Author Topic: Budget imager recommendations  (Read 4974 times)

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Offline JonwillisTopic starter

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Budget imager recommendations
« on: November 19, 2023, 06:34:21 pm »
UPDATE

Got the Topdon TC004 for £267

-----

Been looking at upgrading my thermal camera. I got an original flir that used micro usb, so a good 7+ years old. I mostly just use it around the house.

I've pretty much narrowed it down to the following, these all have a resolution of 256x192 and 25hz for the thermal imager. Going down in resolution seems a waste and going up seems to more than double the cost. Also a few images (US due to export restrictions were capped to a lower 9hz so I've ignored them, i.e. seek thermal)

The usb models are obviously cheaper as there is no screen, body, battery, visible camera in the build, but is it worth getting a hand held. The tablet models look nicer but again cost an extra £50-100 extra for the bigger screen over the handheld models. From what I can tell specwise they are mostly the same other than topdon is 20hz, and hikmicro B10 doesn't record video.

Is there anything I've missed, should I avoid a specific model or are they as I thought pretty much all the same?

Currently thinking either topdon tc005 or tc003 (for 25hz + bigger screen)

Usb dongle
Topdon tc001 - £220
Hikmicro mini2 - £195
InfiRay P2 Pro - £250

Handheld (with optical camera)
Hikmicro B10 - £310 (no video recording)
Hikmicro B20 - £460 (added WiFi, can stream to pc/mobile)
Topdon tc005 - £335 (20hz only)
Uni-t UTi260B - £280

Mini-tablet
Topdon tc003 - £399
Hikmicro pocket - £450


Fyi - I did look into 320 x 240 Resolution, the only two models I found was dyt-ir handheld at £425 and seek thermal pro (usb dongle) around £450. But both were 9hz. There is also the Infiray P3 pro but it's£700. Outside them, models were normal going to flir and Bosch costing from £800-£5000. So I've not looked into them.
« Last Edit: November 26, 2023, 05:09:42 pm by Jonwillis »
 

Offline RO

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Re: Budget imager recommendations
« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2023, 12:12:11 pm »
Right now the most cost effective 256 dongle is the victor 328B
(https://www.eevblog.com/forum/thermal-imaging/victor-328-mobile-thermal-camera-for-android-phone/)

Also I miss the infiray C200 in your list of handhelds
(https://www.eevblog.com/forum/thermal-imaging/vevor-sc240n-topdon-tc004-infiray-c200-hisilicon-hi3516dv300/msg4867700/)
Which is becoming more interesting thanks to user Manawyrm

Fraser has done quite some reviews and teardowns on infiray / tiny1 core devices.

Perhaps you should start reading the topics a bit.
 

Offline JonwillisTopic starter

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Re: Budget imager recommendations
« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2023, 12:17:19 pm »
Thank you. I've been digging into the topics on here to read up about it, but still wasn't clear on an obvious choice. I'm starting to think that any of them will be fine. And there is no obvious disadvantages between the form factor of dongle, handheld or tablet. Other than perhaps the paralax issues if you want to fuse together thermal and camera images
 

Offline luckydip

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Re: Budget imager recommendations
« Reply #3 on: November 22, 2023, 04:26:02 pm »
If you're in the UK there's a seller on Ebay who ships from the UK and recently had 20% off (via Ebay code but sadly now expired), picked up the Topdon TC001 last week for £160, the TC003 was something like £350.
 

Offline JonwillisTopic starter

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Re: Budget imager recommendations
« Reply #4 on: November 22, 2023, 04:28:53 pm »
The eBay codes come up every 2-4 weeks so I'm sure it will be back. I've since found the tc003 for £370 from topdon directly and £400 on Amazon.
 

Offline andr€a

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Re: Budget imager recommendations
« Reply #5 on: November 22, 2023, 06:40:29 pm »
Hikmicro B01 ?
 

Offline JonwillisTopic starter

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Re: Budget imager recommendations
« Reply #6 on: November 22, 2023, 06:46:00 pm »
Hikmicro B01 ?

