Water Cooler for the DSI

 

 

Imaging one night recently when it was very warm I noticed that my images were extremely noisy. While the passive cooling system that DSI's have work very well, they do have their limitations. Below is a raw 4 minute image with the CCD temperature @ 29C.

 

Well I said, this just won't do. So I made a water cooler to chill down the camera and after the cooler was turned on this was the result. Same night and setup as above. 4 minute raw @ 1C.

 

So here is how I did it. I machined a pocket out of a solid block of one inch thick aluminum. It is where the ice water will flow around the cooling fins on the back of the camera. I left a rib in the pocket so as to act as a baffle. This promotes good circulatory flow around the backplate. A couple of holes are drilled and tapped for the water inlet and outlet and that's about it. Note the pictures below.

 

I machined up a couple of pinch dogs to clamp the cooler to the back of the DSI.. Gasket material was used to seal the unit to the camera.

 

For a pump I went to the local pet store and bought a submersible aquarium pump.

 

Here is the completed setup. Throw some water and ice into the chest and it's good to go! It is really unbelievable how cold the unit gets.

 

$25 for the pump

$10 for hoses and coupler

$5 for gasket material

$40 total (I already had the ice chest)

Not bad I believe. So bring on the heat!!!  :-)