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Old 01-06-2014, 08:14 PM
Tony_ (Tony)
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Cooled DSLR options

Hello,

I currently have a central ds cooled 40d which I bought used last year. After about 6 months it developed an issue where stars become severely elongated when the cooler is on. I sent it to central ds for repairs and it came back okay - but after a few uses the problem has returned. Of course I can send it back again - but I'm not confident it will be repaired correctly again - plus it takes 6 weeks and about $170.
I am now think of getting a new cooled dslr. I don't want to go down the path of ccd because I prefer the simplicity of dslr's and I don't get much imaging time.
I definitely prefer the cooled cameras - my uncooled 550d is almost useless in warm weather.
Apart from diy cooling systems has anyone had experience with other suppliers of cooled dslr's? eg. Spencers cameras etc.
Has anyone had issues with centralds cameras? (their repair cost and communication was very good).
I am considering a centralds 60d. Any other suggestions (less than $2k).

Regards,
Tony.
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  #2  
Old 01-06-2014, 08:36 PM
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cometcatcher (Kevin)
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What about an Orion cooler box?

http://www.telescope.com/Astrophotog...1/p/101916.uts
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Old 01-06-2014, 08:57 PM
Tony_ (Tony)
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Thanks Kevin,

My 550d isn't astro modded - so I don't want to cool it.
I will buy another modded camera and I think the 60d is a good option - this cooler isn't suitable for that. Also I don't really like the look of those coolers - I prefer options that just cool the sensor.

Regards,
Tony.
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Old 02-06-2014, 12:07 AM
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tlgerdes (Trevor)
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A One Shot Colour camera is just as simple to operate as a DSLR.

Same process to stack and process to output. I still use DSS with my QHY10. I use Nebulosity as the capture program, focusing is still the similar, just not as reactive as using Liveview, but still pretty close (2-3 sec updates)
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Old 02-06-2014, 05:41 AM
Tony_ (Tony)
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I have considered the option of a OSC - but I don't want to use a laptop.
A dslr just needs a timer control. I don't have an observatory and I don't want to add to the set up time and amount of equipment that I have to take out each time.
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Old 02-06-2014, 02:08 PM
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rustigsmed (Russell)
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what about the central ds 600d?
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Old 02-06-2014, 04:33 PM
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Asterix2020 (Paul)
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I have a CDS-600D and am very happy with it. You can see some of my images here: http://www.astrobin.com/users/Asterix2020/

You do need a laptop to control it though, as they totally replace the body. Also needs 12V supply as they remove the battery.
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Old 02-06-2014, 05:10 PM
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Bassnut (Fred)
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I totally understand the reluctance to use a laptop in the field, but how then do you guide without an expensive standalone guider?. A decent astro OSC is less than $2k and would give far superior results. If you are willing to submit to using even a cheap lappy for guiding control and capture, pic getting is much superior generally.
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Old 02-06-2014, 08:19 PM
Tony_ (Tony)
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Thanks everyone for your replies. I have already considered all of the options given and for various reasons I had already decided that I don't want to go down the path of using a lap top at this stage. Mainly due to limited clear skies and time. It already takes me 1 hour plus to set up and I don't want anything that adds to that. When the set-up and pack-up time is too much greater than the imaging time my enthusiasm starts to wane to the extent that I can hardly be bothered doing it. I am happy with the humble images I currently get and I could easily spend another $5k or so and still not get much better results due to crappy skies etc. I want to get a reliable DSLR (modded and cooled for low noise) and with the LCD still in place.

This is the problem I'm having with my current camera (requested by PM). And no, it isn't PE and it isn't drift - it is visible in the live view when I plug in the cooling unit and goes away when I unplug it.

The main questions were what other suppliers of cooled DSLRs others have tried and whether the issue I have had is just bad luck.


Regards,
Tony.
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Old 02-06-2014, 09:20 PM
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rcheshire (Rowland)
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Just a thought. Does this happen without operating the mount. I have found that cables/leads can drag and slow rotation - one more thing to eliminate.
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Old 02-06-2014, 09:42 PM
Tony_ (Tony)
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Thanks Rowland,

It's definitely a camera issue of some sort. The cables were all hanging loosely - I have had cables tighten during slewing (usually the dew heater cables) - but I always lookout for that.
The elongation quite clearly appears when the cooler is plugged in and disappears when it is unplugged. It takes 1-2 seconds to fully elongate -I suspect it is caused by fan vibration. Central DS replaced the fan but maybe it has happened again with the new fan. It should be easy to replace again with a different fan. I don't know why it would happen so soon a second time.
I will see what details I can give you.

Regards,
Tony.
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Old 02-06-2014, 10:03 PM
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hi tony have you considered the new Sony A7s that is being released in July? Looks fairly amazing.
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Old 02-06-2014, 10:18 PM
Tony_ (Tony)
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The Sony A7s look good - supposedly low noise at high ISOs. I think it is $3k+ and I would want a modded one - which may not be available professionally yet and probably $4k+ ?

Regards,
Tony.
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Old 02-06-2014, 10:35 PM
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Is the mount and camera cooling running off the same power source? Are you using a battery for power?
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Old 02-06-2014, 10:53 PM
Tony_ (Tony)
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Hello Paul,

I use a separate battery for the camera. 50Ah fully charged.
The fan was replaced by Centralds in April - but it has a date of Sept 2010 on it.
I think I will replace the fan - cheap and fairly easy. There aren't many different 60mm x 10mm available.

Regards,
Tony.
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Old 03-06-2014, 09:12 AM
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rustigsmed (Russell)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony_ View Post
The Sony A7s look good - supposedly low noise at high ISOs. I think it is $3k+ and I would want a modded one - which may not be available professionally yet and probably $4k+ ?

Regards,
Tony.
Hi Tony, i think Sony Oz has it at $2700 you would probably be able to import it for ~$2.5k. You would be able to get a camera repairer to mod it.
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Old 03-06-2014, 08:26 PM
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philiphart (Phil Hart)
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I would keep trying to debug the cause of the image problems. The cameras are pretty simple and robust and you should not be getting that result.

If you image at short focal lengths with a camera lens do you still see issues? Vibration at long focal lengths certainly seems possible but should be something you can improve.

Phil
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