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XT6 need to be cleaned?

beginner dob equipment Orion reflector
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#1 eamos

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Posted 17 April 2019 - 08:15 PM

Hi All!  I've had this XT6 for awhile and have always had the caps on when not in use, but it looks like something has gathered on both the secondary and primary mirrors.  Does it look like it needs to be cleaned?  And if so any advice on how to do so, or a link to instructions?  All help appreciated! Thanks in advance!

 

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#2 eamos

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Posted 17 April 2019 - 08:16 PM

It seems to mostly be along the edge of both mirrors.  I'm probably not skilled enough to tell if this affects views at all.  I still love looking at everything I've been able to see and wouldn't know if I'm missing anything since I have nothing to compare it to.



#3 Myk Rian

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Posted 17 April 2019 - 08:36 PM

What's all the fluffy stuff?



#4 eamos

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Posted 17 April 2019 - 09:12 PM

I'm assuming by "fluffy stuff" you're referring to the white reflections on the mirrors?  That is the substance that is on the edges of both mirrors.  It looks to be more than just general dust and is on the edges of both mirrors.



#5 gwlee

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Posted 17 April 2019 - 09:29 PM

Hard to tell from a photo, but looks to me like it might benefit by a gentle cleaning. A search here will probably turn up a few posts with detailed cleaning instructions. There‚Äôs probably a few videos about cleaning primary mirrors on u-tube as well. 



#6 jmiller1001

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Posted 17 April 2019 - 09:47 PM

Here's Mike Lockwood/Lockwood's Optics Guide to Cleaning Mirrors.



#7 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 17 April 2019 - 09:49 PM

Eric:

 

Photos can be deceiving.  From what I see, if it were my mirror, I would clean it.

 

This is the method I have been using for the past several years.

 

https://youtu.be/9Y8xFnXFVGQ

 

Removing the mirror is straight forward. I lay the scope horizontally is a secure place. A carpet on the floor. 

 

It's handy to mark the cell and tube so it's easy to tell the proper orientation when you reinstall the cell. The tube has a seam and the cell has a notch that lines up with the seam so marking it is not really necessary but it makes things easier.

 

The should be a series of screws around the tube at the bottom next to the cell/ring.

 

Remove those being careful to keep the cell in place. When the screws are out, remove the cell and place mirror side up securely on a table.

 

You will see the mirror clips that restrain the mirror. Remove the screws and remove the clips. The mirror should be free.

 

When you are ready to clean the mirror, remove it, and follow the instructions on the video. Use a very light pressure with your fingertips, a very gentle massage.  After the mirror is dry. Install the mirror in the cell, install the clips but make sure not to tighten then too much. The should almost but not quite touch the mirror.

 

If the clips are tightened, they pinch the mirror causing astigmatism, it doesn't take much.

 

Install the cell in the scope, collimate and your ready to go.

 

Jon


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#8 eamos

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Posted 18 April 2019 - 08:22 AM

Thanks for the advice!  There's definitely something on the mirrors.  Hopefully I'll have time this weekend to clean it up!



#9 Binojunky

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Posted 18 April 2019 - 09:37 AM

Where has the scope been stored? looking at the primary and the white on the mirror circumference it almost looks like oxidation of the Aluminium coating? I hope I,m wrong, D.



#10 eamos

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Posted 18 April 2019 - 09:45 AM

It's been stored inside since I've had it, almost 15-16 years, and always with the caps on.  It was at my parents house while I was in college and living overseas and I only recently brought it to where I live now.  It probably went 12-13 years without being used since I left the house, but it was always in the house with caps on.  I believe it already had this substance on the mirrors when I brought it from my parents house.  I don't know if this helps at all, but I can still see multiple bands on Jupiter and the Cassini division when looking at Saturn, but again I have nothing else to compare it to so I'm not sure if it's affecting the views at all.



#11 KerryR

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Posted 18 April 2019 - 10:03 AM

Eric:
If you don't already know: if the stuff doesn't come off, and you don't want to use the mirrors as they are, you can send them in for re-coating, for around $120, and a week or two turn around, depending on who does the job. (I like Majestic Coatings, for their quality, for including the secondary for free, and their 7ish day turn around). Generally, the appearance of white corrosion that doesn't wash off is the harbinger of a re-coat. There are some aggressive methods you could try, but the safest bet is to keep things gentle (I use the OWL method Jon linked to), and re-coat if the outcome isn't functional enough.

If you get the chance, while the mirror is out of the tube, post before and after pics.
 


Edited by KerryR, 18 April 2019 - 10:05 AM.

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#12 eamos

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Posted 18 April 2019 - 10:09 AM

Thanks Kerry!  I did not know that.  I'm hoping to have some time this weekend take a closer look and clean it up.


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#13 eamos

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Posted 19 April 2019 - 01:59 PM

Since I was off work today I was able to take out the mirrors and clean them.  This is the before and after of the primary.  It was pretty dusty for sure and I tried to get a decent picture of the substance one the edge (circled in blue).  After following the video and letting it dry they definitely look a lot better!  I didn't have any distilled water on hand, but there was only one tiny water spot which doesn't bother me.  Overall I think most of the substance is gone which is nice!

 

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#14 eamos

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Posted 19 April 2019 - 02:02 PM

Here's the secondary.  It had noticeably more substance on the edges of it.  After cleaning most of it is gone, although it looks like a very small amount has remained, but I think I can live with this.  I'll just keep an eye on it!  Thanks again for all the help and advice!

 

 

 

 

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#15 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 19 April 2019 - 09:33 PM

The primary looks bright, the secondary looks a little dull in the photos, how does it look in person?

 

Jon



#16 eamos

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Posted 19 April 2019 - 11:09 PM

It might just be the light and the way I was holding the secondary.  I think it looks just as bright, or close too, as the primary.  Got it all collimated, but of course it's raining here again tonight.



#17 KerryR

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Posted 19 April 2019 - 11:22 PM

Nice work! Things look pretty good to me. It doesn't have to be perfect. It's cool that everything cleaned up so nice!


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#18 eamos

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Posted 02 May 2019 - 09:18 AM

FWIW I was able to take the scope out last week and this morning.  Stars looked bright and pinpoint and saw multiple bands on Jupiter this morning before some clouds rolled in.  Nice to know I can take it apart and put it back together correctly!


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