybe someone here could help you with a technical question?

JimC


Their parent company, Scope City is gone for sure. Parks? I am astounded they lasted as long as they did selling GEM Newts at prices that would give anyone pause, especially given that their quality, while often good was rarely great. ;)

My Parks history? I bought an humble 6-inch f/8 primary from 'em in 1989. I could certainly have got it cheaper elsewhere. But Parks optics had a reputation for high quality back then. The reality? OK, nothing to write home about. I would have been better off with a fracking Coulter. Same goes for their other primaries, big and small, I've seen over the years.

#12 rmollise

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 01:59 PM


Parks Newtonian telescopes were too expensive for what you got, which resulted in low sales.
You can buy a Cave for a fraction of what Parks wanted for an identical scope.
Parks Newtonian telescopes represented an obsolete design that was too heavy and too bulky for the unwashed masses, which resulted in low sales.


I ain't that unwashed, but the idea of paying what they asked for something I could get in better and cheaper form as a used Criterion or Cave or Edmund didn't light my fire. And anyone would think twice about manhandling one of their scopes into a freaking SmartCar for a trip to the dark site. :lol:

#13 Littlegreenman

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 02:00 PM

....Parks Newtonian telescopes represented an obsolete design that was too heavy and too bulky for the unwashed masses, which resulted in low sales...


You make some spot-on points. I would like to ad that in the past 50 or so years there has been a shift in amateur astronomy necessitated by light pollution. That shift has moved away from a heavy permanently mounted or wheeled out scope toward equipment you can more easily transport to a dark site.

Some companies have met the need for mounts with a high load capacity that breaks down into lighter weight sections and that can be assembled with less effort in the field. I forget the prices of the Parks mounts, and if there was any competition in their price range. (I was thinking Astro-physics mounts, up to a point.)

LGM

#14 Datapanic

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 03:45 PM

They made good tubes :)

But, while looking for a Tube when I was restoring the Horsetrail Cave, I contacted them to see what they could do. As you know, Caves with rotating rings must have tubes within a certain outside diameter in order to fit. So I talked to the Sales Gal who got me in contact with their Engineer who couldn't help because they did not have the capability to make tubes outside of the sizes they currently offered. Their line of tubes for 6/8/10/12.5 inch OTA's all had a larger outside diameters than the earlier ones used with Cave OTA's and probably other classic brands as well. I told them that they used to, but apparently, nobody's been there long enough to know what happened to the madrils they used back then.

#15 dgreyson

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 04:01 PM

They made good tubes :)

... So I talked to the Sales Gal who got me in contact with their Engineer who couldn't help because they did not have the capability to make tubes outside of the sizes they currently offered. Their line of tubes for 6/8/10/12.5 inch OTA's all had a larger outside diameters than the earlier ones used with Cave OTA's and probably other classic brands as well. I told them that they used to, but apparently, nobody's been there long enough to know what happened to the madrils they used back then.


This reminds me of the story of the Emperor of china and the clock. In 1582, Jesuit missionary Matteo Ricci presented the imperial court with a chiming mechanical clock. The entire court was astounded when it rang out the hour without anyone touching it. There wasnt anything like it in all of china.
The irony here, was that china had invented the chiming mechanical clock centuries ago, which fell into disuse because everyone was into cheap water clocks coz they rocked man, and the technology of striking clocks was lost and totally forgotten.

#16 tim53

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 04:17 PM

Parks out of business, what a shame.
I ordered a few small things from Parks and I have a lot of Parks stuff around here in or on or part of my scopes.
They were one of the oldies, sad.
I'll be out of business soon and then Parks will be open 24/7. I won't need any telescope parts though. I'm going to hitch a ride on a comet and just sit in my lazyboy destination unknown.

Robert


:grin:

Me? I expect I'll just drift back into the continuum from whence I came!

#17 tim53

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 04:28 PM

All seriousness aside, it would be really interesting to know what remains of things like patterns for mount parts and rotating rings, mandrels for fiberglass tubes, mirror grinding machines and the like.

How much would it cost to purchase the operation, and would that interest someone out there who isn't me? ;) (because I'm old and set in my ways, and don't want to be a "boss").

-Tim.

#18 rmollise

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 05:00 PM

Who would you sell such things to? I am still puzzled about how in the hell Parks held on as long as they did without having a bookie joint in the back... :lol:

#19 Bob Myler

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 05:04 PM

This reminds me of the story of the Emperor of china and the clock. In 1582, Jesuit missionary Matteo Ricci presented the imperial court with a chiming mechanical clock. The entire court was astounded when it rang out the hour without anyone touching it. There wasnt anything like it in all of china.
The irony here, was that china had invented the chiming mechanical clock centuries ago, which fell into disuse because everyone was into cheap water clocks coz they rocked man, and the technology of striking clocks was lost and totally forgotten. [/quote]

And 43 years after Apollo - we're still stuck in low earth orbit - and can no longer replicate tuning fork watches...

#20 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 05:31 PM

I was amazed that Scope City and Parks held on as long as they did. For years the Scope City store was 4 blocks from my house but it only took a couple of visits getting answers like "we don't believe in Laser collimators" and "we don't like Dobs" to cross them off the list, OPT is 25 miles up the road. 4 blocks or 25 miles, a trip the telescope store was 25 miles.

They had a lot of old style Newtonians on the floor but I don't think they sold very many, I have never seen one for sale used.

Jon

#21 tim53

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 07:07 PM

Who would you sell such things to?


I wouldn't need to sell many of anything if the tools to make things didn't cost much, didn't take up an inordinate amount of space, and I didn't have to pay rent for that space.

Rotating rings and tubes would be a nice thing to see remain available.

I'd still rather see a modern Newtonian than yet another SCT on the market...

...did I say that out loud? :o

-Tim.

#22 The Planetman

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 07:30 PM

Rotating rings and tubes would be a nice thing to see remain available.

I'd still rather see a modern Newtonian than yet another SCT on the market...

...did I say that out loud? :o

-Tim.

:like: :like: :like: :like:

#23 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 07:44 PM

I wouldn't need to sell many of anything if the tools to make things didn't cost much, didn't take up an inordinate amount of space, and I didn't have to pay rent for that space.



With a little juxtaposition, you have just explained why those big old Gem mounted scopes were left by the wayside. My "modern" 12.5 inch Newtonian is F/4, sits on Dobsonian mount and requires about 20" x 20" patch of seat space or floor space and can be setup in less than 10 minutes.. My "classic" 12.5 inch Equatorially mounted Newtonian takes two people to lift the OTA.

Jon

#24 tim53

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 07:49 PM

Yep.

While I've often said that I "don't like Dobsonians", the simple truth is that if I ever want a truly large Newtonian, I'm either going to have to have a permanent installation or I'm going to have to build a bloody Dob. ;)

You can bet it'll track and rotate its focuser, though! :grin:
-Tim.

#25 actionhac

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 10:27 PM

I'd like to see Parks come back with some retro scopes.
Like the RV-6 with push-to in 6"f8 and 8"f7. This would be very user friendly and very forgiving for collimation. And it will have tracking for astrophoto/imaging.
And the Coulter Odyssey's, only in carbon fiber and honeycomb space age materials. A nice minimalist solid tube.
And that convertible Newt-Cass f4/f15 they made.
And a aerospace division to make custom small order things with huge profits.

Robert






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