Products > Thermal Imaging

FLIR E4 Wifi Resolution and Menu Hack Thread

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tillmoss:
I have enabled “advanced” but is it normal that when I start my camera a warning message appears?

Fraser:
Yes that is normal

Fraser

randfee:
I know I'm late but: Happy new year everybody!

I finally got around to liberate my christmas present to myself, E4 2.0L non-Wifi,  software 3.16.
With the full 320x240 resolution and all the liberated features I think it still is a capable camera for the price (paid 600$ for an open-package/refurb version on the FLIR website).
As a laser physicist/optics expert, I'm quite spoiled with 100k$+ cams (of all spectra) at work, but the E4 has already made for some nice science experiments with my kids and discovered quite a bunch of unwanted thermal bridges as friends' houses!  :-+

Thanks very much to everybody involved in this, mostly 5-10 years back, especially Bud!  Do you have some kind of donate button around so I can buy you a beer?
There were some more or less ambiguous workflows/guides and downloads here, most is hard to find. I kept wondering why you guys (DaveWB, Bud) don't consolidate it a little more in the first post or something... but yeah, the 'quest-like' endeavor of finding the 3-4 proper workflows felt a bit like living through an adventure film.


Things that don't work as smoothly as (I) expected:

* the user defined presets kinda work, I can set them up under settings>define user presets, however, they don't show up under measurements (see screenshot).
From Bud's E4 christmas pack. I have followed the procedure by the letter and double checked having uploaded the modified cfc (line 143: .caps.config.ui.measure.presetException text "userPresets")  and the proper design_ui.xml. What confused me when applying the 'basic' pack from the liberation pack v3.12  is that there was no prior design_ui.xml in FlashBFS\system\ui.d\ but only these files
design_ui_z3.xml
facet_Z3.rcc
design_ui_z3ets.xml
toolbar-config_z3.xml
toolbar-config_z3ets.xml
:-//. Whenever I select another measurement like no measurement, center spot, hot spot, cold spot, my user defined measurement is gone and I can only get it to work by going to settings>user definied preset - setting it up and leaving it as is
* my E4 always records both images, thermal + visible (camera) as two files. Is there are way to deactivate the VIS images... I think I must be blind?!
* The USB-connection to either my Win10 PC or MacOS is super unreliable, no matter if I leave it in RNDIS or not (not quite sure what advantages/disadvantages either has?)
So the question is, how to easiest/fastest download images from the camera?

* I thought I saw a movie mode, maybe before I upgraded from the advanced to the christmas pack... maybe I was hallucinating?  :-DD
Some questions regarding usage:

* what's the purpose of the item: image mode > object distance? I don't understand what kind of calculation/physics could benefit from an object distance besides the MSX image overlay, but that parallax correction is is defined under 'alignment distance' on the far left, so I'm puzzled - fiddling with it seems to do nothing
* I am wondering if I should upgrade to the WiFi version. I'd be ok if the camera image DCIM folder was accessible reliably via USB (as a mass storage device or something) - if that works, I'd be ok, however I'm interested to learn about the usefulness and implementation of the WiFi.
Is it less hassle to get the images off the cam? Can the E4 wireless automatically join the WiFi once it finds the SSID? In that case I would create a watcher service in my LAN looking for the camera and keep pulling all images from it via FTP over WiFi. Or does the camera act as an access point only and one needs to login to it's SSID (which would kinda suck)?
* I don't understand the screening mode and the sports mode. As for the latter, Bud mentioned that it had to be activated, might not serve a purpose. The screening mode is for measuring people? It talks about a P button, but I thought that button was only on the Exx series?
* As for the time lapse mode, any reason why this is limited to a period of >15s. I mean the camera is slow, but is it really THAT slow?
* I have black body standards at work so I'd be interested to learn if there is a methodology to calibrate this camera?
The calibrate menu item (one can also set for the programmable button) only seems to swiftly close the shutter to generate a flat field when drifting into non-uniformity, typical for all microbolometers, or not? That's no calibration IMHO, or am I misinterpreting here? Is there a calibration procedure I am missing, one where I can present the camera with a black body at T=x and record some calibration points?  I don't intend to send it to FLIR for that...  :-//




