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Orion Optics - puts U.K engineering to shame


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I have been quite about my 14 inch ODK from OO as I like keeping the negativity off forums to save [ crap ] stirring but the truth has to come out !!!

 

OO do produce good mirrors and i think you will have to have good luck for a working scope. I am not being resentful just making the reader (you) aware of the consequences. Like every other OO related forum.  I think my scope has potential from some of the images attached.

I’d like to share my frustration with you with my ODK. I purchased this from new nearly two years back from OO.

Mr John Pemberton  was sharp at responding to his emails  blaring about this scope  as it’s one of the best scopes ever made etc etc. so I bit the bullet and paid for the scope ( OO paid for my VAT) 

After many months of delay and countless of update emails the scope arrived. Initially I was impressed with how it was packaged however when looking at the scope the carbon was scratched in places  and other bits not pleasing to the eye. I had emailed them about this but didn’t really say much about it but to test the scope for amazing views. 
 

Once mounted on my Mesu mark 2 it required a little collimation  and I was ready to start to explore the universe… I soon realised that I only going to start going down a worm hole… 

Everything looked okay and on the third night the collimation seemed off, it appeared that the secondary screws had seized up and the mirror was no longer moving, my friend Es Reid took a look at this and the fault found was a deformed spring that was found behind the casing of the secondary. 
 

the scope had been upgraded with a FT focuser and I had installed a EAF setup to assist in auto focusing. 
 

After a while and not been used due to health problems I restarted  my passion.  
 

this time the stars were horrible and pointy when focused. I messed around with the secondary and corrector lens ( knowing the primary is fixed ) after giving up ( Es and I ) 

I contacted OO to return the scope back for a factory reset. Again I had to organise the return quickly so it could be looked at Unfortunately I had got rid of the huge wooden create  it came in and had to find pallet for careful packaging and private courier firm to deliver from London to OO base Inc return trip. 
 

I asked for additional services this time installing a DEW heater on the secondary and to lathe some m68 adapters that had come stuck. The total of the work was around £360 including mirror cleaning ( the servicing package OO offers ) 
 

After long a long wait and emails back and forth I was told that my box wouldn’t survive the return trip back to me and the company would get a pallet and repackage everything for free. 

 

the scope was finally back delivered ( in the same box I sent it in ) just by looking at the box I knew this was going to be [ swear word]

On immediate inspection I noticed the mirrors were not cleaned, paint had been chipped on the secondary plate ( apparently this happened when they had to unscrew to install the heater ) the dew heater connections were touching I only realised this when my Pegasus power box was playing up.  
 

the m68 adapters ( three of them were stuck together ) one was hand tighten 

they had changed me £50 odd quid to unscrew that one hand tighten adapter and that didn’t tell me they couldn’t do the other two three  but changed me full price anyway.

the whole service was a shoddy ‘back alley  job’

I had returned the focuser back with one screw missing. ( they blamed the mis collimation due to the focuser LOL ) any experienced manufacturer would remove the focuser and check themselves l


I finally blew up and emailed OO what I exactly thought of them. Barry and I exchanged stern words. 

I told them that I would be taking OO to small claims court for the job not carried out, the next day I received a full refund ( for the service costs only ) and a shitty email from Barry. ( he no longer replies to my emails but “Paul” did!!  
 

I had one successful 30 mins sub in Ha which I was happy about (Mel 15 attached) 

Everything seemed okay this time round until the days started to get warmer, the stars looked pinched and when  Es noticed this would be down to the primary mirror. I have changed my camera imaging train / focuser and problem still persists just to eliminate the primary.  
 

I have asked OO to look at this again however the emails are now one way traffic! 
 

I’ve attached some of the images the scope has produced and let you form your own conclusion. 

so where do I go from here?! 

5766FCD6-D651-476B-B0E7-B7B1AAC3A507.thumb.jpeg.136e75815ece25f358736f0b5b892e09.jpeg

 

 

 

 

Edited by jaspalchadha
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If, as you say, you have had a full refund, I would write this off and put it down to experience. I think anything else will just bring more hassle and high blood pressure.

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1 minute ago, PeterCPC said:

If, as you say, you have had a full refund, I would write this off and put it down to experience. I think anything else will just bring more hassle and high blood pressure.

