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Laser Lens Cleaning Help

metroid

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So, today I needed to clean my laser lens. So I first tried cleaning it with a gas duster. Bad idea. It left some nasty residue on it, and now it wont come off. So I got a micro fiber cloth, and put some 70% isopropyl alcohol on it. Well, the residue is sorta gone, but now there is this noticeable line on the laser point. And I can't get rid of it. Did I scratch the lens? What is the proper way to clean it then? I did search the forum, and I found so many mixed answers.
 

chipdouglas

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is it an acrylic lens or a glass lens? i scratched my acrylic with alcohol. i only use q-tips
 

chipdouglas

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is it an acrylic lens or a glass lens? i scratched my acrylic with alcohol. i only use q-tips with water now.
 

metroid

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It's a Viper 125mw from Dragon Lasers. A standard CNI pen. I'm not sure if its glass or acryllic. It looks sorta purple.
 

Meatball

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yea man the material that the lens is made of has a lot to do with it cleaning prcoess. Make sure that if your lens has AR coating that you don't use something corrosive! No Orange Glo here!
 

metroid

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Like I said in my very first post. "I Did Search The Forum"™

I found a bunch of threads, and some of them said to use a Q-tip, and then in a different thread it said not to use a Q-Tip, and so on. So I am wondering where lens cleaning stands right now? How should it be cleaned? I used a 70% isopropyl alcohol with a micro fiber cloth, and that did not work. How much pressure should I put when I am cleaning the lens? Should I go in a circular motion?
 

chipdouglas

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your scratch might be permanent. unthread the lens and look closely at it. look for the scratch. it might be grime or a smudge from the alcohol etching into the acrylic. there aren't any ways that i know of to get off a scratch
 

metroid

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I was able to get rid of the line using a q-tip and water. it looked like this before _._ the period being the dot. But there is still this coat of residue from the can of compressed air. Is there anything I can do about that?
 

dr-ebert

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The line is normal with a red LPC diode. If it's gone, the lens just causes so much scatter now that you can't see it any more (assuming it's focused properly).
 

Benm

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If the line is a diode artifact, its perfectly normal. Afaik all dvd-burner-diode based lasers have this to some extent, including dx's dilda's and such. Green lasers usually dont have this problem.

As for cleaning materials and scratching: Using (isopropyl)alcohol and a q-tip or microfiber cloth is, in itself, not dangerious to either glass or acrylic lenses.

But you are also trying to clean -something- off the lens. If that something is not soluble but solid (dust) it can in fact be quite hard and abrasive to the lens during mechanical cleaning. Dragging metal powder (from filing) over a lens with a q-tip or cloth will scratch it, works like sandpaper.
 

dr-ebert

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One problem with Q-tips is that they have a tendency to leave fibers behind. A microfiber cloth would be preferrable imho. Also there are special soft tissues for cleaning lenses, ask in a fotografic supply store.
 

dr-ebert

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Well of course. Use just a light touch. I'd use 70% isopropyl alcohol (add maybe one small!!!! drop of liquid dishwasher detergent per 250ml). Keep the lens and paper/cloth/Q-tip wet while cleaning. Then, rinse the lens off with the alcohol (hold it by the rim with tweezers) and let it dry completely on air - don't rub it dry.
 




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