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Parks Optical

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#1 deSitter

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Posted 12 December 2017 - 01:11 AM

Is this not a beautiful catalog?

 

https://wiki.telesco...985_Catalog.pdf

 

When I was in college my plan was to buy a Parks 10" - they were Cave after Cave was no more. How did they perform? What became of them?

 

-drl


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#2 deepwoods1

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Posted 12 December 2017 - 05:59 AM

Many dream pieces in there.......



#3 CHASLX200

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Posted 12 December 2017 - 06:06 AM

Best tubes ever.  I have the 89 Catalog with the 16" dream scope on the cover. Talk about a back breaker.



#4 Jim Curry

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Posted 12 December 2017 - 06:58 AM

I had an 8" f/4, what a great scope.  So sad I sold it.

 

Jim


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#5 macdonjh

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Posted 12 December 2017 - 07:02 AM

I've got a 10" HIT, a hybrid Newtonian/ classical Cassegrain.  It's a fun scope since it takes just a couple of minutes to switch secondary mirrors and go from f/4 to f/15.  Optical performance is pretty good, but I think I still need to tweak collimation.  It's heavy, though, for a 10" what with two focusers, rotating rings and that Parks fiberglass tube.



#6 starman876

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Posted 12 December 2017 - 09:32 AM

http://www.parksoptical.com/

 

Nice website



#7 deSitter

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Posted 12 December 2017 - 09:46 AM

?! cool! Thought they were gone!

 

-drl



#8 starman876

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Posted 12 December 2017 - 10:10 AM

 

?! cool! Thought they were gone!

 

-drl

 

Now see if anyone answers the phonesmirk.gif


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#9 Chuck Hards

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Posted 12 December 2017 - 10:10 AM

They are gone.  Nobody knows why the website is still up.  


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#10 Terra Nova

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Posted 12 December 2017 - 10:18 AM

They are gone.  Nobody knows why the website is still up.  

 

It’s one of those enduring astronomical mysteries! :lol:


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#11 Geo31

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Posted 12 December 2017 - 10:20 AM

 

They are gone.  Nobody knows why the website is still up.  

 

It’s one of those enduring astronomical mysteries! lol.gif

 

The answer is quite simple...

 

The website is several lightyears away so we are looking into the past.  ;)


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#12 CHASLX200

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Posted 12 December 2017 - 06:28 PM

I wished someone kept the tooling for the tubes so we could still buy them.


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#13 Littlegreenman

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Posted 12 December 2017 - 10:01 PM

They are gone.  Nobody knows why the website is still up.  

I had a website going way back I abandoned. I did not renew the domain registration. Months later I looked and it was still up on the internet. I thought the host company would have taken it down automatically. Nope. Abandoned websites are pretty common.

Someone could look up the ownership of the domain name, and see if anyone currently owns it.

I can't. There are some very important cute cat videos on Youtube I need to watch instead.

 

LGM


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#14 deSitter

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Posted 12 December 2017 - 10:04 PM

So when did they enter suspended animation? That website looks exactly as it did when I was last thinking about buying something from them, a 10" f/5 superior back in the early 2000s. What actually became of the company and brand?

 

-drl



#15 Jim Curry

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Posted 12 December 2017 - 10:09 PM

The website shows a copyright of 2017.  WhoIs says the website was renewed in 2016.

 

It sounds like someone is sitting on some inventory.

 

Too bad it's not sensibly priced.  They could empty that warehouse in a day if this crowd sniffed them out.

Jim


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#16 grif 678

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Posted 12 December 2017 - 10:21 PM

Parks really thought a whole lot about their refractors, their 60mm's were as much or more than top notch 80mm's.


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#17 apfever

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Posted 13 December 2017 - 02:39 AM

With the prices listed, I could see why inventory is getting sat on, if any one is sitting.

I looked at the Newt OTA listings,  doubt an experienced observer would spring for the cost.



#18 Littlegreenman

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Posted 13 December 2017 - 03:01 AM

Controversy has followed Park's on the internet since for at least the 20 years when I first got into astronomy forums.  A lot of the controversy has been about high prices listed on the website. Also by people afflicted with neomania--"if it"s new, it must be great," and the corollary, "if it's old, it must be [insert term not allowed on CN by the Terms of Service] regarding their large Newtonian  scopes and mounts.

I bought my second scope, a TV-85, at Scope City in Sherman Oaks. Scope City was sort of the retail outlet of Parks, although I don't know the details of their relationship. (Scope City also sold Celestron, Meade, Tele- Vue, Questar, other brands, tons of binoculars and microscopes and spotting scopes, etc.)

