Author Topic: Fraser has bought his new favourite daily use camera - The FLIR Exx. Love it  (Read 7240 times)

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Offline Fraser

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I have made a significant thermal camera purchase........

I think I have now found my favourite modern thermal camera for daily use.

A little story to entertain you, dear reader.......

As some readers will know, I collect thermal cameras and have quite a number of different models that I use for different tasks. My FLIR E4 is my daily use camera as its upgraded 320 x 240 pixel resolution plus extra menus fits my general lab needs well. It is fixed focus which is a pity but for the price I paid it is a bargain thermal camera IMHO.

My industrial thermal cameras from the likes of FLIR and NEC AVIO are capable of producing superior images and data output than that of the humble E4, but then they cost a lot more money when new so no surprises there. On the down side, those Industrial thermal cameras tend to be heavier and less ergonomically refined than modern offerings from the likes of FLIR. Lovely image quality though :)

My FLIR PM695 cameras are likely my best specified units with their 320 x 240 pixel large and sensitive microbolometer, huge Germanium lenses, excellent image processing, 60 frames per second output and even true manual/auto focus modes ! (not fixed focus deep DOF that is commonly called 'auto focus' in marketing blurb)

What I have been hunting for is a thermal camera that shares the best elements of the E4 and PM695 camera. The Holy Grail of thermal cameras for me I suppose. I am retired so buying a new top of the line FLIR camera is not going to happen. I decided to take a look at the FLIR Exx series and see whether it would suit my needs. In short, I was impressed with the specification, ergonomics and the all important ability to upgrade the specification in a similar way to that done on the E4 cameras. It also had a built in 60fps MP4 video recording capability. This will be very useful for my wildlife observation work.

I came across several Exx series cameras on eBay but they were either too expensive or the latest MSX equipped model that I wanted to avoid due to the potential upgrade complications. I am not even certain that the latest MSX model can be upgraded as far as the older model in terms of enabling all E60 options etc.

I found some Exx cameras that looked promising but the condition was marginal. I have no issue buying well used thermal cameras and happily restore them to their former glory. On this occasion though, I wanted a really nice example of a FLIR Exx, but at a price that I could afford..... a big ask ! I was looking for a circa 2012 Exx camera that had been very well cared for and for less than £1000.

The cheapest Exx camera is usually the less capable E30bx model that has very limited functionality and a single temperature range of -20C to +150C. It was intended for building survey work. On paper this model was without wireless connectivity but some models did contain the wireless transceiver so were upgradeable to use such.

As a little bit of background on the Exx series cameras.... there are at least three versions of the series in existence.

MK1 - The first release of this excellent thermal camera. the basic E30 model does not have the flashlight or visible light camera active, but the hardware is present behind a blanking plate and may be enabled as part of the upgrade process. I do not think this first generation was equipped with wireless connectivity either. (happy to be corrected on this)

MK1 Facelifted - A new version of the MK1 Exx was released. This had a slightly different navigation keypad format (separate U, D, L, R buttons), the E30 had the visible light camera and flashlight active as standard, and Wireless connectivity was enabled on all models higher than the basic E30. The camera performance was otherwise unchanged.

MK11 - The MK11 was officially designated as such and is very easily identified by its similar keypad design to that of the Ex series (a simple clipped corner square navigation pad). This new version came equipped with MSX edge overlay technology to improve image context and interpretation. In truth MSX is only really a help on the lower resolution cameras as 320x240 pixels provide excellent image context and clarity already. The platform came equipped with all the features of the MK1 Facelifted model plus some extras like display auto orientation as found on smart phones. Is it a significant upgrade on the MK1 Facelifted model ? IMHO , no. The MSX may appeal to some users but the potential added complexity of upgrading the MK11 to the maximum available E60 specification is a big issue for me personally.
Better to upgrade from E40 spec to full E60 spec than have MSX IMHO. The E30 model was deleted from the Exx range with the introduction of the MK11. The base model became the E40 and E40bx.

The above summary of changes is not comprehensive as I did not research every difference once I had decided to search for the MK1 Facelifted model.

