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melsky

AstroTrac 360

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I (and others i'm sure) had the email at the start of July saying it had gone into production

with the first units due to ship mid August with the initial orders to be delivered by the end of September.

 

Its all gone a bit quiet ; they have obviously either hit a delay or who knows what ?

Anyone else heard anything ?

 

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10 minutes ago, RobertI said:

I am assuming it is for November 2019

I think that news was posted Nov 2018!

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It is now a year on from the "November update" on their website, with no sign of saleable units. Anyone got news? I really liked the concept

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I have an update from Richard,

The mount is in full production and they're making excellent progress and are on 'the home straight' if you like.

Ok, there's been a few delays, some mechanical and some electrical, but all is now well, so i'm told.

One has to expect one or two delays with a new product like this : i for one am happy to wait. I'd much sooner they took the time, 

and iron out any faults, then rush it through only for there to be unforseen problems further down the line.

Richard has sent me a photo of the new drive units awaiting assembly (i won't share it on here) and the quality of the machining

looks excellent. 

I'm really looking forward to seeing it in the flesh and putting it through its paces 😀

 

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Sure it’s old news, but my mate’s down at AstroFest and sent me a picture of this mount... so it really does exist then!

 

C750D75B-DBDA-44EB-B2C3-6A7D94B9E762.jpeg

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Looked very nice build when I walked past yesterday.
A nicely engineered mount.

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I'm on the list for one (just the tracker) and been waiting a year.

Its hit a few delays, but i've been told they are 'on the home straight' with it.

Good to see it up and running. Thanks for sharing.

Anyone else have any more photos.......??

 

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Quite clearly the company have been struggling with this, but the paucity of information is rather poor; their website hasn't been updated since November. Surely the best way to keep customers on-side is to communicate. May be those who've put up some money are kept better informed? TS-Optics give delivery as 'unknown'.

Pity!

Ian

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There were several working units at Astrofest last weekend. I was told it was shipping. 

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To polar align - it depends on what reticle they are using. If it is a clock face, like the latest EQ ones, you would set a single orientation with 12 - 6 line vertical, center the reticle (once only) with the two adjusters by rotating RA axis and then just read off the setting from any smartphone app.

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Hi all.

Just wanted to resurrect this thread to get a few opinions.

So basically, i paid a deposit on 01 July 2019, and the remaining balance for the basic 360 tracker on 16 July 2019. Just under £1200 iirc.

I had an email from Richard last August 2019 saying they were in production, and they were hoping to be in a position to send out order before the end of September 2019.

Then all went quiet. an update in November said they'd been a few delays, but they were 'on the home strait'

Then all went quiet again. At the end of January it made an appearance at Astrofest.

I contacted Richard again during the spring to enquire how things were and then Covid struck. Ok, no problem ; i appreciate that theres now going to be a big delay.

During the early part of the summer (June) i contacted Richard again, and enquired if i could have a refund, citing financial issues, as my wife had lost employment.

This was refused flatly, saying my order was in the production stage.

My issue is, i want the mount, and have paid for it, and i've nothing to show for my investment.

Of course, with a new product one expects delays, and the Covid issue has only made that worse.

As a consumer though, i don't think i'm being unreasonable in asking for a refund after paying for an item almost 14 months ago that has failed to materialise.

I'm not holding a grudge against AstroTrac at all, i still want the mount. But if they can't supply what i ordered over a year ago and won't refund me, where do i go.....??

Thoughts welcome......

 

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Frankly I would write back and demand that the goods are sent immediately or a full refund provided.  If that isn't forthcoming, you have two options.  If you paid by credit card, make it the credit card company's problem; they will refund your money as you have not received goods promised.  If not, then open a case in the small claims court, asking for the return of the funds plus statutory interest over the past 14 months plus court costs; it's inexpensive and easy to do online (google for MCOL, which stands for money claim online -- make sure you do it yourself directly on the government's website, don't pay an intermediary to do what you can do for free).

This might not be a popular sentiment, but frankly he can still sell "your" astrotrac if it's already in production, and if it isn't then he's lying to you -- after a history of saying that it will be ready soon.

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The key points are if the order gives a date that your order will be shipped and also if the goods are custom made for you or standard items. 

Would be a good idea to speak to Trading  Standards and ask their advice.

Edited by johninderby

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I echo the points above. There doesn’t appear to be a legal standing for refusing a refund and withholding your money. My concern might be more along the lines of do they have any money left? Perhaps a bit cynical but these projects don’t have unlimited funds. 
 

Edit to add: Their own websites states returns for a full refund are accepted until 30 days after receipt of product. So sounds like they are just fobbing you off

Edited by Icesheet
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@szymon @Icesheet

Thank you both for your opinions, they are much appreciated.

I have sent AstroTrac an email this afternoon, asking for resolution. A full refund , or delivery of my order.

I have given them till the end of the month.

@Icesheet : you may be right. Maybe they have no money left ? I am order number 32. If they only have a small order book, perhaps the design / testing / production costs have far outweighed capitol from potential orders....?

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@Space Hopper you might want to take a look at the CN forum post about it. It suggests a dealer received stock and that 365astronomy has 3 in stock. I checked and right enough that’s what it says! I would be mightily pi**ed off if I paid up front waited two years only to find a dealer selling them to anyone. 
 

Maybe it’s an error on their site. Happened to me when I ordered something from them recently. Worth phoning and asking though. 

Edited by Icesheet
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Thanks.

As it happens AstroTrac have got back straight away, saying they started shipping a month ago ?? and that i should have my order by the end of this month.

I haven't heard that people have been receiving their orders, either on here or anywhere else ?

They reckon they have several hundred customers, but i'm guessing these are not all 360 orders ?

But anyway, Richard has assured me i will receive my order by the end of the month. Mind you, he told us the exact same thing 12 months ago.

Lets hope it arrives then. Like i said, i don't have an axe to grind with the company.  I just want my order !!  14 months is too long ! (Its actually 2 years 5 months now, since i made my first enquiries in to this so its been a long time coming...)

 

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That is far too long and as far as I can see you’re an investor in it. Usually that should at least entitle to you to a discount on normal retail price. 
 

Anyway my fingers are crossed that your wait is finally over. 

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I also noticed someone on The CN forum managed to buy one off the shelf. I'm order number 10019 fully paid up 14 months and haven’t heard a peep from Astrotrac, very disappointed in their loyalty in that they are not prioritising those of us that funded the research and development of this mount. The good news is the mount is out there and we should get them soon.

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hmmmm.... distance selling rules apply and the procedure outlined by szymon.

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Still had no news from Astrotrac regarding dispatch, delivery.

I was told it was to be with me by the end of September, and i'm not optimistic.....

Very disappointed with all this.......

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