For the record, here's my rough procedure:

* I created a Win7 32bit VM in Virtualbox, as I had read that was needed
* If you don't have them, install this:
* FLIR Tools on 32bit?! (Flir Tools v6.4 for Win7 32bit i.e.)
* FLIR Device Drivers x86 (1.15.5.0) (32-Bit)
* python 2.7
* FTP tool (like FileZilla)
* TELNET tool (like Putty)
* Activate RNDIS Mode
* Connect your E4 via USB to your PC (not turning it on worked here)

* Go to "Programs(x86)/Flir systems/Flir Tools/bin and execute FLIRInstallNet.exe (part of the FlirTools software installed earlier)
* Browse… , navigate to \FLIRfif, select Set_RNDIS_permament.fif and hit the Run FIF button.
* When finished ('camera update completed, ok') reset the E4 via removing its battery for few seconds, put it back it
* Turn the camera on. Windows will again start searching for drivers, because now it is in RNDIS mode and needs a different set of drivers.
* annoyance: Didn’t connect to VirtualBox VM anymore  >:(
Installed Flir Tools on native Win10 machine instead (Flir tools + 64bit FLIR drivers, python 2.7, SSH/FTP client, whatever you don't have)  --> got a network adapter called 'infrared' at fifth unplug/plug cycle with IP: 192.168.0.1 .. as expected, camera is at 192.168.0.2
* Use FTP tool like FileZilla to connect to connect to 192.168.0.2
user: flir                pwd: 3vlig
* Make backup of every file on the camera  8) - I'd say making it a read only file like an archive (zip, rar, tar) it to not accidentally ever mess it up
* Obtain the camera's SUID at the beginning of text file called FlashIFS\version.rsc, either in your backup or on the camera and save the SUID string wherever you'll find it again, needed every time you upgrade (basic/resolution hack, advanced package...)
...
...
From hereon out, it's really well described in the readme.txts from  Basic package, advanced package and christmas package from bud, so really no need to repeat it.


bottom line:
By far the most annoying/undefined problem for me was trying to establish a stable USB/network connection. After RNDIS was activated, no matter the windows version (WinXP 32, Win7 32bit, Win10 64) all of them only work like 30% of the time. In most cases I connect the cam via USB, see a popup stating it found the camera (lower right) and then after 15-20s or so it states, that it can't connect. Using Flir Tools is a pain, can't find the camera most of the times even though I can connect to it via FTP. So I think I'll leave it in RNDIS because like this it usually only takes me 3 trials to be able to connect to the cam to retrieve images from /FlashIFS/DCIM..   

Bud:
Hi randfee, great post and have more questions that I could answer, lol.
Will just try to answer a few things in no preferred order.
I am unaware of connectivity stability issues ,  for me it either worked or it did not. I always advocate for WinXP when people try to perform the upgrade and that usually works on Virtual Machine setup as well as on a computer host OS. Mu E4 works for me personally on Win 7 trouble-free, so the thing here appears to be user-specific environment, and there seem to be no good answer as it depends on how Flir drivers behave in the user-specific environment. You know, that antivirus stuff and such. This has nothing to do with the hack and is the baseline how would your Flir camera work if everything was original.


--- Quote ---there was no prior design_ui.xml in FlashBFS\system\ui.d\ but only these files
design_ui_z3.xml
facet_Z3.rcc
design_ui_z3ets.xml
toolbar-config_z3.xml
toolbar-config_z3ets.xml
--- End quote ---

That is how it is supposed to be. Users MUST follow the procedure in Readme.txt and do not try to overthink it. Much was left behind the scene why in terms of file names. It was proven by some smart ass people who thought they were smarter than the hack publishers and they ended up in hot water, LoL. Just follow the guide, we did not have time OR desire to explain things bit by bit.


--- Quote ---what's the purpose of the item: image mode > object distance?
--- End quote ---
This is a correction factor into the object temperature formula. It has no to do with the hack. You have it in the original camera firmware. If you carefully test same object at a given distance playing with this parameter, you will see the resulting temperature measurement changing. Perhaps more detectable with objects located at bigger distances from the camera.


