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ZWO ASI178MM-Cooled CMOS Imager

Now to test the new camera to ensure it is working, I used a Soligor 35mm F3.5 Nikon mount lens mounted to my T2 adapter. Due to weather constraints and work commitment, I am unable to test this camera on my telescope in the next week. But I will definitely do this when I get a chance. Anyway, the two tests I did indoors were: Does this camera sensor work (using Sharpcap)? And will the cooler work, and how well will it bring down the temperature of the sensor?

Opening Sharpcap, I was able to get the ASI178MM-cooled connected. Sharpcap shows the sensor resolution of this imager. It also allows for control of the cooling.

Screenshot from Sharpcap - using ASI178MM-cooled
Screenshot from Sharpcap – using ASI178MM-cooled connected vis USB3
6.4 megapixel sensor - 3096x2080 (2.4 micron pixel size)
6.4 megapixel sensor – 3096×2080 (2.4 micron pixel size)

I pointed the camera towards my iPhone screen. As you can see the iPhone screen was extremely bright, suggesting that despite the use of one of the green filter on my filter wheel, it was still capturing loads of light from the iPhone which was about 50 cm away.

Image of iPhone screen - shot with Soligor 35mm F3.5 lens
Image of iPhone screen – shot with Soligor 35mm F3.5 lens

Then after I knew that the imager was working, I needed to test to see if the cooler works. I set the target temperature to -20 degrees C. I have to say that the sensor dropped below -4 degrees C within seconds but it does take a few minutes to get it to -16 degrees C which was as low as I could get it in my bedroom – a temperature of 35 degrees C below ambient.

Sensor cooling - sensor at 19.5 degrees without cooling
Sensor cooling – sensor at 19.5 degrees without cooling on
Sensor cooling - down to -16degree C (equivalent to 35.5 degrees below ambient)
Sensor cooling – sensor temp down to -16 degrees C (equivalent to 35.5 degrees below ambient)

So the sensor is able to capture images and cool down by the magnitude described by the manufacturer, which is great. I expect it to be able to get to -20 degrees C outdoors, as it will be much cooler than the temperature indoors.

I am very pleased with this camera currently, but I will have to wait until I’ve had a chance to do imaging before giving my final verdict. So stay tuned.

Boon

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