When China Inc. arose, Parks was one of the last places offering Japanese 60-80mm refractors and Japanese giant binoculars. Maybe they had a lot of inventory that was now hard to sell? Who knows.

The prices on their internet site were...theoretical. When I bought the TV-85 I also bought a Panoramic mount, a 35mm Panoptic eyepiece, a Starbeam (?) finder, etc. and was given a decent discount.

The Scope City/Parks headquarters was in Simi Valley, CA (the two were next door to each other IIRC) included a small museum. I was mightily impressed by early Celestron gear.


Edited by Littlegreenman, 13 December 2017 - 03:11 AM.


#19 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 13 December 2017 - 04:08 AM

Controversy has followed Park's on the internet since for at least the 20 years when I first got into astronomy forums.  A lot of the controversy has been about high prices listed on the website. Also by people afflicted with neomania--"if it"s new, it must be great," and the corollary, "if it's old, it must be [insert term not allowed on CN by the Terms of Service] regarding their large Newtonian  scopes and mounts.

 

 

We moved to our current house almost 20 years ago. At that time the San DIego Scope City store was about 5 blocks from the house.  They had a lot of stuff, old school, that never seemed to sell.  When I asked about a laser collimator, I was told, "We don't believe in Lasers."  After a couple of encounters with that attitude, I never bothered going there again.  OPT was only 30 miles away and they seemed to carry the modern equipment.  I can tell you I was not alone in this. 

 

It was no surprise when Scope City went out of business.  A business needs to serve it's customers and no matter how much one believes in the old GEM mounted Newtonians and overpriced 60mm and 80mm achromats, the market had changed and Scope City seemed to have missed the boat.  

 

Jon


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#20 JakeJ

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Posted 13 December 2017 - 08:09 AM

Ahhhh Scope City/Parks.

 

I experienced the same attitude from them as Jon.  I remember going in more than once to purchase an item (Lumicon, Celestron, whatever) , and they would push the Parks stuff instead.  And by push, I mean they would push it *hard*, unsolicited - claiming how much better it was.  The attitude turned a lot of people off from shopping there.  The Parks stuff was generally really nice, however.  Their larger reflectors bear a striking similarity to Cave instruments and it is no coincidence.  Parks made the tubes for Cave, and when Cave folded Parks bought out their equipment and stock.  Even in the early 2000's you could still order a massive 12 or 16" Parks pedestal-gem mounted newt with rotating rings that was basically a Cave clone.  Their "Gold Series" eyepieces were (and still are) exceptionally good and many a SoCal astronomer still has at least one in his case including myself.  I think the go-to revolution is what did them in - at that point they were viewed as being expensive, but without all the features (i.e. goto) that Meade and Celestron were innovating with.  



#21 CHASLX200

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Posted 13 December 2017 - 08:14 AM

Seems the big Newts faded out around 1975 once the C8 was out and being bought. Same for Unitron as the C8 killed them also.


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#22 starman876

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Posted 13 December 2017 - 10:26 AM

I wished someone kept the tooling for the tubes so we could still buy them.

All you need to do is find out who was making them for Parks.   I am sure they were farmed out.



#23 Chuck Hards

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Posted 13 December 2017 - 10:54 AM

There are lots of places and individuals who would make a composite tube for you today.  The thing to remember is that a one-off is going to cost you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars.  The old telescope makers sold them for reasonable prices because they bought them in quantity.

 

A single tube might cost you, say $500.  But if you bought 50 of them you could probably get them for $100 apiece or less.  Economies of scale rule in production.


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#24 CHASLX200

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Posted 13 December 2017 - 10:57 AM

There are lots of places and individuals who would make a composite tube for you today.  The thing to remember is that a one-off is going to cost you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars.  The old telescope makers sold them for reasonable prices because they bought them in quantity.

 

A single tube might cost you, say $500.  But if you bought 50 of them you could probably get them for $100 apiece or less.  Economies of scale rule in production.

Just a Parks tube was around 500 smackers back around 1990 when i had a 12.5" F/8 built by Parks.


Edited by CHASLX200, 13 December 2017 - 10:57 AM.


#25 starman876

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Posted 13 December 2017 - 10:58 AM

There are lots of places and individuals who would make a composite tube for you today.  The thing to remember is that a one-off is going to cost you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars.  The old telescope makers sold them for reasonable prices because they bought them in quantity.

 

A single tube might cost you, say $500.  But if you bought 50 of them you could probably get them for $100 apiece or less.  Economies of scale rule in production.

that is so true.  I was having a machine shop make a part for me.  They were charging me $100 each.  When I asked how much to make 10 the price was $400.  The initial cost of set up time is the biggest factor in the making of any part. 


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