Author Topic: Therm-App Pro with 640x480 thermal resolution  (Read 8959 times)

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Offline frenky

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Therm-App Pro with 640x480 thermal resolution
« on: July 18, 2017, 06:36:53 pm »
I believe this new module deserves a new thread.  ;)

PDF brochure: https://cdn2.hubspot.net/hubfs/2097581/Therm-App%20PRO%20Brochure.pdf?t=1483455849610

Specs:
« Last Edit: July 18, 2017, 06:44:58 pm by frenky »
 

Offline frenky

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Re: Therm-App Pro
« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2017, 06:43:19 pm »
It seems that they have shown this module at SHOT Show 5 months ago:



He mentions price of 3000$.
« Last Edit: July 18, 2017, 06:50:47 pm by frenky »
 

Offline marshallh

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Re: Therm-App Pro with 640x480 thermal resolution
« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2017, 02:42:09 am »
Would be killer if it delivered. I'm prepared for Seek-like quality degradation at 640x480, the die would have to be huge.
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Offline sam1275

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Re: Therm-App Pro with 640x480 thermal resolution
« Reply #3 on: July 19, 2017, 03:48:10 am »
Why it says ">110000 pixels" when there are 307200 pixels? Although it's technically correct...
 

Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: Therm-App Pro with 640x480 thermal resolution
« Reply #4 on: July 19, 2017, 03:51:39 am »
Why it says ">110000 pixels" when there are 307200 pixels? Although it's technically correct...
Maybe category for export control
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Offline Ben321

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Re: Therm-App Pro with 640x480 thermal resolution
« Reply #5 on: July 22, 2017, 09:26:08 am »
Why it says ">110000 pixels" when there are 307200 pixels? Although it's technically correct...
Maybe category for export control

What do you mean by that phrase? What is a category for export control?
 

Offline Bruno28

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Re: Therm-App Pro with 640x480 thermal resolution
« Reply #6 on: July 22, 2017, 09:34:12 am »
Why it says ">110000 pixels" when there are 307200 pixels? Although it's technically correct...
Maybe category for export control

What do you mean by that phrase? What is a category for export control?
I guess that countries have legislation on import. In America you can't get a thermal camera of higher than 9hz without special permit. It's something to do with military. So a resolution category for pixels might be <110000 is ok without permit and >110000 might need some permit?

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Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: Therm-App Pro with 640x480 thermal resolution
« Reply #7 on: July 22, 2017, 09:43:35 am »
In America you can't get a thermal camera of higher than 9hz without special permit.
The restriction is on export , not ownership. I don't believe you need any paperwork to purchase in the US, only to export.

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Offline Bruno28

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Re: Therm-App Pro with 640x480 thermal resolution
« Reply #8 on: July 22, 2017, 09:46:20 am »
In America you can't get a thermal camera of higher than 9hz without special permit.
The restriction is on export , not ownership. I don't believe you need any paperwork to purchase in the US, only to export.
Oh ok thanks for correcting me. I did not know that. I only gathered the information I've seen online from reviewer which state that some countries needed special permits and are difficult to get imported.

Well in any case in Australia I was told by someone that sells these cameras, that the 25hz needed a special import clearance.

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Offline frenky

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Re: Therm-App Pro with 640x480 thermal resolution
« Reply #9 on: July 22, 2017, 07:36:55 pm »
Previus version had 388x284 resolution which is 110,192 pixels.  (>110,000 pixels).
My guess is that designer used old specs template and forgot to change this number to 307200 or >307000.
 

Offline frenky

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Re: Therm-App Pro with 640x480 thermal resolution
« Reply #10 on: July 24, 2017, 07:02:32 pm »
Would be killer if it delivered. I'm prepared for Seek-like quality degradation at 640x480, the die would have to be huge.

i3system also has VGA thermal module for 3000$ in the same size package. http://www.i3-thermalexpert.com/products/t-e-v1/

Images and videos are really nice:

 

Offline SVFeingold

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Re: Therm-App Pro with 640x480 thermal resolution
« Reply #11 on: July 26, 2017, 12:47:46 am »
The V1 (VGA) from Thermal Expert is $4k, and you can get the 25Hz option if you ask. So far seems like the best deal. Curious what the ThermApp will cost.
 

