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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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schluterdude
super member


Reged: 08/05/13

Loc: Centerville, OH
Re: What would be revolutionary in Mounts? new [Re: GIR]
      #6367910 - 02/10/14 09:15 AM

A commercially available mount, offered in kit form!

I personally believe half the fun of a hobby is building and tinkering. It would require a couple of not so special tools, but no biggie. A couple of indicators, v blocks, maybe a force gage... But tools are fun to buy!

Perhaps they could stage the kits a bit, for experience levels.

Bare bones, wiring diagrams, the whole shebang. Solder your own boards, etc.

Electrical assemblies are all set, but still mechanically disassembled.

Electrical + gearboxes built (a mess of sub assemblies. Pretty much how they come now, but more assembly...)

Gear boxes built, but electrical disassembled.

I think that'd be pretty cool!

Not a revolution of the mount itself, rather in how they are sold.


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Starhawk
Space Ranger
*****

Reged: 09/16/08

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: What would be revolutionary in Mounts? new [Re: schluterdude]
      #6367941 - 02/10/14 09:43 AM

A Heathkit mount?!

-Rich


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Starhawk
Space Ranger
*****

Reged: 09/16/08

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: What would be revolutionary in Mounts? new [Re: EFT]
      #6367963 - 02/10/14 09:59 AM

Ed,
to take it a little further for the audience here, let's say you need to make $4000/ month to keep the business open.

At a 4% margin, that means you would need to put in $100,000 in inventory and sell it every single month, $1.2 million/ year, in order to personally clear maybe $50k for yourself.

Think about it. And understand our vendors aren't here out of greed.

If you don't believe me, and think it's easier to make a living at this than my numbers suggest, all you have to do is contact a couple of the major primes and tell them you want to become a dealer. They'll send you a file with the dealer cost and allowed sale price (and yes, that minimum price is what you will be selling for in the internet age). Divide the sale price by the dealer price and you'll suddenly see the where my 4-6% comes from. Then factor in you will have to sell the lower margin, but expensive, high end stuff to be allowed to sell an annual volume which comes to anything, they want you to pay shipping, and the high margin stuff is so inexpensive, you'll have to ship trainloads of them to make any money, and you'll see why there isn't a telescope shop next to every Starbucks.

-Rich

Quote:

Quote:

unfortunately, I've done what it took to find out- the high end stuff has a 4%-6% margin for the retailer. The money to keep the doors open comes from those silly little 60mm refractors labeled 600X and eyepieces.

-Rich




The 4-6% is true because the flat margin does not take into account the fact that there are time and expenses associated with each sale that are not accounted for in the margin made on that sale. When it comes to brick and mortar stores then you enter into a different realm where the low end stuff may become the largest overall profit maker. B&M stores are very difficult today in most areas, even in Arizona where some of the best skies are.

Profit is certainly not a dirty word but it seems that many people in the hobby think it is and also think it is much greater than reality.




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Cotts
Just Wondering
*****

Reged: 10/10/05

Loc: Toronto, Ontario
Re: What would be revolutionary in Mounts? new [Re: Starhawk]
      #6368024 - 02/10/14 10:33 AM

On the Grab-and-go side of things how about motor drives for the Discmount DM6?

Dave


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gdd
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 11/23/05

Loc: N Seattle suburb, WA
Re: What would be revolutionary in Mounts? new [Re: Cotts]
      #6368096 - 02/10/14 11:11 AM

How a about a company that did not build mounts but built the component parts in a range of sizes and precision optimized for the needs of the astronomy hobby. Manufacturers could base their mounts on these interchangeable parts and differentiate their mounts with other electonics, style, ergonomics, and so on.

This would allow for more economies of scale for expensive precision key components.

Gale


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thonybear
super member


Reged: 04/12/11

Loc: Bangkok, Thailand
Re: What would be revolutionary in Mounts? new [Re: GIR]
      #6368201 - 02/10/14 12:12 PM

My openion of a new revolution mount.
2 clicks alt-azimuth mount.

