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help! maksutov cleaning nightmare

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#1 zsb04

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 11:20 PM

just got my mak-newt back from ES, the collimation was completely off and while adjusting and fixing that i accidentally got 3 finger prints on the mak corrector. I tried some isopropyl to clean it off, didnt do much but left streaks. I then took a microfiber cleaning cloth and using  a mix of cleaning stuff (1/3 91% isopropyl, 2/3 distilled water and a drop of soap per pint) tried to clean it going in circular motion with microfiber cloth and there are streaks everywhere i can't get them to go away, any ideas or help?



#2 zsb04

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 11:55 PM

after much searching, i found the zeiss optical wipes really cleared that mess up, i will probably have one more round tomorrow, but it looks much much better. Kinda scary when that happens to new scope. Being that the maksutov corrector is essentially a lens, it is safe to use these on there? On the plus side ES sent the comet hunter back with a case, it is a really impressive case!!! very nice



#3 DocFinance

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 12:41 AM

Glad to hear that you got it resolved.  That kind of thing can be pretty scary.



#4 WesC

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 12:52 AM

Yeah those corrector coatings are pretty tough. You'll be fine. :)


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#5 Benson

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 12:54 AM

Cleaning optical surfaces is a delicate process. It should be avoided as much as you can tolerate. A fingerprint on a lens is usually insignificant. The proper method is to give the thing a bath, as you initially did. If that does not work, do it again. Its usually ok to use a stronger solvent, even windex, then daub the surface with an up-down motion using sterile cotton balls, if needed. You can also use forced air drying with a clean air supply. But, NEVER 'wipe' the surface with anything. It's a terrible idea that usually teaches you an expensive lesson.


Edited by Benson, 06 August 2014 - 12:56 AM.


#6 Asbytec

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 05:45 AM

Kinda scary when that happens to new scope. Being that the maksutov corrector is essentially a lens, it is safe to use these on there? 

I feel ya. I was just falling in love with my new Mak when something mushy landed in my hair. To my horror, it looked like bat poop made a direct hit on the pristine meniscus, the finder objective, and the top of my head. Screw the hair, that meniscus had to be cleaned.

 

There are many cleaning ideas out there, you'll find one that works for you and your cleaning style.

 

The lens coatings are pretty tough, but you want to be gentle as possible with them to avoid scratches to the extent it's humanly possible to do so. Actually, I find most cleaning fluid works pretty well, it's how you use it that matters most, IME. I use RoR or even dish soap. Alcohol and Acetone and even spit work, too, but they dry pretty quickly leaving residue (unless very pure.)

 

Don't be afraid to get the meniscus wet (when removed from the OTA.) Give it a bath. I apply lots of distilled water to rinse the surface thoroughly. Then gently apply enough of whatever cleaning fluid you might use to the wet surface, gently work a soft tissue or sterile cotton balls around the lens keeping it wet all the time until you're sure it's clean. You do not need much pressure. Follow up with another good rinse/bath. Once that is done, warm breath and a soft lens cloth or tissue gently applied will remove any residual film and water droplets so that it will actually pass the flashlight test like new.

 

The lens might look very clean after cleaning. But if you inspect it with the right lighting and (IIRC) a dark background (similar to shining a flashlight into your dark OTA), you can see the slight residual film that shows easily in the flashlight test. Use warm breath to moisten that area and gently dab or wipe it until it's no longer visible, It comes off pretty easy, the trick is to see it so you can knock it out.

 

You can use small amounts of cleaning agent making small, soft circular motion with a q-tip. The solution will dry and the q-tip will pull some (but not all) of that residual film off the lens. But, I just find it easier and just as effective to clean the darn thing getting it wet and worry about any residual film with warm breath and a soft lens cloth afterward.



#7 Max Power

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 07:23 AM

Sometimes paper towels or napkins have like oil on them and they leave a residue.  Change to a different brand of paper.


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#8 WesC

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 11:32 AM

I like using those scientific tissues that don't leave lint or streaks, you can find them on Amazon.



#9 JohnH

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 12:55 PM

One thing I used was one of the LCD cleaners that you use before replacing the plastic protection on my digital camera.


Edited by JohnH, 06 August 2014 - 12:56 PM.


#10 davidmcgo

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 07:09 PM

The trick to avoiding streaks is to use something very absorbent to wipe the wetted glass.  I usually use a folded kimwipe and follow the wetted cleaning cloth with the dry tissue that blots everything up.  Obviously this follows the initial delicate get rid of grit stages where I let the streaks happen.

