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Found 10 results

  1. Hello everybody! I measured my setup times when i did my last imaging run. Absolutely shocking Step 1: unmount 8" quattro, disassemble EQ6 into 3 parts, move parts to terrace and reassemble EQ6, remount 8", without counterweights: 6 minutes 50 seconds (correct position marked on terrace, with right arm hurt, good time ) Step 2: Mount counterweights and set scope to park position: 1 minute 55 secs Step 3: Connect power sources and connect all cabling: 20 minutes Step 4: get the computer and software running (on a very good night): 10 minutes Step 5: Let my old QHY8 cam and the scope cool down: 1 hour - otherwise i get strong gradients! Total prep time: 1 hour 39 minutes. Obviously, the cable time could be improved massively by training. But even if we could get the cabling time to zero, i'd get only down to 1h24', with the total time being dominated by the cooling of my rig. Open question: As i would not leave my cam outside, there seems no real possibly to cut down significantly on my prep time, even with a small obsy? Or am i doing something wrong? Best, U. P.S.: Getting an expensive cam is right now no good option
  2. I noticed my ZWO ASI183MM Pro camera fails to report its temperature. It says 0.0C no matter what! I have tried reinstalling the ASCOM and camera drivers but no difference. I connect my other ASI cooled camera and that shows the temperature and the temperature changes when cooling. The camera has worked perfectly until last night when this occurred. Although I am still using the camera and the subs look OK considering the seeing is murky. Is there something I am missing?
  3. Hello guys and girls, these are the first adventures of a new CCD user. I hope you'll have a bit to laugh i bought a used QHY8 from a fellow stargazer. It arrived yesterday. It was missing the documentation (but in the documentation was not part of the deal, so that's okay). After quite a while I got everything running (the Camara needs two power sources). As the weather was good for the first time in years, I immediately set up in my garden at 11 PM. First I was struck by a faulty USB cable - it took me about an hour and a half to isolate the problem as it was not constantly failing but intermittantly freezing the software and/or windows. But after that, i was able to shoot a few short moon sequences with APT. However, the result was less than optimal. I was getting pesky little black squares. I suspected something with debayering and asked APT's Ivo and the qhyccd forum for help. Ivo answered within about 30 mins, and after 2 or 3 messages everything was clear: the debayering settings in APT refer only to the display within APT, not to the saved images ! (I hear the more experienced SGLers ROFLing) After some updates and mouseclicks, i got nice little stacked images of the full moon. The next problem was the cooling: the unit cooled very well when connected straight to a power source, but with the QHY power converter in-between the cooling was mediocre (guessing from the outside temp of the casing). Also, the unit stubbornly said it was running at 25C, but the pictures were ok (yes, i know, moon pics dont have to worry about SNR, but still, they were ok, some test darks at 30 secs were also very ok). Well, to cut a long story short: the QHY8 does not have a temp sensor!!! Its supposed to cool straight away at max power. APT (and other software) is somehow getting wrong temp values. Finally, i used the QHY power converter for the sony chip and a second power supply for the cooling. The finding: the cooling via the QHY power converter was much weaker- even the fan went at a little lower rotation speed. Running through the second power supply, the unit cooled great. Possibly one of the cables was mistakenly sent instead of the original one- it looks suspiciously thin for a cable that is supposed to be transferring 36 watts at 12 volt. So, after several hours of silently swearing, everything works! Yay!!! PS: the suspiciously thin 36 watts cable (the cross diameter of the plug is 2.5mm):