Aim by yourself for the target you want.
First click to lock on the target.
Adjust it for center of view by hand controller for next step.
Finally, the second click to confirm the accuracy of that target.
That's all extremely simple use, but sam result of big mount!


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hungerford
sage


Reged: 08/23/08

Re: What would be revolutionary in Mounts? new [Re: thonybear]
      #6368568 - 02/10/14 03:10 PM

A mount who works right out of the box.
Vince


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Spacetravelerx
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 12/23/12

Loc: New Mexico
Re: What would be revolutionary in Mounts? new [Re: hungerford]
      #6368570 - 02/10/14 03:11 PM

Quote:

A mount who works right out of the box.
Vince




Vince,

I hope most would work right out of the box. I would be ticked if they didn't!


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wz2
Most Boring Astronomer...


Reged: 07/30/10

Re: What would be revolutionary in Mounts? new [Re: gdd]
      #6368625 - 02/10/14 03:34 PM

Quote:

How a about a company that did not build mounts but built the component parts in a range of sizes and precision optimized for the needs of the astronomy hobby. Manufacturers could base their mounts on these interchangeable parts and differentiate their mounts with other electonics, style, ergonomics, and so on.

This would allow for more economies of scale for expensive precision key components.

Gale




Kinda like building your own computer - cool idea


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schluterdude
super member


Reged: 08/05/13

Loc: Centerville, OH
Re: What would be revolutionary in Mounts? new [Re: Starhawk]
      #6368628 - 02/10/14 03:35 PM

Yeah! A grown up's erector set!

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JMW
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/11/07

Loc: Nevada
Re: What would be revolutionary in Mounts? new [Re: Cotts]
      #6368656 - 02/10/14 03:47 PM

Quote:

On the Grab-and-go side of things how about motor drives for the Discmount DM6?

Dave




Something like a RA tracker motor under the DM6. It would be like putting your DM6 tripod on an equatorial table. It would be a push-to Alt/Az head with tracking. The only pain would be polar aligning the RA drive axis.

Another approach would be to take a typical Alt/Az goto mount and give it DM6 quality slip clutches so you could push your scope around manually and let go and the tracking would resume.


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Midnight Dan
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 01/23/08

Loc: Hilton, NY, Yellow Zone (Bortl...
Re: What would be revolutionary in Mounts? new [Re: JMW]
      #6368709 - 02/10/14 04:07 PM

How about an open source mount? Maybe based on an Arduino or Raspberry Pi. That way, some of these added features that are being suggested by people can be supplied by hobbyists, in the same way that some of the best astro computer software is written by passionate amateurs.

-Dan


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RealSorin
super member


Reged: 10/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: What would be revolutionary in Mounts? new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #6369589 - 02/10/14 11:07 PM

Quote:


In your friend's case, it seems like she has the interest and inclination to observe the night sky and that if she had a simple mount with a scope that was chosen for starhopping, it is possible, even likely, that she spend many more hours simply enjoying the night sky.





Jon, I do see your point, but some of us don't care to invest the time to learn the sky well enough to star hop - I'd rather be able to tell my scope what I want to look at and have it go there. Which is why she bought the scope she did in the first place.

Blame it on the smartphones, and pity most mounts don't work as well as the iPhones do.


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Waldemar
member


Reged: 08/02/08

Loc: Netherlands
Re: What would be revolutionary in Mounts? new [Re: GIR]
      #6377784 - 02/15/14 01:39 PM

Quote:

Quote:

a mount without gearing,,, a unit that floats on magnetic field,,, they use them on mono rails,,, technically it should work,,,




Sounds very much like ASA mounts ...and yes it works




+1

Waldemar


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jimb1001
sage
*****

Reged: 11/14/09

Loc: Florida
Re: What would be revolutionary in Mounts? new [Re: RealSorin]
      #6377893 - 02/15/14 02:38 PM

Quote:

I was just talking with someone last night that has a Meade LS series scope that she only occasionally pulls out to just manually point at the moon, because the alignment routine always points it onto the ground.