Offline frenky

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Re: Therm-App Pro with 640x480 thermal resolution
« Reply #12 on: July 26, 2017, 03:28:36 pm »
It's $3k for the rest of the world (not USA) if you buy it directly from manufacturer.

US distributor likes to add ridiculous amount of margin on original price...

Curious what the ThermApp will cost.
Opgal (Therm-App) representative on SHOT Show said that it will be $3k.
« Last Edit: July 26, 2017, 03:30:44 pm by frenky »
 

Offline Ben321

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Re: Therm-App Pro with 640x480 thermal resolution
« Reply #13 on: August 03, 2017, 07:15:10 am »
Where did you get this info? Even the official ThermApp website makes no mention that they have released, or are about to release, a 640x480 thermal imager. The best device they currently sell is ThermApp Hz, which has 320x240 resolution and frame rate of 25fps
 

Offline Hagrid

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Re: Therm-App Pro with 640x480 thermal resolution
« Reply #14 on: August 04, 2017, 11:05:05 pm »
Where did you get this info? Even the official ThermApp website makes no mention that they have released, or are about to release, a 640x480 thermal imager. The best device they currently sell is ThermApp Hz, which has 320x240 resolution and frame rate of 25fps

You can get the information from them if you ask the support about it. They told me it is currently available on a per order basis and a pure night vision device only. I wonder why you can't / shouldn't use it as a thermography device.
 

Offline Ultrapurple

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Re: Therm-App Pro with 640x480 thermal resolution
« Reply #15 on: August 11, 2017, 06:56:14 pm »
Hi folks

I finally decided to de-lurk. I'm Ultrapurple, also known as Giles, and I've been using Therm-App thermal cameras for some time. I'm the Admin of the Flickr Therm-App group, which I started in 2014. I have several other thermal cameras but I'm not a particular collector.

I have a Therm-App Pro on order and expect to receive it Real Soon Now™. I'll post photos and thermal image samples on the Flickr group when it arrives.

« Last Edit: August 20, 2017, 05:19:02 am by Ultrapurple »
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Offline frenky

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Re: Therm-App Pro with 640x480 thermal resolution
« Reply #16 on: August 11, 2017, 10:09:15 pm »
Nice to see you here.
Please post an update here when you get it. ;)
 

Offline Ultrapurple

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Re: Therm-App Pro with 640x480 thermal resolution
« Reply #17 on: August 13, 2017, 08:35:35 pm »
Latest update (13 Aug) is that mine might be ready to ship around the start of September. I've asked Opgal some additional questions about the device and will share any non-confidential reply I get.
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Offline Ultrapurple

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Re: Therm-App Pro with 640x480 thermal resolution
« Reply #18 on: August 14, 2017, 12:29:38 am »
I understand from Opgal that after the video above was shot they had some issues that caused some "delays and adjustments". There was a strong hint that the NETD is <30mK as per the brochure but no word on what sensor is used. I specifically asked if my guess of a Ulis Pico 640 was right but didn't get an answer either way.

The price is expected to be US$3000 with 19mm lens and US$3500 with 35mm lens. All are planned to be 25Hz, so expect to fill out some export clearance paperwork before you can buy one.
« Last Edit: August 14, 2017, 01:48:13 am by Ultrapurple »
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Offline Fraser

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Re: Therm-App Pro with 640x480 thermal resolution
« Reply #19 on: August 14, 2017, 01:34:12 am »
The ULIS sensors would certainly be a sensible choice. They are a European product outside of ITAR but still controlled under DUT regulations. Dealing with ULIS is likely easier than US microbolometer manufacturers though. ULIS appear to be a very keen and relatively open supplier of microbolometer sensors.

If you Google ULIS microbolometer, they have produced a lot of background documentation on their microbolometer development. They are fine A-Si sensors. A-Si is always up against the slightly cleaner images produced by VOx sensors, but better A-Si sensor designs and image processing have closed the gap in recent years. The sensors And ROIC are highly integrated so require less support electronics.

