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mcoren
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 01/11/06

Loc: Virginia, USA
Re: Criterion Days new [Re: mrlovt]
      #5561498 - 12/08/12 08:59 PM Attachment (65 downloads)

Thanks for writing up that article Gil. I was one of the folks you helped in customer support all those years ago. In 1981 when I was in high school, I bought a used Dynamax 8 through a classified ad in Sky & Telescope (back when the classifieds used to run for many pages each issue). The drive corrector it came with worked fine with indoor AC power, but the first time I tried plugging it into the lighter socket in the car it smoked.

At that time I didn't know good versus bad optical quality, but it was a great scope to have during the 1981 "Great Conjunction" of Jupiter and Saturn, and I saw most of the Messiers with it, several lunar eclipses, and learned a lot of sky. I also periodically had police cars stop when I was out in front of my house, but we were a small township and most of the officers who drove the night shift knew about me after a while. I kept it through college and for many years thereafter, only replacing it (with another SCT) when my interest in astronomy was rekindled during the run-up to the 2003 Mars opposition. Say what people might about the optics, the "golden pyramid" tripod was rock stable with a set of anti-vibration pads.

By the way, I think during the timeframe you wrote about, there were more than four telescope companies in the US. I grew up outside of Philadelphia, and I recall that Questar was somewhere in the area. I never visited them or even knew precisely where they were, but it was pretty cool to see their fancy ads in the magazines and know that they were nearby (even if I would never afford one of their scopes on what I made mowing lawns and working at McDonald's!).


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Mike Allen
member
*****

Reged: 01/05/08

Loc: Ohio
Re: Criterion Days new [Re: mrlovt]
      #5562055 - 12/09/12 09:29 AM

What a wonderful and informative story. I enjoyed it very much. Thanks.

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NigelR
member


Reged: 01/25/09

Loc: Benoni - South Africa
Re: Criterion Days new [Re: Mike Allen]
      #5562145 - 12/09/12 10:25 AM


VERY enjoyable read :-) Must admit to being ignorant about the brand prior to reading your super story but yet again have learnt something new! Clear skies (BIG storm here in Benoni South Africa as I write this so no observing tonight...)
Nigel Rotherham


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Dennis_S253
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 11/22/11

Loc: West Central Florida
Re: Criterion Days new [Re: NigelR]
      #5562206 - 12/09/12 11:01 AM

Very good story. I'm a proud owner of a B&L Criterion 4000. It's the only scope I had for years. Right now I mainly use it for solar viewing but I think I'm going to start using it for AP soon.
Did I understand that one part about moving the corrector plate, to get the best views? There's not much help around about these scopes. Clear skies...


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3c_273
super member
*****

Reged: 09/09/08

Loc: Maryland
Re: Criterion Days new [Re: mrlovt]
      #5562220 - 12/09/12 11:08 AM

Gil,

Many thanks for writing this. I really enjoyed reading it.

Tom


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AstroTard
journeyman
*****

Reged: 08/27/11

Re: Criterion Days new [Re: Charlie Hein]
      #5562428 - 12/09/12 01:02 PM

I enjoyed the article and appreciate you taking the time to write and post it. I was hoping there would be more about the "RV" scopes and the Dynascope lines. By the way, much has been speculated about the meaning of "RV" and some suggest it was an acronym for "Real Value." Can you shed any light on this?

Thanks!


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Dick Jacobson
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 12/22/06

Loc: Plymouth, Minnesota, USA
Re: Criterion Days new [Re: mrlovt]
      #5562431 - 12/09/12 01:04 PM

Fascinating article! My first scope (1950s) was an unbelievably wretched little refractor from Criterion, about 1-1/8" diameter. Later (around 1960) I upgraded to a 4" equatorial Newtonian, a very nice scope which I still have in my closet. After that I dropped out of astronomy for a long time, but more recently got a chance to use someone else's 6" Dynascope. It was in beautiful condition and I was very impressed with the rotating rings for the tube.

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Gil V
professor emeritus


Reged: 09/09/12

Re: Criterion Days new [Re: Dick Jacobson]
      #5562534 - 12/09/12 02:14 PM

Sorry, but I have no idea what the "RV" stands for. The RV side was just me building mounts, and whoever was building tubes at the time. Not much more to it than that.

Edited by Gil V (12/09/12 02:17 PM)


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Starsareus
member
*****

Reged: 07/27/08

Re: Criterion Days new [Re: mrlovt]
      #5562922 - 12/09/12 06:31 PM

I started going to their Hartford factory in the 50s & was allowed to walk the floor for parts at a good price(for a kid). I have many warm memories. As fortune would have it(NOT usually my situation) I spent Summers in Jersey and biked to Edmunds for Surplus stuff etc. etc. My Uncle Bob was Norm's TV Man & arranged a personal meeting with Mr. Edmund. He was indeed a great man & the OLD Edmunds will forever be missed by us "kids" for sure.

