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
238 (26.3%)
Yes, I'd not considered buying a TIC before, but 320x240 resolution at this price justifies it (as either tool or toy!)
425 (47%)
Yes, I was going to buy an E5/6/8 class of unit but will now get the E4
43 (4.8%)
No, but am looking out for a cheap i3 to hack
41 (4.5%)
Not yet, but probably will if now that a closed-box hack becomes is possible
158 (17.5%)

Total Members Voted: 780

Author Topic: Flir E4 Thermal imaging camera teardown  (Read 2634313 times)

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Offline ixfd64

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Re: Flir E4 Thermal imaging camera teardown
« Reply #4675 on: April 05, 2014, 05:19:12 am »
FYI: there's a really good deal on an unmodified FLIR E4 on eBay right now: http://www.ebay.com/itm/FLIR-E4-Compact-IR-Thermal-Imaging-Camera-80x60-Res-4-to-482F-20-to-250C-/261442336802

Offline Gallymimus

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Re: Flir E4 Thermal imaging camera teardown
« Reply #4676 on: April 05, 2014, 05:36:55 am »
Hi,
Newbie here.
Not sure if this is the correct thread to post on..my apologies if not. :-[
Was about to order an E4, but with their latest firmware, is it still possible to re-flash it? (Now April 3, 2014)
I am familiar with Linux/firmware flashing (unlocked my HTC, made/used a GoodFET, etc.)
TIA!  :)
Teledog

Good news!  Your answers are in the thread all you have to do is start reading page 1, in fact you answers should be on page one.  Unfortunately I don't quite understand your question.  When you say reflash do you mean modify or do you mean install the 1.22 firmware again?!!?  Anyway read the thread and your question will be answered.
 

Offline RAWebb

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Re: Flir E4 Thermal imaging camera teardown
« Reply #4677 on: April 05, 2014, 03:53:04 pm »
Little gizmo uploaded to Thingiverse. It holds the USB connector cover open and away from the USB cable. http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:290354
 

Online PA0PBZ

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Re: Flir E4 Thermal imaging camera teardown
« Reply #4678 on: April 05, 2014, 06:11:45 pm »
Little gizmo uploaded to Thingiverse.

And... gizmo done! Thanks  :-+

Keyboard error: Press F1 to continue.
 

Offline ixfd64

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Re: Flir E4 Thermal imaging camera teardown
« Reply #4679 on: April 06, 2014, 05:36:13 pm »
According to the specs I've seen, the FLIR ix battery is rated at 2,200 mAh and is supposed to have a life of five hours. In comparison, the FLIR Ex battery is rated at 2,800 mAH but "only" has a life of four hours. Does this mean the Ex has a higher power consumption? If so, is it due to the larger screen?

Offline pomonabill221

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Re: Flir E4 Thermal imaging camera teardown
« Reply #4680 on: April 06, 2014, 05:37:01 pm »
Nah, it was a pretty good gotcha. Worth a smile for sure. :)
Yes, I agree.... my comment was supposed to be taken as  jab, NOT as an angry response... I should have added an emoticon and that probably would have made it a little clearer.   :-DD :-DD :-DD
 

Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: Flir E4 Thermal imaging camera teardown
« Reply #4681 on: April 06, 2014, 06:06:07 pm »
According to the specs I've seen, the FLIR ix battery is rated at 2,200 mAh and is supposed to have a life of five hours. In comparison, the FLIR Ex battery is rated at 2,800 mAH but "only" has a life of four hours. Does this mean the Ex has a higher power consumption? If so, is it due to the larger screen?
Could be a number of things  - the MSX processing will be taking some power. ISTR from my teardown that backlight brightness makes a significant difference . 20% difference isn.t much for what are probably significantly different architectures.
Plus all the CPU cycles that WinCE and all the UI layers are doubtless pissing away
Youtube channel:Taking wierd stuff apart. Very apart.
Mike's Electric Stuff: High voltage, vintage electronics etc.
Day Job: Mostly LEDs
 

