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Insulation for a Mak! Is it the way to go?

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#1 vicg

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Posted 21 May 2019 - 02:53 PM

Last night I had my Mak out for a full 3 hours before observing, but due to the rapidly dropping temperature, It didn't acclimate and I could still see heat plumes. Is insulation rather than cooling  now considered a better way to go? Would love to hear from someone who has insulated their Mak, (does it allow for immediate use?)and what is the best way to insulate? I have noticed some have insulated part of the mount as well as the OTA. Is this necessary? Looking for all the advice available and for the most cost effective way. Thanks


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#2 markb

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Posted 21 May 2019 - 03:30 PM

What size mak? My 125 cools barely acceptably, but I long ago sold a 150 intes because it never seemed to cool. That thick meniscus can be a killer.

 

They seem out of fashion now, but SCT baffle tube (coaxial in/out flow) coolers were once popular. Mak baffle tubes are often smaller, but you can measure yours to match an SCT model or for a homebuilt.

 

The Lyman Cat Cooler, aka Cosmic one cooler has a CN review from 2004. Opt sold them years back but longer. Sach for it and get some further ideas.

 

There were lots of plans around for homebuilt back then, BUT you need a return path to maintain airflow, and a high capture filter is essential on the outside to inside path.

 

I assume dust issues and moisture injection into the tubes eventually killed them.

 

Have you done a series of CN searches? I recall having seen photos of several insulated Cass tubes, worth a look.

 

Search out the coolers too, people must have have posted tons of comments in their heyday.



#3 gezak22

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Posted 21 May 2019 - 03:39 PM

Last night I had my Mak out for a full 3 hours before observing, but due to the rapidly dropping temperature, It didn't acclimate and I could still see heat plumes. Is insulation rather than cooling  now considered a better way to go? Would love to hear from someone who has insulated their Mak, (does it allow for immediate use?)and what is the best way to insulate? I have noticed some have insulated part of the mount as well as the OTA. Is this necessary? Looking for all the advice available and for the most cost effective way. Thanks

A lot of people swear by it, and (in my opinion) those who are in doubt have perhaps not insulated their scopes properly (or the bad views were caused by other effects). I highly recommend insulation for the simple reason that the cost and work required are minimal and the chances of damage to the optics are minimal. The only thing that will convince you one way or the other is to try it out.


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#4 vicg

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Posted 21 May 2019 - 03:42 PM

What size mak? My 125 cools barely acceptably, but I long ago sold a 150 intes because it never seemed to cool. That thick meniscus can be a killer.

 

They seem out of fashion now, but SCT baffle tube (coaxial in/out flow) coolers were once popular. Mak baffle tubes are often smaller, but you can measure yours to match an SCT model or for a homebuilt.

 

The Lyman Cat Cooler, aka Cosmic one cooler has a CN review from 2004. Opt sold them years back but longer. Sach for it and get some further ideas.

 

There were lots of plans around for homebuilt back then, BUT you need a return path to maintain airflow, and a high capture filter is essential on the outside to inside path.

 

I assume dust issues and moisture injection into the tubes eventually killed them.

 

Have you done a series of CN searches? I recall having seen photos of several insulated Cass tubes, worth a look.

 

Search out the coolers too, people must have have posted tons of comments in their heyday.

Hi Mark

Indeed its a Skymax (Synta) 127 Mak. My Mak 90 gets acclimated rather fast and doesn't have the same issues..Although does dew up faster as well even with the dew shield. Would you say active cooling is a better option rather than Insulation? From what I have read regarding insulation wouldn't the heat within the tube would escape gradually through the lens anyway. Would it be best to allow the scope to stabilise naturally and once the thermal balance has been achieved cover the tube to prevent freezing?


Edited by vicg, 21 May 2019 - 03:56 PM.

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#5 vicg

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Posted 21 May 2019 - 03:46 PM

A lot of people swear by it, and (in my opinion) those who are in doubt have perhaps not insulated their scopes properly (or the bad views were caused by other effects). I highly recommend insulation for the simple reason that the cost and work required are minimal and the chances of damage to the optics are minimal. The only thing that will convince you one way or the other is to try it out.

Thanks for your views on this. Any insulation material in particular that is preferable?


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#6 otocycle

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Posted 21 May 2019 - 03:54 PM

I have used Reflectix air bubble foil for years to insulate Maks, SCTs, and refractors.   This insulation can also be used as dew shades/extensions with black felt flocking.

 

https://www.homedepo..._-100012574-_-N


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#7 markb

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Posted 21 May 2019 - 03:59 PM

Search Lymax, and search Reflectix, tons of posts.

 

I am all onboard with Geza's comments.

 

Insulation should not affect dewing from what I have read.

