Friday, August 16, 2013

Camera maintenance

Last month I was using the modified camera in the back yard and I did something kinda lame.  I wanted to secure the thermostat dial and made the smart move of tucking it into the fins of the heat sink.

Eventually, the thermostat blocked the fan blades and kept the whole thing from keeping itself cool.  Ugh.  I didn't notice it until I smelled hot plastic.  It was the closed cell foam melting.

I was sure that I'd killed the device.

It still works just fine.  Maybe I aged it a little aggressively and it won't do as good of a job of cooling, but it seems to still work pretty well at getting the camera cold.

There's no frost forming - not that there would be in the summer and there's actually very little exposed metal from the finger.  There is still a lot of condensation that appears on the bottom of the camera body.  That's likely a place I may want to put more insulation.

I finally pulled the heatsink fan off the system yesterday in a desire to inspect the system and see if it needed more thermal compound.  Everything actually looked really good.  I did clean up the compound and added replacement material.  Maybe not enough, but it should do the job.

Still to be done is to open up the base of the camera and add thermal compound to the junction with the metal inside the chassis.  I also want to add some insulating foam in some tight spots.  They may also be places where light leaks appear.

Speaking of light leaks, I found that the connector area where the power and USB connections enter is a place where light can enter the camera body.  Not sure how long this has been happening.  I'll want to make something a little more permanent than what I have now.  Or I could go back to the old sock method where I wrap things up in an old sock to provide insulation, too.