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Equipment Discussions >> Cats & Casses

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rmollise
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 07/06/07

Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: mistyridge]
      #5931540 - 06/20/13 03:43 PM

Quote:

I wonder if the market place is reaching a sturation point and my not support the two large astro gear companies?




I disagree. There are certainly more amateurs than there were, say, 30 years ago, and we supported two companies then selling telescopes that were on average considerably more expensive than they are now.

People say there are fewer amateurs, no young people are coming into the avocation, yadda-yadda-yadda. But I've been hearing that at least since the 70s, and it is as wrong now as it was then. Certainly we can always use new amateurs, and particularly young ones, but they still come, and we are more of a force, for sure, than we were back in '65, for Pete's sake.



Edited by rmollise (06/20/13 03:47 PM)


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caheaton
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Reged: 05/26/09

Loc: SW Ohio
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: rmollise]
      #5931559 - 06/20/13 03:54 PM

Not to mention that I'm sure there is growth to be had in India and China, plus other markets as the middle class grows in those economies.

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orion61

*****

Reged: 10/20/07

Loc: Birthplace James T Kirk
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: rmollise]
      #5931566 - 06/20/13 03:57 PM

Quote:

Quote:

It seems to me that
IF Meade hadn't wasted capital acquiring businesses in areas that weren't strengths for them (like rifle scopes), and
IF Meade had been able to bring its new designs to market without defects and recalls and in significant numbers without a long back-log waiting period, and
IF Meade hadn't over-proliferated their offerings to the point where they lost any economies of scale, and
IF Meade had been able to quickly replace the ETX line with more modern offerings (both before and after JOC), and
IF they had been able to successfully compete with Synta in the mass-market "Christmas scope" arena, and
IF they had produced the scopes and mounts that people really wanted several years earlier (they ignored the popularity of astrophotography for years, to their detriment), and
IF they hadn't stopped importing many of their most popular accessories (like cameras), and
IF they hadn't lost many of their best people as losses piled up,
THEN we wouldn't be having this conversation.

But, Meade did have the problems outlined (and more).





Meade did attempt to modernize the ETX with LS series, but the company was losing steam at that point, there were problems with the rollout, and they didn't promote it like they did the ETX. The loss of the mall "science stores" like Discovery Channel Store and Nature's Wonders didn't help either.

What has hurt them more than anything else? Successive scope introductions that had severe problems.

Christmas scopes never did much for either company. There is _no_ profit there. Especially when you are selling to Walmart.

I wish they had kept their cameras and built on them...I believe they had something with the DSIs...but an argument could also be made that the had way too many products.

My guess now? I hope I am wrong, but I believe they are done and going to the knackers.



I strongly disagree with you.
I personally have seen imput from Meade following the Forums.. and Have had PM's from them here is an example,
"Hi Larry,

Variation in success with lubes might be related to the gap between baffle tube and mirror which does vary. When we complete our merger with Meade, I can have our guys use feeler gauges to compare and test various lubes. My experience has been with larger gaps, but I could easily see that a thinner gap would benefit from a less viscous material. With larger gaps materials with a higher viscosity index would be advantageous. A study of this would help eliminate a major drawback for moving mirror systems such as the SCT and Mak.

Thanks for your feedback,

Russ


This tells me Meade is taking another step forward in listening to us!
Is there anybody else here that has had a rep from a major
Mfgr take the time to answer?
This is EXACTLY what Meade needs to do, Get back in touch with its customer base. Take note of what the real issues are and what we need.
My hope is Meade makes a full recovery, I wont be part of a Death Drone for them even tho this is a mainly Celestron site.
I have had the chance to look through a new 600 10" Meade
The optics were FIRST RATE! If i were to buy a new scope right now it would be the 600 Meade. They have had past issues but Having someone listening and watching "REAL TIME" tells me there is a new generation of Meade Executives
learning from past mistakes and learning from them!
Rod I like, and respect you, but I have a C note betting on Meade...


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ColoHank
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 06/07/07

Loc: western Colorado
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: EFT]
      #5931573 - 06/20/13 04:00 PM

Quote:

Competition also tends to drive down prices, particularly in consumer-level goods made by companies like these.





Therein lies the problem. Telescope manufacturers operate in a small niche market, and margins are low. Customers are few in number and inclined to demand innovation and quality, but often are unwilling or unable to pay premium prices. R&D and quality assurance are expensive, and there are few economies of scale. As profits decline, companies are faced with a dismal choice: either sacrifice quality and risk alienating customers, or go out of business. Meade is doing both.


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George Methvin
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 01/30/06

Loc: Central Texas
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: caheaton]
      #5931577 - 06/20/13 04:04 PM

One of the things I have learned in life is that when one door shuts another one opens. Stop all this Doom and gloom, Meade has had a good run and I have been proud to own some of there fine astro stuff and if they should go under then some other company with fresh ideal will step up and carry on. Have a little fate it will all work out. Clear skys, now where's my bottle of Jack Daniels

Meade 10 LX200 SCT
Many fine Meade eyepeices.