I did a few searches on eBay for the E30, E30bx and E40, E40bx but found nothing that fell within my budget or condition requirements. One camera looked promising but then I read that it was ex. Lease and the wear on the buttons told be that it had been hard used. The price was not good enough to tempt me.... no, I would hold out for a really nice condition unit at the right price. More searches followed but I began to suspect my specification could not be met within my £1000 budget.

Then one day I literally stumbled upon a superb condition Mk1 Facelifted E30bx on eBay that was privately owned and looked very well cared for. The camera came with all its accessories, an extra battery and the charging dock. I thought I had found my perfect camera to upgrade to E60bx spec. The lack of the higher Temperature Range 2 was not an issue for me.

I hit the 'buy it now' button and thought my search was over. I did my research on the E60 spec upgrade process and prepared a laptop for the task in readiness for the cameras arrival. The next day brought bad news from the seller. He had already sold the camera to a local chap for cash and had not been able to cancel the auction before I hit the 'buy it now' button. A mixture of emotions surged through me.... sadness, disappointment and anger. It took a day for me to calm down over the whole matter, but life goes on and nobody died. I had possibly missed the best Exx deal that I would see for a long time though :(

With a heavy heart I moved on from the failed E30bx purchase and started my searches of all likely sources of a used Exx camera again. Soon after, I found an advertisement for a Mk1 Facelifted E40 that was new in the box ! I had not imagined I would find such a camera version new in the box, and at a price that I could afford. I was initially suspicious that it was some sort of scam advertisement. Some checks and phone calls proved that to not be the case. It was a business selling excess inventory that was no longer required. A sale followed, and at an excellent price. My Guardian Angel had looked after me well on this deal :)

The camera arrived in due course and I opened the case with some trepidation. Was the camera as good as described ? The answer, I am pleased to say, was yes. It was perfect :) A quick check proved it to be functioning perfectly and the statistics page revealed that the camera had been switched on only 6 times since its manufacture and had virtual no run time on it. Just initial testing I suspect. The supplied Calibration certificate shows December 2011. It is running on its original 1.33.20 firmware. The Model number is E40 0.10 and Part No is 49001-0301

Only one battery was included and no external charger, but I can live with that. I can rebuild the battery but it appears to still be in good condition. The camera is unblemished and just needs to be upgraded to release its full potential.

I found the Tools+ Software licence for two users which was great :) plus the camera has its correct Exx soft pouch to protect it from knocks when not in its hard case.

I have, at last, found a modern lightweight high performance camera that provides me with what I need, in a format that I like, and at a price that I could afford. I am very happy with my new camera.

Now this could well be the last expensive thermal camera that I purchase because it fulfils all my needs. In fact it is likely time for me to send some of my other good cameras to new homes to recover my investment in them. I will always buy thermal camera projects to restore in order to learn abut their designs and the enjoyment that repairing them provides. I recently bought a very used looking ARGUS 3 for that reason. It is great to raise a thermal camera from the grave and get it working again :)

Well I hope this little story has been of some interest. Others may also be looking for a really nice modern thermal camera.... to you I say, buy carefully and go for the best you can afford. Be on the look-out for a camera that has been well cared for and that you are certain will meet your needs, either 'as bought' or after upgrade. sadly there are a lot of fraudsters advertising thermal cameras so ensure that you make contact with them by telephone in your country and check their details. Paying via PayPal is an option but Bank Transfer is possible if you have managed to validate the sellers identity (as I did). There will always be risks when spending such large sums of money on a product but just do your checks and be cautious. A deal that seems too good to be true usually is. I got lucky... great price and totally legitimate UK based business seller :) Not exactly a cheap item to buy, but oh so nice to use  :)

I have purchased the genuine FLIR Tripod adapter bracket. It is a pity that this is not provided with these expensive cameras, but buying the proper rigid metal bracket makes sense when the value of the camera is considered and what a fall could do to it. My bracket came from Amazon for £36 delivered.

I attach pictures of my camera and also pictures of the three FLIR Exx versions.

My next task will be to do the upgrade on the camera :)

Fraser
« Last Edit: May 18, 2017, 08:58:06 pm by Fraser »
 
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Offline Fraser

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My E40 .........
 

