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Thread: Cleaning

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    Default Cleaning



    What is the best way to clean the apeture on the telescopes? Wondering what people here do. (I have a 10" LX200-ACF)

    Also cleaning the eye pieces, CCD camera and filters.

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    I see you haven't received a response about cleaning lenses, Ill give my advice from having to clean some from yrs. of use.
    Number 1 is: If at all possible don't clean them, instead use compressed air from a can held upright so as not to have any liquid hit the lenses.
    A low pressure blow is also usually enough from a squeeze bulb etc.
    If however your lenses are stained from yrs. of dew drying on the main lens leaving pollution on them there is a gentle way of cleaning them.
    Same goes for eyepieces which are usually the culprits due to body oils from the eyelashes or accidental touch from fingers leaving oil also.
    Do not use camera lens cleaners!
    What I use is a 50% mix of distilled water & isopropyl alcohol. Its importaint the rubbing alcohol has no added impuritys such as scents etc.........
    I apply the mix with a sprayer so im not touching the eyepieces or main lens yet...The key here is to avoid touching the lenses as low as possible.
    After the spray has sat on the surface about a minute, remember only a fine mist here don't soak anything as it would mseep behind the lenses etc...
    Next is the dangerious critical part: Use a cotton swab to very delicatly wipe the eyepiece clean, a second application then a very gentle blotting is ok also but DO NOT rub the surface OR try to polish the lense as it may scar the ultra thin lense coatings.
    The main lense if needs a cleaning is done the same way and if the entire lense is really dirty then several mistings & gentle blottings may be necessary on say a schmidt or Maksutov or a refractor, a reflector is best cleaned having to remove the mirror or leaving it in place then just pouring this mix over it then leaving it to sit on its edge to air dry.
    A small amount of dust or dirt won't really effect the seeing, when it gets to the point where you can actually see the effects of a spot of grime or dust then yes its time to try air first followed by these very gentle cleaning dutys.
    Most importaintly keep eyepieces covered when not in use same goes for the main lense.
    Ive cleaned many an eyepiece & scope this way & never did any visual damage to the coatings that was noticable but at most it was usually only eyepieces that needed it due to eyelash oils on the hi power low eye relief lenses.
    Don't be afraid going this rout its safe if your gentle, when blotting I always used a white tee shirt NEVER ever use paper towel etc as its made from wood pulp. Use only a tee shirt or similar and you will be ok. If you find a stubborn spot on a main lense use a cotton swab & the touch of a surgeon to gently rub if you must the stain away.
    Good luck & don't worry its not as scary as it seems. The horror stories are people that use paper towels and or rub the lenses often & do not know any better until its too late.
    Dave

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    Joe Lalumia's Avatar
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    Default

    Make sure it really is PLENTY DIRTY! A little dust or a few small specks here and there will not degrade the image.

    Good advice above. Corrector plates and eyepiece glass lens are fairly durable not like the mirror which is has VERY fragile coatings.

    Check out this web site:

    Tele Vue Optics Article Page

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    Default

    Dave and Joe give sound advice and I would agree, if it is not affecting your viewing..its probably fine. I have friends who have scopes over 10 years and have never cleaned anything other then eye pieces and they are happy. We all like to tinker with things..don't we?
    I find this site quite helpful Cleaning Optics
    Declan.
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