Edited by George Methvin (06/20/13 04:07 PM)


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Qwickdraw
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 03/03/12

Loc: Ann Arbor, MI
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: RodgerHouTex]
      #5931591 - 06/20/13 04:13 PM

Quote:

I'm just glad I don't have a Meade on order or needing repair.




I do but Astronomics didn't require any money down to place the order on a LX850. I am not sure how it typically works with them and a Meade order but I was told I am under no obligation and can cancel at any time. I can pay when the scope is ready to ship or cancel if desired.


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orion61

*****

Reged: 10/20/07

Loc: Birthplace James T Kirk
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: Qwickdraw]
      #5931609 - 06/20/13 04:26 PM

I just got off the phone with Russ (ES) they are very very pumped with this merger. They have huge things planned for the future of Meade.
I would take the opportunity of ordering one of the new
6-8 series of scopes.
Guys I honestly walked away from my experience with the
new 10" LX600 Meade with the impression of " this is the best scope I have ever Touched" in my head. I own a custom Celestron C8 made for former Celestron VP of Sales Leo Henzl
and the optics certainly were on par. This merge is going to influx the cash needed to promote these new Dynamos!
Lets squash this ugly thread!!
Larry


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dscarpa
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 03/15/08

Loc: San Diego Ca.
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: Starhawk]
      #5931612 - 06/20/13 04:30 PM

They were the first with a coma free SCT not to mention the Light Switch. Wish they had offered the latter in a bigger scope. David

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amicus sidera
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 10/14/11

Loc: East of the Sun, West of the M...
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: rmollise]
      #5931620 - 06/20/13 04:34 PM

Quote:

Quote:

I wonder if the market place is reaching a sturation point and my not support the two large astro gear companies?




I disagree. There are certainly more amateurs than there were, say, 30 years ago, and we supported two companies then selling telescopes that were on average considerably more expensive than they are now.

People say there are fewer amateurs, no young people are coming into the avocation, yadda-yadda-yadda. But I've been hearing that at least since the 70s, and it is as wrong now as it was then. Certainly we can always use new amateurs, and particularly young ones, but they still come, and we are more of a force, for sure, than we were back in '65, for Pete's sake.






+1.... amateur astronomy is doing just fine, thank you.

The hand-wringers should take a look here... might be antidotal.


As for Meade, it's fortunes certainly seem up in the air at the moment; personally, I think having but one manufacturer in the SCT market would prove disastrous, in the long run.

Fred


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Spacetravelerx
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 12/23/12

Loc: New Mexico
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: orion61]
      #5931632 - 06/20/13 04:41 PM

Quote:

I just got off the phone with Russ (ES) they are very very pumped with this merger. They have huge things planned for the future of Meade.
I would take the opportunity of ordering one of the new
6-8 series of scopes.
Guys I honestly walked away from my experience with the
new 10" LX600 Meade with the impression of " this is the best scope I have ever Touched" in my head. I own a custom Celestron C8 made for former Celestron VP of Sales Leo Henzl
and the optics certainly were on par. This merge is going to influx the cash needed to promote these new Dynamos!
Lets squash this ugly thread!!
Larry




Larry,

I agree. I am too am very pumped with this merger. Well, I am very pumped on Meade!

Everyone holding back their purchases and being down does not really help things. Meade does indeed have some great products.

Personally, when I am back from my travels I will be purchasing a Meade APO and a couple of UWA eyepieces. September? A Coronado Solar Max II (90mm). For Christmas? The 10" LX600. (I already have the LX850, heh heh heh).

I am very pleased with Meade and the folks I have communicated with there. Everyone sitting on the fence not purchasing anything really hurts the company.


BTW - For over a 23 year stretch I have only purchased two telescopes from Meade. The LX200 and then the ETX125. Both work perfectly fine still. This is was good and bad. Good in that they work so well for so long; Bad because I did not buy much from Meade during this time. I do prefer their high quality products though.


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dscarpa
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 03/15/08

Loc: San Diego Ca.
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: Starhawk]
      #5931650 - 06/20/13 04:53 PM

A stand alone mount along the lines of a driven Unistar with LS tech could be a game changer for Meade. David

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freestar8n
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 10/12/07

Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: dscarpa]
      #5931672 - 06/20/13 05:07 PM

Quote:

They were the first with a coma free SCT not to mention the Light Switch. Wish they had offered the latter in a bigger scope.




Again - I cited a 1988 text in which an aspheric secondary was a "common" way to eliminate coma in an SCT. And removing coma while leaving astigmatism and field curvature is an odd choice; other telescope makers are jumping right to a fully corrected and flat field, including RC makers.