The manufacturer of a camera that uses a ULIS microbolometer (or any for that matter) receives recommended pixel bias settings for that particular sensor. The manufacturer can then tweak the various bias voltages to provide the specification they desire. There is a trade-off with biases. You can bias for high sensitivity and lose temperature range, or for temperature range and lower sensitivity. Many thermal camera designs have more than one set of bias voltages to achieve good sensitivity at temperatures below 150C and another range with lower sensitivity, but coverage to several hundred degrees C

Temperature controlled Microbolometers are more stable than those not using the TEC (if available). The stabilised sensor array bias voltages may be tweaked for best performance whereas the non stabilised deployment requires more reserved biases and so not quite as high performance.
I suspect that the Therm App Pro needed some tweaking of the pixel biases to achieve acceptable performance, especially if it is not temperature stabilised in order to save power.

I note the stated temperature range is only 5C to 90C. That suggests to me that the OEM is going for the highest possible sensitivity with 0.03C NETD. Without the use of a TEC, that can be a challenge. The TEC would be quite power hungry though.

Fraser
« Last Edit: August 14, 2017, 07:23:35 pm by Fraser »
 

Offline Ultrapurple

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Re: Therm-App Pro with 640x480 thermal resolution
« Reply #20 on: August 14, 2017, 05:11:32 pm »
... OEM is going for the highest possible sensitivity with 0.03mK NETD.

Fraser

I'd like to see that sensitivity from an uncooled sensor!

Just playfully tweaking your tail over a typo, of course  ;D
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Offline Fraser

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Re: Therm-App Pro with 640x480 thermal resolution
« Reply #21 on: August 14, 2017, 07:22:54 pm »
Oooooops. Brain fade :)

I will correct it now. Thanks :)

Fraser
« Last Edit: August 14, 2017, 07:24:54 pm by Fraser »
 

Offline Ultrapurple

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Re: Therm-App Pro with 640x480 thermal resolution
« Reply #22 on: August 20, 2017, 05:40:22 am »
I note the stated temperature range is only 5C to 90C. That suggests to me that the OEM is going for the highest possible sensitivity with 0.03C NETD. Without the use of a TEC, that can be a challenge. The TEC would be quite power hungry though.
Fraser

I'm reasonably sure it doesn't have a TEC, if only because of the quoted power consumption and the lower resolution build.

If Opgal has gone for best-possible sensitivity in the 5-90°C range then I think they understand their user base well. Judging by the 600+ images on the Flickr site, the majority of our 'domestic' use is roughly within that range. Yes, it is sometimes pointed at a freezer or a toaster but not with a great expectation of accurate results. Speaking for myself, at least, I'm more interested in making pretty pictures than accurately determining temperature profiles. Thankfully, mine is the less-demanding application and so rather cheaper than higher-spec industrial or research grade cameras.

I do dream, however, of a megapixel-plus imager packaged up with a (say) 15–150mm auto/manual focus f/0.5–f/4 zoom lens, all in a package the size, weight and price of a good DSLR. Oh, and just for fun, let's have it respond to LWIR, MWIR and NIR in three channels that map to RGB.

I think I will be waiting for quite a while before anything like that comes onto the market! And yes, I am familiar enough with today's technology and market to realise just how pie-in-the-sky my suggestions are.
« Last Edit: August 20, 2017, 05:45:44 am by Ultrapurple »
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Offline Ultrapurple

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Re: Therm-App Pro with 640x480 thermal resolution
« Reply #23 on: August 28, 2017, 09:43:51 pm »
Opgal has confirmed to me a design change on the Therm-App Pro. It will now include "basic thermography" - which I interpret as similar to that of the regular Therm-App.

