The curse of the cloud

Finally our CCD camera (AP47p) seems to be working. The other day we emailed Gaspar Bakos who seems to similar problems with Apogee CCDs (thank goodness for Google). He suggested a couple of things such as changing the dessicant (silica gel which keeps the humidity down in the camera).

We also emailed Wayne Brown, the president of Apogee, to see if he had any ideas as he apparently designs the CCD chips. He thought it looked like a problem with the chip and said he would be interested to find out what was causing it - so would we!

Anyway, yesterday we changed the dessicant and also cooled down the CCD very slowly (it goes down to 50 degrees below ambient temperature). For some reason this has more or less stopped most of the problems we were having and it now seems to be quite reasonable. Hopefully it will stay that way.

Now that it is working, it seems that the weather has decided to cause us problems. After four or five nights of nice clear skies, we now have a large amount of cloud and the wind has picked up (gusting to 60kph). The forecast is for rain tomorrow as well! Why does it always rain on me?!

Posted in astro blog by Stuart on Saturday 27th Sep 2003 (00:10 UTC) | Permalink
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