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General Astronomy >> General Observing and Astronomy

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csrlice12
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Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: Meade Considering Bankruptcy as an Option new [Re: austingonzo]
      #5965682 - 07/11/13 01:16 PM

Hope you cleaned your ES eyepieces while you were in there....

But yea, agree that Astro equipment is now up to about 1970s technology standards. Imagine a visual scope with "plop it down, turn it on, tell it what you wanna see, and look thru the scope", with fully on-line upgradeable software. Now imagine this mount available for under $400.....maybe $500 if you throw in it's own built-in hotspot. Maybe even a little more for one with finer gearing or other bells and whistles for AP. Should actually be doable with todays tech.


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Diana N
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Reged: 07/10/12

Loc: Nebraska
Re: Meade Considering Bankruptcy as an Option new [Re: mich_al]
      #5965844 - 07/11/13 02:53 PM

Quote:

I never understand the NEED to bring others into my hobbies. It's just something I like and if I was the only one on the planet then that's ok. If others enjoy it then that's ok too. I just don't get trying to bring others into the fold.




People who have no appreciation for the night sky see no reason why setting up huge high-pressure sodium vapor "security" lights everywhere is a problem. Why doesn't like light? All humans (and I include myself in this) tend to casually destroy what we don't understand or appreciate. So that's one good reason why exposing young people to stargazing is a good idea!


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Starman1
Vendor (EyepiecesEtc.com)
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Reged: 06/24/03

Loc: Los Angeles
Re: Meade Considering Bankruptcy as an Option new [Re: Diana N]
      #5965856 - 07/11/13 02:58 PM

The very long Meade financial takeover thread:
Click here


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csrlice12
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Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: Meade Considering Bankruptcy as an Option new [Re: Diana N]
      #5965861 - 07/11/13 03:02 PM

When I was growing up, "exposure" was as hard as walking outside and looking up....now you have to drive for an hour or so to see pretty much anything except the moon (white zone). I see astronomy as one of those fields where grandparents are more likely to pass it on to grandchildren then to their own children; just one of those unwritten natural laws I guess.....While I don't seek out people to bring into the hobby, I'd let most anyone take a peek thru the scope if they asked.....

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brianb11213
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Re: Meade Considering Bankruptcy as an Option new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5965917 - 07/11/13 03:29 PM

Quote:

But yea, agree that Astro equipment is now up to about 1970s technology standards. Imagine a visual scope with "plop it down, turn it on, tell it what you wanna see, and look thru the scope", with fully on-line upgradeable software. Now imagine this mount available for under $400.....maybe $500 if you throw in it's own built-in hotspot. Maybe even a little more for one with finer gearing or other bells and whistles for AP. Should actually be doable with todays tech.



Yeah, but:

1) Most modern scopes are actually far inferior to their 1950s / 1960s equivalents, even though the optics are better. Why? Because the mounts are made cheap & wobbly. All the bells & whistles in the world are useless without a decent, stable mount. But the mount doesn't show up in the feature list or spec numbers, and people might be put off by weight ...

2) If you want the bells & whistles, you probably have a smart phone anyway, why not plug it into the mount rather than having everything built in. There's a Good Reason for having things modular: you don't have to junk the lot if one piece breaks, and you can optimise the performance in the area you want (rather than what some beardless, brainless geek in the marketing division thinks you want). One simple example: why on earth does a mount need a power on indicator light ... especially one which is bright enough to require shielding if you actually want to use the mount for observing faint objects?

3) Why does everything have to be built down to a price? The Synta HEQ5/EQ6 would actually be quite good if only they were manufactured to proper tolerances and assembled accurately. It's having to reassemble everything to make it work properly that's a real drag. Kit should work out of the box, and stay working for many years unless grossly abused. The extra cost of doing the thing properly would be small, and doing it might well keep people in the hobby instead of getting frustrated by the deficiencies as delivered of the "heap of junk" that they've spent hundreds or thousands of dollars on.


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Mike7Mak
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Reged: 12/07/11

Loc: New York
Re: Meade Considering Bankruptcy as an Option new [Re: mich_al]
      #5966076 - 07/11/13 05:11 PM

Quote:

I never understand the NEED to bring others into my hobbies. It's just something I like and if I was the only one on the planet then that's ok. If others enjoy it then that's ok too. I just don't get trying to bring others into the fold. I didn't need to be brought in I found my own way in.



+1

I don't get it either but the phenomenon exists in just about every recreational activity there is. Even ones where over participation makes them decidedly less enjoyable.


