Swiffer my primary mirror


VegaGaze
 

Is there a quick and easy way to dust off the primary mirror?

The instructions for my Orion XT8 classic dob tell me to remove the primary mirror and soak it soapy water and alcohol and wipe clean with cotton balls. Sounds like too opportunities to screw up, scratch and/or drop my mirror. I'm scared.

Isn't there a Swiffer for primary mirrors? HA!


Paul
 

LeighAnne,

How long have you had your XT8 and how dirty is it?  I have had mine for 4 yrs and have not cleaned it.  You'll find varied opinions on cleaning, with some cleaning each year and others, like myself, avoiding cleaning as long as possible. One thing you will find agreement on is that it is easy to scratch your mirror and cleaning should be done carefully with a minimal amount of touching, wiping, etc.

If the only thing that concerns you is a little dust, then I would ignore it, as it will not affect your views. Many folks get concerned about dust on the mirror, especially if you shine a red light down your tube at night. No mirror looks good if you do that. Seriously,  I've been told an freshly cleaned scope will look dusty as can be if you shine a red light down a tube at  night and examine the mirror.

Finally, if you do think you need to clean it, I would try to arrange to have an *experienced* club member either talk with your beforehand, or even help you do it yourself.  If the latter, maybe we could even turn it into a workshop where everyone could learn the proper way to clean a mirror.

Good luck!

- Paul



On Thu, Jun 20, 2013 at 11:08 AM, LeighAnne <lalagoe@...> wrote:
 

Is there a quick and easy way to dust off the primary mirror?

The instructions for my Orion XT8 classic dob tell me to remove the primary mirror and soak it soapy water and alcohol and wipe clean with cotton balls. Sounds like too opportunities to screw up, scratch and/or drop my mirror. I'm scared.

Isn't there a Swiffer for primary mirrors? HA!



preciousmyprecious
 

That is good!-Isn't there a Swiffer for primary mirrors? HA! 

Unless it's real bad I can't tell a clean from a dirty by use. George has the dirtiest mirror in the club and I defy anyone to see a difference, on the same object- side by side with a clean mirror scope.
 
Carpe Noctem
Bill McLean

From: LeighAnne
To: backbayastro@...
Sent: Thursday, June 20, 2013 11:08 AM
Subject: [backbayastro] Swiffer my primary mirror

 
Is there a quick and easy way to dust off the primary mirror?

The instructions for my Orion XT8 classic dob tell me to remove the primary mirror and soak it soapy water and alcohol and wipe clean with cotton balls. Sounds like too opportunities to screw up, scratch and/or drop my mirror. I'm scared.

Isn't there a Swiffer for primary mirrors? HA!




bob414
 

Unless your primary is really dusty/dirty it does significantly reduce the views from your scope.  Best advice is clean only when necessary, and protect (dust caps) when not in use.  Dusting can be done using a gentle blowing (avoid or be very careful using compressed air dusters their propellants can affect mirror surfaces) I prefer a blub puffer/blower used on camera lens, just don’t hit the mirror with the tip.

 

When you do clean, always always always rinse in distilled water.  Some professionals suggest filtering all cleaning, rinsing solutions thru coffee filters.

 

Bob

 

From: backbayastro@... [mailto:backbayastro@...] On Behalf Of LeighAnne
Sent: Thursday, June 20, 2013 11:09 AM
To: backbayastro@...
Subject: [backbayastro] Swiffer my primary mirror

 

 

Is there a quick and easy way to dust off the primary mirror?

The instructions for my Orion XT8 classic dob tell me to remove the primary mirror and soak it soapy water and alcohol and wipe clean with cotton balls. Sounds like too opportunities to screw up, scratch and/or drop my mirror. I'm scared.

Isn't there a Swiffer for primary mirrors? HA!


