Author Topic: FLIR E4 - The useful information thread  (Read 65016 times)

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Offline Fraser

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FLIR E4 - The useful information thread
« on: November 18, 2013, 03:53:05 AM »
The reason for another E4 thread

The FLIR E4 thermal imaging camera has caused quite a stir as it can be 'enhanced'.

I thought it useful to start a new thread that will contain useful information to owners of the E4, in both standard and enhanced versions.

There is already a Review thread and a Teardown thread. The latter has become a thread on enhancing the E4 beyond its manufacturers intentions.

I would like to suggest that this thread avoids direct review and teardown/enhancement posts as they are better placed in the above mentioned dedicated threads. Links to such threads and postings is fine though. This way the E4 threads will remain on topic.

I hope this thread proves useful to new owners of the E4 and those new to thermal imaging in general.

UPDATE: THREAD TOPIC LIST ADDED HERE:

Useful Links
LENS protection / thermal window material
FOCUS adjustment tool
FLIR Shipping transit times
Understanding and adjusting the Focus on a Fixed Focus lens (as fitted to the E4)
Lens materials and Close-up lenses
The thermal camera development that lead to the FLIR E4 ?
Serial Number recorded against calibration date and firmware
Tripod Adapter for Ex series
E4 3D parts STL file repository
Lens Care
3D printed parts fresh from Lunevalley3D - Impressed.
Lens Focus adjustment Tool
Auxiliary Lens Holder
Ex Series Tripod Mount
FREE training material and e-leaning courses from FLIR
Experimenting with thermal camera lenses
Active Vs Passive Thermography
Observing the Moon and Sky with a thermal camera
Battery Charging options for the FLIR Ex series
FLIR E4 Camera tripod Bracket Version 2
FLIR E4 Official accessory Datasheets
Time line and detail of the FLIR I Series
Why are these thermal cameras limited to 9 frames per second and why are higher frame rates export controlled ?
Ex series Temperature Measurement accuracy - IMPORTANT
Enhancement of the Standard E4 by the User Community
Another Ex Focus Tool
USA FREE GIFT offer still valid - until March 2014
External Charger disassembly & detail
FLIR guide to R&D Thermography - A good read for those new to the topic
FLIR 'Upgrade' countermeasure released today
Close-Up lens - Bi-Convex Vs Plano-Convex
Another Tripod adapter for the Ex series
Information direct from FLIR on the E4 microbolometer
Loss of access to stored pictures - solution
« Last Edit: May 30, 2014, 03:00:20 AM by Aurora »
 

Offline Fraser

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Re: FLIR E4 - The useful information thread
« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2013, 04:01:37 AM »
Useful Links

FLIR E4 Review may be found here:
http://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/flir-e4-thermal-imaging-camera-review/

FLIR E4 Teardown and 'enhancement' thread may be found here
http://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/flir-e4-thermal-imaging-camera-teardown/

Please see the first page for direct links to key information in the long thread.

Interesting Thermal Images thread may be found here:
http://www.eevblog.com/forum/chat/show-us-your-interesting-thermal-images!/msg325713/#msg325713

« Last Edit: November 18, 2013, 10:37:37 AM by Aurora »
 

Offline Fraser

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Re: FLIR E4 - The useful information thread
« Reply #2 on: November 18, 2013, 04:11:04 AM »
LENS protection / thermal window material


In case this information is useful to someone else:

A question was asked in another thread regarding thermally transmissive 'window' materials.

FLIR disposable lens protectors for thermal cameras use the 12 or 25 micron shrink wrap plastic called Polyolefin, that is commonly found as the WRAPPER on CD cases.

I bought a large roll of the plastic very cheaply. IIRC around GBP5 for 1mx20m.

Additional info added:

I purchased 25 micron Polyolefin from the following company and it works very well. I just tried a piece in front of my E4 and the camera sees through it fine.

Bee Beautiful .....www.beebeautiful.org.uk

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/20mtrs-Polyolefin-Shrink-Wrap-Film-25-micron-450mm-/350800488552?pt=UK_Packaging_Materials&hash=item51ad56a868#ht_1387wt_1018
 

Offline Fraser

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Re: FLIR E4 - The useful information thread
« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2013, 04:13:23 AM »
FOCUS adjustment tool

Another thread dealing with the teardown contains the STL file for a lens focus adjustment tool. The work was done by Taucher, so all credit to him. The tool enables adjustment of the lens for close-up working.

http://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/flir-e4-thermal-imaging-camera-teardown/msg328518/#msg328518

As I do not own a 3D printer, I ordered the 3D print from this UK company:

http://uk-3d.com/instant-quote/

The cost was GBP3 + GBP4.99 for setup and post. I ordered two of the parts and the cost was  GBP10.99 delivered.

My thanks to Taucher for doing the hard part for me.

