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Oil on bottom of my TEC 160FL Objective

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#1 Kent10

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 01:01 AM

Some of you will remember my post about getting frost inside the objective of my Tec 160FL. Yuri wasn't sure that is was frost or an oil leak so I sent the objective to him and as it turns out it was frost and by the time it got to him it had melted. So he sent it back to me as is.

I got my objective back tonight and saw what looked like a possible 1 inch long scratch on the bottom of the objective so I took a new micro fiber cloth to see what it was. I think it was oil residue but I am not sure. It wasn't a scratch but from trying to get it off I made it worse and I spread it across the lens as I was trying to clean it. Now there is a slight haze as you look at it with a light.

Should I now use the standard methods of liquid that have been recommended on the site to clean it trying to get rid of the haze. I know there are many different liquids that people use and everyone has their favorite. Any best one for oil? :) I have the Kodak papers that I use for my camera lenses and I have read some use plain non-perfumed Kleenex. Is there any best material I should use? Can I use new micro fiber cloths. I have quite a few of those.

Thanks for your advice. Kent

#2 Rossmon

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 01:11 AM

I use the formulae published by Dr. Clay of the Arkansas Sky Observatories.
It has always worked well for me.
However, since your objective came back that way, it seems it would be very fair for TEC to pay for shipping it back for cleaning so it arrives at your door properly in pristine condition. I have always heard that TEC does things right by their loyal customers!!

#3 CounterWeight

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 01:47 AM

I'd at least email or call them before doing anything. As an aside I've used the Eclipse formula with PEC wipes and it's done well for the small stuff, that and my 'rocket' air blower.

#4 teelgul

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 01:49 AM

Hello Kent
Can u confirm u sent only the objective? I have a thingTEC on order and it's good to know if such a thing is possible as i will have to ship from Australia if
Anything .btw has any fluid leak been heard of in TEC scopes ?
Cheers
Vaidya

#5 Kent10

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 07:12 AM

Thanks Rossmon for the Dr. Clay formula. I found it online. I am always nervous sending the objective in the mail back and forth so I think I will try to clean it myself. I am nervous about that too but I should be able to do it. My objective may never look "pristine" again :( .

Thanks Jim. I'll look at the Eclipse and PEC wipes. I have and use the rocket air blower.

Vaidya: Yes I sent only the objective. Yuri sends instructions and it is actually quite easy to do but took me a lot of prep time to be sure I was doing it right and packing it well. Leaks are quite rare but yes they can happen especially with temperature shock. In my case I am not sure what happened though. Yuri could not duplicate the problem after seeing the objective.

#6 Erik Bakker

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 08:18 AM

Kent,

I am not sure I believe the melted frost explanation. You wrote before you had the objective in your house several days. At room temperature I presume? And the "frost" was still inside the objective when you sent it to Yuri?
No way that would only start melting on it's trip to TEC :(

I recommend you let Yuri take care of restoring his APO lens to factory fresh condition.

To be on the safe side and avoid unnecessary shipping, first try to clean it yourself with pure alcohol (>96% pure and perfume free, available locally) and a soft fat-free tissue. Instructions are e.g. on the TeleVue site. Or use some Baader fluid that is available from Astro-Physics, instructions are on the A-P site too.

Hope your scope will be back in perfect condition soon!

#7 t.r.

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 08:49 AM

I refuse to use my oil-spaced in temperatures below 0*C/32*F any longer after I had an issue with my TEC 140. It was around 20*F,maybe a little less, after several hours of viewing, I noticed the view getting hazey. Figuring the lens was finally, fogged up, I took a look at it with the flash light. The center of the lens displayed a three- dimensional, golf ball sized, ball of...I don't know what. It looked like a globular cluster really. I assumed it couldn't be good as it was internal between the lens elements and not on the inner or outer surface only. I take the usual steps to prevent thermal shock, and brought it in. By the next morning thankfully, it was gone, no leaks, no sleeks, no issue. I contacted Yuri and he really didn't know. Perhaps, he said, seperation of the elements with freezing or aeration of the oil. I could send it back, or simply watch out for it. Future use showed no ill-effect, so I simply used it, but NEVER at that temperature again.

My newer AP has never been out in it...I simply refuse and have other scopes for the colder months. I'm aware that Mike has an 8" in Alaska, but there is a difference with it...he leaves it in an observatory. It isn't going in and out like most of us have to do. These incidents are rare, but do occur enough that I think it warrants a public service announcement. YMMV, but for me, in my locale which is known for snow and extreme cold that rivals other locations, I won't take a chance again.

