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Ed Byers / a discussion

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#51 turk123

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Posted 28 August 2014 - 04:02 PM

Turk,

ask Ed about the time he took a poke at Roland!! Ed is my friend and a great inventive man.. Very nice guy! I think a wise decision back in the day was to stay on his good side.He was a scraper!

 

I certainly will!    :grin:



#52 turk123

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Posted 29 August 2014 - 03:05 PM

My first interview with Ed Byers will begin in about 3 minutes.   If you have anymore questions I will be here for about an hour with him on the line.   :)



#53 fjs

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Posted 29 August 2014 - 03:42 PM

Good luck Tom! Make us proud. Thanks!

#54 turk123

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Posted 29 August 2014 - 04:20 PM

Well we just finished session 1.   About an hour's worth of information AND . . .  he answered all the questions that were posed here and quite a bit of information about the research that I did.

 

Ed is a very humble man.  We had a discussion about the best telescope mountings today and in the past.  He was very gracious about his peers (although there are not many that fit his description.)   

 

I am very pleased he opened up and spent so much time with me.  We will be doing another session in a week or so.  

 

One thing that caught my attention the most was that he loved the amateur telescope market.  So much that he made products for it even though he never made any money in that field.  He did it because he loved working with all the people involved in the hobby.  He made the 812 mount for the amateur astronomer and sold it below his cost.  His mistake, but he got carried away for those who wanted a quality product.  He raised the price later (he original sold it for $995) and no one could afford it ($1500) .  He then took it off the market.

 

Let's keep the discussion going and please chime in with ideas and question for the next session.

 

Thanks

 

Turk


Edited by turk123, 29 August 2014 - 04:21 PM.


#55 Geo31

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Posted 29 August 2014 - 06:24 PM

One thing that caught my attention the most was that he loved the amateur telescope market.  So much that he made products for it even though he never made any money in that field.  He did it because he loved working with all the people involved in the hobby.  He made the 812 mount for the amateur astronomer and sold it below his cost.  His mistake, but he got carried away for those who wanted a quality product.  He raised the price later (he original sold it for $995) and no one could afford it ($1500) .  He then took it off the market.

 

I think he was just ahead of his time with that mount.  Look at what is out there today and the prices.  I wonder what the 812 with GoTo and/or auto-guiding would run in today's dollars?  There are some pretty amazing mounts out there today that the 812 truly blazed the trail for.  There just wasn't the market....Yet.

 

[edit]  I meant with GoTo or auto-guiding if something like that were available then.


Edited by Geo31, 29 August 2014 - 06:26 PM.


#56 turk123

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Posted 29 August 2014 - 07:09 PM

Yea.  He commented that the amateur astronomer was not using film as it was just too difficult.  They were sketching. There really was not a need for the precision he could provide.  He latter came out with the series II mount, than the series I, and then the series III.  They were for the larger hardware market.  They did not do so well either, but where sold all around the world.

 

I wanted to get the specs on the different mounts and I forgot.  I will ask him next time.

 

Turk


Edited by turk123, 29 August 2014 - 07:09 PM.


#57 JWW

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Posted 02 September 2014 - 02:48 PM

Perhaps you can ask Ed what inspired him to make the Byers 58 GEM and whatever you think my be appropriate about that particular GEM. A few years ago I bought all of the Byer's 58 parts he had left, at least that's what he told me. Thanks to Ed, I now have 3 Byers 58 GEM's (minus hand controller, polar scope and original tracking device).  I did purchase 3 polar scopes from him that were for the 812 (if I recall correctly) and machined adapters for them. Ed regarded the polar scopes being of the highest quality he had ever seen. I think he was selling one of these on eBay a few months ago.

 

-JWW:

Attached Thumbnails

  • ByersPolarScope-1.jpg

Edited by JWW, 02 September 2014 - 02:56 PM.


#58 turk123

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Posted 02 September 2014 - 02:56 PM

Perhaps you can ask Ed what inspired him to make the Byers 58 GEM and whatever you think my be appropriate. A few years ago I bought all of the Byer's 58 parts he had left, at least that's what he told me. Thanks to Ed, I now have 3 Byers 58 GEM's (minus hand controller, polar scope and original tracking device).  I did purchase 3 polar scopes from him that were for the 812 (if I recall correctly) and machined adapters for them. Ed regarded the polar scopes being of the highest quality he had ever seen. I think he was selling one of these on eBay a few months ago.

 

-JWW:

 

I've written it down and will ask.  I'll find out how well it did also.

 

I did not have a chance to ask about the series I, II, and III mounts.  I want him to get technical and explain just what differentiates them other than capacity.



#59 JWW

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Posted 02 September 2014 - 03:02 PM

If you feel inclined and that it's appropriate, ask him how a amature homeshop machinist might become proficient at gear hobbing. 

 

-JWW:



#60 turk123

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Posted 02 September 2014 - 04:16 PM

If you feel inclined and that it's appropriate, ask him how a amature homeshop machinist might become proficient at gear hobbing. 

 

-JWW:

 

I did.  I believe he mentioned hundreds of thousands of dollars in machines.  Not what you wanted to hear, I know.


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#61 JWW

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Posted 02 September 2014 - 11:17 PM

<grin> nope, I figured he would say that. <smile>



#62 hottr6

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Posted 03 September 2014 - 11:05 AM

 

One thing that caught my attention the most was that he loved the amateur telescope market.  So much that he made products for it even though he never made any money in that field.  He did it because he loved working with all the people involved in the hobby.  He made the 812 mount for the amateur astronomer and sold it below his cost.  His mistake, but he got carried away for those who wanted a quality product.  He raised the price later (he original sold it for $995) and no one could afford it ($1500) .  He then took it off the market.

