Saturday, April 2, 2011

Baffled the upper cage

I initially was planning to make a light baffle for the upper cage out of black Kydex. However, it soon became apparent there was a problem, I couldn't find any at local plastics companies. They did have sheet plastic that was an eight of an inch thick, but it would have made my telescope top heavy. Fortunately, I discovered a substitute that is lightweight, obtainable and stands up to moisture while still being stiff enough to act as a light baffle. At a local cabinet supply shop, I found shelf lining, which is nothing but thin Formica that is used to cover shelves. I was able to get a big piece that is enough to make several light baffles for about twenty five dollars. After cutting it to shape, some flat black spray paint on the inner surface made a nice, dull black light absorbing surface. On the other side, six tabs of Velcro mate with six tabs on the upper ring of the secondary mirror cage on the opposite side of the focuser. The result is the telescope acts like a deep, dark well, without annoying stray light to wash out and fade the views. 
The result it a light baffle that not only keeps glare from getting into the eyepiece directly, it doesn't negatively affect the balance of the telescsope and lies flat or can be rolled up for storage. Indeed, the telescope is perfectly balanced with the baffle in place. Tonight will the the night when I will test the effectiveness of the baffle and the telescope overall on dimmer objects than I have been able to see from home.

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