Jump to content

  •  

CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.

Photo

Miscellany

  • Please log in to reply
1745 replies to this topic

#1276 steve t

steve t

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1,317
  • Joined: 17 Jun 2009
  • Loc: SW Ohio

Posted 08 December 2021 - 02:48 PM

Y'all remember my Vixen 4-slot rotary eyepiece holder:

 

attachicon.gifCelestron (V) Eyepiece Turret S01.jpg

 

Went to use it with the C80 the other night, and... it would not rotate.  And, there was gross goop on the back.  Swamp Heat took its toll:  the original lube (like thin Vaseline) melted, ran out at the seams...  plastic on plastic must be like a brake.

Man that sucks.

My like doesn't mean like.

I hope it's salvageable. 


  • LU1AR likes this

#1277 clamchip

clamchip

    Hubble

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 13,488
  • Joined: 09 Aug 2008
  • Loc: Seattle

Posted 13 December 2021 - 06:06 PM

Meade Instruments Corp early history:

http://www.fundingun...ration-history/

 

Robert


Edited by clamchip, 13 December 2021 - 06:08 PM.

  • deSitter, mdowns and Bomber Bob like this

#1278 CHASLX200

CHASLX200

    ISS

  • *****
  • Posts: 38,259
  • Joined: 29 Sep 2007
  • Loc: Tampa area Florida

Posted 13 December 2021 - 07:05 PM

Meade was the best and i grew up with them since 1977. I would order something and get it in less than a week in 1977.


  • Bomber Bob likes this

#1279 ccwemyss

ccwemyss

    Mercury-Atlas

  • *****
  • Posts: 2,995
  • Joined: 11 Aug 2016
  • Loc: Massachusetts

Posted 13 December 2021 - 07:09 PM

It's interesting that they focus on how the ETX and LX200 came out after Diebel bought the company back in 1991, and don't mention that the ED refractor series was introduced in 1992. Just shows how much the catadioptric telescopes had come to dominate the market in the prior decade. 

 

Chip W. 


  • Bonco2 likes this

#1280 CHASLX200

CHASLX200

    ISS

  • *****
  • Posts: 38,259
  • Joined: 29 Sep 2007
  • Loc: Tampa area Florida

Posted 13 December 2021 - 07:39 PM

It's interesting that they focus on how the ETX and LX200 came out after Diebel bought the company back in 1991, and don't mention that the ED refractor series was introduced in 1992. Just shows how much the catadioptric telescopes had come to dominate the market in the prior decade. 

 

Chip W. 

I think they had many probs with the ED line. Also i don't see anything about the LX5 in later 1987. I was no longer a Meade lover after 1999 and my 7" ED.  But the LX200 was for sure a world changer and always dreamed of a scope that could find objects for you in the 70's.  


  • Bomber Bob likes this

#1281 Kasmos

Kasmos

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 6,808
  • Joined: 19 Aug 2015
  • Loc: So Cal

Posted 13 December 2021 - 08:16 PM

I've always been kind of prejudice against Meade. Diebel always rubbed me as a bit of a copycat and ruthless shark. Didn't he once work for Cave, then after learning from them, actively seek to put them out of business? It was sort of the same with Celestron. Copy and conquer. Some might also say he made a plastic Questar. The fact that he married the daughter of Towa always cracked me up. I've read that she didn't speak english so it kind of makes one wonder if it was partly a business move? I guess you can't say he wasn't a good businessman. As they say, nice guys finish last.

 

Yeah, I know competition is good for consumers and it sounds like he was good at saving the company and bringing out innovations. I'm just not sure if I would have liked him? shrug.gif


Edited by Kasmos, 14 December 2021 - 02:39 AM.

  • davidmcgo, tim53, Terra Nova and 1 other like this

#1282 Bomber Bob

Bomber Bob

    ISS

  • *****
  • Posts: 23,628
  • Joined: 09 Jul 2013
  • Loc: The Swamp, LA (Lower Alabama)

Posted 13 December 2021 - 08:38 PM

Making sense out of Kenko Mounts:

 

KDS:  compact AZ, with standard photo tripod 1/4-20 base socket, and Vixen clamp.  OTA hangs off the side. Black, gray, or white paint.

NEW KDS / KDS II:  same as KDS, but the OTA rides on top.  Black, gray, khaki, olive, or white paint.  Lots of options (some 3rd party), like a longer and/or angled altitude arm.

