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For personal use mate, or hmm.. gifts :)

But to be honest I really really doubt astoronmiser/hitec approve each single device they produce and keep it cost effective on such a limited market as astronomy. I really doubt.

Oh and my wireless is certified.

Edited by Kaminovs
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We have been thinking about how much (or how little!) kit we sell that is manufactured here in the UK. Currently the stock held here at our distribution centre looks something like this: Manufactured

I design security equipment.

We had to get it CE approved.

If it's low voltage, no sharp edges where fingers can get, lead free solder, no nasty emissions (both electrical or chemical) and won't catch fire, you should be ok.

Common sense stuff really.

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Forgot to say that the CE mark is applied by the manufacturer and not by some office in Europe.

You need to have a file listing component suppliers, component specs and user manuals.

This is required if someone wants to check that the product is safe.

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Forgot to say that the CE mark is applied by the manufacturer and not by some office in Europe.

You need to have a file listing component suppliers, component specs and user manuals.

This is required if someone wants to check that the product is safe.

That's the nub... as the manufacture it's your responsibility to mark the product, which signifies that it complies with the directives agreed by the EU member states.

Having spoken at length with trading standards who "police" these sorts of things, it only applies to a business and not a private sale, so whilst Kam's BT device could be sold under a private sale he might get away with any law suit that occurred if the item was found to breach these guidelines... The problem comes when selling to a mass market, and a profit is made. This technically makes the seller a sole trader and in the eyes of the law trading as a business and thus would be expected to comply with all the business law and legislation that's applicable, especially if (as is the nature of this thread) the device was being retailed through a large independent retailer.

The stupid part of this bureaucracy is that if you take a modular PCB that has the CE mark and place that in a case with a few other components that also have the mark on, it doesn't mean that you can then CE mark the case too. This is because you have developed a separate product. Yes for low voltage and communications devices it's a lot simpler than mains powered devices where loss of life could result should the device be defective, but it's still a gamble if you don't do your homework.

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Unfortunately they have to deal with idiots for these specs.

Your example of the CE pcb in the CE case sounds a stupid situation, and I would agree.

Up until the "IQ challenged" put the CE electric fire with the CE aerosol air freshener can. BANG!

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But to be honest I really really doubt astoronmiser/hitec approve each single device they produce and keep it cost effective on such a limited market as astronomy. I really doubt.

To be fair they don't need to test each device. The process normally involves a few samples being tested for various directives and if they conform you then have the documentation to back up your right to CE mark the device.

Having said that - I can't see any CE marking on my HitechAstro DC focuser :):)

Edited by malc-c
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I am a FLO customer, likewise with the Co-op.The Co-op gives you a choice of similar products and FLO sell Celestron and SkyWatcher. With most Newt OTAs, it seems that the colour is the main distinguishing feature.

Have met and bought from Sergey Kouminovs and he is as nice and honest a guy as the 'FLOs', so why not just see how it goes? Back in the last century they used to say "The Customer is right.", see if we are?

What, even the unreasonable ones? :)

We have not met Kaminovs. We haven't even spoken by phone. Our decision not to market his product is professional, not personal. He himself said "this is a limited volume business". He is right. If our suppliers/manufacturers are to grow we must support them. Back when David at HitecAstro approached us he had something unique. It wasn't particularly well-made (built on a kitchen table using hobbyist components) and from a marketing perspective it was wide of the mark but he was clearly capable and had plenty of enthusiasm so we worked with him. Today his products are built to a much higher standard and his company is ticking along nicely. We have a good working relationship. I doubt that would have happened if we were distracted every time someone approached us with a similar product. We wish kaminovs good fortune but, for us, his current product is too similar to HitecAstro's.

TJ, an astronomy seat is a good idea. About a year or two ago OVL introduced one. It sold very well until someone mentioned how it might be unsafe. It was withdrawn. Interestingly we contacted everyone who bought one offering them free collection and a refund but nobody wanted to part with it, including the person who raised the alarm. There is definitely a market for a well-made 'safe' chair.

Steve

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P2V telescopes were a thing of beauty at PSP2011.

I only wish I had the space for their 6" f12 achro.... Quite reasonably priced as well (£1300) considering the quality (0.96 strehl objective, moonlite focuser, baffled tube, CNC tube rings etc.)

Hate to break it to you - both of those fantastic scope are Istar - a US maker who P2V is the sole importer for.

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Steve, a subject close to my own heart - one of the things I set out to do as PSP2011 was a "Best of British" exhibition. This sadly fell a bit flat with most people (naming no names) saying they made to order and didn't carry stock so they couldn't bring any demo gear. The one large scale producer (again, even if you do know who this is, no names please!) I did find refused to come despite being not a million miles away...

The people that did come put on a great display but there wasn't as much of the "made in Britain" stuff as I would have liked!

What the whole exercise did drive home to me is that there are several very talented "prefessional amateur" telescope makers (for want of a better term - people who sell their stuff but in quite small volumes or to order) but very few COTS (Consumer Off The Shelf) producers. Surprisingly, one area we do seem to do very well as a nation is with lens and mirror making - at least three larger scale, very high quality manufacturers that I found but very difficult to show off a mirror or lens on its own at PSP and the risk of trashing them was just too great.