Roy Diffrient
 

You're right to be scared. Better to let it get crummy and do cleaning less often. Typically, you can't tell the difference in telescope performance, and the coating will last longer that way. When you must handle your optics, wear new rubber/vinyl gloves, and after you put on the gloves, wash them, to get rid of any talc on them. I don't like the wiping part of Orion's instructions -- It's really best not to wipe at all, but instead just let the detergent do its thing for an hour, lifting the dirt off. But if that doesn't cut it, if you feel you really must wipe, then apply no pressure at all. That is, drag a clean, wet cotton ball across the surface, turning the ball continuously, and replace it quite often, so that you're not dragging dirt across the surface. That method applies only the weight of a wet cotton ball to the coating. For bath water, a couple drops of Ivory Liquid and a spoonful of isopropyl alcohol in a quart of distilled water works -- Or I think there is a recipe for Dr. Clay's cleaner in the Yahoo files. Rinse with distilled water. To help prevent water spots, dab any clinging drops with a clean, untouched (no finger oils) paper towel, and again, no wiping. Others have good methods that may work too, but this is what I do, and my coatings are 20+ years old, still going.

Roy

-----Original Message-----
From: LeighAnne
Sent: Thursday, June 20, 2013 11:08 AM
To: backbayastro@...
Subject: [backbayastro] Swiffer my primary mirror

Is there a quick and easy way to dust off the primary mirror?

The instructions for my Orion XT8 classic dob tell me to remove the primary mirror and soak it soapy water and alcohol and wipe clean with cotton balls. Sounds like too opportunities to screw up, scratch and/or drop my mirror. I'm scared.

Isn't there a Swiffer for primary mirrors? HA!



------------------------------------

Yahoo! Groups Links


VegaGaze
 

I've had my telescope for less than 3 years. Today, I noticed some specks of dust/dirt on it and got very concerned that I'd have to take it apart. I haven't noticed a difference in optics at all (but haven't been using it for the past several months either).
Good to know I can just let it go for a while. I do keep the cover on it at all times. I guess it's not as bad as I originally thought it was.

I'm glad I asked first before taking it apart.

Thanks everyone! :)


Jim Tallman <jctallman@...>
 

Actually I think Courtney is the winner for dirtiest mirror.

 

Jim

 

From: backbayastro@... [mailto:backbayastro@...] On Behalf Of William McLean
Sent: Thursday, June 20, 2013 12:32 PM
To: backbayastro@...
Subject: Re: [backbayastro] Swiffer my primary mirror

 

 

That is good!-Isn't there a Swiffer for primary mirrors? HA! 

 

Unless it's real bad I can't tell a clean from a dirty by use. George has the dirtiest mirror in the club and I defy anyone to see a difference, on the same object- side by side with a clean mirror scope.

 

Carpe Noctem
Bill McLean


From: LeighAnne <lalagoe@...>
To: backbayastro@...
Sent: Thursday, June 20, 2013 11:08 AM
Subject: [backbayastro] Swiffer my primary mirror

 

 

Is there a quick and easy way to dust off the primary mirror?

The instructions for my Orion XT8 classic dob tell me to remove the primary mirror and soak it soapy water and alcohol and wipe clean with cotton balls. Sounds like too opportunities to screw up, scratch and/or drop my mirror. I'm scared.

Isn't there a Swiffer for primary mirrors? HA!

 


preciousmyprecious
 

Jim, I think we have the beginnings of a dirty mirror contest or AL program. 
 
Carpe Noctem
Bill McLean

From: Jim Tallman
To: backbayastro@...
Sent: Thursday, June 20, 2013 1:37 PM
Subject: RE: [backbayastro] Swiffer my primary mirror

 
Actually I think Courtney is the winner for dirtiest mirror.
 
Jim
 

From: backbayastro@... [mailto:backbayastro@...] On Behalf Of William McLean
Sent: Thursday, June 20, 2013 12:32 PM
To: backbayastro@...
Subject: Re: [backbayastro] Swiffer my primary mirror
 
 
That is good!-Isn't there a Swiffer for primary mirrors? HA! 
 