 

I think he was just ahead of his time with that mount.  Look at what is out there today and the prices.  I wonder what the 812 with GoTo and/or auto-guiding would run in today's dollars?  There are some pretty amazing mounts out there today that the 812 truly blazed the trail for.  There just wasn't the market....Yet.

 

[edit]  I meant with GoTo or auto-guiding if something like that were available then.

 

The 812 used a sector drive, and thus go-to ablity is not possible, period.  I believe some 58s have been converted to go-to.  I think a Losmandy Gemini could be easily integrated with the 58.



#63 hottr6

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Posted 03 September 2014 - 11:08 AM

Perhaps you can ask Ed what inspired him to make the Byers 58 GEM and whatever you think my be appropriate about that particular GEM. A few years ago I bought all of the Byer's 58 parts he had left, at least that's what he told me. Thanks to Ed, I now have 3 Byers 58 GEM's (minus hand controller, polar scope and original tracking device).  I did purchase 3 polar scopes from him that were for the 812 (if I recall correctly) and machined adapters for them. Ed regarded the polar scopes being of the highest quality he had ever seen. I think he was selling one of these on eBay a few months ago.

 

-JWW:

I don't see how a polar scope could be used in the 812's polar axle, the ID is around 0.5".  Perhaps it was attached to the mount elsewhere, but I cannot see any obvious placement points.



#64 seryddwr

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Posted 03 September 2014 - 08:57 PM

I converted my 58 to goto. I haven't messed with it for a while, as I sold my CCD.



#65 seryddwr

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Posted 03 September 2014 - 09:01 PM

Here's the link: http://www.cloudynig...58#entry5144765



#66 seryddwr

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Posted 10 September 2014 - 09:55 AM

Did I kill the thread?  Any more word from Mr. Byers?



#67 turk123

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Posted 10 September 2014 - 09:13 PM

Did I kill the thread?  Any more word from Mr. Byers?

 

Sorry no. I have not done much as my regular day job has gotten a bit busy.  I will be calling Ed in a few days to continue our discussion.



#68 opticsguy

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Posted 10 September 2014 - 09:43 PM

How many 812 mounts were made?

 

I bought one at Riverside about 20? years ago.  Never really used it very much as I found i prefer azimuth mounted scopes. When I mounted my 8" refractor on this mount, at the time it seemed a very scary set up and ended up on a azimuth mount.

 

Not long after buying the mounting somehow the mount was bumped and the RA axis was broken at the hole for the polar alignment.  There is not much material at this location and I can see how any rough handling could break the shaft.  I machined a new exactly to relplace the orignal. I think Ed would be proud.  :grin:

 

Thank you Ed Byers for doing all that you have!!!!!!!!!!


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#69 dgreyson

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Posted 10 September 2014 - 09:44 PM

even his smaller stuff was way beyond my means Turk, Wish I could contribute more than to say I liked his work but couldn't afford any of it.



#70 vvalmiki

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Posted 11 September 2014 - 04:32 PM

I have the 812 without the declination axis. Anyone have one for sale?

 

Regards, Vinay



#71 turk123

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Posted 11 September 2014 - 06:33 PM

I have the 812 without the declination axis. Anyone have one for sale?

 

Regards, Vinay

 

I'll ask Ed!



#72 TxStars

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Posted 13 September 2014 - 03:51 PM

Perhaps you can ask Ed what inspired him to make the Byers 58 GEM and whatever you think my be appropriate about that particular GEM. A few years ago I bought all of the Byer's 58 parts he had left, at least that's what he told me. Thanks to Ed, I now have 3 Byers 58 GEM's (minus hand controller, polar scope and original tracking device).  I did purchase 3 polar scopes from him that were for the 812 (if I recall correctly) and machined adapters for them. Ed regarded the polar scopes being of the highest quality he had ever seen. I think he was selling one of these on eBay a few months ago.

 

-JWW:

The first time I spoke with Ed was in the late 80's.

Ed wanted a high quality polar scope that would enable quicker alignment of his various mounts.

A special purchase  of Takahashi polar scopes was arranged through Texas Nautical Repair. (a.k.a. Takahashi USA) 

 

 

 

*Be sure to ask ED about the precision required to make a +/-5" Gear.

Remember these gears were developed and produced before PEC , or before people had computers for that matter.


Edited by TxStars, 13 September 2014 - 04:10 PM.


#73 hottr6

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Posted 15 September 2014 - 11:55 AM

How many 812 mounts were made?

About 100.



#74 RacerX69

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Posted 20 September 2014 - 08:13 PM

 

If you feel inclined and that it's appropriate, ask him how a amature homeshop machinist might become proficient at gear hobbing. 

 

-JWW:

 

I did.  I believe he mentioned hundreds of thousands of dollars in machines.  Not what you wanted to hear, I know.

 

 

He said the same to me when I talked with him earlier this year. I had called on Chuck Hard's advice to get a gear drive before they were gone.

 

Without much prodding on my part Ed would go on and on about the details of his life's work.

 

I wanted to talk to him forever . . . . . . . . .


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#75 seryddwr

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Posted 23 September 2014 - 12:11 AM

I just negotiated with Ed for the last two 7.1 gears. I'm sending him a money order tomorrow. I would have today, but the card reader at the post office was down.




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