Poll

Has the hackabiliy of the E4 made you buy one :  

Yes, I was already looking at the competition at a similar price, but the hack swung it to E4
231 (26.2%)
Yes, I'd not considered buying a TIC before, but 320x240 resolution at this price justifies it (as either tool or toy!)
417 (47.2%)
Yes, I was going to buy an E5/6/8 class of unit but will now get the E4
41 (4.6%)
No, but am looking out for a cheap i3 to hack
39 (4.4%)
Not yet, but probably will if now that a closed-box hack becomes is possible
155 (17.6%)

Total Members Voted: 758

Author Topic: Flir E4 Thermal imaging camera teardown  (Read 2485461 times)

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Offline cuda12

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Re: Flir E4 Thermal imaging camera teardown
« Reply #2750 on: January 05, 2014, 08:32:17 am »
Thanks for all the help, I will report my camera now boots up and is running again just fine. The way it got fixed was to log in anonymously  and I had direct access again to the file system, I loaded my saved stock files and it was running again! Then I added the beta 3 file again and  a restart and have everything but no zoom? Unless I just can not figure out how the zoom works.  Do you just use the center side buttons or is zoom a menu item? Again thanks for all the answers. To help anyone who ever thinks they bricked the camera first try telnet to 192.168.0.2 to see if the camera is in fact alive, if you can connect then even though there is no GUI interface push the off button and if the telnet connection is interrupted that shows the camera buttons work you just can't see anything. Then use your ftp program to connect but do not enter any login information, this should allow you to make whatever repairs you need. In my case i just had only touched the FlashBFS folder so that is the only one I replaced.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2014, 09:43:08 am by cuda12 »
 

Offline Fraser

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Re: Flir E4 Thermal imaging camera teardown
« Reply #2751 on: January 05, 2014, 08:38:00 am »
Great news

Thank heavens you made a back-up  :)

The Zoom function need the latest version of Mikes resolution hack file as the Zoom mode needs to be set to 'True' in the file.

The Zoom function is seen as a magnifying glass on the normal menu.
 

Offline Taucher

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Re: Flir E4 Thermal imaging camera teardown
« Reply #2752 on: January 05, 2014, 08:40:43 am »
Then I added the beta 3 file again and  a restart and have everything but no zoom?

Classic one: edit your e8.cfg, re-generate CRC...
.caps.config.image.zoom.enabled bool true

Offline pomonabill221

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Re: Flir E4 Thermal imaging camera teardown
« Reply #2753 on: January 05, 2014, 08:42:00 am »
WHEW!!!!  I was starting to panic when I saw what happened to you!
VERY glad to hear that you MADE A BACKUP before doing anything!!  This is VERY important when doing any kind of "flashing" as you are dealing with the actual operating system and files the device uses.
Also glad to hear that you were able to restore your camera back and apply the upgrade successfully!
Thanks for posting your steps too.... this may come in handy for others that have a similar problem!
 

Offline pomonabill221

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Re: Flir E4 Thermal imaging camera teardown
« Reply #2754 on: January 05, 2014, 08:50:47 am »
Just a thought...
If the E4 (or any other TIC) "stares" at an object/scene for long period of time (like several hours), will the sensor get "burned" with the image or deteriorate like an LCD display (yes I know the bolometer is NOT a display) or a plasma display?

Staring at the sun or a very hot source, I would imagine, WOULD damage the sensor, but I am talking about, say, the interior of a room/wall/windows/etc.?

Also, when connected to a computer for recording the stream through USB, does the camera get it's power from the USB port instead of the battery?  I tried a run time test with a battery that I replaced (3600mAh), and it ran for more than 12 hours with no discharge... NOT POSSIBLE, but I didn't think the USB port could supply enough power to run the E4.  I am trying a run test now with NO connection to the computer.

This might be a disadvantage when running portable... could shorten the run time of a laptop/tablet.
My laptop is a Dell E6500 and the bios has a setting that can enable the usb ports for charging devices (higher current) and it is enabled, but I didn't think it would power the E4 while it was on.
Ideas?
 

Offline Taucher

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Re: Flir E4 Thermal imaging camera teardown
« Reply #2755 on: January 05, 2014, 08:58:23 am »
Just a thought...
If the E4 (or any other TIC) "stares" at an object/scene for long period of time (like several hours), will the sensor get "burned" with the image or deteriorate like an LCD display (yes I know the bolometer is NOT a display) or a plasma display?