Unless it's real bad I can't tell a clean from a dirty by use. George has the dirtiest mirror in the club and I defy anyone to see a difference, on the same object- side by side with a clean mirror scope.
 
Carpe Noctem
Bill McLean

From: LeighAnne <lalagoe@...>
To: backbayastro@...
Sent: Thursday, June 20, 2013 11:08 AM
Subject: [backbayastro] Swiffer my primary mirror
 
 
Is there a quick and easy way to dust off the primary mirror?

The instructions for my Orion XT8 classic dob tell me to remove the primary mirror and soak it soapy water and alcohol and wipe clean with cotton balls. Sounds like too opportunities to screw up, scratch and/or drop my mirror. I'm scared.

Isn't there a Swiffer for primary mirrors? HA!
 



George Reynolds
 

That's right, Leigh Anne.  There is no need to clean your mirror routinely.  Only if it gets so dirty or spotted that it is interfering with the views at night should you attempt to wash it.  Bill is right.  I have had my 10-inch Dob for 8 or 9 years and have yet to clean the mirror.  One of these days I'll get around to it.

George
 

George Reynolds

"Solar System Ambassador" for South Hampton Roads, Virginia
Back Bay Amateur Astronomers (BBAA) 
http://www.backbayastro.org


 


From: William McLean
To: "backbayastro@..."
Sent: Thursday, June 20, 2013 12:32 PM
Subject: Re: [backbayastro] Swiffer my primary mirror

 
That is good!-Isn't there a Swiffer for primary mirrors? HA! 

Unless it's real bad I can't tell a clean from a dirty by use. George has the dirtiest mirror in the club and I defy anyone to see a difference, on the same object- side by side with a clean mirror scope.
 
Carpe Noctem
Bill McLean

From: LeighAnne
To: backbayastro@...
Sent: Thursday, June 20, 2013 11:08 AM
Subject: [backbayastro] Swiffer my primary mirror

 
Is there a quick and easy way to dust off the primary mirror?

The instructions for my Orion XT8 classic dob tell me to remove the primary mirror and soak it soapy water and alcohol and wipe clean with cotton balls. Sounds like too opportunities to screw up, scratch and/or drop my mirror. I'm scared.

Isn't there a Swiffer for primary mirrors? HA!






George Reynolds
 

Paul wrote:  "maybe we could even turn it into a workshop where everyone could learn the proper way to clean a mirror."  

That sounds like a good idea!  If we can schedule such a workshop, I'll volunteer to bring my scope for the demo.  (That's "demo" for "demonstration", not "demolition", as they use the term on HGTV.)

George

George Reynolds

"Solar System Ambassador" for South Hampton Roads, Virginia
Back Bay Amateur Astronomers (BBAA) 
http://www.backbayastro.org


 


From: Paul Tartabini
To: backbayastro@...
Sent: Thursday, June 20, 2013 12:31 PM
Subject: Re: [backbayastro] Swiffer my primary mirror

 
LeighAnne,

How long have you had your XT8 and how dirty is it?  I have had mine for 4 yrs and have not cleaned it.  You'll find varied opinions on cleaning, with some cleaning each year and others, like myself, avoiding cleaning as long as possible. One thing you will find agreement on is that it is easy to scratch your mirror and cleaning should be done carefully with a minimal amount of touching, wiping, etc.

If the only thing that concerns you is a little dust, then I would ignore it, as it will not affect your views. Many folks get concerned about dust on the mirror, especially if you shine a red light down your tube at night. No mirror looks good if you do that. Seriously,  I've been told an freshly cleaned scope will look dusty as can be if you shine a red light down a tube at  night and examine the mirror.

Finally, if you do think you need to clean it, I would try to arrange to have an *experienced* club member either talk with your beforehand, or even help you do it yourself.  If the latter, maybe we could even turn it into a workshop where everyone could learn the proper way to clean a mirror.

