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Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Cleaning the imaging surface of your CCD

Static Charge Prevention

CCD image sensors are easily damaged by static discharge. Before handling be sure to take the following protective measures.
  1. Either handle bare handed or use non-chargeable gloves, clothes or material. Also use conductive shoes.
  2. Install a conductive mat on the floor or working table to prevent the generation of static electricity.

Cleaning the CCD Glass
  1. Perform all cleaning operations in a clean room, dust-free room. The CCD is very fragile so it is important to avoid touching it with your fingers or with anything hard.
  2. To remove dust and dirt, first try to gently blow the debris off with a compressed air blower. We recommend using ionized air (this will help remove any dirt stuck to the CCD because of static electricity).
  3. If the debris will not come off using an air blower, apply a small amount of optics cleaner (e.g. Photographic Solutions’ Eclipse Optics Cleaner) or ethyl alcohol to a clean, new lens cloth (e.g. Pentax lens cloth or Photographic Solutions’ Sensor Swabs, which are made specifically for cleaning optics). The cloth should be moist, but not dripping.
  4. Wipe the cloth or swab along the length of the CCD in smooth movements. Do not press hard on the CCD or rub repeatedly on one spot. If pooling or streaks occur, you may have too much solution on – wait for it to dry, then repeat.
  5. When you’ve finished cleaning, examine the CCD surface in a strong light. Take an out-of-focus picture of a flat, illuminated surface to see if any dirt or dust remains.
  6. If dust spots remain, repeat this procedure using a clean lens cloth. Note: if dust spots remain after cleaning the image sensor glass twice, it is possible the dirt is under the glass (between the actual sensor and the sensor glass). In this event, please let us know.

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