UPDATE: 

I have just received a quote from another UK 3D printing company of GBP3 each + postage. They are going to print one for me asap.

www.LuneValley3D.co.uk

I shall advise the results of the 3D printing that I have commissioned when the parts arrive, hopefully next week.

UPDATE 2:

Georges80 has created a Focus tool 3D printing STL file as well. It may be found here:
(message 1385)

http://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/flir-e4-thermal-imaging-camera-teardown/msg330739/#msg330739


IMPORTANT UPDATE 3

I have just received my 3D printed lens adjustment tools and the auxilliary lens holders from UK3D.com.
Maybe I was expecting too much from the technology or price point. They are very much what I would expect of a prototype 'draft' rather than a 'polished' product. For $5 each  am not complaining but readers should be aware that the items they receive from this company are utility rather than beautiful. As I say, I may have been expecting too much from a 3D print. It certainly does not seem to like creating cone shapes with smooth sides !

I have another 3D print (Taucher Focus tool) coming from a different UK company called LuneValley3D. It will be interesting to compare the quality to that which I received today.

UPDATE 4

I have received the Focus tool from Lunevalley3D. It has a finer finish to it, and appears better printed than the UK3D print. I will be using Lunevalley3D as my supplier of 3D printed items in the future. The lens holder and tripod mount will be next. I will post pictured of the Lunevalley3D focus tool shortly.
« Last Edit: November 23, 2013, 11:24:44 PM by Aurora »
 

Offline Fraser

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Re: FLIR E4 - The useful information thread
« Reply #4 on: November 18, 2013, 04:28:32 AM »
FLIR Shipping transit times

I am aware that some members of the forum are interested in the manufacturing to delivery time line.

To help, I attach the details of my consignment as tracked by TNT.

09 November 2013      - E4 unit s/n 639065xx Calibrated  ( FW 1.19.8 )
11 November 2013 PM - E4 shipped from Tallinn, Estonia with TNT EXPRESS service
12 November 2013 AM - E4 arrives with PASS in the UK
12 November 2013 AM - E4 shipped to me
13 November 2013 AM - E4 arrives at my doorstep

Not bad ! The Calibration is certainly nice and fresh.
« Last Edit: November 18, 2013, 04:30:20 AM by Aurora »
 

Offline olsenn

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Re: FLIR E4 - The useful information thread
« Reply #5 on: November 18, 2013, 05:07:01 AM »
Quote
Hope there will be no more self post deletions, and you know what will happened if you delete the 1st post right ?

Leave the guy alone; he's a helpful contributor.

Thanks for the convenient thread Aurora; I can't wait for my E4 to arrive :)
 

Offline Fraser

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Re: FLIR E4 - The useful information thread
« Reply #6 on: November 18, 2013, 05:54:45 AM »
Understanding and adjusting the Focus on a Fixed Focus lens
(as fitted to the E4)


Fixed focus lens fitted to the FLIR E4 behaves no differently to such a lens design in a cheap fixed focus 35mm or digital camera. That is not to say that a fixed focus lens does not perform well within its limitations. It enables the camera to maintain acceptable focus over a large distance range through the use of DOF (depth of Field). To achieve this, the lens needs a combination of a small aperture and a wide FOV (field of view).

Where a fixed focus lens fails to perform well, is in a close-up situation when it has been set for mid to far field focus. Some users of the E4 may wish to focus on electronic components and the PCB on which they are mounted. The E4 does not produce a focused thermal image at the distances required for such activity, i.e. close range of less than 30cm.

There are two approaches to enabling the E4 to focus at the close ranges needed for PCB inspection. The first is to adjust the focus of the E4 lens until the PCB and components come into sharp focus in THERMAL ONLY mode. There is no point in MSX+THERMAL mode in this scenario due to misalignment of the two images.  The second option is to fit a close-up lens in front of the E4 lens, much like fitting the E4 with reading glasses or a monocle! The additional lens brings the E4 to clear focus at a specified focal distance detailed in the auxiliary lens specification. Common focus distances ate 25mm, 50mm, 75 and 100mm as used in CO2 laser focus lenses.
I will not cover the second option here but rather, focus on the first.

The lens in the E4 is a right hand threaded screw fit, much like those found on PCB cameras and the like. The lens material is very different however. Rotation clockwise decreases the distance between the lens and the detector array, providing FAR FOCUS. Counter-clockwise rotation increases the distance between the lens and the detector array providing NEAR FOCUS.  For focussing on an object that is near to the E4, the lens needs to be rotated ANTI CLOCKWISE approximately a quarter of a turn.

It is highly recommended that the lens position is marker before it is adjusted in order to provide a reference against which to reset the lens to its factory position when needed.

It is also recommended that the correct focus adjustment tool is used on the E4 lens as incorrect tools can damage the plastic and risks damage to the fragile lens material if a slip occurs. Spares E4 lenses are not an easily procured item. You have been warned. The correct lens adjustment tool has been designed by members of the Forum in a format that may be 3D printed cheaply. Please see the separate post detailing the tool STL file locations, above.

