Author Topic: ARGUS 3 P4467/S Teardown  (Read 862 times)

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Offline TheEPROM9

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ARGUS 3 P4467/S Teardown
« on: June 13, 2018, 07:55:37 am »
Here is the teardown of an ARGUS 3 thermal camera. Will do a video at some point. Will not say when as it will, will happen when I feel like it.  :popcorn:
Link to images: https://www.flickr.com/photos/146977913@N06/with/42760666101/

Lens & Optics (ARGUS 3 P4467/S Teardown) by Simon Lyne, on Flickr
Lens with aperture mech & shutter spiny wheel.

Sensor (ARGUS 3 P4467/S Teardown) by Simon Lyne, on Flickr
Side view of the sensor. Aperture of the lens is the the same from front to back. The sensor has a large area which will contribute to its fantastic performance. The sensor also apparently has a Peltier unit which would explain the calibration at start.

Heat sink around the thermal optics has a number of temperature sensors.

CPU PCB 1 (ARGUS 3 P4467/S Teardown) by Simon Lyne, on Flickr
View of CPU PCB.

CPU PCB 2 (ARGUS 3 P4467/S Teardown) by Simon Lyne, on Flickr
CPU PCB middle one for those that don't know.

Viewfinder LCD (ARGUS 3 P4467/S Teardown) by Simon Lyne, on Flickr
Back of LCD & buttons. Unknown at this point if LCD is composite. Back light is a CFL tube.

Rear Case Inside (ARGUS 3 P4467/S Teardown) by Simon Lyne, on Flickr
Full view of the inside of the back.

Front Case Inside (ARGUS 3 P4467/S Teardown) by Simon Lyne, on Flickr
Inside the front cover. Kind of an I/O board. Composite out, serial, I think temp sensor & spot meter thermal sensor. Surprising amount to that. Battery compartment at the bottom.

Rear Of Camera Modual (ARGUS 3 P4467/S Teardown) by Simon Lyne, on Flickr
Back PCB video & real time clock. FPGA seems to do all the smarts with HUD & other stuff.

Front Of Camera Modual (ARGUS 3 P4467/S Teardown) by Simon Lyne, on Flickr
Full front modual with surprisingly little on the PCB. Mostly motor control stuff for the spinny shutter & aperture. Two blades used for the aperture.

First Attempt @ Disassembly (ARGUS 3 P4467/S Teardown) by Simon Lyne, on Flickr
First attempt at taking it apart.

Front (ARGUS 3 P4467/S Teardown) by Simon Lyne, on Flickr
Front view.

Back Viewing My Desk (ARGUS 3 P4467/S Teardown) by Simon Lyne, on Flickr
Image of my desk.

Viewing Work College (ARGUS 3 P4467/S Teardown) by Simon Lyne, on Flickr
One of my work colleges in the office.

This is a pretty well built & intresting bit of kit if you ask me, not sure if the frame rate is as high as 30Hz but it is desent. Probaly the best option for price when all is considered. As getting a desent framrate combined with a desent resolution is still rather exspensive.
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Online Fraser

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Re: ARGUS 3 P4467/S Teardown
« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2018, 12:38:34 am »
Thanks for the teardown. I have a couple of these cameras in my collection. The framerate is at least 30fps.

The IRIS is known to get sticky sometimes, due to motor oil contamination, and this causes an error. It is easily repaired by cleaning the Iris leaves. The Iris operates dry so no lubrication should be applied.

These and the ARGUS2 cameras are very nice examples of a BST based thermal imager.

If you have not found it already, take a look at the Fire Tics web page that provides details of the EEV/E2V/AVON ARGUS cameras. There is a help forum as well.

http://www.fire-tics.co.uk/

Fraser
« Last Edit: June 14, 2018, 12:43:39 am by Fraser »
 

Online Fraser

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Re: ARGUS 3 P4467/S Teardown
« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2018, 04:21:51 am »
I presume that you are aware that the ARGUS 3 is configurable via a simple IR remote control ? You can see the standard IR receiver module on the rear PCB. The original remote controls were a standard 'universal' simple remote as used for a TV. One for All and Philips are two brands that I know of. The ARGUS 3 uses Philips RC5 or RC6 protocol. Look at pictures of the original ARGUS 3 supplied remote to see what each button did. You can change palletes and step through stored images etc.

Connection to a computer is also possible via RS232 but the cameras connector is sadly quite expensive. The software is, IIRC, available through the Fire Tics web site.