Yes full refund of £360 for service only. Let’s not forget the £6,000 

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Sad to hear (another) bad report on OOUK.

I'm not sure the poor images are due to pinched optics. The third image shows on the brightest star double diffraction spikes in the direction of the elongation. Both are quite sharp which would be very difficult to produce with misalignment, collimation or pinched optics.

I would say 'something' moved during the exposure. 

Screenshot 2022-04-23 at 11.15.44.png

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I suppose you’d have to have an independent report done to nail down the issues and cause and remedy for each issue , which on a Newtonian breaks down to the secondary mirror, holder and spider vane , and primary mirror and primary holder , 14” is big and heavy which makes you wonder if the engineering is up to the job to hold the weight, I suppose you’d have to compare to another large newt manufacturer that you know has good engineering to seek out any weak spots on your scope maybe @Peter Drew may be able to give his thoughts , but certainly for 6k your expecting the best engineering which obviously you haven’t got and customer service seems to be below what you’d expect, but I would expect you will need to spend some more money to modify the primary holder and maybe change the secondary holder and spider vanes , I wish you luck in getting your scope to a better condition maybe talking to other 14odk and see if any of them have managed to correct issues with their scope .

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59 minutes ago, jaspalchadha said:

Sorry that one was when not in focus 

You don't get double images in one direction when out of focus. Its not clear to me which images are supposed to show the 'pinched' optics.

I'm not saying you don't have a problem. But with a career in optical design and manufacturing I'm trying to objectively help to diagnose the issues.

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4 minutes ago, AstroKeith said:

You don't get double images in one direction when out of focus. Its not clear to me which images are supposed to show the 'pinched' optics.

I'm not saying you don't have a problem. But with a career in optical design and manufacturing I'm trying to objectively help to diagnose the issues.

thanks! I have removed majority of the images the one attached is what we have ended up with. 

 

Peter Shah will take a look once his works up is completed 

 

 

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This is a very sad story that I’m sorry to hear.

I’ve had truly excellent scopes from OOUK. I had one that was a real dog that should definitely never left the factory. That’s not just my opinion but a local friend who’s made excellent big mirrors for others (in his well equipped optical workshop) said the so-called 10th wave designated mirror was about 1/2 wave, in other words total rubbish.

I realise this thread is about an imaging scope, mine have been basic Newtonians.  If I were buying again I’d go with a Dob from FLO knowing in the unlikely event of a problem FLO would sort it in a friendly fashion.  And I’d save a lot of cash too.

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37 minutes ago, bottletopburly said:

I suppose you’d have to have an independent report done to nail down the issues and cause and remedy for each issue , which on a Newtonian breaks down to the secondary mirror, holder and spider vane , and primary mirror and primary holder , 14” is big and heavy which makes you wonder if the engineering is up to the job to hold the weight, I suppose you’d have to compare to another large newt manufacturer that you know has good engineering to seek out any weak spots on your scope maybe @Peter Drew may be able to give his thoughts , but certainly for 6k your expecting the best engineering which obviously you haven’t got and customer service seems to be below what you’d expect, but I would expect you will need to spend some more money to modify the primary holder and maybe change the secondary holder and spider vanes , I wish you luck in getting your scope to a better condition maybe talking to other 14odk and see if any of them have managed to correct issues with their scope .

The ODK isn't a newt, it's a Dall-Kirkham derivative with a three element corrector, and is at a whole different level as regarding complexity, and with opportunities for things to be stuffed up.

TBH this story is giving me cause for concern, although so far (Touch wood, fingers crossed) my ODK 12 has been giving me good images. I will though check defocused stars for roundness, though what I've seen so far looks OK. Maybe I've just been lucky, though being lucky isn't something I'm familiar with.

Maybe I should have gone with my first thought of a 12" GSO RC and focal reducer.

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30 minutes ago, DaveS said:

The ODK isn't a newt, it's a Dall-Kirkham derivative with a three element corrector, and is at a whole different level as regarding complexity, and with opportunities for things to be stuffed up.

TBH this story is giving me cause for concern, although so far (Touch wood, fingers crossed) my ODK 12 has been giving me good images. I will though check defocused stars for roundness, though what I've seen so far looks OK. Maybe I've just been lucky, though being lucky isn't something I'm familiar with.

