Return to the Cloudy Nights Telescope Reviews home pageAstronomics discounts for Cloudy Nights members
· Get a Cloudy Nights T-Shirt · Submit a Review / Article

Click here if you are having trouble logging into the forums

Privacy Policy | Please read our Terms of Service | Signup and Troubleshooting FAQ | Problems? PM a Red or a Green Gu… uh, User

General Astronomy >> General Observing and Astronomy

Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | (show all)
JayinUT
I'm not Sleepy
*****

Reged: 09/19/08

Loc: Utah
Meade Options; S&T Article and Outreach and Other
      #5961901 - 07/09/13 09:51 AM

Anyone see the article over at S&T on Meade considering bankruptcy? Interesting that it also talks about the consolidation of companies due to falling sales. Discusses how kids today would rather use gadgets and tablets etc. and that competes with kids using telescopes. Also discusses how it isn't perceived as cool to have a telescope displayed in the home, less people are attending star parties There is one quote I found interesting:

"Astronomy buffs increasingly have turned to smartphone apps that give users the feel of exploring the skies without "investing hundreds of dollars in a telescope," said Jock O'Connell, an economist with Beacon Economics."

Here is a link to the article. Thoughts on this? Agree or disagree?

I am just now getting back on a schedule so if this is posted somewhere else please lock. I looked around and didn't see anything and thought this was interesting.

Edit: Change the Title to Reflect the Variety of the Thread.

Edited by JayinUT (07/12/13 12:18 AM)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
csrlice12
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: Meade Considering Bankruptcy as an Option new [Re: JayinUT]
      #5961906 - 07/09/13 09:55 AM

Well, you know what they say about opinions........and everybody's got one.......

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
brianb11213
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 02/25/09

Loc: 55.215N 6.554W
Re: Meade Considering Bankruptcy as an Option new [Re: JayinUT]
      #5961978 - 07/09/13 10:43 AM

Quote:

"Astronomy buffs increasingly have turned to smartphone apps that give users the feel of exploring the skies without "investing hundreds of dollars in a telescope," said Jock O'Connell, an economist with Beacon Economics."



Well, the Jock O'Connell considers to be "astronomy buffs" aren't the same people I come across.

Smartphone apps don't allow you to do observing ... which is the whole point. Sure you can explore libraries of images and even discover things (Zooniverse etc) but that's web browsing not astronomy. Actually I doubt most professional "astronomers" are worthy of the name, sure they know their specialities but few of them can find their way around the sky.

The real problem here is that most people just don't have access to reasonable skies, and there are so many other distractions (TV, net etc). But, done properly, there are still plenty of people interested: for example around 1000 people queuing up to see Jupiter through over 20 different scopes at the Northern Ireland Jupiter Watch event at Queens University Belfast last January ... miraculously the sky was clear & though the light pollution was horrendous that really doesn't matter much for the observation of bright objects like planets.

Meade really just need to sort out what market they're aiming at. Pile em high, sell em cheap, provide very little customer support may not be a viable model ... IMO better quality control, more robust design, better customer support at a higher price would get more customers in the long run.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Diana N
member


Reged: 07/10/12

Loc: Nebraska
Re: Meade Considering Bankruptcy as an Option new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5961983 - 07/09/13 10:46 AM

It's not just astronomy that's falling off: all outdoor activities are. The great outdoors isn't air-conditioned, there are bugs and scary critters outside, and (in the case of astronomy) it's dark out there! An increasingly urbanized population has less and less affinity with the natural world, and light pollution makes even simple observations more difficult. Why dance with the stars when you can sit on a nice comfy couch and watch "Dancing with the Stars" instead? Frankly I'm surprised Celestron isn't flirting with bankruptcy as well.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Thomas Karpf
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 02/09/09

Loc: Newington, CT
Re: Meade Considering Bankruptcy as an Option new [Re: JayinUT]
      #5961994 - 07/09/13 10:53 AM

Quote:

Discusses how kids today would rather use gadgets and tablets etc. and that competes with kids using telescopes.




It's an interesting point, but people still go places to see things with their own eyes. And they do things themselves instead of letting somebody else do it for them.

People go to the Grand Canyon because they want to experience it with their own senses, even though there are DVDs of the Grand Canyon that can be watched from the convenience of ones own home.

People go fishing and hunting despite the fact that fish is available in grocery stores and restaurants and you can even find venison in some grocery stores and restaurants.

I do visual astronomy because those are MY photons. Those photons left that star, nebula, galaxy, whatever, traveled for tens, hundreds, thousands, or millions of years until the flew through my telescope and eyepiece and into MY eye.

On the other hand, I also go out under the stars to get away from the telephone, television, computer, and people.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
csrlice12
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: Meade Considering Bankruptcy as an Option new [Re: Thomas Karpf]
      #5962024 - 07/09/13 11:28 AM

"Astronomy buffs increasingly have turned to smartphone apps that give users the feel of exploring the skies without "investing hundreds of dollars in a telescope," said Jock O'Connell, an economist with Beacon Economics."

