Re: The CN Encoder Debate Continues...

Bill Long

This is likely going to get deleted, but I at least had the opportunity to talk about economics, which I always enjoy. 🙂

chadrian84, on 15 Apr 2019 - 4:16 PM, said:

I'm hardly a "greed-fretting anti-capitalist" or someone who "sits around for product announcements suspicious of a secret evil."  I've been fortunate to make a good living taking risks and selling items at (often very large) mark-ups.  AP should charge as much as the market will bear (as all companies do).


Your claim seems to be that AP willingly sacrifices profit for the benefit of the astro community.   Yes, they sometimes sell products below market value, but I'm not so naive to think it's not part of the business strategy.  They do limited releases which sell below market, but they make up the difference (and more) by getting an enormous amount of marketing, perceived demand, and goodwill in return.


Regarding why I'm interested in encoder prices: A good consumer should question the price of things and always put downward pricing pressure on manufacturers (in an honest way) - for strange reasons, the M.O. of some consumers here is to do the opposite - praise, praise, praise, and never question.  If it comes to light that AP has a 400% markup on each encoder sold, they may be pressured to lower their prices, or a competitor may come along and sell it cheaper.  Both cases benefit us.  If AP goes out of business, it will be due to another company producing a better product for a better price; not because they didn't get the markup they wanted on their encoders.


I fully agree that AP provides exceptional products and service (though I haven't yet personally experienced the latter) - these things are built into their pricing.  I own two AP1100s and live a short distance away from Rockford.  I have great respect for Roland, his reputation, and the company he built.  However, I'm not a shareholder or employee, so I have zero allegiance to them and neither should anyone else.

A few things about your comments:


1. Selling products below market value, is not a business strategy in a capitalistic free market society. At all. Ever.  So the comment you made, that I highlighted in red, is completely wrong and if you want to know why (which is off topic to this thread) I suggest you study economics.

2. "Perceived demand" is a misnomer (highlighted in blue). There is no such thing as "Perceived Demand" at all. I would love to see you explain this about a businesses with 10 year waiting lists for the products they produce. I think what you actually meant to say, is "Perceived Value". That is real, and worthy of a discussion on another thread.  Goodwill, on the other hand, has economic value and is the reason I think you meant "Perceived Value" over "Perceived Demand". There is no doubting the demand for AP products. At all. If you think that is the case, you are not paying attention or are not plugged into their community of consumers.

3. Consumers can put downward pressure on products (purple in this case; two different points you made, equally as incorrect), but not by questioning producer surplus levels. If Audi sells you a car with a $5000 sound system in it, that actually cost them $250, do you really think you are going to change that by publicizing that fact? No, you arent, no matter how honey and sugar you want to be about it -- nothing will change. If you want to put downward pressure on it, you use the lever of capitalism you have -- your wallet. Further if you assume you can change the elasticity of demand based on posting things from Renishaw's website on the internet, you are equally as naive as you claimed here.

4. (Orange this time) You are finally coming to terms with your own statements you made. See 1, 2, and 3 above for why you came to this realization. You contradicted yourself here, and hopefully I have shown you why.

5. (Salmon this time) You are completely wrong here. Did Roland's pricing strategy make it so when I personally asked him to review the quality report from my RCOS system (which he did and provided extensive feedback and opinion on) he felt compelled to do it for his profit margin? The answer to that is a resounding NO and I think you need to get off of the soap box here. 


Getting back on the topic of the Mach2 I would love to hear your thoughts on where Astro-Physics is sourcing the CNC machines, the raw materials they used to make the Mach2 mount, and further I would love to know your perspective of their providers cost of FPL53, FCD100 and other glass they have used to produce telescopes over the years. I am sure you must have an opinion on this matter, especially as it relates to the Mach2, as you just spent time of your own trying to rationalize the economics of the encoders in the Mach2, so surely you have something to offer on this point. 

From: ap-gto@... <ap-gto@...> on behalf of chris1011@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...>
Sent: Monday, April 15, 2019 5:09 PM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] The CN Encoder Debate Continues...

I had a chuckle reading that thread. Case of blind leading the blind. That fellow really should price out Renishaw Absolute encoders (there is only one type for a ring encoder), he'll get a shock ;^))


-----Original Message-----
From: Bill Long bill@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...>
To: ap-gto@... <ap-gto@...>
Sent: Mon, Apr 15, 2019 6:19 pm
Subject: [ap-gto] The CN Encoder Debate Continues...

With a post like this:

For those that dont want to click, here is what was purported:

From what I can tell, an absolute encoder is just a sensor that scans a code in order to determine position (and therefore rate and direction).  There's not any ultra precise machining required.  For each track of lines/barcodes the encoder precision doubles.  The encoders AP uses apparently have 26 tracks (2^26 = 67.1 million positions).
It would be interesting to know what AP pays for the encoders.  If you knew or could determine the specs of the encoders used by AP, you could plug them in here and request a quote.

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