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Equipment Discussions >> Cats & Casses

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bicparker
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 02/07/05

Loc: Texas Hill Country
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: Escher]
      #5951420 - 07/02/13 02:22 PM

Quote:

Awww shucks... I'm just mad that by the time I'd be able to save up the money for an LX850, there wont be one to buy...

Meade's were my first scopes back in the day so it just makes me sad to see them go... But its understandable given the information I've read here..




You can always get one used and it will already be broken in by a gentle user (hopefully!).


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mark379
sage
*****

Reged: 02/07/09

Loc: New Jersey
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: rmollise]
      #5951467 - 07/02/13 02:55 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Awww shucks... I'm just mad that by the time I'd be able to save up the money for an LX850, there wont be one to buy...






Maybe, maybe not. The last page of this story has yet to be written.




As with anything, yes. Time will tell. Speculation is wonderful, and hope at the very least the SCT part of Meade survives. That is what they did best, especially with the lx 200.Weather it still has the Meade brand name does not matter so much I guess. I think having more than one manufacturer of sct scopes is a good thing. It keeps sct products advancing forward. Some will be failures, some will not. Perhaps getting back to Q/C will help too. Many of Meade's products were plagued with quality control issues. An example is the Schmidt Newtonian. Great scope, nice optics, then they skimped out big time on the focuser. Whoever picks up Meade in pieces or whole needs to learn that lesson. The full page Astronomy Magazine ads are nice, but make sure the product is bug free before it comes out.

Nevertheless, I love our Club's 12" Lx 200 which I find to be one of their nicest offerings. I'm still a little biased to Celestron myself, but enjoy using the LX 200 too.

Wishing Meade the best,to whatever fate lies in store for it!


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Spacetravelerx
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 12/23/12

Loc: New Mexico
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: bicparker]
      #5951475 - 07/02/13 02:59 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Awww shucks... I'm just mad that by the time I'd be able to save up the money for an LX850, there wont be one to buy...

Meade's were my first scopes back in the day so it just makes me sad to see them go... But its understandable given the information I've read here..




You can always get one used and it will already be broken in by a gentle user (hopefully!).




Well I will tell you, the LX850 so far has really worked very well for me and others. Jason, John and others have posted some good stuff. I am still learning (weather and travel have conspired against me). Though the video and visual views are stunning.

If Meade disappears, I hope someone picks up this IP and keeps several of these models going. If I had the funds right now, I would. Like I said, if I had a few million, I would just buy Meade, work the magic, and be done with this game. Alas, I do not have it just yet.

And if I sold my unit used the cheapest I would go is $20k. Only because it is an amazing unit and a rare bird it seems. However I have no plans on parting with it.


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starrancher
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 06/09/09

Loc: Northern Arizona
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5951538 - 07/02/13 03:33 PM

Quote:

It wasn't too much later that Celestron introduced the CG-5 ASGT. It worked out of the box with few if any teething troubles and had some features, notably the 2 inch Stainless Steel tripod, that made it the better choice than the LXD-75.




I don't know about that . The LXD75 with its 2" tubular tripod is a nice stable setup with leg tightening mechanics superior to the CG5GT tripod . Althought it may be chromed steel instead of stainless it seems a more solid tripod to me .
My observing buddy of the last six years has the C6SCT CG5GT which is a nice setup with great optics but typically the LXD75 has been more efficient in slewing as far as speed and also accuracy to targets go . The LXD is rather loud when slewing at top speed but in bringing it down one notch to the same speed that the CG5 slews at , it isn't any different . I don't mind the audio level when slewing so I use mine at full speed ahead and just warn everybody within ear shot that I'm firing up the coffee grinder .
The spiral search function and PEC training are features that I don't see on the Celestron mount and the slew rate on the Meade just stomps on the CG5 . The LXD seems more robust to me , and I by far prefer it to the CG5 . Maybe I'm just partial to my own stuff and there exists some partisan values , but I can say that I think one of the biggest mistakes Meade made was dropping that line .
They should have upped the ante and came out with something to compete with the CGEM and the Pro CGEM or GEM Pro or whatever it is . That is where Celestrons moves proved superior to Meades even though those mounts were not entirely flawless either .