If the E4 lens is adjusted away from the factory setting, it will need to be re-set if the camera is to be used for mid to far filed observations. In order to do this, it is worth knowing how the fixed focus lens works.

The lens is set at the HYPERFOCAL point in its focal range. This point, combined with the characteristics of the lens FOV and Aperture permit a great DOF that extends from half the HYPERFOCAL distance to infinity. There is some degradation in focus at infinity and it is this specification that sets the HYPERFOCAL point. The maximum 'defocus' of a spot is decided upon and the lens designed to provide that performance combined with an acceptable near focus distance.

To focus a fixed focus lens the user should set the lens to provide a focussed image at half the HYPERFOCAL distance and not at the infinity point. When set correctly at half the Hyperfocal distance the lens will be correctly set for infinity automatically by its design. Why use the half Hyperfocal distance? Well it is hard to find the exact HYPERFOCAL point by observation but we know the image should remain in focus until half the distance. So as the image is on the cusp of focus at half distance it is easier to see when observing a detailed object.

The FLIR E4 is specified as having a near focus minimum distance of 50cm. The HYPERFOCAL distance should therefore be 100cm. I recommend adjusting the focus at 50cm with the camera looking at a target that contains easily discernible thermal features. This will enable the user to judge when the image comes into sharp focus. Some experimentation will likely be needed and this is not always an easy adjustment to make. I recommend that the focus is not set looking at an infinity target unless you are unconcerned about near focus distances.

I attach the FLIR E4 Technical Data sheet for information
« Last Edit: December 02, 2013, 03:00:01 AM by Aurora »
 

Offline SeanB

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Re: FLIR E4 - The useful information thread
« Reply #7 on: November 18, 2013, 05:59:19 AM »
Would a good test target be a pair of thin nichrome wires arranged as a cross against a thin metal background? Heat them up with a low current to be about 20C above the ambient and this will be an easy to use target.
 

Offline Fraser

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Re: FLIR E4 - The useful information thread
« Reply #8 on: November 18, 2013, 06:13:44 AM »
Bravo V,

I guess I asked for that comment and it was expected from someone  ;)

To be clear, a large number of posts that I placed in the teardown thread had to be removed by me for very real and serious reasons, that are known to Mike, Taucher, and Dave. I do not feel the need to explain myself beyond that and what has already been written in the E4 Teardown thread by Dave and Mike. The teardown thread has become a "how to hack a thermal imager" thread. My presence on such a 'hacking' thread created a problem that required post deletion to rectify.

I may be able recreate the more technical postings in this thread as they, in themselves were not the issue. I do have inside knowledge of thermal camera design that can be shared.

My intention in starting this thread is to provide a repository of USEFUL information to E4 and thermal camera users without it clogging up the Review and Teardown threads. The teardown thread has become a product 'improvement' thread now anyway.

It is my personal view that anyone who wants to read this thread is most welcome to do so, and if it is of any benefit to them, great. Those who have taken a dislike to me, for whatever reasons, may choose to avoid reading my posts by blocking me in their profile. That is their right and in my opinion, their problem to deal with and not mine. With over 25 years at the sharp end of the Merchant Marine world, electronics, RF communications, 'security' and other interesting 'stuff', I think I still have something to offer other EEVBlog members  ;)

I often edit my past posts, not for reasons of 'looking good' or avoiding criticism but because my spelling and typing are less than perfect ! There is nothing sinister in editing posts so that they are more intelligible or detailed.
 
I hope this post makes my position clear and that we can all get along together to the benefit of other members. I am a long standing member who posts only when I have something to offer or need assistance from the very friendly and helpful membership. Here is the olive branch to those that I may have pi**ed off with my posts and necessary post deletions in the Teardown thread, do with it what you will but do not waste my, and others time, with provocative comments please.
I will NOT react.
« Last Edit: November 18, 2013, 08:52:52 AM by Aurora »
 

Offline Fraser

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Re: FLIR E4 - The useful information thread
« Reply #9 on: November 18, 2013, 06:17:02 AM »
SeanB,

I am no expert on the test target but your suggestion appears to be a very good idea. I have recently seen a test target for focussing a cars thermal camera. As detailed, the focus was set at near range and not at infinity. I will see if I can fins a picture of the car thermal test target for you.

I used a thin shafted screwdriver that had been heated with my wife's hairdryer  ;D

Update. The unit is used for calibration and not specifically for focussing the camera as that is done at the cameras factory. The unit is a thermal source however.
« Last Edit: November 18, 2013, 10:07:02 AM by Aurora »
 

Offline SeanB

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Re: FLIR E4 - The useful information thread
« Reply #10 on: November 18, 2013, 06:23:07 AM »
I have a roll of nichrome wire that was the origin of the idea. I can wind a few metres onto a card and post it to you if you want to see how it will work as a heated target. It is basically a hair thin wire on a 0.5kg reel.
 