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.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
ErixAdministrator
Toad Lily
*****

Reged: 12/25/04

Loc: Texas, USA
Re: Meade Considering Bankruptcy as an Option new [Re: Thomas Karpf]
      #5962040 - 07/09/13 11:41 AM

Quote:

experience it with their own senses




And you've just hit the nail on the head on why visitors come to star parties during outreach events. It's still going very strong in my area. I also believe that gadgets and tablets can increase youth's interest rather than discourage it. During the last outreach event I helped with, one young girl had her tablet out to look up information about what she observed through my telescope. She also used it to find constellations and help her to navigate the sky. When I show people how to use planispheres and paper star atlases, I also show them cool apps on my iPhone that can be used to get the most out of an observing session.

I suspect that the economy and light pollution play a big part on why sales go down, among other things. People have to travel further these days to find dark skies.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
youngamateur42
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 11/21/12

Loc: La Verne, CA
Re: Meade Considering Bankruptcy as an Option new [Re: Erix]
      #5962202 - 07/09/13 01:33 PM

I should know all about the youth and technology, I'm 14! Technology cannot be "fought" with astronomy, new innovations have to be sort of integrated into modern astronomy.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
BrooksObs
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/08/12

Re: Meade Considering Bankruptcy as an Option new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5962224 - 07/09/13 01:45 PM

I would say that the overall assessment of the hobby's current situations as it applies to Meade's problems is reasonably accurately presented in the write-up. The hobby, interest in it, and the participants have all changed dramatically over the years that I have been a part of it. One basic fact too often overlooked, or appreciated, is that technical and scientific hobbies and interests - particularly astronomy and rocketry - gained a huge boost with the advent of the early space age. Schools all had astronomy clubs, many had planetariums. Adult clubs sprang up in just about every larger town. Huge numbers of the populace would turn out to see a passage of the Sputnik booster rocket under nightly dark skies that prevailed just about everywhere. All that has changed.

At the same time, the numbers of potential personal distractions teens and young adults are presented with today are overwhelming. The practice of amateur astronomy is not a particularly social affair, yet social networking has become a dominating aspect of the lives of younger people today. There is likewise a growing tendency in our society to "want it now, without expending any effort to do so." However, learning observational astronomy is a slow and occasionally frustrating process that is in conflict with that outlook.

Interest in hobbies in general have been waning for years and amateur astronomy is no different. The downturn in the economy a few years back only made it more obvious. As the Boomer Generation (the major source of all hobbyists today) shrinks, I'm afraid that we are going to see traditional hobbies dwindle in both public interest and support.

BrooksObs

Edited by BrooksObs (07/09/13 03:57 PM)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Geo31
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 01/28/13

Loc: Kingwood, TX
Re: Meade Considering Bankruptcy as an Option new [Re: BrooksObs]
      #5962339 - 07/09/13 02:58 PM

I pretty much agree with you, but want to make a few comments.

Quote:

The practice of amateur astronomy is not a particularly social affair...




It can be if done right. Most of my oldest friends and one of my closest came from my teens that I met through astronomy. We gathered at least once a month to observe and if it was cloudy, it turned into a social. Even if it wasn't cloudy, it was something of a social.

This past weekend I attended my second star party at the dark site of my club and was a little disappointed at the lack of social atmosphere. There should be more of it at star parties as it's a time when people come together to share something they have a passion for on at least some level.

Quote:

There is likewise a growing tendency in our society to "what it now, without expending any effort to do so." However, learning observational astronomy is a slow and occasionally frustrating process that is in conflict with that outlook.




GOTO actually would seem to mitigate that issue, but I know what you mean. I think that there is probably less wonder in the world today thanks to the Internet and immediate information, and then there is the fact that the visual view through most scopes is nothing like the photos people see. Youth and even younger adults today are used to immediate visual impact, thanks to movies and TV, and again, the Internet. The view through an amateur scope for the first time for a great many people will be disappointing. Not sure what to do about that. I still get the sense of wonder I got almost 40 years ago, but younger generations seem to feel less of that.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
sg6
professor emeritus


Reged: 02/14/10

Loc: Norfolk, UK.
Re: Meade Considering Bankruptcy as an Option new [Re: youngamateur42]
      #5962402 - 07/09/13 03:43 PM

I agree that astronomy seems resistant to technology. In the UK if you had a goto even 2 years ago you were in league with the devil and doomed to the deepest reaches of hell for eternity . Bit better now, it may no longer be the deepest reaches anymore .

Meade may oddly in a fair placement to make more advanced scopes, their range is not that big, so innovation across a range is not too difficult. But also there is the need to make them robust and reliable, don't save 50c by not putting in protection diodes for wrong polarity. Make software updates easy and reliable. In general no-one buys an unreliable car, well no-one is going to buy an unreliable scope. A 5 minute google search rapidly shows all the reported reliability problems on scopes. One day Meade, Synta, iOptron will realise this.

