Author Topic: SWIR Electrophysics Micronviewer 7290A - User manual ?  (Read 3188 times)

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Online Fraser

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SWIR Electrophysics Micronviewer 7290A - User manual ?
« on: December 15, 2018, 05:55:44 pm »
Hi all,

I own a very nice example of an Electrophysics Micronviewer 7290A SWIR camera

I am writing this post here, in the Thermal imaging sub forum, as this camera falls into the region between Near Infrared and MWIR thermal imaging cameras.

The 7290A uses a PbS coated Vidicon tube and has a bandwidth of 0.4um to 1.9um. It can operate as a thermal imaging camera for items with a surface temperature of 250C or higher.

These cameras are commonly used on production lines to inspect food stuff (fruit etc) and in science for imaging Laser beam shapes. The military also make use of such SWIR imaging and even use image fusion with the output of LWIR cameras.

Now that I have such a camera I will experiment with its capabilities to see just how useful, or not, the SWIR band actually is for a hobbyist.

Does anyone else own one of these cameras please ? If so, would you care to share you experiences with it here and would you have a copy of the user manual that you can share as my camera came without one.

Fraser
« Last Edit: December 15, 2018, 06:01:15 pm by Fraser »
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Online Fraser

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Re: SWIR Electrophysics Micronviewer 7290A - User manual ?
« Reply #1 on: December 17, 2018, 02:55:11 pm »
I now have the user manual thanks to excellent support from Sofradir in the USA :)

Fraser
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Online Vipitis

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Re: SWIR Electrophysics Micronviewer 7290A - User manual ?
« Reply #2 on: December 17, 2018, 06:21:21 pm »
Given the vastly different spectrum of wavelengths, does this allow you to see through other stuff? Like LWIR let's you see through plastic balloons or plastic bags.
 

Online Fraser

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Re: SWIR Electrophysics Micronviewer 7290A - User manual ?
« Reply #3 on: December 17, 2018, 07:11:37 pm »
Yes. An example would be its ability to image a hot object through glass or to see through visually opaque silicon wafers. SWIR works somewhat differently to MWIR and LWIR. It can image reflected photon energy. This is used to good effect when examining works of art. The art is illuminated with suitable Tungsten Halogen lamps. In some cases the artists layout pencil sketch becomes clearly visible. SWIR cameras can also image through water vapour. It has military applications due to its better imaging of some targets than thermal cameras.

Fraser
« Last Edit: December 17, 2018, 07:13:21 pm by Fraser »
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Offline DaJMasta

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Re: SWIR Electrophysics Micronviewer 7290A - User manual ?
« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2020, 08:09:44 pm »
Just picked up one of these units listed as not working myself and fancy a repair attempt.  First things first, it came with no power supply, and while the documentation I've seen says 6W and 500mA (so 12V?), I don't know what connector it uses or whether there are other rails on the other pins for it.  If you have any info it would be helpful, but I'll probably crack it open to try and power it up (and maybe replace the connector with a more standard one) in either case.


EDIT:
Well I guess I asked too soon.  Took out some screws out of curiosity and found you can just remove the whole top with the top four little screws, nice easy access.  From there I could see the power connector only had two pins soldered, and the main TO-220 voltage regulator is an LM2940 rated for 10V, so the input has to be a minimum of about 11V to turn on, so I gave it 12V on the pins on the back connector from the bench supply and it powered up just fine.  Draws about 750mA tops when starting, settles to about 550mA.  Since the connector is panel mount, I'll probably just swap it for a standard barrel jack and use a 1A rated adapter.  Easy!

I need to connect a lens (didn't ship with one) and do some testing - preliminary video output doesn't look like the sync is correct, but it's changing brightness when I put my finger in the way of the aperture, so it seems the tube is alive.  Hope to be viewing in limited SWIR in short order!
« Last Edit: May 18, 2020, 08:43:58 pm by DaJMasta »
 

Offline Bill W

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Re: SWIR Electrophysics Micronviewer 7290A - User manual ?
« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2020, 02:16:19 pm »
Given the vastly different spectrum of wavelengths, does this allow you to see through other stuff? Like LWIR let's you see through plastic balloons or plastic bags.

Supposed to be good for seeing into 'blacked out' car windows as it goes through both glass and the black film.

Had a loan camera core once, and a loan lens, and a loan interface.  However they failed tobe with me all at the same time to use !
 |O

Bill

Offline DaJMasta

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Re: SWIR Electrophysics Micronviewer 7290A - User manual ?
« Reply #6 on: May 22, 2020, 05:42:41 am »
Been working on my unit and I have yet to get good output.  I have the -E variant which is CCIR-50 output, but that seems to be recognized alright on my USB capture device, and looking at the output on a scope, I'm definitely not getting image data that it's not capturing, just all white with some noise when I mess with the lens (coupling effects, I think).

Been tracing things out to see what they are, but so far it's all red herrings.  The high voltage supply seemed to be bad, but it turns out it's just being shut down after a second or so and is actually reaching full voltage.  Traced out the feedback comparator that drives the switcher mosfet and so far, the only lines I'm seeing from it are coming from the tube board itself, so I think there's another connection - maybe a control circuit on the output of a high voltage line to the tube board, that when its switched off, the comparator turns off the HV supply.

I did add a barrel jack for power on the back, and since it was too small to use the power jack hole, I 3d printed a plug for the unused viewfinder output to fit the barrel jack and added it in.  I then noticed that my unit didn't have the piece for holding the filter in place, so I designed and 3d printed one with a retaining ring and scrounged a 1 inch 705nm long pass filter to put in there - looks great (and the black PETG it's printed in is opaque at least to 1100nm) and fits will, when I finally have a working unit I'll upload the designs.

I basically haven't touched the smaller control board yet, the larger board has the HV supply, the external sync circuits (the two DIPs towards the back of the unit), some timing generation, and even a microcontroller.  I think it has the first stage analog amp as well since the tube board only connects to this board, but I haven't yet traced it out.

