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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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rockstarbill
sage


Reged: 07/16/13

Loc: Snohomish, WA
Re: NOT a good start. Celestron AVX here a NO GO new [Re: amicus sidera]
      #6029564 - 08/16/13 05:06 PM

Quote:

Quote:

I seem to remember Meade shipping mounts that were badly tested/not fully developed.

And look where they are!

There is also a cost to shipping unsatisfactory product, both in dollars and reputation.




Exactly.

I have no idea of the QC/TQM/QMF background of those replying here, but based on my experience I will continue to disagree with the notion that brief final inspections conducted by any company prior to shipment would substantially raise the end cost to the customer. Additionally, the idea that a customer should be willing to receive a defective unit in order to save other customers a little money is, quite frankly, abhorrent to me.

This has been an excellent discussion; it makes abundantly clear just how little some of us have in common...

Fred




Their background is of little importance in the discussion. The economies of scale you are talking about are. If you make 5 mounts a day, checking them all with a fine tooth comb is of no concern. If you make 500 mounts a day... that gets a little more tedious. As you scale this imaginary business you can see that the cost of doing this continues to rise and if you expect your prices to remain the same while doing so, the maximum amount of units you can produce with a positive margin will flat-line long before they would otherwise.

Regardless, I am sure they all go through a baseline of QA, which checks for basic things like the power working and other automated checks, with some level of human interaction in the end... Of course, I do not work there, so I cannot say for certain.

Also - who said they were willing to receive a defective unit. I sure hope you did not read that into what I said (or others for that matter) as that would just be silly.

Edited by rockstarbill (08/16/13 05:08 PM)


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Ron (Lubbock)
sage


Reged: 08/17/12

Loc: West TX
Re: NOT a good start. Celestron AVX here a NO GO new [Re: rockstarbill]
      #6029608 - 08/16/13 05:31 PM

The same thing happened with my CGEM. No power straight out of the box. It was the stupid 25 cent fuse in the plug, as Bilgebay already mentioned. I didn't figure it out for 4 months, as it's non-obvious that there is a fuse in there. Good thing for the extra power cable I had laying around, or else I would have had no functioning mount the first week.

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Gil V
professor emeritus


Reged: 09/09/12

Re: NOT a good start. Celestron AVX here a NO GO new [Re: Ron (Lubbock)]
      #6029744 - 08/16/13 07:00 PM

I'm not buying the argument that you shouldn't expect 100% quality. Now, that doesn't mean that bad units don't ship, but that in the event one does, the company will address the customer problem promptly and to the customer's complete satisfaction. (Have a complimentary eyepiece for your difficulty). As long as every customer doesn't have a problem, and the company records quality failures and works to eliminate them AS PART OF THEIR NORMAL BUSINESS OPERATIONS, it's all good. Continuous improvement, don't ya know!

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amicus sidera
Post Laureate
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Reged: 10/14/11

Loc: East of the Sun, West of the M...
Re: NOT a good start. Celestron AVX here a NO GO new [Re: rockstarbill]
      #6029810 - 08/16/13 07:58 PM

Quote:



Their background is of little importance in the discussion. The economies of scale you are talking about are. If you make 5 mounts a day, checking them all with a fine tooth comb is of no concern. If you make 500 mounts a day... that gets a little more tedious. As you scale this imaginary business you can see that the cost of doing this continues to rise and if you expect your prices to remain the same while doing so, the maximum amount of units you can produce with a positive margin will flat-line long before they would otherwise.




Example: Have a reliable hourly worker in the shipping room plugging in widgets, and seeing if they light up. If so, ship 'em, if not, back to rework. Takes a whole 30 seconds each. He could test nearly 1000 widgets per 8-hour day at that rate. What's the average hourly wage in China these days? Whatever it is, it will add little to the cost to have this worker perform a cursory test of every single widget prior to shipment. I simply don't believe that it would add a prohibitive markup to the widget; in fact, I know it wouldn't.

