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John

The Skywatcher Evostar ED150 DS Pro Is Here !

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We have been giving this a lot of thought. We hadn't considered how larger/heavier lens cells, like the one fitted to the Evostar 150ED Pro, are more likely to be knocked out of alignment enroute to the customer. We thought because Sky-Watcher's other ED doublets are bomb-proof then this new model would be too. It appears we were wrong.

I have also been browsing forums looking at what other retailers do when dispatching large aperture refractors. There is an American on the Cloudy Nights forum who purchased one from a German retailer who freely said they would test it before dispatch, saying they do that for all large aperture refractors. I think FLO should do the same, though it will be Es' Reid testing them. I have spoken with Es and he is happy to do this. We are also looking for a larger box in which to pack the telescope. So, from here onwards Evostar 150ED Pro scopes purchased at FLO will be Es' Reid tested and will have extra packing materials (at least until Sky-Watcher upgrade their packaging). To achieve this the telescope's purchase price will increase from £1,569 to £1,649 but it will be money well spent. 

The next Evostar 150ED John receives will be Es' Reid tested to ensure it will be working at it's full potential. 

HTH, 

Steve 

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30 minutes ago, FLO said:

....The next Evostar 150ED John receives will be Es' Reid tested to ensure it will be working at it's full potential....

I'm really looking forward to this :grin:

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Posted (edited)
43 minutes ago, FLO said:

We have been giving this a lot of thought. We hadn't considered how larger/heavier lens cells, like the one fitted to the Evostar 150ED Pro, are more likely to be knocked out of alignment enroute to the customer. We thought because Sky-Watcher's other ED doublets are bomb-proof then this new model would be too. It appears we were wrong.

I have also been browsing forums looking at what other retailers do when dispatching large aperture refractors. There is an American on the Cloudy Nights forum who purchased one from a German retailer who freely said they would test it before dispatch, saying they do that for all large aperture refractors. I think FLO should do the same, though it will be Es' Reid testing them. I have spoken with Es and he is happy to do this. We are also looking for a larger box in which to pack the telescope. So, from here onwards Evostar 150ED Pro scopes purchased at FLO will be Es' Reid tested and will have extra packing materials (at least until Sky-Watcher upgrade their packaging). To achieve this the telescope's purchase price will increase from £1,569 to £1,649 but it will be money well spent. 

The next Evostar 150ED John receives will be Es' Reid tested to ensure it will be working at it's full potential. 

HTH, 

Steve 

Steve, that’s really great 👍

BUT in my opinion Skywatcher should contribute to the cost of the Es Reid quality assurance.

Edited by dweller25
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12 minutes ago, dweller25 said:

Steve, that’s really great 👍

BUT in my opinion Skywatcher should contribute to the cost of the Es Reid quality assurance.

Are they not 'contributing' already with a basic price that would surely be higher if they applied detail checks at the factory?

Not an ideal situation, I accept.

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Posted (edited)
20 minutes ago, Stub Mandrel said:

Are they not 'contributing' already with a basic price that would surely be higher if they applied detail checks at the factory?

Not an ideal situation, I accept.

In my opinion they should be doing detail checks at the factory and the purchase price should represent a product that is fit for the use intended.

 

 

Edited by dweller25
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I have mixed feelings about this. In the circumstances I think FLO are taking appropriate steps to ensure their customers have a better chance of receiving a fit for purpose scope at the first attempt. I can only assume that the margins on these scopes is tight, thereby resulting in the cost of the additional check having to be passed on to the customer. However, I can't help feeling that a precision instrument that costs £1,569 should be expected to work first time out of the box without the customer having to rely on a retailers taking on additional packaging and QA steps and a customer having to pay an additional £80 to compensate for the manufacturer's shortcomings.

Just to be clear, tis is in no way a criticism of FLO. You are doing what you can. But this should be entirely SkyWatcher's issue to resolve.

 

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To be fair, considerably more expensive brands have had similar teething troubles when launched. 

I am confident Sky-Watcher will soon be on top of the situation and I want FLO to have a positive and constructive role in this telescope's success. 

Steve

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55 minutes ago, FLO said:

To be fair, considerably more expensive brands have had similar teething troubles when launched. 