Does anyone have any info on the tube itself?  It seems a few pins are basically dead shorts, but I have no experience with camera tubes, let alone ones with specialized detectors.
 

Online Fraser

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Re: SWIR Electrophysics Micronviewer 7290A - User manual ?
« Reply #7 on: May 22, 2020, 12:14:00 pm »
It is a standard vidicon tube in most respects except the target material. I will see what data I have on it. Sadly I was unable to obtain any schematics for the camera from Electrophysics as they prohibit it release of such, even for older models :( I am aware that someone obtained a schematic for the earlier 7290 (not A) model but I do not think I managed to obtain those either. I will have to search my archives. I will see if I can help but my unit is “as new” so I have not had to work on its electronics and do not really want to poke around too much as I intend to sell it when I find a suitable buyer  ;) These sell for serious money when working so you got yourself a bargain. From memory it is using a Hamamatsu tube.

More details to follow.

In the mean time, I recommend you search for Vidicon CCTV camera schematics, service manuals and magazine DIY camera projects from the 1970’s. These will help you better understand the needs of a avid icon tube and will provide waveform data as well. Even if you find the current fault condition, you may need to fine tune the biases on the tube due to ageing.

Fraser
« Last Edit: May 22, 2020, 12:15:46 pm by Fraser »
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Online Fraser

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Re: SWIR Electrophysics Micronviewer 7290A - User manual ?
« Reply #8 on: May 22, 2020, 09:15:37 pm »
Sadly there is not much more in my archives to help you.

I attach the user manual in case it is of use to you.

Fraser
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Online Fraser

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Re: SWIR Electrophysics Micronviewer 7290A - User manual ?
« Reply #9 on: May 22, 2020, 10:36:58 pm »
I believe the tube used in the 7290A is a Hamamatsu N2606 as used in the Hamamatsu C2400-03 and C2741-03 IR cameras. The C2741-03 cameras datasheet may be found here.....

http://alacron.com/clientuploads/directory/Cameras/HAMAMATSU/c2741-03-Datasheet.pdf

Fraser
« Last Edit: May 22, 2020, 10:58:39 pm by Fraser »
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Online Fraser

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Re: SWIR Electrophysics Micronviewer 7290A - User manual ?
« Reply #10 on: May 22, 2020, 10:40:04 pm »
Dave-MTI also offer a camera that uses the N2606 tube. It was a popular choice for IR and SWIR camera designs at the time.

https://dagemti.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/LSC70spec.pdf

Fraser
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Online Fraser

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Re: SWIR Electrophysics Micronviewer 7290A - User manual ?
« Reply #11 on: May 22, 2020, 10:57:29 pm »
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Online Fraser

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Re: SWIR Electrophysics Micronviewer 7290A - User manual ?
« Reply #12 on: May 22, 2020, 11:09:09 pm »
Another document that is worth reading. It details the bias needs of the vidicon etc in Chapter 11......

http://www.r-type.org/pdfs/pctdh.pdf

Fraser
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Online Fraser

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Re: SWIR Electrophysics Micronviewer 7290A - User manual ?
« Reply #13 on: May 22, 2020, 11:25:27 pm »
The Hamamatsu N2606 IR Vidicon was discontinued back around 2008 as detailed in a quotation to be found here. Just look at how much these N2606 based cameras cost !

http://userweb.eng.gla.ac.uk/william.ward/OPTOELECTRONICS/Glasgow%20Uni%20C2741%20Quote%20220108.pdf

Fraser
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Offline DaJMasta

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Re: SWIR Electrophysics Micronviewer 7290A - User manual ?
« Reply #14 on: May 23, 2020, 05:53:11 am »
I appreciated the extra bit of library, unfortunate that there's not many discussions of driving the tube specifically in the literature directly pertaining to it!  I poked around a bit today, the 300V was a bit high so I turned it down, the -150V was a bit high but seems better now that I'm checking it again, though the -60V was -77 - which makes sense since it comes from a 2N6520 who's base is biased in the middle of 1M resistors, so I'm not really sure where 60V on the silkscreen is coming from.  Voltages that seem in the right ballpark are present at the tube (nothing in the <-40V range, but some -16V range, 450V, 415V, and 300V), and focus, definition, and alignment/centering pots do have an effect on the image, though nothing gives an actual picture - you can just adjust the black vignetting on the edges.  Adjusting the target potentiometer doesn't seem to have an effect I can see.  I see voltages on the coils, but I don't see activity, so I'm not sure there's any scanning happening - will be looking into this next.

Alarmingly, though, I found a bodge that probably wasn't done at the factory.  The positive supply for an LM358 was attached to a transistor connected from a line to the tube and then over to the other board - was hovering a little below 12V, but the trace on the board to the supply line was a 10V one which had been intentionally cut by a file.  Different kind of wire from all the other bodges on the boards, I removed it and reconnected the LM358 supply rail to an actual supply line, and the line going to the other board seems happier and it works the same.  There are a few more bodges on the boards (and at least some are definitely from the factory), so I'm hoping this won't rear up again.

Found another thread here which shows pictures of their boards.... and at least some are a different revision than mine.  Different trace layout, different part orientation.... it's probably not useful for my debugging: https://www.eevblog.com/forum/repair/electrophysics-7290a-vidicon-camera/msg744441/#msg744441

And finally, it may be really, really easy to change between CCIR-50 and RS-170 output formats... a little jumper next to the micro on the larger board.  If the board is installed normally, it's in the top left while looking at the side (lens to the left), on the side facing the tube.
 

Offline _Wim_

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Re: SWIR Electrophysics Micronviewer 7290A - User manual ?
« Reply #15 on: October 03, 2020, 04:27:18 pm »
Hi, just picked up an older 7290 (non A version) on Ebay. Does any one has a user manual or datasheet for this one? So far all info on the net seems to be about the 7290A, and most info for the 7290A was found right here as posted by Fraser.

The oldest page (1998) for "www.electrophysicscorp.com" found on the internet wayback machine is already about the 7290A:
https://web.archive.org/web/19980701075430/http://www.electrophysicscorp.com/prodlib/7290grp.htm

So the 7290 must be dating before that.

