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Electronics => Crowd Funded Projects => Topic started by: Recyclojunk64 on March 13, 2013, 10:28:16 pm

Title: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Recyclojunk64 on March 13, 2013, 10:28:16 pm
G'day

This is actually my first post. I signed up to find out what the EEVBlog community thinks of the Mu Thermal Imager. I'm looking for some advice on whether or not it's legitimate or a scam. It is on a crowd funding website (Indiegogo).

It's a thermal imaging camera that attaches to a smartphone (for processing and video display). Wavelength is 7 to 14 µm, at 190x120 resolution. The main plus is the price-point, it will retain for $300 eventually. However, the guy behind it (John McGrath) selling them (without a profit) for $150 as a promotional move on Indiegogo. Apparently his team is behind some NDAs preventing him from showing the actual prototype, so there's not much more than a few videos and rendered images.

Anyway, here's a link to it
 [url=http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/mu-thermal-camera-a-great-health-diagnostic-tool?c=home]http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/mu-thermal-camera-a-great-health-diagnostic-tool?c=home (http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/mu-thermal-camera-a-great-health-diagnostic-tool?c=home)

It was also covered on Hackaday:
http://hackaday.com/2013/03/06/a-real-thermal-imaging-camera-for-300/ (http://hackaday.com/2013/03/06/a-real-thermal-imaging-camera-for-300/)

There is also a somewhat incomplete website for it:
http://www.muoptics.com/ (http://www.muoptics.com/)

So what's your opinion? Is this a great deal or is he going to run off with the money. Probably not considering the house he's in in one of the vids looks to be way more than just 200 000 (his goal on Indiegogo).
I know most thermal imaging sensors at that resolution probably cost upwards of $300, so how's he able to get that and the optics, and every thing else into it for $150? Would you risk it for such a cheap thermal camera?

~Josh
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: ZOMGVTEK on March 14, 2013, 12:37:50 am
It does indeed appear to be a very impressive package for the money. I'm still a bit curious how they intend to interface it to both Android and iOS handsets, and what kind of compatibility it will have.

How does Indiegogo work? Do you only get charged after the project is funded, or is it right away and you hope it shows up?
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Recyclojunk64 on March 14, 2013, 01:05:30 am
Quote
Do you only get charged after the project is funded, or is it right away and you hope it shows up?

It's set up as flexible funding, which means that all the money donated goes to the creator once the time is up (even if the goal isn't met, but I'm sure it will be though). I'm guessing that's when you're charged for it too. But yeah, you still do have to hope it shows up and he doesn't just take the funds and keeps them for himself.

~Josh
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: mvdswaluw on March 14, 2013, 02:18:36 am
Someone already proved it could be done for a low price and without special optics.
http://rh-workshop-llc.myshopify.com/products/ir-blue (http://rh-workshop-llc.myshopify.com/products/ir-blue)

This Mu Thermal Camera uses a higher resolution chip, and does have some optics so it will cost a bit more.
With that in the back of my mind I've singed up for a "Not So Early Adopters Special".
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: ZOMGVTEK on March 14, 2013, 02:38:11 am
The IR-Blue is 64 zone, compared to 19,200. Thats a BIG difference.

Also isn't the IR Blue a 'kit' at that price?
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Corporate666 on March 14, 2013, 06:05:08 am
The problem with these projects is that making "stuff" is really expensive. You have parts cost, manufacturing costs, advertising, travel, trade shows, overhead (insurance, utilities, etc). not to mention paying the people who are working on the project.

Most people who do not run a business in the industry in question do not understand all these costs... so they see a commercial product that sells for $100 and they think "hell, I can make that for $50!  Then I can sell mine for $90 and make a ton of money!".  But they don't know that the $100 product is sold by the manufacturer for $40, and the parts cost must be $10, and the manufacturer isn't making a lot of money even at those prices.

Then the person with the idea starts a crowdsourced project, gets a lot of money... but because they do not have the experience or connections, they can't get the costs down like the big manufacturer can, and before they know it, they've blown half their money on traveling to various manufacturers trying to put the project together - and they don't even have enough left to cover the production run, even if they did it at cost. 

That is the big risk of these projects.  I don't think it's really scammers trying to swindle people, but rather doe-eyed inexperienced neophytes who just do not have the knowledge or information they need to embark on such projects in a successful manner. 

Having said that, I know nothing about this project creator, nor do I know a lot about IR cameras.  I own one (a FLIR i7) that was really expensive to buy... and I really like the technology and I know how it works.  And what makes me nervous is that this guys claim that the expensive stuff is the processing and such, is totally untrue in my opinion.  The expensive stuff is the optics and sensor.  He is claiming to be able to make a camera for $150 that has the same resolution of a $2,0000 FLIR.  That is over 90% cheaper.  And considering FLIR is a huge company that has economies of scale (and purchasing power) this guy can't even dream of, it really makes me suspicious.

On top of the erroneous claim that the stuff in the phone are the expensive parts, I would personally not invest. 
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: mvdswaluw on March 14, 2013, 07:06:03 am
True,

Investing in this is a risk. Might as well be a Indiegogo april fools joke they have set up to get publicity.

After some google-digging I've found this sensor: Mikrosens MS16070a. As well as a youtube movie of a movie shot with that sensor outdoors. The specs of the sensor match up with the specs of the Mµ Thermal Imager (notice rounding on the spectral bands so that the spectral range looks a bit bigger, all marketing). Can't seem to find the price of this sensor though. The resolution, grainy image and ghosting effect does seem the same as the example movies on the Indiegogo-site.

And for this price I would expect nothing fancy. So, no calibration, lots of noise, ghosting in movies, slow response and software with almost no functions. But usefull enough for me to detect cold spots in my house or hot spots in my electronics.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Recyclojunk64 on March 16, 2013, 03:54:38 am
Thanks for the insight Corporate666. I'll probably just keep an eye on the campaign and unless I see some rock solid evidence that he's actually managed to source enough parts to build it (and it's beyond the prototyping stage) then I'll probably leave it.  Yeah, his claim that the LCD and processor are the most expensive parts give the impression he doesn't quite know what he's talking about.

He reckons he'll be able to get the project done regardless of how much it costs to do it:

Quote
We have various venture capital options open to us to fund the project through to completion.  The financing people are hard on our behinds to get this product in the market.  The idea for the IndieGoGo campaign came to us from one of our financial advisors; suggested as a means to retain a greater share of equity in our company during the earlier days of design and prototyping. So...regardless of meeting our goal here or not, the Mµ Optics Thermal Imager is coming to market and all the early adopters and IndieGoGo supporters will definitely see their purchases delivered.

Not that he necessarily will though of course. I was kind of under the impression that he probably is in some way legitimate , but then this update/comment showed up this morning. It was in reply to another person questioning the legitimacy of the project (the comment is now removed):

Quote

The following is the email I sent to the original poster of the link to the hackaday site. I took down his comment only after receiving his permission to do so.

Hello,

I’m responding to you through email because of IndieGoGo’s 500 word limitations.

I’m aware of Hackaday’s discourse concerning our camera accessory. I have a healthy respect for spirited discourse but can only defend myself and our company within the limitations of a competitive marketplace. We’re not building a one-off here, we’re attempting to build a company and that requires a certain amount of corporate discretion as we attempt to bring a product to the mass market.

Every industry experiences a tipping point in which, what was beyond the financial reach of the average person became affordable; either through technical advances, or the economics of supply and demand. I can say that our approach to this business is based on both realities.

I don’t think there can be any doubt that there exists a tremendous mass market for quality thermal imaging cameras. I believe we have the plan to address that market. I cannot, and will not, for the sake of discourse with knowledgable and intelligent technophiles whom have my respect, lift my skirt, show my hand, or simply share beyond what I should until it’s right for our company. I hope you can understand that.

The world is full of doubters, all I can do is work hard and make sure our product comes to market. I know that I have certain obligations to the IndieGoGo community to share information, but I also believe that they want us to be successful as a going concern. I have every intent upon sharing what I can at the appropriate time. It’s a very competitive world out there; I want to give my company every chance to succeed and sharing too much information just helps my competitors.

I know I leave you without specifics, but I hope my reply gives you some comfort that we’re in this to win. I’m leaving your comment up, though if you gave me permission, I’d take it down as it directs people to a place that can be a bit wild at times.

With respects,
John McGrath

It probably would have been better for him to not post that comment; no evidence, just words. It only made me more doubtful about it. Now other commenters are questioning the existence of a prototype and even his four-person team. In fact, everything up on the Indigogo campaign site probably could have been made by someone in a single afternoon with a commercial thermal camera, an image-manipulation program, and a nice clean house.

Anyway, there's still over two weeks left to go. I guess I'll just have to keep a close eye on it to see if any evidence actually shows up.

~Josh
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Recyclojunk64 on April 01, 2013, 04:42:55 am
Well, the campaign is over (actually over 6 hours ago). I was waiting to the very last minute for some more evidence to appear but it never came. I also wasn't sure about how to pay for postage, so I didn't end up purchasing a perk.

Actually they did post a video a while back interviewing some people behind the project but it didn't reveal much information at all.

As mvdswaluw mentioned, it does appear as if it could be an april fools day joke. Not an unlikely scenario. There's hardly any comments been posted since it ended. I guess we'll have to wait until tomorrow to find out.

~Josh
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: vk6zgo on April 01, 2013, 01:46:34 pm
"Doubters" & "Naysayers" get a bad press,but they are right more often than they are wrong!

The occasional visionaries who make some real breakthrough are only the exceptions that prove the rule! ;D
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: EEVblog on April 01, 2013, 02:41:10 pm
They ditched the optics?
I thought the optics was the key to any decent thermal imaging camera?  :-//
I have no idea how much the sensor costs, but it's possible they might be able to meet this price point without any optics and large volume. But how well will it perform  :-//
There is no real prototype shown working.
They mention they have to convince the major stores to carry the item, so that instantly raises the question if they are pricing the unit based on some huge volume they hope to achieve? i.e. they got a 10K piece sensor quote, or even higher pie-in-the-sky number.
With only 1877 units pre-sold in the campaign, that's not a huger number by any stretch. I doubt they'll meet the price point with that volume.
These aren't scams, but could be a classic case of not having any real experience with manufacturing costs. Time will tell.
Delivery in May? - that's bullshit.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: EEVblog on April 01, 2013, 02:47:25 pm
Wait, they say in the video they have dropped the expensive optics, but in the text say they have "some amazing optics." WTF?  :-//
And the funds will be used for (among other things) "the hiring of a worldwide sales consultancy to sell Mµ Thermal Imager’s through to the hardware stores"
I don't see how they can do this with the volume and the money they have raised.
I'm getting the vibe that this one looks doomed to fail...
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Marco on April 01, 2013, 03:30:09 pm
About the optics, the initial patents on molded chalcogenide glass optics have run out ... so those at least will probably be getting a lot cheaper over the coming years.

I wonder though if for these low resolutions simple plastic fresnel lenses wouldn't suffice.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Phroon on April 01, 2013, 07:23:24 pm
Wait, they say in the video they have dropped the expensive optics, but in the text say they have "some amazing optics." WTF?  :-//

Didn't you watch the video?  They've offloaded it to the Cell Phone.

That's right folks, they claim to do IR optics will a Cell Phone camera. |O

Maybe the CEO thinks they are up converting to optical frequency.  But to do that you'd still need some kind of IR optics in front and mad science thermal IR:Visible magic physics package.  But then how does it do the overlay? :-BROKE

My bet:  It's not exactly a scam but the CEO thinks his plan is a lot smarter than it actually is.  The product might exist five+ years from now but will barely work under ideal controlled conditions.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: tom66 on April 01, 2013, 07:51:10 pm
Didn't they mention 1.5ft ~ infinity focus? Optics only necessary at distances less than 1.5ft. Which makes it harder to use for electronics, but still useful.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: EEVblog on April 01, 2013, 08:47:39 pm
My bet:  It's not exactly a scam but the CEO thinks his plan is a lot smarter than it actually is.  The product might exist five+ years from now but will barely work under ideal controlled conditions.

Hence why they won't show any proto (and likely why they are using IndiGoGo instead of Kickstarter which require this).
It seems they are signed up display their wares at some trade show in May. I'd be surprised if they have anything to show at all.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on April 01, 2013, 09:52:50 pm
Quote
And the funds will be used for (among other things) "the hiring of a worldwide sales consultancy to sell Mµ Thermal Imager’s through to the hardware stores"
This was the thing that made me more suspicious than anything else.
Why would anyone making a product that hugely undercuts the competition want to slash their profitability by having to cover the large margin of a retailer?

If the product is that revolutionary it will sell perfectly well online. Trying to push it to retail (at least initially) would be total insanity.

My bet:  It's not exactly a scam but the CEO thinks his plan is a lot smarter than it actually is.  The product might exist five+ years from now but will barely work under ideal controlled conditions.

Hence why they won't show any proto (and likely why they are using IndiGoGo instead of Kickstarter which require this).
It seems they are signed up display their wares at some trade show in May. I'd be surprised if they have anything to show at all.

They could very easily show something, based on conventional expensive parts. My guess is they will show _something_ to "certain selected clients".

There is a company  (linked above somewhere) claiming to have plastic fresnel optics that work at the resolutions claimed, and it's maybe plausible they could have a cheap detector - I don't know enough about the tech, however my understanding is the detector needs to be fairly big (in silicon terms) to get the sensitivity, which is never cheap, unless they are using something very novel like a plastic substrate.
Every aspect of everything they have put out is so vague it just stinks of "nothing to see here" with no evidence whatsoever that they have anything real. The video makes me more, not less suspicious. If it is real they could EASILY show something believable. They haven't, so we can only draw one conclusion.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: MacAttak on April 02, 2013, 02:23:50 am
I agree, I think probability of success is extremely low on this one, but I would really like to have a thermal camera for personal use and IF the thing works, then I want to be able to see how they did it. At this price point, they must be using some novel kind of optics solution - the device package mock-up they have shown just can't fit that much hardware.

I'm signed up for one, so I'm hoping they succeed. Once I get it (IF I get it), then I'll give it a good run-through and follow up here with pics / teardown / etc.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: tom66 on April 02, 2013, 03:27:03 am
I'm guessing at least part of the cost saving must come from offloading the intensive DSP operations onto the phone/tablet/laptop etc CPU, so there only really needs to be a basic USB bridge inside the unit for interfacing with the camera.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Marco on April 02, 2013, 04:11:28 am
There is a company  (linked above somewhere) claiming to have plastic fresnel optics
I can't find the link, but Melexis who makes the IR Blue sensor has this in their FAQ :

"Q:
Do you know suppliers of such PolyEthylene lenses, and may you post it here?

A:
I know suppliers like Kube Electronics in Switzerland http://www.kube.ch/optics/index.php (http://www.kube.ch/optics/index.php) and Fresneltech in the US http://www.fresneltech.com/materials.html (http://www.fresneltech.com/materials.html)"

Of course in the same FAQ they said they never had success with fresnel lenses.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on April 02, 2013, 04:47:42 am
There is a company  (linked above somewhere) claiming to have plastic fresnel optics
I can't find the link, but Melexis who makes the IR Blue sensor has this in their FAQ :

"Q:
Do you know suppliers of such PolyEthylene lenses, and may you post it here?

A:
I know suppliers like Kube Electronics in Switzerland http://www.kube.ch/optics/index.php (http://www.kube.ch/optics/index.php) and Fresneltech in the US http://www.fresneltech.com/materials.html (http://www.fresneltech.com/materials.html)"

Of course in the same FAQ they said they never had success with fresnel lenses.

This one : http://www.fresneltech.com/thermalimaging.html (http://www.fresneltech.com/thermalimaging.html)
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Keef Wivanef on April 15, 2013, 08:27:47 pm
If this is not a scam then I will smear my hat with dog poo and eat it live on youtube!
The campaign is almost an exact copy of the kickstarter ir blue.
All they have to show is some pretty videos BUT the CEO's background is in video production so that you would expect that.
The main expense is in the sensor and optics, claims that the cost can be slashed by using an Iphone to process the signals are pure bullplop.
Have a look at the latest "things are coming along nicely" video.
Their "laboratory" is in the lounge room.
The lads can hardly stop themselves from giggling at how amazingly successful their scam has been.
"just trying to save our small blue planet"
BOLLOCKS! Take your camera and shove it up yer bum.
(Oh, sorry, I forgot......they don't have a freaking camera...just an artists impression)

 :-DD
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on April 15, 2013, 09:51:22 pm
They do mention on the original page that they can only ship to certain countries.
ISTR reading somewhere that cameras below 9 FPS have less export control restrictions.
However I think this is a minor issue compared to whether they  have any chance of, or intention to deliver a real product.



Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on April 15, 2013, 10:21:12 pm
Fair point on 9FPS. That is why the likes of the Fluke TICs have become so much more widespread these days. The death grip of the US DoD has been loosened slightly, but only slightly. Try exporting to perceived 'unfriendly' countries and you end up in a US court explaining yourself  :o.  In the Mu text blog the rep states that they are including Wi-Fi as opposed to Bluetooth as the Bluetooth couldn't cope with 30FPS.

To quote Charles McGrath:

"We agree, Bluetooth would be great, but at 19,200 pixels, coming in 30 times each second, we found that it just wouldn’t cut it in the vast majority of cases."

I may have misinterpreted what he meant though ? Maybe the unit will produce 30FPS using 9FPS of thermal image data ....a sort of 'padded' output  :-DD

Fraser
My guess is they planned on 30fps but haven't looked into the export issues in sufficient detail.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: EEVblog on April 16, 2013, 12:09:14 am
Fair point on 9FPS. That is why the likes of the Fluke TICs have become so much more widespread these days. The death grip of the US DoD has been loosened slightly, but only slightly. Try exporting to perceived 'unfriendly' countries and you end up in a US court explaining yourself  :o.

Fluke offered a top of the line unit for review once, and even said I could drop test it etc.
But I could NOT under any circumstances open it. Not because I'd break it, but because Uncle Sam would not let me  ::)
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: EEVblog on April 16, 2013, 12:17:00 am
Does anyone else think that it is pathetic to say a prototype may not be shown or demonstrated ?

Yes, it is, especially after you have already taken everyone money. It is inexcusable, and tells you everything.
If they had something, they would show it. So IMO it's almost certain they don't have anything to show.
And in that case, it will be impossible for them to meet their shipping target date, or anywhere close to it.

I still give them the benefit of the doubt, and don't think it's a scam. They have just gotten in way over their head and likely won't be able to deliver.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Bored@Work on April 16, 2013, 04:08:49 am
People who have invested

They might think they invested in something, or ordered something. What they really did was donating money.

I don't understand the rush in which people seem to be on kickstarter. If the product is great there is a likehood the company behind it will succeed. In that case I can buy any time in the future under regular conditions. I don't need to gamble with donating money via kickstarter.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: MacAttak on April 16, 2013, 06:14:42 am
Crowdfunding is marketing. The kind of people who use KS, IGG and the like are early-adopters and risk-takers. Exactly the kind of enthusiastic folks you want on your side when your product hits the market. They will be a free grassroots marketing movement, worth far more than you could ever get from traditional advertising mechanisms. You can't buy that early momentum.

Sometimes, there is a very clear threshold of infrastructure investment that is needed in order to deliver a product. Perhaps a piece of volume production equipment, or perhaps some minimum volume needed in order to meet affordable part sourcing requirements. Sure you could get a microloan or spend from a business line of credit - but that's a HUGE gamble if you don't know whether your product will even sell once you make it. With crowdfunding, that risk isn't there. If you reach your minimum targets (which would generally be set based on those minimum volumes needed), then you know that you have sold enough to make it worthwhile.

It has nothing to do with "investing" or "purchasing" or "donating". You are committing a small amount of money and your patience in order to get your hands on something before the rest of the world does. The project owner gets great marketing for their product, they get a very low-cost way to test the market and get early feedback. They also get extremely valuable experience with manufacturing and logistics (which is the primary stumbling point of most projects). And in return the backers get a first crack at the product and also usually get to have their voice heard by the manufacturer. The flip side is that if the project fails, then the negative marketing is amplified. Even if it is delivered but is substantially late then they get tagged with a reputation for poor delivery performance.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Keef Wivanef on April 16, 2013, 07:49:25 am
Benefit of the doubt.
Innocent until proven guilty.
OINK OINK OINK............which way to the bank?
Party on dudes...you've got the GREEN LIGHT!!

 |O
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: MacAttak on April 16, 2013, 02:00:36 pm
Benefit of the doubt.
Innocent until proven guilty.
OINK OINK OINK............which way to the bank?
Party on dudes...you've got the GREEN LIGHT!!

 |O

I do not understand this post at all.

Are you trolling (or attempting to)?
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Bored@Work on April 16, 2013, 03:48:17 pm
Quote
Crowdfunding is marketing.

For me I came to the conclusion that croudfunding is just another platform for scams. Guilible idiots are made to part with their money, by making them believe they order something or invest in something. While in reality they just donate money to some strangers, with no serious mechanisms in place to hold those strangers accountable. The crowdfunding platforms just pocket their share without taking any responsibility.

Maybe there is now an community college teaching crowdfunding as marketing. For me it is negative marketing. If an idea needs croudfunding it is not good enough to attract regular funding, or it is a scam right from the beginning.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Keef Wivanef on April 16, 2013, 03:56:31 pm
I am pointing out that scammers have found their holy grail.
If they claim that their supposed new invention has environmental benefits i.e. A Green Widget Scam
then greenies will be inclined to give them the benefit of the doubt.
Casting doubt on the Green Widget is like attacking Motherhood and apple pie.

This is one of my favourite quotes on the subject;

http://metabunk.org/threads/1166-Debunked-V3Solar-s-spinning-solar-panel-cone-spin-cell-quot-CoolSpin-quot-scam (http://metabunk.org/threads/1166-Debunked-V3Solar-s-spinning-solar-panel-cone-spin-cell-quot-CoolSpin-quot-scam)
Debunked: V3Solar's spinning solar panel cone spin cell "CoolSpin" - scam?
There's a type of scam out there that's being going on for at least 100 years. A company claims to have invented or discovered something that will make a lot of money. Quite often this will be in the field of energy, although we see them more and more in the field of weather control and information technology. The company can demonstrate research, they will often hold one or more patents on the technology, and they will have some kind of prototype that does not actually fully work, but they claim is a demonstration of the proof of concept. They won't reveal all the details, despite having filed patents, because they either don't want people to steal their ideas, or they claim it's too early, and more research needs to be done.

What they are looking for though, is investors. They will talk about the huge potential market, and hence the huge amount of money to be made. They will get people to invest in their company. The technology will go nowhere slowly, and eventually the principals will withdraw, and the investors will end up with nothing.

The scam works because it's not illegal to be wrong, unless you actually know you are wrong. So if you think you've discovered a form of free energy, it's perfectly legal to set up a company to research and develop the technology. It's quite legal to solicit investment based on what you think is correct science - even if it does turn out to be wrong, and the investors lose all their money. They took a risk, they lost. It's quite legal to pay yourself and the other principals a large salary.

So all you have to do to run such a scam is to never admit you knew it was a scam. You have to pretend you believe in the technology. Then when it fails you simply keep insisting that you thought it worked, and you were sorry you didn't get enough time to work out the kinks.

Then of course there are those people who actually ARE convinced that their technology works. There are plenty of people who think they actually have discovered something new, and they just need a bit more research to make money from it.

So which of the two is V3Solar?

http://v3solar.com/coolspin/ (http://v3solar.com/coolspin/)

Many of these Rsoles are repeat offenders and have plundered millions with impunity.

The regulators will not act because "you can't PROVE it's a scam Keef"  |O


Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: EEVblog on April 16, 2013, 04:28:26 pm
Then of course there are those people who actually ARE convinced that their technology works. There are plenty of people who think they actually have discovered something new, and they just need a bit more research to make money from it.

And that's the camp I'd put this one into, until proven otherwise. They are scheduled to display their technology at a trade show in May, lets see what happens.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: EEVblog on April 16, 2013, 06:13:42 pm
For me I came to the conclusion that croudfunding is just another platform for scams. Guilible idiots are made to part with their money, by making them believe they order something or invest in something. While in reality they just donate money to some strangers, with no serious mechanisms in place to hold those strangers accountable. The crowdfunding platforms just pocket their share without taking any responsibility.

Can you quote any cases on Kickstarter where this is the actually the case?
There may be, but I haven't heard of any. Sure, quite a few don't deliver, or are very very late, or delivered less than promised etc
But in all the cases I've heard, they have at least genuinely tried.

Quote
Maybe there is now an community college teaching crowdfunding as marketing. For me it is negative marketing. If an idea needs croudfunding it is not good enough to attract regular funding, or it is a scam right from the beginning.

There are also countless cases where crowd funding has enabled projects to succeed, where they otherwise may never have even started.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Keef Wivanef on April 16, 2013, 07:29:40 pm

And that's the camp I'd put this one into, until proven otherwise. They are scheduled to display their technology at a trade show in May, lets see what happens.


By the time it is proven otherwise it will be too late for the contributors to get their money back.
No big deal in this case as the amounts contributed are quite small, nonetheless it would piss me off to see them trouser the cash.

Other Green Scams eg the V3 SunCone and the SunCube http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=102146 (http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=102146) have defrauded investors out of millions.
Sunseeker Energy was another good one http://www.topix.com/forum/news/prweb/T90BE2SC05D5UQK0R/p2 (http://www.topix.com/forum/news/prweb/T90BE2SC05D5UQK0R/p2)

http://www.smh.com.au/national/inside-the-shell-drugs-arms-and-tax-scams-20110514-1enkz.html (http://www.smh.com.au/national/inside-the-shell-drugs-arms-and-tax-scams-20110514-1enkz.html)

Obsessed?
You betcha....it makes me want to VOMIT!! |O
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: EEVblog on April 16, 2013, 07:45:22 pm
By the time it is proven otherwise it will be too late for the contributors to get their money back.

I didn't know there was a time limit on that, but I'm not huge into the whole Kickstarter culture.
It is obsoletely clear that there is no hope in hell they can deliver anything at all in May as promised.
Personally, I don't see how they can deliver this as promised, I think it is highly likely they won't ever deliver anything but promises. My advice would be for people to pull their money before it is too late. Otherwise the risk here is very high.
But whether or not it is a deliberate scam from the get go, I would not go as far to claim that.
It's easy to be cynical.

Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Keef Wivanef on April 16, 2013, 08:08:59 pm
Have you ever tried to recover a debt?
How much MORE money do you want to lose?
Many of the contributors to crowdfunding wrongly believe that their credit card or PayPal will protect them.
You've been sold a promise and you've received it  :D


Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Keef Wivanef on April 16, 2013, 08:36:56 pm
Can you quote any cases on Kickstarter where this is the actually the case?
There may be, but I haven't heard of any. Sure, quite a few don't deliver, or are very very late, or delivered less than promised etc
But in all the cases I've heard, they have at least genuinely tried.


YES

http://agbeat.com/finance/kickstarter-pledge-fatigue-scams-and-stalled-projects/ (http://agbeat.com/finance/kickstarter-pledge-fatigue-scams-and-stalled-projects/)
Two cases of bad crowdfunding behavior

According to Consumerist.com, one Kickstarter project is currently suspended, pending an internal investigation, as a man was selling $15 watches for $100, disguising them as “high-end” time pieces, raising $9,000 before the plug was pulled.

Recently, one Kickstarter investor sued over a Kickstarter project, as an entrepreneur who formerly designed projects took the leap into manufacturing and after what backers called endless stall tactics, Neil Singh sued for breach of contract as the simple iPad he “invested” in was never created or delivered, ultimately putting the entrepreneur and his company out of business.

These two stories are not the only cases involving questionable products being sold, or struggles with the manufacturing process leading to delays in delivery (with delivery never happening in some instances). The general attitude of people who have been backing projects from the beginning is that it is an investment which comes with risk, but others see it as a creative way to buy products, so the pledge mentality is certainly changing as crowdfunding goes mainstream.

Kickstarter in particular has been very responsive to questionable projects and products and suspends accounts for investigation rather than ignoring it. PCMech has published a useful guide on how to tell if a Kickstarter campaign is bogus.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Fsck on April 16, 2013, 08:44:51 pm
In an ideal world, kickstarter is a great idea.

In the real world, in my experience, some projects are excellent (bolt pen by karaskustoms = love mine) but (for now) a minority fall short of delivering what they promised.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: EEVblog on April 16, 2013, 09:23:46 pm
Have you ever tried to recover a debt?
How much MORE money do you want to lose?

Only an idiot would take legal proceeding to recover $125. What is your point?
You said people have a date where they can get their money back, and someone in the comments has asked for one and got an official reply they would be refunded. I recommend everyone do that, this project will not deliver.

Quote
You've been sold a promise and you've received it  :D

Yes.
As has been pointed out many times, Kickstarter is buying a promise.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: EEVblog on April 16, 2013, 09:28:59 pm
These two stories are not the only cases involving questionable products being sold, or struggles with the manufacturing process leading to delays in delivery (with delivery never happening in some instances). The general attitude of people who have been backing projects from the beginning is that it is an investment which comes with risk, but others see it as a creative way to buy products, so the pledge mentality is certainly changing as crowdfunding goes mainstream.

I'm not talking about stalled products, late products, or products that didn't deliver because they were mismanaged or whatever, I'm talking about flat out scams from the get go. The number of genuine scams appears to be very small so far.
Most people (should) know that a huge percentage of Kickstarter projects do not meet their delivery date and/or currently have delivered anything, that fact is very widely publicised.

Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Keef Wivanef on April 16, 2013, 11:00:39 pm

You said people have a date where they can get their money back, and someone in the comments has asked for one and got an official reply they would be refunded. I recommend everyone do that, this project will not deliver.



Charles Ponzi and Bernie Madoff gave a litle bit of (other people's) money back.
Martin King has been complaining a lot so he has been promised a refund. That should shut him up.

My point?
I thought I'd made that pretty clear.....beware of Green Widget Scams and tell your friends to beware also.
There's a lot of it about  :phew:
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: MacAttak on April 17, 2013, 01:53:44 am
In this case things aren't looking so good - the exhibitor listing has been yanked from the hardware show's web site. The project owners have started to renege on promises to provide regular updates already.

I have backed over 20 projects to date. Some have delivered on-time. Some are underway (and have already delivered to other backers), most are slightly behind schedule (to be expected). Others are significantly behind schedule. For example the Porthole and the Smartduino projects. I'm not worried about either of them shipping - they are just very late. There is only one that I really doubt will ever deliver on its promises - the LiftPort Space Elevator... but then again I only gave them $8. All I care about is that they follow through with the experiments that were promised, but the project owner seems incredibly aloof, disorganized, and lacks attention to detail.

There is also a big difference between Kickstarter and IGG when it comes to ease in scamming. It is much more difficult to pull off on Kickstarter because Kickstarter does not have "flexible funding" options and is much more strict when it comes to the rules about what you can and cannot do in a campaign. This one (the thermal imager) was the first one I have backed on IGG. Not a very good first impression.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: MacAttak on April 17, 2013, 02:08:05 am
By the way - I have requested a refund as well and we'll see where that goes. If he refunds the contribution money without waffling then that's a big plus in his favor I think. If he was out to scam then I doubt he would return anything.

But at this point I think the chances of delivery this year are extremely slim to none. I was in for the ride if I felt there was some reasonable chance of success - but nothing I have seen so far makes me think that. So I'm out (if I can).
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Keef Wivanef on April 17, 2013, 07:26:18 am
Was it something I said?  :-DD
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Keef Wivanef on April 17, 2013, 08:54:37 am
Somebody mention DUCKS?

QUACK  :palm:

http://finance.yahoo.com/mbview/searchview/?&bn=73a427ba-debe-3e32-8aa2-e1fc7530b7f3&q=smot&in=b&sm= (http://finance.yahoo.com/mbview/searchview/?&bn=73a427ba-debe-3e32-8aa2-e1fc7530b7f3&q=smot&in=b&sm=)

Gen 3 SMOT KITS now available
by smot.poker55 • Mar 10, 2011 1:56 AM Flag
SMOT - Mark III

by Greg Watson


Texts, schemes, and test report by Greg Watson

In all SMOT ramps developed to date, the magnet arrays were built first and then the ramp was adjusted to best suit the arrays magnetic fields. While this approach has worked for many, I believe it is wrong and has been the major source of many SMOT failures for others.

In the development of the SMOT Mk3 single circular ramp, the ramp was designed first and THEN the necessary magnetic field profiles were adjusted to the ramp and the job it was required to do. This approach, which is probably the correct way to go, has resulted in a relative simple to build and adjust circular ramp.

The SMOT Mk2 single circular ramp is formed of flexible N gauge model railway track. The track is secured to a strong and stable circular ramp with a 8mm overall lift and an average length of 521.5mm. The ramp has an inside diameter of 150mm and an outside diameter of 182mm and an average diameter of 166mm. The ramp is 16mm wide, which is the width of the 16mm wide sleepers of the N gauge track. The ramp has a lift of 1.53mm per 100mm of track. This is a very gentle ramp slope in comparison to the SMOT Mk1 & Smot Mk2 ramps. The steel ball is 12.5mm in diameter and is Chrome plated.

Unlike the SMOT Mk1 & SMOT Mk2 ramps where the ramp and the magnet arrays were parallel, the SMOT Mk3 magnet arrays are not. The SMOT Mk3 circular magnetic arrays have a 14mm differential between the bottom and top of the ramp. At the bottom, the centre line of the magnetic arrays are 2mm below the centre line of the steel ball and at the top, the centre line of the magnetic arrays are 4mm above the centre line of the steel ball. The magnetic arrays are not linear and for most of the array length, their centre line is 3mm above the steel ball's centre line. This above position assists the steel ball's rotation as it produces more attractive force on the top of the ball than the bottom. It also greatly reduces noise generating as there is less slip between the ball and the track.

The best results to date have been about 5 minutes of operation before the ball gets stuck at the exit point (either doesn't drop or gets sucked side ways). The average "Rollaround" time is just over 1 minute to date.

The ball will climb the ramp from most starting points (95%) on the circular ramps 521.5mm average length, but I start the "Ball Rolling" by gently pushing the ball off the top of the ramp.

I have built 2 SMOT Mk3 ramps to date. I am continuing the development of the 2nd unit to increase the stability of its operational characteristics and improve it "Rollaround" performance. I have found that exit guides (reducing the exit width to 13mm) help to reduce "Side Sticks", but I am still testing methods to eliminate exit hangs by experimenting with different exit radius curves. The exit is velocity sensitive as most SMOT builders know only too well. The original SMOT Mk3 units had sharp 90 deg top exits and 5mm bottom recovery curves like the SMOT Mk2 ramps.

Just to repeat by earlier statement on my SMOT Mk2 kits.

ALL SMOT Mk2 kit purchasers will receive a SMOT Mk3 single circular ramp at No Extra Charge. When the SMOT Mk3 single circular ramp is stable and easy to manufacture, I will start shipping SMOT Mk3 kits in place of SMOT Mk2 kits

Please send MUNNY asap
Sales of SunPubes seem to be a bit slow at the moment. :-DD :-DD :-DD :-DD :-+
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: EEVblog on April 17, 2013, 10:10:11 am
In this case things aren't looking so good - the exhibitor listing has been yanked from the hardware show's web site.

Well, that confirms it, they have nothing, not a sausage.
Anyone got their address?, can you go knock on the door?

Quote
There is also a big difference between Kickstarter and IGG when it comes to ease in scamming. It is much more difficult to pull off on Kickstarter because Kickstarter does not have "flexible funding" options and is much more strict when it comes to the rules about what you can and cannot do in a campaign. This one (the thermal imager) was the first one I have backed on IGG. Not a very good first impression.

Yes, this wouldn't have gotten through the new rules on Kickstarter, you have to show an actual working prototype.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Corporate666 on April 17, 2013, 10:31:59 am
I'm not talking about stalled products, late products, or products that didn't deliver because they were mismanaged or whatever, I'm talking about flat out scams from the get go. The number of genuine scams appears to be very small so far.
Most people (should) know that a huge percentage of Kickstarter projects do not meet their delivery date and/or currently have delivered anything, that fact is very widely publicised.

I think the big problem with Kickstarter is how does the potential investor distinguish between an honest attempt and an outright scam.

One project that comes to mind is the MD-Pen.  The guy showed off a product and people invested - he never delivered.  He blamed his manufacturer for taking the money and running - but the manufacturer came to the project page and said he never got paid.  It appears the original creator took the money and ran.

It may be many of these project creators have genuine intent, but there isn't much vetting done by Kickstarter at all - not on the people nor the project.  I believe crowdfunding is not long for this world... just reading the comments on almost any overdue Kickstarter page, it's clear that the investors feel they are pre-ordering a product, not investing in a company.  Kickstarter wants to say they are disconnected from the deal and it's between you and the project creator - but the fact that they're taking a cut of all investments, even if they were scams, to me says they really do have some liability.  I think it will probably be tested by law sometime soon, especially as projects get bigger and the stakes get higher.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: EEVblog on April 17, 2013, 10:43:45 am
I think the big problem with Kickstarter is how does the potential investor distinguish between an honest attempt and an outright scam.

You essentially can't, unless it's clearly the "too good to to be true" category.
A simple scam like producing a prototype of a product that is easily do-able, and then simply making off with the money while pretending to be trying is all too easy. If you've got the guts.

If this Mµ Optics one is a scam from the get-go, then it's a pretty elaborate one. e.g. getting people (actors?) to be in the video saying they are working on this and that etc.

Quote
It may be many of these project creators have genuine intent, but there isn't much vetting done by Kickstarter at all - not on the people nor the project.

They can't. The volume is huge, and they are not technical experts in every field. They can't possibly know the intricacies of electronics design and manufacturing for example, which is just one very small part of the whole Kickstarter world.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Corporate666 on April 17, 2013, 11:05:03 am

You essentially can't, unless it's clearly the "too good to to be true" category.
A simple scam like producing a prototype of a product that is easily do-able, and then simply making off with the money while pretending to be trying is all too easy. If you've got the guts.

If this Mµ Optics one is a scam from the get-go, then it's a pretty elaborate one. e.g. getting people (actors?) to be in the video saying they are working on this and that etc.

I think there's a fine line between "best intents" and "scam" - and that line moves based on people's willingness to transfer risk to others.  I've seen everything from pie in the sky ideas where the founders were happy to take a crack on someone elses money, to people who took the responsibility of other people's money seriously.  When all of that is abstracted by the due diligence KS (doesn't) do, and the relative anonymity of the Internet, it makes the situation a whole lot worse.

Quote

They can't. The volume is huge, and they are not technical experts in every field. They can't possibly know the intricacies of electronics design and manufacturing for example, which is just one very small part of the whole Kickstarter world.

They can't provide absolute assurance to the investors, but they can do a whole lot more than they do now, which is essentially nothing.  Requiring a real prototype was one good move, as was limiting funding tiers that were simply multiples of a device.  But there is a lot more they could do, and many would argue at the $10 million level (1/2 million commission for Kickstarter), they have a responsibility to do more.  The US Securities and Exchange Commission is looking into Crowdfunding and what restrictions they will impose upon it.  They're likely to end up having to comply with similar rules to what traditional investment brokers must comply with.  They don't get a free pass just because it's the Internet (well, not forever, anyway) :)
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Keef Wivanef on April 17, 2013, 12:19:03 pm
I'd better get my scam started quickly then.
I can make solar panels out of Tofu and they are 103% efficient and fully bio-degradable.
They will save our small blue panet and all shit like that.
Watch out for my campaign on Indiediscogogo.
 8)
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Keef Wivanef on April 17, 2013, 01:11:49 pm
Charles McGrath posted an announcement 1 hour ago
Part 1 of 2

Hello all,

I’ll address a few things in this email and hopefully have another update again before the end of the week.

We’ve been watching the comments for +1USB, and so far we’ve counted just over 150 comments on that subject (out of 1920 contributors), with 72% asking for USB support, 21% for both, 6% for WiFi only, and 1% doesn’t care (just get it done).

We like WiFi for it’s nearly universal support and lack of cables; and it’s very cool taking the camera into places without the phone, but we certainly do understand that a physical line is sometimes best, and it looks like many of you have uses in mind where that is the case, some of which are very, very interesting. When we made the decision to switch to Wifi it removed a few headaches related to USB support across multiple platforms. We have a few meetings later this week to discuss this and what our final approach (approaches?) will be. For those of you who need USB we really are paying attention, because you were all early supporters we want to have a workable solution for each of you. (I really wish that Bluetooth was a viable option. Oh well, we work with what we can right?).

 
Charles McGrath posted an announcement 1 hour ago
Part 2 of 2

There is some talk in the comments about us not being on the roster for the Hardware show. This is true, we pulled off of the show floor because we realized that it would be more economical for us to meet with the big buyers privately rather than show the imager on the convention floor. We’re associated with people who can get the right people into the suite with us and they believe the booth to be more of distraction than anything else. So…we’re still aimed at showing the camera there. We also did this for competitive and confidendiatilty reasons.

Let me take a minute to talk in general terms about development status. We started this project knowing that thermography could be such a useful tool for so many more people than currently use it. And so we knew that an affordable thermal camera would be huge. We set off doing our research, noting where the big expenses were, and coming up with dozens of different ideas. Some of these ideas were genuinely very clever, although most ultimately didn’t pan out. In the end, we have a great plan and we’re nearing the finish line to a great camera. We’ve mentioned that we’ve experimented with a few different detectors. Well, we’re very happy with the one we’ve settled with. Abe is in the other room right now tweaking bias voltages and the like to get the best picture possible in the field. Turns out it’s just as hard to make the picture look great as it is just to get a picture in the first place. We’ve got a new case about to be machined (hopefully with proper and final mounts and clips). The next PCB we order should pretty much be the one that goes into the first cameras we ship…baring any big changes. I’m off to poke around the Internet for a new battery because I’m just not satisfied with the pack that we’ve been working with so far. I imagine that you all would be happy with as many milliamp hours as you can get, right?

Late in the month of May still seems good. The longest lead-time we have on any part is a few weeks and suppliers are at the ready.

We’re making steady progress, a video is coming very soon. We’re working late into the evenings and weekends. You’ll be very happy with what you see.

Cheers

 
 :=\ :=\ :=\ :=\ :=\
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: EEVblog on April 17, 2013, 01:30:02 pm
We have a few meetings later this week to discuss this and what our final approach (approaches?) will be. For those of you who need USB we really are paying attention, because you were all early supporters we want to have a workable solution for each of you.

Translation:
We have no hardware that's even close to the final thing, if anything at all.
And as such we don't have a hope in hell of meeting any deadline.

Quote
There is some talk in the comments about us not being on the roster for the Hardware show. This is true, we pulled off of the show floor because we realized that it would be more economical for us to meet with the big buyers privately rather than show the imager on the convention floor. We’re associated with people who can get the right people into the suite with us and they believe the booth to be more of distraction than anything else. So…we’re still aimed at showing the camera there. We also did this for competitive and confidendiatilty reasons.

Translation:
We don't have any physical hardware to show. Nothing, zilch, narda.
We don't want anyone to come see us.
This gives us the opportunity to be a quick visitor at the show, and snap some sneaky photos to show we were there.

Quote
Let me take a minute to talk in general terms about development status. We started this project knowing that thermography could be such a useful tool for so many more people than currently use it. And so we knew that an affordable thermal camera would be huge. We set off doing our research, noting where the big expenses were, and coming up with dozens of different ideas. Some of these ideas were genuinely very clever, although most ultimately didn’t pan out. In the end, we have a great plan and we’re nearing the finish line to a great camera. We’ve mentioned that we’ve experimented with a few different detectors. Well, we’re very happy with the one we’ve settled with. Abe is in the other room right now tweaking bias voltages and the like to get the best picture possible in the field. Turns out it’s just as hard to make the picture look great as it is just to get a picture in the first place.

That would mean that you have some hardware to actually extract and display the data. Why don't you show it?

Quote
We’ve got a new case about to be machined (hopefully with proper and final mounts and clips). The next PCB we order should pretty much be the one that goes into the first cameras we ship…baring any big changes.

Like the USB/WiFi option you are still haggling over?
"The next order" means you have previous PCB orders, why don't you show the boards?

Quote
I’m off to poke around the Internet for a new battery because I’m just not satisfied with the pack that we’ve been working with so far. I imagine that you all would be happy with as many milliamp hours as you can get, right?
Late in the month of May still seems good. The longest lead-time we have on any part is a few weeks and suppliers are at the ready.

What about your assembler?
You clearly have no idea how long it takes to produce stuff like this.
No mention of a pre-production run?

Quote
We’re making steady progress, a video is coming very soon. We’re working late into the evenings and weekends. You’ll be very happy with what you see.

My bet is they won't show any real hardware.
This guy is selling snake oil at this point.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: MacAttak on April 17, 2013, 01:31:16 pm
It is clear that Kickstarter at least is simply saving up a warchest right now, waiting for the inevitable legal test that is coming. There are many obvious things that need to be done to improve not only their vetting process but also the general usability of their service. They are making a ton of revenue on these high-profile projects yet refuse to invest a dime into those improvements. They certainly aren't willing to invest in additional manpower needed to adequately vet the submissions.

The changes to the rules (which only apply to two project categories - design and technology) were rather half-assed attempts to make it look like they cared. But those rules have been enforced haphazardly. Many projects blatantly ignore those rules (especially the "no multiple-item rewards" rule) while others are heavily curtailed. And the way they have handled the enforcement has been reprehensible. On one project this past week, they simply deleted all reward levels that offered multiple item quantities without any warning to the project owner or backers. Backers discovered it when Amazon sent them a funding cancellation email with no explanation. That setback cost that project over $50,000 in backing. Had it not been on track to greatly exceed the funding goal, it might have been enough to cause project failure. That's a huge problem because many of these high-volume projects start lining up their supply chain prior to conclusion of funding (sometimes securing short term loans to do it) in order to get started with production more quickly. If they don't, then they also have to wait several weeks for Kickstarter to release the funds to them (while backers get angry).

IndieGoGo is another beast entirely. Their system seems set up to actively make it easier than it needs to be for project creators to abuse it. The ability to communicate with project creators is extremely limited - low character limits on comments and direct messages. The whole "flexible funding" thing that sends cash to the creators whether any funding goals are met or not. And the quite soft legal language that basically says "you're on your own but feel free to use our posted terms of service if you litigate against a project owner".

The project owner has not responded yet to my request for a refund. I'll give it some time (another request or two) before I initiate a transaction dispute with PayPal (they give you 45 days to initiate it).

It could very well be that the project owner knows about that 45 day time limit (all payments go through paypal), and is banking on enough contributors holding out hope for long enough that he can ignore them.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: EEVblog on April 17, 2013, 01:39:55 pm
The project owner has not responded yet to my request for a refund. I'll give it some time (another request or two) before I initiate a transaction dispute with PayPal (they give you 45 days to initiate it).
It could very well be that the project owner knows about that 45 day time limit (all payments go through paypal), and is banking on enough contributors holding out hope for long enough that he can ignore them.

I loved the "I'll post you a cheque on Monday" bit  :-DD

You should post a comment link and point people toward this thread for some extra opinion  ;D
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Jay_Diddy_B on April 17, 2013, 02:08:15 pm
Hi group,
 
I suspect that this probably falls into the too good to true category.

I can understand that the market leaders in this area, FLIR and Fluke would not want to 'poison the well' that they are both reaping large profits from. Some competition has appeared recently but nobody seems interested in driving price points down.

It is a stretch that a startup can challenge the market leaders without a significantly different technology.

Background and advice for people looking for a thermal camera.

I use a Fluke IR camera in my job. For it to be useful for electronics you need the following features:

1) You need to short minimum focus distance. This is because you need to be able to focus on a circuit board at around 6 inches (15cm).

2) You need enough resolution to be able to see a hot 0603 resistor.

3) When I did my study I found that increased pixel count did not give higher resolution. The higher pixel count gives a larger field of view. The reason for this is that cameras have the same lens.

4) The lens has to be transparent to IR. The camera I use has a Germanium lens.

5) Temperature range has to be over 100C. Some of the building inspection cameras have a maximum temperature of 100C. For electronics a 150C might be needed.

I chose a Fluke Ti9 and I am very happy with it.


Jay_Diddy_B
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Keef Wivanef on April 17, 2013, 02:32:00 pm
Martin King said 4 hours ago
BTW John offered me a refund but said there was no mechanism for doing a credit card refund through Indigogo (don’t know if this is correct or not) so he would send a cheque Monday morning, I replied saying that a USD cheque is no good to me as I can’t pay it into a UK bank, I sent a follow up email saying Paypal would be better and have heard nothing since yet he’s generally been very quick on replying to my other critical posts here.

The cheque is in the mail and I promise I won't splooge in your mouth!
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Keef Wivanef on April 17, 2013, 05:47:52 pm
I haven't had so much fun since granny caught her tit in the mangle :-DD

Craig Shih said 3 minutes ago
Competitive and confidentiality reasons? You don’t have to show off how a device works at the show, they aren’t going to get anything out of you that you haven’t posted in public.
PS: Injection molding is much more economical for cases. Try 3D printing your prototypes.
Your supplier lead times are pretty amazing compared to the rest of the industry.
I don’t want a refund, I would love for this project to take off, but these updates are not confidence inspiring.


Craig Shih said 16 minutes ago
Economical? I’ve attended NHS as a exhibitor before, and it’s not that expensive. You’ve raised over a quarter million dollars, I hope you have a spare employee to leave at the booth. The show isn’t just a day, too. Whatever meetings you’ve had with big buyers shouldn’t take a week, and if so, shouldn’t have been done at a show. It’s not like you’re an international business where it’s expensive to fly in.


IraqiGeek said 41 minutes ago
John, I explicitly sent a message asking whether the $150 perk camera had USB, and you replied that it did. Now you’re saying it won’t have USB. You didn’t even mention if WiFi will support infrastructure, no talk about how it will be configured. The camera specs were changed AT THE LAST MOMENT. I had my doubts about this project from the very beginning. Now I’m sorry, but I want my money back. Whatever it is you are trying to sell now doesn’t suit my needs anymore
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on April 17, 2013, 06:21:09 pm
Quote
Charles McGrath posted an announcement 1 hour ago
 We have a few meetings later this week to discuss this and what our final approach (approaches?) will be.
......
 The next PCB we order should pretty much be the one that goes into the first cameras we ship
So you don't know your final interface approach but you have near-complete PCBs? :-DD
Quote
We’ve mentioned that we’ve experimented with a few different detectors. Well, we’re very happy with the one we’ve settled with.
At this price level I highly doubt there are "a few different detectors" to choose from.
Quote

Abe is in the other room right now tweaking bias voltages and the like to get the best picture possible in the field.

..and still you claim to have a production-ready PCB
Quote
Turns out it’s just as hard to make the picture look great
Look good..? It's a measuring device, not a camera - either it's acccurate or it isn't.
Must be hard without expensive Germanium optics, which is what makes TICs expensive.
Quote
We’ve got a new case about to be machined (hopefully with proper and final mounts and clips).
So you have no mould tooling and yet claiming to be shipping in May? :-DD
Quote
I’m off to poke around the Internet for a new battery because I’m just not satisfied with the pack that we’ve been working with so far. I imagine that you all would be happy with as many milliamp hours as you can get, right?
You don't have a final battery, but you think you have finalised the case design, and you are claiming to be shipping May. :-DD :-DD
Quote
Late in the month of May still seems good. The longest lead-time we have on any part is a few weeks and suppliers are at the ready.
Dude, it's Mid April, so you really think you can get parts on "a few weeks leadtime", manufacture, test and package in six weeks - you are clearly delusional :palm:
Quote
We’re making steady progress, a video is coming very soon.
Which I predict will still fail to show any real hardware. 
If they had anything real, you could have shown something, ANYTHING. They have failed to provide any evidence whatsoever that they are credible. If it was a pure scam they would already have taken the money and disappeared, so my money is on incompetence and self-delusion at this stage.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Keef Wivanef on April 17, 2013, 06:30:59 pm
Now now, don't be harsh :-BROKE
I'm sure they are lovely people, why don't we just give them THE BENEFIT OF THE DOUBT?

(They get the benefit of the munny, I doubt they'll ever produce anything)  :-DD :-DD :-DD :-DD :-DD :-DD :-DD :-DD :-DD
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Keef Wivanef on April 17, 2013, 10:47:47 pm
I'll see you
 :-DD :-DD :-DD :-DD :-DD :-DD :-DD :-DD :-DD :-DD :-DD :-DD :-DD :-DD

and I'll raise you
 :-DD :-DD :-DD :-DD :-DD :-DD :-DD :-DD :-DD :-DD :-DD :-DD :-DD :-DD
 :-DD :-DD :-DD :-DD :-DD :-DD :-DD :-DD :-DD :-DD :-DD :-DD :-DD :-DD
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Bored@Work on April 18, 2013, 04:46:16 am
I am very impressed with the choreography of our little yellow 'men'  ;D


The good old times

(http://www.worlddancemanagement.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/1950TillerLine.jpg)
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Corporate666 on April 18, 2013, 05:18:54 am
The points "mikeselectricalstuff" brought up illustrate the problem in differentiating between "deluded but with good intents" and "just a scammer". 

I design and manufacture our own products - we have CNC machines in the shop, I do the electronic design, we have a software guy, and a machining guy, etc.  And even for relatively simple products, the development cycle is a minimum of a few months, often longer.  And we don't need to deal with the BS of meetings and managerial approvals... not to mention I put in 60+ hours a week every week.  I've also developed a streamlined process where I get prototype PCB's in 4-5 days, and because we do all our own in-house machining, I can get a prototype housing made in a day or two.

And even with all that, it takes me 2-3 months to get something simple done, what with the required testing, software, hardware, and all the details.  Not to mention supplier days... I have a large stock of standard parts we use, and there are lots of times a part doesn't work or fit and I need to make changes... or need to get a new piece of test gear or probe or fixture or such.  Each of those delays consume a week or so in the R&D process.

People unfamiliar with the process will wonder why it takes so long.  They look at a PCB and figure "that doesn't look complicated".  They look at a housing and think "that only took a day to make".  They don't see the stack of 10 PCB's you went through to get there, or the hours spent tweaking the design, etc. 

People who are unfamiliar with the process of bring a complex product to market, but who represent themselves as experienced enough without accepting the risk of their naivete... and who willingly pass that risk along to naive investors - IMO, are scammers. 

Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: MacAttak on April 18, 2013, 10:21:50 am
Interesting. I was given a full refund via PayPal with no fuss in less than 20 hours. The communication from muoptics was professional and cordial.

I'm inclined to think that they are not intentionally scamming anyone. Otherwise it wouldn't have been nearly so easy to get a refund.

I do still think they are in way over their heads when it comes to manufacturing and delivery. Logistics just aren't on their side. I wouldn't expect to see any product deliveries until late fall at the earliest.

If they succeed though in bringing this to market, and assuming it is functional enough for the price point, I would probably buy a retail unit from them for simple things like improving insulation efficiency in my home etc.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Keef Wivanef on April 18, 2013, 11:03:05 am
Majority of contributors aren't asking for their money back YET.

A wide variety of investment vehicles or strategies, typically legitimate, have become the basis of Ponzi schemes. For instance, Allen Stanford used bank certificates of deposit to defraud tens of thousands of people. Certificates of deposit are usually low-risk and insured instruments, but the Stanford CDs were fraudulent.
Initially the promoter will make amazing promises to attract more investors, and to lure current investors into putting in additional money. Other investors begin to participate, leading to a cascade effect. The "return" to the investors that get suspicious is paid out of the investments of new entrants, and not out of profits.
Often the amazing promises encourage investors to leave their money in the scheme, with the result that the promoter does not have to pay out very much to investors; he simply has to show silly videos showing how nice the gizmo is going to be. This maintains the deception that the scheme is a real business start up.

 |O |O |O |O |O |O |O |O |O |O |O |O |O |O |O |O |O |O |O :-- :palm:
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: EEVblog on April 18, 2013, 11:05:08 am
That's interesting. Were you one of the people complaining publicly?

Sent from my HTC Desire using Tapatalk 2

Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: MacAttak on April 18, 2013, 11:32:54 am
No, I had made a couple of comments but nothing overly critical. Yesterday I sent one direct message to the project owner (John) requesting a refund, but IGG's communication tools are bloody awful and there is no "outbox" or "sent messages" to verify that it actually went through. So after no reply a bit later in the day, I posted one short and specific comment to the public activity stream asking for confirmation. I don't think I was being a nuisance: http://www.indiegogo.com/individuals/2848291/activities (http://www.indiegogo.com/individuals/2848291/activities) (obviously, my assessment of the project's chances of success have changed since most of those comments were made)

This morning I had an email from "Marcus Deely" (one of the project members):

Quote
Hello,
Looking through the comments I noticed that contacted John about receiving a refund from your contribution. Your refund should be sent out today via PayPal. I want to assure you that we are working hard to get our product out and we are saddened to hear that you are not longer interested. Thank you for your original contribution.
Marcus

A few hours later I had a refund notice from PayPal and verified that it had already been credited back to me.


Fairly painless and uneventful.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Keef Wivanef on April 18, 2013, 12:34:04 pm
Marcus Deely is a VIDEO MAKER!
About 56,300 results (0.22 seconds)
Search Results
Marcus Deely's Porfolio
marcusdeely.com/Marcus Deely. Digital Portfolio. All; Design; Coding; Motion Graphics. waitingforthebus. Waiting For The Bus. Sqipp App. Ragecam Pro App. Genius Squad ...
Marcus Deely on Vimeo
vimeo.com/marcusdeelyMarcus Deely is a member of Vimeo, the home for high quality videos and the people who love them.
Marcus Deely (MarcusDeely) on Twitter
https://twitter.com/MarcusDeelyThe latest from Marcus Deely (@MarcusDeely). Chicago.
Marcus Deely - Google+
https://plus.google.com/108747186069299288010

by Marcus Deely
Jan 18, 2013 – Marcus Deely - Graphic Design, Animation, Videography - DePaul University - Target Corporation - Marcus Theatres Menomonee Falls ...


Funny, in the video they posted earlier he was claiming to be an expert programmer did work for Nasa etc
Do they have any electronic engineers?
I wonder if they have worked out the grid bias issue yet.
What are they using? A freaking triode?

 |O :-- :palm: :scared:.................. :=\
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Keef Wivanef on April 18, 2013, 12:46:35 pm
Quick Look at Mu Optics on Vimeo (http://vimeo.com/62202174)
Whoops....that was the other guy Abe.
Previous experience of the "design team"........ an app to order a pizza
Like WOW  :-DD
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Corporate666 on April 18, 2013, 01:34:19 pm
Interesting. I was given a full refund via PayPal with no fuss in less than 20 hours. The communication from muoptics was professional and cordial.

I'm inclined to think that they are not intentionally scamming anyone. Otherwise it wouldn't have been nearly so easy to get a refund.

I do still think they are in way over their heads when it comes to manufacturing and delivery. Logistics just aren't on their side. I wouldn't expect to see any product deliveries until late fall at the earliest.

If they succeed though in bringing this to market, and assuming it is functional enough for the price point, I would probably buy a retail unit from them for simple things like improving insulation efficiency in my home etc.

I don't mean to suggest that there is no company, or that these people formulated an idea to grab money and run.  But I liken it to a penny stock.  All hype, no substance.  These guys act precisely like penny stock pushers... lots of promises, and using every trick in the book to prevent people asking questions and keep people hooked.  There is a reason these tactics are universally used amongst that ilk - because they work.  As evidenced by the huge amount of money these guys have taken in, while never showing *anything* at all - absolutely nothing.

As I said earlier, I design products for a living, and I know what's involved, and I know that if these guys were even 3 months from a final product, they would have tons of stuff they could show.  The secrecy angle is just another part of the penny stock scam that these guys are running.

The difficulty lies in proving they knew (or should have known) they could not deliver, but there is no recourse with Indiegogo or Kickstarter.  It's almost the perfect scam, because each individual invests so little that it's not worth suing.  But collectively, the take can be huge.

It will be interesting to watch this train wreck evolve over the coming months... watch the IGG site for the Kubler Ross model to start playing out soon ;)
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: MacAttak on April 18, 2013, 02:54:36 pm
There is some recourse. When you launch a project on either site, you accept a contract that commits you to delivery of the rewards/perks promised in the campaign, or to provide a full refund. As far as I know, this is a binding contract for any US-based company who accepts money from US-based backers (it's probably not nearly as strongly protective of non-US backers, or as binding to non-US creators). But it should be good enough for recovery via arbitration or lawsuit in most cases. It just takes the right set of backers to get shafted before the process gets tested. So far nobody has pressed it.

I could see a whole cottage industry of specialized law practices springing up who focus on organizing legal actions against fraudulent crowdfunding projects. Especially now that some of these projects are raking in HUGE amounts of cash. There's a good bit of money on the table there - a siren's call to lawyers.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Corporate666 on April 18, 2013, 03:00:59 pm
There is some recourse. When you launch a project on either site, you accept a contract that commits you to delivery of the rewards/perks promised in the campaign, or to provide a full refund. As far as I know, this is a binding contract for any US-based company who accepts money from US-based backers (it's probably not nearly as strongly protective of non-US backers, or as binding to non-US creators). But it should be good enough for recovery via arbitration or lawsuit in most cases. It just takes the right set of backers to get shafted before the process gets tested. So far nobody has pressed it.

I could see a whole cottage industry of specialized law practices springing up who focus on organizing legal actions against fraudulent crowdfunding projects. Especially now that some of these projects are raking in HUGE amounts of cash. There's a good bit of money on the table there - a siren's call to lawyers.

I'm guessing that contract just codifies what consumer law already says - i.e. if you take money from someone under the promise of delivery of something, you must deliver.  The problem though is that if a project creator lists their new widget at $200/ea and gets 2,500 backers... that's half a million dollars.  But each person is only out $250, and the costs of a lawsuit would be well in advance of that.  Plus, if anyone actually sued the project creator just refunds them and moves to dismiss the case.  Only if the feds get involved does it really transcend a civil dispute.

Hope you will keep us updated about this one - it will be interesting to see how it plays out.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Keef Wivanef on April 18, 2013, 03:21:23 pm
I don't see how it's much different to mail fraud.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mail_and_wire_fraud (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mail_and_wire_fraud)
Wire or mail is covered but no mention of internet.
Barn door>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Horse  :--
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Keef Wivanef on April 18, 2013, 03:24:22 pm
Hope they have some lovely cell mates
                                                       :-+
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on April 18, 2013, 05:46:47 pm

Funny, in the video they posted earlier he was claiming to be an expert programmer did work for Nasa etc[/quote]
I think the phrase was something like "worked on projects funded by NASA" which is so vague it could be anything. Just more waffle.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Keef Wivanef on April 18, 2013, 05:49:06 pm
Off with their testurcles  :)

http://www.forbes.com/sites/markgibbs/2012/08/20/the-truth-about-kickstarter-and-zioneyez/ (http://www.forbes.com/sites/markgibbs/2012/08/20/the-truth-about-kickstarter-and-zioneyez/)
http://www.forbes.com/sites/markgibbs/2012/08/20/the-truth-about-kickstarter-and-zioneyez/3/ (http://www.forbes.com/sites/markgibbs/2012/08/20/the-truth-about-kickstarter-and-zioneyez/3/)
Quote
" Just over a year ago I wrote an article here on Forbes titled ZionEyez, Weiner, and Watching which, amongst other topics, discussed a Kickstarter project called ZionEyez.

If you’re not up to speed on Kickstarter it’s a service where individuals and companies can pitch their ideas for projects of any kind such as products, music, artwork … you name it. These projects are looking for backers; people who will sign up at a level of anything from $1 to thousands of dollars in return for rewards that range from being listed as a project backer through to receiving products in bulk.

The idea of Kickstarter is brilliant: It allows small companies and individuals to test the market for whatever they plan to offer. Some projects don’t get funded, some get what they’re looking for, and some, as in the case of ZionEyez, succeed beyond their wildest dreams.

What ZionEyez proposed was to produce glasses under the brand name “Eyez” that could stream realtime high definition video and audio to the Internet from a built-in camera and microphone in the frame of the specs.

Potential users were really excited by the idea of being able to “life stream” for a very low price ($199) … check out the original posting for more details of the planned product.

ZionEyez was looking to raise $55,000 and on July 31, 2011, the closing date for the project, had slightly exceeded its goal with 2,106 backers committing a total of $343,415! That was, by any measure, an astounding performance and spoke to the surprisingly high latent demand for a product such as the one proposed by ZionEyez.


But wait a second … when you consider the sophistication required to deliver streaming HD video from a product that’s as constrained in size and weight as glasses, you have to wonder whether a startup can deliver on such ambitious promises. In June 2011 a post on the Singularity Hub blog framed the issue nicely:

Now, as cool as Eyez may appear, there’s still plenty of reasons to be cautious. That animation video is great, but it’s not a real product. Is it vaporware? Well, the cynic in me says it’s too early to say otherwise, but ZionEyez CTO, Joe Taylor, is coming from Flip, a company that made millions on mobile cameras , and I don’t think there’s anything in this build that would be impossible or undeliverable at this price. Should we be concerned that Eyez is coming from a crowd sourced project rather than a big name distributor? Maybe. But it could also just be a sign that bright young entrepreneurs know that there’s more money to be made the longer they stay independent."