This has apparently pushed back the availability date: I'm now expecting mine around the end of September.
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Offline Ultrapurple

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Re: Therm-App Pro with 640x480 thermal resolution
« Reply #24 on: September 25, 2017, 01:07:03 am »
I have just been informed that my Therm-App Pro is being dispatched today, 24 September 2017 and is due to arrive on Wednesday 27th. More information when it's here!
« Last Edit: September 25, 2017, 01:08:56 am by Ultrapurple »
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Offline Fraser

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Re: Therm-App Pro with 640x480 thermal resolution
« Reply #25 on: September 25, 2017, 05:22:48 am »
Excellent news 👍
 

Offline Ultrapurple

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Re: Therm-App Pro with 640x480 thermal resolution
« Reply #26 on: September 28, 2017, 12:15:48 am »
FedEx have managed to mess up the delivery so my Therm-App Pro has been delayed. I don't yet have any updated delivery information.

I am not pleased with FedEx. The delay appears to be down to basic incompetence, rather than a hold-up at Customs or even force majeure :rant:
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Offline Ultrapurple

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Re: Therm-App Pro with 640x480 thermal resolution
« Reply #27 on: September 28, 2017, 07:15:40 pm »
Latest news is that it should arrive by noon today, Thursday 28th September. I will probably start a new thread with photos, sample images etc.
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Offline Ultrapurple

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Re: Therm-App Pro with 640x480 thermal resolution
« Reply #28 on: September 28, 2017, 08:49:50 pm »
FedEx have messed up the delivery again, going to completely the wrong place and claiming that there was no-one in. I am complaining - noisily - to Fedex.
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Offline Ultrapurple

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Re: Therm-App Pro with 640x480 thermal resolution
« Reply #29 on: September 30, 2017, 12:31:58 am »
The Therm-App Pro did finally arrive, a little over two days late (so much for Federal 'express') though I am having some teething troubles with the camera. I've started a separate thread about it and will hopefully be able to post some thermal images there Real Soon Now. Meanwhile, here's a quick snap of the retail pack:
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Offline ThermoDude

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Re: Therm-App Pro with 640x480 thermal resolution
« Reply #30 on: October 30, 2017, 11:27:01 pm »
How is the camera? I was told by Therm-App support that you buy them now purchase per order. They are not "off the shelf"
 

Offline Ultrapurple

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Re: Therm-App Pro with 640x480 thermal resolution
« Reply #31 on: October 30, 2017, 11:45:23 pm »
The camera is working well, now. There were some initial teething troubles with the software and it needed a much more powerful phone than I'd got (I'm now using a Samsung S7) but the images from it are very nice. Here's a small selection:



This is of course a stitched panorama - larger versions are here. The original is 6421x2886, 18 megapixels, which you should be able to download from Flickr and explore at your leisure.







and finally a high definition video of the Spain-Gibraltar border area and Gibraltar airport.

There are some more sample images here.


The Therm-App Pro camera is indeed only available to special order at present; you'll need to contact Opgal sales. I understand they are built to order, rather than being a stock item. The Therm-App Pro costs something like US$3000 (or maybe more, depending on lens), possibly plus delivery, likely plus import taxes and duty etc. As far as I know it's one of the least expensive 25Hz 640x480 imagers available and, at <30mK, it claims the lowest NETD (best sensitivity) of almost anything 640x480 this side of cooled sensors, at any price. (For comparison, the regular Therm-App says <70mK; the ThermalExpert 384x288 and 640x480 both say <50mK). Take all these figures with a pinch of salt, of course, because they strongly depend on the lens used, but all the Therm-Apps use the same range of lenses* and the lenses on the ThermalExpert cameras seem very, very similar.

* The 6.8mm lens (which works fine on the 384x288 Therm-App) vignettes significantly on the 640x480 Therm-App Pro. There is very slight vignetting on the 13mm lens. Opgal only offers the Pro with the 19mm or 35mm lenses, both of which work fine on either camera.

« Last Edit: November 01, 2017, 11:40:47 pm by Ultrapurple »
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Offline ThermoDude

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Re: Therm-App Pro with 640x480 thermal resolution
« Reply #32 on: October 30, 2017, 11:59:52 pm »
Really nice images. Thanks for sharing them!
 
