Astro Engineering Deluxe Optical Cleaning Kit

Astro Engineering Deluxe Optical Cleaning Kit

The Astro Engineering Optical Cleaning Kit - A must for all astronomers

Optics.  Our entire hobby revolves around optics.  So it makes sense to keep our optics in as pristine a condition as possible.  Most of my fellow amateur astronomers have a healthy collection of eyepieces for their scopes, but I never see them with a cleaning kit for their optics.  Now granted, most people do not run around with an optical cleaning kit, but they should.  Astro Engineering has the answer with their deluxe optical cleaning kit. 

The Astro Engineering Deluxe Optical Cleaning Kit comes in a nifty, molded plastic case.  Inside you find some really nice optical accessories.  These accessories include an optical pen brush, assorted Q-tips, and optical cloth, and a really nice compressed air blower that uses CO2 cartridges.  I don't have to tell you about the Q-tips and the optical cloth.  They are self-explanatory.  However, the pen brush and CO2 blower should be explained.  The pen brush is quite handy device with one end containing a retractable brush that is by far one of the softest optical brushes that I've ever touched.  I had no reservations whatsoever to use this brush on my optics.  Under the cap on the other side of the pen is an odd shaped pad that has a soft powder on it. You use this pad to clear smudges from your optics.  To be honest, I wasn't really sure how well this would work, but I found an eyepiece that had some smudges on the surface.  With a few quick rubs of this powder pad, and some quick swipes with the pen brush, the smudges were gone.  I was really surprised at the results.  I proceeded to open all my eyepiece cases in clean all my pieces with this pen brush.  Absolutely a must in every eyepiece case.

The petite compressed air blower exceeded my expectations as well.  I have been a photographer for quite a long time and have used a wide assortment of compressed air systems to clear debris off of optics and films. I pine for the good old days of Freon to clean my optics.  However, those days are gone and a more earth friendly compressed air system must be used.  I never thought of using CO2 cartridges for an optical cleaning kit.  How well does it work?  Great.  This little puppy gives a good solid blast of air.  More than enough to clear optics of loose debris and dust.  Granted, the CO2 cartridge doesn't last an extremely long time, they are inexpensive and relatively easy to find.  Their small size is also a great benefit when carrying a lot of extra gear.

Clearly, every astronomer should have an optical cleaning kit with them at every viewing.  This just makes sense as it allows you to clean your optics immediately upon being soiled.  With the prevalence of multicoatings, it is in your best interest to clear optics of contaminants as soon as possible.  You could put together your own optical cleaning kit, and it would probably work fine.  I recommend that you seriously consider this handy little kit.  it is small, lightweight, and very efficient.  I carried with me everywhere I go to view the heavens.

Mike Overacker

Product is available from Astro Engineering