Offline Fraser

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My latest 'patient' .... an Argus 3 in need of some TLC !

I will use this to learn more about the ARGUS 3 camera design. It may not be a viable full restoration due to its poor external condition. It may even end up as a test chassis for repairing other ARGUS 3 cameras.

Fraser
« Last Edit: May 18, 2017, 05:53:52 am by Fraser »
 

Offline Chanc3

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Great purchase! The older model is indeed very hackable! The interface is quite different to the newer model, although it's much easier to use.

I'm still at a loss as to how you find companies that sell these bargains!

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Offline HighVoltage

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Wow, what a great story
And it seems to be a very nice camera.

My modified E4 still works very well and is my every day IR camera.
But this one does indeed looks like a next good upgrade.
Thanks for sharing
There are 3 kinds of people in this world, those who can count and those who can not.
 

Offline Fraser

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@Chanc3,

I am still envious of the Agema THV550 you got for a song  ;)

It is all about social networking, and it comes naturally to me  ;D

Other times I get lucky .... like the £125 'as new' PM575 I found on eBay  ;D

Sorry I cannot be more specific, it just seems to be something I am good at..... finding 'stuff'

Fraser
 

Offline layws

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I was buy new type from eBay. And improved focus damping.
 

Offline Fraser

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Hi Layws,


Have you managed to upgrade your MK11 model Exx camera to the full E60 capabilities (resolution and menus) yet ?

Regarding the focus ring damping, my cameras is very well damped. Maybe because it is still new ?

Best Wishes

Fraser
 

Offline Fraser

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The FLIR Exx series tripod adapter arrived today.......

In short, I am disappointed with it  :(

The Exx series camera is equipped with a standard Tripod screw hole but it is in a confined area that does not make its use easy.
To address this issue, FLIR developed and released the official Tripod Adapter plate/bracket for the series. This plate is designed to hug the casing of the camera and provide a nice solid mounting point for a tripod. Note I did say SOLID here.

I decided that when mounting my camera on a tripod, which I will be doing at some point in time, I wanted the assurance of a quality tripod/camera interface, rather than making a 3D printed version that could delaminate at any time (there is quite a lot of torque on the mount).

With heavy heart I paid £38 for the official FLIR adapter plate. Reviews I had read of it were positive and I am sure that I read that it was made from metal.

Whilst searching for the tripod adapter in the UK I saw that its part number had changed. The old part number had become obsolete with the change to the latest MK11 Exx camera series release. No worries I thought, it is the same thing.....or is it ?

The adapter plate arrived today and I opened the neat little box expecting to find a nice heavy duty cast aluminium bracket. What I found was a light weight bracket that looked the part, but is made of PLASTIC  :scared:   £38 for a simple piece of plastic with a screw through it...... NOT impressed.

Whilst the tripod adapter is nicely moulded and uses both foam padding and a decent securing screw, it looks cheap and the underside is open box sections. Not even an enclosed box section or solid adapter bracket then. This part is what you would normally expect to buy for around £10 as a camera related accessory. Make no mistake, this part has a massive mark up applied to it.

People complain about the possible mark up on thermal cameras these days.... that is nothing compared to the mark up on the accessories ! I will use my own argument against myself though...... these items have relatively small production numbers and come from companies that are used to producing expensive professional products. In my professional life, it was not unusual for a single special M4 screw from Racal to cost £25 or more. You were paying for its specialist nature and the fact that a warehouse was full of such spare parts, with significant running costs.

So am I complaining about the bracket ?  .... Yes I am. It is not what I would expect from FLIR for £38. It should be of metal or construction. I suspect that the earlier part was of metal and that this one is a cost reduced version for the MK11 Exx series. This is another reason why I wanted a MK1 Exx camera. Sometimes in industry a manufacturer releases a MK11 model of a product that the accountants have meddled with at the design stage...... it is cost reduced at all opportunities. This includes reducing number or type of case securing screws etc. This is especially so if the Mk11 product is to be retailed at a lower price to improve market share or sales. I have no idea about the MK11 Exx camera in this respect but the bracket looks cost reduced to my eyes.