Note the references to 'RF' and 'PA' on the front PCB. The ARGUS 3 was available with an RF video Link for command and control video feed scenarios. Your unit is not fitted with that option.

Fraser
 

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Re: ARGUS 3 P4467/S Teardown
« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2018, 04:26:43 am »
Some pictures of the original One for All remote control and a more recent model that also works well. The Original is the URC 6210 (black)and URC 6211(pink) models. The latest version is the URC 6810.

A Philips mini IR remote was also used but this is now hard to find.

Any universal remote control will work if it supports Philips RC5/6 but most have too many buttons which makes them confusing to use with the ARGUS 3 with its simple needs.

Fraser
« Last Edit: June 14, 2018, 04:30:19 am by Fraser »
 
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Offline TheEPROM9

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Re: ARGUS 3 P4467/S Teardown
« Reply #4 on: June 14, 2018, 06:01:29 am »
I have indeed been frequencing your site (while at work) but we don't worry about that. Got an exerlent source of information. Have yet to download the software. Waiting on the connector I ordered to build a serial cable. I was lucky enough to have a remote included with the camera as changing the settings would be imposible. The only thing it was not supplyed with was a charger. Thankfuly I still have my dads old video camera charger that I used for a while as a ZX81 PUS untill I restored the original ZX81 PUS to to long ago. Dads old video camera take taken apart long ago and most of the parts are sadly gone now.  :-[

Got it for a decent deal if you ask me or £200 inc postage which is cheaper than some of the entry level thermal cameras that don't have the frame rate or resolution, which is pretty useless if you want to do video. Plus there is no noise in the image I can see. I love the build quality & need to find a way of ajusting the focus from outside the camera, remote servo or something, into RC so can put something together.

Will put a teardown on YouTube where I can go over the bits I missed here (Such as the IR sensor for the remote[Quite a neat solution considering the market it was aimed at.]). Also put it in my Facebook group. I have no way of mesureing frame rate so will go on your statement as looking at what you have put out you know your shit.  8)

The Iris on mine seem fine although intrestingly it does not colse when you turn it off, I thought it would to protect the sensor like a lot of optical camras do unless it is an SLR. Another thing of intrest is the little black spike next to the main lens is a thermomotor of some tipe, while the spot meter seems to be another thermal camera looking at the external design (Not sure on the resolution), If I wantthe wireless functionlity i can install a miniquad FPV system, lots of space.  :-/O

I have wanted a thermal camera for years and finaly have one, knowing me I will get obsiessive and try & find more however the high price of them will limit me which is probaly no bad thing as I already have lots of vintage computers taking up all my storage space anyway.  ^-^
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Re: ARGUS 3 P4467/S Teardown
« Reply #5 on: June 14, 2018, 08:17:05 am »
The Fire Tics site belongs to forum member "Bill W" and is all his work. He is a bona fide expert on all things ARGUS related :) I owe Bill credit for much knowledge that he has shared with me over the years.

ARGUS cameras have impressed me with their designs. I have several models in my collection. My favourites are the ARGUS 4 HR and MiTIC cameras.

On the remote focus actuator front, I wait with interest to see what you come up with. Be aware that the moving lens sits in a nice machined Aluminium lens carrier and it may need some careful lubrication to avoid wear over time. The lens block is easily disassembled with little risk to the fragile lens elements. Be very careful with the internal lens elements as they are not coated with hard carbon so can be scratched if mishandled.

The camcorder charger is perfect for use with the ARGUS 3 batteries as that is what they are, camcorder batteries. I use JVC VHSC camcorder chargers with mine. Those chargers are often more elegant than the ones made in house by OEM's and perform well. Some contain a battery conditioning function as well.

The ambient temperature sensor is nothing particularly special, just a pretty standard sensor in a rugged encapsulation. I forget whether it is a thermocouple or thermistor.

The scene temperature sensor is a standard RAYTEK product. As a modular IR Thermometer solution it is well suited to the task. The sensor head is a Germanium lens element in front if a single pixel IR thermal sensor element, possibly a thermopile type, and the sensor signal is translated into millivolts per degree C output. I think it is 10mV per degree C but I would have to check. These RAYTEK IR Thermometer modules are industrial grade and very expensive. From memory, they are several hundred Pounds each.

