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Tube Re-spray Required


DRT
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I noticed a few days ago that there is a straight line of bubbles from the focuser to the objective under the paint of my Altair 152 refractor.

I contacted the retailer that I bought it from who very helpfully made enquiries with Altair but unfortunately the message that came back was "sorry, out of warranty". The scope is 27 months old :sad: 

Does anyone know of a place within  a reasonable distance of Derbyshire where I could have the tube professionally rubbed down and re-sprayed? I know I could go to a local car workshop and ask them to do it but I would prefer it to be done by an astro specialist.

Here are some pictures of the bubbles, one of which has flaked off to reveal the black undercoat...

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Bummer Derek, the most hardwearing thing would be stove enamelling but you'd need to strip everything off of the  tube, there are usually plenty of stove enamelers around and you could have it done in a custom colour.

My Tecnosky version has black marks in the paint which have been caused by the felt in the rings and scratches made by the rubbish dew shield screw but nothing as bad as yours, yet.

Dave

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Way back when I was renovating my Tal1 I looked into having the tube powder coated and got a very reasonable quote from a local firm. As it turned out I didn't have it done but wished I had. Powder coating would mean stripping the tube right down and  don't know whether the objective "cell" of the Altair  strips out. If it did it would need recollimation, so a bit of a big job all told but the finish would be good and durable. 

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Same as above, car paint shop, take the scope apart so its just a tube, a roll of card inside should stop overspray going in the tube, i had a vintage frac tube done and it cost very little and a perfect job

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Could you push back harder on the supplier Derek? It is clearly not damage you have caused and is a manufacturing defect; it should be a reasonable expectation that paintwork on a scope will last for many years unless bumped or scraped. Does that not come under statutary rights at all, I have no idea but perhaps worth exploring.

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14 minutes ago, Stu said:

Could you push back harder on the supplier Derek? It is clearly not damage you have caused and is a manufacturing defect; it should be a reasonable expectation that paintwork on a scope will last for many years unless bumped or scraped. Does that not come under statutary rights at all, I have no idea but perhaps worth exploring.

That's good advice, Stu, and certainly worth an email or two to see if they will do the right thing.

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6 minutes ago, DRT said:

That's good advice, Stu, and certainly worth an email or two to see if they will do the right thing.

If not you could find out what the tube is made from and what they use to paint it with.. enamel..powdercoat..some paints need baking on..

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5 minutes ago, DRT said:

That's good advice, Stu, and certainly worth an email or two to see if they will do the right thing.

Doubt if AA will be able to back it to China so the buck will stop with them, good luck.

Dave

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9 minutes ago, Beulah said:

One of my concerns about a paint job like that is whether there is rust present. Not caused during your watch, DRT but maybe something defective in the metal of the OTA during fabrication?

Yip. It is certainly something on the inside causing this. Very strange. 

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If you can find the name of an Altair director to email they may decide that it would be good PR to fix the problem gratis.

A durable item like  a scope should not have rust under the paint after 27 months. Must be a QC problem in the paint shop. Under EU law you may have a claim for up to 6 six years but of course proving it and enforcing your rights may be difficult. Good Luck.

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Out of warranty maybe but I think it's unreasonable for the finish to fail like that so quickly.

Maybe say that you will be sharing the issue with SGL members and see if Altair can find some "flex" in their warranty ?

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The 152mm has been out of stock for a while so a replacement might take a while, when I perused the Chinese manufacturers site a couple of years ago they had a minimum order of 200 if you wanted your name on them.

Dave

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Black undercoat for a white finish sounds a bit odd to me. I've stripped a few tubes and found different colour layers which makes me think that when manufacturers bring out a "new" model, sometimes the main tube from old stock is reused by changing the colour.

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Thanks, guys. It is comforting to know I have support from such an experienced bunch and that I'm not just being a bit grumpy about this fault.

i will send Altair an email and see what response I get.

I will be sure to feed back here, or perhaps in the supplier review thread.

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3 minutes ago, AndyH said:

kinda looks like rust blisters rather than aluminium oxidisation bubbling, but would be interesting to know.

VERY strange to see this on such a young scope.

Yes, it looks like its a fault with the surface beneath the top coats which has caused either a reaction or delamination of the finish. I wonder if there is a tube seam under there :icon_scratch:

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A footnote:

The reason I noticed this is because I intended selling the scope as part of my general clear-out to help pay for some new extravagant toys. The up side might be that I convince myself that the scope is un-sellable and I am forced to keep it forever with a cosmetic defect that makes no difference to the views :grin: 

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