The Fate of Meade Instruments Corp.

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The Fate of Meade Instruments Corp.
Posted by DaveMitsky on Tuesday, July 09, 2013 3:45 PM

The future of Meade is now in the process of being decided.

http://www.skyandtelescope.com/news/wires?id=187471762&c=y

Dave Mitsky

Sic itur ad astra!

Chance favors the prepared mind.

A man is a small thing, and the night is very large and full of wonders.

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Posted by MooseMan01 on Tuesday, July 09, 2013 8:58 PM

They made some nice equipment over the years. Hope they continue doing that. But they shouldn't have stopped producing the ETX-125.  I woulda bought one   :(

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Posted by Aratus on Wednesday, July 10, 2013 3:09 AM

As the article suggests, more investment in computerisation, is needed.  Even modern telescopes are not 'use out of the box'.   Technology used in these 'apps' married to a good telescope would revolutionise the perception of them.  A modern telescope should 'know' exactly how it is orientated and positioned, and be ready to go in minutes or less.    It doesn't bother me, but there is a learning hill that is hard to get over.

TV shows like 'Stargazing Live' with attractive 'normal looking' presenters do help.

Aratus

Location:  North West Devon, UK

-------------------------------------------------

Celestron Nexstar8i (8" SCT).

Celestron Skymaster binoculars 15x70

Other:0.63 & 0.33 correctors. X2 & X4 barlow.

Imagers: Meade DSI & Celestron NexImage.  Canon EOS 550D

 

 

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Posted by MooseMan01 on Wednesday, July 10, 2013 10:06 AM

Indeed Aratus, perhaps that would have made a difference for Meade. To some extent the Lightswitch was an attempt at doing what you describe.But I think at about $2000 it was too expensive to attact a novice. And in these difficult economic times, it's not too surprising to hear that a company that markets products to a specialty group, IE very small market, is now having big financial problems.

I think the problem goes deeper than this, but you have touched on a component of it... push button, instant-on culture, with minimal learning required. Our gadgetry is a distraction. Anyone who wants to do astronomy has an innate desire to understand science, at least to some extent. They must be willing to invest in that learning curve.

BTW, please define 'normal looking'! As opposed to what Clown

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Posted by Timthelder on Wednesday, July 10, 2013 12:14 PM

My OP,

I bought my first scope 7yrs ago,(a Meade RB-60 refractor)  I bought it on a whim because it was located right by the checkout line at my local Walmart Supercenter. ($69.95)  I sat many a night with that little scope and a planisphere.

This resulted in $10k+ more astronomy related purchases to date.  Mostly not Meade.

Meade got me by the availability of my first scope.  They lost me with their not so attractive product design and lacking in the electronics/computerization area.

So, they had me on the hook and then, the line snapped.

I hope they can find some good engineers to revamp their product line...and some people/marketers who are in touch with the astronomy community to know what they're revamping their products to...

Quality product at comptetive pricing wouldn't hurt either.

My website:   http://www.astrotarp.com  

Also look me up on facebook!

And...My Current Stuff

Orion 100ED F/9 Refractor_Celestron 80mm SLT F/11 Guidescope_Celestron C9.25" F/10 SCT_Celestron 80mm F/7.5 Guidescope_CGE Pro mount_Celestron CG-5 ASGT Mount_Orion SS Autoguider _DMK21AU618.AS Imaging Source videocam_ Baader RGB filters_Canon 450Da

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Posted by Poppa Chris on Wednesday, July 10, 2013 1:17 PM

One of the reasons I've always been a Celestron fan....

---Poppa Chris---

Denham Springs, Louisiana USA

"Second star to the right - Then straight on until morning!" - Peter Pan

Celestron CPC1100GPS (XLT) - 279mm aperature, 2800mm Focal length. (f10) Celestron Ultima LX (70deg AFOV) Eyepieces 32mm thru 5mm, Canon EOS Rebel T2i DSLR, Backyard EOS imaging software, Orion Star Shoot Planetary Imager IV, Celestron Skymaster 15x70 binoculars

 

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Posted by Antitax on Wednesday, July 10, 2013 4:44 PM

  A plane just crashed because the pilots were more button-pushers than people who can feel what their machine is doing and control it with their own body. A fully-automated telescope is okay but it needs to be able to work manually in case of electronic breadown or empty battery. And the operator needs to know the targets' location in his (her) own memory.

  Maybe I'll own a goto scope one day but it needs a manual backup. And Meade has to lower their prices. Their chinese-made apo's have the same specs as the competitors but cost vastly more.

