Telescopes

Professional Optics Cleaning with Photonic Red First Contact Polymer

Professional Optics Cleaning with Photonic Red First Contact Polymer

We’ve been selling Photonic Red First Contact Polymer sets for several years now and had some great opportunities to use this professional optics cleaning product on many occasions.

A high pressure air duster (like the range we sell from Green Clean) might do a job with new (newish) optics, but over time, salt, dust and larger particles (fiber) might build up, in which case an air duster might not offer a good enough solution. Using ethyl alcohol, surgical spirit or other similar products is not recommended unless we can be absolutely sure that there are no dust particles on the surface. If that’s the case, then small patches of grease or a fingerprint could be removed by a Baader Optical wonder. However, if a larger surface needs cleaning, a Photonic Red First Contact Polymer would offer an ideal solution.

Brushing off dust and other particles from a fragile optical surface might leave scratches. Sometimes, when dust, fiber and salt all present on an optical surface, a combination of techniques is necessary to be used.

An effective method is to use a Water Spot Pre-Treatment from the same manufacturer and then use their First Contact Polymer.

There are couple of occasions we used their products, but on one occasion, when we were at the Herstmonceux Astronomy festival, we did not have the Water Spot Pre-Treatment with us and us it was an impulsive decision to test the product whilst there, we had to improvise, to first we used the polymer to remove all dust, fiber etc. and then we used the Baader Optical wonder to remove water spots and salt from the surface.

This provided an ideal solution, though we would probably not recommend this exact same way for a much more expensive telescope. This was a Skywatcher 8″ Dobsonian worth few hundred pounds, so the risk was not high.

See images below.

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Skywatcher 8″ Skyliner Dobsonian – have been in our showroom for several years and the primary mirror got covered by dust heavily.

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Dust, fiber, salt and other particles cover the primary mirror.

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Applying the Red First Contact Polymer. Ideally we would first apply water pre-treatment due to the salt on the surface, but we didn’t have it with us, so had to improvise.

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Finishing off… the full surface is covered… Then it need time to dry, depending on the temperature, somewhere between 15 – 45 minutes. Leaving it on for longer time is not a problem.

That piece of sticky paper clip will help to remove the polymer. One has to be careful as if it’s attached too early, the glue on the paper might be dissolved by the polymer and the glue might appear on the surface… If that happens, don’t panic, it can be removed by another layer of the polymer, but of course it means a bit of extra work, so better to avoid…

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Removing the polymer… All dust and other particles have been removed, but salt stayed on the surface. Water Pre-Treatment would have helped with this…

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Baader Optical Wonder used to remove salt… as you can see on half of the mirror it has been done already… if you think there is fiber or dust on it, that is just the mirror image of the tent above we were in…

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Project complete. Much different from where we started from.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted on January 7th, 2019.