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ASI1600mm-c caution

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#1 rkayakr

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Posted 11 October 2016 - 11:26 AM

I have been using my ASI1600mm-c with a ZWO EFW when I decided to try some solar imaging. I attempted to unscrew the camera from the EFW being careful to hold the face, not the body, of the camera. In spite of my efforts the face unscrewed about a quarter turn. I screwed it back on and was finally able to get the camera off the EFW. My first solar sub showed debris in the camera. Opening it up I saw this:

debris.jpg

 

I spent some time cleaning it out and reassembled with the back up desiccants. I put tape along the seam between the camera body and face but there isn't much room to catch the shoulder of the face and avoid the cooling slots.

 

I've been generally happy with ZWO products but having a screw on face without any lock and loose desiccants that are prone to crumbling is, IMHO, just poor design.



#2 telfish

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Posted 11 October 2016 - 11:35 AM

That  seems to happen when the top is loosened a bit and the desiccant tab pops out of it's slot. On tightening again the tab is compressed and voila.

 

My Camera is on it's way back to China because moist air is leaking into the front chamber causing all sorts of issues with water running across the sensor. Sam says they can fix it but I am concerned. The seal is round and thin, not a lot of sealing efficiency. It should be wider and flat. The desiccant should also be a ring shape that encircles the sensor with lumps that fill the indentations. The pads that fit on the top of the desiccant tabs are prone to rubbing off and bits land on the sensor. They should be ptfe not foam. The camera should have a window heater.

 

Now those changes would add to the cost but I would pay $50 for a better seal, window heater and desiccants that are not vulnerable to crumbling.

 

Don't get me wrong it's a great camera but not perfect.


Edited by telfish, 11 October 2016 - 11:47 AM.


#3 dkeller_nc

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Posted 11 October 2016 - 11:35 AM

Suggestion - put the face back on with lock-tite on the threads.  You could still remove it with a tool if necessary, but the lock-tite will largely ensure that you're intentionally removing it.



#4 mikeyL

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Posted 11 October 2016 - 11:37 AM

Yikes! Very good post - looks like you stumbled into an issue that would be pretty easy to accidentally duplicate. This camera is on my buy list, just waiting for the larger filter wheel to be released. This makes me want to reconsider the QHY version of the camera, although I have zero faith in the drivers that are released by that company, soIi just have not been able to look at their offering seriously.

 

Thanks for posting.

 

ML



#5 DRK73

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Posted 11 October 2016 - 11:48 AM

You know, good flats will take care of that.



#6 telfish

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Posted 11 October 2016 - 11:58 AM

A way round the crumbling desiccants would be to put a small spot of double sided tape in the recess holes. That would prevent the tabs coming out of the holes if the top is loosened.



#7 entilza

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Posted 11 October 2016 - 12:15 PM

At first I thought the sun exploded your desiccant tablets :)  Hope the sensor is ok...  I think one of the first users reported this as well when they first got the camera.



#8 rkayakr

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Posted 11 October 2016 - 12:24 PM

A way round the crumbling desiccants would be to put a small spot of double sided tape in the recess holes. That would prevent the tabs coming out of the holes if the top is loosened.

Thanks

I wonder if there is room. I think that the face bears directly on the desiccants.



#9 rkayakr

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Posted 11 October 2016 - 12:31 PM

Having owned a string of old British motorcycles I'm very familiar with Loctite. I would be concerned about ever opening the face. There aren't the flats that you can put an impact wrench on that you have in machinery. Part of the difficulty is that there is a very thin rim of the face to grab and no provisions for using a tool.

 

Suggestion - put the face back on with lock-tite on the threads.  You could still remove it with a tool if necessary, but the lock-tite will largely ensure that you're intentionally removing it.



#10 rkayakr

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Posted 11 October 2016 - 12:35 PM

I saw that - that's why I was trying to be so careful. The EFW locks tightly against the camera face so that it is a very strong connection and it blocks a getting a good grip on the camera face.

 

At first I thought the sun exploded your desiccant tablets :)  Hope the sensor is ok...  I think one of the first users reported this as well when they first got the camera.



#11 telfish

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Posted 11 October 2016 - 12:37 PM

 

A way round the crumbling desiccants would be to put a small spot of double sided tape in the recess holes. That would prevent the tabs coming out of the holes if the top is loosened.

Thanks

I wonder if there is room. I think that the face bears directly on the desiccants.

