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Frequently Ask Questions (FAQ)
BlackLite telescope tubes

(last updated June 11, 2009)


1) Why doesn't Protostar offer larger diameter BlackLite tubes?

2) How long of a tube can I make?

3) Does the coupler reduce the tube rigidity?

4) How easy is it to cut and saw?

5) How is a BlackLite tube better than a cardboard tube?

6) Do I need to reinforce the tube wall thickness where the spider and cell mount?

7) How do I paint a BlackLite tube?


1) Why doesn't Protostar offer larger diameter BlackLite tubes?

The majority of Newtonians with 12.5" mirrors and larger are truss-style scopes, and there are also shipping cost considerations.

2) How long of a tube can I make?

All sizes of BlackLite tubes are designed to have sufficient structural rigidity up to 90-inches in length. The longest single-piece tube available is 48", and longer tubes are constructed from two tubes joined with an external coupler.

3) Does the coupler reduce the tube's rigidity?

No. In fact, the coupled joint is stronger than the tube itself.

4) How easy is it to cut and saw?

BlackLite tubes cut and saw easily since the phenolic impregnation makes them work almost like a wood product (you will get "sawdust" when cutting). Compared to paper, BlackLite cuts will be cleaner and with less ragged edges.

5) How is a BlackLite tube better than a cardboard tube?

BlackLite tubes are designed specifically to be telescope tubes, while cardboard tubes are used as concrete forms. The phenolic resin impregnated into the paper fiber almost triples the strength-to-weight ratio, while also making it moisture proof and easier to work with. When comparing the price of BlackLite tubes to cardboard tubes, remember the cost of the flocked material that is already incorporated into the BlackLite tube. Finally, the harder phenolic surface allows the exterior to be finished to a high quality.

6) Do I need to reinforce the tube wall thickness where the spider and cell mount?

No, this is generally not necessary. BlackLite tubes are more rigid than what you are used to with pure cardboard tubing. Spider screws won't sink into the tube over time.

7) How do I paint a BlackLite tube?

Please download and read "Tech Paper 3; Finishing and Painting BlackLite tubes" (100 kB pdf file).


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