Did it end in tears?
You betcha!

"I think the bigger issue is the Kickstarter model and the company’s unwillingness to take responsibility for projects that don’t deliver. Based on the stories shared by Kickstarter project backers, I believe the ZionEyez project is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to projects that don’t deliver."

 
Kristina on March 1
"So let me get this straight, you can take $343,415 and live a long & happy life without any consequences? How is this possible?"
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/zioneyez/eyeztm-by-zioneyez-hd-video-recording-glasses-for/posts/205189 (http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/zioneyez/eyeztm-by-zioneyez-hd-video-recording-glasses-for/posts/205189)
Aaaaaaaaarrrgh!  |O
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Keef Wivanef on April 18, 2013, 05:51:29 pm
Anthony Racaniello on February 14
"This is fucking bullshit, i want my fucking money back".

Short, sweet and to the point  :o
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Keef Wivanef on April 18, 2013, 06:18:41 pm
Well....phuck me dead!

Oops...they did it again!
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/vergencelabs/redefine-reality-with-computing-enabled-eyewear/posts (http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/vergencelabs/redefine-reality-with-computing-enabled-eyewear/posts)


http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/vergencelabs/redefine-reality-with-computing-enabled-eyewear/comments (http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/vergencelabs/redefine-reality-with-computing-enabled-eyewear/comments)
Gil on June 7, 2012
"Note that Vergence is deleting comments on Indiegogo. Apparently, Indiegogo allows project organizers to delete comments whereas Kickstarter does not. You can't tell anything from reading the Indiegogo comments because Vergence is deleting those that are critical or questioning. It also appears that the "Chief Science Officer" just graduated from college last month and that his "professional engineering experience" at Facebook was as an intern. Vergence is claiming that within six months they will ship a revolutionary product, yet they have no funding they are willing to identify, not even a public web page other than their crowdfunding projects, and their entire research staff is a kid who graduated from college last month. Still think it's surprising the Kickstarter cancelled this? Anyone who wants to give these guys money is free to do so, but just be aware you are making a donation, not buying a product. Whether or not you expect to ever see a product is up to you to decide."

WHOOOOOOOOOO HOOOOOOOOOOOOO! :-DD :-DD :-DD :-DD :-DD :-DD :-DD :=\
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: EEVblog on April 18, 2013, 06:26:02 pm
Off with their testurcles  :)
Aaaaaaaaarrrgh!  |O

Please use quote marks when you are reposting someone else's text.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Keef Wivanef on April 18, 2013, 07:34:48 pm
Time to move on?

" Virtual Reality on June 5, 2012
Hi, this is Jon Rodriguez from Vergence writing via a friend's account.
Kickstarter has not notified us of or provided any grounds for their aggressive action. Now that we know that they do stuff like this, we have migrated the project to a competing and hopefully better crowd funding platform:
Vergence Labs Social Video Glasses: Now on IndieGoGo!
http://www.indiegogo.com/socialvideoglasses (http://www.indiegogo.com/socialvideoglasses)
If you believe in us and our true ability to deliver you a fantastic, fully functional, and stylish product, thank you. We respect you and we promise to deliver you your pledge rewards if you please re-pledge on IndieGoGo.
Please support fashionable, high-tech computer eyewear. A good percentage of people have already started re-pledging at IndieGoGo, and we invite you to immediately as well! Please message other backers to do the same!
We appreciate your faith and we will make good on our word. We're even offering the video glasses at a $10 discount!!
http://www.indiegogo.com/socialvideoglasses (http://www.indiegogo.com/socialvideoglasses)
Jon Rodriguez
Chief Science Officer of Vergence Labs (also an Eagle Scout)"


M'kay?

http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/social-video-sharing-glasses-electric-powered-sunglasses--7?website_name=socialvideoglasses (http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/social-video-sharing-glasses-electric-powered-sunglasses--7?website_name=socialvideoglasses)

Everybody happy now?

$70,704
Raised of $50,000 Goal

0 time left
Flexible Funding campaign
This campaign received all of the funds contributed by Fri 20 Jul.


Well.....not really!

bryanc23 said 12 days ago
"I am with Christopher. Personally I feel you dropped the ball. We were to have them in December or early January. And still today you say they are coming and now you are accepting preorders. What happened to the backers would be getting their glasses before the public? Seems lies after lies. So Chris was right and you customer service and devotion to your backers is crap."

Maybe it's all those negative comments that are slowing them down. What to do?

"milkchocolate said 23 days ago
@Gabriel…… PLEASE be patient. Read the list of experts working on this ground-breaking project. They are smart, dedicated and hard working professionals. You will receive a much better product than what you expect. I’m certain of it. I hope the negativity is deleted because we need to be sending nothing but continued support to the team for this project. We signed up to support them and their work — and nothing more. And, that’s what we all need to do."

 :=\

Why not PRE-ORDER now?  http://www.epiphanyeyewear.com/ (http://www.epiphanyeyewear.com/)

 :palm:
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Keef Wivanef on April 23, 2013, 07:27:31 am
http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/mu-thermal-camera-a-great-tool-to-save-on-energy-costs?c=comments (http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/mu-thermal-camera-a-great-tool-to-save-on-energy-costs?c=comments)

Richard said 4 hours ago
On my request the questioning of the legitimacy of this campaign is now in the hands of the Trust and Safety Team at Indiegogo. Everyone who feels that the terms and conditions item "respond promptly and honestly to questions and Posting posed by Members” has been violated are encouraged to contact support@indiegogo.com. This will hopefully help us getting John out of his hideout.


THANKS FOR THE MUNNY SUCKERS  :-DD
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: EEVblog on April 23, 2013, 09:11:20 am
I have read the recent messages on the site and I am still at a loss to understand how people can think that a new medium resolution thermal camera can be provided to them for just US$150. Do these people not do any research on the topic at all ?

They either don't, or (most likely) are incapable of doing so and understanding the technical details. That's not really their fault though, unless you have worked in  electronics design and manufacturing, it is hard to know this stuff.
As a result they are going to lose their money.
Perhaps someone who's pledged can post a link to this thread, so they can get some input from people with more finely tuned electronics BS detectors.
They should at the very least be able to sniff that the guy isn't answering questions and smell a rat.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: MacAttak on April 23, 2013, 10:52:09 am
I was given a refund, but I still receive the update notifications. This one just went through:

Quote
Hello Everyone,
After a very long weekend of near round-the-clock work we’re very close to presenting our camera and the images that result. What most all of you are wanting to see is coming up quickly. Much of the software is complete, it’s been the hardware that has been the beast for us. Image quality is of utmost importance to us and much of that work is on the hardware side.
We are still evaluating the USB and Wifi scenarios and have not made a decision. That will be coming soon.
I am working towards finalizing the parts suppliers and the assembly team and most importantly to all of you, the schedule for production. I’ll let you know as soon as I’m confident of a firm timeframe. We’re still six weeks out from our original timeframe of late May.
Thank you all that have been patient with our development process. Enjoy your week.
John McGrath

I attach no conclusions or speculation.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: BravoV on April 23, 2013, 11:16:39 am
Just curious whether its not too late to pull another new scam, considering how easy it is to set a new one.

Anyway, its all about making the right and convincing "show" right ?   

Equipped with a nice convincing presentation with cool looking computer rendered gadget and animation/video, and one or two good looking figures as puppets, and they should be easy to find and cheap too, few hundreds thousands dollars in just few months, damn easy money.

Anyone interested ?  >:D
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: vk6zgo on April 23, 2013, 12:40:50 pm
Hope they have some lovely cell mates
                                                       :-+

They will be Bubba's new special friends! ;D
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: EEVblog on April 23, 2013, 02:30:24 pm
Quote
After a very long weekend of near round-the-clock work we’re very close to presenting our camera and the images that result.

I bet you aren't.

Quote
What most all of you are wanting to see is coming up quickly. Much of the software is complete, it’s been the hardware that has been the beast for us.

The prototype hardware you've been asked to show and haven't?

Quote
Image quality is of utmost importance to us and much of that work is on the hardware side.

Hardware or optics? Be specific now.
Given that you said you dispensed with the expensive optics, it must be electronics? If so, how?

Quote
We are still evaluating the USB and Wifi scenarios and have not made a decision. That will be coming soon.

Which completely changes your entire design.
That means another prototype spin, then pre-production, then production.

Quote
I am working towards finalizing the parts suppliers and the assembly team and most importantly to all of you, the schedule for production.

How can you finalise the schedule when you haven't even a decided on Wifi or USB?

Quote
I’ll let you know as soon as I’m confident of a firm timeframe. We’re still six weeks out from our original timeframe of late May.

No, it's 4 weeks, 5 weeks tops.
Which is barely enough time to spin another prototype. Maybe a pre-production run is you got really lucky.

Quote
Thank you all that have been patient with our development process. Enjoy your week.

I bet your development process is completely on paper, there isn't any real hardware. You either have no idea what you doing, or are simply full of crap.

Taking bets now on what your excuse will be in 4-5 weeks time when you have delivered squat and still shown nothing...
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Bored@Work on April 23, 2013, 03:19:46 pm
Taking bets now on what your excuse will be in 4-5 weeks time when you have delivered squat and still shown nothing...

A sudden outbreak of the flue or another illness, confining the whole team to bed.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Keef Wivanef on April 23, 2013, 03:54:22 pm
Well yes... but....no but..........
The SMARTS are in the Iphone and we have writted the apps an all shit like that.

The front end is just that pesky Geranium lens and the grid bias an all shit like that.
Convert it to USB or wi-fi or some shit like that and then we let the Iphone do all the grunt, like putting it in albums and all shit like that.

Why not place a pre order now and dont be negative an all shit like that.
(small blue planet...blah de blah) :-DD :-DD :-DD :-DD :-DD :-DD :-DD :-DD :-DD :-DD :-DD :-DD :-DD :-DD :-DD :-DD :-DD :-DD :-DD
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Keef Wivanef on April 23, 2013, 04:01:32 pm
Oh good heavens to Betsy!
WHAT A LOAD OF OLD BOLLOCKS!  :-DD
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: EEVblog on April 23, 2013, 04:18:07 pm
A sudden outbreak of the flue or another illness, confining the whole team to bed.

The dog ate their prototype.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: MacAttak on April 23, 2013, 05:50:17 pm
Quote
Much of the software is complete

That part is a bit of a red flag for me. I've been on the software development side of things for two decades now, and deal with many platforms - including iPhone/Android. In the only video we have seen, a single "developer" was shown - a guy was clearly very young (therefore inexperienced) and who referred to himself as a "designer".

To write the kind of software these guys are talking about is not a 4-week/1-person project, not even for the very best in the industry. Especially not when you are talking about supporting two incompatible mobile platforms at launch. That's effectively two different applications written in different languages against different API's.

My guess is that the "designer" has mocked up some UI and spackled it together into a barely functional prototype - something that looks like it is useful but is mostly smoke & mirrors. But most of the real code isn't there (stubbed out, TBD). Usually that means the hard parts are left undone until the end... and basically you get screwed by the 80/20 rule. 80% of development time is spent on the final 20% of code. But nobody sees that so far - everything looks great until the wave crashes over.

Unless I have made some very bad errors in guesswork about what the "team" looks like, I'm betting they are probably a good 4 to 6 months from stable software (in the best case). And that might even be with bringing on one or two more very experienced ($$$) devs.

Totally ignoring the hardware side of things - I just don't find it realistic that they could afford to complete the software in time - not without some external investment that we don't know about. There just isn't headroom left in the operating budget for that given what we know about the hardware costs.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on April 23, 2013, 06:25:36 pm
Quote
Much of the software is complete

That part is a bit of a red flag for me. I've been on the software development side of things for two decades now, and deal with many platforms - including iPhone/Android. In the only video we have seen, a single "developer" was shown - a guy was clearly very young (therefore inexperienced) and who referred to himself as a "designer".

To write the kind of software these guys are talking about is not a 4-week/1-person project, not even for the very best in the industry. Especially not when you are talking about supporting two incompatible mobile platforms at launch. That's effectively two different applications written in different languages against different API's.

My guess is that the "designer" has mocked up some UI and spackled it together into a barely functional prototype - something that looks like it is useful but is mostly smoke & mirrors. But most of the real code isn't there (stubbed out, TBD). Usually that means the hard parts are left undone until the end... and basically you get screwed by the 80/20 rule. 80% of development time is spent on the final 20% of code. But nobody sees that so far - everything looks great until the wave crashes over.

Unless I have made some very bad errors in guesswork about what the "team" looks like, I'm betting they are probably a good 4 to 6 months from stable software (in the best case). And that might even be with bringing on one or two more very experienced ($$$) devs.

Totally ignoring the hardware side of things - I just don't find it realistic that they could afford to complete the software in time - not without some external investment that we don't know about. There just isn't headroom left in the operating budget for that given what we know about the hardware costs.
Bear in mind that for basic functionality all this needs to do is receive and display an image, and add a few simple control widgets. Even if it's doing some clever stuff to do things like correcting lens geometry, that wouldn't prevent demoing _something_ Could easily be done to a demo-able standard in a week by one good guy.
If it's taking months you're doing it wrong.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: EEVblog on April 23, 2013, 10:12:44 pm
Even IRISYS provide detail of how their very clever and economic sensors work. If this company really had a revolutionary sensor, as they seem to imply, they don't need to sell any cheap TIC's, they could sell the idea to the big players and walk away with Millions of Dollars in production rights.

They have said they have "several suppliers" of low sensors to choose them, so they are just using COTS, perhaps in novel way. As they have also said that they have dispensed with the traditional expensive optics, yet they do claim some magic of some sort.
It's all contradictory and complete BS.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: dustout on April 30, 2013, 04:36:27 am
I emailed John (their CEO) and requested a refund, which he refunded me immediately no questions asked.  I can't imagine they are going to pull off what they are planning to unless they have outside help that we don't know about... for instance if a remote 3rd party is developing the actual product and they just need to sell it... that's not what they are claiming to be though.  My money isn't necessarily on full on scam from the beginning but them getting in way over their heads and then trying to cover that up.

In this process they may have some real connections for special deals for cheaper key components and set up distribution to retailers as they claim to be doing.  That's all networking and with the money they pulled in they may have turned some heads.  However without the skills and knowledge to make use of even the best 'connections', it's not going to go anywhere.  If they ever pull something off I imagine it will be a long time out.  I'd LOVE for this to come to fruition but I was gambling when they started and after all their responses and not even having decided on wifi vs USB methinks they aren't anywhere near the level of what is needed to do this.

Anyways if they ever make the thing I'll happily pay the non-backer double price for doubting them.  But for now I've got $150 back I though I'd lost. :)
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: MacAttak on April 30, 2013, 11:14:21 am
He isn't telling the whole truth here... their participation in the show was canceled long before this weekend's "WiFi chip issues". I'm sure it won't take long for backers to latch on to that:

Quote
Hello Everyone,
This weekend was a bit tough, we’ve had a setback with our WiFi chipset provider, we’ve been unable to get the adhoc WiFi working well with the multiple phones we’ve been testing it on.
We’ve now gone back to work with a provider that we originally looked at but that required a host chipset to work off of. They have just released a chipset that now meets all of our requirements (and does not require a host) and after a weekend of evaluation and consideration we’ve decided to make the change. Quality and reliability have to take precedence over most everything else.
What does this do to our schedule? Well…regretfully, we’re not going to make the hardware show, though we’ve contacted the people we were most interested in meeting with and they’ve agreed to private meetings later in the month.
As to our delivery to our IndieGoGo supporters, it means a delay. At this point, it’s too early to say when we’ll begin shipping but hopefully it won’t be much of a delay, please give me a week or so to determine what the delay will be. This disappoints us more than you can know and we know it’s a disappointment to all of you. You’re continued patience is appreciated and if you would like a refund due to the delay, let me know.
Next week we’ll show you the software, using the visible light portion of our product (we can’t show thermal images in it until we get the WiFi working well). This will include a run through of the operations of the camera, the database behind it and how you’ll work with it.
Thank you all.
John McGrath

And WTF is this all about?...

Quote
Next week we’ll show you the software, using the visible light portion of our product (we can’t show thermal images in it until we get the WiFi working well). This will include a run through of the operations of the camera, the database behind it and how you’ll work with it.

So they are just going to show a phone camera? And why does anything like this need a "database"?? That's like saying "we added 'fuzzy logic' to our design" which is basically just bullshit technical jargon intended to fool nontechnical people.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Recyclojunk64 on April 30, 2013, 11:27:50 am
Great to hear that he is willingly giving out refunds

Yeah, they did already menition it two weeks ago. I guess there was little communication between them as to what there preferred excuse was :-DD

Quote
There is some talk in the comments about us not being on the roster for the Hardware show. This is true, we pulled off of the show floor because we realized that it would be more economical for us to meet with the big buyers privately rather than show the imager on the convention floor.


Guess we wait till next week too see if they show anything or run into a problem and have to wait to the week after, then the week after that...
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Keef Wivanef on April 30, 2013, 01:33:39 pm
"Hello Everyone,
This weekend was a bit tough, we’ve had a setback with our WiFi chipset provider, we’ve been unable to get the adhoc WiFi working well with the multiple phones we’ve been testing it on.
We’ve now gone back to work with a provider that we originally looked at but that required a host chipset to work off of. They have just released a chipset that now meets all of our requirements (and does not require a host) and after a weekend of evaluation and consideration we’ve decided to make the change
."

BOLLOCKS!!!   :-DD
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: dustout on April 30, 2013, 06:54:30 pm
I'm extra glad I have that refund now... that last update is ridiculous and makes no sense to reality.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: EEVblog on April 30, 2013, 07:19:34 pm
Quote
Hello Everyone,
This weekend was a bit tough, we’ve had a setback with our WiFi chipset provider, we’ve been unable to get the adhoc WiFi working well with the multiple phones we’ve been testing it on.
We’ve now gone back to work with a provider that we originally looked at but that required a host chipset to work off of. They have just released a chipset that now meets all of our requirements (and does not require a host) and after a weekend of evaluation and consideration we’ve decided to make the change.

You procured, prototyped, and evaluated a new WiFi chipset since your previous update?
Bullshit.
At best you only looked at the datasheet.

Quote
  Quality and reliability have to take precedence over most everything else.
What does this do to our schedule? Well…regretfully, we’re not going to make the hardware show, though we’ve contacted the people we were most interested in meeting with and they’ve agreed to private meetings later in the month.

Who are these people?
Private?
Bullshit.

Quote
As to our delivery to our IndieGoGo supporters, it means a delay. At this point, it’s too early to say when we’ll begin shipping but hopefully it won’t be much of a delay, please give me a week or so to determine what the delay will be.
This disappoints us more than you can know and we know it’s a disappointment to all of you. You’re continued patience is appreciated and if you would like a refund due to the delay, let me know.

I'd recommend every single person take him up on that offer.

Quote
Next week we’ll show you the software, using the visible light portion of our product

Which has nothing to do with thermal imaging.
I thought the product only had the thermal sensor in it, if so your "visible light" portion of your product is simply the mobile phone camera!
Anyone could demo a cell phone photo and some graphics in an app. It shows nothing.
Pathetic, and classic bait'n'switch.

Quote
(we can’t show thermal images in it until we get the WiFi working well).

Bullshit you can't!
After all of your supposed prototypes, you STILL can't show an actual thermal image?
You have nothing, admit it.

Quote
This will include a run through of the operations of the camera, the database behind it and how you’ll work with it.

So the only thing you are going to demo after all this time is a database. Nice.  :-DD
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: EEVblog on April 30, 2013, 07:20:11 pm
I'm extra glad I have that refund now... that last update is ridiculous and makes no sense to reality.

Yes, you did the right thing, they have squat, and will ultimately deliver squat.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Keef Wivanef on May 01, 2013, 06:54:41 pm
SQUAT?

Dunno bout that but the whole thing certainly gives me the shits! |O :

Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on May 01, 2013, 07:13:28 pm
Quote
They have just released a chipset that now meets all of our requirements (and does not require a host) and after a weekend of evaluation and consideration we’ve decided to make the change.

So how long on average is it before you can actually get production parts of a "Just released" device?

The thing that makes me the most suspicious is that none of these "issues" have been to do with the core tech - the thermal imaging part. Maybe they've not even started on that bit yet....

I also wonder of they've maybe been the victim of an over-entheusiatic subcontractor who promised them a solution but then fell through & they're now in panic mode trying to cover up...

Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: AndyC_772 on May 01, 2013, 07:21:51 pm
Depends on your relationship with the supplier, and how interested they are in your product... I wouldn't rule the product out for this reason.

The reason I'd rule it out is that compatibility problems with a range of phones don't stop anyone from showing the product with a phone that it does happen to work with - and the fact that they're not able to do even this suggests that there are in fact *no* phones on which this device can show a thermal image.

If they said it only works on a particular model of phone, people could simply buy that phone.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: firewalker on May 01, 2013, 08:03:47 pm
Quote
You’re continued patience is appreciated and if you would like a refund due to the delay, let me know.

Actually they don't say they will refund...

-I want a refund.
-Nop, you can't have it.

:P :P :P

Alexander.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Keef Wivanef on May 01, 2013, 08:13:51 pm
They already spent the money......video production don't come cheap  :-DD
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: EEVblog on May 01, 2013, 08:35:24 pm
The reason I'd rule it out is that compatibility problems with a range of phones don't stop anyone from showing the product with a phone that it does happen to work with - and the fact that they're not able to do even this suggests that there are in fact *no* phones on which this device can show a thermal image.

I think it's worse. It appears as though there is no device at all.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: firewalker on May 01, 2013, 09:03:04 pm
If I had the IR part and the problem was the Wi-Fi I would bodge wired it  somehow a would present it...

Alexander.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Fraser on May 01, 2013, 09:38:53 pm
QUACK! QUACK!  Dead Duck.

In their position I would have appeased the investors by showing what I already had built, even if it did not work yet. The technology used would not be compromised by such an act as selective masking of parts could be used. All very simple to do. They have nothing to show.

When the rush starts for refunds it will be like a run on a bank, only the first few will see any money back.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Bored@Work on May 01, 2013, 10:10:14 pm
When the rush starts for refunds it will be like a run on a bank, only the first few will see any money back.

And that rush will give them a good excuse. Something like "All the backers asking for a refund are killing the project. We don't have enough money any more to pay for production/prototype/parts because of the refunds. It is over, and it is your fault. We can't fully refund everyone, because we spent it on the project."
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Recyclojunk64 on May 01, 2013, 10:24:31 pm
Cheers for the link on Indiegogo, Dustout.

I should've known not to use the greek alphabet in the title though :-[

They seem to be treating the project much like I treat my English assignments; pretend it's nearly done but refuse to let the teacher see what I've actually completed on it (i.e. nothing) until a few weeks past the original deadline. I think they will have theirs done a lot later than that, if it is ever completed

I wonder if they can get away with a frequency response of < 1130 nm. Should be perfect for brazing and welding applications  :-DD
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: EEVblog on May 02, 2013, 12:13:24 am
And that rush will give them a good excuse. Something like "All the backers asking for a refund are killing the project. We don't have enough money any more to pay for production/prototype/parts because of the refunds. It is over, and it is your fault. We can't fully refund everyone, because we spent it on the project."

Yep, that's the exact "out" they will be counting on I bet.
I think it's now inevitable that everyone has lost their money on this one.  :--
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Keef Wivanef on May 02, 2013, 09:34:58 am
Mail fraud is still a crime.

"In the United States, mail and wire fraud is any fraudulent scheme to intentionally deprive another of property or honest services via mail or wire communication. It has been a federal crime in the United States since 1872."

Time to bring the law up to date and include internet in the definition."

 |O
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: EEVblog on May 02, 2013, 10:38:17 am
Mail fraud is still a crime.
"In the United States, mail and wire fraud is any fraudulent scheme to intentionally deprive another of property or honest services via mail or wire communication. It has been a federal crime in the United States since 1872."

Therein lies the rub.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Keef Wivanef on May 02, 2013, 10:53:01 am
Intentionally the old Catch 22!


http://metabunk.org/threads/1166-Debunked-V3Solar-s-spinning-solar-panel-cone-spin-cell-quot-CoolSpin-quot-scam (http://metabunk.org/threads/1166-Debunked-V3Solar-s-spinning-solar-panel-cone-spin-cell-quot-CoolSpin-quot-scam)
"Debunked: V3Solar's spinning solar panel cone spin cell "CoolSpin" - scam?
There's a type of scam out there that's being going on for at least 100 years. A company claims to have invented or discovered something that will make a lot of money. Quite often this will be in the field of energy, although we see them more and more in the field of weather control and information technology. The company can demonstrate research, they will often hold one or more patents on the technology, and they will have some kind of prototype that does not actually fully work, but they claim is a demonstration of the proof of concept. They won't reveal all the details, despite having filed patents, because they either don't want people to steal their ideas, or they claim it's too early, and more research needs to be done.

What they are looking for though, is investors. They will talk about the huge potential market, and hence the huge amount of money to be made. They will get people to invest in their company. The technology will go nowhere slowly, and eventually the principals will withdraw, and the investors will end up with nothing.

The scam works because it's not illegal to be wrong, unless you actually know you are wrong. So if you think you've discovered a form of free energy, it's perfectly legal to set up a company to research and develop the technology. It's quite legal to solicit investment based on what you think is correct science - even if it does turn out to be wrong, and the investors lose all their money. They took a risk, they lost. It's quite legal to pay yourself and the other principals a large salary.

So all you have to do to run such a scam is to never admit you knew it was a scam. You have to pretend you believe in the technology. Then when it fails you simply keep insisting that you thought it worked, and you were sorry you didn't get enough time to work out the kinks.

Then of course there are those people who actually ARE convinced that their technology works. There are plenty of people who think they actually have discovered something new, and they just need a bit more research to make money from it. "

Nicely put dude!
 |O
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: chickenHeadKnob on May 02, 2013, 11:01:20 am
Mail fraud is still a crime.

"In the United States, mail and wire fraud is any fraudulent scheme to intentionally deprive another of property or honest services via mail or wire communication. It has been a federal crime in the United States since 1872."

Time to bring the law up to date and include internet in the definition."

 |O

If you think fraud on the internets is bad or somehow a "new bad" you haven't learned from the old master fraudsters like Lemelson who earned a billion+ from submarine patents or Paul Moller of Moller skycar fame. Those guys make the young punks look like rank amateurs.

Consider that I am in my 50's now and was a young lad when moller's ever-changing skyturd was first featured on popular science/mechanics. There was mail fraud back then, and no public internet, yet these pro's figured out ways around any existing laws and exploited near perpetual legal scams.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Keef Wivanef on May 02, 2013, 11:25:29 am
Those guys make the young punks look like rank amateurs.

Even a rank amateur can now be a successful scammer thanks to the internet and crowdfunding

This Moo Thermal plop is a prime example.

Should we just shrug our shoulders and let them carry on?
 :scared:


Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: chickenHeadKnob on May 02, 2013, 12:48:02 pm
Those guys make the young punks look like rank amateurs.

Even a rank amateur can now be a successful scammer thanks to the internet and crowdfunding

This Moo Thermal plop is a prime example.

Should we just shrug our shoulders and let them carry on?
 :scared:
No, I wasn't suggesting that, just that the whole legal edifice is so inefficient and slow compared to what the social web can do better/faster in limiting the 'take' these guys get. I think it might be  harder to pull off crowdfunding type scams compared to ye old fashioned ones if high google rank sites appear with warnings. Have you followed the SCO sues the linux world attempt? Groklaw  really killed the $600 dollar extortion-license business dead right quick and Darl Mcbride started wailing "unfair .. unfair" but the sco suits against Novell/IBM went on forever in the official legal track.  There were Groklaw'ers  begging to be charged for a license for something that SCO didn't own. That would have been mail fraud.

I probably hate the scam artists as much as anyone, I don't want to see them win.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: EEVblog on May 02, 2013, 12:52:56 pm
Should we just shrug our shoulders and let them carry on?

What do you suggest we do?
Considering your only contribution to this forum has been this thread, you should be full of lots of good ideas?
I had the idea maybe 9 months back that I would set up a crowd funding "technical review" type blog/videoblog, but I didn't see any form of "long tail" view potential in it.
Perhaps you'd like to start one?
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: BravoV on May 02, 2013, 01:05:48 pm
I had the idea maybe 9 months back that I would set up a crowd funding "technical review" type blog/videoblog, but I didn't see any form of "long tail" view potential in it.

Actually this is a very good idea Dave, why not do a short "walk time" video dedicated to rant bring out about this matter, and see how the audience respond to this idea of setting a independent review board, I believe there are many forum members here that are qualified imo to do such review or at least make a sounding.

Anyway, you haven't done this walk/drive time video for quite some time now.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: EEVblog on May 02, 2013, 01:09:04 pm
Actually this is a very good idea Dave, why not do a short "walk time" video dedicated to rant bring out about this matter, and see how the audience respond to this idea of setting a independent review board, I believe there are many forum members here that are qualified imo to do such review or at least make a sounding.

If there is another interest I could set up a dedicated part of the forum to discuss crowd funded projects.  :-//
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: BravoV on May 02, 2013, 01:26:49 pm
If there is another interest I could set up a dedicated part of the forum to discuss crowd funded projects.  :-//
That is a good start, though I believed this new special dedicated part of the forum should be promoted 1st thru your video to gain more attentions from the internet crowd rather than depends on forum members to increase it's traffic.

This place itself with so many qualified and publicly known members is a good place to start this so called independent review committee/board.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: cwalex on May 02, 2013, 02:08:52 pm
Actually this is a very good idea Dave, why not do a short "walk time" video dedicated to rant bring out about this matter, and see how the audience respond to this idea of setting a independent review board, I believe there are many forum members here that are qualified imo to do such review or at least make a sounding.

If there is another interest I could set up a dedicated part of the forum to discuss crowd funded projects.  :-//

+1 for the "walk time" video/rant  :-+
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: MacAttak on May 02, 2013, 03:13:32 pm
I wonder if it would be advantageous to structure such reviews around a by-request-only model. Independent 3rd party review and critique (by qualified and competent technical reviewers) is a service that could provide a LOT of value to the crowd-funding world.

If it were respected and popular then smart project owners would seek out a review, and use it as a way to jump-start their own marketing. Nothing is better marketing than having an outside party find a defect in your product, and then you respond and fix it publicly.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: BravoV on May 02, 2013, 03:18:09 pm
I wonder if it would be advantageous to structure such reviews around a by-request-only model. Independent 3rd party review and critique (by qualified and competent technical reviewers) is a service that could provide a LOT of value to the crowd-funding world.

If it were respected and popular then smart project owners would seek out a review, and use it as a way to jump-start their own marketing. Nothing is better marketing than having an outside party find a defect in your product, and then you respond and fix it publicly.

+1, and looking at the current situations, its just the matter of time that organized crime will starting to jump in, since it is ridiculously easy to score quite some money, don't you think ?  >:D
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Bored@Work on May 02, 2013, 03:39:36 pm
Even a rank amateur can now be a successful scammer thanks to the internet and crowdfunding

Crowdfunding is just a new angle. It was eBay who provided the largest training ground for future scammers. A whole generation of scammers had time to try every tricke in the book, even invent a few ones, and hon basic scammer skills unmolested on eBay.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: dustout on May 02, 2013, 05:35:58 pm
Interesting idea on the crowdfunding angle.  It's a shame this new approach to funding is being abused but of course not unexpected.  I recently also crowdfunded the SticknFind which did end up getting made.  It does what it's supposed to do but seems to be a bit dodgy with dropouts and whatnot and the ios app seems pretty poorly made.  I may send one in for the mailbag / potential tear-down though there's not a whole lot in there to see I guess.  I sure love the videos... I've watched the latest 250 so far and still working my way back in time. :D  I realized I had not been to the site despite watching so many videos and wondered if anyone had mentioned the mu thermal imager and was not disappointed. :)

I think I may just save up for a more legitimate thermal imager such as the budger Flir i3 or something of the like. It would be an expensive 'toy' as I don't need it for work but this type of thing has certainly been on my want-list for a very long time and it's actually approaching affordable prices now.  I have quite an interest in thermal properties and especially its imaging.  I'm also single so no one to yell at me for such an indulgence...  :scared:
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Keef Wivanef on May 02, 2013, 05:51:10 pm
Should we just shrug our shoulders and let them carry on?

What do you suggest we do?
Considering your only contribution to this forum has been this thread, you should be full of lots of good ideas?
I had the idea maybe 9 months back that I would set up a crowd funding "technical review" type blog/videoblog, but I didn't see any form of "long tail" view potential in it.
Perhaps you'd like to start one?

Sorry for the one track  contribution to your forum
but I've been busy elsewhere!
For FooKing YEARS!!!


http://forums.permaculturenews.org/archive/index.php/t-4858.html?s=3ff6680c729fb804feb402e364d6fd79 (http://forums.permaculturenews.org/archive/index.php/t-4858.html?s=3ff6680c729fb804feb402e364d6fd79)
29-09-2008, 02:39 PM
I have had some fun debates with him on many public forums and have beaten him every single time.
Actually far from it. you only came off looking like an angry fool with a chip on his shoulder cutting and pasting the same tired mantra.
Im sure everyone appreciates a heads-up against scammers (not insinuating Greg is one either) but your posts just sounded vindictive for their own sake. i did notice that the moderators of the other forum actually asked you to leave when it was clear your incessant, one eyed ranting became a broken record.

All of those forums were an interesting read nonetheless, and im afraid the suncubes wont be operational in time for my own house building project, but i'll be keeping an eye on things long term. TBH i had thought it was unlikely to be up and running within a couple of years, so its not exactly straying into scam territory now is it?
keefwivanef
06-10-2008, 07:29 AM
I'm not angry
I'm not a fool either.
The fools are those who believe any of the insane promises of Greg Watson.
Here is yet another thread where Greg has been asked to show evidence that he has even one single Suncube that actually works.
http://www.thebackshed.com/Windmill/FOR (http://www.thebackshed.com/Windmill/FOR) ... D=903&PN=1 (http://www.thebackshed.com/Windmill/FORUM1/forum_posts.asp?TID=903&PN=1 (http://www.thebackshed.com/Windmill/FORUM1/forum_posts.asp?TID=903&PN=1))

Watson has my contact details, he has promised to send me a "summonds from his legal council" but sadly that appears to be yet another false promise.
Greg, can you please advise the application number for your "patent pending" SunPube.
Watson has posted on many forums over the last several years. The message is - don't buy flat panels because the Sunball, Suncube, Mark 1 through 99, will be on sale shortly and it will give you five times more power for your dollar.
Whoops no, he has changed his mind and now you will have to just buy a share in his solar fantasy farm.

 (http://www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=102146&messages=8 (http://www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=102146&messages=8))

Will the fun never end?
keefwivanef


 :-\
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: ErikTheNorwegian on May 03, 2013, 01:39:22 am
Hi keefwivanef..

are you  one religion cult and this Greg another religius cult and You have made it your quest to fight each other??   :scared:

Regards
Erik
who belive in Oil...
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Keef Wivanef on May 03, 2013, 07:29:42 am
Religion?
Irrational superstitious nonsense.
Thank God I'm an atheist.  >:D

I prefer to think of myself as a cult-buster.
True believers in Mu Thermal,  E-Cat, SunCube, V3 Spin Cell and a thousand other Fake Green Widgets are a powerful force.
Not content with wasting their own time and money on these idiotic ideas they take to the internet and spread their spiel of shite across the globe.

It is not just small time scam artists playing the game. Major "respectable " corporations are doing the same thing.
It is a TRILLION DOLLAR INDUSTRY.
Green Widgets are never delivered, executives trouser the loot year after year.

Widget NEARLY ready, new improved Mark7 version in development.
Can't say any more, NDA etc.
Send more munny please.
Saving our small blue planet for our children's children, blah de blah blah.

 %-B |O %-B :=\ :palm: :phew: :-DD
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Corporate666 on May 03, 2013, 08:50:29 am
Mail fraud is still a crime.
"In the United States, mail and wire fraud is any fraudulent scheme to intentionally deprive another of property or honest services via mail or wire communication. It has been a federal crime in the United States since 1872."

Therein lies the rub.

That goes back to what I said earlier in the thread...

If a person knows or should have known that they could not fulfill their promises, then it's a scam.

In other words, "best intentions" don't really count for much - when you take money from someone, you have an obligation to be responsible both in the solicitation of that money as well as the process whereby you take the money and effect your product/idea. 

Where the line is remains something for courts to decide, but I can't give these Mu guys the benefit of the doubt considering they appear to be deliberately obfuscating the details of their project.  That is an old tried-and-true scam technique, and as a start-up, they have no track record of success to fall back on either.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Corporate666 on May 03, 2013, 08:51:45 am
If there is another interest I could set up a dedicated part of the forum to discuss crowd funded projects.  :-//
That is a good start, though I believed this new special dedicated part of the forum should be promoted 1st thru your video to gain more attentions from the internet crowd rather than depends on forum members to increase it's traffic.

This place itself with so many qualified and publicly known members is a good place to start this so called independent review committee/board.

I think that is a very good idea!
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Fraser on May 03, 2013, 09:42:41 am
I just had a look at the IR Blue web site....far more professional and up front about their product. Pictures o the parts kit shown and no top secret industrial secrets involved ! Wi-Fi connectivity as well  ;)

http://rh-workshop-llc.myshopify.com/ (http://rh-workshop-llc.myshopify.com/)

http://rh-workshop-llc.myshopify.com/products/ir-blue-kit (http://rh-workshop-llc.myshopify.com/products/ir-blue-kit)

The COTS 64 element thermal detector is far more realist at this price point.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: EEVblog on May 03, 2013, 09:58:50 am
Where the line is remains something for courts to decide, but I can't give these Mu guys the benefit of the doubt considering they appear to be deliberately obfuscating the details of their project.  That is an old tried-and-true scam technique, and as a start-up, they have no track record of success to fall back on either.

Although I smelled the obvious technical rat from the beginning, I originally gave them the benefit of the doubt for a bit to see if they would come through with some tangible proof of some real hardware. But it became clear that they are just spewing BS, stalling, and refusing to provide any evidence of anything.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: MacAttak on May 03, 2013, 10:23:06 am
We should be getting near the 45-day limitation for PayPal's charge dispute policy. People who funded it early will be outside of that 45-day window now and won't have any option for recourse (it hits PayPal immediately when it is a "flexible funding" project).

If the tactic is to stall, then they are doing pretty good at it. Pretty soon any refund requests will be at the mercy of what the mu optics people feel like doing. It is entirely possible that refunds are being given up until now quietly and without question, to avoid causing a panic and a "run on the bank" before that dispute window closes.

Of course that is all conjecture and conspiracy theory though. We won't really know the score until it all goes down.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Keef Wivanef on May 03, 2013, 12:14:37 pm
I just had a look at the IR Blue web site....far more professional and up front about their product. Pictures o the parts kit shown and no top secret industrial secrets involved ! Wi-Fi connectivity as well  ;)

http://rh-workshop-llc.myshopify.com/ (http://rh-workshop-llc.myshopify.com/)

http://rh-workshop-llc.myshopify.com/products/ir-blue-kit (http://rh-workshop-llc.myshopify.com/products/ir-blue-kit)

The COTS 64 element thermal detector is far more realist at this price point.

You can easily find plenty of complaints about the IR Blue and NO it is not on sale yet.
They will accept pre-orders however! http://rh-workshop-llc.myshopify.com/ (http://rh-workshop-llc.myshopify.com/)

Why don't you send them some money? :-DD

Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Fraser on May 03, 2013, 09:24:46 pm

Naaaah, no need, I already own three EEV ARGUS TICS an AGEMA 570 and a FLIR 25, why would I want toys with 64 pixels or that require a flippin mobile phone to work ?

If you want a decent TIC, you have to pay decent money for it
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: tinhead on May 03, 2013, 10:06:10 pm
For me I came to the conclusion that croudfunding is just another platform for scams. Guilible idiots are made to part with their money, by making them believe they order something or invest in something. While in reality they just donate money to some strangers, with no serious mechanisms in place to hold those strangers accountable. The crowdfunding platforms just pocket their share without taking any responsibility.

Can you quote any cases on Kickstarter where this is the actually the case?
There may be, but I haven't heard of any. Sure, quite a few don't deliver, or are very very late, or delivered less than promised etc
But in all the cases I've heard, they have at least genuinely tried.


OpenVizsla

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/bushing/openvizsla-open-source-usb-protocol-analyzer?ref=card (http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/bushing/openvizsla-open-source-usb-protocol-analyzer?ref=card)


Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: firewalker on May 03, 2013, 11:16:21 pm
Yep... OpenVizsla, FTW!!! Or, fuck the backers?...

Alexander.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: EEVblog on May 04, 2013, 12:04:39 am
OpenVizsla
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/bushing/openvizsla-open-source-usb-protocol-analyzer?ref=card (http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/bushing/openvizsla-open-source-usb-protocol-analyzer?ref=card)

Sure, it seems they failed to deliver. But at least I see photos of real production boards.
So doesn't seem to be an outright scam.
I can't see the latest updates because I'm not a backer.
And is that the same "bushing" of Rigol hacking fame here on the forum?
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: eliocor on May 04, 2013, 01:58:46 am
being a baker of OpenVizsla I can say that the last update (#29) was sent on 2013-01-30
At least they have shown some photos... Not too much to be happy, but... IIRC "only" 150USD thrown away!:  :( :--

- - - - - - - - - - - - - -

We've made great progress with this delayed near-final prototype and we wanted to share the images with you in this interim update.
They say a picture paints a thousand words..
Here is the start of the process, this is the PCB panel being stencilled with solder paste. This machine squeezes the correct amount of solder through a highly polished, laser cut metal stencil.

(http://openvizsla.org/production_ud/paste_printing.png)


After the stencilling is completed and the solder placement has been checked the board it sent over to the machine that places the components on the board.
Here are the majority of the components placed into that "pick and place" machine.

(http://openvizsla.org/production_ud/components.png)


The machine has a file with the coordinates of each component that needs to be placed onto the panel.
The component is picked from the reels and then placed onto the board at incredibly high speed. OV Pick and Place. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FUy_efV6OcE#) panel with placed parts.

(http://openvizsla.org/production_ud/placed_parts.png)

Once the placement is complete then the board is again checked and goes into the vapour phase soldering machine.

(http://openvizsla.org/production_ud/vavour_phase_soldering.png)

This machine uses condensation heating, reflow is achieved by sitting within a layer of saturated vapour that causes the solder paste to melt.
Here are the settings just before it starts the reflow process.

(http://openvizsla.org/production_ud/soldering_display.png)

Here is a video of this process.http://youtu.be/BDegfybAF7M (http://youtu.be/BDegfybAF7M)Once the board is completed the components are visually checked (using a microscope) and then they move onto X-ray inspection.
This is the X-ray inspection of the FPGA
(http://openvizsla.org/production_ud/fpga_xray.jpg)

This has been placed and soldered near perfectly (there will be some slight adjustments to the ground pad vias and solder paste so that we get even more uniformly reflowed solder there (but this certainly isn't a show stopper).

Here you can see a close up of the "via in pad" that is used to breakout some of the signals from the incredibly small FPGA.

(http://openvizsla.org/production_ud/via_in_pad_xray.jpg)

And here is the X-ray of the XMOS part (you can even see bond-wires onto the actual silicon inside the chip package!)

(http://openvizsla.org/production_ud/xmos_xray.jpg)

The X-ray machine is able to check the actual solder joins on a part using 3D X-ray techniques, here is an image of the USB PHY part, you can see the part itself, copper tracks, vias and other passive components nearby. This machine is amazing and really helps with checking for any hidden physical problems related to the board.

(http://openvizsla.org/production_ud/usb_phy_xray.jpg)

Once all that is done the PTH (plated through-hole) components are added (USB connectors etc) and the units are removed from the panel.
We hope you will agree that this has been worth the wait.

(http://openvizsla.org/production_ud/ov2_1.png)(http://openvizsla.org/production_ud/ov2_2.png)

The OpenVizsla board placed on top of a Credit Card.
This board will be tested over the next few days and assuming all is well, this will move onto serial production very soon.
More updates to follow over the coming days!

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

At least they have shown some photos... Not too much to be happy, but... IIRC "only" 150USD thrown away!
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: BravoV on May 04, 2013, 02:04:46 am
Pretty convincing, thanks !  :-+

Thats it, not even a single doubt, Dave, c'mon, this forum is the right place to start this independent review board, you should think of this seriously.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: firewalker on May 04, 2013, 03:54:43 am
Nice!

Alexander.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Keef Wivanef on May 04, 2013, 08:05:10 am
You are offering this up as a successful kickstarter project??

What do they have to show 3 years after getting the loot?
Some photos of (somebody else's) pick and place production line.
WHOOPTEE DOO!

Do they have a working USB analyser?
Have they delivered any?


"Chris Grayson on April 14, 2012
I funded this and never received anything from anyone. Not even so much as an email communication. The OpenVizsla has nothing but a link to this KickStarter project. The Twitter account has never sent a single tweet. You guys raised over $80k, more than four times what you asked for, almost a year and a half ago, and just took the money and ran. Someone should sue you."

Hold that train for Leavenworth!
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: MacAttak on May 04, 2013, 08:48:38 am
They aren't all train wrecks. Here is a counterpoint example of one that I recently backed. It raised 15 times the goal amount, all units were shipped on time. Actually, many were early. And that's after the project owner made some major last-minute alterations to the design at the recommendation of several backers.

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1106670630/mojo-digital-design-for-the-hobbyist (http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1106670630/mojo-digital-design-for-the-hobbyist)

I got mine last week, and managed to break the USB connector off because my micro usb cable fit too snugly and I tried too hard to force it. He sent me a replacement board at no charge. And since a couple other people have also managed to snap off their USB connector, he is changing the design for v2 to incorporate a more durable connector that has better strain relief.

You can see how I managed to break it by lifting the pads and snapping some traces (it is dangling by the two data line traces). Not really a board design defect as much as it's a defect with that particular connector design. IMO it really needed to have through-hole posts for strain relief instead of those wimpy SMD ground pads:

(http://i.imgur.com/DrXkcIi.jpg)

It's a beautiful board and the build quality of mine was impeccable. The only issue was the USB connector which relied on small ground pads for strain relief - which are a little too easy to lift from the PCB.


So yeah, there are some bad apples out there, but there are some good experiences too.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Keef Wivanef on May 04, 2013, 10:40:20 am
They aren't all train wrecks.

I am not saying they are all train wrecks.
I'm saying that some of them are.
I'm saying that presumed innocent is a green light for scammers.
 :-\

Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: EEVblog on May 04, 2013, 11:20:03 am
I'm saying that presumed innocent is a green light for scammers.

You also can't just assume everyone is a scammer until proven otherwise.
That is why the likes of Kickstarter have implemented the prototype rule. You have to show something tangible before you are allowed in.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Bored@Work on May 04, 2013, 03:52:16 pm
You also can't just assume everyone is a scammer until proven otherwise.

That is exactly what I do when it comes to crowdsourcing.

From some age on you don't want to waste time by constantly and repeatedly evaluating every new fad. They come and, more important, they go. Instead, when you no longer can ignore a new fad, because people are constantly trying to shove it up your arse, you give it a good look and make an assessment. Based on that you decide if you want to be part of it or not, and then move on with your life.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Corporate666 on May 04, 2013, 07:07:16 pm
The biggest problem with Crowdfunding is that even if the idea is really good and the people implementing it are well intentioned and not scammers.... if those people have never run a business before, they are going to make a dog's breakfast of the whole thing.  At best, it will be delayed.  At worst, everyone loses their money. 

The times that this doesn't happen are when professional companies with a track record of success (or at least a track record of being a real business) are the ones behind the project.  But Kickstarter generally doesn't want those people crowdfunding projects because it's supposed to be for projects that would not otherwise happen.

KS says they do not want to be used as a sales/pre-order platform, but that is total bullshit.  I bought a pen from a couple of guys - Huang and Chadwick or something.  Well, they have made at least 5 or 6 projects for different kinds of pens.  It is not true that "without the KS backers, this new pen would never see the light of day"... they are just using it as a sales tool and pre-order platform.  Which is specifically what KS claims they aren't.

But they know they are just as everyone else knows it.  When KS does no due diligence on their project creators and turns a blind eye to projects that obviously go against their claimed raison d'etre, it seriously undermines how truthful the KS people are being about "we are not a pre-order site nor are we a store" (wink, wink... give us yer money and you'll get this new shiny widget, really!).

They are ripe for a crackdown. 
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on May 04, 2013, 07:13:11 pm
They aren't all train wrecks. Here is a counterpoint example of one that I recently backed. It raised 15 times the goal amount, all units were shipped on time. Actually, many were early. And that's after the project owner made some major last-minute alterations to the design at the recommendation of several backers.
This project is at least an order of magnitude less hard than most - minimal software involved  and no mechanical stuff. You'd have to be seriously incompetent to mess that up.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Hypernova on May 04, 2013, 09:46:25 pm
I wonder if they can change KS into loan agency like institutions. You don't just receive the money when backed but instead get a zero interest loan, upon project delivery the debt is paid with the pledged funds.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: MacAttak on May 05, 2013, 06:34:14 am
I wonder if they can change KS into loan agency like institutions. You don't just receive the money when backed but instead get a zero interest loan, upon project delivery the debt is paid with the pledged funds.

There are already microlending programs like that. Maybe not zero-interest, but Kickstarter keeps 10% of the raised money so they aren't free either.

The reason it wouldn't work is that the entire supposition of crowdfunding is that the project creator doesn't have the financial means of doing it without funding. If they did, then they wouldn't be looking at crowdfunding in the first place.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Keef Wivanef on May 05, 2013, 08:09:37 am
The punters are getting restless  :-DD


http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/mu-thermal-camera-a-great-tool-to-save-on-energy-costs?c=comments (http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/mu-thermal-camera-a-great-tool-to-save-on-energy-costs?c=comments)

"Arne Kaiser said 8 hours ago
I’m also waiting to hear back from them. Sent both a direct email to John as well as a message via indiegogo here on Wednesday. Though I suppose they’re busy and only check on that every now and then.


Mark Loit said 17 hours ago
@doug7007: No, as refunds are outside of indiegogo.

@Ken F, @Christopher Wice: I sent my request directly to John, as well as via a private comment here. I got an initial reply [from Marcus] within 24Hrs asking for my paypal info. I provided that info last night, so we’ll see what happens over the next few days. Being the weekend, I’m not expecting to hear anything before Monday. You might try contacting Marcus directly if you have not had any other response.


doug7007 said 17 hours ago
Shouldnt the money raised banner and supporter counter decrease with each refund ??!!!!!!!!!!!


Christopher Wice said 19 hours ago
Same here ,

I’ve sent a request to John McGrath (via the Contact User button) twice in the past four days requesting a refund and I’ve yet to receive any type of response.

Is there another method I should use or someone else I need to contact?


Martin King said 1 day ago
@Daniel/Ken that is a worrying turn of events, BTW if it’s any use it appears John Mcgrath is also the COO of a VFX company http://www.rethinkstudios.tv/contact/ (http://www.rethinkstudios.tv/contact/) so you could try contacting him through them. There is also an interesting discusion about this project at http://hackaday.com/2013/03/06/a-real-thermal-imaging-camera-for-300/. (http://hackaday.com/2013/03/06/a-real-thermal-imaging-camera-for-300/.)


Daniel said 1 day ago
@Ken F. sorry to say, similar experience here. I requested a refund on the 16th, which John promptly responded the money should be sent over in a day or so. It hasn’t. After multiple attempts to get an update from him, I finally elevated this to a claim with paypal yesterday.

+1 noRefundInSight

edit: Marcus Deely has now contacted me apologizing for the delay… Oh!...that's all right then!


Ken F. said 1 day ago
I’ve sent a request to John McGrath (via the Contact User button) every day for the past three days requesting a refund and I’ve yet to receive any type of response.

Is there another method I should use or someone else I need to contact?"



Yes, call the feds........OFF WITH THEIR TESTURCLES! :-+
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: EEVblog on May 05, 2013, 09:08:24 am
doug7007 said 17 hours ago
Shouldnt the money raised banner and supporter counter decrease with each refund ??!!!!!!!!!!!

Actually, that is a good idea.
And there should be a figure displayed for how many people have asked for refunds and the reason why.
That would help keep everything transparent.

Another idea would be for Indiegogo/Kickstarter to only release say half the fund up front to buy parts.
Perhaps this could be integrated into the campaign. e.g. the creator specified how much money they need as a first payment.
The rest only gets paid when stuff ships.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Jay_Diddy_B on May 05, 2013, 09:31:49 am
Hi,
I think some of the backers of the Mu thermal imager would have liked to know that John Mcgrath's background was in VFX (visual effects) and CGI (Computer Generated Imagery), before they backed the Mu Camera.

The Mu Camera probably exists in a virtual world.....


Jay_Diddy_B

Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: grenert on May 05, 2013, 11:04:49 am
And that rush will give them a good excuse. Something like "All the backers asking for a refund are killing the project. We don't have enough money any more to pay for production/prototype/parts because of the refunds. It is over, and it is your fault. We can't fully refund everyone, because we spent it on the project."
Yep, that's the exact "out" they will be counting on I bet.

Oh, don't worry about that; they don't need our piddly money.  They have mysterious, deep-pocketed venture capitalists to see this through  :bullshit:
From their campaign page:
Quote
We have various venture capital options open to us to fund the project through to completion.  The financing people are hard on our behinds to get this product in the market.  The idea for the IndieGoGo campaign came to us from one of our financial advisors; suggested as a means to retain a greater share of equity in our company during the earlier days of design and prototyping.   So...regardless of meeting our goal here or not, the Mµ Optics Thermal Imager is coming to market and all the early adopters and IndieGoGo supporters will definitely see their purchases delivered.
:-DD
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Hypernova on May 05, 2013, 07:33:50 pm
I wonder if they can change KS into loan agency like institutions. You don't just receive the money when backed but instead get a zero interest loan, upon project delivery the debt is paid with the pledged funds.

There are already microlending programs like that. Maybe not zero-interest, but Kickstarter keeps 10% of the raised money so they aren't free either.

The reason it wouldn't work is that the entire supposition of crowdfunding is that the project creator doesn't have the financial means of doing it without funding. If they did, then they wouldn't be looking at crowdfunding in the first place.

But what my scheme propose does provide them funds up front, just that they have a vested interest to finish the project. It's like how how student loans work in New Zealand, it's zero interest while you are in NZ so you have a vested interest to make the most of that degree in NZ.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: tinhead on May 05, 2013, 08:56:56 pm
being a baker of OpenVizsla I can say that the last update (#29) was sent on 2013-01-30
At least they have shown some photos... Not too much to be happy, but... IIRC "only" 150USD thrown away!:  :( :--

pointless, +1k USD bakers in EU didn't got even a single proto board, all these pictures are from proto boards, they
wasted 80k usd for nothing - not even enought money to produce proto PCBs.

A typical example when idiots trying to design something, i thought they have working proto but they didn't,
they spend a year to capture usb frames with FPGA - wow, what a joke. They spend money for everything,
like purchasing Altium (for what?),  or like designing PCBs not knowing how altium works or how to do this properly, another joke.

When asked to share their work, one of the contributors posted funcy xmos code, another one joke.

But hey, there is one good thing, on the next ccc event i will catch them ...

Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: snoopy on May 06, 2013, 12:57:52 pm
The problem with these projects is that making "stuff" is really expensive. You have parts cost, manufacturing costs, advertising, travel, trade shows, overhead (insurance, utilities, etc). not to mention paying the people who are working on the project.

Most people who do not run a business in the industry in question do not understand all these costs... so they see a commercial product that sells for $100 and they think "hell, I can make that for $50!  Then I can sell mine for $90 and make a ton of money!".  But they don't know that the $100 product is sold by the manufacturer for $40, and the parts cost must be $10, and the manufacturer isn't making a lot of money even at those prices.

Then the person with the idea starts a crowdsourced project, gets a lot of money... but because they do not have the experience or connections, they can't get the costs down like the big manufacturer can, and before they know it, they've blown half their money on traveling to various manufacturers trying to put the project together - and they don't even have enough left to cover the production run, even if they did it at cost. 

That is the big risk of these projects.  I don't think it's really scammers trying to swindle people, but rather doe-eyed inexperienced neophytes who just do not have the knowledge or information they need to embark on such projects in a successful manner. 

Having said that, I know nothing about this project creator, nor do I know a lot about IR cameras.  I own one (a FLIR i7) that was really expensive to buy... and I really like the technology and I know how it works.  And what makes me nervous is that this guys claim that the expensive stuff is the processing and such, is totally untrue in my opinion.  The expensive stuff is the optics and sensor.  He is claiming to be able to make a camera for $150 that has the same resolution of a $2,0000 FLIR.  That is over 90% cheaper.  And considering FLIR is a huge company that has economies of scale (and purchasing power) this guy can't even dream of, it really makes me suspicious.

On top of the erroneous claim that the stuff in the phone are the expensive parts, I would personally not invest.

They usually are scammers because they don't want to do their own homework and just want to risk other peoples time and money on some hair-brained idea which has a snow flakes chance in hell of ever working !! They usually have lots of their own money tucked away in other investments but won't touch any of that. Much easier to round up a whole lot of gullible investors and engineers and suck them in to the road to riches story. I've seen it all before.  I don't know any engineer including myself that hasn't been ripped off by this sort of scam. You learn the hard the hard way I suppose :(

But having said that there are some that do work out but they are more the exception to the rule ;)
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Flsgd on May 06, 2013, 01:55:09 pm
Although I've enjoyed the topic and Dave's rant, I think Mr. Keef Wivanef's posts are way overboard.
Of course everyone knows the investment is a liability: You don't have to spam the board with laughing emoticons and long quotes.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Rasz on May 06, 2013, 02:09:17 pm
Even a rank amateur can now be a successful scammer thanks to the internet and crowdfunding

Crowdfunding is just a new angle. It was eBay who provided the largest training ground for future scammers. A whole generation of scammers had time to try every tricke in the book, even invent a few ones, and hon basic scammer skills unmolested on eBay.

You dont even need to risk ebay, you can train scamming in video game called EVE Online. Every year someone pulls off a scam of $50-100K proportions and its all legal and EULA proof. Eve Online taught me how to immediately spot scams (short and long cons).
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Keef Wivanef on May 06, 2013, 05:28:53 pm
Although I've enjoyed the topic and Dave's rant, I think Mr. Keef Wivanef's posts are way overboard.
Of course everyone knows the investment is a liability: You don't have to spam the board with laughing emoticons and long quotes.
OVERBOARD???
Why don't  you just start here and see what happened when I called bullshit on Greg Watson the great SunCube inventor.
http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=102146 (http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=102146)
I are an engineer and I tried to stop the Great SunCube Swindle

I spent $50,000 dollars taking Watson to court for defamation after he called ME a criminal profiteer wiv no morals or ethics.

I won my case and was awarded damages....Watson shot through and was last heard of peddling Cold Fusion Scams
http://www.lenr-forum.com/showthread.php?184-Coolcat-(Greg-watson-woomera-) (http://www.lenr-forum.com/showthread.php?184-Coolcat-(Greg-watson-woomera-))

"Real news from Defkalion
Woomera:

G’Day, I was JUST in Athens and met with representatives of Defkalion.  They told me that they were going to begin selling their LENR device this July 2012.

I was shown their R&D model which just starts with a flick of the switch.  It also turns off with a just a flick of the same switch.  They have their model running at 250degc.  They can get their LENR to run over 350degc (dry steam), but they need something more than the current fluid that they are using.  Rossi has problem shutting down his E-CAT.  Rossi is a “one-man-band” and Defkalion has 27 scientists.

Several groups have come to see them including NASA.  They have taken down their blog on their website to enable their 27 scientists to just concentrate on their work to finalize a commercial LENR.  Each unit will have as many as five (5ea) LENRs, each running at 5kw. I went there to investigate possible investment.  They only want BIG investors.  They have MANY OEM (original equipment manufacturers) already on board internationally.  They intend to manufacture 300,000 units in the first year.  It will cost only 30 Euros/year to operate each LENR device

They have all the European certificates.  Everyone else in the world recognises the EU certificates, except the United States.  Defkalion had decided the US is in the ‘too-hard-basket’ and won’t manufacture or sell to the US. The units will be monitored via mobile telephone or internet to insure their proper operation.

I was told that they were trying to actually see what happens in their device with some glass with a melting point of 1500degc.  They saw it light up like the sun and then it melted the glass.  This just took a second or two.  I was told what their working theory was, but they really don’t know what is going on.  They have brought in several academics with a myraid of explanations.

This looks like a real go’er.  It will change the world.  I’m sorry for not disclosing more.  I was told specifics, but was asked to keep them confidential.

These are exciting times. The whole world awaits.  Life is about to change.

Oh yes, I went to Greece, just to go island hopping for a week.  I was on the 1st boat of the season.  I would suggest May or September.  DO NOT GO in August!  The islands double in population in August and it’s TOO HOT and windy.  Lovely place with lovely people!

Regards,  Woomera
"

Helloooo Greggy!!!


Re: Company: Defkalion what happened?

I now live in the Middle-East. For now, I've given Oz the 'flick'. The current government leaders used to call each other 'Comrade'. Until there is a bit of political tidial change in Australia, I'm bowing out for now. I want to keep the $$ I earn and not give it to a bunch of dead-beat 'drongos', like the current government in Australia currently does. I was last taxed on my income at 45%, on top of a 10% GST in Australia. This doesn't even include all the hidden taxes and tarriffs. For instance, everything from the States, is twice the price as you would find in the US. Go figure? In the Middle East, it's the same price as the States.

Regards,

Woomera

Well I hope you like eating sand Greg Watson, you won't be coming back to OZ for a while.
The Tax department, ASIC and Keef are all on your trail.
I thought you said you didn't earn any money to pay tax on?



-----Original Message-----
From: Greg Watson [mailto:gowatson@hotmail.com]
Sent: Thursday, 2 February 2012 2:16 AM
To: Sue Yerasoff Lawyers.
Subject: Re: Claim Dear Sirs,

Your clients seems to think I'm a wealthy man. I'm not. I'm 65, divorced and retired. I have no houses, no assets, no car, no investments, no savings, no shares, no job and no income other than my Aged Pension.
I also suffer from recurrent Malaria.

What you client seeks from Bankrupting a poor man is beyond me. There is no money to get.

Greg Watson




Awwwwwww...poor Gweggy!!  :-DD :-DD
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: CanadianAvenger on May 08, 2013, 02:14:35 am
Although I smelled the obvious technical rat from the beginning, I originally gave them the benefit of the doubt for a bit to see if they would come through with some tangible proof of some real hardware. But it became quickly clear that they are just spewing BS, stalling, and refusing to provide any evidence of anything. It has now transitioned into a scam if it wasn't intentionally from the start.
Although given that they claimed to have various prototypes etc, if they lied about that then it was indeed a scam from the get-go.

I am a former backer of the project, but did get a full refund yesterday. They didn't even subtract off the IGG and CC fees, so I do believe they are above-board and not trying to scam - But I also believe they are in way over their heads.

I initially gave them the benefit of the doubt when I backed. I knew the time-line was a serious stretch [I'm an embedded systems designer, so I have a feel for how long things take], but by all appearances they had working imagery, and some mechanicals prototyped, which was a good start. However it came to light after close of the campaign that the images were taken by a commercially available camera as examples of what a thermal camera could do, and there was no prototype even built yet. Then there was a material change to the specs for the sensitivity of the camera which happened without notice until a backer pointed it out. The constant evasion to posting images from the camera, or even pictures of prototypes is what finally broke my confidence. And finally, the fact that they are still fighting over what chipset and interface to use to interface to the phone, led me to demand a refund as I could see no light at the end of the tunnel anymore.

I do hope they succeed in making the camera, it would be a cool product at a great price-point. But from where we are now, they have a long ways to go before they get there.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Corporate666 on May 08, 2013, 08:02:47 am
Although I've enjoyed the topic and Dave's rant, I think Mr. Keef Wivanef's posts are way overboard.
Of course everyone knows the investment is a liability: You don't have to spam the board with laughing emoticons and long quotes.
OVERBOARD???

Way overboard.

I have no idea who "Greg Watson" is - but I clicked your link and it looks there is some internet flame war going back to 2007. 

Frankly, what does any of that have to do with the MuImager guys?  It seems the only connection is they both appear to be fast and loose with their claims, but you're posting page after page of links and angst-ridden vengeful stuff about this Greg Watson who seems to be a completely different person from a completely different business totally unrelated to IndieGogo or MuImager - is that right?
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Keef Wivanef on May 08, 2013, 08:30:00 am
Greg Watson (professional con-artist) came on the scene long before crowd-funding.
He had to work a bit harder to spread his lies across the web and lure in victims.
"new planet saving invention almost ready...send money now"

Con artists like Watson quickly realised that claiming environmental benefits earns sympathy from many people and that most of those people don't have the scientific or engineering knowledge to see the obvious flaws.
Watson went on to cause BILLION DOLLAR LOSSES to investors.

Crowd-funding is a wonderful tool for con-artists. It is being used in conjunction with social networking to reach a massive pool of potential victims.

