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  #1  
Old 03-10-2014, 06:28 PM
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ZeroID (Brent)
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IR Mod for Dummies

I modded my old Konica Minolta 7D DSLR. Still fully functional it was unused and worthless so if it didn't work no major loss. I have used it on the scopes before but it has amp glow in one corner and is only 6 meg.

Things you'll need are:
A large handled fine tip screwdriver. You will find Jewellers screwdrivers won't shift the long threaded screws in cameras. Also why you need CRC. Most cameras use miniature Phillips head screws. I was lucky, my big compendium of bits had a tip to fit a magnetic handle which was also useful.
Some darn good lighting, long tweezers, a small flat handled screwdriver as a pry bar, a few drops of CRC, and an antistatic mat is a good idea. As much as to keep all the parts in one clean place as reduce the risk of static damage.
Here's a few pix of the camera before I started. Note, a lot of tiny screws in the bottom, a few at top rear and some on the sides, not visible here.

Back off first:
I started on the bottom but found I was getting nowhere so added a drop of CRC to each screw head and left 24 hours.
I also pulled off the rubber base mat and cut through the serial number sticker which acts as a warranty seal. This thing is WELL out of warranty.
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  #2  
Old 03-10-2014, 07:33 PM
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ZeroID (Brent)
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Next evening the CRC had done it's job and the back came off. Two small ribbon connectors to disconnect. The back plate seems to be a solid piece of stainless steel. I discovered then that the top had to come off as the plate went right around the viewfinder. More CRC and more screws, some inside the flash housing at the front and small side panel at the left and then the stainless plate is off. And there is our target, the green board in the middle. Just four screws to release that.
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  #3  
Old 03-10-2014, 07:39 PM
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ZeroID (Brent)
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Here's the Sensor front side view still attached to it's ribbon. Side view shows it to be a sandwich of glass and filter elements. The whole thing will therefore have to come off. I hacked around the edge of the glass trying to move it with no success but then a wee bit of pressure to the outside mounting plastic and it just peeled away. Just a slight blue green tinge to the bare filter. There is still a glass (?) surface over the actual sensor so it's safe enough from contamination.
Reassembly is reverse obviously, I left a few screws out, not needed in this case and I am thinking of a cold finger to that stainless plate if I can work out a way to seal it all against condensation.
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  #4  
Old 03-10-2014, 07:48 PM
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ZeroID (Brent)
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And here is the result first time working. A nice pink picture, lots of IR inside from the halogen light in the dining room.

I have a few more pix of intermediate stages if anyone wants more info but they are mostly about finding screws and closeups. I recommend downloading the Service Manual first and doing some study on how to get to your target with the minimum of deconstruction. The less you disturb, the less likelihood of damage. Most modern camera will be of a similar construction inside, the job is not all that hard but it needs some patience and careful work.
I had a nice bright Led light bar and a loupe and spent quite a bit of time examining how it all fitted together. Even so it only took about 3 hours excluding the CRC soak time.
I need to test this obviously and of course it is raining but if it all works I may consider attacking the water damaged A77 body although it seems to have other issues as well.
I'll find the Service Manual site and post a link up. It had everything up there free. Could be useful if you are considering having a go your self. It ain't as hard as I thought it would be.
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  #5  
Old 03-10-2014, 09:27 PM
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cometcatcher (Kevin)
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Cool stuff Brent. Glad it worked out.
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  #6  
Old 03-10-2014, 09:57 PM
Garbz (Chris)
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So as a matter of interest can you still focus at infinity?

I attempted this mod with a Nikon and then gave up when I couldn't source a sheet of glass to cover the sensor that had the correct thickness / refractive index. Simply removing the filter put the focus off to the point of making the camera useless, and I couldn't do my previous trick which was scrape the IR coating off the filter as Nikon in their wisdom decided to sandwich the element that does the IR cut between two sheets of plain normal glass.


Grrrr
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  #7  
Old 04-10-2014, 04:39 AM
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nebulosity. (Jo)
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Ahh, that looks familiar. Cool stuff, are you going to go all the way and do a mono mod now?

Cheers
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  #8  
Old 05-10-2014, 05:23 AM
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ZeroID (Brent)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Garbz View Post
So as a matter of interest can you still focus at infinity?

I attempted this mod with a Nikon and then gave up when I couldn't source a sheet of glass to cover the sensor that had the correct thickness / refractive index. Simply removing the filter put the focus off to the point of making the camera useless, and I couldn't do my previous trick which was scrape the IR coating off the filter as Nikon in their wisdom decided to sandwich the element that does the IR cut between two sheets of plain normal glass.