Online mikeselectricstuff

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Re: FLIR E4 - The useful information thread
« Reply #11 on: November 18, 2013, 06:43:47 AM »
Not sure wire is an ideal target due to relatively low emisssivity and high reflectivity of metal (at least until you turn it up too high and it turns black!).
Maybe a quick wipe with a black marker would help
Youtube channel:Taking wierd stuff apart. Very apart.
Mike's Electric Stuff: High voltage, vintage electronics etc.
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Offline SeanB

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Re: FLIR E4 - The useful information thread
« Reply #12 on: November 18, 2013, 06:52:34 AM »
Dip in black toner and then warm it to 80C and it will be a close to perfect black body.
 

Offline Fraser

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Re: FLIR E4 - The useful information thread
« Reply #13 on: November 18, 2013, 06:55:15 AM »
I am still trying to find the Audi target. It was a white board with a large black cross on it. Once I find it again I will post a picture. It may be Nichrome wire placed under thermally 'black' high emissivity tape ? For those unaware. Shiny silver has poor emissivity but may be made more emissive by coating with a high emissivity tape. FYI, Modelling enamel matt black paint looks grey in thermal terms, and is not true black as in a black source.

SeanB,

Thank you for your kind offer but I do have some Nichrome wire that I bought for making a plastics cutter.
 

Offline Fraser

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Re: FLIR E4 - The useful information thread
« Reply #14 on: November 18, 2013, 07:11:47 AM »
I just found the Audi thermal camera 'calibration' tool

It may be found here but I will include details in case it disappears from view.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Audi-Dealer-Service-Tool-Night-Vision-Assist-Calibration-Adjustmnt-VAS6430-6-New-/281192559068?pt=Motors_Automotive_Tools&hash=item417861f1dc&vxp=mtr


Description of tool:


Accessory for adjusting unit VAS 6430/VAS 6430/1.

The calibration unit VAS 6430/6 is required to supplement adjusting unit VAS 6430/1 and line laser VAS 6350/3 to adjust and calibrate the thermal imaging camera of the enhanced night vision system.

The "enhanced night vision system with highlighting of detected pedestrians" enables the driver to detect, in the dark, persons in the front area of the vehicle that would not be noticeable without enhanced night vision system.

Using images from the camera, the enhanced night vision system can prognose the trajectory of movement of pedestrians that are detected by the system.

If a collision between vehicle and pedestrians is calculated, an acoustic warning signal is sounded to enable the driver to react in good time against the hazard.

To adjust the warning range, calibration unit VAS 6430/6 is placed on VAS 6430/1 and positioned in the center of vehicle travel with the aid of a Volkswagen AG approved wheel alignment computer.

The calibration unit serves as a reference heat source for the thermal imaging camera, which is adjusted according in accordance with instructions from a diagnosis unit.


Items supplied


Calibration unit

Multi-range mains unit 100~240V 50/60Hz (universal)

Assembly and operating instructions

Part: VAS6430/6

Description ends
 

Offline Fraser

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Re: FLIR E4 - The useful information thread
« Reply #15 on: November 18, 2013, 08:24:31 AM »
Lens materials and Close-up lenses

Whilst working on video document cameras/presenters I discovered the use of a Bi-Convex lenses to give the units standard cameras a close-up capability. The lenses used are in fact a standard  ‘+2’ to provide a focus point at the document table.

With what I had learned from document cameras I purchased some ZnSe and GaAs lenses from China that could provide a 100mm focus point. These lenses were purchased to convert my fixed focus fire brigade thermal cameras to a camera that could produce close-up images of electronics.

Lens Materials

The materials from which thermal camera lenses are made are chosen due to their transmission capabilities at thermal camera light wavelengths. Normal photographic lens glass is opaque at such wavelengths.

Top of the list is Germanium. This is a very high performance thermal camera lens material. Lenses are made from a single crystal of Germanium that is both expensive to manufacture and process. The lens shape is cut with a single diamond cutter and then polished. The final step is the coating of the lens with high performance anti-reflective coatings. Do not be deceived by the lens shiny appearance at human vision light wavelengths. Damage to the coatings on the lens is to be avoided at all costs as such caused significant deterioration in the lens performance. The lens will corrode if exposed to oxidising elements such as salt water and not cleaned afterwards. Marinised thermal cameras are protected against such contamination.  Fresh water will also cause damage over time. Germanium lenses are very expensive to replace and may place a camera beyond economic repair.

