Light Shrouds for Strut Telescopes

DISCUSSION: The question about light shrouds often comes up with respect to an open-tube telescope. Many believe that stray or ambient light causes a problem when crossing the telescope's light path. Actually, it is the light that is reflect back into the eyepiece that is a problem. Light "crossing the light path" isn't much of an issue. The 3-tube strut design has its own issues when using a light-shroud, as the conventional light-shroud can droop into the light-path itself obstructing the image. Here are a couple of solutions I've found that correct this issue.

If anyone has other ideas, and if you're willing to have them posted here, please email me. If you have one, a picture would be help.


Made from light weight breathable black fabric. Two ABS bands prevent shroud from obstructing the light path. Upper and lower draw strings. Blocks stray light & dew from reaching the optics. Increased image contrast. Made in the USA!. Check out their product at:


Photo, with permission, of Carol Anderson's 16" Astro Tech Dob/Newtonian.

hoop Embroidery hoops are available in a variety of sizes and can be used to keep the traditional light-shroud out of the light path. I've seen these in sizes up to 18". Slide one or two of these over the struts of the ota and tighten to keep the hoop in place.

They are very inexpensive and are available in crafts stores such as Michaels and JoAnns.

Astro Engineering is a company in the U.K. with a unique solution. Although their shroud is made for the Meade Lightbridge telescopes, their products are no doubt available in other countries.


One can also use 1/16" Kydex and velcro to make a similiar solution.

Photo to follow 

Here's an interesting idea from  Don Wyman via Cloudy Night's forums. "Another solution is to use shock cord (bungee cord) as is used in collapsible tent poles. Just put some small hooks on the UTA an on the mirror box half way between the struts, then run the shock cord. It will hold the shroud out just like having 3 more struts."


Here's an interesting approach from Brian Reed via Cloudy Nights Forums. Used with permission.

Brian says: "I finally got around to making a shroud for my dob. I thought of useing cloth but I am concerned it might sag with a long newt unless it was pulled very tight, also I didn't want to take a chance of deforming the structure.

The main section is two cylinders - one inside of the other. To make the cylinders I clamped plastic sheet down with two boards (one on each edge) overlapping the sheet 3/4" and glued using two part epoxy. The glue contact area need to be scraped for the glue to adhere. Painted the insides flat black.

No velcro or ties need, I just push it between the poles and it reforms itself."

Here's a custom shroud for one of our 10" telescopes with ETT option. The center ring of the ETT keeps the shroud neatly out of the light-path. Notice there are "cut outs" for the Rigel finder, focuser and alt-bearing clamps.

For information on these shrouds, contact "Shrouds by Heather".

Here's a link to the full review of the shroud (you'll have to scroll to the top of the page!).


For more information about your requirements:
--Dennis Steele
--Tel: 650-315-6578 (anytime)
--Email: densteele@dobstuff.com


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