FLIR may employ a minimum accessory cost threshold to their stock. Their USB cables are certainly pricey !

Finally... comparing this adapter plate/bracket to a similar accessory for the FLIR HS spotting scope......

The HS uses a 'Hot Shoe' that mounts under the scope to provide external battery charging and video output faciilities. The Hot Shoe contains a PCB and electronics needed for the task. It comprises the following parts.....

Main body in Plastic
Spring loaded tripod mount screw in plastic and metal
PCB providing power input monitoring, filtering and video output
Bottom cover in plastic
Screws to attach bottom cover to main case.

The official FLIR price for the above $50
The price of the Exx tripod plate ... $50

Hmm something seems wrong there !

Anyway, I may, or may not, keep the adapter plate. I could make a better one in metal myself but that does take time.

As you can tell, I am having a bit of a whinge here.... but only because I think the official FLIR tripod adapter product deserves to be seen as what it is....

Cheaply made and over priced.

Fraser
« Last Edit: May 19, 2017, 12:19:30 am by Fraser »
 

Offline Fraser

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The FLIR HS series Hot Shoe ... same price, but far more complex to make.

Fraser
 

Offline Fraser

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Following on from my comments about 'MK11' products.......

There is a difference between the MK1 and Mk11 Exx cameras that is worthy of note.

This could be an example of cost reduction OR, more likely, product ergonomics improvement.....

The Exx MK1 has a pair of hinged 'doors' that come down over the I/O ports of the camera on both sides of it. The doors are secured in place with sprung loaded sliding catches. When the catch is released, the door opens vertically like a wing. Once open, there is easy access to the various I/O ports but there is a relatively fragile door 'hanging in the breeze' as it were.

Upon closer inspection, the two doors are actually quite a complex design and possible over engineered for the task. I have nothing against over engineering if it means better build quality though  :) Each door is properly hinged and each has the spring loaded catch assembly at the bottom edge. A nice quality sift seal is located on the inside of the doors to seal the I/O ports against dust and moisture. Very nice quality I must say.

In terms of production cost, I believe these two doors would be quite expensive and a likely target of any cost reduction process that ever revisited the design, such as for a MK11 model.

It was interesting to note that there was a paper note in the case that detailed how to open the I/O doors. I suspect FLIR were suffering door catch failures due to people brute force opening them rather than sliding the catch back. Not good is that was occurring and that should have been discovered during the UAT stage of development.

OK, so my camera appears to have over engineered I/O cover doors that, though effective, could be better designed.

Move forwards to the Exx Mk11 model release......

At first glance the most obvious physical change to the design is the keypad. It now follows the same design aspects as the Ex series with an anonymous cut corners square navigation pad and no keypad backlight (?)  A possible cost reduction as the parts used may be shared across the Ex and Mk11 Exx range ?

A closer look at the MK11 and its I/O port covers reveals a significant change. The I/O ports are still located on either side of the camera, but they are now covered with soft rubber 'flaps'. These are a far simpler affair to the MK1 doors and much simpler for the user to operate. The rubber doors need no hinges or securing latches and are relatively robust. The 'hinge' forward so, unlike the MK1 doors, are not floating around in the breeze !

The MK11 rubber I/O covers could be seen as a cost reduction due to their simplicity, but they are also an improvement to the over engineered, and slightly less ergonomic, MK1 doors. It is a win win situation for FLIR. Lower production cost and easier use by the customer. Plus no broken door catch support calls  ;D

So when I stated that the MK11 version of a product may have been subjected to the scrutiny of the accountants and cost reduction brigade, it is also an opportunity to improve on a design after realising that the MK1 was not as good as it could have been, or was seriously, and unnecessarily over engineered.

Fraser
 

Offline layws

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Have you managed to upgrade your MK11 model Exx camera to the full E60 capabilities (resolution and menus) yet ?
  Yes, by using WIFI direct connect the E40 folder and files.  :-DD
 

Offline Fraser

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Excellent news. Well done  :-+

Fraser
 

Offline Fraser

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Well here is an interesting disccovery.....

FLIR make the Kxx series fire fighter cameras that are similar in appearance to the Ex and Exx series.