 

For this final stage, I like the Zeiss fluid best, but not getting super wet, just damp enough to dissolve the streaks.  Too wet and you still get streaks. Basso, with the kimwipes, use the whole sheet or cut with very sharp scissors into smaller sizes.  Tearing them leaves a lot of lint on the lens!

 

microfiber cloths work great when new but they build up oils after uses and seem to leave a film after that although they spread it around more evenly.

 

Dave



#11 rmollise

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 07:38 PM

just got my mak-newt back from ES, the collimation was completely off and while adjusting and fixing that i accidentally got 3 finger prints on the mak corrector. I tried some isopropyl to clean it off, didnt do much but left streaks. I then took a microfiber cleaning cloth and using  a mix of cleaning stuff (1/3 91% isopropyl, 2/3 distilled water and a drop of soap per pint) tried to clean it going in circular motion with microfiber cloth and there are streaks everywhere i can't get them to go away, any ideas or help?

 

Your salvation? Canned air, Blue Windex, and White unscented/lotioned Kleenex. Yeah, I know you've been told alcohol and dish soap and junk like that are the kitten's meow...but you see what that got you... ;)


Edited by rmollise, 06 August 2014 - 07:39 PM.

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#12 zsb04

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 10:10 PM

it is little better, my understanding is cleaning the corrector is not as big of a deal as a refractor objective or mirror, i was very hesitant to even touch it, but i couldnt leave fingerprints on it. I found that "special formula" that manufacturers recommed of 1/3 isopropyl 2/3 distilled water left a lot of streaks. Just using zeiss lens wipes seemed to work best. I think i will leave it for now and do an optical test. I told ES when i sent my scope back that i did not send the finderscope as nothing is wrong with it. I received the scope back with a free case and another of those illuminated 8x50 raci finders :)


Edited by zsb04, 06 August 2014 - 10:11 PM.


#13 Ed Holland

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Posted 13 August 2014 - 06:11 AM

(Not intended as sarcasm)

 

Anyone concerned about using Uncle Rod's Windex/Kleenex method should stick a greasy fingerprint on a window, and look at the results after cleaning. :)

 

Practice all you like with a clear conscience.... and windows :) :)



#14 *skyguy*

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Posted 13 August 2014 - 07:37 AM

I've used Meade's recommended cleaning mixture of 1 part 91% isopropyl alcohol , 2 parts distilled water and a drop of dishwasher soap per pint for almost 15 years to clean not only corrector plates but also refractor lenses and eyepieces with excellent results ... no streaks, no sleeks, no fuss!  As with most things in life ... you need to follow the instructions ... exactly!  Using a microfiber cleaning cloth .... instead of the recommended unscented Kleenex tissues ... is a formula for disaster! Follow the instructions and you will get great results!


Edited by *skyguy*, 13 August 2014 - 07:38 AM.


#15 rmollise

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Posted 13 August 2014 - 09:03 AM

My experience is that the Meade formula works great for mirrors. Not as great for lenses or correctors. ;)



#16 *skyguy*

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Posted 13 August 2014 - 12:44 PM

My experience is that the Meade formula works great for mirrors. Not as great for lenses or correctors. ;)

 
I've had nothing but excellent results cleaning corrector plates following the very simple instructions and using the cleaning fluid formula recommended by Meade. The corrector in my 15 year old 12" SCT has been cleaned by me at least 20 times over the years and condition-wise it's still virtually indistinguishable from a factory-fresh corrector. No streaks, no sleeks, no scratches with absolutely perfect, blemish-free  coatings. Not bad for a heavily used 15 year old scope stored outside in an observatory!

 

 

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#17 rmollise

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Posted 14 August 2014 - 09:12 AM

That's fine, and what you've experienced is what you've experienced. It just differs from my experience which is, when it comes to lenses,  HOLD THE DAWN! And the alcohol too--till the dadgum run is over, anyhow... :lol:



#18 Ed Holland

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Posted 14 August 2014 - 11:21 AM

HOLD THE DAWN

 

An appropriate sentiment for an astronomer indeed!!!  



#19 *skyguy*

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Posted 15 August 2014 - 10:45 AM

Hey Rod .....

 

As you are a very knowledgeable and highly respected, long time contributor to the amateur astronomy community ...  I'm sure you are aware that the drop of liquid dish-soap in Meade's optics cleaning formula is used to break the surface tension in the water, allowing for a more effective "cleaning" action. If more than 1 drop of dish-soap per pint is added ... then there is the distinct possibility of ending up with streaks on the optics. So ... Yes .... I do agree with your recommendation to "Hold the Dawn" ... hold it to 1 drop per pint to get the best "dadgum" cleaning solution money can't buy! IMHO. ;)

 

BTW, how did you know my wife only buys Dawn dish-soap? Freaky! :)

 

 








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