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VectorRoll
super member


Reged: 11/27/12

Cleaning Optics - Mirror & Eyepieces??? new
      #5833572 - 05/01/13 01:56 AM

I am curious about Cleaning Optics. This is on my mind tonight as there was a bit of wind out tonight with some Pollen in the Air. I did not spend to much time out there after I noticed the Pollen building up on my Planishpere. When looking at my mirro while it is inside, there are a few bits of Pollen on it. Not to much at all but there is also some regular dust.

So I have a few questions about Cleaning my Optics.


For the Mirror:
In looking on the internet about it the safest thing I found was to just soak your Mirror in water with dish soap then rinse your Mirror with distilled water and let it sit vertically to drip dry. Maybe also gently drape one tissue at a time and gently move it across the mirror over its own weight while it is soaked in the water and soap solution.

Is this indeed a safe way to clean your Mirror or is there a better and safer way to clean it?


About Pollen:
I hear that it is abrasive and for something like Oak Pollen it is sticky and that you should get it off your optics as soon as possible. I am not sure if the Pollen that is in the air here is Oak Pollen. I think it may be from Dandy Lions or some other type of plants but I am not certain.

Is certain Pollen worse than others or are they pretty much all the same?

Also how long can I wait before dealing with some pollen?


For your Eyepieces:
I normally used some cleaning solution and a cleaning cloth and/or brush like I do with my Camera Lenses.

Would that be safe to do when cleaning Pollen off the Eyepiece or will is the Pollen to abrasive for that method?

Also, while Cleaning my Eyepieces I noticed that my 30mm has what looks like a smudge on the inside between the Elements. If it is a smudge. I am not sure if it is do to temperature change. I might have to look at it tomorrow to be sure. But there also seems to be a small amount of dust in there as well.

Is that normal and is it possible to clean those?


Lastly:
I am not even sure if I should Clean the Mirror yet or not. I am going to be taking the Mirror off soon as I am going to be Flocking the tube in the next day or two. So I am wondering if I should just go ahead and do this.

What do you all think?

If I do clean the Mirror, how well does the Center Spot Sticker hold up? Will it fall off?


Any additional thoughts you may have will be appreciated.


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SeptemberEquinox
sage
*****

Reged: 01/29/12

Re: Cleaning Optics - Mirror & Eyepieces??? new [Re: VectorRoll]
      #5833581 - 05/01/13 02:08 AM

http://www.ror.net/

Best cleaning solution. Works great with 100% cotton QTip


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NewMoonTelescope
Vendor


Reged: 08/31/12

Loc: Upstate NY
Re: Cleaning Optics - Mirror & Eyepieces??? new [Re: SeptemberEquinox]
      #5834130 - 05/01/13 11:23 AM

I clean all of my telescopes' mirrors at the beginning of the observing season (once a year).
I would suggest, that if your scope is new, try to wait a full year before cleaning as the coatings are a bit more sensitive in the beginning.
If the distilled water and detergent don't do the job, here is the procedure I have followed for years:
Use a turkey basting syring or other form of air gun to blow the larger particles off of the morror. Next, submerge primary mirror in distilled water in a large clean plastic tub. move it around a bit to stir the water up around it. I then pull it out and set it on edge to dry. I examine for major particles, and if it appears clean but still a bit "dusty", I lay the mirror down flat. Then dip the cotton ball in acetone and starting in the center, I make small circular motions (about 1 inch diameter circles) from the center to the edge (like bike spokes). I then get a new cotton ball to do the next spoke, and so on. I usually do this twice. After this, I do the same motions very gently with fresh cotton balls and no acetone to knock off the slight haze the acetone leaves. Then the mirror is clean.

After puting the mirror back in the scope and seeing some dust on it the next time I observe...well, I just try to pretend I don't see it until the next year


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NewMoonTelescope
Vendor


Reged: 08/31/12

Loc: Upstate NY
Re: Cleaning Optics - Mirror & Eyepieces??? new [Re: NewMoonTelescope]
      #5834149 - 05/01/13 11:32 AM

Regarding the pollen, I've never delt much with it, but I *assume* this same procedure would work with pollen also. However, there is some excellent info on the Arkansas Sky Observatory website that deals with pollen directly, so you may check that out also.

Darker skies,

Ryan

Edited by NewMoonTelescope (05/01/13 11:34 AM)


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rinalmj
sage
*****

Reged: 11/23/09

Loc: Saxonburg, PA
Re: Cleaning Optics - Mirror & Eyepieces??? new [Re: NewMoonTelescope]
      #5834350 - 05/01/13 01:00 PM

I've always thought that cleaning less often is best and that you can accumulate a surprising amount of dust/pollen/debris before the views are degraded noticeably. I'm not sure how harmful cleaning actually is to optical coatings though.

