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Daniel-K

Sumerian Alkaid, the scope that never was.

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ive sort of been holding back on this but now ive decided to share my experience.

Due to my smallish car (ford focus) and traveling alot to dark sky places i decided to upgrade my SW350P flexi to a UC sumerian Alkaid. on paper this scope was a dream scope. it ticked all the box's containing aperture and portability. 

i placed and order withe Michael at Sumerian for a 16" F4.5 Alkaid UC DOB the est time given was 4-6 weeks. i though this was very acceptable for a "premium " scope. throughout the build time Michael kept me updated with the progress and didnt mind me changing a few bits on the scope that i had originally asked for.

6weeks later and one final payment later and the scope is out for delivery. how excited was i that day? very! i had heard nothing but great things about how good sumerian scopes are.

The scope came very well packed in two packages one for the scope and one for the poles. once i opened the box and pulled out all the paper work and instructions i though it was time to have a go at setting it up.

Firstly the instructions are rubbish they are for the older version and need to be updated so i had to do it blind. you may be thinking that "how hard can a UC be to put together"? well when there more screws and bolts that a ikea flat pack the answer is quite a while.

upon opening the rocker box  and removal of the mirror box which allows access to the ALT bearings i noticed the secondary was damaged. i decided to leave this to one side and not install it till i contacted sumerian. i removed the ALT bearings and only to find they where stuck together because they had been packed while the paint was still wet. imagine my face at this moment in time when this scope is suppose to be a "premium" scope is built worse than an ikea chest of draws.

If im completely honest the wood sumerian use's isnt very good. i noticed this when i was looking over the mirror box only to find one of the pole clamps in the mirror box where split. the angles where also cut short in the mirror box and had not been sanded down after cutting.

i managed to get the whole thing assembled but it was so unstable. the was no strength in the poles, which BTW  are split in two sections. the poles on there own where strong but when they where put in the box and UTA they just went like cheese strings.when pulling or pushing on the UTA the pole clamps in the mirror box where flexing open. shocked i was straight onto sumerian with a good rant followed with pictures. i got a reply pretty much instantly saying he would fix it all i just had to send it back.I also got a email saying DO NOT install your mirror as i have forgotten to send you a mirror fitting kit. so i had a scope that flex's like cheese string and i cant even try it because he has forgot to send all the parts! oh and the heat shrink on the poles was burnt!

i talked to Michael for a few days and came to the conclusion that i wouldnt be happy with the scope even if the issues where fix. i just had no confidence in the scope at all.  i'll give credit where its due Micheal is a very person to deal with and his customer care is excellent but he should never had let this scope be shipped out.

Ive been lucky enough in the past month to aqurie a nice 4x4 which has a huge boot space which will accommodate my new 16" F4.5 dob when i pick it up soon, so things are looking up and being scopeless is a killer. this is the longest 6 months ever!!  :)

Dan

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Edited by Daniel-K
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Gutted for you.

It has been a long time coming and, like you say, it is supposed to be a premium scope. Questionable quality control is one thing, but poor quality materials & bend poles!!!!

Hope that they get it sorted asap.

Paul

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Dan,

Well done, I know it is hard to write about things when you have had a bad experience with something, but as I told you in my view these things need to be said even though I have still never written about Teleskop Services.

I was of course very sorry to hear about your situation when you told me some time back and that had nothing to do with the fact that I have ordered a scope from Sumerian, you are right this scope was sub-standard and when you get a bespoke operation like Sumerian it is not good enough. Any one man outfit should ensure 100% QA for his customers, if he wishes to stay in business, what you show is not transport issues.

I hope I am not going to have the same and also the other site memeber that has ordered one. Reviews are all very well for people to read and then make a choice based on them but unless people like you post a report telling the full story the masses will never know the full picture, as I said as long as it is the truth and balanced we are the ones to gain.

Alan.

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Very sorry to see this happen, completely uncalled for. I think that Swampthing should be talked into building you a dob, Classic style, while heavier than a UC it is proven. Steves construction methods leave nothing to be desired-its all there IMHO and you now have the room easily in your 4x4.

I hope things work out Dan and you can get what you want.

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Oh dear... Well done to Sumerian for righting the wrongs and even after all that you may be disappointed but at least not out of pocket. Strength in a truss scope is number one for me... Hope you get sorted soon, clear skies

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Hi Daniel,

Sorry to hear about your experience with the telescope. I hope you are/will get satisfaction and that the disappointment of today leads to your fulfilment of tomorrow with your new scope; what 16" f/4.5 have you decided on?

Regards

Dannae

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Hi Daniel,

Sorry to hear about your experience with the telescope. I hope you are/will get satisfaction and that the disappointment of today leads to your fulfilment of tomorrow with your new scope; what 16" f/4.5 have you decided on?