Also, please note that this is in regards to minimizing out-of-the-box failures, not those that occur an indeterminate time thereafter, for whatever reason.

Quote:

Regardless, I am sure they all go through a baseline of QA, which checks for basic things like the power working and other automated checks, with some level of human interaction in the end... Of course, I do not work there, so I cannot say for certain.




Neither can I... it might very well be that a final test of the sort I've described does indeed occur during production, and I'd be somewhat surprised if it doesn't. At this point the discussion is purely hypothetical. As several posters pointed out, all this discussion could be over a bad fuse or a dropped package... nonetheless, this is a discussion forum, and discuss it (in a friendly manner, of course!) we will!


Quote:

Also - who said they were willing to receive a defective unit. I sure hope you did not read that into what I said (or others for that matter) as that would just be silly.




Someone mentioned that out of all the customers, someone would have to "take one for the team", and have to deal with a defective unit out of the many produced. Since the purchase of this hypothetical unit is strictly voluntary, the implicit assumption is that, in order for the goods to remain tendered at a price acceptable to the collective, the individual must be willing to chance receiving a defective unit... a "reverse lottery" of sorts. Of course, unless one purchases only zero-defect products, they are by default enrolled in such a lottery; however, as far as out-of-the-box failures are concerned (the subject of this discussion), they can for the most part be alleviated by a simple final test - that's what the successful companies which I worked for specified, and it caught a lot of bad units.

Fred


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Seanem44
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 09/22/11

Loc: Woodbridge, VA
Re: NOT a good start. Celestron AVX here a NO GO new [Re: amicus sidera]
      #6029834 - 08/16/13 08:20 PM

I was that someone, and the whole take one for the team statement was obviously facetious. Faulty equipment, gear, etc sucks. But it's a fact of life in manufacturing. It happens in everything. Unless you are buying a luxury item, 100% inspection is not feasible or economical. That's why you get lemon vehicles. I've had to return more than one defective item. But the dealer has worked with me so I don't need to deal with the vendor.

Edited by Seanem44 (08/16/13 08:22 PM)


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amicus sidera
Post Laureate
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Reged: 10/14/11

Loc: East of the Sun, West of the M...
Re: NOT a good start. Celestron AVX here a NO GO new [Re: Seanem44]
      #6029845 - 08/16/13 08:30 PM

Facetious or not, it still had truth in it... fact is, if dealing with less than 100% QC, one is gambling as to whether a given item will function as intended when first activated.

Bottom line: final-testing 100% of relatively short-run items (less than 1000 units/day) for basic defects, e.g., failure to turn on, which would translate into an out-of-the-box failure for the customer, is easily performed and very cost-effective; I did it for a living, and without raising the cost more than a few cents per unit. I suspect that all major telescope manufacturers do so, as well.

Fred


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cn register 5
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 12/26/12

Re: NOT a good start. Celestron AVX here a NO GO new [Re: Seanem44]
      #6029852 - 08/16/13 08:34 PM

I'm going to be clearer. I think that shouting about this here before contacting the supplier is vendor and product bashing. It is intended to blacken the name of the producer while giving them no chance to do anything about it.

The honest thing to do would be to report the problem to the supplier and see how they resolve it, then, if there's a reason, post a message describing the problem and the resolution.

Chris


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Stew57
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 05/03/09

Loc: Silsbee Texas
Re: NOT a good start. Celestron AVX here a NO GO new [Re: cn register 5]
      #6029874 - 08/16/13 08:47 PM

I agree totally with your tone. I do think reporting it even when the dealer handles it well is a good move. It gives us indication if there is a trend. It is also good to see dealers handle the inevitable well.

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amicus sidera
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 10/14/11

Loc: East of the Sun, West of the M...
Re: NOT a good start. Celestron AVX here a NO GO new [Re: cn register 5]
      #6029879 - 08/16/13 08:49 PM

Quote:

I'm going to be clearer. I think that shouting about this here before contacting the supplier is vendor and product bashing. It is intended to blacken the name of the producer while giving them no chance to do anything about it.