I just found the Kxx series tripod mount adapter and its costs only $21  :o

 http://www.infraredcamerawarehouse.com/flir-tripod-adapter-for-kxx-series-t198457acc/

Sadly it will not fit my Exx series camera but that is the sort of price the Exx tripod adapter should be, not $50.

Fraser
 

Offline Chanc3

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Welcome to the FLIR ecosystem - where you are so reliant on their products, you have to pay their overinflated prices for the smallest and simplest parts!

Yes, I'm definitely on your side when it comes to flir accessories!

Be careful with those doors, when we bought our E60, it was second hand and the clips at the end were easily mashed causing a poor catch. Cost £120 to replace!

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Offline Chanc3

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On a side note, I'm all for producing a better tripod adaptor!

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Offline Fraser

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Hi Chanc3

I am actively looking for an alternative offset mounting plate.

There are many neat camera mounts and adapter plates available from China. They are often of all metal construction, decent quality and cheap !

I think the FLIR mount will be going back to Amazon for a refund.

Thanks for the warning about the side door catches. The fact that Flir included a special note telling users how to operate the catches speaks volumes.

There is also a later version of the MK1 that has the rubber side covers.

The Exx series appears to have had many design 'tweaks' over the years.

Fraser
 

Offline Fraser

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Oooooo FLIR are sneaky......

I just tested the official FLIR tripod adapter and also checked the cameras mounting thread.

The threaded hole on the camera is M5 and not the common photographic 1/4" thread ! A standard photographic offset plate will not fit 'as supplied' it would need the fitting of a M5 screw in place of the 1/4" one.

I also tested the rigidity of the FLIR adapter plate...... absolute cr*p. There is way too much flex in the the plate, which came as no surprise. I would even question the longevity of the adapter as the most flex occurs just in front of the Y yoke where it changes to a different profile for the bull nose offset section. The weakest point in the design.

This accessory is of poor design and poorly implemented. It needs to be made in metal, heavy wall metal at that.

If I had a CNC machine I would make a strengthened copy in solid Aluminium.

Fraser
« Last Edit: May 19, 2017, 12:23:18 pm by Fraser »
 

Offline Fraser

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I think I have found the perfect commercial item to adapt for use as a tripod adapter for the Exx series...... a SLR lens tripod mount ring.  It's will cost around £10 plus an hours labour and be a heck of a lot more rigid than the FLIR adapter.

More on this later.

Fraser
 

Offline Fraser

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My plan for a better tripod mount adapter for the Exx series, all versions.

I have decided to modify an affordable commercially available camera bracket as that removes a lot of the hard work from the project.

My list of requirements is as follows:

1. The bracket must be made from metal in order to provide rigidity
2. The bracket needs to provide a yoke to prevent the camera twisting on the mounting screw
3. A single M5 screw will secure the bracket to the cameras mounting hard-point
4. The bracket must not damage the cameras case whilst in use. It needs to be padded where appropriate
5. The yoke needs to accommodate an approx 37mm radius case curvature
6. It is desirable to have an offset between the 1/4" Tripod mount hole and the M5 camera securing screw position.

I went in search of a suitable ready made product that would meet my projects needs. I settled on the common long-lens tripod support ring. This provides the 1/4" tripod mount plate, an offset, the yoke of suitable curvature, and it is made from metal.

I attach pictures of the lens mounting ring that I have chosen for the project. This particular ring has a 81mm internal diameter.
I shall be adding additional closed cell foam padding to the rings internal surface to provide a snug fit around the cameras case.

The moving section of this particular ring is secured to the static section using a screw. It also has an important locating spigot which will be important for my project as we shall see.

The modification.....