Meade going for bankruptcy seems pointless, nothing is going to change. JoC did/does seem the best option, although that is on the assumption that the Meade name and products can add to and integrate with JoC.

Technology does need to be integrated more, I did think that the LS scopes would prove more popular. They are I think what many entering this hobby may well expect, or at least something similar.

Question I always had was why I couldn't aim at polaris for initial position for alignment on Meade's. Just seemed a better easier option.

But a tablet with an app is "instant" way to "see" the sky. Any manufacturer out there supply an app to interface their scope to a tablet+smartphone?

A store near me is slowly realising that the sale of PC's is dead, laptops is reducing fairly quick and tablets is increasing. Scope manufacturers need to realise the same.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
orion61

*****

Reged: 10/20/07

Loc: Birthplace James T Kirk
Re: Meade Considering Bankruptcy as an Option new [Re: sg6]
      #5962424 - 07/09/13 03:56 PM

Kids are so Pandered and Spoiled, on top of being FAT.. They just dont do the things outside they used to for recreation. Just try and get a Kids attention in the middle of a Play Station Video game!
That on top of the Hubble images and Planetary missions have taken a lot of the mystery out of observing for many.
I have actually been told "Why Bother" by others!
When I first started observing in the late 60's we thought there may be Vegetation and "green" Life on Mars.
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....


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
dpippel
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 04/05/13

Loc: Desierto de Sonora
Re: Meade Considering Bankruptcy as an Option new [Re: orion61]
      #5962456 - 07/09/13 04:19 PM

Yep, don't discount the effect of what I call "The Disappointment Factor" as a culprit in the lack of interest in observational astronomy. The public has become mislead by seeing so many colorful, high resolution images of astronomical objects from the likes of the Hubble Space Telescope. Thousands of spectacular pictures have flooded the public consciousness over the last couple of decades, and as a result many people have come to expect the views in an amateur telescope to look the same. When the Orion Nebula presents itself in the eyepiece as a diffuse greenish blob sprinkled with a few stars, many people experience a letdown. They want the Hubble version of M42, not a ghostly green smudge. I think that this kind of expectation causes quite a bit of discouragement in the inexperienced. When I'm doing outreach, the only objects I'm guaranteed to get oohs and aahs over at the eyepiece are Saturn, Jupiter, and the Moon. Most people are less than impressed with things like deep sky objects and double stars, even in an 11" scope at a relatively dark site.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Kfrank
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 12/20/08

Loc: Northern Colorado
Re: Meade Considering Bankruptcy as an Option new [Re: orion61]
      #5962493 - 07/09/13 04:34 PM

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.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
okieav8rAdministrator
I'd rather be flying!
*****

Reged: 03/01/09

Loc: Oklahoma!
Re: Meade Considering Bankruptcy as an Option new [Re: JayinUT]
      #5962500 - 07/09/13 04:36 PM

Quote:

"Astronomy buffs increasingly have turned to smartphone apps that give users the feel of exploring the skies without "investing hundreds of dollars in a telescope,"




Kinda like looking at a picture book about the artwork of the Sistine Chapel, and then saying that you've been there.

If a smartphone app gives people the 'feel' of exploring the skies, then those folks have no feeling at all.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Unknownastron
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 04/06/05

Loc: CatsEye Observatory,Rural Sout...
Re: Meade Considering Bankruptcy as an Option new [Re: orion61]
      #5962501 - 07/09/13 04:37 PM

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!

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
dpippel
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 04/05/13

Loc: Desierto de Sonora
Re: Meade Considering Bankruptcy as an Option new [Re: Unknownastron]
      #5962521 - 07/09/13 04:43 PM

Word.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
David PavlichAdministrator
Transmographied
*****

Reged: 05/18/05

Loc: Mandeville, LA USA
Re: Meade Considering Bankruptcy as an Option new [Re: Unknownastron]
      #5962525 - 07/09/13 04:46 PM

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


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
ErixAdministrator
Toad Lily
*****

Reged: 12/25/04

Loc: Texas, USA
Re: Meade Considering Bankruptcy as an Option new [Re: David Pavlich]
      #5962645 - 07/09/13 05:29 PM

Times change, that's for sure. I was outside every chance I had growing up.

What I'd suggest is that, whether or not parents are overly protective, they become more involved in their children's lives and participate in hobbies as a family. In other words, be the spark the child needs to grow an interest in various hobbies.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
pdxmoon
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 06/27/13

Loc: Oregon
Re: Meade Considering Bankruptcy as an Option new [Re: Erix]
      #5962694 - 07/09/13 05:58 PM

You know, I'm a middle school teacher, and I don't see kids as particularly anymore spoiled than we were (I'm 59+).

