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  1. #1
    KatieGo's Avatar
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    Smile cleaning tips? any cleaning horror stories?



    Hello all!

    I am writing a magazine article on how to clean dust from your telescope and how to store it so to minimize dust/grime accumulation. Any tips for specific scopes (refractors, dobs, cassegrains)? Or are there certain problems for certain regions (i.e. humid areas or cities)? What are some things NOT to do when storing/cleaning... but many of us do any way? Do you have any cleaning horror stories? (Giant spider on mirror!! Took a dust rag to finderscope and it fell to pieces!)

    I'm not looking for anything on cleaning mirrors or lenses specifically - that's 10 articles in itself! Just general upkeep tips.

    Not to be creepy -- I will need to know your full name, what scope you have, and the state or country in which you do your observing. If you would rather just shoot me an email, please do!

    Thank you.

    Katie

  2. #2
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    Hi Katie,
    Scott here, and I am in nw ohio, and just got into this hobby myself. for now the new scope stay's in the house under a cotton sheet so it can breath. but when the weather breaks here in ohio I will be moving the scope to an (attached to the house hot tub/storage shed) kinda thing.. its dry and clean, with power, a drop ceiling, nice windows etc, etc.. I will look at using a fan or dehumidifier, maybe when the air turns humid,.. keep the air moving and I think you will keep humid/dust build up to a minumum..

    Z-12 Dob,
    back yard mostly, maybe my sisters place. she's out in the country where its darker and private..

    Scott.................
    Last edited by skinnyonce; 02-17-2011 at 08:55 PM.

  3. #3
    KatieGo's Avatar
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    Hi Scott!

    A dehumidifier - that's a good idea! Moisture's a greater enemy than dust.

    Ahhh... "when the weather breaks" ...I hope soon! It's not looking too hopeful in Indi for some time.

    Thank you for the tip! Good luck with the new scope.

    Katie

  4. #4
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    I don't think humidity is too bad if your air is clean - non acidic.
    My ute has been sat outside for 24 years and not one bolt has rust on it. The original paint is in place and I live 10 mins from the Pacific Ocean. (prevailing wind is onshore)
    But there's no airborne pollution, there's no industry nearby that produces Nitrates Carbonates or Sulphates. Next door have a pool, but that's about as much chlorine as I'm likely to see in the area too.
    My 6 year old sedan still looks new.
    If you go out into the country, there's old cars sat in paddocks where they died and the chooks(chickens) roost in them. Every so often someone comes along, sands them down and paints them - fixes the engines and off they go to vintage shows - I'm talking 1938 Fords here....

    Looking after a scope here - wipe down with a soft dry cloth put back in box
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  5. #5
    ibase's Avatar
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    Read up on professional advice on how to do the cleaning on optics (eyepieces & telescopes), it is applicable to any scope and can be done anywhere in the world:

    Tele Vue Optics: Cleaning Eyepiece and Telescope Optics

    Hope this helps.

    Best,

    Hernando

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    btc9183 (03-16-2011)

  7. #6
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    Thank you both! Interesting about what the combination of air quality and humidity will and won't do.

    I've been scouting out info on cleaning, but I hadn't run across that site. Thanks!

    I'll add on to the original post - has anyone ever had water damage on the scope? How did it happen? How much did it cost to fix?

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    very interesting question seemingly with major consequences.

  9. #8
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    i'm little worried on buying a reflector, cause it need lots of maintenance. esp. when u live in a humid area and lots of dust. cleaning it might scratch the mirror inside.

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    Quote Originally Posted by verna View Post
    i'm little worried on buying a reflector, cause it need lots of maintenance. esp. when u live in a humid area and lots of dust. cleaning it might scratch the mirror inside.
    Don't feel too overly concerned just use a few extra precautions when storing it such as placing a plastic showercap over both ends when storing it & keep the cover over its end when not viewing thru it if your leaving it for any span of time. Storing it with the reflector horizontal will also help to keep the mirror clean since it will be on its side rather then facing up.
    If its just dust & not pollen etc. its easy to clean just use compressed air on a handwand, you will need a compressed air source that is relatively water free from a compressor with a water trap or a small compressor with its leak hole slightly opened so it will leak out any water during the compression.
    I have a small portable compressor & all I do is leave the main tank leaking slightly all water condensed leaks out & I bought a long hand wand for blowing out hard to reach areas like inside a refractor or in my dob as well as other things non astro as well works great.
    A sheet placed over your scope when not in use is another great way to minamize dust.
    Also, always keep the eyepiece either plugged or have a cheap eyepiece in it at all times.
    Dave
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  11. #10
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    Hi Katie. This is Len from Pa. I've been storing my equipment in a storage barn for a couple years. Recently completed an observatory (glorified storage barn) and I'm keeping them there now. I just keep the caps on and throw a sheet over them. I do plan on adding ventilation to the ob so the tempature doesn't get too high in the summer. Interesting story in reference to spiders. I had my mirror out last week to snug it up better to the cell and found a very fine spider web across it. There was also some web in the tube as well. I decided to clean the mirror. I just blew off the loose stuff and used distilled water and cotton balls very gently and it cleaned up beautifully. Don't know if that's accepted procedure but it works for me. (My equipment is not high end so I don't worry too much.) No marks scratches or spots. I suspect the spider came in from the back around the cell so I plan to use a shower cap to seal off that end as well. One problem I have is with stinkbugs. We have an invasion spreading through Pa. like you wouldn't believe. Keeping them out of anything including my telescopes is becoming a problem.
    Len
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