Offline ixfd64

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Re: Flir E4 Thermal imaging camera teardown
« Reply #4682 on: April 07, 2014, 01:49:04 am »
Nah, it was a pretty good gotcha. Worth a smile for sure. :)
Yes, I agree.... my comment was supposed to be taken as  jab, NOT as an angry response... I should have added an emoticon and that probably would have made it a little clearer.   :-DD :-DD :-DD

Yeah, I figured that was in jest; most EEVBlog forum members are probably too civilized to call each other a**holes. :P

According to the specs I've seen, the FLIR ix battery is rated at 2,200 mAh and is supposed to have a life of five hours. In comparison, the FLIR Ex battery is rated at 2,800 mAH but "only" has a life of four hours. Does this mean the Ex has a higher power consumption? If so, is it due to the larger screen?
Could be a number of things  - the MSX processing will be taking some power. ISTR from my teardown that backlight brightness makes a significant difference . 20% difference isn.t much for what are probably significantly different architectures.
Plus all the CPU cycles that WinCE and all the UI layers are doubtless pissing away

I remember seeing a post stating that the average power draw was between 500 and 700 mA. FLIR could probably get six or more hours if they switched to the new 3,600 mAh Li-ion cells.

Speaking of which, I'm surprised there are no third-party battery packs with lower price points given how expensive the batteries are. As it stands, each Ex replacement battery costs $50 a pop. I guess the demand just isn't high enough.
« Last Edit: April 07, 2014, 02:02:20 am by ixfd64 »
 

Offline tiagobaracho

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Re: Flir E4 Thermal imaging camera teardown
« Reply #4683 on: April 07, 2014, 03:41:49 am »
According to the specs I've seen, the FLIR ix battery is rated at 2,200 mAh and is supposed to have a life of five hours. In comparison, the FLIR Ex battery is rated at 2,800 mAH but "only" has a life of four hours. Does this mean the Ex has a higher power consumption? If so, is it due to the larger screen?
Could be a number of things  - the MSX processing will be taking some power. ISTR from my teardown that backlight brightness makes a significant difference . 20% difference isn.t much for what are probably significantly different architectures.
Plus all the CPU cycles that WinCE and all the UI layers are doubtless pissing away
HI mike...
I have the 1.98 firmware hacked...
Does make sense to update to re-hack ? any improvements on 1.21/1.22 over the 1.98 ? any reported crashes as sometimes happens on 1.98 ?
Thanks you !
 

Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: Flir E4 Thermal imaging camera teardown
« Reply #4684 on: April 07, 2014, 08:11:08 am »
According to the specs I've seen, the FLIR ix battery is rated at 2,200 mAh and is supposed to have a life of five hours. In comparison, the FLIR Ex battery is rated at 2,800 mAH but "only" has a life of four hours. Does this mean the Ex has a higher power consumption? If so, is it due to the larger screen?
Could be a number of things  - the MSX processing will be taking some power. ISTR from my teardown that backlight brightness makes a significant difference . 20% difference isn.t much for what are probably significantly different architectures.
Plus all the CPU cycles that WinCE and all the UI layers are doubtless pissing away
HI mike...
I have the 1.98 firmware hacked...
Does make sense to update to re-hack ? any improvements on 1.21/1.22 over the 1.98 ? any reported crashes as sometimes happens on 1.98 ?
Thanks you !
There are no known functional improvements in 1.2x
Youtube channel:Taking wierd stuff apart. Very apart.
Mike's Electric Stuff: High voltage, vintage electronics etc.
Day Job: Mostly LEDs
 

Offline Gallymimus

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Re: Flir E4 Thermal imaging camera teardown
« Reply #4685 on: April 07, 2014, 03:12:12 pm »
Humdinger

You should post questions like this in the FLIR E4 Q/A thread:

https://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/flir-e4-teardown-qa-and-newbie-questions/msg413772/#msg413772
 

Offline humdinger13

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Re: Flir E4 Thermal imaging camera teardown
« Reply #4686 on: April 07, 2014, 03:25:01 pm »
Humdinger

You should post questions like this in the FLIR E4 Q/A thread:

https://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/flir-e4-teardown-qa-and-newbie-questions/msg413772/#msg413772

oops.  removed and moved.  Thanks...
 

