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Charlie HeinAdministrator
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Criterion Days
      #5560535 - 12/08/12 08:56 AM

Criterion Days

By Gil Violette


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rmollise
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Re: Criterion Days new [Re: Charlie Hein]
      #5560546 - 12/08/12 09:11 AM

Very nice article. I love and use my RV-6 regularly. The SCT? All I will say is it's a shame for the people who worked so hard on it that it never really came together.

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Gil V
professor emeritus


Reged: 09/09/12

Re: Criterion Days new [Re: rmollise]
      #5560583 - 12/08/12 09:46 AM

I agree with you 100%, Rod.

Thank you very much for publishing it. If it is well-received, I might expand the article in the future.


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highfnum
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Re: Criterion Days new [Re: rmollise]
      #5560586 - 12/08/12 09:47 AM

I waited a long time for a story like this from the inside
photo's are great
i have a 4 inch dynascope - 1967
i have dx8 from 1979

when did switch to B+L take place?
anything special happen in 79


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Masvingo
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Re: Criterion Days new [Re: rmollise]
      #5560607 - 12/08/12 10:06 AM

Thanks Gil, I've been waiting for this ever since you mentioned you had submitted it to CN.

A fascinating insight into life at Criterion, really interesting to see the pictures of the plant too. Wonder if you did any of the build of my Dx8 (1980)?

James


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highfnum
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Re: Criterion Days new [Re: Masvingo]
      #5560716 - 12/08/12 11:21 AM Attachment (153 downloads)

my dy8

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highfnum
Carpal Tunnel
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Re: Criterion Days new [Re: highfnum]
      #5560717 - 12/08/12 11:22 AM Attachment (154 downloads)

front view I added thumb screws for easy collmination

Edited by highfnum (12/08/12 11:23 AM)


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Andy Howie
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Re: Criterion Days new [Re: highfnum]
      #5560739 - 12/08/12 11:34 AM

Great, great read.
Thanks for sharing your memories and experiences.

Cheers,
Andy.


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Masvingo
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Re: Criterion Days new [Re: highfnum]
      #5560772 - 12/08/12 11:53 AM

Quote:


when did switch to B+L take place?





Sometime in 1981 According to Company 7 which ties in with the dates for a change in position given on this page on John Krewalk Jr's site, the Krewalks being the owners of Criterion prior to the sale to the Bushnell division of B&L.

James


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Astrosetz
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Reged: 10/05/03

Loc: Wisconsin
Re: Criterion Days new [Re: Masvingo]
      #5560834 - 12/08/12 12:45 PM

Loved the article! I'm a big fan of the Dynascope RV-6 and 8 Newtonians. I don't think I've ever looked through a Dynamax 8, though.

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rdandrea
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Re: Criterion Days new [Re: Charlie Hein]
      #5560891 - 12/08/12 01:26 PM

Fantastic article. Thanks for taking the time.

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mdowns
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Re: Criterion Days new [Re: Astrosetz]
      #5560901 - 12/08/12 01:35 PM

Nothing beats the insights of those who were there! Great read,I really liked it.

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ukcanuck
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Re: Criterion Days new [Re: Astrosetz]
      #5560902 - 12/08/12 01:36 PM

A great story...and a nice piece of history. I was hoping you still owned one

Thanks for taking the time to write such a great piece.


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Gil V
professor emeritus


Reged: 09/09/12

Re: Criterion Days new [Re: highfnum]
      #5560914 - 12/08/12 01:44 PM

I might have worked on your scope, but it's impossible to be certain. I will say that your scope is my favorite vintage - powder blue arms, white finder, removable finder brackets. I did a bunch of those. The switch to the removable bracket happened when I was an optical assembler.

Edited by Gil V (12/08/12 01:48 PM)


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astrogeezer41
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Re: Criterion Days new [Re: Andy Howie]
      #5561004 - 12/08/12 02:50 PM

I agree with Andy, Gil.
I enjoyed reading it.

Thanks for telling the story,
Robert


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Mark Swanson
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Re: Criterion Days new [Re: astrogeezer41]
      #5561070 - 12/08/12 03:30 PM

Good job Gil. Very good article. I have a Criterion Dynamax 8 that is just as good as the one I sold you. That is why I let the one I sold you go. I have bought several of these over the years and played with them. I will never sell the one I have now.

