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Modding and basic cooling a Canon 300D


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I've modded a few camera now and despite how tricky they can be I've enjoyed the challenge enough to want to take things one step further. I initially decided to buy a cheap camera on ebay to try and have a go at debayering the sensor although after much reading of a certain mammoth thread ;) I've decided this is too many steps forward. Instead I'm looking at cooling the Modded 300D to improve the noise levels on long exposures. I decided on three design objectives for cooling:

1) keep it simple

2) keep the design light and compact

3) Keep the LCD screen for stand alone non PC use

With the above steps in mind below is what I've come up with. I used the fantastic Gary Honis camera modding guide for the full spectrum mod. The pics taken below lay out extra steps I've taken to cool the camera.

I plan on testing camera noise levels once the cooling system is complete by taking a series of long exposure dark frames before and after cooling. This is a very simple cooling system so I'm not expecting the world but a noticable drop in noise and amp glow over a 5 minute exposure would be a great thing to achieve I think :)

I have now recieved a 350D and if I find that the 300D cooling is successful I will be doing the same to that camera and may also add a temp probe behind the chip to help quantify the coolings effectiveness if any.

Anyway here are some pics:

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post-16129-0-72043000-1378244237_thumb.j

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I was thinking to myself that Maplins sell thermal paste used to connect heatsinks to pc processor chips etc, I'm guessing to improve the thermal efficiency of the joint. No idea if that would help or

Re the thermal paste. It should be OK. I work for a company that manufactures chilled mirror for measuring dew point. The temperature sensor we use has to be very small and at the same time it is inse

Yes, you want thermal paste to aid conductivity on all mating surfaces. You can get some that is electrically insulating so that it doesn't matter if it goes where you don't want it. The copper stri

Posted Images

Basically so far I have bought a copper strip from a DIY store and cut a piece to fit under the sensor clips making sure I removed any burrs with emery cloth. I then cut a and shaped a second peice of copper so it could be slid under the right hand clip touching the rest of the copper and would lead out and around the bottom of the camera casing. I needed to cut a ark on the left hand side of the copper so the ribbon cable could be re-attached and I wrapped key parts of the copper in insulating tape to prevent any short circuits.

All I need to do now is think of an effective way of fixing the pc cooling fan to bottom of the camera onto the copper so that the cooling effect of the fan and heat sink will effectively propergate up the copper to the rear fo the chip. After which I will be running the noise test.

If anyone can think of any design improvements I can always open the camera back up to change things so I'm very open to ideas which fall within my three point design criteria of course ;).

Thanks for looking :)

Chris

Edited by starfox
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If anyone can think of any design improvements I can always open the camera back up to change things

I was thinking to myself that Maplins sell thermal paste used to connect heatsinks to pc processor chips etc, I'm guessing to improve the thermal efficiency of the joint. No idea if that would help or cause other problems but I thought id share just in case it helped to connect the copper to the chip...

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I was thinking to myself that Maplins sell thermal paste used to connect heatsinks to pc processor chips etc, I'm guessing to improve the thermal efficiency of the joint. No idea if that would help or cause other problems but I thought id share just in case it helped to connect the copper to the chip...

Thats a thought thank you :) I've heard this stuff mentioned before, probably on one of Gina's camera modding threads. It did cross my mind whilst shopping for copper strips and insulating tape but I had know idea where you got the stuff from so I dismissed it so thanks for the heads up. If its used for pc chips it should be fine with the sensor chip as long as its only thermally conductive and not electrically?

It would be interesting to see what difference the paste made, i.e run the noise test before and after thermal paste, I can also then add a temp probe!

Thanks

Chris

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Re the thermal paste. It should be OK. I work for a company that manufactures chilled mirror for measuring dew point. The temperature sensor we use has to be very small and at the same time it is inserted under a very small gold coated copper mirror. We use a thermal paste to do that as it keeps it stuck in place and provides a better uniformity.

We also use it to keep thermo-electric heat pumps in place.

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  1. Yes, you want thermal paste to aid conductivity on all mating surfaces. You can get some that is electrically insulating so that it doesn't matter if it goes where you don't want it.
  2. The copper strip would be better without holes.
  3. The copper strip would be better all in one piece.
  4. The wider and thicker the better.
  5. The shorter the better.

This is the same principle as I use with 1100Ds for widefield - cooling to near ambient. On long exposures with little gap between, this reduced sensor temperature by up to 14C reducing the noise to a quarter by stopping the sensor heating up while running. But my cold finger was much shorter and wider than yours, in one piece and with thermal paste.

I got copper plate from ebay - quite cheap. I got the thermal paste from ebay or Amazon - forget which but it's in one of my cooling threads. I'll see if I can find it.

While debayering a whole range of Canon EOS models from 300D to 1100D, where successful I shall be working on cooling.

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Thanks folks much appreciated :), I've just ordered some of this stuff!