So far the differences between the 7290 and 7290A that I can see is that the 7290 does not have the optical filter slide, different controls and connectors at the back, and a built in power supply.

I just purchased the unit on Ebay, so it has not arrived yet. The seller has made some test with is, and it should be working (after the non working and non repairable 7215 I bought, I was now looking for a working unit...)
 

Offline _Wim_

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Re: SWIR Electrophysics Micronviewer 7290A - User manual ?
« Reply #16 on: October 03, 2020, 07:49:25 pm »
I also asked Lynred (which I think is the company that used to be sofradir) for the manual, so hopefully they have still something in their archive. Google has for once turned up empty handed...
 

Offline _Wim_

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Re: SWIR Electrophysics Micronviewer 7290A - User manual ?
« Reply #17 on: October 05, 2020, 06:46:07 pm »
I got a reply from Lynred: "Further to your request please note that LYNRED do not produce cameras but the detectors that compose cameras."

So great that they answer quickly, but unfortunately, no further assistance there.
 

Offline _Wim_

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Re: SWIR Electrophysics Micronviewer 7290A - User manual ?
« Reply #18 on: October 05, 2020, 07:48:36 pm »
I found a Dutch magazine from 1988 that mentions the 7290 as a new product. Unfortunately, not much technical information is provided. But nice for the archive.

Translation from Dutch:

Electrophysics has designed a micron viewer, model 7290, for detecting IR radiation from the visible range up to 1800 nm. The micron viewer consists of a TV camera with 1 inch Vidicon recording tube and a Pb O-PbS photoconductive plate.

The image that is focused on the Vidicon plate causes an increase in conductivity of the plate material, according to the intensity and the spectral response. The resulting electrical image, which is formed on the material of the plate, is read by the scanning electron beam of the camera. Some applications of the micron viewer include: detection of IR lasers and LEDs, study of semiconductor "wafer" defects, control of heat treatment processes, detection of objects at temperatures above 250 ° C, and analysis of signatures or fingerprints.
 

Online Fraser

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Re: SWIR Electrophysics Micronviewer 7290A - User manual ?
« Reply #19 on: October 05, 2020, 08:52:05 pm »
I will look in my archive to see if I have anything about the 7290 model

Fraser
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Online Fraser

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Re: SWIR Electrophysics Micronviewer 7290A - User manual ?
« Reply #20 on: October 06, 2020, 10:47:56 am »
My POC at Sofradir was Lorraine Connell in the Sales team. She tried to be as helpful as she was permitted to be.

lconnell@sofradir-ec.com

Or

el_Sales@sofradir-ec.com

That email address may redirect to her new one so worth trying ? Alternatively, send an email to the sales team with an instruction for it to be passed to Lorraine. It could just be that your email went to the wrong person on the team.

Looks like Lorraine still works fir the company.....

https://www.linkedin.com/in/lorraine-connell-a2750a17

Lorraine told me that she could not provide a schematic as Sofradir was continuing support of the Micronviewer cameras. She did supply me with a user manual however so might be able to do the same fur your earlier model.

Fraser
« Last Edit: October 06, 2020, 10:54:34 am by Fraser »
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Online Fraser

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Re: SWIR Electrophysics Micronviewer 7290A - User manual ?
« Reply #21 on: October 06, 2020, 10:59:11 am »
Dr Hobbs needed a service manual but Lorraine could not help him and he is a man of some high repute who I feel sure Electrophysics would have helped, if able. Dr Hobbs may have an owners manual for his camera though. He provided contact details. I believe I contacted him in the past but he has moved on from the faulty 7290 and did not find a schematic.

https://groups.google.com/forum/m/#!topic/alt.lasers/E6Dk1nF26eU

https://alt.lasers.narkive.com/eJMl2ZhK/electrophysics-7290-ir-camera-schematic-service-manual

Fraser
« Last Edit: October 06, 2020, 11:04:59 am by Fraser »
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Online Fraser

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Re: SWIR Electrophysics Micronviewer 7290A - User manual ?
« Reply #22 on: October 06, 2020, 11:11:42 am »
I can look out my 7290A user manual if you would like it.

Vidicon cameras are pretty much a standard basic architecture and unlike the Pyro Electric Vidicon thermal cameras there is no additional chopper wheel mechanics and electronics. A standard CCTV vidicon camera can be modified to work with a SWIR vidicon tube so any references detailing the design of cameras using a vidicon tube are useful in understanding the 7290 series. I suspect the 7290 uses more discrete components than the 7290A as Electrophysics likely refreshed the design using IC’s that had become available since the first generation camera was designed. This is what happened in the World of Vidicon CCTV cameras and I suspect the 7290A refresh team did similarly using CCTV camera developments as a guide to their design.

Fraser
« Last Edit: October 06, 2020, 11:14:51 am by Fraser »
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Offline _Wim_

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Re: SWIR Electrophysics Micronviewer 7290A - User manual ?
« Reply #23 on: October 06, 2020, 06:55:58 pm »
Thanks for the info. I yesterday wrote back to the original reply from Lynred pointing to the manual of the 7290A and more thoroughly explaining what I was looking for. If this does not work out, I will try to contact  Lorraine Connell.

 

Offline _Wim_

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Re: SWIR Electrophysics Micronviewer 7290A - User manual ?
« Reply #24 on: October 06, 2020, 07:23:45 pm »
I have just been contacted by Lorraine Connell (my question was forwarded to her via the original contact), so she still works for Lynred. She first provided my with the user manual for the 7290A. When I explained that I was looking for the 7290, she said she will need to look when she is back in the office at the end of the week.

That is for sure excellent service for such an old unit, I which all tech companies were like that!
 

Online Fraser

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Re: SWIR Electrophysics Micronviewer 7290A - User manual ?
« Reply #25 on: October 06, 2020, 07:40:13 pm »
Lorraine is a lovely lady and if she can help you, she will. I was just about to upload the 7290A user manual for you  :)
There is not a great deal of information in the user manual as you will no doubt have seen.