I would not have sold the one I sold you if it did not have great optics, because you would have only been disappointed with it. I resolved the green companion of Antares in spectacular fashion and several doubles, including Struve 359 in Hercules in your scope. I knew that it was good to go. Planets were great too.

Mark


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Gil V
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Reged: 09/09/12

Re: Criterion Days new [Re: Mark Swanson]
      #5561088 - 12/08/12 03:40 PM

Thanks for the scope - and the kind words.

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Bob Abraham
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Loc: Toronto, ON, Canada
Re: Criterion Days new [Re: Gil V]
      #5561246 - 12/08/12 05:34 PM

What a great article! Many thanks for this.

Bob


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BrooksObs
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/08/12

Re: Criterion Days new [Re: Gil V]
      #5561270 - 12/08/12 05:55 PM

A most interesting read addressing the company's background and evolution from a personal perspective. And I must add that my connection with Criterion products dates almost from their beginnings in the telescope business as in my youth I was the proud owner of one of their very early 4" alt-az head Dynascope Newtonians, the first scope the company ever offered, back about 1956-57. I still have its optics around here some place.

BrooksObs

Edited by BrooksObs (12/08/12 05:56 PM)


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mrlovt
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Re: Criterion Days new [Re: BrooksObs]
      #5561315 - 12/08/12 06:34 PM

Thanks for the inside look at Criterion. I wish they were still in the marketplace. Good quality inexpensive scopes on solid GEMs will always have a place in amateur astronomy. I know I'll always love pushing my RV-6 around the sky.

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mcoren
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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Reged: 12/22/06

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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
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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
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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
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Reged: 12/27/06

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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

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Reged: 10/20/07

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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
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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
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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
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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
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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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gmazza
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Reged: 03/10/09

Loc: RS, Brazil, 29S 51W
Re: Criterion Days new [Re: KeithC]
      #5565443 - 12/11/12 06:28 AM

Very good read, interesting to know the inner workings and how the decision of optical vs fashion changed the output.

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Alvin Huey
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Re: Criterion Days new [Re: Mr. Bill]
      #5565791 - 12/11/12 11:47 AM

Quote:

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







Agreed! Very good read.

My parents bought me a RV6 in 1974 after I drooled over the ads over the months leading to the purchase.


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rockethead26
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Re: Criterion Days new [Re: KeithC]
      #5566171 - 12/11/12 03:46 PM

Great story, thanks.

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David Knisely
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Loc: southeastern Nebraska
Re: Criterion Days new [Re: AstroTard]
      #5566202 - 12/11/12 04:08 PM

Quote:

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?




The suggested term for "RV" came, not from Criterion, but from professional telescope engineer Larry Stepp who has worked on various observatory instruments including the WYNN telescope, the two 8.1 meter Gemini telescopes, and now the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) which is under development. He was the one who said that the RV meant 'real value', as the instrument had great performance for a rather modest price. The RV-6 in particular had two classes of primary mirror quality: good and unbelievable. This is one reason RV-6 owners are so fond of their telescopes. They had a good AC clock drive, a halfway decent German Equatorial Mount, and a fully rotatable tube as well, which at the time were good features. I also had 'drooled' over their ads in Sky and Telescope for many years before I just went ahead and built my own 8 inch f/7 Newtonian instead. Still, when I see an RV-6, I do get kind of nostalgic over them. Clear skies to you.


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steven40
member


Reged: 02/01/12

Re: Criterion Days new [Re: astrogeezer41]
      #5566392 - 12/11/12 06:13 PM

Will do. My wife will be away for a few days (not that it's a good thing) which will give me the chance to sit down and put together my memories.

While my friends were working at McDonald's, this astro-geek got to work at Jaegers. Very special memories.

Steve


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astrogeezer41
super member
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Reged: 08/27/10

Re: Criterion Days new [Re: steven40]
      #5566451 - 12/11/12 07:01 PM

That's great!