There are other materials that have acceptable transmission characteristics at thermal wavelengths. All have their pros and cons but thankfully one is easily obtained and gives very good performance. The material is called Zinc Selenide ,  ZnSe for short ! The material has excellent performance bandwidth and transmission characteristics that suit the use with thermal cameras very well. It is also relatively inexpensive when compared to Germanium. On the negative front, the material is translucent yellow at visual wavelengths and cannot be used as a thermal camera visible light filter. Such is not needed when used as an auxiliary lens however. ZnSe is also quite a soft material that must be treated with care, just like any lens. The materials safety sheet does not indicate any health issues with ZnSe. Please read the ZnSe materials safety data sheet before using such a lens. There are specific safety issues associated with abuse or the application of acid to the material (think acid cure silicone here).  This material is an excellent choice for cheap auxiliary lenses. Safety sheet attached.

GaAs is another material that has properties suitable for use as a lens at thermal wavelengths. The material has a narrower bandwidth than ZnSe and a lower transmission specification. Its advantage is that it is a harder material so will resist scratching in harsher working environments. The cost of a GaAs lens is similar to that of a ZnSe type.

A new material has been designed and manufactured in recent years to address the issue of the production costs associated with Germanium lenses. It is named Chalcogenide Glass. The material has been developed to a point where it may be moulded to shape rather than cut with a diamond cutter. This has significantly lowered production costs for OEM’s. The performance of the new material is excellent and in some areas, exceeds that of Germanium. GASIR is a trade name for such a lens material.  This is the material that is believed to be used in the FLIR E4 camera. The material has been around since 2006 but is not to be found easily on the retail marketplace.

http://eom.umicore.com/en/infrared-optics/blanks/

As has been stated, there are other materials that will work as lenses at thermal camera wavelengths but some are very hard to source, very fragile or poisonous !

So what do you need to give a fixed focus thermal camera a close-up capability without adjusting the units primary lens focus ?

I recommend that a ZnSe  Bi-convex lens is purchased for the purpose. These lenses are available cheaply from China and are made for the CO2 laser cutter market. It is fortuitous for users that the lenses also work with thermal cameras as well ! The lens specification is given in terms of lens diameter and the focal length. The diameter needs to be selected to suit the camera lens. It is not a good idea to select a lens smaller than the primary lens diameter ! It does still work though (with limitations). The focal length is the distance in front of the lens at which sharp focus will occur. I selected a 19mm diameter lens as that was a common diameter for filter holders in the 1970’s. The focal length I needed for my cameras was 100mm to give me an acceptable field of view with enough detail. Mike has carried out experiments with the four common focal length lenses. He has chosen the 50mm focal length as optimum for PCB inspection using the FLIR E4 camera. This makes sense as my test camera’s field of view is half that of the E4 at 24, Degree’s. Expect to pay around $30 per lens including shipping from China.

I purchased my lenses from here:

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
 
I also purchased the GaAs lenses for testing but found no advantage to their use in my application. The lower transmission specification is a disadvantage so ZnSe was used. 

A suitable lens mount is needed to position the lens in front of the thermal cameras primary lens. The auxiliary lens should be as close to the primary lens as is practical to avoid optical vignetting  or anomalies. 

Once the auxiliary lens is in position, enjoy the close-up capabilities of your camera

I have attached a picture of my close-up lenses including their lens holders.

In the picture, the large close-up lens is a commercial product by Inframetrics that cost several Thousand US Dollars. It is almost 60mm diameter and made from Germanium. I did say Germanium lenses were expensive didn't I  ;)

In front of the Inframetrics lens you have the GaAs lens on the left, and the ZnSe lens on the right.

UPDATE: Georges80 has produced the STL files for 3D printing a lens holder to the E4. Great work from this Gentleman ! (Message 1494)

http://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/flir-e4-thermal-imaging-camera-teardown/1485/?topicseen

Post #3 in this thread gives details of two companies in the UK that can 3D print this lens holder for you. I just ordered two holders in black plastic. Cost was GBP3.55 each + GBP4.99 setup and postage.


UPDATE 2.

Mike did some tests using the ZnSe auxiliary lenses on the E4. He was able to provide detail of the field of view that each lens FL produced (message #766)

http://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/flir-e4-thermal-imaging-camera-teardown/765/

Table repeated here for ease of reference:

From Mikes post #766:

From some very quick tests I found 50mm was a good compromise
The figures I got were :
Lens FL / focus distance from front of rubber housing  / width of field of view
100mm  / 80mm / 60mm
50mm / 40mm / 35mm
25mm / 25mm / 20mm

As FOV is nominally about 60 deg, the focus distance and field of view is roughly the same as the lens focal length

UPDATE 3

For those interested in the typical CO2 laser ZnSe lens spectral response, look here:

http://www.thorlabs.de/newgrouppage9.cfm?objectgroup_id=4313

Its not bad for our purposes but there will be some effect on the cameras calibration.

