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Equipment Discussions >> Cats & Casses

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Stew57
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 05/03/09

Loc: Silsbee Texas
Re: Question about Celestron/Meade posts new [Re: EFT]
      #5754219 - 03/24/13 02:51 PM

According to Meade's supposed official policy is no parts for sale. Celestron will sell SOME parts. When I contacted them about a part for my tripod they told me they ddon't sell parts and would have to buy a new one. I only needed a spreader. Can't comment on Orion as I have not needed any replacement parts from them.

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DrOxygen
member


Reged: 12/30/10

Loc: New Jersey
Re: Question about Celestron/Meade posts new [Re: Qwickdraw]
      #5754779 - 03/24/13 07:24 PM

Wow. I'm always fascinated by the Meade Celestron debate. I own both and find both to be of good quality. I think having completion is good for the consumer. Many complain of the current Meade debacle with the delayed shipping of new products. On the other hand I purchased a Edge 9.5 which is a great scope but I've been waiting for over a year for a focal reducer to use it with imaging and still no word. When you think of it it's longer than I've been waiting for the Meade LX859 and LX600 to come out. Overall I think the competition between the two only benefits us. I currently won both brand scopes and sincerely hope the best for both companies.

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rflinn68
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 03/09/12

Loc: Arkansas
Re: Question about Celestron/Meade posts new [Re: DrOxygen]
      #5758066 - 03/26/13 12:09 PM

I own a C8 and a M10 and really like them both. I only hope that Meade gets back on their feet and dont go under. I considered selling my 10" Meade and got an offer but decided to keep it. The problem I have with Meade is that they want you to ship the entire scope back for repair instead of selling you a replacement part. I seriously do hope things work out for them because they do offer quality products and the competition with Celestron is good for all of us!

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Glen A W
professor emeritus


Reged: 07/04/08

Loc: USA
Re: Question about Celestron/Meade posts new [Re: moynihan]
      #5758331 - 03/26/13 02:16 PM

Quote:


If Meade came upon financial troubles, it would be purchased, probably by some company on the Rim, for its brand alone (not making any comment on the quality of its products, myself).





Sorry to say, it already has, and only some legalities have kept it from being bought by someone... which at this point would probably be the best thing for them, though it would likely mean foreign ownership.

I feel Meade became too much of a marketing company. I have had plenty of their products and been pleased, but they really elevated the hype back in the 90's, and I don't think it did anybody any good. My experience with their customer service worked out well for me but resulted in so much wasted time and money on their part that I couldn't understand how they could operate in such a fashion. I hope they pull through but like Celestron, they probably won't be our all-American company by the time it all plays out. Glen


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rmollise
Postmaster
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Reged: 07/06/07

Re: Question about Celestron/Meade posts new [Re: Glen A W]
      #5758516 - 03/26/13 03:50 PM

Quote:

Quote:


If Meade came upon financial troubles, it would be purchased, probably by some company on the Rim, for its brand alone (not making any comment on the quality of its products, myself).





Sorry to say, it already has, and only some legalities have kept it from being bought by someone... which at this point would probably be the best thing for them, though it would likely mean foreign ownership.

I feel Meade became too much of a marketing company. I have had plenty of their products and been pleased, but they really elevated the hype back in the 90's, and I don't think it did anybody any good. My experience with their customer service worked out well for me but resulted in so much wasted time and money on their part that I couldn't understand how they could operate in such a fashion. I hope they pull through but like Celestron, they probably won't be our all-American company by the time it all plays out. Glen




Given their small number of U.S. employees, I wouldn't call them an all-American company now.

Edited by rmollise (03/26/13 03:51 PM)


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rflinn68
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 03/09/12

Loc: Arkansas
Re: Question about Celestron/Meade posts new [Re: rmollise]
      #5759769 - 03/27/13 08:49 AM

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:


If Meade came upon financial troubles, it would be purchased, probably by some company on the Rim, for its brand alone (not making any comment on the quality of its products, myself).





Sorry to say, it already has, and only some legalities have kept it from being bought by someone... which at this point would probably be the best thing for them, though it would likely mean foreign ownership.

I feel Meade became too much of a marketing company. I have had plenty of their products and been pleased, but they really elevated the hype back in the 90's, and I don't think it did anybody any good. My experience with their customer service worked out well for me but resulted in so much wasted time and money on their part that I couldn't understand how they could operate in such a fashion. I hope they pull through but like Celestron, they probably won't be our all-American company by the time it all plays out. Glen




Given their small number of U.S. employees, I wouldn't call them an all-American company now.




They havent been for some time now. They've been in Mexico for a good while.


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rmollise
Postmaster
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Reged: 07/06/07

Re: Question about Celestron/Meade posts new [Re: rflinn68]
      #5759775 - 03/27/13 08:52 AM

Yes, I know that.

