Author Topic: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?  (Read 386066 times)

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Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
« Reply #225 on: May 13, 2013, 02:40:49 pm »

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.

Quick look at Wikipedia reveals :
Quote
The main limitation of LWIR HgCdTe-based detectors is that they need cooling to temperatures near that of liquid nitrogen (77K), to reduce noise due to thermally excited current carriers
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Offline Fraser

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Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
« Reply #226 on: May 13, 2013, 03:27:16 pm »
The Agema 880 that I own needs liquid Nitrogen but its sister unit, the 870, used electrothermal cooling and used the same scanning method. I don't know what detector they used though. An 870 sold on ebay recently...I went after it because it was electrically cooled rather than liquid nitrogen. The cooling is likely a Peltier cooling stack and that can only achieve around 70 degrees C of thermal difference against ambient. I will see if I can find out what detector they used. ASAIK it did not use a Stirling Pump like that which became available for the 880.

UPDATE:

Ok Agema 870 Spec is here:

http://www.crepad.rcanaria.es/en/npoc/adquisicion_agema870.html


Spec reads:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Infrared detector: MCT, thermoelectrically refrigerated.
• Spectral range: 3 – 5 mm
• Filter adaptators: ?SRX, from 3.5 to 8 mm
? ATM, from 3.7 to 4 mm

• Temperature measurement range: -20ºC to 500ºC (extendable to 1500ºC by means of filters). - Thermal sensitivity - NETD: 100mK at 30ºC reference body temperature.
• Measurement precision: ±2% or ±2ºC.
• System operative temperature: -15ºC to +50ºC.
• Resolution: 100 elements per line.
• FOV: 7º or 20º
•IFOV(7º)= 1.166 mrad.
• IFOV(20º)= 3.333 mrad.
• Maximum field acquisition rate: 25 Hz.
• Maximum line acquisition rate: 2500 Hz.
• Maximum number of lines per frame: 280 lines/frame (at 6.25 frames/second) (with interlace selection of 4:1à 4 fields compose 1 frame).
• Maximum frame acquisition rate: 25 frames/second (70 lines/frame).
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

It uses an MCT (Mercury cadmium telluride) thermoelectrically cooled 1 pixel thermal detector.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infrared_detector

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mercury_cadmium_telluride

They can be found here:

http://www.judsontechnologies.com/mercadm_pc.html

The app circuit for the MCT sensor is simple. I attach its PDF.

I am wondering whether I can replace the sensor in my Agema 880 with an MCT type....a nice little project me thinks  :)

« Last Edit: May 13, 2013, 03:43:41 pm by Aurora »
 

Offline Fraser

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Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
« Reply #227 on: May 13, 2013, 03:52:03 pm »
An interesting web page detailing the available 'cheap' thermal camera detectors that are freely available. All are low resolution though.

http://www.boselec.com/products/detir.html
« Last Edit: May 13, 2013, 03:54:21 pm by Aurora »
 

Offline Rasz

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Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
« Reply #228 on: May 13, 2013, 04:26:39 pm »
• Maximum field acquisition rate: 25 Hz.
• Maximum line acquisition rate: 2500 Hz.
• Maximum number of lines per frame: 280 lines/frame (at 6.25 frames/second) (with interlace selection of 4:1à 4 fields compose 1 frame).
• Maximum frame acquisition rate: 25 frames/second (70 lines/frame).

175KHz cooled with peltier
compressed sensing gives satisfactory (at least for pictures) results at 10% samples, so 77KHz * 0.1   for 320x240 resolution. 8KHz sensor would be enough for one 320x240 frame per second. 50KHz for 6 frames per second.
But knowing physics those sensors dont just gracefully degrade with temperature rise and there is some tipping point/minimal temperature they start to be usable at. Then there is the question of DLPs ability to bounce temperature data. Forgetaboutit.
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Offline MFX

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Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
« Reply #229 on: May 13, 2013, 07:01:34 pm »
The latest update, I almost fainted the smell of Bulls**t was so strong :-

"Part 1 of 2

Hello All,

We mentioned in a post two weeks ago that we would not make our original shipping date. I’d like explain why in a little more depth.

First, we had to switch the image array in the beginning and that was a major setback. Quality and promised ability to deliver in quantity were the issues with original vendor. Finding a suitable replacement took some time. The imager we’re using now is of the highest quality and has been in the market for some time.

Then we had to switch WiFi vendors and that was also a significant setback. Those are the two most important parts of the package and when they work well together the whole device comes together very quickly.

