Go Back   IceInSpace > Equipment > Astrophotography and Imaging Equipment and Discussions

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread
  #1  
Old 26-06-2014, 04:32 PM
Octane's Avatar
Octane (Humayun)
IIS Member #671

Octane is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Canberra
Posts: 11,158
Has this happened to anyone else?

The following is pretty much what looks like has happened to my camera.

http://www.cloudynights.com/ubbthrea...4/Main/6534779

I've had my camera for four years, but, have had nothing but bad luck.

The first time I opened the cover to install the filters, the little coupler on the filter wheel sheared off. Back to Peter Ward for a fix. I bought my system as a package with Baader filters, but, at the time, there was a delay on Baader's end due to a death in the family, and, the filter arrived several months later. Despite being careful with taking the lid off (on both occasions) to install the new filter, the coupler sheared off, yet again! Again, it went back to Peter after Chris Malikoff did a temporary repair job for me.

I've been getting back into the swing of things in the last few weeks, as I've got married, and moved into a home with decent skies; I set up in the backyard, and, after one week this happens.

Attached is the image showing the crack; the CCD sensor isn't sitting straight either -- my camera took an accidental fall a little while back but the rack handle took the force of the fall and it is bent a little bit, but, the camera has worked fine since then. It was only recently while doing some V curves in FocusMax did I see the line in the bottom corner. I thought that it was a hair or a spider had made a home in my camera, but, the reality was much worse when I took the cover off.

I've got in touch with Bill at SBIG, who says that it's going to cost $3,000 to replace the CCD chip. I've asked if I can send my camera in for a closer look and consequently, a second opinion. I am hesitant to spend $3,000 on repairs to a camera which I've had for four years, produced one image with (owing to work, weather, motivation, etc.,) only for it to happen again perhaps at a later date.

Has anyone else had this happen to them? What has been your experience? Do you think it is as mentioned in the CN thread above: just a cheap repair (although, it will be costly sending the item from Australia->US->Australia), or, am I really going to be out of pocket for a new sensor?

I'm well and truly gutted.

H
Attached Thumbnails
Click for full-size image (stl_crack.JPG)
93.8 KB195 views
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 26-06-2014, 04:42 PM
Octane's Avatar
Octane (Humayun)
IIS Member #671

Octane is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Canberra
Posts: 11,158
This is what I had my hopes on completing:

http://fc07.deviantart.net/fs70/f/20...5a-d51e6uh.jpg

That was 4x2 panels of luminance, thus far. *sigh*

H
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 26-06-2014, 05:03 PM
Andy01's Avatar
Andy01 (Andy)
My God it's full of stars

Andy01 is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Melbourne
Posts: 2,280
Following, with interest...

Nowadays, the true measure of a companies products is their willingness to go out of their way and stand up and help the affected users in difficult circumstances.

I had a very expensive new Grey Nichols cricket bat that got a terminal crack after just one season. I took it to the factory and was delighted when they replaced it with a new one at no charge!

I'm almost ready to purchase a new mono, so as an SBIG user, I'm very interested to see what SBIG are willing to do for you.

Cheers
Andy
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 26-06-2014, 05:19 PM
hotspur's Avatar
hotspur (Chris)
Registered User

hotspur is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: south east QLD,Australia
Posts: 2,851
That's awful H.

Sometimes in life,expensive kit does not work out,and we try to pep things up expecting things to turn up,when it does not,and you feel like your last sentence,it might be best for the mind to move on,as painful as it is on the pocket.Otherwise the wonka situation just eats away at one.Any chance the said kit could be sold on 'as is' to fiddlers,and funds go towards some other similar kit.Good luck.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 26-06-2014, 05:29 PM
MrB's Avatar
MrB (Simon)
Old Man Yells at Cloud

MrB is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Rockingham WA
Posts: 3,408
Surely it's not the sensor but only the cover glass that seals the chamber?
Can't see why it would cost 3k
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 26-06-2014, 06:48 PM
gregbradley's Avatar
gregbradley
Registered User

gregbradley is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Sydney
Posts: 15,446
CCD sensors have a cover slip of thin glass over the front of them (it is optional to not have this cover slip with FLI cameras). Then there is the CCD chamber glass itself.