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Offline Bud

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Re: Therm-App Pro with 640x480 thermal resolution
« Reply #33 on: October 31, 2017, 12:20:22 am »
The monkey one is pure art!
 
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Offline ThermoDude

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Re: Therm-App Pro with 640x480 thermal resolution
« Reply #34 on: February 07, 2018, 07:36:38 pm »
Saw this picture on Facebook. Of the Therm-App Pro used to detect leaks under ceramic tiles....not bad at all
 

Offline ThermoDude

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Re: Therm-App Pro with 640x480 thermal resolution
« Reply #35 on: February 11, 2018, 10:21:57 pm »
Therm-App support has confirmed that the Therm-App Pro will be available for direct sale online  March 2018
 

Offline Ultrapurple

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Re: Therm-App Pro with 640x480 thermal resolution
« Reply #36 on: February 12, 2018, 12:13:23 am »
Good news indeed. I have had one for some time and it is a really nice camera. It's particularly good with the ThermViewer driver software.
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Offline Vipitis

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Re: Therm-App Pro with 640x480 thermal resolution
« Reply #37 on: February 12, 2018, 03:49:40 am »
probably costs around the 2k mark.
 

Offline Ultrapurple

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Re: Therm-App Pro with 640x480 thermal resolution
« Reply #38 on: February 12, 2018, 04:38:38 am »
2k?  Which currency?

If it's US$ then it's a bargain - barely any more than the list price for the 384x288 25Hz version (US$1700 plus shipping as of 11 February 2018).
« Last Edit: February 12, 2018, 05:02:20 am by Ultrapurple »
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Offline ThermoDude

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Re: Therm-App Pro with 640x480 thermal resolution
« Reply #39 on: February 13, 2018, 02:36:18 am »
What price would a camera like this be worth? Also when comparing it to similar cameras (if there are such)?
 

Offline Ultrapurple

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Re: Therm-App Pro with 640x480 thermal resolution
« Reply #40 on: February 13, 2018, 03:18:19 am »
I believe the 25Hz 640 x 480 Therm-App Pro has been sold around the US$ 3000 mark, depending on lens (the 35mm lens is more expensive than the 19mm).

That's about the same price as the ThermalExpert 640 x 480 but I'm not sure to which countries they will export their 25/30Hz version. I wasn't able to get one sent to the UK when I enquired.

The 9Hz FLIR Vue Pro 640 x 512 is slightly higher resolution though much lower frame rate. When I checked the price in the UK today it was GBP 3400 (about US$4700). The 30Hz version does not appear to be available here from the FLIR website. 

Other 640 x 480-class cameras tend to be similar or higher prices, although I hope that some of the new Chinese-made sensors may make their way into lower-cost thermal cameras in the next few years.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2018, 03:20:02 am by Ultrapurple »
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Offline ThermoDude

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Re: Therm-App Pro with 640x480 thermal resolution
« Reply #41 on: March 05, 2018, 08:24:22 pm »
Here is the link to the Pro on the Therm-App website

https://therm-app.com/therm-app-pro/

 

Offline Ultrapurple

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Re: Therm-App Pro with 640x480 thermal resolution
« Reply #42 on: March 05, 2018, 08:58:25 pm »
Thanks!

And I'm flattered to see that Opgal are using a lot of my images to promote it.

(They do have blanket permission to use my images).
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Offline Bruno28

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Re: Therm-App Pro with 640x480 thermal resolution
« Reply #43 on: March 05, 2018, 09:11:55 pm »
I would love one. But $4k! That's just too much for me.

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Offline mahony

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Re: Therm-App Pro with 640x480 thermal resolution
« Reply #44 on: March 06, 2018, 01:25:13 am »
Nice to finally see a price tag for the Pro Version.
I guess that is what is required to get hand on a decent 640x480 cam. Altough the FLIR Boson Core can be a bit cheaper. Starting at ~2700$ (Consumer grade!) at Groupgets and now is also available in 60Hz. For 3500$ you can get it with a 55mm lens :D The better Professional and Industrial grade items are significantly more expensive though.  :(
 

Offline Bud

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Re: Therm-App Pro with 640x480 thermal resolution
« Reply #45 on: March 06, 2018, 01:33:37 am »
Thanks!