The honest thing to do would be to report the problem to the supplier and see how they resolve it, then, if there's a reason, post a message describing the problem and the resolution.

Chris




Who's shouting about anything here, Chris, or bashing the product or vendor?? The AVX mount is an excellent piece of gear and a great value, and no one has said otherwise... likewise regarding Celestron, who make many fine products. This appears to be a one-off failure. However, the discussion has turned into a general discussion of out-of-box failures and ways of preventing them, where there are divergent viewpoints being discussed. If that's not suitable, well then...

Fred

eta: I've notified a moderator, and asked them to look at this thread to determine whether or not there is "vendor bashing" ongoing here.

Edited by amicus sidera (08/16/13 08:57 PM)


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Dave MModerator
Postmaster
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Reged: 08/03/04

Loc: Ohio
Re: NOT a good start. Celestron AVX here a NO GO new [Re: amicus sidera]
      #6029950 - 08/16/13 09:42 PM

Guys!, please keep the discussion a friendly one.
I dont see any evidence of vendor bashing.


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amicus sidera
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 10/14/11

Loc: East of the Sun, West of the M...
Re: NOT a good start. Celestron AVX here a NO GO new [Re: Dave M]
      #6029973 - 08/16/13 09:55 PM

Thank you, Dave. In the interests of harmony I will make this my last post on this thread.

Best regards to all.

Fred


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SkipW
sage


Reged: 02/03/11

Loc: Oklahoma, USA
Re: NOT a good start. Celestron AVX here a NO GO new [Re: amicus sidera]
      #6030052 - 08/16/13 10:53 PM

Well, late to the party, as usual. Don't start composing a reply on an active thread then get called away for an hour or so before finishing.

Although Fred excused himself from this thread, I see his insights as both informed from experience and food for thought. I don't entirely agree with his conclusions (yet, anyway, as will probably be apparent from the questions and observations), but his experience in the topic of discussion - how to properly test a product before shipment - lends a lot to it. So, if I may, I would like to explore further since I think the points I bring up are pertinent in the real world. If some of my observations below seem hostile (or snarky), that's not the intent, it's just that with a finite, actually very short, amount of time to put into words what I want to know or would like to say, it's the best I can do.

Note: I've always been afraid that quoting someone, then throwing points back seems somewhat hostile. If accurately quoted, however, it reduces (not eliminates), I think, the chance of inadvertently misrepresenting what was originally said.

Quote:

...
Also, please note that this is in regards to minimizing out-of-the-box failures, not those that occur an indeterminate time thereafter, for whatever reason.
...
it might very well be that a final test of the sort I've described does indeed occur during production, and I'd be somewhat surprised if it doesn't. At this point the discussion is purely hypothetical. As several posters pointed out, all this discussion could be over a bad fuse or a dropped package... nonetheless, this is a discussion forum, and discuss it (in a friendly manner, of course!) we will!
...
Someone mentioned that out of all the customers, someone would have to "take one for the team", and have to deal with a defective unit out of the many produced. Since the purchase of this hypothetical unit is strictly voluntary, the implicit assumption is that, in order for the goods to remain tendered at a price acceptable to the collective, the individual must be willing to chance receiving a defective unit... a "reverse lottery" of sorts. Of course, unless one purchases only zero-defect products, they are by default enrolled in such a lottery; however, as far as out-of-the-box failures are concerned (the subject of this discussion), they can for the most part be alleviated by a simple final test - that's what the successful companies which I worked for specified, and it caught a lot of bad units.

Fred



Regarding the first statement: since you mention minimizing (not eliminating entirely) out-of-the-box failures, it suggests you recognize that as much as you test, they still happen. I don't see how the DOA experience here doesn't fit that model. Also, an indeterminate time after delivery could include zero (it powered up once, at the factory, but didn't the second time). Infant mortality and the bathtub curve are the reason things like warranties are essentially universal.