I am confident Sky-Watcher will soon be on top of the situation and I want FLO to have a positive and constructive role in this telescope's success. 

Steve

Just a passing thought, has there been any similar issues with the Esprit 150 due to shipping and transit

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2 minutes ago, nightfisher said:

Just a passing thought, has there been any similar issues with the Esprit 150 due to shipping and transit

No. None. But the Esprit-150 is supplied in a much more sturdy case and has better packaging. It takes two of us to lift one onto the van! 🙂 

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2 minutes ago, FLO said:

No. None. But the Esprit-150 is supplied in a much more sturdy case and has better packaging. It takes two of us to lift one onto the van! 🙂 

Having just packed up the ED150 Pro (carefully !) to be returned I have to say that one person would need to take a lot of care to try and lift the package up on their own ! :shocked:

 

 

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1 hour ago, dweller25 said:

In my opinion they should be doing detail checks at the factory and the purchase price should represent a product that is fit for the use intended.

 

 

I don't disagree, but I expect the price would rise.

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1 minute ago, Stub Mandrel said:

I don't disagree, but I expect the price would rise.

So the price should rise and the scope should be fit for purpose.

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Checks by the manufacturer are great but the scope has a long way to travel before it reaches the UK and then another period in transit before it reaches the new owner. The objective cell has to be able to maintain the good collimation it left the manufacturer with during these two journeys.

I'm no transportation expert but it would seem to me that the design of the scope and it's packaging have to protect the optical alignment against ill effects from both the occasional (hopefully rare) sharp blow and also the low frequency vibrations you encounter on ships and in vans which could be sustained for many hours. If the ED150 optical design is particularly sensitive to decentering of the lens elements and / or tilting of one or both of the elements then the challenge is evident.

This is the same for similar scopes manufacturered in the far east of course and many of those get to their new owners in good shape so it is certainly possible to achieve.

 

 

 

 

 

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2 minutes ago, John said:

Checks by the manufacturer are great but the scope has a long way to travel before it reaches the UK and then another period in transit before it reaches the new owner. The objective cell has to be able to maintain the good collimation it left the manufacturer with during these two journeys.

I'm no transportation expert but it would seem to me that the design of the scope and it's packaging have to protect the optical alignment against ill effects from both the occasional (hopefully rare) sharp blow and also the low frequency vibrations you encounter on ships and in vans which could be sustained for many hours. If the ED150 optical design is particularly sensitive to decentering of the lens elements and / or tilting of one or both of the elements then the challenge is evident.

This is the same for similar scopes manufacturered in the far east of course and many of those get to their new owners in good shape so it is certainly possible to achieve.

I agree completely, John.

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of course these far eastern scopes will travel in a shipping container with just about no room to move around, its probably the onward shipping from distribution that causes the harm

 

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8 minutes ago, nightfisher said:

of course these far eastern scopes will travel in a shipping container with just about no room to move around, its probably the onward shipping from distribution that causes the harm

 

I suspect that is absolutely true, Jules. My point is that the problem simply shouldn't happen because the cell should be robust enough to survive the journey and the inevitable knocks without losing alignment. A catastrophic blow can happen to any package, but that is what insurance is for.

I totally accept that teething troubles happen to all sorts of products of all standards and prices, but the solution is to fix the source of problem.

What we are talking about here is delivery by normal means resulting in a fit for purpose product reaching the customer, which is not rocket science, it's just what should happen. Hopefully that is where this story will end, with customers being able to order a 150ED from any retailer with a high degree of confidence that it will be spot on when it comes out the box.

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3 hours ago, FLO said:

So, from here onwards Evostar 150ED Pro scopes purchased at FLO will be Es' Reid tested and will have extra packing materials (at least until Sky-Watcher upgrade their packaging). To achieve this the telescope's purchase price will increase from £1,569 to £1,649 but it will be money well spent. 

I'd say it is money well spent 👍 If you are spending this amount of cash on a scope then peace of mind is really important.

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I guess Skywatcher are still making a decent profit on this. The shame is that the price competition online has squeezed retailer margins, and now customers are having to pay more to ensure a product which is up to scratch which doesn’t seem quite right somehow.

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Posted (edited)

Nice one Steve and all at FLO. 

A pragmatic and fairly simple interim solution until SW and OVL here in the UK can resolve this longer term.