Steve - anything I can do to work with you on this, please let me know. I would be delighted to host a decent "Best of British" exhibition at PSP2012 if you are interested in helping out!

PM on its way with people I did come across...

J.

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PS: Let's not focus too much on big glamorous items like telescopes and mounts. Smaller bread-and-butter products are more affordable and sell in larger quantities so are a great way build a reputation :)

Solarscope :-)

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Perhaps it will help if we say we are not interested in the cheap and cheerful end of the market, Asia has that sewn up. We are looking for premium quality products. If the product solves a problem or suits a purpose and the price reflects the quality of design and manufacture, we'll give it our full support.

I think you are absolutely right.

Like some high end audio equipment, the best stuff in the World is said to be British. It's more expensive but worth the extra imo.

And it has the added bonus of supporting British manufacture as you say. :)

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... there wasn't as much of the "made in Britain" stuff as I would have liked!

It was a worthy project :)

Unfortunately, when you look a little closer you often find the 'manufacturer' is in fact a reseller who has simply imported kit from the usual Chinese factories.

Steve - anything I can do to work with you on this, please let me know.

Thank-you, I found your email very interesting :)

I would be delighted to host a decent "Best of British" exhibition at PSP2012 if you are interested in helping out!

That sounds good, please keep me updated.
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Whilst not astronomy, someone gave me an excellent example yesterday of British engineering at it's best. Nissan is a Japanese company but the hugely popular Nissan Qashqai is designed, engineered and built here in the UK at Sunderland.

From Honest John's website:

The Qashqai has also secured jobs and exports at a time when both are crucial to the economy. Last year it contributed the lion’s share of Sunderland’s 400,000 Nissan exports – which is a new record for a British car factory – and there are now more than 140,000 on the road. The factory is currently working three shift and 24 hours a day to keep up with demand.

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Whilst not astronomy, someone gave me an excellent example yesterday of British engineering at it's best. Nissan is a Japanese company but the hugely popular Nissan Qashqai is designed, engineered and built here in the UK at Sunderland.

From Honest John's website:

The Qashqai has also secured jobs and exports at a time when both are crucial to the economy. Last year it contributed the lion’s share of Sunderland’s 400,000 Nissan exports – which is a new record for a British car factory – and there are now more than 140,000 on the road. The factory is currently working three shift and 24 hours a day to keep up with demand.

Yep, I'm on my second already! Had a Qashqai from 2007 until April and now have a Qashqai + 2. Even though they are company cars and the base models (Visia), I like them a lot. The Qashqai did 68,000 mile with only a slight suspension problem, caused by the increase in post snow potholes!

Would be fantastic to have British astronomy products like this - at the right price!

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Whilst not astronomy, someone gave me an excellent example yesterday of British engineering at it's best. Nissan is a Japanese company but the hugely popular Nissan Qashqai is designed, engineered and built here in the UK at Sunderland.

I don't have the Qashqai, I have the Almera which is also Sunderland-built. It is now 10 years old, got it when it was 2 years old. Well built, all electrics still working, no rust, just the usual consumable.

So yes, British built cars all the way!

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  • 1 month later...
We have a result :o

later this month we will be announcing a new pier, pier mount adapters (for home-built piers) and extension tubes for HEQ5 and EQ6 mounts. All made in the UK!

The pier will be available to order in approx two-weeks.

Please keep the suggestions coming :(

Any news on this Steve?

Cheers

Ian

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Any news on this Steve?

Unfortunately things didn't go as planned. We will relaunch the FLO pier but it will take longer than we thought. Sorry :(

We have however announced a new premium quality Cheshire collimating eyepiece that is made for us here in the UK by SGL's 'astromerlin'. The Cheshire is a humble product but a hugely popular one that is always in our top ten bestseller list so we figured it was a good place to start. More products are in the pipeline.

premium_cheshire_collimator.jpg

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  • 3 weeks later...

That Cheshire eyepiece looks great; I've just ordered one. My wishlist for British-made products is

  • Focuser (with adaptor) to replace my existing Intes one
  • Top quality hardword tripod
  • Heavy-duty alt-az mount
Edited by Bodkin
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  • 2 months later...

Steve, I have a product in development that might be right up your street. I have PM'ed you about it - Jon Gale has one at Kelling, perhaps you two could have a chat?

Edited by GazK
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Just to throw this idea out there Steve, how about high-res prints of cosmological delights?

This is obvious highly subjective, based upon the preferences of the consumer, but you could offer galleried images that can be printed onto various material?

At work I have an industrial (upto 44") Poster/Photo HP Printer which prints on every type of paper (Gloss, Satin, Canvas, Tracing, Clear film, Bond, Matte etc). With a little research, could knock up a supplier for Canvas mounts, and could supply kits and instructions for canvas wall hanging prints?

Edited by veesix
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one thing ive not seen yet is some kind of support struts that you can attatch to your tripod leg's to provide a mount (of sorts) for a laptop. Ive got the image/design but sadly have not got the facilitys to make any :)

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