Author Topic: Cheap new basic thermal camera on eBay - Multicomp / Uni-T + teardown  (Read 6551 times)

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Online Fraser

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I spotted a Multicomp MP780429 compact thermal imaging camera on eBay the other day and thought I would share details with the forum.

The unit is FLIR Lepton 2.5 based so is 80 x 60 pixels radiometric. We have seen it previously in its Uni-T branding but this unit is branded “Multicomp” which, from memory is the Farnell/CPC ‘own brand’. This unit is also sold under other brand names.

Why do I mention this unit here ? Well it was being offered for £120 by the eBay seller the other day. He has several new units in stock. He dropped the price to £109 yesterday and offered me one for £100 today. I accepted his offer as this little unit, though basic, will be useful in the tool kit  :-+ The small screen is actually a benefit when working with a 80 x 60 pixel image as it looks better !  ;D

So if you are in the market for a cheap, basic Radiometric thermal camera, take a look here…..

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/284478546915?_trkparms=amclksrc%3DITM%26aid%3D111001%26algo%3DREC.SEED%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D20160908105057%26meid%3D44023bdd5a654ae98d8fe95f2d2df65c%26pid%3D100675%26rk%3D1%26rkt%3D15%26sd%3D284478546915%26itm%3D284478546915%26pmt%3D0%26noa%3D1%26pg%3D2380057&_trksid=p2380057.c100675.m4236&_trkparms=pageci%3A96fa2a85-2cdb-11ec-97e2-328b3e11e722%7Cparentrq%3A7e667ce217c0ab9e64025fbcfff48b62%7Ciid%3A1

I have no connection with the seller or the item that he is selling.

Datasheet is here…..

https://www.farnell.com/datasheets/2921203.pdf

The usual limitations of the FLIR lepton core apply. It is fixed focus so for close-up work you need to place a cheap ZnSe CO2 laser cutter lens in front of the cameras lens. All detailed in various posts on this forum.

The claimed measurement capability is -10C to +400C which is impressive  :-+

That is all for now  :)
« Last Edit: November 05, 2021, 12:18:33 am by Fraser »
 

Online Fraser

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Re: Cheap new basic thermal camera on eBay - Multicomp / Uni-T
« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2021, 10:58:43 am »
The Uni-T branded UTi80P version….

https://www.aliexpress.com/i/4000152839386.html

£208 to the UK on 30% discount so the EBay unit I bought is less than half that price  :-+
 

Online Fraser

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Re: Cheap new basic thermal camera on eBay - Multicomp / Uni-T
« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2021, 11:02:49 am »
Farnell catalogue page for the MP780429 camera…

https://uk.farnell.com/multicomp-pro/mp780429/thermal-imager-51-x-38deg-c-9hz/dp/3394756

Looks like they are out of stock with a back order lead time of 148 days !
 

Online Fraser

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Re: Cheap new basic thermal camera on eBay - Multicomp / Uni-T
« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2021, 11:26:02 am »
Video of the Uni-T UTi80P in operation…..

https://youtu.be/Qvv2aXq1bBU

A neat little unit in my opinion  :)

Fraser
 

Offline kripton2035

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Re: Cheap new basic thermal camera on eBay - Multicomp / Uni-T
« Reply #4 on: October 14, 2021, 11:38:18 am »
"May not post to France" ...
 

Online Fraser

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Re: Cheap new basic thermal camera on eBay - Multicomp / Uni-T
« Reply #5 on: October 14, 2021, 11:39:00 am »
As stated, this camera is available under various brand labelling.

Amazon have it under Huepar HTi80P for £280

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Pocket-Sized-Huepar-Measurement-Temperature-HTi80P/dp/B082NXHZHX

« Last Edit: October 14, 2021, 11:42:23 am by Fraser »
 

Online Fraser

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Re: Cheap new basic thermal camera on eBay - Multicomp / Uni-T
« Reply #6 on: October 14, 2021, 11:40:45 am »
Kripton2035,

Just message the seller and do mention that you are from the EEVBlog. He may ship to you but you may have to pay your countries import Taxes :(

Fraser
 

Online Fraser

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Re: Cheap new basic thermal camera on eBay - Multicomp / Uni-T
« Reply #7 on: October 14, 2021, 11:47:27 am »
Some more pictures from Uni-T…..
 

Online Fraser

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Re: Cheap new basic thermal camera on eBay - Multicomp / Uni-T
« Reply #8 on: October 14, 2021, 12:12:30 pm »
I was going to build a DIY Lepton based thermal camera as a compact simple ‘quick check’ device. Granted I was going to use the lepton 3 that offers 160 x 120 pixel resolution, but I can honestly say that the offer of the above detailed device for £100 made the idea of a DIY mini self contained camera redundant for me

Now before anyone gets too excited over this camera, a few things to note …….