--- Quote ---my E4 always records both images, thermal + visible (camera) as two files. Is there are way to deactivate the VIS images.
--- End quote ---
This is an item in the camera setup screen, you can set it to save as separate files or in a same file,  check the camera Settings, I can't recal lthe name for this parameter, you should be able to find it there.


--- Quote ---I don't understand the screening mode and the sports mode. As for the latter, Bud mentioned that it had to be activated, might not serve a purpose. The screening mode is for measuring people? It talks about a P button, but I thought that button was only on the Exx series?
--- End quote ---
P is the "Programmable" button. There is no dedicated button in the hacked E4 so I recall the "Back"  button was programmed to act as the "Programmable" button.
Screening mode is to screen objects' temperature against a averaged baseline. When screening mode is activated, there are prompts to press the programmable button a few times while pointing to the reference object  to establish the baseline, then the objects you point the camera to will be evaluated against the reference baseline. If to speak about screening people's faces temperature for example, you would establish the reference by taking a few samples of healthy people's faces, then start checking other people's faces temperature.  This is a rough explanation but I did gave a reference to a FLIR document where they provide instructions how to use Screening mode. You see, this is one of those things that the users wishing to perform the hack have to do their homework. So please allow me to send you back to my post where I gave that reference to FLIR documentation if you want to learn how to use screening mode.


--- Quote ---I kept wondering why you guys (DaveWB, Bud) don't consolidate it a little more in the first post or something..
--- End quote ---
People must be blind because there are links in the original post. Just follow the links in the original Dave's post. This is not my thread so I can't edit it but I think there are proper links in the initial Dave's post and I 've tested them a few times when I got comments like that. I am not sure why we are getting these comments, other than that people must have become so lazy these days that they want everything be chewed to them like to grade 1 students. As you yourself eluded to, it has been quite a few years since the work was done, and the environment and the atmosphere existing at the time have to be understood . Back then E4 was a hot cake, everyone was doing hacks and everyone knew how to switch RNDIS on, FTP to the camera and do things. My posts were written in that atmosphere and therefore omitted all that low level stuff. It was expected from the user that they know how to do it. I focused on providing the Core instructions and replacement files. Now several years later  some newbies want to be spoon fed, how to get connectivity to the camera, how to configure the IP, this or that, while being yet miles away from starting the actual upgrade procedure. That was not the spirit that existed here on EEVBlog when my posts were written. Quite a few people who dedicated themselves to learning and reading the entire thread - they all succeeded and successfully upgraded.

Fraser:
I can answer the question about Ex series calibration……

Way back in the beginning Circa 2013, when the a E4 was released, Version 1.18 and 1.19 were ‘unmolested’ by FLIR and it was relatively simple to release the hardware platforms full potential and create an E8+. That said, it took some smart members of the forum to work out how to edit configuration files and recalculate CRC numbers so that the camera woukd accept the changes.

Why do I mention this ? Well as soon as FLIR heard that people were upgrading their E4 cameras to E8 specification, they moved to make life harder for us by introducing obstacles in the upgrade path and to make the process more complex. As part of their countermeasures to the upgrade FLIR removed the very useful Service Menu contents as these might assist ‘Hackers’ in some way. After Firmware 1.19 the Service Menu was no longer present on the Ex series cameras.

The Service Menu provides all manner of useful functionality, including the ability to update the dead pixel map, NUC table and to calibrate the camera. This is the functionality that you are seeking and sadly is is no longer available to you. There was some work to graft the Service Menu back into the later firmware releases but I believe important sub routines were missing so the functionality of the resulting installation was limited.

So in Précis….. you cannot calibrate your camera yourself or update its dead pixel map if another pixel in the microbolometer fails. The good news is that the Ex series are good cameras and usually a calibration check shows their measurement accuracy to still be within specification after many years of use. The occurrence of new dead pixels is thankfully rare but sadly not unheard of.

If you want the Service Menu you will need to buy a Circa 2013 E4 that is still running firmware 1.18 or 1.19. I sold both of mine so regret I cannot help on that front.

Fraser

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