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Universal Astronomics has built a strong reputation for quality products and services to meet the needs of the discriminating observer. UA’s innovative product lines have always had a common goal to be the most versatile mounting systems ever conceived and we still strive to meet and exceed that goal. Every sale at UA is tailored to maximize the customer’s viewing experience with considerations for a possibility of a variety of optics, tripods, travel needs, and observing preferences. How did we get here?
I started out by first building my own binocular parallelogram mount after seeing a competing mount at a local star party in Oct, 98. The one I built for myself was far superior to the competing model and I decided then to manufacturer them. Surveyor-type tripods which were readily available at any Home Depot become the tripod of choice given their strength/weight/cost ratios compared to expensive heavy duty camera tripod (which are now offered as well). At the time, we lived in a second floor apartment of a three story (“3-decker” as they are referred to here in New England) located in Worcester, MA (about 40 miles West of Boston). The first floor, in dire need of renovation, was leased from the landlord, and UA had its first home. The first 50 units were built with only a miter saw fitted with an aluminum cutting blade, a table saw (same blade), a drill press, and a belt sander. We entered the market place at our first NEAF (North East Astronomy Forum) in May, 99 where the UniMount Basic and Deluxe models were first introduced. I didn’t sell a single unit but my wife’s encouragement (as well as new-found friend Howie Glatter of laser collimator fame) prevented me from giving up and sales started to accumulate over that summer. As sales grew, the need for better quality prompted contracting out production, but it wasn’t long before being competitive meant manufacturing in-house was necessary and the purchase of a benchtop milling machine and lathe quickly solved the problem since their machine weights of 700 lbs each didn’t cause them to crash thru the floor of the apartment. Production demands required larger heavier machines as well as additional floor space and the 900 square feet of the apartment was outgrown. The operation was moved to its current residence at 6 River Court, Webster, MA (about 15 miles south of Worcester). The addition of a full size lathe and milling machine allowed all restrictions on production to be removed. In March of 2002, the first UniStar alt-az (altitude/azimuth) was built and it has flourished ever since. UA’s residence in Webster has grown from 1600 square feet to over 4000. Products have grown from 2 model styles of bino mount to about 12 different models of bino and alt-az mount, as well as a variety of tripods and accessories to accommodate most any optic in the astronomy marketplace.