1. The top half of the lens ring will be cut away and the cut edges smoothed before repainting
2. The ring securing screw will be fully tightened to secure the normally movable ring arm to the static part of the assembly
3. The alignment spigot of the moving ring arm shall prevent rotation of that arm whilst in use
4. An M5 screw clearance hole will be drilled down through the bottom of the ring and out through the tripod mount plate
5. The M5 clearance hole will be countersunk on the tripod base face
6. A suitable M5 countersunk socket head screw will be used to secure the bracket to the camera
7. The bottom of the rings curve will be slightly flattened using a file. A suitable washer will then be glued into place to form a flat surface against which the camera will be secured.
8. Thin sealed cell black foam will be applied to the inside of the remaining section of ring to both fill the expected gap and to protect the cameras case from damage

If all goes to plan, this custom modified lens ring will provide a very strong and secure tripod mount adapter for the Exx camera.
There may be a need for some experimentation but that is to be expected. A slightly smaller diameter ring could be tried but the cameras case is 75mm wide above the mounting point so any ring of diameter less than this risks being too tight to the cameras case. This will be further investigated with cardboard templates to establish the optimum ring diameter. I am using the 81mm diameter ring as that may easily be adapted to provide a snug sit around the cameras curved body.

The required 81mm lens tripod mounting ring may be found here:

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/172273154837?_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

The cost is a very reasonable £8.48 delivered to the UK. A £30 saving on the FLIR effort !

The lens mounting ring is coming from China so this project will have to await its arrival in around a month.

I will be returning the official FLIR tripod adapter to Amazon as I do not consider it fit for purpose or worth the £38 that it cost.

Fraser
« Last Edit: May 19, 2017, 12:07:53 pm by Fraser »
 
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Offline layws

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It special tripod type adapter. Can you show the install picture?
The camera tripod screw not 1/4"-20 thumbscrew that not install it.

 T197926 or T198486
« Last Edit: June 01, 2017, 01:46:13 pm by layws »
 

Offline Fraser

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Layws,

I am not quite sure what bracket you are asking to see.

The official FLIR bracket that I purchased went back to Amazon in disgrace. It was a very poor excuse for a tripod bracket that has to support an offset load of almost 1kg. Total Junk IMHO.

The SLR camera lens tripod mounting ring is still finding its way from China so I cannot show pictures of it after modification yet.

When searching for an alternative tripod mounting bracket, the SLR lens tripod mount looked reasonably priced, made of aluminium and easy to modify. One with an internal diameter of >78mm is required. The screw required to secure it to the camera is M5.

No 'off the shelf' camera mount will fit unless the 1/4" mounting screw is changed to an M5 screw. The camera will be prone to rotation around the screw if there are no side arms to the bracket.

Fraser
 

Offline layws

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Dear Fraser:
  I was order one FLIR-T198486 from rs-online.com?
  Shipping date as 6/9
 

Offline Fraser

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I found the official bracket unsatisfactory. It was made of plastic and looked to have a significant weak point and flexed in use.
Amazon charged £38 for it and at that price I would have expected far better quality and for the bracket to be metal rather than ABS plastic. Maybe the bracket will be OK for your needs, but I sent mine back as unfit for purpose.

A more robust bracket could be fabricated from a simple piece of 4mm Aluminium plate and a M5 screw. A 1/4" tripod screw thread can be cut into the thick aluminium plate or a dedicated 1/4" camera thread insert may be used.

Fraser
 

Online Brumby

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Oooooo FLIR are sneaky......

I just tested the official FLIR tripod adapter and also checked the cameras mounting thread.

The threaded hole on the camera is M5 and not the common photographic 1/4" thread !

Why?  Why would they do this?  The 1/4" thread has been standard for everything I've ever encountered!

... and why M5?  They could at least have gone with M6, I would have thought.
 

Offline Fraser

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Brumby,

I quite agree.

I can only think it was deliberate to ensure you buy the official FLIR adapter bracket that has a fat profit margin.
Considering the retail price of the Exx series, I think it poor that the camera does not come with a quality adapter plate in the kit or at least a standard 1/4" photographic standard mount point. FLIR can be a PITA with their marketing approach. The prices of the accessories is daylight robbery.

M6 would have been sensible, as would a second hole to prevent rotation and negating the need for 'side wings' on the bracket. Photographic cameras have had such an arrangement for many years.

The Exx series camera is a lovely unit but it does contain some design faux pas. I can forgive them though  :D

Fraser
 

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Perhaps they think that if you can front up the cash for the device, they can push an overpriced, underperforming accessory down your throat.