The camera frame rate is detailed in the datasheet. The BST sensor Resolution is good at 320 x 240 pixels and there is no FFC display freeze as with many microbolometer based cameras. The chopper wheel is driven by a humble CD deck spindle motor but appears long lived and would be cheap to replace if the bearing wears out. The BST sensor does have limited dynamic range, hence the incorporation of the Iris. BST based cameras are normally not capable of temperature measurement through the BST sensor array, hence the inclusion of the RAYTEK IR Thermometer module.

The same technology is to be found in the ARGUS 2 camera and in several other Fire Fighting cameras of the period. Raytheon supplied a kit of parts to OEM's that they could then incorporate into their camera design. The kit contained the BST sensor, Sensor drive/image processing PCB, Chopper wheel, Chopper wheel sensor and Chopper wheel motor. The OEM had to provide the lens block, Iris, Sensor PCB, any camera control electronics, power supply and any required display device. Plus, of course, a casing.
Raytheon also sold complete imaging cores like the Thermal Eye 300 series that basically just needed a case, power control, display device and a power supply. Such modules were popular with 'screwdriver OEM's'.

The Cadillac DeVille night vision camera is a variation of the Raytheon Thermal Eye 300 series.

There is quite a lot on this forum about these Raytheon cores. I have done a teardown of the Cadillac DeVille camera.

Fraser

« Last Edit: June 14, 2018, 10:00:57 am by Fraser »
 

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Re: ARGUS 3 P4467/S Teardown
« Reply #6 on: June 14, 2018, 08:51:48 am »
From memory the RAYTEK Pyrometer in the ARGUS 3 is from the 'MI' series. The interface module is designed to be integrated into a host rather than have its own display or user interface, unlike some of the MI versions available.

The manual for the RAYTEK MI series may be of interest......

https://www.instrumart.com/assets/raytek-mi_manual.pdf

IIRC, the ML version of the MI sensor is capable of 0 to 1000C measurement. I cannot lay my hands on a datasheet though.
« Last Edit: June 14, 2018, 09:24:31 am by Fraser »
 

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Re: ARGUS 3 P4467/S Teardown
« Reply #7 on: June 14, 2018, 09:00:44 am »
« Last Edit: June 14, 2018, 09:06:26 am by Fraser »
 

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Re: ARGUS 3 P4467/S Teardown
« Reply #8 on: June 14, 2018, 09:13:30 am »
Regarding the iris not closing when the camera is switched off. Yes that is normal. I do not know why the iris is not closed when off. That was done for the ARGUS 1 Pevicon tube based camera to protect its sensitive target.

The ARGUS 1 had a little rechargeable battery on the PCB to power the IRIS closed even if you pulled the main battery ! Clever thinking on the part of the designer. Bill may know why the BST sensor is not protected in the same way.

Fraser
 

Offline TheEPROM9

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Re: ARGUS 3 P4467/S Teardown
« Reply #9 on: June 15, 2018, 08:19:32 am »
I have wanted some of those screw drivers for years. Exerlent, will order some. Getting a focus mech working should be an intresting challenge. Looking at the sensor you would think it is more complex as it is far mmore than the three wire degign you see on simular sensors. Basicly a spot meter on steroids.

I can see my self aquiring a few more. Got a 16x4 thermal sensor that I am going to mount on a Pi just for shits & gigels. Make the worlds crapyest thermal camera, more of a toy.

Went out round my neigbourhoot tonight. It is amazing the amount of visability it gives me, you don't need a torch with one of these.My dads old video camera was a SONY, so the charger is pretty good. I should probaly do some servising on it though as it is almost 30 years old now.

I would like to get a unit i could mount on my car then ninger perdestians that insist on wareing black in the pitch dark would actualy be visiable. I do have an image intencifyer unit I was planing to use for this but I have never been able to get the tube to power up, teardown here:

The fact the spinner motor is a CD deck one is great, have plenty in stock & can source them from any random PC CD drive. If the spinner wheel its self dies, not sure how I would fix that one. The build quality is not far of of MOD speck, so nice. Need to get my finger out my ass and make a YouTube video.
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Re: ARGUS 3 P4467/S Teardown
« Reply #10 on: June 15, 2018, 08:39:09 am »
I think I almost bid on that I.I. Camera :) I already have a few though, so decided it was better going to another home :)

Fraser
« Last Edit: June 15, 2018, 09:35:04 am by Fraser »
 

Offline TheEPROM9

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Re: ARGUS 3 P4467/S Teardown
« Reply #11 on: June 15, 2018, 08:45:37 am »
Due to the battery leakege it was a complete write off. Thankfuly the engineers who built the ARGUS saw sence and used a Lithium battery over an evil NiCad battery. I hate those things, how meany vintage computers have they murdered?

