Prelude (before delivery)

I didn’t mention it previously, but there is another fellow who was told by the same source that his unit would also ship last Monday. Like me, he didn’t receive any confirmation that it had shipped from the dealer (same as mine) or from Meade. He did, however end up receiving a call this week from the shipper, who wanted to schedule the delivery for the following day. He’s much closer to Meade, so it is possible that mine also left Monday and they just didn’t tell me. Since I’m in Ohio, I’d expect that to mean a delivery this week – and a call from the trucking company to schedule delivery. I’m not counting on it, but it is something to feel optimistic about if I choose to do so.


UPDATE: It isn’t a rumor any more. Delivery is scheduled for April 11 !

Time to set up a new post-delivery category.

I heard today that Meade expects to ship my mount Monday. That’s a relief, as it would permit me to check its condition and basic functionality before NEAF so I can report to the Meade reps there about it (whether good news or bad news). I won’t have MUCH time, as NEAF is in three weeks and shipping will use up at least a week – but I’ll be able to do indoor tests at the very least and, if weather cooperates, get a little observatory time with it as well.


It’s been about a year since I’ve managed to do any imaging, so I think I’m just about in the mood to get back into it. I don’t expect much productivity, between the weather, short summer nights, and unfamiliar equipment but I’ll get some captures and report on them (and display them) here.


If I receive confirmation Monday, I’ll post it here.


UPDATE:  No word as of Tuesday afternoon…  Doesn’t necessarily mean it didn’t ship; Meade may not have notified my dealer, or my dealer may not have forwarded the info to me. I suspect that it means it didn’t ship, though.

It has now been over a week since we were informed that, to lessen the impact of a delay in optical tube availability, the mount portion of our combo would be shipped separately without waiting. That sounded good for me (I need the mount) and not quite as good for Len (who needs the OTA). Given that there is currently no mount in my observatory while Len does have other optical tubes on hand, it seemed to be the better of the two possibilities for a split shipment. Sadly, that was the last I heard – still no shipping info on the mount. I see that a few dealers are showing the bare mounts in stock so either they have been shipping some bare mounts or the dealers’ websites have bad info (or the dealers have been splitting up 10″ or 12″ combos).  I don’t know what that means; I plan to contact the dealer Monday afternoon and see if there is anything to be learned.  In what may turn out to have been a burst of inappropriate optimism we had accepted the dealer’s prediction that we would have the combo well before the NEAF trade show next month. We had started with the idea that we would pick the order up there but were assured we could have it sooner by letting them ship. Given that Meade pays the shipping, and that sooner sounded better than later, we agreed to that. If the delay continues, there is a danger that one or the other of us will lose interest and want to cancel. If that happens, the other, on losing the bundle discount, will surely decide to cancel as well.

Well, if there weren’t some issues and confusion it wouldn’t be Meade. Turns out there’s some delay in getting the 14″ tubes shipped. Dunno what that means, either in terms of what kind of problem they are having or in terms of how much delay to expect. Meade knows we are splitting the combo, so they offered to ship the mount now and the tube at some unstated future date. I dunno how my buddy Len feels about that.  If he cancels I presume that my price goes up to the non-bundle price – and if that happens I’ll need to make other plans. Tomorrow is the last day to order a Paramount MX at the discounted $8000 price so we need to figure this out.

It’s premature, as I have not yet received tracking info and have no idea when the new mount will arrive. I just switched my observatory website from to its new home, (maybe I’ll tell that story here some day) and changed my Cloudy Nights sigline to use the new URL. While I was there, I went ahead and added a link to this blog to the CN sigline. I haven’t mentioned this blog anywhere yet, but it’s possible that some folks will notice the sigline link and end up here. To that extent, I consider this blog to be “live”.


Sorry; this post is off topic, as the new mount isn’t from Meade. A friend stumbled across a very rare Vixen Sensor mount and, knowing that I like Japanese telescope mounts, grabbed it for me. The Sensor was produced from about 1985 through maybe 1993. It’s a heavy duty mount; about 1.5 times the weight of  a GPDX. Dunno what it was rated to carry, but it has to be more than the 30 pound rating of the GPDX. I have an extra pair of MT2 motors and a Sky Sensor 2000 controller so as soon as I fabricate a couple of motor mounts I’ll have this one ready for use.





Had a very nice visit with a group of locals this morning (most, if not all, are CN members). We meet for breakfast every now and then. Today we ate and then I conned the gang into working – we took everything off the observatory mount, then removed the mount. Now there’s just an empty pier in there. Then, Scott (Backyard Observatories) and I removed the homebrew cable roof drive I installed ten years ago and installed his much cooler rack and pinion drive. SO – the roof is better than ever, but there’s no gear inside!