Staring at the sun or a very hot source, I would imagine, WOULD damage the sensor, but I am talking about, say, the interior of a room/wall/windows/etc.?

Also, when connected to a computer for recording the stream through USB, does the camera get it's power from the USB port instead of the battery?  I tried a run time test with a battery that I replaced (3600mAh), and it ran for more than 12 hours with no discharge... NOT POSSIBLE, but I didn't think the USB port could supply enough power to run the E4.  I am trying a run test now with NO connection to the computer.

This might be a disadvantage when running portable... could shorten the run time of a laptop/tablet.
My laptop is a Dell E6500 and the bios has a setting that can enable the usb ports for charging devices (higher current) and it is enabled, but I didn't think it would power the E4 while it was on.
Ideas?
@sensor: unless you aim it at a nearby thermonuclear explosion, there is be no danger at all - the only thing that might deteriorate is the electronics part (electron drag etc). - keep in mind that Mid-IR is very weak (photon) irradiation and even UV would leave most materials involved unharmed... so unless you melt the sensor with concentrated IR heat there's little danger - plus the sensor is only seeing a part of the spectrum - so only that spectral energy can reach it.
@charging: my E4 shuts off when re-plugging the battery while it's on USB

Offline mrflibble

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Re: Flir E4 Thermal imaging camera teardown
« Reply #2756 on: January 05, 2014, 09:17:40 am »
Also, when connected to a computer for recording the stream through USB, does the camera get it's power from the USB port instead of the battery?
Yup. I've done measurements over a 48+ hour period with the E4 connected to a small linux box taking measurements, and after that the battery was still full. I always set the backlight to 0% and disable power saving for such runs.
 

Offline Fraser

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Re: Flir E4 Thermal imaging camera teardown
« Reply #2757 on: January 05, 2014, 09:25:01 am »
Comment on potential damage to micro-bolometer.

I have witnessed irreparable damage to a micro-bolometer that had the rising sum pass across its field of view. A whole swathe of pixels were burnt out and completely failed to generate an output. NUC could not correct this.

BUT..... I have seen several thermal camera specifications that state that the micro-bolometer is "sun proof" and cannot be damaged by such. I have no idea how this is achieved though. I seem to recall that the E4 is also "sun proof" but this needs to be checked. If so it is unlikely to suffer burn in due to ambient temperature exposure. It is after all just a load of thermistors in an array. You can degrade a thermistor if your really abuse it with focussed radiant heat though !

FLIRs comment on sun damage......

http://www.flir.com/uploadedfiles/eurasia/mmc/tech_notes/tn_0006_en.pdf

BUT I don't think the E4 contains a VOX detector (I think it is Amorphous silicon)

Comment from ULIS on solar damage protection:

"Solar exposure is also taken into account and shows that ULIS amorphous silicon is perfectly well suited to sustain high intensity exposure. "

It wouls appear that modern detectors are very resistant to high intensity thermal source damage. A combination of detector design and passband filters are used.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2014, 09:42:34 am by Aurora »
 

Offline pomonabill221

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Re: Flir E4 Thermal imaging camera teardown
« Reply #2758 on: January 05, 2014, 09:41:33 am »
Thank you all for your responses!!!
These were just things that I have had questions about and I don't intend to try and view the sun or other "very hot spots" with the TIC, but there may be accidental exposures, and that is why I asked.  Thanks!

I know that some CCD video/ip cameras CAN be damaged by staring at the sun, but that is a VERY different sensor and is "seeing" the full visible spectrum, and depending on the lens coating/blocking filters, could see IR/UV as well so there is TONS more radiation reaching the sensor.

As far as the power when connected to a laptop or other portable devices, I can see where the camera getting it's power from other devices could be an advantage, but it could also shorten the run time of the device as well.... I will just try a few different things like Mr.Flibble suggested (back light off).. I would imagine that alot of the operating current is for the backlight (LED?) and the shutter (although very short pulses).

Well Taucher... I WAS going to monitor a nuclear explosion soon.....  (yeah right!)
 

Offline Fraser

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Re: Flir E4 Thermal imaging camera teardown
« Reply #2759 on: January 05, 2014, 09:51:19 am »
Slightly OT but I hope interesting.

I was asked to look at a professional broadcast camera Electronic Viewfinder that had failed.