  4. I have decided to create this thread to take anyone who is interested through the design and construction of my DSLR Cool Box over a series of posts. I made my start in astro-photography / DSO imaging about 18 months back using a Canon 1000D on a 130DPS / HEQ5pro. I have a very limited budget and so almost every piece of equipment I own is second hand or self built. Living in a yellow zone area I started out using a Astronomic CLS filter and this worked well for me for a short period. However, once I started guiding it became clear that I was limited by light pollution in longer exposures. To that end I decided that I wanted to try narrow band imaging, but I knew that I could not afford a mono CCD or CMOS camera to go with the narrow band filters and that with my DSLR I would suffer from low signal to noise ratio if I attempted narrow band imaging through the Bayer Matrix. I initially looked into debayering a DSLR in an attempt to get more signal and I did in fact manage to successfully remove the bayer matrix and create a good quality mono sensor. However, extensive testing convinced me that this was not the way ahead and that I had in fact lost performance overall due to the loss of the micro lenses along with the bayer filters. As a result I decided to focus on the other side of the S/N equation and have a go at reducing the noise through cooling. All of this of course has been well covered by others in the past, however I would hope that my approach has proven to be a good one with some original design elements and so it sill worth sharing. I began by researching ‘do it yourself’ DSLR cooling, as I said I am certainly not the first to have attempt this and a wealth of information exists on the internet not least this forum. It was immediately apparent that no two approaches are the same, but it was possible to group DSLR cooling into two main methods both of which make use of Thermal Electric Cooling (TEC) modules, a TEC being a solid state heat pump that uses the Peltier effect to draw heat from one side of the module to the other. The module itself consisting of two ceramic plates sandwiching a semi-conductor matrix. When a voltage is applied across the TEC one side of becomes hot and the other cold. Cooling Method 1: The first method is very similar to that used in commercially available CCD cameras and uses a copper plate or ‘cold finger’ in direct contact with the rear surface of the DSLR CMOS sensor to remove heat through conduction. This consists of a copper plate cooled by a TEC which is in turn cooled by a heat sink and fan. While this method is extremely effective in cooling the CMOS sensor it requires significant modification to the camera which carries a significant level of technical risk, problems can also occur with condensation inside the camera body due to the low temperature of the cold finger. Cooling Method 2: The second method leaves the camera body intact and places it within a ‘cool box’ enclosure (essentially a miniature fridge). This effectively lowers the ambient temperature of the air around the camera which in turn leads to the temperature of the CMOS sensor being lowered. The effects of this type of cooling on noise can be simulated by placing a camera into a fridge on a hot day and taking a long exposure dark frame before and after cooling. While this method is lower risk than the direct cooling method it does come at the expense of bulkier less efficient and less effective cooling. However, I selected this method for my cooling project as the primary goal is to improve performance with minimum expenditure, accidentally destroying a perfectly good DSLR camera would not aid me in this goal. The ability to seal a DSLR within an air tight box would be essential in preventing dew from forming. To be continued:-
  5. I have been reading around the subject of banding on images taken with DSLRs and the common feeling seems to be that it is largely a function of the temperature of the sensor. As the camera I use is also that family camera for daytime photos I am not in a position to rip it's guts out and start to put in cold fingers or other kinds of extreme modding (even assuming that I felt confident to take it to pieces which I am not). This just leaves me with a cold box style solution for cooling. Looking back through the search function there has not really been any discussion of cold boxes since 2012, has this approach fallen out of favour? Almost all of the tutorials use a metal box with the peltier on the outside, and using the conductive capability of the metal to dissipate the cooling, however they also use a cold-sink on the inside. If you put the peltier in a cut-out so that it is in direct contact with both the heat sink and the cold sink would that provide a better temperature gradient? Like this: Is there any benefit to having the cold sink directly in contact with the back of the camera (the plastic under the swivel out screen)? cheers, Frugal
