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Meade EQ1-B mirror clean


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#1 siwilks200

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Posted 12 October 2013 - 03:04 AM

Hi guys, my first post!

Unfortunately its a silly one. Ive recently bought my second telescope, the EQ1-B, which was a nice upgrade from my first scope the Tasco 302058!

The EQ-1 isnt new and the mirror was very dusty, so i removed it and wiped it with a cloth. Then i read the manual which states to clean as infrequently as possible! and if you need to use either a camels brush or compressed air.

Now im panicking that ive ruined the mirror's original quality polish - how can i rectify this?
Also the tube is dusty and im thinking of using a microduster?

Many thanks
Simon

#2 MistrBadgr

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Posted 12 October 2013 - 06:37 AM

Hi Simon! Welcome to the forum.

The microduster, a moist rag, compressed air, etc is OK for cleaning out the tube.

You might try compressed air to blow off dust from your secondary mirror.

I cannot go into detail right now, kind of time cramped, but I normally blow off the primary mirror with compressed gas, like used on computers, to start. I make sure I hold the can right so I do not get any liquids out.

I rinse off with water in the sink, then stick the mirror in a pan with water and a drop of a simple dish washing liquid with no lotions or anything like that in it. I rinse the mirror off again and look for spots on it. If I see some, back into a new pan of water with the soap in it. I will try to locate the brand of paper towel I use, but I make little pads with it and gently wipe across the surface in one direction. I use one stroke per pad, to avoid scratching the surface with a piece of dust picked up. I then rinse the mirror off in the water tap.

The last thing is to rinse the mirror off with demineralized water, let drain, and then get any remaining water droplets by touching them carefully, with corners of the paper towel to absorb the water. If there are a few spots left, I normally leave them alone. They are better than a big scratch across the mirror.

There are other methods, and everyone seems to have their own way. The main thing, I think, is to be careful and gentle. Do things to keep from reintroducing a dust grain after it has been removed.

Hope this helps,

Bill Steen
Bill Steen, Sky Hunters' Haven Observatory, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma

#3 MistrBadgr

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Posted 12 October 2013 - 01:45 PM

I believe the paper towels that RF Royce, a mirror maker, recommends for cleaning mirrors is VIVA. He says it is the softest brand.

Bill Steen
Bill Steen, Sky Hunters' Haven Observatory, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma

#4 siwilks200

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Posted 12 October 2013 - 02:58 PM

thats great thank a lot! is there a setting i can click to get emails that let me know when good folk like yourselves have commented on my posts?

i will definitely use your techniques ref rinsing etc but i already wiped the mirror using a rag cloth while dust was on the mirror - do you think that has damaged / scratched the top surface? i guess i will only know when i use it hey?

perhaps the mirrors are more robust than i think, they do seem extremely thick for a mirror!!!
thanks again!!

#5 MistrBadgr

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Posted 12 October 2013 - 07:00 PM

Hi Simon,

First, I do not know away of getting notification of responses to posts. I get notifications when someone reports something, like spam. I think everyone gets an email when someone sends them a private message.

Most likely, you did not scratch the glass in the mirror. The aluminum coating is the most likely thing to scratch. The coating can be redone. If the mirror has had dust sitting on a bare aluminum coating for a long time, humidity can work with the dust to corrode the mirror in tiny spots. If the mirror does not seem to clean up, that is probably what has happened.

There are a number of companies that do recoatings of various types and prices. For small mirrors, I have used www.1800destiny.com. The prices are reasonable for a standard aluminum coating with a 90% reflectance and Hans Wiest, the owner, puts on a silicon dioxide overcoat for protection. If you want a reflective surface with better than 90%, which a lot of people want on large mirrors, then you would have to use someone else. For a small scope like the one you have, the original coating was probably not as good as 90% and did not have the protective overcoat. Most of the re-coaters are now putting a silicon dioxide overcoat rather then the silicon monoxide coating that was used previously.

Hopefully, your mirror will clean up. If it looks a bit foggy after cleaning, you can still probably use it, but plan on a recoating sometime in the future.

Best Regards,

Bill Steen
Bill Steen, Sky Hunters' Haven Observatory, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma

#6 siwilks200

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 12:13 PM

perfect answer Bill, thanks - i knew i should come here ;D

so for now i will water clean the mirror and assess until i see good cause for upgrading - just need some clear skies now for assessment! typical

#7 siwilks200

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Posted 15 October 2013 - 12:51 PM

ok i bought some car battery top up water which is de-ionised - is that the same as distilled / demineralised water, would it be ok to clean the mirror? thanks

#8 MistrBadgr

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Posted 15 October 2013 - 03:35 PM

The process for making it is different, but the end result is the same. Minerals and other removed to a very great degree. The idea is to use something that will not leave spots on the mirror and will tend to dissolve anything unwanted on the mirror easier than regular tap water.

Bill Steen
Bill Steen, Sky Hunters' Haven Observatory, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma




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