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I'm back from holiday and my 130P-DS imaging scope is being under surgery for a secondary mirror replacement and cutting a bit the focuser. Since last night I had a few hours of clear sky, I put the camera on my SkyWatcher StarTravel 102 achromat. 102/500. It has a focuser upgrade and I used the OVL field flattener that I purchased for using it with my small 72ED. I placed the sensor ~55mm away from the flattener's thread and the image seems pretty flat. I always wondered if this fast achromat could be used for narrowband imaging and I did not find too many examples on this internet. I hope this will help more people trying to find out if it's worthy or not. I let the image speak for itself. 6x60s with the ASI1600 and an Optolong 7nm Ha filter. Clear skies! Alex
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.