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VectorRoll
super member


Reged: 11/27/12

Re: Cleaning Optics - Mirror & Eyepieces??? new [Re: NewMoonTelescope]
      #5834442 - 05/01/13 01:42 PM

Thanks for the replies.

@ SeptemberEquinox
I will also look into checking out the product ROR that you mentioned.

@ NewMoonTelescope
I looked over the Arkansas Sky Observatory website and it seems that the person there basically wrote that you should try to clean off the Pollen right away or else it could be very hard to get off later on as it sticks to things really good. Especially if you let it stay on over the hot days of the Summer.

He did give a link to a very detailed set of instructions on how to make a cleaning solution and methods to clean the optics that he wrote up for there site. I am definitively going to try and make that solution and even give his method a try when the time comes for me to clean the Mirror.


When I take my Mirror out to Flock my Tube, I can get a better look at it and determine if I need to clean it or not.


Update: I just removed the Mirror and I do not need to do any extra Cleaning. I was able to use my Camera Lens Blower to blow off all the Dust and little bit of Pollen that was on it. There was one little light blue speck that kind of looked like a light blue grain of salt or something. It was near the edge and the blower would not move it but my little Brush for my camera lens was able to pick it up with hardly even touching it. That was the closest I came to even touching the Mirror other than covering it with a Microfiber Cloth while its out.
Anyways it is pretty clean still.

Edited by VectorRoll (05/01/13 03:24 PM)


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GeneT
Ely Kid
*****

Reged: 11/07/08

Loc: South Texas
Re: Cleaning Optics - Mirror & Eyepieces??? new [Re: VectorRoll]
      #5834931 - 05/01/13 06:09 PM

One drop of mild detergent in a gallon of distilled water, pour some on your mirror, use 100 percent pure cotton balls, drag across the mirror using only the weight of the cotton, repeat the process, rinse several times with distilled water, let dry. If you find pollen on your optics, I recommend removing it right away.

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C_Moon
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 10/23/09

Loc: Beneath the arms of Cassiopeia
Re: Cleaning Optics - Mirror & Eyepieces??? new [Re: GeneT]
      #5835206 - 05/01/13 08:52 PM

The ROR cleaner someone mentioned should not be used on mirrors, but I use it all the time on my eyepieces.

I have had my scope over 3-yrs and have not cleaned it. A small amount of dust, pollen, etc does not matter. I would not use a brush on my mirror, it's not worth it taking a chance of scratching. Kind of like having surgery to remove a freckle.

I think it's human nature to be bothered by seeing dust, etc on your mirror (kind of like hearing brake noise in your car), but a little dust does not hurt anything. I was just as concerned as you when I started, but have mellowed considerably since them

Before cleaning your mirror, I'd read as much as possible on it (just read this forum for a year, that ought to do it ). You'll find that there is a ton of advice, much of it contradictory. Soon you'll figure out the people you respect and trust and do what they do.

One final thing I'd say (and this goes for eyepieces too), it's best if you can avoid cleaning by taking care of them in the first place. I avoid observing during the "great pollen explosion" every spring (I'm talking about the 2-3 week long episode when cars, streets, houses are coated with yellow powder). Just hope it happens over full moon. During the whole year I keep my scope covered at all times when not in use, and eyepieces that I'm not looking through are always capped. Preventative care goes a long way!


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StrangeDejavu
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 03/20/13

Loc: Florida
Re: Cleaning Optics - Mirror & Eyepieces??? new [Re: C_Moon]
      #5835381 - 05/01/13 10:58 PM

Would anyone be willing to recommend the Zeiss eyeglass wipes on the primary lens of a refractor? I've got a few water spots on the lens that i'll eventually want to take care of.

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geekgroupie
sage


Reged: 01/07/12

Loc: Puebo, CO
Re: Cleaning Optics - Mirror & Eyepieces??? [Re: StrangeDejavu]
      #5835397 - 05/01/13 11:08 PM

An astrophotographer who uses only surgical cotton and some fancy chemical recommended Sparkle. That's what I buy

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VectorRoll
super member


Reged: 11/27/12

Re: Cleaning Optics - Mirror & Eyepieces??? new [Re: C_Moon]
      #5836283 - 05/02/13 01:15 PM

Quote:

One drop of mild detergent in a gallon of distilled water, pour some on your mirror, use 100 percent pure cotton balls, drag across the mirror using only the weight of the cotton, repeat the process, rinse several times with distilled water, let dry. If you find pollen on your optics, I recommend removing it right away.



@ GeneT
That is one of the methods I saw being used on YouTube.
If I ever do get Pollen on my Mirror I will try to remove it right away. Now that I know that Pollen is a major issue, I am going to check for that first before even thinking about going outside. I am out in the country so I am surround by Pollen sources.

Quote:

The ROR cleaner someone mentioned should not be used on mirrors, but I use it all the time on my eyepieces.

I have had my scope over 3-yrs and have not cleaned it. A small amount of dust, pollen, etc does not matter. I would not use a brush on my mirror, it's not worth it taking a chance of scratching. Kind of like having surgery to remove a freckle.

