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Hayduke27

How Often to Clean Optics?

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Definitely cheap eps for multi-handling, preferably volcano topped with recessed eye lens and bottom if possible or protect with a cheap filter. Keep your prime eps on your person too!

Edited by 25585

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Thanks for all the advice everybody, it was very helpful.  I did end up cleaning my front lens, but the mirror isn't dirty enough to mess with other than maybe getting some compressed air and giving it a blast.

 

I ended up doing a 50/50 mixture of isopropyl alcohol and distilled water based on my astronomy book and what I read here.  I quickly learned that this mixture didn't just evaporate immediately, and if given just one casual wipe with a dry cotton ball after wiping the liquid on, it wasn't enough for it to just evaporate and be streak free.  I had to make a few wipes with a totally dry cotton ball, then I still had to use my breath to fog it up a tough and do some touching up.  If I let the cleaning mixture evaporate/dry on the lens, it did indeed leave a noticable blue residue.  However, if I wiped it to the point of instant evaporation, it was streak free and worked quite well.  I then used a q-tip with cleaning mixture to wipe my dirty lenses and polished them with a cotton ball, same as above.  Things are crystal clear.

 

Long story short, my lens is totally cleaned now and looking sharp, and I did my first collimation last night.  Oh the difference it all made!  I saw the moons around Saturn for my first time.  I saw the ring nebula in all its glory.  Andromeda had never looked so awesome.  Success!  

 

Thanks again for the help, and I will keep in mind not to be too anal about trying to keep the lens wiped down.  A little compressed air and I suspect I'll be good to go for a while!

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On 9/25/2017 at 15:29, Hayduke27 said:

Thanks for all the advice everybody, it was very helpful.  I did end up cleaning my front lens, but the mirror isn't dirty enough to mess with other than maybe getting some compressed air and giving it a blast.

 

I ended up doing a 50/50 mixture of isopropyl alcohol and distilled water based on my astronomy book and what I read here.  I quickly learned that this mixture didn't just evaporate immediately, and if given just one casual wipe with a dry cotton ball after wiping the liquid on, it wasn't enough for it to just evaporate and be streak free.  I had to make a few wipes with a totally dry cotton ball, then I still had to use my breath to fog it up a tough and do some touching up.  If I let the cleaning mixture evaporate/dry on the lens, it did indeed leave a noticable blue residue.  However, if I wiped it to the point of instant evaporation, it was streak free and worked quite well.  I then used a q-tip with cleaning mixture to wipe my dirty lenses and polished them with a cotton ball, same as above.  Things are crystal clear.

 

Long story short, my lens is totally cleaned now and looking sharp, and I did my first collimation last night.  Oh the difference it all made!  I saw the moons around Saturn for my first time.  I saw the ring nebula in all its glory.  Andromeda had never looked so awesome.  Success!  

 

Thanks again for the help, and I will keep in mind not to be too anal about trying to keep the lens wiped down.  A little compressed air and I suspect I'll be good to go for a while!

This is the major reason I never use liquids on a lens, any grease is spread over the whole lens and it can take many minutes of rubbing to shift, I use lens pens, a single wipe is usually enough to clear any grease or whatever.

Alan

Edited by Alien 13
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On 22/09/2017 at 14:13, Buzzard75 said:

I think my eyepieces are going to need a little bit of a cleaning. I took my scope to a star party last weekend and there were a couple of kids there who insisted on touching the eyepieces every time they went to look through them, even after repeatedly being told no to even touch the scopes. I didn't look at them the next day, but I'm guessing there's a few smudges on them. Will regular eyeglass cleaner and a clean microfiber work for something like this or is there something else that is recommended?