I will upload the 7290A user manual and FAQ anyway in case it is of use to someone in the future.

Fraser
 
« Last Edit: October 06, 2020, 07:44:20 pm by Fraser »
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Offline _Wim_

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Re: SWIR Electrophysics Micronviewer 7290A - User manual ?
« Reply #26 on: October 06, 2020, 07:54:21 pm »
Great news!

I was looking to find an explanation for the BNC connectors at back. One of the BNC connectors was labelled as “hd or vs in”, so I searched exactly for that: “hd or vs in”. This gave only 2 hits, one of them was for an ad of a “Ikegami Television Camera Model ITC-510” camera.

Further investigating the Ikegami camera, I found to my surprise it looked identical to my 7290 camera (also based on a vidicon tube, but without special plate coating or SWIR viewing).

The best part is that Ikegami do make full service manuals available (see attached).

Currently looking on the Ikegami website (https://www.ikegami.com/old-products) for an equivalent of the 7290A
 

Online Fraser

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Re: SWIR Electrophysics Micronviewer 7290A - User manual ?
« Reply #27 on: October 06, 2020, 08:36:46 pm »
Excellent investigative work  :-+

I have seen Panasonic Vidicon CCTV cameras used by FJW for their SWIR cameras so it is no surprise that Electrophysics used a modified camera from a large CCTV camera manufacturer. Why reinvent the wheel  :)

FJW used the Panasonic WV1414 as the basis of their SWIR Find-R-Scope cameras. See the attached pictures  :)

Fraser
« Last Edit: October 06, 2020, 09:01:05 pm by Fraser »
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Offline _Wim_

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Re: SWIR Electrophysics Micronviewer 7290A - User manual ?
« Reply #28 on: October 06, 2020, 09:12:34 pm »
Why reinvent the wheel  :)

Indeed. Probably Electrophysics/FJW would have a hard time making an equal quality product, and cost wise it would be much more expensive due to the much smaller market.

So far I have not been able to find on which type the 7290A was based, but I would expect it would also be an Ikegami camera (but maybe an OEM version)

 

Online Fraser

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Re: SWIR Electrophysics Micronviewer 7290A - User manual ?
« Reply #29 on: October 06, 2020, 09:43:22 pm »
I have been searching as well. I am suspecting a modified Ikegami PCB set with a custom/modified casing. I cannot find a likely candidate yet. I have taken a look at some pictures of the 7290A PCB's and there is a lot of post production modification which suggests to me that the camera was supplied configured for a standard Vidicon tube and then modified by Electrophysics. The many 'bodge wires' are not what I would expect of a production Ikegami camera.

Thanks to your discovery, I am now a step closer to discovering the origins of the PCB's within the 7290A  :-+ It is likely based on a later model of ITC series camera as they certainly fit the spec. There was also the CTC2xxx series that are described in that Ikegami table as colour, yet they use a monchrome Vidicon tube.

Having compared the 7290 circuits and its parts list with my 7290A PCB's, I believe I was correct in thinking that the 7290A was basically an update that used more IC's and a reduced discrete semiconductor count. Exactly what I saw in the Commercial CCTV  camera designs of the era.

Fraser
« Last Edit: October 06, 2020, 09:45:36 pm by Fraser »
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Online Fraser

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Re: SWIR Electrophysics Micronviewer 7290A - User manual ?
« Reply #30 on: October 06, 2020, 10:44:31 pm »
I am working my way through the many Ikegami ITC camera user manuals as they contain the parts list and schematics. A case of trying to spot similarities with the 7290A PCB chipset. I have already looked at the ITC-47 aka CTC-4700 and I agree that the 7290A is very likely an Ikegami product. The later cameras have the higher chip count that I am looking for so just a case of seeing if I can find a match.

Fraser
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Online Fraser

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Re: SWIR Electrophysics Micronviewer 7290A - User manual ?
« Reply #31 on: October 07, 2020, 12:42:28 am »
Well I downloaded all of the Ikegami ITC and CTC manuals that I could find and analysed the parts list and schematics. There is a definite pattern to the components used in different eras of camera and they do not match, or even come close to the design of the Electrophysics 7290A camera  :(  The PCB component marking for IC's also differs to that used by Ikegami. The manufacturer of the 7290A has elected to use a somewhat unusual IC ID format. "UP1" for an IC1 being an example. Other examples are UB1, UE1, UG1, UN1, UO1. Not an IC label format I have seen in any of the Ikegami manuals.

_Wim_, I think you got very lucky with your camera and discovered the true OEM of it. Sadly I think the 7290A is going to be challenge. Why ? ... well the 7290A was likely designed after CCTV had moved to semiconductor sensors and Vidicon tube based cameras had become restricted to science and other specialist applications. As such, Electrophysics may have found that there was no 'modern' Ikegami tube camera to buy and modify. They would likely have been restricted to companies making tube cameras for science use, such as Hammamatsu, but that particular company is in direct competition with Electrophysics so such an alliance is unlikely. That would possibly lead to a contract being raised with some small specialist company that had designers experienced in working with Vidicon tube technology. The chances of discovering that companies identity are slim and even if discovered, the schematics would be limited circulation and likely only existing within the OEM and Electrophysics (Sofradir/Lynrad). The casing of the 7290A has been designed to take the filter cartridge and has not been modified to do so. that strongly suggests a custom build from scratch, at least for the case. The large number of PCB modifications (bodge wires) might also suggest a smaller company developed the 7290A and had to iron out some issues in the production cameras. There remains the possibility that the design has been based upon that of another commercial Vidicon camera and just adapted to a new PCB layout etc. Interestingly the 7290AX model has an additional PCB for power management. That optional PCB looks to be the same designer and manufacturer as the other PCB's. Such a PCB would not exist in a CCTV camera, adding weight to the custom design theory.   

Finally, I need to check my camera, but from the pictures I have, it would appear that the 7290A is fitted with a relatively large Atmel IC on one PCB plus what appears to be a battery management processor on the AX model additional PCB (it has its own Crystal oscillator). These are not components of the Ikegami (or any other manufacturers) Vidicon CCTV camera era !