In my day, the cool toy was a Lionel train set, a Gilbert microscope, a reel to reel tape recorder, a refractor scope. I had them all, and I'm sure folks in the early 60s might have looked at me and said, "wow, that kid's spoiled!" :-)

Now a days that hasn't changed--the cool things have changed. iPhones, iPads--they're the cool toys.

I saw it happen in the model train world--only old guys playing wit trains, Lionel going bankrupt. But then somebody started putting sound in trains, and Thomas the Tank Engine, and The Polar Express, and Harry Potter, and now many kids have a train set again.

I think astronomy as a hobby needs to help kids get excited about scopes by embracing their technology. When I was a kid a 60mm refractor was enough to get me excited, but that was a 1962 world.

Let me tell you what I'd like to see: I still consider myself a newbie, and I need all the help I can get. My bride has an iPad. So I bought the astronomy ap that let's me take the iPad, point at the sky--no--overlay it on the sky--and wham: it tells me what's what. It's fantastic. It's how I found Saturn, and knew the path it would take in the sky. It's teaching me the stars--it's amazing.

So I got to thinkining: wouldn't it be great to have a scope with THAT capability? I look into the eyepiece and I'm told what I'm looking at. It reads, like an iPhone, my position. It lets me take a photo of what I'm seeing, with a click I can post it on Facebook.

That's what will get kids back into this hobby. And I'd buy one, too!

Edited by barnum54 (07/09/13 05:59 PM)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
brianb11213
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 02/25/09

Loc: 55.215N 6.554W
Re: Meade Considering Bankruptcy as an Option new [Re: Kfrank]
      #5962701 - 07/09/13 06:01 PM

Quote:

CB radio was never worth a darn but today it's degenerated into utter uselessness.



OK, but lots of us find life much enriched by things which other people consider to be utterly useless - amateur astronomy, for instance. Ham radio is another hobby which some people find fun but really has very little practical value indeed.

Fact of the matter is that CB radio still is a useful resource for some people in some parts of the world, especially remote areas where there is no cell phone coverage. The fact that it's anarchic is a feature which some people find charming ...


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
allnight16
journeyman


Reged: 05/03/12

Loc: Serena, Illinois
Re: Meade Considering Bankruptcy as an Option new [Re: pdxmoon]
      #5962807 - 07/09/13 07:14 PM

I believe Mallincam and other short exposure cameras wired to small screens could possibly ignite people's interest in DSO's. The chance to view in color only after a ten to twenty second exposure might sway some to realize that there are options beyond black and white..... and sometimes green...

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
AngryHandyman
sage


Reged: 06/28/13

Loc: Nanaimo, BC
Re: Meade Considering Bankruptcy as an Option new [Re: allnight16]
      #5963020 - 07/09/13 09:26 PM

Interests come and go, priorities change in personal lives, priorities change in business strategies, good business decisions are made and poor ones too, kids are a reflection of their environment and the community is a reflection of a collection of shared values, parents over parent and parents aren't involved enough. Choices are easy to make, except when they're not. I enjoy astronomy, I coach my daughters sports teams, I have a good job but little extra money for hobbies. I approach things differently than my parents do but we end up on same side of the fence - usually. I have opinions, and learn a lot from hearing yours. The point of all this is I think it's often overlooked that it's not possible to simplify most issues into a couple of bite size statements about what's the right way to be and what's not.

I hope Mead pulls through and is able to offer quality equipment and a price I feel is fair. They (who ever "they" end up being) have a lot of work ahead of them, and if they simplify their line and improve their quality (perceived or not) they might find an audience and carve out a profitable niche in a world where there's so much choice on how we spend our dollars.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Greyhaven
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/11/04

Loc: Greater downtown Maine
Re: Meade Considering Bankruptcy as an Option new [Re: JayinUT]
      #5963044 - 07/09/13 09:43 PM

Jay
There is a group that is working on getting telescopes placed in public libraries at no cost to the library, my astronomy club is helping to place them, so far we've placed abtout 12 in various Maine and New Hampshire libraries.