Each recruit will go on to evangelise for the "planet saving widget"
Once a critical mass has been achieved and the widget is high on the Google rankings it gains an undeserved credibility.
(A lie repeated often enough becomes the truth)

Just Google " Ecat" for a classic example.
A convicted criminal, environmental vandal with Mafia connections has built an empire on Cold Fusion Crapolata.

Aaaaaaaaaargh! |O

Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Corporate666 on May 08, 2013, 08:58:24 am
Greg Watson (professional con-artist) came on the scene long before crowd-funding.
He had to work a bit harder to spread his lies across the web and lure in victims.
"new planet saving invention almost ready...send money now"

Con artists like Watson quickly realised that claiming environmental benefits earns sympathy from many people and that most of those people don't have the scientific or engineering knowledge to see the obvious flaws.
Watson went on to cause BILLION DOLLAR LOSSES to investors.

Crowd-funding is a wonderful tool for con-artists. It is being used in conjunction with social networking to reach a massive pool of potential victims.

Each recruit will go on to evangelise for the "planet saving widget"
Once a critical mass has been achieved and the widget is high on the Google rankings it gains an undeserved credibility.
(A lie repeated often enough becomes the truth)

Just Google " Ecat" for a classic example.
A convicted criminal, environmental vandal with Mafia connections has built an empire on Cold Fusion Crapolata.

Aaaaaaaaaargh! |O

I understand that crowdfunding is fertile ground for con artists.  And I also understand that the guy you apparently went to war with was a con artist.  I'm not disputing either of those things, and I commend you for going after the guy who was running a scam.

My point is simply that you seem to have a lot of residual angst towards this Watson guy and you're venting it here... but I don't think this Watson guy has anything to do with Mu nor do I see anything that says he's using crowdfunding websites to scam people.  It just seems like you're still angry over whatever happened and shouting from the highest rooftop you can find about it. 

But that's not really what this forum is about.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Keef Wivanef on May 08, 2013, 09:13:07 am
I think we should let Dave decide what this forum is about  :)

" It just seems like you're still angry over whatever happened and shouting from the highest rooftop you can find about it.  "

Well, I am still peeved that I am $50K out of pocket and that ASIC and the other regulators give a green light to such operations..

I like THIS ROOFTOP because Dave allows much more freedom to name and shame than most other forums do.

"It would be appreciative if a few guidelines are now followed for this thread:

1. Keep it relevant. Posting links regarding information from literally years ago (sometimes up to a decade old) is not relevant.

2. Robust discussion is OK. Back and forth slanging matches between two or three individuals is not. Take that to whim messages if need be and be civil.

3. Replying or commenting to posts made by the incumbent serial pest known as "Keef" or any of his subsequently created accounts will be removed immediately as off topic and add to your deleted post history. Also remember that this accumulated history may lead to a penalty period. Therefore do not waste your time posting it in the first place.

We know who "Keef" is. We know his whereabouts and his real name. This is all logged and is being compiled as evidence.

Thank you for your understanding.
"

http://forums.whirlpool.net.au/archive/1660945# (http://forums.whirlpool.net.au/archive/1660945#)
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: EEVblog on May 08, 2013, 09:24:21 am
I think we should let Dave decide what this forum is about  :)
Well, I am still peeved that I am $50K out of pocket and that ASIC and the other regulators give a green light to such operations..
I like THIS ROOFTOP because Dave allows much more freedom to name and shame than most other forums do.

Yes, but please don't do it in this thread.
If you have something else you want to discuss, start another thread.
And please refrain from simply posting quotes and then a head banging emoticon. That's not adding any original content here.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Arlo1 on May 09, 2013, 01:01:18 am
They posted a video.... But it doesn't load so fake?  I am not sure but I need a budget thermal camera I can watch things in real time with some decent resolution for developing electric motor controller parts and testing on the dyno.   Anyone know where a good place to look is?  The best I can find is a FLIR on ebay starting at ~$1300   
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: CanadianAvenger on May 09, 2013, 01:47:20 am
They re-posted the video, it is up now. But still not enough to say it is real, the UI is running in the iOS sim. Still no evidence of actual hardware.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: amspire on May 09, 2013, 02:22:16 am
They re-posted the video, it is up now. But still not enough to say it is real, the UI is running in the iOS sim. Still no evidence of actual hardware.
They say the IR image is not real - it won't be till they get the new WiFi IC that they just very recently got supplied. Until the WiFi chip software is working, they cannot get IR images to the phone or anywhere else I gather.The IR image in the demonstration is just a simulated IR image. Perhaps they just color-shifted the original image to make it look like an IR image.

They were demonstrating the App only.

When they have the WiFi communicating with the App, then hopefully they can show a real IR image. That is what everyone is waiting for I gather.

It would be nice to think that because they estimated a May delivery that they now should become magicians and get everything working instantly, but it wont happen. The estimate was always impossible and now they have demonstrated that it was a ridiculous delivery estimate. No great surprise there. They may need new PCB revisions, they will have stupid bugs in their software that might keep them stuck for weeks. Even when it is working, they probably should spend another 3 months at least working on polishing the interface, the bugs and phone compatibility issues before releasing, but I guess they will try and rush something out as soon as they can - bugs and all.

They might have the WiFi working next week. They might have it working in 3 months. Who knows?
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: firewalker on May 09, 2013, 02:38:11 am
So, it will be capable of thermal sensing through glass?  >:D >:D >:D

Update 3 on Vimeo (http://vimeo.com/65703256)

Alexander.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: amspire on May 09, 2013, 02:56:27 am
So, it will be capable of thermal sensing through glass?  >:D >:D >:D
I am very glad it is not a problem I have to worry about.

There are glass lenses available for the Long Wave IR band, so if they are using a glass lens (I wouldn't have a clue),  is nothing stopping them in theory. The LWIR glass lenses are not ordinary glass of course.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: edavid on May 09, 2013, 03:09:25 am
They say the IR image is not real - it won't be till they get the new WiFi IC that they just very recently got supplied. Until the WiFi chip software is working, they cannot get IR images to the phone or anywhere else I gather.The IR image in the demonstration is just a simulated IR image. Perhaps they just color-shifted the original image to make it look like an IR image.

OK, why do they need WiFi to show IR images?  I would think with everyone calling them scammers, they would put the WiFi and the app aside for now and just demonstrate that the camera works.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on May 09, 2013, 03:24:59 am

They might have the WiFi working next week. They might have it working in 3 months. Who knows?
Screw the WiFi - that's just window dressing  they've yet to provide any evidence of any functioning thermal imaging. The fact they still haven't after all this time and all the criticism can only lead to the conclusion that they have nothing. 
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: amspire on May 09, 2013, 03:55:37 am
OK, why do they need WiFi to show IR images?  I would think with everyone calling them scammers, they would put the WiFi and the app aside for now and just demonstrate that the camera works.
Yes they do. How else does an image get from their PCB to the phone? If the link is WiFi, and WiFi is not working, then no link.

It doesn't matter how much you use words like "scammer".
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Short Circuit on May 09, 2013, 04:05:25 am
OK, why do they need WiFi to show IR images?  I would think with everyone calling them scammers, they would put the WiFi and the app aside for now and just demonstrate that the camera works.
Yes they do. How else does an image get from their PCB to the phone? If the link is WiFi, and WiFi is not working, then no link.
Nonsense, they bother to produce 'simulated' IR footage. Why not put some efford in simulating that wifi link by tranferring images with SD card, or simulating the app display on a PC?
Nobody cares if they can produce some weird app (which looks utterly useless juding from that video). All doubt in this project is about the thermal imaging, not about the bells and whistles...
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: firewalker on May 09, 2013, 04:08:57 am
I'm guessing the sensor will communicate with the Wi-Fi chip via a know protocol and not something exotic. If my problem was the Wi-Fi I would post something like

"This is the senor, and this is the raw data when pointed to a heat sink at 50 degrees"

Alexander.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: tom66 on May 09, 2013, 06:03:40 am
Is there a low-latency protocol for transmitting live video over WiFi? Need to maintain constant frame rate and sync with the non-thermal camera.

I don't know why they used WiFi. Don't most phones support acting as a USB host now? Seems like it would be cheaper and more reliable. Maybe a little harder to write an app for, I don't know.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: sleemanj on May 09, 2013, 08:46:56 am
My opinion on the latest video YAR - Yet Another Rendering.  They haven't even shown the "app" running on an actual phone, probably was just an animation.

All these guys have to do to quell 90% of the doubters is to turn on the video camera, pick up their prototypes in their own two hands and SHOW THEM.

Doesn't matter if it's not complete, even if it's not working. 


Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: EEVblog on May 09, 2013, 10:40:13 am
OK, why do they need WiFi to show IR images?

They don't, it's a bullshit delay tactic. It seems obvious they don't have any hardware to get a thermal image out of in the first place.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: EEVblog on May 09, 2013, 10:41:27 am
All these guys have to do to quell 90% of the doubters is to turn on the video camera, pick up their prototypes in their own two hands and SHOW THEM.

They can't do that because they don't have any hardware.
So they'll continue to give the bullshit excuse that they need to protect their trade secret.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: EEVblog on May 09, 2013, 10:47:22 am
Yes they do. How else does an image get from their PCB to the phone? If the link is WiFi, and WiFi is not working, then no link.

There could be many ways, you build those sorts of things into your hardware for development and debugging.
Remember, it used to be a USB interface camera, not WiFi. They only made that switch way after the campaign ended.
Remember, they have already claimed they are getting thermal images out of their supposed camera. Any excuse about not being able to show an image because WiFi is not working is therefore complete bullshit. There is absolutely no doubt about this based on what they have said. So they have either been lying, or are full of crap, there is no third option.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Keef Wivanef on May 09, 2013, 10:51:59 am
Tried and tested formula.
New Green Widget...coming real soon.
Send money.

Now with crowd-funding, social networking and Google we are living in a scammer's paradise.
If a private citizen pulled stunts like these he could be charged with obtaining money by false pretences, fraud etc.
Register a COMPANY and then you have the GREEN LIGHT.

(cartoon of Keef banging head against wall)



Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: amspire on May 09, 2013, 02:43:57 pm
There could be many ways, you build those sorts of things into your hardware for development and debugging.
Remember, it used to be a USB interface camera, not WiFi. They only made that switch way after the campaign ended.
Remember, they have already claimed they are getting thermal images out of their supposed camera. Any excuse about not being able to show an image because WiFi is not working is therefore complete bullshit. There is absolutely no doubt about this based on what they have said. So they have either been lying, or are full of crap, there is no third option.
Don't get me wrong - I think at best, the project has huge problems. I gather no-one know the status of the sensor and lens.

The camera will be a WiFi access point, so I gather that means to use the camera at home, you have to disconnect from your home WiFi and connect to the camera. They you forget you are not connected to your WiFi you start and start watching a whole lot of movies on your phone all charged to your phone account's data plan.

If the WiFi has no security, perhaps it is possible to spoof the camera's WiFi and get someones phone to connect to another rogue access point.

If USB is too hard to get working across all cameras, Bluetooth would have been the right solution even if it meant reducing the video to 1 frame/sec which would be just as useful, but not as funky. Bit late now, since they have promised 30 fps.

I didn't see any reference to getting images out of the camera sensor yet - I did see a vague statement like this:

" Image quality is of utmost importance to us and much of that work is on the hardware side."
"Thermal imaging is tricky, and we want to get it right for every camera we build, so we keep testing and redesigning and perfecting, I think that we’re nearly there though."
" a working camera will be unveiled in early May, and you will see working videos of our camera well in advance of that."   Hmmmmm   :-[

All the posted IR images and videos was a bit misleading - I am sure some people would have thought they were taken with the Mu Optics camera instead of something that probably costs over 20 times more.

I would definitely agree that the camera testing and the phone connectivity testing should have been in prototyping before the fund raising. Now they are committed to delivering about 1800 cameras and they are still trying to work out how to do it. I think they are in trouble. I gather there has been no tooling for the case yet. With the changes in chipsets, they would have to design, order and build new test/prototyping boards before the next round of tests.

Probably an excellent case study in what not to do if you ever want to start a fund raising project with a chance of a successful outcome.

I definitely wont do it this way when I start my IC Printer crowd-sourcing project. I will have the Android and iPhone apps with the big "PRINT IC" button completely working before I start the funding campaign.  :)
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: AlfBaz on May 09, 2013, 03:15:11 pm
I definitely wont do it this way when I start my IC Printer crowd-sourcing project. I will have the Android and iPhone apps with the big "PRINT IC" button completely working before I start the funding campaign.  :)
Will it come with built in IC templates??!!??  ;D
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: amspire on May 09, 2013, 04:04:50 pm
I definitely wont do it this way when I start my IC Printer crowd-sourcing project. I will have the Android and iPhone apps with the big "PRINT IC" button completely working before I start the funding campaign.  :)
Will it come with built in IC templates??!!??  ;D
Better than that - it will come with built in ICs!!!!! The design is continually being refined to give you the best possible quality.

Hey, this is easy!
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: EEVblog on May 09, 2013, 06:00:55 pm
" Image quality is of utmost importance to us and much of that work is on the hardware side."
"Thermal imaging is tricky, and we want to get it right for every camera we build, so we keep testing and redesigning and perfecting, I think that we’re nearly there though."
" a working camera will be unveiled in early May, and you will see working videos of our camera well in advance of that."   Hmmmmm   :-[

"nearly there" with "testing and redesigning and perfecting" means you MUST have at least a thermal image. Otherwise you are just full of crap!
Also, they said this:
Quote
Abe is in the other room right now tweaking bias voltages and the like to get the best picture possible in the field. Turns out it’s just as hard to make the picture look great as it is just to get a picture in the first place.

If that's true then that means they must have a thermal image. Why don't they show it?

Quote
All the posted IR images and videos was a bit misleading - I am sure some people would have thought they were taken with the Mu Optics camera instead of something that probably costs over 20 times more.

I would definitely agree that the camera testing and the phone connectivity testing should have been in prototyping before the fund raising. Now they are committed to delivering about 1800 cameras and they are still trying to work out how to do it. I think they are in trouble. I gather there has been no tooling for the case yet. With the changes in chipsets, they would have to design, order and build new test/prototyping boards before the next round of tests.

They said this 22 days ago:
Quote
We’ve got a new case about to be machined (hopefully with proper and final mounts and clips).

That means they have an old case too. They have shown neither.

They also said this:
Quote
The next PCB we order should pretty much be the one that goes into the first cameras we ship…baring any big changes

That means they have an old PCB too. They have shown neither.

There are just so many things that show they are talking rubbish. It all points toward no hardware existing.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Rasz on May 09, 2013, 08:12:13 pm
Now they are committed to delivering about 1800 cameras

No they arent, this is indiegogo, they are commited to TRY and deliver "something" maybe :)
You fund a project, not pay for goods.
You funded this guys new car, holidays, maybe a debt he had to repay from his other business (which happens to be 'using special effects to make FAKE VIDEOS LOOK REAL").  :-DD


Also, they said this:
Quote
Abe is in the other room right now tweaking bias voltages and the like to get the best picture possible in the field. Turns out it’s just as hard to make the picture look great as it is just to get a picture in the first place.

That means they bloody well have a thermal image, otherwise they are completely lying.

This is an old "goods are in the other room" con trick.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rlwhv7m3CSI (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rlwhv7m3CSI)
http://youtu.be/fwIW5hnYRi8?t=2m34s (http://youtu.be/fwIW5hnYRi8?t=2m34s)
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: CanadianAvenger on May 09, 2013, 11:24:52 pm

All the posted IR images and videos was a bit misleading - I am sure some people would have thought they were taken with the Mu Optics camera instead of something that probably costs over 20 times more.


Indeed, and it is why I initially backed, as by all appearances they had a working prototype. I was pretty pissed after when it came to light that they were taken by a commercial camera, After close of the campaign and identified by a backer and then finally confirmed by Mu, which leads me to believe they had no intent on telling their backers that. I'm actually leaning towards outright fraud now. I'm sure all these backers pulling out will become the ultimate excuse for the projects ultimate failure.

Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: amspire on May 10, 2013, 01:03:25 am
Also, they said this:
Quote
Abe is in the other room right now tweaking bias voltages and the like to get the best picture possible in the field. Turns out it’s just as hard to make the picture look great as it is just to get a picture in the first place.

If that's true then that means they must have a thermal image. Why don't they show it?
The wording is very careful - they didn't actually say that Abe has a thermal image from the IR sensor. He might be looking at the sensor output on a scope and adjusting the bias voltages for the best apparent dynamic range of the signals seen on the scope. Sometimes you can see more on a scope output then an actual picture image output which is why waveform monitors were such a big thing back in the analog TV days.

If that is what Abe was doing, then if they tried to post photos, it would scare people off rather then reassure them. To a non-technical person, it might go down as meaningless gobblygook. To a technical person, it would seem that the testing is at an extremely early stage - like the very first stage - of development. It is the sort of test you would do on a breadboard within a few days of getting the first sensor. Definitely not at a "2 months to delivery" stage. What that statement says to me is that the sensor probably needs a dynamically variable bias control to get the best image and it sounds like the planned design is trying to use a fixed bias voltage for simplicity. With a dynamic bias control, you could get the maximum possible dynamic range from the sensor without the need for Abe's "best apparent dynamic range" adjustments.

They have always said it would be a simple design so perhaps it is unacceptably simple.

Reading the Mu Optics page on the Indiegogo site, I have noticed that all the wording is extremely careful and guarded.  It is possible that they have never actually lied so far, but from the reaction of other people here, it seems there is a definite gap between what they actually said, and what many people think they were saying. Words are very important, and when statements are expressed on odd ways, it is a good idea to ask why. If you go through the comments, there are many curiously expressed statements and I have always assumed they were the statements that put the best possible spin on the situation.

My own assessment is that the Mu Optics founders are not electronic designers so they needed the funding money to be able to pay for designers - electronic, software and mechanical. I think this from the fact it is Abe testing the sensor, and not John himself. If it were my project, I would be testing the sensor - the whole project depends on it and I would want to know as much as possible about it. They perhaps did not understand the difficulties in producing a device that may appear to look simple. They did everything possible in the campaign wording to successfully raise as much money as possible from what appears to be a raw concept probably backed up with some discussion of pricing with suppliers.

The idea itself has genuine potential, but I have not yet seen anything to convince me this is the right group of people to make the idea a reality. I would like to discover that they are really competent, but have had to keep a very tight lid on their development work for unknown reasons. Based on what I have seen so far, I wouldn't risk my own money on this campaign.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: andersm on May 10, 2013, 01:32:09 am
I don't know why they used WiFi. Don't most phones support acting as a USB host now? Seems like it would be cheaper and more reliable. Maybe a little harder to write an app for, I don't know.
Disregarding the speculation about fraud, to connect a gadget to an iOS device you have to be part of Apple's MFi licensing program, plus the newest models have a different connector to the older ones. I don't know if there are any limitations in Android devices, but at least in theory a wireless connection would be simpler and more universal.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Bored@Work on May 10, 2013, 01:50:03 am
I don't know if there are any limitations in Android devices,

Device manufacturers do whatever pleases them. Often they don't care much about USB. USB support in the Android API is anyhow not too great. Officially you have some Android special (non USB-standard), but documented, accessory support, and rudimentary raw host mode support in Android.  Almost all USB support from the underlying Linux is not available in Android or requires fiddling to make it work. It is a mess.

TCP/IP (over WiFi, mobile broadband or sometimes Ethernet) and Bluetooth are better choices if you need to connect something to Android.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: CanadianAvenger on May 10, 2013, 02:02:26 am
The wording is very careful - they didn't actually say that Abe has a thermal image from the IR sensor. He might be looking at the sensor output on a scope and adjusting the bias voltages for the best apparent dynamic range of the signals seen on the scope. Sometimes you can see more on a scope output then an actual picture image output which is why waveform monitors were such a big thing back in the analog TV days.

True, but then they did also post this in an update about a month ago:
"Firstly, I’d like to assuage any fears that we are only now working on WiFi. We have been developing that feature for some time now, and it has been working great. We believe wireless connectivity is a huge step up from USB. The software team has video coming in over the air and it is working flawlessly."

So if they have had video working flawlessly for the past month, why haven't we seen any of it? Answer: They don't have anything, beyond an idea that they can't get to work.

All they need to do is post some images taken with the sensor they are using, even if from an eval board for the sensor they are using with standard optics. For the money they raised, you'd think they could at least have done that!  But now they are too far down the road of their deception, and will need to do substantially more to assuage any doubts now. The backers should be demanding images of an actual PCB with some markings that show it is the Mu optics camera... this can be done without revealing any of the "secret sauce" they are so paranoid of revealing.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: BravoV on May 10, 2013, 02:19:18 am
After reading through the progress there, and also replies/soundings here in this thread, why I have the feeling that they are really aware that every updates, or words that are coming out through their mouth are very thoroughly crafted. Damn sure I'm not alone here.

Its like a really hard work and great effort for the sake to maintain the period for the benefit of doubt as long as possible until it last ?   >:D
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: amspire on May 10, 2013, 02:19:47 am
True, but then they did also post this in an update about a month ago:
"Firstly, I’d like to assuage any fears that we are only now working on WiFi. We have been developing that feature for some time now, and it has been working great. We believe wireless connectivity is a huge step up from USB. The software team has video coming in over the air and it is working flawlessly."

So if they have had video working flawlessly for the past month, why haven't we seen any of it? Answer: They don't have anything, beyond an idea that they can't get to work.
This is another carefully worded statement. They said "Video", not "IR Video from the thermal sensor". If they only say "Video", I assume they only mean "Video" and absolutely nothing more.

In another statement, they said they had to discount Bluetooth as is could not sustain 30fps video, so it makes a lot of sense they test to see if WiFi can sustain 30fps video. That video may have been a simple test pattern generated by code in the micro - it could be done very simply. It is much more like they were just testing WiFi in general without using any of their hardware. They may have been sending a video stream from a notebook PC to their App running in the android development system on another PC via WiFi purely to test if the App could process a 30fps video stream arriving over WiFi without dropped frames. That might be how they got those demo videos into their demo App that they posted.

Back to the words "The software team has video coming in over the air and it is working flawlessly". That is all they are saying. If they had an IR camera talking to a phone, they would have used different words for sure.

The words "Software Team" means they probably have two programmers. One developing the Apps. One developing the embedded code in the camera.

On a positive note, it sounds like they are trying to develop something. It doesn't sound like there are two people sitting on a beach in the Bahamas with a big bag of money. The camera is a really good idea, and the best thing for contributors would be if the cameras are not rushed out in two months, but instead if Mu Optics gets proper funding after they get a working prototype (or even sell the startup to a rich company) so that you have a chance of getting a more mature design in perhaps 12 months. $300,000 may sound a lot, but it is not when the money is meant to pay for the parts and manufacture of 1800 cameras to the contributors, plus wages for a team of probably at least 6 people for at least 6 months, plus case designing, prototyping and tooling, plus radiation testing, plus equipment, rent, electricity and so on. The idea is good enough to earn more then the $300,000 campaign funding, and I thing the founders will be hoping for more then $300,000 from the project.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: tom66 on May 10, 2013, 03:30:06 am
I'd like to hope this isn't a scam. (I haven't invested, I'm just making a point.)

My reasons -- They've got the money, there's little or no chance of refunds happening. And they've got what appears to be staff, in an office, somewhere, although it does look more like a converted house. (And a small one...)

They've also developed an app which although presently fake does demonstrate some functionality.

Either way they've gone to a lot of effort to either fake it (which seems unnecessary IMO) or they've realised how much work there truly is behind getting something like this to market and they're stalling as they try to get it out there.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: CanadianAvenger on May 10, 2013, 03:59:50 am
My take is that it isn't a scam, but it is fraud -- as there was serious misrepresentation as to the state of affairs of the project. While they may have been careful in their wording by not explicitly saying they had something, the natural inference is that they did because of what they were showing and saying. They needed to be clear that what they were showing was not from their prototype to avoid misrepresenting their position.

My guess is they are now feverishly trying to get things to a state that they can show. Assuming they were starting from scratch at the conclusion of the campaign,  if they were good, they could have spun a first working prototype in about 4 weeks from the go point, which means they could have shown a PCB by now. My guess is that they don't have the level of expertise required to turn the hardware so fast [and possibly not even enough to ever get a working prototype], so it will be significantly longer. The fact they are still figuring out some key components would suggest that no PCB has even been spun yet. [though they indicate that one has by alluding to the "next PCB" in one of their updates] There is deliberate misdirection and omission in their communications, which all leads to my conclusion of fraud by misrepresentation.

Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Rasz on May 10, 2013, 04:50:43 am
Either way they've gone to a lot of effort to either fake it

The biggest effort so far was using special effects in form of clever image processing algorithm to map RGB values into false color, in effect creating pseudo thermal image with zero value other than misleading.
Interesting facts about the video. Information about picture being simulated and not from real thermal camera is edited over real audio. Clip was quickly taken down and reuploaded - just enough time to read a comment congratulating them on amazing breakthrough in thermal imaging technology that let them grab thermal reading THROUGH A GLASS WINDOW, take it down, and redub the audio.

(which seems unnecessary IMO)

Good convincer is everything in long cons.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on May 10, 2013, 05:55:08 am
If it had been a scam from the start, they could have been much, much more convincing than they have been, and would have cashed out and run by now. There would be no reason to have carried on this long.
My guess is they just didn't do enough research into the problem, steamed ahead with an "It'll be alright" sort of attitude from a (possibly self-delusiuonal) leader with a salesman type attitude, assuming cheap thermal imaging was something they could do with off-the-shelf parts and a moderate budget, and by the time they realised what they were into, it was too late so the bullshit ass-covering started to avoid losing face.
 A possible alternate scenario is they were over-promised something by a subcontractor (or "University genius" type who had an idea but no clue about manufacturing), let down, and are now drifting further and further up shit creek with no means of propulsion.

The one thing that has made this stand out for miles as vapourware is that at no stage in all of this have they ever mentioned anything whatsoever about the core technology - everything, from the initial pitch to the subsequent bullshit-filled updates has been all about entirely peripheral issues  like housings,  connectivity, getting it to retail etc. which are all much, much easier and readily solvable than the core functionality, of which they have demonstrated absolutely ZERO evidence.
 
They have nothing, will never have anything, and the only questions are how long it will be before it all implodes and the top people either do a runner or get prosecuted, and whether there will be any money left to compensate the backers.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: tom66 on May 10, 2013, 07:16:47 am
In terms of sensors they may be using devices like these
http://www.ulis-ir.com/index.php?infrared-detector=25--m-160x120hv (http://www.ulis-ir.com/index.php?infrared-detector=25--m-160x120hv)

These devices are promising. My understanding is FLIR's patents expired a few months ago and that's why were seeing a rush of new sensors appearing. I'm mighty tempted to ask for sample prices of these, but I expect it will be in at minimum the $100+ range. Perhaps they've realised that cheap thermal sensors... aren't.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: tom66 on May 10, 2013, 07:19:00 am
Good convincer is everything in long cons.

But the mark doesn't need convincing. He's already been taken for all he has...
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: EEVblog on May 10, 2013, 07:32:07 am
Yes, I'm still of the same opinion that it's not a total scam, they probably do want and intend to actually produce this thing. It seems they have just gotten in over their heads in producing hardware.
If they'd just show something tangible, almost all the backers would be satisfied. Backers of these projects are usually quite tolerant of delays etc, provided the communication is forthright.
The doubt in the backers started way back when someone made them admit the thermal image was from a commercial product. They should have knocked the doubters on the head back then by simply showing something.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Keef Wivanef on May 10, 2013, 08:24:37 am
Yes, I'm still of the same opinion that it's not a total scam,

So once again the "inventors" get the benefit of the doubt!

(Is it ok if I just have the one head-banger?)

 |O

That's better!
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Corporate666 on May 10, 2013, 08:40:07 am
Also, they said this:
Quote
Abe is in the other room right now tweaking bias voltages and the like to get the best picture possible in the field. Turns out it’s just as hard to make the picture look great as it is just to get a picture in the first place.

If that's true then that means they must have a thermal image. Why don't they show it?
The wording is very careful - they didn't actually say that Abe has a thermal image from the IR sensor. He might be looking at the sensor output on a scope and adjusting the bias voltages for the best apparent dynamic range of the signals seen on the scope. Sometimes you can see more on a scope output then an actual picture image output which is why waveform monitors were such a big thing back in the analog TV days.


Misleading someone by writing something that the vast majority of people would understand to mean "A", when "A" is not actually true at all - is still a lie.  And basing financial gain on such misleading is still fraud by deception.  It's the basis of most theft by fraud.  All that really matter is whether those committing the fraud knew they were painting a picture that differed from the truth and whether the picture they were painting was enticing someone to invest that otherwise would not. 

If if the answers are "yes" and "yes", then it's not really any different than those sleazy scammers who prey on old people who don't know any better.

If the Mu guys think that a defense of "well, we didn't *technically* say that, if you interpret our words and pictures in a strict dictionary sense", then they have another thing coming.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Keef Wivanef on May 10, 2013, 09:37:58 am
Report them to the FBI and let Mu-Thermal  prove it WASN'T a deliberate fraud.
http://www.fbi.gov/scams-safety/fraud/internet_fraud (http://www.fbi.gov/scams-safety/fraud/internet_fraud)

Filing a Complaint with the IC3

The IC3 accepts online Internet crime complaints from either the actual victim or from a third party to the complainant. We can best process your complaint if we receive accurate and complete information from you. Therefore, we request that you provide the following information when filing a complaint:
Your name
Your mailing address
Your telephone number
The name, address, telephone number, and Web address, if available, of the individual or organization you believe defrauded you.
Specific details on how, why, and when you believe you were defrauded.
Any other relevant information you believe is necessary to support your complaint.
click to REPORT A FRAUD

 :-DD

Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: amspire on May 10, 2013, 10:25:23 am
Report them to the FBI and let Mu-Thermal  prove it WASN'T a deliberate fraud.
http://www.fbi.gov/scams-safety/fraud/internet_fraud (http://www.fbi.gov/scams-safety/fraud/internet_fraud)
You can try if you like, but if it turns out the money raised has gone into wages of development personnel, purchasing of parts, etc, the investigators will drop the investigation almost instantly. If they have set up a development team, then this will not look like a scam to any investigator. Mu Optics may get a wrap over the knuckles for using wording that could be called "deceptive" but I suspect that the investigators would not see any fraudulent statements. The contributors did contribute to the development of a new product that didn't exist - they did not purchase an existing product. There was no promised delivery date - there was an estimated delivery date. Mu Optics can explain away the delay in delivery in terms of the need for a change of design from a USB solution to a WiFi solution. They can show that they only just sourced a useable WiFi chip a few weeks ago.

At best you can try and give them such bad publicity that you make it a certainty that the project fails no matter how hard Mu Optics try. You could get them tied up in civil court cases so that 100% of your contribution money ends up in the pockets of lawyers.

You contributed to a project to develop a thermal camera, and now the power is in the hands of Mu Optics. You have a choice to either support them, to try and hurt them, or walk away so if they come good, you get a very pleasant surprise. I do understand that your trust has been badly tested by the discovery of the misleading wording of statements.

The project may fail - just like the majority of startups fail, but failure is not fraud. Failure is lack of talent, or lack of effort, or lack of resources, or lack of a good idea from the start, or a good idea that looses its market due to a flood of cheaper products suddenly appearing. If there are companies now providing cheap thermal sensor arrays and cheap IR lenses, they will be marketing these sensors and lenses to other companies as hard as they can. You will see other cheap thermal cameras soon.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Corporate666 on May 10, 2013, 02:57:59 pm
The project may fail - just like the majority of startups fail, but failure is not fraud.

If the pitch presented to potential investors contains lies, and those lies are the basis on which the founders ask people to invest, then it most definitely is fraud.

It does not matter what their intentions were and whether they are nice people or not.  All that really matters is if they lied to get money.  If they did, that is fraud.  A lie of omission is still a lie.  If they were untruthful about the amount of progress they had made, or misrepresented the status at the time they initiated the crowdfunding project, or lied about material aspects of the project, then that is fraud.

I don't know those things to be true about the Mu guys - but it most definitely appears they materially misrepresented important aspects of the project.  Saying "well, they didn't 'technically' actually say such-and-such" doesn't matter.  They are responsible for the claims they make or cause the reasonable person to imply.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Keef Wivanef on May 10, 2013, 05:32:50 pm
Couldn't have put it better myself!

But what do you expect?
I'm a little teapot   :-DD
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: MFX on May 11, 2013, 05:07:35 am
Interesting facts about the video. Information about picture being simulated and not from real thermal camera is edited over real audio. Clip was quickly taken down and reuploaded - just enough time to read a comment congratulating them on amazing breakthrough in thermal imaging technology that let them grab thermal reading THROUGH A GLASS WINDOW, take it down, and redub the audio.

That would be pretty damming particularly as they plainly blamed Vimeo for the take down. Unfortunately unless anyone managed to grab the original video and a screen shot with the comment then it's just circumstantial evidence now. For me, glad I got out when I did, at the start my "too good to be true" sensor was tingling a bit but I had seen Sensors appearing on Alibaba etc. and knew some patents had expired so it was theoretically possible they had made a major cost breakthrough I would never "invest" more than I could afford to lose but when then bullshit started getting really smelly if you're offered an out then you'd be stupid not to take it. I'm not going to make any more comments on the Indegogo site, TBH anyone still left in has had plenty of warning so they'll just have to make their own minds up. Unfortunately some people will go into defensive mode (Emperors new clothes mindset) even though deep down they know they've been had. If MuOptics pull the plug and dissapear then tough, they should have listened to the warnings. I'm just interested in what their exit strategy will be now.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Keef Wivanef on May 12, 2013, 09:55:03 am
http://www.bit-tech.net/news/bits/2012/09/24/kickstarter-hardware-crackdown/1 (http://www.bit-tech.net/news/bits/2012/09/24/kickstarter-hardware-crackdown/1)
Those looking to hit the Ouya-scale big-time with their pie-in-the-sky hardware project should pay attention to Kickstarter's new rules, created following a spate of apparent scam projects seeking funding through the site. In a blog post entitled 'Kickstarter Is Not a Store,' the company outlined new restrictions on hardware projects which include the banning of rendered images and product simulations in favour of prototype photographs and footage of actual, current performance. 'Products should be presented as they are,' the company explained of its new rules. 'Over-promising leads to higher expectations for backers. The best rule of thumb: under-promise and over-deliver.'

Had the Ouya project been seeking funding today, it would likely have been significantly less successful: the company's Kickstarter page is festooned with now-banned content, including a simulated video demonstrating a device which doesn't exist and numerous renders of a design which even the company itself admits is by no means final.

Further changes to the funding rules for hardware projects make it verboten to offer multiple units in exchange for increased funding pledges - a common tactic for low-cost hardware projects to reduce the number of individual backers they need to reach their funding goals. The Pebble Watch is a perfect example of exactly that approach, offering a single watch for $125, two watches for $220, five watches for $550, ten watches for $1,000 and a hundred watches for $10,000.


So....how in the world did this video simulation of an infra-red camera sneak in?
 :--
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: alm on May 12, 2013, 10:00:30 am
It didn't. It's on Indigogo, not Kickstarter.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Keef Wivanef on May 12, 2013, 10:34:10 am
Silly me.
 :-[
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: CanadianAvenger on May 12, 2013, 10:46:07 am
I don't totally agree with the "new rules" as renderings and simulations can be very handy in selling the concept... as long as they are clearly identified as such, and not passed as the real thing, or left for the potential backer to question -- as was the case with Mu.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: CanadianAvenger on May 12, 2013, 02:26:23 pm
Looks like the refund demands are accelerating. I feel sorry for the late comers, as the refund train is going to run out, and someone is going to be left holding the bag, and I'm pretty certain it won't be Mu.  If anyone here is a backer [or former backer], I suggest filing a complaint with IGG. Maybe there is something they can do to ensure that nobody is left totally screwed.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on May 12, 2013, 07:33:49 pm
I don't totally agree with the "new rules" as renderings and simulations can be very handy in selling the concept... as long as they are clearly identified as such, and not passed as the real thing, or left for the potential backer to question -- as was the case with Mu.
think the renderings thing is more about non-existent products, i.e. a rendering instead of any real hardware  -for example if you showed a real working protoype in a hand-made or CNC'd case,  I doubt there would be a problem also showing a rendering of a moulded case you're tying to raise money to tool for.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Jay_Diddy_B on May 13, 2013, 09:36:41 am
Hi Group,

I don’t wish to comment on whether the Mu Thermal camera is scam or not. I do want to explore some of the technical challenges and physic behind a successful thermal imager. You can then determine the probability that the Mu Thermal camera will be completed successfully.

Thermal Cameras on Alibaba

It has been reported that there are so low cost thermal imagers appearing on Alibaba. I did a quick scan of available thermal cameras and I found that fell into one of two types:

Type 1 – IR video camera

This is a class of video camera that are low cost that use IR LEDs to illuminate objects. This is short wavelength IR (850-900nm). This shortwave length IR has similar properties to visible light and can be transmitted through glass optics. Unfortunately Short Wave length IR does not contain temperature information.

Type 2 – Thermal IR sensor and cameras

This group of cameras and sensor is sensitive to long wavelength IR 8-14um. The sensors used in these cameras are typically uncooled micro-bolometer arrays. This is really an array of thermistors. These sensors measure the power transfer. The temperature rise is proportional the temperature of the object being imaged. The temperature of the sensor is used to calculate the object being imaged. The thermistor arrays have to be constructed in such a way that there is poor thermal conductivity between the pixels.
My camera, a Fluke Ti9, has a mechanical shutter that periodically blocks the heat transfer from the object being imaged. This allows sensor calibration to take place. “Calibrating” or words to that effect are displayed on the screen whilst this process is happening.
All the pictures that I have seen of these micro-bolometer arrays have been large ceramic packages. These packages are not cheap.

Lens

Glass or materials like Calcium Fluoride are used for visible light lens.
LWIR requires that the lenses are made from Germanium, Ge, or similar materials.
The lens on my Fluke camera is Germanium and about 2cm (3/4 inch) in diameter.

A great deal of 'secret sauce'  will be need to pull off a small, cheap thermal imager.


Jay_Diddy_B
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: amspire on May 13, 2013, 11:13:07 am
Lens

Glass or materials like Calcium Fluoride are used for visible light lens.
LWIR requires that the lenses are made from Germanium, Ge, or similar materials.
Moldable chalcogenide glasses make excellent long wave IR lenses, so you do not need the expensive lenses ground from a single Ge crystal.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on May 13, 2013, 06:22:43 pm
There are potential routes to cheaper thermal imaging - polythene fresnel lenses with  software geometry correction and DSP to pull signals out of noise, reflective optics, cheaper IC packaging (although the need to have a sensor in vacuum to avoid convection effects limits choice of material) 
My knowledge of optics isn't great but I suspect that two conflicting parameters are lens size and die size.
However there is no evidence so far that any of these, or other novel developments exist in the mu optics non-product. 
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Fraser on May 13, 2013, 08:47:48 pm
No specifically related to the Mu but involving Thermal camera optics.....

My Ex Fire Service thermal cameras are designed with a fixed focus of around 1m to infinity. That is great for the task for which they were designed but not great for close-up PCB work on IC temperatures etc.

I studied the different materials that are available for cheap lenses that include the thermal camera wavelengths and have purchased two lenses recently.

The two materials that I have decided to use are ZnSe and GaAs. These materials are used to make lenses for CO2 cutting lasers that operate at around 10um. Studying the materials specifications showed me that the bandwidth of these materials was adequate for Thermal imaging purposes as well.

I found a decent supplier on lenses on e*ay:

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/ZnSe-GaAs-Focal-Lens-for-10-6um-Co2-Laser-Engraver-Cutting-Machine-12-25mm-1-4-/321078811086?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&var=&hash=item4ac1c9d9ce (http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/ZnSe-GaAs-Focal-Lens-for-10-6um-Co2-Laser-Engraver-Cutting-Machine-12-25mm-1-4-/321078811086?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&var=&hash=item4ac1c9d9ce)

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/GaAs-Focal-Lens-for-10-6um-Co2-Laser-Engraver-Cutting-Machine-19mm-x-101-6mm-4-/321124401080?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item4ac4817fb8 (http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/GaAs-Focal-Lens-for-10-6um-Co2-Laser-Engraver-Cutting-Machine-19mm-x-101-6mm-4-/321124401080?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item4ac4817fb8)

I purchased 19mm double convex lenses with a focal length of 4 inches, as they were commonly available from China at reasonable cost. The ZnSe lens cost me around GBP18 delivered and the GaAs cost around GBP22 delivered. Not bad for the quality that has been provided. The lenses appear of good optical quality as they are designed for high power laser use so impurities would be an issue ! The lens is mounted in a suitable lens holder that is in turn attached in front of the  TIC lens. They work perfectly for my needs and provide excellent detail of components  :)  Happy days.

With a suitable band-pass filter these lenses are cheap alternatives to Germanium but they are not cheap enough to build a multi element quality lens under $100 unless you use really small diameter lenses and even then the individual elements are not that cheap.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Rasz on May 13, 2013, 10:31:27 pm
There are potential routes to cheaper thermal imaging - polythene fresnel lenses with  software geometry correction and DSP to pull signals out of noise, reflective optics


It just hit me
http://dsp.rice.edu/cscamera (http://dsp.rice.edu/cscamera)
Does DLP reflect heat good enough, does it get hot on its own and how fast can you measure temperature in single detector? can you do it couple of thousand times per second (for one image)?
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Fraser on May 13, 2013, 10:42:17 pm
Nice link.

I only know of DLP chips in projectors, and they get hot, but then so does most of the projector  ;D

Nice find. Its like the next step on from the older scanning mirror technique used in early TICs like my Agema 880. If a DLP could be used it would be a  very interesting approach to thermal imaging using a single pixel or linear array micro-bolometer.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on May 13, 2013, 11:50:30 pm
There are potential routes to cheaper thermal imaging - polythene fresnel lenses with  software geometry correction and DSP to pull signals out of noise, reflective optics


It just hit me
http://dsp.rice.edu/cscamera (http://dsp.rice.edu/cscamera)
Does DLP reflect heat good enough, does it get hot on its own and how fast can you measure temperature in single detector? can you do it couple of thousand times per second (for one image)?
You can't really do thermal imaging by scanning due to the thermal mass, and hence slow response time  of the sensor - remember a TI sensor is just an array of temperature sensors
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Fraser on May 14, 2013, 12:03:40 am
Not sure about scanning being too slow as a totally accurate statement. Early thermal imaging cameras used the scanning mirror, as opposed to staring array, system and had a update rate of approximately 25fps, so the sensors they were using were capable of reacting quickly enough. Maybe a micro-bolometer isn't the right sensor ? BST technology was pretty quick.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Rasz on May 14, 2013, 12:30:29 am
It just hit me
http://dsp.rice.edu/cscamera (http://dsp.rice.edu/cscamera)
Does DLP reflect heat good enough, does it get hot on its own and how fast can you measure temperature in single detector? can you do it couple of thousand times per second (for one image)?
You can't really do thermal imaging by scanning due to the thermal mass, and hence slow response time  of the sensor

is it slow both ways? or is it fast to measure, but slow to cool down for another measurement?
Quick clueless google tells me Mercury Cadmium Telluride detectors are good up to ~100KHz.

- remember a TI sensor is just an array of temperature sensors

array of mirrors (assuming you meant TI DLP chip).

Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on May 14, 2013, 12:30:57 am
Not sure about scanning being too slow as a totally accurate statement. Early thermal imaging cameras used the scanning mirror, as opposed to staring array, system and had a update rate of approximately 25fps, so the sensors they were using were capable of reacting quickly enough. Maybe a micro-bolometer isn't the right sensor ? BST technology was pretty quick.
AFAIUI, those cameras also needed extreme cooling using liquid nitrogen or high perssure argon.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on May 14, 2013, 12:40:49 am

is it slow both ways? or is it fast to measure, but slow to cool down for another measurement?
Quick clueless google tells me Mercury Cadmium Telluride detectors are good up to ~100KHz.

Quick look at Wikipedia reveals :
Quote
The main limitation of LWIR HgCdTe-based detectors is that they need cooling to temperatures near that of liquid nitrogen (77K), to reduce noise due to thermally excited current carriers
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Fraser on May 14, 2013, 01:27:16 am
The Agema 880 that I own needs liquid Nitrogen but its sister unit, the 870, used electrothermal cooling and used the same scanning method. I don't know what detector they used though. An 870 sold on ebay recently...I went after it because it was electrically cooled rather than liquid nitrogen. The cooling is likely a Peltier cooling stack and that can only achieve around 70 degrees C of thermal difference against ambient. I will see if I can find out what detector they used. ASAIK it did not use a Stirling Pump like that which became available for the 880.

UPDATE:

Ok Agema 870 Spec is here:

http://www.crepad.rcanaria.es/en/npoc/adquisicion_agema870.html (http://www.crepad.rcanaria.es/en/npoc/adquisicion_agema870.html)


Spec reads:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Infrared detector: MCT, thermoelectrically refrigerated.
• Spectral range: 3 – 5 mm
• Filter adaptators: ?SRX, from 3.5 to 8 mm
? ATM, from 3.7 to 4 mm

• Temperature measurement range: -20ºC to 500ºC (extendable to 1500ºC by means of filters). - Thermal sensitivity - NETD: 100mK at 30ºC reference body temperature.
• Measurement precision: ±2% or ±2ºC.
• System operative temperature: -15ºC to +50ºC.
• Resolution: 100 elements per line.
• FOV: 7º or 20º
•IFOV(7º)= 1.166 mrad.
• IFOV(20º)= 3.333 mrad.
• Maximum field acquisition rate: 25 Hz.
• Maximum line acquisition rate: 2500 Hz.
• Maximum number of lines per frame: 280 lines/frame (at 6.25 frames/second) (with interlace selection of 4:1à 4 fields compose 1 frame).
• Maximum frame acquisition rate: 25 frames/second (70 lines/frame).
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

It uses an MCT (Mercury cadmium telluride) thermoelectrically cooled 1 pixel thermal detector.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infrared_detector (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infrared_detector)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mercury_cadmium_telluride (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mercury_cadmium_telluride)

They can be found here:

http://www.judsontechnologies.com/mercadm_pc.html (http://www.judsontechnologies.com/mercadm_pc.html)

The app circuit for the MCT sensor is simple. I attach its PDF.

I am wondering whether I can replace the sensor in my Agema 880 with an MCT type....a nice little project me thinks  :)

Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Fraser on May 14, 2013, 01:52:03 am
An interesting web page detailing the available 'cheap' thermal camera detectors that are freely available. All are low resolution though.

http://www.boselec.com/products/detir.html (http://www.boselec.com/products/detir.html)
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Rasz on May 14, 2013, 02:26:39 am
• Maximum field acquisition rate: 25 Hz.
• Maximum line acquisition rate: 2500 Hz.
• Maximum number of lines per frame: 280 lines/frame (at 6.25 frames/second) (with interlace selection of 4:1à 4 fields compose 1 frame).
• Maximum frame acquisition rate: 25 frames/second (70 lines/frame).

175KHz cooled with peltier
compressed sensing gives satisfactory (at least for pictures) results at 10% samples, so 77KHz * 0.1   for 320x240 resolution. 8KHz sensor would be enough for one 320x240 frame per second. 50KHz for 6 frames per second.
But knowing physics those sensors dont just gracefully degrade with temperature rise and there is some tipping point/minimal temperature they start to be usable at. Then there is the question of DLPs ability to bounce temperature data. Forgetaboutit.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: MFX on May 14, 2013, 05:01:34 am
The latest update, I almost fainted the smell of Bulls**t was so strong :-

"Part 1 of 2

Hello All,

We mentioned in a post two weeks ago that we would not make our original shipping date. I’d like explain why in a little more depth.

First, we had to switch the image array in the beginning and that was a major setback. Quality and promised ability to deliver in quantity were the issues with original vendor. Finding a suitable replacement took some time. The imager we’re using now is of the highest quality and has been in the market for some time.

Then we had to switch WiFi vendors and that was also a significant setback. Those are the two most important parts of the package and when they work well together the whole device comes together very quickly.

The WiFi problems can be explained as what it is, a brand new chipset from a manufacturer we originally looked at but did not have the correct specs for us at the time, and now they do, and getting it into the camera has been a chore due to it being a brand new chipset with new documentation. We have been on the phone early in the mornings with the WiFi engineers on the other side of the globe. WiFi working well allows us to more quickly show the IR image on the camera and debug. I can tell you that we’re working every weekday and weekend in order to complete the project.

The USB decision has not been made yet, mainly because we continue to investigate ways to do it properly for all external devices and….if we announce today that we’re not going to do it, the people who ask for refunds will be disapointed when we very soon after decide that, HEY…there is a simple way to do it. So….that decision waits for the WiFi to work well.

This week we’re talking with multiple assemblers about how quickly they can ramp up production once the PCB is finalized, which is not long after these WiFi problems are settled.

As to when we think we’ll be delivering the final product….Another few weeks should give us the ability to solidify that date. No one wants this out in the market quickly more than we do.

All thirty people who have asked for refunds have received them. Most in a very timely manner. For everyone that has asked for a refund, there have been ten asking to take their place. Enthusiasm continues to run high for the product among many markets. If you are concerned about the delays but still want a camera, hang in there, we will be getting the device to market as soon as is possible.
John McGrath posted an announcement 12 minutes ago

Part 2 of 2 (we really wish the limit wasn’t 2500 characters)

WiFi, lens, shutter, array, and the PCB are all so closely tied that the case, though nearly ready for manufacturing, remains on the drawing board until the PCB is finalized. Designing and having PCBs made takes days, not weeks. Our Engineer is very quick and adept at making changing to the PCB design. Machining a final case prototype takes days, not weeks. The engineer in charge of that is also quick and responsive.

Our failure to meet our original delivery date is more due to my optimism than anything else. I apologize for that; to both all of our contributors, and to the engineers and designers here at Mµ Optics.

I remain reluctant to show the interior of our camera and I’m sorry, but that reluctance will remain until we are much closer to a shipping date. I have however, asked Charles to look into releasing a partial parts list that doesn’t give any trade secrets away, and have asked for permission to do so from the vendors we have NDAs in place with.

I have also been in touch with IndieGoGo, explained the state of our campaign, and offered them a video tour of our efforts and a general conversation should they desire it. Thus far, they have not asked for further explanation. Please keep in mind that PayPal continues to hold back a considerable amount of money until such time as we can show them that all the processes and parts and orders, and POs, etc. are in place to begin delivering the product.

We are busy with the effort at hand. We are still being advised to keep as much of the internal project private until we enter large scale manufacturing. We would love to show pictures, but it is simply too easy to reverse engineer the product. Though I will try and be more communicative in the future, I will do my best between respecting our company’s efforts to succeed, and the contributors’ right to know what’s going on. Showing a wirelessly transmitted IR image on the App as soon as possible remains our number one priority. Again, it’s number one.

Thanks to all who continue to support us.

As a new friend from our website said recently,

“John:
I have been to your website…..the mobile infrared camera is a must. We just had 3 inches of water in our basement…this would have been perfect….hang in there.”

Cheers,
-John McGrath and MuOptics.
"
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: David on May 14, 2013, 05:14:35 am
I haven't read any of this thread but from the above post alone I can tell that this is never going to happen!

P.S. Why the hell does a thermal imaging camera need WiFi?! Arrrgh  |O Edit: On second thoughts I suppose it is so that you can leave it in the lab monitoring...
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: MacAttak on May 14, 2013, 05:18:33 am
I don't smell bullshit, but it is certainly a very carefully crafted update. It can be distilled down to:


From a purely objective standpoint, my opinion is that they still have at least 6 months of R&D before they can hope to show a preliminary prototype - and that assumes no major setbacks. Add on to that a few design revisions and actual production time/hurdles and this project is highly unlikely to deliver final products prior to next spring (assuming it is able to overcome the technical hurdles at all).
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: MacAttak on May 14, 2013, 05:21:43 am
I haven't read any of this thread but from the above post alone I can tell that this is never going to happen!

P.S. Why the hell does a thermal imaging camera need WiFi?! Arrrgh  |O Edit: On second thoughts I suppose it is so that you can leave it in the lab monitoring...

It was because they realized that straightforward USB connectivity had challenges that they were not prepared to solve. Mainly, the fact that iPhone does not have a USB connector at all, and Android phones have varying degrees of support for USB connectivity.

So they said "hey, we can do it with WiFi instead! All phones have WiFi now!".

But of course there is no free lunch with WiFi either :)
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: MFX on May 14, 2013, 05:36:05 am
I don't smell bullshit,

Maybe not if read in isolation of all his other updates/posts, but for example why only mention the sensor problem now? There has been no mention of it before, did this change happen before the funding campaign was started or during? Also the NDA stuff, how many NDA's does he have for crying out loud! Maybe one for that actual thermal sensor itself if it's particularly new and cutting edge (if that's the case how did they manage to find an alternate supplier of a suitable sensor so easily?).

"We would love to show pictures, but it is simply too easy to reverse engineer the product."

Hm easier than actually designing it in the first place it would seem. No ones asked for detailed photos of it just some sort of proof of life, they've shown nothing except fake pictures and some software.

Martin.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Rasz on May 14, 2013, 06:10:06 am
they've shown nothing except fake pictures and some software.

and some FAKE software
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Fraser on May 14, 2013, 06:35:56 am
If these Herbert's actually had some revolutionary new technology they would protect it with Patents and not attempted secrecy. No one is asking for tech specs on the component and they have to be kidding if they are saying that the exterior of a lens structure or sensor will give anything away. If the design is so simple the first models released (probably never!) would be reverse engineered in China in a matter of days. The sensor arrays are apparently so plentiful that he can pick and choose according to the quality (!!!) and production capability. Total b*ll*cks  >:(
 
What a total pile of poo this company spews in its updates  :o

I would laugh, if it wasn't so sad for the investors.  I especially like the line about many people asking to replace those who dropped out...what a classic line to tell your investors....in English that reads as......its OK there are other (misguided/deceived?) 'sheep' joining this project, so we must be trustworthy. Duh !  :palm:
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: MacAttak on May 14, 2013, 06:37:30 am
Oh, don't misunderstand me - I'm not defending John or this project in any way (I was a former backer who was one of the very first to request a refund). I think he still honestly believes that he can deliver this product - or more accurately he has convinced himself that he can. I concluded that he was delusional and withdrew my support a while back.

This update wasn't the first time he mentioned switching the optics component. So there isn't any new revelations in this update. Just some minor details about previously disclosed information.

One thing though is that in this update he specifically mentions that the optics they are now using "has been in the market for some time". There is no way that component is covered by any form of NDA that would apply to this product. It also means we should be able to use a little more deductive logic to figure out what technology they plan to use (we can immediately discount any "new" or unproven/theoretical tech).
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: MFX on May 14, 2013, 07:08:10 am
This update wasn't the first time he mentioned switching the optics component.

I took that to mean the lens (and I think others did to) "optics" and "sensor" are generally pretty well defined but I accept it could be a bad choice of words and interpreted to mean the sensor. He still seems pretty blasé about simply switching from one sensor supplier to another and one WiFi supplier to another.

Martin.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Keef Wivanef on May 14, 2013, 07:50:27 am
" Please keep in mind that PayPal continues to hold back a considerable amount of money until such time as we can show them that all the processes and parts and orders, and POs, etc. are in place to begin delivering the product."


BULLSHIT

Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: EEVblog on May 14, 2013, 09:22:15 am
" Please keep in mind that PayPal continues to hold back a considerable amount of money until such time as we can show them that all the processes and parts and orders, and POs, etc. are in place to begin delivering the product."
BULLSHIT

I have never heard of PayPal doing this. Anyone else?
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on May 14, 2013, 09:31:56 am
Quote
First, we had to switch the image array in the beginning and that was a major setback. Quality and promised ability to deliver in quantity were the issues with original vendor. Finding a suitable replacement took some time. The imager we’re using now is of the highest quality and has been in the market for some time.

In which case it ain't gonna sell for $300-odd. Doubt you could even buy any 160x120 sensor for that.
Quote

WiFi working well allows us to more quickly show the IR image on the camera and debug.
Bullshit or total incompetence When developing a new sensor, the last thing you'd do is make life harder by also having to get it working via wifi - you'd use a hardwired link.

Quote
The USB decision has not been made yet, mainly because we continue to investigate ways to do it properly for all external devices and….if we announce today that we’re not going to do it, the people who ask for refunds will be disapointed when we very soon after decide that, HEY…there is a simple way to do it. So….that decision waits for the WiFi to work well.
Yeah, like USB is a really hard problem that nobody has a readily available solution for
Quote

This week we’re talking with multiple assemblers about how quickly they can ramp up production once the PCB is finalized, which is not long after these WiFi problems are settled.

Not hard getting an assembler, what about the parts though?
Quote
As to when we think we’ll be delivering the final product….Another few weeks should give us the ability to solidify that date. No one wants this out in the market quickly more than we do.
*Cough* approvals *Cough* production test *Cough* field testing
Quote

WiFi, lens, shutter, array, and the PCB are all so closely tied that the case, though nearly ready for manufacturing, remains on the drawing board until the PCB is finalized.
Dude, the PCB is by far the easiest and cheapest thing to adapt to everything else.
Quote
Designing and having PCBs made takes days, not weeks.
Holy crap, an actual true fact!  - must have slipped through by mistake
Quote
Machining a final case prototype takes days, not weeks. The engineer in charge of that is also quick and responsive.
.. pity the same can't be said for production mould tooling
Quote
Our failure to meet our original delivery date is more due to my optimism than anything else.
I think the word you're looking for is incompetence
Quote
I remain reluctant to show the interior of our camera and I’m sorry, but that reluctance will remain until we are much closer to a shipping date.
You are either paranoid to the point of needing professional help, or lying.
Quote
I have however, asked Charles to look into releasing a partial parts list that doesn’t give any trade secrets away, and have asked for permission to do so from the vendors we have NDAs in place with.
Yawn
Quote
I have also been in touch with IndieGoGo, explained the state of our campaign, and offered them a video tour of our efforts and a general conversation should they desire it. Thus far, they have not asked for further explanation.
Like they care - they've already got their cut.
Quote
We are busy with the effort at hand. We are still being advised to keep as much of the internal project private until we enter large scale manufacturing. We would love to show pictures, but it is simply too easy to reverse engineer the product.
If it was that easy, someone else would already be on the market - if a sensor really had been available "on the market for some time" as you claim, people would be using it. The level of ineptitude you've displayed thus far clearly illustrates you don't have anything special.   
Quote

Showing a wirelessly transmitted IR image on the App as soon as possible remains our number one priority. Again, it’s number one.
Which clearly shows complete incompetence - at this stage, people don't give a shit about a shiny app, just some demonstration that you have ANY working hardware, ANY at all... It is clear that you don't, and are nowhere near having any.
Quote
Thanks to all who continue to support us.
Please don't all ask for refunds, pleeeeeze.
Quote
As a new friend from our website said recently,
“John:
I have been to your website…..the mobile infrared camera is a must. We just had 3 inches of water in our basement…this would have been perfect….hang in there.”
And a thermal imager stops flooding how exactly?

Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Keef Wivanef on May 14, 2013, 09:32:39 am
I got my $100 (less commission) immediately.

Mu Thermal campaign has finished.
They have their loot for sure.

Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Corporate666 on May 14, 2013, 09:46:33 am
" Please keep in mind that PayPal continues to hold back a considerable amount of money until such time as we can show them that all the processes and parts and orders, and POs, etc. are in place to begin delivering the product."


BULLSHIT

Yep, Keef is right on this one.

I have pretty extensive experience with PayPal - both good and bad - going back about 13 years.   They do have lots of measures in place to prevent fraud.   A new entity that quickly receives a large amount of money from lots of smaller entities (i.e. - lots of people sending money for a project like this) will raise red flags and most likely cause them to place a hold on most or all of the money.  HOWEVER, I have dealt with these holds at least three times with various businesses - and they have never asked for detail on any of the businesses to the level of wanting to check processes and PO's and such.

To say otherwise is a lie.  Not because I haven't experienced it so I don't believe it, but rather because I know what PayPal is and what it isn't.  PayPal are not mediators or reference checkers.  They do not investigate whether products are real.  Their sole role and interest is making sure people don't do lots of chargebacks on their credit cards after the vendor has already collected the $$.  They may wish to check what is being sold and the terms by which it was sold.  And they may even have some special deal with Indiegogo due to the latter's unique business.  But for this John guy to claim PayPal is withholding funds and acting as some sort of overseer/guarantor and that backers should take comfort and confidence in that is, I believe, a flat out fabrication. 

And that would *really* concern me as a backer.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: tom66 on May 14, 2013, 09:58:10 am
If they just showed a blank prototype PCB, even for an old sensor, it would tell us a LOT about whether or not they are serious with the hardware.
...but they haven't.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: CanadianAvenger on May 14, 2013, 10:04:10 am
" Please keep in mind that PayPal continues to hold back a considerable amount of money until such time as we can show them that all the processes and parts and orders, and POs, etc. are in place to begin delivering the product."
BULLSHIT

I have never heard of PayPal doing this. Anyone else?


That's because they don't

https://developer.paypal.com/webapps/developer/docs/classic/lifecycle/crowdfunding/
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Keef Wivanef on May 14, 2013, 10:14:29 am

https://developer.paypal.com/webapps/developer/docs/classic/lifecycle/crowdfunding/

Fundraising inherently brings with it a high risk of fraudulent activities, including money laundering and other scams and trickery

Golly! :o
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: amspire on May 14, 2013, 10:35:50 am
If they just showed a blank prototype PCB, even for an old sensor, it would tell us a LOT about whether or not they are serious with the hardware.
...but they haven't.
It would also tell everyone a LOT about the design. 

When we see a PCB, we can work out a lot, and a big problem these guys have is if they can make an IR camera cheaply, there will be a lot of people who can do it 500% better. The moment they post a picture of the PCB, people on this list will be working out a lot about the design. From the pin count, visible traces from pins, clock connections, etc, it may even be possible to work out the micro family, the WiFi chip, the IR sensor. They may as well post the circuit and parts list. You seriously think they could post the PCB photo and not have it analyzed online here in the forum?

Isn't it the truth that if they show a picture of a PCB that shows no details, they will be slammed in this forum for not showing a decent HiRes picture? It could be a picture of any PCB.

I don't like the way they have handled this project, but I would definitely not show any PCB - assembled or bare - if it were me. If they actually succeed, how long do you think they can sell the camera's for until they are undercut by Chinese-made cameras? They may only have 6 or 12 months to get established in the market, and if they do manage that, they might get another 12 months of sales.  Last thing they need to do is to encourage the competition by giving away freely information like the build cost, the number of IC's needed, the mechanical design. If amazingly they have actually used an original concept in this design. they most definitely shouldn't give away even the smallest clues until they start to ship the product.

They have been accused here of being scammers, liars, frauds - you name it. I don't see why they should add "unbelievably stupid" to the list by showing their PCB at this time or at they time they actually have a genuine first revision prototype PCB.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Rasz on May 14, 2013, 10:45:41 am
Dude, it really doesnt matter whats on PCB.
YOU CANT MAKE A $300 product when ONE of the components costs >$500. This is why its a scam.
They had zero problem switching microbolometer model and supplier? and they are stuck with $2 Wifi chip?
(http://favim.com/orig/201109/08/bitch-bitch-please-jim-parsons-sheldon-sheldon-cooper-Favim.com-140395.jpg)
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Keef Wivanef on May 14, 2013, 10:47:21 am
I am inclined to think that you are talking through your bottom  :-DD
(Not you Dave... I'm talking to Mr Amspire)
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: tom66 on May 14, 2013, 10:53:52 am
I've not yet found prices for thermal imaging sensors, but it's conceivable they could be around the $100~$150 mark for a 160x120 resolution.

I don't think a picture of a PCB will give away too much. For one nearly all of those thermal imaging sensors are NDA protected, no pin out, not even packaging information. I'll admit there's some things you can figure out from a PCB, but you'd probably be better off simply doing the research on your own and choosing a thermal imager, like one of these:
http://www.sofradir-ec.com/products-uncooled.asp (http://www.sofradir-ec.com/products-uncooled.asp)

Then adding a microcontroller (any one which can interface to the sensor will do, and the data rate is high enough that you'd not need any camera interface, just plain old digital IO would do) and then adding a wifi chipset or module.

If it's possible, I'm pretty sure there would be cheap Chinese thermal imagers on eBay now, but there aren't. I remain skeptical, but hopeful.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Keef Wivanef on May 14, 2013, 11:02:52 am
Here is a cheap thermal camera which uses a low cost sensor and scanning
http://www.cheap-thermocam.tk/ (http://www.cheap-thermocam.tk/)

Image quality doesn't look real good and the device looks rather clunky BUT at a quick glance it looks feasible.

The Cheap-Thermocam V2 is finally here and ready to order !

The Cheap-Thermocam is a low-cost thermographic image scanner. With it you can analyse your house, electrical devices, etc. and identify for example thermal lacks.

Current FIR cameras on the market cost more than 2000€. My idea was it to
reduce costs by using one single non-contact temperature sensor to create a thermographic image. This is done by moving the sensor with two servors over the target area. The popular arduino is used to control that procedure. It takes about
3 minutes per image to measure the temperature on 3072 points
. All data is stored on a SD card. The thermal image can be created on any computer and combined with a normal optical image from a smartphone or a usual camera.


