Author Topic: Replacing undercut chrome barrels  (Read 745 times)

David Reynolds

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Replacing undercut chrome barrels
« on: December 24, 2017, 04:17:13 PM »
I truly enjoy my Orion Expanse 15mm, but I HATE the undercut on the barrel.  I run a Dob so my focuser isn't pointed below flat and that I love to keep the thumb screws only slightly loose so that I can gently slide unique eyepieces out and in; the undercut is only a nuisance as it hangs on the screw each time and I have to stop and futz with the screw to find the EP out and place another step in, etc..  I tried swapping out the barrel using a few of those smooth ones from a Plossl I've but the barrel threads on the Orion eyepiece seem really coarse and do not fit the standard threading on my Plossls.  Is there somewhere I can get replacement barrels for the Expanse that do not have the undercut?   I understand some folks just use tape or other materials to meet with the undercut but I'm looking for a more robust solution...



portfreqportri

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Re: Replacing undercut chrome barrels
« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2017, 02:47:58 AM »
Here's a thought for an alternate solution. Do you have the room and sufficient focuser drawtube thickness to simply drill and tap a hole slightly further down that is just below your lowest undercut? You could use it with your usual thumbscrew left loose.

If you are worried about marring your eyepieces you could use a plastic or nylon thumbscrew. If you don't mind going a little bigger in screw size, nylon 1/4"-20 are robust for significant torque and are available at good hardware stores. You could even affix a small knob to one. In the end, if you decide you don't like it, you'll simply have an extra hole on your focuser.

Alex Manuel

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Re: Replacing undercut chrome barrels
« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2017, 03:41:06 AM »
I used some automotive pinstripe tape from Autozone in the undercut to minimize the problems. Got the tip from Cloudy Nights a while back. It works.

libulbinis

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Re: Replacing undercut chrome barrels
« Reply #3 on: December 31, 2017, 10:27:50 AM »
Quote
I really like my Orion Expanse 15mm, but I HATE the undercut on the barrel. I run a Dob so my focuser is never pointed below horizontal and I like to keep the thumb screws just slightly loose so I can gently slip different eyepieces in and out; the undercut is nothing but a nuisance as it hangs on the screw every time and I have to stop and futz with the screw to get the EP out and put the next one in, etc. I tried swapping out the barrel with one of the smooth ones from a Plossl I have but the barrel threads on the Orion eyepiece seem really coarse and don't match the standard threading on my Plossls. Is there somewhere I can get replacement barrels for the Expanse that don't have the undercut?  I know some people just use tape or other materials to fill the undercut but I'm looking for a more robust solution...

Some time ago (2 years???) a bunch of people on the Binoviewer forum went in together to have 20 custom 1.25" eyepiece barrels made for our Baader Hyperions.  When using binoviewers the undercuts play havoc with getting the eyepieces to center and lock up straight.  The undercuts worked perfectly.

That is an option. Someone like RAF Camera will make small batches fairly inexpensively (probably $25 each for a small order). The problem would be to be able to tell them the exact thread size.  It probably would only work for you if you had multiple eyepieces that took the same thread.  Getting four maybe he could to it for $100 or something.  There is a solution though, which is to have them made, but you may find the undercut preferable to the price of fixing it. If you have money though, you can get almost anything fixed/made.

(RAF Camera has made several items for me in the past. Rafael is great to work with.)

James Przystup

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Re: Replacing undercut chrome barrels
« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2018, 11:27:32 AM »
There is probably a business opportunity for someone to have a few thousand replacement barrels made at a decent discount and charging 20 buck give or take for each one.

Hmmmmm....maybe I should just get a lathe.....I wonder if I could do one an hour....

aftilicomp

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Re: Replacing undercut chrome barrels
« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2018, 04:51:25 PM »
Quote
I used some automotive pinstripe tape from Autozone in the undercut to minimize the problems. Got the tip from Cloudy Nights a while back. It works.

I've seen that idea before but worried that time and temperature (especially the Texas sumer heat) would cause the adhesive to become a gooey mess, especially with the rubbing from putting the eyepiece in and out. And how do you fill the groove flush without the edge of the tape catching on a thumb screw, etc.?

scolposnimbworr

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Re: Replacing undercut chrome barrels
« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2018, 07:11:33 AM »
Quote
There is probably a business opportunity for someone to have a few thousand replacement barrels made at a decent discount and charging 20 buck give or take for each one.

Hmmmmm....maybe I should just get a lathe.....I wonder if I could do one an hour....

Then you can go on the TV show " Shark Tank " for your sales pitch.

Jim

Andre Ransom

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Re: Replacing undercut chrome barrels
« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2018, 07:23:51 AM »
Quote
Quote
I used some automotive pinstripe tape from Autozone in the undercut to minimize the problems. Got the tip from Cloudy Nights a while back. It works.