I might do some thermal photography with my ARGUS, would need to cut out the better indicater & all that crap but to to hard to do a panaramic of London or simular. :-+
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Re: ARGUS 3 P4467/S Teardown
« Reply #12 on: June 15, 2018, 09:39:06 am »
The Raytheon core produces a standard composite video signal that you can tap to get clean video with no graphics. It will be one of the pins coming off of the Raytheon branded control/processing PCB. The graphics are added by E2V on their processor board.

Fraser
 

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Re: ARGUS 3 P4467/S Teardown
« Reply #13 on: June 16, 2018, 07:16:48 am »
I am planning on probing all this when I do my video teardown. Want to see if the LCD is composite as I would like to upgrade it to a better LCD. That video signal would be handy for doing photos.
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Re: ARGUS 3 P4467/S Teardown
« Reply #14 on: June 16, 2018, 09:41:17 am »
From memory it is composite video input. I can confirm when back at base next week.

Fraser
« Last Edit: June 16, 2018, 09:43:52 am by Fraser »
 

Offline Bill W

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Re: ARGUS 3 P4467/S Teardown
« Reply #15 on: June 18, 2018, 12:05:31 am »
Regarding the iris not closing when the camera is switched off. Yes that is normal. I do not know why the iris is not closed when off. That was done for the ARGUS 1 Pevicon tube based camera to protect its sensitive target.

The ARGUS 1 had a little rechargeable battery on the PCB to power the IRIS closed even if you pulled the main battery ! Clever thinking on the part of the designer. Bill may know why the BST sensor is not protected in the same way.

Fraser

The BST pixel is a relatively big chunk of ceramic, so does not need sun protection.  Everything else, whether Pevicon TGS target or an ASi / VOx microbolometer is a thin wafer of stuff suspended in a vacuum that heats up a lot more and faster.
That said some of the newer sensors are a lot better at resisting the sun than they used to be.

Bill


Offline Bill W

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Re: ARGUS 3 P4467/S Teardown
« Reply #16 on: June 18, 2018, 12:15:56 am »
I might do some thermal photography with my ARGUS, would need to cut out the better indicater & all that crap but to to hard to do a panaramic of London or simular. :-+

The 6 way connector that has 3 pins cut off will be your friend...................... read the legend  ;) ;)

You can probably wire it through to the front panel BNC for convenience. That is the core Raytheon analogue feed, the camera output is from the digital feed with the EEV/Marconi/E2V (whatever they were called then !) graphics added, so not simple to just lose the graphics.


Bill
 
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Offline TheEPROM9

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Re: ARGUS 3 P4467/S Teardown
« Reply #17 on: June 18, 2018, 02:06:59 am »
I might do some thermal photography with my ARGUS, would need to cut out the better indicater & all that crap but to to hard to do a panaramic of London or simular. :-+

The 6 way connector that has 3 pins cut off will be your friend...................... read the legend  ;) ;)

You can probably wire it through to the front panel BNC for convenience. That is the core Raytheon analogue feed, the camera output is from the digital feed with the EEV/Marconi/E2V (whatever they were called then !) graphics added, so not simple to just lose the graphics.


Bill

I like the tip, will have to probe it with the scope and assess from there. True the HUD will be added somewhere on the PCB and it could esily be before it is converted to composite. Haveing a dual video output would be quite handy, want to upgrade the LCD or add a viewfinded as the built in LCD is not much good in the sunny sun shine. At the same time I would like to retain the water resistance which makes the mods all the more intresting & hard but not imposible.
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Offline Bill W

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Re: ARGUS 3 P4467/S Teardown
« Reply #18 on: June 18, 2018, 02:28:14 am »
The customer software, on the CD or from www.fire-tics.co.uk, does allow you to turn off most of the screen graphics, it looks like just the battery bar is not an optional feature.
I never cease to be surprised how much users want all this extra stuff that hides the very expensive pixels that they have bought!

You will still find minimal Raytheon graphics on the analogue video that comes out of the core, it is a black hot / white hot indicator in the bottom left.  This is why the battery bar was not removable, it hides it !

As for the LCD, it is a video input which is one reason it looks a bit grim.  A such any analogue input screen should do, although you'd lose the control functions for contrast, brightness etc.

regards

Bill


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