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Equipment Discussions >> Cats & Casses

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Starhawk
Space Ranger
*****

Reged: 09/16/08

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: mayidunk]
      #6000450 - 07/31/13 07:21 PM

I did something simpler for a friend's ETX with the drifting baffle: I unscrewed the front cell, unstuck the baffle (It was metal- hence being heavy enough to cause this. I never understood that when the back bucket was plastic, a silly little baffle would be machined).

I carefully cleaned the corrector. I used 3m command adhesive strips cut to the width of the interface to stick the baffle to the corrector. I set it on the baffle overnight to get it stuck on and put it back together the next day.

That worked.

-Rich


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mayidunk
Don't Ask...
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Reged: 02/17/10

Loc: Betwixt & Between...
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: Starhawk]
      #6000711 - 07/31/13 10:54 PM

Yeah, but that's how everyone does it!



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Wmacky
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 11/24/07

Loc: Florida
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: gmartin02]
      #6000731 - 07/31/13 11:06 PM

Quote:

Quote:


It's actually a wake, my friend A good, old fashioned wake! And this is what people talk about at a wake. No one intended it to happen, but it did!

This thread has evolved from being the bearer of sad news, to being a place for half-@ssed analyses as to why it happened, to expressions of sheer disbelief that it ever could happen, to blaming everyone for letting it happen, to blaming themselves for letting it happen, to being a place where people finally accept that it's happening, and just talk about the one they've all lost!

So now, we tell stories about the one we've lost, and we still get angry about it, and we still get angry at others, and so we argue with each other! But then, later on, we cry with each other.

Families tend to do that!

For good or bad, commiserating is what people tend to do best when things look bleak.




OK - I get it now. After thinking about everything again, the thing that has bothered me the most about a few of the posts is the trolling, and the "Meade hater" accusations when other posters were just pointing out the reasons for the deficiencies that got Meade into this mess in the first place. Those are about the only things that get my blood boiling. Perhaps due to the nature of this topic, the emotion level is a lot higher on this thread than on most other threads on the CN forums.

Quote:


Hopefully, all here will agree with me in saying that you're more than welcome to stick around, and tell a few stories of your own. After all... you're also a part of this family!




Thanks Bob,

I think this is the nicest thing that anyone has written in this thread. I'm going to use this as an example to increase my own level of gentility in my posts when I get frustrated after seeing less than decent posts.

Here is a short reminiscence: After seeing the Meade glossy print ads in the magazines for several years (and drooling every time), in 1992 I purchased my first "mid sized" telescope - the Meade 8" Starfinder EQ. I was excited beyond belief, and it was really quite a good telescope (once I figured out what collimation was and that my significant astigmatism requires me to wear eyeglasses when viewing with the longer f/l eyepieces). This telescope was my main viewing instrument for 10 years. I sold it in 2002 when I got a 6" Russian Mak & a 10" Dob, but it will always have a fond spot in my astro memories.

Greg




Me Too!

After seeing those Meade adds and drooling for years I also bought an EQ Starfinder newt around 92, but Mine was a the 10" beast. I used it 2 times and immediately started building an observatory for it. This was quite a undertaking for a 20 something who had only used a scope twice, and before the days of Internet forum help. I liked mine too except for the paper tube, and the playdough mount bearings.

Edited by Wmacky (07/31/13 11:09 PM)


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Gil V
professor emeritus


Reged: 09/09/12

Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: Wmacky]
      #6000752 - 07/31/13 11:17 PM

I bought a Meade Starfinder EQ in 1994 - it is still the best scope I own. Might be the best scope I've ever owned.

I still own it, and I'm currently looking at DSC mounting options.


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Unknownastron
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 04/06/05

Loc: CatsEye Observatory,Rural Sout...
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: Gil V]
      #6000842 - 08/01/13 12:38 AM

I could not get over the mixed feelings when I looked at the latest issue of Astronomy Magazine and there on the back cover, as it has for years, the advertisement for Meade. I know ads are locked in months ahead but I wondered, "Is this the last time?".
Clear skies and clean glass,
Mike


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Starhawk
Space Ranger
*****

Reged: 09/16/08

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: Unknownastron]
      #6001219 - 08/01/13 09:46 AM

We'll have to see what happens. I wish I knew what went on in the discussions. Was there really so much wrong with basing their near term on upgraded LX200s?

-Rich


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WesC
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 02/06/13

Loc: La Crescenta, CA
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: Starhawk]
      #6001381 - 08/01/13 02:09 PM

I still remember many years ago, when I lived in Boston, I used to go to this little gadget shop in the mall to look at the Meade telescopes there... and dreamed about finally getting one. But the skies were always so cloudy and the city lights so bright that I never went for it.

