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michaelmorris

Yet another DIY all sky camera thread

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Having wiped the water off the camera window, there is no sign of wet or even dampness inside behind the window so the sensor should be alright.  I think I'll gently warm the camera for a few hours and see if it works.

I've put it on the bed of my Titan 3D printer and running it at 45°C.  That should dry out any moisture in the camera.  Mini 3D printer is currently printing clock parts.

Edited by Gina

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My recollection is that the housing for the camera unscrews, splitting near the front.  It's quite well disguised by the first shoulder of the case though.  That may be just the smaller models however.

James

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Yes the ASI1600 unscrews there too.  OTOH the dry chamber with the sensor seems to be perfectly dry so no need to unscrew it.  The reason it didn't work may be just down to the USB connection.  I'm going to make sure it's dry though before connecting it to a computer for testing.

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The lens is full of water so I've put that on my 3D printer bed to see if I can dry it out and hoping there will be no deposits on any of the lenses.

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Looks like drying out the lens is going to take a very long time!!...  If the lens doesn't dry out successfully the ASC is a dead duck! 

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I imagine it will eventually.  I wonder if it might be worth putting in a sealed box with some hygroscopic crystals and putting that somewhere warm?

James

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Possibly yes.  ATM it's on my printer bed set to 65°C - I'll increase the temperature to 90°C as the lens is looking just as bad as when I put it there!  I don't think a high temperature will hurt the lens.  I might increase it to 110°C in a while...

Edited by Gina

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The front lens has now dried off inside but it's left a deposit!  The back part still seems to be full of water!!  The casing feels hot - probably 60-70°C with the bed at 110°C.  It looks like I shall have to strip this lens down if I am to recover it  :eek:  If I do manage to recover the lens but not the camera I might try the ASI178MM and stick an Ha filter in the light path and see what that does at night.  I think the ASI178MM is the same size as the ASI185MC I've been using so the thermal insulating casing could be reused.  Can't get ASC cooling down to the coldness ZWO get with their dual step cooling though.  OTOH this might just be a project that might rejuvenate my interest in astro imaging - which is in serious decline!

OMG!  Just noticed that a wire has come off the Peltier TEC I used for cooling the camera - it gets worse!!!  :eek: :BangHead:  Wonder if it's worth pressing on....

Edited by Gina

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Just had a try at getting the lens apart - no joy!

Just had another thought - I do have the Fujinon zoom lens which is much lower quality and higher focal ratio. 

Edited by Gina

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What lens is it, Gina?

James

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Found the ASI178MM and tried that and the ASA185MC in three different capture programs in my Win 7 laptop.  One program didn't work with either but the other two recognised the ASI178MM and covering the sensor the image went from light to dark.  With the ASI185MC I got an error from both programs.  I conclude that the ASI185MC is DUFF, dead, lying on the floor of its cage with its legs in the air.  It is a non-camera etc. etc. So I decided to take it apart and see if anything was to be seen.  Grabbed the reduced part of the body in pipe pliers and two screws in the M4 fixing holes, then applying a long tool undid the casing which split just behind the ledge.  There is corrosion on the sensor board so I guess that is where the trouble is/was. 

Once inside I decided to remove the sensor board and examine the interior.  There is NO thermal connection from the sensor to the case whatsoever so cooling the case only cools the air inside otherwise there is nothing to cool the image sensor.  Assuming other non-cooled ZWO cameras are the same I conclude that there must be a significant difference between the cooled and non-cooled ZWO cameras with the cooled models having a cold finger onto the back of the sensor.

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Any chance of getting it working again if you clean up the circuit board, do you think?

James

Edited by JamesF

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I wondered that - I shall try.

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14 minutes ago, JamesF said:

What lens is it, Gina?

James

Fujinon fish-eye lens of 1.4mm focal length and f1.8.

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Photo of image sensor board.

276341639_ASI185MMFault01.png.ff20ee57565833861a18d5b24712b315.png

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Cleaned the board with acetone and removed all the corrosion, also found corrosion on the ribbon cable end and the connector which I also cleaned off but the camera still doesn't work and gives same error. :eek:

The sensor board does have a small rectangular window in the back that might take a cold finger.  No good if the camera is dead though!

Edited by Gina

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U4 and C66 don't look too happy in that photo.  I wonder if something shorted out around there because it was damp?

James

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Seems very likely.

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Still trying to dry the lens out.  There's still condensation on the little back lens .

Edited by Gina

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If you can't get it apart I think that is just going to be a question of leaving it somewhere warm and being patient.  I'm sure it will dry out given sufficient time.

James

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Yes, I think it's getting there.  The back lens seems to have dried off and deposited its moisture on the front lens.

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Just checked the lens again and the mist has gone from the front lens but there's still moisture inside on other lenses.

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