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Flocking


Spile
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I've just received two rolls of flocking material which I plan to fix to the inside of my Skywatcher 200P (8"/200mm 1000mm FL). There are no instructions for fitting but I've read a few  guides on the internet.

I am undecided whether to apply the material down/lengthwise or across the OTA so thoughts from anyone who has done this would be welcome.

If you applied it across the OTA did you cut the material into sections (and if so how many) or did you wrap a section in one go along the whole inside wall. I assumed everyone would do it in one length but a video I watched showed the user using sections of flock. 

I am assuming that I will need to remove all fittings from the OTA including the central mounts.

Suggestions and recommendations welcome.
 

Edited by Spile
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My 200P is already a flocked matt black (probably sprayed on) on the inside from the factory. I've had it about 10 years now. Maybe later versions are not already flocked but still painted matt black?

Anyway I'm not sure the best way to do this but it may be easier applying it in a couple of strips lengthways providing you can reach far enough to press down onto the adhesive. You would have to remove everything mirrors and fittings.

 

I'm intrigued as to why you are doing it. Are you getting internal reflections? 

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I have flocked several scopes the most difficult being my 12" Dob. I removed the primary mirror cell and the secondary mirror.

 I did the cross method and cut the strips into 3 sections to avoid getting too many bubbles. As stated the 12" Dob was most difficult because my arms were only just long enough to get to the middle section.

 I think it made a difference so happy I did it.

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I flocked my 150 PDS a few months ago. I took off all the fittings so that I was left with an empty tube and unrolled the material around the inside of the tube in two sections (not lengthwise down the tube). It's a bit of a faff and I have a small section that I missed between lengths but overall I'm quite pleased with the result. I found that the best way to prepare was to unroll with the backing still attached so that I could get the measurements right and then, when I applied the material I pealed off the backing as I stuck the material down (a bit like covering a book in clear plastic).

Hope it goes well for you.

Stu

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8 minutes ago, TerryMcK said:

I'm intrigued as to why you are doing it. Are you getting internal reflections? 

It was a recommended "upgrade" by FLO as well as a number of users to cut down internal reflections. As I plan to clean my mirrors, I thought it made sense to carry out the procedure.

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5 minutes ago, Spile said:

It was a recommended "upgrade" by FLO as well as a number of users to cut down internal reflections. As I plan to clean my mirrors, I thought it made sense to carry out the procedure.

It makes sense to do it while you have the mirrors out in that case. Good luck.

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20 minutes ago, TerryMcK said:

My 200P is already a flocked matt black (probably sprayed on) on the inside from the factory. I've had it about 10 years now. Maybe later versions are not already flocked but still painted matt black?

Anyway I'm not sure the best way to do this but it may be easier applying it in a couple of strips lengthways providing you can reach far enough to press down onto the adhesive. You would have to remove everything mirrors and fittings.

 

I'm intrigued as to why you are doing it. Are you getting internal reflections? 

The 200P comes with a rather poor sort of black thin paint on the inside. Definately not flocked.To my knowledge SW has never flocked their newts / dobs.

Edited by johninderby
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13 minutes ago, TerryMcK said:

I'm intrigued as to why you are doing it. Are you getting internal reflections? 

Try this simple test at home.....

Take a dim red astro torch. Put it on lowest brightness. You can even mask off part of the torch to reduce light further.
Shine it on to the top inside part of the tube, from a distance. Assistant useful unless you have gibbon arms.

See how the eyepiece view turns generally red.
That is the equivalent of off axis light entering the tube. Whether from street lights, insecurity lights, or the moon.

This has shown how all of my newt tubes over the years are not as black as can be.
If you want a minimum work flock, just do the top of the tube around the secondary and focusser.
Though the further down the tub you go, the better the result.

HTH, David.

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2 minutes ago, johninderby said:

The 200P comes with a rather poor sort of black thin paint on the inside. Definately not flocked.To my knowledge SW has never flocked their newts / dobs.

Interesting. Mine is definitely a flocked finish rather than smooth. However the amount of light pollution around here makes visual redundant anyway.

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28 minutes ago, Spile said:

It was a recommended "upgrade" by FLO as well as a number of users to cut down internal reflections. 

Are you sure it was us?

I ask because we don't normally make that recommendation. 

What flocking material are you using? 

It is true flocking a Newtonian telescope's interior can enhance contrast but we normally 'suggest' it only as a solution to an existing problem. 

If you are flocking a Newtonian telescope then some material applied to the interior directly opposite the focuser and around the bottom 1/3rd of the tube length, around the primary mirror, is usually enough. 

HTH, 

Steve 

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When I did my 8” f8, I took the primary and secondary out, then stood it on end and sort of hung the flocking down as if hanging wall paper! I think I did half the length from each end, with a bit of over lap. Seemed to work well as it’s a very long tube.

