Frequently Ask Questions (FAQ)
Flocked light trap material
(last updated Aug 6, 2015)
1). Is the improvement really that noticeable after applying flocked light trap material?
2). How hard is it to install flocking?
3). Does dew or moisture damage the flocked paper?
4). Does the flocked material have good thermal insulation properties?
5). What are the light absorbing properties of Protostar light trap material?
6) How well does Protostar Hi-tack flocked material stick to surfaces?
7) Should I clean or prepare my tube's inside wall before applying Hi-tack flocked light trap material?
1) Is the improvement really that noticeable after applying flocked light trap material?
On bright planets like Jupiter and Venus, you should be able to easily see an improvement in field glare surrounding the planet (assuming your original condition was a simple painted tube wall). Contrast on the moon is also noticeably improved. The improvement is more subtle on deep space objects, though the flocked paper does a good job at reducing glare from nearby bright objects like streetlights, house lights, etc.
2) How hard is it to install flocking?
For most tubes or structural parts it is not difficult to install. Small diameter (under 8" ID), and long tubes are the most difficult to install the flocked paper in. It is recommended to install the material in manageable sections, starting from the middle of the tube and working out to the ends. Don't worry too much about small imperfections in your installation job, as they will be invisible when the job is done.
3) Does dew or moisture damage the flocked paper?
Protostar flocked paper is a completely synthetic-based material, so moisture won't deteriorate it.
4) Does the flocked material have good thermal insulation properties?
The Hi-tack self-adhesive flocked material is a poor insulator by itself. If you are trying to insulate your metal telescope tube, you should line it with an insulating material (e.g., cork) before applying the flocked light trap. The FlockBoard has a better insulating property, so it is recommended for metal tube applications.
5) What are the light absorbing properties of Protostar light trap material?
Protostar light trap products are designed for the visible spectrum (~400-700 nm) where it absorbs over 99% of incident light. It also attenuates in the near-IR and near-UV by over 80%. (See spectral reflectivity graph.)
6) How well does Protostar Hi-tack flocked material stick surfaces?
The Hi-tack self-adhesive formula sticks agressively to most surfaces, though carbon fiber and fiberglass surfaces frequently require a separate adhesive to hold the edges in place. Flat black painted surfaces that have "chalked up" might also require an extra adhesive. If you have doubts about your surface, do a test application using a small sample to see how well it sticks to your particular surface.
7) Should I clean or prepare my tube's inside wall before applying Hi-tack light trap material?
No, special preparation of the tube wall is not necessary. In fact, if your tube wall is already painted, cleaning with alcohol or other solvents can soften the paint. This reduces the self-adhesive's tackiness. It's generally best to just apply the material directly even if you suspect it's a little dusty.