AO 570 stereo star zoom , cleaning and maintenance

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paleome
Posts: 41
Joined: Sun Jun 21, 2020 2:59 am
Location: South San Francisco Bay Area

AO 570 stereo star zoom , cleaning and maintenance

#1 Post by paleome » Mon Sep 21, 2020 2:08 am

Hello all!

I just got an second AO 570 with some really great accessories I couldn't find elsewhere separately. The price was great! Everything was fine, except for a problem in the head. It focuses fine, but somewhere internally, the lenses are brown and smudged. I was able to get a partial refund for the head that was agreeable to me, and I kept the head.

The oculars were fine, and I tried to clean off any lenses externally I could reach with multipurpose lens cleaner and fiber cloth for eyeglasses only, plus q-tips, to no avail. I am hesitant to open it up, for I have no experience handling optics, and fear I may do something wrong and mess things up worse.

Can anyone help me? I saw your posts on cleaning and maintaining your other AO stereoscopes, and they offer excellent advice, though I am unfamiliar with many of the parts, and wouldn't know what or how to do something properly involving optics. Are you any of you members allowed to Personal Message me with some great recommendations?

Thank you very much! Debra

Scarodactyl
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Joined: Sat Mar 03, 2018 9:09 pm

Re: AO 570 stereo star zoom , cleaning and maintenance

#2 Post by Scarodactyl » Mon Sep 21, 2020 2:50 am

Thry're not too hard to open up just using a screwdriver, and cleaning the lenses is straightforward with q tips. I don't remember the exact procedure for a stereo star but it was not difficult. Don't feel too intimidated, as long as you are gentle jn cleaning this isn't a risky procedure.

apochronaut
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Joined: Fri May 15, 2015 12:15 am

Re: AO 570 stereo star zoom , cleaning and maintenance

#3 Post by apochronaut » Mon Sep 21, 2020 11:53 am

Brown and Smudge keep touring, despite their age. They were in my area recently. The amazing thing about them is that they can still get down to those low notes, just as in the past. Hazy , occasionally joins them still but they don't do those employee benefit shows in Oberkochen anymore and those regular shows in Rochester they used to do are all over. Unfortunately, that venue is closed. I heard they may do a circuit in the far east soon.....China, maybe?
You never know where they will show up though, and Hazy does a lot of one man shows for those that enjoy fiddling.

Here's a Q-tip. Drop the lower shroud off with 4 screws and make sure the column of lenses that make up the zoom feature are all clear. You will have to remove the zoom control knobs. If the instrument has been used in electronics , your problem could be in there.

paleome
Posts: 41
Joined: Sun Jun 21, 2020 2:59 am
Location: South San Francisco Bay Area

Re: AO 570 stereo star zoom , cleaning and maintenance

#4 Post by paleome » Tue Sep 22, 2020 2:39 am

Thank you, Scarodactyl and Apochronaut!

I will give things a try. I got the real brand q-tips today - no contaminants.
I am working on one more project first, then I'll get to the stereoscope later in the week. As I mentioned before, I have some multi-purpose lens cleaner I get from my optometrist, for eyeglasses. Is that safe for the scope? I also have distilled water. No isopropyl alcohol - can't find it locally in the stores, thanks to covid-19. I have hydrogen peroxide, but that might not be suitable for optics. And, I have pre-moistened microfiber lens wipes, quick drying, non-scratching and non-streaking. Am I set to go? I shall be very gentle with everything.

Apochronaut, I enjoyed your commentary on the Brown, Smudge, and Hazy performance group. They all will be making their appearance at my home in several days! Look forward to meeting them in person. :-)

paleome
Posts: 41
Joined: Sun Jun 21, 2020 2:59 am
Location: South San Francisco Bay Area

Re: AO 570 stereo star zoom , cleaning and maintenance

#5 Post by paleome » Sun Sep 27, 2020 12:18 am

Hello All!

You are correct - it isn't at all difficult to open my AO 570 up and clean lenses. Fortunately, all the lenses in the bottom part of the mechanism are already clean and perfect. The problem is in the top part, housing the tubes within which the oculars sit, and where the 3D of the stereoscope takes place. The very top lenses are already clean, as are the sloping bottom lenses. The schmutz is inside, between those two surfaces.

Looking at the upper shroud from the bottom, there are some peculiar, round flat nuts with two notches on each side, which presumably hold two internal tubes to the unit. I have many tools here, but it looks like I need a specialized tool which fits over each nut and into the notches, to loosen them. I shall try to open a needle nosed plier as far as I can, and see if the tips will fit into the notches, then rotate the pliers to loosen the nuts. If that doesn't work, what is the name of the tool (or head I can attach to my ratchet wrench) I should use for this purpose?

It looks like someone spilled something over the top of the scope with the oculars off. When I finally get to the soiled lenses, I hope I can get the dirt off. Will let you know. Thank you! No wonder Brown, Smudge, and Hazy haven't been seen in awhile - they've been trapped in the inner recesses of my scope. I need to rescue them, so they can clean up their act and follow the performance circuit again. :D

paleome
Posts: 41
Joined: Sun Jun 21, 2020 2:59 am
Location: South San Francisco Bay Area

Re: AO 570 stereo star zoom , cleaning and maintenance

#6 Post by paleome » Sun Sep 27, 2020 1:19 am

The long-nosed pliers did the trick, but after I removed the round/flat nuts, and the gaskets below them, nothing gives. I may have to approach things from the very top. I shall try to do so, but can I lift the tubes the oculars sit in, safely or at all?

paleome
Posts: 41
Joined: Sun Jun 21, 2020 2:59 am
Location: South San Francisco Bay Area

Re: AO 570 stereo star zoom , cleaning and maintenance

#7 Post by paleome » Sun Sep 27, 2020 1:37 am

No, the tubes don't seem to be able to budge. There are no more bolts to loosen from the bottom. The only thing that moves are the small housings around the tubes the oculars sit in, and they just swivel back and forth for eye spacing adjustment. I cannot see how and where the swivel mechanism attaches to the upper shroud so that I can loosen the housings and get inside.

paleome
Posts: 41
Joined: Sun Jun 21, 2020 2:59 am
Location: South San Francisco Bay Area

Re: AO 570 stereo star zoom , cleaning and maintenance

#8 Post by paleome » Sun Sep 27, 2020 2:11 am

I wonder if the swivel housings for the tubes are force fit onto the upper shroud somehow, and just need to be coaxed out by inserting screw drivers between them and shroud. I shall try very gently. This is the only way I can figure out how to get to the swivel mechanism.

paleome
Posts: 41
Joined: Sun Jun 21, 2020 2:59 am
Location: South San Francisco Bay Area

Re: AO 570 stereo star zoom , cleaning and maintenance

#9 Post by paleome » Sun Sep 27, 2020 2:23 am

Oh , WOW! I was correct! They were force fit together. Now I can see screws I can loosen to get inside where the problem is. Stay tuned...

paleome
Posts: 41
Joined: Sun Jun 21, 2020 2:59 am
Location: South San Francisco Bay Area

Re: AO 570 stereo star zoom , cleaning and maintenance

#10 Post by paleome » Sun Sep 27, 2020 3:22 am

The lenses were fine. The problem is with the mirrors. I was able to clean all mirrors but two (adjacent to each other). I started cleaning with distilled water, followed by eyeglass lens cleaner. I do not have access to isopropyl alcohol. Maybe I can get some online. If that doesn't work, do you have any suggestions?

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