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I’ve found flocking is most helpful if you have a problem with a strong light from the side.

I”ve found it easier to flock if you make up an acetate sheet slide in liner first then flock the liner when it’s flat on a table. 

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Edited by johninderby
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With my 12 inch F/5.3 Orion Optics dob, I've flocked a 10 inch deep section of half the tube wall opposite the focuser (ie: behind the secondary mirror) and about 12 inches of the tube wall above the primary mirror, all around the tube.

With my 8 inch F/6 Orion Optics (recently acquired) I've yet to do that.

I didn't see a big difference when I did my 12 inch to be honest but it gave a bit of peace of mind anyway. The big difference with that scope was putting a light shade around top of the tube to keep stray light off the drawtube end and secondary which are positioned close to the top rim of the tube. That made a lot of difference to deep sky contrast.

 

Edited by John
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On 17/11/2021 at 09:28, FLO said:

Are you sure it was us?

I ask because we don't normally make that recommendation. 

What flocking material are you using? 

It is true flocking a Newtonian telescope's interior can enhance contrast but we normally 'suggest' it only as a solution to an existing problem. 

If you are flocking a Newtonian telescope then some material applied to the interior directly opposite the focuser and around the bottom 1/3rd of the tube length, around the primary mirror, is usually enough. 

HTH, 

Steve 

I am pretty certain it was part of a guide you had produced. I’ll see if I can find it.

The material was definitely purchased from yourselves - it only arrived this week and is labelled Veloursfolie. Have I been sent the wrong material? It is still in its wrapper.

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I flocked my VX8 not that long ago with the same mat as yours. Measure twice, cut once is what i would suggest. Not what i did, just what i should have done 🤣. It stays put very tightly once you rub it in, so make sure its where you want it to be. I accidentally cut mine a bit short so there was a gap of about 1cm. I then had to surgically insert the remaining strip in place which was a lot harder than just doing it properly in the beginning.

Both mirrors and the secondary spider off and its not that difficult to apply otherwise. You should probably unroll the mat and let it sit for a while under some weight, as it is rolled the wrong way around in the package.

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12 hours ago, Spile said:

I am pretty certain it was part of a guide you had produced. I’ll see if I can find it.

I don't recall us writing a guide to using flocking material. 

12 hours ago, Spile said:

... is labelled Veloursfolie. Have I been sent the wrong material? It is still in its wrapper.

No, it is manufactured in Germany. You have the right material 🙂 

IMG-2155.jpg.ff6f9103c4fab0ec79cc55659b739775.jpg

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Interesting reading the various opinions and methods used to flock.I look at flocking as it might not always help but doesn’t hurt.

I used to import Protostar Flockboard which was great stuff but not cheap so gave up after a while. Now it has gotten to silly prices with shipping to the UK. Over £100.00 to flock an 8” to 10” dob. 🙀🙀🙀

Edited by johninderby
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11 hours ago, FLO said:

I don't recall us writing a guide to using flocking material. 

No, it is manufactured in Germany. You have the right material 🙂 

IMG-2155.jpg.ff6f9103c4fab0ec79cc55659b739775.jpg

Thanks for confirming. The OTA has been stripped and is ready for flocking tomorrow morning.

As for the recommendation, I remember it was along the lines…

“One of best upgrades you can make is to flock your OTA”

It must have been another retailer. I definitely didn’t dream it 🤭

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ive never flocked a scope, but have used similar self adhesive sheets for different jobs. i would go for john inderbys way, apply it to a backing sheet and then apply it to the scope. its hard enough to get it on bubble free, and down a scope theres not much room to work and just as little to be able to see what your doing. good luck, i hope it makes a difference for you. paul.

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I used the DC fix stuff shown earlier in this thread to flock my 10inch and st80 Newtonian. I did it in a lot of small panels around the tube. And up the focusser tube.  Also put the same stuff on the back of my primary and permanent marketed the edges of primary and secondary. It's remained well attached for 8 years now. 

Edited by Ricker
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Not flocking as such, but something I have been considering for the interiors of my dob tubes is the blackest of black paints. I use it in art and it is remarkably unreflective, if that is a word? Any light that hits it just disappears. The only thing I'm worried about with it is that it is pegged for indoor use only, and wonder if it would run like mascara in the dew 🤔 It is acrylic based so may be fine, or I could apply a matte lacquer over it I suppose, but it would be better without.  Might try it out on something and leave it in the rain to see what happens. 

It is surprising how much new kit arrives for review with bright or even shiny parts inside the tube. A particularly common reflective surface is the internal end of the gear on rack and pinion focusers. Whether it makes a material difference is hard to say, but why take a chance ? 🤔 

Oh, and the beveled edge on primary dob mirrors.....grrrrrr  😜 

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