I just received an Astro-Tech AT-111EDT that I purchased from Astromart for what I though was a smoking deal at $750 because of small spots on the coating of the primary elements. To my horror, when I inspected the telescope upon receipt, it has the beginnings of fungus internally on the air-spaced triplet elements and the outside facing surface spots were likely due to fungus removal. I live in So Cal so I doubt it'll spread due to the relatively dry climate and the fact that I store my scopes with desiccant, however, I want to remove it to minimize the potential for spreading and also cross-contamination with my imaging equipment (e.g., cameras, field flatteners, powermates, etc.). I reached out to Astronomics via their website without response and the gentleman that answered the help line was of ZERO help as he recommended that I go back to the website.
I need to know two things:
1) Is there anyone or any company that services lens elements for telescopes. Optimally, I'd like to send over the lens cell and have it dismantled, cleaned, and collimated (e.g., with Hydrogen Peroxide and Ammonia) to eradicate the fungus. If not,
2) Does anyone here have any insights into how to disassemble the lens cell holding the three air-spaced elements. I was able to remove the lens cell from the OTA. I just cant get any further as everything is too tight. I need some pointers. (i.e., is the primary locking ring locked in place with any type of thread locker?, how easy will it be to screw up collimation once the cell is disassembled?, Are threads reversed?, etc.) It also looks like some of the smaller rings have been locked in place with a center punch to prevent disassembly.
Any pointers would be greatly appreciated!
Thanks and clear skies!!!