TS 8x40 Wildlife, 10x50 Marine/Fujinon 16x70/TS 80mm triplet, 6x30 finder, EQ-3 mount, TS 2" 99% diagonal/Celestron C5+ and 6x30 finder, DIY tripod/5" Bahtinov/12" GSO dob, 8x50 finder/Meade 2" 24mm 82°/Hyperion 24,13,10mm 68°/TS Expanse 17mm 70°/SW 7mm Panorama 82°/Ultima 2x barlow/Astronomik UHC-E filter/Baader O-III/Astro Solar 5" & 80mm filters/Sky Atlas 2000/Rükl's Moon Atlas/Canon 400D/5mW green laser

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Posted by Starrancher on Saturday, August 24, 2013 6:36 PM

I love all my Meade stuff and will keep it alive as long as humanly possible . With the two LXD75 mounts I have that are now into their sixth year of faithful service , I can say they have been both dependable and accurate in what they were intended to do . Excellent Go-To and tracking that exceeded my expectations . Too bad Meade dropped the LXD75 . The optical tubes that ride on these mounts are my AR5 achromatic refractor . With 5" of clear aperture at f9.3 , it's optical performance has also exceeded my expectations and has provided me with countless hours of enjoyment . My other tube , the SN8 . I am so glad I bought this 8" Schmidt Newtonian . This thing has shown me so many jaw dropping views I could talk about them for hours . The funky focuser attached to this model would be the only negative and as much as I'd like to upgrade that part of the scope , it's still useable even though it does take a little effort in finding the sweet spot at f4 . As far as some that just want to flip a switch , the ol' LXD75s take really not much effort at all to set up for a nights worth of spot on Go-TOs . I can be set up and ready to go with both setups in about 20 minutes . That's pulling everything out of the crates , mounting the tubes , pointing the polar alighnment scope , hooking up the power packs , setting the time and date and going through the three star alignment process . Not a big deal . I wouldn't feel right if I had to do any less . I use exclusively two full sets of Meade series 4000 Plossls except the 40mm units . I sold those without delay as they just seem useless to me . I don't know why anyone even makes a 40mm Plossl . These very affordable oculars throw up excellent views that can't be beat for the money . Even in the f4 Schmidt Newt they all perform wonderfully with the exception of the 32mm showing some slight edge aberration , although nothing what one would expect at f4 . I have three Meade shorty Barlows . A 2x unit that I use with the AR5 , and a 2x plus a 3x unit that I use in the SN8 . They all perform wonderfully . I have a full range and then some of Meades color Planetary filters . I know some folks don't do Planetary filters , but I find them to be very usefull and also somewhat fun to experiment with while I was still in the experimental stage . With that all behind me , I pretty much just grab the known to work best combo for the object I'm about to view . The Meade Broadband , Narrowband and 0III filters are part of my equipment also and I own enough of them to go around on both scopes simultaneously . It was sad to see these discontinued too as they all perform in excellent fashion . So yes , I am a Meade type guy for sure and it's sad for me to see what's happened . Let's remember though , it wasn't all that long ago when things at Celestron were looking pretty precarious . Now look at them . They've made some smarter moves in recent years bringing on a larger variety of innovative products , providing choices at various price points , while it seemed that Meade kinda went the other way . The lack of choices in an affordable GEM didn't seem smart to me . Neither did dropping the Schmidt Newt , or any kind of achromat at all other than the toy variety . The way I see it , we don't want toys , and there's much too big of price gap in their current product line to get outside the toy realm . Not all of us can afford to shell out six or eight grand for a scope .

This company needs the right group of people or the right team in there to put it back on track . 

I know who they are and I'm rootin ' for 'em . 

The invisible man 

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Posted by Aratus on Monday, August 26, 2013 10:14 AM

MooseMan01

BTW, please define 'normal looking'! As opposed to what Clown

Sorry for the delay in answering this.  The thread must have ran on ahead.



'normal looking'  - someone who looks like your average guy who you might meet in a pub.   Not someone who looks like a 2000 year old bald philosopher !!Big Smile     



Seriously - someone who breaks out of the stereotypical mould of the scientist.   The stereotype tends to look unkempt and scruffy.  They don't have any romance in their life.   They spend their evenings reading a book rather than partying.  They seem to wear clothes that would have looked old fashioned on their parents.

Aratus

Location:  North West Devon, UK

-------------------------------------------------

Celestron Nexstar8i (8" SCT).

Celestron Skymaster binoculars 15x70

Other:0.63 & 0.33 correctors. X2 & X4 barlow.

Imagers: Meade DSI & Celestron NexImage.  Canon EOS 550D

 

 

  • Member since
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Posted by Darren in Tacoma on Friday, August 30, 2013 11:51 PM

Cheap computer scopes that set up quickly will attract more people to astronomy than any thing else. Most people don't start really observing until they're first telescope, even though naked eye viewing is free and binos are somewhat cheap.