I will look forward to it and I'm sure that I'm not the only one!
Best wishes,
Robert


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Guido Santacana
member


Reged: 04/09/09

Re: Criterion Days new [Re: mrlovt]
      #5566489 - 12/11/12 07:38 PM

Gil

I enjoyed every minute reading this story. In 1970 I tried to buy a new RV6 using the extended payment plan. It was not to be. Shipping to my place became a major issue and the RV6 had to wait until 1994 when a local amateur called me to give me one that was completely disassembled. It was free so I did not complain, took everything home and reassembled the telescope. The mirrors were sent for aluminizing and in no time I had a fully working RV6 that I still use. Back in those days I bought a B&L 8000. This telescope was only good for low power views. It had atigmatism and no matter how I rotated the corrector or secondary , it did not go away. Eventually I sold it. There was also a 4" B&L SCT. It was not that bad but I traded it for another telescope. The RV6 is a different story. The optics are excellent and I am keeping it.
Thank you for a wonderful story and images.

Guido Santacana


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Gil V
professor emeritus


Reged: 09/09/12

Re: Criterion Days new [Re: Guido Santacana]
      #5566518 - 12/11/12 07:56 PM

I am quite pleased to read people's stories about Criterion products. That was what I was hoping to achieve with the piece - along with putting to rest some of the crazy stories about the product lines (that cardboard tube thing always bugged me).

It took me quite a while to figure out what I wanted to say - but I wanted it to be about MY experience in the company, and not ABOUT the company. Subtle distinction, but I felt it was important.

Oh, and it was also an attempt to see if a document could be written on an iPod. It can, but I did use Word on a PC for final editing.

I was as much a fan of Criterion products as anyone. I saw the good and the bad in my time there. I could have easily written a piece that named a bunch of names and confirmed some of the problems people had with our products, but what would be the point?

Criterion was what it was. I was just able to be a part of it. Kind of makes me wish I was there in the glory days, when the RV-6 really took off.

I had my time there, though, and from the point of view of an enthusiast, I wanted to let the members here share in that experience.

Edited by Gil V (12/11/12 07:57 PM)


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Dennis_S253
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 11/22/11

Loc: West Central Florida
Re: Criterion Days new [Re: Gil V]
      #5566573 - 12/11/12 09:00 PM

I'd still like to know about the corrector plate. Why would rotating it to a different position change anything?

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Gil V
professor emeritus


Reged: 09/09/12

Re: Criterion Days new [Re: Dennis_S253]
      #5567023 - 12/12/12 05:57 AM

I can't explain the theory behind it, but I can say with absolute certainty that you can take a great scope and teduce it to an awful one with a simple 90 degree turn of the corrector. Not every scope, mind you, but any compound telescope will be affected to some degree by rotating an optical component.

That is one of the reasons I never liked those little Maks that focus by rotating the corrector cell.


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drwho
member


Reged: 11/09/11

Re: Criterion Days new [Re: mrlovt]
      #5567291 - 12/12/12 10:28 AM

Thank you for writing about Criterion! It's a wonderful look back.

I remember my dad wanting a new telescope and reading Sky&Telescope for a couple years. One day, some packages arrived; it turned out to be an RV-6! I'll never forget him getting us up late at night during summer and fall looking at the moon and planets, and nebulae like the Horsehead. Over the years it moved with us three times, getting less use until it was gathering dust in the basement. I was the most interested in it and a few years ago he said I could have it. It's cleaned up quite a bit and on a Go-To mount right now. It's in our living room in a place of honor. I've got several telescopes presently, but the RV-6 is my favorite visual scope!

JerryK


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John John
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Re: Criterion Days new [Re: mrlovt]
      #5567843 - 12/12/12 03:37 PM

Great article. I purchased a D8 at W.H. plant back in the 70's and it was a wonderful scope. I guess I was one of the lucky owners, but the optics were great.
I offen think of my 1st SCT and all the great views I enjoyed.
Again, nicely done.
John


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Masvingo
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Re: Criterion Days new [Re: John John]
      #5567870 - 12/12/12 03:55 PM

Quote:

I purchased a D8 at W.H. plant back in the 70's and it was a wonderful scope. I guess I was one of the lucky owners, but the optics were great.
I offen think of my 1st SCT and all the great views I enjoyed.




Good to hear!