(no scam, bullshit, or bollocks remarks just yet)
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: amspire on May 14, 2013, 11:07:12 am
I am inclined to think that you are talking through your bottom  :-DD
(Not you Dave... I'm talking to Mr Amspire)
In what way? Are you saying that if they posted a picture of the PCB, it would not be intensively analyzed here on the forum?

Keef, you have personal experience with scammers. Have you ever heard of a scammer giving refunds? I have big doubts this project will succeed, but if they intend to take all the money and run, they could have taken all the money and run. Why give anyone a refund? Are they capable of designing the camera? They have not done a single thing yet that proves they are - not that they have to at this stage.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Keef Wivanef on May 14, 2013, 11:10:53 am
Charles Ponzi gave refunds.
(Using other peoples money)
So did Bernie Madoff.

(I don't Think Greg Watson ever gave any refunds  :-DD)
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Keef Wivanef on May 14, 2013, 11:21:01 am
Here is the sensor used in the Thermocam https://www.sparkfun.com/products/9570 (https://www.sparkfun.com/products/9570)
It's certainly cheap enough.
In the Mu Thermal video they did show one of the techies posing with a similar looking device.

Terrific, all they need now are the XY servos and all the rest of the clunky hardware.
Stick all that in your shirt pocket (wifi to the Iphone) and stand very still for 3 minutes.
Nothing to it!
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: amspire on May 14, 2013, 11:22:13 am
Charles Ponzi gave refunds.
(Using other peoples money)
So did Bernie Madoff.
No they didn't.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Rasz on May 14, 2013, 11:24:29 am
I've not yet found prices for thermal imaging sensors, but it's conceivable they could be around the $100~$150 mark for a 160x120 resolution.

I did, about an hour after this project hit Hackaday. You are off by one zero.
The only chance this project had was
-unknown Chinese fab entering market with dubious quality reverse engineered substitute of a sensor.
-grad student making a breakthrough, designing new type of sensor and deciding to do a startup.

Now we know both of those are off the table.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Keef Wivanef on May 14, 2013, 11:25:23 am
Oh yes they did!
(your turn)
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: tom66 on May 14, 2013, 11:27:46 am
Interesting, "cheap thermocam". Looks good.  It's obviously limited by its slow refresh rate but shows the principle is practical.

A while back someone mentioned an IR thermal sensor capable of 100kHz bandwidth.

I'm thinking coupling this with a 2 degrees of freedom piezo actuator and you may have a practical ~25fps camera. (Figuring 64x48 pixel res and 100kHz piezo movement.)  Such techniques are used in some "grow your own" electron microscope projects. You would also have a trade off of resolution vs frame rate so you could get 640x480 (within piezo mechanical and vibration constrains of course) but only at 2.5 fps.

It's a mechanical assembly which is fiddly -- and hence expensive -- to mass produce, but I figure it could work on a low quantity scale.

I'm trying to find the article where some guy made an electron microscope this way. The main problem he had was vibration interfering with the image, so this technique may only be practical for stationary imaging.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: amspire on May 14, 2013, 11:30:56 am
Oh yes they did!
(your turn)
Keef, if you want to attack people without the half decency of commenting on any point that person has made, you are wasting time and space.

You want us to believe in your book, and now you are acting like a troll.  What is up with you?
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: jmole on May 14, 2013, 11:35:56 am
Interesting, "cheap thermocam". Looks good.  It's obviously limited by its slow refresh rate but shows the principle is practical.

Do you even need more than like 1Hz on a thermal cam? Honestly, I'd be happy with a thermal camera where you just take pictures. It's not like the main use cases need the 30fps of a typical video camera.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Keef Wivanef on May 14, 2013, 11:36:44 am
Lighten up dude/old-chap!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ponzi_scheme (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ponzi_scheme)

The Mu Thermal is not a Ponzi scam but it is clearly a scam.

A confidence trickster needs to maintain confidence (duh)
Handing out a few refunds to the noisiest complainers is the obvious thing to do.
It seems to have restored your confidence  :)



Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: tom66 on May 14, 2013, 11:39:05 am
See I don't understand why the confidence trickster needs to maintain confidence. He's got the money. Refunds are entirely optional on his part. He could basically walk away tomorrow and never reply.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: tom66 on May 14, 2013, 11:40:21 am
Interesting, "cheap thermocam". Looks good.  It's obviously limited by its slow refresh rate but shows the principle is practical.

Do you even need more than like 1Hz on a thermal cam? Honestly, I'd be happy with a thermal camera where you just take pictures. It's not like the main use cases need the 30fps of a typical video camera.

Higher refresh rates are necessary to analyse things like temperature gradients through air flows but I will admit that anything higher than 5Hz for me would be unnecessary. 
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Keef Wivanef on May 14, 2013, 11:41:05 am
Interesting, "cheap thermocam". Looks good.  It's obviously limited by its slow refresh rate but shows the principle is practical.

Do you even need more than like 1Hz on a thermal cam? Honestly, I'd be happy with a thermal camera where you just take pictures. It's not like the main use cases need the 30fps of a typical video camera.

I agree.
The Cheap Thermocam looks like it would do the job.
There is not even the faintest odour of bullshit about it.

Keef gives it a  :-+

(Golly, I hope I am not jumping to conclusions)
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Keef Wivanef on May 14, 2013, 11:44:45 am
See I don't understand why the confidence trickster needs to maintain confidence. He's got the money. Refunds are entirely optional on his part. He could basically walk away tomorrow and never reply.

Well, he could do that.
It would make him look bad though.
He would most likely prefer to carry on making excuses, try and get even more money, and probably launch a fresh scam later on.
After all, he's hit on a winning and perfectly legal formula.
 :(
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: amspire on May 14, 2013, 11:44:57 am
Lighten up dude/old-chap!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ponzi_scheme (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ponzi_scheme)

The Mu Thermal is not a Ponzi scam but it is clearly a scam.

A confidence trickster needs to maintain confidence (duh)
Handing out a few refunds to the noisiest complainers is the obvious thing to do.
It seems to have restored your confidence  :)
You said I was talking out of my ass when I made a post saying if a PCB photo was posted, it would be analyzed here. You think that is even funny? You must have got a great deal of fun posting that.

If you have read any of my posts, you will not find a single word indicating I have confidence in Mu Optics. But I doubt you have bothered to read a single word - you just really enjoy attacking people - whether it is Sunball/Suncube, Mu Optics or now me, apparently. If you really don't want to be a troll, how about behaving with at least some respect?
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Keef Wivanef on May 14, 2013, 11:49:54 am
If I have upset you with the suggestion that you engage in anal ventriloquism then please accept my apologies.
I have had to contend with much ruder suggestions than that.

It seems to have damaged my fragile eggshell mind.

 :(
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: c4757p on May 14, 2013, 12:00:19 pm
If I have upset you with the suggestion that you engage in anal ventriloquism then please accept my apologies.
I have had to contend with much ruder suggestions than that.

It seems to have damaged my fragile eggshell mind.

Your fragile eggshell mind should stop being an asshole. That's not an apology and you know it.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Jay_Diddy_B on May 14, 2013, 12:13:26 pm
Hi Group,

T get back to the technical challenges:

Jmole asked 'when do you need more than 1Hz?'

When I was electing my imager, primarily for electronics work, I made a list of key features:

1) Enough resolution to see a hot 0603 or 0805 resistor.

2) Manual Focusing - you need to be able to focus at a distance of about 15cm or 6 inches.

3) A temperature range that goes to 150C+ (some of the building inspection cameras are limited to 100C)

The Fluke Ti9 has a 9 Frames per minute update rate. This was chosen because at 10 fps second some export restrictions kick in.

At 9 fps it is a little tricky to focus the camera.

The speed is also useful to see thinks heat up and cool down.

(http://www.eevblog.com/forum/crowd-funded-projects/m-thermal-imager-real-or-fake/?action=dlattach;attach=47401;image)


(http://www.eevblog.com/forum/crowd-funded-projects/m-thermal-imager-real-or-fake/?action=dlattach;attach=47403;image)

Jay_Diddy_B
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: amspire on May 14, 2013, 12:21:51 pm
The Fluke Ti9 has a 9 Frames per minute update rate. This was chosen because at 10 fps second some export restrictions kick in.

At 9 fps it is a little tricky to focus the camera.
I had assumed the Mu optics would have to be fixed focus, but perhaps to get enough IR light onto the sensor, you have to use a large aperture lens - which would mean you need a focus.

What kind of depth of field do you get with the Ti9? If the focus is set to infinity, how close can objects get and still be in reasonable focus?
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: EEVblog on May 14, 2013, 12:28:49 pm
When we see a PCB, we can work out a lot, and a big problem these guys have is if they can make an IR camera cheaply, there will be a lot of people who can do it 500% better. The moment they post a picture of the PCB, people on this list will be working out a lot about the design. From the pin count, visible traces from pins, clock connections, etc, it may even be possible to work out the micro family, the WiFi chip, the IR sensor. They may as well post the circuit and parts list. You seriously think they could post the PCB photo and not have it analyzed online here in the forum?

Yes, that's trivial.
Just cover up any vital parts with masking tape or something.
Showing at least a proto board with the words "Mu Thermal" or whatever on it, would be proof enough that something was at least manufactured.

Quote
Isn't it the truth that if they show a picture of a PCB that shows no details, they will be slammed in this forum for not showing a decent HiRes picture? It could be a picture of any PCB.

Not if it has the Mu Thermal name etched or printed on it.
Better than being slammed for showing nothing, surely?
It seems they have been slammed from almost day one by the backers for not showing any real hardware. It makes sense to appease your backers, given how easy it is to do.
And this forum doesn't matter a rats, it's the restless backers with pitchforks in the comments they have to appease.

Quote
If amazingly they have actually used an original concept in this design. they most definitely shouldn't give away even the smallest clues until they start to ship the product.

As has been pointed out many times, it is trivial to show some hardware without giving the game away.
How about a machined prototype case?
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Jay_Diddy_B on May 14, 2013, 12:29:10 pm
Hi Amspire,
What type of object and at what distance?

The easiest thing for me to do is take one image focused and the other image set at infinity.

I will take images and post them.

Jay_Diddy_B
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: CanadianAvenger on May 14, 2013, 12:38:15 pm
How about a machined prototype case?

With today's update, it was announced that the case design is still on paper, and won't move from that until the PCB is finalized. [which of course contradicts their statement from an earlier update about a month ago: "We’ve got a new case about to be machined (hopefully with proper and final mounts and clips)"]
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: amspire on May 14, 2013, 12:47:32 pm
Hi Amspire,
What type of object and at what distance?

The easiest thing for me to do is take one image focused and the other image set at infinity.

I will take images and post them.

Well lets take the type of image Mu Optics were talking about. Say looking at the thermal image of a house with enough detail around the door edges to see thermal leakage.

Could you get at least that much detail with the camera set at a fixed focus?

I have never been able to work out how Mu Optics would get a decent focused image in such a compact package without a complex lens, or an extremely small sensor. If they haven't got to properly testing the sensor yet, they will have absolutely no idea how big a lens they will really need to collect enough IR emissions.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Corporate666 on May 14, 2013, 01:18:16 pm
I am inclined to think that you are talking through your bottom  :-DD
(Not you Dave... I'm talking to Mr Amspire)
In what way? Are you saying that if they posted a picture of the PCB, it would not be intensively analyzed here on the forum?

Keef, you have personal experience with scammers. Have you ever heard of a scammer giving refunds? I have big doubts this project will succeed, but if they intend to take all the money and run, they could have taken all the money and run. Why give anyone a refund? Are they capable of designing the camera? They have not done a single thing yet that proves they are - not that they have to at this stage.

Bernie Madoff most certainly gave refunds.  It's part of the documented history against the guy.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Corporate666 on May 14, 2013, 01:25:07 pm
See I don't understand why the confidence trickster needs to maintain confidence. He's got the money. Refunds are entirely optional on his part. He could basically walk away tomorrow and never reply.

Two possible reasons, at least.

1) They are still luring other investors and need to maintain confidence (they have openly spoken about having other investors)

2) If they just take the money and run, it was obviously a scam.  If they pretend to be trying and giving refunds to disaffected backers, they can fall back on the "well, we tried, but just could not make it happen" excuse.

If #2 was true, then of course they would not want to spend money on "prototype" stuff such as PCB's and sensors.  They are graphics guys - so it would be comparatively easy to make some one-off screenshots they could use to give the appearance of progress while not actually spending any real money on the project.

Even if they gave back 20% of the money in refunds, it's still something like $200k in their pockets net/net.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: amspire on May 14, 2013, 01:45:47 pm
Bernie Madoff most certainly gave refunds.  It's part of the documented history against the guy.

Are you talking about refunds, or the promised investment returns. The investment returns payment were all part of the scam to get even more money invested - he had to religiously pay the returns he had promised. Money has been recovered but I thought that was only money recovered under legal threat or by the liquidator and from assets seized by prosecutors. Only half of 17.3 billion dollars has been recovered. He fabricated 65 Billion dollars of profits. Now that is a scam.

In the case of Mu Optics, the fundraising campaign is complete. If PayPal is retaining some money, we do not know how much. It sounds odd that PayPal would retain money - I do not understand that bit at all.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Corporate666 on May 14, 2013, 01:54:20 pm
Bernie Madoff most certainly gave refunds.  It's part of the documented history against the guy.

Are you talking about refunds, or the promised investment returns. The investment returns payment were all part of the scam to get even more money invested - he had to religiously pay the returns he had promised. Money has been recovered but I thought that was only money recovered under legal threat or by the liquidator and from assets seized by prosecutors. Only half of 17.3 billion dollars has been recovered. He fabricated 65 Billion dollars of profits. Now that is a scam.

In the case of Mu Optics, the fundraising campaign is complete. If PayPal is retaining some money, we do not know how much. It sounds odd that PayPal would retain money - I do not understand that bit at all.

I know personally three people who were invested with Madoff.  Two of them started to feel it was too good to be true, and asked to "cash in their chips" (i.e. get their money back) and got it.  The third had reservations but ignored them for the returns and ended up getting swindled. 

There was heavy coverage on the news about this, because the courts were trying to claw back much of the money that had been paid out as refunds to some - because it was considered to be the money of others and they wanted to spread the losses equally. 

As for PayPal, I do not believe the claim that they are holding money - especially in light of the prior post RE: Paypal and their crowdfunding policies.  But I am very sure that the claims of the Mu guys that PayPal is monitoring the situation and "keeping them honest" is an outright fabrication.  I find that claim to be perhaps the most worrying one of all they have made, because they are claiming financial oversight of their business by the people controlling the purse strings - and by the people controlling the funding campaign (IGG).  They overstate the monitoring role of the latter, and I believe they are outright fabricating the role of the former. 

I can see no reason to fabricate the role and actions of PayPal other than to lull backers into a false sense of security about the safety of their money.  And the only reason they would do that is to prevent people demanding refunds or thinking it's a sham.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: amspire on May 14, 2013, 02:26:41 pm
I can see no reason to fabricate the role and actions of PayPal other than to lull backers into a false sense of security about the safety of their money.  And the only reason they would do that is to prevent people demanding refunds or thinking it's a sham.
My only experience with Paypal refunds is when I paid $5 for a service manual PDF with schematics, and I got a link  to the freely available manual available from the Agilent site with the service section cut out. As far as Paypal were concerned, I got something, and they said didn't care less if it wasn't what was advertised. They finished the message to me with a "Case closed. We will not reopen it" statement. I would hope they have improved from 5 years ago.

Apparently it does look like Paypal has started holding onto Indiegogo campaign money:

http://www.develop-online.net/news/43946/Paypal-witholds-Skullgirls-funding (http://www.develop-online.net/news/43946/Paypal-witholds-Skullgirls-funding)

It sounds like PayPal went to the company involved and ask if they were good to refund all the money if there were callbacks. They said no - that is why they needed the money from the campaign - they don't have the money. Paypal then froze the account until a Consumer Financial Complaint Bureau complaint was filed against them.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: amspire on May 14, 2013, 03:23:07 pm
Concerning the cost of the sensors, Ulis is targeting the Pedestrian Avoidance market for the automotive industry, and for that, they would have to be able to make sensors at a reasonable costs. They just invested in a new plant for volume production and they claim to offer a good price for volume purchases. I couldn't find any $ figures.

Looks like the Nano160P sensor has an I2C bus interface, so it would be easy to use. In fact, it would be dead easy to grab one of the many development boards with a fast processor and color LCD screen, connect the sensor, and get a picture. You would need a lens as well of course. Don't know how a pinhole lens would go - probably not enough sensitivity.

Edit: Just thinking about it, of course a pinhole lens would be no good - the intensity of the light from the target would be way less then the environmental IR around the sensor. You obviously need a big enough lens to make the light from the target at least an order of magnitude greater then environmental IR.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Corporate666 on May 14, 2013, 03:49:17 pm
Apparently it does look like Paypal has started holding onto Indiegogo campaign money:

http://www.develop-online.net/news/43946/Paypal-witholds-Skullgirls-funding (http://www.develop-online.net/news/43946/Paypal-witholds-Skullgirls-funding)

It sounds like PayPal went to the company involved and ask if they were good to refund all the money if there were callbacks. They said no - that is why they needed the money from the campaign - they don't have the money. Paypal then froze the account until a Consumer Financial Complaint Bureau complaint was filed against them.

The guys from Mu said

"Please keep in mind that PayPal continues to hold back a considerable amount of money until such time as we can show them that all the processes and parts and orders, and POs, etc. are in place to begin delivering the product."

I believe that statement to be an outright fabrication.  As I said in an earlier post, PayPal's only concern is chargebacks and making sure that they get paid.  They do not achieve this by inspecting companies and making judgements about the likelihood of delivery of product.  The Mu guys are trying to reassure the backers that the people they gave the money to - PayPal - are taking some sort of oversight role and acting as trustees of their funds and making sure those funds are disbursed only when PayPal is satisfied that the project is "real".  I think that is a flat out lie.  There is no way in hell that PayPal would ever place themselves in any sort of oversight role.  To do so would create liability for them - and that is precisely what they are trying to avoid.

It may very well be true that PayPal is holding some of the funds.  But I believe the characterization given to the backers regarding the nature of that withholding to be an egregious hack-job of the truth.

I believe a lot of what the Mu guys say to be a hack-job of the truth.  For example, their claims that they had a case, now saying they don't.  And the claims that they can't get an image without the WiFi working - which I am sure we all recognize as being not only untrue but the complete opposite of what the truth would be.

There are many other issues - the claims that they can't show *their* design due to NDA's (when do NDA's from a supplier prevent you showing your own work?)... the fake excuses given in the video that got pulled/edited/re-uploaded... the initial TIR images being from a commercial TIR camera and not theirs, etc, etc. 

These guys play fast and loose with the truth.  I cannot conceive of a scenario where things are as these guys have presented them are true... can anyone here?
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: sleemanj on May 14, 2013, 04:09:40 pm

"Please keep in mind that PayPal continues to hold back a considerable amount of money until such time as we can show them that all the processes and parts and orders, and POs, etc. are in place to begin delivering the product."

I believe that statement to be an outright fabrication.

+1, their statement is complete and utter bullshit.

Pay Pal do not hold funds in any way other than to lock an account while it's under investigation, or of course in standard Auth-Capture process, of which this is not.

The only way it could be "true" is if it's indiegogo which is holding the funds and they are "confused".  I don't know if that's how igg works, but I didn't think it was.

Or they are "embellishing" the paypal buyer protection through which people can dispute a transaction within a certain period of time (err 45 days?) and paypal will usually side with the buyer if the seller can't produce evidence of shipping.

They are spinning this out if you ask me, the longer they spin it, the less chance that pay pal will reverse transactions when people start opening disputes.






Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: amspire on May 14, 2013, 05:06:14 pm
I believe that statement to be an outright fabrication.  As I said in an earlier post, PayPal's only concern is chargebacks and making sure that they get paid.  They do not achieve this by inspecting companies and making judgements about the likelihood of delivery of product.
I agree it does not sound like a frank explanation of the situation with PayPal. As with many of their other statements, it sounds like Mu Optics have chosen the wording to convey the situation in a favourable way. One reason PayPal would get worried would be that chargebacks are occurring, and they are really worried they will continue to occur at an accelerated rate.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on May 14, 2013, 07:02:56 pm
If they just showed a blank prototype PCB, even for an old sensor, it would tell us a LOT about whether or not they are serious with the hardware.
...but they haven't.
It would also tell everyone a LOT about the design. 
Not necessarily - anything critical could easily be blanked out
Quote
When we see a PCB, we can work out a lot, and a big problem these guys have is if they can make an IR camera cheaply, there will be a lot of people who can do it 500% better. The moment they post a picture of the PCB, people on this list will be working out a lot about the design. From the pin count, visible traces from pins, clock connections, etc, it may even be possible to work out the micro family, the WiFi chip, the IR sensor. They may as well post the circuit and parts list. You seriously think they could post the PCB photo and not have it analyzed online here in the forum?

If it was as simple as working it out from a picture of the PCB, you wouldn;t need to see the PCB - the MCU, Wifi chipset etc is a total non-issue. It's all about the sensor.
Quote

Isn't it the truth that if they show a picture of a PCB that shows no details, they will be slammed in this forum for not showing a decent HiRes picture? It could be a picture of any PCB.

Not as much as they are being slammed for showing nothing.
Quote
If they actually succeed, how long do you think they can sell the camera's for until they are undercut by Chinese-made cameras?
If cheap sensors were available, the Chinese would already be selling cameras based on them.
Quote
If amazingly they have actually used an original concept in this design. they most definitely shouldn't give away even the smallest clues until they start to ship the product.
On the contrary, their credibility is now zero, and has severey damaged any chance they may have had on getting any more investment or being taken seriously by suppliers. If they had shown some evidence they had anything, it might have still been credible.
Quote
They have been accused here of being scammers, liars, frauds - you name it. I don't see why they should add "unbelievably stupid" to the list by showing their PCB at this time or at they time they actually have a genuine first revision prototype PCB.
They could easily show evidence that they are not lying without giving anything away.  They haven't.
My bet is  the guy is just delusional and now into self-denial. I don;t thinl it will be long before the whole thing implodes and he'll start whining on about how teh world is ganging up on him.
Hopefully after that an insider will spill the beams on what actually happenned.
 
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Keef Wivanef on May 14, 2013, 07:32:23 pm
Bernie Madoff most certainly gave refunds.  It's part of the documented history against the guy.

He had to religiously pay the returns he had promised.
But he didn't.
He PRINTED statements to be sent to shareholders telling them that he had (once again, miraculously) earned 10% interest.

No problem to pay out the odd investor who wished to withdraw.

Heavens to Betsy
Read the book!

No not mine, his.... http://lp.wileypub.com/Markopolos/ (http://lp.wileypub.com/Markopolos/)

Nice website......
Wait a minute.... I have a cunning plan  ;D
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Fraser on May 14, 2013, 07:38:39 pm
For those wondering about the focus issue (not that important compared to the TI detector IMHO) you may be interested to hear that all of my Fire Brigade TIC's are fixed focus 1m to infinity using a 25mm multi element Germanium lens structure. They are no good for looking at PCB's unless you fit a lens in front of them like I detailed earlier. Focus can be a manually adjusted affair anyway....but you do need a lens of some description, and you do need to bandpass filter the energy coming through the lens if that is not inherent in the lens material used.

People have mentioned NDA agreements on the TI detectors....it goes further than that. When I asked for some details of my EEV Argus 2 circuits I was advised that it was a federal offence to disclose ANY circuit details for a TIC that contained a thermal detector covered under the US DoD technology export controls. That even included the power supply module ! The very friendly and helpful chief engineer has provided me with the full schematics for my other two EEV TICs because they use a Pyroelectric Vidicon tube that is not covered by export rules. I am in the UK yet the USA does have a great deal of influence in this area, even for UK manufacturers like EEV(E2V) supplying to UK buyers. Its weapons control at work. If you ask FLIR for circuit details of one of their older cameras, like my 570, they treat you like a terrorist ! Absolutely no information on their cameras circuits is released into the public domain under penalty of prosecution by the US DoD and associated legal agencies  :(

The rules have been changed recently with regard to low update, low resolution TIC's, but even then restrictions apply. As a manufacturer, you buy a TIC 'Engine' complete, and fit it into your chassis with your data processing chip set. No schematic detail is released on the TIC engine by the manufacturer, just I/O requirements.

In summary, I don't see the Mu project being allowed to use a high performance thermal imager chip in their design as the US DoD would stamp on them pretty quickly. If they were to buy a TIC engine, they will not be able to produce a product at the suggested price.

This project comes under the heading of blue sky thinking and vapourware.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Lexy on May 14, 2013, 07:57:03 pm
Despite the crowd funding ‘problems’, Mu thermal imager raises a technical intriguing question. Is it possible to make a thermal imager in the sub $400  range? I do not know, but a possible path is de DLP + single sensor option. A cheap DLP+controller like the DLP3000+DLPC300 costs under the $150. This DLP array scans the area and sends the pixels one by one to a cheap IR sensor like the MLX90614. Add a FPGA and maybe a microcontroller and you are ‘good to go’. But I think there would be a lot of prototyping and research effort needed to get this working, especially the optical construction. For prototyping sake, you even could replace the IR sensor with a visible light one, just to test the principle.

I’m eager to test this, but I do not have the time/money to make a prototype, but I think it is a feasible path.

My opinion on the Mu Thermal Imager project itself: I think they underestimated the project, and are covering things up, with a unneeded features, vague vendor issue’s and some fake software snippets. They do not have a working prototype, just a (good) idea. They are as far in the project as I am...
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Jay_Diddy_B on May 14, 2013, 08:00:43 pm
Hi guys,

In response to a request from amspire, I am posting some real thermal images taken with my Ti9 Thermal imager. It gives you an idea of what the images look like. This imager has a 120 x 160 resolution.

(http://www.eevblog.com/forum/crowd-funded-projects/m-thermal-imager-real-or-fake/?action=dlattach;attach=47424;image)

In this first image the storm doors are closed. For those of you in warmer climates, the storm door is a glass door in front of the wooden door to protect the wooden door from snow and ice.
You can see that the glass door is not transparent to LWIR.


(http://www.eevblog.com/forum/crowd-funded-projects/m-thermal-imager-real-or-fake/?action=dlattach;attach=47426;image)

In the second image I have wedged the storm door open to reveal the wooden door. This is a panelled door, made of cedar, with a glass insert.


(http://www.eevblog.com/forum/crowd-funded-projects/m-thermal-imager-real-or-fake/?action=dlattach;attach=47428;image)


In this image I manually focused the imager to get the best possible image of the door.

(http://www.eevblog.com/forum/crowd-funded-projects/m-thermal-imager-real-or-fake/?action=dlattach;attach=47430;image)

I now stepped back without adjusting the focus. You can see how the image degrades. This was a crude attempt to show the effect of a fixed focus imager.

(http://www.eevblog.com/forum/crowd-funded-projects/m-thermal-imager-real-or-fake/?action=dlattach;attach=47432;image)

The final image shows a different section of the building.


Notice how all these images have a reasonable amount of Gaussian noise.

You can compare these images with other images published on the web.

The ambient temperature was about 4C. Some of the temperature variation shown in the images comes from variations in emissivity, not necessarily variations in temperature.

Jay_Diddy_B
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Jay_Diddy_B on May 14, 2013, 08:22:12 pm
To Lexy,

The MLX90614 sensor is fine for a IR thermometer. Its response time is not fast enough in my opinion for an imager. The datasheet suggests the fast settling time is 0.04 seconds.

To build a 120 x 160 image (19,200 pixels)

19,200 x 0.04 = 768 seconds (12.8 minutes)

The other challenge is that if you arrange the optics so that the sensor was looking at the entire DLP array and you only turned on one pixel worth of mirrors, you would only get 1/19200 of the thermal energy image hitting the sensor. The rest of the sensor would be measuring whatever the other mirrors were pointing at.

Jay_Diddy_B
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on May 14, 2013, 08:34:15 pm
To Lexy,

The MLX90614 sensor is fine for a IR thermometer. Its response time is not fast enough in my opinion for an imager. The datasheet suggests the fast settling time is 0.04 seconds.

To build a 120 x 160 image (19,200 pixels)

19,200 x 0.04 = 768 seconds (12.8 minutes)

The other challenge is that if you arrange the optics so that the sensor was looking at the entire DLP array and you only turned on one pixel worth of mirrors, you would only get 1/19200 of the thermal energy image hitting the sensor. The rest of the sensor would be measuring whatever the other mirrors were pointing at.

Jay_Diddy_B
And don't forget you'd need a DLP device with a germanium window.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: tom66 on May 14, 2013, 08:48:58 pm
DLP devices are just arrays of mirrors. In fact they have no filter at all and this is one of the reasons for the dreaded "white/black dots" problem (stuck mirrors) in some older projectors and DLP TVs. Many cheap manufacturer specified and aftermarket bulbs have no UV or IR filters, which in time kills the DLP array (bombards the control transistor and sticks it in one position.)

I think it would be possible but remember how a DLP chip works. It uses PWM to vary the light intensity. A mirror can go to the -15 deg or +15 deg position only, variable intensity is achieved by using high frequency PWM. You'd have to find a way to force them fully on (I have a feeling the DLP chip would have a maximum duty cycle to limit output intensity.)  Plus DLP devices are only supposed to be used with the DLP chipset, which is designed for colour video data, so you'd have to do quite a bit of hacking around to get it to work. The actual DLP pin out is only available to customers spending many millions who want to use their own board (ex. Former LG/Samsung), otherwise, you use the TI appnote & chipset.
 
You could do the random diffusion pattern which was linked to previously, which is able to capture images with greater sensitivity.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Fraser on May 14, 2013, 09:01:55 pm
Here are some thermal pictures I took of the microprocessor board inside my Agema 570 using a 360x240 pixel FLIR 25 TIC

I was looking for any components that were either too warm or not warm enough ! On the last picture you will see a crystal oscillator that has a hot spot nearest the supply pin. These thermal cameras can locate the heat source inside a chip very well indeed. I used the cameras X2 digital zoom in many of the pictures due to the minimum focus distance of around 0.5m.

I also include some wildlife pictures just for Dave to enjoy as I know he likes wildlife....can you tell what it is yet ?  :scared:   :-DD

I somehow don't think the Mu would ever have provided this quality of image, even if they had a working prototype. 1st generation products very rarely get it right from the outset. FLIR and AGEMA have been working out the bugs in TIC's for decades.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on May 14, 2013, 09:10:54 pm
For those wondering about the focus issue (not that important compared to the TI detector IMHO) you may be interested to hear that all of my Fire Brigade TIC's are fixed focus 1m to infinity using a 25mm multi element Germanium lens structure. They are no good for looking at PCB's unless you fit a lens in front of them like I detailed earlier.
If you can adjust the lens-to-sensor distance you can focus closer - I managed to hack my FireFlir to do this and it works well on PCB-level things, although depth of field is limited.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: MFX on May 14, 2013, 11:04:37 pm
Some interesting reading here :-
https://developer.paypal.com/webapps/developer/docs/classic/lifecycle/crowdfunding/

Particularly the bit about "Crowdfunding Platform Best Practices". I wonder how long before PayPal really starts clamping down particularly on things like vetting requirements.

Martin.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Fraser on May 15, 2013, 01:08:19 am
Sadly my focus is locked off inside the waterproof housing of the ARGUS series of cameras. The outer lens is not adjustable. My little ZnSe lens trick works fine though. Even the FLIR 25 could not reliably focus closer than 0.5m
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: dustout on May 21, 2013, 02:10:31 pm
Here's an email update!

*oops, copy/pasted wrong section! removed; see next post*
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: EEVblog on May 21, 2013, 02:25:48 pm
That's an old update, here is the latest:
Quote
Hello All,

I thought I’d share with you a few pieces of hardware and manufacturing news.

On the hardware end, I’m happy to be able to say that we’ve settled on a microcontroller from Atmel, the Sam3x. This 84MHz MCU is the brains of the imager, it drives the image sensor and the communications equipment. We’ve been using this chip since early in the development cycle and trust it to be able to give great performance in the camera.
We also have a wireless chipset from RedPine Signals that enables realtime wireless video from the  imager to your smartphone or computer. It’s been very fun adding wireless and we think that we have a few more tweaks we can implement to get some added functionality out of it.

We’re narrowing down our assembly options(there have been a lot of potential manufacturers) and for our electronics and pcb manufacturing, our current top contenders are “Advanced Circuits” and “American Standard Circuits”. Both great companies.

As we work to get the case and body of the imager finalized, we have come up with a few slight modifications to the body that we are currently considering. If those ideas go anywhere, I’ll try to post pictures of the possible changes down the road.

As always, Thanks for all of your support. We can’t wait to get the first imagers into your hands and see what uses you come up with. (I personally really want to see someone mount one to a quadcopter drone).

Cheers,
-Charles and the MuOptics Team.

Once again, they talk about their development cycle and infer prototypes, but continue to still not show them.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Corporate666 on May 21, 2013, 03:02:09 pm
That's an old update, here is the latest:
Quote
Hello All,

I thought I’d share with you a few pieces of hardware and manufacturing news.

On the hardware end, I’m happy to be able to say that we’ve settled on a microcontroller from Atmel, the Sam3x. This 84MHz MCU is the brains of the imager, it drives the image sensor and the communications equipment. We’ve been using this chip since early in the development cycle and trust it to be able to give great performance in the camera.
We also have a wireless chipset from RedPine Signals that enables realtime wireless video from the  imager to your smartphone or computer. It’s been very fun adding wireless and we think that we have a few more tweaks we can implement to get some added functionality out of it.

We’re narrowing down our assembly options(there have been a lot of potential manufacturers) and for our electronics and pcb manufacturing, our current top contenders are “Advanced Circuits” and “American Standard Circuits”. Both great companies.

As we work to get the case and body of the imager finalized, we have come up with a few slight modifications to the body that we are currently considering. If those ideas go anywhere, I’ll try to post pictures of the possible changes down the road.

As always, Thanks for all of your support. We can’t wait to get the first imagers into your hands and see what uses you come up with. (I personally really want to see someone mount one to a quadcopter drone).

Cheers,
-Charles and the MuOptics Team.

Once again, they talk about their development cycle and infer prototypes, but continue to still not show them.

What a bunch of bullshit.  They are just giving a tiny bit of meaningless detail so that people will think something is actually being done.  I bet it's just to stave off a rush of refund requests.

They sold these things for $125 (early birds) to $150 (the rest).   Depending on which version of the Sam3x chip they are using, that represents around 10% of the ENTIRE cost of the camera, JUST FOR THAT ONE CHIP!

I bet the PCB will be at least $5-10.  The housing will be another $5-10.  Assembly will be $10-15 easy, or more.  All the passives and connectors and associated simpleparts on the board will be another $10-15.  So you're looking at $35 to $50 before you've spent a penny on the imager or lens, or packaging, or *labor*, or shipping.

I do a ton of product design and manufacturing.  To turn a profit, your parts cost should be about 1/10th of your retail price.  If you are a big company with economies of scale, maybe you can get to 20-30% of your MSRP being your parts cost.  If you are a small player and don't need to turn a profit, then maybe 25% could be your parts cost. 

That means the Mu guys have between $13 and $40 to spend on parts.  If they are already into this for a $10 MCU, $5 PCB, $10 assembly, $5 housing, $10 worth of connectors and passives - there is no money left for the imager or lens!




And I can't be the only one thinking "wait, if they got the price down because some new imager technology had come out that they had to sign an NDA for ... how can they still do the product claiming that company is no longer going to be a supplier, but ANOTHER company has a similar cheap imager that has been on the market for years?".

If it's been out years, why would they be under NDA on disclosing it?  And why not disclose who the original supplier is/was?

The stench of BS is getting unbearable.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Rasz on May 21, 2013, 03:13:43 pm
redpine wifi modules starts at $25 (I dont think the basic one can even pair with iphone). More advanced ones are $44, so 1/3 of the total cost  :-DD

I wonder what blow off will they use. Airplane crash killing main designer? and he didnt document things because SECRUT? That might work :) or National security concerns :D
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: EEVblog on May 21, 2013, 03:23:19 pm
They sold these things for $125 (early birds) to $150 (the rest).   Depending on which version of the Sam3x chip they are using, that represents around 10% of the ENTIRE cost of the camera, JUST FOR THAT ONE CHIP!

$5-$8 2000qty from Digikey.

Quote
I bet the PCB will be at least $5-10.  The housing will be another $5-10.  Assembly will be $10-15 easy, or more.  All the passives and connectors and associated simpleparts on the board will be another $10-15.  So you're looking at $35 to $50 before you've spent a penny on the imager or lens, or packaging, or *labor*, or shipping.

Labor essentially is the assembly cost. Ok, so you have some testing, but this qty could be done in-house by them.
I think your lower figures are doable.
Passives/connectors/misc might only be $5.
The Wifi chipset won't be cheap? could even be $10+?

But still, yes, it all adds up.

Quote
I do a ton of product design and manufacturing.  To turn a profit, your parts cost should be about 1/10th of your retail price. 

The often quoted figure for small player prototypes is Retail = 2.5 x BOM cost (minimum). To make it worthwhile.

Quote
That means the Mu guys have between $13 and $40 to spend on parts.  If they are already into this for a $10 MCU, $5 PCB, $10 assembly, $5 housing, $10 worth of connectors and passives - there is no money left for the imager or lens!

Don't forget the battery. Or NRE for the case. NRE for PCB and assembly gets easily absorbed into 2000 boards, but I doubt that's the same for the case.

Quote
And I can't be the only one thinking "wait, if they got the price down because some new imager technology had come out that they had to sign an NDA for ... how can they still do the product claiming that company is no longer going to be a supplier, but ANOTHER company has a similar cheap imager that has been on the market for years?".

Yes, that is very strange. If the sensor has been on the market for years, someone would have used it already in a low cost product.

But ultimately you are right, they can't possibly meet this price point and make a profit for sub 2000qty unless the sensor + lens is going to cost maybe $20 tops. And if a 160x120 thermal sensor exists for that price (and has been for some time) the market would have already gone apeshit with it.
We haven't factored in the several employees they have either.
The numbers don't add up.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: EEVblog on May 21, 2013, 03:30:58 pm
The cheapest Redpine modules looks to be $27
http://www.futureelectronics.com/en/technologies/semiconductors/wireless-rf/rf-modules-solutions/80211-wlan/Pages/2003041-RS9110-N-11-02.aspx?IM=0&IT=False (http://www.futureelectronics.com/en/technologies/semiconductors/wireless-rf/rf-modules-solutions/80211-wlan/Pages/2003041-RS9110-N-11-02.aspx?IM=0&IT=False)
No QTY price breakdown though.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: BravoV on May 21, 2013, 03:56:54 pm
Just wondering if any backer ever asked them to make a video instead of just photos the update of the "secured" prototype, its easy, just wrap the camera unit with cardboard and duct tape it, make a hole at the card board big enough for the lens to work, and run a short "video" demo to show if they really have a working unit no matter how messy it is now.

They should have at least the proof of concept by now even only one right ?
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: MacAttak on May 21, 2013, 04:09:49 pm
(Marcus is the person handling all refunds so far - not sure what his actual role with mu optics is)

Quote
Marcus Deely said 4 days ago
Kris,

We do have a thermal sensor. It’s in an open prototype; I can see one from where I’m sitting!

Also, the target price of this thing is $400. The $150 price on IGG was planned to be at a loss.

Which is odd really. I can't recall any other crowdfunded projects where they planned to operate at a 50% loss for all units. Often there will be a very limited number of "early bird" slots at a very steep discount, but those fill up quickly and the bulk of support comes from people who are paying retail price or very near retail.

But anyhow, when trying to figure out the financial angle, you need to budget with a $400 retail price instead of $150.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Rasz on May 21, 2013, 04:53:32 pm
But anyhow, when trying to figure out the financial angle, you need to budget with a $400 retail price instead of $150.

Why? They didnt get 400, they got something like $250/unit  from the campain. You arent suggesting they run a charity? :)
Hmm, maybe the angle is to scam some big company into buying them out?
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: rougeaux on May 21, 2013, 05:33:46 pm
But anyhow, when trying to figure out the financial angle, you need to budget with a $400 retail price instead of $150.

Why? They didnt get 400, they got something like $250/unit  from the campain. You arent suggesting they run a charity? :)
Hmm, maybe the angle is to scam some big company into buying them out?

Maybe they're channeling Sir Clive Sinclair; lose money hand over fist selling a brilliant product at a ludicrous price, then get Alan Sugar to swoop in and take over.

Of course, all that is predicated on the thing actually being a product at all, and not just some files on a dude's desktop and a couple of e-mails from potential suppliers.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: MFX on May 21, 2013, 06:40:41 pm
Re. the money numbers :-

"$125 ....... Shipipng not included. This represents $200 off the MSRP."
"$150 ....... Shipping not included, This represents $175 discount off the MSRP."
"$300 ....... (BRANDED camera)Shipping is included only in the U.S, This is a $100 discount to what we expect will be the MSRP."

So any budget calcs need to be done assuming a retail price of $325.

You need to assume that even if this was legit they are not looking to make any profit on the early units. There can be good reasons for this, I.E. to just get them out there, look at how many units Leap motion have given away free.

Martin.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: EEVblog on May 21, 2013, 08:06:46 pm
What about the "H.264 Video recording" capability?
Do they expect the Atmel ARM to do that at the claimed 30fps?
Add a H.264 encoder chip to the BOM
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: tom66 on May 21, 2013, 08:27:41 pm
I'm guessing H.264 will be done on the phone, but if they intend to do it on the Atmel, a 160x120 image should be doable (at very low bitrates and possibly 15fps max), but they need to add a $5 payment to MPEG-LA for the patent rights. I've seen 320x240 software MPEG decoders run on the Nintendo DS, which has a clock of only 33MHz and a basic ARM processor.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: EEVblog on May 21, 2013, 08:44:21 pm
I'm guessing H.264 will be done on the phone

Doh, of course.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: firewalker on May 21, 2013, 10:00:19 pm
They will transmit the video in a lossless format?

Image sensors usually spits out raw uncompressed image data?

Maybe their sensor produces H.264 data?

There are many phones with no H.264 coding capability.

Can an iPhone encode a video stream with H.264? Yes, it can play H.264, and record H.264. But if the camera module produces the H.264 it may not have an H264 encoder for anything else.

Alexander.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: CanadianAvenger on May 21, 2013, 10:57:36 pm
Crowdfunded projects usually operate at a loss. Sometimes by design, and sometimes due to a lack of proper planning or knowledge.

The question is how much of a loss?  IF you can break even on your hard costs [raw materials/parts & external contractors] you're doing good. Internal costs like labour are essentially free at this stage. These projects are usually single persons with an idea, or small teams. In both cases they donate their time to the project to develop it, with the expectation that as a "founder" they get a payoff after the retail launch. [quite often these projects are worked on only on evenings and weekends, the founders still keep their day jobs to pay the bills] It is highly unlikely for a campaign to purposely run below cost, as no sane person wants to pay people to take their product.

So if we assume that Mu is operating with free labour and a designed operating loss of zero profit, we can look at the $125-$150 figure to be their raw costs for manufacture of the camera. So the question now is CAN we make it for that price?  My gut says no, the sensor array is likely going to cost more than that, not to mention the optics.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Rasz on May 22, 2013, 04:21:16 am
Re. the money numbers :-

"$125 ....... Shipipng not included. This represents $200 off the MSRP."
"$150 ....... Shipping not included, This represents $175 discount off the MSRP."
"$300 ....... (BRANDED camera)Shipping is included only in the U.S, This is a $100 discount to what we expect will be the MSRP."

So any budget calcs need to be done assuming a retail price of $325.

I can tell you are not an accountant :) You cant budget for expenditures you have no resources for (unless you are a government).
 They dont have 400, they dont have 325, they have ~$150/unit to make this happen.
280K / 1850 units. Not even $250 I wrote previously ! :o
No, they dont have >$460K of their own money to cover losses. If they had even a fraction of that this campain would be pointless - they could just develop 50 prototypes with own money (at $400 per prototype like you suggest), put on ebay at $800 a pop and sell overnight.
(Ironically 400 is the bottom minimum parts cost this is doable in very large scale with current image sensors).

Campain goal was 200K, with > 5000 discount slots. This is not a discount. This is like supermarket windows with permanent "going out of business prices!! promotion!!11one" signs. Basically this is a lie some like to call marketing.

Crowdfunded projects usually operate at a loss. Sometimes by design

Please tell me more, any examples of deliberately giving out money? Any campains that set their goals deliberately so they will have to fund > half of the parts cost (not to mention labor)?
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: MFX on May 22, 2013, 05:37:54 am
Did you read the rest of my post? Many of the earlier posts doing budget calculations were assuming they were looking at making a profit on these early sales so assuming they are willing to supply them at cost just to get the money in/the units out there then they have $150 for component cost/development with the profit (if any) to come from future retail sales.

Martin.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Corporate666 on May 22, 2013, 06:07:04 am

Labor essentially is the assembly cost. Ok, so you have some testing, but this qty could be done in-house by them.

The often quoted figure for small player prototypes is Retail = 2.5 x BOM cost (minimum). To make it worthwhile.

Don't forget these guys are planning to sell into retail, where as a small independent approaching the huge national chains, they will need to support keystone pricing.  So for a $200 product, they will need to be able to sell it for $80-100 and make a profit... and they will have co-marketing costs, return costs (about 5% of sales), and will likely be paying for shelf space and warehousing.   So they need to be able to sell for $100 and make a profit, even after allocating about 20% of that $100 for all the ancillary BS.   Actually, given that, your 2.5x (small player to consumer) and my 10x number (small-medium player to consumer through distribution) are pretty close.  Bet Mu is nowhere near those margins though.

Quote
Don't forget the battery. Or NRE for the case. NRE for PCB and assembly gets easily absorbed into 2000 boards, but I doubt that's the same for the case.

!!!  Didn't even think about the battery, or the Wifi module!  Good catch!  Wifi modules are slim pickings at $10/ea - and these guys won't have the volumes to get the price down much.

Quote
Yes, that is very strange. If the sensor has been on the market for years, someone would have used it already in a low cost product.

But ultimately you are right, they can't possibly meet this price point and make a profit for sub 2000qty unless the sensor + lens is going to cost maybe $20 tops. And if a 160x120 thermal sensor exists for that price (and has been for some time) the market would have already gone apeshit with it.
We haven't factored in the several employees they have either.
The numbers don't add up.

This is the most confusing part of all.

It starts with "we have a really amazing new technology we've discovered and we're going to bring it to market with a cheap TIR camera... but it's so new and super-secret that we can't tell you about it or even show you our PCB because it will give it all away... we're relying on secrecy and 'first to market' to make it work!"

Then...

"Well that all fell through... but not to worry, there is another company that has had a product on the market for years and is well tested and tried-and-true, so we're going to use that instead.  Oh, but we still can't tell you anything about it because... uhhh... well, we just can't". 

The only way this makes any kind of sense is if they are repurposing an existing device for thermal.  That has been discussed quite a bit on here, but if it was easy or simple, the legions of engineers at Fluke or FLIR would have done it and be selling low end cameras as you say.  Not to mention that even if there was a technology we've all missed that would allow them to make a $150 TI camera... they have set themselves up for failure by showing images from a 'real' thermal camera, and setting expectations (in their backers mind) of getting the performance of a $2,000 device for only 6% of the cost of the real thing.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Corporate666 on May 22, 2013, 06:30:22 am
Did you read the rest of my post? Many of the earlier posts doing budget calculations were assuming they were looking at making a profit on these early sales so assuming they are willing to supply them at cost just to get the money in/the units out there then they have $150 for component cost/development with the profit (if any) to come from future retail sales.

Martin.

I disagree they have $150 for component costs.  Not even close.

Firstly, they sold a bunch at $125, but let's go with the $150 number and let's assume that is the sum total of all expenses to make a run of 1,500 imagers. 

Since that price includes all costs, it would include packaging, assembly, shipping costs, printed materials, accessories, labor, etc.  Those costs will be much higher than I bet most people assume. 

The other big one is the NRE costs - NRE for PCB's is small, but NRE for injection molded housings is huge.  Add in the one-off parts they've bought, prototype PCB's, software and hardware and such, and they must have spent at least a few tens of thousands of $$$'s on this - assuming none of them are taking a salary.  Since they needed funding to make this idea a reality, and since all those NRE and R&D costs must be paid up front, it must be subtracted from the amount they raised.   Even if they were miraculously able to spend only $30k on all of that... that leaves them $250k to make 1850 imagers.  Considering all the other costs I mentioned, that would be a max of maybe $100 in parts per unit.

Add up the cost of the parts we already know about - and it leaves them virtually nothing to spend on the most important parts - the imager and the lens.

The reality is more likely that R&D and NRE costs on such a device would cost $50k-100k easily and all their other costs will easily add 20% to the parts price.  Which means they have $75 or so to spend on parts, in total. 


Coming at it from the other side - as a small independent who approaches Best Buy and such to sell their product, they will be paying for shelf space, marketing, returns, shipping, promotions/sales, samples, etc.  Then there is the cost of sales and much more.  If they want to retail it at $400, it better have $40 or less in parts in it, or they're screwed.

Here's a decent intro to all the costs associated with distribution:

https://www.nuvonium.com/blog/view/how-to-price-your-product-for-retail-distributor-and-direct-to-consumer-sal (https://www.nuvonium.com/blog/view/how-to-price-your-product-for-retail-distributor-and-direct-to-consumer-sal)


And we never even considered testing/approvals (FCC, and whatever equivalents around the world).
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: envisionelec on May 23, 2013, 07:14:35 am

Here's a decent intro to all the costs associated with distribution:

https://www.nuvonium.com/blog/view/how-to-price-your-product-for-retail-distributor-and-direct-to-consumer-sal (https://www.nuvonium.com/blog/view/how-to-price-your-product-for-retail-distributor-and-direct-to-consumer-sal)


And we never even considered testing/approvals (FCC, and whatever equivalents around the world).
 
Warranty repairs can be the source of big, big potential losses. My personal rule of thumb for first-run productions is 8-10% fully assembled replacements for DOA and warranty exchanges. Higher if the application is going into an abusive environment (thermal, shock, etc). Spare parts are essential, but whole assemblies are far cheaper to expedite repairs and keep customer happy.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: araugh on May 23, 2013, 08:07:29 am

Quote
On the hardware end, I’m happy to be able to say that we’ve settled on a microcontroller from Atmel, the Sam3x...

We’re narrowing down our assembly options(there have been a lot of potential manufacturers) and for our electronics and pcb manufacturing, our current top contenders are “Advanced Circuits” and “American Standard Circuits”...

Just now figuring out the MCU and assembly house?  They also seem to think that it's all downhill from here.  I've used advanced circuits for assembly runs before.  They're a good company and do good work, but they're not cheap and they're not fast.  Expedited assembled boards could cost a third of the $125 base price before you even get into the components.

Ridiculous.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: tom66 on May 23, 2013, 08:44:57 am
I remain sceptical until an actual board is shown, with an actual thermal imager on it.  I'm also struggling to see how they're going to fit the MCU, sensor, wifi and presumably battery in that small camera size they show (unless it's a multi-board design or the case isn't real.)

It does have a battery right? Given that it uses wifi? Have they stated how long it will last on that?
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: CanadianAvenger on May 23, 2013, 09:55:49 am
It does have a battery.  I don't see any issues with size, and the given functionality.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: WattSekunde on May 24, 2013, 08:51:45 am
After reading nearly all 22 pages here :o and looking the MuOptics Video Art now I couldn't resist.  >:D

That's an old update, here is the latest:
Quote
Hello All,

I thought I’d share with you a few pieces of hardware and manufacturing news.
:blah:

Quote
Quote
On the hardware end, I’m happy to be able to say that we’ve settled on a microcontroller from Atmel, the Sam3x. This 84MHz MCU is the brains of the imager, it drives the image sensor and the communications equipment. We’ve been using this chip since early in the development cycle and trust it to be able to give great performance in the camera.
We also have a wireless chipset from RedPine Signals that enables realtime wireless video from the  imager to your smartphone or computer. It’s been very fun adding wireless and we think that we have a few more tweaks we can implement to get some added functionality out of it.
- They said before that they having a lot of trouble with WiFi and that's now all fun?  :wtf:
- So many problems on all parts and now it's time to add more functionality?   |O And more bugs and problems...  :--

Quote
Quote
We’re narrowing down our assembly options(there have been a lot of potential manufacturers) and for our electronics and pcb manufacturing, our current top contenders are “Advanced Circuits” and “American Standard Circuits”. Both great companies.
What a great BS bingo.
"Money doesn't care. Only the best for our customers".  Pffff. :-DD

Quote
Quote
As we work to get the case and body of the imager finalized, we have come up with a few slight modifications to the body that we are currently considering. If those ideas go anywhere, I’ll try to post pictures of the possible changes down the road.
Showing changes without any state before?  :-//


Quote
Quote
As always, Thanks for all of your support. We can’t wait to get the first imagers into your hands and see what uses you come up with. (I personally really want to see someone mount one to a quadcopter drone).

Cheers,
-Charles and the MuOptics Team.
It is so bold.  :palm:

Quote
Once again, they talk about their development cycle and infer prototypes, but continue to still not show them.

I am very sure they have nothing. At no time!  :box:
The only thing that interests me: Have they written the story before?

I never baked anything because there are enough really nice DIY and open hardware projects out there where you can see every detail before you buy, talk a bit with the developer and so on. You know.
Look for example at the WP 34S project (http://wp34s.sourceforge.net (http://wp34s.sourceforge.net)), at http://mutable-instruments.net (http://mutable-instruments.net), at www.midibox.org (http://www.midibox.org) and others. The difference in every detail to MuOptics and most of the other crowd funding nerd touched vaporware couldn't bigger.

 :-//
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Corporate666 on May 24, 2013, 11:19:16 am

Quote
On the hardware end, I’m happy to be able to say that we’ve settled on a microcontroller from Atmel, the Sam3x...

We’re narrowing down our assembly options(there have been a lot of potential manufacturers) and for our electronics and pcb manufacturing, our current top contenders are “Advanced Circuits” and “American Standard Circuits”...

Just now figuring out the MCU and assembly house?  They also seem to think that it's all downhill from here.  I've used advanced circuits for assembly runs before.  They're a good company and do good work, but they're not cheap and they're not fast.  Expedited assembled boards could cost a third of the $125 base price before you even get into the components.

Ridiculous.

The part about the assembly house really bugs me.

I've spent the last 10+ years doing product design and manufacturing, and I think I have gotten pretty good at it, at least as far as independent small manufacturers go (I'm not on the same plane as Apple, for example!).

But in all that time, and dozens of products brought to market, I have never EVER even given the slightest thought to the "assembly house" when I didn't even have a device working.  Not only that, they make it sound like it's some kind of competition with Advanced Circuits (AC) and American Standard Circuits (ASC) being the two leading horses.  I'd wager neither of those companies have even heard from the Mu Optics guys - but even if they had, what in the hell did Mu say to them?  If I were someone working at AC or ASC, I'd laugh if some jackass called me up and said they were "considering" using me for their upcoming project and wanted me to justify myself to them.  And yet, Mu makes it sound like they have undertaken some deep competitive analysis and AC/ASC were rated best.

Aside from that, while I never have used ASC, I have used AC and they are not cheap - not at all.  I can't understand why Mu would choose these two as their suppliers?  Why do they even need to 'choose a supplier' when they are still changing WiFi modules and imaging sensors?  It's sort of like going to Ford dealers and telling them you "might" be considering a Ford vehicle and you want the dealer to justify why you should consider giving them your oil change business.

What a joke!
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: EEVblog on May 24, 2013, 11:32:31 am
Aside from that, while I never have used ASC, I have used AC and they are not cheap - not at all.  I can't understand why Mu would choose these two as their suppliers?

Maybe because they rank high on a local google search?

Quote
Why do they even need to 'choose a supplier' when they are still changing WiFi modules and imaging sensors?

They don't.
And to anyone with any electronics product design and manufacturing knowledge, most of what they are saying seems just plain silly.
At best they seem to be completely cueless.
I'll be dumbfounded if they manage to ship this year, or at all before the money runs out.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: EEVblog on May 24, 2013, 11:34:37 am
It does have a battery.  I don't see any issues with size, and the given functionality.

Neither do I, based on the relatively chunky case shown in the promo video.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: CanadianAvenger on May 24, 2013, 12:26:17 pm
Though they may want to check their operating temperature range with all that "hot air" they're putting in that case :P
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Towger on May 24, 2013, 11:11:31 pm
After 13 pages of conjecture, how about contacting them and interviewing them on the Amp Hour?
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: MacAttak on May 25, 2013, 01:51:40 am
I would be very surprised if they weren't already keeping tabs on this thread. It's been linked multiple times in the backer comments area.

With the open hostility though, they would have to be crazy to agree to an interview.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Fraser on May 25, 2013, 02:17:10 am
Better to be thought a fool, than to open ones mouth and prove it !  ;D
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: jancumps on May 25, 2013, 02:17:41 am
...
With the open hostility though, they would have to be crazy to agree to an interview.
Why? Lots of businessmen that stand behind their product do that and walk away with head high. How believable are you when you only talk to likeminded reporters?
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Corporate666 on May 25, 2013, 04:07:22 am
I would be very surprised if they weren't already keeping tabs on this thread. It's been linked multiple times in the backer comments area.

With the open hostility though, they would have to be crazy to agree to an interview.

From my POV, the "hostility" is directed only at bullshit claims, not at the Mu guys themselves, or the device itself.  And the simple truth is that if the Mu guys have answers to reasonable questions, then they have nothing to worry about.

If you read the comments thread on IGG, the Mu guys selectively answer questions that they have easy answers for.  They do not answer *any* questions that commit them to disclosing any details about the project, even those that only ask about logistical issues or project timeline issues and do not ever broach the technical aspects.  For example, one guy asked them to explain why they previously said they had a case and now say they are working on a case.  Another asked for details on how many revisions of the PCB they have gone through and if they had infact ordered PCB's.  When the legitimacy of the project is seriously undermined, those are very reasonable questions - and they are questions the Mu guys refuse to answer.  Answering them cannot betray any confidential or competitive information, so there must be an alternative reason they have refused to answer.

So yes, I think if they went on Amp Hour and refused to answer basic questions, they would not look very good to the audience.  Which is why they are refusing to be questioned (through refusal to answer) - because the answers will make them look bad.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: MacAttak on May 25, 2013, 06:59:22 am
That's exactly my point. They would be tarred and feathered in an interview, because we are all quite confident that they don't really have anything of substance at this point. It's easy to dodge backer questions by ignoring them - but much harder to dodge an interviewer's questions.

The only way they could gain anything from it would be to pull a rabbit out of their arse and demo a functional prototype to an independent interviewer. (yeah, right)

So if you have nothing to gain from doing something, then there is no point in doing it. And that's why I say they would have to be crazy to do it. It's just not in their best interest.

I suppose it would be a little entertaining though.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: EEVblog on May 27, 2013, 12:46:57 pm
After 13 pages of conjecture, how about contacting them and interviewing them on the Amp Hour?

I doubt they would agree, but more than that I doubt they would have anything useful to say about electronics, which based on their updates, it seems they have little experience in.
Also, why would they say anything on the show that they haven't already said. They have stated they won't release information until they are able or willing to do so.
So asking them on the show would be pointless.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: firewalker on May 27, 2013, 07:25:09 pm
Send Chris with a camera to sneak in to their headquarters!  :-DD

Alexander.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Rasz on May 27, 2013, 08:21:23 pm
Send Chris with a camera to sneak in to their headquarters!  :-DD

you mean that rented set? or owners house?
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: firewalker on May 27, 2013, 08:59:25 pm
Send Chris with a camera to sneak in to their headquarters!  :-DD

you mean that rented set? or owners house?

Good point!

Alexander.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Towger on May 27, 2013, 09:20:40 pm
It would have to be Chris doing the interview, diplomacy does not appear to be Dave's strong point.  ;)

A quick Google shows they operate from: http://www.rethinkstudios.tv/contact/ (http://www.rethinkstudios.tv/contact/)
Title: Re: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Guppzor on May 27, 2013, 11:06:50 pm
It would have to be Chris doing the interview, diplomacy does not appear to be Dave's strong point.  ;)
Nothing wrong with calling a spade a spade especially when this lot have not really given any good reason to be diplomatic. I think many people tried that approach at the start of all this but it appears that it only resulted in more wishy washy updates.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Rasz on May 28, 2013, 12:20:18 am
A quick Google shows they operate from: http://www.rethinkstudios.tv/contact/ (http://www.rethinkstudios.tv/contact/)

Streetview shows big garbage container at the spot they marked.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: CanadianAvenger on May 29, 2013, 01:06:31 pm
Streetview shows big garbage container at the spot they marked.

Perhaps I'm missing some sarcasm here. They didn't mark anywhere... The marker is just Googles plotting of their address. Street view simply locks in at the closest image anchor point to the address... The default orientation is looking down the street, not at the address. If you turn to the right you will see the entrance to their office. [The dumpster is across the street] 
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Recyclojunk64 on June 01, 2013, 12:15:13 pm
Another update. I think it goes without saying that they're exaggerating how far they are with getting it finished.

Quote
Hello All,

Sorry for the long silence. It’s been an incredibly busy week. New PCBs, new cases, new equipment. We will be sending out a new prototype run early next week if everything goes to plan, and then we will be assembling what should basically be the final product.

On another note, we’ve been getting hundreds of emails through our website from people wanting to pre-order cameras. So we’ve launched a new website with a pre-order form. The pre-order will be first come first serve, and anyone that is interested in getting the camera can reserve a spot in the queue. Our first production run will go to all of our IndieGoGo backers, and to a few large companies that have expressed interest in purchasing large volumes so that they can do an evaluation period. After that, as cameras become available, they will go to anyone that pre-ordered. Pre-ordering requires no payment, and does not represent an obligation to purchase a camera. So if you know someone who is interested in getting a camera. Send them to muoptics.com.

Cheers!
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: EEVblog on June 01, 2013, 12:58:35 pm
Quote
Sorry for the long silence. It’s been an incredibly busy week. New PCBs, new cases, new equipment. We will be sending out a new prototype run early next week if everything goes to plan, and then we will be assembling what should basically be the final product.

So they a final working prototype, a likely final PCB design, a likely final case design, and they still can't show an actual thermal image output?  :palm:
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: EEVblog on June 01, 2013, 02:26:46 pm
A commercial developer of thermal imaging cameras on Hack-a-Day says the project is BS:
http://hackaday.com/2013/03/06/a-real-thermal-imaging-camera-for-300/#comment-989466 (http://hackaday.com/2013/03/06/a-real-thermal-imaging-camera-for-300/#comment-989466)

Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: CanadianAvenger on June 01, 2013, 02:30:56 pm
How many fracking PCB spins are these guys going to go through? [Yes I know, they probably haven't made any... but they keep saying they're making yet another one]
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Fraser on June 01, 2013, 09:56:33 pm
Interesting to see pre-ordering offered. I know money isn't committed by pre-ordering but it can be a useful leverage with the bank and backers to have a pile of pre-orders to show !

Dave's link to another forums thread reflects comments that were made here many moons ago, so EEVBlog members are not alone in thinking that the maths does not add up and BS surrounds the claims of cheap COTS technology. I will be honest and say that I have become bored with the whole sorry story and only want to know when they actually show something to their backers or disappear with the money.....the updates from the company are just chaff to confuse and delay.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: millerb on June 01, 2013, 10:11:28 pm
Maybe I'm a sucker, but I'd bet they actually ship something. But the catch will be that the "something" will be ridiculously lame. Maybe a sensor with some IR sensitivity and a bunch of crap software pixel mangling to make it look like thermal imaging.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Corporate666 on June 03, 2013, 06:00:52 pm
I had to laugh at this line

" few large companies that have expressed interest in purchasing large volumes so that they can do an evaluation period"

Has anyone ever heard of any company, large or small, purchasing a "large volume" of a product *that hasn't even been made yet* for "evaluation"?  If I ever want to evaluate something, I don't buy a "large volume".  Unless they consider 5 or less units to be large volume.

Just another BS claim, most likely to try to gain credibility by claiming large companies are on board with the idea, as well as to instill some fear in backers that if they request a refund, they will go back to the end of a very long (and growing) line.

Honestly, I think the stuff they are saying transcends willful ignorance or doe-eyed naivete and is maybe entering the real of outright lying for personal gain.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Pentode on June 03, 2013, 06:37:41 pm
Really ::)
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on June 03, 2013, 06:43:38 pm
I had to laugh at this line

" few large companies that have expressed interest in purchasing large volumes so that they can do an evaluation period"


I suspect what this actually meant was "We are interested in purchasing large quantities, can we have a freebie to evaluate"
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: MFX on June 03, 2013, 11:03:44 pm
Something just clicked about their choice of processor "Atmel SAM3X"   Wouldn't be anything to do with the Arduino Due using a Atmel SAM3X8E would it?  No pics of PCB's because all they've actually been doing to date is playing with an Arduino? Nothing wrong with using Arduino's for product development  in the early stages but you'd hope they'd be WAY beyond that by now. Of course this is all guesswork.