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LivingNDixie
TSP Chowhound
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Reged: 04/23/03

Loc: Trussville, AL
Re: Question about Celestron/Meade posts new [Re: EFT]
      #5759871 - 03/27/13 09:51 AM

Rod,
Is there any truth to the story of a brain drain from Celestron to Meade back in the late 1980s? I had heard about 10 years ago that the folks who designed the Compustar were the same folks who designed the LX200.


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Qwickdraw
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 03/03/12

Loc: Ann Arbor, MI
Re: Question about Celestron/Meade posts new [Re: EFT]
      #5760151 - 03/27/13 12:28 PM

So I am considering purchasing a new 14" LX850 in about a month. Apart from service. I have come to the conclusion that both Meade and Celestron offer very similar products. I love the form factor of the LX850 compared to the Edge but my concerns are 1st Meade's financial ability to deliver and 2nd, spare parts. I understand that Celestron will sell spare parts but I am not sure about Meade. Should I just call Meade and tell them my concern with after sales support? Does anybody have knowledge of their history in this regard? For instance, if there is a motor that I know is bad, can I just order a new motor? Sending the whole scope in for repair is not a practical solution unless Meade picks up that cost?

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jgraham
Postmaster
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Reged: 12/02/04

Loc: Miami Valley Astronomical Soci...
Re: Question about Celestron/Meade posts new [Re: Qwickdraw]
      #5760194 - 03/27/13 12:51 PM

Getting parts from many manufactures has been a recurring problem. I've had at least four epsiodes with Meade's customer service in recent years and all four went about as smoothly as I would expect when dealing with high tech gear over the phone and through the mail. Each time I've been happy with the service and outcome. On one occassion I needed a replacement part and I was told that they generally don't supply individual parts. However, a few days later the part showed up and my door... no charge. My standard mode of operation with any company is to be kind and patient unitl I have reason not to be kind and patient.

If'n it were me I would not hesitate to order a product from any reputable manufacturer (Meade or otherwise). However, I would be careful to run it hard through its paces for at least the first couple of weeks to make sure that everything works. These things tend to either die right away or to live forever.

Enjoy shopping around, that's the fun (and cheap) part.


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Glen A W
professor emeritus


Reged: 07/04/08

Loc: USA
Re: Question about Celestron/Meade posts new [Re: jgraham]
      #5760444 - 03/27/13 02:17 PM

I personally would not hesitate to order anything that is in stock and ready to go, but I would not make a major purchase on something that is not ready to ship in light of the risk of getting stuck. This would be true for me of most companies these days. There are a lot of weak operations out there and when one files for bankruptcy, you can find yourself with little remedy except to shrug. Meade has been barely hanging on for years. I love the company but I would not entrust thousands of dollars to their continuing operation. I wish the company could really get whipped hard by some new management and the fact they have made it this far is amazing to me. They don't make money. Glen

Edited by Glen A W (03/27/13 02:20 PM)


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rmollise
Postmaster
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Reged: 07/06/07

Re: Question about Celestron/Meade posts new [Re: LivingNDixie]
      #5760491 - 03/27/13 02:41 PM

Quote:

Rod,
Is there any truth to the story of a brain drain from Celestron to Meade back in the late 1980s? I had heard about 10 years ago that the folks who designed the Compustar were the same folks who designed the LX200.




Dude, you're asking me to dig way back in the memory banks, and my memory ain't what it was--if it ever was any good.

But...if I recall, the Compustar was designed by Mike Simmons, who did most of the work as a consultant for Celestron. He later went on to a company called ATI, who were bought by Meade. There's a lot of the C-star idea in the Classic LX200 with the edges rounded off and made affordable.

Celestron? Shame they didn't build on the Compustar. Don't know why they didn't. They may have mistaken amateurs' reluctance to buy it for disinterest, when it was really the price.


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orion61

*****

Reged: 10/20/07

Loc: Birthplace James T Kirk
Re: Question about Celestron/Meade posts new [Re: rmollise]
      #5760675 - 03/27/13 03:59 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Was Compustar GOTO or "push-to"? I can't remember.

Regards,

Jim




Go-to.




I have one a Compustar 14 and it is a great scope, the pointing is good, and it has the best hand control ever made. I just have to carry a car battery LOL... They were a bit ahead of their time, and the technology.. but then again they were aimed at high end applications.. but WE wanted the ability in our back yards.. the very first LX200's were well, kind of a DUD, that was quickly and fairly silently revised into a phenom. You couldn't even
use a wedge and polar align them with the bug in the software.
I am very conflicted about this thread, one of my favorite scopes ever was the Meade 7" Mak..
It seemed like Meade finally had all their Ducks in a row
but they shot off in so many directions at once they didn't have the problems worked out of them,
STILL DONT.. I hope they do tho. I looked through the best SCT in my life, it was a 10" Meade..
Love em both we all need them both..
Rod hit the nail on the head about the A/C and spur gear thing.