 

Apparently insulating can be a contentious issue, with some baseless 'opinions' to sort through. What seems logical does not always work thermodynamically.

 

Overall, it seems people like both, with the Reflectix option effectively knocking down tube current in the still warm tube.

 

I have no experience or fact based opinion, but I may try insulating, myself, despite having a used lymax, somewhere,  in the house. Dust and dew points always made me skittish.


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#8 Astro-Master

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Posted 21 May 2019 - 04:04 PM

I have a Intes 180mm Mak-Cass and use the Lymax Cat Cooler with great success, I use one designed for the 8" SCT.  I run the cooler for about an hour and its good to go.  I live in the San Diego area where the temperature is less severe than you might experience.


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#9 gezak22

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Posted 21 May 2019 - 04:10 PM

Thanks for your views on this. Any insulation material in particular that is preferable?

I have two layers of this on my Edge 11, including the dew shield and the back side.


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#10 Bean614

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Posted 21 May 2019 - 04:10 PM

A lot of people swear by it, and (in my opinion) those who are in doubt have perhaps not insulated their scopes properly (or the bad views were caused by other effects). I highly recommend insulation for the simple reason that the cost and work required are minimal and the chances of damage to the optics are minimal. The only thing that will convince you one way or the other is to try it out.

100% agree, especially the "do it correctly" part.  Use Reflectix.  It's $20 per roll.  At that price, can you afford NOT to at least try it????


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#11 luxo II

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Posted 21 May 2019 - 05:52 PM

I use insulation on my 9” mak, and yes it’s effective. In my case I used Coreflute to make a dewcap that extends back over most of the OTA. Like reflectix, it’s cheap and easy to make.

Edited by luxo II, 21 May 2019 - 05:53 PM.

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#12 Peter Besenbruch

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Posted 21 May 2019 - 06:00 PM

Reflectix works well. The scope is ready to go at set up. It has the additional benefit of beautifying the scope. People look at me and  the scope, wrinkle up their noses, and ask if they have to look through that piece of s....

 

I feel so proud when that happens. When I explain that it keeps tube currents from forming around the primary baffle, people have no idea what I'm talking about.


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#13 DLuders

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Posted 21 May 2019 - 06:22 PM

There is extensive discussion about insulation on this previous Cloudy Nights Forum topic --  https://www.cloudyni...-is-a-big-deal/


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#14 Vondragonnoggin

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Posted 21 May 2019 - 06:27 PM

I had a custom Lymax made for my mak 150. Lymax guy is super responsive and easy communication. Sent me all the instructions I’d need to measure my scope for a Lymax he modifies to fit. Same price as regular Lymax for mine. It rarely drops temp enough to have to use twice and find myself more conveniently putting the scope in the shed on my deck a couple hours before observing and everything good to go by the time I observe. Might try reflectix on my other mak.


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#15 Cajundaddy

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Posted 21 May 2019 - 06:40 PM

I live in SoCal so we don't get super wide temp deltas.  Reflectix works for me on both the C8 and C90.  It is cheap and easy to install so the best way to evaluate it's effectiveness is to try it yourself and decide.

 

It would be interesting for someone with more extreme indoor/outdoor temp differences to run an objective comparison.  One night with no insulation, noting the reported seeing conditions, indoor/outdoor temp delta, and running a star test every 20 minutes or so, taking photos and noting ambient temp changes.  Repeat on a similar night with the Reflectix wrap and compare images for evidence of tube current turbulence.  I have a gut feeling how it will turn out but sometimes our personal impressions are wrong.


Edited by Cajundaddy, 21 May 2019 - 11:02 PM.


#16 SeattleScott

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Posted 22 May 2019 - 12:44 AM

Reflectix works great for me in Seattle. True there is probably some small heat leakage as the night goes on, so maybe the scope is only performing at 90-95%. But you get that right out the door. Use it on my 6” Mak. I guess I got a deal because my roll only costs $10. Self adhesive Velcro was a few bucks more.

Scott

#17 vicg

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Posted 22 May 2019 - 03:19 AM

I live in SoCal so we don't get super wide temp deltas.  Reflectix works for me on both the C8 and C90.  It is cheap and easy to install so the best way to evaluate it's effectiveness is to try it yourself and decide.

 

It would be interesting for someone with more extreme indoor/outdoor temp differences to run an objective comparison.  One night with no insulation, noting the reported seeing conditions, indoor/outdoor temp delta, and running a star test every 20 minutes or so, taking photos and noting ambient temp changes.  Repeat on a similar night with the Reflectix wrap and compare images for evidence of tube current turbulence.  I have a gut feeling how it will turn out but sometimes our personal impressions are wrong.