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astrogeezer41
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Re: Criterion Days new [Re: drwho]
      #5567973 - 12/12/12 05:11 PM

Hi JerryK,

Isn't it wonderful what a good 6"f/8 Newtonian can do?
I've had mine (homemade) for 30+ years and it still surprises me with what it can show on a good night.

I still think that, all things considered, they are the best general purpose visual scope that a person can have.

Sounds like you have a great one!
-Robert


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djeber2
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Re: Criterion Days new [Re: Andy Howie]
      #5572642 - 12/15/12 01:47 PM

Quote:

Great, great read.
Thanks for sharing your memories and experiences.

Cheers,
Andy.


I agree thanks for sharing.

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4dmaze
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Reged: 12/19/12

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Re: Criterion Days new [Re: mrlovt]
      #5578258 - 12/19/12 01:08 AM

Wow, this article brings back some memories. I became aware of Criterion through an article in Omni magazine about the new 4" in . I ordered the (impressive) brochure and then bought the Dynamax 6. You guys must have been swamped by the new found attention from that article.

I think it took almost 2 months to get the scope. What a dreadful wait it was. A friend of mine teased for not spending the extra bucks to get the 8" ($610. vs $750.) but I wanted it to be portable and that panned out pretty well. I can still quickly throw it in my car and head for the dark desert. Just in the last year I got decent photos of the Venus transit, the lunar eclipse and the annular solar.

When I first received it, it had a shower cap as a lens cover. When I sent it back for repair a year later to fix the focuser and it came back with a nice black cover. I have always wondered about that. Can you shed any light on why you guys were using shower caps?

https://dl.dropbox.com/u/31924077/Dynamax6-6.jpg

https://dl.dropbox.com/u/31924077/D6-EclipsePhases.jpg


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Gil V
professor emeritus


Reged: 09/09/12

Re: Criterion Days new [Re: 4dmaze]
      #5579329 - 12/19/12 05:35 PM

The truth is that we ran out of stuff all the time. When we ran out of the hard plastic front lens covers, someone went to the store and bought shower caps. When we ran out of the cylindrical DEC slow motion knobs, we found a local alrernative plastic knob. Stuff like that happened all the time. It's a wonder any two scopes are the same.

Oddly enough, my planning and inventory skills now would have been a major help to the plant back then. I just didn't have that kind of training when I worked there.

Edited by Gil V (12/19/12 05:37 PM)


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johnnyha
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Re: Criterion Days new [Re: Gil V]
      #5584334 - 12/22/12 04:31 PM

Wow Gil, what an unexpected surprise your article was! Great reading on a rainy night here, beautifully written - thanks!

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Dennis_S253
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Re: Criterion Days new [Re: johnnyha]
      #5584871 - 12/22/12 11:32 PM

Oh Gil, I never thanked you for your answer. So thanks....
One night, I will set down and try it. Clear skies...


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JimP
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Re: Criterion Days new [Re: Dennis_S253]
      #5588211 - 12/25/12 08:58 AM

Wonderful article! I bought my RV-6 in 1968. I took it outside and the first object I looked at was Jupiter. I was astonished! The detail was beyond anything I had even hoped for. It was a truly fantastic telescope with fantastic optics. Later, in the early 70's I bought a Dynamax 8. I bought it because of the quality of my RV-6 and because I was able to mount it on the case it came in with the attachments for an equatorial mount. A Celestron would have required the purchase of a wedge and a tripod in addition to the scope, something I could not afford. I remember showing my Dad the Moon with it. He remarked that one crater looked like a deer's hoof print in mud. I wondered what he was looking at so I looked through the eyepiece and, sure enough, Alphonsus was on the terminator filled with shadow, looking for all the world like a deer's hoof print!
Thanks for the article. It brings back lots of good memories.

best,

Jim Phillips


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okieav8rAdministrator
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Re: Criterion Days new [Re: johnnyha]
      #5590034 - 12/26/12 05:30 PM

Quote:

Wow Gil, what an unexpected surprise your article was! Great reading on a rainy night here, beautifully written - thanks!




+1 I would love to see more articles like this one on CN.