As for Light Switch - to do it with slower microcontrollers it needed to have a sense of level and a rough idea of north. Since they own a patent on telescopes that align themselves based on level/north - other companies could not incorporate such an innovations in their offerings even if they wanted to.

So it is a case of one company limiting what other companies can do, rather than being more inherently innovative - and there is no benefit to the consumer in that situation. Instead it has more the downsides of a monopoly that this thread is concerned about.

But such patents have a finite lifetime of value since faster microcontrollers remove the need to add tiltmeters and magnetic compasses in the first place, so that alignment can be done with better software and no need for level/north measurements. Again - such innovations are driven more by changing times and technology than "healthy" competition.

Frank


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Spacetravelerx
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 12/23/12

Loc: New Mexico
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: orion61]
      #5931680 - 06/20/13 05:11 PM

I should add (I was getting excited) you need not purchase the mother load nor purchase the entire catalog of Meade products.

However, everyone sitting on the fence does not help either.

Buy a piggy back mount. An eyepiece. A filter. The entry level Meade telescope you always wanted.

No need to stop you purchase with the merger happening.


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cn register 5
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 12/26/12

Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: freestar8n]
      #5931705 - 06/20/13 05:25 PM

It's my opinion that the North and Level patent forced Celestron into developing their AllStar alignment method so that patent could be said to have fostered innovation. And I think that AllStar - which was essentially a plate solve technique - lead to the align method in the SkyProdigy mounts, something that's got a lot of potential for pointing automation.

So maybe Meade, by preventing the obvious things being used, will prove to have been of long term benefit to the amateur astronomy community.

Chris


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nicklane1
sage
*****

Reged: 03/04/08

Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: RodgerHouTex]
      #5931742 - 06/20/13 05:43 PM

Quote:

Except that Patek Phillipe is an extremely high-end, high-quality Swiss watch maker and Meade does not have that kind of quality. It is also deeply in debt. I read in the article about the counter offer that they are currently $100,000 overdrawn on their last line of credit.




really?
BTW, which model do you have/like?


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orion61

*****

Reged: 10/20/07

Loc: Birthplace James T Kirk
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: Spacetravelerx]
      #5931744 - 06/20/13 05:44 PM

Remember, without the compitition of Meade, Celestron would turn to you know what, every price would go up, and quality would go down!
Beside, it is kind of nice still being able to use STD wrenches and not metric..No offence intended.


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OzAndrewJ
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 11/30/10

Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: rmollise]
      #5931756 - 06/20/13 05:50 PM

Gday Rod

Quote:

Meade did attempt to modernize the ETX with LS series,




Modernise or revolutionise???

For me, the 3 biggest problems with that scope were/are
a) The total inability to do anything manually anymore
( both mechanically or electronically )
b) The introduction of new fancy firmware and software
that isnt/cant be supported at even the most basic level
ie how do you even write a tour???
I managed to figure out how to do it, but by geez its painfull.
c) Using non std means as the "safeload" recovery mechanism.
Its got a USB port, so WHY THE ??? use odd sized sd cards that arent
and never were an industry std as your fallback position????

A lot of people ( me included ) love the ETX because it is flexible
and when set up properly, just works, and can be tweaked "if you want".
I would have loved it more if they had put a retrofittable
gearhead motor with belt drive into em to fix the gearbox problems,
and designed a better RA clutch .

Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia


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rmollise
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 07/06/07

Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: orion61]
      #5931787 - 06/20/13 06:09 PM

Quote:


Rod I like, and respect you, but I have a C note betting on Meade...




Well, sorry about that...

And remember... the Meade of today really has no relationship to the Meade I know you loved.

I don't want to, but I have to stand by my prediction.

Night is falling for Meade and for once that is not a good thing.


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rmollise
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 07/06/07

Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: OzAndrewJ]
      #5931791 - 06/20/13 06:11 PM

Quote:


A lot of people ( me included ) love the ETX because it is flexible
and when set up properly, just works, and can be tweaked "if you want".
I would have loved it more if they had put a retrofittable
gearhead motor with belt drive into em to fix the gearbox problems,
and designed a better RA clutch .

Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia




I know you'd love an ETX of that sort, and maybe I would, too. Not going to happen. Even if Meade survives and thrives, the ETX that emerges if one does will be the LS or something like it.


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cn register 5
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 12/26/12

Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: orion61]
      #5931801 - 06/20/13 06:18 PM

Quote:

Remember, without the compitition of Meade, Celestron would turn to S**T, every price would go up, and quality would go down!
Beside, it is kind of nice still being able to use STD wrenches and not metric..No offence intended.



Typical CN vendor bashing.

Why do you have to turn EVERY SINGLE THREAD into a vendor bashing thread?
Everybody else has been having a sensible discussion, conducted with good will. Why do you want to ruin this?

Are you trying to manipulate the moderators into locking this thread?

Saying "no offence intended" makes no difference when you are obviously trying to be offensive.

Chris


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