All good fun but it is time for Bed now.... need some sleep !

Fraser
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Re: SWIR Electrophysics Micronviewer 7290A - User manual ?
« Reply #32 on: October 07, 2020, 12:50:12 am »
In case anyone is interested, I will be selling my 'as new' 7290A soon. I will likely market it towards those clever people who use such cameras to check the quality of their amazing Laser systems ! I am open to offers if anyone has a burning desire to own a SWIR capable camera :) The camera is fitted with an original equipment electronic viewfinder, will come with its original Power Supply and a spare power connector, plus the two ND filters and C mount 'hood' for laser use. A very nice 25mm lens is also available for it :) The camera is very nice but I have no real use for the SWIR capability. I will ship internationally.

Fraser
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Re: SWIR Electrophysics Micronviewer 7290A - User manual ?
« Reply #33 on: October 07, 2020, 06:28:40 pm »
_Wim_, I think you got very lucky with your camera and discovered the true OEM of it. Sadly I think the 7290A is going to be challenge. Why ? ... well the 7290A was likely designed after CCTV had moved to semiconductor sensors and Vidicon tube based cameras had become restricted to science and other specialist applications. As such, Electrophysics may have found that there was no 'modern' Ikegami tube camera to buy and modify. They would likely have been restricted to companies making tube cameras for science use, such as Hammamatsu, but that particular company is in direct competition with Electrophysics so such an alliance is unlikely. That would possibly lead to a contract being raised with some small specialist company that had designers experienced in working with Vidicon tube technology. The chances of discovering that companies identity are slim and even if discovered, the schematics would be limited circulation and likely only existing within the OEM and Electrophysics (Sofradir/Lynrad). The casing of the 7290A has been designed to take the filter cartridge and has not been modified to do so. that strongly suggests a custom build from scratch, at least for the case. The large number of PCB modifications (bodge wires) might also suggest a smaller company developed the 7290A and had to iron out some issues in the production cameras. There remains the possibility that the design has been based upon that of another commercial Vidicon camera and just adapted to a new PCB layout etc. Interestingly the 7290AX model has an additional PCB for power management. That optional PCB looks to be the same designer and manufacturer as the other PCB's. Such a PCB would not exist in a CCTV camera, adding weight to the custom design theory.   

Sounds indeed like a very reasonable explanation. If I would get lucky again, I will for sure post it the 7290A schematics also here  ::).

 

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Re: SWIR Electrophysics Micronviewer 7290A - User manual ?
« Reply #34 on: October 07, 2020, 06:33:47 pm »
In case anyone is interested, I will be selling my 'as new' 7290A soon. I will likely market it towards those clever people who use such cameras to check the quality of their amazing Laser systems ! I am open to offers if anyone has a burning desire to own a SWIR capable camera :) The camera is fitted with an original equipment electronic viewfinder, will come with its original Power Supply and a spare power connector, plus the two ND filters and C mount 'hood' for laser use. A very nice 25mm lens is also available for it :) The camera is very nice but I have no real use for the SWIR capability. I will ship internationally.

Fraser
UK

That is a very nice set! If I had not just bought the 7290 I would be very temped...
 

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Re: SWIR Electrophysics Micronviewer 7290A - User manual ?
« Reply #35 on: October 08, 2020, 06:17:12 pm »
I was again contacted by Lorraine today, telling me she was unable to find the manual of the 7290. However, with the manual of the Ikegami and the manual of the 7290A posted by Fraser this is not really a problem, and I really appreciate she make the effort to look for it and spontaneously report back.  :-+
 

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Re: SWIR Electrophysics Micronviewer 7290A - User manual ?
« Reply #36 on: October 08, 2020, 06:44:21 pm »
Lorraine is certainly a very helpful lady.

When I last spoke with her they were in the midst of relocating. Sadly when companies move location a lot of documentation can end up mislaid or dumped in order to reduce storage requirements. This is what had happened when I asked ISG about the early Pevicon based Talisman service manual..... it has been lost over the years.

As you say, with the 7290A manual and the Ikegami camera information, you are well set up on the information front :) One piece of information that would be very useful would be the Vidicon Tube recommended bias voltages. I do not think I have found the data sheet for the Hamamatsu N2606 and N2606-6 tubes used in these cameras.

http://alacron.com/clientuploads/directory/Cameras/HAMAMATSU/c2741-03-Datasheet.pdf

https://microwiki.org/wiki/index.php/Hamamatsu

https://dagemti.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/LSC70spec.pdf

Fraser
« Last Edit: October 08, 2020, 07:01:49 pm by Fraser »
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Re: SWIR Electrophysics Micronviewer 7290A - User manual ?
« Reply #37 on: October 08, 2020, 07:06:34 pm »
This document does not contain the N2606 tube data but is still an interesting read and has a guide to setting biases.

https://frank.pocnet.net/other/Amperex/hafo/ampvid.pdf

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Re: SWIR Electrophysics Micronviewer 7290A - User manual ?
« Reply #38 on: October 08, 2020, 07:09:43 pm »
One piece of information that would be very useful would be the Vidicon Tube recommended bias voltages. I do not think I have found the data sheet for the Hamamatsu N2606 and N2606-6 tubes used in these cameras.

I have been looking for that datasheet also, but so far no luck. I also managed to find a catalog that mentions them, but no real useful information in that.
 

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Re: SWIR Electrophysics Micronviewer 7290A - User manual ?
« Reply #39 on: October 08, 2020, 07:21:35 pm »
I did also find the price of the 7290/ITC510 in 1986 and the confirmation that in includes an Hamamatsu n2606-02
 

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Re: SWIR Electrophysics Micronviewer 7290A - User manual ?
« Reply #40 on: October 08, 2020, 07:52:57 pm »
A paper on development of the N2606 Vidicon, written by Hamamatsu, may be found here:

https://doi.org/10.1016/S0065-2539(08)60475-8

Sci Hub reveals the papers content  ;)

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« Last Edit: October 08, 2020, 08:23:05 pm by Fraser »
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Re: SWIR Electrophysics Micronviewer 7290A - User manual ?
« Reply #42 on: October 08, 2020, 08:06:02 pm »
A paper on development of the N2606 Vidicon, written by Hamamatsu, may be found here:

https://doi.org/10.1016/S0065-2539(08)60475-8

Sci Hub reveals the papers cont  ;)

Fraser

Nice one!
 