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starrancher
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 06/09/09

Loc: Northern Arizona
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: mark379]
      #5951570 - 07/02/13 03:44 PM

Quote:

Many of Meade's products were plagued with quality control issues. An example is the Schmidt Newtonian. Great scope, nice optics, then they skimped out big time on the focuser.




Yep . Sad that they dropped that scope as it has shown me some absolutely awesome night sky . They should have corrected that problem , spent a few cents more on the focuser and kept that dandy unit .
I love mine and it still has that garbage focuser on it . It's a big pain to use but with patience , the views are nothing less than amazing . The AR5 was one of the better achromats on the market too . Another mistake they made was dropping that . People want affordable refractors .
Hello !


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RodgerHouTex
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 06/02/09

Loc: Houston, Texas, USA
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: Spacetravelerx]
      #5951641 - 07/02/13 04:12 PM

Let's not rehash the LX80 and LX800 debacles we're all well aware of how that went.

But, how about the Coronados? Multiple folks reported a rusting problem which made their scopes unusable. Some product testing would have identified this issue.

So to recap, Meade's LX80, LX800, Coronados, and let's not forget the RCX400s none of which were ready for prime time. Why is Meade failing, because they have been producing *BLEEP*. Plain and simple.


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RodgerHouTex
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 06/02/09

Loc: Houston, Texas, USA
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: drakeSPR4]
      #5951646 - 07/02/13 04:14 PM

The address of MIT Capital includes a "suite". That's usually a tip off for a P.O. Box maintained by a UPS store. It's not an actual place. Sounds like a sham, truthfully.

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Chaz659
sage


Reged: 12/08/12

Loc: Islip, NY
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: RodgerHouTex]
      #5951663 - 07/02/13 04:24 PM

There is a single address in Delaware that is home to more than 200K corporations. It is a common practice used to take advantage of tax law.

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EFT
Vendor - Deep Space Products
*****

Reged: 05/07/07

Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: Spacetravelerx]
      #5951679 - 07/02/13 04:28 PM

Quote:

And if I sold my unit used the cheapest I would go is $20k. Only because it is an amazing unit and a rare bird it seems. However I have no plans on parting with it.




That must be the gold plated model. It's a good thing you like it because if Meade disappears you would be lucky to half of what you paid for it.


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Spacetravelerx
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 12/23/12

Loc: New Mexico
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: RodgerHouTex]
      #5951695 - 07/02/13 04:34 PM

Quote:

Let's not rehash the LX80 and LX800 debacles we're all well aware of how that went.

But, how about the Coronados? Multiple folks reported a rusting problem which made their scopes unusable. Some product testing would have identified this issue.

So to recap, Meade's LX80, LX800, Coronados, and let's not forget the RCX400s none of which were ready for prime time. Why is Meade failing, because they have been producing *BLEEP*. Plain and simple.




Roger,

It is important to get the facts straight on the rusting problem.

* First it only affected a certain batch of PSTs, and a limited number of those. This was something that could not be caught in QA. Meade did repair all units effected. Since it impacted only a limited number, there was no need for a recall. The design and manufacturing process (and I believe ITF vendor) was modified. I believe this issue has been resolved. FYI - Meade has sold +100k of the PSTs. Have they all rusted?

* This did not effect other Coronado Systems

* Do not forget many other systems were ready for primetime last I checked. I have Meade products from 1976. They still work fine.

I am not trying to defend their failures, and they were all preventable, but understand Meade does have many great successful products. I could list them, but we know what they are.

And with all the good and bad, that is what makes the Meade situation so frustrating.

P.S. - My PST works fine. Addictive little unit. I am really looking at picking up the 90mm SolarMax II if available.

P.P.S - I really don't want to get into the Lunt vs. Coronado debate.


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Spacetravelerx
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 12/23/12

Loc: New Mexico
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: EFT]
      #5951703 - 07/02/13 04:40 PM

Quote:

Quote:

And if I sold my unit used the cheapest I would go is $20k. Only because it is an amazing unit and a rare bird it seems. However I have no plans on parting with it.




That must be the gold plated model. It's a good thing you like it because if Meade disappears you would be lucky to half of what you paid for it.




EFT - it is indeed gold plated.

Who knows what I will get for it. The point is, I am not selling. But if someone wants to cough up $20k I am willing to listen.

