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Author Topic: Cleaning a Suunto clinometer  (Read 7294 times)

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Offline Clark

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Cleaning a Suunto clinometer
« on: April 23, 2009, 03:16:27 PM »
I just bought a used Suunto clinometer and she's dirty.  Granted it works fine and I really don't need to clean it but my OCD side says I should make an attempt at it.  After all, only once I've gotten it full of my dirt does it really become mine.

Anybody familiar with cleaning these instruments?  Ben Meadows wants $70 to clean, recondition and recalibrate the thing.  I really only need it cleaned.  Any help would be great.  Thanks.

Clark
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Offline madhatte

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Re: Cleaning a Suunto clinometer
« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2009, 04:31:50 PM »
I'd like to know the same.  It's not like you can take it apart the way you can a Relaskop. 

Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Cleaning a Suunto clinometer
« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2009, 05:51:28 PM »
I've never heard of doing it. I don't think it's easy to get that wheel out of the housing. Most people just buy new. Sure would be curious as you guys though, if anyone has a technique to share. ;D

Silva used to produce a clinometer and it was set into a case you opened and closed when used to take readings. The case kept it clean and water out. Can't get them any longer.
Move'n on.

Offline madhatte

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Re: Cleaning a Suunto clinometer
« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2009, 06:28:42 PM »
Thing about the Suuntos is that you can clearly see that there is some sort of rubber grommet holding the mechanism in place, and another holding the magnifying lens.  The outside edges are where the dust and paint accumulate, and because they're recessed, you can't just wipe them clean.  I imagine that the compasses are the same, but I've never used one.  I don't like having to adjust declination in my head. 

Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Cleaning a Suunto clinometer
« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2009, 04:46:51 AM »
I'm not sure, but I think you disassemble it through the eye piece by screwing something out. I may be wrong. I don't have one in front of me.

SUUNTO Manual
Move'n on.

Offline madhatte

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Re: Cleaning a Suunto clinometer
« Reply #5 on: April 24, 2009, 12:53:11 PM »
Interesting.  That manual just shows how to use the device, which is not particularly useful to me, but your mention of "screwing something out" struck a note.  I looked at my clino, and discovered that the little slit on the back side isn't an aperture at all but rather a loctited set screw!  Soon as I can figure out how to get it out without damage, I'll post disassembly and cleaning instructions here.  Oddly, every single clino I've ever seen had that screw set precisely at horizontal, which is why I always thought it was an aperture.  I wonder if Suunto does that on purpose to discourage people from taking them apart?

Offline Clark

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Re: Cleaning a Suunto clinometer
« Reply #6 on: April 24, 2009, 03:23:20 PM »
Interesting information SD and madhatte.  If that is indeed loctite then this thing may be beyond my doing.  According to this page heat is needed to remove it.  I'm not sure how to control any heat applied to not start melting the O-ring or the plastic housing of the scales. 

If you could use a solvent that would be great, but the above mentioned page claims it won't work once it's hardened.

Clark
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Offline olyman

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Re: Cleaning a Suunto clinometer
« Reply #7 on: April 29, 2009, 12:03:48 PM »
take a small steel rod, and sharpen to a point. get your inclinometer close, along with a GOOD screwdriver. take a butane torch, and heat the rod. hold said sharp point of rod against the screw head. you decide when to remove!!!!!then try to unscrew. the heat of the rod should loosen the loctite. even red loctite, doesnt take a ton of heat to make it loosen. just be careful!!

Online Ron Scott

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Re: Cleaning a Suunto clinometer
« Reply #8 on: April 29, 2009, 05:59:07 PM »
After cleaning they usually need a reconditioning and calibtration. Personally, if its working, I'd leave it a lone or ship it off to Ben Meadows or Forestry Suppliers for the required service and maintenace to maintain the units accuracy.
~Ron

Offline Clark

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Re: Cleaning a Suunto clinometer
« Reply #9 on: April 29, 2009, 06:31:48 PM »
olyman - So after the loctite is loosened and the screw is backed out, will the rotating assembling come out the side nice and easily?

Ron - I've wondered about the reconditioning and calibration.  If the rotating unit, with the numbers on it, is self-contained and self-leveling/dampening, should there be any reason to need to calibrate?  As long as the eye-piece hasn't been moved I see no reason why there should be any reason to recalibrate it...

Clark
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Online Ron Scott

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Re: Cleaning a Suunto clinometer
« Reply #10 on: April 29, 2009, 08:19:24 PM »
I'm not sure, it will depend upon how much it is messed with to take it apart. Take a control reading before you clean it and then after you have it together again to see if the unit reads the same. What type cleaner or how will you be cleaning it?
~Ron

Offline olyman

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Re: Cleaning a Suunto clinometer
« Reply #11 on: April 29, 2009, 08:49:11 PM »
i just replied to ya, to eggsplain how to get loctited screws out. i know what your instrument is, but thats about it!!

Offline Clark

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Re: Cleaning a Suunto clinometer
« Reply #12 on: April 29, 2009, 11:24:54 PM »
i just replied to ya, to eggsplain how to get loctited screws out. i know what your instrument is, but thats about it!!

Fair enough!

Ron - I don't know that I will be cleaning it after the results of this thread!  I figured that since Ben Meadows wanted $70 for cleaning it there had to be someone, somewhere who knew what to do.  It's sort of in the same realm as black magic:  supposedly some people can do it but no one is really giving lessons in it.  I figured our pooled knowledge would be enough to get a basic lesson in cleaning a Suunto clinometer. 

If I wasn't broke and starting a new job in 2 weeks I'd probably try it...but I'll have to leave that for a different time.

Clark
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Offline madhatte

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Re: Cleaning a Suunto clinometer
« Reply #13 on: April 30, 2009, 12:52:38 AM »
Notes: 

It is indeed red Loctite.

Calibration means level -- hence make zero equal zero against level.

Cleaning should be easy.  It's reconditioning (i.e. marred surfaces) that might take some doing.  Toothpaste is a good low-damage abrasive. 

Again:  I'll let you know what I find once I get mine apart.  Olyman -- your suggestion about the steel rod is solid gold. 

Offline RPM

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Re: Cleaning a Suunto clinometer
« Reply #14 on: May 05, 2009, 06:52:35 PM »
Unless it was so dirty that you can't see the scale when you look in it,  I wouldn't bother taking it apart.  Murphy says it will never go back together again the way its suppose to.   You can buy a new one for $110 CAN / $90 US. - vs - paying someone $70 US to take it apart.   

At any rate, its just going to get dirty again!

Offline Wudman

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Re: Cleaning a Suunto clinometer
« Reply #15 on: May 07, 2009, 04:07:57 PM »
I could be off base here......but, to my knowledge your clinometer should be a sealed unit.  It should be liquid filled.  If you have internal dirt, the case would have to be damaged. 

Wudman

Offline madhatte

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Re: Cleaning a Suunto clinometer
« Reply #16 on: May 08, 2009, 02:53:06 PM »
The dial is indeed a sealed unit.  However, the eyepiece is not.   

Offline olyman

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Re: Cleaning a Suunto clinometer
« Reply #17 on: May 22, 2009, 08:37:00 PM »

Again:  I'll let you know what I find once I get mine apart.  Olyman -- your suggestion about the steel rod is solid gold. 
[/quote]im like you,when all else fails--- ;D ;D. was going to take something apart once. the screw refused to move. and like you, it was a delicate item. no sledgehammer work ;D. sat thinking for a while till the bulb lit!!


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