Good luck!

- Paul



On Thu, Jun 20, 2013 at 11:08 AM, LeighAnne <lalagoe@...> wrote:
 
Is there a quick and easy way to dust off the primary mirror?

The instructions for my Orion XT8 classic dob tell me to remove the primary mirror and soak it soapy water and alcohol and wipe clean with cotton balls. Sounds like too opportunities to screw up, scratch and/or drop my mirror. I'm scared.

Isn't there a Swiffer for primary mirrors? HA!





Nick Anderson
 

Oh gee...now that's a somewhat controversial question in the amateur astronomer community! Around the time when I joined the BBAA this was one of my first questions to this forum, and I learned that there are incredibly varied opinions. While your Orion telescope manual specifically recommends cleaning your mirror once a year, it's nothing absolute. In my case, my first 3 months observing the Messier objects primarily from Sandbridge took an immense toll on my primary. In that short amount of time (although it's true I was averaging around an obsessive 15 observations a month that summer) the saltwater in the air over time managed to form a film on the primary, which fogged up the optics. Since then I've been a lot more careful about my scope and I think I've only cleaned the mirror again once. Dust alone is not something to be worried about! You should be fine for a while.

-Nick Anderson

--- In backbayastro@..., "LeighAnne" <lalagoe@...> wrote:

Is there a quick and easy way to dust off the primary mirror?

The instructions for my Orion XT8 classic dob tell me to remove the primary mirror and soak it soapy water and alcohol and wipe clean with cotton balls. Sounds like too opportunities to screw up, scratch and/or drop my mirror. I'm scared.

Isn't there a Swiffer for primary mirrors? HA!


jimcoble2000
 

The best way is with compressed air. Now if it requires cleaning that is something different. Not hard but if ti comes to that I can tell you how to do it more or less easily.



From: LeighAnne
To: backbayastro@...
Sent: Thursday, June 20, 2013 11:08 AM
Subject: [backbayastro] Swiffer my primary mirror

 
Is there a quick and easy way to dust off the primary mirror?

The instructions for my Orion XT8 classic dob tell me to remove the primary mirror and soak it soapy water and alcohol and wipe clean with cotton balls. Sounds like too opportunities to screw up, scratch and/or drop my mirror. I'm scared.

Isn't there a Swiffer for primary mirrors? HA!




jimcoble2000
 

I soft camel hair brush will also work fine after the air


From: LeighAnne <lalagoe@...>
To: backbayastro@...
Sent: Thursday, June 20, 2013 11:08 AM
Subject: [backbayastro] Swiffer my primary mirror

 
Is there a quick and easy way to dust off the primary mirror?

The instructions for my Orion XT8 classic dob tell me to remove the primary mirror and soak it soapy water and alcohol and wipe clean with cotton balls. Sounds like too opportunities to screw up, scratch and/or drop my mirror. I'm scared.

Isn't there a Swiffer for primary mirrors? HA!




jimcoble2000
 

you won't see any difference unless it is really cruddy


From: LeighAnne <lalagoe@...>
To: backbayastro@...
Sent: Thursday, June 20, 2013 12:59 PM
Subject: [backbayastro] Re: Swiffer my primary mirror

 
I've had my telescope for less than 3 years. Today, I noticed some specks of dust/dirt on it and got very concerned that I'd have to take it apart. I haven't noticed a difference in optics at all (but haven't been using it for the past several months either).
Good to know I can just let it go for a while. I do keep the cover on it at all times. I guess it's not as bad as I originally thought it was.

I'm glad I asked first before taking it apart.

Thanks everyone! :)




Roy Ehmke
 

Actually, I'm looking forward to a mirror and optics cleaning workshop. This could be really useful.
 
~Roy Ehmke


George Reynolds
 

Yeah, salt-laden air and sand from the oceanfront are bad on optics, and should be cleaned off.