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Starman1
Vendor (EyepiecesEtc.com)
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Reged: 06/24/03

Loc: Los Angeles
Re: Meade Considering Bankruptcy as an Option new [Re: Mike7Mak]
      #5966143 - 07/11/13 06:10 PM

Quote:

I never understand the NEED to bring others into my hobbies. It's just something I like and if I was the only one on the planet then that's ok. If others enjoy it then that's ok too. I just don't get trying to bring others into the fold. I didn't need to be brought in I found my own way in.



1) non-astronomers (NAs) put up lots of outdoor lights
2) NAs don't increase the selection of eyepieces and other accessories to make the hobby enjoyable
3) NAs don't make star atlases or light pollution maps or print astronomy magazines or build satellites to study celestial objects.
4) We should want the IDA to grow and be more successful. That means more hobbyists.
5) Sometimes socializing with people interested in the same thing is nice.
Not all the time, but sometimes.
6) Without new blood, the hobby will die off. Since people have been looking at the stars for probably 100,000 generations and maybe longer, and it's only in the last few we even understood what we were looking at, it's important to continue the need for our knowledge of the Universe, and our place in it, to grow. That means increased participation and interest among humans.

Spreading the interest can be as little as speaking enthusiastically about it to a friend, or it can be visiting schools and giving lectures, or standing on a street corner with a telescope and showing people who pass by the planet Saturn.

Chances are likely you grew up during the space race when everybody was interested in space and satellites were first returning images of other planets. Today? With severe light pollution everywhere, no space program to speak of, and so many dead satellites it's dangerous to fly through the junk, people have less of a reason to look up.

Perhaps one of those things might explain why getting others interested in your hobby just may be a bit of selfish preservation.


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austingonzo
member


Reged: 07/29/12

Loc: Austin, TX
Re: Meade Considering Bankruptcy as an Option new [Re: brianb11213]
      #5966171 - 07/11/13 06:30 PM

Yeah there seems to be a lot of OTA swapping going on these days. On my eBay excursions I see lots of NexStar OTA up and downgrades and there are lots of bare OTAs being sold on CN classifieds as well. Mounts are a real complaint. For a low-budget visual amateur like me, I just put up with the jiggles and go inside if it's breezy.

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csrlice12
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Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: Meade Considering Bankruptcy as an Option new [Re: austingonzo]
      #5966183 - 07/11/13 06:38 PM

Hey, in America, we take that whole "beacon of light" thing seriously; we won't be happy till there's not a dark spot to be found.

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Raginar
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Reged: 10/19/10

Loc: Rapid CIty, SD
Re: Meade Considering Bankruptcy as an Option new [Re: David Pavlich]
      #5966814 - 07/12/13 04:20 AM

Quote:

Quote:

One reason children today don't do outside things is the crop of current parents who hover over their children in a case of constant fear. Children can't play outside because they will either be kidnapped by a child molester, catch the avian flu, be killed in a terrorist bombing or something. When they are allowed out of parent's sight at some organized school or church function they still have to check in every so often by phone. I am very glad I grew up well before the helicopter parents of today. And I thought my mother was over-protective!




This is the #1 post here!!! Helicopter parents are taking away the kids' childhood. There is some reasoning behind it, but it has gotten to the point that some kids have no clue what it means to be a kid. I have customers that bring their kids in that fit this category and it's easy to see it. Sad, indeed.

David




Yup, I agree completely. I have a pretty significant setup in my backyard that I use on a regular basis. Most of my neighbors have never brought their kids over. I'm fairly approachable and easy going. Most of them make excuses about how late it is or what not.

There kids can sure use Ipads or shoot a gun though.


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orion61

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Reged: 10/20/07

Loc: Birthplace James T Kirk
Re: Meade Considering Bankruptcy as an Option new [Re: Greyhaven]
      #5966871 - 07/12/13 06:13 AM

I still have a relic NOS Pace mobile from 1961 that is still new in the box never installed.
It was in the stock of an old shop. It didnt sell but became a mascot for display..
but back to the post.
I know that telescope mfgrs have changed for customer desire for cheaper.. They have turned into unusable and unreliable junk on the low side and product rushed into sales WO spending the time and money to fully Beta test,
so the darn things work on the high end.
I hope Russ and the Folks from E.S. win the day..


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iverp
super member


Reged: 04/16/10

Re: Meade Considering Bankruptcy as an Option new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5967436 - 07/12/13 01:36 PM

Quote:

What about the hundreds they spent on the phone? These things ain't cheap. You could buy a decent Intelliscope for what a smartphone costs.




