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Equipment Discussions >> Cats & Casses

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jgraham
Postmaster
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Reged: 12/02/04

Loc: Miami Valley Astronomical Soci...
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: mac57]
      #5945739 - 06/28/13 10:34 PM

Regardless of what the future holds, there is a rich resource of equipment of all kinds available from the used market. Combining an old (and proven) optical tube with a modern mount can be an economical thing of beauty. I also take the muck raking with a grain of salt. I have found that very little of it holds up to actual experience. The key is either gaining first hand exerience through local resources or pulling reviews and comments from mulitple sources.

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mac57
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Reged: 02/19/13

Loc: DeLand of Oz, Florida
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: jgraham]
      #5945752 - 06/28/13 10:42 PM

John, Exactly. I know Meade still makes good equipment, but in my case, with a limited budget, I cannot take risks. I know someone that has a small Meade(I forget the model) that hasn't moved from their garage shelf for years, and have been tempted to buy it from time to time as a small grab-and-go. But things start to get murky when your products end up at Wal-Mart.
Mark


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Starhawk
Space Ranger
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Reged: 09/16/08

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: mac57]
      #5945909 - 06/29/13 01:54 AM

Meade wasn't founded until 1972. So, in what context do you remember it from the 1960s?

-Rich



Quote:

Whew! After reading through all of these posts, one thing always was in the back of my mind. Growing up in the 60's, the only "real" scope manufacturers I was aware of were Celestron, Questar, and Meade. I recognized these companies for what they were; respected makers of quality equipment. When I finally decided to seriously enter into amateur astronomy, I was stunned at the number of lines that Meade produced. Even more stunning was the general negative attitude of CN members against Meade. No one ever said "Don't buy a Meade", but I got the drift. It seemed that everyone had either a Celestron or an Orion(Who?). I joined CN so I could make an informed decision about what my first scope should be, and owe a lot of what I know to the great people in these forums. My initial high opinion of Meade soon eroded, as I originally was thinking of a Meade as my first scope, simply through brand recognition. The mistakes that Meade made will not be forgotten quickly, and even if they manage to continue somehow, I feel that the bad taste many people have will only be resolved by years of re-building consumer trust. It doesn't look like Meade has that much time.




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rcdk
super member


Reged: 11/13/10

Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: mac57]
      #5946005 - 06/29/13 05:44 AM

Not everyone here hates Meade, but among my amateur astronomer friends we refer to CN as "the Meade bashers' forum."

I also did a lot of research here and came to the conclusion that I didn't want a Meade. Then someone from the local club pointed out the number of people in the club who had Meade scopes and were perfectly happy with their purchase. (Plenty of club members have Celestron too and are happy with them as well.)

Now I know there are a few tireless Meade haters that show up in almost every thread where Meade is mentioned.

That's a real shame because there are a lot of great information and people with real knowledge that can help you make a good purchase decision. But those with an axe to grind against Meade definitely skew the picture.



Quote:

...Even more stunning was the general negative attitude of CN members against Meade. No one ever said "Don't buy a Meade", but I got the drift. It seemed that everyone had either a Celestron or an Orion(Who?). I joined CN so I could make an informed decision about what my first scope should be, and owe a lot of what I know to the great people in these forums. ...




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mac57
super member


Reged: 02/19/13

Loc: DeLand of Oz, Florida
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: Starhawk]
      #5946009 - 06/29/13 06:01 AM

Pardon me. I stand corrected. I know they have been around a long time as a well respected company. Stay cheerful.

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Jon Isaacs
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Reged: 06/16/04

Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: rcdk]
      #5946015 - 06/29/13 06:10 AM

Quote:

Not everyone here hates Meade, but among my amateur astronomer friends we refer to CN as "the Meade bashers' forum."

I also did a lot of research here and came to the conclusion that I didn't want a Meade. Then someone from the local club pointed out the number of people in the club who had Meade scopes and were perfectly happy with their purchase. (Plenty of club members have Celestron too and are happy with them as well.)

Now I know there are a few tireless Meade haters that show up in almost every thread where Meade is mentioned.

That's a real shame because there are a lot of great information and people with real knowledge that can help you make a good purchase decision. But those with an axe to grind against Meade definitely skew the picture.



Quote:

...Even more stunning was the general negative attitude of CN members against Meade. No one ever said "Don't buy a Meade", but I got the drift. It seemed that everyone had either a Celestron or an Orion(Who?). I joined CN so I could make an informed decision about what my first scope should be, and owe a lot of what I know to the great people in these forums. ...







