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The plot thickens (Meade takeover)

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#1451 rcdk

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Posted 25 July 2013 - 07:00 AM

...
This is clearly a HIGHLY emotional board.
...


Try highly immature. There were some good discussions but all a few people managed to add was snark and sarcasm. Some can't even rise to just offering an uninformed opinion in a constructive way. And envy is alive and well, however much it may detract from the discussion.
 

#1452 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 25 July 2013 - 07:19 AM

Yep Ed . It's in the middle of nowhere alright . I'm 40 miles east of Kingman and 30 miles west of Seligman , five miles from the nearest piece of pavement .



That is out there pretty good. Know the Fort Rock exit well.. Not too many places to stop for the necessities of life along that stretch of the 40... :ubetcha: Big, beautiful, open country with some small forest trees if I remember correctly..,

Just to keep this on topic.. Is the Fort Rock Meade dealer still in business? :lol:

Jon
 

#1453 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 25 July 2013 - 07:32 AM

This has to be the most emotionally intense board I have ever witnessed.



Honestly, I think you have a strong emotional attachment to Meade so I can see that reading this thread would be an emotionally intense experience for you.

But most of us don't have so much emotional invested in Meade and reading this thread is an intellectual experience. I own three Meade scopes and another one with Meade Optics, I like the scopes, they are good scopes but they all from the period when Meade was privately owned.

I follow this thread because I am learning from the likes of Dave and Edd and others. I also follow this thread because there is a certain sadness to see this once giant now floundering. And too, there is a lot of interesting information about Meade equipment that I did not know.

Jon Isaacs
 

#1454 csrlice12

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Posted 25 July 2013 - 08:04 AM

Introducing...the Syntameade....it only takes a thousand steps to work........

Hey, I could be a Meade Developer!! Think of the money I could lose them!! (Sorry, but truthfully, they couldn't have run it into the ground so badly unintentionally. (It's what happens when profits are your only focus....and product/customer service don't matter.)
 

#1455 csrlice12

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Posted 25 July 2013 - 08:48 AM


I'm looking forward to getting up to Flagstaff next week myself. But I'm sure there won't be much of a chance for clear skies, less I don't bring a scope along. :bawling:


Flagstaff!? :p I was just up in Bull Head/Havasu/Mojave doing another hobby. Ah Flagstaff.. wonderful snow hobby town too..


Bulkhead ! ? .... That's a hobby town for me too . It's the hobby of pulling building materials . That town has reaped a lot of revenue out of me . (Lowes) That's why I be so po .
:grin:


Yep, Bullhead IS a hobby town....and it ain't Lowes....its where the people who work the casinos across the river in Laughlin NV live.....nice river walk though.
 

#1456 ken svp120

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Posted 25 July 2013 - 09:09 AM

What I find most amazing about all of this is that this thread has over 35,000 views and is currently on page 73. This clearly shows there is great interest in this subject. Its an absolute shame we could not have had this discussion a year ago - perhaps in time for someone at Meade to take notice and prompt them to act.

Having this discussion after the fact pretty much makes it a meaningless discussion other than maybe it makes people aware of why it is important to know as much as you can find out about a product and the stability of the company making it. Its far too late for Meade to learn anything but hopefully some folks here have.

Will be interesting to see how the all winds up here over the next few weeks/months.
 

#1457 Starhawk

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Posted 25 July 2013 - 09:30 AM

I just read your post on hiring ex-Meade engineers for one mount, and my suspension of disbelief completely left me. It's not about being right; I'd settle for plausible at this point.

So, others of us do other things for hobbies. About as intrusive as that gets is as a one-time aside or maybe an avatar photo. Mentions of scuba, trains, spelunking, collecting, and nature photography, or aircraft photography don't get mentioned very often unless it is coincidently relevant to a discussion here, though just bout everyone here has second or third hobbies like those. But your every post follows a pattern of fairly obvious overstatement, time shifting events to make it sound like they are all going on, now, future events have happened, including ones with very specific technical outputs you've said you were going to post. The nicest thing I can think to say about such behavior is it's disingenuous.

As for work references, I mean, really? People on CN literally do everything. Software? Quite a few. Firemen? Yep. Truck drivers? Believe it or not. Engineering? Quite a few. Business owners? yes. Accountants? Yes. Aerospace? A large number. And there are more in a slew more fields. And they all have one thing in common: they're here to talk astronomy. And there are a lot of people here with a lot of competence in that area, compared to anyone. Assuming it's only based on their day job isn't just a mistake, the way it's being posted is an insult, and as often as I have seen it repeated, I have begun to wonder if that isn't the intent.

