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  1. Clean the mirror - its no big deal.
  2. I cleaned the mirror of my old 6" reflector today. I put in under the tap in the sink, and gently (and I mean gently) rubbed the surface using my fingers and soap, thoroughly rinsing, followed by a final rinse using distilled water. I've done this many times on many mirrors. Modern mirrors have a tough silicon dioxide coating that isn't damaged by this process. In my opinion, the problem isn't the small area obscured by the dust, its the scattered light it produces, which reduces image contrast. Professional observatories clean their mirrors regularly, often using carbon dioxide
  3. John, I too succumbed to the lure of his lens, which has opened up a whole new class of deep sky objects. I have been delighted with the results, and the sharpness of the stars right to the edges of the field. I machined the mounting brackets and threaded adapter from aluminium alloy, and 3D printed the fine focus mechanism. I also 3D printed a Bahtinov mask, which makes focussing really quick. As its rather sensitive some form of fine adjustment seems essential. I have found that the focus almost never drifts over periods of months. Machining the lens to camera adap
  4. Hi all. Another coming across from from the Shed after the sad news about Dion. Thanks to Carole for the link, otherwise I might have drifted away. I'm mainly an astrophotographer, and am lucky enough to have my own observatory. My earliest photo was of the moon, taken with the school telescope using a homemade camera and 6 inch glass plates ! How things have changed ... I have my own workshop with machine tools and a 3D printer, and enjoy making parts for my hobby, such as a dome drive mechanism, custom lens / camera mountings and Bahtinov masks. Being retired means longer to recover
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