I think it is unfair to call people who point to Meade's difficulties as "Meade haters." This is a discussion of why Meade is in serious financial difficulties and obviously such a thread must look at focus on their mistakes and where they went wrong.

Reading this thread, it is pretty obvious to me that there is a great deal of support for Meade product on Cloudy Nights. But there is an awareness that there are problems and those problems are not the result of "Meade bashers" that show up to every thread and more than from "Meade fan-boys" who cannot see any problems when the ship is sinking.

We are just by-standers wishing there was something we do.

Jon


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Ekyprotic
super member
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Reged: 11/28/12

Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5946037 - 06/29/13 07:06 AM

I quite agree. I think many of us will forever be indebted to Meade for being affordable enough to get us into serious visual astronomy as well as astrophotography. Honestly, where would be all be if it weren't for the ETX's and DSI's getting us started in this great hobby?

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Ekyprotic
super member
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Reged: 11/28/12

Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: rcdk]
      #5946039 - 06/29/13 07:09 AM

It's like Microsoft vs Apple, honestly as long as you're happy with your purchase, it's all that matters. I have products from both companies too (actually more Meade than Celestron but my most expensive purchase is a Celestron and I love all of them.)

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Ekyprotic
super member
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Reged: 11/28/12

Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: Starhawk]
      #5946041 - 06/29/13 07:13 AM

No no reference to government officials specifically, I mean I blame everyone for what's been going on, but this is more of a corporate issue.

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Ekyprotic
super member
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Reged: 11/28/12

Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: Madratter]
      #5946049 - 06/29/13 07:23 AM

I understand what you guys are saying, but what I dont understand is why is astronomy dying? We should be entering a golden age, where we have interactive desktop 3D astronomy software available at the cutting edge of science, can get up to date astronomy news over the net any time instead of waiting for Astronomy or Sky and Telescope to come out once a month, can do quality astrophotography even with point and shoot digital cameras- we could never even dream of any of these things back in the 80s when I first became interested in astronomy (was interested starting in 3rd grade actually, but became really serious about it starting in 7th grade.) Back then cheap telescopes were 60mm refractors, now we can get 90mm goto refractors for the same price (back then we swooned over setting circles lol)! That's a sizeable step up! You can get a 6" tabletop Dob from Orion at an afforable price (back then we had 3" Tasco reflectors lol..... to be fair we did have the 5.5" tabletop Comet Catcher- a scope I coveted when I was little.) Back then I had to research for hours in libraries and sometimes spend the whole day there to acquire knowledge that I was seeking, now I can get in the matter of minutes, all while interacting with some wonderful intelligent people who share the same love of science that I do.

Monopolies are extremely unhealthy for progress and innovation- as Microsoft and Intel have proven time and again. This should be a Golden Age in astronomy- and in all of science- and yet it isn't. Why?


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Spacetravelerx
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 12/23/12

Loc: New Mexico
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: rcdk]
      #5946054 - 06/29/13 07:26 AM

Quote:

Not everyone here hates Meade, but among my amateur astronomer friends we refer to CN as "the Meade bashers' forum."

I also did a lot of research here and came to the conclusion that I didn't want a Meade. Then someone from the local club pointed out the number of people in the club who had Meade scopes and were perfectly happy with their purchase. (Plenty of club members have Celestron too and are happy with them as well.)

Now I know there are a few tireless Meade haters that show up in almost every thread where Meade is mentioned.

That's a real shame because there are a lot of great information and people with real knowledge that can help you make a good purchase decision. But those with an axe to grind against Meade definitely skew the picture.



Quote:

...Even more stunning was the general negative attitude of CN members against Meade. No one ever said "Don't buy a Meade", but I got the drift. It seemed that everyone had either a Celestron or an Orion(Who?). I joined CN so I could make an informed decision about what my first scope should be, and owe a lot of what I know to the great people in these forums. ...









rcdk - I agree with you 100%. As you can see with my "Reged" date, 12/23/12, I am new here. Prior to joining CN, my discussions with fellow astronomers was either in a lab, mountain top, camp or club event. Always positive. Talked about Astronomy, discoveries, shared knowledge, education and talked new products coming out (always a fun conversation, new gadgets). I never heard ONE thing bad about Meade. Well I take that back - one parent complained about how her 10 year old broke the 8" LX200 she bought him and the problems he was having (the kid was a tad aggressive with the system!).