Pro’s

1. The camera is self contained and very compact
2. The camera is Radiometric in that it can provide pretty accurate temperature measurements
3. High and low Temperature tracking is provided in the firmware
4. There is the ability to save images for later use in reports or just as a record of the scene
5. The camera provided emissivity adjustment which is important fir accurate measurements on various target surfaces.
6. This particular Lepton core deployment makes use of both the high and low gain modes for a temperature measurement capability of -10C to +400C  :-+
7. A close focus lens is easily added to the nice flat face of the casing for PCB work
8. It cost me £100 which fir such a complete solution is excellent value even in the current market if less expensive thermal cameras coming out of China…… IF the resolution is adequate for the task though !

Con’s

1. The camera uses the Lepton 2.5 core. This core uses 80 x 60 pixels so image will suffer pixelation on larger screens. FLIR use techniques to reduce the effect of such low resolution but it will always be at the lower end of useable resolution. The image is interpolated from 80 x 60 up to 320 x 240 on the LCD display. My usual threshold is 160 x 120 pixels but I went below that for this low cost camera that has its uses to me.
2. The Lepton core is not a great performer in low Delta T scenes like when looking at a plasterboard lined wall for the plaster dabs or battens ! It produces better images when there is decent temperature differential in a scene. Look at the above referenced video to see the difference in image noise content when looking at low Delta T and high Delta T scenes. Noise is a fact of life in microbolometer based thermography and, IMHO,  only becomes a serious issue when low Delta T scenes are being imaged.
3. The lens on the camera is quite wide angle at 51 x 38 degrees so the Instantaneous Field Of View (IFOV) is relatively large per pixel. This is not that great an issue for many users but does tend to highlight the low pixel count in an image. You have to move closer to the target to gain more detail. A 24 Degree HFOV might have been a better choice for PCB work. Not a deal breaker for me though.
4. I believe the saved images will be just images and not fully Radiometric image files that contain the temperature of every pixel within the scene. This prevents easy Radiometric analysis of the saved image on a computer, but spot temperature measurements should be present so it is not the end of the World. This should be considered if intending to analyse the thermal image after capture however. Correction, saved images are fully radiometric and analysis software is provided.
5. The camera uses a small, 2.4”, LCD display. This may be too small for some users ?
« Last Edit: October 14, 2021, 03:35:12 pm by Fraser »
 

Online Fraser

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Re: Cheap new basic thermal camera on eBay - Multicomp / Uni-T
« Reply #9 on: October 14, 2021, 12:24:42 pm »
Specifications


SPECIFICATIONS
Temperature range: -10~400℃
Basic accuracy:
±2℃ or ±2% (-10~140℃);
±3℃ or ±3% (140~450℃)
Resolution: 0.1℃
Emissivity: 0.95 (0.1~0.99 adjustable)
NETD: ≤150mK (0.15℃)
IR resolution: 80x60
Pixel size: 17μm
Palettes: Iron, rainbow, grey
FOV: 51º (H) * 38º (V)
Image frequency: ≤9Hz
Features:
High and low temperature alarm
High and low temperature tracking
Backlight: High, medium, low
Display: 2.4-inch TFT LCD
Display resolution: 320 x 240 pixels
Power: Li-ion battery, 3.7V/1300mAh
Display size: 48mm x 36m
Product color: Red and grey
Product net weight: 125g
Product size: 76mm x 76mm x 22mm
 

Offline jeremy

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Re: Cheap new basic thermal camera on eBay - Multicomp / Uni-T
« Reply #10 on: October 14, 2021, 12:25:00 pm »
I asked the seller, UK only I’m afraid. Bummer.
 

Online Fraser

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Re: Cheap new basic thermal camera on eBay - Multicomp / Uni-T
« Reply #11 on: October 14, 2021, 12:31:25 pm »
Sorry to hear that bad news :(
 

Online Fraser

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Re: Cheap new basic thermal camera on eBay - Multicomp / Uni-T
« Reply #12 on: October 14, 2021, 12:45:48 pm »
If anyone is into the R-Pi scene and wants a Model 3B, the seller appears to have plenty at reasonable prices. You can even buy a pack of 10 !

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Raspberry-Pi-3B-Rev-1-2-Brand-New-/284486048385?mkcid=16&mkevt=1&_trksid=p2349624.m46890.l49286&mkrid=710-127635-2958-0

Memories of when Toploser used to buy surplus and returned stock !

Fraser
« Last Edit: October 14, 2021, 12:47:33 pm by Fraser »
 

Online Fraser

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Re: Cheap new basic thermal camera on eBay - Multicomp / Uni-T
« Reply #13 on: October 14, 2021, 12:52:24 pm »
Details of a DIY Lepton based thermal camera. A great achievement but it also shows the great value that the MP780429 represents in the eBay auction  :-+

https://hackaday.io/project/20039-pocket-thermal-camera

Fraser
 

Online Fraser

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Re: Cheap new basic thermal camera on eBay - Multicomp / Uni-T
« Reply #14 on: October 14, 2021, 12:55:01 pm »
The Huepar version advert on Aliexpress…….

