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Equipment Discussions >> Cats & Casses

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starrancher
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 06/09/09

Loc: Northern Arizona
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: Starman1]
      #6005120 - 08/03/13 04:44 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:


The LXD 75 and TeleXtenders came from JOC, from whom Meade's relationship was severed.



Correct , as did the achromats etc .
So then one might wonder if the relationship was severed by Meade due to QC issues at JOC that ultimately cost Meade a bunch of money ? Or did JOC have a plot to put Meade in ruins , deliberately sabotaging the products ? Did Meade get under JOCs skin somehow and they were looking for an exit to a contract ? Does anyone know why that long term relationship ended . Couldn't Meade find another manufacturer to replace those items in their product line ? We're they already in financial disarray so deep that no one else would take on the task ? Did JOC catch wind of the financial situation or Meade was in arrears to the point that they just threw in the towel on QC when it came to production for Meade ?
Explore Scientific hit the market running . And with a line of oculars that mimicked Meades high end stuff to the point that it was absolutely obvious . To this day the Explore Scientifc refractors are so Meade like it isn't even funny . Etc . etc .etc .
What I can't say is who produced Meades LP , NB and line filters .
I would think that you would know the answer to that Don . I do know that they were great filters and wouldn't trade mine away for nothin' .
For that matter who produced Meades colored planetary filters or the ND96 ? Obviously they weren't in house as the early ones were stamped Japan and the later (at least the planetary) ones were Chinese .



Probably was on open account, then had to open L/Cs and couldn't swing it and was cut off by JOC.
Meade went to Kunming United Optical for the new refractors (and, we presume, other things), but products weren't immediately available from other suppliers, even if Meade DID have the money. It took a long while for the ETX90 to become available again from another supplier, fo example.




OK Don , so is it of your thought then , that the severed relationship between Meade and JOC was due to Meade not making good on their financial responsibilities to JOC ?
I know of nobody that would have as great an insight to this stuff as yourself due to your extensive amount of time in retailing Astro equipment .
Who made the Plossls after production went to China ? AFAIK the early 5 element units were Psuedo Masuyama . After the Japanese units went to 4 elements , who made those ?
Who made the interference filters ?
Was GSO ever in the mix other than the LightBridge mirrors ?
When the Schmidt optics (mirrors and corretors) were produced in Irvine , for both the Cassigrains and the Newts , did the optics get shipped to China then to be mounted in Chinese tubes and then shipped back to the U.S. ?
And finally , when the AR5 went from a focal ratio of f9.3 to f9 , was that a transition from JOC to Kunming ?
I know it's a lot of questions but who better to ask ?


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rmollise
Postmaster
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Reged: 07/06/07

Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: starrancher]
      #6005123 - 08/03/13 04:45 PM

Quote:



Any questions ?




You said: The LX80 is an odd alternative.

I answered: It wouldn't have been if it had worked as advertised.

You then went on to talk about the LXD 75.

The Internet sometimes creates a communications barrier, and I am having a hard time understanding your posts. Are you joking? Being combative? Sorry...but I am not copying you.


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starrancher
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 06/09/09

Loc: Northern Arizona
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: mayidunk]
      #6005128 - 08/03/13 04:50 PM

Quote:

Dude, I read the same thing as Ron had intended, i.e., that losing the LX75 wouldn't have been a disappointment if the LX80 had worked right. I just didn't want to say anything at the time.




OK Dude .
It's in print . Unadulterated print .
I'm just the mesinger here .
As is said ......we report , you decide .
I guess it just depends on if one sits inside or outside of the beltway ?



Thanks Dude.


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starrancher
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Reged: 06/09/09

Loc: Northern Arizona
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: rmollise]
      #6005131 - 08/03/13 04:53 PM

Quote:

Quote:



Any questions ?




You said: The LX80 is an odd alternative.

I answered: It wouldn't have been if it had worked as advertised.

You then went on to talk about the LXD 75.

The Internet sometimes creates a communications barrier, and I am having a hard time understanding your posts. Are you joking? Being combative? Sorry...but I am not copying you.