The WiFi problems can be explained as what it is, a brand new chipset from a manufacturer we originally looked at but did not have the correct specs for us at the time, and now they do, and getting it into the camera has been a chore due to it being a brand new chipset with new documentation. We have been on the phone early in the mornings with the WiFi engineers on the other side of the globe. WiFi working well allows us to more quickly show the IR image on the camera and debug. I can tell you that we’re working every weekday and weekend in order to complete the project.

The USB decision has not been made yet, mainly because we continue to investigate ways to do it properly for all external devices and….if we announce today that we’re not going to do it, the people who ask for refunds will be disapointed when we very soon after decide that, HEY…there is a simple way to do it. So….that decision waits for the WiFi to work well.

This week we’re talking with multiple assemblers about how quickly they can ramp up production once the PCB is finalized, which is not long after these WiFi problems are settled.

As to when we think we’ll be delivering the final product….Another few weeks should give us the ability to solidify that date. No one wants this out in the market quickly more than we do.

All thirty people who have asked for refunds have received them. Most in a very timely manner. For everyone that has asked for a refund, there have been ten asking to take their place. Enthusiasm continues to run high for the product among many markets. If you are concerned about the delays but still want a camera, hang in there, we will be getting the device to market as soon as is possible.
John McGrath posted an announcement 12 minutes ago

Part 2 of 2 (we really wish the limit wasn’t 2500 characters)

WiFi, lens, shutter, array, and the PCB are all so closely tied that the case, though nearly ready for manufacturing, remains on the drawing board until the PCB is finalized. Designing and having PCBs made takes days, not weeks. Our Engineer is very quick and adept at making changing to the PCB design. Machining a final case prototype takes days, not weeks. The engineer in charge of that is also quick and responsive.

Our failure to meet our original delivery date is more due to my optimism than anything else. I apologize for that; to both all of our contributors, and to the engineers and designers here at Mµ Optics.

I remain reluctant to show the interior of our camera and I’m sorry, but that reluctance will remain until we are much closer to a shipping date. I have however, asked Charles to look into releasing a partial parts list that doesn’t give any trade secrets away, and have asked for permission to do so from the vendors we have NDAs in place with.

I have also been in touch with IndieGoGo, explained the state of our campaign, and offered them a video tour of our efforts and a general conversation should they desire it. Thus far, they have not asked for further explanation. Please keep in mind that PayPal continues to hold back a considerable amount of money until such time as we can show them that all the processes and parts and orders, and POs, etc. are in place to begin delivering the product.

We are busy with the effort at hand. We are still being advised to keep as much of the internal project private until we enter large scale manufacturing. We would love to show pictures, but it is simply too easy to reverse engineer the product. Though I will try and be more communicative in the future, I will do my best between respecting our company’s efforts to succeed, and the contributors’ right to know what’s going on. Showing a wirelessly transmitted IR image on the App as soon as possible remains our number one priority. Again, it’s number one.

Thanks to all who continue to support us.

As a new friend from our website said recently,

“John:
I have been to your website…..the mobile infrared camera is a must. We just had 3 inches of water in our basement…this would have been perfect….hang in there.”

Cheers,
-John McGrath and MuOptics.
"
 

Offline David

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Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
« Reply #230 on: May 13, 2013, 07:14:35 pm »
I haven't read any of this thread but from the above post alone I can tell that this is never going to happen!

P.S. Why the hell does a thermal imaging camera need WiFi?! Arrrgh  |O Edit: On second thoughts I suppose it is so that you can leave it in the lab monitoring...
« Last Edit: May 13, 2013, 07:17:52 pm by David »
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Offline MacAttak

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Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
« Reply #231 on: May 13, 2013, 07:18:33 pm »
I don't smell bullshit, but it is certainly a very carefully crafted update. It can be distilled down to:

  • There are no PCB's designed yet, and they aren't concerned about this.
  • There is no case made (or designed) yet, and they aren't concerned about this.
  • IGG has been in touch with them.
  • I suspect the statement about ~30 refunds is probably accurate.
  • They haven't successfully POC'd the sensor yet. Whatever might have been functional before has been invalidated by switching to an entirely different sensor package.
  • They haven't successfully POC'd WiFi OR USB connectivity yet.
  • They are working frantically to produce something that resembles the product they hope to produce.
  • He acknowledges that he was overly optimistic about the estimated delivery. This update resets delivery expectations by at least two months. He committed only to giving a new delivery estimate in a few weeks.

From a purely objective standpoint, my opinion is that they still have at least 6 months of R&D before they can hope to show a preliminary prototype - and that assumes no major setbacks. Add on to that a few design revisions and actual production time/hurdles and this project is highly unlikely to deliver final products prior to next spring (assuming it is able to overcome the technical hurdles at all).
 

Offline MacAttak

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Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
« Reply #232 on: May 13, 2013, 07:21:43 pm »
I haven't read any of this thread but from the above post alone I can tell that this is never going to happen!

P.S. Why the hell does a thermal imaging camera need WiFi?! Arrrgh  |O Edit: On second thoughts I suppose it is so that you can leave it in the lab monitoring...

It was because they realized that straightforward USB connectivity had challenges that they were not prepared to solve. Mainly, the fact that iPhone does not have a USB connector at all, and Android phones have varying degrees of support for USB connectivity.

So they said "hey, we can do it with WiFi instead! All phones have WiFi now!".

But of course there is no free lunch with WiFi either :)
 

Offline MFX

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Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
« Reply #233 on: May 13, 2013, 07:36:05 pm »
I don't smell bullshit,

Maybe not if read in isolation of all his other updates/posts, but for example why only mention the sensor problem now? There has been no mention of it before, did this change happen before the funding campaign was started or during? Also the NDA stuff, how many NDA's does he have for crying out loud! Maybe one for that actual thermal sensor itself if it's particularly new and cutting edge (if that's the case how did they manage to find an alternate supplier of a suitable sensor so easily?).

"We would love to show pictures, but it is simply too easy to reverse engineer the product."

Hm easier than actually designing it in the first place it would seem. No ones asked for detailed photos of it just some sort of proof of life, they've shown nothing except fake pictures and some software.

Martin.
 

Offline Rasz

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Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
« Reply #234 on: May 13, 2013, 08:10:06 pm »
they've shown nothing except fake pictures and some software.

and some FAKE software
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Offline Fraser

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Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
« Reply #235 on: May 13, 2013, 08:35:56 pm »
If these Herbert's actually had some revolutionary new technology they would protect it with Patents and not attempted secrecy. No one is asking for tech specs on the component and they have to be kidding if they are saying that the exterior of a lens structure or sensor will give anything away. If the design is so simple the first models released (probably never!) would be reverse engineered in China in a matter of days. The sensor arrays are apparently so plentiful that he can pick and choose according to the quality (!!!) and production capability. Total b*ll*cks  >:(
 
What a total pile of poo this company spews in its updates  :o

I would laugh, if it wasn't so sad for the investors.  I especially like the line about many people asking to replace those who dropped out...what a classic line to tell your investors....in English that reads as......its OK there are other (misguided/deceived?) 'sheep' joining this project, so we must be trustworthy. Duh !  :palm:
« Last Edit: May 13, 2013, 08:43:08 pm by Aurora »
 

Offline MacAttak

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Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
« Reply #236 on: May 13, 2013, 08:37:30 pm »
Oh, don't misunderstand me - I'm not defending John or this project in any way (I was a former backer who was one of the very first to request a refund). I think he still honestly believes that he can deliver this product - or more accurately he has convinced himself that he can. I concluded that he was delusional and withdrew my support a while back.

This update wasn't the first time he mentioned switching the optics component. So there isn't any new revelations in this update. Just some minor details about previously disclosed information.

One thing though is that in this update he specifically mentions that the optics they are now using "has been in the market for some time". There is no way that component is covered by any form of NDA that would apply to this product. It also means we should be able to use a little more deductive logic to figure out what technology they plan to use (we can immediately discount any "new" or unproven/theoretical tech).
 

Offline MFX

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Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
« Reply #237 on: May 13, 2013, 09:08:10 pm »
This update wasn't the first time he mentioned switching the optics component.

I took that to mean the lens (and I think others did to) "optics" and "sensor" are generally pretty well defined but I accept it could be a bad choice of words and interpreted to mean the sensor. He still seems pretty blasé about simply switching from one sensor supplier to another and one WiFi supplier to another.

Martin.
 

Offline Keef Wivanef

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Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
« Reply #238 on: May 13, 2013, 09:50:27 pm »
" Please keep in mind that PayPal continues to hold back a considerable amount of money until such time as we can show them that all the processes and parts and orders, and POs, etc. are in place to begin delivering the product."


BULLSHIT

 

Online EEVblog

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Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
« Reply #239 on: May 13, 2013, 11:22:15 pm »
" Please keep in mind that PayPal continues to hold back a considerable amount of money until such time as we can show them that all the processes and parts and orders, and POs, etc. are in place to begin delivering the product."
BULLSHIT

I have never heard of PayPal doing this. Anyone else?
 

Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
« Reply #240 on: May 13, 2013, 11:31:56 pm »
Quote
First, we had to switch the image array in the beginning and that was a major setback. Quality and promised ability to deliver in quantity were the issues with original vendor. Finding a suitable replacement took some time. The imager we’re using now is of the highest quality and has been in the market for some time.

In which case it ain't gonna sell for $300-odd. Doubt you could even buy any 160x120 sensor for that.
Quote

WiFi working well allows us to more quickly show the IR image on the camera and debug.
Bullshit or total incompetence When developing a new sensor, the last thing you'd do is make life harder by also having to get it working via wifi - you'd use a hardwired link.

Quote
The USB decision has not been made yet, mainly because we continue to investigate ways to do it properly for all external devices and….if we announce today that we’re not going to do it, the people who ask for refunds will be disapointed when we very soon after decide that, HEY…there is a simple way to do it. So….that decision waits for the WiFi to work well.
Yeah, like USB is a really hard problem that nobody has a readily available solution for
Quote

This week we’re talking with multiple assemblers about how quickly they can ramp up production once the PCB is finalized, which is not long after these WiFi problems are settled.

Not hard getting an assembler, what about the parts though?
Quote
As to when we think we’ll be delivering the final product….Another few weeks should give us the ability to solidify that date. No one wants this out in the market quickly more than we do.
*Cough* approvals *Cough* production test *Cough* field testing
Quote

WiFi, lens, shutter, array, and the PCB are all so closely tied that the case, though nearly ready for manufacturing, remains on the drawing board until the PCB is finalized.
Dude, the PCB is by far the easiest and cheapest thing to adapt to everything else.
Quote
Designing and having PCBs made takes days, not weeks.
Holy crap, an actual true fact!  - must have slipped through by mistake
Quote
Machining a final case prototype takes days, not weeks. The engineer in charge of that is also quick and responsive.
.. pity the same can't be said for production mould tooling
Quote
Our failure to meet our original delivery date is more due to my optimism than anything else.
I think the word you're looking for is incompetence
Quote
I remain reluctant to show the interior of our camera and I’m sorry, but that reluctance will remain until we are much closer to a shipping date.
You are either paranoid to the point of needing professional help, or lying.
Quote
I have however, asked Charles to look into releasing a partial parts list that doesn’t give any trade secrets away, and have asked for permission to do so from the vendors we have NDAs in place with.
Yawn
Quote
I have also been in touch with IndieGoGo, explained the state of our campaign, and offered them a video tour of our efforts and a general conversation should they desire it. Thus far, they have not asked for further explanation.
Like they care - they've already got their cut.
Quote
We are busy with the effort at hand. We are still being advised to keep as much of the internal project private until we enter large scale manufacturing. We would love to show pictures, but it is simply too easy to reverse engineer the product.
If it was that easy, someone else would already be on the market - if a sensor really had been available "on the market for some time" as you claim, people would be using it. The level of ineptitude you've displayed thus far clearly illustrates you don't have anything special.   
Quote

Showing a wirelessly transmitted IR image on the App as soon as possible remains our number one priority. Again, it’s number one.
Which clearly shows complete incompetence - at this stage, people don't give a shit about a shiny app, just some demonstration that you have ANY working hardware, ANY at all... It is clear that you don't, and are nowhere near having any.
Quote
Thanks to all who continue to support us.
Please don't all ask for refunds, pleeeeeze.
Quote
As a new friend from our website said recently,
“John:
I have been to your website…..the mobile infrared camera is a must. We just had 3 inches of water in our basement…this would have been perfect….hang in there.”
And a thermal imager stops flooding how exactly?

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Offline Keef Wivanef

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Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
« Reply #241 on: May 13, 2013, 11:32:39 pm »
I got my $100 (less commission) immediately.

Mu Thermal campaign has finished.
They have their loot for sure.

 

Offline Corporate666

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Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
« Reply #242 on: May 13, 2013, 11:46:33 pm »
" Please keep in mind that PayPal continues to hold back a considerable amount of money until such time as we can show them that all the processes and parts and orders, and POs, etc. are in place to begin delivering the product."


BULLSHIT

Yep, Keef is right on this one.

I have pretty extensive experience with PayPal - both good and bad - going back about 13 years.   They do have lots of measures in place to prevent fraud.   A new entity that quickly receives a large amount of money from lots of smaller entities (i.e. - lots of people sending money for a project like this) will raise red flags and most likely cause them to place a hold on most or all of the money.  HOWEVER, I have dealt with these holds at least three times with various businesses - and they have never asked for detail on any of the businesses to the level of wanting to check processes and PO's and such.

To say otherwise is a lie.  Not because I haven't experienced it so I don't believe it, but rather because I know what PayPal is and what it isn't.  PayPal are not mediators or reference checkers.  They do not investigate whether products are real.  Their sole role and interest is making sure people don't do lots of chargebacks on their credit cards after the vendor has already collected the $$.  They may wish to check what is being sold and the terms by which it was sold.  And they may even have some special deal with Indiegogo due to the latter's unique business.  But for this John guy to claim PayPal is withholding funds and acting as some sort of overseer/guarantor and that backers should take comfort and confidence in that is, I believe, a flat out fabrication. 

And that would *really* concern me as a backer.
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Offline tom66

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Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
« Reply #243 on: May 13, 2013, 11:58:10 pm »
If they just showed a blank prototype PCB, even for an old sensor, it would tell us a LOT about whether or not they are serious with the hardware.
...but they haven't.
 

Offline CanadianAvenger

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Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
« Reply #244 on: May 14, 2013, 12:04:10 am »
" Please keep in mind that PayPal continues to hold back a considerable amount of money until such time as we can show them that all the processes and parts and orders, and POs, etc. are in place to begin delivering the product."
BULLSHIT

I have never heard of PayPal doing this. Anyone else?


That's because they don't

https://developer.paypal.com/webapps/developer/docs/classic/lifecycle/crowdfunding/
 

Offline Keef Wivanef

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Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
« Reply #245 on: May 14, 2013, 12:14:29 am »

https://developer.paypal.com/webapps/developer/docs/classic/lifecycle/crowdfunding/

Fundraising inherently brings with it a high risk of fraudulent activities, including money laundering and other scams and trickery

Golly! :o
 

Offline amspire

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Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
« Reply #246 on: May 14, 2013, 12:35:50 am »
If they just showed a blank prototype PCB, even for an old sensor, it would tell us a LOT about whether or not they are serious with the hardware.
...but they haven't.
It would also tell everyone a LOT about the design. 

When we see a PCB, we can work out a lot, and a big problem these guys have is if they can make an IR camera cheaply, there will be a lot of people who can do it 500% better. The moment they post a picture of the PCB, people on this list will be working out a lot about the design. From the pin count, visible traces from pins, clock connections, etc, it may even be possible to work out the micro family, the WiFi chip, the IR sensor. They may as well post the circuit and parts list. You seriously think they could post the PCB photo and not have it analyzed online here in the forum?

Isn't it the truth that if they show a picture of a PCB that shows no details, they will be slammed in this forum for not showing a decent HiRes picture? It could be a picture of any PCB.

I don't like the way they have handled this project, but I would definitely not show any PCB - assembled or bare - if it were me. If they actually succeed, how long do you think they can sell the camera's for until they are undercut by Chinese-made cameras? They may only have 6 or 12 months to get established in the market, and if they do manage that, they might get another 12 months of sales.  Last thing they need to do is to encourage the competition by giving away freely information like the build cost, the number of IC's needed, the mechanical design. If amazingly they have actually used an original concept in this design. they most definitely shouldn't give away even the smallest clues until they start to ship the product.

They have been accused here of being scammers, liars, frauds - you name it. I don't see why they should add "unbelievably stupid" to the list by showing their PCB at this time or at they time they actually have a genuine first revision prototype PCB.
 

Offline Rasz

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Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
« Reply #247 on: May 14, 2013, 12:45:41 am »
Dude, it really doesnt matter whats on PCB.
YOU CANT MAKE A $300 product when ONE of the components costs >$500. This is why its a scam.
They had zero problem switching microbolometer model and supplier? and they are stuck with $2 Wifi chip?
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Offline Keef Wivanef

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Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
« Reply #248 on: May 14, 2013, 12:47:21 am »
I am inclined to think that you are talking through your bottom  :-DD
(Not you Dave... I'm talking to Mr Amspire)
« Last Edit: May 14, 2013, 12:49:30 am by Keef Wivanef »
 

Offline tom66

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Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
« Reply #249 on: May 14, 2013, 12:53:52 am »
I've not yet found prices for thermal imaging sensors, but it's conceivable they could be around the $100~$150 mark for a 160x120 resolution.

I don't think a picture of a PCB will give away too much. For one nearly all of those thermal imaging sensors are NDA protected, no pin out, not even packaging information. I'll admit there's some things you can figure out from a PCB, but you'd probably be better off simply doing the research on your own and choosing a thermal imager, like one of these:
http://www.sofradir-ec.com/products-uncooled.asp

Then adding a microcontroller (any one which can interface to the sensor will do, and the data rate is high enough that you'd not need any camera interface, just plain old digital IO would do) and then adding a wifi chipset or module.

If it's possible, I'm pretty sure there would be cheap Chinese thermal imagers on eBay now, but there aren't. I remain skeptical, but hopeful.
 


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