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I will admit to being a bit of a tinkerer , and as I anxiously await more favorable imaging weather I have been researching ways to " hot rod " my telescope . New focuser ? To expensive , and there are few choices for a 6" newt . Guidescope ? I will be guiding in less than a month . Then I stumbled upon the idea of flocking my newt . But is it worth the trouble ? I have had this scope few coming up on a year , and the urge to clean the primary is growing . I have never disassembled this scope or any other for that matter , but I thought while I'm in there . Why not ? My home skies are resonable dark as I live in a rural part of the Texas hill country so stray light is not really an issue . Improved contrast ... put me down for some of that though . Does anybody have any exsperience with flocking a scope , any advice they can offer , is it voodoo , the greatest thing since sliced bread , or just a waste of time and money ?

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I myself have only flocked a glare shield, and although I have read a ton about flocking a scope, I personally have not really given a thought to flocking mine. I also live in an area in the Mohave desert on the AZ/CA border where there is little light pollution. I have tested my scope with the mylar light shield installed around the trusses and the light shield removed, with open trusses, with only the black foam wrap around them.. I personally see no difference whatsoever in visual observing. Most mass produced scopes are decent enough to have been coated rather well with anti-reflective materials..The only caveat is I am pretty new at this stuff, and possibly there might be some kind of negligable change utilizing my CCD camera, but I am not really expecting a change.

I personally would not waste your time.. a moto focuser or some other goodies can be had for the trouble and time of disassembling and flocking I figure the designers thought out the scope fairly well....now cleaning the primary mirror, that is another story. But dont shine a light down into it..you will freak. But do not worry, a lot of stuff needs to build up on it before there is a noticable problem. I may clean mine once every 2 years or so....

just my newbie opinion...
Funny, I was just thinking about this the other day. I have a C5 coming and from the reviews I've read, the optics are supposed to be great, however it lacks some what in contrast on certain things like planets. I was considering dismantling it and flocking the tube as well as adding light baffles inside for enhanced contrast. Sort of more RC-like. I personally don't know if this is monkey-dust or not. It would be nice to see a comprehensive, detailed account of a before and after telescope flock-job. But considering that a lot of scopes have baffles installed, it's a good indication that they are effective. Is there a mathematical formula for placing and spacing? I don't know.

As for flocking, I would say that any time a person can 'darken' a surface of the imaging train, you're going to benefit the final product in some way. My dew shield has a fair bit of reflective property to it. It's constructed with plastic that has an 'orange peel' texture effect to it. Not sure if that was designed be a contrast enhancing measure, but they missed the point. It actually has a tons of reflective properties. My goal will be to glue felt to the inside of that not only to absorb a bit of moisture before it settles on the corrector plate, but to as well eliminate any shiny, reflective surface from which light may reflect and bounce around inside the tube.

I'm pretty sure the idea works from what I've read around the net. As well, I'm sure opinions would vary on the fact that valid information even exists in determining that fact, as well. But for the sake of being experimental, I think some credit is due to the idea. I think the intimidation factor is more what keeps people from doing it. Sort of an 'if it isn't broke, don't fix it' sort of way to look at it. Yeah, it's scary taking your telescope apart. It's time consuming, and ultimately dangerous if some thing ends up getting dropped, or just simply put back together ever so slightly out of alignment rendering a scope virtually useless. Maybe that's where you'll succeed where others have missed the goal. If you like to tinker, which I think most telescope types like to do, you'll find that it not only benefits the views/images, but you made yourself feel like you've actually contributed to the results from the nuts and bolts aspect. Pride in the works sets in!

You might even go as far as flocking the outside of the secondary mirror housing with felt.

I know that just about every catadioptric or reflector scope I've had has had a gloss exterior and plain flat metallic interior with over spray at both ends. The tubes are never painted inside. That's a manufacturing cost cut. A simple flat black shot of paint by one more robotic arm in the factory isn't going to break most places yet they still don't do it. Hold the tube up to the light and see the light bounce around inside. It does tell a story of contrast-robbing lack of control of incoming light. I say do it before I keep talking myself in circles.

I'll post some pics when I decide to go for it. You should document it for others who may wish to try it. -mb

Maybe "to flock". I was killing some time waiting for my target to clear the trees so I took this employing the much heralded Hop Method. Not sure if this is internal reflection or from my dew shield.
Taken 2/4/11
25exps.@20s,iso1600,f6.3,26'F (no dark frm)
C8,Can1000d(mod)

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