Author Topic: A Rugged 7" ATOM based PC Tablet for thermal imaging tasks ? Very neat :)  (Read 790 times)

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Online Fraser

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A little while ago I discovered ARBOR Rugged tablet PC's that are very robust and perfect for use when mobile or in the lab.
I own many rugged tablets and laptops but wanted a small 7" tablet that provided both Serial RS232 and USB ports for use with my Industrial thermal cameras. I found some good units but they were expensive and not as robust as I would like. I then found a new ARBOR Gladius G0710 Rugged Atom CPU based tablet that ticked all the boxes for me. It is designed to withstand the rigors of daily use in the Medical world and has the expected build quality of a product used in the medical realm. It is not as thin as modern Windows tablets but that was not part of my buying criteria. I wanted a small Windows/Linux tablet that provided a proper serial port and could be opened to upgrade and modify to meet my needs. Modern thin tablet designs do not normally allow you to open or modify them ! I bought the little Gladius G0710 and have found it great when working with thermal cameras. It can run Windows or Linux so is very adaptable and could be used for camera configuration, control or image analysis. The ATOM CPU means that the unit is relatively low power consumption and more adaptable than an ARM based tablet.

Why am I telling you about a Tablet in the thermal imaging forum ?  Well two reasons really.

1. I have found the little Arbor Tablet to be very useful for driving my Industrial thermal cameras and believe others may appreciate what this Tablet can offer. It is both well made and very versatile :) Just what the thermal camera hobbyist can make use of in experiments, modifications or daily use :)

2. I have just purchased a number of these Tablets, the power supplies, batteries and docking stations and will be offering them to members of this forum first before they go on eBay. Expect a price similar to a Raspbery Pi !  The units that I have bought are brand new and unused. I will test each before I send them out. A larger hard disk or SSD will be needed as the units are fitted with a 4GB Industrial CF drive but accepts a PATA ZIF drive as well :) Such drives are Round £10 from China or a ZIF to mSata board may be used and fitted with an mSata SSD :)

I will be providing further details of these units and a price in an advert in the Sell and Buy area but feel free to comment here if you are interested in such a device. It should run Windows 10 if a larger drive is installed. I actually need mine to run WinXP for thermal camera software and hardware compatibility reasons ;)

The ARBOR Gladius  G0710 page is here:

https://www.arbor-technology.com/gl/Product/Pro/Model/Gladius_G0710_1/Download

Fraser

« Last Edit: October 10, 2020, 11:42:26 am by Fraser »
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Online Fraser

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Gladius G0710 Datasheet.

Note that the brand new units that I have sourced come fitted with a 4GB Compact Flash format drive but may be fitted with either a larger capacity CF card or PATA drive (on a ribbon connection to the motherboard) Wi-Fi is present but Bluetooth is not. The Mini PCIe socket is vacant and no cameras are fitted. The Bluetooth connector is present so it may be added if desired. I have the BT module identity if required.

Fraser
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Online Fraser

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Arbor Gladius G0710 Motherboard Ports......
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Offline firehopper

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I would be interested in one!
 

Online Fraser

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The main consignment arrives on Tuesday and I will be going through the boxes checking the units and batteries. When I have some to sell I will update this thread and a create a selling post in the forums buy & sell area :)

Watch this space. It should not be long before I can start selling a few to those who expressed an interest :)

Fraser
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Online Fraser

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Out of interest, does owning one of these tablets appeal to anyone in the thermal imaging realm ? If not, no worries, but I thought they would be useful to people like us who could use them mobile or for thermal camera projects. I believe the two unused camera ports are USB (yet to be proven) so maybe integrate a USB thermal camera into the tablet ? If not then they may be more appealing to the ‘Maker’ fraternity.