That is a bad move in itself, but to go directly against an industry wide standard that has survived for decades is just stoooopid.

IMHO.
 

Offline Fraser

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And let us not forget that the smaller Ex series has no official means to attach it to  tripod. Another 'unusual' decision on the part of FLIR.

Fraser
 

Online Brumby

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It's not as if it is a difficult thing to do...


You have to wonder, sometimes.
 

Offline Fraser

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I am back from my holiday and came home to find some packages from China awaiting my attention.

One contained the Lens ring mount that I am going to modify and another contained a nice little adjustable 'stage' that I need for another project.

It saddens me to see what I get for my money from China compared to what FLIR was offering at £40 (~$50)

The Lens ring mount cost around £8 and the lovely adjustable platform was around £14. Both are made of aluminium. In the case of the platform, it is machined aluminium and has a large stainless steel tripod mount insert. They could have just tapped the aluminium base plate, but no, they installed a proper mount made of suitably strong material. Lovely to see. The build quality and finish of the platform is superb. The lens ring comprises two major parts, cast in aluminium, with hinge pin and screw to secure the ring closed. The ring is simple and the finish not as fine as the platform, but it is sure good value for £8 ! As I am going to cut the ring in half I am not too fussed about the finish as it will be refined as required.

I will be taking a hacksaw saw to the lens ring this week to adapt it to my needs. Pictures will follow when I am at a point where there is something to see.

Take a close look at the platform pictures and see how nicely it is constructed...... this is what I expect of an adapter bracket for a multi thousand Dollar thermal camera from FLIR, not some piece of cheap and flimsy plastic !

The Lens ring with 80mm internal diameter may be found here:

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/401184890147?_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

Now on discount down to £8.08 !


The Platform was bought here:

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/162507699532?_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

Now on discount at £12.47 !



Fraser
« Last Edit: June 12, 2017, 04:02:59 am by Fraser »
 

Offline Fraser

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More pics of the platform quality (not being used with the Exx)

Fraser
 

Offline layws

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It's look very good. No problem
 

Offline Fraser

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I am pleased that you are content with the plastic bracket. I consider its flexing  unacceptable as I work with quality tripods and bracketry. Flexing in a bracket of the magnitude found with the expensive FLIR bracket was unacceptable to me. Others may find it perfectly accepable.

Do inspect the bracket regularly for evidence of plastic fatigue though. The point where the bracket transitions between the camera screw plateau and the shaped 'nose' for the tripod plateau is the likely point of failure if used regularly and the camera handled on the tripod. No such problem would exist if they had used decent metal for the bracket.

Fraser
« Last Edit: February 16, 2018, 10:30:29 am by Fraser »
 

Offline Paw85

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I will be creating a 3D printable adapter for the Exx/Exxbx series that hopefully can bring down the cost and be more stable than the original accessory.
It will require a M5 insex screw (length currently unknown) and a 1/4-3/8 female adapter but those seem to be possible to find for cheap on eBay and the like (~$3).
Edit: (May be possible to use a 1/4-20 UNC nut instead of the adapter to get it done even cheaper)

The reason of this post is to ask if there is any feature that you believe may be important to have on the accessory.
Fraser posted that the original one was not stiff enough so hoping the one created will be better, but is there any other wishes or features that can make it even better than the original adapter?

« Last Edit: February 16, 2018, 06:04:03 am by Paw85 »
 

Offline Paw85

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Have finished a first prototype of a tripod mount for the Exx series now. Supposed to be compatible with Manfrotto 200PL plate (and similar sizes from other manufacturer).
It has support both at the threaded hole, as well as the handle, so wiggles and weak points should be minimized.

It was designed for a 1/4-20 UNC nut, but found out that it will not work due to the very short threaded part of the Manfrotto plate, so have to use a threaded insert, but those are pretty cheap too, will just take a few days to get it shipped here from the UK, will possibly have a fully functional prototype at end of next week.

So far it seem very stable, but thinking of extending it a bit more forward below the lens to make sure that the tripod plate got full support of all of the area to make it as stable as possible.
Might make the top part larger and lower/closer to handle at point of attachment to the tripod to minimize the torque from the imager hanging far from the attachment point.

