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Astro Physics Future

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#1 Bill McNeal

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Posted 10 September 2013 - 11:06 AM

I'm interested in eventually moving up to new AP equipment in the future. Someone in another thread said Roland of AP is of advancing age. It sounds like he runs the show.

How long is the current wait list for the Mach 1? It's a decade for their refractors!

When Roland retires, does he have an apprentice that will take over mount production? Or does someone else already handle mounts? I wouldn't want to sign up for a Mach 1 wait list and be left waiting...forever.

#2 t.r.

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Posted 10 September 2013 - 11:14 AM

I don't think you have to worry about the mounts being produced and available after Roland is gone...but, as for the scopes... :bawling:

#3 orlyandico

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Posted 10 September 2013 - 11:49 AM

the mounts are machined on a CNC machine, and the head mount engineer is Howard.

the scopes have such a long waiting time because Roland does the final figuring of every optic himself. This is not true of the mounts, which a computer can turn out very well with minimal manual intervention.

#4 Calypte

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Posted 10 September 2013 - 05:06 PM

Someone in another thread said Roland of AP is of advancing age.

My brief research indicates that Roland is 69. But he's not infirm or decrepit. Mounts should be no problem. My Mach1 took 8 mos. from going on the list to delivery. OTOH, I'm 68, and if I put my name on a scope list right now, there's a question of whether Roland or I will be first to bite the big one before the scope is delivered. Of course, I was saying such things 10 years ago, and if I'd gone on a list then, I'd probably have my scope by now.

#5 wormstar

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Posted 10 September 2013 - 05:35 PM

My great-grandmother was 105 when she check out, she was pretty health right up to 100. 69 is the new 40.

#6 Mkofski

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Posted 10 September 2013 - 05:39 PM

My great-grandmother was 105 when she check out, she was pretty health right up to 100. 69 is the new 40.


As a 66 year old, that's great news!

#7 Orion58

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Posted 10 September 2013 - 07:37 PM

Of course, I was saying such things 10 years ago, and if I'd gone on a list then, I'd probably have my scope by now.


:lol: How true...

#8 rimcrazy

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Posted 10 September 2013 - 09:14 PM

My new AP1600GTO is being delivered Monday. :jump: :jump: :jump:

#9 rigel123

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Posted 10 September 2013 - 09:52 PM

My new AP1600GTO is being delivered Monday. :jump: :jump: :jump:


Now that is exciting!

#10 PGW Steve

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Posted 10 September 2013 - 11:56 PM

My new AP1600GTO is being delivered Monday. :jump: :jump: :jump:


I hope to be saying that soon too!!! I ordered mine with the low temp absolute encoders on both axis.

#11 rimcrazy

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 05:43 AM

My new AP1600GTO is being delivered Monday. :jump: :jump: :jump:


Now that is exciting!


Yep it is!... Back from the depths of telescope on the observatory floor.

#12 LLEEGE

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 07:12 AM

Their customer service is out of this world so when he does move on, you'll still be able to reach him. :whistle:

#13 Norm Meyer

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 07:49 AM

Boy, I can't imagine having to wait 10 years for a scope. I
waited 2years for my D&G and that was excruciating. How
many scopes does AP produce every year?

Norm

#14 Starhawk

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 08:34 AM

About 100 of the AP 130 EDFGT. It isn't lack of production; it's the demand which is the problem. The AP 130 EDFGT entered production years later than the NP 127, but there are over twice as many in the wild.

-Rich

#15 crow

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 10:50 AM

68 is not old, get in there.....

I think Roland will be going strong for while yet, enjoying what he does. He also may have been training an apprentice in secret who knows.

Ten years is a long time to wait though, I'd go for a tec140 over the ap130

I emailed about a mach 1, seems there is a bit of a wait right now due to all the work going into new mount manufacture etc, but there is a list and I was told late winter/early spring. I haven't put my name down yet, might look at something I can get right away.

#16 orlyandico

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 11:42 AM

crow.. like the PMX on a-mart right now?

often a wsnted ad will shake a mach1 (or three) out of the tree. it's what i did.

#17 WesC

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 12:22 PM

My new AP1600GTO is being delivered Monday. :jump: :jump: :jump:


Congrats you lucky dog! :jump:

#18 RAKing

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 12:49 PM

I'm interested in eventually moving up to new AP equipment in the future. Someone in another thread said Roland of AP is of advancing age. It sounds like he runs the show.