Offline Gallymimus

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Re: Flir E4 Thermal imaging camera teardown
« Reply #4687 on: April 07, 2014, 03:37:01 pm »
Humdinger

You should post questions like this in the FLIR E4 Q/A thread:

https://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/flir-e4-teardown-qa-and-newbie-questions/msg413772/#msg413772

No Problem,  we just need to encourage everyone to separate topics otherwise this thread will be 1000 pages eventually!

oops.  removed and moved.  Thanks...
 

Offline humdinger13

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Re: Flir E4 Thermal imaging camera teardown
« Reply #4688 on: April 07, 2014, 10:06:17 pm »
Since so many people seem to struggle with generating their own conf.cfc , I took the time and wrote a quick'n'dirty (well, not really quick but still a bit dirty) GUI for the tools in AutoIt. See the attached .zip .
I did some testing and everything should work. Also most errors should be handled. But ("sadly" ;D ) I only have an E4 with firmware 1.19.8 , but maybe someone could do some testing by herself / himself and give me some feedback. :)

@ flir-ID10T : Maybe this will help you.

This belongs on the 1st page.  Well done stefbeer! 
 

Offline pomonabill221

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Re: Flir E4 Thermal imaging camera teardown
« Reply #4689 on: April 07, 2014, 11:24:41 pm »
According to the specs I've seen, the FLIR ix battery is rated at 2,200 mAh and is supposed to have a life of five hours. In comparison, the FLIR Ex battery is rated at 2,800 mAH but "only" has a life of four hours. Does this mean the Ex has a higher power consumption? If so, is it due to the larger screen?
Could be a number of things  - the MSX processing will be taking some power. ISTR from my teardown that backlight brightness makes a significant difference . 20% difference isn.t much for what are probably significantly different architectures.
Plus all the CPU cycles that WinCE and all the UI layers are doubtless pissing away
HI mike...
I have the 1.98 firmware hacked...
Does make sense to update to re-hack ? any improvements on 1.21/1.22 over the 1.98 ? any reported crashes as sometimes happens on 1.98 ?
Thanks you !
There are no known functional improvements in 1.2x
Other than an attempt to make the E4 unhackable!
 

Offline Fraser

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Re: Flir E4 Thermal imaging camera teardown
« Reply #4690 on: April 07, 2014, 11:58:00 pm »
For those readers interested in hardware improvement of the E4 I thought I would share some pictures of auxilliary lenses that I purchased for my FLIR PM695. These lenses also work with the E4. All require a suitable mounting to be created to support them as the E4 does not have an official auxilliary lens option or mount.

All of these lenses were purchased as used but serviceable on e*ay, and all cost a very small fraction of the original FLIR price  :phew:

The pictures show the following lenses (from left to right in group pictures):

The FLIR X0.5 wide angle lens doubles the field of view for situations where there is no option to move further away from a target. On the PM695 this provides a 48 Degree FOV, whilst on the E4 it produces around a 90 Degree FOV  :)

The Inframetrics X3 Telescopes, that I have previously mentioned in this thread, present me with the possibility of relatively long range wildlife observation. These lenses invert the image by design, so I will need to insert another lens between them and the camera. At present the E4 works with it but there is a little vignetting due to the wide FOV of the E4 lens. These Telescopes produce an excellent, if inverted, image on the PM695 camera though. My Inframetrics 6" close-up lens (not shown) is designed to attach to the front of this telescope in order to provide a microscope function for electronics inspection  :)