Martin.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Corporate666 on June 04, 2013, 12:51:56 am
I had to laugh at this line

" few large companies that have expressed interest in purchasing large volumes so that they can do an evaluation period"


I suspect what this actually meant was "We are interested in purchasing large quantities, can we have a freebie to evaluate"

You're right - I read it incorrectly the first time around.

I still have a hard time believing any company contacted them and expressed interest in a large volume purchase based on what has been shown so far.  When one contacts a large seller (either retailer or wholesaler), the answer is an almost universal "sure, send us a sample along with a spec sheet and pricing info and we will take a look", which the entrepreneur contorts in their head into "they want millions of them!". 

This project is like a gruseome car accident... you hate that it happened but you can't help but look  >:D
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on June 04, 2013, 02:46:29 am
I still have a hard time believing any company contacted them and expressed interest in a large volume purchase based on what has been shown so far.

I'm sure there are plenty of Corporate Suits as clueless as the punters who've waseted their money on this.


Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Corporate666 on June 04, 2013, 03:32:48 am
I still have a hard time believing any company contacted them and expressed interest in a large volume purchase based on what has been shown so far.

I'm sure there are plenty of Corporate Suits as clueless as the punters who've waseted their money on this.

I don't believe any major corporations contacted them about "large volume orders", and requested samples.  If such communication took place, it would have been in the other direction, with the Mu guys soliciting distributors, and being told "sure, send us a sample, and we'll take a look", that they then misrepresent as interest in large volume purchases from distributors.  We sell stuff to a few international distributors and I've never had one refuse a free sample - but I've also never had one express interest in volume purchase of a product that doesn't exist and has no established sales behind it.  The Mu guys seem to have misrepresented the nature of PayPal's "oversight" (as well as IGG's), and they misrepresented the initial images (which were from a traditional TIC, not their device), so I'd bet this is just more of the same.  If a major corporation solicited samples from them as a precursor to large volume orders, I'd eat my hat.  And I don't wear a hat - so I'd go and buy one, then eat it  ^-^
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: thermalguy on June 04, 2013, 05:40:34 am
I'm the senior developer/owner of a small thermal imaging company in the Kansas City area. I started this company in 2011 after about 12 years experience in thermal imaging. Our first product was definitely no cake-walk but we were able to complete it in about 7 months.

I have been watching the Mu Optics project with great interest. I have read the updates and comments and can't help but shake my head at some of the technical rational. I am not sure what detector technology they are using so it is difficult to estimate what kind of problems they are having so I will not comment either way. Unfortunately if they do not deliver, it will be the crowdsourcing concept that will suffer the most.

I do have a question though...is there a real interest from a commercial standpoint for an imaging head unit such as what they are trying to do?
What if it were an 80x60 with 70mK of sensitivity?
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: eliocor on June 04, 2013, 05:55:03 am
What if it were an 80x60 with 70mK of sensitivity?

If not too expensive I would be interested in. But it should not have the typical limitation of USA made thermal imagers: 9fps!
I'm Italian and I do not need to follow such limitations, but...
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on June 04, 2013, 06:09:41 am
I do have a question though...is there a real interest from a commercial standpoint for an imaging head unit such as what they are trying to do?
What if it were an 80x60 with 70mK of sensitivity?
I have no doubt there is - as soon as it gets down to 'cool toy' pricing people will buy it for fun. It would also be a valuable tool for anyone in the electrical or electronics field for rapid faultfinding, as well as the whole home energy thing that the mu people are targetting.
And of course the whole CCTV /security market.
80x60 is probably the lowest resolution that would be attractive, as with anything less it gets vary hard to figure out what you are actually looking at.
It's one of those chicken-egg situations - small market due to high cost, high cost due to small market. And the existing players in the market wanting to keep their healthy margins.

Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: MFX on June 04, 2013, 06:32:03 am
I think there is a large market out there for a cheap thermal camera (and by cheap I mean well under $1000), from a personal perspective one place is large live events with huge temporary power systems, it's very unlikely that you'd get someone in with several thousands of pounds of thermal imager on such a gig (the industry is slow to adopt new ideas particularly if they are expensive and often people need to buy their own kit)  but if it was something cheap enough to just have in your pocket then many tech crew would buy them personally and carry them for spot checking things like :-

Overloaded breakers
Overloaded cables
Arcing loose connections

80x60 would probably be fine for the above situations. Something for thermal checking of PCB's would interest me as well so would need a fairly close focus ability.

Martin.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: thermalguy on June 04, 2013, 06:46:05 am
We design, manufacture and sell high-end UFP thermal imaging systems. That includes 320x240, 640x480 and very soon a 1024x768 option. I would love to design a lower cost unit but from an imaging head unit perspective to target manufacturing/process control.

I envision a 35mmx35mmx45mm unit with an accessory port on the back. Then the user can purchase whatever port module they need as they need it. Maybe Bluetooth, WiFi, and USB for starters.

The unit would then stream to either a smart phone or pad.

With an 80x60 it would be tough to hit $350US. But $650 is possible if the market can take 1000 plus units a year.

In this industry, you pay for pixels and sensitivity. On the Mu Optics site, I see the pixel spec but there is not a reference to sensitivity. In thermal imaging, that is the spec you push. Since there is not a sensitivity specification, it leads me to believe there isn't sufficient statistical data from uniformity correction/calibration processes in place. Which in turn means there isn't a production process. I may be going to far but these are things that catch my attention.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: thermalguy on June 04, 2013, 06:50:25 am
@eliocor...I would have to check what ITAR restricts at 80x60. I don't remember.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: MFX on June 04, 2013, 06:54:25 am
$650 is still pushing it a fair bit for widespread personal purchase but I'd probably go for it, if you could get some demo units to large event lighting/sound hire companies then you may find there's a previously untapped market out there.

Martin.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: thermalguy on June 04, 2013, 07:06:58 am
This sounds like a fun little project. I will take one of our 320x240 cores and window it to 80x60. Then I will hook it up
to a Bluetooth EDR module and stream it to a laptop and display it in real time.

This is our YouTube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/CSTImaging?feature=watch (http://www.youtube.com/user/CSTImaging?feature=watch)

Give me 3-4 weeks and we will post a video of it working. If we get positive feedback we will do a USB hack.

If the feedback is still good, perhaps we will make it a product.

Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on June 04, 2013, 07:15:35 am
This sounds like a fun little project. I will take one of our 320x240 cores and window it to 80x60.
..but wouldn't that still cost 320x240 money? Maybe the optics would be cheaper.
The framerate issue is also significant - fast update rate makes it easier to see what's happening and what you're pointing at as the brain is good at putting the pieces together - limiting to, say 9fps would make this harder.

Of course I'm sure many cams that are limited to 9 fps are only done so by a software configuration setting - what a shame if someone figured out to hack this  ;)
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: thermalguy on June 04, 2013, 07:20:01 am
Mike, this is to prove the concept and show proof that it will work just fine. This would be a minimal cost on our part to play with.
The hard part, core design, is already done. Whether it is a 80x60 or 1024x768 makes no difference. You window the 320x240 to 80x60 and reduce the bandwidth as you are only sending pixel data not video data.

If this actually makes it to production, 80x60 is what will be installed.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: MFX on June 04, 2013, 08:00:44 am
I assume he means just for a demo to show what it would look like, actual product sensor would be 80x60?

Martin/
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: MFX on June 04, 2013, 08:24:55 am
The response on the indegoogo page indicates there is definite interest in a low cost product, the only question is whether people would be happy with half the resolution for twice the cost (assuming when making their decision they believe the Mu imager has a real chance of coming to market of course).

Martin.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: EEVblog on June 04, 2013, 08:59:45 am
I think there is a large market out there for a cheap thermal camera (and by cheap I mean well under $1000)

Studies have show that $300 is the magical "toy" price point that Mike was talking about.
Above that and it becomes an "investment" in a tool.

Quote
80x60 would probably be fine for the above situations. Something for thermal checking of PCB's would interest me as well so would need a fairly close focus ability.

I agree such a resolution would be adequate for many uses.

Bare in mind also that educational institutions can buy the Fluke i7 thermal imager for $999.
http://triosmartcal.com.au/content/44-i7-education-offer (http://triosmartcal.com.au/content/44-i7-education-offer)
Yes, not everyone can get that of course, but it's something to think about, and Flir would not be losing money on that.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on June 04, 2013, 09:12:57 am
Out of curiosity, at the low end what are the approximate cost percentages of the sensor, the optics and 'everything else'?
Bearing in mind the fixed costs of vacuum packaging (presumably?), moving shutter and optics, would 80x60 actually be all that much cheaper than 160x120? Or does the higher res also increase the cost of the required optics?
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: MFX on June 04, 2013, 09:29:04 am

Studies have show that $300 is the magical "toy" price point that Mike was talking about.
Above that and it becomes an "investment" in a tool.

There is an often ignored "no mans land" market of freelancers who wouldn't see such a device as a "toy" but also don't have the same sort of budget of a full blown company yet do still have a respectable disposable income for such equipment and there's a lot of them. Also if you can get useful kit into their hands they will get around, it will get seen being used and there will be interest in it. It would still be a substantial personal investment though so their decision window of to buy or not to buy will be much tighter than that of a company. A basic case study, a while back I bought an ACT SLA battery analyser, not cheap but they are good, purely from me using it on gigs I know of four other people that also bought them and also one company, doesn't sound a lot but those four people are going to be using them on other gigs with other techs ...

Martin.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: thermalguy on June 04, 2013, 11:25:38 am
I am very familiar with the FLIR i7. 100mK at 9Hz and the $999AU price is educational use only and great for students. I like the FLIR products in general.

In this category all microbolometers are vacuum packaged so it is a level playing field between array sizes. It doesn't cost any more to package a 80x60 than it does a 160x120.

The FPA and associated lens system are the #1 and #2 drivers of cost. Display system is #3 and its a toss up between processing electronics and shutter assembly. The magic of any core system is the flexibility of configuration and video processing capabilities.

There is definitely a cost advantage in going with an 80x60 versus a 160x120. However, the volumes drive everything.

FLIR moves close to 65K 320x240 detectors via Autoliv. Detectors that don't meet the grade are swept up off the floor and configured in array formats that provide the best performance and then stomped on by ALOT of recursive filtering.

What I am proposing to play with is an 80x60 at 30Hz with 70mK sensitivity with bluetooth, wifi, and USB connectivity to a smart device. The faster the volumes move to 3-4K per year, the closer to $400 we can get.

For me, first thing is first, I need to prove the prototype then talk to some other contacts to get the volume up.

Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: EEVblog on June 04, 2013, 02:04:22 pm
What I am proposing to play with is an 80x60 at 30Hz with 70mK sensitivity with bluetooth, wifi, and USB connectivity to a smart device. The faster the volumes move to 3-4K per year, the closer to $400 we can get.

Why not do a Kickstarter  ;D
Seriously. A commercial player with a proven track record showing a real prototype should be a winner.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: MFX on June 04, 2013, 06:54:40 pm
A very unscientific straw poll of a group with about 3000 members (although a LOT are inactive lurkers), results after 12 hours :-

+25 I'm a freelance individual , Yes but only if it was much lower. (around $400)
+5   I wouldn't buy one but would routinely hire one for a gig.
+3   I own a company, Yes but only if it was much lower. (around $400)
+2   I work with event power but wouldn't buy, Hire or use one.
+1   I am building one in my spare time  (not sure this is entirely serious :-)
+1   I own a company, Yes if it was around $600 (£400)
+1   I'm a freelance individual , Yes if it was around $600 (£400)

Martin.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: eliocor on June 04, 2013, 09:18:19 pm
I forgot to mention a really important feature of the thermal camera (especially for us electronics developers):
it should focus to NEAR distances (at least 15 cm) because it surely will be used to check our assemblies.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: MFX on June 04, 2013, 10:57:12 pm
I'd like a near and far focus option but not sure if that's asking too much.

Martin.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: tom66 on June 04, 2013, 11:12:47 pm
Don't forget to publish the USB communication specification so we can write Linux/RaspberryPi drivers for it. Thermal imaging adds interesting ideas for certain robotics projects.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on June 04, 2013, 11:15:39 pm
I'd like a near and far focus option but not sure if that's asking too much.

Martin.

I think that can be handled at least in a crude way by a simple lens distance adjustment - limitations on geometry etc, at close distances are probably not a huge deal, but it will need to be clear enough to figure out how the hot bit relates to its surroundings.
Quote
What I am proposing to play with is an 80x60 at 30Hz with 70mK sensitivity with bluetooth, wifi, and USB connectivity to a smart device. The faster the volumes move to 3-4K per year, the closer to $400 we can get.

Presumably this would have to be limited to 9fps for export - I had a quick scan of the regs and didn;t see any obvious exemptions for low-res.
Incidentally I wonder what the legalities would be of hacking an exported  9FPS camera outside the US....
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: EEVblog on June 05, 2013, 12:04:26 am
Incidentally I wonder what the legalities would be of hacking an exported  9FPS camera outside the US....

Who cares.
It's yours, you can do what you want with it subject to local law.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: tom66 on June 05, 2013, 02:40:29 am
Just put a 24C02 eeprom on there which has a byte for the frame rate limit. Make a USB "command" (??) called WriteEEPROMByte(address, data). You have only enabled people to hack their devices which shouldn't be prohibited.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Chet T16 on June 05, 2013, 03:20:16 am
I was thinking about an affordable thermal imager today when I was passing a couple of amps through various traces to see how they were performing. Of course the biggest attraction would be as a toy!
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: thermalguy on June 05, 2013, 05:45:29 am
Is there anyone on here that has actually contributed money to the Mu Optics project on IGG?
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: MFX on June 05, 2013, 06:26:41 am
I did based on the fact that I'd seen Chinese imager modules starting to appear on Alibaba etc. and had heard about some patents expiring so it seemed possible that a breakthrough in cheap imaging had been made but it quickly started to smell bad and I got a refund. I'll kick myself if it turns out to be legit (but incredibly badly managed) project (slim chance of that) but then even at their full MRSP it would be a bargain.

Martin.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on June 05, 2013, 09:12:51 am
Incidentally I wonder what the legalities would be of hacking an exported  9FPS camera outside the US....

Who cares.
It's yours, you can do what you want with it subject to local law.
Yeah but as the US consider them the same as arms, it could have repercussions  on the manufacturer if their gear turned out to be hackable. Obviously the regs were written before this sort of possibility was even thought of.
It's not beyond the  realms of possibility that someone who published a hack could be arrested on entry to US for subverting export regs.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: EEVblog on June 05, 2013, 10:03:19 am
Is there anyone on here that has actually contributed money to the Mu Optics project on IGG?

Yes, several people at least. I think they have all pulled their money and ran.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: EEVblog on June 05, 2013, 10:16:28 am
It's not beyond the  realms of possibility that someone who published a hack could be arrested on entry to US for subverting export regs.

Nothing is beyond the realms of possibility with the Yanks, because they think international law does not apply to them, and they can do anything they like.
Always reminds me of this:
Star Wars Episode 1 - "I will make it legal" (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nz20lu2AM2k#ws)
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: lemmegraphdat on June 05, 2013, 11:34:17 am
It's not beyond the  realms of possibility that someone who published a hack could be arrested on entry to US for subverting export regs.

Nothing is beyond the realms of possibility with the Yanks, because they think international law does not apply to them, and they can do anything they like.
Always reminds me of this:
Star Wars Episode 1 - "I will make it legal" (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nz20lu2AM2k#ws)

Heh.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: CanadianAvenger on June 05, 2013, 11:43:43 am
Is there anyone on here that has actually contributed money to the Mu Optics project on IGG?

I'm a former backer as well, but pulled out and got a refund when the BS started getting too deep.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: dunkemhigh on June 05, 2013, 09:25:36 pm
Is there anyone on here that has actually contributed money to the Mu Optics project on IGG?

I was one. I already have a Thermacam which I use mostly for electronics: during initial power up testing to save burned fingers (and nowadays fingers can be too big to get in and feel some tiny SMT thing), for reflow work to see the exact point at which a QFP will lift off without bringing tracks with it, or all the solder will have melted, etc. Whilst it's not an absolutely necessary thing, I would miss it if I didn't have it, but the form factor is pants for this sort of work. The Mu device looked good in that respect: easily mountable over the bench hands free, and at a price where you're not afraid to take ti out of its box.

When the spec changed enough to make it useless for this sort of application I asked for a refund. Didn't get a reply so asked again a bit more strongly and got one. They even sent an extra $6 which was apparently to cover what PayPal should have charged me for the tranfer, so I have no complaints at all.

I would be quite worried if I still had money in it, though.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: thermalguy on June 05, 2013, 11:20:04 pm
Okay. I am going to go ahead and do this. When the proof of concept is complete, I will do a youtube video showing how it works. If the feedback looks good we will do a costing exercise to see where it can go. Like I said, about 4 weeks or so working in the evenings.

For those wondering our company website is www.cstimaging.com (http://www.cstimaging.com) and you can find us on YouTube.

Also, I am not sure if anyone has seen this...

http://www.builtinchicago.org/blog/innovative-factory-clients-mu-optics-and-scout-alarm-taking-crowdfunding-new-heights (http://www.builtinchicago.org/blog/innovative-factory-clients-mu-optics-and-scout-alarm-taking-crowdfunding-new-heights)

Am I reading that correctly? Mu Optics raised $1.93M!? I would have LOVED to have that much funding...damn!
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Rasz on June 06, 2013, 12:15:10 am
http://www.builtinchicago.org/blog/innovative-factory-clients-mu-optics-and-scout-alarm-taking-crowdfunding-new-heights (http://www.builtinchicago.org/blog/innovative-factory-clients-mu-optics-and-scout-alarm-taking-crowdfunding-new-heights)

Am I reading that correctly? Mu Optics raised $1.93M!? I would have LOVED to have that much funding...damn!

I think its a type, at the end of article they add both numbers and come up with "almost $400K"
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: EEVblog on June 06, 2013, 12:45:06 am
Also, I am not sure if anyone has seen this...
http://www.builtinchicago.org/blog/innovative-factory-clients-mu-optics-and-scout-alarm-taking-crowdfunding-new-heights (http://www.builtinchicago.org/blog/innovative-factory-clients-mu-optics-and-scout-alarm-taking-crowdfunding-new-heights)
Am I reading that correctly? Mu Optics raised $1.93M!? I would have LOVED to have that much funding...damn!

Haven't seen that before.
That must be a typo, and the article written when the campaign was still going, they must have meant $193,000
So Mu Optics used this "innovation factory" mob to produce the "original design and 3d printed prototype". By that it seems the "design" is simply the 3D CAD housing we see in the campaign.
So they definitely have a 3D printed prototype case, yet they won't show it? Why?
Not that the case matters squat, it's the electronics and the sensor and optics that are the important part. You know, the hard bits that "entrepreneurs" have no clue about  ::)
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: MacAttak on June 06, 2013, 04:18:12 am
Is there anyone on here that has actually contributed money to the Mu Optics project on IGG?

I too was a backer, but once I became more than 90% confident that they had no chance of delivering a product I pursued a refund.

The more recent messages from the muoptics people just seems more and more like this is a full-fledged scam. They are using nothing but evasion and delay tactics while trying as hard as they can to snare even more contribution cash.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: MacAttak on June 06, 2013, 04:20:18 am
And yes, that had to be a typo. The campaign raised slightly more than $200,000 by the time it completed.

They claim to have other investment capital, but haven't answered any questions about the source or size of those investments. Personally, I don't believe that they have any outside investment capital.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Legit-Design on June 08, 2013, 12:45:51 pm
I really really wanted one of these. It was just too good to be true. Luckily I already had bad experiences with "too good to be true" things in the internet, so I opted for waiting. There was only few days left on this project and negative comments on the hackaday.com article about mu thermal camera were starting to pile up.
Then I noticed the hackaday comments regarding mu thermal disappeared? Anyone else notice this? The hackaday mu thermal comments came back after the funding time ran out. When the comments disappeared I checked and none of the other hackaday articles comments were gone. So it couldn't have been problem with website/database or anything like that.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: jancumps on June 08, 2013, 04:58:13 pm
Aha, conspiracy. Now it gets interesting  ;)
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Rasz on June 08, 2013, 09:55:40 pm
I really really wanted one of these. It was just too good to be true. Luckily I already had bad experiences with "too good to be true" things in the internet, so I opted for waiting. There was only few days left on this project and negative comments on the hackaday.com article about mu thermal camera were starting to pile up.
Then I noticed the hackaday comments regarding mu thermal disappeared? Anyone else notice this? The hackaday mu thermal comments came back after the funding time ran out. When the comments disappeared I checked and none of the other hackaday articles comments were gone. So it couldn't have been problem with website/database or anything like that.

hackaday was playing with layouts at the time, you must of  visited mid layout swap or something
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Legit-Design on June 09, 2013, 01:26:13 am
hackaday was playing with layouts at the time, you must of  visited mid layout swap or something

I dont think they change layout for every post separately, since some posts still had their comments. But then again most of the posts didn't have any comments and I didn't know if there were supposed to be any. Or maybe the new layout was broken for posts with too many comments. So instead of trying to show the comments, they disappeared all together. And after the campaign ended they fixed the comments. This wasn't just one evening, it was atleast on two different evenings.   

Luckily mu thermal guys were saying things I would say if progress didn't match up with reality... "we are doing our best" "we are trying very hard"  And trying to avoid answering the easiest of questions so it's technically not lying.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: sleemanj on June 09, 2013, 01:50:37 am


Then I noticed the hackaday comments regarding mu thermal disappeared?

Earlier this year HaD tried moving to a different commenting system, they were to import all the old comments, but it wasn't working, from memory for a few days (don't remember how long exactly) only new comments were showing.  Eventually HaD saw the error of their ways and ditched the "better more social" comment system and went back to the good old one, and all the old comments came back with it.

So it's possible you just happened to look at that time.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: MFX on June 10, 2013, 07:02:24 am
Might be a false alarm but :-

" exponentialdevelopme said 12 hours ago

I’ve been asking for a refund for the last month – no response!"

Wonder if this is the beginning of the end?

Martin.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: CanadianAvenger on June 11, 2013, 01:53:41 pm
Looks like the guy that complained about the lack of a refund has been contacted... but there has been no update now publicly for the past 2 Mondays, so who knows what's going on?  Have we reached the end-game? Will the excuse be that too many people pulled out, and now they can't finish due to a lack of funds?
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: MFX on June 12, 2013, 07:44:47 am
I don't know what the end game will be but I'll get some popcorn in. Someone has just thrown in the spanner about legal restrictions of exporting thermal imaging kit from the USA. BTW slight tangent, was watching a search and rescue documentary last night and the resolution of their imagers is pretty incredibly, anyone know what the actual resolution of that sort of kit is and what price it runs at?

Martin.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: tom66 on June 12, 2013, 08:03:45 am
I have heard of 800x600 thermal sensors... If you have to ask the price, you can't afford it.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Fraser on June 12, 2013, 08:17:35 am
In the UK they used 320x240 FLIR kit but I believe 640x480 is now employed. The image produced is very dependant upon the thermal detectors noise contribution, and the performance of the image processing HW+FW package attached to it. All such high resolution, fast image refresh TICs are subject to military control for obvious reasons. Sadly you will not find such performance in a Commercial Fluke unit any time soon. My AGEMA/FLIR 570 produces a decent thermal image at 320x240 but it is a first generation uncooled micro-bolometer so noise is presented on the output image as a sort of graininess. Later versions have superior detectors and image processing. My FLIR 570 sells for around US$6000 to $10000 (depending upon condition and accessories) on the used market. It is a US DoD controlled product. You can't (shouldn't) just buy such a unit and have it shipped overseas.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: cyr on June 12, 2013, 09:54:42 pm
I have used a 1280x1024 thermal imager, although that apparently used a 640x480 sensor that was mechanically "scanned" by half-pixels to get the full resolution.

I've also seen images from a 1080p IR sensor, seriously impressive! 

And no, I didn't ask about the price of either  :)
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Corporate666 on June 12, 2013, 10:11:04 pm
I don't know what the end game will be but I'll get some popcorn in. Someone has just thrown in the spanner about legal restrictions of exporting thermal imaging kit from the USA. BTW slight tangent, was watching a search and rescue documentary last night and the resolution of their imagers is pretty incredibly, anyone know what the actual resolution of that sort of kit is and what price it runs at?

Martin.

During the extreme heroism of the Boston police department and various Federal agencies in catching two of the worst people since Hitler and Stalin  ::), they talked a bit about the FLIR camera.  They said it was 640x480 (or maybe 800x600?) and that the unit cost around $100k.  It was also sensitive to a wide range of IR which allowed it to see through thin plastic.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: tim_h on June 12, 2013, 10:23:22 pm
Hi all, just registered to let you know I was a funder on the Indigogo campaign, but having got frustrated at the lack of transparency and longer and longer delays between "weekly" updates I decided to pull the plug and request a refund. I emailed marcus@muoptics.com and had a reply within a few hours. The paypal refund was then sent to me a couple of days later.
Marcus and John made no attempt to talk me out of the refund, nor ask why I wanted one. Just a short note from John on the paypal refund thanking me for the initial interest in the project.

Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: iloveelectronics on June 12, 2013, 10:31:08 pm
What's everyone's opinion on the Fluke VT02? http://www.fluke.com/fluke/usen/thermometers/infrared-thermometers/vt02-visual-ir-thermometer.htm?pid=75051 (http://www.fluke.com/fluke/usen/thermometers/infrared-thermometers/vt02-visual-ir-thermometer.htm?pid=75051)
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: EEVblog on June 12, 2013, 10:36:26 pm
What's everyone's opinion on the Fluke VT02? http://www.fluke.com/fluke/usen/thermometers/infrared-thermometers/vt02-visual-ir-thermometer.htm?pid=75051 (http://www.fluke.com/fluke/usen/thermometers/infrared-thermometers/vt02-visual-ir-thermometer.htm?pid=75051)

It's garbage!
I expected it to be good, but was dumbstruck by how much it's image performance sucked.
I tweeted some photos in comparison with a Flir i3
(http://pbs.twimg.com/media/BMIstlgCIAARXmq.jpg)
(http://pbs.twimg.com/media/BMIsa0OCMAAWHmU.jpg)
(http://pbs.twimg.com/media/BMIr7AZCEAIMosq.jpg)

Basically, it is NOT a proper thermal imaging camera. Compare with the rather small 60x60 sensor in the Flir i3 and there is simply no contest. The Fluke just shows a blob for everything, no detail at all.
The price difference between the two is only a few hundred dollars, so IME the Fluke is massively overpriced for what it does. Compared to a Flir i3 it looks like a toy.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: iloveelectronics on June 12, 2013, 10:51:41 pm
Thanks for the pictures Dave! We don't see you put "Fluke" and "sucked" in the same sentence very often  ;D
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: rolycat on June 12, 2013, 10:51:58 pm
Fluke are very coy about the resolution of the VT02 sensor, but DeWalt have a very similar "Imaging Thermometer" with a 15 by 15 sensor. If this is also true of the Fluke, then the Flir i3 offers sixteen times the resolution for an extra $300 or so.

No wonder the Fluke specs don't mention that little detail...
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: EEVblog on June 12, 2013, 10:58:17 pm
Thanks for the pictures Dave! We don't see you put "Fluke" and "sucked" in the same sentence very often  ;D

Yes, they are clearly playing off their brand name here.
I was quite shocked, it looked good in the blurb and I expected it to be pretty wizz bang.
It might suit some peoples needs, but most would be crazy not to pay a few hundred more for the Flir.
It's actually not fair to compare the two, because the Fluke is clearly not a "thermal imager". But the price is close enough it's impossible not to.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: EEVblog on June 12, 2013, 11:05:16 pm
Fluke are very coy about the resolution of the VT02 sensor, but DeWalt have a very similar "Imaging Thermometer" with a 15 by 15 sensor.

There is too much similarity there.
Although they do say "Utilizes pyro-electric technology, exclusive to Fluke".
 :-//
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: rolycat on June 13, 2013, 12:12:18 am
Fluke are very coy about the resolution of the VT02 sensor, but DeWalt have a very similar "Imaging Thermometer" with a 15 by 15 sensor.

There is too much similarity there.
Although they do say "Utilizes pyro-electric technology, exclusive to Fluke".
 :-//

I've just found this link http://instrotech.com/fluke-vt02-p-2091.html (http://instrotech.com/fluke-vt02-p-2091.html) which explicitly states that:

"Whilst this is not a thermal imaging camera, the VT02 does feature a 15 x 15 pixel thermal detector."

Perhaps it's a little harsh to call it garbage, as it does offer (grotty) thermal images blended with a higher resolution conventional camera. If you are just looking for hotspots in equipment, that may be all you need.

The Chinese clone for a third of the price will probably sell like hotcakes...

Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: MFX on June 13, 2013, 04:31:02 am
Yes, they are clearly playing off their brand name here.

Nothing new for fluke, while the price for the actual kit may be acceptable given the quality, the price of many accessories is an obscene rip off! You can buy a Velleman pocket scope with the exact same probes that Fluke supply for their scope meters (all be it Fluke badged) for less than Fluke charge for a set of probes alone.

Martin.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: thermalguy on June 13, 2013, 06:45:28 am
Ran across the Mu Optics facebook page. Is this old news for this group?

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Mu-Optics/274122436049948 (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Mu-Optics/274122436049948)

This is a post from the page...

"Hey everyone, we're thinking of getting the prototype up and running again to shoot some new videos. Anyone have any suggestions? I thought I might walk around the zoo and see if I can find everything I've missed in the past. And to see what the difference is between a cold blooded animal and a warm blooded one. Anyone have any odd or challenging ideas?"

Sounds like they had a prototype running.

Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: MFX on June 13, 2013, 06:49:27 am
If they had a prototype running then why haven't they been able to show ANY evidence of at at all.

Martin.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: thermalguy on June 13, 2013, 06:54:42 am
If they had a prototype running then why haven't they been able to show ANY evidence of at at all.

Martin.

I agree! I am just saying at one point it appears they had a prototype running. So amid all the chip changing and usb/wifi dicussions they could go back to that prototype and show a black box connected to a phone making pretty pictures.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: MacAttak on June 13, 2013, 07:04:20 am
At one point they alluded to having a prototype at some point in time prior to then. That post to Facebook was also made while the fundraising campaign was still underway.

They don't even state that the prototype is of the thermal camera they claim to be making.

I think that post is nothing more than an exaggerated claim (or perhaps outright lie) made in effort to attract more financial backing.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: CanadianAvenger on June 13, 2013, 10:54:57 am
I agree! I am just saying at one point it appears they had a prototype running. So amid all the chip changing and usb/wifi dicussions they could go back to that prototype and show a black box connected to a phone making pretty pictures.

They never had a prototype, what they had was a commercial camera from another vendor. [note the resolution of all the posted images is quite a bit higher than the specs for the Mu camera] It is outright deliberate deception in my opinion. [there was a comment on IGG where they admitted that the sample imagery was from an off the shelf camera, unfortunately IGG only maintains/exposes a 30day history of comments, so it has long since rolled off]
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: MFX on June 14, 2013, 08:35:51 am
Latest update :-

"Hello All,

Sorry for the delayed update again, it’s been a very busy week here. We received new case models, and have been discussing slight changes now that we’ve actually been able to hold the new models with the new materials. We’re looking at ways to cut down the size a little and make it as comfortable to hold as possible. We are aiming to make it feel like you’re holding a point-and-shoot digital camera. We ordered a new reflow soldering oven for our new proto-boards, but unfortunately that oven was apparently damaged in shipping, so they’re sending us a new one which I hope will be here in the next few days. This board should hopefully be the last one that we use to tweak the system, and then we will be able to retool for the new case. These next few weeks are really looking like the end run for design. (At least that’s our hope, if everything comes together)."

So the ergonomics are their only problem at the moment, yet they still can't post a picture of it working. "retool for the new case" WTF! they've already shelled out for tooling and are now retooling?!?!?! Surely you 3D print the prototypes then only shell out for tooling once you've signed off on it. Then of course they still (if they're not lying through their teeth , which of course they are) There's still the slight issue of manufacture which they seem to think is going to be a walk in the park. What planet are these people on! Basically more bullshit delaying tactics, wonder how much longer they can string this out.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: c4757p on June 14, 2013, 08:41:21 am
...Jesus Christ this is a long thread.  :o
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: MFX on June 14, 2013, 08:48:41 am
It's a geek soap opera.

Martin.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on June 14, 2013, 08:55:47 am
waffle waffle waffle - same old lies.... I really don't understand why they are continuing to string it out - they have the money, they're not going to get any more, no sign of any chance of ever shipping anything... 'spose it maybe adds credibility to a possible claim that they were trying to deliver something...
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Hypernova on June 14, 2013, 11:23:42 am
waffle waffle waffle - same old lies.... I really don't understand why they are continuing to string it out - they have the money, they're not going to get any more, no sign of any chance of ever shipping anything... 'spose it maybe adds credibility to a possible claim that they were trying to deliver something...

They need an excuse for this one so they don't get caught (immediately anyway) when they start their next scam.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: MacAttak on June 14, 2013, 11:34:56 am
Apparently the IR-Blue is actually shipping to backers: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/andyrawson/ir-blue-thermal-imaging-smartphone-accessory/posts/502053 (http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/andyrawson/ir-blue-thermal-imaging-smartphone-accessory/posts/502053)

That might mean that there is a shred of possibility of mu optics pulling through (however, very unlikely).

It also might mean increased hope / interest in mu optics from people who think "oh, the IR-Blue was able to be done for under $200, so the mu thermal should be fine." Even though these are vastly different, both in terms of features/specs as well as transparency of the project management.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: CanadianAvenger on June 14, 2013, 12:14:16 pm
Mu will never deliver at that price point. The thermal array alone will cost more than what they are charging. 

IR-Blue also had a working prototype going in, unlike Mu. I would not infer any possibility for Mu to deliver, just because IR-Blue did. Other than being thermal imaging cameras that work with smart-phones there is no similarity between the two campaigns.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: EEVblog on June 14, 2013, 12:40:46 pm
Quote
Sorry for the delayed update again, it’s been a very busy week here. We received new case models, and have been discussing slight changes now that we’ve actually been able to hold the new models with the new materials. We’re looking at ways to cut down the size a little and make it as comfortable to hold as possible. We are aiming to make it feel like you’re holding a point-and-shoot digital camera. We ordered a new reflow soldering oven for our new proto-boards, but unfortunately that oven was apparently damaged in shipping, so they’re sending us a new one which I hope will be here in the next few days. This board should hopefully be the last one that we use to tweak the system, and then we will be able to retool for the new case. These next few weeks are really looking like the end run for design. (At least that’s our hope, if everything comes together)."

Wow, this week it's SMD ovens!
Their prototype is the Loch Ness monster of the crowd source industry!
Except that there are alleged photos of Nessie  ;D
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: CanadianAvenger on June 14, 2013, 01:54:18 pm
Well John does run a Visual FX company, perhaps he's responsible for Nessie too! :P

This week it's the oven, next week it'll be the watercooler, or coffee machine. How many times can his dog eat his homework?
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Corporate666 on June 14, 2013, 03:48:33 pm
These guys can't help stepping on rakes!

They have a prototype that they refuse to show, they are some weeks behind their promised delivery date, they have people asking for refunds daily, they continually miss their update deadline, and their belated update is about changing the form factor of the device to make it smaller and more "ergonomic" (which will mean major changes to the internals), and the latest setback is the reflow oven they ordered was broken?

My god... is there anyone here actually invested (still) in this turd?
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Jay_Diddy_B on June 14, 2013, 06:25:05 pm
Hi,

I think we could help them out with their updates by recycling some of the comments from earlier ones. We could probably make a reasonable guess at what the next update is going to be.

It will probably start with:

I apologize for being late with the update but we had a busy weekend. (On the TV show 'Dragon's Den, the Dragons tend to steer clear of people who have day jobs because they are not 100% committed to their ideas).

Then it will follow:
The new reflow oven has arrived, but problems with the temperature profile caused our prototype boards to be destroyed. We now waiting for a new batch of boards to be delivered. (If they had someone who has built boards before, they would know that you can solder boards in a $40-80 toaster oven, using a thermocouple to monitor the temperature)

We have further refined the case and we are having new molds made.

The GUI has been further improved so I can now show you some thermal images (from a high resolution commercial camera or images we took through our office window and colored them in. I have lots of CGI/VFX experience from my day job)

We are happy to show you pictures of the GUI.

I would like to show you pictures of the camera and the PCB but NDAs with our key supplier prevent me from being able to do this.

We  expect to be shipping cameras in a few weeks.

We continue to have interest from major resellers.

Thank you for your patience.


Usual disclaimers apply. Any resemblance to reality is a coincidence.


 :D


Jay_Diddy_B

Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on June 14, 2013, 06:32:28 pm
Apparently the IR-Blue is actually shipping to backers: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/andyrawson/ir-blue-thermal-imaging-smartphone-accessory/posts/502053 (http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/andyrawson/ir-blue-thermal-imaging-smartphone-accessory/posts/502053)

That might mean that there is a shred of possibility of mu optics pulling through (however, very unlikely).

The two are completely unconnected. IR-Blue was clearly a realistic product based on an available part based on established technology.
There is NO available sensor that meets mu's spec/price point. If there was, someone more competent would be on the market with it already.
And there's no way that a manufacturer of any new & innovative sensor would (still) be granting idiots like mu any exclusivity on it.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: EEVblog on June 14, 2013, 09:05:10 pm
There is NO available sensor that meets mu's spec/price point. If there was, someone more competent would be on the market with it already.
And there's no way that a manufacturer of any new & innovative sensor would (still) be granting idiots like mu any exclusivity on it.

And that's the trick. They have backed themselves into a corner by stating very clearly
Quote
The imager we’re using now is of the highest quality and has been in the market for some time.
That makes the sensor non-exclusive and essentially "off the shelf".
So based on their banner claim for the resolution of 160x120, that means if all this is true, a quality 160x120 thermal sensor has existed on the market for "some time" (and that claim was already made one month ago). Yet no one has a cheap 160x120 thermal meter on the marker at anywhere close to what Mu claim they can sell it at, nor is there any news of anyone even working on one. Nor can a host of inquisitive technical people who are backing and following this project find one.
Even if the sensor alone cost half of Mu's retail asking price (minus lens and everything else), such a cheap sensor would have caused a huge stir in the market and you'd have a dozen companies and hackers everywhere working on it. And "some time" is more than enough time for a hacker show something. Heck, a week would be enough.
So I can't see any way in which that claim can be true  :-//
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on June 14, 2013, 09:52:18 pm
such a cheap sensor would have caused a huge stir in the market and you'd have a dozen companies and hackers everywhere working on it.
Probably not hackers - due to export controls, manufacturers of these sensors are somewhat cautious about who they deal with. You won't see them in Digikey any time soon. 
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: uprightsquire on June 14, 2013, 09:57:25 pm
What kind of nefarious fun are the export controls trying to stop?
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: EEVblog on June 14, 2013, 10:03:25 pm
Probably not hackers - due to export controls, manufacturers of these sensors are somewhat cautious about who they deal with. You won't see them in Digikey any time soon.

True, but not if the sensor isn't from the land of Uncle Sam.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: AndyC_772 on June 14, 2013, 10:04:53 pm
What kind of nefarious fun are the export controls trying to stop?
Heat seeking missiles, probably.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: EEVblog on June 14, 2013, 10:10:34 pm
What kind of nefarious fun are the export controls trying to stop?

The US paranoid delusional kind  ::)
Like you can't buy certain really fast trannies and other parts, because they could be used in an implosion nuke.
Heck, they even tried to export control the Playsation 2 because it might be used for nuke design:
http://www.nytimes.com/library/review/061399china-chips-review.html (http://www.nytimes.com/library/review/061399china-chips-review.html)

Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: cyr on June 14, 2013, 10:10:56 pm
The military kind generally.

It's pretty hard to hide tanks and stuff from high quality thermal cameras.

Not impossible though:

BAE's Adaptive Camouflage (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wlLqdFsMnCE#ws)
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: suoixon on June 14, 2013, 10:56:38 pm
Wouldn't you say that the specs of this unit

http://www.pce-instruments.com/deutsch/messtechnik-im-online-handel/messgeraete-fuer-alle-parameter/waermebildkamera-pce-holding-gmbh-waermebildkamera-pce-tc-31-det_387592.htm?_list=qr.art&_listpos=1 (http://www.pce-instruments.com/deutsch/messtechnik-im-online-handel/messgeraete-fuer-alle-parameter/waermebildkamera-pce-holding-gmbh-waermebildkamera-pce-tc-31-det_387592.htm?_list=qr.art&_listpos=1)

is very similar to the Muoptics claimed specs?
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: EEVblog on June 14, 2013, 11:10:44 pm
Wouldn't you say that the specs of this unit
http://www.pce-instruments.com/deutsch/messtechnik-im-online-handel/messgeraete-fuer-alle-parameter/waermebildkamera-pce-holding-gmbh-waermebildkamera-pce-tc-31-det_387592.htm?_list=qr.art&_listpos=1 (http://www.pce-instruments.com/deutsch/messtechnik-im-online-handel/messgeraete-fuer-alle-parameter/waermebildkamera-pce-holding-gmbh-waermebildkamera-pce-tc-31-det_387592.htm?_list=qr.art&_listpos=1)
is very similar to the Muoptics claimed specs?

Yes, I sure someone has already mentioned that way back, and I think one of the backers said it was likely the commercial one used in their promo shots.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on June 14, 2013, 11:10:59 pm
Probably not hackers - due to export controls, manufacturers of these sensors are somewhat cautious about who they deal with. You won't see them in Digikey any time soon.

True, but not if the sensor isn't from the land of Uncle Sam.
Most other countries have export restrictions of some kind, so the situation is probably similar wherever things are made. And even if not, any manufacturer would not want to risk being barred from the US market, or having supplies of critical parts or materials for letting potential baddies have access to thermal imaging on their i-phones.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: sleemanj on June 15, 2013, 12:19:02 am
Gotta wonder since everything is so secret if the shipping letter would go something like...

"Congratulations on your purchase of this world beating IR camera.  We are sure you will have many great years knowing that you own the best IR camera out there, thanks for your support which allowed us to develop this amazing camera!.  Naturally due to our many partner companies and the NDAs we have in place you can't see, touch or use it, so we have welded it into this steel box filled with the highest quality lead for your convenience!"
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: CanadianAvenger on June 15, 2013, 01:23:08 am

Yes, I sure someone has already mentioned that way back, and I think one of the backers said it was likely the commercial one used in their promo shots.

Actually the promo shots are at a higher resolution. Images with 3 different resolutions were posted [600x456, 279x214, 178x178]
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Rasz on June 15, 2013, 02:44:25 am
Export controls might be their end game
-supplier refused to  ship us parts because we dont have super secrut clearance
-we shipped units to backers, but super secrut export police confiscated them

I still think it will be something more mundane
-warehouse fire
-main dev died with only copy of device plans and prototype in plane crash
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: tom66 on June 15, 2013, 03:53:52 am
Sadly, I reckon it'll be the same as most other crowdsourced projects... a slow, tapering off of updates, before completely stopping. 
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: MacAttak on June 15, 2013, 07:53:42 am
They still haven't played the "Men in black suits raided our research office" card, or the "John's Mother/Brother/Westie underwent radiation therapy and he had to take some time off to care for them". Nor have they tried the "PayPal froze our assets" card.

Still many more rounds to go in this dance.


Oh, and I agree that this is entirely different from the IR-Blue project. But I am going to bet that the majority of the 1900 backers of mu thermal don't understand that, or refuse to accept it. They will see that "well, this other heat-picture-making-gizmo was able to be made and delivered for even cheaper than this one" without realizing that it isn't a fair comparison beyond the most superficial level.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: dustout on June 18, 2013, 11:32:29 am
"Hello All,

I thought that I’d go through and answer a few technical questions that have recently been asked.

Sensor -
We are using a 160×120 Microbolometer for infrared sensing. I’m sure most of you know what these sensors are, but here is the down and dirty wikipedia link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microbolometer (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microbolometer)

Video Stream -
The data stream going from the camera to the host device is entirely raw data. That data is processed into video in the Mu App. By doing all of the processing in the app, we can push updates related to video without requiring hardware firmware updates.

Firmware -
That being said, the cameras will be firmware upgradable. JTAG, USB, and possibly OTA updates will be possible, however we will likely only support USB with the firmware that ships on the cameras. We will later release new firmwares that will enable the other update methods.

Open Source -
Although we haven’t settled on how much of the software and the project will be open sourced, we do want to enable the community to make interesting hacks and to expand the software to smaller or more niche platforms.

Cheers!
MuOptics"
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Pentode on June 18, 2013, 05:35:17 pm
Yeah....right.....whatEVER!!!! :-DD
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: jubaowan on June 18, 2013, 05:39:46 pm
if Thermal Imager product became very cheap, isnot good things?
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: AlfBaz on June 18, 2013, 06:00:55 pm
I'm building an electric train, that being said I'm providing an efficient furnace for steam generation  :palm:
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: EEVblog on June 18, 2013, 07:40:22 pm
if Thermal Imager product became very cheap, isnot good things?

Yes, but these guys (who have no experience in the industry) have absolutely no say in that what so ever.
They claim they are using an off-the-shelf 160x120 microbolometer that has been on the market for "some time".
If that is true, at an affordable price, then many companies would have products on the market already.
These guys don't have the volume to influence anything in the market.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: MFX on June 19, 2013, 06:55:45 am
BTW on the export restrictions point this map http://www.infraredcamerasinc.com/Export_license.html (http://www.infraredcamerasinc.com/Export_license.html)  suggests there are no restrictions for much of Europe/Australia/some other countries on imagers up to 384 x 288 .

Martin.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: tom66 on June 20, 2013, 07:25:34 am
On a recent update:
Quote
That being said, the cameras will be firmware upgradable. JTAG, USB, and possibly OTA updates will be possible, however we will likely only support USB with the firmware that ships on the cameras. We will later release new firmwares that will enable the other update methods.

How can you not support JTAG? I was under the impression that firmware installed has nothing to do with it -- other than perhaps an option to permanently disable the JTAG interface after production, to effectively create an OTP device.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Hypernova on June 21, 2013, 01:52:02 pm
They are just throwing around keywords they see on some random MCU datasheet.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: CanadianAvenger on June 21, 2013, 11:23:15 pm
How can you not support JTAG?

You can not support it by not placing a JTAG header or pads on the board [and consequently pre-programming the chips before soldering them onto the board]  Beyond that, there is the "support" aspect, so while the board may be capable fo being programmed via JTAG, it can be reserved for factory use only, and not a supported method for customer use. [many consumer products are that way]

Having said that I agree with Hypernova, in that they are just throwing around keywords. Still not a single post of any substance.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: tom66 on June 22, 2013, 05:06:27 am
I was presuming that there would be a JTAG header on board, but for various reasons, "we will likely only support USB with the firmware that ships on the camera" which would be fixed in "new firmwares that will enable the other update methods". Which doesn't make sense to me.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Phroon on June 23, 2013, 03:45:31 am
How can you not support JTAG?

By not providing the files that could be flashed over JTAG?  :-//

That's how read it with my 'The person writing this has no idea what he's actually talking about' glasses on.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: CanadianAvenger on June 26, 2013, 06:25:03 am
And yet another update posted today with no substance. Today was talking about using an external 12bit ADC, and how many samples per second they need for 30fps. Perhaps next week they'll do the math on how many bits per second they are sending over the wifi.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: firewalker on June 26, 2013, 06:38:11 am
Can you quote it?

Alexander.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: CanadianAvenger on June 26, 2013, 06:41:18 am
I didn't want to bore people with a repost, and assumd they could read it on IGG if they wanted. [or are they visible to backers only?]

Anyway, here it is:

Quote
Charles McGrath posted an announcement:
Hello All,

I saw some discussion in the comments about the thermal resolution of the camera. So I thought that I’d talk a little about that.

Our MCU does have an onboard Analog to Digital Converter(ADC) which does run at 1Msps(Million samples per second), but we won’t be using that due to a logic level discrepency with the microbolometer. Therefore we have a dedicated ADC on the board to convert the image data.

With an image resolution at 160×120, that gives us 19,200 pixels in each frame. At 30 fps, that gives us 576000 data points each second. For the best thermal resolution, we are sampling at 12bits. Giving us about 6.9Mbps of output.

Cheers!
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on June 26, 2013, 06:46:21 am
I didn't want to bore people with a repost, and assumd they could read it on IGG if they wanted. [or are they visible to backers only?]

Anyway, here it is:

Quote
Charles McGrath posted an announcement:
Hello All,

I saw some discussion in the comments about the thermal resolution of the camera. So I thought that I’d talk a little about that.

Our MCU does have an onboard Analog to Digital Converter(ADC) which does run at 1Msps(Million samples per second), but we won’t be using that due to a logic level discrepency with the microbolometer. Therefore we have a dedicated ADC on the board to convert the image data.

With an image resolution at 160×120, that gives us 19,200 pixels in each frame. At 30 fps, that gives us 576000 data points each second. For the best thermal resolution, we are sampling at 12bits. Giving us about 6.9Mbps of output.

Cheers!
That's actually the most plausible thing I've seen from them to date, apart from the 'logic level discrepency', which could just be him not quite understanding the words the tech guy is saying.
Quite plausible you'd need 12 bits for full range from an imager.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Corporate666 on June 26, 2013, 08:10:38 am
I didn't want to bore people with a repost, and assumd they could read it on IGG if they wanted. [or are they visible to backers only?]

Anyway, here it is:

Quote
Charles McGrath posted an announcement:
Hello All,

I saw some discussion in the comments about the thermal resolution of the camera. So I thought that I’d talk a little about that.

Our MCU does have an onboard Analog to Digital Converter(ADC) which does run at 1Msps(Million samples per second), but we won’t be using that due to a logic level discrepency with the microbolometer. Therefore we have a dedicated ADC on the board to convert the image data.

With an image resolution at 160×120, that gives us 19,200 pixels in each frame. At 30 fps, that gives us 576000 data points each second. For the best thermal resolution, we are sampling at 12bits. Giving us about 6.9Mbps of output.

Cheers!
That's actually the most plausible thing I've seen from them to date, apart from the 'logic level discrepency', which could just be him not quite understanding the words the tech guy is saying.
Quite plausible you'd need 12 bits for full range from an imager.

Don't the SAM3X chips have a 12-bit ADC with 1M samples/sec built in?

http://www.atmel.com/devices/SAM3X4C.aspx?tab=parameters (http://www.atmel.com/devices/SAM3X4C.aspx?tab=parameters)

I can't comprehend what "logic level discrepancy" means in terms of sampling with an ADC?!
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: CanadianAvenger on June 26, 2013, 08:25:35 am
I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt in that I assume he meant signal level and not logic level. (He's a VFX guy and not an electrical engineer afterall) 

While the post is factually plausible, it still provides no proof that they are actually doing anything... no pictures or anything else substantive.  Everything he said there is something that one would have to figure out on paper BEFORE they start the design. [I personally would have gone with some analog conditioning and then using the internal ADC, instead of an external one, as it allows for more flexibility in tuning the input signal to get the best possible result - but it is a matter of choice, there's always more than one way to skin a cat - there may also be other extenuating details that demand an external ADC]
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on June 26, 2013, 08:26:31 am
I didn't want to bore people with a repost, and assumd they could read it on IGG if they wanted. [or are they visible to backers only?]

Anyway, here it is:

Quote
Charles McGrath posted an announcement:
Hello All,

I saw some discussion in the comments about the thermal resolution of the camera. So I thought that I’d talk a little about that.

Our MCU does have an onboard Analog to Digital Converter(ADC) which does run at 1Msps(Million samples per second), but we won’t be using that due to a logic level discrepency with the microbolometer. Therefore we have a dedicated ADC on the board to convert the image data.

With an image resolution at 160×120, that gives us 19,200 pixels in each frame. At 30 fps, that gives us 576000 data points each second. For the best thermal resolution, we are sampling at 12bits. Giving us about 6.9Mbps of output.

Cheers!
That's actually the most plausible thing I've seen from them to date, apart from the 'logic level discrepency', which could just be him not quite understanding the words the tech guy is saying.
Quite plausible you'd need 12 bits for full range from an imager.

Don't the SAM3X chips have a 12-bit ADC with 1M samples/sec built in?

http://www.atmel.com/devices/SAM3X4C.aspx?tab=parameters (http://www.atmel.com/devices/SAM3X4C.aspx?tab=parameters)

I can't comprehend what "logic level discrepancy" means in terms of sampling with an ADC?!
I can't think of anything you couldn't fix with some external circuitry - could be that the sensor output is 5V or bipolar, or needs buffering. But an external ADC could well have better performance.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: EEVblog on June 26, 2013, 10:51:07 am
I didn't want to bore people with a repost, and assumd they could read it on IGG if they wanted. [or are they visible to backers only?]
Anyway, here it is:

Hmm, does it even matter what they say technically any more?
The only thing that matters to the backers is seeing a prototype and/or real thermal image form the prototype.
They can shoot out a few sentences of technical detail every week until the cows come home...  :blah:
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: CanadianAvenger on June 26, 2013, 11:27:20 am
I agree whole heartedly. The only thing that matters at this point is tangible proof of a working camera prototype, or notification of delivery. Any other discussion is just a waste of words. I would expect that a mass exodus is going to happen soon unless they produce something of substance.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: EEVblog on June 26, 2013, 11:58:07 am
I agree whole heartedly. The only thing that matters at this point is tangible proof of a working camera prototype, or notification of delivery. Any other discussion is just a waste of words. I would expect that a mass exodus is going to happen soon unless they produce something of substance.

If I was them would have been in serious PR panic mode a long time ago, and squashed the nay-sayers on the head. To let it have have gotten this far without showing anything of substance is just  project suicide. It's trivial given how easy it is to snap a photo of the prototype case(s), prototype board(s), test image or whatever.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: CanadianAvenger on June 26, 2013, 12:03:54 pm
If I was them would have been in serious PR panic mode a long time ago, and squashed the nay-sayers on the head. To let it have have gotten this far without showing anything of substance is just  project suicide. It's trivial given how easy it is to snap a photo of the prototype case(s), prototype board(s), test image or whatever.

Absolutely! They might still have my money if they had.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Jorge12 on June 26, 2013, 05:53:31 pm
Quote
P.S. Unlike what I would give to MuOptiBullSh*t  :palm: I heap tons of applause onto IR Blue for making an awesome, legit product. These guys really deserve it, so here's a link: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/andyrawson/ir-blue-thermal-imaging-smartphone-accessory (http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/andyrawson/ir-blue-thermal-imaging-smartphone-accessory)

Yes, your reconstruction of the Mu history is impeccable and the technical details you're sharing with us are full of meaning.
I also think that the IR Blue is an interesting project. As a confirmation of the validity of this kind of devices, here is another similar project that curiously uses the audio channels for data communication:

http://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.optivelox.thermovisio (http://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.optivelox.thermovisio)
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Marco on June 26, 2013, 06:33:36 pm
Can't a fresnel lens and a cold mirror work for the optics?
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Marco on June 26, 2013, 08:34:41 pm
The transmittance of acrylic in deep IR is poor ... but fresnel lenses are thin. I did do a bit of googling and math in the past and transmittance of >50% should be possible ... might have made an error, but some companies market these lenses for low cost thermal cameras.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: CanadianAvenger on June 26, 2013, 11:25:45 pm
P.S. Unlike what I would give to MuOptiBullSh*t  :palm: I heap tons of applause onto IR Blue for making an awesome, legit product. These guys really deserve it, so here's a link: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/andyrawson/ir-blue-thermal-imaging-smartphone-accessory (http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/andyrawson/ir-blue-thermal-imaging-smartphone-accessory)
Unfortunately I came too late to get one, but there'll probably be Eagle files etc. available soon to make one :)

I backed the IR-Blue as well, and received it the other day. The app is pretty good, and it works, but I would only classify it as a toy, rather than a tool. [Not to suggest that it's useless, far from it. It can be used to look for hot or cold spots, but the performance is pretty low, so scanning a large area would take some time.]
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on June 26, 2013, 11:40:27 pm
Can't a fresnel lens and a cold mirror work for the optics?

No. All I'm going to say is that plastic and glass completely block the passage of thermal wavelengths.
Polythene can be used - it's used for most PIR sensors, however purely on the basis that nobody's done it, I'd guess it isn't clear enough to be practical.  most, if not all  the low-res thermopile arrays available use (AFAIK) silicon rather than polythene. There is a company linked somewhere in this thread that claims to have some plastic fresnel lenses suitable for thermal imaging.
 
Quote
A germanium lens that size would cost around $450 (edmundoptics.com/optics/optical-lenses/ir-lenses/germanium-meniscus-lenses/3081).
If it costs that much from a specialist scientific distributor like Edmund, a high volume price between $50 and 75 is easily plausible. I know a company that uses that smaller lenses for a 16x16 sensor (approx 10mm dia) and pays something between $10 and $20 for them in 10K volumes. You probably do need something larger, or multiple elements for 160x120 to be useable though.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: fpga on June 27, 2013, 04:21:19 am
OK, y'all. As far as I can tell, this is how the whole thing has played out.

John McGrath, the lead guy, is damn rich. On a whim, he decided to buy a $6,000 FLIR E50 or E60 (other possibilities there) or just acquired one somehow. (flir. com/cs/emea/en/view/?id=41372) He found it pretty neat, and had the childish thought that he would make his own and mass produce it for less. (Kind of like what the guys in October Sky were thinking, but far more moronic and petty.)

This sounds very much like the better half of the projects / startups I've been involved with. They all have this very fancy presentation, pictures, 3D model, video, website, etc. During the interview you cannot help but think that if they have been able to accomplish all this, then what the heck do they need me for. Once I sign the NDA, they hand me a product or manual from a big established "competitor" and tell me that they want me to create a better and cheaper product than anything else out on the market. Sometimes they combine the manuals from several existing competitive products. When I ask about all the work that they had already done, they would say it was only for investors or marketing purposes only. As I dig in, I soon also realize that they had already sold X number of units and promised to ship in 3 months. So while the established "competition" spent millions in R&D and many years to develop their products, the startup founders expect to do better in 3 months with a single consultant. As for themselves knowing how the product is supposed to work or the requirements, they don't have a clue. They expect the hired consultant to figure everything out.

On a number of the projects, I've been able to succeed. But it took far longer than 3 months of dedicating my life to the project and with constant haggling over why the project is taking longer than 3 months, haggling over getting paid for the 80 hour weeks, constant feature creep because the competition added a new "must have" feature, finding excuses that they could tell their customers, fighting with vendors and distributors over parts cost and availability, and all of the associated stress.

For these guys, it is possible to find a brilliant consultant that could create the product for them. So there's hope, but they will also have to make sure they don't run out of money before they find the consultant or at least still be able to convince him/her that there will be worthy compensation for the effort.

I was just recently asked about exact same type of project idea, but for medical ultrasound imaging. The brilliant idea they have is that most of the cost of medical imaging is in the display, so if they replace the graphical display with an iPad, they could produce it for a fraction of the cost. Just design an ultrasound probe that we could plug into an iPhone or iPad -- it should be easy with an Arduino. What's next? CT Scan or MRI anyone?
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Bored@Work on June 27, 2013, 04:41:30 am
I was just recently asked about exact same type of project idea, but for medical ultrasound imaging. The brilliant idea they have is that most of the cost of medical imaging is in the display, so if they replace the graphical display with an iPad, they could produce it for a fraction of the cost. Just design an ultrasound probe that we could plug into an iPhone or iPad -- it should be easy with an Arduino. What's next? CT Scan or MRI anyone?

Were they knowledgeable about the requirements for developing medical devices? The mandatory processes and mandatory documentation I have seen for developing medical equipment is not for the faint of heart. If I got it right you can't even do some stuff retroactively. I.e. you can't just happily develop something in whatever way you like and in the end get it somehow certified. You need to follow the mandatory stuff right from the beginning of the development, otherwise you don't have a chance to get it certified.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: fpga on June 27, 2013, 06:54:02 am
Were they knowledgeable about the requirements for developing medical devices? The mandatory processes and mandatory documentation I have seen for developing medical equipment is not for the faint of heart. If I got it right you can't even do some stuff retroactively. I.e. you can't just happily develop something in whatever way you like and in the end get it somehow certified. You need to follow the mandatory stuff right from the beginning of the development, otherwise you don't have a chance to get it certified.

You're absolutely right! I worked for two real medical instrumentation companies in the past and it is hard not to get pulled into all of the procedural stuff like procedure training, training certification, reviews, document trails, dealing only with certified vendors, legal documents, etc. You can't touch anything before getting documented approval for which you need to document why you need to do what you need to do. Basically it all is for good intentions, but feels like you are dragging a boat anchor and everything takes many times longer than if you were to just do it. A medical product, even if it is non life support and non invasive, diagnostic use only, having a fully functional design is just the beginning in terms of development cost.

These guys were clueless. In fact the management at the real medical companies were clueless too, but at least they had whole departments dealing with the medical instrument certification, FDA, and QA stuff.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: geoffhamilton on July 09, 2013, 06:05:36 am
New update:

http://media.tumblr.com/42c707e2aaabf6d6ee9c09beff9f9b2c/tumblr_inline_mpmhfxKlgL1qz4rgp.gif (http://media.tumblr.com/42c707e2aaabf6d6ee9c09beff9f9b2c/tumblr_inline_mpmhfxKlgL1qz4rgp.gif)
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: MacAttak on July 09, 2013, 09:38:49 am
That would have more comedic impact if you posted it to the project comments along with accompanying EE word soup, to mimic the real updates that get posted there.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Corporate666 on July 10, 2013, 09:29:28 am
I had seen that the project creator (or one of them) yesterday posted in the comments, saying that an update will be coming today.

Then I noticed that the comment had been deleted. 

Strange.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: MacAttak on July 10, 2013, 11:11:44 am
Hmm. I had noticed that post earlier today too. Haven't seen them do that before.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: CanadianAvenger on July 10, 2013, 10:48:12 pm
They are also deleting all comments older than a certain date. At first I thought this was a limitation of IGG, that it only sowed comments for the last 30 days, but now the Mu history goes back 2 months... and after looking at a few other projects, they go all the way back to day 1, so Mu is definitely removing old comments. [and some of that history would have been useful in building a legal case against them] So add that as another data point for the "scam" column.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: EEVblog on July 10, 2013, 10:55:44 pm
They are also deleting all comments older than a certain date. At first I thought this was a limitation of IGG, that it only sowed comments for the last 30 days, but now the Mu history goes back 2 months... and after looking at a few other projects, they go all the way back to day 1, so Mu is definitely removing old comments. [and some of that history would have been useful in building a legal case against them] So add that as another data point for the "scam" column.

I thought it was the last 1000 posts?, and not based on date?
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: CanadianAvenger on July 11, 2013, 01:05:04 am
hmm, I don't think so. Comment counter says 1283, and I don't think that number gets adjusted... in which case we should be able to see everything from nearly day one.  Also seems odd, that the oldest post I can see is the same one I saw about a month ago [IIRC] - almost as-if they have not culled the posts for the month yet. But I do admit that I do not know for sure, so it may be a 1000 post limit. Also as I said it does not appear to be that way on a few other projects... but I'll look again and try to see if it caps at 1000 for those ones too.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: MacAttak on July 11, 2013, 04:08:00 am
I'm somewhat certain that I've seen that total number of comments fluctuate - it would seemingly drop or add a few, but when I go to look at the recent comments there was nothing new there.

Not 100% sure though (other than that one comment that was deleted this week that is known for sure).
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: BulletMagnet83 on July 11, 2013, 05:07:47 am
Out of curiosity, how hard is it to get hold of a low-ish resolution IR microbolometer? I can find plenty of information on them (and a retailer I'm friendly with is attempting to get samples of an 80x80 unit), but I can't seem to find them for sale.

I think it'd be fun to have one in the parts box, just to see who can get a real image out of it first, me or Mu! I know things are often a lot harder in practice than they appear from datasheet diving, but assuming one HAD the sensor, and an appropriate read-out circuit (if it isn't already built into the sensor) interfaced to a suitable microcontroller, I have to wonder.... how hard can it be, seriously?

I very nearly backed this project when I first read about it, but the more I read, the more I want to just buy the parts and see what I can do in the same time-frame. Mu clearly have no idea what they're doing and neither do I, which makes it a fair challenge.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on July 11, 2013, 05:37:18 am
Out of curiosity, how hard is it to get hold of a low-ish resolution IR microbolometer? I can find plenty of information on them (and a retailer I'm friendly with is attempting to get samples of an 80x80 unit), but I can't seem to find them for sale.
Very hard. Manufacturers aren't interested in anyone not looking to buy thousands. They are also export controlled, which adds additional complications.  Highest res ones that are obtainable are 16x4 from Melexis and 8x8 from Panasonic (Latter only easily obtainable in US)
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: BulletMagnet83 on July 11, 2013, 06:52:07 am
Ahh I thought as much. But then how did Mu get one to play with (unless they didn't)? In the course of my web-searching I found a few that were supposedly intended for civilian applications in consumer goods, but even those had a higher resolution than -  and very similar spec to - the sensor used in the Javelin anti-tank missile! I did find a Turkish company, Mikrosens, that had evaluation kits on their site but no price, which I take to either mean they're not for general sale, or if I have to ask I can't afford it (probably both true!). I've struggled even to find a complete technical datasheet for the parts, only coming up with bullshit marketing ones that I don't much care for.