From my point of view, I love that these tablets can run a range of operating systems so can be integrated into all manner of projects. They could be a very capable remote controller, data terminal/analyser or a host for a RS232/USB2.0 or network appliance. To me they are dinky, but maybe others think differently ? I would be interested to hear views on such a unit as it may help me to find homes for them. I will have a decent quantity to sell and eBay will be used once I have given this forum members first dibs on them  :)

I have just tested the batteries on the first 10 units and all are in perfect order which is very good news as they cost over £100 each from Arbor.

Fraser
« Last Edit: October 10, 2020, 11:45:46 am by Fraser »
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Online Fraser

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I just realised..... the term “Dinky” that I use has a different meaning in America...... oooops !
I am British so I mean that the unit is “Small and neat”

Language eh  :-DD

Definition of “Dinky”......

dinky1
/ˈdɪŋki/
adjectiveINFORMAL

1.
BRITISH
(of an object or place) attractively small and neat.
"a dinky little restaurant"

2.
NORTH AMERICAN
disappointingly small; insignificant.
"I can't believe the dinky salaries they pay here"
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Online Fraser

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For interest, here are some of the uses that I saw for these ATOM based tablets....

1. Running configuration software for my various thermal imaging cores via the integrated RS232 and USB ports

2. Running image analysis software to view and analyse images captured on a thermal camera via USB link or UB type card reader

3. Remote control thermal cameras using their control software via the USB, RS232 or Ethernet port

4. Stream or video capture thermal camera images via the USB port for a larger, or remote display on the Tablet.

5. Time lapse thermal image capture via USB port.

6. Thermal Motion detection and image capture via the USB port

7. Driving Seek Thermal and FLIR dongle cameras using Windows or Linux software via the External or internal USB ports

8. Test PC on the repair workbench to drive cameras via RS232, USB2 or Ethernet.

9. Logic Analyzer on the test bench driving one of the many USB based Logic Analyzers.

10. Portable test bench using one of the USB driven “all in one” oscilloscope, function generator and Logic analyzer  units.

11. Adding A FireWire card to the internal MiniPCIe port to drive Industrial FireWire thermal cameras. (I bought such a MiniPCIe FireWire card on eBay a while ago)

12. Test bench tablet for schematics, documents or record keeping. Far more robust than a standard tablet and able to run Windows or Linux, as preferred.

13.Temperature logging of a thermal camera Blackbody source or the inside of a cameras casing using a simple USB based digital thermometer.

14. Controlling a Thermal camera Blackbody test source PID via its RS232/RS485 data link

15. Tablet based thermal camera borescope using a Lepton core .... a future project of mine :)


So as you can see, I had good reason to buy one of these rugged  tablets :)

Fraser
« Last Edit: October 10, 2020, 01:18:57 pm by Fraser »
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Offline negativ3

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The LCD & Case would be of interest for retrofitting the likes of a Lattepanda for a tad more grunt. Do you have any idea on cost yet per piece?
 

Online krish2487

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Interested in acquiring one, just to find new uses for it. :-)

It does look like a fairly versatile kit, especially if it is around the price of a Pi.
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and we are this stupid
then....
 

Online Fraser

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Re: A Rugged 7" ATOM based PC Tablet for thermal imaging tasks ? Very neat :)
« Reply #10 on: October 12, 2020, 09:55:27 am »
Regarding price, these units are around £1K from ARBOR but I will be looking to ask around the price of a Raspberry Pi for the complete set of Tablet, Battery, Docking Station and PSU.

I am aware that this tablets processor and RAM specification is low for modern operating systems. It originally used WinXPe and WinXP is what I often need to use with older thermal cameras. It is basically a Netbook specification so suitable for less demanding applications, as I have detailed above :) I think Linux users might have some serious fun with the unit though as it is a standard chipset and Linux can be far more efficient in its use of hardware resources than the bloated and resource hungry Windows :) For what I will be asking for the unit it could be used for all manner of dedicated tasks and it is passively cooled thanks to its power efficient ATOM processor. That is an advantage for an “always on” application :)

I should also state that if anyone needs several of these tablets for a project.... like multi networked terminals around a house (these can be wall mounted and the bracket is supplied !) I will have the stock to support such a request :)