Finally, my most recent purchase, the FLIR compact X2 telescope. I have been hunting for this lens for some time, but it is in high demand and commands significant sums of money on the used marketplace. This one cost me GBP260 (which is VERY cheap for this lens) and arrived today. Its a real beauty  :-+ Unblemished optics and just look at the size of the Objective lens ! That baby is 100mm across and a pretty large lump of optical grade Germanium  :)  The lens design enables the telescope to be very short in length, as can be seen when compared to a conventional refractor type telescope, like the X3 Inframetrics. It isn't a light weight though, at around a 0.7kg of Gemanium and Aluminium. The length is only 45mm and, from memory, the lenses are of complex design to achieve X2 magnification without loss of optical performance or geometry. I have seen similar designs for camcorder use, but this is an impressive thermal camera lens and the diameters of the lenses show it to be a pretty fast, so great for wildlife work. I do not know the exact retail price on the lens when new, but it was several thousand Dollars  :o

Enjoy the pictures..... and just look at the curvature on the X2 telescope objective......yes it really is that convex !

So, for anyone wanting to change their thermal cameras field of view, you need to consider the following.....

1. Only buy lenses that are capable of working at the Long Wavelengths that the E4 uses.
2. Auxilliary (add-on) lenses are designed to sit in front of the cameras built in lens.... these are the ones to look for as the optics should work with the E4 in most cases.
3. I recommend that you avoid unknown lenses that were part of a thermal camera optical block. They are unlikely to mate with the E4 without additional optics and even then the FOV may not be what you are after. These lenses are often designed to illuminate a Microbolometer FPA, or to form only part of a lens assembly that needs a lens that remains mounted on the camera. In short ... avoid !
4. The E4 has a relatively wide field of view so some lenses may produce a decent image but may also suffer vignetting if they were designed for a camera with a smaller FOV of say 24 Degress. In my case the FLIR lenses were designed for the 24 Degree lens on my PM695, but work fine with the E4. You do take a risk when buying without testing though.
5. Do not expect to find thermal camera lenses at bargain prices (sub $100). You can get the odd bargain now and then if you are not too fussy on an exact spec, and only want the lens elements,  but auxilliary lenses tend to sell for decent money. Even the scrap value of the lenses contained within them is high. Big lumps of Germanium optics usually means $$$$
6. As I found out with teh Inframetrics Telescopes....some lenses are designed to produce an inverted image !

Happy hunting  :)
« Last Edit: April 08, 2014, 12:34:00 am by Aurora »
 

Offline Marphy

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Re: Flir E4 Thermal imaging camera teardown
« Reply #4691 on: April 08, 2014, 12:06:35 am »
Hi folks,
first of all, I want to thank you as the community for your efforts you have put into the topic. And a special THANKS to Mike, ds and Taucher being the driving force behind all this fantastic stuff. A huge tumbs up to you! :-+

As a little contribution from my side, I want to present a tool which makes the upgrade process more easy and user-friendly (not to say foolproof ;)). No more messing around with Device IDs, CRCs, SUIDs and all that stuff...
Basically, the tool allows a one-click upgrade with automated backup of modified files.

For the start I have included pre-built package files for both E4 and E8 configurations for up-/downgrade as well as Tauchers menu hack.


You can find two screenshots attached.

Direct download link: TIConfig.zip Hint: Not maintained and available anymore. Please PM me if there is any further interest.


If there's enough interest, I may try to clean the source code up a little bit and publish the project on SourceForge or GitHub.

Looking forward to your feedback!

Cheers,
Marphy
« Last Edit: February 21, 2017, 09:23:30 pm by Marphy »
 

Offline ixfd64

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Re: Flir E4 Thermal imaging camera teardown
« Reply #4692 on: April 08, 2014, 12:21:41 am »
You should consider making the source code available as well (even though C# programs can be easily decompiled). That would be the true spirit of "giving back" to the community. :)

Offline Nemonic

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Re: Flir E4 Thermal imaging camera teardown
« Reply #4693 on: April 08, 2014, 03:00:07 am »
@Aurora

That is an epic lens (lenses) you have there.

Is that a concave "ocular" lens in that assembly, so it isn't inverting?

Do you know the rated FL of the individual lenses? I expect they must be quite short to be such a compact design.

I'm amazed someone would sell this lens for £260, as you say the value of one lens alone must be well in excess of that.