Second statement: See bathtub curve. The only way to eliminate early failures ("infant mortality") is to burn-in each individual item. Doing so puts us way out of the realm of "only a dollar per finished item". Even if you do this, you still have to contend with random failures.

Finally, there's simply no practical way to assure that a mass-produced item can be defect free all the time (not 99.9...% for as many nines as you want to buy - all), even ignoring (sometimes hidden) damage in shipment. You mention that your testing caught a lot of bad units in testing; I presume that there was an active campaign to find out why so many were failing and address the underlying causes. This alone is a good reason to test each and every unit - it's cheaper than dealing with a lot of returns. I also disagree that a final test is necessarily simple. Where do you draw the line? It powers up, but do both motors work? Do they slew to the correct commanded position within some spec? Do all the HB buttons work? Etc. Doing this requires more skilled labor (and/or non-trivial test equipment) to evaluate. Is "it powers up, ship it!" really much better than testing to be sure everything the customer is likely to use right away works?

I think this has been a great discussion! Fred is in the minority, but has experience in the field.

Since these are a direct challenge and questions to some statements, I think Fred can be forgiven if he decides to jump back in after retiring. If he declines in the spirit of harmony, that's OK with me, but, I think, a loss to the discussion. He's been firm, but civil. We all should be.


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Seanem44
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 09/22/11

Loc: Woodbridge, VA
Re: NOT a good start. Celestron AVX here a NO GO new [Re: SkipW]
      #6030602 - 08/17/13 10:04 AM

I look at it from an economics and business admin perspective, my two disciplines, and I agree with Skip. There is a difference between mass produced In China items, and high cost luxury items made elsewhere. For example, in the world of astronomy, take Takahashi items versus Celestron. I am willing to bet the failure rate of Tak products is vastly less than Celestron. Why? You get what you pay for. In this case, its akin to a Ferrari versus a Ford. A handcrafted luxury item. 100 percent inspection on all aspects of a mass produced item is impractical when the failure rate is minimal. Hence my lambasted take one for the team statement. If there is a pattern; that's when it becomes an issue in which intervention saves money for the company. Also, I would imagine TAK would be quicker to fix defects. They have a smaller clientele than celestron and have greater need to protect there name because of it. If Celesteon fails to act promptly for one customer, they have hundreds more that will still buy. In their case it makes more sense to let the dealer deal with the defective item, whether it be Astronomics, Optcorp or whoever. It doesn't help that individual that got the one off like the OP, but that's economies of scale.

Edited by Seanem44 (08/17/13 10:07 AM)


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Spacetravelerx
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 12/23/12

Loc: New Mexico
Re: NOT a good start. Celestron AVX here a NO GO new [Re: Seanem44]
      #6030622 - 08/17/13 10:21 AM

Quote:

I look at it from an economics and business admin perspective, my two disciplines, and I agree with Skip. There is a difference between mass produced In China items, and high cost luxury items made elsewhere. For example, in the world of astronomy, take Takahashi items versus Celestron. I am willing to bet the failure rate of Tak products is vastly less than Celestron. Why? You get what you pay for. In this case, its akin to a Ferrari versus a Ford. A handcrafted luxury item. 100 percent inspection on all aspects of a mass produced item is impractical when the failure rate is minimal. Hence my lambasted take one for the team statement. If there is a pattern; that's when it becomes an issue in which intervention saves money for the company. Also, I would imagine TAK would be quicker to fix defects. They have a smaller clientele than celestron and have greater need to protect there name because of it. If Celesteon fails to act promptly for one customer, they have hundreds more that will still buy. In their case it makes more sense to let the dealer deal with the defective item, whether it be Astronomics, Optcorp or whoever. It doesn't help that individual that got the one off like the OP, but that's economies of scale.




Of course this is not 100% true, but is a good general guide.

For example, iPhones and MacBooks are excellent quality, top of the line luxury products and they are manufactured and mass produced in China.

But, yes you do get what you pay for.