It's all in good stride Rod . Just settin' the record straight .

P.S. .. I didn't read this post fully either before responding . It was actually another member that said he thought the LX80 was an odd alternative . This was falter he said that the demise of the LXD75 was unfortunate . Or something like that . Probably not exact vernacular . The page is there though . It's two separate "quotes" , ones mine ,ones his .


Edited by starrancher (08/03/13 04:59 PM)


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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: starrancher]
      #6005198 - 08/03/13 06:12 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Dude, I read the same thing as Ron had intended, i.e., that losing the LX75 wouldn't have been a disappointment if the LX80 had worked right. I just didn't want to say anything at the time.




OK Dude .
It's in print . Unadulterated print .
I'm just the mesinger here .
As is said ......we report , you decide .
I guess it just depends on if one sits inside or outside of the beltway ?



Thanks Dude.




Please excuse the "Dude!" reference, I'm sorry I used it. But I stand by the rest of what I wrote. Like beauty, interpretation is in the eye of the beholder.


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Starman1
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Reged: 06/24/03

Loc: Los Angeles
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: starrancher]
      #6005223 - 08/03/13 06:40 PM

Quote:


OK Don , so is it of your thought then that the severed relationship between Meade and JOC was due to Meade not making good on their financial responsibilities to JOC ?



Probably that AND the fact that JOC was competing directly with Meade in the US (Explore Scientific).
But since they provided Celestron and others with products, and Celestron also severed relationship with JOC at nearly the same time, I suspect it was a combination of both factors for Meade.
If they had planned it long in advance, they would have loaded up with product because they would have known it would take time to have a new manufacturer gear up production of products they'd never made before.
Quote:


I know of nobody that would have as great an insight to this stuff as yourself due to your extensive amount of time in retailing Astro equipment .
Who made the Plossls after production went to China ?



Don't know. Could have been JOC or a myriad of other companies.
Quote:


AFAIK the early 5 element units were Psuedo Masuyama . After the Japanese units went to 4 elements , who made those ?



The 5-element units were from Kowa. It's possible the 4-element Japanese ones were, too, but I don't know the facts.
Quote:


Who made the interference filters ?




Many makers of such filters in Japan. Unknown by me.
Quote:


Was GSO ever in the mix other than the LightBridge mirrors ?



You mean complete LightBridge scopes. I heard possible a few other Meade products, but never learned which ones.
Quote:


When the Schmidt optics (mirrors and correctors) were produced in Irvine , for both the Cassegrains and the Newts , did the optics get shipped to China then to be mounted in Chinese tubes and then shipped back to the U.S. ?



For the SCTs, no. Those scopes were completely made here except for sub-assembly parts, which came from all over.
The early Schmidt-newt OTAs were made here and mated with an imported mount. Later SNs, I can't say. They may have been totally imported.
Quote:


And finally , when the AR5 went from a focal ratio of f9.3 to f9 , was that a transition from JOC to Kunming ?



I thought that was a change of lens manufacturer only. As far as I know, the AR5 was from only one company, and it was discontinued well before Meade moved refractor purchases to KUO. I think it may have been at least 3 years since any of those arrived in the US.
Quote:


I know it's a lot of questions but who better to ask ?



I occasionally see one of the ED refractors that Meade made in the '90s at an observing site (up to 7", which is the one I often see). Those were US-made. As was the 7" Maksutov. That was really the heyday of Meade to this amateur. They've had occasional products that were really nice since then, but none that really tempted me except the 127mm triplet apo.