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/1005001369343687.html

Fraser
« Last Edit: October 14, 2021, 12:57:22 pm by Fraser »
 

Offline kripton2035

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Re: Cheap new basic thermal camera on eBay - Multicomp / Uni-T
« Reply #15 on: October 14, 2021, 01:07:08 pm »
sending in or out of UK since brexit has become a particular hassle ! not surprised the ebay seller don't want it
also I may have €100 of taxes for importing it...
 

Online Fraser

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Re: Cheap new basic thermal camera on eBay - Multicomp / Uni-T
« Reply #16 on: October 14, 2021, 01:17:28 pm »
For us in the UK it has always been importing from the USA that was very appealing but often spoiled by shipping costs plus 20% VAT on the combined item value and shipping cost. That has not changed but now we also have the same issue with buying from Europe and you have the issue buying from us. Such is life  :(

Fraser
 

Online Fraser

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Re: Cheap new basic thermal camera on eBay - Multicomp / Uni-T
« Reply #17 on: October 14, 2021, 01:22:46 pm »
The Huepar sales video….. very slick……and VERY deceptive where the example thermal imaging is concerned ! >:( I hate it when a seller uses top of the range professional thermal camera imagery on advertising for a budget product that can never produce that quality of image  :--

https://youtu.be/tM8AkiqTxnc

Fraser
« Last Edit: October 14, 2021, 01:40:41 pm by Fraser »
 

Online Fraser

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Re: Cheap new basic thermal camera on eBay - Multicomp / Uni-T
« Reply #18 on: October 14, 2021, 01:31:23 pm »
I just checked, it would have cost me the same amount of money, more in fact, to buy the Groupgets Pure Thermal Mini PCB and that is without the Lepton included ! DIY used to be cheaper than buying ready built…. Not in this particular realm though !

https://groupgets.com/manufacturers/getlab/products/purethermal-mini-pro-jst-sr

$109 + shipping + 20% VAT :( Plus I would still have to provide a FLIR Lepton core, host processor board, software, Display, battery and casing.

For me, the £100 Multicomp camera deal was a bit of a ‘no-brainer’  :D
« Last Edit: October 14, 2021, 05:44:22 pm by Fraser »
 

Online Fraser

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Re: Cheap new basic thermal camera on eBay - Multicomp / Uni-T
« Reply #19 on: October 14, 2021, 01:37:19 pm »
The seller has 4 units left
 

Online Fraser

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Re: Cheap new basic thermal camera on eBay - Multicomp / Uni-T
« Reply #20 on: October 14, 2021, 03:39:18 pm »
I just read the user manual.....

Saved images are fully radiometric and the provided image analysis software provides various measurement functions.

 :-+

Fraser
 

Offline Fred27

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Re: Cheap new basic thermal camera on eBay - Multicomp / Uni-T
« Reply #21 on: October 14, 2021, 04:28:19 pm »
I've got a lepton 3.5 which I'm currently using with a PureThermal 2. I'm almost tempted to go for this unit and see what happens if I swap the Lepton 2.5 for a 3.5.

Then again, it's a bit of an assumption that the firmware was written with the foresight to upscale nicely from whatever it was given. Maybe if there was also an 180x120 model in the range...
« Last Edit: October 14, 2021, 05:56:22 pm by Fred27 »
 

Online Fraser

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Re: Cheap new basic thermal camera on eBay - Multicomp / Uni-T
« Reply #22 on: October 14, 2021, 05:33:12 pm »
Historically products designed for the Lepton 2 will not work with the Lepton 3 series due to the different image creation approach of the Lepton 3 and increased image processing overhead. I have not seen a commercial manufacturer produce an 'easy upgrade' host for the Lepton series of cores. I can almost guarantee that the Lepton 3.5 will not work in this camera chassis so it would be a poor gamble for you to take  ;)

Fraser
« Last Edit: October 14, 2021, 05:37:04 pm by Fraser »
 
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Offline Fred27

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Re: Cheap new basic thermal camera on eBay - Multicomp / Uni-T
« Reply #23 on: October 14, 2021, 05:55:39 pm »
Thanks. Fraser. I'll hold fire then. The PureThermal 2 states it can take either which got me thinking about it, but I suppose that's a special case and not a commercial device.
 

Online Fraser

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Re: Cheap new basic thermal camera on eBay - Multicomp / Uni-T
« Reply #24 on: October 14, 2021, 06:21:22 pm »
Klein Tools sell the same camera with a modified case design….the TI250

The Klein Tools version claims to use over 10,000 pixels and, at first, I thought this a deliberate attempt to confuse customers by quoting the LCD display resolution, but that does not compute either ! Everything about the Klein Tools unit appears to be basically a Uni-T UTi80P in a slightly different casing. We do not know what resides inside and likely never will. The sample images look the same quality as the UTi80p though ? I personally prefer the original UTi80P case design.

The Klein Tools web page provides the user manual and a firmware update which might be an interesting 'read'. The Klein version does not come with a memory card and there is no mention of image analysis software either.

https://www.kleintools.com/catalog/thermal-imagers/rechargeable-thermal-imager

User video review…..

https://youtu.be/xSRYMAEXK0k

Fraser
« Last Edit: October 14, 2021, 06:52:36 pm by Fraser »
 


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