And I'm flattered to see that Opgal are using a lot of my images to promote it.

(They do have blanket permission to use my images).

If they use post processed images they deceive people. Like that Flir deer picture Flir keeped publishing in E4 ads andbroshures. The picture was taken with a higher resolution camera.
 

Offline Ultrapurple

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Re: Therm-App Pro with 640x480 thermal resolution
« Reply #46 on: March 06, 2018, 03:28:11 am »


If they use post processed images they deceive people. Like that Flir deer picture Flir keeped publishing in E4 ads andbroshures. The picture was taken with a higher resolution camera.

Referring to the Therm-App Pro product page referred to above (https://therm-app.com/therm-app-pro/)

Just for the record,
Other images on that page aren't mine so I can't comment. But the Therm-App Pro is capable of very good results without post-processing and exceptionally good results with varying drgrees of post-processing.

« Last Edit: March 06, 2018, 06:55:49 am by Ultrapurple »
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Offline Bruno28

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Re: Therm-App Pro with 640x480 thermal resolution
« Reply #47 on: March 06, 2018, 09:37:11 am »
I managed to get some discount codes if anyone is interested. Will save $150 off the price for the Pro and some other saving on the other models.



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Offline jancelot

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Re: Therm-App Pro with 640x480 thermal resolution
« Reply #48 on: March 10, 2018, 04:54:43 am »
Check here maybe it helps:
Best thermal imagers for smartphones
 

Offline ThermoDude

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Re: Therm-App Pro with 640x480 thermal resolution
« Reply #49 on: April 02, 2018, 10:52:58 pm »
I found this Promotional coupon for the Therm-App PRO on some website.  Seems to be a $250 discount on the Therm-App PRO. Coupon code: ProPromo 
 
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Offline Ben321

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Re: Therm-App Pro with 640x480 thermal resolution
« Reply #50 on: April 09, 2018, 10:00:32 pm »
At 640x480 it's gonna nuke your pocketbook. Until prices REALLY start coming down for LWIR technology, I don't think there is going to be any truly affordable 640x480 thermal imagers.
 

Offline Ultrapurple

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Re: Therm-App Pro with 640x480 thermal resolution
« Reply #51 on: April 09, 2018, 11:20:11 pm »
With respect, US$4000 may not be a huge amount of money to everyone, particularly if you have a way of making money from your investment. Yes, it's not a trivial sum for an average individual: you could probably buy a reasonable used car for that money, but when you compare it with the cost of 640x480 imagers a very short time ago, it has never been more affordable.

I fully expect that 640x480 imagers will become relatively commonplace relatively soon - and the cost will continue to tumble as the non-recoverable engineering expenditure is amortised. I also expect higher resolution sensors to start emerging - at a premium price to start with - but eventually becoming more affordable.

The 384 x 288 Therm-App debuted at about US$2000 - that's 1.45 US cents per pixel. The 640 x 480 version, at US$4000, is 1.3 cents per pixel. By extension, a 1024 x 768 at 1.2 cents per pixel would be about US$9500 today, though the optics would necessarily more expensive as discussed below.

My knowledge of optics is insufficiently detailed to guess whether it will be physically possible to reduce the pixel spacing on imagers very much below one wavelength (say for the sake of this argument 14µm); this has a knock-on effect on the minimum size of the sensor and (probably) the ROIC. Someone may find a way of miniaturising the ROIC and making the necessary connections to the sensing elements, but we'll have to see. As for the sensing pixels themselves, correct me if I'm wrong I believe the minimum dimensions are essentially fixed by the wavelengths in use, rather than any fundamental limit of process technology itself. If, say, one could make a pixel one-half wavelength square then, all other things being equal, a 1280x960 pixel array would be the same size and cost in real terms as today's 14µm sensors. Higher resolutions will necessarily involve physically larger arrays and ROICs, and optics with larger image circles (=bigger, more expensive lenses).

It may be informative to compare for a moment LWIR sensors with good quality 35mm-format visible light cameras. The 45Mpix Nikon D850 has 8256 x 5504 pixels on the 35.9 x 23.9mm active area of its sensor. That's about 230 pixels per mm, or roughly 4.5µm each. They're sensing visible light with a wavelength of roughly 450nm (0.45µm) (blue light), so each pixel is about 10 wavelengths x 10 wavelengths - that's 100 square wavelengths. Today's uncooled LWIR pixels are about 1 wavelength square. If LWIR sensor designers had that sort of luxury, a 640 x 480 pixel sensor would measure about 89mm x 67mm (3.5" x 2.7") ... It might possibly be quite sensitive, but the optics would be frighteningly expensive.

« Last Edit: April 09, 2018, 11:22:22 pm by Ultrapurple »
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Offline jancelot

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Re: Therm-App Pro with 640x480 thermal resolution
« Reply #52 on: April 10, 2018, 04:57:56 am »
With respect, US$4000 may not be a huge amount of money to everyone, particularly if you have a way of making money from your investment. Yes, it's not a trivial sum for an average individual: you could probably buy a reasonable used car for that money, but when you compare it with the cost of 640x480 imagers a very short time ago, it has never been more affordable.

I fully expect that 640x480 imagers will become relatively commonplace relatively soon - and the cost will continue to tumble as the non-recoverable engineering expenditure is amortised. I also expect higher resolution sensors to start emerging - at a premium price to start with - but eventually becoming more affordable.

The 384 x 288 Therm-App debuted at about US$2000 - that's 1.45 US cents per pixel. The 640 x 480 version, at US$4000, is 1.3 cents per pixel. By extension, a 1024 x 768 at 1.2 cents per pixel would be about US$9500 today, though the optics would necessarily more expensive as discussed below.

My knowledge of optics is insufficiently detailed to guess whether it will be physically possible to reduce the pixel spacing on imagers very much below one wavelength (say for the sake of this argument 14µm); this has a knock-on effect on the minimum size of the sensor and (probably) the ROIC. Someone may find a way of miniaturising the ROIC and making the necessary connections to the sensing elements, but we'll have to see. As for the sensing pixels themselves, correct me if I'm wrong I believe the minimum dimensions are essentially fixed by the wavelengths in use, rather than any fundamental limit of process technology itself. If, say, one could make a pixel one-half wavelength square then, all other things being equal, a 1280x960 pixel array would be the same size and cost in real terms as today's 14µm sensors. Higher resolutions will necessarily involve physically larger arrays and ROICs, and optics with larger image circles (=bigger, more expensive lenses).

It may be informative to compare for a moment LWIR sensors with good quality 35mm-format visible light cameras. The 45Mpix Nikon D850 has 8256 x 5504 pixels on the 35.9 x 23.9mm active area of its sensor. That's about 230 pixels per mm, or roughly 4.5µm each. They're sensing visible light with a wavelength of roughly 450nm (0.45µm) (blue light), so each pixel is about 10 wavelengths x 10 wavelengths - that's 100 square wavelengths. Today's uncooled LWIR pixels are about 1 wavelength square. If LWIR sensor designers had that sort of luxury, a 640 x 480 pixel sensor would measure about 89mm x 67mm (3.5" x 2.7") ... It might possibly be quite sensitive, but the optics would be frighteningly expensive.
High resolution thermal imaging is a comfort and somewhat pricey, but like having any other type of tech, like the top iphone or top macbook pro. Not everyone buys the full spec'd version, but there are more people than expected buying those which really don't need it, it's just for the sake of having a good thing. Same thing about cars, etc. If I buy a thermal imager, it's just for hobby, so guess there are more people alike.

The thing with high resolution thermal imagers is thay they need big lenses and sensors, because infrared is longer wavelenght than visible. They could do just demultiplexing like hyperspectral imaging systems do, but instead of being bulky the objective it would be the body and they require a sheer amount of bandwidth to the computer.

Corning Hyperspectral Imaging Sensor Products
« Last Edit: April 10, 2018, 05:02:52 am by jancelot »
 


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