#8 Cliff C

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 09:33 AM

TR,
I have had my AP-130GT out lately in the upper teens and low 20's with no problems. The scope is kept in its case and in my unheated garage so that there is little more than 10-15 degree farenheit temp difference. Below that temp. I give out, not the scope.
That said, I won't use the AP's at the peak of pollen season, on very windy nights or any time there is a salty breeze coming in from the ocean.
Cliff

#9 Kent10

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 09:57 AM

Erik:

I had my scope in the house for about 2.5 days before I packaged it up. It was mostly in the case and we keep our house quite cold (in order to feed my telescope habits :)). I did keep an eye on the "frost" to see if it changed during that time. It was from memory though but it didn't seem like anything was melting. It is hard to believe but considering it was in the case and our house is cold it could have been frost I suppose. If it was oil would it disappear? I don't know.

#10 peleuba

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 10:30 AM

Erik:

I had my scope in the house for about 2.5 days before I packaged it up. It was mostly in the case and we keep our house quite cold (in order to feed my telescope habits :)). I did keep an eye on the "frost" to see if it changed during that time. It was from memory though but it didn't seem like anything was melting. It is hard to believe but considering it was in the case and our house is cold it could have been frost I suppose. If it was oil would it disappear? I don't know.



I have a TEC160FL and have never seen this on/in my lens. The optical coupling agent that TEC uses is more of the consistency of a gel and not an oil, for whatever thats worth.

#11 mmalik

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 10:56 AM

With all the oil related stories, is it just me that thinks oil spaced design is becoming a liability?

#12 Kent10

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 10:58 AM

[quote name="peleuba"][quote]Erik:

I have a TEC160FL and have never seen this on/in my lens. The optical coupling agent that TEC uses is more of the consistency of a gel and not an oil, for whatever thats worth. [/quote]

Thanks Paul. Yes it did seem like the mark I saw was more gel like. It didn't come off with a simple wipe. I didn't have to scrub but I did have to use some pressure to get it to come off but then I ended up just spreading it around and making the lens look bad. I hope the liquid I use will take care of it and won't streak either but I guess a little streaking won't matter.

#13 Mike Clemens

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 11:24 AM

I have used my TEC200 ED f/9 down to -25F (-31C) and it has been exposed to even colder temps. My lens looks like new after 5 years.

#14 EdTheEdge

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 11:59 AM

With all the oil related stories, is it just me that thinks oil spaced design is becoming a liability?


Been thinking the same thing......

#15 Kent10

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 12:03 PM

Thanks for all the information and support everyone. I am going to attempt to clean it myself and have been looking at the various recommendations. Usually I would do more research to decide but I want to order something quickly so I can get on with getting my objective clean. I have looked at Eclipse, ROR, Baader Wonder Fluid, Dr. Clay's Kit from OPT and Isopropyl alcohol which I guess should be at least 97%. I see some 99%. Would that be even better? I have read of left over residue in ROR but in my brief other readings the Baader seems great but may be hard to find. They are out at Alpine Astro. AP may carry it but there is no "add to cart" there so I will have to e-mail them to see if they have it. If I can't get the Baader would the Isopropyl be best. Or just go with one of the others. Should I use Pec Pads or stick with my micro fiber cloths? Thanks again.

#16 Kent10

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 12:18 PM

I heard back from AP. They are no longer able to carry the Baader fluid so that eliminates that option I believe.

#17 t.r.

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 12:23 PM

Try Alpineastro.com, they may have the Baader fluid.

#18 Rossmon

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 12:30 PM

Seriously, I would send it to Tec. Cleaning off dust and little dew spots is one thing, i would be real leary of touching your magnificent lens anymore.
Why don't you walk away from it for a day, do some deep breathing and ship it before you end up feeling a lot worse after touching it again. I know from experience that it is almost an overpowering feeling to try and fix it (the lens!) after leaving it less than perfect. If you are lucky and have a lot of cleaning experience you can clean it. A Tec 160 is not the lens to aquire your cleaning experience on! Try a cheaper piece of glass. Also, your lens may need to be reoiled and the tape replaced if it leaked.

#19 CounterWeight

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 01:03 PM

Agree. In my Portland, OR. climate over the years(going on 5 now) I've owned the TEC APO160ED I've never had this issue and I've left it mounted, out and in, most variants - never had anything like this happen. As there are so many of these scopes out there that have never had an issue, this makes yours an outlier - that IMO is strictly Yuri/TEC material.