Actually, my smart phone was a "free" upgrade on Black Friday. But I do pay $20/mo for data.


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Bernie Poskus
member
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Reged: 05/22/10

Loc: Broomfield, Colorado
Re: Meade Considering Bankruptcy as an Option new [Re: Kfrank]
      #5969366 - 07/13/13 05:47 PM

Quote:

Quote:


Heck they even want to shut down the CB radio band to make more room for Smart Phone Apps.. "Breaker,Breaker, Bandit ya got your ears on"?
I'm 10-7 on the side from my 10-20 in NW Iowa....




Speaking as a Ham who thinks that "appropriating" the (old) 11 meter Ham band for the "Citizen's Radio Service" was one of the greatest mistakes (among many mistakes)that the FCC has made, I'd say "Go for it". CB radio was never worth a darn but today it's degenerated into utter uselessness.




I haven't listened to CB radio since I was 15 and got my first ham license. I have been licensed ever since.

Like astronomy, Ham Radio is suffering because people think the Internet is everything. However, like the experience of locating and observing a galaxy 60 million light years away, the experience of speaking with someone thousands of miles away, without the benefit of wires connecting you (or perhaps fiber optic cable) is something different from merely sending an email, or looking at a digital picture on the Internet.

Hopefully, there will always be people who don't want some synthetic version of an experience, and want to do the extra work to experience the real thing. There is a romance and joy to seeing (or hearing) it for real. I hope we never stop doing what we are doing.


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amicus sidera
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Reged: 10/14/11

Loc: East of the Sun, West of the M...
Re: Meade Considering Bankruptcy as an Option new [Re: mich_al]
      #5969523 - 07/13/13 07:46 PM

Quote:

I never understand the NEED to bring others into my hobbies. It's just something I like and if I was the only one on the planet then that's ok. If others enjoy it then that's ok too. I just don't get trying to bring others into the fold. I didn't need to be brought in I found my own way in.




Very well-stated! I agree completely.

I can understand the need to keep the ranks well-filled as regards a pursuit like ham radio; the pastime is pursued at the whim of the legislature, and the field of exertion is public airwaves, the lack of access to which would end the hobby; numbers are required to hold on to the frequency allocations.

Astronomy is, thankfully, a different pickle altogether There is night sky above everyone's head; it may not be pristinely dark, and in fact may be quite light-polluted; however, it is there, in greater or lesser glory, for all to see - no license required. Political clout isn't needed to maintain the hobby. As for strength in numbers to effect legislation that would reduce light pollution, it has proven to be a non-starter, the IDA notwithstanding... that train left the station long ago. In the developed world, any substantial reduction in sky brightness over populated areas will almost certainly remain a lost cause until the rising cost of energy makes excessive lighting economically unviable (which might occur much sooner than most might think). Light pollution has actually led to a renaissance in digital astrophotography, as objects unable to be seen visually from a city may still be captured via CCD.

That said, sufficient numbers of amateurs are needed to make the mass production of telescopes and accessories profitable... happily, those numbers certainly exist today, and undoubtedly will well into the future.

It appears to me that it wasn't an overall lack of interest in astronomy, but poor business decisions, that led to Meade's current situation.

Fred


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Whichwayisnorth
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Reged: 07/04/11

Loc: Southern California
Re: Meade Considering Bankruptcy as an Option new [Re: pdxmoon]
      #5972693 - 07/15/13 04:57 PM

Related to this topic I have asked the question: Could we, the CN community, come up with marketing towards those who haven't considered Astronomy or having a Telescope, and crowd fund it.
I just posted in the Stellar Media thread on this subject. Check it out and contribute to the discussion if you are so inclined.


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rdandrea
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Reged: 06/13/10

Loc: Colorado, USA DM59ra
Re: Meade Considering Bankruptcy as an Option new [Re: amicus sidera]
      #5972715 - 07/15/13 05:04 PM

Quote:

I can understand the need to keep the ranks well-filled as regards a pursuit like ham radio; the pastime is pursued at the whim of the legislature, and the field of exertion is public airwaves, the lack of access to which would end the hobby; numbers are required to hold on to the frequency allocations.




There's another very important reason why numbers are important in ham radio. It's all about talking to people, whether by CW, digital, or phone. If the ranks dwindle too far, there's not too many people left to talk to.

I agree with your main point, though. Astronomy, in contrast to ham radio, doesn't require having a person on the other end. You can be the last amateur astronomer in the world and you'll still be able to look at the stars.


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