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DIY Thermoelectric (Peltier) Cooling Modules

Started by brucesdad13, 01/21/2015 11:50PM
Posted 01/21/2015 11:50PM Opening Post
Hi all, wondering if anyone has added 12V Peltier chip(s) with heatsink plus fan and/or water cooling to their CCD camera? I'm reading all of the specs for the available chips and am not sure which chip is best. I read someone achieved -28C with a TEC-12710. I believe the TEC1-12730T125 with higher wattage can cool more?

For CCD the colder the chip the less noise right? :S I'm asking because I've found a camera with Sony ICX285AL for primarily industrial application that doesn't have built-in cooling but is priced about $1,100 cheaper than the Atik 314L+ Monochrome and $1,700 less than the Starlight Xpress Trius SX-9 (albeit without an argon sealed chamber) and so on and so forth for every other camera I can find. Somehow attaching the word astronomy or astrophotography to an item adds a lot of cost.

The TEC1 chips cost about $5. I could use the cooling fan and copper heatsink from a dead laptop or perhaps an aluminum heatsink and fan. A kit with watercooled block and all the other parts (not including water pump) is about $50.

~ Charlie Stevenson

8" f/5.7 String Telescope - 1st Scope Build; 2nd Place Stellafane 2016 Optical Award for Newtonians 12.5" and Smaller
10" f/4.5 Newtonian (June 2015) mirror refigured by Optic Wave Labs P-V WaveFront 1/14.24, Strehl Ratio 0.993 (Aug '15)
Criterion RV-6 seems to be circa 1973 (June 2015) [For Sale]
Celestron C8-A XLT (January 2015) [For Sale]
Celestron PowerSeeker 70AZ (Christmas 2014)
Aldrich Astronomical Society member since 2015
http://astro.charleskelleystevenson.com/
Posted 01/22/2015 11:57AM #1
The biggest issue with cooling is to keep the chip for getting condensation, so you have to have a sealed chamber flushed with an inert gas preferably. But using desiccants you can keep the interior of a camera relatively dry, SBig has sealed chambers and a desiccant plug.

Then the next problem is keeping the CCD window free of ice and dew, this requires either a sufficient space between it and the ccd chip or a dew heater to keep it clear.

Also, it is not just cooling that makes it nice, it is controlled cooling, so that the chip stays an exact temperature throughout the session. This allows you to use a master dark frame that is taken at this temperature. As it cools the hot pixels shrink or lessen in brightness. So it will change all night if it is not controlled.

So yes, cooling will help. But getting that cool -28c will invite icing or dew if the camera in not properly designed.
Floyd

[SIZE="Large"][/SIZE][COLOR="Blue"][/COLOR] Floyd Blue grin
Amateur Imager
Posted 08/05/2015 10:14PM #2
I hadn't been able to use my Basler A102f for deep sky (long exposure) imaging since the software (firmware) trigger had a max exposure of 4995 ms. An engineer at Basler said I can use the external trigger and so I've now ordered a USB kit that should allow me to control the camera via the PC. Thinking I can script or maybe write a simple ASCOM driver to do the job. This would allow me use my USB filter wheel and hopefully if I can swing the TEC cooling this will be a neat little camera. They run about $150 from Singapore now that factories are moving from Firewire to USB or Gig-E cameras.

http://code.astraw.com/projects/motmot/camtrig/OVERVIEW.html

This should work for Point Grey and other cameras with an external trigger I would think....

~ Charlie Stevenson

8" f/5.7 String Telescope - 1st Scope Build; 2nd Place Stellafane 2016 Optical Award for Newtonians 12.5" and Smaller
10" f/4.5 Newtonian (June 2015) mirror refigured by Optic Wave Labs P-V WaveFront 1/14.24, Strehl Ratio 0.993 (Aug '15)
Criterion RV-6 seems to be circa 1973 (June 2015) [For Sale]
Celestron C8-A XLT (January 2015) [For Sale]
Celestron PowerSeeker 70AZ (Christmas 2014)
Aldrich Astronomical Society member since 2015
http://astro.charleskelleystevenson.com/