 

Craft double sided tape is very thin, it only needs to stop the desiccants from falling out of the hole. Or you could use thicker DST and dispense with the crumbly foam pads on top of the tablets.



#12 telfish

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Posted 11 October 2016 - 12:39 PM

 

Having owned a string of old British motorcycles I'm very familiar with Loctite. I would be concerned about ever opening the face. There aren't the flats that you can put an impact wrench on that you have in machinery. Part of the difficulty is that there is a very thin rim of the face to grab and no provisions for using a tool.

 

Suggestion - put the face back on with lock-tite on the threads.  You could still remove it with a tool if necessary, but the lock-tite will largely ensure that you're intentionally removing it.

 

I manged to get a reduction ring firmly stuck to the camera threads. I had the devil of a job getting it off as there is nothing to grip on the flange. 



#13 Ladyhawke

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Posted 11 October 2016 - 01:02 PM

Ouch!

 

I have a double sided carpet tape that I bought to place the foam mats on my observatory floor, that thing is powerful and very thin. Thanks for sharing this, I have opened mine accidentally a few times but always put the tabs back and close it slowly. So far no problem but I will take preventive actions.



#14 telfish

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Posted 11 October 2016 - 02:11 PM

Ouch!

 

I have a double sided carpet tape that I bought to place the foam mats on my observatory floor, that thing is powerful and very thin. Thanks for sharing this, I have opened mine accidentally a few times but always put the tabs back and close it slowly. So far no problem but I will take preventive actions.

That may be just a little too sticky. You would need the thin DST that is sold in Walmart for craft use. It's really thin and has just enough sticking power to hold the tabs in place but make them removable when you need to change them.



#15 glend

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Posted 11 October 2016 - 07:41 PM

This seems to be a very isolated problem from my reading of all the ASI1600 cooled threads here and on other forums. A simple glance through a luminance filter would keep you up to date with the condition I would think.  I swap my fitlers between NB and broadband (having a five position QHY wheel) and that gives me a chance to check everything. I was one of the first to receive my camera in June and I have been pushing it very hard on every clear night, always running the cooling, and working in a high humidty environment, and not had any fogging or dessicant problems. However, when not in use the camera is kept in a dehumidified room in a box with dessicant packs. I would never leave any astro camera sitting around on the scope in the observatory for days at a time. Once your finished with a session, do a cooler warm up cycle (SGP manages this), and put the camera in the house or a dehumidified box. It works for me.

 

The issue of dessicant tablets crumbling or broken on install at the factory is a different matter and I hope Sam is looking into the QA on that. I noticed that the new QHY camera has a heated sensor window, something that I think should be done on the ASI1600 as well. I'd be happy to pay a little more for that feature.


Edited by glend, 11 October 2016 - 07:44 PM.


#16 rjbokleman

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Posted 11 October 2016 - 07:49 PM

That  seems to happen when the top is loosened a bit and the desiccant tab pops out of it's slot. On tightening again the tab is compressed and voila.

 

My Camera is on it's way back to China because moist air is leaking into the front chamber causing all sorts of issues with water running across the sensor. Sam says they can fix it but I am concerned. The seal is round and thin, not a lot of sealing efficiency. It should be wider and flat. The desiccant should also be a ring shape that encircles the sensor with lumps that fill the indentations. The pads that fit on the top of the desiccant tabs are prone to rubbing off and bits land on the sensor. They should be ptfe not foam. The camera should have a window heater.

 

Now those changes would add to the cost but I would pay $50 for a better seal, window heater and desiccants that are not vulnerable to crumbling.

 

Don't get me wrong it's a great camera but not perfect.

I couldn't agree more, but I have no complaints otherwise.  The camera is overall a great product provided you're aware of these issues.

 

I first ran into this when I tried to remove my MC-Cool from my C8 EdgeHD that had been tightened down to a 2" IDAS filter.  The camera opened up, to my shock, instead of unscrewing from the filter where you would have expected it to.

 

I managed to catch all the desiccant tablets in my hand so I didn't loose them in grass, but it was still a heart stopping moment for sure.

 

I've also had moisture problems due to the lack of a heated window, so on the next ASI1600MM-Cool (ASI1601MM-Cool   :) ) I'd love to see a heated window and would pay extra as well.


Edited by rjbokleman, 11 October 2016 - 08:00 PM.


