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Thread: I Stole a Telescope, Need Help!!!!

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    Default I Stole a Telescope, Need Help!!!!



    I went to a swap meet over the weekend, and was able to purchase a Celestron Astromaster 114EQ for just $20!!!! I know this is not the best reflector in the world, but for that price I couldn't say "no." I was able to inspect the scope before agreeing to purchace, and other than a few minor scratches on the tube, and the stock eyepieces missing (can't say I'm sad about that) the scope and mount are in great shape. Here's the problem. The previous owner left it set up for over two years in his living room, with no cap over the focuser, allowing dust and grime to build up inside the tube and on the correcting lens. Any suggestions for how to remove this buildup without damaging the lens? I've already hit it with some compressed air, and I'm not afraid to remove the lens, but suggestions on cleaning solvents or cleaners to safely remove the years of neglect without removing the coatings would be appreciated.

    Also, I get a chance to use it already, I can see through the build up but with noticable effects. I want to clean this lens before collimating. Thanks

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    Default Re: I Stole a Telescope, Need Help!!!!

    If it is just a fluffy dust I would use a vacuum cleaner to suck it out. If it's greasy stuff you would have to take the scope apart to clean it.

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    Default Re: I Stole a Telescope, Need Help!!!!

    You'll have to take the lens out of the focuser to collimate the scope anyway, so if it's really dirty, a good soak in plain distilled water usually will work wonders. I would try that before trying any cleaners or rubbing any surfaces.
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    Default Re: I Stole a Telescope, Need Help!!!!

    Distilled water sounds like a good plan to start. Question on temperature though.......hot? Cold? Warm? want to be sure not to remove the coating....

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    Default Re: I Stole a Telescope, Need Help!!!!

    Room temperature.

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    Default Re: I Stole a Telescope, Need Help!!!!

    I think there is a bit of crossed communication in previous posts and from your post, I don't know how much experience you have so I am going to try to make this really clear. Please don't take offence or think I am being condescending. It's not my intent.

    I think you are referring to the mirror, as "the lens." I think Ozman then thought you were referring to the eyepiece when you said lens when he said you need to remove the lens to collimate the scope. Bigzmey was talking about vacuuming dust from the tube not the mirror.

    To clean the scope

    Mirrors
    Remove the mirrors. Do not vacuum dust from the mirrors.
    As suggested, submerge the mirror in a dish in room-temperature to luke-warm water. If dust is greasy add 2-3 drops of dishwashing detergent in the wash. Take it out and put it under running water. Drain the mirror and inspect if the grime is off. If not, put it back in the detergent. Get a wad of cotton wool balls and swish them gently over the surface allowing the cotton wool to drag over the surface without you putting any direct pressure on the surface. This should dislodge any grease. Rinse again in fresh water then use bottled demineralised or distilled water for the final rinse. Some people use a twilled tissue to wick final drops off the surface but I usually don't worry.

    Tube
    If the vacuuming doesn't work then with both mirrors removed you might be able to simply flush the dust out with a garden hose, dry thoroughly make sure no water gets trapped where it could cause rust in steel components. Before you do this, examine the tube and materials. If the tube is metal, or fiberglass should be fine. If the tube is some sort of cardboard laminate definitely don't.

    Replace the mirrors before collimating. There are some excellent online guides to collimation.

    Good luck

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    Default Re: I Stole a Telescope, Need Help!!!!

    Not necessarily ozeclipse
    The Astromaster 114 Eq is a Bird Jones design - which uses a correcting lens to correct for the aberration caused by having a spherical primary.
    You may be right in the OP being mistaken, but not necessarily.


    Here's how to collimate one
    Bird - Jones collimation note (AstroMaster 114)
    (NB don't reply on the thread I've linked to - it's a zombie thread, mentioned here only for utility)
    Last edited by Gfamily; 04-18-2019 at 08:58 AM.
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