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Did Halley's Comet hurt some manufacturer's reputation

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#26 Terra Nova

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Posted 10 January 2022 - 10:35 AM

I never bought a scope during that time, preferring instead to view Halley with my old ATM 6” Newtonian RFT; the same scope that I used summer before last to view Comet C/2020 F3 (NEOWISE). I did however hear plenty of horror stories of scopes produced during that era. I think the worst were the Celestron and Meade SCTs (Criterion/B$L had long had its production problems which superseded Halley); and of course the numerous, hastily produced budget-range telescopes of every size, shape, and kind, often carrying the word ‘comet’ and or it’s picture. An interesting question would be, did it effect the quality of Edmund scopes? This would have been the hay day for the Astroscan, and weren’t the red ‘Lost In Soace’ series of forked Newtonians also produced around that time? And then, of course there were the cardboard and plate glass Coulter light buckets.


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#27 grif 678

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Posted 10 January 2022 - 02:04 PM

Wow

When I started his thread, I never knew that Celestron had so many horror stories all along. I thought that it was just mainly through the comet mania craze. It is hard not to believe the beautiful Celestron booklets, with so many beautiful orange scopes, beautiful photos taken with the scopes, the pretty Celestron girls, I would have never realized that so many bad scopes were put out by them.

Back then you mainly heard people saying that Meade was the problem scopes, but now, it seems otherwise, especially the SCT series. I am really surprised by some of these responses. So I would guess that back in that era, the refractors were about the only Celestron scope that you could depend on as being up to the advertising raves.

But you hear some owners saying how they love their Celestron SCT's from that era, so I guess they were the lucky ones?



#28 Kasmos

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Posted 10 January 2022 - 02:59 PM

Just about every scope i bought was not that good from Celestron.  Just 2 very good SCT's, the Newts were not good and around 30 SCT's were not good.  But all the vixen made stuff was very good, but Celestron never made them.

 

I had much better luck with Meade.

Weren't all of the Newts (before '97) Vixens?


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#29 clamchip

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Posted 10 January 2022 - 04:49 PM

I found no mention in my files of Edmund have trouble meeting the demand for telescopes, only

record sales during both Halley and Hale-Bopp events. Remember though telescopes were only a

small part of Edmund Scientific.

Coulter never could meet the demand for his scopes, comet or no comet. He desperately wanted

to expand his business but tight restrictions imposed by his resort town of Idyllwild California made

that dream a hopeless situation.

 

Robert


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#30 CHASLX200

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Posted 10 January 2022 - 07:20 PM

Wow! I had no idea Tasco owned Celestron at one time.  I was one of four unfortunates I know of who bought defective C14's in the early 1990's.  The suspected problem (though never proved) was a worn corrector master plate.

Must have been worn in the Orange days as well. My C14 was a mush dog.  Just way too many SCT's that are just not that great out there from any year. If you luck up on a freaky sharp one keep it.

 

I did buy one of them Cometrons that would not even come to focus out of the box new in 1986.  My Comet catcher was bad also.


Edited by CHASLX200, 10 January 2022 - 07:20 PM.


#31 CHASLX200

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Posted 10 January 2022 - 07:23 PM

Weren't all of the Newts (before '97) Vixens?

Yes. I had the Newts on the GO-TO CG5 mount in the 8 and 10" size since they popped up for sale cleap local with Naglers and Paracorr's and all that sweet extra candy.  The optics were ok at best, but all the Vixen 4.5's and 6's were all very snappy.


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#32 John Rose

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Posted 12 January 2022 - 08:05 PM

I can not say that I have ever looked through an SCT with poor optics. I have looked through some that gave disappointing images. But not being able to personally examine the scope to determine the reason I can't say it was poorly made.  Both Meade and Celestron have made some really nice SCT's and both have made some poor ones.  I have read and heard enough to be convinced that the "Halley Years" was not a time of good quality control.

 

Criterion saw the SCT revolution coming long before they were bought by Bausch & Lomb. A quick look and I found an ad in a 1976 Astronomy magazine with a Dynamax 8 in it. Meade also saw the revolution but did not come out with their first ones for a few more years. Doing a much better job of it.

 

A friend and I were once discussing the differences in the Celestron and Meade ads.  The  Celestron girls versus Meades guys in lab coats. While some of the Celestron models were really nice to look at in the ads.  We were both rather annoyed by that blatant advertising approach and preferred what seemed to be the Meade approach.  This is serious equipment here.

 

Did the fallout from the "halley years" hurt their reputations?  I think it did to some extent.  Not enough to drive them out of business.  But it did force a reappraisal of their business's.  Also by 1990 things were tough enough that they actually explored the possibilty of merging. But the FTC turned that down as they were too much of the market.   


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#33 Terra Nova

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Posted 14 January 2022 - 09:44 AM

Cave started it really and Celestron took it to another lever with regard to using s*x to sell telescopes. Unitron and Questar also used female models to advertise their high end products, but to their credit, they exercised a modicum of good taste in doing so.


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#34 RichA

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Posted 14 January 2022 - 11:59 PM

Must have been worn in the Orange days as well. My C14 was a mush dog.  Just way too many SCT's that are just not that great out there from any year. If you luck up on a freaky sharp one keep it.

 

I did buy one of them Cometrons that would not even come to focus out of the box new in 1986.  My Comet catcher was bad also.

Irony being, the Cometron stuff was LOW-END in the 1980's but today is collectable?



#35 RichA

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Posted 16 January 2022 - 04:38 PM

 Look at the wording of the guaranties of a majority of telescopes sold during the Halley Comet era or even today. They do not guaranty any type of wave front rating or passing any type of optical test. They guaranty your satisfaction. So unfortunately if you do not understand how to critically evaluate optical quality and the image that typical 1/2 waves optics produces is fine for you then the telescope manufactures are happy to continue to produce that quality. If your not happy then you can return the scope and try another and another to you find one that you are happy with but unless you know how  to test the optics, the one your happy with can be not much better then 1/2 wave.   

   Here is a  link to Celestron's warranty. I can not find anywhere  where it states what the spec's are on their optical quality. Maybe I missed it but if not, then it is what they determine is "good". So  you either live with it, try another scope to see if it is better or get your money back. 

 https://www.celestro.../pages/warranty

 

     Here is  a link to the Celestron 1972 literature when they  first started selling  the orange tube models. https://wiki.telesco..._Literature.pdf

    Here is a quote from that literature that does have specs that can be tested against to see if the scope they sold at that time meet their spec but at least you had something spelled out that you could test against to see if the optics meet their spec.

 

Optical testing and Guarantee - Each of the
three components in the objective system of the
Celestron (primary mirror, secondary mirror, and
Schmidt corrector) are manufactured to such exact·
ing standards that good performance could be
achieved by simply randomly assembling these
components into a telescope. We are not satisfied
with just good performance, however. We there·
fore set up each of these optical systems in a laser
collimator capable of detecting 1/100th wave
errors. We then carefully hyperbolize the secondary
mirror to bring the optical system of each Celestron
to a perfect optical null. The Celestron optical
guarantee is as follows: using a point source at
infinity (star test) and with the system properly
collimated, a knife edge shall indicate a clean optical null; when tested with a l00-line Ronchi

grating with three lines intercepting the cone, the
shadow bands shall appear straight. The intra and
extra·focal diffraction patterrns shall appear similar
in regard to the central obstruction using a 12
mm ocular with the out-of-focus blur circle filling
1/3  of the field. Further, each Celestron is guaranteed to be free from defects in material and workmanship for a period of one year subject to repair
or replacement at our factory.

       

                         - Dave 

Scopes produced in the late 1980's state in a certificate that came with the scope, 1/25th wave RMS.




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