My local library was one that received one. I dropped into my library two weeks ago and asked at the front desk how the telescope loaner program was going.The librarian she was not aware of any such program. I then asked the reference librarian
If she knew of the telescope loaner program she said she thought there was a telescope around but was not aware of any loan program ???? My next stop was to see the assistant director he told me that there was a telescope at the library.
After explaining my indirect connection an position as simply a member of a club that helped provide the scope.I anxiously asked how the program is was going. He said the program was going well considering the scope was free. He said the scope had been out twice and since he felt that a library's real focus was on getting kids to read he didn't see any reason to encourage a lot of effort going to getting into borrowing the scope. He brought up budget cuts, short staffing, and not really seeing a positive reason for the scopes being there after all the library is downtown what could be seen.
I took a deep breath and started countering his objections with
How much would it cost the library to inform the librarians of the scope program? What expense would it involve to place the scope in any of the lockable glass display cases or even a hand made poster? I then asked him if all the library's patrons were
from downtown? This is a small town only one library services the entire town. I asked if he had ever heard of the sidewalk astronomers of San Franciso setting their scopes up on busy street corners in a "real" downtown and asking passersby to take a look at the Moon.Now as far as his the goal of a library being to get kids to read my counter point was get a kid interrested in astronomy and then try to keep him from reading all of your astronomy books, and searching the web from any of the dozens of computers spread around this library and the benefits of increasing a child's desire to learn math real math
Algebra.calculus and trigonometry the math that will open doors.
About this time he gave up and said if I thought thought he was wrong I should take it up with the director, who was not in that day. I emailed the director that day and detailed that day's events. The next day he replied that all personnel were now aware of the telescope and its availability to the public.
He followed that with we will consider implementing some of your other suggestions.
My main reason for boring all of my friends here is to say you can't just blame the kids today for not entering our hobby the adults that we should have the confidence in to make learning resources available to our children are failing them.
I left my local public library discouraged and saddened by the let's blame everything but ourselves for our narrow view and limited imagination for not taking advantage of all we have to offer. We have to accept responsibility to speak up when it is not just write off today's children when it more likely adults failing them. Rave over, I thank you for putting up with me.
Be Well
Grey


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
pdxmoon
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 06/27/13

Loc: Oregon
Re: Meade Considering Bankruptcy as an Option new [Re: Greyhaven]
      #5963063 - 07/09/13 10:00 PM

I also think the scope manufacturers have to take responsibilty for being a large part of the problem.

Let's take refractors: 60, 70, 80, 90 mm Synta jobs. Almost everyone agrees that the optics on these can be very good. But how many of them are packaged with wobbly mounts and crummy eyepieces, almost assuring a kid frustration instead of pleasure.

Now, my Sears scope from the 60s wasn't perfect, but it was built well, the mount was strong, and it worked. Someone in another thread suggested the old makers built the entry scopes well because they wanted you to come back for more.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
aezoss
super member


Reged: 03/27/11

Loc: The Great White North
Re: Meade Considering Bankruptcy as an Option new [Re: Greyhaven]
      #5963309 - 07/10/13 12:10 AM

Important point Grey, libraries are excellent vehicles for literacy beyond books. We also blame kids for issues that look more like faulty parenting to me. It's hard to condemn city kids for not being enthusiastic about astronomy when we (and our parents) took the night sky away from them & put iPads into their hands.

I'm optimistic. The kids around here spend more time outside than in and have a well developed awareness of the natural world around, and above, them.

Lee


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
evilmedic13
member


Reged: 06/23/12

Loc: Chicago,Il
Re: Meade Considering Bankruptcy as an Option new [Re: aezoss]
      #5963738 - 07/10/13 09:58 AM

It's pretty hard for city kids to get into it for a few reasons. Light pollution being the worst of all. If you only see the moon and 10 stars at any one time, how interested would you be? I live in Chicago, Lp is so bad here, I can read a book in my yard at midnight, without any extra aids. It's that bad here.
Don't even get me started on all the stuff these kids cannot do nowadays, because of everyone else's "rights"!


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
JayinUT
I'm not Sleepy
*****

Reged: 09/19/08

Loc: Utah
Re: Meade Considering Bankruptcy as an Option new [Re: Greyhaven]
      #5963909 - 07/10/13 11:26 AM

Grey,

I commend your club with placing scopes in the libraries. That is a wonderful service. I will also state that for over 5 years I ran an astro club for students grade 6-12 and using 8 inch a a couple of 10 inch dobs we taught the kids how to use a Telrad or Rigel, with a finder and the eyepiece to locate objects that they could see from the LP skies they were located in. The kids learned how to use the scopes under what is called scaffolding. There we offered support to help them as they learned, not doing it for them but working with them and as they mastered the process, we withdrew. It was an excellent success that a friend has continued it as I had to back off actively to pursue other educational goals. I actually have six former students who stay in contact with me via email or Facebook and back in those days, the kids could and did sign up for a telescope program via the local planetarium and would receive a free 6 inch Orion XT 6 when done with their weekly training. The key is they knew how to use it. Some still do, others do not like many adults in the hobby. The point is though the seed is planted, they had fun looking at things they had chosen to look at and if there are not involved right now, perhaps in time, with more time and money they will.

Now last summer at my library a friend and I once a month ran an outreach program where we did the usual look at the object. But I also used my 10 inch dob to teach how to find objects, and then to let others use for 30 minutes or longer if no one was signed up or waiting. The result was two couples that I know of bought scopes and use them from there homes where I live (I have decent skies at home, still LP but not bad).

