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Old 04-12-2014, 01:17 PM
ericwbenson (Eric)
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Proline 16803 dew heater

Strongly leaning towards ordering an FLI Proline 16803. The question arises, do I want a dew heater on the window. My site, Arkaroola, is quite dry, but does anybody have a similar camera in Coonabarabran, (should be a lot like Ark?) that could offer advice?
Thx,
EB

Last edited by ericwbenson; 04-12-2014 at 05:52 PM.
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Old 04-12-2014, 08:41 PM
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gregbradley
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I have a dew heater on my PL16803. I have never used it but it is there.
I have never seen dew on the CCD window ever. I think its an option for the Florida imagers. Not sure if it costs extra but if you think you may use it why not.

They are just 2 sticky pads inside the camera that are yellow and about 20mm long and 5mm wide.

Greg.
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Old 04-12-2014, 10:39 PM
ericwbenson (Eric)
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Hi Greg,
Thanks for your experience, apparently it's 279$ extra. I didn't need anything like it on the Apogee either, but it had a double air/argon? spaced window to prevent dew from forming.

EB
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Old 05-12-2014, 09:56 AM
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I doubt its double glass on the Apogee (I used to have a U16M also; nice camera but slow downloads and very slow to cool otherwise a very good unit). Both have argon which is even in the Starlight Express Trius range now.

The latest offering from Apogee is the Aspen model. Not sure what the differences are but the high cooling option cools even harder than a FLI.
It probably takes half an hour or more to get there though.

Doesn't sound like a problem but if you take twilight flats like I do and leave it to the last second to take them you are blocked as the camera takes ages to reach the temp and by then its dark. Happened to me several times.

The worst was a power drop out at 2am and then it wanted to warm up then cool back down taking something like an hour - that's just stupid.

The theory is the slow cooldown takes thermal stress off the sensor so it lasts longer. The reality is noone experiences cracked/failed sensors from thermal stress that I have ever heard of so its solving a problem that does not exist.

Not really a problem if you are using it in a remote situation and power up in plenty of advance time. Its also a bit slimmer than the Proline and a little bit lighter although the heavy cooling unit may not be. I like the colour of the Apogees.

Greg.
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Old 05-12-2014, 11:59 AM
ericwbenson (Eric)
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They mention the double glass somewhere in the marketing material, maybe also why the backfocus is a lot more in the deep cooling D09 body that I've got.
I inquired about the Aspen as a replacement, I was quoted nearly 14K USD, forget that idea, I like the color too, but not that much.
EB
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Old 05-12-2014, 12:45 PM
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Proline versus Apogee - electronics - much the same although Proline has 1 second downloads full 1x1 binning which is great, Apogee was much slower but reasonable -about 12 seconds?, argon - same, CCD window - not sure Proline is a high end material (saphire or quartz?)
Cooling - DO9 is slightly better but the time to cool is slow - 30 minutes?
Proline - about 3.5 minutes to 5 max. Weight - similar to DO9, size similar as well. Shutter quality etc - Proline.

The filter wheels are interesting. I liked my FW50 but the open truss construction of the carousel was causing some people problems in dusty areas where the filter wheel moving swirled dust around on filters causing flats to mismatch lights. I didn't experience that so perhaps its only in a dusty areas - Apogee may have closed that carousel wheel. I like the fact its a 7 position filter wheel, would take different thickness filters and was reasonably priced. FLI Filter wheels are very expensive for what they are - good but hard to see the cost in the construction of them.

Neither Apogee nor FLI offer an OAG solution (unless Apogee has brought one out).

Both camera makers seem to be very reliable. I think in the end it boils down to the cooldown time, the faster downloads of the Proline and perhaps slightly less noise and more powerful cooling in the Proline over the U16M model. Pricewise they are similar.

Apogee is the nicer colour! Apogee U16M is slimmer, lighter and takes up less room on an imaging train (not by much though).

I am perfectly happy with my FLI camera's performance but I do wish FLI would implement a QSI type OAG system or a guiding solution similar to SBIG as well as produce an AO unit.

I get the idea with both of these companies the real market is the Xray and machine vision market not astrophotography.

Greg.
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