Star Trek fans could create wall mounted ‘communications’ terminals with a nice wallpaper of whatever Star Trek image  ;D oh the possibilities abound when you have lots of affordable, self contained Rugged tablets in a white casing rather than black  ;D

Fraser
« Last Edit: October 12, 2020, 10:36:07 am by Fraser »
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Online Fraser

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Re: A Rugged 7" ATOM based PC Tablet for thermal imaging tasks ? Very neat :)
« Reply #11 on: October 12, 2020, 10:43:19 am »
As a fan of Star Trek, my previous comment has got me thinking about nice wallpapers for the tablet  :)..........
« Last Edit: October 12, 2020, 10:48:42 am by Fraser »
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Online Fraser

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Re: A Rugged 7" ATOM based PC Tablet for thermal imaging tasks ? Very neat :)
« Reply #12 on: October 12, 2020, 11:49:49 am »
G0710 rugged tablet review.....

https://www.ruggedpcreview.com/3_slates_arbor_gladius_g0710.html

The review unit was running Windows 7 so we know the G0710 will run that OS, possibly even Win10 ? I will need to test that though.

Fraser
« Last Edit: October 12, 2020, 11:51:25 am by Fraser »
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Online Fraser

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Re: A Rugged 7" ATOM based PC Tablet for thermal imaging tasks ? Very neat :)
« Reply #13 on: October 12, 2020, 01:30:51 pm »
The Consignment of Arbor Tablets has just been delivered  :-+

Bailey has carried out the initial acceptance review and passed the tablets as of the required new condition and complete  ;D

A neighbour saw me unloading the boxes from the palette and when he heard what they were and the spec he bought 5 there and then ! He is an IT professional and knows how useful such a rugged compact unit can be. He thinks his colleagues will also want some so my exploratory journey into the World of  ‘Del Boy Trotter’ (Only Fools and Horses TV series) has started well  :-+

Now to unpack the batteries and charge them all...... there are a lot to charge !

Fraser
« Last Edit: October 12, 2020, 02:04:47 pm by Fraser »
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Offline Ultrapurple

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Re: A Rugged 7" ATOM based PC Tablet for thermal imaging tasks ? Very neat :)
« Reply #14 on: October 12, 2020, 03:16:46 pm »
Bailey is clearly disappointed - he was looking for the mouse...
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Offline negativ3

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Re: A Rugged 7" ATOM based PC Tablet for thermal imaging tasks ? Very neat :)
« Reply #15 on: October 12, 2020, 03:21:58 pm »
I'll take one Rodney.
 

Online Fraser

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Re: A Rugged 7" ATOM based PC Tablet for thermal imaging tasks ? Very neat :)
« Reply #16 on: October 12, 2020, 05:37:17 pm »
Cushty  ;D
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Online Fraser

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Re: A Rugged 7" ATOM based PC Tablet for thermal imaging tasks ? Very neat :)
« Reply #17 on: October 12, 2020, 06:42:53 pm »
I will be sorting out the tablets over the coming week and creating a post that contains all pertinent technical information. I will also be investigating what Operating Systems it can cope with. This will include WinXP, Win7 and Win10. I need to discover as much as I can about these tablets in order to advise others on what they can do. I also need to better understand them for my needs. I know they will be very useful to me but others may not have the same needs as me. The ATOM 1.1GHz CPU and 1GB RAM are clearly the limitation with these units but they were never intended to be a powerhouse for gaming etc ! The Netbook specification was always intended to be a convenience and affordability option and these Tablets are no different. However, I look back upon the specification of the laptops I used for WinXP and Linux and these tablets are more capable, so no worries there. The more modern OS’s have become CPU and Memory gobbling monsters so I may find these tablets struggling with the likes of Win10 but we shall see. As we all know, the Microsoft minimum system specification is often optimistic but then I do not see these tablets being used for heavy lifting tasks !