#17 telfish

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Posted 11 October 2016 - 07:51 PM

This seems to be a very isolated problem from my reading of all the ASI1600 cooled threads here and on other forums. A simple glance through a luminance filter would keep you up to date with the condition I would think.  I swap my fitlers between NB and broadband (having a five position QHY wheel) and that gives me a chance to check everything. I was one of the first to receive my camera in June and I have been pushing it very hard on every clear night, always running the cooling, and working in a high humidty environment, and not had any fogging or dessicant problems. However, when not in use the camera is kept in a dehumidified room in a box with dessicant packs. I would never leave any astro camera sitting around on the scope in the observatory for days at a time. Once your finished with a session, do a cooler warm up cycle (SGP manages this), and put the camera in the house or a dehumidified box. It works for me.

 

The issue of dessicant tablets crumbling or broken on install at the factory is a different matter and I hope Sam is looking into the QA on that. I noticed that the new QHY camera has a heated sensor window, something that I think should be done on the ASI1600 as well. I'd be happy to pay a little more for that feature.

Sam tells me that the front of the camera is a sealed system and that moisture laden air should not continually leech into it. Mine is not a sealed system and has very bad internal condensation issues if run at over -15C. Hopefully they can fix it.



#18 Jon Rista

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Posted 11 October 2016 - 08:05 PM

The camera is definitely sealed. I accidentally unscrewed my sensor compartment cap once, although initially only part way. I decided to fully open it and take a look, and also decided to pop off the cover glass. There is definitely an o-ring sealing the sensor compartment cap to the body, as well as an o-ring sealing the cover glass to the cap. When you screw the cap back in (which, BTW, you have to make certain you screw the cap off and back on again with the camera in a totally upright position (power/usb connections towards Earth)! If you do not, the desiccant tabs can tilt or fall out of their little sinks and tumble around the sensor compartment. The worst case scenario is if a tablet tilts but remains largely in place...when you screw the cap back down, the pressure will shatter the tablet...that looks like what happened to the OP), you should feel a moment where the rim of the cap meets the o-ring, as you'll need to use more force to tighten the cap (rubber sliding on metal). Once you screw the cap back in fully, the compartment should be fully sealed. 



#19 telfish

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Posted 11 October 2016 - 08:10 PM

Not sure where the leak is on my camera, the o ring main seal is intact and seated. The window seal has never been disturbed. The condensation appears all round the edge of the sensor itself so It looks like air is leaking from the rear. The moisture eventually builds up so much that beads of water run across the sensor cover glass as the scope slews. Not pretty.

 

Hopefully they can fix it.



#20 dragracingdan

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Posted 11 October 2016 - 08:46 PM

I have experience with ZWO support and you have nothing to worry about. I bought a camera USED and they fixed a problem with it for the cost of shipping only. They kept me informed and made the repairs and got it back to me very quick. If you bought it from them or a vender I highly doubt they would charge the shipping. Not bad for being on the opposite side of the globe

Dan

#21 WonderMellon

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Posted 11 October 2016 - 08:51 PM

rkayakr,

  I have only had the ASI1600 for a few weeks and am still learning it.  Like you, I also got the ZWO EFW and, like you, the filter wheel got friction stuck to the face of the camera.  I was able to determine that I was unscrewing the face of the camera instead of the filter wheel, before it came all the way out.  Believe it or not, there was a simple "fix" in my case.  I took about 2 inches of masking tape and placed it lengthwise along the seam of the camera face and camera body.  It was able to exhibit enough strength that the entire unit rotated instead of just the camera body.  You may want to give it a try as it is a very cheap possible solution.

 

I plan to take a small piece of paper and place it between the camera and filter wheel to reduce the friction.  Hopefully that will prevent the problem in the first place.



#22 shawnhar

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Posted 11 October 2016 - 09:06 PM

Dude...that pic looks like a 4 year old went out in the desert and played with your camera. I thought for sure you were going to say you dropped it off a cliff!



#23 wenjha

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Posted 12 October 2016 - 09:54 AM

Sorry to see the issue

we have to admit that this is not a good design

 

we will take your advises and to avoid it happen again with our new products

just contact us if you have problem to clean it or lead to other problems



#24 syscore

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Posted 12 October 2016 - 10:00 AM

Wow!, that is service.:)



#25 William Mc

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Posted 12 October 2016 - 10:09 AM

Wow!, that is service. :)

 

 

Sure is.

 

Sam, your customers do value your promptness to issues, and honesty, but especially the excellent communication.  I don't think any other camera manufacturer can touch you in this regard.


Edited by William Mc, 12 October 2016 - 10:09 AM.



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