I've seen that idea before but worried that time and temperature (especially the Texas sumer heat) would cause the adhesive to become a gooey mess, especially with the rubbing from putting the eyepiece in and out. And how do you fill the groove flush without the edge of the tape catching on a thumb screw, etc.?

So far no heat problems. And you don't have to go exactly flush, just make it close.

And my experience is lighter weight eyepieces are less prone to hang-ups or snagging. If you want to give it a try, I would recommend starting with a heavy eyepiece. You'll probably already know exactly which one is giving you the most problems

Oh, one last note. If you decide to remove the tape (or just need to replace it over time due to wear) do not use any kind of a sharp tool to pry it up! The chrome plating used on some eyepieces is quite thin and easily scratched.

Instead, dampen (not soak) a rag in acetone and gently rub the tape. The vapors from the acetone will be enough to loosen the adhesive allowing you to peel it up easily.

Vincent Reside

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Re: Replacing undercut chrome barrels
« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2018, 03:04:34 PM »
Quote
Quote

There is probably a business opportunity for someone to have a few thousand replacement barrels made at a decent discount and charging 20 buck give or take for each one.

Hmmmmm....maybe I should just get a lathe.....I wonder if I could do one an hour....

Then you can go on the TV show " Shark Tank " for your sales pitch.

Jim
Yeah but I don't know if my fragile ego could handle Al Nagler saying "you are dead to me" or calling me a "cockroach"...

Steven Tolbert

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Re: Replacing undercut chrome barrels
« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2018, 09:56:40 AM »
Quote
I used some automotive pinstripe tape from Autozone in the undercut to minimize the problems. Got the tip from Cloudy Nights a while back. It works.

Best fix IMO.

Mike

fucheatisu

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Re: Replacing undercut chrome barrels
« Reply #10 on: January 13, 2018, 02:46:21 AM »
If every eyepiece buyer would simply refuse to buy any EP with an undercut, the problem would solve itself in less than a year.

Stephen Gupta

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Re: Replacing undercut chrome barrels
« Reply #11 on: January 14, 2018, 06:58:20 AM »
Quote
If every eyepiece buyer would simply refuse to buy any EP with an undercut, the problem would solve itself in less than a year.

I like the way you think! I've been doing this for years. Waiting for everyone else to follow me to freedom!

Greg Fleming

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Re: Replacing undercut chrome barrels
« Reply #12 on: January 18, 2018, 08:24:28 AM »
What I don't understand is why the manufactures do not listen to their customers! Are not the Dealers addressing these issues to their Suppliers and their Engineers!? Are these Dealers not listening to the complaints of their Customers? You Dealers have more pull in trying to get your Suppliers to listen to these Barrel/Equipment complaints and have them do something about it. This complaint has been going on since the first undercut was mass produced, andSTILL no option or resolve.Why can't they offer a darn choice. You simply choose the eyepiece you want and then choose a Smooth Barrel or an Undercut Barrel. Simple, and done deal. Just like a car...Automatic Transmission you pay extra or Manual Transmission! 2 CHOICES pick one. I don't want to hear about costs from these manufactures. I am sick of hearing about cost. Its a bunch of bull-crap. For the price of many of these eyepiece with most costs going into the glass, they can offer a choice of Smooth or Undercut Barrel. Its pennies on the dollar and most of us would pay the extra buck or two to get the Barrel of our choice. I am aggravated, frustrated and downright sick and tired of Manufactures ignoring the complaints by good paying customers about equipment problems that they know are repeat problems and a simple fix can be had and yet do nothing about it but shove the defective/annoying piece of equipment down our throats. I don't care what Country your from that makes and supplies astro-equipment or what language you speak. If your going to sell your equipment world-wide, then you BETTER start listening to your World-Wide Customers and Dealers, learning their language so you can understand the complaints and start working with your Engineers ASAP to correct these fixes. Sorry Folks...I feel better now that I got this off my chest.
Cheers
Don

tidutamar

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Re: Replacing undercut chrome barrels
« Reply #13 on: January 21, 2018, 04:41:38 AM »
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What I don't understand is why the manufactures do not listen to their customers!

A case of "follow the leader".

Unfortunately, this time the leader is tone-deaf.

laucongsnagal

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Re: Replacing undercut chrome barrels
« Reply #14 on: January 21, 2018, 05:43:31 AM »
Not everyone dislikes the undercuts.  Whether it's a vocal minority or a majority that dislikes them, I dont know, i doubt anyone here knows.

Personally i mildly dislike them but find that it's really the compression ring that causes unwanted hangups and removing the compression ring is the easy solution.

I know that for some applications, Ed's with binoviewers, finders that are focused by sliiding the eyepiece, the undercuts are a real issue...

Jon