UPDATE 4

Please see this post regarding Bi-Convex Vs Plamo Convex lenses for this application:

http://www.eevblog.com/forum/reviews/flir-e4-the-useful-information-thread/msg383035/#msg383035
« Last Edit: February 07, 2014, 10:35:07 PM by Aurora »
 

Offline Fraser

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Re: FLIR E4 - The useful information thread
« Reply #16 on: November 18, 2013, 09:37:42 AM »
The thermal camera development that lead to the FLIR E4 ?

For those interested in the origins of the technology that resides within the FLIR E4 you may wish to read Mike's Teardown thread and also the attached document that was produced by AutoLiv, a partner of FLIR in automotive thermal camera technology.

Mike's E4 teardown thread is here:

http://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/flir-e4-thermal-imaging-camera-teardown/

UPDATE

I have added another document to this post that details the lens technology and its characteristics.

Lightpath lens brochure also makes interesting reading:

http://www.lightpath.com/literature/brochures/LightPath%20Infrared%20Web%20Brochure%2004-2013.pdf
« Last Edit: December 12, 2013, 01:24:35 PM by Aurora »
 

Offline pickle9000

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Re: FLIR E4 - The useful information thread
« Reply #17 on: November 18, 2013, 10:37:25 AM »
LENS protection / thermal window material

A question was asked in another thread regarding thermally transmissive 'window' materials.

FLIR disposable lens protectors for thermal cameras use the 12 or 25 micron shrink wrap plastic called Polyolefin, that is commonly found as the WRAPPER on CD cases.

I bought a large roll of the plastic very cheaply. IIRC around GBP5 for 1mx20m.

Additional info added:

I purchased 25 micron Polyolefin from the following company and it works very well. I just tried a piece in front of my E4 and the camera sees through it fine.

Bee Beautiful .....www.beebeautiful.org.uk

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/20mtrs-Polyolefin-Shrink-Wrap-Film-25-micron-450mm-/350800488552?pt=UK_Packaging_Materials&hash=item51ad56a868#ht_1387wt_1018

FYI in Canada Polyolefin is available at many building supply centers in a "Window heat shrink kit". It's used to create a dead air space for windows and increases the "R" value of the window overall. A typical kit will include 1-3 40x60 inch sheets and double sided sticky tape for 5 or 6 bucks.
 

Offline Fraser

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Re: FLIR E4 - The useful information thread
« Reply #18 on: November 18, 2013, 10:44:04 AM »
Thanks for that information.

The stuff appears to be in common use in the food wrapping industry as well. Thankfully it is nice and cheap.

The FLIR disposable lens protectors are cheaper than a Germanium protector but still not cheap in pocket change terms. I have seen posts from users needing to fit new film, but the FLIR 'frame' design does not allow for such and is a sealed assembly. The greatest challenge for me is to make suitable frames upon which to fit the film and mount on the camera. I can see that I am going to have to get into creating 3D printer STL files as the actual printing by a commercial company is dirt cheap here in the UK.
« Last Edit: November 18, 2013, 10:47:17 AM by Aurora »
 

Offline pickle9000

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Re: FLIR E4 - The useful information thread
« Reply #19 on: November 18, 2013, 11:17:43 AM »
Why not cut the top of a baby cup (the non screw on kind)? That should hold the film without damaging it. Make sure it's dishwasher safe so you can use a heat gun to remove any wrinkles. 
 

Offline Fraser

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Re: FLIR E4 - The useful information thread
« Reply #20 on: November 18, 2013, 12:15:25 PM »
There speaks a man with experience of babies  ;D

I have not had the pleasure of raising babies so never thought of the baby bottles cap. An excellent idea that I shall pursue. Thank you  :)
 

Offline Fraser

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Re: FLIR E4 - The useful information thread
« Reply #21 on: November 18, 2013, 01:04:42 PM »
Serial Number recorded against calibration date and firmware