George
 

George Reynolds

"Solar System Ambassador" for South Hampton Roads, Virginia
Back Bay Amateur Astronomers (BBAA) 
http://www.backbayastro.org


 


From: nranderson_deepskyobserver
To: backbayastro@...
Sent: Thursday, June 20, 2013 7:08 PM
Subject: [backbayastro] Re: Swiffer my primary mirror

 
Oh gee...now that's a somewhat controversial question in the amateur astronomer community! Around the time when I joined the BBAA this was one of my first questions to this forum, and I learned that there are incredibly varied opinions. While your Orion telescope manual specifically recommends cleaning your mirror once a year, it's nothing absolute. In my case, my first 3 months observing the Messier objects primarily from Sandbridge took an immense toll on my primary. In that short amount of time (although it's true I was averaging around an obsessive 15 observations a month that summer) the saltwater in the air over time managed to form a film on the primary, which fogged up the optics. Since then I've been a lot more careful about my scope and I think I've only cleaned the mirror again once. Dust alone is not something to be worried about! You should be fine for a while.

-Nick Anderson

--- In backbayastro@..., "LeighAnne" wrote:
>
> Is there a quick and easy way to dust off the primary mirror?
>
> The instructions for my Orion XT8 classic dob tell me to remove the primary mirror and soak it soapy water and alcohol and wipe clean with cotton balls. Sounds like too opportunities to screw up, scratch and/or drop my mirror. I'm scared.
>
> Isn't there a Swiffer for primary mirrors? HA!
>




gerlach.mark
 

With all due respect to the knowledge and experience of Mark Ost:
If you are sure it is just dust, air is fine.
If there is a chance that the stuff on the mirror is pollen, I would strongly recommend against compressed air. Pollen is sticky and often has tiny sharp points. The effect would be like sandblasting your mirror.

/&#92;&#92;ark 2

--- In backbayastro@..., Mark Ost <jimcoble2000@...> wrote:

The best way is with compressed air. Now if it requires cleaning that is something different. Not hard but if ti comes to that I can tell you how to do it more or less easily.




________________________________
From: LeighAnne <lalagoe@...>
To: backbayastro@...
Sent: Thursday, June 20, 2013 11:08 AM
Subject: [backbayastro] Swiffer my primary mirror



 
Is there a quick and easy way to dust off the primary mirror?

The instructions for my Orion XT8 classic dob tell me to remove the primary mirror and soak it soapy water and alcohol and wipe clean with cotton balls. Sounds like too opportunities to screw up, scratch and/or drop my mirror. I'm scared.

Isn't there a Swiffer for primary mirrors? HA!


Dr Bruce
 

Has anyone brought up Ted Forte's instructions in the Database yet.
Has worked for me from day one as Mother Nature messed it up soon after I took ownership of the 12.5" Dob in Chiefland, FL.

Mirrors over 10" are hard to handle and immersion can be hazardous. But laying it level after first rinsing it off with 'a garden hose' while vertical and then laying flat on towels, pooling your distilled water with one drop of Dawn in one liter on the upright mirror surface - keep wet and repeat, repeat...........Drag clean wet cotton balls thru areas of tough spots (do not push - drag wet cotton while soap solution is pooled), almost floating the cotton ball across (NO rubbing permitted). The elevate mirror tilted on towels at about 30-45 degrees and rinse with fresh distilled water repeatedly (get two liters). Brick patio and side of house with thick bath towels works great. Watch out for the sun's reflection!!! Wick remaining droplets off with clean J&J medical grade cotton balls - never use same side twice. Reserve 90+% medical grade propanol or ethanol for severe spots and wet a cotton ball with the alcohol and let it sit on dirty spot for a few minutes. Rinse again and let air dry with occasional cotton ball wicking.

Yes its all scary................but it works! I have washed three times in 6 years.

Now you can breath!

Doc Bruce