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Thread: Chemical-Stripping a Severely Cloudy 10" 1/6.3 SCT Corrector Plate?

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    Default Chemical-Stripping a Severely Cloudy 10" 1/6.3 SCT Corrector Plate?



    Hi All,

    It's the stuff that nightmares are made of - I've acquired a Meade LX50 10" f/10 SCT with severe chemical damage (and probably severe scratch damage) to its corrector plate from improper cleaning. I'll be receiving the OTA and its corrector plate separately, so I'm already seeing a major rotational-alignment challenge *unless* someone can make my day right now and tell me that there will be factory alignment marks : )

    With lots of reading, I've formed a plan:

    1. Start with low-concentration White Vinegar and mild pressure with immaculately clean Cotton. This seems to have worked for at least one person on the interwebz
    2. If necessary, make (probably scratch an) alignment mark, remove secondary mirror, and use high-conc. Hydrochloric Acid (31.45% is typical IIRC)
    3. If necessary, escalate to extended time in high-temperature, high-conc. (98%) Sulfuric Acid
    4. Deal with the inevitable scratches that the previous guy probably created

    Does that sound reasonable?
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    Default Re: Chemical-Stripping a Severely Cloudy 10" 1/6.3 SCT Corrector Plate?

    I have never tried any of this before so good luck, I hope you will keep us informed of the progress.
    There should be factory alignment marks on the corrector and secondary though.
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    Default Re: Chemical-Stripping a Severely Cloudy 10" 1/6.3 SCT Corrector Plate?

    Personally I'd either find an inexpensive good scope ( I found mine for less than $300 dollars.) or send the one you have into Meade and have the mirrors and corrector replaced with the latest and coma free offering. I've read it costs $850 plus shipping. Keep us posted with your progress.
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    Default Re: Chemical-Stripping a Severely Cloudy 10" 1/6.3 SCT Corrector Plate?

    When I was a lad remirroring seemed to be a common DiY process...

    see
    SILVERING A TELESCOPE MIRROR AT HOME

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    Default Re: Chemical-Stripping a Severely Cloudy 10" 1/6.3 SCT Corrector Plate?

    (I'm not interested in silvering my Corrector Plate, thanks)

    Indeed, Meade quoted me $700.00 + S&H... I'm considering it, given the better coatings (I assume UHTC without having to pay extra).

    I'll keep you all posted, hopefully I'll have pictures of choking Sulfur Trioxide fumes pouring out of a container soon.
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    Default Re: Chemical-Stripping a Severely Cloudy 10" 1/6.3 SCT Corrector Plate?

    You can try 100% acetone. That will dissolve any greasy film. Just don't get it on plastic.


    Scott
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    Default Re: Chemical-Stripping a Severely Cloudy 10" 1/6.3 SCT Corrector Plate?

    Wait .. "Severe chemical damage"?

    "Corrector plate and OTA seperatly"

    There has to be a story behind this!
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    Default Re: Chemical-Stripping a Severely Cloudy 10" 1/6.3 SCT Corrector Plate?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pyrotrons View Post
    (I'm not interested in silvering my Corrector Plate, thanks)

    Indeed, Meade quoted me $700.00 + S&H... I'm considering it, given the better coatings (I assume UHTC without having to pay extra).

    I'll keep you all posted, hopefully I'll have pictures of choking Sulfur Trioxide fumes pouring out of a container soon.
    A great deal. I'll be doing this very soon to my 1985 2120.
    My eyes
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    Default Re: Chemical-Stripping a Severely Cloudy 10" 1/6.3 SCT Corrector Plate?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pyrotrons View Post
    (I'm not interested in silvering my Corrector Plate, thanks)

    Indeed, Meade quoted me $700.00 + S&H... I'm considering it, given the better coatings (I assume UHTC without having to pay extra).

    I'll keep you all posted, hopefully I'll have pictures of choking Sulfur Trioxide fumes pouring out of a container soon.
    If this is to replace the optics with the ACF optics it would seem the best path. I can't see the scope working well with the existing corrector plate.
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    Default Re: Chemical-Stripping a Severely Cloudy 10" 1/6.3 SCT Corrector Plate?

    Our club had acquired an old 10" Meade 2010 LX3 that had lots mold growing on the corrector. One of our members tried to clean it off and made a total mess of the corrector and the coating by scrubbing it off. So at this point the scope was pretty useless.

    The only place I could find that would recoat the corrector was Spectrum Coatings and they wanted $125 per side for MgF2, with the old coating removed. They do not remove old coatings. This price was back in early 2009.

    This is what I did to fix it:
    1) I cleaned it good with Dawn dish washing liquid and a soft cloth. Rinsed with distilled water and dried it.
    2) I then soaked it several days in Ferric Chloride (This is printed circuit board etching solution you can buy it at Radio Shack). I would go and agitate it every few hours. I replaced the Ferric Chloride after the first day with some fresh Ferric Chloride.
    3) Rinsed well with distilled water.
    4) I then soaked it in muriatic acid (weak Hydrochloric Acid) purchased at Home Depot for about 15-20 minutes and kept agitating it. I took it out several times and rinsed it to check the progress.
    5) Rinsed well with distilled water.
    6) Let it soak in a solution of baking soda and water to neutralize any remaining acid.
    7) I cleaned it again with Dawn dish washing liquid and cotton balls. Rinsed with distilled water and dried it.

    I used a shallow plastic tub with a lid to soak the corrector in.

    The corrector should have one or two small alignment marks made with a permanent black marker. They will be on the glass and the OTA where corrector sits. You are best off trying to make additional ones along the edge, as the acids will remove the original ones.

    At this point the corrector was clean except for a slight stained area of the glass where the mold had been. As far as I could tell all the coating had been removed.

    To spend a bunch money on a 30 year old scope that isn't worth all that much did not seem like a wise decision. So I put it back together uncoated and collimated it. The scope works well, to be honest with you I could not even notice that the coating has been removed when looking through it. Nor could any one else.
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