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Arctic-Cooling-MX-4-Thermal-Compound/dp/B0045JCFLY/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1378318249&sr=8-1&keywords=thermal+paste

@ Gina- I think I might add another copper strip running out the bottom of the camera on the left side of the ribbon cable as well as the thermal paste. I admit the holes arn't ideal, I'll have a look on ebay for some slightly thicker copper sheet without the holes :)

I think this is the shortest route out the camera whilst keeping the rear lcd screen so I'll need to focus on 4 out the 5 pointers you gave me :)

Reducing sensor temp by 14C is a major achievement well done, I'll have to have a read through your old cooling threads, I'd be over the Moon with half that! :)

Chris

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Just ordered some 0.9mm C101 copper sheet from ebay, I will use this to cut out a shape the same area as the chip with two limbs which extend out from this either side of the ribbon cable and out the bottom of the camera, I think this should improve things a little :)

Chris

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I had a right job last night! I took the back off the camera to try and refit the screen ribbon cable in order to attempt to regain the image review button [>] and right directon key, but when I lifted the cable clamp it pinged off and I had know idea where it went? I checked the camera first just incase it fell in but I couldn't here anything when I gently shuck it upside down so I spent the best part of an hour searching the room with a torch! I was just about to pack everthing up and picked the camera up again and the damn thing fell out of it! :D

I then refitted the ribbon cable but still no joy so I performed a firmware upgrade which turns the 300D into a 10D unlocking lots of functions including one which allows you to program the [sET] button to a number of fucntions, one of which is image reply!! :)

I can now pull up an image and zoom in to focus only that I have to press the [>] button then the [sET] button to do this but thats no biggy. The onlt fault remaining is the right arrow key but the only consequence of this is that you have to scroll the menu right to left instead of both ways and that if you want to format the CF card you need to do it from your PC.

So to cut a long story short, the camera is now perfectly usable for Astro imaging, albeit with one or two tiny quarks.

I think now I've got the 350D to play with, I'm going to focus on modding that camera and move this one on, or if it doesn't sell then I might as well have a crack at this debayering business after all :D

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Do you know if the camera will work without a CF card in it Chris? The faulty 300D I've just got has a bent CF card pin which I may be able to straighten but if it'll work via USB without a card it'll save me bothering :D

I've yet to get at the battery box / power board to attach wires to provide it with external power as it came without battery.

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Do you know if the camera will work without a CF card in it Chris? The faulty 300D I've just got has a bent CF card pin which I may be able to straighten but if it'll work via USB without a card it'll save me bothering :D

I've yet to get at the battery box / power board to attach wires to provide it with external power as it came without battery.

Hi Gina, I knew the 300D's and 10D's weren't supported by backyard EOS, but I did hear software was available for the 300D but until Steve posted I wasn't exactly sure so thanks Steve DSLR focus looks good! :)

There is also this Ebay service which repairs 300D pins

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Canon-EOS-300D-ERROR-CF-BENT-PIN-REPAIR-SERVICE-/281161807303?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_3&hash=item41768cb5c7

p.s You have a 300D as well! I lose count :D

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The thermal compound has arrived, just waiting on the 0.9mm copper plate before I attack the 350D :)

Does anyone know of a suitable digital temp probe that I can fix to the back of the chip at the same time?

Cheers

Chris

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Hi Gina, I knew the 300D's and 10D's weren't supported by backyard EOS, but I did hear software was available for the 300D but until Steve posted I wasn't exactly sure so thanks Steve DSLR focus looks good! :)

There is also this Ebay service which repairs 300D pins

http://www.ebay.co.u...=item41768cb5c7

p.s You have a 300D as well! I lose count :D

Just the one :D I might get a battery - I've having quite a job getting the front off to access the power part. I can use the Canon software to capture images. I don't intend to use this camera myself - just use it to practice debayering. I still have yet to produce a debayered sensor that works properly :eek: I'll be happy to get any model of sensor working in mono at the moment. I intend to conquer this - yes, it's become an obsession :D
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Been reassembling the camera having removed the cover glass from the sensor but the broken connector is past repairing and the ribbon cable won't stay connected so this camera is useless. OTOH it's probable that the sensor is alright so worth it for that. It's just that I will need a working camera if I want to test the sensor. Mind you, if I were to succeed in debayering both sensors I could sell a mono camera and a mono replacement sensor :D

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Is it the very last riibon cable for the lcd screen Gina because these have been a nightmare on both the 300D's I've modded, with my first modded 300D I had to help the connector along with some insulating tape! :D

I'm sure there would be a small market for selling the debayered sensor on it own even! :)

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That was the ribbon cable that was floating about inside but the problem connector is for one of the sensor cables. It's underneath the main board. Have to say, Canon have certainlymade some improvements since this old model :) The 1100D is a doddle in comparison :D

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I now have some life in the camera having made up a "battery eliminator" in the form of a piece of strip board with wires soldered on and pressed against the contacts with a piece of rubber foam. The wires come out at the side where there is a plug of rubber which comes out for the purpose. They go to my bench PSU set to 7.8v. The camera draws about 200mA when switched on.

It's grumbling about "No CF Card" and refusing to take a photo because of that. I can't find a menu option to allow operation without CF card. I haven't yet tried computer operation or if a CD card might be recognised with a missing connection. I tried to straighten the bent pin but it just turned round and fell out. But the coast is now clear to plug in a CF card, which I shall try.

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The CF card is working I think but not getting an image - just a black screen plus info. There seem to be images on the CF card but they're blank. So I guess the sensor connection isn't working.

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Do you have a USB multi card reader so you can check whats on the card, also if you keep the CF card in will it take pics or just display 'Full CF' as mine is doing without a card. If it takes pics then hopefully it will store them to your PC?

I realise now that I didn't take your earlier question literally enough :D I could have removed my CF card earlier to see that it doesn't seem to work without it.

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No problem Chris :) The CF card works and the camera saves image files to the card. The card reads fine in my desktop PC it's just that the images are "a deeper shade of black" :D I'll dig out my netbook PSU tomorrow and try the camera on that. I think the camera is fine except for sensor/connections.

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