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PitchHitter
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Re: Criterion Days new [Re: Charlie Hein]
      #5600297 - 01/01/13 08:39 PM

I appreciate this article and the admission that some Criterion Scopes were good and some were bad because it is extremely important to know fixing most is more than they are worth.

A friend (Bob Goff) from college talked me into becoming a dealer for the SCT series and I regretted every DynaMax I sold. One day a friend had one on display with our club at a local shopping mall when the eyepiece barrel separated from the lip and fell into the scope. I had to remove the corrector plate to retrieve it. There I found out why it performed rather poorly. The corrector was just a piece of tangent(13)cut unfigured green window glass. I first started doing business with a Bob Krewalk and then after all the lies and broken promises I was turned over to a Bob Walker. I told him it was so amazing how much he sounded like Krewalk. Of course it was one and the same! Every DynaMax I sold and several besides had to be repaired and I ended up doing them all on my own dime gratis. By the time I was having problems with the dealership Bob Goff was gone and apologized for getting me into the mess. The only DynaMax I saw that performed well mechanically and optically was Bob Goff's personal one that he went around signing up dealerships with. Meade had a chance to hire me to fix a bunch of their problems too (but didn't). Celestron is the only one that I never saw a problem with. I own a circa 1970 C-8 and a 2000 Meade 10" that after three tries now does very well in a C-11 mount. I would never ever buy a new Meade without inspection. I find DynaMax 8's for $200-$50 but find they are not worth my time. I have a friend that got one ($50) and lucked out. Beyond a common bearing problem (mis-machined) his optics were done when BG was there supervising.


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Mike B
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Re: Criterion Days new [Re: JimP]
      #5619254 - 01/12/13 03:15 PM

Quote:

My parents bought me a RV6 in 1974 after I drooled over the ads over the months leading to the purchase.



I & my buddies drooled over those same ads, but never ended up with one. In fact, Gil, i ended up with the same scope YOU started with, the 4-1/4" Edmund Newtonian on an EQ mounting!

Yet the RV-6 (as well as the tantalizing RV-8) was the inspiration for an order placed with Edmund for their 8" kit- blank, tool, & powders. It eventually (and briefly) turned into a working 8" F7 with jaw-dropper views of M57, its "first-light" DSO.

Thanks for taking the time to write (& post) that article- a VERY enjoyable read! A "dream job" it was, indeed!
mike b


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lookbackintime
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Reged: 03/18/13

Re: Criterion Days new [Re: mrlovt]
      #5740739 - 03/18/13 01:38 PM

I was absolutley amazed to find this article! I still remember waiting what seemed like forever to receive my RV-6. Loved the scope at the time. It engendered a life-long interest in astronomy and physics. Wild to see how they were made. Thanks for the detailed account of your time there.

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Bonco
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Re: Criterion Days new [Re: lookbackintime]
      #5741078 - 03/18/13 04:29 PM Attachment (62 downloads)

Great article and entertaining read. For me Criterion means RV6. Here's mine that I purchased around 1960. The optics are amazing and everything is functional almost like new after some simple restoration efforts. Bill

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Gil V
professor emeritus


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Re: Criterion Days new [Re: Bonco]
      #5747974 - 03/21/13 04:21 PM

Dude, that RV looks like it left the factory yesterday.

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murphb
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Re: Criterion Days new [Re: Charlie Hein]
      #5789077 - 04/09/13 08:26 PM

Gil, Thanks so much for posting this article. Funny, how our memories are so like fine wine, devoid of pain. It was great to see the pics, and your memories of a mom and pop company. I remember the days of early telescope purchase where a 3 month wait was typical. I, like many others have purchased another cat Dynamax 8, trying to bring back the old days. And these are the old days aren't they now!

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GaryM
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Re: Criterion Days new [Re: Gil V]
      #5950505 - 07/01/13 10:49 PM

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this article. Thanks so much Jil!

After always wanting a Dynamax 8, I finally and recently acquired one in really nice condition with its golden pyramid tripod and wedge. The cell was marked 760855 (1976?) and the fork base 2287. Just wondering Jil if maybe you had worked on this one? That would be really cool! Also wondering if at that time the correctors were coated? Just a couple of days ago I viewed Saturn and was thrilled that it gave a very nice image.