Maybe I should have gone with my first thought of a 12" GSO RC and focal reducer.

Ahh my mistake 👍🤦‍♂️

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1 minute ago, jaspalchadha said:

Yes that’s correct 

They utterly screwed up my Newtonian 130pds recently for a "simple" collimation that I was unable to do myself. Due to other more important distractions at the time I didn't pursue it other than telling them what I thought. Scope now gone to recycling😢. I wouldn't send them a knife to be sharpened.......

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14 minutes ago, LaurenceT said:

They utterly screwed up my Newtonian 130pds recently for a "simple" collimation that I was unable to do myself. Due to other more important distractions at the time I didn't pursue it other than telling them what I thought. Scope now gone to recycling😢. I wouldn't send them a knife to be sharpened.......

 

14 minutes ago, LaurenceT said:

They utterly screwed up my Newtonian 130pds recently for a "simple" collimation that I was unable to do myself. Due to other more important distractions at the time I didn't pursue it other than telling them what I thought. Scope now gone to recycling😢. I wouldn't send them a knife to be sharpened.......

That’s crazy. 
 

I’ll look to see what legal advise I can seek. Probably  not much 

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Oh dear. Another unhappy OO customer. It takes me back to my 2003/4 experience with them. As well as many I have since heard about. The name 'Barry' rings a bell.
In my case a basic newtonian reflector was late and in appalling condition on arrival. Their customer service was much the same.
The scope only went back to their factory once. I sorted all the remaining issues myself.
Before starting I had no 'fettling a newt' knowledge, afterwards rather more!
At the end of it all, I decided I would never again buy direct frrom OO. Only 2nd hand, or via a shop so I could drop a dodgy scope on the counter and leave the problems to the retailer.

Sadly you have a more complex scope, so it is not easy to sort out.
Good luck with getting the scope sorted out. Please keep us updated with progress.
I'm sure you are already doing this but....
Lots of photos of package contents and external views before anything leaves you, and on arrival after 'repair'.
Emails are of course kept for later reference. But any phone calls, write down the details at the time.
Avoid accepting any offers/negotiation on the basis of a phone call only. Always get a written confirmation.

Good luck, David.

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My VX8 came with a non-round tube by design, secondary mirror with too short collimation screws (or the focuser drilled too low) to center the secondary under the focuser properly at all. The flimsy tube is not really a "mistake", its just light by design so cant fault it much, but the secondary mirror issue tells a sad story to me. It tells that nobody checked what they were doing to the tube and shipped it without knowing that the secondary mirror is literally impossible to collimate as it was sent. Obviously a fix to that cost me a few cents, but still it doesn't instill trust when something as simple as that mistake gets made.

I think mechanical stuff isn't their forte.

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So sad to hear of the UKs last (?) remaining Telescope manufacturer disappointing so many customers.

My only experience in dealing with them was 30 years ago, of short duration, and due to their "attitude", never to be repeated..

Dave

Edited by F15Rules
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Sorry to hear Jaspal, I know you like to use top notch products with a price to match and I thought the UK Orion was in a different league to the American one.. but reading this and knowing that a friend bought a new scope from them that took an eternity to deliver, I know covid had a part to play in the holdup but when it was delivered he couldn't get the focuser to work.. knowing how long it had taken them to deliver and not wanting to send it back he investigated what it was and part of the focuser had never been put together and a spring not seating properly... So the scope had never been tested..thinking it was just a one off but obviously not judging on what you've said... Hope it all works out for you

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6 minutes ago, newbie alert said:

Sorry to hear Jaspal, I know you like to use top notch products with a price to match and I thought the UK Orion was in a different league to the American one.. but reading this and knowing that a friend bought a new scope from them that took an eternity to deliver, I know covid had a part to play in the holdup but when it was delivered he couldn't get the focuser to work.. knowing how long it had taken them to deliver and not wanting to send it back he investigated what it was and part of the focuser had never been put together and a spring not seating properly... So the scope had never been tested..thinking it was just a one off but obviously not judging on what you've said... Hope it all works out for you

Thanks mate, I’m genuinely gutted! I hope anyone  thinking to buy an OO products reconsiders 

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