I discovered that the eyepiece had been left angled upwards and by sheer bad luck the Sun penetrated directly down the eyepiece optics and onto the LCD panel. Needless to say the LCD panel was totally fried and surrounding plastic parts were melted  :o

That was a very expensive error. Bad stuff can happen so it is good to know that FLIR have considered the risk of high intensity thermal sources on the detector elements.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2014, 10:10:11 am by Aurora »
 

Offline pomonabill221

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Re: Flir E4 Thermal imaging camera teardown
« Reply #2760 on: January 05, 2014, 10:25:04 am »
OUCH!!! Depending on how long the exposure lasted... that could have cooked anything behind the lcd panel after a hole had been burned through it!
And because the viewfinder has optics in it for focusing, that must have been a REAL hot spot!  Too bad that happened!  $$$$$$
Probably had the camera on a tripod, the cameraman was looking down into the viewfinder, then walked away... POOF!  Wonder if the cameraman is still working for the same company?
 

Offline Fraser

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Re: Flir E4 Thermal imaging camera teardown
« Reply #2761 on: January 05, 2014, 10:31:24 am »
I just purchased a very nice looking long-wave Telephoto thermal camera lens. It offers quality Germanium optical elements and X3 magnification  :) 

Once it arrives I will report on the potential for adding such a telephoto lens to the E4 as I know the question has been asked before in this thread.

The idea of a X3 optical telephoto combined with a X2 digital zoom providing X6 at 160x120 pixels appeals  :)

If it doesn't suit the E4, I am pretty sure it will mate with my FLIR PM series cameras pretty easily.

Its coming to the UK from the USA so expect a progress report in a couple of weeks.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2014, 11:14:18 am by Aurora »
 

Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: Flir E4 Thermal imaging camera teardown
« Reply #2762 on: January 05, 2014, 11:40:55 am »
Random observation - Google "Flir E4" - after the adverts, The hackaday article on this thread is the second result after Flir's own page  ;D
E4 (modified) also made Make's favorite new tools of 2013
« Last Edit: January 05, 2014, 11:43:00 am by mikeselectricstuff »
Youtube channel:Taking wierd stuff apart. Very apart.
Mike's Electric Stuff: High voltage, vintage electronics etc.
Day Job: Mostly LEDs
 

Offline cuda12

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Re: Flir E4 Thermal imaging camera teardown
« Reply #2763 on: January 05, 2014, 12:02:03 pm »
Love that tear down video! And thanks to Mike and everyone who worked on this, I am in underground construction and had been looking at a camera for awhile and did not want a cheap toy but could not justify the higher end camera. I do not need wifi or high fps so with the mods available now I have a camera that is just right! Again a sincere thank you!
 

Offline Fraser

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Re: Flir E4 Thermal imaging camera teardown
« Reply #2764 on: January 05, 2014, 12:11:30 pm »
It looks like someone has seen a business opportunity in FLIR Ex series tripod mounts. See attached picture.

It was advertised on eb*y as "Flir E4 E5 E6 E8 Thermal imaging camera tripod adapter"

Looks like it uses clamp screws on the rubber handle  :scared:

I prefer the Georges80 design  :)

Sorry for small size....it was in Google's cache for eb*y.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2014, 12:14:25 pm by Aurora »
 

Offline Taucher

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Developing applications for the E4
« Reply #2765 on: January 05, 2014, 12:44:44 pm »
@ mrflibble & anybody else interested in developing:

Code: [Select]
// WinCE6test.cpp - console and (cheap) gui application.

#include "stdafx.h"
#include <windows.h>
#include <commctrl.h>

int _tmain(int argc, _TCHAR* argv[])
{
printf("Hello World console!");
MessageBox(0, L"HelloWorld!", L"CeGCC says...", MB_OK);
return 0;
}
Cross compiled with windows mobile 6.0 professional SDK and VS 2005
EDIT: Also tested with PocketPC 2003 SDK - works fine too - example exe (hello world - no additional benefit) is attached.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2014, 12:55:07 pm by Taucher »
 

Offline Taucher

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Re: Developing applications for the E4
« Reply #2766 on: January 05, 2014, 01:25:28 pm »
@ mrflibble & anybody else interested in developing:
EDIT: Also tested with PocketPC 2003 SDK - works fine too - example exe (hello world - no additional benefit) is attached.
If you don't have VS2005 and the SDK but a Linux (like in a VM (virtualbox))... then
here's a detailed instruction how to cross compile from Linux

Developing an app for the E4 (CeGCC)
Fetch yourself a working snapshot of CEgcc - I took mine from
http://max.kellermann.name/download/xcsoar/devel/cegcc/
Memo: there are also windows versions of CeGCC (mingw) around, I didn't test them.

