Author Topic: Decent 'new old stock' core for DIY projects available to Europe at £150!  (Read 1827 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Online Fraser

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 9437
  • Country: gb
Some time ago I became aware of a source of Raytheon Thermal Eye 2000AS A-Si microbolometer (not BST) thermal imaging cores. These were not the usual used cores pulled out of old Fire Fighting cameras, they were boxed NOS (new old stock) ! Some readers may recall that used and new old stock Raytheon cores were being sold in the USA by SPi. whilst the prices were not unreasonable in many cases, buyers outside the USA need not apply as SPi refuse to ship these cores internationally. The core that forms the basis of this post is located within Europe and can be shipped to European destinations that are not on UK sanction or prohibition lists.

A little history on the Raytheon Thermal Eye 2000AS core might be helpful here.

The Thermal Eye 2000AS is an A-Si core rather than VOx. In the early years of A-Si microbolometer production, these sensors had not been captured by the US BIS Dual Use Technology regulations. The core produced a decent thermal image of 160 x 120 pixels with a frame rate of 20fps. this made the core eminently suitable for use in both Military and civilian applications. The 2000AS core appeared in many civilian roles as thermal observation viewers/scopes and fire fighting cameras. The performance of this new core was excellent when compared to the common BST imaging cores, though the resolution was lower. The 2000AS offered the advantages of a more compact format, no chopper wheel and relative ease of export from the USA to European manufacturers.

Raytheon designed the Thermal Eye 2000AS series of cores to be very compact and versatile. The military applications of the core for observation scopes or weapon sights were well catered for in the cores physical layout. The microbolometer is bonded to an FPC and was ahead of its time in this respect. The aluminium lens housing incorporates the microbolometer, FFC shutter and whichever lens is desired for the application. The two image creation and processing boards are connected to the aluminium Microbolometer-lens block via an FPC for the boards are easily configures to suit the desired case format. The core is also designed to be powered from either a low voltage or higher voltage supply. The low voltage supply is for portable operation using two common 1.5V AA Alkaline cells. No surprises where such a compact low voltage power source would be useful..... personal observation equipment and rifle sights ! The higher voltage option accommodates use in various platforms that have great power supply options available, such as fire fighting equipment (6V/7.2V/9.6V/12v), land vehicles (12V/24V) or UAV's. This is intended to meet the needs of many deployment roles :)

OK, so why am I reviewing this Circa 2004 core now ? Well I have several fire fighting thermal cameras that utilise this venerable 2000AS series core but I had always wanted to get my hands on a nice bare core at a reasonable price. It was often cheaper to just buy a whole thermal camera than just a 2000AS core ! I hate tearing apart a perfectly good thermal camera just to extract the core, if such can be avoided. I told a good friend of my desire to own a nice example of the Thermal Eye 2000AS core as it has a very definite place in history as a milestone in camera core development. I was very surprised when he offered me a 'new old stock' core that was still in its box, complete with test document ! Such a core is a true rarity and would normally be very expensive from someone like SPi and even then, as I have said, such a core would not be shipped to me in the UK :(

I purchased the 2000AS core from my friend and I am thrilled with it. Thankfully the user and integration manual is in the public domain so this core can be built into a complete thermal imaging system if desired. It makes a great basis for a DIY thermal imaging camera or scope and very little additional equipment is required to do so. The results can be excellent. Very unusually, my friend has more than one of these cores available so I enquired whether he will be selling them. After some checking on the shipping regulations I now see that he is offering these cores for £150 each within Europe. Sorry USA, the same problem exists for shipping to you as you shipping to Europe ! The core is complete and includes a 8mm Germanium lens (50 Degrees HFOV).

I decided to raise a post on this interesting thermal imaging core as I am often asked how to find affordable thermal cores that provide decent performance. I am sharing this information here as a service to the forum and with no incentives or financial gain for me from any sales that result. £150 is an amazing price for a NOS Thermal Eye 2000AS core though ! Please go to the following page to see the 2000AS product listing.......

http://fire-tics.co.uk/spares.htm

I attach some pictures of my 2000AS core, including some photo bombing by Bailey and Oskar !

Below are useful links to the source of the cores and technical information:

http://fire-tics.co.uk/

http://fire-tics.co.uk/project1/index.htm

http://fire-tics.co.uk/spares.htm

http://fire-tics.co.uk/forum/

http://fire-tics.co.uk/project1/ControlIR2000AS.pdf

http://fire-tics.co.uk/project1/2000ASuserguide.pdf


Fraser


« Last Edit: January 05, 2020, 06:46:50 pm by Fraser »
 
The following users thanked this post: hqxdd

Online Fraser

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 9437
  • Country: gb
More pictures......
« Last Edit: January 05, 2020, 04:32:54 pm by Fraser »
 

Online Fraser

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 9437
  • Country: gb
More Pictures.....
« Last Edit: January 05, 2020, 04:33:35 pm by Fraser »
 

Offline Bud

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 4135
  • Country: ca
The cats just could not wait to try the box  :D
Facebook-free life and Rigol-free shack.
 