I got a smudge on my 15mm gold-line, from watering eyes.  I thought it had dewed up til I got it in to the light and realised.  Knowing what people are like with optics I was a bit frantic...it only cost £20 but still, I'm on a budget and I like it...so I got to googling.  Eventually came across a discussion (on CN I'm sure) where people recommended wrapping a cotton bud in a spectacle cleaning cloth and very lightly wipe it using small cicular motions outwards from the centre to the edge.  After the first try, the centre was free of grime and only a small bit remained at the edges.  Another try with a clean part of the cloth and and all of the residue was gone.  Had I damaged the optics?  The proof was in the pudding next time i took it out...it was in A1 condition optically again, stars were pin sharp.

Basically, anything non-abrasive and plenty of care should be enough. 

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I prefer to leave my mirrors alone, but I always keep one of those humidity control bags inside the tube. Never had any issues.

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As rarely as possible... a bit of dust wont effect the views noticeably.... if you do want to clean the mirror than try the touchless method... blow away all dust.. spray with distilled water from a spray bottle, than with Isopropyl alcohol, than wash away with distilled water... let it dry.. it'll dry streak free and you're not risking scratching the mirror or its coating.

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Absolutely as little as possible.  To give you some idea, in our country, with the use a scope gets here with our climate, once in five years you should clean it - maybe less than that even.  I got my FSQ85 end of November 2012 and have yet to clean it despite some marks on the front of the objective.  Unless it is truly dirty - leave it the hell alone!!!!!!   Unless you live where trees shed tons of pollen which sticks to the due on the objective (another reason why due heaters are important) leave it alone.

Others will may differently.

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On 19/09/2017 at 18:42, Peter Drew said:

My cleaning regime is:-   Mirrors when I can't see my face in them, lenses when I can write my name in the dust on them.   :icon_biggrin:

I tend to agree with Peter here for mirrors, I actually held my open spread hand infront of the light path on my 18"Dob and could see no difference at the eyepiece what so ever. I thinkit will need to get fairly dusty before I start washing it. I have cleaned the collector plate on my SC once in the 9 years I have had it, even then it didn't need doing. Eyepieces I clean as I feel they need them, so othen dust is inside them and there is stays , I took my 35mm Panoptic apart to clean and I'm sure it was more dusty after.

Alan

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On 9/22/2017 at 00:08, Dave In Vermont said:

Your 'blue' wasn't like this, was it?

 

IMG_1223.JPG.57d7372e272c87966ac6904bc5cad26a.JPG

 

Yuck!

Dave

I think you're meant to take that blue foil off of the mirror. 

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As another slightly off-beat observation... SOME telescope have objectives
that appear fairly "matt" in finish? If you clean them they become shiny... :p
(Don't worry, I never had notably expensive scopes back then... or now!)
But in truth such appearance might be integral to the optical blooming?!? ;)

These days I tend to "leave alone" unless some errant insect (or Seagull?)
Poops on my objective! That said, a drop of Vodka + "hanky" works well! :D

Of course I JEST re. the last, but I do note the former rather more...
(Unless it looks like a major disaster, I just leave it well alone too!) :)

Edited by Macavity

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35 minutes ago, Macavity said:

As another slightly off-beat observation... SOME telescope have objectives
that appear fairly "matt" in finish? If you clean them they become shiny... :p
(Don't worry, I never had notably expensive scopes back then... or now!)
But in truth such appearance might be integral to the optical blooming?!? ;)

These days I tend to "leave alone" unless some errant insect (or Seagull?)
Poops on my objective! That said, a drop of Vodka + "hanky" works well! :D

Of course I JEST re. the last, but I do note the former rather more...
(Unless it looks like a major disaster, I just leave it well alone too!) :)

Vodka?. Besides being a waste of perfectly good vodka, wouldnt there be too many organics in it?. I know its alcohol, but it still contains organic material which could possibly fester on optics.

Maybe im just making excuses because the only place i want vodka is in my blood stream.

LOL.

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Precisely so on all the above, Paul! :p But indeed not a serious suggestion.
Most organic liquids (even laboratory grades) contain "all sorts of things"
both volatile and not. Idem (the splendid) Fr. Jack re. drinking Petrol?!?! :D

Edited by Macavity
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