Your photo to me looks like the cover slip over the top of the CCD chip.
I suspect if the chip itself was cracked you would not get any image at all. I doubt the camera can readout a sensor which has a crack in it.

From what I have read chips are quite tough. But the cover slip is likely to be thin.

I would send it off. The worst case scenario is you get a quote you are not willing to proceed with and you pay for some shipping.

I think its a fairly safe bet.I have never heard of a cracked CCD sensor since I've been doing astrophotography.

Greg.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 26-06-2014, 08:14 PM
rat156's Avatar
rat156
Registered User

rat156 is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Melbourne
Posts: 1,653
Bloody hell H,

Hate to see fellow APers have a bad time, as if getting married wasn't enough...

Well if things work out for me job wise over the next month or so, I'll be leaving for Europe for about three years. I'd be glad to help out and lend you my STT8300 if things work out, just don't drop it. That way you can get your camera fixed at your leisure and I'll have an updated camera when I get back...

Cheers
Stu
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 26-06-2014, 08:52 PM
Peter Ward's Avatar
Peter Ward
Galaxy hitchhiking guide

Peter Ward is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: The Shire
Posts: 6,641
H....if the camera was dropped resulting in the grab handles being bent after the impact..it has taken quite a blow. The sensors need to be mounted very accurately, and if dislodged even by a small amount....well... you know the painful result.

The sensor is however working.... In which case there may be a solution in having the cover slip removed. See
http://www.jtwastronomy.com/tutorials/debayer.html

Given the sensor needs replacing anyway...might be worth a shot.... I'd be willing to do this for you gratis....but give absolutely no guarantee the sensor won't die completely during/after the procedure.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 27-06-2014, 08:21 AM
Octane's Avatar
Octane (Humayun)
IIS Member #671

Octane is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Canberra
Posts: 11,158
Andy,

Cheers, mate.

To be fair, I've had nothing but top notch service from Peter with regards to my previous issues. I'm only full of praise!

I somehow don't think I'm going to get a free camera, though. And, I wouldn't expect any such thing!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy01 View Post
Following, with interest...

Nowadays, the true measure of a companies products is their willingness to go out of their way and stand up and help the affected users in difficult circumstances.

I had a very expensive new Grey Nichols cricket bat that got a terminal crack after just one season. I took it to the factory and was delighted when they replaced it with a new one at no charge!

I'm almost ready to purchase a new mono, so as an SBIG user, I'm very interested to see what SBIG are willing to do for you.

Cheers
Andy
Chris,

Cheers! I suppose I could always just go back to DSLR imaging. But, I wanted to achieve more than what the DSLR could give me, and, also wanted to try my hand at narrowband. To rub salt into the wounds, I bought an FW8-STL last week (the dedicated 8-position filter wheel for the STL) which I've been looking for for ages (no longer made). A couple came up on Astromart after I put up a wanted ad. I picked one up for $1K which is brand new in box and never been used. I also paid over $100 for a PreciseParts adapter. It just seems like a waste of money now.

I've been conversing via email with Dwight, the gent in the CloudyNights thread that had the same thing happen to him. He ended up selling his camera for parts for $1K. *sigh*

Quote:
Originally Posted by hotspur View Post
That's awful H.

Sometimes in life,expensive kit does not work out,and we try to pep things up expecting things to turn up,when it does not,and you feel like your last sentence,it might be best for the mind to move on,as painful as it is on the pocket.Otherwise the wonka situation just eats away at one.Any chance the said kit could be sold on 'as is' to fiddlers,and funds go towards some other similar kit.Good luck.
Simon,

That's what my thoughts are, too. And, I can't get a clear answer as to why the cover glass can't just be replaced?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrB View Post
Surely it's not the sensor but only the cover glass that seals the chamber?
Can't see why it would cost 3k
Greg,

Here's hoping.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gregbradley View Post
CCD sensors have a cover slip of thin glass over the front of them (it is optional to not have this cover slip with FLI cameras). Then there is the CCD chamber glass itself.

Your photo to me looks like the cover slip over the top of the CCD chip.
I suspect if the chip itself was cracked you would not get any image at all. I doubt the camera can readout a sensor which has a crack in it.

From what I have read chips are quite tough. But the cover slip is likely to be thin.

I would send it off. The worst case scenario is you get a quote you are not willing to proceed with and you pay for some shipping.

I think its a fairly safe bet.I have never heard of a cracked CCD sensor since I've been doing astrophotography.

Greg.
Stuart,

I appreciate your generosity. I'll keep that in mind.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rat156 View Post
Bloody hell H,

Hate to see fellow APers have a bad time, as if getting married wasn't enough...

Well if things work out for me job wise over the next month or so, I'll be leaving for Europe for about three years. I'd be glad to help out and lend you my STT8300 if things work out, just don't drop it. That way you can get your camera fixed at your leisure and I'll have an updated camera when I get back...

Cheers
Stu
Peter,

The camera didn't actually drop. It took a blow. But, same thing, really. Only one of the handles was bent, but, your point stands -- it took a substantial hit.

I should add that since I bought the camera, the built-in guide chip has always given me out of focus stars. I can't remember whether I had to rack the focuser in or out to get them in to focus. But, since MaxIm DL could still guide on fat stars, I didn't worry about it too much.

What I'd like to know is, why does the entire sensor have to be replaced if it's just the glass cover seal that's broken? And, if the cover slip is removed, can it be replaced?

I would love to take you up on your offer -- that's very generous of you and the same level of service I've come to expect. I am honestly happy to pay for repairs, but, I just can't fork out $3K for a new sensor, when there's no guarantee that the same thing won't happen again at a later date.

As you've mentioned, the sensor still works. The black line in the images is purely a result of the broken cover slip casting a shadow. At least that's what I hope it is -- as Greg mentioned, I doubt a sensor would read out properly if there was any major disconnect. A sensor working with hot/cold pixels and column defects are one thing (and, to be expected), but, if it was completely snapped, I doubt it would work at all.

The camera is back on the telescope. I will try to take some images with it on the weekend as it's new Moon. If the sensor fogs up (as it has been since the crack) then I will be in touch next week.

I really appreciate your assistance to me during this crappy time. I have a horrible feeling in the bottom of my guts over this. It's my one hobby and I can't indulge in it because of something so rotten.

Thank you, all.

H

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Ward View Post
H....if the camera was dropped resulting in the grab handles being bent after the impact..it has taken quite a blow. The sensors need to be mounted very accurately, and if dislodged even by a small amount....well... you know the painful result.

The sensor is however working.... In which case there may be a solution in having the cover slip removed. See
http://www.jtwastronomy.com/tutorials/debayer.html

Given the sensor needs replacing anyway...might be worth a shot.... I'd be willing to do this for you gratis....but give absolutely no guarantee the sensor won't die completely during/after the procedure.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 27-06-2014, 09:43 AM
SkyViking's Avatar
SkyViking (Rolf)
Registered User

SkyViking is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Waitakere Ranges, New Zealand
Posts: 2,260
Oh that's terrible H, I feel for you! Hopefully it's just a cheap fix so you can be back in action soon. We are eagerly awaiting the completion of your Rho mosaic, looks fabulous so far

If it does turn out to cost you $3k I'd be looking seriously at getting a newer camera instead, for example one from the QSI range with inbuilt OAG (totally unbiased opinion of course ).
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 27-06-2014, 11:29 AM
LewisM
Novichok test rabbit

LewisM is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Somewhere in the cosmos...
Posts: 9,326
Good luck H! i remember seeing that bent handle a few weeks back thinking that had to hurt SOMETHING inside.

Things like this are one reason I refuse to keep my setup permanently assembled - too much room for whoopsie moments (said in Frank Spencer's voice), especially with 2 kids.

I did have a bump injury to my old Starlight Express camera, which killed the cooling system entirely. SX replaced it, installing the new double stage peltier, and including return postage DHL for $180, which I felt VERY reasonable.

Good luck!!! Just when we get nice nights eh!
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 27-06-2014, 12:33 PM
strongmanmike's Avatar
strongmanmike (Michael)
Woohoo it's clear

strongmanmike is offline
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Canberra
Posts: 14,704
I have accidental damage in my NRMA contents policy, to cover exactly this sort of thing H, only ups the premium slightly.

Good luck with the repair

Mike
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 27-06-2014, 12:49 PM
MrB's Avatar
MrB (Simon)
Old Man Yells at Cloud

MrB is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Rockingham WA
Posts: 3,408
Quote:
Originally Posted by Octane
I've been conversing via email with Dwight, the gent in the CloudyNights thread that had the same thing happen to him. He ended up selling his camera for parts for $1K. *sigh*
Oooh that's nasty! Didn't his cam end up completely dead tho?
If it comes to this, I'm putting my hand up! Can't be that hard a fix.
No, seriously tho, I can't see this being more than realigning the sensor and a new cover glass. I'm sure you will get better news from SBIG soon.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 27-06-2014, 01:23 PM
Octane's Avatar
Octane (Humayun)
IIS Member #671

Octane is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Canberra
Posts: 11,158
Hey Mike,

The missus is going through our policy at the moment. We'll see what eventuates!

Cheers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by strongmanmike View Post
I have accidental damage in my NRMA contents policy, to cover exactly this sort of thing H, only ups the premium slightly.

Good luck with the repair

Mike
Simon,

Yes, he had a power supply failure of some kind. And, just ended up getting rid of it. A few days after he sold it, he got word that the part that he needed for a fix was found. D'oh! He's now gone the 8300 route.

Thanks!

H

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrB View Post
Oooh that's nasty! Didn't his cam end up completely dead tho?
If it comes to this, I'm putting my hand up! Can't be that hard a fix.
No, seriously tho, I can't see this being more than realigning the sensor and a new cover glass. I'm sure you will get better news from SBIG soon.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 27-06-2014, 01:45 PM
Paul Haese's Avatar
Paul Haese
Registered User

Paul Haese is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Adelaide
Posts: 9,403
I saw that thread on CN a couple of days back and groaned at the thought of such a thing. I reckon for what its worth get Pete to give it a try before making any further decisions. It seems like a lot of money to me, but I am sure the replacement cost of the camera is a lot higher, so it might be better to get it fixed in the long run.

Good luck with the camera.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 27-06-2014, 05:28 PM
Octane's Avatar
Octane (Humayun)
IIS Member #671

Octane is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Canberra
Posts: 11,158
Thanks, Paul.

I will see how things pan out.

It's a clear night up here. I'm just on the train on my way home.

Pizza and a night under the stars with the missus while watching Breaking Bad might help ease the pain.

H
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 27-06-2014, 06:12 PM
LewisM
Novichok test rabbit

LewisM is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Somewhere in the cosmos...
Posts: 9,326
Look again.. clouded out here, all of 15 km away.
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 27-06-2014, 07:25 PM
Octane's Avatar
Octane (Humayun)
IIS Member #671

Octane is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Canberra
Posts: 11,158
Yep, just had pizza. Time for Breaking Bad.

H
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 28-06-2014, 10:45 AM
PRejto's Avatar
PRejto (Peter)
Registered User

PRejto is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 1,290
The CN thread seemed to say the actual repair cost was $200. Did I read that wrong? So, if Peter can't fix it it might be worth asking SBIG why $3000 instead of the $200 they charged the other guy with the same problem.

Good luck!!

Peter
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 28-06-2014, 11:50 AM
Octane's Avatar
Octane (Humayun)
IIS Member #671

Octane is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Canberra
Posts: 11,158
Peter,

Yeah, I know. If it's the glass chamber, it's $200. If it's the sensor, it's $3K.

But, I don't know why it's $3K to replace a cover slip? That's what I'm trying to find out.

H
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT +10. The time is now 01:07 AM.

Powered by vBulletin Version 3.8.7 | Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Advertisement
Bintel
Advertisement
OzScopes Authorised Dealer
Advertisement
Meade Australia
Advertisement
Celestron Australia
Advertisement
Lunatico Astronomical
Advertisement
SkyWatcher Australia
Advertisement
NexDome Observatories
Advertisement
Astronomy and Electronics Centre
Advertisement