Got a question for anyone with a little more knowledge than myself on the matter. I have the Orion 10" F3.9 'Astrograph' OTA. I am in the process of making a few upgrades to it and have had the primary and secondary out for the mounting of a new Moonlite Focuser assembly & placement of a CatsEye center spot. While having the mirrors & mirror cell out I reached in and did some inspections of the "baffle system" Orion has in the tube. This is what I found, there are 13 baffles all .5" with a 2" separation spacer that is part of the baffle. There is no sizing difference from the first baffle to the last they are all .5", really that is all that can be the baffle size as the tube is only 11.25" ID with the tube ends off. Using about any Newtonian configurator this setup comes back as "design does not allow for baffling" as the required front opening for what is considered to be proper for baffling would be about 12.25".
So here is where my questions come in. I pulled three of the "baffles" out from the rear of the tube, how I got the measurements, each one of the 13 weighs in @ .375 Lbs. each. This means the 13 baffles add nearly 5 lbs. to the weight of the OTA, I'm sure they are having some positive effects in maybe stopping down the OTA a little and helping to improve contrast in this fast Newt with a 31% secondary obstruction. My question is, do you think pulling the 13 small identical baffles and replacing them by flocking the tube would do the same as the current series of 13 .5" baffles 2" apart from the primary up? Just thinking about it as a possible way to fairly easily shave 5 Lbs. off the OTA without damaging the performance of the OTA. By everything I've managed to find on baffling a Newtonian OTA the 13 identical size baffles just don't seem like they would be doing a great deal of baffling & being plain plastic might even cause some possible thermal balance issues with the metal tube. It seems kind of like having a 26" long plastic inner liner about .063" sitting inside the tube against the metal wall of the tube, I can imagine that might cause some internal tube thermal problems. Maybe not. But I was just wondering if the flocking would be a better choice while reducing the tube weight some. Any thoughts or input would be welcome. Over all the OTA has given a pretty fair performance for a $650.00 ten inch fast Newt, just wondering if doing the flock vs 'baffles' change couldn't possibly increase the over all performance, given the smaller I.D. of the steel tube.
Thanks & CS!