I look forward to John’s ongoing test with scope 3.

Edited by Alan White
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17 minutes ago, Alan White said:

Nice one Steve and all at FLO. 

A pragmatic and fairly simple interim solution until SW and OVL here in the UK can resolve this longer term.

I look forward to John’s ongoing test with scope 3.

Let's hope it's "Third Time Lucky" everyone!

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Good  move FLO :)

I wonder though, how many observers would have been more than happy with the first scope John received?

I have attended many star parties where people are joyfully observing through equipment that has been poorly collimated, with sub-standard views, but they are more than happy with what they see. I usually pass on commenting about the collimation, unless i'm asked.

I still wince over an episode at Kelling SP once though, when Es Reid was examining an 18" mirror I had from OOUK that had terrible astigmatism. I always collimate my newts with the Cats Eye tools, they are expensive, but worth it for the last word in collimation. After we had been dodging around the sky a bit, star testing, Es just mentioned, in passing, "your collimation is a bit off...."     Aaaaarrrgh! My eye is twitching even thinking about it!  ;)

Is there an ETA on the new scooe for John??

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18 minutes ago, Tim said:

....I wonder though, how many observers would have been more than happy with the first scope John received?...

....Is there an ETA on the new scooe for John??

I have considered your 1st point Tim. I think some folks might have been OK with the performance of the 1st scope initially but sooner or later they would have done a star test, even if just by looking at a bright easy pair such as Albireo, and then I think they would notice the off centre diffraction rings around the stars. Compared to my ED120 the star images on close dimmer double star pairs were a bit "untidy" and the contrast between the rings of Saturn and the gap between them and the planets disk was starker with the 120. Used on it's own, this might pass unnoticed. Compared with a scope in good optical fettle, the difference may well show up.

Maybe I'm being unfair in hoping that the ED150 would match or exceed the ED120 but I have to have some sort of yardstick to quantify what I'm seeing. I really don't think reports which are rather vague and don't challenge the scope much at all are much help to a prospective owner. 

I have experienced just the same as you at star parties and society events though. On one occasion a C8 could not split Epsilon Lyrae, not even nearly. It's difficult not to intervene but I do resist unless asked. Sometimes a peek at the same target with my ED120 starts the owners wondering though .....

If people are enjoying the views, thats by far the most important thing of course :smile:

No ETA on the 3rd scope as yet but the turnaround thus far has been pretty responsive from both FLO and OVL. I don't know how many ED150's are in the UK right now ?

 

 

 

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Just to add a short anecdote relating to the above, a few years ago I bought my ED120 along to the SGL star party. My neighbour and I had some really nice views of Mars through my scope (quite a bit better than I've managed this year !) and after a while he commented that, although primarily an imager, he did not seem to get such nice views of Mars with his Meade 127 tripet refractor. He bought the scope over and we stuck it on the mount and compared the views and there was quite a difference - the Meade was showing a bland disk whereas there were plenty of features and contrasts visible with the ED120.

After a bit more playing around and a star test we concluded that the Meade had a collimation issue of some sort but we did not have the tools to work out quite what was the cause. After the star party my friend PM'd me to say that he had later found that the focuser on his Meade 127 had a problem and had become mis-aligned. After that was sorted he reported that the scope was generating similar views to those that the ED120 was showing at the star party. Result ! :smiley:

 

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My recent experience with my OMC140 emphasises your point John. Before it was fettled by Es it was showing some fairly ropey star images and variable detail on planets, sometimes good, sometimes bad. Now that the primary is fixed correctly, the corrector is not over tightened and it is collimated, the views are significantly better. It just goes to show that fine tuning these scopes is well worth doing, to pin down the contrast and detail we all enjoy.

EDIT To add too, my Heritage 130P is nicely collimated currently and it really does show.

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The little 3D printed scope I made was showing an asymmetrical blur as I defocus it, going from one side to the other, rather like the star test on the second ED150. A cemented doublet so not much to be done,  I thought but I stuck my laser collimator in the focuser and it was pointing 3/4 of the way to the edge of the lens! I'd printed an improved focuser body and the mounting holes hadn't lined up... sorted now so hopefully another star test will show this thread has at least improved one wee scope a bit!

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