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Re: SWIR Electrophysics Micronviewer 7290A - User manual ?
« Reply #44 on: October 10, 2020, 12:05:30 pm »
Hi, I received the camera today and gave it a little test. Beam intensity was turned almost fully to max by the previous owner to get a usable image out of the camera, but this result in very slow updating (take more than 3 seconds when something is placed in the field of view to be fully visible). This means the vidicon is end of life, and replacements will be not easy to find I am afraid. It does still have sensitivity until al least 1525nm (highest laser wavelength I have), so it still might have some use for visualizing laser beams.

In case anyone would still doubt this camera is based on the Ikegami ITC-510, their is some strong "hint" on the pcb...

 

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Re: SWIR Electrophysics Micronviewer 7290A - User manual ?
« Reply #45 on: October 10, 2020, 12:16:25 pm »
Some more internal pictures
 

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Re: SWIR Electrophysics Micronviewer 7290A - User manual ?
« Reply #46 on: October 10, 2020, 12:31:56 pm »
_Wim_

That camera looks to be in very nice internal condition  :-+

Regarding the availability of spare IR vidicon tubes, with regret I must advise that Hamamatsu disposed of all of the stock to companies like Electrophysics so that they could continue production of their SWIR cameras. From memory there was a $7000 minimum order value from Hamamatsu so individuals could not buy spare tubes from them unless willing to pay over $7K !  Electrophysics had some limited spares stock but it was very expensive due to rarity. I do not know if they have any left but it would be much cheaper to source another camera on eBay that has a better tube fitted.

Electrophysics continued selling the tube based SWIR cameras for as long as stocks of the Vidicon tube permitted. Their cameras have a large customer base in laser labs so there was still demand for the cameras. This is also why these cameras still sell for serious money on eBay. Good ones are now rare and becoming scarce.

I do not know of a way to revitalise your tube but in CRT’s there was something called cathode poisoning and there were techniques to revitalise the cathode emission surface to extend the tubes useful life. Tubes that have not been used for a long time also needed ‘conditioning’ of the vacuum. It may be worth you looking into this.

Also be aware that over time the bias needs of the tube can change and adjustment of the various bias voltages may improve your cameras performance. Bill_W is the man to comment on that as he is very familiar with thermal camera Pevicon tubes that are basically a version of the a vidicon tube.

Thank you for the excellent pictures of your camera  :-+ Mine has no such helpful OEM identification on the PCB’s.

Fraser
« Last Edit: October 10, 2020, 01:13:49 pm by Fraser »
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Re: SWIR Electrophysics Micronviewer 7290A - User manual ?
« Reply #47 on: October 10, 2020, 12:44:11 pm »
Some reading......

http://www.ke5fx.com/crt.html

And

http://www.thegleam.com/ke5fx/crt/sencrt.pdf

A Vidicon is similar to a CRT in that it uses an electron Gun with Cathode emission to an Anode target. Cathode poisoning may be an issue with old Vidicon tubes as well ?

Vidicon tubes in the 7290 cameras often get damaged by burn-in from abuse long before they ‘wear out’.

Fraser
« Last Edit: October 10, 2020, 12:46:15 pm by Fraser »
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Re: SWIR Electrophysics Micronviewer 7290A - User manual ?
« Reply #48 on: October 10, 2020, 01:28:48 pm »
Also be aware that over time the bias needs of the tube can change and adjustment of the various bias voltages may improve your cameras performance. Bill_W is the man to comment on that as he is very familiar with thermal camera Pevicon tubes that are basically a version of the a vidicon tube.

I will indeed try to bring all voltages and biases up to spec. Today was just a quick test. Visual inspection was indeed ok. No bulged caps or burned parts. Also checked with my E60, nothing gets extremely hot, so that also ok. Looks like this will be a fun project, and price was luckily not very high. I contacted Hamamatsu Belgium in the hope I could get a datasheet for the N2606. I will off course post it here also when I receive it.
 

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Re: SWIR Electrophysics Micronviewer 7290A - User manual ?
« Reply #49 on: October 10, 2020, 01:37:07 pm »
An interesting side comment, the Electrophysics 7290 and 7290A apparently have some military sensitivity dating back to when the N2606 tubes were used in military applications. Sadly such information restrictions can remain in place long after any real sensitivity has passed into history. This may be why the data sheet for the Hamamatsu N2606 vidicon cannot be found on the web ?. EBay will not let me list the Electrophysics 7290A in the U.K. and state that it is on the U.S. Military list and only allowed to be advertised in the U.S.A with no export permitted !
« Last Edit: October 10, 2020, 03:17:11 pm by Fraser »
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Re: SWIR Electrophysics Micronviewer 7290A - User manual ?
« Reply #50 on: October 10, 2020, 03:14:28 pm »
An interesting side comment, the Electrophysics 7290 and 7290A apparently have some military sensitivity dating back to when the N2606 tubes were used in military applications. Sadly such information restrictions can remain in place long after any real sensitivity has passed into history. This may be why the data sheet fir the Hamamatsu N2606 vidicon cannot be found on the web ?. EBay will not let me list the Electrophysics 7290A in the U.K. and state that it is on the U.S. Military list and only allowed to be advertised in the U.S?A with no export permitted !

That is crazy! I have seen many modern SWIR Ingaas cameras listed on Ebay with much higher resolution and sensitivity (and unfortunately also much higher price), and these were available worldwide.

A nice example is found here: https://www.benl.ebay.be/itm/NIT-WiDy-Sens-cooled-InGaAs-camera/274520123080?hash=item3feaaca6c8:g:Cn8AAOSw0MpfeYXh

A "bit" above my budget however...
 