I think the point is that in order to grow the hobby it will take a paradigm shift by those who do outreach. I think there is a place to show stuff, but we have to have programs in place for young people and adults to use the equipment and be supported until they are comfortable using the equipment. Again I applaud's Grey's club in placing scopes with the library and to expand on that, I think if someone volunteered once a month at first quarter moon to show how to use the equipment to a small group who signed up, that would even go farther to promote the use of the telescope. It takes time, yep, but I think young people and parents can be drawn in. This is only one way of many that can be used to get others interested in the hobby. Today's youth, and I speak with experience as an educator, don't want to be talked to. They want to be doing whatever it is they are doing, be it on a laptop, tablet, a phone etc. They need to know how to use the tool they are using, and then their off. By showing them how to use a telescope instead of simply showing them objects in the eyepiece, we engage them in the hobby actively, not passively. Outreach that is successful in my opinion, does that. It reaches out and actively engages the participants in the learning process. If you look at the outreach kits from the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, you can see this. Here is a link to one, 3D Constellations which not only teaches what several constellations are, but expands that learning so that students/participants realize that the stars are in 3D and though they make a shape in terms of a constellation, they are really at various distances. What a great engaging and fun activity (kids and teens love it, adults enjoy it and all learn). Why? There is some teaching, some scaffolding that has to be done, but they get to DO something and walk away with it. Thus is it active learning and not passive, I don't show the model I made and talk about it.

This is MY opinion and I don't want to step on toes here, but I will being a big guy so I'll just say it. There is a time and a place for passive outreach where people come by, look in the eyepiece, and ask questions about what they are seeing. We then get to be the "expert" and share our knowledge. I think many like that. In the end though, its great if I know it, but until I teach others how to do it, I haven't hooked them. Next the people then move to the next scope and repeat the process. At the end of the night the people think it is a wonderful thing the items they have saw and they move on. Imagine instead an active engagement where they are taught the basics of how to use a scope, and how to find objects in the sky using GoTo or Push driven scopes. Either will work. Then help them find some objects by modeling how to do it and then having them repeat it. Last, have them do it, gain confidence and then good luck getting the scope back for a while. Why? Because they were actively engaged in using the equipment. Now that is an experience they will remember because they did it. They were active in doing it, engaged. Just my opinion but until we begin to reach out like that, and not over complicate the hobby, but make it a simple exchange of one person, with their equipment interacting with the sky, until we get people DOING that, interacting with the sky how they want to interact with it, the hobby will continue not to grow, especially with young people. Again, just my opinion and I state it is only one of many ways to grow the hobby, and some need and must make use of technology to grow it in other ways but that is another post.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Kfrank
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 12/20/08

Loc: Northern Colorado
Re: Meade Considering Bankruptcy as an Option new [Re: brianb11213]
      #5963953 - 07/10/13 12:02 PM

Quote:

Quote:

CB radio was never worth a darn but today it's degenerated into utter uselessness.



OK, but lots of us find life much enriched by things which other people consider to be utterly useless - amateur astronomy, for instance. Ham radio is another hobby which some people find fun but really has very little practical value indeed.

Fact of the matter is that CB radio still is a useful resource for some people in some parts of the world, especially remote areas where there is no cell phone coverage. The fact that it's anarchic is a feature which some people find charming ...




Granted that Ham radio is somewhat less relevant now, but it still proves its worth in major disasters such as Hurricane Sandy, where large scale power outages take out many modern communication systems.

As for CB, note that the Citizens Radio Service is strictly a US phenomenon. It was created by the FCC which has no authority outside of the US. Adjacent countries like Canada and Mexico may have joined the bandwagon, but they certainly didn't have to. As to the rest of the world,, the hardware might indeed prove useful for communication and would be regulated by the country in question.

The Citizens Radio Service was, and still is, strictly a US entity and I stand by my prior assertions of its uselessness. If you like hearing profanity, obscenity, and people verbally abusing one another, check out CB channel 19. The other channels aren't much better.

The FCC tried mightily to control CB usage in the '60s and '70s and, having failed, essentially abandoned it. If it's so useful and relevant in the US, why are there no places selling the equipment, outside of truck stop shops? Back in the early ’70s, you could buy the hardware almost anywhere.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Greyhaven
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/11/04

Loc: Greater downtown Maine
Re: Meade Considering Bankruptcy as an Option new [Re: JayinUT]
      #5964106 - 07/10/13 01:51 PM

Jay
Each scope that is placed in a library has a club member assigned to the library, they volunteer their time to train library staff members on the use and how to instruct patrons on the safety measures and provide written instructions to anyone checking the scope out.There is a program coordinator to track overall progress in the program.It is a work in progress and there will be great successes and some that won't take advantage of all that could be done.
By the way my first visit to check on the library's loaner scope was 06/17/13 and the following day I received and Email from the director the staff had all been notified of the library's having the scope and its' availability to the public. I stopped in there today and checked all the bulletin boards and display cases and there is no notifications of there being a scope available for loan. I went to the shelves where the astronomy books are found and there was not even a hand written notice there.I then asked at the main desk This time the librarian did say that she had gotten an E mail from the director and she thought there was one for "rent". The scope was under the care of the assistant director and stored in his office in the children's department. This is the same person that said "Telescopes did not fit in with the goals of the library and that goal was to get kids to read."
Our club's director has been kept up to date on my dealings so far and I hope to make a note of today's events at Thursday's club meeting. I'll wait until after that conversation before deciding on what further action I might take.
This program was designed to get a scope into people's hands with minimal training so they could discover for themselves the night sky. Our club does regular out reach programs weather permitting. Then library program is designed for curious newbies but we are willing to help if needed.
Be Well
Grey