Grrrr
Probably not but the whole exercise was for an IR modded astro camera and I will have all the focal travel I need with the scope. It will never be used as a normal camera, I have the big SONY for that. Mine appears to be a sandwich too if you chk the pictures.

Mono mod: probably not there doesn't seem to be anything else left to easily scrape off. The IR windows was in it's own plastic molding and just peeled off but anything else appears to be securely bonded to the sensor.

Now I've just got to get rid of all the clouds that were obviously trapped inside the sensor assembly. They seem to have escaped despite my precautions with the Anti Static mat
Hoping like heck they will have dissipated before the Wed night lunar eclipse.
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  #9  
Old 05-10-2014, 05:51 AM
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ZeroID (Brent)
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Couple of outside pix, sky and back garden. Focus can achieved for closeups I'll put it on the scope today and see what it can do for long distances. That's the Ob behind the wooden fence upper left in the second pic. The first pic is looking up through the budding grapevine over the deck. Clouds are very interesting.
None of my lenses have got the IR red dot, all too darn modern.
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  #10  
Old 05-10-2014, 07:20 AM
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ZeroID (Brent)
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And here is a 'thru the scope' shot. The houses are about 3-4 km away.
Somewhat overexposed, it's hard to judge with the weird colouring.

But focus is not a problem.
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  #11  
Old 05-10-2014, 01:12 PM
Garbz (Chris)
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Nice. Yeah it wouldn't be a problem with a scope, but I was attempting a conversion for normal astronomy.
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  #12  
Old 06-10-2014, 08:01 AM
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ZeroID (Brent)
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'Normal Astronomy' ?
I assume you mean through a standard camera lens.
At infinity with a smaller f stop it should be useable.
You could always experiment with lens extenders.
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  #13  
Old 08-10-2014, 04:06 PM
Garbz (Chris)
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*normal photography. I was having a blonde moment. Lens extenders will preclude the use of autofocus and matrix metering on my camera so I was looking for something that would work without having to spend $200 on a specially cut piece of glass. I tried a microscope slide but it wasn't thick enough.
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  #14  
Old 10-10-2014, 10:40 AM
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ZeroID (Brent)
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Hate to say it but the dang thing has stopped working .
After those scope shots I took it inside a few days later and now it powers up and the sensor does it's test and menu is all there but shutter won't go. Checked with CCD clean and that works so maybe a plug\connection is a bit dodgy. I'll have to open it up again and check everything. I'll be a bloody expert before long.

Might see if I can pick up a cheap old\early DSLR Canon or something and see how easy it is to mod that. TradeMe might have something listed, 300D or whatever.

And just as I was getting a whole bunch of new ideas to play with.

On that note would the IR mod make it sensitive to the solar prominences etc in the Ha region ? Not sure how I'd try this yet but if it is then ....


Nuts hey ?
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  #15  
Old 10-10-2014, 04:22 PM
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cometcatcher (Kevin)
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Hopefully it's just a loose ribbon cable Brent. I was going to suggest trying all your colour filters. I've found most of the old photo filters pass some IR and make for really interesting cloud shots. The first one is with a GSO yellow and the second an 80A Blue.
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  #16  
Old 13-10-2014, 05:35 AM
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ZeroID (Brent)
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Kevin, the 80A blue as you've pictured is the effect that prompted me to experiment with it for LP control. If I can get the camera going again with Ha sensitivity that I could see some interesting astro pix.
TV is useless this week ( and most weeks !! ) I'll get the antistat mat and tools out and open her up again. Surgery is required. Fingers are crossed it's just a cable connector.
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  #17  
Old 21-10-2014, 07:16 PM
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ZeroID (Brent)
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Opened her up, took about 10 mins after the 3-4 hour marathon the first time. Checked all connections but couldn't get it going again ..
Nothing obvious to see so that experiment was of limited success although if I can get another cheap camera I'll have another go at it.
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  #18  
Old 22-10-2014, 06:11 AM
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Merlin66 (Ken)
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The red response would also help with an Ha solar scope....
I have a FULL spectrum modded 1000D - both filters removed (used for spectroscopy).
To allow the continued use of standard camera lenses I added an Astronomik CLR clip-in filter to the body. This corrects for the loss of backfocus. Works well.
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  #19  
Old 22-10-2014, 06:51 PM
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ZeroID (Brent)
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Hi Ken, I wasn't concerned with standard requirements, got about 4 other cameras for normal use. This was a leftover unused body after I upgraded so I wasn't too bothered if the mod didn't work. But when it did work it was too darn cool, ... till it stopped working. .

Ha on a solar scope was one of the ideas I had for testing. As I said I'll watch out for a cheapie early Canon model and have another go. KM's are pretty rare for that older model but if I spot one then it's all on again.
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