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Re: SWIR Electrophysics Micronviewer 7290A - User manual ?
« Reply #51 on: October 10, 2020, 03:23:02 pm »
I agree.

EBay seem to have some text filter on item titles that checks against a restricted items list. The title “Electrophysics  7290A” triggered a statement that the item was on a Military controlled products list ! I even tried different titles but the 7290A bit still triggered the listing rejection. That was a first in my experience and I bought the camera from France via eBay !

Fraser
« Last Edit: October 10, 2020, 03:26:13 pm by Fraser »
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Re: SWIR Electrophysics Micronviewer 7290A - User manual ?
« Reply #52 on: October 10, 2020, 03:28:27 pm »
These 2 have just popped up:

https://www.benl.ebay.be/itm/Set-of-2-Electrophysics-7290-7290A-Micronviewer-Untested-For-parts-C485DS/233739306838?hash=item366bf2c756:g:WfwAAOSwM7tfBgw8

Title also includes "7290A" and export IS possible. Ebay sometimes acts very strange (also the search function)! Maybe it is ok if listed "for parts"  ;)
 

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Re: SWIR Electrophysics Micronviewer 7290A - User manual ?
« Reply #53 on: October 10, 2020, 04:02:16 pm »
@Fraser, just I quick question, the user manual you posted states "Decay lag after 50msec:45-60%". I interpreted this as the time constant is 50ms (1 decay time constant is around 60%), and that after 5 time constant the image would be fully updated (so 250 to 300ms for a full update)

In my camera (which uses the same tube, and normally this spec would be tube related) it takes more than 3 seconds, so I expect this is abnormal and probably due to the high beam current.

But to be sure, if you place or remove object in front of your camera, how long does it take for the image to get completely updated? 
 

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Re: SWIR Electrophysics Micronviewer 7290A - User manual ?
« Reply #54 on: October 10, 2020, 04:37:57 pm »
I noticed very little ghost effect on my camera. It behaved very much like a normal Vidicon CCTV camera. If I saturated the Tube target of any Vidicon it would suffer short term ghosting but that is to be expected.

Your units 3 second delay sounds very bad indeed and suggests that the target is not at all happy and suffering some form of saturation effect. I am no expert on. I do on tubes however. I have worked on Vidicon cameras but not many that had weird faults or Vidicon issues beyond a burnt in image from static deployment. Maybe others on the forum will know more about what happens when a Vidicon target gets old and desensitised ? I know Vidicon tubes used to have an operational life of around 6000 hours but what effect that ‘wear’ has on the tube is not known to me. I assume sensitivity reduces over hours run and they become unacceptably insensitive at 6000 hours. The Target material may well degrade with hours run ?

Regarding the auction you referenced.... that one is likely allowed as it is a listing on eBay.com. I got the impression from the warning that I received from eBay that they thought the camera should not exist outside the USA due to export restrictions so could not be listed outside eBay.com ! Weird thinking and it does not explain how international shipping is allowed on that listing. I have often received a warning about the controlled nature of thermal cameras with regard to shipping when bidding on US auctions for such. Maybe the same would occur if I bid on those cameras ? EBay’s warning puts the responsibility on the buyer to not place the seller in a position where they break U.S Regulations applicable to such equipment ! Strange but true. It would not hold up in court though ! The seller is ultimately responsible fir export and export compliance.

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Re: SWIR Electrophysics Micronviewer 7290A - User manual ?
« Reply #55 on: October 10, 2020, 05:59:02 pm »
I did some more testing with a printed test pattern. If I place an opaque object in front of the test pattern, I still can see the test pattern for maybe more than 20 seconds and the opaque object never really becomes fully opaque. When removing the opaque object the decay is faster (around 3 to 5 seconds).

My best guess is the tube sensitivity is so low the gain is pushing too hard and the tube is constantly oversaturated. I cannot imagine this problem to be caused by anything else than the tube, because the test pattern remains clearly visible in the opaque object, and no electronic component can have this kind of "memory" effect, as the image is scanned line by line.

So my best chance is like you told to check all voltages and currents going to the tube, and hope that something is wrong there. Hopefully Hamamatsu will provide the datasheet for the N2606, because the required voltages and currents from the Ikegami datasheet cannot be trusted of course.
 

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Re: SWIR Electrophysics Micronviewer 7290A - User manual ?
« Reply #57 on: October 10, 2020, 06:37:00 pm »
This reading material may be of interest :)

http://www.r-type.org/pdfs/pctdh.pdf

Fraser
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Re: SWIR Electrophysics Micronviewer 7290A - User manual ?
« Reply #58 on: October 10, 2020, 06:47:35 pm »
This reading material may be of interest :)

http://www.r-type.org/pdfs/pctdh.pdf

Fraser

Thanks! Currently reading this one:
http://6bm8.lab.free.fr/Documentations/Tubes/Vidicon%20camera%20tubes.pdf
 
Seems extreme lag is caused by high dark current... Will read yours also. Seems like there is lots to know about these tubes, interesting!
 

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Re: SWIR Electrophysics Micronviewer 7290A - User manual ?
« Reply #60 on: October 10, 2020, 06:54:05 pm »
Ha ha it is the same as the one you are reading  :-DD Great minds think alike  :box:
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Re: SWIR Electrophysics Micronviewer 7290A - User manual ?
« Reply #62 on: October 10, 2020, 06:55:41 pm »
Ha ha it is the same as the one you are reading  :-DD Great minds think alike  :box:

And post at the same time also...
 

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Re: SWIR Electrophysics Micronviewer 7290A - User manual ?
« Reply #63 on: October 10, 2020, 07:00:14 pm »
An interesting paper on Vidicon ageing.......

https://dacemirror.sci-hub.se/journal-article/be0e2b7f8628c837ae679d3f7fac1489/fafarman1968.pdf

The document seems to describe the symptom that you are seeing in your camera and it’s cause.