Even if I hadn't read this entire thread, and all the comments on the IGG page, the sheer number of roadblocks being thrown up to someone like myself who might think "This is pretty cool, I want to play with it" is more than enough to make me think it's never going to happen.

Guess I'll just have to keep an eye on ebay for a banged-up spares or repairs unit like you, eh Mike?  ;)

Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: MacAttak on July 11, 2013, 07:39:23 am
New update:

Quote
Charles McGrath posted an announcement less than a minute ago
To all of our supporters,

Just as so many technology and software teams find themselves missing well-intentioned timelines, so too has the MuOptics development team.

When this project became an IndieGoGo campaign, we knew that we could put together a thermal imaging camera, and we had a plan to make a quality imager at a price that would allow for the democratization of thermography. Unfortunately, this project, just like any new venture, came with unanticipated hurdles. For those of you who have never run a hardware/software design and development project…this is a good read.

http://www.quora.com/Engineering-Management/Why... (http://www.quora.com/Engineering-Management/Why...)

Regretfully, the person who first estimated the ship date is not an engineer or a programmer. The non-engineer is now just working with our suppliers, assemblers, and shippers and allowing the engineers to just get the work done. That said, we’re getting close.

As we worked to reduce and refine the construction of our own camera core; code issues, compatibility problems, and politics continued to arise. All of these problems have thus far proven to be conquerable. The development team has dutifully worked to overcome these hurdles and are getting closer by the day to producing the final release version of the Thermal Imager.

We are impossibly excited to have the opportunity to produce a quality product at an as-of-yet unheard of price.

We thank all of you for your continued support and we promise to publish a new shipping date as soon as we are able.

We’re posting some images of one of our recent prototype boards and of the team working.

Sincerely,
-MuOptics

I took the liberty of rehosting the image that was posted of the "prototype board", since I know they've been sneaky in the past and modified images after first posting them.

(http://i.imgur.com/TDwM3Zo.jpg)
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: notzippy on July 11, 2013, 07:43:09 am
"Yup don't worry your face won't be in the picture"  :-DD

They should fire said engineer which is in theory "Abe Burleigh" since he is the only engineer listed

nz
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: BulletMagnet83 on July 11, 2013, 07:48:16 am
To be fair, I could take that exact same picture with random stuff from the parts box... And I'm no engineer! If I was funding it, this would do nothing but give me backer's blueballs.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on July 11, 2013, 08:07:41 am
If that really is a recent proto they still look miles away from a real product - big connectors, huge and ugly lens holder...

Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: tom66 on July 11, 2013, 08:39:07 am
Well, it at least looks vaguely like a camera of some sort. Hard to make anything out on that board, the lens could just be stuck on.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: EEVblog on July 11, 2013, 09:07:17 am
I took the liberty of rehosting the image that was posted of the "prototype board", since I know they've been sneaky in the past and modified images after first posting them.

Well at least the backers have a photo of something now.
What that something is is still very unclear. My first thought was that it looked like a commercial demo board?
I see no major SMD components on the top of the board, so unless they are on the bottom, it appears to be just a holder/breakout/demo board for the sensor itself.
The standard mounting posts in the corner and the huge header and big slider switch(?) have all the hallmark of classic demo board arrangement.
Can anyone ID the blue box with ribbon cable?
What about the real board, even an early proto? They have implied they had at least one of those IIRC.
They said "boards", plural. Where are the others?
If that is the best prototype board they have then they are clearly a long way off production. So far off that it would be crazy for them to give a date.
Still no thermal image!
Still no photo of any housing even though they are supposed to have one according to that 3D company that worked with them.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Fraser on July 11, 2013, 09:36:33 am
As Dave says, that looks like an evaluation kit for an optical sensor of some description. The raw data is passing out to the blue box that has been deliberately inverted to prevent identification. If I went to a TIC sensor manufacturer with $200K on offer I bet I could charm such a unit out of them as well. It would not be cheap though. The picture proves nothing and the sight of an elderly Tektronix scope showing a single square wave does not inspire confidence either ! 

Used FLIR I series TICs are coming down in price fast....better to buy such a used unit than wait for mu.

$1000 buys a new i3 60x60 from the USA.

Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: ataradov on July 11, 2013, 09:55:26 am
The blue box is Atmel SAM-ICE - ARM JTAG debugger.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: EEVblog on July 11, 2013, 10:32:12 am
The blue box is Atmel SAM-ICE - ARM JTAG debugger.

Well spotted.
It does seem to match up:
(http://d3d71ba2asa5oz.cloudfront.net/23000103/images/samice-05.jpg)
That also matches up with their claimed use of the Atmel SAM ARM processor, so if the shown setup is a legit prototype platform, there must be the processor on the board there somewhere even though it doesn't look like it. There hence must also the external ADC on there as well they claim to be using.
What is the harm in showing a better photo as the backers are asking for?
The sensor is hidden, the lens is hidden, no harm in showing a nice detailed shot of the board with Atmel ARM chip and ADC etc.
To not show these simple things is no way to keep the people with pitchforks at bay, it just makes them ever more suspicious and wanting to sharpen their pitchforks. I don't understand the mentality here at all.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Corporate666 on July 11, 2013, 10:35:36 am
If that really is a recent proto they still look miles away from a real product - big connectors, huge and ugly lens holder...

Yep.

I have 'alpha' versions of products that are dramatically further along than that!

And without seeing the board more closely, it's impossible to tell if that is just a dev board with an LED lens holder stuck on the top or something more.

Anyone recognize the blue box in the picture?
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: romovs on July 11, 2013, 12:03:56 pm
Has anyone tried making an inquiry to any Chinese sensor manufacturers?
www.nightvisioncn.com (http://www.nightvisioncn.com)
kinghome.cn

According to a friend he saw 160x120 microbolometers with a breakout board going for 500$ at some Shenzhen market...
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: EEVblog on July 11, 2013, 01:39:31 pm
The problem with this project is that the contradictions still abound.
In one sentence they say "we’re getting close", and "getting closer by the day to producing the final release version of the Thermal Imager."
Yet everything they say and show (and don't show) tells anyone experienced in these things that they are nowhere near even getting a decent prototype running.
I don't understand how you can be "close" and have overcome (past tense) "code issues, compatibility problems, and politics", and someone is out "working with our suppliers, assemblers, and shippers".
Yet still no thermal image, hardware that doesn't look even close to something you could get an assembly quote on, and they are "close"?
None of it adds up.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on July 11, 2013, 06:09:16 pm
..and I don't see any evidence of a reference shutter, though could be at the rear.

Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Rasz on July 12, 2013, 05:06:07 am
..and I don't see any evidence of a reference shutter, though could be at the rear.

shhh, they havent figured they need one yet
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: jancumps on July 12, 2013, 05:31:33 am
Let's look at the matter from another perspective.

Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: wayfarer on July 12, 2013, 07:43:33 am
Hi, I've been following this 'too good to be true' project since the Hackaday post, and had a few observations.

I see no major SMD components on the top of the board, so unless they are on the bottom, it appears to be just a holder/breakout/demo board for the sensor itself.
The standard mounting posts in the corner and the huge header and big slider switch(?) have all the hallmark of classic demo board arrangement.

It looks like the SMD components might be on the bottom.  In the table reflection, you can see a gull-wing SMD IC(which, frankly could be anything) right below the power cable and above the lens reflection.

The "big slider switch" looks like it's actually a 0.1" female header (5 or 6 pin?) with a 0.1" 2-pin male header behind it right next to the lens.  I'm not sure what the black rectangle to the left of the red minigrabber is.  Ditto for the cyan and pinkish-red blobs underneath the o-scope probe.

I was curious, so here is the ELA of the photo: http://fotoforensics.com/analysis.php?id=00eebe817e8bae5d6051a9f0046b8c3cdce321e6.97179 (http://fotoforensics.com/analysis.php?id=00eebe817e8bae5d6051a9f0046b8c3cdce321e6.97179)

The person in the photo seems to match this photo posted to this account: https://www.odesk.com/o/profiles/users/_~019b0a75cfa709891f/ (https://www.odesk.com/o/profiles/users/_~019b0a75cfa709891f/)
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: tom66 on July 12, 2013, 08:59:43 am
So, he's an app developer. Any hardware expertise?
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: MacAttak on July 12, 2013, 11:20:14 am
A $33/hour freelance app developer. That is barely above entry-level pay for corporate programmers in the techs quoted on that page. Extremely low for freelance development. I typically pay subcontractors $90 - $120 / hour (and none less than $75/hour). It's hard to find even a bad independent for under $60/hour.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: MacAttak on July 12, 2013, 11:21:17 am
So, he's an app developer. Any hardware expertise?

Maybe some basics? From the Squipp overview page:

Quote
Having studied Physics and Aerospace Engineering, I have a strong background in practical programming and systems development.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: EEVblog on July 12, 2013, 12:34:11 pm
It looks like the SMD components might be on the bottom.  In the table reflection, you can see a gull-wing SMD IC(which, frankly could be anything) right below the power cable and above the lens reflection.

Yep, looks like a small gullwing type chip, maybe a TQFP.

Quote
The "big slider switch" looks like it's actually a 0.1" female header (5 or 6 pin?) with a 0.1" 2-pin male header behind it right next to the lens.

Yep, could be.

In either case, there isn't much on this board. Almost certainly no WiFi module.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: ataradov on July 12, 2013, 12:38:41 pm
I like it this way much better. I personally have no use for a thermal camera, and all the drama is amazing.

It is like Apple fans going nuts as soon as some questionable drawings of a case for the next iCrap are leaked form some Chinese factory :)
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: EEVblog on July 12, 2013, 12:41:05 pm
The lens in the photo looks an awful lot like one of these:
http://eom.umicore.com/en/infrared-optics/product-range/ (http://eom.umicore.com/en/infrared-optics/product-range/)

(http://eom.umicore.com/en/infrared-optics/product-range/10-mm-f-1.2/10-mm-f-1.2-small.jpg)
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Corporate666 on July 12, 2013, 12:53:13 pm
So what about the blue box?  I don't recognize it as any sort of programmer... especially with the parallel cable coming out of it.  Is it an in-circuit debugger?

They said they were using an Atmel Sam3x chip, but I don't use those and never have - no idea what the programmers/debuggers look like.

Of course, if someone recognized it as a programmer/debugger for something entirely different, it would certainly call into question what this picture is actually of.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: ataradov on July 12, 2013, 12:54:31 pm
It has been recognized just a couple of messages before your first question. It is Atmel SAM-ICE JTAG debugger.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Corporate666 on July 12, 2013, 06:34:00 pm
It has been recognized just a couple of messages before your first question. It is Atmel SAM-ICE JTAG debugger.

Thanks ataradov!

I missed most of page 34, apparently  :o
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: romovs on July 14, 2013, 11:02:19 pm
Someone here asked recently where to get a microbolometer.
I just received a price quote from a few manufactures in China and Israel.
The prices start at 1000$/1000pcs for a cheapest alpha-Si 160x120 consumer grade sensor.
Sample prices (that is, one unit) start at 2000$.

Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: EEVblog on July 16, 2013, 03:19:49 pm
Am I mistaken, or have they removed the last update from the campaign page?
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Corporate666 on July 16, 2013, 03:45:39 pm
Am I mistaken, or have they removed the last update from the campaign page?

Nope, you are not mistaken.  They have removed the update and the pictures.

These guys are either total hacks or total shysters.  They are constantly removing stuff, adjusting stuff, changing stuff.  There is no reason to do that if they have nothing to hide... so clearly they very much do have something to hide.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: tom66 on July 16, 2013, 11:36:28 pm
Very strange indeed, perhaps people were harassing the guy (Abe Burleigh??) and he did not appreciate the attention.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: grenert on July 17, 2013, 12:05:46 am
What's REALLY strange is that photo is actually still posted in the gallery section!
So I wonder if what they wanted to get rid of was the (mostly useless) text which talks about mistakes made.  It didn't make it sound like they knew what they were doing.  I think that what they're really hoping for is money from naiive outside investors.  Hence all of the nonsense about the big investors they already have (so you better get in quick!)  ::)
Or maybe they're so incompetent they don't even realize the gallery photo is still there.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: MacAttak on July 17, 2013, 03:35:52 am
Very strange indeed, perhaps people were harassing the guy (Abe Burleigh??) and he did not appreciate the attention.

If that's the case, then why would he be listed on the IGG campaign as "Master Product Engineer for Mu Optics"?

I'm not sure why they pulled the update, but I'm pretty confident that privacy concerns weren't a part of it.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: MacAttak on July 17, 2013, 09:40:14 am
Project owner says he isn't sure why the last update disappeared - he reposted it along with a money shot. I guess the wifi hardware is no longer an open question.

(http://i.imgur.com/SvpyXa0.jpg)
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: CanadianAvenger on July 17, 2013, 10:05:06 am
Yep, that's a RedPine radio in the corner [was hidden behind the ICE cable in the original photo], that's the Atmel MCU in the foreground, I'm guessing the gull-wing SMT component on the bottom [in the previous photo] is the ADC due to its proximity to the imaging sensor. The lens holder appears to be 3D printed. Finally a pair of images that [partially] corroborate what they have been saying for specs... though it's way late. My question is "Was that so hard?" -- The answer to that probably is that they didn't have anything to show till now. Given that they are only showing now [what appears to be a first run prototype, maybe 2nd... but then why didn't they show the other one?], they started from nothing more than an idea at the close of the campaign -- much less than what they led on to have.

Still no imagery from the sensor, which still begs the question of whether they can actually make it work, at the price-point promised? [We have no idea what imaging sensor lies under that lens]

Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: EEVblog on July 17, 2013, 10:24:31 am
Yep, that's a RedPine radio in the corner [was hidden behind the ICE cable in the original photo], that's the Atmel MCU in the foreground, I'm guessing the gull-wing SMT component on the bottom [in the previous photo] is the ADC due to its proximity to the imaging sensor. The lens holder appears to be 3D printed. Finally a pair of images that [partially] corroborate what they have been saying for specs... though it's way late. My question is "Was that so hard?" -- The answer to that probably is that they didn't have anything to show till now. Given that they are only showing now [what appears to be a first run prototype, maybe 2nd... but then why didn't they show the other one?], they started from nothing more than an idea at the close of the campaign -- much less than what they led on to have.

Yes, why did it take them so long to show this? You can only assume they had nothing to show before now? They let all that resentment and speculation build up in the backers in the comments section, and as a result a lot of people asked for refunds. If they were just upfront to begin with then none of that would have happened.

Quote
Still no imagery from the sensor, which still begs the question of whether they can actually make it work, at the price-point promised? [We have no idea what imaging sensor lies under that lens]

Again, if they have a thermal image to show they should show it to keep the backers happy. So one can only assume they have no thermal image to show yet?

Anyway, I guess the question the original poster posed 4 months ago in this massive thread is no, it's not fake.
But it seems they are a long long long way from delivering the camera as promised.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Rasz on July 17, 2013, 11:52:08 am
Anyway, I guess the question the original poster posed 4 months ago in this massive thread is no, it's not fake.

It was fake back then, and still is at this price point.
All they had at the beginning were thermal images from commercial cameras that they misrepresented as their own (not to mention that famous look at me doing thermo vision through glass window video), all they have now is a prototype they poke with old scope in hopes of getting first image :)
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: EEVblog on July 17, 2013, 12:17:00 pm
It was fake back then, and still is at this price point.

Well Mu's problem is that they have to deliver the perks at the claimed price point, even if they make a loss.
It's either that, or ultimately not deliver at all.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: firewalker on July 17, 2013, 05:09:35 pm
Is this th pcb they ha to respin?  :-// :-// :-//

Alexander.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: CanadianAvenger on July 17, 2013, 10:03:19 pm
Anyway, I guess the question the original poster posed 4 months ago in this massive thread is no, it's not fake.
But it seems they are a long long long way from delivering the camera as promised.

It appears that they are trying to develop the camera. The problem for me lies in the fact that they got the money to develop it through deceit. They claimed to have a working prototype, and posted images to get backers to part with cash. The images turned out to be taken with a commercial camera, the hardware turned out to be non-existent until this point. [and we have no idea if it even works as we still have not seen a single image from said camera] So for me it is still a fraud. I'm as out now as I was the day I asked for my refund - I have no regrets for getting out when I did.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: tom66 on July 17, 2013, 10:09:56 pm
The RedPine module featured is around $35 -- not a cheap part!
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: firewalker on July 17, 2013, 11:00:35 pm
It could be around 20 $ for >1k order.  For the module. I would be very surprised if the use the module in the final design.

Alexander.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on July 17, 2013, 11:57:28 pm
The RedPine module featured is around $35 -- not a cheap part!
$35 for the wireless is the least of their problems..
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: tom66 on July 18, 2013, 12:06:20 am
It leaves them with the problem of sourcing a sub $100 thermal imager, that's for sure. I will be amazed if they can.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: BulletMagnet83 on July 18, 2013, 02:38:14 am
Yeah... after someone helpfully replied to my question and told me the cheapest sample unit they'd found was $2000, it does leave me somewhat deflated (because I can't have one  :P ) and wondering if Mu even HAD an imaging sensor until they'd already received the backing money.  I mean, you wouldn't buy just ONE to prototype with, would you? You'd need at least one spare. The fuck-up fairies demand a sacrifice after all, and if one is all you have, it'll blow up or burn out.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Corporate666 on July 18, 2013, 04:19:50 am
I think the Mu guys did some very (very) basic costing from a perspective that was absolutely naive about manufacturing and production.  A lot of people put $$ in, and I'll bet their money supply has been eroding ever since.  They bought hardware and software, prototype parts, plus the cost of just running a business, even "on the cheap".

They certainly aren't going with all the cheapest parts (i.e. the Sam3x and Redpine module), so I think what will happen is they'll get to the point where they think they can make something... only to find out they have only 1/5th of the funds needed to do a production run.

That will be the oh-shit moment.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on July 18, 2013, 05:31:02 am
I think the Mu guys did some very (very) basic costing from a perspective that was absolutely naive about manufacturing and production. 
..and clueless about the physics and costs of thermal imaging - I bet they thought it was little different to normal image sensors and optics.
Quote
A lot of people put $$ in, and I'll bet their money supply has been eroding ever since.  They bought hardware and software, prototype parts, plus the cost of just running a business, even "on the cheap".

They certainly aren't going with all the cheapest parts (i.e. the Sam3x and Redpine module), so I think what will happen is they'll get to the point where they think they can make something... only to find out they have only 1/5th of the funds needed to do a production run.

That will be the oh-shit moment.
I can't believe that at this stage they don't  know how much the sensor and optics will cost. That would have been the Oh Shit moment...
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: MFX on July 18, 2013, 07:14:52 am
I can't believe that at this stage they don't  know how much the sensor and optics will cost. That would have been the Oh Shit moment...

Yes, surely if they actually have a sensor and optics they must know the cost. Unless they have some sort of shady deal to get substandard stuff out of the back door of some dodgy Chinese factory then how are they getting a sensor/optics at anywhere near the cost needed to stay in budget.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: AlfBaz on July 19, 2013, 01:22:05 am
Unless they don't know the difference between near and far infrared and thought the could just remove the ir filter off a standard sensor
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: tom66 on July 19, 2013, 01:46:44 am
I wonder if it's possible, perhaps even considerably cheaper, to buy thermal imaging sensors with many dead pixels? I can buy cheap China PAL/NTSC cameras for about £4 from eBay, shipped from Hong Kong. They typically have around 50~100 dead pixels on a 320x240 array. But they're cheap, so I can tolerate that. Not sure if I'd like it so much with a relatively expensive thermal imaging camera, but it could work as a compromise to achieve low cost.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on July 19, 2013, 02:02:23 am
I wonder if it's possible, perhaps even considerably cheaper, to buy thermal imaging sensors with many dead pixels? I can buy cheap China PAL/NTSC cameras for about £4 from eBay, shipped from Hong Kong. They typically have around 50~100 dead pixels on a 320x240 array. But they're cheap, so I can tolerate that. Not sure if I'd like it so much with a relatively expensive thermal imaging camera, but it could work as a compromise to achieve low cost.
I would guess a significant cost is the (vacuum) packaging and germanium window. The pixels are quite big, and the calibration shutter allows for fixed-pattern correction of some pixel-to-pixel variations, so it may be that yields are already quite high, so I'd be surprised if this would be a major saving.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: CanadianAvenger on August 04, 2013, 10:26:56 am
It's been few weeks since they posted any update, and the natives are getting restless again. They were so close to posting some real, tangible proof, but then they stopped short... I don't get it. These guys are way out of their league, both in terms of running a crowd funded campaign, and actually developing a product.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Rasz on August 04, 2013, 02:17:49 pm
These guys are way out of their league, both in terms of running a crowd funded campaign, and actually developing a product.

I dont know, as far as scams go they are doing great.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Recyclojunk64 on August 06, 2013, 06:33:06 pm
Another update. It would seem that they're still working on all the bells and whistles before actually doing the real work on the actual sensor and processing.

Quote
Hello All,

So right now we're tweaking and modifying the board's firmware to make the most stable and consistent platform possible for the release product. What we arire aiming for is the fastest possible startup and warm-up for the wifi network and the imaging sensor respectively, as is possible. This process involves a considerable amount of testing and trials.

We have been in design and manufacturing discussions with several case manufacturers over the last few months, however, we are still willing to consider new providers. To that end, if any of you out there are camera afficianados and have a camera case manufacturer that you really love, please let us know in the comments, and we will look into what they have to offer.

As for the camera body itself, while we continue to work with the hardware, we are using the opportunity to improve the feel of the device. If there are any features that you would like to see, please let us know.

We are quickly approaching the point where we feel we will be able to provide a new release date and look forward to doing so.

Thank you for your continued support,

-Mu
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Rasz on August 06, 2013, 07:02:19 pm
Quote
Hello All,

So right now we're tweaking and modifying the board's firmware to make the most stable and consistent platform possible for the release product.

translation: our firmware crashes constantly


Quote
What we arire aiming for is the fastest possible startup and warm-up

translation: our highly optimized java code rewritten into arduino sketch boots in 2 minutes

Quote
for the wifi network and the imaging sensor respectively

translation: wifi nor imaging sensor dont work at all

Quote
To that end, if any of you out there are camera afficianados and have a camera case manufacturer that you really love, please let us know in the comments, and we will look into what they have to offer.

translation: pleaser do it for us for free

Quote
We are quickly approaching the point where we feel we will be able to provide a new release date and look forward to doing so.

translation: we are running out of excuses
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: EEVblog on August 06, 2013, 09:51:35 pm
Quote
We are quickly approaching the point where we feel we will be able to provide a new release date and look forward to doing so.

But still no thermal image  :palm:
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: senso on August 06, 2013, 10:48:28 pm
That afficcionados, they must be watching daves movies  :-DD
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Bored@Work on August 07, 2013, 02:16:20 am
Quote
We have been in design and manufacturing discussions with several case manufacturers over the last few months, however, we are still willing to consider new providers. To that end, if any of you out there are camera afficianados and have a camera case manufacturer that you really love, please let us know in the comments, and we will look into what they have to offer.

I lost track of all the claims. Didn't they once claim they had a manufacturer, and they were expecting to get prototype enclosures any day?
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: baljemmett on August 07, 2013, 03:08:29 am
Quote
We have been in design and manufacturing discussions with several case manufacturers over the last few months, however, we are still willing to consider new providers. To that end, if any of you out there are camera afficianados and have a camera case manufacturer that you really love, please let us know in the comments, and we will look into what they have to offer.

I lost track of all the claims. Didn't they once claim they had a manufacturer, and they were expecting to get prototype enclosures any day?

For enclosures, yes -- I seem to recall they've claimed several times to have a prototype enclosure ready to go, just in time to redesign the entire thing to use another handy COTS sensor that nobody else has heard of, etc.  However, I read that paragraph as referring to a soft or rigid carry case or similar -- hence the plea for 'camera afficianados [sic]' to recommend their favourite manufacturers.  Presumably not many camera geeks would have useful suggestions to make regarding the actual device enclosure.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Corporate666 on August 07, 2013, 06:33:44 am
Another useless update - they are trying to decide about banana flambe or creme brulee for dessert when they don't even have the beef roast cooking yet for the main course, nor do they have anything to cook with.

It seems pretty clear at this point that they showed some off the shelf stuff figuring that will get them the $$$, and the $$$ will let them design the product.

The interesting thing - the microbolometer - remains a mystery.  And will continue to remain a mystery to the end (the end being 99.9% probability of implosion, and 0.1% probability of delivering something).
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: EEVblog on August 08, 2013, 12:20:24 pm
I lost track of all the claims. Didn't they once claim they had a manufacturer, and they were expecting to get prototype enclosures any day?

I think the biggest claim is that they are using an off-the-shelf sensor that "has been on the market for some time".
Given that that was many months ago + "some time" + NDA type pre-release time for those in the the know, that an awful long time for this magical sensor to have been available without anyone having ever made a cheap 160x120 camera from it. Even if the sensor alone was the asking price of this Mu camera, there would be half a dozen of them on Hack-a-Day by this point. Yet we see zip, and no one in the industry seems to be aware of this sensor...
And of course, the sensor is everything.

In the words of an infamous aussie "please explain..."
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: CanadianAvenger on August 15, 2013, 01:27:43 am
Latest update posted last night:
Quote
Hello All,

We've got the portion of the firmware that deals with the wifi all set, the camera starts up and is ready in just over 2 seconds. We're very happy with this startup time, and better yet, we have a very solid and stable throughput on the new board.

A few more tweaks to the portion of the MCU firmware that deals with the ADC and the sensor itself and the firmware should be good to go.

These are major advances and moves us closer to our final goals.

We'll keep you updated.

-Cheers

"The firmware should be good to go"...  So that means they have images coming from the sensor right?  So why the hell have they not posted any?!? [Don't answer, I already know ;)]
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Corporate666 on August 15, 2013, 05:24:14 am
"The firmware should be good to go"...  So that means they have images coming from the sensor right?  So why the hell have they not posted any?!? [Don't answer, I already know ;)]

The chef emerges from the kitchen to address the staving diners who have been waiting 3 hours for their meal, and speaketh...

"Don't worry folks, we have managed to get the texture of the glaze on the dessert fruit cup we're serving for dessert just perfect, you will really enjoy it!"

but the diners just want their damn fish and chips main course!
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: thermalguy on August 19, 2013, 04:25:26 am
Hello all.

It took about 2 weeks longer than i wanted but I have modified one of our production 320x240 bolometer units to deliver 80x60 via USB to a Java application running on windows. This was accomplished by working a couple of hours in the evenings. My plan to use bluetooth fell apart when I blew up one of the demo boards. :| That is what happens when you don't pay attention to what power supply you are hooked up to. So I went with a USB board from our eval kit. Didn't have to spend any money though.

I have attached an image of the modified core as well as an image from the data stream. I left the thermal image in its native resolution. Pictures are great, but video is better so I am going to create a video of the unit streaming this week and post it to our youtube channel. Given our present hardware design, we would have to remove MANY of the parts on our current design and shrink the package down. That is the only way I see to get the sales price down in the $500 range and that would be with 2000 people signing up to take units.

Is there any interest at that price point?

To extract the data I see backend daughter boards being used.  You select one when you buy the unit and you can come back and order other ones if you want. Among the list are USB, Wifi, and Bluetooth. However, if we can generate more interest I am sure this would be a good kickstarter project for us.

Couple of notes on the IGG Mu Optics project.

1. Before I did any of the work above I contacted them an offered my help to get their project completed. No one responded AT ALL.
2. I did not see any external memory chip on the picture they posted. Maybe its underneath the board. If not, there is no way they can do any frame processing with the SAM3X; it doesn't have the resources. Line processing maybe, but you are going to push the heck out of the DMA controller.
3. If they run non-temp stablized (best for battery operated scenarios), they will need image NUC data for the whole array across whatever ambient operating temperature profile they select. That eats up alot of flash. I did not see an extern flash memory chip either.
4. In order to measure temperature with accuracy, you need to know what the lens temperature is. Low cost methods couple the lens temperature with the detector temp. Since the lens mount looked 3D printed, the approached wasn't utilized.

Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on August 19, 2013, 09:24:07 am
... That is the only way I see to get the sales price down in the $500 range and that would be with 2000 people signing up to take units.

Is there any interest at that price point?
That's what Kickstarter is for.... to find out if there's a market
Not sure $500 quite brings it into the 'cool toy' range, but at half the cost of a Flir i3 could be interesting, especially if it offers features the Flir doesn't - e.g. image storage to your phone.
I wonder if there would be useful mileage in open sourcing the firmware so people could add their own functionality. if nothing else it would be good for free publicity ( and just ignore the OSH fanatics who will inevitably criticise for not open-sourcing the hardware, the bolometer design and everything else..)
Quote
To extract the data I see backend daughter boards being used.  You select one when you buy the unit and you can come back and order other ones if you want. Among the list are USB, Wifi, and Bluetooth.
USB pretty much comes free with most microcontrollers, and provides your charging connector and a means to update firmware, so I can't see a reason for this not to be the minimum standard interface.
SD card interface is also negligible hardware cost  so probably not worth omitting.
Quote
Couple of notes on the IGG Mu Optics project.

1. Before I did any of the work above I contacted them an offered my help to get their project completed. No one responded AT ALL.
No surprise - they probably thought it was a competitor trying to sabotage them, or still believe they need no help.
Quote

3. If they run non-temp stablized (best for battery operated scenarios), they will need image NUC data for the whole array across whatever ambient operating temperature profile they select. That eats up a lot of flash. I did not see an extern flash memory chip either.
Serial flash costs peanuts these days. Probably plenty of scope for compression & interpolation to save space.


Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: EEVblog on August 19, 2013, 10:07:05 am
I have attached an image of the modified core as well as an image from the data stream. I left the thermal image in its native resolution. Pictures are great, but video is better so I am going to create a video of the unit streaming this week and post it to our youtube channel. Given our present hardware design, we would have to remove MANY of the parts on our current design and shrink the package down. That is the only way I see to get the sales price down in the $500 range and that would be with 2000 people signing up to take units.

Is there any interest at that price point?

The best way to judge it would be to run a crowd funded campaign and see. I think it's quite possible you could get 2000 people at 500 a pop.
Just make sure you really show of that proto and what you can do and that you are an existing professional manufacturer.
Although remember that the Flir i3 is under $1K already. But geeks do like toys for their iPhone.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: ElectroIrradiator on August 19, 2013, 06:28:46 pm
I took the liberty of scaling the thermal image 6 times, with zero interpolation. At this size it is probably a bit easier to see what is going on, given modern monitor resolutions. Hope thermalguy doesn't mind too much. ;)

Looks like it would be useful for detecting hotspots on PCBs and suchlike.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Rasz on August 20, 2013, 12:06:38 am
more like this, there is no reason to not at least do some post
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: ElectroIrradiator on August 20, 2013, 12:49:51 am
more like this, there is no reason to not at least do some post

As long as you remember that any added details are artificial constructs... ;)
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: tom66 on August 20, 2013, 03:08:12 am
Out of interest, what would be the cost, for example, for 160x120 vs 80x60? Could it be an optional extra without costing too much extra?
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Jay_Diddy_B on August 20, 2013, 09:18:39 am
Hi,

I would be interested to see an image of circuit board to determine the usefulness for electronics. The ability to focus at 4 to 6 inches is required.
Some thing like these images:

http://www.eevblog.com/forum/crowd-funded-projects/m-thermal-imager-real-or-fake/msg232013/#msg232013 (http://www.eevblog.com/forum/crowd-funded-projects/m-thermal-imager-real-or-fake/msg232013/#msg232013)

Many thanks !!

Jay_Diddy_B
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: free_electron on August 20, 2013, 10:41:05 am
"The firmware should be good to go"...  So that means they have images coming from the sensor right?  So why the hell have they not posted any?!? [Don't answer, I already know ;)]

The chef emerges from the kitchen to address the staving diners who have been waiting 3 hours for their meal, and speaketh...

"Don't worry folks, we have managed to get the texture of the glaze on the dessert fruit cup we're serving for dessert just perfect, you will really enjoy it!"

but the diners just want their damn fish and chips main course!

meanwhile the soup has boiled over and the potatoes are waiting to be pureed ...
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Hypernova on August 20, 2013, 11:35:52 am
Hi,

I would be interested to see an image of circuit board to determine the usefulness for electronics. The ability to focus at 4 to 6 inches is required.
Some thing like these images:

http://www.eevblog.com/forum/crowd-funded-projects/m-thermal-imager-real-or-fake/msg232013/#msg232013 (http://www.eevblog.com/forum/crowd-funded-projects/m-thermal-imager-real-or-fake/msg232013/#msg232013)

Many thanks !!

Jay_Diddy_B

This, having used a Ti10 in my last job I'm ready to pony up $500 for 80x60 or $1k for 160*120 just for a well built sensor with say SPI output. On the one condition that it has close focus.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Rasz on August 20, 2013, 07:51:51 pm
The accuracy of the image geometry will suffer when compared to the Inframetrics lens


trivial to fix in post before displaying
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: thermalguy on August 20, 2013, 11:22:16 pm
Out of interest, what would be the cost, for example, for 160x120 vs 80x60? Could it be an optional extra without costing too much extra?

Since I have not completed the whole 320x240 to 80x60 system cost reduction effort, I cannot with any confidence give an answer. The bolometer however is almost a 4:1 difference in cost from a 160x120 to 80x60.

My intent is to start out simple and small. The problem here is that this is low volume at 2K annual. So details like flash, usb connectors and microcontrollers really aren't low price items as we do not receive any benefit from economies of scale. So a part that is $6 can have a cost loading of greater than 12% on the BoM. This isn't peanuts when your total PCB BoM price for the board needs to be less than $50.

Another aspect are peripherals. Just because a micro-controller has a built in USB peripheral doesn't mean it's free. Embedded USB libraries tend to consume at least 25% of the processor resources to implement. A micro-controller is a bad choice for this project in my opinion.

If USB is what is desired, then only the "USB daughter board" will have the USB components. If WiFi is desired, then only the "WiFi daughter board" with have the WiFi components. If we try to include everything in one shot, I think we are asking for trouble and a higher cost at these low volumes. If things take off then version 2.0 will be commissioned.

It is our goal to be able to sell each daughter card in the $40 range. That may be a stretch with the WiFi module but we will see.

We will make an Android App and will make it available to all along with the source code but to be honest we don't have much interest in specifically targeting smart phones in the beginning. We will leave that up to the user to find out what they want to do with it.

Our goal is to make hardware that works and is affordable. We will do an Android App and provide source code but that's about it.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on August 21, 2013, 12:03:50 am

Another aspect are peripherals. Just because a micro-controller has a built in USB peripheral doesn't mean it's free. Embedded USB libraries tend to consume at least 25% of the processor resources to implement. A micro-controller is a bad choice for this project in my opinion.
Microcontroller as opposed to what? CPLD/FPGA?
Not sure about others but some of the NXP Cortex ARM parts have a lot of the USB stuff in internal ROM. 
Quote
If USB is what is desired, then only the "USB daughter board" will have the USB components.
So how are you going to handle charging (assuming you're intending a standalone unit with battery) ?
A USB connector isn't going to cost a lot different to any other power connector. Or are you looking at Alkalines ?

Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: thermalguy on August 21, 2013, 01:19:07 am

Another aspect are peripherals. Just because a micro-controller has a built in USB peripheral doesn't mean it's free. Embedded USB libraries tend to consume at least 25% of the processor resources to implement. A micro-controller is a bad choice for this project in my opinion.
Microcontroller as opposed to what? CPLD/FPGA?
Not sure about others but some of the NXP Cortex ARM parts have a lot of the USB stuff in internal ROM. 
Quote
If USB is what is desired, then only the "USB daughter board" will have the USB components.
So how are you going to handle charging (assuming you're intending a standalone unit with battery) ?
A USB connector isn't going to cost a lot different to any other power connector. Or are you looking at Alkalines ?

Not sure what the USB "stuff" is that you are referencing but you mentioned ROM, which means on boot that code has to load into somewhere, so unless it is a co-processor you are going to have the same situation. Real time applications like imaging can be quite a task when synchronizing DMA channels and usually when using a high-bandwidth peripheral, it will eat up at least two channels. But I'm speaking from experience using 320x240 and 640x480 sensors, smaller array sizes will free up MIPS but only on the image processing side...core clock requirements.

We use Blackfin DSPs and Microsemi FPGAs here.

The charging question will have to wait until I have finished determining how much the BoM is reduced. It may be moved to the daughter card it may not.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Hypernova on August 21, 2013, 03:17:28 am
What do you have in mind as the target audience? Since at this price point every cent matters how much is the core component going to cost and can you sell it with just that, the core (len+sensor+parallel data out)? I think for hobbyist level most of us just want the sensor and raw data (just like those Cypress based USB logic analyzers). Leave whatever processing you need to the PC and let the open source crowd work their magic. I also doubt throughput is an issue, the average hobbyists have been without access to thermal cameras for so long that most will probably be happy with even just 1 FPS. WiFi and what not is unnecessary fluff at this point, get the ball rolling first.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on August 21, 2013, 04:01:43 am
Not sure what the USB "stuff" is that you are referencing but you mentioned ROM, which means on boot that code has to load into somewhere
The USB stack. It doesn't have to load anywhere - it runs from ROM.
Remember 80x60x30fps is only 144kbytes/sec,and 4.8Kpixels, which is well within the capability of <<$5 microcontrollers to handle these days. If you need DSP there are chips like the dsPIC and ST Cortex parts with DSP instructions. Most MCUs would have enough PWM/timer peripherals to do stuff like generate timings etc. and as I said, USB would probably come for as close to free as doesnt matter


Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Rasz on August 21, 2013, 04:26:03 am
We use Blackfin DSPs and Microsemi FPGAs here.


dont, all we want is a raw data dump from bolometer, everything beyond that can be done in software on tablet/phone/computer/Rasppi/any $50 arm computer/$20 mips WiFi router with USB host running openwrt
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: mrflibble on August 21, 2013, 06:21:57 am
Remember 80x60x30fps is only 144kbytes/sec,and 4.8Kpixels, which is well within the capability of <<$5 microcontrollers to handle these days. If you need DSP there are chips like the dsPIC and ST Cortex parts with DSP instructions.

Pretty much this. For that kind of bandwidth you can easily use SPI to stream the raw data to your favorite MCU board. It all depends on how much standalone functionality you want to offer. Personally I would already be happy with the raw bitstream. I suspect most of the DIY crowd will want to do their own processing/connectivity anyways based on personal requirement. Personally I would connect it to an stm32 board + export the stream over tcp/ip. Plug it in to the router and good to go. Other people might want wifi, still others might prefer usb or bluetooth, who knows. Just spend the budget on getting good quality pixels out the door over SPI and you're all set IMO. :)
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on August 21, 2013, 07:17:42 am
There will be stuff like fixed pattern offset/gain correction and shutter calibration, maybe some linearizing? - I suspect some of this may need cal data from a factory calibration process for each sensor, so it would make sense for the sensor system to integrate all this to provide clean image data.
Optional access to the raw data may be useful/interesting to some people,  but that's just a case of bypassing the processing.

Thermalguy - I think a lot of people would be interested to learn what steps are involved in processing the raw data from the bolometer to produce a thermal image, and how complex it is to drive the sensor - what sort of waveforms, voltages are involved etc.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Hypernova on August 21, 2013, 10:59:05 am
There will be stuff like fixed pattern offset/gain correction and shutter calibration, maybe some linearizing? - I suspect some of this may need cal data from a factory calibration process for each sensor, so it would make sense for the sensor system to integrate all this to provide clean image data.
Optional access to the raw data may be useful/interesting to some people,  but that's just a case of bypassing the processing.

Thermalguy - I think a lot of people would be interested to learn what steps are involved in processing the raw data from the bolometer to produce a thermal image, and how complex it is to drive the sensor - what sort of waveforms, voltages are involved etc.

Cal data can be handled with a factory programmed SPI flash (or just on the on board MCU flash, really, how big can it get?) easily IMO, so some means of reading that from USB will be all it takes.

Strictly speaking you don't even need to agonize over the USB implementation, just get a MCU with fast UART, the TI 28335 I use at work tops out at 4.7MBaud and the chip has three of them. Pair that up with say the FT2232 dual ch USB to UART and you got at least 9.4MBaud of throughput at hand.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on August 21, 2013, 06:50:11 pm
It is all pretty silly - if a Bad Guy in wants a TIC they can get one easily, but they are still classed as weapons due to outdated regulations, so it's more of a problem to legitimate users and manufacturers than it is to the people the regs are supposed to exclude. 
I skimmed through some of the regs and the only exemption I could see is that anything below 9fps is not covered. Didn't see any mention of resolution.
I think somewhere there is a threshold between "Illegal to ship to certain countries" and "Requires export license for any export" - I don't recall whether this is the same as the 9FPS threshold.
I've tried to get hold of Panasonic 8x8 sensors (http://www.digikey.com/product-detail/en/AMG8852/255-3508-1-ND/3461619) but Digikey won't ship them outside US (or inside US on a UK card) and UK distributors can't get them.



Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Hypernova on August 21, 2013, 08:23:03 pm
At least it's better than during the cold war when encryption routines were considered munitions. How the heck were they supposed to prevent people from mailing floppies out of the country?
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: fcb on August 21, 2013, 09:13:36 pm
Some encryption is still classified as munitions...

But what I found hilarious is that the £30 Digilent HS1 I purchased the other day from Farnell was classified as "dual use technology" and has export restrictions on it (still bloody useless to program XC95xxXL's!)
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: AlfBaz on August 22, 2013, 07:38:36 am
speaking of restrictions, wasn't there or isn't there a restriction on US exports of MCU/CPU above a certain MIPS? Something to do with being able to do brute force decryption
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Rasz on August 22, 2013, 07:48:42 am
There will be stuff like fixed pattern offset/gain correction and shutter calibration, maybe some linearizing? - I suspect some of this may need cal data from a factory calibration process for each sensor, so it would make sense for the sensor system to integrate all this to provide clean image data.
Optional access to the raw data may be useful/interesting to some people,  but that's just a case of bypassing the processing.

Thermalguy - I think a lot of people would be interested to learn what steps are involved in processing the raw data from the bolometer to produce a thermal image, and how complex it is to drive the sensor - what sort of waveforms, voltages are involved etc.

Cal data can be handled with a factory programmed SPI flash (or just on the on board MCU flash, really, how big can it get?) easily IMO, so some means of reading that from USB will be all it takes.

Strictly speaking you don't even need to agonize over the USB implementation, just get a MCU with fast UART, the TI 28335 I use at work tops out at 4.7MBaud and the chip has three of them. Pair that up with say the FT2232 dual ch USB to UART and you got at least 9.4MBaud of throughput at hand.

This is what I was thinking, if FPGA/Blackfin DSP adds $40-100 dont bother, just expose raw data and cal info needed to process it. All it takes is few smart people to buy those boards and someone will write opensource stack to process from raw to nice false color images. Even $20 router has enough processing power to take care of that (400MHz mips cpu, 32MB ram).
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: jancumps on August 24, 2013, 04:25:23 pm

...
(Keep in mind that at FLIR headquarters, someone is very angry right now.)

My guess is that they don't give a damn  :) . They'll start to get angry when you release a commercial product with their embedded product hacked. And customers will start to get angry when their unit is defect and it can't be supported because the parts supplier doesn't support his hacked parts?
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: EEVblog on August 24, 2013, 05:05:50 pm
My guess is that they don't give a damn  :)

They shouldn't.
Anyone could have found out that info by taking them apart. And as Steve said, obvious when you look at the specs.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Bored@Work on August 24, 2013, 05:23:51 pm
My guess is that they don't give a damn  :)

They shouldn't.
Anyone could have found out that info by taking them apart. And as Steve said, obvious when you look at the specs.


But corporations work different. Often it is not about logic and facts. I have often seen managers making a mountain out of a molehill. More than once I had the impression they were doing it to underline their own importance and prove the reason for their existence (while they were just parasites) . And they focused on the particular subject, because it was the only one they thought they understood (but didn't).
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: jancumps on August 24, 2013, 05:33:12 pm
...
And I would take apart a $2000 thermal camera :wtf: You think I can afford one of those?

Lease one :)

If car and truck manufacturers want to see how the competitors product looks like, they lease one at a local rental firm, do a teardown + rebuild, and bring it back  O0 .
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: EEVblog on August 24, 2013, 05:48:51 pm
But corporations work different. Often it is not about logic and facts. I have often seen managers making a mountain out of a molehill. More than once I had the impression they were doing it to underline their own importance and prove the reason for their existence (while they were just parasites) . And they focused on the particular subject, because it was the only one they thought they understood (but didn't).

I have cracking story about that...
1998:
I worked on the worlds best towed array seismic streamer. It's design and performance was all secret and we were all under NDA's not to reveal any info on the product etc.
It's a product that you can get a good idea of it's performance by simply looking at photos and things, especially the module that contained the hydrophones.
Well, the product was a big success and a huge export earner, and management entered it into the Australian Design Awards. They submitted photos, and all sorts of detailed tech info to the judges. We won, and the design and photos and info were published widely everywhere, and management were all chuffed.
http://www.gooddesignaustralia.com/awards/past/entry/slim-line-towed-array/?year=1998 (http://www.gooddesignaustralia.com/awards/past/entry/slim-line-towed-array/?year=1998)
(photos and story now missing it seems)

We still made contractors sign the NDA etc, and one day a new contractor phoned up management and went "WTF, I searched the internet and found this employee called Dave Jones who has all this technical information and detailed photos of the streamer plasted on his website. How can he do that and you tell me I'll be shot if tell anyone?"
When I came into work the next day there were a bunch of fuming management suits hauling my arse into a room.
I had to try and explain to them how I hadn't posted anything, I simply was proud that we had won the design award and linked to the public info on the design award website. It wasn't me who released this info, its was them!
Needed to say, this wasn't easy, as it was 1998, and not everyone understood how the internet worked.
They demanded that I remove all the information instantly.
Hmm, yeah, that took some explaining to try and convince them it wasn't my information, I didn't have access to the design award website, blah, blah.
But eventually understood I couldn't do that, but still ordered me to remove the link from my website, as if that would magically make the problem disappear. And it did because the contrator with his piss poor web skills couldn't find the website any more and reported as such.
They patted themselves on the back for the coverup of the info leak.
 ::)
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on August 24, 2013, 06:49:02 pm
Here are some secret details about the FLIR i-series that nobody will EVER tell you without charging you $10,000 for a censored reverse costing report:

It runs Windows CE Core5.0. A notoriously easy to hack Windows distro (or so blackhat.com says).
Considering the moderate volume and limited functi9nality ot seems a bit nuts to use a 3rd-party OS in a product like that. I suppose with their near-monopoly they don't care about a few dollars o Microsoft on every unit.
 
Quote
Every single camera in the i-series has a 320x240 detector that is cropped, in software, to either 140x140, 100x100, or 80x80.

Assuming you're a good hacker, you could probably get access to all that 320x240.
It is possible that they use reject sensors with defects for the lower-res products, and/or possibly only calibrate them for the resolution they're sold as - I think the latter is fairly plausible if cal takes appreciable time as that equates directly to cost. thermalguy could probably shed some light on this.
   
..and probably 30fps, (though maybe the processing hardware may not be up to this) however depending on where you live you may run the risk of the  Spooks knocking on your door - as ITAR  regs treat TICs like arms, it's not inconceivable it could be treated like someone reactivating dummy firearms....

Quote
Displaying it on that sh!tty LCD screen would be a problem, and the camera also can't record video. But I bet someone could hack up a video output from some stray traces on the PCB.
It has an SD card slot....
Quote
This raises another question: how much do 320x240 detectors cost FLIR to make? Not much more than 320x240 CCDs cost, but they like jacking up prices.
The  vacuum encapsulation and germanium window would add quite a lot to the cost, and I believe the die size is substantially bigger than an equivalent optical sensor.
Quote
Who says I'm manufacturing anything? Here's the main component list, for anyone interested (mikeselectricstuff, I'm looking at you)
All donations welcome :-)

I have actually considered the idea of doing a kickstarter to buy something exotic for a teardown, but the ITAR stuff would make me slightly nervous of doing it with this.

Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on August 24, 2013, 06:59:27 pm
Ooh look what I found typing that microbolometer part number into google
 Flir Microbolometer cost analysys report (http://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=3&ved=0CFsQFjAC&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.systemplus.fr%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2013%2F05%2FS%2BC_RM101_2012-06-15_FLIR_ISC0601B-micro-bolometer_Sample.pdf&ei=5HMYUoTrD4aI0AWsh4GwDQ&usg=AFQjCNHmouqqyM7ONvtJlcWESmiuH3QhkA&sig2=fxz9MP6Yj03GtT5qcdgJrg&bvm=bv.51156542,d.d2k&cad=rja)
 Full version only $3700! (http://www.researchandmarkets.com/reports/2165611/flir_isc0601b_microbolometer_teardown_and) Anyone got an un-blur filter...?

Another article here (http://www.bluetoad.com/print.php?pages=26&issue_id=132414)
From the above
Quote
The microbolometer is encapsulated in a hermetic housing consisting of a ceramic substrate HTCC, a metal box and an IR window in silicon. The microbolometers operate under a high vacuum, 10-4mbar, 100 times lower than for a MEMS gyroscope. The final test integrates an expensive four-day leak test to guarantee package tightness.

First time I've seen a getter used in a semiconductor device!

Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: firewalker on August 24, 2013, 07:05:18 pm
And still no trace of that cheap sensor.

Alexander.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: EEVblog on August 24, 2013, 07:18:11 pm
2nd page:
http://www.bluetoad.com/print.php?pages=27&issue_id=132414&ref=1 (http://www.bluetoad.com/print.php?pages=27&issue_id=132414&ref=1)


Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on August 24, 2013, 07:28:10 pm
Looking through these articles it seems there isn't much to be saved from reducing the resolution - looks like a large part of the cost is the packaging & test. The die photo shows the sensing part is maybe a quarter of total die area - by the time you scale the peripheral stuff, a low-res version might maybe halve die area, but not significantly affect any of the other costs.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on August 24, 2013, 11:09:03 pm
Good find guys  :)

I have wanted to know more about the FLIR microbolometers but my contacts in the industry clam up when asked anything about them....NDA's.

I am surprised about the sensor resolution revelation. I would have thought production cost and failure rate would have been lower on lower resolution sensors which would have been an incentive to make sensors matched to units. Obviously this is not the case.

From my understanding of the DoD restrictions on the technology, it applied to the SENSOR and not the rest of the unit, yet manufacturers consider all technical info to be covered under the restrictions. In either case, the fact that the sensor is a hi res 320x240 type interests me. Unless it is hardware crippled to not operate at 30Hz, I would have expected it to definitely be liable to the ITAR restrictions as a sensor, forgetting whether the rest of the camera electronics are 30Hz or 9Hz. Dual use regulations apply to the harvesting of parts as well.
I would imagine regs cover (possibly differenty) component parts and finished equipment. 
Once you get into the technicalities of how fast a sensor can be driven I suspect things get rather muddy. It could be argued that the sensor is useless without drive electronics, and they don't document the interface. There's also the issue of running stuff out of spec. If a sensor is designed and specified for 9FPS, chances are it _can_ be run faster. 
Same as a gun barrel being able to withstand more powerful ammo than it was designed for. 
This may also be connected to restricions on supplying information as it may help someone re-purpose things. I'm sure the sensor in a FLIR i3 could make a pretty good heat-seeking guidance system.

the whole dual-use stuff is nonsense as pretty much anything _could_ be used for mischief...
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on August 25, 2013, 09:04:09 am
...
I have actually considered the idea of doing a kickstarter to buy something exotic for a teardown, but the ITAR stuff would make me slightly nervous of doing it with this.

Wait, don't those other cameras you disassembled also fall under ITAR? What were their resolutions?
The FireFLIR probably does. It's 320x240 at I think 30fps, definitely more than 9fps. A KS campaign would attract more publicity, and possible interest from the manufacturer.
In terms of revealing info, those teardown reports contain way more info than what I could glean by a full teardown. I wonder if they (attempt to) restrict distribution of those...?

Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: IanB on August 25, 2013, 10:28:00 am
As far as I know, ITAR is a US regulation that covers technology developed in the USA and exported from the USA.

So the simplest way to avoid falling under these regulations is to independently develop equivalent functionality outside the borders of the US.

This is something that will eventually take care of itself as the USA is rapidly abandoning its technical lead in the race to outsource everything to the rest of the world.

A second problem with control and secrecy over most "sensitive" technology is that the lawmakers fail to understand that anyone with sufficient education can deduce and manufacture identical things without reference to the secret documents. The secrets of the universe are really not something you can hide in a safe. They are sitting there in plain sight for anyone who cares to look.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on August 25, 2013, 10:37:39 am

From what is said it appears the 9Hz refresh is a software configuration matter and if set can be exported under lesser restrictions than full frame rate units without the 9Hz limitation imposed.
All very odd as any software limitation can often be reversed.

It says "Factory set" - OK it almost certainly is a software setting, but it could also be something like a different FPGA config file, which is for all intents and purposes different hardware. If they wanted to get really serious they could put a fuse on the sensor die that was blown to either limit readout rate (e.g. lowpass filter on analogue out), or be readable by the system software/FPGA to prevent use at higher rates.
Regulation-wise, as long as they don't tell the user how to change it they're not producing something that falls under the regs. If someone modifies or hacks it, the problem is with that person, not the original manufacturer, as it is the modifyer who is effectively manufacturing a device whose performance brings it within the scope of the regulations.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on August 25, 2013, 10:47:09 am
As far as I know, ITAR is a US regulation that covers technology developed in the USA and exported from the USA.
So the simplest way to avoid falling under these regulations is to independently develop equivalent functionality outside the borders of the US.
They can still affect you though - There are mechanisms which can make it illegal for any US company to deal with you, and many other countries have similar regulations.
And the US has managed to persuade some countries to roll over like a bunch of pussies to extradite people (e.g. Christopher Tappin (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christopher_Tappin)).
And that's before the NSA and other spooks do whatever the hell they like.
   
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on August 25, 2013, 11:29:32 am
I wonder if whoever thought up the 9fps rule considered that you could buy three or four 9fps cameras and strap them together....?
 
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on August 25, 2013, 11:35:34 am
Just spotted one TIC that offers resolution upgrades :
http://uk.rs-online.com/web/p/thermal-imaging-camera-accessories/7776710/?origin=PSF_437238 (http://uk.rs-online.com/web/p/thermal-imaging-camera-accessories/7776710/?origin=PSF_437238)|acc
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: EEVblog on August 25, 2013, 02:08:16 pm

From what is said it appears the 9Hz refresh is a software configuration matter and if set can be exported under lesser restrictions than full frame rate units without the 9Hz limitation imposed.
All very odd as any software limitation can often be reversed.

It says "Factory set" - OK it almost certainly is a software setting, but it could also be something like a different FPGA config file, which is for all intents and purposes different hardware. If they wanted to get really serious they could put a fuse on the sensor die that was blown to either limit readout rate (e.g. lowpass filter on analogue out), or be readable by the system software/FPGA to prevent use at higher rates.

The document says the sensor itself is a hybrid containing the sensor array and an ASIC chip. It is possible they could OTP (laser or whatever) some config bits in the ASIC.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: EEVblog on August 25, 2013, 02:15:15 pm
And the US has managed to persuade some countries to roll over like a bunch of pussies to extradite people (e.g. Christopher Tappin (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christopher_Tappin)).

Or lean on your government via back channels through another government to spend millions of dollars, go against international law, and make complete public arses out of themselves by holding certain Australians hostage in embassies.
If they are willing to do that, imagine how fast they'll comply with a trivial request against a simple video blogger  :o
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: TopLoser on August 26, 2013, 02:53:13 am
Cheers Aurora... I'm now the proud owner of a Talisman I just bought from a nice man in Doncaster. Picking it up ASAP!
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: MFX on August 26, 2013, 03:24:01 am
Seems everything about thermal imaging is expensive :-
http://uk.rs-online.com/web/p/thermal-imaging-camera-accessories/0446594/ (http://uk.rs-online.com/web/p/thermal-imaging-camera-accessories/0446594/)

£91 for a car charger! Now that's really taking the mick.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on August 27, 2013, 06:56:55 am
Just spotted one TIC that offers resolution upgrades :
http://uk.rs-online.com/web/p/thermal-imaging-camera-accessories/7776710/?origin=PSF_437238 (http://uk.rs-online.com/web/p/thermal-imaging-camera-accessories/7776710/?origin=PSF_437238)|acc

Are you sure that upgrade isn't just like the Testo one (http://www.testosites.de/export/sites/default/thermalimaging/resources/downloads/Background_article_SuperResolution_EN.pdf (http://www.testosites.de/export/sites/default/thermalimaging/resources/downloads/Background_article_SuperResolution_EN.pdf))? They offer a program where the camera takes two images a few milliseconds apart and fuses them in software to increase resolution. You've got to pay for the program though, and it doesn't look at all applicable to other manufacturers' cameras. I would love to do this with an ix, but the i-series has a terrible capture rate so it's doubtful whether that kind of program is even possible. ttp://www.testosites.de/export/sites/default/thermalimaging/resources/downloads/Background_article_SuperResolution_EN.pdf


Probably  - I just assumed it was crippleware on a real 320x240 sensor
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: tom66 on September 08, 2013, 09:07:56 am
Hmm. Sounds like they're stalling.

Quote
Over the last few weeks we've moved into new office space and now have all of our equipment set up again. The team was still able to get a lot of work done during the chaos, even when that meant taking equipment home to work. I'll follow up with more news next week.

But, I'll give them credit: they are at least staying in touch.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: EEVblog on September 08, 2013, 10:05:39 am
I find it funny how people are still asking for a delivery date estimate, as if that's magically going to make it happen.
Until they show that working prototype, it's all just pie-in-the-sky.
At least this one has been funny to watch and follow along, although sadly at the expense of those who contributed.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: MacAttak on September 08, 2013, 04:28:59 pm
Denial isn't a river in Egypt.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Fraser on September 08, 2013, 07:35:47 pm
This is the long and painful death of a poorly planned project. They should have the balls to put it out of its misery. If any money still remains they should partially refund the investors as a small token of 'doing the right thing'
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: MFX on September 09, 2013, 08:25:33 am
It does seem that the natives are starting to get restless rather than blindly defending it as they were. As for the office move, 3 weeks? And this meant they had no internet access at all to let people know what was going on?
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: CanadianAvenger on September 10, 2013, 03:09:06 am
Maybe they moved to hide from the angry mobs coming to bang on their doors requesting their cameras.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Corporate666 on September 11, 2013, 04:52:32 pm
It boggles the mind that people are still posting things like "Guys, can we please get an update?  I would like to know if you have decided what color the housing will be" or some such.

If they had ANYTHING, they would be shouting from the highest rooftops.  The project is following the classic manner in which such things go down the tubes.  They give out practically zero info and do so irregularly, and it's only naivete and denial that keeps people going.  Nobody wants to think they lost their money, and some are greedy enough not to want to miss out on something they think they're getting for $200 that usually costs 10 times that much.

That's how all cons work.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: MFX on September 12, 2013, 05:48:12 am
Although for a "con" it's weird they've kept it going this long and are still giving refunds when they could have done a runner with the money ages ago. Also someone running a con would likely be doing all they could to keep the marks happy (regular fake updates etc.) so if they are running a con they don't seem to be very good at it. And they do seem to have a PCB with what looks like a genuine Thermal imaging lens on it even if they can't show any images from it. I agree that the whole project seems impractical for the cost (I bailed out ages ago) but mysteries still remain.

Martin.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Corporate666 on September 12, 2013, 07:56:55 am
I don't think it started out as a con.  I think it started out with naivete and maybe they thought they had an inside line on some way to do thermal imaging cheap (like using a traditional imaging sensor).

I think a project can transgress from "honest if naive attempt" to "con" when the project creator realizes the idea they presented is untenable.  In the case of Mu, the secret sauce of their whole project was the imaging sensor.  They said after the close of funding that the imaging sensor manufacturer had dropped the ball in some manner, so they were switching.

Which is sort of like someone selling you on their miraculous discovery of gold in their yard... then after you invest, telling you the gold turned out to be someone's lost ring, but no worries, because they also struck oil in the neighbors yard and he's going to let you have some for cheap.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: l3iggs on September 14, 2013, 04:01:35 am
Please forgive me if this is a repost, but at first glance, it seems likely to me that they're using this sensor:
http://www.ulis-ir.com/index.php?infrared-detector=25--m-160x120hv (http://www.ulis-ir.com/index.php?infrared-detector=25--m-160x120hv)

The specs match up very nicely.

I can't comment too much about the cost of this thing. Can anyone else?
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: rem256 on September 15, 2013, 01:44:36 am
Wow, it's unfortunate to see some of the frustrated supporters of this project.

In March, this article was published about the project: http://reelchicago.com/article/mcgrath-s-innovative-device-goes-twitter-wide-monday130304 (http://reelchicago.com/article/mcgrath-s-innovative-device-goes-twitter-wide-monday130304)

If a supporter of this IndieGoGo project connects with the editor of this publication and they choose to run an article about the current status of the project, I suspect the MuOptics team will become more responsive and accountable.  Hopefully then, the supporters will feel a better sense of involvement and overall satisfaction with the project. 

Good luck to all current supporters!
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: EEVblog on September 15, 2013, 03:08:53 pm
Latest update:
Quote
Hello All,
Just an update on what we've been working on this week.
As you all know, one of the ways that we are using to reduce the cost of this IR camera is by offloading as much as is possible to the host device (smartphone, tablet, laptop, ect...). This week we've been working on the part of the software that takes the raw thermal data from the sensor and converts it into video. This is anything but simple software, but we are happy to say that so far we have been able to keep the overhead very low. Again our goal with software is to open-source and provide an SDK for nearly everything.
I'll post more this weekend.

So they are only just getting around to working on the bit of the software that produces a video output?
What about the previous updates:
Quote
A few more tweaks to the portion of the MCU firmware that deals with the ADC and the sensor itself and the firmware should be good to go.

or from 5 months ago:
Quote
Abe is in the other room right now tweaking bias voltages and the like to get the best picture possible in the field.

 :-//
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: firewalker on September 15, 2013, 05:33:51 pm
Raw data of the sensor. Digital or analog data?

Alexander.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: AndyC_772 on September 15, 2013, 05:39:33 pm
Depends how you'd classify 'no data at all'. I guess you could call it either a stream of logic '0's, or 0V with a high impedance  :-DD
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: EEVblog on September 15, 2013, 06:48:33 pm
Raw data of the sensor. Digital or analog data?

They have said they are using an ADC to capture the sensor data, which was of course practically finished months ago according to them.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: firewalker on September 15, 2013, 08:30:38 pm
Yes. I know.

So they shouldn't send raw sensor data to the phone.

Alexander.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: EEVblog on September 15, 2013, 08:38:59 pm
So they shouldn't send raw sensor data to the phone.

According to them they do:
Quote
The data stream going from the camera to the host device is entirely raw data. That data is processed into video in the Mu App. By doing all of the processing in the app, we can push updates related to video without requiring hardware firmware updates.

and

Quote
With an image resolution at 160×120, that gives us 19,200 pixels in each frame. At 30 fps, that gives us 576000 data points each second. For the best thermal resolution, we are sampling at 12bits. Giving us about 6.9Mbps of output.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: tom66 on September 16, 2013, 10:06:16 am
I don't think a SAM3U would have enough power to compress images beyond RLE type, which is no good for noisy sensors like thermal imagers. An STM32F4 could probably kick out ~10fps of 160x120 JPEG, but there's little point in doing so if you've got enough bandwidth.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: zapta on September 23, 2013, 08:21:13 am
Fluke has a professionally looking thermal imager for $750 (http://amzn.com/B00APPPL2W (http://amzn.com/B00APPPL2W)). It is made of higher resolution visible spectrum image super imposed with a low resolution IR image. This is a significant price reduction in this market and so far the reviews are very good. Possibly Mu uses similar approach, with some corner cutting and using existing display and computation resources of a smartphone (e.g. via a BT link). Just speculating but it does not sounds to me too good to be true.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: EEVblog on September 23, 2013, 08:59:34 am
Fluke has a professionally looking thermal imager for $750 (http://amzn.com/B00APPPL2W (http://amzn.com/B00APPPL2W)). It is made of higher resolution visible spectrum image super imposed with a low resolution IR image. This is a significant price reduction in this market and so far the reviews are very good.

 I don't know why, it's hopeless compared to a Flir i3 which is only a hundred or two more. I've compared them, no contest.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Fraser on September 27, 2013, 10:02:20 am
I don't think Dave owns them, so a tear down would be difficult. Fluke told him that they didn't want a teardown of their thermal cameras, and I suspect FLIR will be even more resistant to such an idea. When you own such an expensive bit of FLIR kit, you are often less enthusiastic about taking it apart ....the micro-bolometer engine is definitely not intended to be dismantled to component level. I have been repairing several industrial TICs recently and thankfully have not had to delve into the micro-bolometer module beyond simple voltage and waveform checks. Damage t this module = written off TIC. Mike did an excellent repair video on a FireFlir TIC that may interest you.