I'm really extremely pleased with my current scope, but I still wish I had started a long time ago.


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rmollise
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 07/06/07

Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: Starhawk]
      #6001392 - 08/01/13 02:14 PM

Quote:

We'll have to see what happens. I wish I knew what went on in the discussions. Was there really so much wrong with basing their near term on upgraded LX200s?

-Rich




Well, the world is full of Monday morning quarterbacks. If I were at the helm in 2006 - 2007, what would I have done? I would have bypassed the RCX, it was too big a bite for the company to chew then...even then they were on the verge of trouble.

I would have continued the f/8 program, but have put the optics in an LX200, maybe one with a couple of minor upgrades and level-ups over the then current LX200 GPS. If the pencil pushers had insisted, I'd have called in the LX400, but it would be the top line of SCTs, with apertures of 8,10, 12, and 14-inches. No 16s. No 20s. No MaxMounts.

I would've scaled back to three basic product lines:

LX200 f/8, 8, 10, 12, 14-inches.

LX90 (scrap the 12, maybe offer the 10 on the mount).

GEM SCTs. a 6-inch and an 8-inch and maybe a 10 on the LXD-75.

No Light Bridges, no Light Switches, no larger refractors.

Stuff? Eyepieces, other small items? Yeah. Easy enough to get good stuff out of China, and the money is in accessories. Nothing that required lots of tech support like deep sky CCD cameras, though.

I assume financial reality would have caused me to move the business to Mexico. My words of wisdom to my staff:

"Look, y'all, we have only three lines of telescopes. Our job is to make them as well as they can be made for their prices. You guys working on the MaxMount project? That's done. Your new assignment is to work with our Chinese suppliers to improve the build quality and reliability of the LXD75. You can pick up your airline tickets in the morning. The LX200? Our challenge is to come up with an affordable QA program than minimizes DOA telescopes. You LX90 troops? It is our most reliable scope. Your mission is to keep it that way as we transition to south of the border. Any questions? Good, let's get to work."


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gmartin02
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 04/11/05

Loc: Santa Clarita, CA
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: Wmacky]
      #6001440 - 08/01/13 02:39 PM

Quote:

I liked mine too except for the paper tube, and the playdough mount bearings.




And those flimsy metal straps on the Starfinder EQs that hold the tube to the mount instead of real tube rings. If I wasn't careful and let one go when putting the OTA on the mount, they could "twang" and could hit you in the hand or the face.

Still, I think at the time it was the only option to get an EQ tracking scope of that aperture for less than $1000 (which seemed like a lot more money in 1992 than it is today). If I remember correctly, The forked 8" SCTs at the time were around $2000.

Greg


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EddWen
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 04/26/08

Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: rmollise]
      #6001443 - 08/01/13 02:39 PM

An interesting read about another company we all used to love.

http://www.thestreet.com/print/story/11991488.html


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Starhawk
Space Ranger
*****

Reged: 09/16/08

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: EddWen]
      #6001768 - 08/01/13 05:36 PM

Much of it sounds familiar. I'm repeatedly struck by the thought that business is always difficult, and somehow you have to remember that when you are doing well. But that's really more like remembering the advice from your family's generation who survived the Great Depression. In Kodak's case, they can be forgiven for being confused when a gravy train they had seen go on for over a century suddenly sputtered out. But more to the point, what other business with that kind of revenue stream was waiting for them? True, chemicals could make a go of it, and did.

I'm trying to decide if there is anything really parallel for Meade. I've kind of felt all they really needed to do was competently reinforce the efforts they were clearly best at. I know people have argued the business went away, but there are just too many companies thriving in amateur astronomy to say the market dried up and no one wants telescopes anymore. It just doesn't hold water.

So, if there wasn't a grim reaper technology for astronomy, then there wasn't a need to make things kind of like what they already made but throw in lots of risks from new designs, marketing overload, and beginner level automation on everything. It seems that really did hurt, and badly. I don't know if a simplified lineup with dnam-straight solid performing LX200 derivatives in f/8 were the magic formula. 18 months of killing off LX200 sales and the clumsiest series of product launches I've ever heard of surely weren't going to save the company, though.

-Rich


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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: Starhawk]
      #6002204 - 08/01/13 09:57 PM

Quote:


I'm trying to decide if there is anything really parallel for Meade. I've kind of felt all they really needed to do was competently reinforce the efforts they were clearly best at.




My thinking is that Meade's failure had basically nothing to do with their product line, at least their traditional product line.