Your challenge reminds me of an incident years ago when I was in college and worked part time in a Wal-Mart electronics department (which paid just enough to cover expenses in exchange for every minute of my day being accounted for in an unending cycle of class, work, and homework with a couple meals and sleep thrown in). So yes, I worked at Wal-Mart once upon a time. I'm expect you and Alph will have something dismissive to say on that score. The store was right next to a Sam's Club. One day an elderly man came over from there and said, "I want to see you beat a deal at Sam's Club (no idea what he was thinking. Perhaps he was unaware the two sites are part of the same company). I saw a THREE-HUNDRED line 19" TV for $180, and I want to see you beat that price!"

I blinked. "We don't have that- we have TVs with NTSC" (I was going to say 525 line resolution but was cut off by).

No- I don't want something else- I want to see something with THREE HUNDRED LINES OF RESOLUTION at a better price!"

And the department manager touched my shoulder before I said anything else and said, "We just can't beat that. You've already found a deal. I might even head there after work to jump on it."

When he had left with a self satisfied expression on his face, my manager said to me, "You can give people like that all the information to show them what the best deal is, but the truth is, you can't tell them anything, they'll never get it, and they can't tell the difference in the result, anyway."

-Rich

Too bad you heard about DOORS from another poster so now that you've looked up what it is you're all busy entering requirements when you aren't buzzing around on southwest, flying your own plane, or climbing up sheer rock faces between sailboat races. I'm surprised something so mundane as astronomy can even get on the schedule!

Your recovery plan for the mount is interesting. I'm sure the Meade folks faced with losing their jobs will sleep a little better knowing There's someone out there who'll give them a job to keep a single LX 850 running. Wait- oh snap!- those things are perfect! He'll never call about a job!

Oh well, back to the grandiose challenge to get set up for video astronomy with exactly the same functions as an LX 850, apparently to be conducted while 300 hot air balloons float by. Luckily, there's an out for someone plopping down a Mach 1 GTO and using the RAPAS finder to be polar aligned immediately, thus winning the challenge: the Mach 1 costs too much! Whoa- you outsmarted me there again! The RAPAS finder is useless if balloons block the view of the North Star!

You've got it all covered!

-Rich



Sigh....

No matter what I say, I will never be right.

So I will keep it real easy...real easy...

* I merely suggested options for fixing the LX850. There are many, which might surprise some! Maybe the issue is there are options outside of DSP? I bet though my LX850 will work for 20+ years like my LX200. Who knows? I might tinker with the thing. I might do a frankenscope like Andrew down under in a few years.
* We have several contracts coming on board between December and February. In some of the embedded work I support their are shortages. We will be hiring.
* Astronomy is not mundane. Is it for you?
* Yes, we work with requirements. I figured the cat was out of the bag last time, and folks knew of DOORS, so why not say something. FYI, my team and I work with DO178B levels A-D in aviation. Requirements are all consuming on any project and DOORS is ubiquitous. We are also developing tools to assist smaller organizations which cannot afford or want to deal with DOORS. Though ALL of my large customers work with DOORS. Yes, I we work with the FAA and DERs.
* Sold my own plane - no time to fly it and stay safely proficient in my book. I love flying, but tough to get time to do it. Plus dealing with weather out west is not pleasant. Icing out in the midwest is not pleasant.
* Southwest Airlines - I love them.
* I don't do sheer face climbs. Too chicken. I love hiking and climbing around the Sandias, the Rockies, Sierras and of course the Pacific Northwest. I hope to do some fun climbing in the Three Sisters Wilderness. BTW, you don't have to be rich to camp. It is simple, cheap and peaceful.
* Balloon Fiesta is a blast dude!
* You may have missed my challenge notice. No video astronomy...I will dig up the challenge info again.

Well enough defending myself.

This is clearly a HIGHLY emotional board.

And I thought the debate of Republican/Democrat, Apple/Microsoft, iOS/Android, Fox/MSNBC, Michigan vs Ohio State (GO BLUE!) was hot. This has to be the most emotionally intense board I have ever witnessed.

Yet, I have met many astronomers around the country. We talk and talk and talk. The connection is instant and friendly. Like a great brotherhood/sisterhood. The minute two folks realize they are in the hobby, it is like being instant friends.

I refuse to believe the mean spirit of this board is indicative of our hobby. If it is, we my friends are toast.

Astronomy is soothing, and spiritually uplifting. I work long nights sometimes. It is wonderful to just step out and look at the heavens.

I am done with the negative mood and spirit, and will dispel it with a happy thought and image.