Has she called Meade to try to solve the problem? I hear stories like this and I'm amazed that people don't call Meade and resolve the issue.

I have an LS8 and it works perfectly, so I know its possible.

In fact, I had mine out two nights ago. Plopped it down with no regard to north and flipped the switch. 3 minutes later it told me it was aligned. As a check, I selected M42 from the menu, hit enter and goto. When the scope finished slewing, there was M42 in the center of my 17mm eyepiece.

Went to 3-4 other objects and each was right in the middle. Of course I have high precision slews set up so the scope goes to a nearby star, the camera takes a photo, measures the offset, makes corrections, slews to the object. All with no help from me.

If your friend wants to solve her problem she should call Meade. Heck, she can PM me and I'll try to help her. But not using the scope for anything but a manual look at the moon is a waste, she should sell it and buy something more useful if she doesn't want to fix it. Also, I have found Meade customer service quite willing to help, bot in Cali and Mexico.


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Spacetravelerx
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 12/23/12

Loc: New Mexico
Re: What would be revolutionary in Mounts? new [Re: jimb1001]
      #6377913 - 02/15/14 02:53 PM

Quote:

Quote:

I was just talking with someone last night that has a Meade LS series scope that she only occasionally pulls out to just manually point at the moon, because the alignment routine always points it onto the ground.




Has she called Meade to try to solve the problem? I hear stories like this and I'm amazed that people don't call Meade and resolve the issue.

I have an LS8 and it works perfectly, so I know its possible.

In fact, I had mine out two nights ago. Plopped it down with no regard to north and flipped the switch. 3 minutes later it told me it was aligned. As a check, I selected M42 from the menu, hit enter and goto. When the scope finished slewing, there was M42 in the center of my 17mm eyepiece.

Went to 3-4 other objects and each was right in the middle. Of course I have high precision slews set up so the scope goes to a nearby star, the camera takes a photo, measures the offset, makes corrections, slews to the object. All with no help from me.

If your friend wants to solve her problem she should call Meade. Heck, she can PM me and I'll try to help her. But not using the scope for anything but a manual look at the moon is a waste, she should sell it and buy something more useful if she doesn't want to fix it. Also, I have found Meade customer service quite willing to help, bot in Cali and Mexico.




I would 100% second jimb1001 comments!

This sounds like a simple fix/how to call, and I am certain the folks on CN could also help out. My question to the person who made the statement his friend was having problems - why didn't you direct her to CN? Why didn't you help her???

I find Meade customer service very responsive both on phone and email. Very friendly bunch.

In other news, my LX850 is working very well still - nothing mediocre about it. LX200 - 23 years old, and going strong - nothing mediocre about that too.


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ur7x
professor emeritus


Reged: 01/08/12

Re: What would be revolutionary in Mounts? new [Re: jimb1001]
      #6377925 - 02/15/14 03:05 PM

Quote:

Quote:

I was just talking with someone last night that has a Meade LS series scope that she only occasionally pulls out to just manually point at the moon, because the alignment routine always points it onto the ground.




Has she called Meade to try to solve the problem? I hear stories like this and I'm amazed that people don't call Meade and resolve the issue.

I have an LS8 and it works perfectly, so I know its possible.

In fact, I had mine out two nights ago. Plopped it down with no regard to north and flipped the switch. 3 minutes later it told me it was aligned. As a check, I selected M42 from the menu, hit enter and goto. When the scope finished slewing, there was M42 in the center of my 17mm eyepiece.

Went to 3-4 other objects and each was right in the middle. Of course I have high precision slews set up so the scope goes to a nearby star, the camera takes a photo, measures the offset, makes corrections, slews to the object. All with no help from me.

