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gmazza
sage


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
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 10/18/05

Loc: NorCal
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
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 10/21/09

Loc: Arizona, USA
Re: Criterion Days new [Re: KeithC]
      #5566171 - 12/11/12 03:46 PM

Great story, thanks.

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David Knisely
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 04/19/04

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
*****

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
newbie


Reged: 10/23/08

Loc: Fl
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
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 01/10/12

Loc: Ayrshire, Scotland
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
super member
*****

Reged: 08/27/10

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
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 07/02/04

Loc: Cloudy Midwest
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
newbie


Reged: 12/19/12

Loc: Las Vegas, NV
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
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 11/12/06

Loc: Sherman Oaks, CA
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
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 11/22/11

Loc: West Central Florida
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
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 04/22/03

Loc: South Carolina
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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