Attached is an image taken at the top of the Sandia Mountains (10,679') during last May's Annular Solar Eclipse. The picture is of me (the Venturing leader) with one of my students looking through telescopes with solar filters as the event unfolded. It was a wonderful experience for all. It brought tears to my eyes, and a big whoop once the Sun had set (my kids thought the old man was crazy!).

We are looking through a Meade 10" LX200 and the ETX125.

Thank-you very much Meade.

Whether you still exist or disappear, I will always cherish all the great experiences I have had with your instruments.


 

#1458 Stew57

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Posted 25 July 2013 - 09:34 AM

Sad thing is the LX800 thread had over 53000 views. Too bad it was not correct out of the box.
 

#1459 Cotts

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Posted 27 July 2013 - 08:24 AM

Hi, everyone. This thread has been re-opened after a 'cooling-off time out'.

Please, everyone, play nicely......

It should go without saying (but I will say it anyway) that the Mods and Admin are watching like a hawk..........

Dave
 

#1460 mayidunk

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Posted 27 July 2013 - 03:30 PM

Thanks, Dave, et al.! Aside from the snarking (though revealing in, and of itself...), this has been a very informative thread. Keeping the thread open will ensure that future remarks will be in context with what has gone before.
 

#1461 Rick Woods

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Posted 27 July 2013 - 08:47 PM

But now, after 73 pages, does anyone really know what's going on with Meade yet?
 

#1462 Spacetravelerx

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Posted 27 July 2013 - 08:59 PM

But now, after 73 pages, does anyone really know what's going on with Meade yet?


All I know is they are still selling products, whatever is available. I know some more LX850s and LX600s were shipped. They shipped my filters this week and they have a 130mm APO they would love to sell me (there are a few in stock).

And I know I can still talk to a human there. Friendly folk over there!

As far as the business dealing side, I have no clue. Nothing in the news or the gossip lines.

They still exist though! Now that is something!
 

#1463 wolfman_4_ever

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Posted 27 July 2013 - 09:08 PM

But now, after 73 pages, does anyone really know what's going on with Meade yet?


Not sure why people like to quote page counts.. To me, this topic is only 30 pages.. You can change how many posts are displayed per page in your control panel. No big deal.. just pointing it out that some use a custom view.
 

#1464 A. Viegas

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Posted 27 July 2013 - 09:10 PM

One thing I have been wondering is whether or not the acquisition is completed will there be an inventory clearance? Certainly if it all falls apart there will be a liquidation ( scenario 1 ) and even if sunny makes the purchase I think there will be some inventory sales as product focus shifts ( scenario 2 )...

Hence it strikes me that there could be a good opportunity to pick up Meade stuff at good prices in the near future... Of course under scenario 1 there would not be a company left for service... How did prior equipment vendor bankruptcies sell their inventory? Times are different now... But it seems to me it's worth waiting a bit before buying any high end Meade stuff as it could get real cheap, real,soon ... :question:

Al
 

#1465 starrancher

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Posted 27 July 2013 - 09:45 PM

Well , I just got the September 2013 edition of Astronomy magazine in the mail today . On page 58 starts the "Astronomy's fourth annual Star Products" . This is the magazines editors picks for the 2013 Star Products article . Of the 35 chosen products , the Meade LX600-ACF 10" f/8 , the Meade LX850-ACF 12" f/8 and the Meade MAX 20" ACF f/8 are entries 16 , 17 and 18 . Prices are listed at $4,499.00 , $8,999.00 and $35,999.00 respectively .
As Artie Johnson used to say , "Veddy Interresting" .
 

#1466 jrcrilly

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Posted 27 July 2013 - 10:24 PM

Meade MAX 20" ACF f/8


That's an odd choice, given how many years it's been around.
 

#1467 starrancher

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Posted 27 July 2013 - 10:34 PM

Meade MAX 20" ACF f/8


That's an odd choice, given how many years it's been around.


It says that it's the company's newly redesigned MAX mount . Whatever that means . I guess the "StarLock" compatability .
:question: .

I know it's waaaay out of my price range .
 

#1468 OzAndrewJ

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Posted 27 July 2013 - 10:58 PM

Down here, our latest "Australian Sky & Telescope'
has 5 full page ads for Meade.
One for the LS,
one for the LX850
one for the ETX-90
one for the LX600 std 10,12,14
but the one i find interesting is the special 16" LX600.
I have seen no mention of the 16" in the current code,
so maybe they will release a new version soon :-)

Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia
 

#1469 ColoHank

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Posted 27 July 2013 - 11:02 PM

Down here, our latest "Australian Sky & Telescope'
has 5 full page ads for Meade.



Reminds me of a quote from C. N. Parkinson:

"Institutions in decline build monuments to themselves."
 