The last time I sold my Meade Telescope was in 1991 (an 8" Newtonian with 50mm finder and 80mm guidescope) to purchase the 10" LX200. I usually do not sell my telescopes.

I HIGHLY regret selling my RV-6. If I remember who I sold it to, I would buy it back in a heart beat - if it is in reasonable condition. Then again, if I got it I am sure I could find someone to gussy it up.


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EddWen
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 04/26/08

Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: RodgerHouTex]
      #5951704 - 07/02/13 04:40 PM


Meade inheirited the rust issue unknowingly when they bought Coronado from the Lunts. I will say that Meade did step up to plate on this issue. They figured out a solution and applied it to all faulty units, even those delivered by Coronado and many no longer under warranty.
Quote:

Let's not rehash the LX80 and LX800 debacles we're all well aware of how that went.

But, how about the Coronados? Multiple folks reported a rusting problem which made their scopes unusable. Some product testing would have identified this issue.

So to recap, Meade's LX80, LX800, Coronados, and let's not forget the RCX400s none of which were ready for prime time. Why is Meade failing, because they have been producing *BLEEP*. Plain and simple.




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RodgerHouTex
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 06/02/09

Loc: Houston, Texas, USA
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: Spacetravelerx]
      #5951706 - 07/02/13 04:43 PM

I think you missed the part in my post about testing. Seems Meade was/is a little short in that area. Had they tested the Coronados they would have found it. It's not a quality of manufacture item it's a life test.

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Spacetravelerx
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 12/23/12

Loc: New Mexico
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: RodgerHouTex]
      #5951720 - 07/02/13 04:49 PM

Quote:

I think you missed the part in my post about testing. Seems Meade was/is a little short in that area. Had they tested the Coronados they would have found it. It's not a quality of manufacture item it's a life test.




I think this was just posted, but the problem cropped up as Meade purchased Coronado. They did test the PST and it does not show up until later on, well after it leaves the shop.

Meade has also dealt properly and corrected the problem.

This is also not a problem of the rest of the Coronado systems.


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gmartin02
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 04/11/05

Loc: Santa Clarita, CA
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: Spacetravelerx]
      #5951896 - 07/02/13 06:56 PM

Quote:

If Meade disappears, I hope someone picks up this IP and keeps several of these models going. If I had the funds right now, I would. Like I said, if I had a few million, I would just buy Meade, work the magic, and be done with this game. Alas, I do not have it just yet.

And if I sold my unit used the cheapest I would go is $20k. Only because it is an amazing unit and a rare bird it seems. However I have no plans on parting with it.



How do you come up with this stuff? I lol every time I read one of these posts.

Your keyboard is the gift that keeps on giving.

Greg

P.S. Beware - the Reality Distortion Field is no longer operational (the originator has sadly passed away), so you should no longer be subject to its effects.


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OzAndrewJ
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 11/30/10

Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: Starhawk]
      #5951910 - 07/02/13 07:06 PM

Gday Rich

Quote:

But for the long term, people my age and younger are asking, "What's the deal with COM on all this stuff?" It is seriously 1970s retro to have to go into the OS and define ports on a USB adapter you had to get working somehow and then get it to talk to the mount, somehow.




Thats why i just put a jumper cable to the real com port header on my brand new PC.
( Many motherboards still have a true com port on them, its just not wired up )
No drivers, no software updates, Just works .
Basic scope comms dont need high speeds or large data transfers,
they need to work in all extremes and be simple to use.

Quote:

So, compared to this, no astronomy prime is really getting to the state of the art, save maybe Southern Stars with Sky Safari. One doesn't have to be a great visionary to see where the technology needs to go.





But they dont have to deal with lots of "different mounts" and their various internal mechanisms.
One of the hidden problems here is economies of scale and mount integration.
The Meade scopes use distributed processing, and currently, we only have access to the main CPU for upgrades.
There are 1/2 a dozen more microprocessors involved as well.
Wireless etc wont help when it comes to getting all that working properly, if you cant fix/update all the bits as required ( vs buy new boards etc if possible ).
I see that as a more important function that needs addressing, however with the small product runs involved, the costs probably preclude any real "ongoing" development there, hence why Meade basically stop updating anything after the first few revisions.

Quote:

and whose products were increasingly incomprehensible to the prospective customer base.