KES:  1st 1980s Kenko EQ.  Big Barrel axis castings - identical diameters.  Single-Axis drive.  Dark gray / charcoal paint; some are apparently textured finish.

NES:  2nd 1980s Kenko EQ.  Resembles Mizar & Vixen same-era EQs.  Dual-Axis drive capable. Dark gray paint.  [Uncommon in the USA.  Same mount as B&L / Bushnell Banner Series.]  NES replaced by...

SES:  Sky Explorer 1990s to Present (?).  China-made CG-4 / EQ-5 generic EQ.  Dual-Axis drive, and Go-To capable.  Usually white paint. [Very similar to Bresser EQ.]

SDS:  Sky Dream 2000s to Present.  Economy Model EQ.  Looks like a heavily modded Classic Towa EQ-2.  Single-Axis drive (same clutch mechanism as EQ-2).  Proprietary Hinged Rings per scope model.  Kenko sea-foam green paint.

SWS:  Sky Walker 2000s to Present.  Even cheaper version of the SDS.  Closely resembles D-K version of the Towa EQ-2.  Single-Axis drive.  Charcoal "speckle" paint. * There's also an SWA - alt/az Sky Walker - standard yoke mount with altitude rod.

SMS:  Sky Memo 2000s to Present.  China-made ultra-compact EQ, with standard photo tripod 1/4-20 base socket, and Vixen clamp.  OTA "caps" the polar axis.  Built-in polar alignment scope, and variable speed control.  Some have a small LCD display.  Mostly red, with some blue color schemes.  


Edited by Bomber Bob, 13 December 2021 - 08:39 PM.

  • flywing1 likes this

#1283 clamchip

clamchip

    Hubble

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 13,488
  • Joined: 09 Aug 2008
  • Loc: Seattle

Posted 14 December 2021 - 07:38 PM

Here's a very good article:

                   

                    Hindle Unobstructed Newtonian

                                        VS

                           Oblique Herschelian

                           

                            which also includes

 

 Diffraction Effects due to Axial Obstructions in Telescopes:

        http://www.brayebroo...INDLE _NEWT.pdf


Edited by clamchip, 14 December 2021 - 07:41 PM.

  • sarastro, Terra Nova and AstroKerr like this

#1284 Bomber Bob

Bomber Bob

    ISS

  • *****
  • Posts: 23,628
  • Joined: 09 Jul 2013
  • Loc: The Swamp, LA (Lower Alabama)

Posted 24 December 2021 - 04:36 PM

One Word for new folks getting started on this crazy collecting:  Standardization

 

If like me you buy a lot of orphan old scopes (OTA without a mount), you're going to run into:  Great Old Scope, but how do I mount it / use it??  After a lot of trial & (mostly!) error, I settled on Vixen-style dovetails as the standard; and, I bolt the rings to the dovetail.  Most of my dovetails are 8cm, but for the longer / heavier scopes, I'll use 25cm to 30cm lengths.  I prefer the SVBONY dovetails with 2 long slots for attaching rings; and, these slots are machined so that the screw / bolt heads don't intrude into the clamp's channel.  On about half my buys, the old scope includes the original tube rings.  If not... it can become a scavenger hunt for rings that'll fit.  For some of my 60mm scopes, I've used the plastic rings normally used with large Canon telephoto lenses.

 

But, BB, lots of old scope mounts don't have a dovetail clamp!  Yes... that's why I settled on Mizar EQs for my small refractors (up to 5" aperture).  Remove the original cradle, and you have options from ADM and SVBONY -- one & two knob clamps that'll fit just about any old EQ mount.  For alt/az mounts, I buy only those that already have a Vixen-style clamp.  Standardization!  I can swap scopes in seconds with no worries.

 

My final act of standardization:  Ditch as many of the .965" accessory adapters as possible.  Work nights, I don't want to be fiddling with this, that, and the other.  By the start of 2022, all of my Keeper refractors will have Vixen 36.4 to 1.25" adapters; unless they came natively equipped for 1.25" stuff.

 

When you have a bunch (or, too many!) old scopes, and limited cloud-free nights, the fewer equipment hassles, the better.  Only took me 8 years on CN to figure that out...


