(SBIG replacement desiccant plug)
Have you ever battled frost on your CCD chip? California is not a particularly demanding climate in terms of humidity, maybe that's why I let the desiccant plug in my SBIG camera go for longs periods of time between recharging. Then some night it catches up with me out in the field, I get everything set up and those large rings start spreading across my images - frost. At least that is what I've always believed the cause is. The fix that always seems to work for me is to take the desiccant plug out and bake it for a few hours (Honey....can we hold off dinner until I finish with the oven?) and the problem is gone for a while. When I was discussing my pier options with Shahin, the owner and man behind Partial Wave Techonolgies (PWT), he showed me his clever little solution - the SRP. SRP stand for SBIG Replacement Plug, and it is a great idea that you pick up in a small bag like the one in the picture to the right. Open up the plastic bag (as seen below and left) and you'll find a nicely machined cylinder with a double o-ring sealed cap, an installation tool, and 5 small bags of molecular sieve (the same desiccant that SBIG uses, or so I'm told).
The SRP is direct replacement for the stock desiccant plug - unscrew the original plug (you can see the two for comparison in the picture to the right) and install the SRP using the installation tool. The tool is an important part of the installation as it has a spacer that limits the insertion depth of the allen wrench and stops you from unintentionally damaging the PC boards inside the camera (see the picture of the tool ready for use below).
So how difficult is it to install? If you can bake you desiccant, and read the instructions for using the installation tool, you can install SRP in about two minutes. Once installed you can change the desiccant bags in the SRP without tools, in the field, in the dark, with the camera mounted. That is very cool! Machining and quality of each part is top notch, as everything Shahin produces is.
The last four picture below are fairly self explanatory showing the installation step of the SRP. The top left hand pictures shows the standard SBIG camera back with the desiccant plug installed. The next picture on the right shows the body of the SRP installed in the camera. The lower picture on the left shows the desiccant bag installed and the finished install is shown in the lower right picture. A very nice addition to your camera.......and improved functionality to boot!