For this blog post, we’ll be sharing how to properly clean an SMR (spherically mounted retroreflector). Before we start there are several “DO-NOT’S” that can ruin an SMR:
- Do not blow directly into your SMR (only use canned air). You may add more debris to the mirrors.
- Do not use a q-tip more than once. Using an old q-tip will add more debris and possibly scratch the mirrors.
- Do not use any other “solutions” rather than canned air or denatured alcohol to clean an SMR.
- Denatured Alcohol
- Canned Air
Step 1: Determine how dirty the SMR is. If there are only a few particles of dust, you can use canned air to clean the SMR.
Step 2: Hold the SMR approximately 3-4 inches away from the canned air and blow the canned air onto the mirror. You do not want to spray the mirror with too much air, as the glue in the mirrors may loosen. It is best to blow the air in spurts. Repeat this step until the debris is removed from the SMR.
Step 3: If after the canned air is used and there are is still debris, you will need to use q-tips and denatured alcohol. It is important to NOT to use the same end of the q-tip once it has touched a mirror on the SMR.
Step 4: Place one end of the q-tip into the alcohol and remove any excess by pressing the tip against the rim of the container.
Step 5: Gently place the q-tip on the mirror. As you begin to swipe, rotate the q-tip across the mirror (½ turn). Continue to swipe along the same mirror for the 2nd ½ turn. (You have now used one head of the q-tip). Now, flip the q-tip and repeat the same steps for the clean head of the q-tip. Each q-tip will allow for 4 maximum swipes. After this process has been completed for all mirrors, your SMR should be rid of all debris.
Note: If after using canned air and alcohol, there is still debris or scratches it is best to use another clean SMR. You can send us the SMR you’re having problems with and we will diagnose the issue for you.
.. and that’s it! If you need further assistance our calibration team is always ready to help! Please contact us.