  • sarastro, Exnihilo, GreyDay and 3 others like this

#1285 MGAR

MGAR

    Ranger 4

  • *****
  • Posts: 352
  • Joined: 28 Oct 2019
  • Loc: North Seattle

Posted 24 December 2021 - 06:15 PM

I've always been kind of prejudice against Meade. Diebel always rubbed me as a bit of a copycat and ruthless shark. Didn't he once work for Cave, then after learning from them, actively seek to put them out of business? It was sort of the same with Celestron. Copy and conquer. Some might also say he made a plastic Questar. The fact that he married the daughter of Towa always cracked me up. I've read that she didn't speak english so it kind of makes one wonder if it was partly a business move? I guess you can't say he wasn't a good businessman. As they say, nice guys finish last.

 

Yeah, I know competition is good for consumers and it sounds like he was good at saving the company and bringing out innovations. I'm just not sure if I would have liked him? shrug.gif

I got to say Meade was way more civil than the Celestron sexist sales of the time. The LX200 was the pinnacle for the Goto revolution and the plastic Questar ETX was also good. Even though a plastic mount you can now print and replace any part today, the OTA was nicely built BTW.

 

Towa must have been in bed with everybody, even the Tasco 9F I picked up has accessories made by them.



#1286 ccwemyss

ccwemyss

    Mercury-Atlas

  • *****
  • Posts: 2,995
  • Joined: 11 Aug 2016
  • Loc: Massachusetts

Posted 24 December 2021 - 10:17 PM

Diebel understood the value of high quality marketing material. Tom Johnson liked to feature his daughter in advertising. 

 

Chip W. 



#1287 Kasmos

Kasmos

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 6,808
  • Joined: 19 Aug 2015
  • Loc: So Cal

Posted 24 December 2021 - 10:28 PM

Diebel understood the value of high quality marketing material. Tom Johnson liked to feature his daughter in advertising. 

 

Chip W. 

Celestron's ads didn't strike me as that big of deal. It wasn't like they were dressed in a provocative manner and then you have to consider the times they were done in. Which one was his daughter? I always figured they were some of the ladies from the staff.

 

Wasn't Tom Cave's daughter one of the women featured in his catalogs? 


Edited by Kasmos, 24 December 2021 - 10:28 PM.


#1288 ccwemyss

ccwemyss

    Mercury-Atlas

  • *****
  • Posts: 2,995
  • Joined: 11 Aug 2016
  • Loc: Massachusetts

Posted 24 December 2021 - 11:13 PM

And Marj Christens was in some of the early AP ads. Just shows how a lot of these companies were really family businesses. 

 

A bygone era.

 

Chip W,


  • jokrausdu likes this

#1289 tim53

tim53

    James Webb Space Telescope

  • *****
  • Posts: 17,064
  • Joined: 17 Dec 2004
  • Loc: Highland Park, CA

Posted 25 December 2021 - 01:21 AM

I've always been kind of prejudice against Meade. Diebel always rubbed me as a bit of a copycat and ruthless shark. Didn't he once work for Cave, then after learning from them, actively seek to put them out of business? It was sort of the same with Celestron. Copy and conquer. Some might also say he made a plastic Questar. The fact that he married the daughter of Towa always cracked me up. I've read that she didn't speak english so it kind of makes one wonder if it was partly a business move? I guess you can't say he wasn't a good businessman. As they say, nice guys finish last.

 

Yeah, I know competition is good for consumers and it sounds like he was good at saving the company and bringing out innovations. I'm just not sure if I would have liked him? shrug.gif

Diebel did make a deliberate effort to put Cave out of business.  It worked, too.  He told us at a christmas lunch, probably in 1978, that he intended to go after Celestron next.  We didn't know about the SCTs being developed at the time (in Japan), but I stumbled upon them by accident in 1979 when his sister sent me to the storeroom where they were, to retrieve something.  She quickly realized her mistake and I got called into John's office for a pep talk, where I was sworn to secrecy.  

 

Not only did his wife not speak English when they got married, he didn't speak Japanese either.  It may have been a business arrangement, but I do think he truly cared for her.

 

I left Meade in fall of 1979, came back to work on SCT parts in fall of 1981, and finally was laid off in spring of 1982, which was probably the kindest thing he did for me. 

 

I'd see him at RTMC for many years after that.  We always had enjoyable conversations.  I haven't seen him since he last came up to Big Bear, maybe 15 or 20 years ago now?  I can't remember.

