Jump to content

  •  

CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.

Photo

How to clean your telescope mirrors cheap and easy

This topic has been archived. This means that you cannot reply to this topic.
69 replies to this topic

#51 jarhead

jarhead

    Explorer 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 74
  • Joined: 24 Nov 2004

Posted 26 January 2013 - 10:44 AM

I have a very old Criterion Dynamax RV6. I cleaned the mirrors almost the same way when I bought it some 20 years ago and they have not needed cleaning since. I keep the unit covered on both ends and then cover the entire unit with large plastic bag. Still looks clean. I premixed the water and Dawn before applying to the mirror like professional window washers do. I also wore disposable gloves.

#52 DavidC

DavidC

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 1,645
  • Joined: 24 Nov 2005

Posted 26 January 2013 - 04:09 PM

The mirror on my 13 inch is also hard to remove from the cell, so I just lean the whole thing on the edge of the sink then rinse with distilled water, I let most of the water run off and then I just dab the remaining drops with a pure cotton cloth. The rest of the time I just blow off the dust with an air bulb, that gets most of the dust off.
David

#53 DeanS

DeanS

    Aurora

  • *****
  • Posts: 4,704
  • Joined: 12 Jul 2005

Posted 28 May 2013 - 05:50 PM

I just did my 18" Zambuto with the OWL method and it came out in perfect shape. Scary at first touch but with the soapy film you are almost not even touching the mirror itself.

Dean

PS, yes the TSP dust is terrible but worth it for those dark skies.

#54 Howie Glatter

Howie Glatter

    In Memoriam

  • *****
  • In Memoriam
  • Posts: 1,104
  • Joined: 04 Jul 2006

Posted 28 May 2013 - 08:09 PM

Hi Dean,

> I just did my 18" Zambuto with the OWL method . .

What did you use for the container ?

#55 DeanS

DeanS

    Aurora

  • *****
  • Posts: 4,704
  • Joined: 12 Jul 2005

Posted 28 May 2013 - 08:17 PM

I did not use a container or sink, just tilted it slightly and ran a hose on it keeping it flooded with water. Got my hand soapy with dawn and used very light pressure and when over it a few times. Then after it was rinsed clean I rain distilled water over it. Dried spotless.

#56 Bill Weir

Bill Weir

    Mercury-Atlas

  • *****
  • Posts: 2,960
  • Joined: 01 Jun 2004

Posted 28 May 2013 - 10:59 PM

Hi Dean,

> I just did my 18" Zambuto with the OWL method . .

What did you use for the container ?


I just did my 20" Lockwood by that method in my very large kitchen sink. (image is before the reno was completed) The sink isn't quite wide enough to lay the mirror flat but I just kept the water running while rubbing. The sink is silgranite a silicone-granite compound and is actually sort of soft so I don't even worry when I put the mirror in.

It actually feels very cool rubbing my smooth soap/wet hand against the smooth quartz surface. Kind of sexylike.

Bill

Attached Thumbnails

  • 5890042-sink.JPG


#57 beatlejuice

beatlejuice

    Mercury-Atlas

  • *****
  • Posts: 2,748
  • Joined: 05 Apr 2011

Posted 28 May 2013 - 11:14 PM

It actually feels very cool rubbing my smooth soap/wet hand against the smooth quartz surface. Kind of sexylike.



If you cleaned for more than 4 hours seek medical attention.

Eric

#58 omahaastro

omahaastro

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 551
  • Joined: 30 Aug 2006

Posted 30 May 2013 - 12:21 AM

My 30", full thickness, Sitall mirror weighs about 200 lbs... subsequently, I clean it in the mirror box... use a tarp to keep water off the electronics. I just add a couple of drops of Dawn to a gallon jug of distilled water, shake it up... slowly pour over the mirror, dragging soaked surgical cotton to lift debris. Then pour another gallon of distilled water to rinse. Water runs right out the back and clear of everything. I don't generally clean my mirrors more than once annually.

Posted Image

#59 DavidC

DavidC

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 1,645
  • Joined: 24 Nov 2005

Posted 30 May 2013 - 11:15 AM

On my 13 inch the mirror is two inches thick and not so easy to get out of the aluminum cell, so I usually wash it about once a year in the cell, I just tip it on end. In the mean time I use an air bulb you would find at camera stores for cleaning lenses, to blow off the mirror surface. If I see more dust than the bulb can remove, I take a squirt bottle filled with distilled water, mist the surface and then I use clean 100% cotton cloth to pat the mirror dry. My 13 inch mirror was made in 1988 and the coating is still in decent shape and gives decent views, so I just try to be carefull with it.
David

#60 Shneor

Shneor

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 1,741
  • Joined: 01 Mar 2005

Posted 31 May 2013 - 02:08 AM

I just lean my mirroc (glued to the cell) on a wall. resting on one of the 3 aluminum strut and handle holders, and use a hose with as much pressure as possible. This washes off all the dust and almost everything else. If there's anything left, I use USP cotton to carefully and very gently clean the area. Then I rinse thoroughly with distilled water and let dry outdoors. If there are tiny drops of water left, I use cotton to absorb them. My mirror has enhanced coating, I have had it for 12 years, and have cleaned it no more than 6 times. The coating still looks terrific and performs very well.
Clears,

#61 jrbarnett

jrbarnett

    Eyepiece Hooligan

  • *****
  • Posts: 30,374
  • Joined: 28 Feb 2006

Posted 31 May 2013 - 11:51 AM

Me three. I use a large dark room print developing tray and distilled water only (no detergent, no chemicals, no cotton) and keep the soak time to the absolute minimum necessary to loosen and float off the crud. I err on the side of leaving stubborn dew spots rather than extending the soak time. Per Mike Lockwood, water is enemy #1 in causing coating degradation. Soaking substantially shortens the coatings' lifespan. However, I don't feel my mirror gets clean enough by just rinsing, so I'm willing to trade having to recoat more frequently for a cleaner mirror.