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starrancher
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 06/09/09

Loc: Northern Arizona
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: Starman1]
      #6005254 - 08/03/13 07:30 PM

Thanks Don . Lots of insight .
I still might have some suspicion that GSO was cranking out oculars with the Meade name on them . Or maybe Long Perng ?
The filter thing really interests me as I can remember reading David Knisleys (hope I didn't butcher the name too badly) filter reviews where he had some nice things to say about the Meade branded stuff . Of course this goes back a few years .
All the way up until the end of the Schmidt Newts , Meade claimed that the optics were hand configured , matched , produced in their Irvine facility . I know the fit and finish of the Cassigrains just had a higher quality look and feel to them than the Newts did , which led me to believe that if Meades claims of US made optics were not misleading , then the Irvine optics were installed into Chinese tubes at one location or another . It seemed fairly obvious to me that the tubes looked and felt Chinese , and we all know what a piece of garbage the focuser was on those units . I know that the optics are fantastic on my Schmidt Newt , but who am I to determine if they were made here or in China ?
I'm guessing that when they moved operations to Mexico , the Schmidt Newt optics were eliminated from production but I could be wrong there also . The demise of the LXD75 lineup and the move to Mexico seemed to happen at just about the same time .
Thoughts ?


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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: starrancher]
      #6005314 - 08/03/13 08:16 PM

Is it? Name an issue Celestron has gotten a free pass on.

Everything from power pins to the power star to the 8/3 fault gets called out here regularly and no one starts a fight about it being vendor bashing or being haters or whatever the accuser thinks is inflammatory enough to get a thread closed.

-Rich

Quote:

I dunno what it is about this thread , but it's like Celestron gets a pass in the court of public opinion , but Meade is prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law .
You'd think we were dealing with the main stream media here .





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derangedhermit
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 10/07/09

Loc: USA
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #6005466 - 08/03/13 09:55 PM

Quote:

Quote:

The only thing we can do as consumers, and it is a very important thing for small companies in our hobby: if you want a company to be around 10 years from now, then reliably and consistently buy their products, preferring them above others, and encouraging other consumers to do the same.

Think of your equipment purchases as votes for a company's survival, or as a statement that they "deserve" to continue in operation.




After reading this thread, it seems apparent to me that the problems at Meade were more fundamental, it had to do with being a publicly owned corporation trying to satisfy the stockholder's unrealistic desires for increased sales and increased stock value. Somehow, it is not enough that a company just goes along manufacturing a good line of products with steady sales figures...

What we saw as consumers were the symptoms of an unhealthy corporation, buying equipment from Meade would only treat the symptoms, not the underlying disease.

Jon




I specifically said "small companies". Not Meade (after the "go big" and "go public" decisions), not JOC, not Synta, not GSO, etc. We have no impact there. There are, however, dozens of small (often driven by one or only a few people) businesses who offer unique product, or great value, or great quality, or something else that sets them apart.

Small companies are often dedicated to amateur astronomy, unlike large ones. We can affect these companies' existence.


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Rick Woods
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Reged: 01/27/05

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Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: rmollise]
      #6005481 - 08/03/13 10:07 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Rod, do you feel the same way about Celestron?






Yes I do. Why?

The same things apply...it is a BUSINESS. It's not my special friend. I like the Xbox 360, for example, but I don't get all teary if MS has a financial bump.

The other thing is that Celestron is NOT the Celestron I grew up with. Yes, it's nice they still do some things in California. But it's not Tom Johnson's little up and comer telescope company anymore. It is a big multinational corporation.

I don't wish Meade ill, I am just not emotionally invested in them. I hope they survive in some form because I like their products, not because I am a fan of the company.




I know, I never thought you did. I just wondered if you had any sentimental feelings about Celestron equipment, in the way I described. If not, that's sort of a shame; it's a pleasant thing, and sort of bittersweet on the (possible) brink of their disappearance. You know, "better to have loved and lost", etc. Sad if they disappear, but I'm very glad they were here.

And nobody gets teary about any MS woes; not if they've ever tried to get any tech support from them!


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derangedhermit
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 10/07/09

Loc: USA
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: sg6]
      #6005491 - 08/03/13 10:13 PM

Quote:

Quote:

The only thing we can do as consumers, and it is a very important thing for small companies in our hobby: if you want a company to be around 10 years from now, then reliably and consistently buy their products, preferring them above others, and encouraging other consumers to do the same.

Think of your equipment purchases as votes for a company's survival, or as a statement that they "deserve" to continue in operation.





That is not how it happens, we look round for the cheapest item we can. Not sure of the US but here people will look for the cheapest item then complain about both the item and the supplier. Then the next time go back to the same place and start again.




