All cameras can be supplied with either high efficiency x-ray or neutron scintillators.
General Information and FAQs
You will need vacuum connectors for the cables and a heat sink to dissipate ~3 watts.
(replacement scintillators can be provided).
(more than 100 days in a constant 107.n.cm-2.s-1 neutron beam).
If so, provide better radiation protection for the CCD
are eliminated with the imageJ "salt and pepper" filter or the optional Peltier cooler.
The older Video CamerasThe newer digital cameras are controlled by a computer, which is also needed for image display. A simple (amplified) USB cable up to 20m long is used. The older "video" cameras use a manual control box, and the following applies:
Testing without Neutrons or X-raysTest the camera first on your desk. If you expose with high gain and 10+ seconds exposure, even without a neutron or x-ray beam, you should see a few isolated bright pixels in the image. This is normal for such a highly sensitive CCD (you can apply a software filter to remove them). If however, nothing seems to work, the most likely reason is that you have a bad electrical connection! Check all the cables; in one case a user even had a thin plastic film stuck in one of the connections. Intermittant electrical problems may be due to a poor fit of the electrical plug to the camera. Do not hesitate to email if you have problems or comments, however trivial.
Guarantee and RepairsNeutronOptics cameras are guaranteed for at least one year for the quality of components and workmanship, and under guarantee will be repaired cost free on return to the manufacturer. Repairs for accidental and operational damage, and repairs ouside the guarantee period, can also be undertaken for all cameras manufactured within the last 10 years. Before returning the camera for repair, please first confirm the return conditions and email me a copy of the shipping papers.
If possible use the international registered postal service, rather than FedEx, UPS etc, and declare it as a "Camera Scientifique hors service, pour reparation" with nominal or no commercial value. Avoid using N-words. With FedEx, UPS etc NeutronOptics must pay ~22% taxes, VAT and customs charges on the total declared value including transport, if it is from outside Europe. There are no such taxes on shipping within the EU.
Life Expectancy & Replacement of the CCD/scintillatorAfter 2 years on an ILL instrument, the CCD developed additional white pixels. Like most electronic components, the camera module should be shielded, in particular from neutron and especially gamma-ray background. The standard video CCD unit can be replaced without opening the camera by using the supplied key to loosen the 3 small screws attaching it to the camera body.
The neutron scintillator should last indefinitely unless exposed to strong beams for long periods. (Normally the camera will not be continuously exposed for long periods).
Eventually, the camera body may be opened and the scintillator replaced (after the 12 month warranty period). Remove the 4/6 aluminium screws holding the face-plate to the camera body, and insert a very sharp blade under the plate, cutting around the complete circumference several times. (The smaller cameras are sealed with a tough rubberising compound; the large V5 cameras are not, but instead use tight-fitting push-on cover plates). Carefully pry open the top corners of the face-plate with a small flat screw-driver. Take care not to damage the exposed scintillator or front-surfaced mirror. Cut any glue spots holding the top corners of the scintillator plate, and slide it from under its B4C protection to replace it. When the camera is re-assembled, the scintillator is clamped by the B4C and mirror. Be sure to replace the mirror and the seal before re-assembling the camera. If you touch the lens you may need to re-focus it, and if you touch the mirror, clean it carefully with an optical quality cloth and cleaner.