Thanks!
Gary


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GaryM
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Re: Criterion Days new [Re: GaryM]
      #5950511 - 07/01/13 10:51 PM

Ooops, misspelled your name, sorry Gil!

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derangedhermit
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Reged: 10/07/09

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Re: Criterion Days new [Re: BrooksObs]
      #5951327 - 07/02/13 01:11 PM

Quote:

A most interesting read addressing the company's background and evolution from a personal perspective. And I must add that my connection with Criterion products dates almost from their beginnings in the telescope business as in my youth I was the proud owner of one of their very early 4" alt-az head Dynascope Newtonians, the first scope the company ever offered, back about 1956-57. I still have its optics around here some place.

BrooksObs



Like this one on Craigslist? Has photos, sold as an antique. Called a "Vintage Criterion concave lens telescope"


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Gil V
professor emeritus


Reged: 09/09/12

Re: Criterion Days new [Re: derangedhermit]
      #5951437 - 07/02/13 02:30 PM

The only way I worked on that scope is if it was returned for some reason. That serial number predates my time in the Dynamax assembly area.

We sent out some of our correctors for coating, perhaps a bit less than half of them. I never was a fan of a coated corrector when I worked there, but I'm glad the one I have now has the MgF2 coating.


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GaryM
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Reged: 12/15/07

Loc: Pennslyvania
Re: Criterion Days new [Re: Gil V]
      #5952023 - 07/02/13 08:16 PM

Thanks Gil for your reply. Do you think I got one of the original Criterion designed and manufactured correctors before the conflict with Celestron and the redesign?

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Gil V
professor emeritus


Reged: 09/09/12

Re: Criterion Days new [Re: GaryM]
      #5953004 - 07/03/13 12:12 PM

There was never any redesign of the corrector that I was aware of. just a payday for a bunch of lawyers, probably.

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Norm Meyer
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Re: Criterion Days new [Re: Gil V]
      #6023822 - 08/13/13 07:47 PM

I bought a Criterion RV-6 back in 1966. I bought it on their
easy payment plan. When it arrived I was a bit disappointed.
I opened the box that contained the tube expecting a white
tube and but it was grey. There was a note inside explaining
they had temporarily run out of the white tubes so they upgraded it to the deluxe tube and it was. It had a beautiful grey krinkle finish I came to really like that
tube. I ended up lending it to a high school student for awhile. Well his brother knocked the tube over
and broke a big chunk out of it. The youngsters father drove down to Hartford (from Palmer MA) to get a replacement tube but all they had were the white ones. So
I finally had a white tube but really missed the grey krinkle one. I ended up selling the scope in 1974 after I
moved to Maine. I really wish I would have kept that scope
but I needed the money at the time. Everytime I see an RV-6
for sale I am tempted to buy it. So far I've been able to resist it for how long I don't know?


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Gil V
professor emeritus


Reged: 09/09/12

Re: Criterion Days new [Re: Norm Meyer]
      #6024866 - 08/14/13 11:02 AM

Although the nostalgia factor is there, I would buy a dob - 8" or larger - before I'd buy an RV-6. Not much more, plus it would be all shiny and new!

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youngamateur42
Carpal Tunnel
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Re: Criterion Days new [Re: Gil V]
      #6025487 - 08/14/13 04:33 PM

Love my RV-6, waaaaay more stable that a tripod, wish they still made pier mounts. Also hands down the best 6 inch glass I've ever looked through. Wouldn't trade it for the world!

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DocFinance
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Re: Criterion Days new [Re: youngamateur42]
      #6516016 - 05/09/14 02:31 PM

Nice article!

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DocFinance
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Reged: 01/14/14

Loc: Clear Lake, Texas
Re: Criterion Days new [Re: Masvingo]
      #6516047 - 05/09/14 02:50 PM

Quote:



Sometime in 1981 According to Company 7 which ties in with the dates for a change in position given on this page on John Krewalk Jr's site, the Krewalks being the owners of Criterion prior to the sale to the Bushnell division of B&L.

James




After reading that second link I think I can see why it went out of business so quickly. Mr. Krewalk was a very busy guy. Maybe too busy.

Edited by DocFinance (05/09/14 10:35 PM)


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