Many people in the US do the same, although I do admire the art form the UK consumer has developed it into.

I know I'm swimming upstream. I'd rather buy something well-made, from someone with a track record of high quality, once, take care of it, and enjoy using it every time for a long time, rather than buy the cheapest thing on the market at the moment no matter where it came from. I'm willing to pay the price to get what I want from the kind of company I want to support.

Quote:

Concerning buying the next bit from the same supplier well I have a Meade scope, nice little thing, does what I want and it is 12 years old. I have had 3 cars in that time. So if taken care of a scope lasts a long time.




So does a vehicle. I buy vehicles that I believe are built to last 10+ years, over 250k miles, if well maintained. Our two current vehicles are 10 and 11 years old, and have several more years of good service left.


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alrosm
professor emeritus


Reged: 07/27/10

Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: Patrick]
      #6005507 - 08/03/13 10:22 PM

Quote:

Quote:

all kidding aside, I hope they get things worked out. it would be a sad day for the hobby to lose one of the BIG TWO.




Who are the BIG TWO?? I know it used to be Meade and Celestron, but now Celestron is owned by Synta and Meade's current lack of successful product launches and loss of vitality do not seem like those of a "BIG" player.

If you ask me, Synta with all it's major brands is the only consumer grade game left in town.


Patrick




Yep Celestron in now Synta....

And soon Meade will be ????


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derangedhermit
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 10/07/09

Loc: USA
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: starrancher]
      #6005512 - 08/03/13 10:25 PM

Quote:

Quote:

They probably quit selling cheap GEMs because they are much lower margin compared to their other mounts. You're basically answering your own question.

"Let's see, we're losin' money faster than a drunk in Vegas. Shall we grind out a bunch of cheap mounts that's about break-even for us, or shall we hope people will buy a few mounts we can make decent money on and keep drawing payckecks a few more weeks? OTAs cost the same to make, either way...hmmm...decisions, decisions." Duh.

It's like asking why the guy is throwing dirt with a shovel on the ashes of his home instead of water with a garden hose, though. The house is burnt down either way.

Or do you think they are so sensitive that they feel the need to keep grinding out their least expensive and least profitable products as a courtesy, as the walls are falling down around them? I think their minds are elsewhere, like if their yacht is paid for.

Don't worry, whatever Chinese company buys the rights to Meade's carcass will soon be grinding out tens of thousands of cheap GEMs to sit under their SCTs.




Yeah ! That's it ! That's the ticket !
Celestron , who has continued to offer affordable GEMs in a variety of price points well below what Meade GEMs cost , seems to be thriving . Meanwhile Meade is sinking .
Yeah ! That makes sense !





Meade is not sinking. it's sunk, and not because they won't sell you a GEM. It sank long before then. Celestron seems to be an ongoing concern, so they can sell a range of products, with a range of profit margins.

The US part of Celestron may continue to shrink as the cost pressure continues.


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orion61

*****

Reged: 10/20/07

Loc: Birthplace James T Kirk
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: Rick Woods]
      #6005537 - 08/03/13 10:41 PM

I'm sorry but this Thread has slipped from its intended purpose into a bit of a nit picking, I said, you said posturing.
The initial point was a good one, but reading the last half dozen pages it is time to put this one on hold..
I'm seeing posters on the verge of pouncing on one another!
Meade vs Celestron.
Your on this side, and I'm on the other.
Side commenting and turning a good debate into a jousting match due to saturation/triplication of details.
lets lock this, until some real news is here, to open up the thread.
Am I wrong here, or have I totally missed the Boat
look at the next 4 or 5 posts to justify.


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starrancher
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 06/09/09

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Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: derangedhermit]
      #6005655 - 08/04/13 12:27 AM

Quote:


Meade is not sinking. it's sunk, and not because they won't sell you a GEM.




I'm not even in the market for a GEM .
Where do you come up with these whacked out assumptions ?
Get a grip !


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starrancher
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 06/09/09

Loc: Northern Arizona
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: derangedhermit]
      #6005661 - 08/04/13 12:32 AM

Quote:

over 250k miles, if well maintained. Our two current vehicles are 10 and 11 years old,




Mine are 21 and 24 years old .


