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Discontinuation of RCX400


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#1 aimcneil

aimcneil

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Posted 18 November 2007 - 10:01 AM

So you can guess how stroked I was when I ordered my new 14" RCX400 at the beginning of October. You can imagine how excited I was to take posession of the scope on October 29, 2007.

You can imagine the terrible feeling I got in my guts when I read, a week later, that my new $10,000 telescope was now obsolete by all reasonable standards. It hadn't even seen first light and I was already concerned about what would happen to my warrenty and support issues.

For example, Before first light, I wanted to install the software and drivers on my laptop but the disk crashed my computer. I had to call Meade for a new Autostar Suite disk as the one they sent me with the scope was a corrupted "Verbatum CD-R" copy instead of the disk I've seen in all the literature and in the stores.

So my questions to Meade are this: What will happen to support if something goes wrong with my telescope? Why was there no warning that I was buying a white elephant? Why do you still advertise the RCX400 on the corporate website if it's gone now?

All that said, this is a beautiful scope; I've never seen the Orion Nebula with that much detail. I am utterly satisfied with this scope (regardless of the bad disk that Meade has apparently replaced and sent by mail) but you can see whre my concerns are coming from.

#2 aimcneil

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Posted 09 December 2007 - 12:33 PM

A Follow Up To This Post:

General Statement: I've been operating the scope for about 5 weeks (7 clear nights) and am absolutely stunned by the ease of use and the overall quality of the insturment. It is everything the fine folks at Meade promise, a beautiful piece of engineering.

History: The first night I was happy just getting it out and spent a couple of hours looking at the moon. I spent the second night collimating the insturment, an easy process using factory presets (reset) and also using the handbox. The third night was spent in properly learning how to do an "automatic" alignment; it failed once and passed twice once I figured out how to show the star's name on the HBX. Night five I impressed my neighbor with the Andromeda galaxy. The sixth night I took an image of the Trapezium using a Nikon D40x at prime focus. The seventh night I just simply looked, spending most of my session with the Ring Nebula.

It has been -25C to -30C for the last 2 weeks, or for 4 out of 7 nights and the scope handles the cold like a champ.  The HBX has trouble with the cold; the scrolling information just looks like a faint blur due to the temperature. I (and my long-suffering brother and neighbor) have been lugging the scope into my back yard after supper and hauling it back into my living room just before bed. It weighs 80kg total so it's a chore (see: labor of love) to do this every time its clear out.

I'm anxiously awaiting the arrival of my new Skyshed POD, www.skyshedpod.com, my scope's new (semi)permanent home. When it gets to my location I will do the drive training and sensor calibration like they recommend at Mike Weasner's site http://www.weasner.com/etx/menu.html and the scope will be even more dazzling.

Customer Support: I called once for a replacement disk as mine was corrupted. After 2 weeks I called again and was given a contact name and email. Later that same day the disk arrived by mail, as promised by the first Meade representative. These people are dedicated to customer satisfaction and it shows in their response time.

Conclusion: This scope is a stunning piece of engineering. It performs as promised and will provide me and my friends/family with many years of enjoyment. I will definitely support Meade in the future by buying their products and by recommending them to my friends who are in the market for quality insturmentation.




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