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Hi all, quick question. With all the light pollution where I live (Chester) will flocking my scope make any differece? And also do light pollution filters make any difference? Ideally i want to use the scope from my garden but im in the middle of a housing estate!

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Flocking may make a little difference if you have direct lights shining into your garden. A light shield extending out the front of the scope would probably make more difference, though, and be less effort. If you don't have the direct lights then flocking will make little or no difference. So basically, YMMV.

Light pollution filters do make a difference. A UHC type filter (which is properly known as a narrow-band filter) is a good starting point. Go do some reading on them, though. A great resource is this: Light Pollution and Narrow-Band Filters It will answer pretty much all of your questions.

I will just highlight the fact that these things work on emission nebulae. They won't work on galaxies. They will make the stars a funny colour. They will make the image dimmer so your highest useful power will drop to about 5x to 10x per inch. You have to be well dark adapted to use them. They will fail horribly if you have a light shining into the eyepiece (the light will reflect back). So don't expect to use them to see detail on small planetary nebulae if you have a smaller scope. Ultimately, you will always see more from dark skies. I use my filters in dark skies too, since they improve contrast no matter where you are.

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I flocked my scope, it was'nt expensive, but can't say if it made any noticeable difference, i did find out how to Collimate as the tube was strip bare to do the flocking.

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I have flocked my dob and it makes a great difference to contrast. On the drive there is a marked difference even with the street lights not far away. I also fitted a good sized camping mat dew shield which allmost entirely kills the entry of stray light when pointing above them. The difference might not be so obvious to the untrained eye but it definitely helps imho. :(

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+1 for flocking done my truss yesterday and got an hour in last night to test it and it did make a difference

post-18942-133877768994_thumb.jpg

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Thanks all, I think i'll do it. If nothing else it will give me something to do until this rubish weather clears!

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I think that any modification to a telescope (flocking, painting the secondary edge and nuts/bolts matt black, adding a light/dew shield, adding a fan) work on the basis of minor/marginal improvements to the scope and to improve the whole image by a little tiny bit. Yes they do improve things (for very little effort / cost) but don't expect miracles.

I use a Baader Neodymium filter (which is a light pollution filter) for planetary observing of Mars and Jupiter as well as the moon when 50% or more illuminated. I tend to increase magnification to improve contrast where possible.

I also use a UHC and Oiii filter but they do have the effects mentioned by Umadog and I only use them where required. I too think they are good to use at dark sites and at home.

I bought 2" filters which although expensive, do allow you to switch 1.25" eyepieces without the need to constantly swap the filter (I put it in my 2-1.25" adapter) and this is particularly useful for the Baader filter and planetary observing where eyepieces can be swapped a lot more than general observing.

Light pollution is rubbish here too.

Edited by Moonshane

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I've done it and it did make a difference. It helps to remove everything before you do it if you feel confident enough.

Simon

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I flocked my 8" and did notice an improvement in contrast. If I was to do it again I probably would only flock directly opposite the focuser and a few inches above the primary mirror.

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I bought mine from FLO - much easier to apply than Protostar and allows a certain amount of re-adjustment.

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Mines half Protostar and half Wilko's mat black velour decorative roll. I messed up with the protostar lol :(

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Mines half Protostar and half Wilko's mat black velour decorative roll. I messed up with the protostar lol :D

Lol my second half almost went that way, luckily i managed to salvage the situation, made me sweat for a second though.. :(

I noticed a big difference when i flocked/blackened the secondary. Even from a dark site, contrast was greatly improved. I recieved quite a few compliments about the views through my scope that night, from people who didn't know i'd done any mods.

I can't comment on how it affects light polluted skies since mine aren't too bad. I can't imagine it'd help too much though if i'm honest, and as stated above you may be better off with a filter.

That's not to say it isn't worth flocking though. :p

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Which regions of the secondary did you blacken? The edges? Is the secondary mounted in a cage or on a stalk?

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The edges and rear, it's the standard arrangement in my 200p. I wasn't going to do it since i was skeptical of any improvements, but fate landed me with a tin of blackboard paint at work, so figured i may as well (shameful secret: i used to paint warhammer figures so i have a pretty steady hand). Now there is literally nothing anywhere in that tube that isn't matt black. :(

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Ah, I see. I too did the edges of mine, but I used black marker pen. Blackboard paint is better, though. The tube wall opposite the focuser is a good place to flock. Possibly most of the improvement will come from that.

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I'm thinking about flocking and blackening the secondary edges as well.

Can I also blacken the focus tube as it's bare silver metal and protrudes right in especially when imaging?

Has anyone done this?

Edited by Brent

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