Tested with Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, 64 Bit:
http://max.kellermann.name/download/xcsoar/devel/cegcc/mingw32ce-mk-2013-04-03-amd64.tar.xz
save to /opt and then unpack:
xz -d mingw32ce-mk-2013-04-03-amd64.tar.xz
tar xvf mingw32ce-mk-2013-04-03-amd64.tar

#some cosmetics - shorten dir name (you might also use a symlink):
/opt# mv mingw32ce-mk-2013-04-03-amd64 mingw32ce

suggested: add :/opt/mingw32ce/bin/ to your path

Extract the attached source and run build.sh - should finish without any message and result in a Hello.exe

Offline Taucher

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Re: Flir E4 Thermal imaging camera teardown
« Reply #2767 on: January 05, 2014, 01:28:17 pm »
Btw - this thread has broken the 100.000 views count!
« Last Edit: January 06, 2014, 03:33:59 am by Taucher »
 

Offline gilbjd

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Re: Flir E4 Thermal imaging camera teardown
« Reply #2768 on: January 05, 2014, 05:30:22 pm »
I have successfully installed Taucher's latest menu hack to my E4 along with the new zoom function. Thank you to Mike and Taucher for your excellent work!

Due to carelessness and unfamiliarity with Filezilla, I foolishly neglected to save a copy of my 'virgin' FlashBFS folder and, of course, that has now been overwritten by the hacked version.

This means that I can't revert my E4 to its virginal state if the need arises.

Does anybody have a copy of their unhacked FlashBFS folder that they would be prepared to post?

Many thanks in advance.
 

Offline cuda12

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Re: Flir E4 Thermal imaging camera teardown
« Reply #2769 on: January 05, 2014, 05:54:52 pm »
Wow look at this auction on e bay
http://www.ebay.com/itm/321287622872?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1423.l2649
It is an e4 that is titled e4-e8 and it's over $1700 and in the questions he even said it's not an E8
 

Offline daves

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Re: Flir E4 Thermal imaging camera teardown
« Reply #2770 on: January 05, 2014, 09:10:03 pm »
It is an e4 that is titled e4-e8 and it's over $1700 and in the questions he even said it's not an E8

I've seen more people are selling now E4 hacked into E8. Some are saying they are selling E8, while pictures comes from hacked E4 (exiftool).
I expected many people will do business of it.
Batch Thermal Images Editor (JPG, BMT, SNP, IRI, ISI, IS2, PGM, TIF, IMG, BMP):  https://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/flir-e4-thermal-imaging-camera-teardown/msg350556/#msg350556
 

Offline Bonocr

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Re: Flir E4 Thermal imaging camera teardown
« Reply #2771 on: January 05, 2014, 10:21:24 pm »
After a ADDMENU hack the FLIR logo (in display down left corner) was removed, what should I do to add it again?
Thanks

Offline digsys

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Re: Flir E4 Thermal imaging camera teardown
« Reply #2772 on: January 05, 2014, 10:57:54 pm »
Quote from: cuda12
Wow look at this auction on e bay
It is an e4 that is titled e4-e8 and it's over $1700 and in the questions he even said it's not an E8 
This is not good, almost fraud !! Greed like this will almost certainly get the attention of FLIR.
So he'll downgrade it, for the same price !!?? Almost feel like telling him what I think? Opinions????
Hello <tap> <tap> .. is this thing on?
 

Offline London Lad

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Re: Flir E4 Thermal imaging camera teardown
« Reply #2773 on: January 05, 2014, 11:15:52 pm »
Can't see any fraud, he's been truthful.
 

Offline digsys

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Re: Flir E4 Thermal imaging camera teardown
« Reply #2774 on: January 06, 2014, 12:12:21 am »
Quote from: London Lad
   Can't see any fraud, he's been truthful.   
Buys it for ~$900, applies a "public" hack (that others have spent time on), I doubt he has contributed anything to EEVBlog.
Has he explained that IF it ever goes in for repair, or gets a firmware update, the "extras" are GONE !!
He could then point them to the Forum and ask them to apply the hack themselves?? Sorry, I think it stinks.
Hello <tap> <tap> .. is this thing on?
 


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