Great stuff!
 

Offline aargee

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Re: Flir E4 Thermal imaging camera teardown
« Reply #4694 on: April 08, 2014, 07:34:54 am »
Marphy,

Your program produces this error when trying to do a full backup, Flir E4 1.18.7 with E8 mod but no menu mod. PC is a Dell WinXP laptop.

Aargee.

Not easy, not hard, just need to be incentivised.
 

Offline muvideo

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Re: Flir E4 Thermal imaging camera teardown
« Reply #4695 on: April 08, 2014, 07:47:35 am »
Aurora, great collection, what about some images taken through the lenses with E4?
Fabio Eboli.
 

Offline Fraser

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Re: Flir E4 Thermal imaging camera teardown
« Reply #4696 on: April 08, 2014, 09:53:55 am »
@muvideo,

No problem with some images, but they aren't that exciting as you just see a larger or smaller version of the original image  ;D

I will take some pictures with, and without, the auxilliary lens fitted and post them. The Inframetrics X3 telescope produces the weirdest images on the E4 due to the inversion and vignetting issues. It does still function well though.

@nemonic,

The rear lens of the FLIR X2 telescope is indeed concave, but the lens is not inverting. As I indicated, the design is different to a standard refractor, so the shape of the rear lens may be unusual as a result.

With regard to the FL of the lenses used in FLIR X2 telescope, I agree that they would need to be very short in a conventional refractor design but, IIRC, the lens structure is not based on conventional lens elements. I will see if I can find the picture of a similar visible light lens that gives an idea of what lives inside this short lens.
« Last Edit: April 08, 2014, 10:18:13 am by Aurora »
 

Offline Marphy

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Re: Flir E4 Thermal imaging camera teardown
« Reply #4697 on: April 08, 2014, 10:56:35 am »
@aargee:
Thanks for the feedback. I hope having fixed the issue, please have another try.
Maybe I should open a separate thread for TIConfig related feedback (bug reports, feature requests etc.) as this thread is already huge enough...  :D

@ixfd64:
Yes, that's the plan if there is enough interest from the community side.


Offline Fraser

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Re: Flir E4 Thermal imaging camera teardown
« Reply #4698 on: April 08, 2014, 01:42:29 pm »
@nemonic,

I found a useful site that details lens designs with nice clear pictures.

http://www.pierretoscani.com/echo_focal_length.html

I attach what I believe to be the internal design of the FLIR X2 Telephoto lens.

It is worth remembering that the Index of Refraction for Germanium is approximately 4 as compared to glass which is approximately 1.55. This will have the effect of shortening the lens assembly.

« Last Edit: April 08, 2014, 02:03:59 pm by Aurora »
 

Offline Tao24

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Re: Flir E4 Thermal imaging camera teardown
« Reply #4699 on: April 09, 2014, 05:16:23 pm »
@Marphy:
THANKS for your work on the TIConfig!Lots of love here from Copenhagen to you! :-) It work like a charm!
My E4 just arrived today with the mail, and when I wanted to check up on the hack here on the forum, TIConfig had just landed:-)
I had two minor problems when using the program:
I followed the instructions and installed RNDIS drivers and changed to RNDIS USB mode.
With the E4 turned on in normal operating mode, first I could not connect to the camera at all, so I fiddled around a little bit and realised the it was at a different IP address than the default. Default is 192.168.0.2 Mine was at 192.186.1.2
Now I was connected to the E4, so I started the Backup it looked fine but it returned with an error stating that 150 (or so) files had not been copied because they where probably in use. The I tried turning on and of a couple of times with the same result. Gave up..
Then I tried uploading the config file but it could not do it because it could not write the file to the device, so I tried putting into sleep mode with the same result. Im 90% sure that this final step is what I did to make it work: I took out the battery and plugged it back in without turning it on and the config file uploaded perfectly :-) 
After that I had a lot of fun with mixing hot and cold water in the sink :D
Thanx again Marphy!

PS: My E4 is a 1.21.0 - 1.1L
 


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