I didn't see that. Quick look shows it is like the topdon tc004, in that it has no camera. Just a thermal imager and from browsing I don't see it on offer. Currently £370 which is more than the B10.

I'm curious though. What do people think about the form factor. Dongle Vs handheld gun Vs tablet ?
 

Offline andr€a

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Re: Budget imager recommendations
« Reply #7 on: November 22, 2023, 06:52:13 pm »
With the various Black Friday offers, you can find the b10 at around €50 more than the b01, what I was trying to understand if the double camera was necessary or if it would be preferable to have wifi... I'm not an expert...

ps: the b01 doesn't appear on the official website, it's only on amazon
 

Offline JonwillisTopic starter

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Re: Budget imager recommendations
« Reply #8 on: November 22, 2023, 06:56:22 pm »
Personally I would prefer the camera over WiFi. I think i'll need to update the OP with a comparison table of features. They do seem all so similar at first glance.
 

Offline andr€a

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Re: Budget imager recommendations
« Reply #9 on: November 22, 2023, 07:01:18 pm »
In fact, I canceled the order as soon as I realized that it didn't have a camera... honestly, I've never used a thermal imager and would only use it for household chores, I don't fix electronic objects, and I don't know if the use of superimposed images is fundamental, a guy on yt says that for the revelations in the walls you need to deactivate the camera because it makes it difficult to find the various leaks or faults..
 

Online Bill W

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Re: Budget imager recommendations
« Reply #10 on: November 23, 2023, 01:05:47 pm »
Personally I would prefer the camera over WiFi. I think i'll need to update the OP with a comparison table of features. They do seem all so similar at first glance.

They are all very similar, the same common Chinese sensorrunning on a mobile phone derived android, where the alleged manufacturer / brand really only alter the screen size or the buttons.

I would not put any value by the visible camera,

Format is very much user choice, dongles take up less space when you have got bored of taking dog pictures and if powered from the phone you do not have to keep charging them
Handhelds do not need a phone, likely have buttons for functions, and stay in one piece with everyday knocks.

At those prices you are also getting into the area where I am selling refurbished fire cameras, and they are 320x240 30Hz.

Offline JonwillisTopic starter

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Re: Budget imager recommendations
« Reply #11 on: November 26, 2023, 05:08:38 pm »
Hi Bill. I did take a look at your website, but decided to stick with "consumer" models instead of those for government/military as I felt they would be more suitable to me.

In the end I got the TC004 in the black Friday sales. RRP was £499, but on eBay was £429, however they offered 20% off code, and topcashback added 20% too which has tracked, plus there was another £20 off. In the end it cost £267 which I felt was a reasonable price.
 
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Offline Mithrandir

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Re: Budget imager recommendations
« Reply #12 on: November 27, 2023, 08:41:11 pm »
Hi @Jonwillis,

what pushed you towards Topdon instead of Infiray. I'm considering 2 USB dongle options (I'm located in Croatia (EU)).

1. Infiray has black friday sale and you can order P2 Pro with macro lens for 239$ (218€) https://www.xinfrared.com/products/infiray_p2_pro_thermal_camera (It says free shipping, not sure about customs cause it doesn't say where it's shipped from, but I guess it's probably China)
2. Topdon TC001 - I can have it from Aliexpress for about 265€

I've read all threads about P2 Pro (and similar TinyCore models), but I'm not sure do P2 Pro or Topdon TC001 have usable PC (Windows) app?
It's listed on both their websites, but I can't try them without cameras :)

I'm not sure about Infiray website (https://www.xinfrared.com/) because it says nothing about VAT and customs, maybe it's safer to order it from Aliexpress, but there the price is around 270€ with cyber monday discounts.



Which camera would you recommend? Where did you order your Topdon from?
 

