Cleaning Sensors

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Here are some tips how to clean the sensor of a The Imaging Source camera.

  1. Compressed Air From Air-Blower Compressed air is usually sufficient to remove most foreign bodies from the surface of the CCD chip. We recommend using an air-blower, such as from Edmund Optics, and not compressed air from an aerosol. Compressed air from an aerosol may contain other chemicals (propellant, water, oil etc.) which could damage the surface of the CCD. For details, see
  2. Hama Lenspen MiniPro II A company called Hama manufactures a product, which is ideally suited to the task: Lenspen MiniPro II. It is available online and from most well-stocked photography stores. One side of the pen has a brush on it, while the other, a small cleaning surface. The later is suited to efficiently removing dirt and fingerprints.
  3. Microfiber Cleaning Cloth Although a microfiber cleaning cloth is a very viable option, it can be tricky to get the cloth onto the surface of the CCD chip through the camera’s mount opening. A cotton swab (UK: Q-Tip) can help here.
  4. Pure Alcohol (at least 90%) This can be purchased from most chemists. Never use Isopropanol, as it draws moisture from the air, which results in streaks on the surface of the CCD.
  5. Alcohol Substitute Instead of pure alcohol, Methanol or a liquid called Eclipse can be used (Eclipse is essentially Methanol). However, we do not recommend this approach, as Methanol is highly poisonous.
  6. Combination Of the Above

Of course, all approaches can be mixed!

Do not worry about touching the glass in front of the CCD chip. It is pretty robust. Only by rubbing glass, sand or diamond on the surface can it be scratched.

The sensor of the DFK cameras can not accessed directly, because the infrared cut filter is in the way. If there are dust particles or condensation droplets on the sens, the camera must be sent in for cleaning.

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