 

I've owned a Meade 10" LX5 I got cheap on craigslist.  It didn't hold a candle to my home-built 10" f/6 Newtonian.  I still have a 4" Mirror lens with mediocre optics, and a 4" SCT (2045/LX3) with excellent optics.  Overall, I've never felt the desire to seek them out, though.  Not that I wouldn't buy another one if the price was right.  I was probably soured by Meade's business ethics when I worked there.  But that's kind of like my loss of interest in working on split window VW buses - when I was having to tinker with mine pretty much every weekend to get to work, they weren't that fun anymore.

 

-Tim.


Edited by tim53, 25 December 2021 - 01:23 AM.

  • clamchip, steve t, Terra Nova and 3 others like this

#1290 deSitter

deSitter

    Still in Old School

  • *****
  • Posts: 17,997
  • Joined: 09 Dec 2004

Posted 25 December 2021 - 01:48 AM

I think they had many probs with the ED line. Also i don't see anything about the LX5 in later 1987. I was no longer a Meade lover after 1999 and my 7" ED.  But the LX200 was for sure a world changer and always dreamed of a scope that could find objects for you in the 70's.  

My 127ED, a really early example from the mid-90s, is my favorite scope. I have put umpteen hours into my 10" Royce Newtonian and it is a wonderful telescope, but it is SUCH a pain in the astronomy. It's always complaining about seeing, tube currents, weight, balance, viewing position, etc. etc. etc. The ED is just a pure joy to use.

 

-drl

Attached Thumbnails

  • DSC_0280.jpg

  • steve t, brian dewelles, mdowns and 2 others like this

#1291 deSitter

deSitter

    Still in Old School

  • *****
  • Posts: 17,997
  • Joined: 09 Dec 2004

Posted 25 December 2021 - 01:59 AM

Meade Instruments Corp early history:

http://www.fundingun...ration-history/

 

Robert

At the 2017 eclipse in Idaho - 127ED and ETX90 - both superb optically!

 

-drl

Attached Thumbnails

  • WP_20170821_09_39_20_Pro.jpg

  • clamchip, steve t, mdowns and 6 others like this

#1292 CHASLX200

CHASLX200

    ISS

  • *****
  • Posts: 38,259
  • Joined: 29 Sep 2007
  • Loc: Tampa area Florida

Posted 25 December 2021 - 07:50 AM

My 127ED, a really early example from the mid-90s, is my favorite scope. I have put umpteen hours into my 10" Royce Newtonian and it is a wonderful telescope, but it is SUCH a pain in the astronomy. It's always complaining about seeing, tube currents, weight, balance, viewing position, etc. etc. etc. The ED is just a pure joy to use.

 

-drl

My 127ED was pretty good also.


  • steve t likes this

#1293 RichA

RichA

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 10,571
  • Joined: 03 Jun 2010
  • Loc: Toronto, Canada

Posted 26 December 2021 - 10:53 AM

Y'all remember my Vixen 4-slot rotary eyepiece holder:

 

attachicon.gifCelestron (V) Eyepiece Turret S01.jpg

 

Went to use it with the C80 the other night, and... it would not rotate.  And, there was gross goop on the back.  Swamp Heat took its toll:  the original lube (like thin Vaseline) melted, ran out at the seams...  plastic on plastic must be like a brake.

They build cars for California and telescopes for...uh..maybe San Diego.  Why must lubicants used always be so cheap?

Non-curing silicone dielectric grease is a good sub.


  • Bomber Bob likes this

#1294 RichA

RichA

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 10,571
  • Joined: 03 Jun 2010
  • Loc: Toronto, Canada

Posted 26 December 2021 - 10:55 AM

Meade Instruments Corp early history:

http://www.fundingun...ration-history/

 

Robert

 I wonder if allowing this might have kept them in America or at least, America-Mexico?  Probably not.

 

1990:
    FTC blocks merger of Meade with competitor Celestron International.



#1295 RichA

RichA

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 10,571
  • Joined: 03 Jun 2010
  • Loc: Toronto, Canada

Posted 26 December 2021 - 11:01 AM

I got to say Meade was way more civil than the Celestron sexist sales of the time. The LX200 was the pinnacle for the Goto revolution and the plastic Questar ETX was also good. Even though a plastic mount you can now print and replace any part today, the OTA was nicely built BTW.

 

Towa must have been in bed with everybody, even the Tasco 9F I picked up has accessories made by them.