Indeed I would love to see a comparison using reflectix insulation, and a Lymax to see which is more efficient.


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#18 vicg

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Posted 22 May 2019 - 03:22 AM

I had a custom Lymax made for my mak 150. Lymax guy is super responsive and easy communication. Sent me all the instructions I’d need to measure my scope for a Lymax he modifies to fit. Same price as regular Lymax for mine. It rarely drops temp enough to have to use twice and find myself more conveniently putting the scope in the shed on my deck a couple hours before observing and everything good to go by the time I observe. Might try reflectix on my other mak.

Is it costly? and would you say that it works for large temperature variations? I have severe temperature drops in my area.



#19 vicg

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Posted 22 May 2019 - 03:23 AM

Reflectix works great for me in Seattle. True there is probably some small heat leakage as the night goes on, so maybe the scope is only performing at 90-95%. But you get that right out the door. Use it on my 6” Mak. I guess I got a deal because my roll only costs $10. Self adhesive Velcro was a few bucks more.

Scott

Would a dew shield warmer help at all with the mentioned heat leakage?



#20 vicg

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Posted 22 May 2019 - 03:27 AM

Reflectix works well. The scope is ready to go at set up. It has the additional benefit of beautifying the scope. People look at me and  the scope, wrinkle up their noses, and ask if they have to look through that piece of s....

 

I feel so proud when that happens. When I explain that it keeps tube currents from forming around the primary baffle, people have no idea what I'm talking about.

lol.gif I think in my case, its so dark at the sites I'm observing at, the reflectix would probably help with people not tripping over my scope. Have ordered a Roll already, so cant wait to try it out.



#21 Peter Besenbruch

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Posted 22 May 2019 - 10:58 AM

Would a dew shield warmer help at all with the mentioned heat leakage?

A dew shield, which I also covered with Reflectix, is all I need here. Actually, I have viewed in nights of moderate dew, and I have never had an issue with dew or thermals.

 

lol.gif I think in my case, its so dark at the sites I'm observing at, the reflectix would probably help with people not tripping over my scope. Have ordered a Roll already, so cant wait to try it out.

Good luck.



#22 Vondragonnoggin

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Posted 22 May 2019 - 11:50 AM

Is it costly? and would you say that it works for large temperature variations? I have severe temperature drops in my area.

It was the $129 + $9 shipping when I bought it.

 

I was going through the old emails and a 127mm mak might be an issue with baffle tube being too small. The iOptron 150 mak has a very large baffle tube opening. It will fit the same size lymax as an 8” SCT. You’d have to contact them and get instructions for measuring everything out. Cooldown after testing was 25 minutes and you can stick it back in and cool again if temps drop again.

 

Further cooling should only take a few minutes I’d think. Mine was 25 minutes from inside a warm house around 72° to about 40° outside. I don’t get rapid temp drops in Southern California so never had to use twice in a night.

 

When I bought mine, reflectix wasn’t something anyone did on Maks that I saw. That was 7 years ago though.


Edited by Vondragonnoggin, 22 May 2019 - 11:51 AM.


#23 vicg

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Posted 22 May 2019 - 12:03 PM

A dew shield, which I also covered with Reflectix, is all I need here. Actually, I have viewed in nights of moderate dew, and I have never had an issue with dew or thermals.

 

Good luck.

Will give it a try before ordering a dew shield warmer. Saw a nice USB one online, but maybe I wont need it.

 

It was the $129 + $9 shipping when I bought it.

 

I was going through the old emails and a 127mm mak might be an issue with baffle tube being too small. The iOptron 150 mak has a very large baffle tube opening. It will fit the same size lymax as an 8” SCT. You’d have to contact them and get instructions for measuring everything out. Cooldown after testing was 25 minutes and you can stick it back in and cool again if temps drop again.

 

Further cooling should only take a few minutes I’d think. Mine was 25 minutes from inside a warm house around 72° to about 40° outside. I don’t get rapid temp drops in Southern California so never had to use twice in a night.

 

When I bought mine, reflectix wasn’t something anyone did on Maks that I saw. That was 7 years ago though.

Going to try the Reflectix solution first, and if not happy, then will look at the Lymax. My tempreture drops are a bit more severe though. Appreciate your input regarding your experience..


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#24 SeattleScott

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Posted 22 May 2019 - 09:43 PM

I haven’t insulated my dew shield. Not a bad idea. A lot of people do it. For Seattle it doesn’t seem necessary but it would probably still help a little.

Scott

#25 vicg

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Posted 23 May 2019 - 06:48 AM

I haven’t insulated my dew shield. Not a bad idea. A lot of people do it. For Seattle it doesn’t seem necessary but it would probably still help a little.

Scott

Going to do the same once my roll arrives..cant hurt.




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