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c4llum83

Flocking a SkyWatcher Heritage 130p flextube dobsonian

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Found various threads on here and other forums about flocking dobsonians/newtonians but couldn't find specific images of disassembly of the very popular SkyWatcher Heritage 130p flextube and flocking of the OTA.

So having ordered some DC-Fix black velour sticky back material (can be got from various places including FLO) I thought i'd share some photos of the process from start to finish as it may help someone else in the future... 

Images below with notes... 

1. Focuser and shield flocking

502116978_SW130PFlocking-FocuserShield.thumb.jpg.29abeb7e90b10ed4bd4d311192af3801.jpg

This was the easy bit. A strip stuck inside the focuser, and just unscrew the shield, draw round it, cut the material and align and smooth down. In the last image above you can already see the significant improvement on reducing reflections comparing the flocked shield to the unflocked tube... 

00100dPORTRAIT_00100_BURST20200502103358296_COVER.thumb.jpg.323c8732459f0ba3542b66d1be06c2a3.jpg

Notice my version of Bob's Knobs on the secondary mirror which are just black steel M4 25mm knurled thumbscrews bought off ebay for about £7 - along with the thumbscrews already on the 130P primary mirror this makes any fine collimation easy and completely tool free! 

For full stealth mode I've also painted the edge and rear of the secondary mirror, and any exposed screw heads with blackboard paint to reduce reflections. 

 

2. OTA disassembly and tube before

715153369_SW130PFlocking-OTADisassembly.thumb.jpg.4a36241e327ead846786dcd903b3821f.jpg

Note the cutout in the lower primary housing and the top ring. This aligns with the ridge of the tube seam, and means there is only one way to reassemble the telescope tube and mirror and one place for the handful of screws (4 at the bottom, 3 at the top). You'll also need an allen key to remove the 3 bolts for the dovetail mount. Simple! 

Now you're ready to Flock 'N' Roll! 👍🏻

2047571083_SW130PFlocking-OTAbefore.thumb.png.736852645113759d968843582dc0ea1e.png

 

3. Flocking the tube

1322121798_SW130PFlocking-Applyingthesticky-backedvelour.thumb.jpg.2ad9b5ebdf9df5478f694df3e5912113.jpg

You'll need approx. 50cmx29cm of the material to do the tube in one go, starting along the seam. As others have described just take your time here, peel off about an inch of the backing and get the edge aligned with the tube seam stick down firmly and smooth out any air bubbles. 

Then slowly keep peeling more backing (rip and remove if the excess gets in the way) and smooth down as you go, turning the tube and affixing the velour material. 

 

4. Finished flocking and close up during application so you can see contrast/reflection comparison of before and after.

383805604_SW130PFlocking-completeclosed1.thumb.png.3aca2f4e2a23463f9c021ad6f20cfab3.png

304862874_SW130PFlocking-completeclosed2.thumb.png.3a1f153ed46c6f34d70e65c22077b1c4.png

1314787260_SW130PFlocking-Spotthedifference.thumb.png.55cbfaf32ed81f818a77d78313605694.png

 

All in all only took around an hour so not a hard job as long as you prepare and concentrate! I ordered one sheet of 45cm x 1m material which was plenty, however if your not as confident you'll get it right first time then order 2m so you have more to spare if you need to start again. 

Looks great, so as always I now just need clear skies to go play and see the difference it makes! 

Edited by c4llum83
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That looks super smart and effective.

Have you tried it out yet? I bet it's like a different scope now!

Thanks for sharing and motivating us heritage owners to do the same!

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Nice job Callum, that should be a good improvement. These are excellent little scopes, and well worth putting some effort into.

You might want to consider a shroud for it too; I found that my breath was causing tube currents, particularly on high power targets like doubles and a shroud cuts that out completely, plus any stray light too. Some thin hobby foam and glue is all you need.

My first one wasn’t very good, it was wrapped around the outside but having seen what others had done, my Mark II version fits inside and slides down with the whole assembly into the bottom OTA, much neater.

Enjoy the scope!

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