Fraser
« Last Edit: October 10, 2020, 07:05:16 pm by Fraser »
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Re: SWIR Electrophysics Micronviewer 7290A - User manual ?
« Reply #64 on: October 10, 2020, 07:05:35 pm »
An interesting paper on Vidicon ageing.......

https://dacemirror.sci-hub.se/journal-article/be0e2b7f8628c837ae679d3f7fac1489/fafarman1968.pdf

That link does not work for me. Can you post the link or the original paper so I can open it in sci-hub?

 

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Re: SWIR Electrophysics Micronviewer 7290A - User manual ?
« Reply #65 on: October 10, 2020, 07:16:10 pm »
Here you go :)

https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/1475417

It describes what appears to be happening in your Vidicon.

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Re: SWIR Electrophysics Micronviewer 7290A - User manual ?
« Reply #66 on: October 10, 2020, 07:19:42 pm »
It describes what appears to be happening in your Vidicon.

That's not good. I was still hoping is would be an electronic problems. There seems to be a problem with sci-hub, I still get "dacemirror.sci-hub.se refused to connect."

I will try again later.
 

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Re: SWIR Electrophysics Micronviewer 7290A - User manual ?
« Reply #67 on: October 10, 2020, 07:23:14 pm »
I will download it and send the PDF to you. Please PM me an email address.

It sounds like your tube has hit the end of its operational life and not due to Cathode poisoning :(

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Re: SWIR Electrophysics Micronviewer 7290A - User manual ?
« Reply #68 on: October 11, 2020, 09:36:17 am »
This morning I lowered the target voltage from 27V to 8V, and the result is much better. Off course I need to open the aperture more (camera is now less sensitive), but in roomlight conditions I am still not with a fully open aperture (at 2.8, and lens goes to 1.4).

This lowers the lag to well below 1 second, which is much more workable.

VR302 was used to adjust the target voltage. So far I can say that the service manual from Ikegami matches perfectly with my camera. VR302 was turned up higher by somebody before (paint marking was broken), but now I am well below the the original position.

Hopefully Hamamatsu will provide the datasheet for the N2606, so I have more of an idea what the grid voltages should be, the dark current and a ballpark target voltage number (this seems to vary from tube to tube, and from what I have read, should be adjusted in relation with dark current).

I wonder is the "gain" adjustment on the 7290A is in fact target voltage adjustment. The 7290A has adjustable/auto gain, but the 7290 also has an internal jumper (J202) for ASC (automatic sensitivity control?) "on" or "off" , and this also affects the target voltage, and it could be that it is this jumper together with potmeter VR302 is brought externally to provide the adjustable/auto gain...
 

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Re: SWIR Electrophysics Micronviewer 7290A - User manual ?
« Reply #69 on: October 11, 2020, 10:46:35 am »
If Hamamatsu do not provide the data sheet I will measure the various tube voltages on my 7290A camera for you. They are, of course, ‘as set’ by Electrophysics but should be a useable reference and better than nothing :)

If I get a chance I will measure them anyway as the information may still prove useful. I am a bit busy at the moment though.

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Re: SWIR Electrophysics Micronviewer 7290A - User manual ?
« Reply #70 on: October 11, 2020, 11:36:03 am »
If Hamamatsu do not provide the data sheet I will measure the various tube voltages on my 7290A camera for you. They are, of course, ‘as set’ by Electrophysics but should be a useable reference and better than nothing :)

If I get a chance I will measure them anyway as the information may still prove useful. I am a bit busy at the moment though.

Fraser

Many thanks for that, but I have good hopes to receive the datasheet also.

I resoldered jumper J202 to the "on" position and turned up the target voltage (VR302) to the original position. Now target voltage is automatically adjusted between zero and the max set by VR302. This allows me to fully open the aperture without saturation, and even further improves lag.

Attached is the result I have filming the test image. Room lights are about 520 Lux (when lux meter is point to the ceiling), and about 200 lux (when lux meter is set next to camera lens pointing vs test image). Not the charpest, but of course this camera is not optimized for visible light I guess, and vidicon resolution is only about 600x600.

Capture device was a low cost "easier cap" USB dongle.





 

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Re: SWIR Electrophysics Micronviewer 7290A - User manual ?
« Reply #71 on: October 11, 2020, 11:47:44 am »
This is the result when a black even surface is filmed. Some small burn-ins (hard to capture, is better visible when moving an object in front of the camera), but looks quite even.
 

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Re: SWIR Electrophysics Micronviewer 7290A - User manual ?
« Reply #72 on: October 11, 2020, 05:45:10 pm »
I measured the video signal with the scope, and it is a bit weak and not completely in spec. But when I try with an imaging source capture device instead of the low cost "easier cap" I get much butter results. I am currently working my way through the adjustments, but already very happy with the results so far...
 

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Re: SWIR Electrophysics Micronviewer 7290A - User manual ?
« Reply #73 on: October 11, 2020, 07:48:58 pm »
The above picture is the best I could get after the adjustments. Some adjustments did not work however:
- pedastal level in video signal could not be adjusted using VR204, it is about 0.15Vpp instead of the recommended 0.1Vpp
- preamp output should be 0.3Vpp, but was only 0.08Vpp
- HF (VR203), LF (VR202) did not have any visible effect, so I left them in the same position
- gamma, width and height I left as is for the moment
- beam current is still almost at max, otherwise I do not have any output.

All in all I am quite satisfied with the result. The camera is for sure usable for the moment.

 

Offline _Wim_

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Re: SWIR Electrophysics Micronviewer 7290A - User manual ?
« Reply #74 on: October 14, 2020, 04:43:17 pm »
Received the datasheets for the N2606 from Hamamatsu!  :-+

Typical target voltage is 40V, but at 27V I already have 20 seconds of lag  :o. But it will be good to check everything else.
 
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Online Fraser

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Re: SWIR Electrophysics Micronviewer 7290A - User manual ?
« Reply #75 on: October 14, 2020, 06:37:50 pm »
Great news  :-+

Thank you for sharing the datasheets  :-+ :-+

Fraser
Cogito, ergo sum
 


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