Serial Number   Calibration Date   Firmware

6390 27xx              20 Sep            1.17.7 Note: Hardware Version is E4 1.0
6390 2xxx              20 Sep            1.18.7
6390 3xxx                  ?                 1.18.7
6390 35xx              30 Sep            1.18.7
6390 3xxx              30 Sep             1.18.8
6390 3xxx              01 Oct             1.18.8
6390 37xx              02 Oct             1.18.7
6390 38xx              02 Oct             1.18.8
6390 3xxx              03 Oct             1.18.7
6390 48xx              25 Oct             1.18.8
6390 5xxx              23 Oct             1.18.8
6390 5xxx              28 Oct             1.18.8
6390 5xxx              28 Oct             1.19.8
6390 55xx              30 Oct             1.19.8
6390 63xx              07 Nov            1.19.8
6390 65xx              09 Nov            1.19.8
6390 68xx              11 Nov            1.19.8 E4 V1.0
6390 686x              13 Nov            1.19.8
6390 688x              13 Nov            1.19.8
6390 ?                   19 Nov            1.19.8
6390 76xx              21 Nov            1.19.8 E4 V1.0
6890 77xx              22 Nov            1.19.8
6390 7xxx              25 Nov            1.19.8
6390 83xx              27 Nov            1.19.8
6390 84xx              28 Nov            1.19.8
6390 85xx              28 Nov            1.19.8 E4 V1.1
6390 86xx              29 Nov            1.19.8 E4 V1.1  (H/Lines on visual image at low bat)
6390 88xx              02 Dec            1.19.8 E4 V1.1
6390 89xx              03 Dec            1.19.8 E4 V1.1
6390 9xxx              04 Dec            1.19.8 E4 V1.1 (UI Crash/Screen Noise. Cold boot OK)
6390 970x              09 Dec            1.19.8 E4 V1.1
6390 971x              09 Dec            1.19.8 E4 V1.1
6390 974x              09 Dec            1.19.8 E4 V1.1
6390 975x              09 Dec            1.19.8 E4 V1.1
6391 01xx              12 Dec            1.19.8 E4 V1.1
6391 0xxx              13 Dec            1.19.8 E4 V1.1
6391 0xxx              17 Dec            1.19.8 E4 V1.1
6391 0xxx              20 Dec            1.19.8 E4 V1.1
6391 16xx              07 Jan 14        1.19.8 E4 V1.1
6391 17xx              07 Jan            1.19.8 E4 V1.1
6391 23xx              16 Jan            1.19.8 E4 V1.1
6391 25xx              18 Jan            1.19.8 E4 V1.1
6391 260x              18 Jan            1.19.8 E4 V1.1
6391 261x              18 Jan            1.19.8 E4 V1.1
6391 266x              20 Jan            1.19.8 E4 V1.1
6391 267x              22 Jan            1.19.8 E4 V1.1
6391 269x              ?? Jan            1.19.8 E4 V1.1
6391 272x              21 Jan            1.19.8 E4 V1.1
6391 273x              21 Jan            1.19.8 E4 V1.1
6391 283x              22 Jan            1.19.8 E4 V1.1
6391 286x              22 Jan            1.19.8 E4 V1.1
6391 29xx              23 Jan            1.19.8 E4 V1.1
6391 36xx              29 Jan            1.19.8 E4 V1.1
6391 369x              29 Jan            1.19.8 E4 V1.1
6391 3xxx              30 Jan            1.19.8 E4 V1.1
6391 408x                 ??               1.19.8 E4 V1.1
6391 408x              04 Feb           1.19.8 E4 V1.1
6391 44xx              29 Jan            1.19.8 E4 V1.1
6391 44xx              05 Feb           1.19.8 E4 V1.1
6391 444x              05 Feb           1.19.8 E4 V1.1
Not in Camera @    05 Feb           1.21.0 RELEASED on FLIR web site - Built 13 Jan COUNTERMEASURED 
6391 46xx              7 Feb             1.21.0 E4 V1.1L First reported countermeasured camera
6391 47xx            14 Feb             1.21.0 E4 V1.1L    
6391 475x            ?? Feb             1.21.0 E4 V1.1L    
6391 49xx            17 Feb             1.21.0 E4 V1.1L                                                        
6391 494x            ?? Feb             1.21.0 E4 V1.1L
6391 500x           10 Mar             1.21.0 E4 V1.1L
6391 613x           25 Feb             1.21.0 E4 V1.1L
6391 69xx           ?? Mar              1.21.0 E4 V1.1L
                           10 Mar             1.21.0 Hacked
Not in Camera @ 10 Mar             1.22.0 RELEASED on FLIR web site
                           10 Mar             1.22.0 Hacked
6391 7xxx            ?? Mar             1.22.0 E4 V1.1L
6391 84xx            11 Mar             1.22.0 E4 V1.1L
6391 85xx            11 Mar             1.22.0 E4 V1.1L
6391 851x            11 Mar             1.22.0 E4 V1.1L
6391 85xx            12 Mar             1.22.0 E4 V1.1L
6391 853x            12 Mar             1.22.0 E4 V1.1L
6391 86xx            12 Mar             1.22.0 E4 V1.1L
6391 862x            12 Mar             1.21.0 E4 V1.1L
6391 86xx            13 Mar             1.21.0 E4 V1.1L
6391 89xx            13 Mar             1.22.0 E4 V1.1L
6391 9xxx            14 Mar             1.22.0 E4 V1.1L
6391 95xx            16 Mar             1.22.0 E4 V1.1L
6391 989x            20 Mar             1.22.0 E4 V1.1L
6391 996x            20 Mar             1.22.0 E4 V1.1L

6392 0xxx            25 Mar             1.22.0 E4 V1.1L
6392 019x            21 Mar             1.22.0 E4 V1.1L
6392 023x            21 Mar             1.22.0 E4 V1.1L
6392 17xx            03 Apr              1.22.0 E4 V1.1L
6392 21xx            08 Apr              1.22.0 E4 V1.1L
6392 29xx            11 Apr              1.22.0 E4 V1.1L
6392 4xxx               ?                   1.22.0 E4 V1.1L
6392 5xxx            28 Apr              1.22.0 E4 V1.1L
6392 54xx            28 Apr              1.22.0 E4 V1.1L

