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DSLR Cooler project finally started

michaelmorris

1,741 views

DSLR COOLER FINALLY STARTS TO TAKE SHAPE.

A couple of months ago a trip to my local tip to drop off some old batteries resulted in me 'liberating' an old mini beer fridge from the clutches of the 'Used Electrical items' skip.  Bringing it home I found out that it worked perfectly, apart from a broken door catch. After a lot of research (links below) I've ripped out the electricals and heat sink and have started constructing a DSLR cooler for my Canon 1100D.  I'll keep you posted on progress.

http://dslrmodifications.com/rebelmod450d16c.html

http://www.swashastro.co.uk/peltier_cooler_box.html

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13 hours ago, Stub Mandrel said:

I was thinking of going completely the other way and making a box out of polystrene.

The aluminium case helps transfer the cold evenly around (and thus in to) the camera.  This case will then be clad in insulation.

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I am minded to try to get hold of some 25mm polyisocyanate-based wall insulation (Kingspan or Celotex). It should be almost as light as polystyrene, but much stronger.

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I've just been down to Jewsons and had a look at some  some 25mm polyisocyanate-based wall insulation.  It looks good, but it's only available in expensive  8' x 4' sheets, so I'm going to plan B - polystyrene

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The build is coming along rather slowly due to work and other commitments.

The cooling assembly is now installed with the original pettier cooler and associated heat sink on the outside of the aluminium box and the new heatsink and fan on the inside.  The two are clamped with two bolts running through two holes drilled in the outer heat sink and through the aluminium box and fins removed from the inner heat sink.  Each hole is lined with a whittled down rawl plug to try to thermally isolate the bolts from the outer heatsink.  The gap between the part of the outer heat sink not in contact with the peltier and the aluminium box is filled with some thin sheets of neoprene rubber left over form another project.  This is then all sealed in with some liquid gasket left over from another DIY astro project.

I've wired it all up to the circuitry taken out of the fridge and it all seems to work okay. (Phew). I've put the circuitry from the fridge into a plastic project box from Maplin (pictures to follow) and bought a replacement 12v lead for the fridge (missing from the original fridge I liberated from the tip).

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Well, the DSLR cooler is now (hopefully) complete.

The 2 metres of cabling connecting the project box containing the electrical bits from the original fridge (the power box) has been connected up to the wiring from the Peltier cooler and the two fans in a small project box ‘Araldited’ to the rear of the cooler and a small digital thermometer velcoed to the top of this box.  The temperature probe for this thermometer has been glued on to the inside of the cooler. 

The USB cable and power cable from the camera pass through a thin slot at the top of the case.  I wedge a small piece of foam in here after these cables are in place to provide a reasonable thermal seal.

The lid of the cooler and the cooler itself have been painted with blackboard paint. 

I carried out a 3 hour long test of the cooling performance of the cooler, the results of which can be found  at 

Overall, I’m pleased with the project and plan to test out how well it actually works on deep sky imaging in the next few weeks.

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Great, spurs me on! I think I will make mine we a removable back so I can see the screen for focusing etc.

How much does it weigh?

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6 hours ago, Stub Mandrel said:

How much does it weigh?

Are you sitting down?  Okay, good ...

The empty cooler box weighs a whopping 919 grams.  To make matter worse, most of the mass is on one side!  

To put this perspective, the camera body and focal reducer together weigh just 755 grams, so using a cooler box will over double the loading on your focuser.

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7 hours ago, Stub Mandrel said:

Great, spurs me on! I think I will make mine we a removable back so I can see the screen for focusing etc.

There might be two easier options for focusing.

  • If you have an Android phone or tablet that supports the 'USB Host' protocol, you could plug in an OTG cable to the camera and view the liveview screen or test shots on your phone/tablet using the excellent 'DSLR Controller' app.
  • Connect your camera to a PC laptop/tablet and use APT or Backyard EOS to view the liveview screen or test shots.

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Laptop may be the way to go, but I like the simplicity of not having to use a laptop with my current setup.

Well I've got hold of a huge box made from 1" thick polystyrene and selected a pair of heatsinks/fans that aren't too heavy, but it may be a few weeks before I start as some other projects are crowding in.

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2 hours ago, Stub Mandrel said:

Laptop may be the way to go, but I like the simplicity of not having to use a laptop with my current setup.

That's one of the reasons why using a cheap android tablet running DSLR controller or a cheap windows tablet running APT is so attractive.  You can pick up a brand new tablet running a full version of Windows 10 for less than £50. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Zoostorm-SL8-i75-7-5-Tablet/dp/B01FWGRCFW/ref=sr_1_15?s=computers&ie=UTF8&qid=1473766145&sr=1-15

 

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I wouldnt worry too much about the weight Michael, I had about 1.5kg on the 80ED and it coped alright after I tweaked then tension a bit.

Looks like a breeze block, but its not a beauty contest eh ;)

 

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2 hours ago, Uranium235 said:

Looks like a breeze block, but its not a beauty contest eh ;)

 

Are you talking about the cooler or my face in my Avatar? :happy7:

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