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Seanem44
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 09/22/11

Loc: Woodbridge, VA
Re: NOT a good start. Celestron AVX here a NO GO new [Re: Spacetravelerx]
      #6030666 - 08/17/13 10:45 AM

Correct. As a general rule, this is correct. But as you pointed out, there are exceptions to the rule.

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Laminarman
super member
*****

Reged: 08/25/06

Loc: New York
Celestron AVX here a NO GO *UPDATE* new [Re: Seanem44]
      #6040811 - 08/22/13 09:22 PM

I am the original poster here, and finally an update. I received a replacement mount today. Plugged it in, works. Imagine that. So yes, there may have been a bad mount that slipped. So what? That DOES NOT MATTER, I will continue to buy Celestron products. But from who?

NOW, and I don't want to complain because I got a new EQ head, but OPT could have handled this differently. Vinnie told me to send it back and when he had a tracking number to call him, he'd send one right out. He also said "Do NOT write or mark on the original box the mount was in since we re-use them and Celestron gives us a hard time." So I had Pack-N-Mail put it in a bigger box, put peanuts in it, pack it up and ship it for $55 since I respected his request and felt he would attempt to reciprocate. I told him I paid shipping so if he could expedite it for my upcoming nights of observing I would appreciate it greatly. He said "I'll do what I can." Took a whole week to get here ground. The $55 is not the big deal, I can afford that, I just think it could have been handled better so I'm not sure where my next purchase comes from. So now two weeks later almost, finally have a mount and it's freaking raining....

I don't expect them to not make a profit, but maybe two or three day would have been nice rather than eight day. Sure would have assured my future business with them. Or maybe they could have reimbursed what I paid to ship it to them. I could have slapped a label on the original box and shipped it for $30 and not worried about what Celestron told them.

I try not to be too critical, but I run a business and the customer service is reflected in what the employees do when things go WRONG, not right. Service Recovery is what separates the men from the boys in retail. I like OPT, just a bit disappointed in this transaction.

I will post a first light when it stops raining, I'm just not sure anyone will learn anything from this newbie...


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nodalpoint
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 06/03/13

Loc: FEMA camp
Re: Celestron AVX here a NO GO *UPDATE* new [Re: Laminarman]
      #6040818 - 08/22/13 09:27 PM

They should have picked up the return shipping. The product didn't work, you did nothing wrong so why should you be made to pay extra for a faulty item?

The bright side is, you have choices who to purchase from.


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beanerds
sage


Reged: 07/15/08

Loc: Darwin Australia
Re: NOT a good start. Celestron AVX here a NO GO new [Re: Dave M]
      #6041190 - 08/23/13 03:12 AM

Bang on , my brand new IoptronIEQ45 would not boot up , kept saying 'initialise firmware ' ??? , I posted here and had it fixed in 5 minuites , it was the micro sim in the hand controller , it had worked loose in transport , unscrewed 4 screws and removed the back , slipped it back in and 3 years later its not missed a beat .
Thanks CN's people .
Perfect goto's every time , I love mine .
Brian.
Quote:

Because someone else may experienced the same issue and had a simple/immediate remedy.




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Susan H
member


Reged: 08/01/13

Loc: Texas
Re: NOT a good start. Celestron AVX here a NO GO new [Re: beanerds]
      #6041244 - 08/23/13 05:05 AM

I've been following this thread, and I'm about to go through the same thing. I purchased my AVX mount Wednesday, I couldn't take it out until last night. Plugged it in with the AC adapter I purchased. Nothing. Then we tried the supplied DC adapter, still nothing. It worked Wednesday when I was given a tutorial on how it worked. Then we packed it back into the box for me to bring home. Put it all back together like instructed and zip. So, I guess I'm taking back to the dealer and getting a new one. Buggers.

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Laminarman
super member
*****

Reged: 08/25/06

Loc: New York
Re: NOT a good start. Celestron AVX here a NO GO new [Re: Susan H]
      #6041432 - 08/23/13 08:49 AM

So, two dead on arrivals? It's a neat mount, I just need to figure out how to use it now. Tonight should be clear...

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