I come here to CN, and the attacks on Meade are very pronounced.

Simple example - a comment came out that no one would dare put an LX850 in a high end dome. When I said I was, I was told I was obviously in the minority and I sensed the snooty attitude of why buy fine china and then put a hamburger on it. Not the nice technical discussion on matching the LX850 tracking with the dome remotely like others (I will be interested in that FYI), but more of a put down.

These forums are quite good. And I like SOME of the philosophical stuff when the put downs are kept out. The fighting, put downs, and rude behavior is highly noticeable here on CN. I have seen some interesting and sad knock down/drag down arguments recently in Video Astronomy and the Refractor vs SCT war (I never knew there was one!).

But yes, in the 6 months since joining CN, the bashing at times is quite noticeable and quite nauseating. Several folks here make a great effort to make you feel bad about ever owning a Meade. I know one dealer did that with me and lost $10k in sales.

Don't worry though, Meade is a good name and good products. Yes, it has had its ups and downs like many things out there (oh wait, Celestron is perfect, never mind), but for the vast majority Meade has done very well for most of us.


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Scott BeithAdministrator
SRF
*****

Reged: 11/26/03

Loc: Frederick, MD
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: Spacetravelerx]
      #5946098 - 06/29/13 08:14 AM

Neither Meade or Celestron are perfect.
If you want proof that CN members point out deficiencies of both brands - check the CGEM and CGE-PRO mount discussions when each was first released.
Every brand has growing pains and issues.

Folks just get defensive when issues arise with a brand in which they have invested $$$.

The ultimate proof of my last statement is the refractor forum.

I wanted to toss in my

Now back to our previously outstanding discussion.


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Gord
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 01/06/04

Loc: Toronto, ON, Canada
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: Scott Beith]
      #5946127 - 06/29/13 08:41 AM

Scott,

Right on the money! There's no shortage of info on people expressing what they got and what they like, but what's really important is to hear what isn't working so people can get a feel for what they might be getting into.

Clear skies,


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rmollise
Postmaster
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Reged: 07/06/07

Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: mac57]
      #5946149 - 06/29/13 09:00 AM

Quote:

Whew! After reading through all of these posts, one thing always was in the back of my mind. Growing up in the 60's, the only "real" scope manufacturers I was aware of were Celestron, Questar, and Meade. I recognized these companies for what they were; respected makers of quality equipment. When I finally decided to seriously enter into amateur astronomy, I was stunned at the number of lines that Meade produced. Even more stunning was the general negative attitude of CN members against Meade. No one ever said "Don't buy a Meade", but I got the drift. It seemed that everyone had either a Celestron or an Orion(Who?).




Orion is a dealer, not a manufacturer. They mostly sell products from Synta (who owns Celestron). As for Meade? They got started modestly in 1972, but soon moved on to producing gear easily as high in quality as Celestron and better than that of some other U.S. outfits like Edmund Scientific. Yes, Meade made some missteps in recent years with stuff that was not ready for prime time like the RCX400, the LX80, and the LX800. But even now, most of their gear, like the LX200 has still been very good indeed.


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rmollise
Postmaster
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Reged: 07/06/07

Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: Ekyprotic]
      #5946165 - 06/29/13 09:08 AM

Quote:

I understand what you guys are saying, but what I dont understand is why is astronomy dying?




It's not. The doom and gloom brigade has been saying that _at least_ since I got started in 1965.

One more time: Meade's difficulties are not because of amateur astronomy's health. They are because of M-E-A-D-E.


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Stew57
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 05/03/09

Loc: Silsbee Texas
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: rmollise]
      #5946229 - 06/29/13 09:50 AM

Entirely correct. Hard to feel sorry for the Meade execs. I do feel sorry for the astro community however.

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Cotts
Just Wondering
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Reged: 10/10/05

Loc: Toronto, Ontario
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: rmollise]
      #5946245 - 06/29/13 10:01 AM

If one has been in the hobby for, say, 10 years or less you'll observe that the demographic is largely folks in their 40's through 70's. It would be easy to ask, "Where is the new blood? Where are the young people? The Hobby is in trouble!! etc. etc."

Well, in the 1970's, when I began going to club meetings and observing sessions I very much noticed the elderly demographic of people in their 40's through their 70's - exactly like today.