Online Fraser

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 9437
  • Country: gb
Bud,

Whenever I open a box, and remove its contents, one of our 4 cats will always try to climb into the box, no matter how small ;D ..... or attack it !

Bailey is growing up fast... now 9 months old and into everything I am doing. I might add that he is not allowed in the electronics lab or anywhere near anything important .... he must be an ESD nightmare with all that fur !

Fraser

 

Online Fraser

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 9437
  • Country: gb
For my friends 'across the pond' I just checked to see what SPi have in the way of cores in their sale.
They do list a 2000AS core but at $500 for a "Lab Demo" unit, it is no bargain.

http://spi-wholesale.com/shop/2000as-thermal-core-0668/

Now you can see why I felt compelled to tell fellow forum members about the NOS 2000AS cores at £150 ! It is rare to find a good price on thermal imaging kit in the UK and the USA usually has a far great selection of used kit at decent prices.

SPi did offer a nice Ex Demo 2000AS core with the 17 Degree HFOV lens option.... very nice, but sadly $690  :( I see it is now out of stock.

http://spi-wholesale.com/shop/thermal-eye-2000as-thermal-core-17-deg-1434/

Fraser
« Last Edit: January 05, 2020, 04:53:57 pm by Fraser »
 

Online Fraser

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 9437
  • Country: gb
Thermal Eye 2000AS datasheet attached for those wanting more detail.
 

Online Fraser

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 9437
  • Country: gb
I forgot to mention.... the 2000AS core incorporates a connector for driving a KOPIN 320 miniature LCD display (or for that matter, pretty much any composite video viewfinder). This ties in with the cores intended deployment in thermal weapon sights and observation scopes. It also has common composite video output of course.

See the user-integration manual that I referenced in my first post for more details.

Fraser
« Last Edit: January 05, 2020, 06:02:47 pm by Fraser »
 

Online Fraser

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 9437
  • Country: gb
Just in case any one is wondering......

1. As far as I know, the core does not output radiometric data, only a thermal image.

2. There is no temperature measurement function (crosshairs + readout etc). Fire fighting cameras used a separate pyrometer module mounted next to the camera lens for scene temperature measurement.

3. No configuration software is needed to use the core. It is fully automatic .... power in, thermal scene image video out.

4. The lens may be removed but a different lens would need to be adapted to fit the aluminium threaded lens mount.

5. The Thermal Eye 2000AS uses a 160 x 120 pixel A-Si microbolometer producing 20fps. As such it exceeds the <9fps Wassennar Arrangement threshold for Dual Use Technology thermal imaging equipment. It was capable of use as a weapons sight after all ! As such anyone who buys such a core should understand the rules on international transportation of such technology.

Fraser

« Last Edit: January 05, 2020, 06:14:34 pm by Fraser »
 

Offline LesioQ

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 52
  • Country: pl
  • Every king should be naked.
And how do one seals a deal ? Here or ... via some fire-tics contact ?
Who to contact ? E-mail ?
 

Online Fraser

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 9437
  • Country: gb
Re: Decent 'new old stock' core for DIY projects available to Europe at £150!
« Reply #10 on: January 14, 2020, 11:24:57 pm »
Contact via Fire-Tics admin (owner) email.

Link is at the top of this page......

http://www.fire-tics.co.uk/spares.htm

Alternatively contact “Bill W” on this forum via PM.

Fraser

 

Offline Bill W

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 497
  • Country: gb
    • Fire TICS
Re: Decent 'new old stock' core for DIY projects available to Europe at £150!
« Reply #11 on: January 15, 2020, 12:32:06 pm »
That is correct, I do not have online shopping set up on fire-tics.

Payment is then arranged via Paypal which is secured and has traceability both ways.
I then post on a signed for basis, correctly insured.

regards
Bill

Online Vipitis

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 664
  • Country: de
  • aspiring thermal photography enthusiast
Re: Decent 'new old stock' core for DIY projects available to Europe at £150!
« Reply #12 on: January 15, 2020, 01:17:19 pm »
Bought some lenses last year and it was fair and straight forward.
 

Online BravoV

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 6780
  • Country: 00
  • +++ ATH1
Re: Decent 'new old stock' core for DIY projects available to Europe at £150!
« Reply #13 on: January 15, 2020, 01:31:42 pm »
Contact via Fire-Tics admin (owner) email.

Link is at the top of this page......

http://www.fire-tics.co.uk/spares.htm

Alternatively contact “Bill W” on this forum via PM.