How long is the current wait list for the Mach 1? It's a decade for their refractors!

When Roland retires, does he have an apprentice that will take over mount production? Or does someone else already handle mounts? I wouldn't want to sign up for a Mach 1 wait list and be left waiting...forever.


I waited 18 months for my Mach 1 -- but that was over four years ago.

Since then, A-P has ramped up mount production significantly. They have some darned good machinists working there and you shouldn't worry about Roland retiring -- the CNC and machinists can do the job for him. With the current production, you shouldn't have to wait very long at all. If they are sold out of the current run, they will start a new run shortly. Figure six months to a year max.

BTW - I did a lot of research before I ordered my Mach 1 and it has been everything I ever hoped it would be. :bow:

I am 66 and plan to retire next year. I plan to keep my Mach 1 for the rest of my life. It can carry every scope I can even dream of hauling around.

My suggestion to you is to pick up the phone right now and give them a call. The first thing you will notice is a very pleasant person answering the phone. The second thing you will notice is how willing they are to help you out. A-P is the King of Customer Service!

Enjoy your new mount! :waytogo:

Ron

#19 Stelios

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 01:31 PM

Ten years is a long time to wait though, I'd go for a tec140 over the ap130


Hmm... How old is Yuri? He's no spring chicken either.

We may be living in the "golden age" of refractors.

#20 crow

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 01:56 PM

PMX would be nice, pretty heavy and you need a pc I believe? I'm a hand controller kind of guy.

I'm getting into binoviewing and that has thrown a spanner in the works. I'm thinking about a quality alt-az. I'd love a mach 1 though, an all time classic.

Good idea on the wanted ad, thx, I might just do that.

#21 wormstar

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 02:44 PM

There is a Mach 1 on Astromart now

#22 Jeff Morgan

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 03:17 PM

I don't think you have to worry about the mounts being produced and available after Roland is gone...but, as for the scopes... :bawling:


The big issue will be business succession plans. If they are profitable, chances are there is a plan for someone to carry it forward. Family, investors, whoever. In that case machining talent is still out there to be had, especially in the Rust Belt. No problems there.

As to the optical side of the business .... no Apprentice has ever been publicly discussed that I know of. That doesn't mean there is not one, but if there is it appears to be a pretty big secret.

Compare that to Tele Vue's Ethos Background page: "Following Tele Vue's philosophy of pushing the state of the art, long-time Tele Vue employee and optical design protégé Paul Dellechiaie took up the challenge and designed the basic eyepiece form. Under Al's guidance, Paul tweaked his design to fulfill the original goals."

If Al Nagler accidentally steps in front of the beer truck tomorrow, it's pretty clear there will be talent on hand to continue the tradition.

#23 Calypte

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 03:24 PM

Al Nagler passed operation of the company to his son, David. David is really the face of Tele Vue now. Al gets to bask in the adulation of his fans. I'm not so sure about Astro-Physics. If there's an heir apparent to Roland, he/she hasn't been mentioned in the A-P discussion groups. Howard Hedlund and George Whitney are also "up there" in years, so they're not likely successors. Roland has suggested several times that he will eventually retire. I suppose it all depends upon how much fun he continues to have.

#24 Christopher Erickson

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 10:18 PM

I read somewhere that AP currently has 31 employees. Also that their goal is to have zero wait time for mounts. Refractors will be a sideline due to the difficulty in getting a consistently-reliable source for quality glass.

I know that it is very important to Marj and Roland that AP continue on after they are gone so even though we don't know what the plan is, I am confident that they have one.

#25 Calypte

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 11:27 PM

I read somewhere that AP currently has 31 employees. Also that their goal is to have zero wait time for mounts. Refractors will be a sideline due to the difficulty in getting a consistently-reliable source for quality glass.

I know that it is very important to Marj and Roland that AP continue on after they are gone so even though we don't know what the plan is, I am confident that they have one.

I don't recall reading the number of A-P employees anywhere, but I'm sure your number is good. Roland has said essentially what you've said here about the availability of mounts & scopes. He's said explicitly that he now considers himself to be a mount manufacturer, with scopes as a sideline. I'm actually a bit surprised that there are still waiting lists for mounts, since Roland has said his goal is to have them available off-the-shelf. It has happened briefly during the past two years, but he's not quite there yet. As for scopes, Roland's attitude is, if you don't want to wait 10 years, then feel free to go to other makes. I think he's weary of hearing complaints about the long waits. He has specifically endorsed TEC scopes.






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