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Adam S
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 12/21/05

Loc: Gunnison, Colorado
Re: Criterion Days new [Re: Gil V]
      #5563223 - 12/09/12 09:59 PM

Possibly the most enjoyable article I've read at CN- a personal thank you. A dream job for many of us. I got interested in astronomy from books and a great 7th grade science teacher. I became hooked with views of Saturn from my 60mm Sears refractor. It all became real with views from my neighbor's RV6. The views of M13 and M42 one fall night changed everything. The RV6 made the the photos in the books and the words from my notes real. Several months later my parents purchased that RV6 (the neighbor used the funds to purchase an RV8). I observed with it from the age of 12 through college. I recently donated that Criterion to the Albuquerque Astronomers (the astronomy club that tolerated a middle school kid at star parties). The RV6 is part of a short list to have changed amateur astronomy; how lucky you are to have been a part.

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steven40
member


Reged: 02/01/12

Re: Criterion Days new [Re: Charlie Hein]
      #5563263 - 12/09/12 10:32 PM

Lots of fun to read Gil.

You've inspired me---I worked after school and on Saturdays at A. Jaegers in Lynbrook, NY while I was in high school in the 6o's. They were most well known for their 6 inch refractor objectives.

I have many great memories of Al Jaeger Sr. and the crew that worked there. He happened to be a wonderful man.

Over a two year period I did a little bit of everything. The day I was put in charge of polishing 2 inch lenses was a disaster I'll never forget!

I'd leave school early (I finished classes at 11 AM) and work there until 5. Then I'd go home and grind my own mirrors, and use my RV-6 when it got dark!

I need to sit down and write an article like yours about my time at A. Jaeger Optical---"The Glass House".

Steve

Edited by steven40 (12/09/12 10:34 PM)


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mattyfatz
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 12/27/06

Loc: Boise Idaho
Re: Criterion Days new [Re: steven40]
      #5563789 - 12/10/12 09:11 AM

Great article. I really enjoyed that one. My first telescope experience was with the RV6 too. I have owned several Criterion scopes throughout the years.
Thanks Gil


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orion61

*****

Reged: 10/20/07

Loc: Birthplace James T Kirk
Re: Criterion Days new [Re: mattyfatz]
      #5563913 - 12/10/12 10:44 AM Attachment (60 downloads)

Thank you very much Gill, Your story has helped a lot of people rethink about Criterion I have heard so many comments about them tricking people and not caring etc. without someone telling the truth and the "family" way they ran things, it should change some perspective....Thank You..
I still have my RV6 and a Dynamax 6 both are superb.
And yes I have owned 2 DX8's that were either defraction limited or better.
Thank you again for sharing your thoughts


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MawkHawk
sage
*****

Reged: 08/23/09

Loc: SE Michigan, USA
Re: Criterion Days new [Re: orion61]
      #5563922 - 12/10/12 10:48 AM

A fascinating story but a tragic ending. I bought an RV-6 in 1977 and used it on and off until about 3 years ago, when I parted it out. A great scope. The best value in scopes at that time.

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astrogeezer41
super member
*****

Reged: 08/27/10

Re: Criterion Days new [Re: steven40]
      #5564273 - 12/10/12 02:19 PM

Steve,

Please DO write that article about your experience in "The Glass House".

It would be great reading,
Robert


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John Vogt
super member
*****

Reged: 10/26/05

Re: Criterion Days new [Re: astrogeezer41]
      #5564346 - 12/10/12 03:07 PM

Gill,

Great article. What about the Custom Dynascopes? I've seen an 8", 10", 12 1/2" over the years but never a 16". Any idea how many they produced?
BTW, I have a few different brochures, accessory sheet, a CP4 barlow and the sun filter in a red CP4 housing.

John

John


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Gil V
professor emeritus


Reged: 09/09/12

Re: Criterion Days new [Re: John Vogt]
      #5564499 - 12/10/12 04:53 PM

In the six years I was there, we did not ship a single newtonian other than RV-6 and RV-8.

Even though I worked there, I've never seen a custom Dynascope "in the flesh".

Edited by Gil V (12/10/12 04:55 PM)


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jeffwt
newbie


Reged: 10/15/09

Re: Criterion Days new [Re: Gil V]
      #5564663 - 12/10/12 06:22 PM

What a wonderful read, thanks.
You can see some of Criterion's old adverts here:

http://www.philharrington.net/old60.htm


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Mr. Bill
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 02/09/05

Loc: Northeastern Cal
Re: Criterion Days new [Re: jeffwt]
      #5564736 - 12/10/12 07:17 PM

A real "blast from the past".....thanks.



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KeithC
super member


Reged: 08/23/06

Loc: Atlanta GA
Re: Criterion Days new [Re: Mr. Bill]
      #5565273 - 12/11/12 12:58 AM

Thanks Gil! I would love to read more!

Thank you for explaining why my B&L 4000 was such a frustrating telescope optically.


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