If I do settle on a £50 selling price, I still think there is a lot of Value for money in these brand new Tablets that come with a docking station. The buyer will likely have to buy a larger CF card or a ZIF PATA main drive such as a 1.8” HDD ZIF mSata adapter with mSata SSD. Worth the effort ? Well that depends upon your needs and views on operating systems. I use what does the job and in some cases that means using older operating systems. I have to use Win10 because Microsoft made life difficult by deleting support for Win7, otherwise I would use Win 7 on most of my computers. I operate WinXP on computers that run software designed for that OS and that cannot access the hardware correctly under later OS’s. No shame in that, as long as the software works correctly on its stand alone platform to drive whatever appliance I have connected :) I am not an expert on Linux but I understand that good Linux OS versions run very well on modest hardware platforms and can provide excellent capabilities.

I see these little Tablets as being a very useful addition to my electronics lab and use of Industrial thermal imaging cameras. My FLIR SC4000 Science Camera can have its own dedicated Gladius G0710 tablet  :-+ I can use another to control the FLIR PM series cameras via their RS232 ports and will use another to drive my Tiertime UP! Box 3D printer as a dedicated PC :) Then there are the various thermal cameras that I own that would benefit from being connected to a dedicated RS232 or RS485 linked PC ...... suddenly all of my camera control challenges have evaporated and each solution can be fine tuned for a particular scenario :) I will also be fitting a Mini PCIe FireWire card in one of my Tablets to drive FireWire cameras :)

Fraser
« Last Edit: October 12, 2020, 07:39:30 pm by Fraser »
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Online Fraser

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Re: A Rugged 7" ATOM based PC Tablet for thermal imaging tasks ? Very neat :)
« Reply #18 on: October 12, 2020, 09:42:56 pm »
An interesting article on reducing the size of a Windows OS installation  :-+

https://www.makeuseof.com/tag/tiny-ssd-slim-windows-7-minimal-installs/

There is so much “bloat” in modern Microsoft OS’s

On the Linux front there is “Mint” as a recommended Netbook OS.
“Jolicloud” is another Linux possibility that was configured specifically for Netbooks.

I will be looking into cut down WinXP installs and XPe.

Fraser
« Last Edit: October 13, 2020, 01:08:47 pm by Fraser »
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Offline firehopper

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Re: A Rugged 7" ATOM based PC Tablet for thermal imaging tasks ? Very neat :)
« Reply #19 on: October 13, 2020, 12:25:50 am »
another use for it, for running the configuration software for the quantum power chair I have, uses a usb can dongle. :) instead of having to use my surface pro. and yes still interested. :) maybe more than one. :)
 

Offline negativ3

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Re: A Rugged 7" ATOM based PC Tablet for thermal imaging tasks ? Very neat :)
« Reply #20 on: October 13, 2020, 02:26:20 am »
another use for it, for running the configuration software for the quantum power chair I have, uses a usb can dongle. :) instead of having to use my surface pro. and yes still interested. :) maybe more than one. :)

quantum power chair?
 

Online Fraser

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Re: A Rugged 7" ATOM based PC Tablet for thermal imaging tasks ? Very neat :)
« Reply #21 on: October 13, 2020, 11:18:51 am »
I will update this thread once I have completed my investigation into the Gladius G0710 tablet. I want to be able to present a decent overview of the unit, much like a review so that people can decide if it would be something useful to them. For the price I will be asking I think it would make a great basis for many projects if I provide the required technical information. For those concerned about missing out on one of these Tablets, fear not. I bought a decent stock...... that is unless I find uses for them all in my own projects first  :-DD I keep seeing new applications for these little white rugged tablets all over the house and lab  ;D

Please be patient with me as I only have so much spare time to spend on this little project. I am not a company, just a hobbyist having some fun and hopefully earning some pennies to pay the bills  :-+

Fraser
« Last Edit: October 13, 2020, 11:20:24 am by Fraser »
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