Anything that can be suggested for improvement of features you'd like on it?
 
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Offline Fraser

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An excellent looking design that has some very good stability enhancing features. Nice, very nice   :-+

Fraser

 

Offline railrun

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That's amazing!
 

Offline Chanc3

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That looks great! You should get your design up on Shapeways so you can make some £££ from it - I'd buy!
 

Offline Paw85

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That looks great! You should get your design up on Shapeways so you can make some £££ from it - I'd buy!

I thought that Shapeways was always very expencive, but will check. Also there's the trouble that there's some assembly required with non-printed parts.

I'm going to test out another revision tomorrow with a few changes to the current one.
* Will try using a thumbwheel to fasten the M5 screw to the camera. (And still possible to use a tool to fasten it more firmly)
* Changed a 1/4 UNC nut to have a 3/8 -> 1/4 insert, that way the common Manfrotto tripod plate will fit.
* Added a second mounting position in front of the trigger, gets the center of gravity to a better position, but limits upward tilt on a ballhead.
* Reduced the width from 47 to 36 mm.

Anything else that you think may be a good improvement?
I may have the possibility to print a few of these if there's an interest,
« Last Edit: February 20, 2018, 08:50:05 am by Paw85 »
 

Offline Fraser

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A very nice piece of design work that I would definitely be interested in trying out. I have my own 3D printer and would choose ABS over PLA for strength and longevity. Printing it in one of the stronger filaments would also be an option.

Looking forward to printing this if the file is made available.

Fraser
« Last Edit: February 20, 2018, 10:42:44 pm by Fraser »
 

Offline Paw85

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Looking forward to printing this if the file is is made available.

Yes the files will be shared for free like all other items I create.
It will be available once the design is working well and I dont see any issues with it anymore :)

If someone dont have access to a 3D printer to print cheaply I may be able to help print, but best is of course if having access locally as shipping cost from Sweden is very high.

For stability PLA is better due to less flex, but I dont think printing it in ABS will make it suffer much, and if it does I can help create an ABS version that uses a bit more material to compensate to bring stiffness up if there's any issues.
 

Offline Chanc3

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Looking forward to printing this if the file is is made available.

Yes the files will be shared for free like all other items I create.
It will be available once the design is working well and I dont see any issues with it anymore :)

If someone dont have access to a 3D printer to print cheaply I may be able to help print, but best is of course if having access locally as shipping cost from Sweden is very high.

For stability PLA is better due to less flex, but I dont think printing it in ABS will make it suffer much, and if it does I can help create an ABS version that uses a bit more material to compensate to bring stiffness up if there's any issues.

You can upload to shapeways and take no commission if you want - that way the buyer will only pay the shapeway's cost price to have it printed and of course, shipping on top. Shapeways have superb quality printers and a wide range of materials.
 

Offline Paw85

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First working prototype now finished. Seem quite stable, but since it's plastic it will move a little when pushed.

I recorded two videos with 4x zoom to show how quickly it return to position when giving the handle (max leverage) bumps first from the side and then downwards.
As expected the front position (where Flir also has their) is least stable, but still quite OK.
Center mount returns more quickly to default position, but movement of the camera is limited due to the angle of the ballhead using that position.

Video of front position mount bumping handle (4x zoom):


Video of cront position mount bumping handle (4x zoom):


Not sure about shapeways, there's still things that needs assembling like the 3/8->1/4 adapters and M5 screw to thumbwheel, and band for the handle.
I'll figure something out, but perhaps better with 3D hubs, as then folks close to the person needing the part can produce the parts and make a bit of earning, instead of a huge company.
Should be cheaper as well for the user.

Picture showing the Exx from side, with thumbwheel for M5 screw visible in red, and ballhead using center mounting point.
 
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Offline Paw85

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I've now finalized stl files for the first release of the tripod adapter for Exx(bx) series camera that you can download and print here.
Some vitamins are needed: M5x14 hex socket screw and a velcro-strap, and 3/8->1/4 UNC adapter.

The files can be found here: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2822096

Hope someone have a use for it as well :)
 
The following users thanked this post: Fraser, Pinkus, zucca, railrun


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