#20 suburbanskies

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 01:07 PM

Hi Kent,

Cleaning your objective is easy. You can certainly handle this yourself. Just be sure whatever material you use is clean of any grit and use that blower to blow off any potential grit. Avoid pressure. Stop when it is reasonably clean.

In the worse case you might put a scratch in the coating. This will have no effect on performance.

I've had good luck using Baader Wonderfluid and cotton balls.

Mark

#21 Kent10

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 01:26 PM

At least the bottom of the objective has no dust so I do use the blower anyway but I think the chances of scratching are very minimal. I should be able to clean it quite easily. I have been cleaning camera lenses for years though I am not as particular about those as I will be with the Tec. My concern though is if there should be oil along the edge. That is where I saw the oil streak that at first looked like it could be a scratch. But in wiping it and getting close to the edge I think I got oil on the cloth and this is why it spread to most of the surface as I kept wiping trying to get it clear. It didn't look so bad until I put the objective on and shined a light down. You could see the obvious smear marks then. But with the oil along the edge I wonder if it is leaking or if this is normal for an oiled lens. That I don't know.

#22 blueman

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 01:28 PM

I use my TEC140 in temps 12-25f all the time and never had an issue.
Sounds like you could have had a fogging of the lens, inner side is also possible not just outside.
Floyd

I refuse to use my oil-spaced in temperatures below 0*C/32*F any longer after I had an issue with my TEC 140. It was around 20*F,maybe a little less, after several hours of viewing, I noticed the view getting hazey. Figuring the lens was finally, fogged up, I took a look at it with the flash light. The center of the lens displayed a three- dimensional, golf ball sized, ball of...I don't know what. It looked like a globular cluster really. I assumed it couldn't be good as it was internal between the lens elements and not on the inner or outer surface only. I take the usual steps to prevent thermal shock, and brought it in. By the next morning thankfully, it was gone, no leaks, no sleeks, no issue. I contacted Yuri and he really didn't know. Perhaps, he said, seperation of the elements with freezing or aeration of the oil. I could send it back, or simply watch out for it. Future use showed no ill-effect, so I simply used it, but NEVER at that temperature again.

My newer AP has never been out in it...I simply refuse and have other scopes for the colder months. I'm aware that Mike has an 8" in Alaska, but there is a difference with it...he leaves it in an observatory. It isn't going in and out like most of us have to do. These incidents are rare, but do occur enough that I think it warrants a public service announcement. YMMV, but for me, in my locale which is known for snow and extreme cold that rivals other locations, I won't take a chance again.



#23 t.r.

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 01:40 PM

Nope, not it.

#24 TG

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 02:08 PM

Some of you will remember my post about getting frost inside the objective of my Tec 160FL. Yuri wasn't sure that is was frost or an oil leak so I sent the objective to him and as it turns out it was frost and by the time it got to him it had melted. So he sent it back to me as is.

I got my objective back tonight and saw what looked like a possible 1 inch long scratch on the bottom of the objective so I took a new micro fiber cloth to see what it was. I think it was oil residue but I am not sure. It wasn't a scratch but from trying to get it off I made it worse and I spread it across the lens as I was trying to clean it. Now there is a slight haze as you look at it with a light.

Should I now use the standard methods of liquid that have been recommended on the site to clean it trying to get rid of the haze. I know there are many different liquids that people use and everyone has their favorite. Any best one for oil? :) I have the Kodak papers that I use for my camera lenses and I have read some use plain non-perfumed Kleenex. Is there any best material I should use? Can I use new micro fiber cloths. I have quite a few of those.

Thanks for your advice. Kent


I use this to clean my A-P: Purosol with unscented Kleenex to do the initial cleaning. This leaves streaks and paper fibers. The fibers are blown off with a bulb blower. The streaks are cleaned with a lint-free lens tissue *dampened* in acetone. The lens looks factory fresh after this. Hardware store acetone works fine. If you don't have Purosol, isopropyl (70% with a small drop of dish soap added) works as well.

Be careful with acetone. It dissolves paint instantly so make sure only dampened tissues are used on the lens keeping them away from any painted/plastic parts.


Tanveer.

#25 Kent10

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 04:15 PM

Tough decision but after a little more research I decided to go with the Eclipse fluid and Pec Pads. If it leaves any residue I can wipe with my new micro fiber cloths. The Dr. Clay kit looks good too and I read lots of good things about Purosol. Of course AP uses it. But I had to choose one and thought I would give the Eclipse a try. Thanks.






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