Astronomy is a 'disposable income' Hobby and, as such, it selects against younger participants. Any club meeting or star party these days is bound to give the impression that it's all grey hair and in decline. But that 50 year old standing beside you was a teenager in the 1970's and entered the Hobby somehow and 'somewhen'.

I believe the Hobby has never been stronger. The Dobsonian revolution of the late 1970's, the digital revolution of the past two decades and the rise of quality equipment at reasonable cost from China have seen to that. The loss of Meade (if, indeed it does go down) has precedent in Cave, Unitron going down in the past. But excellent companies have risen in their place. It is rather like the demographic. Some older folks 'age out' of the hobby and are replaced by newbies but the population appears the same.

Meade may go. Meade may stay. But we will be fine either way.

Dave


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Spacetravelerx
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 12/23/12

Loc: New Mexico
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: Cotts]
      #5946298 - 06/29/13 10:32 AM

Quote:

If one has been in the hobby for, say, 10 years or less you'll observe that the demographic is largely folks in their 40's through 70's. It would be easy to ask, "Where is the new blood? Where are the young people? The Hobby is in trouble!! etc. etc."

Well, in the 1970's, when I began going to club meetings and observing sessions I very much noticed the elderly demographic of people in their 40's through their 70's - exactly like today.

Astronomy is a 'disposable income' Hobby and, as such, it selects against younger participants. Any club meeting or star party these days is bound to give the impression that it's all grey hair and in decline. But that 50 year old standing beside you was a teenager in the 1970's and entered the Hobby somehow and 'somewhen'.

I believe the Hobby has never been stronger. The Dobsonian revolution of the late 1970's, the digital revolution of the past two decades and the rise of quality equipment at reasonable cost from China have seen to that. The loss of Meade (if, indeed it does go down) has precedent in Cave, Unitron going down in the past. But excellent companies have risen in their place. It is rather like the demographic. Some older folks 'age out' of the hobby and are replaced by newbies but the population appears the same.

Meade may go. Meade may stay. But we will be fine either way.

Dave





Dave,

I don't know if I fully agree with your statement. Yes and no this is a disposable income hobby. For most expensive stuff, yes. But I got started with nothing but a simple book and very simple spotting scope.

I started as a youngin' in 1967 at 5.

When I got old enough to cause real trouble I always started an Astronomy newsletter (love those mimeographs!) and/or club where ever I went. I worked hard to get what I could hardware wise (Tasco, then RV-6) and experimented with AP - first the Edmund Scientific Polaroid Camera and then the Olympus OM-1. I saw the old timers, but there were us young folk out there doing our thing. Heck, I got myself a booth at a town fair at 13 with my own parachute cover I haggled for; got materials from the local museum (SWOMSI in Oregon) and even offered FREE ICE WATER to bring folks to my booth (ever the salesman!). I found myself also some grey beards in the field to befriend and "learn the trade".

I saw other kids in other areas do similar things. Build their own scopes, newletters, etc. (didn't the editor of Astronomy and Uncle Al do that? How about Uncle Rod too?).

Today, I work with kids all the time but something is clearly missing.

Attention is too divided. Too many things going on. Light pollution. Helicopter Parents? Who knows.

My happiest moment? Not taking that amazing DSO pict (but I want that too) or discovering a comet - it is when a parent or grandfolk thanks me for a chance for them and their kids to take a look at Jupiter or Saturn, and MAYBE, JUST MAYBE that kid will get interested and start his or her own newsletter, blog or create the next great telescope.
Or simply just wonder and enjoy the heavens.

Still, something is different today. The mystery seems to be gone. Maybe I am just old, but still...I sense a disturbance in the Force...


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Jon Isaacs
Postmaster
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Reged: 06/16/04

Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: rmollise]
      #5946323 - 06/29/13 10:49 AM

Quote:

Orion is a dealer, not a manufacturer




Rod:

My understanding is Orion is a vendor but one who works closely with manufacturers in product design and development. Sometimes Orion will have an idea and find someone to manufacture it. In that way, Orion has been very innovative and a leader.

Jon


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Jon Isaacs
Postmaster
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Reged: 06/16/04

Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: rmollise]
      #5946325 - 06/29/13 10:49 AM

Quote:

Orion is a dealer, not a manufacturer




Rod:

My understanding is Orion is a vendor but one who works closely with manufacturers in product design and development. Sometimes Orion will have an idea and find someone to manufacture it. In that way, Orion has been very innovative and a leader.

Jon


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