Offline JonwillisTopic starter

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Re: Budget imager recommendations
« Reply #13 on: November 27, 2023, 09:15:57 pm »
Hi @Mithrandir

I've had a flir usb dongle before, early edition with microusb, 160*120 thermal image although It feels lower.
FLIR ONE - https://amzn.eu/d/3uC16PP
I had issues with connectivity on it, had to replace the internal battery and buy an extra OTG connector to get it working. It did feel a bit of bother when coming to use it. So think I prefer a full unit, but that was just my experience.

I did almost go down the infinity ray route, as the P2 has the macro lens option. I've not seen one for any topdon products. I ignored seek due to the 9hz limitation. I also steered away from AliExpress/Bangkok etc incase was warranty issues.

Ultimately I just went on price as no one highlighted any specific pro/con towards a brand or form factor.
Topdon tc003 RRP was £499, but on eBay was £429, however they offered 20% off code, and topcashback added 20% too which has tracked, plus there was another £20 off. In the end it cost £267 which I felt was a reasonable price.
The tc001 which is equivalent to infiniray p2 pro was as low as £150 on eBay, and the hikmicro B10 was £180 on Amazon. This work out cheaper than the P2 pro.

I suppose one drawback of the tablet/handheld form factor is the same as the flir. If the battery totally does you need to dismantle the unit to replace it. A positive though is its much easier to lend to someone as it's all in one, pickup and go.
« Last Edit: November 27, 2023, 09:21:33 pm by Jonwillis »
 

Offline andr€a

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Re: Budget imager recommendations
« Reply #14 on: November 28, 2023, 07:21:41 pm »
Hi, I was undecided between the b01 and the b10, in the end I took the pocket2 :D
 

Offline JonwillisTopic starter

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Re: Budget imager recommendations
« Reply #15 on: November 29, 2023, 12:22:36 pm »
So went down the tablet route too.

I recently saw another product, Hikmicro E20 plus, it says it's 50hz instead of the usual 25hz you see on these other usb dongles.
 

Offline ArsenioDev

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Re: Budget imager recommendations
« Reply #16 on: November 29, 2023, 03:58:25 pm »
So went down the tablet route too.

I recently saw another product, Hikmicro E20 plus, it says it's 50hz instead of the usual 25hz you see on these other usb dongles.

under the hood it's an iray x2 ($300 or so, fast frame rate but not good temperature data, mostly an observation not science camera)
 

Offline JonwillisTopic starter

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Re: Budget imager recommendations
« Reply #17 on: November 29, 2023, 04:01:13 pm »

under the hood it's an iray x2 ($300 or so, fast frame rate but not good temperature data, mostly an observation not science camera)


With so many products, could do with a table listing all the important specs, it's difficult to make an informed decision on which one to get
 

Offline ArsenioDev

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Re: Budget imager recommendations
« Reply #18 on: November 29, 2023, 05:45:49 pm »
That's kinda been on my to-do.
Optimally I'd have loaner units to do a direct apples to apples image/video testing of with a common target scene too.
 

Offline JonwillisTopic starter

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Re: Budget imager recommendations
« Reply #19 on: November 29, 2023, 05:54:03 pm »
Like rtings with TVs and monitors, and dpCamera for DSLR/mirrorless camera
 

Offline ArsenioDev

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Re: Budget imager recommendations
« Reply #20 on: November 29, 2023, 07:42:06 pm »
Bingo!
 

Offline ArcSin

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Re: Budget imager recommendations
« Reply #21 on: February 02, 2024, 02:16:19 pm »
So went down the tablet route too.

I recently saw another product, Hikmicro E20 plus, it says it's 50hz instead of the usual 25hz you see on these other usb dongles.

under the hood it's an iray x2 ($300 or so, fast frame rate but not good temperature data, mostly an observation not science camera)

Is it?

I am getting conflicting information from here. In https://www.eevblog.com/forum/thermal-imaging/infiray-xh09-x2-series-discussion/msg5308657/#msg5308657 here I was told that it is most likely Hikmicro own, inhouse cooked thing. However, be as it may, my laptop failed to recognize e20 as any device at all. And the dongle itself did not start the calibration cycle, that it does right away when it is connected to phone.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2024, 02:18:01 pm by ArcSin »
 


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