If I could only have one scope, it would be computerized, and I'm not very techy.

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Posted by DaveMitsky on Saturday, August 31, 2013 11:31 AM

I see that the link that I supplied is no longer active.  At this point, the buyout offers by Jinghua Optics & Electronics Co., Ltd (JOC) and later by MIT Capital Inc. and VictoryOne Inc. have failed. Meade Europe apparently is currently owned by JOC.

finance.yahoo.com/.../meade-instruments-corp-terminates-joc-202132145.html

finance.yahoo.com/.../mit-capital-inc-tender-offer-130000219.html

I'm not sure what the status of the offer by Sunny Group (Ningbo Optics) is at this time.

Two recent financial reports can be found at www.rtinvest.com/.../stock.php and ycharts.com/.../price_to_book_value

See articles.latimes.com/.../la-fi-meade-instruments-20130705 for an article on Meade's financial woes.

Dave Mitsky

Sic itur ad astra!

Chance favors the prepared mind.

A man is a small thing, and the night is very large and full of wonders.

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  • From: Texas
Posted by chipdatajeffB on Saturday, August 31, 2013 12:40 PM

Last I heard is that the Sunny offer is still very much in play ...

The universe is not only stranger than we imagine, it's stranger than we CAN imagine. --- JBS Haldane

Come visit me at Comanche Springs Astronomy Campus (we're on Google Maps) in Texas.

www.3rf.org

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Posted by Harvey Marshall on Tuesday, September 03, 2013 4:05 PM

I am the same, after hearing of the Meade service, or lack of service. Sort of We are not happy until you are not happy policy. I have had good luck with  my Sky Watchers scopes, and now with  my  4inch Nexstar and 9.25

Celestron CPC telescopes. Long live Celestron!

Harvey Marshall

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Posted by Starrancher on Friday, September 13, 2013 12:22 PM
Things were all supposed to come down on 9/12 .
I haven't been able to find out anything as of yet .
Does anyone else have the scoop on what took place ?

The invisible man 

  • Member since
    May, 2012
Posted by Starrancher on Monday, September 30, 2013 4:05 PM

Still not able to find any recent info on what took place . Anybody heard or read anything ? 

Anyone ? .................Beuller ? 

The invisible man 

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Posted by Starrancher on Friday, October 18, 2013 5:35 PM

ItII appears that the Sunny merger is complete if anyone is interested . 

The invisible man 

  • Member since
    March, 2008
Posted by Antitax on Friday, October 18, 2013 5:58 PM

   Since the early nineties an intuition has kept me from buying Meade stuff. I'll see if the intuition changes now.

TS 8x40 Wildlife, 10x50 Marine/Fujinon 16x70/TS 80mm triplet, 6x30 finder, EQ-3 mount, TS 2" 99% diagonal/Celestron C5+ and 6x30 finder, DIY tripod/5" Bahtinov/12" GSO dob, 8x50 finder/Meade 2" 24mm 82°/Hyperion 24,13,10mm 68°/TS Expanse 17mm 70°/SW 7mm Panorama 82°/Ultima 2x barlow/Astronomik UHC-E filter/Baader O-III/Astro Solar 5" & 80mm filters/Sky Atlas 2000/Rükl's Moon Atlas/Canon 400D/5mW green laser

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Posted by leo731 on Friday, October 18, 2013 6:28 PM

The transaction is indeed done:

http://www.skyandtelescope.com/news/Meade-Instruments-Completes-Merger-228050801.html

I have a long history with Meade back from when they were in Costa Mesa CA.  They have been declining because of poor customer service and quality sisnce the move of their manufacturing site to Mexico.  They used to be a very fine company and perhaps they will find their way back.  Even Celestron had a period of producing poor quality equipment so perhaps Meade will leave the doldrums too.

L

A nebula in the eyepiece is worth two in the Atlas.

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Posted by chipdatajeffB on Saturday, October 19, 2013 8:25 AM

They have a great chance at a comeback. Joe Lupica, the new CEO, is the very guy who turned Celestron into a very profitable enterprise.

The universe is not only stranger than we imagine, it's stranger than we CAN imagine. --- JBS Haldane

Come visit me at Comanche Springs Astronomy Campus (we're on Google Maps) in Texas.

www.3rf.org

  • Member since
    May, 2012
Posted by Starrancher on Sunday, October 20, 2013 8:44 PM

It would seem that there is some sort of affiliation between Synta and Sunny , thereby this merger would equate to a certain amount of a monopoly in the Schmidt Cassigrain optical configuration that eliminates competition possibly leading to increased pricing of that type of telescope . 

Maybe I'm misinformed here but I thought the SEC jumped in years ago to prevent that sort of thing from happening when it was Meade that had an interest in taking on Celestron . 

The invisible man 

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