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RobertI

Increased demand = lower quality?

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Posted (edited)

I hesitate to pose this question, but I’ve been wondering whether the huge increase in demand for astronomy gear over the last few months will lead to certain manufacturers cutting corners on quality control. Remember the slew of poor quality Celestron C8’s (and probably others) arising from Halley Hysteria of 1986? I placed an order for a new Skywatcher ED100 a month or so ago but now wondering whether it’s such a good idea at the moment......

Edited by RobertI

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Posted (edited)

Overall quality control has improved recently. The current crop of Skywatcher refractors are better than they have ever been. Not perfect but more consistant now.

Edited by johninderby

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I think the Halley mania was a one-off (at least I hope so). I believe Meade and Celestron relaxed their quality standards to meet demand. Not sure about other manufacturers though.

It will be the dealers that get it in the neck if standards are relaxed though. Our consumer rights are quite a lot better today than they were in 1986, especially if buying online.

 

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Thanks for your thoughts, good to hear. I’ll stop worrying!

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It would be hard to know until some time has passed and enough feedback has accumulated.

The increase in demand is very apparent though. I haven't bought any big stuff recently but quite a few little things have taken a long time to deliver due to demand. 

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I think reputable companies will/are maintaining the same quality control.

I can understand your point though.

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Back in the 1980's forums did not exist so rumours of a drop in quality took a long time to percolate though the astro community. Also many who bought scopes had little or no experience of them so simply did not realise that their optics were not as good as they might be.

With forums such as SGL and Cloudynights I think the astro consumer is much better informed and information circulates really fast. I don't think a manufacturer would risk dropping their standards today. They would never recover their reputation.

 

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Posted (edited)
4 minutes ago, John said:

Back in the 1980's forums did not exist so rumours of a drop in quality took a long time to percolate though the astro community. Also many who bought scopes had little or no experience of them so simply did not realise that their optics were not as good as they might be.

With forums such as SGL and Cloudynights I think the astro consumer is much better informed and information circulates really fast. I don't think a manufacturer would risk dropping their standards today. They would never recover their reputation.

 

I've tried Cloudy Nights, and all they seem to be interested in is who has the biggest/most expensive gear.

It's not for me.

SGL is upfront honest experience/advice.

Edited by LukeSkywatcher
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4 minutes ago, John said:

Back in the 1980's forums did not exist so rumours of a drop in quality took a long time to percolate though the astro community. Also many who bought scopes had little or no experience of them so simply did not realise that their optics were not as good as they might be.

With forums such as SGL and Cloudynights I think the astro consumer is much better informed and information circulates really fast. I don't think a manufacturer would risk dropping their standards today. They would never recover their reputation.

 

I agree - they'd get trashed very quickly. 

My APO is on order from FLO and the indicative date I was given a couple of months ago now was 'end of July'... but I suspect that is optimistic...

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2 minutes ago, LukeSkywatcher said:

I've tried Cloudy Nights, and all they seem to be interested in is who has the biggest/most expensive gear.

It's not for me.

SGL is upfront honest experience/advice.

... and fights seem to break out too... very odd. Then there was the guy with the 10" Zeiss refractor... (normally you'd only see one of those in the observatory of a well-heeled university)

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Posted (edited)
18 minutes ago, LukeSkywatcher said:

I've tried Cloudy Nights, and all they seem to be interested in is who has the biggest/most expensive gear.

It's not for me.

SGL is upfront honest experience/advice.

I go back on Cloudy Nights from time to time but then soon get fed up the pompous know it alls and “experts” who have never had their hands on a piece of kit that they are criticising and the outright nastiness of some that keeps happening drives me away again. Pity as there are many very nice and helpful and knowledgeable people on there.😢

A bit of proper moderating would help no end. 🤔

SGL is a much nicer place to waste (err spend) a few hours on. 👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻

Edited by johninderby
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Isn't this thread about quality standards of equipment rather than a discussion of forums :icon_scratch:

 

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Thanks for the further thoughts.

On 28/07/2020 at 23:21, John said:

Back in the 1980's forums did not exist so rumours of a drop in quality took a long time to percolate though the astro community. Also many who bought scopes had little or no experience of them so simply did not realise that their optics were not as good as they might be.

With forums such as SGL and Cloudynights I think the astro consumer is much better informed and information circulates really fast. I don't think a manufacturer would risk dropping their standards today. They would never recover their reputation.

 

That's an excellent point John, and reassuring too.

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I think the end of the pandemic may see a plethora of second hand equipment on the market. 

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And there was me thinking the pandemic has seen a plethora of second hand kit on the market. Even more at the end !

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On 28/07/2020 at 23:47, John said:

Isn't this thread about quality standards of equipment rather than a discussion of forums :icon_scratch:

 

It is. My apologies. I veered it off course.

 

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Posted (edited)

For anyone considering buying Celestron or Skywatcher (or others made in the same factories in China), I would say might want to expedite your plans as there could be uncertain times ahead, not only in terms of China's manufacturing (some companies might decide to move elsewhere, maybe not Celestron or Skywatcher but ones that provide small parts) but also exchange rates and inflation, which are likely to go crazy once the dust settles on the pandemic (or before).  If factories or manufacturing moves to a neighbouring country there could be a period where there are delays and quality control issues as things get settled, also the workforce expertise might not be quite up to speed straight away.  There may also be things like higher tariffs or trade embargos.

Just a thought.

Edited by jonathan
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Posted (edited)

I have been trying to buy a new Skywatcher 10" Quattro recently and just keep getting sorry no we can't even  get you a delivery date.

Edited by Dunk

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I had an e-mail from FLO earlier and they re-iterated it is really difficult to get meaningful ideas of timelines.

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20 hours ago, Dunk said:

I have been trying to buy a new Skywatcher 10" Quattro recently and just keep getting sorry no we can't even  get you a delivery date.

The factories have probably been closed or running on skeleton staffing for a few months now.  I'm sure if the CCP could then they literally would staff the factories with skeletons!

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