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Doc Willie
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 03/31/10

Loc: Mid-Hudson Valley, NY, USA
Re: Meade Considering Bankruptcy as an Option new [Re: Kfrank]
      #5964133 - 07/10/13 02:12 PM

Quote:

CB radio was never worth a darn but today it's
degenerated into utter uselessness.




Not quite. Local chapters of the American Red Cross still rely on amateur radio whenever the $#!+ hits the fan and all local communications are out.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Kraus
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 03/10/12

Loc: Georgia.
Re: Meade Considering Bankruptcy as an Option new [Re: Greyhaven]
      #5964137 - 07/10/13 02:17 PM


More kids have no interest in natural science because more
parents have no interest in natural science. And it's getting worse.

Today's schools are modelled after the Greeks. Parents were idiots. They didn't want their kids to be idiots so they sent their kids to the experts like, Archimedes, Plato, Socrates, etc.

How about that. We're still doing the same two thousand years later.

Hmmmm.....


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Kfrank
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 12/20/08

Loc: Northern Colorado
Re: Meade Considering Bankruptcy as an Option new [Re: Doc Willie]
      #5964201 - 07/10/13 02:55 PM

Quote:

Quote:

CB radio was never worth a darn but today it's
degenerated into utter uselessness.




Not quite. Local chapters of the American Red Cross still rely on amateur radio whenever the $#!+ hits the fan and all local communications are out.




Please don't confuse CB with Amateur Radio. They are vastly different and alike only in that they both use radio waves.

Amateur Radio is indeed used by outfits like the Red Cross in emergencies. CB is NOT Amatrue Radio.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
derangedhermit
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 10/07/09

Loc: USA
Re: Meade Considering Bankruptcy as an Option new [Re: JayinUT]
      #5964213 - 07/10/13 02:59 PM

Quote:

I am just now getting back on a schedule so if this is posted somewhere else please lock.



The big older thread is in Cats and Casses. I'm surprised a mod hasn't noticed the title and honored your request.

But since this thread has wandered a bit, maybe just change the title to "Anything you want to complain about, put here" so it will match the contents: CB radio (complaints both against and for), the teachings of Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, modern day school systems, libraries not checking out telescopes...we're covering a lot of ground here.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Kraus
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 03/10/12

Loc: Georgia.
Re: Meade Considering Bankruptcy as an Option new [Re: Kfrank]
      #5964588 - 07/10/13 07:14 PM

Kfrank,

KC4ZGP here. You got me wanting to get up on 14.070MHz, PSK-31 come Fall. Never was a microphone-type ham.

How about you?

KKKKN.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Astrojensen
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 10/05/08

Loc: Bornholm, Denmark
Re: Meade Considering Bankruptcy as an Option new [Re: Kraus]
      #5965200 - 07/11/13 05:18 AM

Well, here's my opinion on a few things:

Astronomy has always been a fringe hobby. It's not large by any stretch of the imagination. Almost all other hobbies have many more participants. Why is that? Well, it does take a certain level of intelligence and curiosity, it seems, a certain degree of nerdiness, if you will, to get interested. Flair for working with mechanical equipment doesn't hurt.

But younger people still get interested in it. It seems to be in the genes of some people, since interest just pops out of nowhere in them, from the merest hint of inspiration. Sometimes, they can't even explain why they're interested (like me), it just fascinates them to no end.

Amateur astronomers want to do the same thing as the professionals do, so today, we take pictures and we look at deep-sky objects, mostly, since that is what the professionals do (oversimplification, I know). Fortunately, the professionals have also taken up planetary exploration again, or else I fear that this would have been an extreme fringe activity, done mostly by very old observers. Almost all the people who join the main Danish astro forum wants a telescope that they can use to take pictures. The rate is greater than 90%. Almost all want GOTO. Many fear that they will be completely lost without it and that learning the stars is impossible. Many don't start with visual for that reason alone.

It seems that science is taking a big hit in the US, but that is not the case in the rest of the world, where science is seen as cool and great. I see more telescopes being sold in Europe than ever before. Many of the members on Astro-Forum.dk are under 30. Our hobby blossoms over here. Just not visual observing. Amateur astronomy has mostly changed to astrophotography here. That doesn't mean that visual observing doesn't occur, but it isn't the main activity of amateur astronomy any more.


Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
csrlice12
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: Meade Considering Bankruptcy as an Option new [Re: Astrojensen]
      #5965294 - 07/11/13 08:27 AM

The US just doesn't trust a hobby where you have to sneak about all night......if'n you want to take your telescope up to the top of the mountain, we'll install lighting there for your safety.......

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
mich_al
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/10/09

Loc: Rural central lower Michigan ...
Re: Meade Considering Bankruptcy as an Option new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5965309 - 07/11/13 08:38 AM

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.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
austingonzo
super member


Reged: 07/29/12

Loc: Austin, TX
Re: Meade Considering Bankruptcy as an Option new [Re: mich_al]
      #5965520 - 07/11/13 11:14 AM

So, I spent some time in the shower this morning thinking about how I'd rebuild a scope company from scratch if I had the $40 million plus to play with. I've spent 15 years in the consumer computer hardware business, and so my perspective is likely very different from a lot of users.

Since most of the manufacturing is offshore already, it seems like that hurdle is overcome (for better or worse). I'd certainly look at leveraging the optics OEMs for what they're good at.

One of the failures in my opinion with the LS series was that the electronics, and specifically the video, had no upgrade path. The board the scope shipped with was the board you were stuck with. Likewise with the SD card reader the scope shipped with.

I don't understand why telescopes haven't truly become convergence devices. Android phones integrate wireless, GPS, Bluetooth, NFC, HDMI, mini USB and SD capabilities, along with the obvious cellular data and voice. With Tegra 3 and 4 chips, you're getting some pretty robust video GPU capabilities as well.

I see some users accessorizing their scopes with these heavy and expensive aftermarket items to give their scope some of the capabilities built into a decent modern smartphone. What gives there?

An Arduino or Android-based scope could be upgradeable with SD or flash ROM and get away from the silly legacy serial bus. Tegra 3 can output video over HDMI. Miracast and WiDi are being integrated into feature phones so you could even do remote imaging from your desktop and avoid the bugs and mosquitos if you wanted.

With the computing power in ARM chips, why aren't we doing software adaptive optics? Yes, aperture rules; but why can't we leverage software to overcome collimation issues? With cloud or distributed computing the norm these days, why aren't we interesting users in mesh or distributed group astronomy? The resolving power of your scope, combined with that of your neighbors, could create some interesting opportunities for social networking, advancements in astronomy through leveraging the imaging that amateurs do, asteroid detection, satellite tracking, etc. Spare cycles could even be dedicated to SETI-like activities.

With WiFi/EyeFi type capabilities, why couldn't astrophotograpy capabilities be built into the scopes so that images uploaded directly to the cloud (Dropbox, etc.) or to your home server via DLNA/UPNP capabilities? CCDs are computing devices subject to Moore's law - capabilities should be increasing and cost decreasing - similar to the path taken by RAM and GPUs. Why aren't they built into scopes?

There are all these users using scopes with tablet and smartphone apps. Why couldn't those be built into the scopes themselves?

Clearly there will be a market for big analog scopes. But why is there no innovation in the consumer space for 8" sweet spot of aperture that both urban and dark skies users need?

Why the hell are folks still loading AA batteries into scope bases or lugging around power tanks? Why aren't modular Lithium Ion batteries built in?

Just a few shower thoughts... Thanks for the indulgence.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Kraus
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 03/10/12

Loc: Georgia.
Re: Meade Considering Bankruptcy as an Option new [Re: austingonzo]
      #5965669 - 07/11/13 01:08 PM


If I had forty million bucks I would.

1. Get a decent size lot in Arizona.

2. Build an observatory building of sorts.

3. Get at minimum a 60 inch SCT fork mounted and equatorially aligned.

4. Look every night.

I'd have beer set aside for those moon-lit nights.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
csrlice12
Postmaster
*****

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.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Diana N
member


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!


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Starman1
Vendor (EyepiecesEtc.com)
*****

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


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
csrlice12
Postmaster
*****

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.....

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
brianb11213
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 02/25/09

Loc: 55.215N 6.554W
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.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Mike7Mak
Pooh-Bah
*****

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.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Starman1
Vendor (EyepiecesEtc.com)
*****

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.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
austingonzo
super 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.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
csrlice12
Postmaster
*****

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.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Raginar
Postmaster
*****

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.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
orion61

*****

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..


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
iverp
sage


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.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Bernie Poskus
member
*****

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.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
amicus sidera
Post Laureate
*****

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


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Whichwayisnorth
Pooh-Bah
*****

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.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
rdandrea
Carpal Tunnel
*****

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.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | (show all)


Extra information
9 registered and 13 anonymous users are browsing this forum.

Moderator:  cildarith, panhard, tecmage 

Print Thread

Forum Permissions
      You cannot start new topics
      You cannot reply to topics
      HTML is disabled
      UBBCode is enabled


Thread views: 2068

Jump to

CN Forums Home


Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics