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Old 30-05-2021, 10:56 PM
Startrek (Martin)
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Big dew drip on 2600MC sensor

Ive been imaging with my 2600MC for 9 months now without any issues at all until tonight.
I was imaging the lobster nebula and noticed the first 4 minute sub had a curved streak in the frame, so I paused imaging, checked the filter and coma corrector, they were all clean , then shone a torch into the sensor , yep big drip mark.Bugger, I dreaded this problem might rear itís ugly head at some stage in the future although I take full blame for this leaving my camera in the scope in my Dome for a week, the temperature differential would have been at least 15 degrees between night and day plus humidity. Prior to having a permanent set up I always brought my camera back inside after warming it and disconnecting.

Appreciate some, advice from folk who have cleaned dew spots from their ZWO camera sensors
1/ Is it better to buy new desiccant tablets or put the existing ones in the microwave and install quickly
2/ Can you clean the sensor itself carefully with Q tips and isopropyl alcohol ( ZWO manual says use ethanol )
3/ I have a hurricane blower I use with my Televue eye pieces , is it suitable to clear dust etc from sensor using a hurricane blower
4/ Should I send the camera away for professional cleaning rather than attempt it myself ?

Appreciate any advice on the above

Thanks
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Old 31-05-2021, 12:14 AM
glend (Glen)
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You can clean it yourself. The sensor has a cover glass over the face of it, not to be confused with the sensor compartment glass. There are commercial sensor cleaning swabs available Online with are used to clean DSLR sensors, they work fine. They are a microfiber cloth over a flat plastic stick, with a cleaning fluid in them, one wipe and it's clean.

Here is one example:

https://www.amazon.com.au/VSGO-Camer...29279754&psc=1

I used those sensor cleaners on my ASI1600 mm c for years, no issues.
I would suggest you just put in New dessicant if you can get them, in my experience thry can become chalky if reheated and produce dust.

It is an easy DIY job.
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Old 31-05-2021, 07:17 AM
Startrek (Martin)
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Glen
Thanks for the advice and link
Martin
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Old 31-05-2021, 07:29 AM
Startrek (Martin)
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Glen
I just realised I have an account with Digital Camera Warehouse in Sydney , thereís a shop 25 mins from my place and they have the the sensor cleaning kits in stock
I still use my Canon 600D and have bought a few accessories from them , Iíve never needed to clean its sensor in years and years of use
The instructions on the 2600MC look straight forward
Thanks again
Martin
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Old 31-05-2021, 09:50 AM
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The_bluester (Paul)
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That is really interesting, I have never had anything like that with either of my ASI cameras. The ASI294 would start to show some condensation/frosting issues after about 12 months use and would need the desiccant dried out (First time, OK, second time two of the pills turned into powder so I bought new ones) but the ASI2600 has not shown any issues yet. I have had that for less than a year though.
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Old 31-05-2021, 10:32 AM
Startrek (Martin)
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Originally Posted by The_bluester View Post
That is really interesting, I have never had anything like that with either of my ASI cameras. The ASI294 would start to show some condensation/frosting issues after about 12 months use and would need the desiccant dried out (First time, OK, second time two of the pills turned into powder so I bought new ones) but the ASI2600 has not shown any issues yet. I have had that for less than a year though.
Paul,
Yeh Iíve had my 2600MC for 9 months with no issues but last night I forgot to turn the cooler on straight away waiting for cloud to pass , 2 hours later I cooled the camera to -15C , could this be the reason ???
Photo attached of the sensor
Martin
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Old 31-05-2021, 10:35 AM
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I have never been able to prove it but have wondered about the possibility of pulling moisture past the O ring when cooling the camera as doing that will presumably lower the air pressure inside the chamber a little.
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Old 31-05-2021, 10:52 AM
glend (Glen)
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Martin, just on the subject of bringing the camera back inside. I too have an observatory, but my practice was to never leave the camera sitting on the scope after a session. I always brought it back in the house when i locked up. Luckily for me it was easy to remove. Setups where you have focuser slide in assemblies, say like a coma corrector, or reducer/corrector setup with the camera, can be simply removed. I am also a believer in focuser dessicant plugs in my closed tube scopes, any refractor, Mak-Newt, etc. My present ED150 ASI294/Reducer assembly is a good example.
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Old 31-05-2021, 11:55 AM
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Believe it or not that's a common issue with these cameras, it's actually some excess oil that drips across the sensor under certain conditions, not sure where the oil comes out of but it definitely has come up on the zwo facebook pages, As others have said clean the sensor with the appropriate sensor cleaners and all will be well.
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Old 31-05-2021, 12:57 PM
Startrek (Martin)
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Originally Posted by Nikolas View Post
Believe it or not that's a common issue with these cameras, it's actually some excess oil that drips across the sensor under certain conditions, not sure where the oil comes out of but it definitely has come up on the zwo facebook pages, As others have said clean the sensor with the appropriate sensor cleaners and all will be well.
Nikolas,
Thanks for your input
The only part of the camera that oil may come from is the cooling fan bearing but itís hopefully a sealed bearing and tiny as well
When I open up and clean it , Iíll post what the substance is ( hopefully moisture or water vapour)
Martin
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Old 31-05-2021, 01:03 PM
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Actually there is a smear of lubrication for the O ring which might be the source. Possibly for the window but certainly for the part where the main front section of the sensor chamber bolts down.
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Old 31-05-2021, 04:40 PM
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multiweb (Marc)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Startrek View Post
Paul,
Yeh Iíve had my 2600MC for 9 months with no issues but last night I forgot to turn the cooler on straight away waiting for cloud to pass , 2 hours later I cooled the camera to -15C , could this be the reason ???
Photo attached of the sensor
Martin
That doesn't look like a water mark. That's an odd color.
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Old 31-05-2021, 05:26 PM
Startrek (Martin)
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That doesn't look like a water mark. That's an odd color.
Marc,
Yeh it looks like oil ??
Iíll find out after I open up
Iíll post my results
Cheers
Martin
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Old 31-05-2021, 07:57 PM
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I saw on a facebook group someone post an image of their 2600MC that looked quite similar to this. They said it was a known issue where the coolant leaks onto the sensor - unsure if this is actually what the problem was though.

Best of luck getting it sorted.
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Old 31-05-2021, 08:01 PM
Startrek (Martin)
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I saw on a facebook group someone post an image of their 2600MC that looked quite similar to this. They said it was a known issue where the coolant leaks onto the sensor - unsure if this is actually what the problem was though.

Best of luck getting it sorted.
Craig,
Good pick up
Thanks
Didnít even think about the TEC Cooler
I might ring the local supplier tomorrow and email some photos
Martin
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Old 31-05-2021, 08:31 PM
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I would not think they would have coolant as such (The TEC is a purely electronic device)

The only thing I could think of would be heat sink paste between the sensor die and the TEC, but that stuff usually sticks very tenaciously.
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Old 31-05-2021, 08:36 PM
Startrek (Martin)
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Originally Posted by The_bluester View Post
I would not think they would have coolant as such (The TEC is a purely electronic device)

The only thing I could think of would be heat sink paste between the sensor die and the TEC, but that stuff usually sticks very tenaciously.
Paul
Too many scenarios I think
Iíll call supplier tomorrow and report back when I get either an answer or cause and obviously resolution
Cheers
Martin
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Old 31-05-2021, 11:50 PM
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I hope that is on the sensor cover slip. It seems squashed between something.

If its on the cover slip then its a simple clean. If its oil it may take some type of solvent. The digital camera cleaning swabs and solution used on mirrorless cameras should be fine. I would research them though as I recall some could affect the coatings on a Sony sensor in mirrorless cameras. Some solvents are aggressive.

Greg.
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Old 01-06-2021, 09:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The_bluester View Post
I would not think they would have coolant as such (The TEC is a purely electronic device)

The only thing I could think of would be heat sink paste between the sensor die and the TEC, but that stuff usually sticks very tenaciously.
Yeah, I have no idea if it was coolant, this is just what I saw being claimed as the issue on a facebook post where the photo looked very similar to this camera here. That person was of the view it was a warranty repair.
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Old 01-06-2021, 09:00 AM
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Paul
Too many scenarios I think
Iíll call supplier tomorrow and report back when I get either an answer or cause and obviously resolution
Cheers
Martin
To be clear (Because I wasn't really) by heat sink compound being tenaciously sticky, I mean in terms of staying where it was first put, normally a bit of isopropyl alcohol moves it quickly when you want it gone, but it is also usually a white or grey paste of consistency somewhere between somewhat thick toothpaste and the filling in a cream biscuit. I really am having trouble coming up with better descriptions than that!

You would really be hoping for something locally cleanable rather than a back to ZWO job given the current state of the world.
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