Not in Camera @    18 May           2.1.0 RELEASED on FLIR web site - Built 16 May

6392 85xx            23 May             2.1.0 E4 V1.2L
                                                         
                                                           

As can be seen, there are four Firmware versions known to exist (Superceded - see updates)

1.17.7
1.18.7
1.18.8
1.19.8

A Fifth Firmware is rumoured to exist (1.20.3) but this has not been independently verified.
Update: As the report of a 'countermeasured' fimware 1.20.3 is now old, and 1.19.8 is still being deployed by the factory as at 4 December, the report must be considered bogus. A possible Trolling attempt on the part of a mischievious person.
It would appear that the latest confirmed Firmware Version, 1.19.8, was released on 28 October 2013 if the calibration date is used as the date reference. 1.19.8 is not available to download from FLIR at the time of writing.

I will continue to update this list as and when new details are submitted by owners.

UPDATE 11 Dec 13

It is now confirmed that two E4 versions exist. E4 V1.0 and E4 V1.1. The differences have yet to be identified and investigated. Both versions are currently using the 1.19.8 firmware and remain open to user 'enhancement'.  (as at 03 Dec 2013)

UPDATE 05 Feb 14

FLIR have just released firmware version 1.21.0. Built 13 Jan. No release documentation detailing changes from previous versions. Recommendation.... DO NOT INSTALL this update until more is known about it.

UPDATE 05 Feb 14 follow up

It has been confirmed by 'Taucher'. FLIR FW 1.21.0 has been designed to hamper/prevent the enhancement of the Ex series cameras. See here:
http://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/flir-e4-thermal-imaging-camera-teardown/msg382081/#msg382081

UPDATE 20 Feb 14

The first reported E4 with firmware 1.21.0 installed carried a 7 February 2014 calibration date.
It is worthy of note that the camera had a Hardware version of 1.1L. The meaning of the L suffix is not known at this time, but could indicate a hardware change to counter upgrade attempts.

Update:
Latest known E4 with FW 1.19.8 is  : 6391 444x  05 Feb 1.19.8 E4 V1.1

UPDATE 10 March 14
First signs of a successful hack on the 1.21.0 firmware. See the Teardown thread.
New firmware released on FLIR web site ! Version 1.22.0. No change needed to hack.

UPDATE 18 May 14
First signs of a new firmware 2.1.0 built 16 May 14. Yet to appear in a camera.

UPDATE 30 May 14
First report of E4 with FW 2.1.0 s/n 6392 85xx. New hardware revision of 1.2L Cal date 23 May 14

UPDATE:

Collection of serial numbers and firmware versions has been suspended as of 5 July 2014. I will not be adding any more data to this Posting.


« Last Edit: July 06, 2014, 08:00:14 AM by Aurora »
 

Offline Fraser

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Re: FLIR E4 - The useful information thread
« Reply #22 on: November 20, 2013, 03:12:29 AM »
I attach pictures of the parts I had 3D printed by UK company UK-3D.com.

These parts are the Taucher and Georges80 focus tools and the Georges80 close-up lens adapter.

Maybe I am being too fussy but I thought the finish would be a little finer. Any experts on extrusion 3D printing care to comment ? Is this as good as I can expect ? I believe these were made by a Makerbot2 ?l What I need is one of those clever laser 3D printers  ;D
« Last Edit: November 20, 2013, 03:15:56 AM by Aurora »
 

Offline Fraser

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Re: FLIR E4 - The useful information thread
« Reply #23 on: November 25, 2013, 03:20:44 AM »
Focus tool received from Lunevalley 3D in the UK.

Product is of superior finish to that made by UK-3D.com

I attach pictures for comparison. The Lunevalley 3D part is printed in white and the UK-3D one is in black.

Full disclosure: Lunevalley 3D  provided me with the sample piece (in white) free of charge in the hope that I would recommend their services to others. From my experience with them and UK-3D.com, I have no hesitation in recommending Lunevalley 3D, based on merit alone.

Other UK based 3D printing companies are available but, as I have found, not all provide the level of finish that may be expected. My future 3D printing needs shall be met by Lunevalley 3D.
« Last Edit: November 25, 2013, 03:28:24 AM by Aurora »
 

Online mikeselectricstuff

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Re: FLIR E4 - The useful information thread
« Reply #24 on: November 25, 2013, 10:07:02 AM »
A suggestion for a  minor improvement to the lens tool - add  a hole in the outer edge to attach a lanyard, so it can, for example, be tied int the soft case to avoid it getting lost.

..or you could just drill it..!
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