I think it's human nature to be bothered by seeing dust, etc on your mirror (kind of like hearing brake noise in your car), but a little dust does not hurt anything. I was just as concerned as you when I started, but have mellowed considerably since them

Before cleaning your mirror, I'd read as much as possible on it (just read this forum for a year, that ought to do it ). You'll find that there is a ton of advice, much of it contradictory. Soon you'll figure out the people you respect and trust and do what they do.

One final thing I'd say (and this goes for eyepieces too), it's best if you can avoid cleaning by taking care of them in the first place. I avoid observing during the "great pollen explosion" every spring (I'm talking about the 2-3 week long episode when cars, streets, houses are coated with yellow powder). Just hope it happens over full moon. During the whole year I keep my scope covered at all times when not in use, and eyepieces that I'm not looking through are always capped. Preventative care goes a long way!



@ C_Moon
Thanks for the info. I was reading up on the ROR and it seems that to get it I would have to order it online as there is no place nearby that sales it. Good to know that it should not be used for Mirrors. Saves me the time of Ordering it as I already have stuff for my Eyepieces.

When I used my Camera Lens Brush I did it like it was surgery. I barely touch the mirror with it. I just tried to touch the actual particle. I am pretty much scared to touch the mirror as I do not want to ruin it. Even though they say that this GSO Mirror is supposed to have a protective coating of (SiO2) I am still scared to touch it. I just do not trust touching it without the proper method and taking the proper precautions. Thankfully though I do not need to Clean it. I just Flocked the Tube, then used the Blower to get what little dust was on it off and put it back on the Tube.

So I will probably do what suggest and read the forums for a year before going back to the Mirror to clean it.

For my Eyepieces I try my best to keep them clean but I seem to just keep putting figure marks on them as I touch the top of the lens when trying to pick them up in the dark because I can't see them.
I have been using the Zeiss Wipes to clean those smudges off.

Quote:

Would anyone be willing to recommend the Zeiss eyeglass wipes on the primary lens of a refractor? I've got a few water spots on the lens that i'll eventually want to take care of.



@ StrangeDejavu
I do not see a major issue with them for Refractor lens. I use them on my Eyepieces. I also used it on my Finder Scope. I have yet to read anything saying they are bad for them. I will not use it on my Mirror though.
You probably could also use the Zeiss Lens Cleaner Spray as well.

Quote:

An astrophotographer who uses only surgical cotton and some fancy chemical recommended Sparkle. That's what I buy



@ geekgroupie
I think they sale that stuff at the Home Depot. I would have never thought about using it.


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okieav8rAdministrator
I'd rather be flying!
*****

Reged: 03/01/09

Loc: Oklahoma!
Re: Cleaning Optics - Mirror & Eyepieces??? new [Re: GeneT]
      #5836798 - 05/02/13 05:26 PM

Quote:

One drop of mild detergent in a gallon of distilled water, pour some on your mirror, use 100 percent pure cotton balls, drag across the mirror using only the weight of the cotton, repeat the process, rinse several times with distilled water, let dry. If you find pollen on your optics, I recommend removing it right away.




This is the method I use for mirrors, and it has served me very well. No volatile solvents are involved, and it is as green as you can get. I generally use Purosol on lenses. After almost 30 years of cleaning telescope mirrors and lenses, I have learned that while we should take care not to let a mirror or lens get dirty in the first place, it does not hurt to clean them whenever they need it if done carefully. Yes, spring is pollen season, but it's also galaxy season, and I wouldn't let pollen keep me from observing them. If I need to clean my optics afterwards, I clean them--no big deal. I haven't scratched one yet.


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okieav8rAdministrator
I'd rather be flying!
*****

Reged: 03/01/09

Loc: Oklahoma!
Re: Cleaning Optics - Mirror & Eyepieces??? new [Re: StrangeDejavu]
      #5836805 - 05/02/13 05:32 PM

Quote:

Would anyone be willing to recommend the Zeiss eyeglass wipes on the primary lens of a refractor? I've got a few water spots on the lens that i'll eventually want to take care of.




A few years ago, I asked Roland Christen if it would be OK to use Bausch & Lomb lens wipes to clean lenses. He said that they should be fine. Lens coatings are a lot more durable that many people think. Just blow off any loose dust first, and don't rub hard.


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Starman1
Vendor (EyepiecesEtc.com)
*****

Reged: 06/24/03

Loc: Los Angeles
Re: Cleaning Optics - Mirror & Eyepieces??? new [Re: okieav8r]
      #5842836 - 05/06/13 01:23 AM

Cleaning a mirror:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Y8xFnXFVGQ
Cleaning an eyepiece:
http://televue.com/engine/TV3b_page.asp?return=Advice&plain=TRUE&id=103

In both cases, it's hard to improve on simplicity.


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