Regards

Dannae

i managed to get 16" Made LB mirror and i have had OO build me a spider with one of there 1/10th secondary mirrors. 

i love this hobby and this is the first time anything like this has happened to me, but im still way over enthusiastic :D just ask the rest of the DOBMOB  

Edited by Daniel-K
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I think it may well be worth pointing out that if this is the GSO mirror and at F4.5 would have thought it was, I believe this comes from Telescope Services, and whilst I don't accept it should not have been seen before it was shipped to you, it is the second duff mirror set I have heard of on site of this type both shipped with Sumerian scopes. A case of QA issues elsewhere as well.

Alan.

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nice report dan, we feel your pain. wont be long now for your new scope

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Dan,

No I was meaning the mirror that came with the Sumerian scope or did you like me send the mirror.

If so I have it wrong though yours was still a GSO mirror  albeit the secondary. I do know that one site member had a problem with a GSO main mirror and it was replaced and all was well in the end. I think it is correct and fair to say it was not a visually obvious problem either and I am sure no malice was directed towards Sumerian.

Alan.

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I feel your pain Dan,as i know you have been waiting for your new toy for a while and i am actually shocked to read up your report on the quality issues with Sumerian, as I was under impression that they scopes are really top of the shelf product and are individually made to order.

I hope this is really a one off issue what happened and he will get all the problems rectified.Still,this is not a great thing to read up about premium quality scopes.

Very surprised about this.

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Hi Dan, ditto everything Alan said. Hopefully your post will help raise the standards for future buyers.  Its good as well you had some time to think about it rather than rush something up the next day.

I think my eventual review might have more meaning now :)

I really hope your new scope meets your expectations, you're such an enthusiastic stargazer you deserve nothing less!

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Spending time with Dan this summer has been great like you say scooot it kinda rubs off! Those nights of rain and cloudy pass quickly in good company......but even he looked down in the dumps when a secondary gets delivered with the silicon still not set and the mirror hanging off, no excuse... Even I couldn't collimate that!

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Good review Dan.
TBH I always wondered how he did it at the price he does, now I know....................... He doesn't.
Not surprised, but disappointed for you :(

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Dan,

No I was meaning the mirror that came with the Sumerian scope or did you like me send the mirror.

If so I have it wrong though yours was still a GSO mirror  albeit the secondary. I do know that one site member had a problem with a GSO main mirror and it was replaced and all was well in the end. I think it is correct and fair to say it was not a visually obvious problem either and I am sure no malice was directed towards Sumerian.

Alan.

Alan i already had a mirror i told sumerian the FL and he made it to that size. it was MIKE73 who had the duff GSO mirror. this mirror i have was when meade ground there own mirrors.

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I was frankly upset on your behalf Dan when you showed me the pictures of your long awaited hard earned premium scope! !

The only credit I'll give Michael is that he didn't argue the refund after the event. On the flip side It should never have been sent out to you in this state! surely a delay in sending it would have been miles better than sending a scope that will definately get returned?

The photos speak for them selves, not even someone doing ATM on the cheap would be happy with it :(

The review is a good thing Dan, it will help ensure it doesn't happen again, cause and effect, bad product = bad review.

Edited by starfox

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Good for you on "going public" with your experiences Dan but I'm sorry to hear that you have had to go through them of course.

I hope you get the 16" scope you deserve in the near future :smiley:

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After waiting so long I would be gutted too Daniel although good on you holding back and thinking about things before hitting the keyboardbut being balanced about it.

Scope building is difficult but to someone like Michael who has been building for a while and produced many scope's this should've never happened.

It is damaging to his reputation and hopefully just one rogue scope that he has sent out.

I did look in detail at Michaels scope's and did think the number of laminations in the ply was on the low side.

After building my first light weight (sort of) and knowing the materials I used i can definitely comment on how difficult it is to build reliability ,longevity and ease of use into a scope. A scope that is to be broken down is always a compromise but not at the expense of being unusable.

Good luck with the light bridge and fingers crossed one day we'll get to view the heavens at the same meet where you can have a look at my handiwork when the 22" is finished

Damian

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Very sorry to see this happen, completely uncalled for. I think that Swampthing should be talked into building you a dob, Classic style, while heavier than a UC it is proven. Steves construction methods leave nothing to be desired-its all there IMHO and you now have the room easily in your 4x4.

I hope things work out Dan and you can get what you want.

The cheques in the post Gerry. :D

Thanks  :icon_salut:

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Dan, when are you gonna leave these dobbers behind and listen to the calling...."dark side"....you know you want too.  :evil: .

We are going to have to get together one of these days soon so I can show you the beauty of a 60mm frac  :p

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Big dob builders would use a 60mm frac as a truss pole I reckon ,,,,,, :smiley:

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Scot ive done before lol I've had apos and CCDs

yeah, I remember you turning your back on us ;).. you'll be back...

Actually, I love the dobmob. It gives me something to look through at star parties while the imaging stuff is catching clouds photons :). Calvins TV's were the first "proper" ep's I looked through and it really gave me a different perspective and to be honest, one day I'd love to have both but until then, I'll have to be content to use my 8" newt for visual :D

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