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Mike7Mak
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 12/07/11

Loc: New York
Re: Question about Celestron/Meade posts new [Re: jgraham]
      #5760997 - 03/27/13 06:24 PM

Quote:

On one occassion I needed a replacement part and I was told that they generally don't supply individual parts. However, a few days later the part showed up and my door... no charge. My standard mode of operation with any company is to be kind and patient unitl I have reason not to be kind and patient.




Nothing to do with you John, but stories like that absolutely drive me nuts. When I needed a new LX200gps motherboard I heard the same stories and got all kinds of advice about how to get parts from Meade. From 'be polite on the phone' to 'keep calling/ask for a supervisor till you get someone who will help you'. None of it worked. And yet I ended up buying a new unused spare motherboard from a group member who had bought it straight from Meade.

The arbitrary enforcement of the 'no parts' policy is more infuriating than the policy itself.


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Calypte
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 03/20/07

Loc: Anza, California
Re: Question about Celestron/Meade posts new [Re: Stew57]
      #5762867 - 03/28/13 06:14 PM

Quote:

According to Meade's supposed official policy is no parts for sale. Celestron will sell SOME parts.



At last year's RTMC I bought a used Celestron 8SE. I needed a "baffle lock nut," which is the part on the rear of the scope that has the SCT thread to attach the star diagonal. I was able to get a couple of email replies from Celestron, but I could never get a firm answer about whether I could get the part and how much it might cost. The vendor of the used scope (a major supplier of new gear in Calif.; not OPT) was unable to help and unwilling to lean on Celestron. I suddenly remembered Don Rothman's Astro Parts Outlet. He knew exactly what I needed, and he had a bunch of them (i.e. baffle lock nuts). My personal opinion is that Don charges a bit too much for many items, but he certainly helped me convert a boat anchor into a usable scope.


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budman1961
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Reged: 02/25/11

Loc: Springfield, MO
Re: Question about Celestron/Meade posts new [Re: Calypte]
      #5763102 - 03/28/13 08:11 PM

If you look on Celestrons website, they have a parts section, that shows specifically what parts they have for sale.

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jgraham
Postmaster
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Reged: 12/02/04

Loc: Miami Valley Astronomical Soci...
Re: Question about Celestron/Meade posts new [Re: budman1961]
      #5763365 - 03/28/13 11:00 PM

"The arbitrary enforcement of the 'no parts' policy is more infuriating than the policy itself. "

I couldn't agree more. I wish that our market were large enough that we could buy individual parts and components, but I fear that it is not. It would be interesting to spend some time as an intern at one of these companies to see what really goes on. As far as parts go, I've seen some interesting little companies on eBay that specialize in parting out scopes. It is amazing what you can find.

Oh well, if the world were only perfect...


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Greg Boynton
member


Reged: 05/29/09

Re: Question about Celestron/Meade posts new [Re: jgraham]
      #5763555 - 03/29/13 02:19 AM

Think about the other side of the parts availability issue. I'll bet most of the parts we want to buy normally arrive at the Meade and Celestron factories as part of complete sub-assemblies made by contract somewhere else. The parts they do keep on hand are those needed to address specific manufacturing defects and also a few critical circuit boards, motors and other parts that are easily broken.

The last part I needed from Celestron was a spreader leg clamp for a CPC tripod. These are plastic, easily broken and I was shocked to discover, unavailable at the time. In order to satisfy my need, they had to take one off a tripod that was returned for warranty. My guess is that Celestron never had these clamps as a separate item from the complete tripod.

It seems like their parts strategy is to keep a junkyard of returned items and pull non-inventoried parts from those returns for repairs. That way they don't have to inventory a lot of low volume individual parts. They never have to purchase anything but the spec'd sub-assemblies. This situation also helps explain the "send us to whole scope for repairs" policy. It gives them the option of swapping out as much or as little as they want to. Whatever keeps the cost down for them.


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cn register 5
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 12/26/12

Re: Question about Celestron/Meade posts new [Re: Greg Boynton]
      #5763833 - 03/29/13 08:26 AM

I think you are right, in some case I think that manufacturers would have to take a new scope and dismantle it to get parts. They will have lost the revenue from that.

As for requiring the whole scope, if they accepted parts they have to carefully check what was returned and keep track of it so they send the correct parts back. There's all sorts of scope for problems here, on both sides. Far simpler to get the whole lot back then every return will have the same packing list.

C and M seem to be at a difficult size. They are too big to give the personal service of a smaller outfit but not so big that they can justify a massive spares and support organisation in the way that a car manufacturer can do.

Chris


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Calypte
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 03/20/07

Loc: Anza, California
Re: Question about Celestron/Meade posts [Re: cn register 5]
      #5765353 - 03/29/13 05:21 PM

Quote:

I think you are right, in some case I think that manufacturers would have to take a new scope and dismantle it to get parts. They will have lost the revenue from that.



When the scopes were made in USA, somebody probably could've walked into the shop and snatched the needed part out of a hopper. But with the scopes arriving complete from Mexico (Meade) and China (Celestron), there's probably no supply of small detail parts to harvest. Knowing what I know now, I'm not sure that I would even bother with the importer.


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