I dunno for others, but for me, part of the fun is getting stuff running sweetly on a budget.
If the new customer base cant function unless they are looking into a rectangular IDevice that does eveything for them without requirement for thought or understanding, then i suggest they skip the scope etc and just get a bigger IDevice.

Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia


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Starman1
Vendor (EyepiecesEtc.com)
*****

Reged: 06/24/03

Loc: Los Angeles
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: OzAndrewJ]
      #5951956 - 07/02/13 07:34 PM

The last time I installed a printer on my PC, I turned the printer on, and accidentally attempted to print a page.
The PC told me in a message that it didn't have a driver for the printer it sensed was nearby, and could it download a driver for it from the internet?
I said yes.
It downloaded the driver, set up wireless communications with the printer, and printed the sheet without any further action on my part.

Telescope interaction will have arrived when a PC or tablet in the field automatically senses the mount, downloads a driver, then allows you to control the mount without further human intervention required.

Yes, you can do it in other ways, but why should you have to?

while we're on the subject of interface, how about voice control of the scope so I don't even have to look at a screeen:
"Go To NGC4411"
Brzzzzzzzzz........Beep!
I can make a call in my car by announcing "Call Home".
Why can't I control a scope the same way?

It's a myriad of examples like this that show how backward the telescope industry is.

In 1993, I wired my own cable, set up a com port, and connected a laptop to my LX200. It worked, and I could control the telescope that way.
I couldn't sync on the object, but at least I could double click on an object on the screen and have the scope go to the object.
It's 2013. Everything I own is more advanced, now. But connecting to a scope has actually become more difficult because the serial ports have disappeared from laptops and a serial-to-USB cable and converter program is required to do the same thing I did with one cable.

We're getting there with Sky-Fi and other adapters, but if the telecope makers aren't going to make the interfaces easier to set up and use, they should at least allow us to upload our own databases into the telescopes so we can select object lists they don't want to bother to add.
I contacted Meade and offered to provide them, free-of-charge, a 100,000 object database(not counting stars), much of which was cross checked with recent sources such as Archinal & Hynes' "Star Clusters" and the NGCICProject.org info., in digital format of their choice that they could upload into their telescope databases.
They declined.

It sounds like making their telescopes easier to use and more versatile to use weren't parameters they were interested in.

And still aren't.


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OzAndrewJ
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 11/30/10

Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: Starman1]
      #5951978 - 07/02/13 07:50 PM

Gday Don

I agree with part of yr comment, but lets face it, printers have a very specific, stable ( and agreed interface ) and many millions of each model get sold, hence economies of scale cut in.
Telescopes are a niche market with no all encompassing spec that ALL manufacturers will agree to. Until economies of scale can be applied to the scope itself, a lot of this will be moot.
Sure an intermediate app running ASCOM can do a big chunk of the "slew here stuff",
with voice control etc if reqd but the low level details of making that happen ( inside each possible mount ) probably cost more than the returns for many vendors.

Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia


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OzAndrewJ
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 11/30/10

Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: Starman1]
      #5952003 - 07/02/13 08:05 PM

Gday Don

Quote:

if the telecope makers aren't going to make the interfaces easier to set up and use, they should at least allow us to upload our own databases into the telescopes so we can select object lists they don't want to bother to add.




Just for info, in the LX200s, you can add 20 user defined lists of objects you way want to view in a session. You get to put in name, RA/DEC etc and can then select em via normal scrolling. Not as flexible as an app, but possible.

Then one of the new features of the LS scopes was that they operated like a true PC, ie they have a C: drive with directories and files, vs a predefined database set in flash memory.
If you know how, you can actually load your own databases
but its a painful process ( but they did get half way there )

Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia


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jrcrillyAdministrator
Refractor wienie no more
*****

Reged: 04/30/03

Loc: NE Ohio
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: RodgerHouTex]
      #5952062 - 07/02/13 08:46 PM

Quote:

But, how about the Coronados? Multiple folks reported a rusting problem which made their scopes unusable. Some product testing would have identified this issue.




Even when Meade does something uncontestably good folks bash them!

That was Coronado's goof. When Meade took over, they redesigned the PST to eliminate the problem they found with the design. They then updated the ones already in the field to the new design at no charge even though they were obligated only to repair them.


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