Fraser

Just a suggestion, better post in Buy/Sell/Wanted Section of the forum to get wider exposure.

And mods probably will be happier too.

Online Fraser

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 9437
  • Country: gb
Re: Decent 'new old stock' core for DIY projects available to Europe at £150!
« Reply #14 on: January 15, 2020, 05:35:43 pm »
BravoV,

Understood but this is a response to many forum members asking me where they can buy an affordable imaging core and my review of such a core that I recently purchased. I am not selling these cores and provided the sellers information as a service to those wanting such a core and not an advertisement.

Fraser
« Last Edit: January 15, 2020, 07:06:00 pm by Fraser »
 

Offline Bill W

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 497
  • Country: gb
    • Fire TICS
Now opened up to the wider forum in buy/sell - GBP 160 post included.
Saves messing around afterwards.

https://www.eevblog.com/forum/buysellwanted/fs-raytheon-2000as-thermal-imager-cores-ukeu-only/

Bill

Offline nfmax

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1046
  • Country: gb
I bought one of these from BillW, and tried it out for the first time this evening. All works as advertised, and the smooth frame update rate is night and day compared with my Keysight handheld imager. I also got the chance to use something I thought I would never have any need to: my DSO's video sync trigger mode!

Also interesting that my 24inch Dell PC monitor's composite video input handles NTSC perfectly
 
The following users thanked this post: Bill W

Online Fraser

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 9437
  • Country: gb
They are nice camera cores and advanced for their age. They were created with Military and professional users in mind so good quality was built into the design. From memory, the Raytheon X100 thermal scope contained the same core but with a narrower FOV lens. It is clear that portable applications were a part of the design from the fact that the core will operate from either a low voltage (3V) input or its in built regulator stage will handle a wider supply voltage if desired. A very versatile core  :-+

Fraser
« Last Edit: June 17, 2020, 10:29:28 pm by Fraser »
 

Offline Bill W

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 497
  • Country: gb
    • Fire TICS
The difference from <9Hz is indeed very noticeable, down to the human eye-brain interface which runs at about 10Hz so you get some neural smoothing/averaging going on with a 20Hz system.

A problem with many export free cameras is that "<9Hz" is commonly 7.5Hz because it is 1 frame in 4 of a native 30Hz NTSC system.  At that rate most people will really notice the very steppy image changes as it fires off the 'a tiger is stalking you' neural logic based on a sudden change in the image.

More surprising to me was that the more recent Argus cameras which had exact 9Hz export exempt variants are also a lot less troubling to the brain than 7.5Hz.


Bill
 
The following users thanked this post: Fraser

Online Fraser

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 9437
  • Country: gb
Bill,

That is very interesting. I had not considered why the lower frame rates were so much less pleasant to view than the 30fps cameras. Your explanation delves into the humans visual data collection characteristics and survival instincts with automatic, unconscious, responses to some stimuli. As I say, very interesting stuff  :-+ As you also state, the fact that some cameras do not even achieve the full 9fps does not help people’s perception of <9fps limited camera technology as being unpleasant to use.

Adding to the way the human brain works.... I heard someone say recently that you do not actually see with your eyes, but rather your brain ! That confused me for a moment but what the chap was saying was that the eyes are a sensor that provides the brain with a complex puzzle to solve in the form of its electrical signals sent down the optic nerve. The brain unscrambles the puzzle and uses a healthy dose of memory and training to create the image in the mind of the host. That is how we know grass is green etc . It is only because our brain has learned that ‘fact’ previously. I saw the experiment where a chap wore inverting glasses for a period of time and after initial confusion, the brain realised that it needed to invert the image that it was receiving and so fixed the chaps vision. When he removed the inverting glasses, the brain had to learn about the image correct orientation once again and revert to ‘normal’. The human brain is fascinating when you delve into its capabilities. There is also the matter of the brain filling in defects or lack of detail in its data from the eyes. There is also how it prioritises movement and image detail in the FOV as part of our base survival instinct. Who would have thought that low frame rate cameras would lead to discussion about the how the brain interprets the data that it receives from the eyes eh  ;D

Fraser
« Last Edit: June 17, 2020, 11:17:37 pm by Fraser »
 

Offline LogoXXL

  • Contributor
  • Posts: 11
  • Country: de
Hi @ all,

still have some AS4000 cores here.... if interest, let me know

< 500 Euro
 

Online Fraser

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 9437
  • Country: gb
The AS4000 is configurable via its USB port if you have the correct Raytheon configuration utility  ;)

I presume you have the lens block/microbolometer assemblies identified with their original processor board ? If not, you will need to match them up as they are a set due to calibration and dead pixel correction data.

Fraser
 


Share me

Digg  Facebook  SlashDot  Delicious  Technorati  Twitter  Google  Yahoo
Smf