Author Topic: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?  (Read 381677 times)

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Offline tom66

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Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
« Reply #200 on: May 09, 2013, 09:19:00 pm »
Good convincer is everything in long cons.

But the mark doesn't need convincing. He's already been taken for all he has...
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
« Reply #201 on: May 09, 2013, 09:32:07 pm »
Yes, I'm still of the same opinion that it's not a total scam, they probably do want and intend to actually produce this thing. It seems they have just gotten in over their heads in producing hardware.
If they'd just show something tangible, almost all the backers would be satisfied. Backers of these projects are usually quite tolerant of delays etc, provided the communication is forthright.
The doubt in the backers started way back when someone made them admit the thermal image was from a commercial product. They should have knocked the doubters on the head back then by simply showing something.
 

Offline Keef Wivanef

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Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
« Reply #202 on: May 09, 2013, 10:24:37 pm »
Yes, I'm still of the same opinion that it's not a total scam,

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

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

 |O

That's better!
 

Offline Corporate666

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Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
« Reply #203 on: May 09, 2013, 10:40:07 pm »
Also, they said this:
Quote
Abe is in the other room right now tweaking bias voltages and the like to get the best picture possible in the field. Turns out it’s just as hard to make the picture look great as it is just to get a picture in the first place.

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


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

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

If the Mu guys think that a defense of "well, we didn't *technically* say that, if you interpret our words and pictures in a strict dictionary sense", then they have another thing coming.
It's not always the most popular person who gets the job done.
 

Offline Keef Wivanef

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Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
« Reply #204 on: May 09, 2013, 11:37:58 pm »
Report them to the FBI and let Mu-Thermal  prove it WASN'T a deliberate fraud.
http://www.fbi.gov/scams-safety/fraud/internet_fraud

Filing a Complaint with the IC3

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

 :-DD

« Last Edit: May 09, 2013, 11:58:51 pm by Keef Wivanef »
 

Offline amspire

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Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
« Reply #205 on: May 10, 2013, 12:25:23 am »
Report them to the FBI and let Mu-Thermal  prove it WASN'T a deliberate fraud.
http://www.fbi.gov/scams-safety/fraud/internet_fraud
You can try if you like, but if it turns out the money raised has gone into wages of development personnel, purchasing of parts, etc, the investigators will drop the investigation almost instantly. If they have set up a development team, then this will not look like a scam to any investigator. Mu Optics may get a wrap over the knuckles for using wording that could be called "deceptive" but I suspect that the investigators would not see any fraudulent statements. The contributors did contribute to the development of a new product that didn't exist - they did not purchase an existing product. There was no promised delivery date - there was an estimated delivery date. Mu Optics can explain away the delay in delivery in terms of the need for a change of design from a USB solution to a WiFi solution. They can show that they only just sourced a useable WiFi chip a few weeks ago.

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

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

The project may fail - just like the majority of startups fail, but failure is not fraud. Failure is lack of talent, or lack of effort, or lack of resources, or lack of a good idea from the start, or a good idea that looses its market due to a flood of cheaper products suddenly appearing. If there are companies now providing cheap thermal sensor arrays and cheap IR lenses, they will be marketing these sensors and lenses to other companies as hard as they can. You will see other cheap thermal cameras soon.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2013, 01:05:14 am by amspire »
 

Offline Corporate666

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Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
« Reply #206 on: May 10, 2013, 04:57:59 am »
The project may fail - just like the majority of startups fail, but failure is not fraud.

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

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

I don't know those things to be true about the Mu guys - but it most definitely appears they materially misrepresented important aspects of the project.  Saying "well, they didn't 'technically' actually say such-and-such" doesn't matter.  They are responsible for the claims they make or cause the reasonable person to imply.
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Offline Keef Wivanef

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Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
« Reply #207 on: May 10, 2013, 07:32:50 am »
Couldn't have put it better myself!

