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Old 05-03-2018, 07:58 AM
glend (Glen)
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ASI1600MM-C Version 1 - Dessicant discontinued by ZWO

I recently purchased a ZWO dessicant tablet kit from a local ZWO retailer, with the view to replace the original tablets in my June 2016 Version 1, 1600MM-C. When the kit arrived it was obviously for the new dessicant tube versions of the ZWO cameras, they were much thinner in height, and lacked the black shim material used on the version 1 cameras (used to provide compression holders when the cap is screwed down). I emailed Sam at ZWO about the change in dessicants and how i could possibly use the thin tablets in a 1600. He advised that they no longer produce the thick tablets for version 1 1600s and that only the tube type dessicants are available. I thought this was pretty lame given the large number of Version 1 cooled 1600s that were sold; seeming to me as a way to force upgrades to Pro versions which use the tube. I have not heard anything about ZWO offering to upgrade Version 1 cameras with the new housing, or offering discounts to existing Version 1 owners to buy Pro versions. This also potentially devalues Version 1 cameras on the second hand market.
Sam's suggested that the original dessicant tablets could be dryed out in a microwave oven and thus continued to be used into the future, but this ignores a couple of important facts. First, there were cases of owners having tablets which shed material in the housing and this stuff settling on the sensor making a service necessary (in fact ZWO produced a Service PDF on how to do this); secondly, there is no source for the little adhesive dots that are placed on the top of the tablets to hold them in place against the camera housing when it is screwed on; and third, zapping the tablets in the microwave will destroy them over time, by making them chalky and more likely to drop power or fragments inside the sensor cover area.
I regard this as a poor move by ZWO, which ignores and isolates early supporters of the cooled 1600 cameras, people who through their reviews and use of the cameras provided much needed endorsement to the market.. Suppliers should have the obligation to continue to supply "consumable" components, like dessicant tablets, for their cameras.
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Old 05-03-2018, 08:31 AM
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Sounds like an opportunity for someone to supply the appropriate unit.
Many products seem to have a little something that costs little that dies and you just dont seem to be able to find a replacement.
And really how difficult would it be to have made a large batch of the units you speak of such that customers could replace them until the life of the camera expires.
Really how much would such a strategy cost.
It is a pity it is these simple complaints that can erode the goodwill the company has worked so hard to build.
Take me...thinking about what to buy and this puts me off. And moisture is such a problem it seems silly not to hsve the problem solved.
They may as well advertise..this camera does not experience moisture issues because we have a neat system to stop it in its tracks but sadly the problem will return when our one off solution can not be replaced.
Hopefully someone will come forward to help.
Alex
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Old 05-03-2018, 08:35 AM
Imme (Jon)
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Interesting Glenn.

Does make you think what support will remain for current model cameras in the future.......hopefully ZWO takes a step to rectify this issue because to me, as a future possible consumer of one of there cooled camera products, I'd have to weigh up what manufacturer will provide ongoing support.
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Old 05-03-2018, 08:46 AM
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lazjen (Chris)
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I agree it's a poor move, but I also think that this particular dessicant solution was terrible anyway. I added a couple of those sachet style dessicants to help with the problem and I think I might completely remove the ZWO ones and make them all sachets. Even if it means I have to rotate them more frequently, they're a lot easier to deal with overall (and easily renewable using a food dryer).
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Old 05-03-2018, 10:13 AM
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I wonder if you were buying a ew one if you could buy a dozen or so?
Alex
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Old 05-03-2018, 11:03 AM
glend (Glen)
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For now i have heated them up as directed by ZWO, but that has messed up the little adhesive pads used to hold them in the case depressions. As i said i had a spare set i bought last year and those are in the camera now. So with two of the correct sets i should be ok for sometime assuming i can dry them as needed. If you don't already have a spare set you can't get them now.
I agree it was always a poor design, but they put it in the market and thus have some responsibility.

This brings me to the topic of astro camera longevity. Having a camera that you can depend on over the years is important, to me at least. Perhaps coming from a film background, where you might buy one good camera for life, i take camera longevity for granted. In the case of the 1600, i guess the Pro would be ok as a replacement in that it uses the same sensor, but the inclusion of the DDR means that old and new data would have to be processed separately due to AMP glow profile differences. And of course ZWO has also changed the Offset control in the Pros. At my age i may not be buying a new camera, and would sure like to get at least five to ten years of use out of the one i have. Right now the early released Version 1 1600s are still less than two years old, i expect better customer consideration from ZWO.

Last edited by glend; 05-03-2018 at 01:06 PM.
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Old 05-03-2018, 12:38 PM
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lazjen (Chris)
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I think you probably should be redoing your darks every year anyway (at least), so you should be calibrating them separately.

I don't disagree about the support aspect and longevity expected though.
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