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Hello, It's been a long time since I've posted in this forum, anyway I've picked up a Skywatcher 200p F/6 dobsonian as a DIY project whilst I continue to work on a new telescope from scratch, (I've started to grind the mirror). I'll be making improvements to this dobsonian as a project and learning experience, I've already got a temperature controlled fan which has a probe that can measure both mirror and ambient temperature. I'll be measuring the primary mirror with my in progress Foucault/Ronchi/Bath Tester when that's finished in the next couple of weeks, may even refigure it depending on results. But I'm most excited about this right now. The blackest Black Paint as an alternative (hopefully better alternative) to flocking! This stuff is seriously black and flat, I backed it on kickstarter and received 3 bottles along with goodies. I plan on painting the area opposite the focuser, area around the primary mirror, inside the focuser drawtube, potentially the secondary mirror holder and edge of the secondary also. It's a shame I don't have any flocking to compare it with but it looks incredible. This video shows just how impressive it is (moreso than my little tester I've done). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uJIIzcbRD9w I'll try and get some decent before and after pics. Dan
A few months back I asked about whether it was better to paint or flock the inside of my telescope, with the response being that flock is better. I bought the flock in January and after seemingly interminable DIY weekends, I have finally been able to sit down and do it, along with some other work. This thread is how it went - it does not cover anything that has not been covered before but I figured I would post it anyway. I had been thinking about upgrading the focuser but decided to try and lubricate the existing one first. I took the focuser apart and came face to face with the so-called Synta glue I had heard about. It had the same consistency as half set epoxy resin(!). So I took it all apart, cleaned the parts up and relubricated with some Shimano bike grease I had used on my AZ4 mount. It is smoother, I was not expecting it to turn into a better focuser but I thought I would give it a try before shelling out for a replacement. Next though was the flocking. I cut it into 5cm strips and worked my way round the insides. Before: And almost finished: As suggested, I gently brushed to remove loose fibres and then lightly sprayed with hairspray. And after I had given myself a new barnet I thought I had better get back to working on the telescope. Bahaha. Anyway, it seems to have helped cut down stray light. I also flocked the inside of the focuser draw tube - taken half way through so I could convince myself I could see a difference: And also the inside of the dew shield: I did have quite a job trying to get the white lens cell off. I assume that it will screw off but the black gunk holding it in place would not budge. So, not wanting to force anything, I decided - gulp - to unscrew the lens cell itself to gain access that way. I held the lenses in a micropore cloth and made a note of how they sat together and which way they sit in the cell itself. I was a bit nervous about this as I was sure I read somewhere that the elements are aligned when assembled. I tried to keep them together as precaution but if they have become misaligned I can give myself another project to realign them(!). I did take the opportunity to blacken their edges with a permanent marker. I saw this on a YouTube video for the ST80 and decided as everything was in pieces I might as well have a go. It has nicely darkened the edges - the photo below is half way through to give an idea of the difference. Anyway, I was able to reassemble it all successfully and set it up to see that nothing has broken. Checking the view, distant trees seem okay but the acid test will be under the stars. All in all though I am quite pleased with the work and am looking forward to a clear night.
I have just ordered a 150P from FLO and pending its arrival I am reading up a bit on them, it seems that some people have noticed an improvement in contrast by flocking the inside of the tube, and also that fitting a dew shield is recommended. I can acquire a suitable dew shield, no problem there, but I have a question or several regarding flocking. What would I need to do in order to flock the inside of the tube? Do I need to remove the secondary mirror or anything else, and would I need to just cover the entire tube inside so that no original paintwork is showing? How difficult is it? Should I apply in sections, and if so does it matter how large or what shape the sections are so long as they are edge to edge? How many rolls of the flocking sheet that FLO sell would I need for the 150P? Should I flock the outside too? (I saw a post where someone wrapped what looked like pipe insulating foam around the entire OTA) Thank you for any advice!