But what do you expect?
I'm a little teapot   :-DD
 

Offline MFX

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Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
« Reply #208 on: May 10, 2013, 07:07:35 pm »
Interesting facts about the video. Information about picture being simulated and not from real thermal camera is edited over real audio. Clip was quickly taken down and reuploaded - just enough time to read a comment congratulating them on amazing breakthrough in thermal imaging technology that let them grab thermal reading THROUGH A GLASS WINDOW, take it down, and redub the audio.

That would be pretty damming particularly as they plainly blamed Vimeo for the take down. Unfortunately unless anyone managed to grab the original video and a screen shot with the comment then it's just circumstantial evidence now. For me, glad I got out when I did, at the start my "too good to be true" sensor was tingling a bit but I had seen Sensors appearing on Alibaba etc. and knew some patents had expired so it was theoretically possible they had made a major cost breakthrough I would never "invest" more than I could afford to lose but when then bullshit started getting really smelly if you're offered an out then you'd be stupid not to take it. I'm not going to make any more comments on the Indegogo site, TBH anyone still left in has had plenty of warning so they'll just have to make their own minds up. Unfortunately some people will go into defensive mode (Emperors new clothes mindset) even though deep down they know they've been had. If MuOptics pull the plug and dissapear then tough, they should have listened to the warnings. I'm just interested in what their exit strategy will be now.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2013, 07:42:21 pm by MFX »
 

Offline Keef Wivanef

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Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
« Reply #209 on: May 11, 2013, 11:55:03 pm »
http://www.bit-tech.net/news/bits/2012/09/24/kickstarter-hardware-crackdown/1
Those looking to hit the Ouya-scale big-time with their pie-in-the-sky hardware project should pay attention to Kickstarter's new rules, created following a spate of apparent scam projects seeking funding through the site. In a blog post entitled 'Kickstarter Is Not a Store,' the company outlined new restrictions on hardware projects which include the banning of rendered images and product simulations in favour of prototype photographs and footage of actual, current performance. 'Products should be presented as they are,' the company explained of its new rules. 'Over-promising leads to higher expectations for backers. The best rule of thumb: under-promise and over-deliver.'

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

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


So....how in the world did this video simulation of an infra-red camera sneak in?
 :--
 

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Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
« Reply #210 on: May 12, 2013, 12:00:30 am »
It didn't. It's on Indigogo, not Kickstarter.
 

Offline Keef Wivanef

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Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
« Reply #211 on: May 12, 2013, 12:34:10 am »
Silly me.
 :-[
 

Offline CanadianAvenger

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Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
« Reply #212 on: May 12, 2013, 12:46:07 am »
I don't totally agree with the "new rules" as renderings and simulations can be very handy in selling the concept... as long as they are clearly identified as such, and not passed as the real thing, or left for the potential backer to question -- as was the case with Mu.
 

Offline CanadianAvenger

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Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
« Reply #213 on: May 12, 2013, 04:26:23 am »
Looks like the refund demands are accelerating. I feel sorry for the late comers, as the refund train is going to run out, and someone is going to be left holding the bag, and I'm pretty certain it won't be Mu.  If anyone here is a backer [or former backer], I suggest filing a complaint with IGG. Maybe there is something they can do to ensure that nobody is left totally screwed.
 

Online mikeselectricstuff

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Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
« Reply #214 on: May 12, 2013, 09:33:49 am »
I don't totally agree with the "new rules" as renderings and simulations can be very handy in selling the concept... as long as they are clearly identified as such, and not passed as the real thing, or left for the potential backer to question -- as was the case with Mu.
think the renderings thing is more about non-existent products, i.e. a rendering instead of any real hardware  -for example if you showed a real working protoype in a hand-made or CNC'd case,  I doubt there would be a problem also showing a rendering of a moulded case you're tying to raise money to tool for.
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Offline Jay_Diddy_B

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Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
« Reply #215 on: May 12, 2013, 11:36:41 pm »
Hi Group,

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

Thermal Cameras on Alibaba

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

Type 1 – IR video camera

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

Type 2 – Thermal IR sensor and cameras

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

Lens

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

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


Jay_Diddy_B
 

Offline amspire

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Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
« Reply #216 on: May 13, 2013, 01:13:07 am »
Lens

Glass or materials like Calcium Fluoride are used for visible light lens.
LWIR requires that the lenses are made from Germanium, Ge, or similar materials.
Moldable chalcogenide glasses make excellent long wave IR lenses, so you do not need the expensive lenses ground from a single Ge crystal.
 