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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: starrancher]
      #6005664 - 08/04/13 12:36 AM

Time out. We get it: the thought of Meade capsizing and sinking isn't making you merry inside. But what's this about- Hermit really didn't make the perfect statement about your personal intent? If that's the worst thing any of us would see go wrong for the rest of the year, I'd take it.

-Rich


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starrancher
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 06/09/09

Loc: Northern Arizona
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: derangedhermit]
      #6005665 - 08/04/13 12:37 AM

Quote:

I specifically said "small companies". Not Meade (after the "go big" and "go public" decisions), not JOC, not Synta, not GSO, etc. We have no impact there. There are, however, dozens of small (often driven by one or only a few people) businesses who offer unique product, or great value, or great quality, or something else that sets them apart.

Small companies are often dedicated to amateur astronomy, unlike large ones. We can affect these companies' existence.




Settle down . I think you're reading to far deep into some things .
Chill out a bit .
Put on some shades .


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starrancher
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 06/09/09

Loc: Northern Arizona
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: Starhawk]
      #6005672 - 08/04/13 12:43 AM

Quote:

Is it? Name an issue Celestron has gotten a free pass on.

Everything from power pins to the power star to the 8/3 fault gets called out here regularly and no one starts a fight about it being vendor bashing or being haters or whatever the accuser thinks is inflammatory enough to get a thread closed.

-Rich

Quote:

I dunno what it is about this thread , but it's like Celestron gets a pass in the court of public opinion , but Meade is prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law .
You'd think we were dealing with the main stream media here .








Wow . Don't get any on ya man .
With that kind of response , about all I can add is that typically in the format . The quote you respond to should precede the response . Or the response should follow the quote you respond to . It could be interpreted either way with both trails leading to the same location .
Don't forget to wipe your feet though .


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Spacetravelerx
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 12/23/12

Loc: New Mexico
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: alrosm]
      #6005770 - 08/04/13 02:20 AM

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

all kidding aside, I hope they get things worked out. it would be a sad day for the hobby to lose one of the BIG TWO.




Who are the BIG TWO?? I know it used to be Meade and Celestron, but now Celestron is owned by Synta and Meade's current lack of successful product launches and loss of vitality do not seem like those of a "BIG" player.

If you ask me, Synta with all it's major brands is the only consumer grade game left in town.


Patrick




Yep Celestron in now Synta....

And soon Meade will be ????





Dudes!

Boy it so tough keeping up with you guys on this thread while traveling! I am getting dizzy!

In the minds of many folks, people still think Meade and Celestron are the big two. Celestron is now uber big, because, well, they are owned by the Chinese government, er Synta!

It is interesting though, where I work in the fields of Aerospace and software lots of folks know Meade, and they do not know they are in trouble. A few have talked with me about buying a new Meade soon. A few of us are getting together for a Meade star party in Logan, Utah...if the clouds do not follow me (FYI - the marine layer along the Pacific coast highway is a pain in the you know what for Astronomy).

And by the way - Meade has had two recent successful telescope launches: the LX600 and the "new" LX850 (yeah, it is not the LX800, blah blah). Both work successfully, and as advertised. And Meade is selling them still

And I have played a little with my new Meade 6000 80mm APO refractor (yeah, I bought something after the news). This is a very good and fun refractor! It is well built, great focuser, and great views for an 80mm. Excellent quality too! Yes, this is built by a supplier in China, however Meade seems to be on top of them in the QA department and it seems Meade has a good idea on designing/defining a refractor, or at least finding a supplier that will meet their requirements.

(Note, not being a "refractor" expert, I did learn the 24mm UWA shows some issues at the edge of the field for an 80mm APO refractor; still the main viewing area was very impressive. The 8mm UWA - things looked wonderful!).

Anyways, I personally think Meade will weather this storm. I just wished I had the spare funds right now to buy Meade and be done with this story (though if they can hang around in 2 years as a U.S. firm, I could just do it). Maybe I should do that crowd funding thing right now after all....?


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