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Just finished two more cameras. The "good" pile now stands at 6. Actually
I have all but completed two more. There are two that just need their
shell and shutter glued on. Wonder of wonders, one of today's cameras held
vacuum without being glued together. All the rest leak, so I glue them up
with 5 minute epoxy. They can be taken apart, but it usually breakes the TEC.
Production is very satisfying. You sit down and after a while a pile of
parts turn into a finished object. Testing is not so satisfying. You sit
down with a bunch of perfect looking parts and after a while you have a
stack of bad ones.
I now have a set up using the student refrigerator that I bought. I can
put cameras in the freezer and get to about +3C in a reasonable period of
time. This allows getting to fairly low noise without having to hook up
cooling lines and the TEC power amplifier.
It looks like I have learned how to make cameras. When I do everything
right they just work. All alike. Well the cameras with the engineering
devices appear to be a lot noisier. But they also may be OK at -30 C. I
will try one on TOM and see. But there is not much hope of getting a lot
of engineering devices out of Lockheed.