Online mikeselectricstuff

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Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
« Reply #217 on: May 13, 2013, 08:22:43 am »
There are potential routes to cheaper thermal imaging - polythene fresnel lenses with  software geometry correction and DSP to pull signals out of noise, reflective optics, cheaper IC packaging (although the need to have a sensor in vacuum to avoid convection effects limits choice of material) 
My knowledge of optics isn't great but I suspect that two conflicting parameters are lens size and die size.
However there is no evidence so far that any of these, or other novel developments exist in the mu optics non-product. 
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Online Fraser

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Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
« Reply #218 on: May 13, 2013, 10:47:48 am »
No specifically related to the Mu but involving Thermal camera optics.....

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

With a suitable band-pass filter these lenses are cheap alternatives to Germanium but they are not cheap enough to build a multi element quality lens under $100 unless you use really small diameter lenses and even then the individual elements are not that cheap.
« Last Edit: May 13, 2013, 11:27:37 am by Aurora »
 

Offline Rasz

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Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
« Reply #219 on: May 13, 2013, 12:31:27 pm »
There are potential routes to cheaper thermal imaging - polythene fresnel lenses with  software geometry correction and DSP to pull signals out of noise, reflective optics


It just hit me
http://dsp.rice.edu/cscamera
Does DLP reflect heat good enough, does it get hot on its own and how fast can you measure temperature in single detector? can you do it couple of thousand times per second (for one image)?
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Online Fraser

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Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
« Reply #220 on: May 13, 2013, 12:42:17 pm »
Nice link.

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

Nice find. Its like the next step on from the older scanning mirror technique used in early TICs like my Agema 880. If a DLP could be used it would be a  very interesting approach to thermal imaging using a single pixel or linear array micro-bolometer.
 

Online mikeselectricstuff

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Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
« Reply #221 on: May 13, 2013, 01:50:30 pm »
There are potential routes to cheaper thermal imaging - polythene fresnel lenses with  software geometry correction and DSP to pull signals out of noise, reflective optics


It just hit me
http://dsp.rice.edu/cscamera
Does DLP reflect heat good enough, does it get hot on its own and how fast can you measure temperature in single detector? can you do it couple of thousand times per second (for one image)?
You can't really do thermal imaging by scanning due to the thermal mass, and hence slow response time  of the sensor - remember a TI sensor is just an array of temperature sensors
« Last Edit: May 13, 2013, 01:52:18 pm by mikeselectricstuff »
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Online Fraser

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Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
« Reply #222 on: May 13, 2013, 02:03:40 pm »
Not sure about scanning being too slow as a totally accurate statement. Early thermal imaging cameras used the scanning mirror, as opposed to staring array, system and had a update rate of approximately 25fps, so the sensors they were using were capable of reacting quickly enough. Maybe a micro-bolometer isn't the right sensor ? BST technology was pretty quick.
 

Offline Rasz

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Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
« Reply #223 on: May 13, 2013, 02:30:29 pm »
It just hit me
http://dsp.rice.edu/cscamera
Does DLP reflect heat good enough, does it get hot on its own and how fast can you measure temperature in single detector? can you do it couple of thousand times per second (for one image)?
You can't really do thermal imaging by scanning due to the thermal mass, and hence slow response time  of the sensor

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

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

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

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Online mikeselectricstuff

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Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
« Reply #224 on: May 13, 2013, 02:30:57 pm »
Not sure about scanning being too slow as a totally accurate statement. Early thermal imaging cameras used the scanning mirror, as opposed to staring array, system and had a update rate of approximately 25fps, so the sensors they were using were capable of reacting quickly enough. Maybe a micro-bolometer isn't the right sensor ? BST technology was pretty quick.
AFAIUI, those cameras also needed extreme cooling using liquid nitrogen or high perssure argon.
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