Rather it was the result a company with stockholders clambering for more profit, for more sales, for higher stock prices. It a result of the speculative nature of the stock market. Profits are made by convincing the next guy to buy the stock for more than you paid for it rather than because of the long term worthiness of the stock.

Choices were made on the basis of the needs of the stockholders, not the long term health of the company.

Once can buy a company to own the company for it's long term value, what it can produce. It's like a house.. it's value is as a house, not it's market value. My house is no worse a home today when the market price is maybe $425,000 than it was 6 years ago when the market price was maybe $600,000.

That's Jon's "What the last fool paid for something theory of the market isn't the actual value" theory of marketplace economics.

Jon


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john@dps
member


Reged: 02/06/13

Loc: Granada Hills, CA
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #6002220 - 08/01/13 10:06 PM

To keep my post short I 2nd Jon on this one.

On second thought, I own a small business like a lot of the other astro companies. By small I mean we do about 1.5 million a year in business which sounds like a lot but is really just making a living after you pay all the bills. And I will be in my grave before shareholders are allowed to tell me how to run my business. WHY, because this is my lively hood, my life and my family relies on it, shareholders just bring money in to the picture, not their lives. For most of us astronomy, is part of our lives and most of the small companies know this, obsession, starmaster, telvue, orion, apm, WO, teeter, deepskyproducts, and many many more. They strive to be the best they can be for us AND business and maybe Meade lost that somewhere along the way. Just my 2 cents.

Edited by john@dps (08/01/13 10:26 PM)


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Starhawk
Space Ranger
*****

Reged: 09/16/08

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: john@dps]
      #6002314 - 08/01/13 11:09 PM

John, since you put it that way, Meade basically never had what you're talking about. It was always based more on money than on individual love of astronomy. I don't know why we let money be the final arbiter of everything, when it's only purpose was to make it possible to trade things with people who didn't have what we really wanted handy for barter.

-Rich


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starrancher
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 06/09/09

Loc: Northern Arizona
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: Starhawk]
      #6002320 - 08/01/13 11:12 PM

Greed .

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Glen A W
professor emeritus


Reged: 07/04/08

Loc: USA
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: starrancher]
      #6002660 - 08/02/13 06:54 AM Attachment (10 downloads)

You guys nearly made me sick with this talk of sliding ETX baffles. I bought and original made-in-USA ETX-90 for $625 when they first came out. It is still like new in the box, because it proved to be basically unusable for me, yet I kept thinking I would take it on a trip sometime. Anyhow, I have moved over the years and the ETX has been kept in warm areas. The baffle has slid but does not appear to be obstructing the view. I think since it was always in the way it was moved around enough to prevent it from moving too far in one direction. Thanks for the heads up.

I too had an 8" Starfinder EQ. The mirror was the best. The rest of the scope was pretty shady. The straps are a bad memory. Glen


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REC
Post Laureate
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Reged: 10/20/10

Loc: NC
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: rmollise]
      #6002731 - 08/02/13 08:12 AM

Interesting read Ron!

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Stew57
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/03/09

Loc: Silsbee Texas
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #6002837 - 08/02/13 09:33 AM

I wish all houses would drop in value by half. I am not ever planning on moving so I could pay less rent (property taxes), and if I did the swap would even out anyway. Your view on stocks is similar to mine. We only buy stocks with dividends for the most part. Companies with new products and ideas we speculate on sometimes but are prepared for the loss. If Meade had been in better shape when the LX800 was being developed one could have considered it. Whit the way it launched it would have been gut wrenching. It will be interesting to see how the LX850 finally shakes out.

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Starhawk
Space Ranger
*****

Reged: 09/16/08

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: Stew57]
      #6002884 - 08/02/13 10:04 AM

I was looking at a graph about that a while ago- it was prettymuch saying forget only buying stocks with a PE ratio under 15. You really should only consider ones under 7.5.

-Rich


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SteveC
Post Laureate
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Reged: 06/15/06

Loc: Sunshine State & Ocean State
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: Starhawk]
      #6003055 - 08/02/13 11:33 AM

True confessions time, I also owned a Meade 8" Starfinder 25 years ago, and I bought a ETX-90 for travel. I have no nostalgic feelings for Meade.

I've driven from the Tappan Zee on 287 and along 95 to MA/RI many hundreds of times - approximately 200 mile stretch of highway. Virtually all the major corporations and noteable smaller businesses that had a presence in that area 38 years ago when I graduated from college are gone - that's life, that's business. Meade doesn't deserve to live any longer than those businesses, especially after the mistakes that were made.


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