The original OTA (stripped of plastic) was all-aluminum and well-done.  The scopes are optically and uniformly excellent but the mounts lacked quality.  I always wished they upped the game and made a mount out of metal, like the old Celestron C5 and C90.  Even the B&L 4" SCT had a metal mount.



#1296 RichA

RichA

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 10,571
  • Joined: 03 Jun 2010
  • Loc: Toronto, Canada

Posted 26 December 2021 - 11:07 AM

I've always been kind of prejudice against Meade. Diebel always rubbed me as a bit of a copycat and ruthless shark. Didn't he once work for Cave, then after learning from them, actively seek to put them out of business? It was sort of the same with Celestron. Copy and conquer. Some might also say he made a plastic Questar. The fact that he married the daughter of Towa always cracked me up. I've read that she didn't speak english so it kind of makes one wonder if it was partly a business move? I guess you can't say he wasn't a good businessman. As they say, nice guys finish last.

 

Yeah, I know competition is good for consumers and it sounds like he was good at saving the company and bringing out innovations. I'm just not sure if I would have liked him? shrug.gif

Gee, one company trying to take market share from another, how....awful.


  • brian dewelles likes this

#1297 ccwemyss

ccwemyss

    Mercury-Atlas

  • *****
  • Posts: 2,995
  • Joined: 11 Aug 2016
  • Loc: Massachusetts

Posted 26 December 2021 - 12:46 PM

I think where people get frustrated by competition is when the strategy is designed to drive out an established company that produces high quality items by undercutting them with lower quality copies and more aggressive marketing, so that consumers lose access to the better product. I'm not saying that this is what Meade did (they also developed innovative and high quality equipment). But I think it is often what people are referring to when they disparage competition.

 

On the flip side, everyone applauds when a company gains market share by delivering a better or more innovative product, or producing something as good but more efficiently. In the real world, it's rarely so cut and dried. Companies go through phases and management changes, and even have different strategies in different market segments.

 

Diebel saved Meade when he returned in the early 90's by investing heavily in R&D, and leapfrogging Celestron with new technology. That broke Celestron out of their complacency, and he aggressively defended his patents when they copied some of Meade's approaches. In turn, Celestron had to be more innovative. We can hope that Orion invests in Meade in ways that will lead the Synta affiliate companies to develop better products as well. 

 

Chip W. 


  • John Higbee and Bomber Bob like this

#1298 Kasmos

Kasmos

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 6,808
  • Joined: 19 Aug 2015
  • Loc: So Cal

Posted 26 December 2021 - 02:56 PM

Gee, one company trying to take market share from another, how....awful.

I did say that competiton is good for consumers, but it's about how it's done. If you ever saw how Cave was run (a small mom and pop type of shop) you might see it a bit different and I doubt they ever thought about dominating the hobby.

 

These are just my personal feellings (I did use the term prejiduce), and my take on how things appeared to me.

 

IMO, it's a bit of a reflection of what some economist once said; 

"it used to be about making a living, now it's about making a killing".


  • Bomber Bob likes this

#1299 RichA

RichA

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 10,571
  • Joined: 03 Jun 2010
  • Loc: Toronto, Canada

Posted 26 December 2021 - 10:28 PM

I did say that competiton is good for consumers, but it's about how it's done. If you ever saw how Cave was run (a small mom and pop type of shop) you might see it a bit different and I doubt they ever thought about dominating the hobby.

 

These are just my personal feellings (I did use the term prejiduce), and my take on how things appeared to me.

 

IMO, it's a bit of a reflection of what some economist once said; 

"it used to be about making a living, now it's about making a killing".

That was their choice, in-fact Cave did try to compete against the SCT onslaught by running ads comparing their performance, but it wasn't enough to keep people from moving from big 80lbs scopes to small 40lb scopes.



#1300 Bomber Bob

Bomber Bob

    ISS

  • *****
  • Posts: 23,628
  • Joined: 09 Jul 2013
  • Loc: The Swamp, LA (Lower Alabama)

Posted 28 December 2021 - 04:46 PM

Tough to be a Cave Fan living east of the Mississippi!  Most of the ads are from California Sellers. 

 

It dawned on me that 3 of my most interesting Old Scopes came from Pennsylvania Sellers:

 

- Mogey 3" Refractor

- Sears 6336 3" Refractor

- Tinsley 6" Cassegrain


  • rcwolpert likes this


CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.


Recent Topics






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics