Author Topic: 2nd hand Exx : how to tell if it's MSX or non-MSX? (if not can it be enabled?)  (Read 764 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline calel

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 87
  • Country: ch
specifically an E30

pic of the cam on sale :



the central pad has separate buttons for each direction which means it's an older version (unlike the more recent version where the 4 directionnal keys are part of a single square piece) does that alone means it's non-MSX?

also on the ad it says firmware version is 1.36.23 so if it starts with "1." is that  too a bad sign?
 

Offline DaJMasta

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1955
  • Country: us
    • medpants.com
Yep, that keypad and gull wings is no MSX.  Still has the camera, but the hardware inside doesn't support the processing.


That said, once you software unlock it to 320x240, you don't need MSX.  I can see tons of fine detail on my unlocked e40 and honestly don't feel the need for MSX.
 

Offline calel

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 87
  • Country: ch
Yep, that keypad and gull wings is no MSX.  Still has the camera, but the hardware inside doesn't support the processing.
wait it takes "processing" to use MSX?  ???

figures it's just about superimposing visual + IR image, no special hardware or cpu muscle needed there

and if I'm not mistaken most cams with MSX dont even do parallax compensation (except the very very very high end ones?) so unless the object is far enough, the 2 images dont allign
« Last Edit: October 09, 2020, 05:31:32 am by calel »
 

Offline _Wim_

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 907
  • Country: be
That said, once you software unlock it to 320x240, you don't need MSX.  I can see tons of fine detail on my unlocked e40 and honestly don't feel the need for MSX.

Fully agree! I could even be that MSX would only make it worse (obscure some information). And for electronic works with a close-up lens, MSX does not work anyway.
 

Online Fraser

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 9909
  • Country: gb
Calel,

MSX is edge detection and overlay and not just simple Image overlay.

The processing is needed to identify the edges of items in the scene and then apply just that detail and not all of the visible light image. Image fusion used in other cameras such as Fluke is a complete visible light image overplayed on a thermal image and is a simpler effect to implement. The drawback of image fusion is that it can confuse the user with regard to the thermal palette image.

MSX is a clever idea that does have its uses. It is particularly useful in providing context to a low resolution thermal camera scene. It is less useful on 320 x 240 pixel thermal images as there is enough detail to provide context and identify locations of thermal energy with relative ease. One area where MSX can be a great aid is when the user wishes to capture writing that appears on a target as well as the thermal image. FLIR show this when their cameras are used on Fuse or Breaker electrical cabinets where the circuit allocations are also captured in the image. When writing a fault report the MSX detail can greatly improve the image interpretation by a non technical reader.

MSX suffers from parallax error offset issues so FLIR provide an offset correction setting for a range of distances. This was further enhanced in some additional software modifications created by members of this forum (Bud?) to enable close up use of MSX.

MSX relies upon the visible light camera so can only operate if there is adequate illumination of the scene. In low light situations MSX does not work properly so additional light needs to be provided. Think about working inside industrial cabinets or dark corners of a factory. FLIR provide an LED light on the Exx that can be set to illuminate a scene. Both the MK1 and MK2 Exx cameras have the LED illumination but on the MK1 it is just to permit capture of visible light images and not MSX.

Worthy of note is that the MK2 Exx cameras use the more modern user interface found on the Ex series, but the Service Menu is no longer present. Given the choice, I prefer the MK1 camera and the Service Menu that allows me to calibrate and adapt the camera to my needs. Without the Service Menu you cannot install custom calibration tables for supplemental lenses or enable additional temperature ranges. The Service menu also provides the dead pixel capture routine to update the dead pixel table. All very useful stuff and sadly absent from the MK2 version.

I wrote a post in the past on the different versions of Exx camera. There are 3. MK1, MK1 Facelift and MK2. The MK1 facelift and MK2 are the most commonly seen on eBay.

Fraser
« Last Edit: October 09, 2020, 10:45:27 am by Fraser »
Cogito, ergo sum
 
The following users thanked this post: edavid

Online Fraser

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 9909
  • Country: gb
Examples of where MSX is useful........

It should be noted that some purely thermal images can sometimes capture text detail if the text is a different Emissivity to the substrate around it. Embossed text is often visible in electrical appliances but labels can often look blank.

Fraser
« Last Edit: October 09, 2020, 10:19:51 am by Fraser »
Cogito, ergo sum
 
The following users thanked this post: edavid

Online Fraser

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 9909
  • Country: gb
If I recall correctly, the MSX function can be activated on a MK1 Exx series camera via additional MSX entries in the configuration file, but the camera does not display the MSX overlay on the live image. Why is this of use ? Well I understand that the MSX data is then stored in saved images and can be displayed on a PC running FLIR’s image analysis software. Correction of parallax error may also be possible in the analysis software. I have not felt the need for MSX on my Exx series cameras so I have not tried this myself.

Fraser
« Last Edit: October 09, 2020, 11:22:01 am by Fraser »
Cogito, ergo sum
 

Offline calel

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 87
  • Country: ch
ah ok I think I had MSX confused with the simple 'thermal fusion' thing

does the MK1 have at least thermal fusion feature? (where can adjust % of how much IR & visual images are shown simultaneously)
 

Offline Bud

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 4382
  • Country: ca
The E4 has tons of settings (not normally user accessible) for MSX parallax correction and processing. It is capable of correction at distances as close as 8 inch from the object, albeit not across the entire image.  And it is not a very expensive camera.
Facebook-free life and Rigol-free shack.
 
The following users thanked this post: Fraser

Offline cuda12

  • Contributor
  • Posts: 38
  • Country: us
Yes the MK1 has thermal fusion. Best to take a standard pic then choose to enhance it in the flir software as you can choose thermal fusion, msx, picture in picture. When you use an add on lens it will have drift. Time to just buy one as they are an excellent deal then you can tell us what you find useful.
 

Online Fraser

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 9909
  • Country: gb
I saw an E40 for £1200 the other day. That was what I paid for my first E40 a few years ago. I have never regretted TG at purchase. The prices on these units seem pretty stable thanks to their excellent reputation and that is without the added advantage of being reconfigurable to E60+ specification. Buyers can normally recover their purchase price or even make a small profit if they decide to resell later.

As Cuda12 has stated, if you want the “all in one” format of camera and a camera that has excellent capabilities, buy an E40 and unlock its full potential. If buying an E30, be aware that the earliest MK1 has a cover over the visible light camera and illuminator. Holes have to be cut in the cover to expose them. The later E30 has the holes already present like in the E40 etc. The E30 is the most basic model so some did not have the Radio transceiver board fitted. E40 remains the ‘sweet spot’ of Exx camera purchases as it is the same BoM as the E60.

Fraser
« Last Edit: October 10, 2020, 02:37:43 pm by Fraser »
Cogito, ergo sum
 

Offline _Wim_

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 907
  • Country: be
The E30 is the most basic model so some did not have the Radio transceiver board fitted. E40 remains the ‘sweet spot’ of Exx camera purchases as it is the same BoM as the E60.

Fraser

Some E30 had indeed the WIFI and Bluetooth board fitted. I have an upgraded E30 MK1 which has both. (sn #49023xxx)
« Last Edit: October 10, 2020, 03:30:52 pm by _Wim_ »
 

Online Fraser

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 9909
  • Country: gb
_Wim_,

You were one of the lucky ones  :-+ I think FLIR eventually decided that it was too much effort to manufacture the E30 with a blanked off camera, illuminator and no Radio module. Such hardware differences go against the efficiencies of mass production using a common platform. Some owners of the E30 have sadly discovered that their particular unit is without the radio module though. You only find out when you try to enable it and nothing happens :( There are no outward signs that a radio transceiver module is fitted or not :(

Fraser
Cogito, ergo sum
 

Offline calel

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 87
  • Country: ch

As Cuda12 has stated, if you want the “all in one” format of camera and a camera that has excellent capabilities, buy an E40 and unlock its full potential. If buying an E30, be aware that the earliest MK1 has a cover over the visible light camera and illuminator. Holes have to be cut in the cover to expose them. The later E30 has the holes already present like in the E40 etc. The E30 is the most basic model so some did not have the Radio transceiver board fitted. E40 remains the ‘sweet spot’ of Exx camera purchases as it is the same BoM as the E60.

Fraser
ok so the only real (hardware) difference between E30 & E40 is the wifi?  ??? cause that's but a detail (I never use wifi for...anything tbh and I'm not even sure what is the purpose of wifi on a thermal camera. connect wirelessly to PC? big deal I just use a usb cable for file transfer)

I also saw an E40 MK1 on sale but price is far more expensive like 60% more than the E30. if wifi's the only difference then not worth it to me


if the older E30 still has thermal blending then I dont mind the lack of MSX
 

Online Fraser

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 9909
  • Country: gb
E30 has smaller temperature range of -20C to +250C. A greater temperature range capability through changes in the MK1 Service Menu is not guaranteed. That can matter to those looking at heaters, soldering reflow temperatures etc.

E30.....

http://online-electronics.com.ua/uploads/tdpdf/e30_eng_tds.pdf

E40.....

http://online-electronics.com.ua/uploads/tdpdf/e40_eng_tds.pdf
« Last Edit: October 10, 2020, 06:00:59 pm by Fraser »
Cogito, ergo sum
 

Offline calel

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 87
  • Country: ch
E30 has smaller temperature range of -20C to +250C. A greater temperature range capability through changes in the MK1 Service Menu is not guaranteed. That can matter to those looking at heaters, soldering reflow temperatures etc.
yup a wider temp range is more important to me than wifi so that's a criterion


that said I dont get it - you say some have managed to increase temp range of the E30. but this implies than the E30's limited temp range is 100% software-crippled right? (no hardware difference in range & sensitivity between E30 & E40)

BUT if it's only crippled via software...the why thef is it so difficult to unlock? did they for some reason implement stronger security for that part of the cam's firmware?  ??? (I'd expect the resolution-crippling to have stronger security since that's a more important & valuable aspect of an IR cam)
 

Offline _Wim_

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 907
  • Country: be
that said I dont get it - you say some have managed to increase temp range of the E30. but this implies than the E30's limited temp range is 100% software-crippled right? (no hardware difference in range & sensitivity between E30 & E40)

BUT if it's only crippled via software...the why thef is it so difficult to unlock? did they for some reason implement stronger security for that part of the cam's firmware?  ??? (I'd expect the resolution-crippling to have stronger security since that's a more important & valuable aspect of an IR cam)

Unlocking this temperature range is easy in the MK1 via the service menu. But if your unit does not have the calibration files for that range, it will not work. In theory you could calibrate it yourself via that service menu for that range, but it is not a trivial task and you need a high quality high temperature black body radiator.

My unit (also E30) did have calibration files until 650°C if I remember correctly, but it is not a range I typically use in electronics repair work, as something is seriously wrong then  ::)
 

Offline calel

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 87
  • Country: ch
that said I dont get it - you say some have managed to increase temp range of the E30. but this implies than the E30's limited temp range is 100% software-crippled right? (no hardware difference in range & sensitivity between E30 & E40)

BUT if it's only crippled via software...the why thef is it so difficult to unlock? did they for some reason implement stronger security for that part of the cam's firmware?  ??? (I'd expect the resolution-crippling to have stronger security since that's a more important & valuable aspect of an IR cam)

Unlocking this temperature range is easy in the MK1 via the service menu. But if your unit does not have the calibration files for that range, it will not work. In theory you could calibrate it yourself via that service menu for that range, but it is not a trivial task and you need a high quality high temperature black body radiator.

My unit (also E30) did have calibration files until 650°C if I remember correctly, but it is not a range I typically use in electronics repair work, as something is seriously wrong then  ::)
so can't those calibration files just be uploaded into the cam? (say, from another, fully unlocked cam)
 

Offline _Wim_

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 907
  • Country: be
so can't those calibration files just be uploaded into the cam? (say, from another, fully unlocked cam)

Calibration files are vastly different from unit to unit. The calibration is really specific for each micro bolometer. Without is, you just get garbage out.
 

Offline Bill W

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 541
  • Country: gb
    • Fire TICS
It would depend on where the core holds the bolometer settings, as you must have those as well as the calibration tables if they are not one and the same file.
If I was FLIR I would have made sure those settings were omitted / unsafe default on the low range cameras.

File swapping between cores with a similar setup though is likely to be OK as the flat field (one point, shutter) should fix the main sensor differences to probably give a credible image.
You certainly will not get the same accuracy of temperature reading, and it could be wildly out, depending on how lens calibration is handled.

The above is based on ASi sensors, I can swap sensors between the same core boards and get images without a new 2-point calibration.  I would expect that a Tau VOX should be better on consistency.  I don't know enough about how FLIR deal with different lenses.

Bill

Offline calel

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 87
  • Country: ch

Calibration files are vastly different from unit to unit. The calibration is really specific for each micro bolometer. Without is, you just get garbage out.
bummer I never thought of that :/

nvm I can do witrhout the extra temp range. up to 250°C is more then enough I wont be using it for hardcore industrial stuff anyway

lack of MSX on the E30 is more concerning but at least it still has thermal blending




/!\ last question: is the lack of MSX on the E30 also a software-only problem? (is the processor on the E30 same as E40 & therefore fully capable of doing MSX if told to?)
 

Offline Bill W

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 541
  • Country: gb
    • Fire TICS

nvm I can do witrhout the extra temp range. up to 250°C is more then enough I wont be using it for hardcore industrial stuff anyway

If simply imaging the odd very hot thing is all you'd need you can always fit an external iris over the lens to block out the outer part of the lens.  With a bit of care that could even be calibrated as a '25% filter' - remembering it is a linear in energy system though
For measurement any spot meter will often do just as well.

Bill

Online Fraser

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 9909
  • Country: gb
E30 processor is the same as all other Exx MK1 series processors
Cogito, ergo sum
 

Offline calel

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 87
  • Country: ch
then in theory it should be possible to implement full MSX on an E30 via firmware hack?
 

Online Fraser

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 9909
  • Country: gb
No, no, no

Full MSX needs a MK2 Exx series camera as has already been said.

You can do the same as any MK1 Exx and enable MSX in the configuration but the MSX overlay does not appear on the display. It is however saved in saved images for access from analysis software. Basically MSX should be considered not present on the MK1 Exx series camera as they are not designed to provide it. That way you will not be disappointed or accusing me of misleading you !
Cogito, ergo sum
 

Offline calel

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 87
  • Country: ch
MY BAD I asked the wrong question. went to bed late last night nvm

I didn't mean to ask if E30 mk1 & E40 mk1 have same CPU (I already knew that)


what I really meant to ask was, do E30 mk1 & E30 mk2 have same CPU? there we go :)
« Last Edit: October 11, 2020, 07:05:20 pm by calel »
 

Offline DaJMasta

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1955
  • Country: us
    • medpants.com
It's not a CPU factor, there's the applications processor which is the same, and there is an FPGA for the image processing involved with MSX that's either missing or smaller or something (I don't remember which).  MSX is not a software level feature, it is implemented in hardware.
 

Online Fraser

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 9909
  • Country: gb
For info, there was not an E30 MK2. The E30 model was deleted when FLIR moved to the MK2 design.
Cogito, ergo sum
 


Share me

Digg  Facebook  SlashDot  Delicious  Technorati  Twitter  Google  Yahoo
Smf