We have a couple of Thermo Cube chillers that work reasonably well, but I would like to water cool another couple of cameras (Andor EM CCDs) without spending ~$3k, and I am pretty sure that people have been successful with water coolers made for gaming PCs. Does anyone have experience with these and/or recommendations?
I have some experience with Koolance systems. I used the EX2-1055 (currently $415) to chill two Flash V2+ cameras (daisy chained). Their cheapest model is around $300, which might be enough depending on your ambient temperature and needs (it’s rated at 400W, whereas the 1055 above is 900W). I was cooling sCMOS, not EMCCD… so perhaps your application would be more demanding.
Temperature-wise, it kept things at spec for me (according to the temperature readout in the software). I did still suffer from some vibrations, but it’s hard to say whether that was due to the cooler or not (this was on a dispim, and I feel like those cameras are particularly prone to vibrations,due to their arrangement… also, I’m not entirely sure whether it’s reasonable to expect complete absence of vibration with liquid moving through the cameras?)
For what it’s worth, the EX2-1055 is the same chiller that GE used on their OMX V3/V4, and I have a couple there as well that have been each chilling two cameras for a few years now. In that time, I needed to replace one due to an electronics failure. no complaints about the customer service.
Awesome! Ordered an EX2-1055. Happy to report back how it goes. diSPIM is indeed quite prone to vibrations. We have ours liquid cooled (using a Thermo Cube), and also see vibrations. I doubt that the liquid flow through the camera contributes, but quite sure that we would see less by using a heavier air table (in fact, weighing it down with lead bricks helped quite a bit), and being in the basement rather than at the 3d floor (not going to happen;( )
great! let us know how it goes. hopefully you don’t curse me later
I second Talley’s suggestions. I have been using this for Flash 4 camera and it works well. In fact I use one cooling unit for two cameras in series.
Got the EX2-1055, and just finished installing. As opposed to the Thermo Cube units, there is no active refrigeration happening, i.e. the coolant temperature can never go below room temperature. That is likely not going to be a problem (unless you use it in a very warm room), but it does not let you operate it at the comfy 20C that I am used to.
I forgot to order tube connectors, but a run to the hardware store resulted in nice 1/4 inch plastic connectors that screw into the unit and have a ~6mm OD tube connector on the other site. The same tube now connects one Flash4 and 2 Andor EMCCDs (plugs straight into each of the cameras, no leaks so far).
Only flaw: the power adapter (https://koolance.com/exos-ac-power-adapter) has a power switch that broke after the first operation of the unit. I called them up, and apparently, they had a bad batch of switches, so hopefully they’ll fix that issue. I ended up shorting the switch (since the switch is not really needed, just switch power upstream and all is good).
Thanks for the update! That makes sense about the active cooling… given the cost difference. Hope it works out for you in the long run.
It was actually also the power adapter that broke on my unit, for what it’s worth. Seems like the weak link.
Along those lines: Make sure to check the tubing and the T-pieces and sleeves (which are usually made of plastic in Koolance) from time to time! They usually leak at some point and then it can become quite expensive depending on the system… We had several issues on our systems caused by that.