  6. I've decided to have a play around with some DIY cooling and bought a 5V peltier cooler to do this. Now I went for 5V as I wanted to be able to power it from a USB port, I have some battery packs that are designed for charging up phones and tablets that will come in handy for portability. The ZWO cameras are quite well designed for this type of thing as they have a large flat backplate that the cooler can be attached to. I used a thermal interface pad to attach the TEC to the back of the camera and another one to attach a CPU heat sink with fan from an old computer. The fan and cooler are then connected up in parallel to two battery packs or to a single 5V mains adaptor. Now for the testing, I ran the camera in video mode for a while and the temperature settled at 36.7°C with no cooling on. I kept the gain at 255 throughout the tests. When I turned the cooling on the temperature quickly dropped down to 16°C. Next I did some longer exposures, after a 5min exposure with no cooling it reported that the temperature was 32.2°C and on inspection the average pixel value was 1187. Now with the cooling on I took another 5min exposure and it reported the temp as being 10.2°C and the average pixel value was 216. I took some 1min exposures as well, these came up with a pixel value of 198 for uncooled and 17 for cooled. I noticed that a lot of this noise was in the corners, I assume that this is amp glow or other interference from the internal electronics so I cropped it and the average pixel value dropped to 180 for uncooled and 8 for cooled. Cropping the 5min exposures brought the average pixel value down to 1038 for uncooled and 80 for cooled. This seems to be a resounding success so far as noise reduction goes, I expect that the amp glow can be dealt with using dark frames as it isn't random noise. I also noticed that the majority of the noise is in the same pixels in the cooled exposures, as such it should respond well to dark frames or a bad pixel map. I plan to use this with some camera lenses I have as a super portable setup, maybe it will be portable enough to take somewhere with no cloud
  7. Hello nice people of SGL, I have recently modded my Lifecam Studio for guiding and I must say it is an amazing webcam that performs really will in low light. with 1sec exposure I had no problem finding good star for guiding. However, a few nights ago I realised that after about 10 minutes the webcam gets really hot and that adds noise to the guiding image, and the guiding becomes a bit inaccurate. So I decided to mod it even further and add a cooling fan to it. I managed to flatten the heat exchanged that is on the webcam and attach a Fan&HE to it. but what I now notice (without trying it on starts I must say) is that the webcam slightly vibrates when the fan is connected to power. Has anyone done anything similar that can advise whether or not the vibration becomes a problem? and if yes, how it can be resolved? I am also planning to add a peltier cooler to my DSLR (cold finger style rather than cool box) so I really want to know if I will have problem with vibrations... Many thanks in advance, Naeim
  8. I have a simple question that I've not been able to answer myself about cooling.. Does it actually help if the ambient temperature is already very low? My last two or three times out using my camera the air temperature has been below -1 deg C and as low as -4 from the cameras inbuilt sensor.
  9. Decided to put cooling fans on my newtonians a 200pds and a 130pds ,used a 120mm on the 200 and a 80mm on the 130pds ,i used, Be Quite silent Wings2 fans they use rifle bearings and are so quite German made, i did the 200 first and was impressed with this make so ordered the same make for the 130 pds it comes with a lead with four wires but only needed neg ang pos so snipped other two out , made a disc from plastic and cut out around collimation screws on primary then used velcro to attach to OTA fitted a 2.1mm dc socket on to the disc then bought a usb lead to 2.1mm barrel though i may fit another 2.1mm socket on my power box and use 12v either way it works ,i used a dimmer on the 200pds but it doesnt need it and wouldn't use it again but its fitted now so will leave in place.
  10. Hi everybody!! Just joined after lurking for a year. I have done the filter removal as instructed by Gary Honis and was satisfied with the results. Only one thing I'm wanting to learn and that's how to do a cold finger mod on my canon 1000d. I have found some links, but mostly any instructions I've found were outdated and removed from the web, so it's been difficult to find a mod to my liking with detailed step by step and supply list. One of my main concerns is that I still want to use the side of my camera that has usb and the input for my intervalometer (currently unguided with no laptop). I can do without live view as long as I can still connect the dslr to my phone on dslr controller for a bigger more comfortable live view. Anyways I really need help in the right instructions to get this done. Any links, videos, or experienced instructions would be a big help and I would be very thankful for. I'd also like to add that I would like to go light weight on the mod, so i don't have much trouble balancing the es 80mm triplet on an Orion sirius. Trying my best at a budget to defeat the Texas summer. Clear skies!
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