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New Product: ProtoStar BlackLite telescope tubes

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#1 Bryan Greer

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Posted 09 March 2006 - 12:04 PM

Featured as one of Sky & Telescope magazine's "Hot New Product 2006", BlackLite telescope tubes are an alternative to heavy cardboard tubing for 6", 8", and 10" Newtonian telescopes. They are a composite construction of kraft paper impregnated with phenolic resin, resulting in a tube up to 40% lighter than cardboard or aluminum tubes. ProtoStar flocked light trap material is integrated into the interior tube wall during manufacture (Patent pending). The hard exterior is ready-to-paint, or it can be used unpainted. The phenolic composite is easy to cut and drill. Tube assemblies up to 80-inches long are available.

More information and photos are at:

http://www.protostar.biz/blite.htm

Feel free to email or call if you have other questions.

Sincerely,
Bryan Greer

ProtoStar
P.O. Box 448
Worthington, OH 43085
U.S.A.
Toll Free Order Line 1-866-227-6240
Other inquiries: (614)-785-0245
email: protostar@fpi-protostar.com
WWW: http://www.protostar.biz/

#2 sectorzed

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Posted 09 March 2006 - 12:54 PM

While that's all well and good, are you sure you're old enough to be posting here young man?

:lol:

#3 NJ Night Sky

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Posted 09 March 2006 - 02:56 PM

Seen one in action already great tube Bryan

#4 Relativist

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Posted 10 March 2006 - 12:30 AM

Any split tube version in the works?

#5 Bryan Greer

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Posted 10 March 2006 - 01:18 AM

While that's all well and good, are you sure you're old enough to be posting here young man?

:lol:


I'll have you know I'm almost 22 months old now! And I can spell M-O-O-N already... :shocked:

BG

#6 Bryan Greer

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Posted 10 March 2006 - 01:27 AM

Any split tube version in the works?


Since you've asked, yes. The hope was to introduce those at the same time, but I'm waiting on custom stainless bands from a vendor (I got drawings to them way too late.) Basically, it is a tool-less, 2-knob, quick-connector. I have a 12" dia. x 96" long monster I'm taking around to the shows this summer/fall.

At about the same time those are introduced, the other accessories like dew caps, end caps, and slide-on Dob bearings (rotatable) should be available. (The Dob bearing assembly uses the same stainless band I'm waiting on for the coupler.)

Bryan Greer

#7 Relativist

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Posted 10 March 2006 - 06:56 PM

Wow, that sounds neat. What diameter will the Dob bearings be? Also, will you ever come out with a 14" tube (since there are now 12" mass market Dobs out there)?

#8 Bryan Greer

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Posted 14 March 2006 - 05:55 PM

Wow, that sounds neat. What diameter will the Dob bearings be? Also, will you ever come out with a 14" tube (since there are now 12" mass market Dobs out there)?


The honest answer to both is, "I don't know." It's likely there will be two sizes of bearings available.

There are two not-so-obvious limitations with the tube sizes. 12.5" and larger Newtonians are predominantly truss-style these days, and shipping becomes an issue with anything much larger than what is offered now. I fear it would be hard to justify $50-75 in shipping cost for a $100 tube. With all that said, a 14-15 inch tube could be made, so if the demand seems to be there it probably would happen.

Sincerely,
Bryan Greer

ProtoStar
P.O. Box 448
Worthington, OH 43085
U.S.A.
Toll Free Order Line 1-866-227-6240
Other inquiries: (614)-785-0245
email: protostar@fpi-protostar.com
WWW: http://www.fpi-protostar.com/

#9 oldguy

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Posted 30 March 2006 - 09:47 AM

Is the composition formula similar to the old Criterian Dynascope tubes ... this was a Bakelite base of some type and made a great tube..???

#10 Bryan Greer

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Posted 30 March 2006 - 10:40 PM

Is the composition formula similar to the old Criterian Dynascope tubes ... this was a Bakelite base of some type and made a great tube..???

Yes, the old Criterion and Meade scopes from the '70s had great tubes. I still have one, though it has about a hundred holes drilled in it from past projects.

To answer your question, those old tubes were made from a kraft paper core with the Bakelite on the outside. The Bakelite is not significantly impregnated into the paper itself, but only applied in a thin layer on top of the paper. The EPA did away with Bakelite in the 1980s due to some nasty ingredient (I forget what).

Our BlackLite tubes are similar, but instead of Bakelite, a phenolic resin is impregnated into the paper fibers all the way through the wall. The weight and workability is similar to the old Bakelite tubes if you're familiar with those. Of course, ours have the black flocking on the inside wall, too.

Sincerely,
Bryan Greer
ProtoStar

#11 Mark Harry

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Posted 13 April 2006 - 03:59 PM

I just got one for my 8" F/4.72. It is VERY dark inside! It's also very stiff for the wall thickness. I think it'll be worth it!

Bryan, do you know where I can get a set of rings for a SVP mount that'll fit the BL10 tube????.

Regards, Mark


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