Thermal imaging camera teardown and repair Fireflir ff110 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_65erGXqXZk#ws)

There actually isn't a great deal to see inside these units. There was a commercial costing investigation into an older FLIR i7 version detailed in another thread. The investigation showed the internal parts including the micro-bolometer sensor. As I have found myself when repairing TICs, it basically looks like (but isn't) a CCD chip fitted inside a vacuum chamber that has a germanium crystal window facing the Germanium optical assembly. A mechanical shutter assembly moves a shutter in front of the sensors window for regular calibration and pixel levelling. The output of the micro-bolometer sensor passes to an image processing chip that in turn passes the processed signal data to the video ADC which feeds the SBC microprocessor. An image is then generated on the LCD by the microprocessor image output stages.

The larger industrial grade TICs are far more complex and interesting in terms of build, but the simpler consumer grade units are really just a boring high density SBC and the micro-bolometer engine. They aren't that complex, just expensive on the engine and optics front.

I will see if I can find the link to the FLIR i7 strip down for you.

UPDATE: FLIR tear down added.

The Fluke will use similar technology but with a lesser micro-bolometer in a smaller imaging engine.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: EEVblog on September 29, 2013, 06:50:52 pm
I don't think Dave owns them, so a tear down would be difficult. Fluke told him that they didn't want a teardown of their thermal cameras

It wasn't Fluke as such, it was Uncle Sam, or Fluke's legal departments fear of Uncle Sam. The camera was export controlled technology, because, you know, the world is full of terrorists who search the internet for technology videos so they can make their own, because it's just so hard to simply pay the money and buy one...  ::)
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: SeanB on September 29, 2013, 07:10:40 pm
And if Columbian marching powder can come in in ton lots then the same way works for taking stuff out...............
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: EEVblog on October 01, 2013, 12:17:16 pm
So it's now been 6 months since the campaign ended and not even a real thermal image yet, and no update in 17 days.
Is it time to confidently right this project off as simply never going to happen?
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: grenert on October 01, 2013, 03:23:08 pm
Three of the four members of the Mu "development team" make up three of the four members of the development team of a forgettable me-too restaurant app called Sqipp (scroll down the screen):
http://www.sqipptheline.com/ (http://www.sqipptheline.com/)

What's to stop them from taking the Mu money and putting it toward this other venture?  Is there any accountability regarding where the money goes?
I assume probably none.  It amazes me that anyone would throw their money away toward stuff like this.  A sucker born every minute, I suppose...
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: grenert on October 02, 2013, 06:19:39 am
Fluke has a professionally looking thermal imager for $750 (http://amzn.com/B00APPPL2W (http://amzn.com/B00APPPL2W)). It is made of higher resolution visible spectrum image super imposed with a low resolution IR image. This is a significant price reduction in this market and so far the reviews are very good.

 I don't know why, it's hopeless compared to a Flir i3 which is only a hundred or two more. I've compared them, no contest.
Flir has just released the E4, which has 80x60 resolution (versus 60x60 in the now-obsoleted I3):
http://www.tequipment.net/FLIRE4.html?idevd=f1d73e45a4554c07b60e7fe457a66e0b&idevm=5796ba9b89e94fbca82b49e0fe97b42c&idevmid=363816 (http://www.tequipment.net/FLIRE4.html?idevd=f1d73e45a4554c07b60e7fe457a66e0b&idevm=5796ba9b89e94fbca82b49e0fe97b42c&idevmid=363816)
Under a thousand bucks!   :-+
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: EEVblog on October 02, 2013, 07:57:54 am
Flir has just released the E4, which has 80x60 resolution (versus 60x60 in the now-obsoleted I3):
http://www.tequipment.net/FLIRE4.html?idevd=f1d73e45a4554c07b60e7fe457a66e0b&idevm=5796ba9b89e94fbca82b49e0fe97b42c&idevmid=363816 (http://www.tequipment.net/FLIRE4.html?idevd=f1d73e45a4554c07b60e7fe457a66e0b&idevm=5796ba9b89e94fbca82b49e0fe97b42c&idevmid=363816)
Under a thousand bucks!   :-+

Nice. I wonder what the focus distance is?
I believe a problem with the i series was that you couldn't focus close to see temp spread across a chip for example.
EDIT: Ah, focus is 0.5m minimum. That would almost certainly mean no good for close up PCB work.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Corporate666 on October 02, 2013, 08:07:26 am
Fluke has a professionally looking thermal imager for $750 (http://amzn.com/B00APPPL2W (http://amzn.com/B00APPPL2W)). It is made of higher resolution visible spectrum image super imposed with a low resolution IR image. This is a significant price reduction in this market and so far the reviews are very good.

 I don't know why, it's hopeless compared to a Flir i3 which is only a hundred or two more. I've compared them, no contest.
Flir has just released the E4, which has 80x60 resolution (versus 60x60 in the now-obsoleted I3):
http://www.tequipment.net/FLIRE4.html?idevd=f1d73e45a4554c07b60e7fe457a66e0b&idevm=5796ba9b89e94fbca82b49e0fe97b42c&idevmid=363816 (http://www.tequipment.net/FLIRE4.html?idevd=f1d73e45a4554c07b60e7fe457a66e0b&idevm=5796ba9b89e94fbca82b49e0fe97b42c&idevmid=363816)
Under a thousand bucks!   :-+

That illustrates another problem with this crowdfunding stuff.

Technology moves so fast, and crowdfunded campaigns almost universally move slowly (delivering very late, if at all), that by the time they are completed, they are already obsolete.

Look at Lifx, Philips Hue has already been on the market for almost a year and is now sold through the Apple store.  They lost any earlybird advantage they would have had. 

Look at the Elevation Dock.  By the time they shipped them all, the phone had been replaced with a newer version.

Many many more too - and based on this post, looks like Mu may be in the same boat.  I doubt they ever deliver anything, but if they do, it will be behind the current latest/greatest before it ever ships.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on October 02, 2013, 08:25:32 am
I am interested to see FLIR's take on visual and Thermal image merging. There is normally an image registration error but FLIR appear to have sorted that issue.
I suspect its only solved over certain distance ranges.
Quote
The down side of the stated new E series camera is the low resolution of the base unit. I surmise that the images in the brochures are from the higher resolution models and not the base unit.
Would be very interesting if all the E series used the same sensor, like the I series apparently did. 
Also may be some scope for tweaking lens distance for close-up  use.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: tom66 on October 02, 2013, 09:39:03 am
I'm sure Flir could market a cheap camera with just a CVBS or HDMI output and the hobbyist market would lap it up. No LCD, case or anything, just a dev board breakout for one of their sensors with an optional digitisation chipset. $200 list price. I doubt the sensor costs that much -- you're paying for R&D for most of it.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: MFX on October 03, 2013, 07:18:48 am
BTW any UK members see the British wildlife program on BBC1 tonight? Looks like they borrowed a British army night surveillance vehicle, the resolution of it's thermal camera was pretty incredible. Wondering what cost more the vehicle or the camera.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Fraser on October 03, 2013, 10:02:12 am
It was a mobile platform offering from Selex Galileo

http://www.armedforces.co.uk/companies/raq4315b2a67e1d3 (http://www.armedforces.co.uk/companies/raq4315b2a67e1d3)

Suppliers to the worlds Western friendly Military. Good company, excellent products  ;)

Selex TIC Data sheets attached. Nothing very secret about their specs.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on October 03, 2013, 10:31:28 am
I'm sure Flir could market a cheap camera with just a CVBS or HDMI output and the hobbyist market would lap it up. No LCD, case or anything, just a dev board breakout for one of their sensors with an optional digitisation chipset. $200 list price. I doubt the sensor costs that much -- you're paying for R&D for most of it.
They maybe could, but why would they? There wouldn't be any profit in  it for them. The sensor quite probably does cost that - vacuum packaging, germanium window & optics, calibration etc.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: AndyC_772 on October 03, 2013, 06:56:17 pm
Fluke have a new product out, the VT-04 not-quite-a-thermal-camera:

http://www.farnell.com/datasheets/1751644.pdf (http://www.farnell.com/datasheets/1751644.pdf)

"Four times sharper" than the VT-02, apparently, though still no actual resolution figures quoted.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on October 04, 2013, 12:54:48 am
Fluke have a new product out, the VT-04 not-quite-a-thermal-camera:

http://www.farnell.com/datasheets/1751644.pdf (http://www.farnell.com/datasheets/1751644.pdf)

"Four times sharper" than the VT-02, apparently, though still no actual resolution figures quoted.
I read somewhere that these use a mechanical scanner + thermopile sensor - not sure if it's a single sensor or something like the Melexis chip
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: CanadianAvenger on October 05, 2013, 11:24:44 am
Hahaha, now they're telling people where to go to get a cheap thermal camera :P

Quote from: muoptics
Hello All,

Things are coming along well. The iOS app is nearly complete. Just a few more tweaks to the the image processing and to saving the video. We're working on getting rid of some shakiness and making the auto-scaling of the IR gradients as good as can be. I'm looking forward to the completion of porting the app over to the other operating systems.

Some news from the IR industry this week. FLIR has released a new line of cameras. http://www.flir.com/thermography/americas/us/view/?id=61194 (http://www.flir.com/thermography/americas/us/view/?id=61194)

They seem like solid products, and their low end model with a resolution about a quarter of ours is retailing for under $1000.

We're happy that we'll be able to beat that price by more than half, with a camera with much higher resolution, video and still recording, greater storage capabilities (dependent upon your smartphone or tablet), and WiFi.  We also think our form factor allows easier use than the pistol grip.

But we're very happy to see the continuing drop in cost of so many IR products which are now being targeted at the mass market.

We're excited to be getting so close to launching our camera and enabling even more people to utilize thermography.

Cheers!

-MuOptics
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: EEVblog on October 05, 2013, 12:28:26 pm
Hahaha, now they're telling people where to go to get a cheap thermal camera :P

And STILL no actual thermal image after at least 9 months of R&D (they claimed several months before the campaign, and it's been 6 months after now).
Wow.
The backers have pitch forks at the ready and these guys don't address any of their concerns. Wow.
They have balls, I'll give them that. And that's likely all they have, plus the money, unless they have spent it all.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on October 05, 2013, 06:47:34 pm
I am interested to see FLIR's take on visual and Thermal image merging. There is normally an image registration error but FLIR appear to have sorted that issue.
I suspect its only solved over certain distance ranges.
Quote
The down side of the stated new E series camera is the low resolution of the base unit. I surmise that the images in the brochures are from the higher resolution models and not the base unit.
Would be very interesting if all the E series used the same sensor, like the I series apparently did. 
Also may be some scope for tweaking lens distance for close-up  use.
Curiosity has got the better of me - Flir M4 ordered  ;D
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: EEVblog on October 05, 2013, 08:17:00 pm
Curiosity has got the better of me - Flir M4 ordered  ;D

I presume you aren't going to do a destructive teardown...
Flir have mentioned something on twitter about contacting me to get me one.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on October 05, 2013, 08:35:05 pm
Curiosity has got the better of me - Flir M4 ordered  ;D

I presume you aren't going to do a destructive teardown...
Flir have mentioned something on twitter about contacting me to get me one.
Not destructive (hopefully!) but will definitely be investigating mods for close-up work and investigating potential for resolution & framerate tweaks.
Might be good if you can get one of the higher-up models to compare - I suspect the higher res ones may have a different lens, even if the other hardware is the same
 
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: EEVblog on October 05, 2013, 11:04:43 pm
Not destructive (hopefully!) but will definitely be investigating mods for close-up work and investigating potential for resolution & framerate tweaks.
Might be good if you can get one of the higher-up models to compare - I suspect the higher res ones may have a different lens, even if the other hardware is the same

A close-up lens would be essential for PCB work I suspect.
Yes, most likely the same sensor in all the range.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on October 06, 2013, 12:01:04 am
A close-up lens would be essential for PCB work I suspect.
Most camera lenses can be made to work close up by moving them further from the sensor, so that's probably the first thing to investigate. Obviously the visble/thermal combining stuff won't work.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Fraser on October 06, 2013, 03:41:45 am
As Mike states, if a lens can be distanced from the sensor, close-up focus is achievable BUT many low end thermal cameras use either fixed focus assemblies or a variable focus mechanism that does not offer easy modification for close-up work.

I approached this problem from the same angle as scientific thermal imaging and microscopy. It is common to fit an auxiliary lens to a standard thermal camera in order to provide a close-up focus capability. FLIR offer such lenses as optional items but they cost a small fortune. For my 570 or 695 models they would cost more than a new FLIR E4

The challenges are in selecting a suitable lens material, the focus distance and the diameter of the lens. A Germanium Bi-convex lens with a 6" focus distance works very well, but there are few such lenses available at reasonable cost. I did find some very reasonably priced Bi-convex ZnSe lenses of 20mm diameter and 4" focus distance. This lens costs only $30 from China and works very well, if a little small in diameter. ZnSe is an excellent lens material at thermal image wavelengths. The alternative material for a similar cost is GaAs, but this has a higher transmission loss and narrower band-pass characteristic. Just search e*ay for ZnSe or GaAs lens and you will find many CO2 laser lenses to choose from. I also purchased some suitable 20mm camera lens holders so that the lenses could be mounted on the camera more easily. Remember, if you modify your camera, you lose your warranty and make normal use of the camera difficult at longer distances. An auxiliary lens avoids both issues.

I was fortunate enough to find a new Inframetics Germanium 58mm diameter Meniscus close-up lens with a 6" focus distance designed for the purpose. The original cost was $6800  :scared: Its a scientific lens and rare as hens teeth. I  bought it for $150 and it works superbly on my FLIR 695  :-+

I will attach some pictures of another (faulty) TIC's video processing SRAM at the PM695's normal 0.5m minimum focus range and at approx 6" (the last 2 pictures) using the Inframetrics lens. The far left SRAM chip is faulty ! Thermal images of PCBs can be both enlightening and helpful in repair operations.

Except in very high end TIC's, be careful with digital zoom. Just like a normal digital camera, you just get lower resolution and awful pixilation, especially when you are starting with only 320x240 pixels. My 695 can digital Zoom up to X4. X2 would be 160x120 pixels and x4 would be lowly 80x60 pixels.  It would be a bit of a joke to offer a digital zoom on a 80x60 pixel start point.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Fraser on October 06, 2013, 06:20:28 am
For anyone interested, I will show the auxiliary lenses that I use with both my Ex Fire service cameras and the FLIR PM series.

The lenses are as follows:

1. Inframetrics single element Germanium Meniscus 6" Close-up lens 58mm.
2. Chinese GaAs CO2 Laser Bi-Convex 4" focus point lens 19mm in lens holder.
3. Chinese ZnSe CO2 Laser Bi-Convex 4" focus point lens 19mm in lens holder.
4. Commercial Germanium Lens protector, high transmittance coated 35mm.

The Inframetrics lens is interesting in that the concave side faces the target and the convex side faces the TIC primary lens. This lens offers excellent transmittance, anti-reflective coating and good depth of field. If you see one cheap, buy it !

This isn't a cheap one .......

http://www.ebay.com/itm/FLIR-Systems-100-m-Close-Up-Lens-LW-34-80-/121185050471?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item1c37311f67 (http://www.ebay.com/itm/FLIR-Systems-100-m-Close-Up-Lens-LW-34-80-/121185050471?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item1c37311f67)

Neither is this........

http://www.ebay.com/itm/FLIR-Systems-MACRO-LENS-50-MICRON-P-N-1700-500-/300951292680?pt=Camera_Lenses&hash=item4612184b08 (http://www.ebay.com/itm/FLIR-Systems-MACRO-LENS-50-MICRON-P-N-1700-500-/300951292680?pt=Camera_Lenses&hash=item4612184b08)

The two Chinese Bi-Convex lenses are 19mm diameter and are symetrical. They fit perfectly into the 19mm filter/lens holders that were used on older compact cameras of the 1970's. Good Camera shops still have some old stock of these types of holders. The price of the holders is around $5 each.

The weird 'lens' with the plastic shell and red 'hood' is in fact a lens protector made from a very thin piece of Germanium for low through loss. The red fitment is used only to insert the protector into the lens aperture of the TIC for which it was designed. These lens protectors are expensive (approx. $250) but protect the even more valuable primary lens in the TIC. I will be mounting the protector on a filter step down ring for mounting on the TIC's.

A very cheap alternative to the expensive Germanium lens protector may be constructed using a filter holder and a sheet of 25 micron Polyolefin Shrink Wrap plastic. Its not perfect but is effectively transparent at thermal wavelengths. FLIR offer such cheap protectors as disposable alternatives to the more expensive options. I bought a 20m x 45cm roll of the Polyolefin Shrink Wrap for $7.50  :)

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/350800488552?ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1497.l2649 (http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/350800488552?ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1497.l2649)

That should last a few years. You can also make temporary external weather proof housings using the shrink wrap as the face plate. Great for wildlife observation which is what I intend to do with my cameras.

For anyone wondering why Germanium lenses are so expensive, they have to be grown as a single crystal of Germanium. The crystal is then cut and ground to the same optical standards as instrument grade vision wavelength lenses. The lens is then coated with a special anti-reflective coating (at thermal wavelengths) to improve its performance. Think carefully before buying a Germanium lens with damage or coating loss. This will degrade performance seriously. Sharp impact can cause a Germanium lens to suffer micro fractures within its single crystal structure....very bad news !  In summary, thermal camera lenses are a very specialist product that is made to very exacting standards. The price increases exponentially with diameter which is why the cheaper cameras have small lenses and so are less sensitive. \take a look at my PM695 primary lens ....its almost 60mm in diameter and the internal focussing lens is 50mm diameter  :) = Very expensive
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Fraser on October 07, 2013, 01:26:23 am
An impressive thermal camera picture taken during this weekends Korean Grand Prix.

The car caught fire  :scared:

I hadn't realised F1 had live TICs on the cars these days. Excellent application of the technology  :) I presume they are normally looking at the tyre surface temperature.

Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: firewalker on October 07, 2013, 01:50:04 am
F1: FORMULA 1 THERMAL CAMERA - MONZA 2013 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aCph80AO_2s#)
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: firewalker on October 07, 2013, 01:51:46 am
F1: Thermal Camera CRASH - Paul Di Resta Gp d'Italia-Monza 2013 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PsoGzvWyTjU#)
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: bookaboo on October 07, 2013, 03:42:28 am
Interesting info all round.

I'm thinking about getting myself a Flir I3 to help with fault finding work. Would it be high enough resolution to help with PCB work?
What I'm thinking of is that it could help find which components are shorting or which areas of a board are "dead" i.e. no current flowing.

Has anyone used Flirs for this and if so what's the lowest model you would recommend?
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on October 07, 2013, 03:47:12 am
Interesting info all round.

I'm thinking about getting myself a Flir I3 to help with fault finding work. Would it be high enough resolution to help with PCB work?
What I'm thinking of is that it could help find which components are shorting or which areas of a board are "dead" i.e. no current flowing.

Has anyone used Flirs for this and if so what's the lowest model you would recommend?
The problem is not resoution but close-up focus. Stay tuned on this...
I think the  E4 is better than the i3 at similar price -  may be some cheap i3's around though- not clear if the E4 is actually shipping yet - it's not in RS/Farnell etc.
I couldn't find a place that showed stock levels - I ordered on Fri PM so have only had an auto acknowledge email so far.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Fraser on October 07, 2013, 06:11:49 am
I will take an 80x60 resolution image of the same chips that appeared in my earlier post. You can then see what sort of image the i3 may produce. As Mike says, the E4 is a different creature as it uses a visible image overlay to provide edge detail that low resolution thermal cameras cannot produce. Very clever. As you will have seen, clos-up focus is achievable for $30 so no biggie there.

Watch this space.

Fraser
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on October 07, 2013, 06:16:22 am
I will take an 60x80 resolution image of the same chips that appeared in my earlier post. You can then see what sort of image the i3 may produce. As Mike says, the E4 is a different creature as it uses a visible image overlay to provide edge detail that low resolution thermal cameras cannot produce. Very clever. As you will have seen, clos-up focus is achievable for $30 so no biggie there.

Watch this space.

Fraser
I think the question is how well 80x60 will work without the overlay. For close-up work, the issue of figuring out what you're looking at may be less as you can wave things around close to the subject to find where you are. 
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Fraser on October 07, 2013, 07:03:05 am
Well that was an interesting little test. FLIR may have outwitted me here.

I set up my PM695 to view the SRAM and another chip on my PCB.

The camera was set to normal 320x240 (x1 electronic zoom) with the close-up lens, the picture framed and recorded. I then set the camera to 80x60 (x4 electronic zoom), reframed the shot  without the close-up lens and recorded the picture.

To explain why I did this... the minimum focus distance of the camera is 0.5m. At this distance, using the x4 zoom you can get a close-up of the chips. When in X1 zoom I have to move closer to the chips to get the same frame contents. As stated 0.5m is the closest I could go without a close-up lens, hence why I had to use it here.

I was surprised at the recorded results. It appears that the PM695 uses image enhancement technology to improve the lower resolution image created when using the electronic zoom. For this reason my pictures may not give you a true impression of what an 80x60 camera will produce. But FLIR may include the image enhancement technology in the consumer cameras as well  ? I note that the PM695 produces a 320x240 image file no matter what zoom is used when framing the image. I suspect intelligent interpolation is at work here. IriSys do the same with their 16x16 pixel chips to produce a 48x48 pixel image.

I knew the PM695 was a clever bit of kit but I had not expected this  :)

Note that the PM695 produces proprietary high quality image files or lesser quality BMP files. I used Irfanview to quickly convert the BMP's to JPG so some image quality may have been lost.

Fraser
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: EEVblog on October 07, 2013, 09:40:47 am
I'm thinking about getting myself a Flir I3 to help with fault finding work. Would it be high enough resolution to help with PCB work?
What I'm thinking of is that it could help find which components are shorting or which areas of a board are "dead" i.e. no current flowing.
Has anyone used Flirs for this and if so what's the lowest model you would recommend?

The FLIR's are not suitable for PCB inspection (at least the cheap ones without lens attachments), you can't focus close enough, they are designed for distance work.
Here is some thermal images from a ULIR brand TI160 TIC with suitable close up lens, provided by Charles at Trio Test
You won't get a that sort of close up PCB work without a suitably designed closeup lens.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Fraser on October 07, 2013, 10:23:55 am
To assist those who are wondering what can be done with a $30 ZnSe close-up lens, here are some really rough pictures. The lens is normally used on my Fire Fighters cameras that have a 20mm lens. My FLIR has a huge lens so some awful bodgery was needed, involving an aluminium lens flange, some cardboard and masking tape. I didn't expect much as the 20mm ZnSe lens is way too small for the PM695 lens aperture. The comsumer grade FLIR's like the i3 use a much smaller lens so no such issue would exist.

My PM694 was effectively looking thorough a 'keyhole' but it did work.

You will see that I have been able to get up close (4") to the SRAM and GAL chips. There are lots of inefficiencies, lens misalignment etc, so more noise is present but that does not occur on my Argus Fire cameras.

The greatest challenge will be to buy a TIC at a decent price. You can then add one of these simple auxiliary lenses and start looking at PCB's. There will be temperature measurement inaccuracy caused by losses in the ZnSe lens but I would expect them to be minor for hobbyist use.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Fraser on October 07, 2013, 11:01:09 am
For anyone wondering where to buy a suitable ZnSe lens, I bought mine here:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/ZnSe-GaAs-Focal-Lens-for-10-6um-Co2-Laser-Engraver-Cutting-Machine-12-25mm-1-4-/321078811086?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&var=510102779696&hash=item4ac1c9d9ce (http://www.ebay.com/itm/ZnSe-GaAs-Focal-Lens-for-10-6um-Co2-Laser-Engraver-Cutting-Machine-12-25mm-1-4-/321078811086?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&var=510102779696&hash=item4ac1c9d9ce)

You are looking for a ZnSe lens with a decent focus point in front of the lens. The best I could find in these cheap CO2 laser lenses was 100mm (4"). Pick the diameter that best suits your cameras lens aperture or whatever mount you are going to use. I leave the mechanics of mounting the lens to you but it should be treated with care as it is a soft material and easily scratched. I use proper lens holders and adapt them to the camera.

Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: EEVblog on October 07, 2013, 11:11:32 am
The greatest challenge will be to buy a TIC at a decent price. You can then add one of these simple auxiliary lenses and start looking at PCB's.

That's the trick. As Mike said, the affordable low res FLIR ones really need that optical camera part to give you a good visual outline of what you are looking at, and that will almost certainly be completely screwed with an external lens.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Sparkey_500 on October 07, 2013, 12:08:55 pm
I've been following this topic for awhile and I finally decided to make an account to add my 2 cents to the discussion. What about using IR Transmittable Ink coated on a standard lens?

http://www.teikokuink.com/en/product/techreport/146_tech.html (http://www.teikokuink.com/en/product/techreport/146_tech.html)
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: bronzies on October 07, 2013, 01:13:13 pm
I've looked at some fluke thermal imagers, they are so expensive. This one probably will be too looks like.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: CanadianAvenger on October 07, 2013, 02:30:16 pm
I've been following this topic for awhile and I finally decided to make an account to add my 2 cents to the discussion. What about using IR Transmittable Ink coated on a standard lens?

http://www.teikokuink.com/en/product/techreport/146_tech.html (http://www.teikokuink.com/en/product/techreport/146_tech.html)

That's for Near IR, thermal cameras work in the Far IR range. A standard Camera sensor is not capable of receiving Far IR wavelengths.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Hypernova on October 07, 2013, 03:40:59 pm
Heh, wouldn't it be nice if there was a coating that converts far IR to near IR? Just like how fluros and white LEDs work. You would still need the Ge lens but at least you can use cheap ass CCDs.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on October 07, 2013, 07:51:11 pm
I've been following this topic for awhile and I finally decided to make an account to add my 2 cents to the discussion. What about using IR Transmittable Ink coated on a standard lens?

http://www.teikokuink.com/en/product/techreport/146_tech.html (http://www.teikokuink.com/en/product/techreport/146_tech.html)
That won't work for the same reason that painting a wall with clear varnish will not make it  transparent
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Fraser on October 07, 2013, 09:01:09 pm
I was hunting for decent pictures of the E4 and found this site. It has some nice pictures and comments on the E4 and i3 that readers may find interesting.

http://www.pass-thermal.co.uk/flir-thermal-cameras (http://www.pass-thermal.co.uk/flir-thermal-cameras)

 The E4 appears to use a very small lens but it still achieves 0.15 Degrees C sensitivity. Not bad considering. I note that the tiny visible light camera lens is located right above the Germanium lens to reduce the offset error. As Dave states, my external lens would not work on the E4 in its Visible/Thermal combined mode as the visible light camera would be misaligned with the ZnSe lens. You could use it in thermal mode only.

I note that the E4 and i3 are priced the same on the PASS site. A little odd that. I would expect the i3 to be discounted until stocks are exhausted and then discontinued ? The i3 has a fixed focus lens. Not sure about the E4 design but it looks fixed as well. It will be interesting to see what Mike discovers. I am especially interested to see whether some clever interpolation is used to improve the captured image quality. You may think FLIR would include such, but not if it endangers sales of the higher resolution cameras in the range ?

Update: To answer my own questions. The E4 is fixed focus. The E4 example thermal pictures on the FLIR web site show no evidence of interpolation enhancement. They are setting definite image quality boundaries in the range.

http://www.flir.com/thermography/americas/us/view/?id=61194&collectionid=830&col=61195 (http://www.flir.com/thermography/americas/us/view/?id=61194&collectionid=830&col=61195)
 

The price in the USA appears significantly cheaper than in the UK. Not sure whether these units could be purchased when visiting the USA and it is unlikely you could purchase one for export without FLIR preventing such.

Having looked at the specs and prices, I believe the E5 would be my budget minded choice as the E4 falls below what I would consider in terms of resolution.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Fraser on October 10, 2013, 05:27:29 am
Nice site.

For years I have used TICs for a very specific task. This site and others that I have seen show how a TIC may also be used for artistic purposes. I shall have to experiment with landscapes and natural rock formations myself. For me, resolution is king. The lower resolution images are fine for diagnostics on houses etc, but the artistic element is lost to the noise, blockiness, and false colour of some pictures.

The monochrome images appear especially effective  :)

Thermal imaging........ Seeing the world in a completely different way  :D

Now to rebuild one of my knackered FLIR battery packs so that I get a decent run time while out and about.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on October 10, 2013, 05:58:01 am
E4 review in case anyone missed the other thread.
Flir E4 Thermal imaging camera review (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C3YksbvYnKY#)
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: nixxon on October 10, 2013, 08:22:13 am
E4 review in case anyone missed the other thread.

Someone may get disturbed as you describe non UK and US mains plugs as part of "...weird, foreign, nonsense,... horrible mains plugs", just as the aussie looking plug is discarded ;)

I use a Fluke TiR that I buyed second hand for about $ 1000, about a year ago. The close up range for the IR part is pretty awesome. 2 cm or something.

The temperature range of the TIR is however pretty limited on the hot side, as it maxes out at >155 Celcius.

Has anyone had any luck using Silicon wafer(s) to bring the temperature readings of hot objects down to within readable temperature limits? Like this wafer on ebay: http://www.ebay.com/itm/In-Spec-8-OD-SILICON-WAFERS-/230354635836 (http://www.ebay.com/itm/In-Spec-8-OD-SILICON-WAFERS-/230354635836)

I wonder if the Narcissus effect will make a big blob in the middle of the image, though. http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/1977SPIE..107...57L (http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/1977SPIE..107...57L)

It should be possible stack these wafers to control the attenuation in steps.

This article is interesting: "Measurements of Sun and Moon with IR Cameras: Effects of Air Mass": http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&frm=1&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&ved=0CCsQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.flir.com%2FWorkArea%2Flinkit.aspx%3FLinkIdentifier%3Did%26ItemID%3D50043%26libID%3D62957&ei=_cJVUsbcL4bkswaDjYHQDw&usg=AFQjCNFvXPBl2eA2kw1bnXS3HPvcG2RCSQ&sig2=w0XcggNzrdIQqZnthlgHUw&bvm=bv.53760139,d.Yms (http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&frm=1&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&ved=0CCsQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.flir.com%2FWorkArea%2Flinkit.aspx%3FLinkIdentifier%3Did%26ItemID%3D50043%26libID%3D62957&ei=_cJVUsbcL4bkswaDjYHQDw&usg=AFQjCNFvXPBl2eA2kw1bnXS3HPvcG2RCSQ&sig2=w0XcggNzrdIQqZnthlgHUw&bvm=bv.53760139,d.Yms)

Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Fraser on October 10, 2013, 09:42:05 am
You just need to identify a commonly available material with attenuating properties at the TIC wavelength. Take a look at the attachment. APL used a combination of an Iris and three sheets of viewgraph plastic sleeve (30% transmissive at LW IR) :)

Do some experimentation with a known heat source (candle) and different attenuator materials. Some Googling should help you find different options.

Look at the section on the camera configuration.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on October 10, 2013, 09:53:42 am
E4 review in case anyone missed the other thread.

The temperature range of the TIR is however pretty limited on the hot side, as it maxes out at >155 Celcius.
If your circuit is hitting 155C it probably doesn't matter how much hotter it's actually getting!
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on October 10, 2013, 10:03:08 am
The price in the USA appears significantly cheaper than in the UK. Not sure whether these units could be purchased when visiting the USA and it is unlikely you could purchase one for export without FLIR preventing such.
All the UK places I found had exactly the same price, apart from Rapid which was more expensive (unusual for them!) and no stock. Probably too new a product to be seeing discounts yet, especially at the lower end.
Wouldn't be surprised to see some discounted i3's being cleared out soon.
AFAIUI the only restriction on 9fps is you can't take them to DurkaDurkastan or other specified terrist countries, whereas >9fps needs an export license ($xxx) and the end-user to sign some sort of paperwork when sold within the country.
I don't think there would be issues bringing Ex series from US to a non-dodgy country.   
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: iceisfun on October 10, 2013, 07:30:44 pm
E4 review in case anyone missed the other thread.

The temperature range of the TIR is however pretty limited on the hot side, as it maxes out at >155 Celcius.
If your circuit is hitting 155C it probably doesn't matter how much hotter it's actually getting!

When this circuit rises 88C/sec your going to see some serious shit...
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: nixxon on October 11, 2013, 12:35:42 am
You just need to identify a commonly available material with attenuating properties at the TIC wavelength. Take a look at the attachment. APL used a combination of an Iris and three sheets of viewgraph plastic sleeve (30% transmissive at LW IR) :)

Do some experimentation with a known heat source (candle) and different attenuator materials. Some Googling should help you find different options.

Look at the section on the camera configuration.

Thanks for the file. I'll probably need quite a few layers of plastic, before pointing the TIC at the sun. Maybe I can find some suitable aperture from a discarded SLR lens to put in front of the TIC lens.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Fraser on October 11, 2013, 05:25:43 am
The Mu design team should look at this thread to discover how a real thermal camera is constructed. They may be in for a nasty shock !

http://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/flir-e4-thermal-imaging-camera-review/msg307502/#msg307502 (http://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/flir-e4-thermal-imaging-camera-review/msg307502/#msg307502)

Mike is hopefully going to be able to show the internal parts as well.

When you see the E4 for $1000 you quickly realise that the Mu is dead, even if it did claim higher resolution. The company simply cannot compete with the knowledge that FLIR has of the market.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: EEVblog on October 11, 2013, 04:13:45 pm
When you see the E4 for $1000 you quickly realise that the Mu is dead, even if it did claim higher resolution.

In 9 months Mu haven't even shown a single thermal image. Mu was never alive.

Quote
The company simply cannot compete with the knowledge that FLIR has of the market.

Mu are not a thermal company, they have never produced anything, not even a working prototype to anyone's knowledge.
It's amazing these days how you can do a 3D render, some fancy marketing talk, and somehow, BANG!, you are in the business and being quoted as a product and player by all and sundry.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: vk6zgo on October 11, 2013, 10:12:19 pm
They're the same sort of people that used to advertise "Joan the Wad  the lucky Cornish Piskie "to gullible old fools in the back pages of "Wide World" magazine when I was a kid!
Now they have the wonderful resources of computer graphics & the Internet! ;D

Wasn't it P.T.Barnum who allegedly said:-

"There's a fool born every minute."

and

"Never give a sucker an even break"?
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: mrflibble on October 11, 2013, 10:40:28 pm
Wasn't it P.T.Barnum who allegedly said:-

...

"Never give a sucker an even break"?

No, that was St. Francis of Assisi.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: cyr on October 12, 2013, 03:12:05 am
"Never give a sucker an even break"?

No, that was St. Francis of Assisi.

Well if he did, it was strictly off the record.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: dustout on October 16, 2013, 09:35:25 am
Just got an update:

Quote
Hello All,

First, we'd like to thank you all for your continued support, and apologize again for the delay in our delivery schedule. I know that those of you with experience in startups and especially hardware projects understand just how common it is for small and unexpected issues to arise that inevitably delay the project. For us, our largest delay yet was not caused by a problem, but rather by the huge amount of support and interest that the camera has generated. As we've proceeded, we've been met with much more enthusiasm from parts vendors worldwide and evaluating those opportunities has taken time. That interest has allowed us to source even better parts than we had originally planned, and has allowed us to produce a camera that is not only professional grade, but also very user-friendly.

Right now, our hardware design is complete, and we are working on our image processing software. This is without a doubt the most repetitive and tedious portion of the project. Constant changes to the imaging filter and Non-Uniformity Correction filter in order to produce a truly high quality image. Looking back through the updates, I realize that I may not have made it clear that we have been getting image data from the sensor for quite some time now, and that now we are only clearing up that raw data and saving it as video.

As soon as we have finished the firmware, we will cut the checks and give the manufacturers the go ahead! We can't wait for everyone to start using the camera.

I'll do my best to continue updating with some interesting content as frequently as possible.

Cheers,

-Charles and MuOptics
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on October 16, 2013, 09:52:34 am
Quote
For us, our largest delay yet was not caused by a problem, but rather by the huge amount of support and interest that the camera has generated. As we've proceeded, we've been met with much more enthusiasm from parts vendors worldwide and evaluating those opportunities has taken time.
yeah, right.
Quote
That interest has allowed us to source even better parts than we had originally planned, and has allowed us to produce a camera that is not only professional grade, but also very user-friendly.

how user-unfriendly can a TIC be?
And what exactly does professional grade mean? Working would be a start.
Quote
Right now, our hardware design is complete, and we are working on our image processing software. This is without a doubt the most repetitive and tedious portion of the project.
We don't know what the hell we are doing, so are randomly plonking figures in to see what happens.
Quote
Constant changes to the imaging filter and Non-Uniformity Correction filter in order to produce a truly high quality image.
But still no actual images - put up or shut up. We've all stopped caring.
Quote
Looking back through the updates, I realize that I may not have made it clear that we have been getting image data from the sensor for quite some time now, and that now we are only clearing up that raw data and saving it as video.
And yet still no evidence.
Quote
As soon as we have finished the firmware, we will cut the checks and give the manufacturers the go ahead! We can't wait for everyone to start using the camera.
Has nobody told you ater all this time that you can start production before firmware is finished.

Yawn.

Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: mrflibble on October 16, 2013, 10:18:08 am
Quote
Looking back through the updates, I realize that I may not have made it clear that we have been getting image data from the sensor for quite some time now, and that now we are only clearing up that raw data and saving it as video.
And yet still no evidence.

That made me giggle like a little girl. Those guys are so full of shit, it's hilarious.  ;D

"Yes yes, we know we are behind schedule. We also know our backers are really getting impatient now. This is why, after much thought, we have decided to totally not post any raw image data! But we really have raw image data. We will just not post it, because ppfffrtrtrt plpplpl blblblblbl *brain goes ploop*. Thank you again so much for your patience. suckeeeeers".

Anyone not demanding their money back and/or joining the lynch mob deserves to be conned. sortof. Those updates read like poorly implemented bullet points from the Conman Cookbook, chapter 1.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: cloudscapes on October 16, 2013, 02:02:08 pm
Better and more pro hardware, eh?

So, preparing for the eventual "we bit off more than we can chew with the new expensive hardware and now we have lost everything" update, I guess.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Fraser on October 16, 2013, 09:38:28 pm
This just gets worse and worse.

As all developers know....you build the basic MK1 'without frills' version and sell that to the early adopters who just want a capability at low cost. You then build the MKII Deluxe model using profits from the MK1 sales. This is then followed by the ULTRA version that has all the bells and whistles built onto a well proven platform that has all the bugs pulled out of it.

You do not try to build the ULTRA version first and offer it for sale at rock bottom prices to early adopters  :palm:

If Mu could even build a simple Thermal Camera engine, they could probably sell it for US$200 withut any case, bells or whistles. Just look at the interest in Mikes FLIR E4 tear down. People want the building blocks to make their own TICs. Mu have not a clue what they are doing and from the looks of it, they never had a clue !

As for the latest update.....as Dave would say.... I smell bullsh*t !
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: cloudscapes on October 17, 2013, 01:14:49 am
This just gets worse and worse.

As all developers know....you build the basic MK1 'without frills' version and sell that to the early adopters who just want a capability at low cost. You then build the MKII Deluxe model using profits from the MK1 sales. This is then followed by the ULTRA version that has all the bells and whistles built onto a well proven platform that has all the bugs pulled out of it.

You do not try to build the ULTRA version first and offer it for sale at rock bottom prices to early adopters  :palm:

It may be the tinfoil hat on my head, but this is why I feel as if this latest development is just a set up for a project failure update. I've seen that kind of "tactic" on a different kickstarter campaign for a video game last year (of which they were exposed, wish I could remember what it was exactly).

Then again, maybe I'm paranoid.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: mrflibble on October 17, 2013, 02:20:41 am
It may be the tinfoil hat on my head, but this is why I feel as if this latest development is just a set up for a project failure update.
It read exactly like this.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: EEVblog on October 17, 2013, 02:36:04 am
As for the latest update.....as Dave would say.... I smell bullsh*t !

Most people with any sort of clue smelled BS many months and many updates ago.
This latest update is stunning, Mu have excelled themselves again!
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: rolycat on October 17, 2013, 02:38:00 am
We can all stop worrying - the Mu thermal imager is now available, and it really does look like a professional bit of gear:

http://www.flir.com/cvs/americas/en/maritime/view/?id=59700 (http://www.flir.com/cvs/americas/en/maritime/view/?id=59700)

 :)
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Fraser on October 17, 2013, 02:52:24 am
When Mu eventually dies it would be great if an investigation revealed the true state of the 'prototype' and showed pitures of it. This forum contains many who would be able to analyse and cost the works carried out to date. I doubt they would be impressed !

I would like to see the inexpensive detector for a start !

I am not clear as to what consequences Mu may face if they fold. I presume investment in such a project is considred speculation, and so prone to failure. Fraud would need to be proven so maybe the updates are just an attempt to give the appearance of 'every effort was made to deliver'. It would be nice to see these guys exposed  as numpties to prevent them repeating this sort of mess again in the future.

Then again, we don't want the rantings of an unhappy investor on a 'holy war' , the likes of which we witnessed  here in connetion with some weird Solar collectors  :scared:
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: mrflibble on October 17, 2013, 03:20:11 am
Then again, we don't want the rantings of an unhappy investor on a 'holy war' , the likes of which we witnessed  here in connetion with some weird Solar collectors  :scared:

Heh, you mean the one that wrote like a teenager suffering from Adderall withdrawal?

Anyways, fat chance of an after the facts investigation. No doubt when the time comes the cat's eaten it. And then the house caught fire. And exploded from those gas leaks. And then fell down a sink hole. Also, all the off-site backups have been hacked by malicious h4x0rz that had a grudge against those nice Mu people.

We can only hope the cat escapes all of this unharmed. :)
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Fraser on October 17, 2013, 03:43:19 am
 :-DD

I LUV CATS
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: EEVblog on October 17, 2013, 10:31:01 am
I am not clear as to what consequences Mu may face if they fold. I presume investment in such a project is considred speculation, and so prone to failure.

Bingo.
Mu don't have to answer for squat if they don't want to. People invested money in Mu's dream and they failed.

Quote
Fraud would need to be proven so maybe the updates are just an attempt to give the appearance of 'every effort was made to deliver'.

I don't think there is any law that says you have to be competent and efficient in the business you are in. It's trivial to show that some work was done, and you blew all the time and money on that.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: MacAttak on October 17, 2013, 11:13:09 am
Not sure why he bothers to still write "updates". Anyone with a clue has long since gotten a refund, the rest will just sit there patiently asking for updates but never actually doing anything about it, probably for years.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Stonent on October 17, 2013, 06:32:41 pm
E4 review in case anyone missed the other thread.

Someone may get disturbed as you describe non UK and US mains plugs as part of "...weird, foreign, nonsense,... horrible mains plugs", just as the aussie looking plug is discarded ;)

I just watched the video and caught that.  I dunno maybe I'm just trying too hard but every once in a while I see little jabs or indirect references to Dave  in the videos. "DaveCAD Pirate Edition" or the DaveCAD with the scribbling through it.

(http://i.imgur.com/ZRbEaIN.jpg)
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: PA0PBZ on October 17, 2013, 06:55:18 pm
..."DaveCAD Pirate Edition"...

I think that's just funny, and I would be surprised if Dave was not amused too.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: EEVblog on October 17, 2013, 07:23:08 pm
I think that's just funny, and I would be surprised if Dave was not amused too.

Sure, I get a chuckle every time, it never gets old  :-+
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: ixfd64 on October 18, 2013, 03:17:31 am
There does seem to be some pictures here: http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/mu-thermal-camera-a-great-tool-to-save-on-energy-costs?c=gallery (http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/mu-thermal-camera-a-great-tool-to-save-on-energy-costs?c=gallery)
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Rasz on October 18, 2013, 03:59:56 am
There does seem to be some pictures here: http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/mu-thermal-camera-a-great-tool-to-save-on-energy-costs?c=gallery (http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/mu-thermal-camera-a-great-tool-to-save-on-energy-costs?c=gallery)

yes there are, at first they uploaded 600 x 456 images taken with a professional camera, then they uploaded thermal image movie THROUGH A GLASS apartment window (that got taken down immediatelly after someone spotted it, and  re dubbed with a disclaimer explaining its just a 'visualization oh how its gonna look like once its working').
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: AndyC_772 on October 18, 2013, 04:04:42 am
He does say in the voice-over that it's simulated data.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Rasz on October 18, 2013, 06:40:51 am
He does say in the voice-over that it's simulated data.

Ist it what I wrote? They originally uploaded it as a legit 'look its working' without any voice overs, then someone laughed his ass of in the comments and they quickly took it down.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: tom66 on October 18, 2013, 07:57:12 am
Also the bit about it being simulated is obviously added in later, the sound is completely different.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: ixfd64 on October 18, 2013, 03:30:35 pm
I've been following this company for a while. I was really looking forward to the release of their product, but I'm also starting to have doubts per the reasons given by other posters. I have a bad feeling that this may all be just an elaborate scam, but I hope I'm wrong!
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: EEVblog on October 18, 2013, 03:38:17 pm
I have a bad feeling that this may all be just an elaborate scam, but I hope I'm wrong!

At the very least they are just (obviously) completely clueless at design and manufacture.
But either way the result is the same for the backers, it's almost certainly never going to happen.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Corporate666 on October 18, 2013, 04:30:46 pm
I've been following this company for a while. I was really looking forward to the release of their product, but I'm also starting to have doubts per the reasons given by other posters. I have a bad feeling that this may all be just an elaborate scam, but I hope I'm wrong!

With due respect to you, how can you just be "starting" to have doubts? 

They are months behind.

The have shown nothing.

They do not address comments and haven't for months.

They do not even bother showing any progress anymore.  Just useless text, delivered late and far beyond their committed dates for updating their backers.

I'm amazed anyone is still on board with this project.  Curious what makes you feel it has any credibility or had any for the past few months?
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: sleemanj on October 18, 2013, 05:10:21 pm
Curious what makes you feel it has any credibility or had any for the past few months?

When people have invested money (or time, ideas...) in something they tend to rationalise away the signs of failure (there is a name for this effect, but I just can't think of it, sort of a confirmation bias), to cling onto the hope that they have not lost their money/been taken for a ride.

It can take quite a lot to get some people to realise that a project has gone bad.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: ElectroIrradiator on October 18, 2013, 06:27:14 pm
When people have invested money (or time, ideas...) in something they tend to rationalise away the signs of failure (there is a name for this effect, but I just can't think of it, sort of a confirmation bias), to cling onto the hope that they have not lost their money/been taken for a ride.

It can take quite a lot to get some people to realise that a project has gone bad.
Cognitive dissonance (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cognitive_dissonance).
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: EEVblog on October 18, 2013, 08:04:12 pm
With due respect to you, how can you just be "starting" to have doubts? 

Some backers were starting to have doubts back in March, a couple of weeks before the campaign even finished, hence this thread being started.
So it's been 7 months of doubt upon doubt.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Rasz on October 19, 2013, 02:29:12 am
When people have invested money (or time, ideas...) in something they tend to rationalise away the signs of failure (there is a name for this effect, but I just can't think of it, sort of a confirmation bias), to cling onto the hope that they have not lost their money/been taken for a ride.

It can take quite a lot to get some people to realise that a project has gone bad.
Cognitive dissonance (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cognitive_dissonance).

more specifically choice supportive bias
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Post-purchase_rationalization (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Post-purchase_rationalization)
btw this is the main reason for fanboism.

Edit: Good conman will not only convince you that it was excellent investment, they will double down using escalation of commitment. For example "we ran out of money, but we are 95% of the way, we will deliver if you could only invest additional $XX". Whats additional XX when you already spend 3x XX, right?
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: EEVblog on October 19, 2013, 06:29:32 pm
Edit: Good conman will not only convince you that it was excellent investment, they will double down using escalation of commitment. For example "we ran out of money, but we are 95% of the way, we will deliver if you could only invest additional $XX". Whats additional XX when you already spend 3x XX, right?

That's how the Nigerian scams work. Contrary to popular belief they don't "clean out" your bank account, they go to extraordinary lengths to convince you that you are only "one step" away from getting a vast amount of money. So you keep piling in the money because you are so committed and they make a very convincing story each time they ask for more money for just this last time  ::)
A classic "confidence trick", hence the saying "con", "con job" etc.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confidence_trick (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confidence_trick)
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: rolycat on October 19, 2013, 09:52:07 pm
Edit: Good conman will not only convince you that it was excellent investment, they will double down using escalation of commitment. For example "we ran out of money, but we are 95% of the way, we will deliver if you could only invest additional $XX". Whats additional XX when you already spend 3x XX, right?

That's how the Nigerian scams work. Contrary to popular belief they don't "clean out" your bank account, they go to extraordinary lengths to convince you that you are only "one step" away from getting a vast amount of money. So you keep piling in the money because you are so committed and they make a very convincing story each time they ask for more money for just this last time  ::)

It's a particularly cruel and horrible crime since it can be devastating not only for the victims, who are often elderly and confused, but also for their families.

My uncle was sucked in by these vultures, and the more his friends and family tried to stop him the more convinced he became that it was them who were conspiring to prevent him from getting his rightful rewards. Having alienated him from his family, they sold his details to other scumbags who drained the rest of his life savings.

Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: MFX on October 20, 2013, 04:25:59 am
Edit: Good conman will not only convince you that it was excellent investment, they will double down using escalation of commitment. For example "we ran out of money, but we are 95% of the way, we will deliver if you could only invest additional $XX". Whats additional XX when you already spend 3x XX, right?

That's how the Nigerian scams work. Contrary to popular belief they don't "clean out" your bank account, they go to extraordinary lengths to convince you that you are only "one step" away from getting a vast amount of money. So you keep piling in the money because you are so committed and they make a very convincing story each time they ask for more money for just this last time  ::)

It's a particularly cruel and horrible crime since it can be devastating not only for the victims, who are often elderly and confused, but also for their families.

My uncle was sucked in by these vultures, and the more his friends and family tried to stop him the more convinced he became that it was them who were conspiring to prevent him from getting his rightful rewards. Having alienated him from his family, they sold his details to other scumbags who drained the rest of his life savings.

Hangings too good for that sort of scumbag yet these sort's of crimes are somehow seen as far less serious (when it comes to sentencing etc.) than murder or armed robbery yet I think it's easily in the same league. There's a group round my way at the moment targeting the elderly for bank card fraud the Police are onto it and issuing warnings, it's the specific "targeting the elderly" thing that makes me sick.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: andersm on October 20, 2013, 04:56:17 am
Hangings too good for that sort of scumbag yet these sort's of crimes are somehow seen as far less serious (when it comes to sentencing etc.) than murder or armed robbery yet I think it's easily in the same league.
Are you a Daily Mail subscriber?
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: rolycat on October 20, 2013, 05:34:06 am
Hangings too good for that sort of scumbag yet these sort's of crimes are somehow seen as far less serious (when it comes to sentencing etc.) than murder or armed robbery yet I think it's easily in the same league.
Are you a Daily Mail subscriber?

Perhaps if a vulnerable member of your family had been reduced to penury and paranoid distrust of the people who loved him you might be less sympathetic?

Everyone is revolted when thugs beat up and steal from elderly people directly, but somehow when they steal their entire livelihood and destroy their lives through psychological manipulation, the crime is seen as excusable.

I have no desire to see the return of the death penalty in Britain, but I would agree that the punishment for 'white collar' crimes such as fraud and deception should reflect the harm done to the victims rather more than it does at present.


 


 
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: andersm on October 20, 2013, 06:01:02 am
Perhaps if a vulnerable member of your family had been reduced to penury and paranoid distrust of the people who loved him you might be less sympathetic?
Call me old-fashioned, but I still think murder is a bit worse. (Going way off-topic, so I'll end this sub-thread here.)
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: MFX on October 20, 2013, 07:42:23 am
Just for the record I can't stand the Daily Mail (or most other newspapers for that matter) either. I prefer to form my own opinions rather than be slowly brainwashed.

Martin.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: dustout on October 26, 2013, 07:23:59 am
In response to the Flir E4 teardown linked to a page or so back I'd love to see Mike dig into that more.  The startup logs dumped showed some promising stuff about the down-sampling of the higher resolution sensor and "capping" of features in the higher-end models.  It was be pretty cool to be able to hack an upgrade into an existing unit.  Of course they may not have made that easy to do.  I have an i3 though which I recently purchased so even if the E4 was potentially hackable it may not work the same on my unit.  Very interesting though.

These Mu guys certainly would never be able to pull off anything near the complexity needed to make this happen; not that they ever realistically could... they are just playing off people not knowing how tough this is and it's quite obvious if people were paying a little attention and not trying to convince themselves otherwise... :)
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on October 26, 2013, 07:29:31 am
In response to the Flir E4 teardown linked to a page or so back I'd love to see Mike dig into that more.  The startup logs dumped showed some promising stuff about the down-sampling of the higher resolution sensor and "capping" of features in the higher-end models.  It was be pretty cool to be able to hack an upgrade into an existing unit.  Of course they may not have made that easy to do.  I have an i3 though which I recently purchased so even if the E4 was potentially hackable it may not work the same on my unit.  Very interesting though.

These Mu guys certainly would never be able to pull off anything near the complexity needed to make this happen; not that they ever realistically could... they are just playing off people not knowing how tough this is and it's quite obvious if people were paying a little attention and not trying to convince themselves otherwise... :)

You're a bit late to the party - check the teardown thread. E4 has been hacked this morning, i series highly likely to be hackable, probably enough in to in the thread to figure it out.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: ixfd64 on November 03, 2013, 10:13:41 am
Anyone else seen the latest comments at the Indiegogo page? They're hilarious.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Alex on November 03, 2013, 11:03:03 am
Meter      m    Length
Kilogram   kg    Mass
Second   s    Time
Mu            s^21  Time (commonly used in cosmology)   
Ampere   A    Electric current
Kelvin   K    Thermodynamic temperature
Mole           mol    Amount of substance
Candela   cd    Luminous intensity

 ;)
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: EEVblog on November 05, 2013, 10:13:20 am
And this:
https://medium.com/p/c00da75ae6ae
Were backers still cling to hope that Mu will actually produce anything.

Quote
they are continuing development in the face of substantial negativity

Hmm, when was the last time the backers saw any actual evidence of development? - it was 4 months ago when they showed a development PCB  :palm:
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Jay_Diddy_B on November 05, 2013, 10:34:54 am
Hi,
It has been 3 weeks since an update from Mu Optics.

I think it is time to move the project to IndieNoGo  ;D

Jay_Diddy_B
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Corporate666 on November 05, 2013, 10:35:08 am
And this:
https://medium.com/p/c00da75ae6ae
Were backers still cling to hope that Mu will actually produce anything.

Quote
they are continuing development in the face of substantial negativity

Hmm, when was the last time the backers saw any actual evidence of development? - it was 4 months ago when they showed a development PCB  :palm:

I would never wish anyone to get scammed out of their money, but the mindset that leads to the type of reasoning in that website boggles my mind.  He says the updates have become more realistic?  They haven't actually given any real information at all.  Mu is bordering on "fallen off the face of the earth" levels of communication.  Their weekly updates are now monthly updates which are quick one-two paragraphs regurgitating the same "we are continuing to work on blah blah" stuff while giving no new information.

The question I keep coming back to is... IF they are not actually working on the camera at all, or working on it an hour or two per week and achieving pretty much zero progress, would their actions be any different than what we are seeing?  Would their updates be lacking any more detail?  And my answer is no... there is absolutely no difference in what they would be doing/saying if they were not making any progress at all.  And given that any substantive progress would be shouted from the highest rooftops, I conclude they are not making any progress.

Seems obvious to me.  Must be some sort of Stockholm syndrome keeping people on Mu's side here  :-DD
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on November 05, 2013, 10:46:15 am
Hi,
It has been 3 weeks since an update from Mu Optics.

I think it is time to move the project to IndieNoGo  ;D

Jay_Diddy_B
IndieDoDo .. where failed projects go to die. RIP.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: EEVblog on November 05, 2013, 10:51:36 am
I think it is time to move the project to IndieNoGo  ;D

Domain taken!
http://www.indienogo.com/ (http://www.indienogo.com/)
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: EEVblog on November 05, 2013, 10:57:59 am
And given that any substantive progress would be shouted from the highest rooftops, I conclude they are not making any progress.

That has been the point from day 1 (which is now more than 9 months ago, + that they claimed to have worked on it before then too).
Given that no thermal image has ever been released, the only conclusion that anyone can come to is that they have never had (and still do not have) any hardware that has ever produced a thermal image.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: EEVblog on November 10, 2013, 02:42:53 pm
As one of the backers pointed out, this is quite likely to be the intended sensor in the Mu:
http://www.ulis-ir.com/uploads/Products/Nano160P-UL02152.pdf (http://www.ulis-ir.com/uploads/Products/Nano160P-UL02152.pdf)
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Jay_Diddy_B on November 16, 2013, 11:10:16 am
Hi,

The time between Mu Optics updates is now measured in months. It has been a month since the last update.

Soon the time between updates will be measured on a Geological timescale. ;D

Jay_Diddy_B
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: EEVblog on November 16, 2013, 11:49:56 am
The time between Mu Optics updates is now measured in months. It has been a month since the last update.

How anyone can still have money in this is beyond me  :-//
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: timb on November 20, 2013, 06:03:15 pm
I just read this thread over the course of a couple of days, it's like binging on a new TV show on Netflix. The point where you catch up to the current season is awfully depressing. I obviously know how this story ends, but still want to see what happens.

My take is that it *was* outright fraud at the start. I think they did some digging, perhaps on Alibaba, saw a thermopile sensor or whatever that was cheap and said, "Hey, we can make those!" The guy is in video editing, so a slick presentation was easy. I'm sure they intended to produce something, but once the campaign finished they started to realize it wasn't quite as easy as they had thought and BOM costs shot up quickly.

The fraud comes in because they flat out told people they knew what they were doing and had a working prototype in hand when they had nothing. Despite the image of the prototype, I seriously doubt they're getting useable images out of the sensor even at this point. If they did, it would have been the first thing they'd have posted.

As others have pointed out, the updates have been getting spaced out longer each time. This is actually a tactic some of these failed projects use, as people tend not to notice updates taking a week longer each time and at a certain point,, they just cease. By this time a lot of people have forgotten about the project. This generally isn't so much about running away with the money (as the money is normally long spent) as it is having an easy way out for people like this who get in over their heads.

Delays are to be expected in a project, even people who have produced similar products before, like Pebble. (They shipped 6 months past their deadline and just now have iOS Notifications working, better late than never though.)

As for the backers still hanging on, it takes a special level of cognitive dissonance to still support this project with nothing but a few updates, two fake videos and one picture of a dev board. Frankly, they deserve to lose their $200.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Rasz on November 21, 2013, 02:45:53 pm
Frankly, they deserve to lose their $200.

This is why >95% (or more) of fraud is NEVER EVER reported. People that got conned are too ashamed.
In reality this looked doable for anyone without electronics background.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Sparkey_500 on November 27, 2013, 01:39:38 pm
I requested a refund on the 20/11 and received it on the 27/11.
I got an response from them within 24 hours confirming my refund request.
I originally paid $150 USD at the time was $149.06 AUD
Now with my $150 USD i have $160.38 AUD

Profit.  :)
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: mrflibble on November 27, 2013, 02:58:55 pm
Good to know you got a refund. :) So now you can put that $150++ into a Flir E4 (http://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/flir-e4-thermal-imaging-camera-teardown/). At least that is 320x240 non-vaporware. ;)
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: EEVblog on November 27, 2013, 04:07:53 pm
I can't wait for the next update!
They are running out of excuses now, as the last one said just a bit more work on the firmware and they will be cutting cheques, and that was a month ago...
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: cloudscapes on November 29, 2013, 04:29:13 am
Better and more pro hardware, eh?

So, preparing for the eventual "we bit off more than we can chew with the new expensive hardware and now we have lost everything" update, I guess.

Calling it.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: notzippy on December 11, 2013, 08:22:21 am
So after two months a  :=\ update...
Quote
Hello all,

It's been a very busy month, but we are excited to say that we are nearly there. We've got a new prototype board which works great, a fantastic final case design (one of the causes of our recent delays), and are finishing up the rest of our partnership and manufacturing deals. Along with this update we will be posting a video rendering of the new case(we haven't received the prototype cases yet or we would be posting pictures).

We know that there has been a lot of frustration with how little we've been able to share with you all, and with the project delays, and we do feel very bad about this. We really do wish we could have included you more in the development process, but in the process of designing the final camera, we have been held under several non-disclosure agreements which have limited how much we can put out in the public

domain.

We would like to thank you all for your patience. While it is common for technology projects to run over schedule, we know how frustrating that can be for early backers. One of our main goals now is finalizing a production and distribution schedule and providing you with a sense of when you'll be receiving your cameras. Over the next few weeks we look forward to giving you more information as we prepare to manufacture and deliver the cameras to our supporters.

Cheers,

The MuOptics Team.

And lets all bring in the new year with some fantastic wishes...

Nz
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: EEVblog on December 11, 2013, 08:34:49 am
Latest update:
Quote
Hello all,
It's been a very busy month, but we are excited to say that we are nearly there. We've got a new prototype board which works great, a fantastic final case design (one of the causes of our recent delays), and are finishing up the rest of our partnership and manufacturing deals. Along with this update we will be posting a video rendering of the new case(we haven't received the prototype cases yet or we would be posting pictures).
We know that there has been a lot of frustration with how little we've been able to share with you all, and with the project delays, and we do feel very bad about this. We really do wish we could have included you more in the development process, but in the process of designing the final camera, we have been held under several non-disclosure agreements which have limited how much we can put out in the public domain.
We would like to thank you all for your patience. While it is common for technology projects to run over schedule, we know how frustrating that can be for early backers. One of our main goals now is finalizing a production and distribution schedule and providing you with a sense of when you'll be receiving your cameras. Over the next few weeks we look forward to giving you more information as we prepare to manufacture and deliver the cameras to our supporters.
Cheers,
The MuOptics Team.

Still nothing to show!  :palm:
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: sleemanj on December 11, 2013, 08:36:58 am
Quote
Along with this update we will be posting a video rendering of the new case(we haven't received the prototype cases yet or we would be posting pictures).

Quote
Charles McGrath posted an announcement 4 months ago... We have been in design and manufacturing discussions with several case manufacturers over the last few months

Quote
Charles McGrath posted an announcement 6 months ago...
Sorry for the delayed update again, it’s been a very busy week here. We received new case models, and have been discussing slight changes now that we’ve actually been able to hold the new models with the new materials.

Quote
Charles McGrath posted an announcement 6 months ago...
Sorry for the long silence. It’s been an incredibly busy week. New PCBs, new cases, new equipment.

Quote
Charles McGrath posted an announcement 7 months ago... As we work to get the case and body of the imager finalized, we have come up with a few slight modifications to the body that we are currently considering. If those ideas go anywhere, I’ll try to post pictures of the possible changes down the road.

Quote
John McGrath posted an announcement 7 months ago...
 Machining a final case prototype takes days, not weeks. The engineer in charge of that is also quick and responsive.


Those McGrath boys sure are hard case.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on December 11, 2013, 09:17:48 am
Quote from: notzippy link=topic=14867.msg345379#msg345379
We really do wish we could have included you more in the development process, but in the process of designing the final camera, we have been held under several non-disclosure agreements which have limited how much we can put out in the public

NDA's from who exactly ?

Just more pathetic  blatent LIES
Give up now guys. nobody believes a word you say. Admit you're sunk.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: M. András on December 11, 2013, 09:30:38 am
jesus machining a prototype case for days? hand carved or wtf? max done in few hours at top with details you wont even notice
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: EEVblog on December 11, 2013, 09:47:02 am
I don't even know why they even bother with such updates. It's just always the same that only enrages the backers with pitchforks.
This time they just threw in mention that they have a new prototype PCB. WTF? didn't they have that finished last time?, and the time before that? And still no pictures or images from it or any previous prototype board they have mentioned, and it's been like a year now since they have started work on this thing.
And they want people to actually think that they are almost ready to manufacture and ship units? I'll give them one thing, that's first class brazenness.
Now they may show a case rendering, you mean like the ones you've had before and haven't shown?
As backers have pointed out since day one, NDA's don't stop you showing cases, or images or video from the camera, or prototype boards. They could have shown the whole she-bang from day one.

Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: fcb on December 11, 2013, 10:16:33 am
I seem to remember a 'johnny is in the corner tweaking the bias voltages to get the best picture" or something like that in a much earlier update...
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: timb on December 11, 2013, 10:53:39 am
As a master bullshitter myself, I have to say, this is all 100% USDA choice bullshit. It's not even very good bullshit either, as they keep repeating the same thing over and over. These guys aren't spin doctors, more like spin med students.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: okent on December 11, 2013, 12:33:57 pm
Well, I happen to be one of those early backers and from day one I knew it was a long shot.
The money involved is small and I waste more on a single shooting range trip.
I also am one of the guys who has benefited from the work of Mike and others who hacked the E4.  That was a gamble of 4X as much as I put into the Mu fiasco but was a huge payoff(the gamble was me being able to apply the hack without bricking the camera 8)

I've seen this play out in the gun industry.  A company promises a lot for a little and stalls to get people to drop out.  There is a magic number that have to drop off before they can go forward without loosing their shirts and they will wait until that number is reached.
The up side is that if/when they deliver I get a tiny thermal unit that I can tuck in my shirt pocket that was dirt cheap.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: cloudscapes on December 11, 2013, 01:35:02 pm
So they can be bothered to put out a video rendering of wha tthe case will look like, but no sample thermal pictures, or anything.