#1470 jimb1001

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Posted 28 July 2013 - 12:16 AM

Down here, our latest "Australian Sky & Telescope'
has 5 full page ads for Meade.



Reminds me of a quote from C. N. Parkinson:

"Institutions in decline build monuments to themselves."


Is Meade an institution? Is it like the "Harvard or Princeton of the Astronomy hobby?"

Advertisements as monuments? I've always thought they were just, well, ads.

Oh the drama!

Sorry, I just think this whole Meade thing started getting overblown 20 pages ago.
 

#1471 Starhawk

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Posted 28 July 2013 - 12:27 AM

My understanding is the company isn't operating normally on the manufacturing end at this point (from what has been said from their disclosures). They can't actually convert remaining stores into competed sellable product. Anyone know better from factual sources?

Starrancher, I think you've hit the nail on the head. That's like having the Ford GT named a car of the year for 2013. Adding a beginner's feature to the sparsely available Max mount is a peculiar reason to call it better. As for picking a fight with PlaneWave in the state they're in, I can only wonder. I've seen a PlaneWave mount do the .2 arc second tracking trick.

And like OzAndrew pointed out, it's vapor ware, anyway.

I still think the ads running now must have been bought some time back. I wish I knew what the real discussions were. Was there no one to say, "We've got to execute our plans to get healthy."?

-Rich
 

#1472 EFT

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Posted 28 July 2013 - 12:49 AM

I still think the ads running now must have been bought some time back. I wish I knew what the real discussions were. Was there no one to say, "We've got to execute our plans to get healthy."?

-Rich


Ad space for the major magazines is purchased at least three months before the issue date. I suspect that the large companies purchase even further ahead than that and in bulk for cost savings. If Meade disappeared tomorrow, it's hard to say what the mags would do but you could still be looking at ads for several months, particularly if inventory is still being cleared out.
 

#1473 Starhawk

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Posted 28 July 2013 - 12:58 AM

Even if the company were in bankruptcy, I'd anticipate the magazines would still print the ads rather than default on their contracts. I remember how satisfactorily thick and weighty S&T was in 2002. Of course, that was another world entirely.

-Rich
 

#1474 starrancher

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Posted 28 July 2013 - 01:10 AM

The ads are one thing but how do we explain Astronomy magazines inclusion of three major Meade kits in the "2013 Star Products" ?
I would place that outside of being in the realm of an advertisement and more or less a product review . These items chosen by the editors of a major astronomy publication . Products being basically recommended by the publication obviously well past the point of the unknown .
 

#1475 EddWen

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Posted 28 July 2013 - 01:45 AM


Yes, we do know what is going on with Meade right now. They are in the process of presenting information to the potential buyers (Sunny Merger Sub) through a process of “due diligence”.

For those who might want to know what this process is, I’ll try to present some examples. If I were the potential buyer, I would want to know more than what is publicly available from SEC Filings. One example: public filings show an inventory of ~$6M. I would like to know what that inventory is. Is it saleable product or returned product that would need a severe haircut to sell, but has been carried at book value ??

Meade has leases for their properties. If I want to cancel the leases, what would it cost ??

Meade employees in Mexico are represented by a union. If I want to close the facility, what costs might be incurred ??

Meade carry a value for intellectual property on the Balance sheet. What is it and what might it’s value really be ?? A lot of Meade product development was done through outside vendors. What were the terms of those agreements ?? Might the IP revert to the originators if certain terms are not met ??

Etc., etc. When you turn a page, you will find another question to ask. So, you can imagine this might be a lengthy process, and you would be right. The due diligence with JOC took 8 weeks. In this case, it might be shorter. Meade had to develop reports for JOC and they might be suitable for Sunny.

You might also recall it seems JOC was not willing to complete a deal for Meade after due diligence. Sunny will make their decision based on their due diligence findings.

I wouldn’t read anything into the ad placements. They are typically bought with at least a 6-month lead time for prime locations, and were paid for.

Someone mentioned the chance of a fire-sale price for products. Could happen several ways. Dealers might have inventory that they’ve paid for and might want to blow it out. If Sunny does a deal and the plan it to move the company elsewhere, they might want to dump inventory. If the Sunny doesn’t do a deal, it is likely Meade will do bankruptcy. In that case, a Judge will decide what will be done with the assets of Meade to pay claims from owed entities. Could be handled different ways. Auction, proceeds going to claimants. Goods returned to vendors. Etc. Not predictable.

Anyway, none of this will be public information except whether Sunny does a deal and the price it paid. And, if they don’t do a deal, Meade will declare bankruptcy and public information will be scarce and hard to find, unless you are a claimant.


But now, after 73 pages, does anyone really know what's going on with Meade yet?


 






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