If your friend wants to solve her problem she should call Meade. Heck, she can PM me and I'll try to help her. But not using the scope for anything but a manual look at the moon is a waste, she should sell it and buy something more useful if she doesn't want to fix it. Also, I have found Meade customer service quite willing to help, bot in Cali and Mexico.




My neighbor bought an LS8 and had very similar problems. He did call Meade, in fact he shipped it back to Meade, they had it for about a month, shipped it back, and it returned with the same problem.

The local dealer happily returned it and sold him a different mount and OTA.
Which work...

He then sold him Starsense... which does not...

Revolutionary in Mounts? how about something like a universal DIRECT PnP USB connector for laptop control of the mounts?


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terry59
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 07/18/11

Loc: Colorado, USA
Re: What would be revolutionary in Mounts? new [Re: ur7x]
      #6378038 - 02/15/14 04:12 PM

Quote:


Revolutionary in Mounts? how about something like a universal DIRECT PnP USB connector for laptop control of the mounts?




Gemini II... although the ethernet connection it has is better


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jimb1001
sage
*****

Reged: 11/14/09

Loc: Florida
Re: What would be revolutionary in Mounts? new [Re: ur7x]
      #6378914 - 02/16/14 02:49 AM

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

I was just talking with someone last night that has a Meade LS series scope that she only occasionally pulls out to just manually point at the moon, because the alignment routine always points it onto the ground.




Has she called Meade to try to solve the problem? I hear stories like this and I'm amazed that people don't call Meade and resolve the issue.

I have an LS8 and it works perfectly, so I know its possible.

In fact, I had mine out two nights ago. Plopped it down with no regard to north and flipped the switch. 3 minutes later it told me it was aligned. As a check, I selected M42 from the menu, hit enter and goto. When the scope finished slewing, there was M42 in the center of my 17mm eyepiece.

Went to 3-4 other objects and each was right in the middle. Of course I have high precision slews set up so the scope goes to a nearby star, the camera takes a photo, measures the offset, makes corrections, slews to the object. All with no help from me.

If your friend wants to solve her problem she should call Meade. Heck, she can PM me and I'll try to help her. But not using the scope for anything but a manual look at the moon is a waste, she should sell it and buy something more useful if she doesn't want to fix it. Also, I have found Meade customer service quite willing to help, bot in Cali and Mexico.




My neighbor bought an LS8 and had very similar problems. He did call Meade, in fact he shipped it back to Meade, they had it for about a month, shipped it back, and it returned with the same problem.

The local dealer happily returned it and sold him a different mount and OTA.
Which work...

He then sold him Starsense... which does not...

Revolutionary in Mounts? how about something like a universal DIRECT PnP USB connector for laptop control of the mounts?




Its just hard to believe mine can work so well and other can be unfixable.

Doesn't sound like a mechanical problem so software or firmware is the likely culprit. Reloading the software is easy and should provide some insight as ver. 1.6 is known to be stable. If the problem exists after a reload of 1.6 then there are only a couple of things it can be and Meade should certainly be able to help.

Usually anecdotes like these have some element missing in the retelling because even though these systems are pretty sophisticated, they aren't that complicated that the manufacturer can't figure out the problem.


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gdd
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 11/23/05

Loc: N Seattle suburb, WA
Re: What would be revolutionary in Mounts? new [Re: jimb1001]
      #6379139 - 02/16/14 09:50 AM

A lot of things we buy are inexpensive compared to the engineering that went into them because they can all be made from a mold as in the case of plastics and cast metal products. The same principle applies to the chips used in computers and digital cameras. If it were possible to do the same in mounts with a many times the precision that is usually seen today a revolution in quality and price would be possible. But there is the chicken and egg problem, no one will invest in the infrastructure unless there is a market, the market will not appear until prices go down or there is a revolution in marketing. A lot of people could not figure out why they needed all those features in cell phones or why they needed tablet computers, but we were convinced these were things we had to have and the market expanded astronomically.

Gale

Edited by gdd (02/16/14 09:51 AM)


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