And they expect people to believe them how exactly?

This isn't even a scam anymore, because scams imply secrets and deception. Their bullshit is right out in the open, unhidden.

If this turns out to actually be real a couple months from now, I will shit a brick.  :-DD
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: BravoV on December 11, 2013, 01:37:16 pm
So they can be bothered to put out a video rendering of wha tthe case will look like, but no sample thermal pictures, or anything.

And they expect people to believe them how exactly?

What ? Believe ? They just need people's money, not their believe.  >:D
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Corporate666 on December 11, 2013, 05:04:55 pm
I've seen this play out in the gun industry.  A company promises a lot for a little and stalls to get people to drop out.  There is a magic number that have to drop off before they can go forward without loosing their shirts and they will wait until that number is reached.
The up side is that if/when they deliver I get a tiny thermal unit that I can tuck in my shirt pocket that was dirt cheap.

I don't really understand the reasoning behind this.

The only reason I can imagine for wanting people to drop out would be if the cost to produce each unit exceeded the money raised per unit.  But in that case, they could just refund people, or be up front with people.  Being deceitfully dishonest to willfully make people angry enough to demand a refund but not dishonest enough to just not come through on the project just doesn't make sense, especially since they are not obligated to actually deliver, they are merely obligated to try to deliver, or return any unused funds.

At this point, do you honestly believe there is any hope that they might deliver anything at any point?  I am curious what you have seen that makes you think so?  I have seen nothing.  The original images were from a commercial thermal camera, and everything since then has shown absolutely nothing at all.  I could have shown more from my junk-pile of old R&D PCB's than Mu has shown.  What are you seeing that I am not?  Or are you seeing it strictly as a gamble?  Seems a hell of a gamble through... if money is so easy to spend, why not just see if it comes to fruition and buy it at retail?

Just curious, don't mean to sound confrontational.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: EEVblog on December 11, 2013, 05:23:05 pm
At this point, do you honestly believe there is any hope that they might deliver anything at any point?  I am curious what you have seen that makes you think so?  I have seen nothing. 

They did post two photos of the supposed prototype, but it was a just dev board of some kind, nothing like a final PCB. But maybe that gave some people hope it was tangible?
But that was 3-4 months after the end of the campaign, and now 5+ months ago.
They claim to have at least two boards since that time, but have not shown those. Why they would show a dev board and not a final prototype board is unfathomable. A thermal image even more unfathomable, because they claim to have been producing such an image for at least the last couple of months.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: firewalker on December 12, 2013, 01:35:48 am
This is a thermal image of the Mµ camera.

(http://i.imgur.com/00Kfcjd.jpg)

Alexander.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Rasz on December 12, 2013, 01:39:47 am
I've seen this play out in the gun industry.  A company promises a lot for a little and stalls to get people to drop out.  There is a magic number that have to drop off before they can go forward without loosing their shirts and they will wait until that number is reached.

How exactly does that work? Whats the play here? Magic number of pissed off customers that will NEVER buy your brand again?
There is no business case to do so. You either sell at a loss, or you make people believe you are a scammy company - NO GAIN either way.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: iceisfun on December 12, 2013, 04:39:24 am
The worst of this kind of vaporware & stalling I've ever seen is the Turbo Kit industry

Too many people think its so easy to weld up a few headers and a down pipe, why not take peoples money in advance and as time goes on they fail and fail, even with a working shop car.

Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: London Lad on December 12, 2013, 06:59:44 am
I was one of the first funders on this one but soon smelled a rat once the 'update bullshitting' started.

Fortunately I got my money back.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: EEVblog on December 12, 2013, 08:37:02 am
There is no business case to do so. You either sell at a loss, or you make people believe you are a scammy company - NO GAIN either way.

They could also have funding some somewhere else (I think they mentioned trying that early on?), so maybe they just don't give two hoots about the indiegogo money and backers and now have some other agenda and schedule perhaps?
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Rasz on December 12, 2013, 09:26:15 am
There is no business case to do so. You either sell at a loss, or you make people believe you are a scammy company - NO GAIN either way.

They could also have funding some somewhere else (I think they mentioned trying that early on?), so maybe they just don't give two hoots about the indiegogo money and backers and now have some other agenda and schedule perhaps?

Its possible they are trying to scam some VC company now and keep indiegogo just as a PR facade.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: okent on December 12, 2013, 11:26:50 am
Corporate666,
Yes, I view this as a straight up gamble.

Rasz,
I don't think they intended for this to turn into a hairball but that's what happened.  There comes a point where the lightbulb comes on and the company figures out how to keep their shirt.  They calculate that the people who get fed up with this and go away are a small number of the final potential customer base.

Just google Shrike beltfed delay and do a little digging.  People that were initial depositors waited for over a decade for the first units and they plopped down $1000 each, some $2500.(no joke)  The company took the worst black eye you could imagine from this but are still in business and selling product.

We'll see how this plays out.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: EEVblog on December 12, 2013, 11:41:25 am
Its possible they are trying to scam some VC company now and keep indiegogo just as a PR facade.

Well, they are refunding almost everyone who asks it seems, and they don't seem concerned, in fact they seem to be encouraging it, so it's likely they have another funding source.
To me this doesn't seem like an actual crowd funding scam, with the intention to have always delivered nothing.  I think they are working on something, but are just absolutely clueless at it, and they don't give two hoots about the indiegogo backers money or their concerns because they have alternative money and likely another agenda.
At this point, that seems like the most plausible explanation to me.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: okent on December 12, 2013, 12:50:09 pm
I agree.  Money isn't the problem for them right now, for whatever reason.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Kean on December 12, 2013, 03:02:40 pm
I'm still a financial backer of muOptics.  I don't hold much hope for a quality product, but I do think they will ship something eventually.
I was willing to take the risk at the start, and didn't believe the original estimated ship date.
I guess can't see any point now in trying to get a refund, and I think I've already earnt most of my pledge back in terms of amusement (and frustration!).
They actually adjusted the specifications late in the kickstarter campaign, so the upper temperature limit makes it less useful than what I really wanted.

Kean
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Hypernova on December 13, 2013, 03:43:52 am
If this turns out to actually be real a couple months from now, I will shit a brick.  :-DD

If anything is ever released at all there will be enough bricks shat to stake another Great Pyramid of Giza tall enough to prick the Moon.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Jay_Diddy_B on December 14, 2013, 02:38:31 pm
Hi,

A new update was posted.

Charles McGrath posted an announcement 2 days ago


Hello All,

I have posted the final case design render in the gallery. This is the case that the cameras will ship in. Once we've received the physical cases we will post photos.

-Cheers





It links to this page:

http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/mu-thermal-camera-a-great-tool-to-save-on-energy-costs?c=gallery (http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/mu-thermal-camera-a-great-tool-to-save-on-energy-costs?c=gallery)

No hardware, just a 3D rendering. To me it doesn't look deep enough behind the lens :-//

Jay_Diddy_B
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: sleemanj on December 14, 2013, 03:43:43 pm
http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/mu-thermal-camera-a-great-tool-to-save-on-energy-costs?c=gallery (http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/mu-thermal-camera-a-great-tool-to-save-on-energy-costs?c=gallery)  No hardware, just a 3D rendering. To me it doesn't look deep enough behind the lens :-//

Yeah, not only do they not show the actual prototype, but they don't even put a real thermal image derived from their product on the rendered screen.

You know why...  BECAUSE IT DOESN'T EXIST.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: codeboy2k on December 14, 2013, 05:35:45 pm
I'm not a backer, and I admit I'm only loosely following the activities of the Mu Imager... but there are plenty of thermal images on the linked page, are they all fakes? ???
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: EEVblog on December 14, 2013, 07:22:45 pm
I'm not a backer, and I admit I'm only loosely following the activities of the Mu Imager... but there are plenty of thermal images on the linked page, are they all fakes? ???

No, they are not fake, they were taken with a real thermal camera, just NOT the Mu camera!
They were taken with a commercial Flir unit and they didn't mention that fact. Only after someone pressured them on it did they reveal that the pictures were taken with a commercial camera.
To this day they have not released a single thermal image from their own camera.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: AndyC_772 on December 14, 2013, 07:40:51 pm
No way is that even a rendering of a "final" case. There's no detail... no fixings or fasteners, no battery door, no labels or recesses for them, no latching mechanism or clips for the phone. It's the sort of image I'd expect to see within the first week of a project, not the last.

Only a complete moron would send off CAD data to have "cases" (plural) made these days without at least doing a 3d print first... if they can't even show a photo of that, then it's all the more evident that they have nothing.

I think I might set up a web store selling torches and pitchforks. Send me £35 and I'll send you your very own personalised 'angry mob' kit - as soon as they're ready, of course. First 100 backers get a free pickaxe with their names engraved on the handles.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: EEVblog on December 14, 2013, 07:54:07 pm
I think I might set up a web store selling torches and pitchforks. Send me £35 and I'll send you your very own personalised 'angry mob' kit - as soon as they're ready, of course. First 100 backers get a free pickaxe with their names engraved on the handles.

Put it on Kickstarter or Indiegogo!
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Jay_Diddy_B on December 15, 2013, 12:02:36 am
Hi,

I believe that the image shown in the Mu Optic rendering is not a real thermal image. The image is way to high quality. There is also a 'mistake' in the picture. The storm door would be opaque to infra red imagining.

Here is a picture of my front door. I have a double storm door with glass panels. The picture shows one of the storm doors open and the other door closed. This picture was taken with a Fluke Ti9 120 x 160 resolution camera.

(http://www.eevblog.com/forum/crowd-funded-projects/m-thermal-imager-real-or-fake/?action=dlattach;attach=47426;image)

The picture that is shown in the Mu Optics rendering is John  McGrath's house.

From Google Street View:

(http://www.eevblog.com/forum/crowd-funded-projects/m-thermal-imager-real-or-fake/?action=dlattach;attach=70733;image)

From the rendering:

(http://www.eevblog.com/forum/crowd-funded-projects/m-thermal-imager-real-or-fake/?action=dlattach;attach=70735;image)

Jay_Diddy_B
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: tom66 on December 18, 2013, 10:47:08 am
It has been stated before (uh... after they were caught out) that these were "virtual" images.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Orpheus on January 02, 2014, 02:26:17 pm
And this:
https://medium.com/p/c00da75ae6ae
Were backers still cling to hope that Mu will actually produce anything.

Not meaning to tease you for the typo, but when I read that my mind turned to were-wolves.

I suppose were-backers are ordinary humans who fall under supernatural influence and turn into backers until  some bright dawning turns them back into humans, blinking and wondering what happened.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: ixfd64 on January 08, 2014, 04:36:04 am
FYI: FLIR just announced their own phone-based thermal imager: http://www.flir.com/flirone (http://www.flir.com/flirone)
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: AndyC_772 on January 08, 2014, 05:06:13 am
From the video:

"The thermal images shown are for illustration purposes only and may not have been taken by the camera series depicted"

Where have we seen that before? :-DD
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Lurch on January 08, 2014, 05:13:33 am
From the video:

"The thermal images shown are for illustration purposes only and may not have been taken by the camera series depicted"

Where have we seen that before? :-DD

In every advert ever made anywhere on any medium ever?
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: rolycat on January 08, 2014, 05:52:55 am
Apparently the FLIR ONE will use their new Lepton (http://www.flir.com/lepton) core, which will be made available to other manufacturers. Looks interesting, and is supposedly an order of magnitude cheaper than existing cores, so it could be very disruptive. They are very coy about the resolution, though.

Next update from Mu?

"Oh, no - the Mu hardware was almost ready, but this announcement from FLIR has ruined everything and all our partners have abandoned us  :scared:"
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Fraser on January 08, 2014, 06:04:48 am
That FLIR ONE is how it should be done  :-+  I am amazed at how thin the camera section is ! If it had been another picture by Mu I would have cried FAKE ! but if FLIR are the manufacturer they have the resources needed. Well done FLIR  :)
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: tom66 on January 08, 2014, 10:06:54 am
Very cool  :clap:. Price is OK too, if Lepton is available cheap hopefully a version will be available for Android phones too from other providers (though the device attachment would not be as elegant or simple.)

$349 MSRP, how much of that is sensor BOM? Less than half? A quarter? Pretty impressive if so.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: CanadianAvenger on January 08, 2014, 10:21:04 am
The spec page for the FLIR One does say version(s) for select Android phones will be made available later this year.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: EEVblog on January 08, 2014, 04:58:29 pm
Next update from Mu?
"Oh, no - the Mu hardware was almost ready, but this announcement from FLIR has ruined everything and all our partners have abandoned us  :scared:"

Not at all!
Next update will read:
"Mu is now excited to partner with Flir to develop our unique app for their new Flir ONE camera. We are working hard to bring this new app to market and will have an update by this weekend. We can't wait to get this app into the hands of our backers as soon as possible."

http://www.flir.com/flirone/developer/ (http://www.flir.com/flirone/developer/)
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: CanadianAvenger on January 09, 2014, 12:56:04 am
Looks like the FLIR One is 80x60 for thermal resolution. No word on Frame-rate, but I'd assume 9fps due to export restrictions.

The visible camera on the FLIR One is 640x480, and they claim with that that the thermal resolution is enhanced to 160x120.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Fraser on January 09, 2014, 01:40:12 am
Such resolution 'enhancement' would be very easy with interpolation as shown by the enhancement of digital zoom images on FLIRs other cameras.

The question now is ....why would ANYONE want a Mu when a FLIR is availabe at similar money ?

It was never a serious contender, but now it is even less so.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: BravoV on January 09, 2014, 01:46:44 am
The question now is ....why would ANYONE want a Mu when a FLIR is availabe at similar money ?

The one who no longer can get their money back anymore ?   ::)
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: andtfoot on January 09, 2014, 02:11:11 am
The question now is ....why would ANYONE want a Mu when a FLIR is availabe at similar money ?

The one who no longer can get their money back anymore ?   ::)
But... but... but...
It's alllmost there! They just have to finalise the colour of the case so they can 'cut the checks' (again). ::) :-DD

Everyone knows you can't get thermal images out of a camera if the case is the wrong colour or something... right?
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Corporate666 on January 09, 2014, 03:24:00 am
The FLIR One just eviscerated whatever miniscule chance was left for Mu to ever get anything done or ever make any money. 

This illustrates one of the problems with crowdfunding.  You put an idea out there but you really have no clue how you are going to actually achieve it - so you just put up a bunch of bullshit pie-in-the-sky rendered crap.  Then you get a bunch of money, and you have to figure out how to actually make it.  Someone who knows how to make it and is experienced in making it comes along and kicks your ass, and you come out with an inferior product, months later, and wind up the second to market with a compromised product that is too expensive and doesn't have the first-maker cache.

Happened with Lifx.
Happened with Mu Optics.
Happened with that iPhone stand.
Happened with that USB signal thing.
Happened with countless electronic doo-dads.

Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Rasz on January 09, 2014, 07:12:26 pm
This illustrates one of the problems with crowdfunding

Im confused, why do you think its a problem? Its a feature. Clueless will FAIL almost every single time (unless they pay someone to bail them out).

It might be a problem for clueless backers tho.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: CanadianAvenger on January 09, 2014, 11:37:24 pm
ICYMI

Quote
Hello All,

We are planning on a Friday update this week, but we thought we would quickly speak about the FLIR ONE that was just announced yesterday morning at the Consumer Electronics Show(CES) in Las Vegas.

As we believed when we started this project, the advent of thermal imaging for the consumer marketplace was nearly upon us. The FLIR ONE is an iPhone 5 and 5s thermal imaging case attachment. We've been hearing rumors about this device for a couple of months now, and have been looking forward to seeing exactly what they were developing. Our anticipation of this announcement has of course involved both nervousness and excitement. Having a competing product from a company like FLIR is certainly something that we have been nervous about, however the flip-side to this is that a huge name in infrared imaging has just confirmed our belief that there is a huge market for affordable infrared imaging products.

We see that a few of our supporters have noticed FLIR's press release and have posed a few questions. Let me fill you all in with as much as we know. The FLIR ONE works with only the iPhone 5 and 5s. It has a physical connection to the phone and an incorporated visible light camera that is used to clarify the thermal images. The FLIR ONE is an impressive device that utilizes a brand new sensor that is much, much smaller than previous sensors, either from FLIR or their competitors. This sensor core is called the Lepton Core. The FLIR ONE does not yet have a published spatial resolution or frame rate, however we believe it to be somewhere between 50x50 and 80x80 pixels, with a frame rate around 10fps. FLIR ONE is expected to be available sometime in the spring of 2014.

We are four weeks away from final prototypes with our camera.  We are scheduled to hand over a number of them to distributors both here and overseas in the middle of February.  At that time we believe we'll be very close to mass manufacturing and distribution.   We expect to begin mass production at the beginning of April.

When we first began designing what would become our final product, we had a lot of planning to do. Decision such as what phones and devices we should support, how to move data from the camera to the host device, what sort of features will benefit the most use cases, etc. During that planning phase we designed the camera that you all will be receiving. The Mu Optics camera has many features that we believe will allow us to actively compete with the new FLIR camera even as both products prepare to enter the market. The Mu Optics camera utilizes WiFi, allowing the user to separate the camera from the phone or tablet. This means that it is easy to examine the thermal scene in hard to reach places. The Mu camera will be accessible for those who want to program it for their own purposes. Our camera has an active shutter, has a frame rate greater than 30FPS with higher resolution. The Mu camera works with nearly any device and OS, and will continue to work with any new phone that a user purchases.

As a CNET article from yesterday stated, "Let the thermal games begin."

Thank you all for your patience, it's been a much harder device to develop than we first thought, but we are excited to be nearing the finish line.

Cheers,

-Mu Optics
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Jay_Diddy_B on January 10, 2014, 12:06:42 am
Hi,
It is good to be reassured that the Mu Optics team has not lost faith in their own ability to:

1) Outperform one of the two industries leaders, with huge resources, at their own game.

2) The Mu Optics camera is still on track and only one (magic) month away. They plan on handing over the prototypes to distributors (to hell with their investors  >:D).

3) They say mass production will start in April. :palm:

Only a video, showing the Mu Optics design working will change my mind. If what they are saying is true, they should have no difficulty at all producing a thermal image.



I can only add  :wtf: Wow that's Fantastic !!!

Jay_Diddy_B

Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: BravoV on January 10, 2014, 12:14:11 am

3) They say mass production will start in April. :palm:


Hey ... what with that faceplam smiley doing there ?

They did nothing wrong, just read carefully at their announcement there, they did not mention the "YEAR" ! 

Could be April 2015 or 2016.  >:D So they have nothing to blame there.  :-DD
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Corporate666 on January 10, 2014, 03:59:11 am
This illustrates one of the problems with crowdfunding

Im confused, why do you think its a problem? Its a feature. Clueless will FAIL almost every single time (unless they pay someone to bail them out).

It might be a problem for clueless backers tho.

Well, to clarify, it is a problem for the poor suckers...err, I mean backers :) who believed the creators and put their $$ up, only to be utterly at the mercy and whim of those same creators when the projects drag on for months and months, and/or deliver shoddy products that don't match what was promised.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: dustout on January 10, 2014, 10:17:01 am
They have to wait until the Flir One releases so they can slap that inside a plastic case they've been working on for so long... Re-branded Flir Ones for all?
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: ixfd64 on January 10, 2014, 10:19:20 am
I was thinking the same thing. It'd be hilarious if Mu Optics ends up buying the sensors from FLIR. :P
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on January 10, 2014, 10:28:06 am
Geez - when will these idiots give up and just admit they have nothing. still 4 weeks away from  a proto? WTF have they been doing all this time?
Incidentally I wonder how many of the IGG suckers are outside the US - on the outside chace thay ever get to being able to ship anything, and it's 30FPS as they claim, someone will have a lot of export paperwork to deal with.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Fraser on January 10, 2014, 10:41:53 am
Let us not forget that revolutionary thermal imaging chip that they claim is NOT new, just used in a clever way..... FLIR have gone with a new engine so I would love to know what Mu have actually been playing with all this time. If that is proven to be bogus..... Mu will be shown to have mislead their 'investors' as that is a key component to any such design. If they really did have a radical new idea using an old technology that is cheap, I feel sure they could sell that design on its own without all the crap to connect it to a phone !
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on January 10, 2014, 11:11:15 am
I was thinking the same thing as well. It'd be hilarious if Mu Optics ends up buying the sensors from FLIR. :P
I understand that FLIR have bought at least one sensor manufacturer (ULIS), so it seems likely... Assuming they are actually buying anything from anyone.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: peter.mitchell on January 10, 2014, 01:59:39 pm
Assuming they are actually buying anything from anyone...
Aside from holidays in the Bahamas...
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: FrankBuss on January 10, 2014, 06:46:32 pm
At least looks like the competition helps with the price. You can get a Fluke VT02 for about $600 now, no need to wait some more years for an indiegogo project, and you don't need an iPhone either. I remember that some years ago it started with some k$ for devices from FLIR.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: EEVblog on January 10, 2014, 07:08:01 pm
Incidentally I wonder how many of the IGG suckers are outside the US - on the outside chace thay ever get to being able to ship anything, and it's 30FPS as they claim, someone will have a lot of export paperwork to deal with.

That's what I was thinking. If no other manufacturer can ship greater than 9fps outside the US, how can Mu do it legally? Of course, they almost certainly have nothing to ship anyway, so the whole point is moot.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: EEVblog on January 10, 2014, 07:11:53 pm
Let us not forget that revolutionary thermal imaging chip that they claim is NOT new, just used in a clever way..... FLIR have gone with a new engine so I would love to know what Mu have actually been playing with all this time.

IIRC they claimed to have used sensor that had "been on the market for some time", and that was maybe 7-8 months ago now.
So a low cost 160x120 thermal sensor capable of 30fps, that has been on the market for at least a year, and the only company that has come out with something is Flir, and that uses a new sensor and won't be available for months.
The Mu story is as crusty as it's always been.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Hypernova on January 11, 2014, 01:19:15 am
At least looks like the competition helps with the price. You can get a Fluke VT02 for about $600 now, no need to wait some more years for an indiegogo project, and you don't need an iPhone either. I remember that some years ago it started with some k$ for devices from FLIR.

Given the advent of Flir E4 that price for the VT02 is one digit too much.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: FrankBuss on January 11, 2014, 06:42:28 am
Given the advent of Flir E4 that price for the VT02 is one digit too much.
Where can you get it for $60? At Amazon the Flir E4 costs $995. And the VT02 costs $449.96 at Amazon, even cheaper than what I found first at eBay. I think I should buy one :)
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: ixfd64 on January 11, 2014, 06:47:39 am
I have a feeling the E4 will soon have a price drop as well.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Rasz on January 11, 2014, 10:21:29 am
Incidentally I wonder how many of the IGG suckers are outside the US - on the outside chace thay ever get to being able to ship anything, and it's 30FPS as they claim, someone will have a lot of export paperwork to deal with.

That's what I was thinking. If no other manufacturer can ship greater than 9fps outside the US, how can Mu do it legally? Of course, they almost certainly have nothing to ship anyway, so the whole point is moot.

This whole 'omg ze US reztrictions" is imo whole lot of BS seeing as E4 is manufactured in HungaryEstonia.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: ataradov on January 11, 2014, 10:26:02 am
This whole 'omg ze US reztrictions" is imo whole lot of BS seeing as E4 is manufactured in Hungary?
If company has at least some people employed (even if it is just a sales department or support) in the US, then it falls under the restrictions of ITAR.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Fraser on January 11, 2014, 10:50:25 am
For those unaware, I explained the ITAR situation on fps, and the Estonian built E4 here:

http://www.eevblog.com/forum/reviews/flir-e4-the-useful-information-thread/msg349832/#msg349832 (http://www.eevblog.com/forum/reviews/flir-e4-the-useful-information-thread/msg349832/#msg349832)

It may appear 'out of date' or 'stupid' to some, but it is current and enforceable in law.

Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Hypernova on January 11, 2014, 09:00:14 pm
Given the advent of Flir E4 that price for the VT02 is one digit too much.
Where can you get it for $60? At Amazon the Flir E4 costs $995. And the VT02 costs $449.96 at Amazon, even cheaper than what I found first at eBay. I think I should buy one :)


Even with the reduced price of the VT02 it's bad deal, at double the price you get several orders of magnitude more pixels if you know what to do. I am not suggesting that the E4 is cheap but the VT02 is in a very awkward price bracket the moment E4 became available.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: andtfoot on January 11, 2014, 09:16:26 pm

"Charles McGrath posted an announcement 6 hours ago

Hello All,

It's been a good week, we've gotten great responses from all of our suppliers as they, and we, are redoubling our effort to get the MuOptics camera to market as fast as possible. Everyone is either hard at work or sleeping. Weekends are workdays. Things are progressing rapidly and we are in the stretch run. We're on the schedule as mentioned in the previous update. We're trully gaining a sense of pride in what we are accomplishing. Hang in there, it's right around the corner.

Cheers,

-MuOptics"


Sooooo... yep, same amount of non-information as normal.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: EEVblog on January 11, 2014, 10:41:51 pm
Sooooo... yep, same amount of non-information as normal.

Wow, why do they bother?
And it comes down to the same argument that's being going on for 9 months now after every update. If they are so close, why haven't they ever shown a single thermal image?
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Fraser on January 12, 2014, 02:55:59 am
Reminds me of the long walks my father led us on around the coast of Cornwall...." the end is just around the next corner "....... it never was  :-DD
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: thoenig2 on January 15, 2014, 02:15:33 pm
ICYMI

Quote
Hello All,

We are planning on a Friday update this week, but we thought we would quickly speak about the FLIR ONE that was just announced yesterday morning at the Consumer Electronics Show(CES) in Las Vegas.

As we believed when we started this project, the advent of thermal imaging for the consumer marketplace was nearly upon us. The FLIR ONE is an iPhone 5 and 5s thermal imaging case attachment. We've been hearing rumors about this device for a couple of months now, and have been looking forward to seeing exactly what they were developing. Our anticipation of this announcement has of course involved both nervousness and excitement. Having a competing product from a company like FLIR is certainly something that we have been nervous about, however the flip-side to this is that a huge name in infrared imaging has just confirmed our belief that there is a huge market for affordable infrared imaging products.

We see that a few of our supporters have noticed FLIR's press release and have posed a few questions. Let me fill you all in with as much as we know. The FLIR ONE works with only the iPhone 5 and 5s. It has a physical connection to the phone and an incorporated visible light camera that is used to clarify the thermal images. The FLIR ONE is an impressive device that utilizes a brand new sensor that is much, much smaller than previous sensors, either from FLIR or their competitors. This sensor core is called the Lepton Core. The FLIR ONE does not yet have a published spatial resolution or frame rate, however we believe it to be somewhere between 50x50 and 80x80 pixels, with a frame rate around 10fps. FLIR ONE is expected to be available sometime in the spring of 2014.

We are four weeks away from final prototypes with our camera.  We are scheduled to hand over a number of them to distributors both here and overseas in the middle of February.  At that time we believe we'll be very close to mass manufacturing and distribution.   We expect to begin mass production at the beginning of April.

When we first began designing what would become our final product, we had a lot of planning to do. Decision such as what phones and devices we should support, how to move data from the camera to the host device, what sort of features will benefit the most use cases, etc. During that planning phase we designed the camera that you all will be receiving. The Mu Optics camera has many features that we believe will allow us to actively compete with the new FLIR camera even as both products prepare to enter the market. The Mu Optics camera utilizes WiFi, allowing the user to separate the camera from the phone or tablet. This means that it is easy to examine the thermal scene in hard to reach places. The Mu camera will be accessible for those who want to program it for their own purposes. Our camera has an active shutter, has a frame rate greater than 30FPS with higher resolution. The Mu camera works with nearly any device and OS, and will continue to work with any new phone that a user purchases.

As a CNET article from yesterday stated, "Let the thermal games begin."

Thank you all for your patience, it's been a much harder device to develop than we first thought, but we are excited to be nearing the finish line.

Cheers,

-Mu Optics
[
My company, GTI Predictive technology developed a vibration analyzer, balancer, and alignment on the iPad platform. The MuOptics device would complete our vision to have thermal imaging as well can you or any one help me get in touch with MUOptics? We can help their entry into the predictive/reliability market. We have a software app ready to go.
thoenig2@me.com
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: thoenig2 on January 15, 2014, 02:19:33 pm
Hello all,
My company, GTI Predictive Technology developed a vibration analyzer, balancer, and alignment on the iPad platform. The MuOptics device would complete our vision to have thermal imaging as well. Can you or any one help me get in touch with MUOptics? We can help their entry into the predictive/reliability market. We have a software app ready to go.
thoenig2@me.com

http://www.eevblog.com/forum/Smileys/default/icon_smile_thumbsup.gif (http://www.eevblog.com/forum/Smileys/default/icon_smile_thumbsup.gif)
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: EEVblog on January 15, 2014, 02:36:16 pm
Hello all,
My company, GTI Predictive Technology developed a vibration analyzer, balancer, and alignment on the iPad platform. The MuOptics device would complete our vision to have thermal imaging as well. Can you or any one help me get in touch with MUOptics?

You know their "product" appears to be vaporware, right?
Their contact emails are in the comments section on indiegogo. Good luck!
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Fraser on January 15, 2014, 10:12:26 pm
FLIR One would be a better route to investigate....speak to FLIR, at least they know what they are doing and have a product at a very reasonable price. Work with professionals not a company that has shown itself to be a poor communicator with an apparent loose grip on the real world of thermography. I believe the statement...."I wouldn't touch them with a barge pole" applies.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: thoenig2 on January 17, 2014, 12:57:45 pm
MUOptics does seem to post updates, but no matter how I try and reach their company, I can not get through. I guess this is why this thread was started. I am already aware of Flir's new device and I rely like it. I was more intrigued with MUOptics versatility of working on multiple devices. If I can only get them to contact me or call me back.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: EEVblog on January 17, 2014, 01:28:52 pm
If I can only get them to contact me or call me back.

It seems no one has ever been able to get a call or contact back, except for the eventual refund requests being granted.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: BravoV on January 17, 2014, 02:18:57 pm
It seems no one has ever been able to get a call or contact back, except for the eventual refund requests being granted.

... and hopefully they wont dry up for the refund requests.  ::)
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Rasz on January 17, 2014, 06:20:26 pm
MUOptics does seem to post updates, but no matter how I try and reach their company, I can not get through. I guess this is why this thread was started. I am already aware of Flir's new device and I rely like it. I was more intrigued with MUOptics versatility of working on multiple devices. If I can only get them to contact me or call me back.

Their fake movie effects company had real physical location, but they moved "somewhere" after the crowd funding campaign ;-)
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: EEVblog on February 12, 2014, 02:01:50 pm
So it's almost time for Mu to cough up, based on their post a month ago:
Quote
We are four weeks away from final prototypes with our camera.  We are scheduled to hand over a number of them to distributors both here and overseas in the middle of February.  At that time we believe we'll be very close to mass manufacturing and distribution.   We expect to begin mass production at the beginning of April.

Who going to guess what the next update will be?
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Bored@Work on February 12, 2014, 05:18:02 pm
Who going to guess what the next update will be?

My money is on some part shortage, a supplier let them down, a mysterious software bug, or someone caught the flue.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: firewalker on February 12, 2014, 05:36:48 pm
A solar flare took don their facilities.

Alexander.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: andtfoot on February 12, 2014, 06:00:55 pm
They just found an exciting new source of thermal sensors and need to redesign from scratch... starting with a new prototype of the user interface (or other such irrelevant aspect).
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: pickle9000 on February 12, 2014, 06:03:33 pm
I'm thinking it will be hamster related.

- My pet hamster died and I am in mourning.
- There was a massive hamster attack in the lab 4 techs dead.
- The production facility was overrun by radioactive hamsters
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Corporate666 on February 12, 2014, 06:36:30 pm
You guys are nuts. >:D :-DD

They won't even address the fact that 4 weeks ago, they said they would have their new cases and be virtually done. ::)

The update will say how they continue to work on the electronics, and they have the interface almost done, and that very soon they will be happy to share the latest progress with backers, but they just can't give away quite all the details just yet. ::)

They will the proceed to ignore any and all feedback.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: mrflibble on February 12, 2014, 06:49:35 pm
They will the proceed to ignore any and all feedback.
In which case it's about time they get overrun by radioactive hamsters.

But I think you're probably right, same rehash. Oh but you forget to mention that they will be "really excited" about something or other. You have to be really excited in the update about something, otherwise it's too blatantly obvious that you are just playing for time. Maybe  really excited about some new breakthrough in the field of hamster research. And because of that research now they need a new prototype. Or a new case, because the new hamsters are too big for the old case.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: EEVblog on February 12, 2014, 07:28:53 pm
My money is on some part shortage, a supplier let them down, a mysterious software bug, or someone caught the flue.

Hey, you can't have 4 sucks of the sav!
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: sleemanj on February 12, 2014, 07:39:47 pm
My prediction;

"Hey everybody, really exciting news this month, we took our prototypes [not shown] to some [insert occupation] people and got some great feedback, they really loved it and gave us some excellent suggestions [none will be listed].  As a a result of those discussions we are making a few [unspecified] changes to our case design [they seem to really like cases, as in the carrying case] to make it more [insert adjective] and [another adjective].  We should have those complete in the next few weeks and we will then get new prototypes made!"
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Fraser on February 12, 2014, 11:38:46 pm
Hey guys give Mu a break....it takes time to re-case a FLIR One and change the splash screen to 'Mu Optics' you know  :-DD
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Bored@Work on February 13, 2014, 03:26:44 am
Hey, you can't have 4 sucks of the sav!

Of course I can. It is just like buying four lottery tickets instead of one. And let me get a fifth ticket: Fire in the lab when they heated something up to test the imager prototype.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: EEVblog on March 05, 2014, 09:57:31 am
Sounds like many of the remaining faithful are abandoning ship. Well past the date the date they said they'd be shipping final prototype to their unnamed distributors.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: firewalker on March 06, 2014, 12:16:42 am
Not even an update.  :'( :'( :'(

Alexander.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: EEVblog on March 06, 2014, 10:43:50 pm
Not even an update.  :'( :'( :'(

I miss the updates, they were fun :-(
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: London Lad on March 07, 2014, 03:06:41 am
Yes my moneys on hamsters too  :palm:
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Kean on March 07, 2014, 05:25:45 am
I know things aren't looking good.  So it appears that I (and my money) am a lemming to the end!   |O

But I just don't understand the lack of updates from these guys  :-//
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: mrflibble on March 07, 2014, 06:00:49 am
But I just don't understand the lack of updates from these guys  :-//
You seriously mean that? I am guessing the hamsters escaped the lab, so they are now trying to catch them before they can make a relevant update.

If you still have money in there best ask for a refund pronto. If there's still any refunding to be done that is.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: AndyC_772 on March 07, 2014, 06:09:47 am
But I just don't understand the lack of updates from these guys  :-//
Often the simplest explanation is the correct one.

I would speculate that the Mu team are just not capable of developing this product. They simply lack the technical or commercial skills to do it.

Maybe they started out with the best intentions, but it's obvious that things started going wrong at an early stage and they didn't know how to handle it. Perhaps they were indeed strong-armed into signing a stupidly restrictive NDA, and lacked the ability to anticipate the problems it would cause, or the balls to stand up and say no.

But more likely, IMHO, is that they just plain don't know how to develop the product.

It wouldn't be all that surprising; designing an electronic device from scratch and getting it ready for mass production is *hard*. If it wasn't, any fool could do it, and I'd be out of a job.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Fraser on March 07, 2014, 06:30:24 am
A discussion point at the beginning of this project was how they would be able to offer a thermal sensor and lens combination at the price point stated. The description of the sensor that came from Mu was that it was already commercially available and that they were just using it in a super secret innovative way. That one statement makes or breaks my belief in the Mu team. If they could demonstrate a commercially available, bargain priced sensor, that can do as they claimed they would be opening nup the world of cheap thermal cameras, and liklely make a fortune selling the rights to their innovative use of the sensor. The fact that no one has yet seen this sensor or even its specification leads me to believe they made a serious error in their technical planning and likely found out that their innovative use of the sensor didn't work. At that point they should have come clean with the backers. I remain to be convinced that Mu ever had such an affordable sensor working in any way like a thermal camera.

With the news of the FLIR ONE Mu may as well pack up their bags and find a new project anyway.

It was always destined to end as a car wreck as the naivety of the Mu team was evident from their initial claims and unit price point. Nice graphics, plenty of 'spin' and no substance. That just about sums up the Mu project. May it Rest In Peace.

For all the time that the project has taken, many investors could have saved the money to buy a real thermal camera such as the FLIR E4, and could have had 320x240 resolution and advanced menu's into the deal at no extra cost  ;)  No need for a damned iPhone either !!!!
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Kean on March 07, 2014, 07:11:54 am
Oh, it is clear they deluded themselves from the start, and that they've also lied to their backers multiple times.  I still find it weird the way it has played out.  I'd have thought they'd have either lied a *lot* more, put more effort into stringing us out, or even have been honest.  This hasn't been one of the usual patterns I've seen.  I have to guess it is because they got outside funding, and that put more pressure on them that from the backers.

I admit I was suspicious right from the start simply because of the low cost and short time frame, but willing to take a risk not knowing a lot at the time about the internals of a TIC.  I think it was also one of my first IGG pledges.  But I also don't want to ask for a refund as it lets them off the hook - I want to see this to the end, even if it has to be from a distance.

So I wrote that money off a while ago (entertainment value), and it taught me a lesson re crowdfunding that I'll try not forget.  Now I know I can throw a lot less at projects for the entertainment - SmartyRing is going to be classic I think.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Bored@Work on March 07, 2014, 07:45:20 am
But I also don't want to ask for a refund as it lets them off the hook - I want to see this to the end, even if it has to be from a distance.

That does not compute.

Watching them going down from a distance with your money back in your pocket, or
watching them going down from a distance with your money still in their pocket.

I know what I would prefer.

And in both cases they are off the hook. Off the hook as in no direct consequences for them other than a ruined reputation. If you want to hook them consider to contact the relevant authorities.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Corporate666 on March 07, 2014, 08:08:32 am
But I just don't understand the lack of updates from these guys  :-//

...because if they had anything positive to share, they would.  There is no good news, so there are no updates.

I don't even believe they got outside investment... they just aren't working on the project anymore (or very, very little) so there is really nothing to say, hence a couple of paragraphs giving no detail every couple of months.

Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: edavid on March 07, 2014, 08:17:53 am
But what is their end game?  Why not get the charade over with?
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Kean on March 07, 2014, 08:52:18 am
That does not compute.
Actually, to me the fact they are offering refunds at all is the thing that doesn't compute.

If you want to hook them consider to contact the relevant authorities.
Well as I am in Australia, the relevant authorities are not really at my disposal.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: EEVblog on March 07, 2014, 08:58:31 am
But I just don't understand the lack of updates from these guys  :-//

It's simple, they don't have anything to show.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Bored@Work on March 07, 2014, 09:26:03 am
That does not compute.
Actually, to me the fact they are offering refunds at all is the thing that doesn't compute.

Keeping the unruly masses at bay.

Quote
If you want to hook them consider to contact the relevant authorities.
Well as I am in Australia, the relevant authorities are not really at my disposal.

They have that Internet thing up there in Chicago Illinois. It shouldn't take long to find interesting online stuff.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: ivan747 on March 07, 2014, 10:59:22 am
I love their updates, the naiveness brings me joy :D
Is it only me? (the backers won't share this opinion with me)
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: edavid on March 07, 2014, 11:14:51 am
If you want to hook them consider to contact the relevant authorities.

Who are the relevant authorities?
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Bored@Work on March 07, 2014, 04:57:42 pm
If you want to hook them consider to contact the relevant authorities.

Who are the relevant authorities?

This depends on what you think has been done, or not done to you. Depending on that you might think of looking for some who enforce business practice or consumer rights. Or criminal law. Or for some special cases, enforce tax laws.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: edavid on March 07, 2014, 05:01:07 pm
If you want to hook them consider to contact the relevant authorities.

Who are the relevant authorities?

This depends on what you think has been done, or not done to you. Depending on that you might think of looking for some who enforce business practice or consumer rights. Or criminal law. Or for some special cases, enforce tax laws.

So in other words, you have no idea either!
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Bored@Work on March 07, 2014, 05:07:45 pm
If you want to hook them consider to contact the relevant authorities.

Who are the relevant authorities?

This depends on what you think has been done, or not done to you. Depending on that you might think of looking for some who enforce business practice or consumer rights. Or criminal law. Or for some special cases, enforce tax laws.

So in other words, you have no idea either!

Don't be so sure. The thing is a backer has to decide that on his/her own. E.g. a backer might find the need to contact

https://portal.chicagopolice.org/portal/page/portal/ClearPath/To%20Police1 (https://portal.chicagopolice.org/portal/page/portal/ClearPath/To%20Police1)

or

http://illinoisattorneygeneral.gov/consumers/filecomplaint.html (http://illinoisattorneygeneral.gov/consumers/filecomplaint.html)

depending on what a backer thinks has happened and what kind of help he wants. And seriously, if a backer can't make up his mind of what has happened and how he had his money got departed from him then well, what kind of help do you expect to get? And if you can't even google that in five minutes, but want to be spoon feed, well ...
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: edavid on March 07, 2014, 05:16:27 pm
And seriously, if a backer can't make up his mind of what has happened and how he had his money got departed from him then well, what kind of help do you expect to get? And if you can't even google that in five minutes, but want to be spoon feed, well ...

Non-sequitur.  I am quite sure that the Mu people are scammers who took money (not mine) under false pretenses, but I have no idea who the relevant authorities might be, and I don't see how a Google search would help me figure that out.  I doubt that the police or DA would take any action.  I respectfully submit that you are talking through your hat.

Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Bored@Work on March 07, 2014, 05:24:24 pm
And seriously, if a backer can't make up his mind of what has happened and how he had his money got departed from him then well, what kind of help do you expect to get? And if you can't even google that in five minutes, but want to be spoon feed, well ...

Non-sequitur.  I am quite sure that the Mu people are scammers who took money (not mine) under false pretenses, but I have no idea who the relevant authorities might be, and I don't see how a Google search would help me figure that out.  I doubt that the police or DA would take any action.  I respectfully submit that you are talking through your hat.

Don't give me that bullshit. You have never any guarantee that any authority really cares and takes action. But if you think some guys in Chicago Illinois, by your own words, "are scammers who took money ... under false pretenses", why do you think the Chicago police department or the Illinois DA would be the wrong authorities?
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: EEVblog on March 07, 2014, 05:38:58 pm
Non-sequitur.  I am quite sure that the Mu people are scammers who took money (not mine) under false pretenses, but I have no idea who the relevant authorities might be, and I don't see how a Google search would help me figure that out.  I doubt that the police or DA would take any action.

You start from local laws and work your way up. So that means state based law first. B@W links are probably a very appropriate place to start.
The problem with these sorts of crowd funded projects is that:
a) Obviously they are not going to admit they did anything fraudulent, so that means a lengthy lawsuit to convict anyone of anything.
b) People did donate the money, they were not buying goods, so those good and services laws might well be quite useless.
c) It's easy for any crowd funded developer to show that they at least tried to develop the product, and they can show progress and intent, even if it is just waffle. That means people donated the money for them to try, and that's what the did. There is no law that says they have to be any good at doing that. So unless someone admits to scam, any conviction I think would be very difficult.

So it wouldn't surprise me in the least if any state or federal government department or attorney is going to go after them and investigate beyond (if you are lucky) an initial "please explain" enquiry. Then of course they can explain with waffle and the authorities will have to decide whether or not to pursue then in an area of law that has never really been tested before AFAIK. I think the changes are pretty much buckleys.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: FrankBuss on March 07, 2014, 06:51:58 pm
Right, I think they can't be convicted if they tried but failed. But they wrote that they had something working and mass production will start, and if they can't prove it, this might be sufficient to convict them for attempt to defraud.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: EEVblog on March 07, 2014, 07:55:53 pm
Right, I think they can't be convicted if they tried but failed. But they wrote that they had something working and mass production will start, and if they can't prove it, this might be sufficient to convict them for attempt to defraud.

If that's the case, sure, but that would likely require someone(s) to sue them. Doubt anyone else is going to care enough.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Fraser on March 07, 2014, 09:18:54 pm
Let us all not forget that Mu have been providing full refunds upon request. If they stop doing so, there may be an issue, otherwise they are not actually doing anything criminal. As has been stated before, the investors entered into a speculative project that had the potential to provide what they wanted......was there ever a written guarantee that the project would succeed ?

They have likely made money in terms of interest on the >$200K funds, but that is unlikely to be enough to take them to court.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: EEVblog on March 07, 2014, 09:41:26 pm
Let us all not forget that Mu have been providing full refunds upon request. If they stop doing so, there may be an issue, otherwise they are not actually doing anything criminal.

If they have lied about progress etc, then that can most certainly be fraud. Anything good they may have done can't nullify that. If they have not lied, then they have nothing to worry about and basically can't be touched. There is nothing illegal about trying and failing.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: dexters_lab on March 07, 2014, 10:21:40 pm
i guess the problem is if they deliberately setup the project to defraud and that would have to be proven to be the case which would require evidence.

given they have been handing out refunds then you might as well just get your dosh back and go buy something else or you'll just end up throwing more money away
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Fraser on March 07, 2014, 10:37:26 pm
Whilst I know that this whole project has been very interesting for us onlookers and less fun for those who backed it, I am reminded of some wise words that were shared with me many years ago.....

We have a finite number of years,days, hours, minutes and seconds to live. We are all terminal. Do not waste that precious time on matters that will cause you sadness or regret.

To those who invested in the project I say.... get a refund, move on, and if you really want a thermal camera...... buy one, use it, enjoy it and and have no regrets. Do not waste your precious time on this, as unlike money, that is one expenditure that cannot be refunded or offset !

This thinking also applies in other life scenarios. You need to be selfish with your life clock and use it for positive accomplishments so as not to die with regrets.

Fraser
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Rasz on March 08, 2014, 06:52:14 am
but revenge is a sweet mistress :) I could Imagine at least one backer hiking across US, wearing a diaper, to confront those scammers in meatspace
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Fraser on March 08, 2014, 07:46:29 am
 ;D
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: EEVblog on March 08, 2014, 08:55:41 am
given they have been handing out refunds then you might as well just get your dosh back and go buy something else or you'll just end up throwing more money away

Yes, I don't understand why anyone had stuck around for this long and not asked for their money back. There have probably been half a dozen "enough is enough" threshold points to anyone technically knowledgeable.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: AlfBaz on March 08, 2014, 12:41:05 pm
I'm not playing the devils advocate but how is it a scam or fraud if you can get a refund? :-//
If they were genuine wouldn't they have burnt up some of the money getting to the point where they realise "shit this aint gonna work". If this is the case do they have to wear the cost?
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: edavid on March 08, 2014, 12:43:15 pm
I'm not playing the devils advocate but how is it a scam or fraud if you can get a refund? :-//
If they were genuine wouldn't they have burnt up some of the money getting to the point where they realise "shit this aint gonna work". If this is the case do they have to wear the cost?

Madoff let people take money out, but he was still a fraud.

If Mu has spent any money at all, they won't be able to give refunds to everyone.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: ivan747 on March 08, 2014, 12:46:09 pm
I guess they have ran out of budget or will to continue. But they keep refunding money, as somebody said earlier, this is a strage pattern for a scam and a strange pattern for a legit failed project, I mean, one cannot be so naive to continue with this project having so little time and funds, or so insisting when lying or so willing to refund when scamming.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: zapta on March 08, 2014, 02:00:07 pm
I guess they have ran out of budget or will to continue. But they keep refunding money, as somebody said earlier,...

Take the money while you still can, even 10 cents on the dollar.  If not, I have a bridge to sell you...
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: mamalala on March 11, 2014, 02:13:18 pm
I know things aren't looking good.  So it appears that I (and my money) am a lemming to the end!   |O

But I just don't understand the lack of updates from these guys  :-//

There is only so much bullshit that one can make up until it becomes obvious to even the most stupid folks. At which point it is better to not say anything at all than to wake up said folks and having them demand their money back as well...

Greetings,

Chris
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: mamalala on March 11, 2014, 02:16:08 pm
If you still have money in [...]

... i have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell. Rather cheap as well! Contact me!

Alternatively i have a boatload of money that i need to ship out of a third world country. I only need some advance payment for all that nasty papers and and bank documents and stuff!

;)

Greetings,

Chris
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: mamalala on March 11, 2014, 02:21:56 pm
A discussion point at the beginning of this project was how they would be able to offer a thermal sensor and lens combination at the price point stated.

[...]

With the news of the FLIR ONE Mu may as well pack up their bags and find a new project anyway.

I think they were very well aware of the costs right from the start, which is why they made an offer "to good to be true". And many fell for it. After all, there was no big, nasty corporation behind it that was only for the monies, right? And they went on and on as long as they could.

But then, out of the blue, FLIR came up with the FLIR-One thingy. And all of a sudden they _really_ went "away". One has to wonder (not so much, actually) why that is....

Greetings,

Chris
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: EEVblog on March 11, 2014, 02:29:36 pm
But then, out of the blue, FLIR came up with the FLIR-One thingy. And all of a sudden they _really_ went "away". One has to wonder (not so much, actually) why that is....

I do hope they don't just disappear, it's been a fun ride (for those not invested) watching and wondering how and what type of BS the next update will contain.
To most of the technical audience here it was obvious this project just wasn't going to happen from the get-go, so most have been waiting for the inevitable finale...
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: mamalala on March 11, 2014, 02:35:58 pm
I guess they have ran out of budget or will to continue. But they keep refunding money, as somebody said earlier, this is a strage pattern for a scam and a strange pattern for a legit failed project, I mean, one cannot be so naive to continue with this project having so little time and funds, or so insisting when lying or so willing to refund when scamming.

Look up "pyramid scheme". Yes, they refund money. But we simply don't know how much, compared to how much was funded in the first place. Keep in mind that there is a psychological thing at work as well. Lot's of people who got scammed will not talk about that in public, due to the "shame factor". So, while we see quite some folks getting theit money back, you can be sure that there are a lot of folks who did not, and won't tell about that.

Which, in the end, may still make the whole thing profitable to the perpetrators.

Greetings,

Chris
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: mamalala on March 11, 2014, 02:39:00 pm
But then, out of the blue, FLIR came up with the FLIR-One thingy. And all of a sudden they _really_ went "away". One has to wonder (not so much, actually) why that is....

I do hope they don't just disappear, it's been a fun ride (for those not invested) watching and wondering how and what type of BS the next update will contain.
To most of the technical audience here it was obvious this project just wasn't going to happen from the get-go, so most have been waiting for the inevitable finale...

I agree, watching such train wrecks happen surely is a fun thing ;)

But as the saying goes, all good thing must come to an end...

Greetings,

Chris
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: firewalker on March 11, 2014, 06:17:16 pm
Epic comment on IGG:

Quote
If you’re wife was “pregnant” for 3 years, I’m betting you’d probably assume she just got fat and isn’t going to produce a “product”

Same with Mu…

Alexander.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Jay_Diddy_B on March 11, 2014, 09:32:36 pm
Hi,

I too miss the updates. The last one:

Hello All,

It's been a good week, we've gotten great responses from all of our suppliers as they, and we, are redoubling our effort to get the MuOptics camera to market as fast as possible. Everyone is either hard at work or sleeping. Weekends are workdays. Things are progressing rapidly and we are in the stretch run. We're on the schedule as mentioned in the previous update. We're trully gaining a sense of pride in what we are accomplishing. Hang in there, it's right around the corner.

Cheers,

-MuOptics


Translation


It's been a good week

They only work on the camera on the weekend. See below. so what happens during the week is irrelevant. ;D



Everyone is either hard at work or sleeping

Well it is clear now that they were sleeping  ;D


Weekends are workdays


At best, we only work on the camera 2 days out of 7, and that is when we are not sleeping  ;D


You just have to read the updates carefully.


I wish everybody who applies for a refund gets one.

Regards,

Jay_Diddy_B


Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: CanadianAvenger on March 17, 2014, 03:16:48 pm
This just in, hot off the press! Enjoy, grab some popcorn before you start

Quote
PART 1 of 4

Hello IndieGoGo Supporters,


As technology developers we have the advantage of seeing the fruits of our labor on a day-by-day basis in what has been a protracted journey.  This letter is our way of sharing our recent progress with you and also to begin to make amends for our past shortcomings in communications.

It's plain and clear:  WE SCREWED UP and underestimated the effort.  In this miscalculation, we missed our original deadlines to send you product.  Compounding this:  we have done a really bad job of keeping you up to date.  We are truly sorry and are presently addressing all the open issues.

First

Regarding communications: our updates will become more regular as we now approach the actual release of the product.

Mu Optics has as its mandate: to provide simple and logical thermal imagining technology to the consumer market.  We do this not via the traditional approach, but by marrying thermal imaging with smart devices.  By leveraging devices that have real processing power and great user interfaces:  we are able to lower the price while making its use both very simple and tremendously flexible.  As you might expect:  in order to do this, we have had to create a whole new approach to the technology.

As with any pioneering effort:  early missteps, while disappointing to us all, have shone a light on better paths.  Indeed:  our imager today is far more robust than when we first embarked on this journey.  We have also had had experiences where vendors supplied parts that simply did not live up to our expectations, or were unable to deliver their product in volume.  This was both unacceptable and time consuming.  As you know, the size of a market is driven by two principle factors:  pricing and demand.  When the former drops the latter climbs, and it is volume pricing and our belief that this kind of device can have a useful place in every toolbox that makes this product viable in the consumer space. 

With these teething pains predominantly behind us we understand that gain comes only with pain and these issues forced us to fundamentally rethink how we provide a superior product at a competitive price.  We've made many, many changes including bringing in critical new resource partners who are seasoned tech implementers.

PART 2 of 4

Last year saw the Mu team test multiple sensors and specialty lenses from various manufacturers, design and engineer a good deal of our own unique hardware; architect, write and re-write the software; experiment with dozens of attachment mechanisms as well as design a lens and shutter assembly which has taken considerable cost out of the camera, while at the same time adding functionality.  The team’s newest partner, our Industrial Design/ Mechanical Engineering lead is a perfect complement to the original team’s brilliant physics effort.  He has brought to market a myriad of high-technology and consumer products.  We are very close to the finish line.

While we have made missteps, we apologize, but more importantly we are also now being held to higher standards internally.  You'll see that going forward.  We'll update, at the least, every few weeks.

Here are some recent highlights:

Last month, after adopting and re-engineering the core electronics to take advantage of a terrific new sensor:  We achieved “First Heat” with this new sensor using our production electronics.  On achieving this milestone: we are greatly pleased to announce that our research stage for this product has come to a close and the actual product development is quickly proceeding.  It now appears we're on track to deliver cameras later this spring as we previously posted. 
The smartphone software has been nearly complete for some time now, and we are presently verifying the histographic content of images from the production electronics to move the system engineering into the “completed” category.  Because of the nature of the mobile marketplace:  it's our goal to ship our imager as both iPhone and Android ready.

PART 3 of 4

Initial cameras are being manufactured using what is called “bridge tooling” which is in-process now.  Once we receive first production articles of the electronics and the internal and housing parts, an initial run of “first article” imagers will be built and form our “Alpha” production samples, which will be purposed at field testing, evaluation and outside review.  Because these initial units are actually produced via a production process virtually identical to the final production process (not prototyping):  we expect the Alpha testing process to proceed rapidly.  This essential process will permit us to make any final adjustments to the housing elements, our firmware and of course our applications.  This testing and evaluation process will also allow us to begin to share with you the impressions of the camera from people outside of our company.

It is of significant note that after considerable winnowing we've selected our extended production team.  As the various custom components begin to roll off their respective production lines, our production team is as excited about our camera as are we. 


Our Infrared camera may be small:  but our goals are very big.  Because Mu Optics understands the importance of scaling this product beyond the limits of our walls:  our final assembly partner is an extremely capable domestic electronics contract manufacturer with deep experience in manufacturing highly technical products on a substantially automated line.  Also of importance to our team is the issue of corporate citizenship:  Mu Optics has leveraged the extremely talented but often maligned American manufacturing base.  Please understand that this was a more difficult step for us to take than to simply push the “offshore” (Easy) button, and it required a longer research schedule simply because the US model is that of “many specialist vendors” rather than “one jack-of-all-trades monolith”.  We strongly believe this will be of strategic benefit to Mu Optics as well as our customers in the future.

PART 4 of 4

Our contract manufacturer, located just outside Chicago, after populating the electronics will be focusing, calibrating and testing products using automated fixtures of our design prior to ultrasonic sealing of the product into its housing.

At that point, the camera with the Instruction Manual, calibration report and accessories will be boxed and palletized by the same contract manufacturer, then sent to our logistics partner for shipment to customers. 

As great as our technology is, there is no sensor on earth that can fully measure our appreciation for everyone’s support on this project, and we believe you will love what you see.


Warmest regards,

The entire MuOptics team
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: BravoV on March 17, 2014, 03:29:05 pm
 
  :palm: :palm: :palm:
 :palm: :palm: :palm:
 :palm: :palm: :palm:
 :palm: :palm: :palm:
 :palm: :palm: :palm:
 :palm: :palm: :palm:
 :palm: :palm: :palm: :palm: :palm: :palm: :palm: :palm: :palm: :palm: :palm:
 :palm: :palm: :palm: :palm: :palm: :palm: :palm: :palm: :palm: :palm:
 :palm: :palm: :palm: :palm: :palm: :palm: :palm: :palm: :palm:
 :palm: :palm: :palm: :palm: :palm: :palm: :palm: :palm:
 :palm: :palm: :palm: :palm: :palm: :palm: :palm:
 :palm: :palm: :palm: :palm: :palm: :palm:
 :palm: :palm: :palm: :palm: :palm:
 :palm: :palm: :palm: :palm:
 :palm: :palm: :palm:
 :palm: :palm:
 :palm:

(http://media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m961tmUFcj1r3qnxf.gif)
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: EEVblog on March 17, 2014, 03:46:15 pm
BravoV's post nailed it!
That is some of the finest bullshit known to human kind!  :clap:
STILL no proof of any working hardware, and STILL not even a prototype thermal image.

I have a theory about what's going on here though, and this update kind of confirms it.
The people running this are actually bots!, programmed to respond using a selection of development buzzwords randomly collected from the internet.
I must admit that they had me completely fooled  :-+
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: firewalker on March 17, 2014, 07:41:51 pm
I don't know... They convinced me that everything is ok, with this last update.

 :blah: :blah: :blah:

Alexander.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: Rasz on March 17, 2014, 09:50:20 pm
of course everything is ok, they repent their sins! they lied to you before, but not now  no no
see, now we finally managed to get 'something' out of the electronics, our first 'heat' or whatever, here let me sho.. oh wait no, we arent gonna show it to you, you need to take our work for that :D

its like me telling you I did in fact fu$%$%@# your wife before, but its ok now, we are not seeing each other anymore promise! we can all be buddies again, right?  :-DD
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: EEVblog on March 17, 2014, 10:09:25 pm
Quote
We are truly sorry and are presently addressing all the open issues.

No they aren't. The only issue backers care about it is seeing something that works. Real hardware and an actual thermal image.

Quote
Regarding communications: our updates will become more regular as we now approach the actual release of the product.

Just like you promised before.

Quote
As with any pioneering effort:  early missteps, while disappointing to us all, have shone a light on better paths.  Indeed:  our imager today is far more robust than when we first embarked on this journey. 

So you have a robust thermal imager, great, that means it must be producing images, because, well, that's what thermal images do, and the only thing they do.
So why have you never shown a single image from any prototype including this new robust one?

Quote
With these teething pains predominantly behind us we understand that gain comes only with pain and these issues forced us to fundamentally rethink how we provide a superior product at a competitive price.  We've made many, many changes including bringing in critical new resource partners who are seasoned tech implementers.

Like who?

Quote
Last year saw the Mu team test multiple sensors and specialty lenses from various manufacturers, design and engineer a good deal of our own unique hardware; architect, write and re-write the software; experiment with dozens of attachment mechanisms as well as design a lens and shutter assembly which has taken considerable cost out of the camera, while at the same time adding functionality. 

Great. So where is the thermal image?

Quote
The team’s newest partner, our Industrial Design/ Mechanical Engineering lead is a perfect complement to the original team’s brilliant physics effort.  He has brought to market a myriad of high-technology and consumer products.  We are very close to the finish line.

Who is this person, and what products?
How do you know if your physics effort is brilliant if there is no thermal image from it? And if there is a thermal image, why haven't you shown it?

Quote
While we have made missteps, we apologize, but more importantly we are also now being held to higher standards internally.  You'll see that going forward.  We'll update, at the least, every few weeks.

That's very generous of you.

Quote
Here are some recent highlights:
Last month, after adopting and re-engineering the core electronics to take advantage of a terrific new sensor: 

So you chose an entirely new sensor last month. That presumably would screw up everything - electronics, firmware, form factor, optics matching, housing etc. Sounds like fairly big redesign.

Quote
We achieved “First Heat” with this new sensor using our production electronics.

That means you got an image from it, great, why not show it?

Quote
On achieving this milestone: we are greatly pleased to announce that our research stage for this product has come to a close and the actual product development is quickly proceeding.  It now appears we're on track to deliver cameras later this spring as we previously posted. 

Umm, you're not very experienced at this production thing are you? You just admitted you changed your sensor which impacts a lot of stuff, and that development has just started to proceed again. End of spring is mid June in the US right? didn't you previously say April?

Quote
The smartphone software has been nearly complete for some time now, and we are presently verifying the histographic content of images from the production electronics

So you DO have thermal images, great!, why don't you show them?

Quote
Initial cameras are being manufactured using what is called “bridge tooling” which is in-process now.  Once we receive first production articles of the electronics and the internal and housing parts, an initial run of “first article” imagers will be built and form our “Alpha” production samples, which will be purposed at field testing, evaluation and outside review.  Because these initial units are actually produced via a production process virtually identical to the final production process (not prototyping):  we expect the Alpha testing process to proceed rapidly.

Sorry, I lost count of the buzzwords.

Quote
This essential process will permit us to make any final adjustments to the housing elements, our firmware and of course our applications.  This testing and evaluation process will also allow us to begin to share with you the impressions of the camera from people outside of our company.

So you are admitting that you won't show anything until then? Even a thermal image?

Quote
Our contract manufacturer, located just outside Chicago, after populating the electronics will be focusing, calibrating and testing products using automated fixtures of our design prior to ultrasonic sealing of the product into its housing.

Doesn't sound hackable.

Quote
At that point, the camera with the Instruction Manual, calibration report and accessories will be boxed and palletized by the same contract manufacturer, then sent to our logistics partner for shipment to customers. 

Sounds like a long long way off...

Quote
As great as our technology is, there is no sensor on earth that can fully measure our appreciation for everyone’s support on this project, and we believe you will love what you see.

The only thing backers have seen in over a year is a small photo of prototype board that revealed almost nothing.
Your technology is a thermal imaging camera, and you have not shown a single thermal image from it. Sounds like your technology only exists on paper.
Title: Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on March 17, 2014, 10:41:28 pm
Quote
As technology developers
You are not developers you're a bunch of amateurs
Quote
we have the advantage of seeing the fruits of our labor on a day-by-day basis in what has been a protracted journey. 
Pity nobody else has, which is why nobody believes a word you say.
Quote
we have done a really bad job of keeping you up to date.  We are truly sorry and are presently addressing all the open issues.
Until we see evidence of a real product and real images, you are not addressing any issues, just making yourselves look more stupid, if that is even possible
Quote

Regarding communications: our updates will become more regular
Quality, not quantity. An image or two is worth a million pages of your bullshit "updates"
Quote
Mu Optics has as its mandate: to provide simple and logical thermal imagining technolog
"Logical".... what exactly does that mean?
Quote
As with any pioneering effort:  early missteps, while disappointing to us all, have shone a light on better paths.  Indeed:  our imager today is far more robust than when we first embarked on this journey. 
"Robust"? Working would be a start
Quote
  We've made many, many changes including bringing in critical new resource partners who are seasoned tech implementers.
Who  would that be? And how long did it take them to stop laughing?
Quote
Last month, after adopting and re-engineering the core electronics to take advantage of a terrific new sensor:  We achieved “First Heat” with this new sensor using our production electronics. 
..and still no images. We just don't believe a word you say any more
Quote

 Please understand that this was a more difficult step for us to take than to simply push the “offshore” (Easy) button,

The very fact that you think that would be "easy" just reinforces how completely clueless you are
Quote
and it required a longer research schedule simply because the US model is that of “many specialist vendors” rather than “one jack-of-all-trades monolith”.  We strongly believe this will be of strategic benefit to Mu Optics as well as our customers in the future.
My buzzwoord-bulshittometer just hit 11  :bullshit:
Quote
As great as our technology is, there is no sensor on earth that can fully measure our appreciation for everyone’s support on this project, and we believe