In fact, giving the 16" a bath is a weekend project. It will be hot (90s) and dry (low humidity) so it should go off without a hitch. I'd love to see some method for charging the glass for an antistatic effect. Perhaps an aluminum-polonium coating mixture...Don't mind the six fingers. I can still focus.

Regards,

Jim

#62 jrbarnett

jrbarnett

    Eyepiece Hooligan

  • *****
  • Posts: 30,374
  • Joined: 28 Feb 2006

Posted 31 May 2013 - 12:19 PM

Way, way, way too much information!

:grin:

- Jim

#63 Jeff Phinney

Jeff Phinney

    Vostok 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 192
  • Joined: 20 Feb 2013

Posted 31 May 2013 - 05:15 PM

If it wasn't for the price, this would be the perfect thing to use at the end of an observing session when the pollen or other particulate count is high. Only takes a few minutes and there's really nothing to clean up afterwards.

http://www.co2clean.com/

#64 Jeff Phinney

Jeff Phinney

    Vostok 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 192
  • Joined: 20 Feb 2013

Posted 04 June 2013 - 06:12 PM

http://loen.ucolick...._Manuals/Vol...

#65 DARKMATTER

DARKMATTER

    Explorer 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 54
  • Joined: 09 Sep 2005

Posted 12 October 2013 - 05:48 AM

This demonstration video was made by OWL, a renowned telescope mirror maker in the USA. Dogma about the telescope mirrors debunked

Click, watch amd make comments please

http://www.youtube.c...h?v=9Y8xFnXFVGQ


Clear skies
Solomon


It's pretty similar to what I do, expect that I am a little bit less aggressive with the water sprayer and I don't actually brush my fingers on the surface like he does.

I have two large shallow plastic tote trays that I use in the bathtub for soaking, washing, and rinsing mirrors. They are dedicated to that job and are kept much cleaner than I trust my bathtub or sink to be.

I use a liquid soap that is fragrance free, moisturizer free, and color free. I think that it is a Martha Stewart endorsed brand that I found at Home Depot. I figure that anything in there that's not soap is not helping get my mirror any cleaner and may in fact leave a residue.


Could a member from the UK recommend a brand suitable for this cleaning operation?

Thanks

Simon :)

#66 nevy

nevy

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1,470
  • Joined: 07 Feb 2012

Posted 12 October 2013 - 10:26 AM

I just use washing up liquid , doesn't really matter what brand , I just use whatever the missus buy, this is before the clean
[image]http://Posted Image[/image]
And this is after
[image]http://Posted Image[/image]

#67 aatt

aatt

    Vanguard

  • ***--
  • Posts: 2,144
  • Joined: 26 Jul 2012

Posted 12 October 2013 - 11:19 AM

How about if there is a spot of insect crud on the mirror and the rest of the mirror is o.k. and does not really need it? Is there an recommended way for a local touch up?

#68 Shneor

Shneor

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 1,741
  • Joined: 01 Mar 2005

Posted 13 October 2013 - 02:06 AM

My 22" Pegasus mirror has enhanced coating, and I have been using it for 12 years. I have cleaned it less than half a dozen times. I don't use soap at all. The mirror is glued to an aluminum cell. I rest the cell on the ground against a wall and use a garden hose at the highest pressure possible to scour the face of the mirror with water. If there any spots that don't come out after a few minutes, I use USP cotton to very gently rub the area (this is pretty rare). I then run distilled water over the mirror and let it dry. If there are still a few drops after a couple of minutes, I just blot them up gently with USP cotton. My mirror is in excellent shape.

#69 DARKMATTER

DARKMATTER

    Explorer 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 54
  • Joined: 09 Sep 2005

Posted 14 October 2013 - 12:52 PM

I just use washing up liquid , doesn't really matter what brand , I just use whatever the missus buy, this is before the clean
[image]http://Posted Image[/image]
And this is after
[image]http://Posted Image[/image]


Thanks looks good I an just very cautious as many modern cleaners contain chemicals which even with a short exposure to can damage the delicate coating

#70 nevy

nevy

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1,470
  • Joined: 07 Feb 2012

Posted 14 October 2013 - 01:28 PM

The coating is the original & I've had the scope for about 6 years , I wash the mirror at least twice a year & more if it needs it so washing up liquid should be safe enough , you only need a couple of drops in a litre of water.
Here's the stuff I use
[image]http://Posted Image[/image]


CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.


Recent Topics






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics