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FLIR LEPTON 3 - a cheap source and regular availability

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Hi all,

As some readers will know, FLIR recently announced that they would be selling the LEPTON 3 imaging core to OEM's. The core is priced at around $250 !

For some time now I have been repairing FLIR One Generation 2 camera dongles. These contain a LEPTON 3 with the optional shutter assembly.

I have recently been approached to repair large numbers of these cameras that are customer returns. I have declined the requests as the margins are too small on these cameras to make it worth my time repairing them for the seller.

I am aware of several 'Customer Returns' sellers on eBay who get quite regular stock of faulty or 'unwanted' F1G2 cameras. I have bought several for around £65 and repaired all but one. I bought another this week for £66. The seller also sold two more at a similar price.

The purpose of this post is to highlight that there is a relatively cheap and easily accessible source of LEPTON 3 cores out there. The LEPTON 3 in the F1G2 is no different to that supplied to OEM's in terms of hardware.

If you are looking to experiment with a LEPTON 3 on a tight budget, think about buying one of the many customer returns or faulty units. I have yet to receive one that has a faulty LEPTON Core in it.

When buying a F1G2 you also get a semi development board and the socket for the Lepton. The case also contains a lens protector. A pretty good experimentation platform at a knock down price. Not forgetting that the iOS version also contains the Apple ID chip :)


Thank you for this info. Will keep my eyes open for this.

The FLIR One G2 is really easy to open and because the LEPTON 3 is socketed, it is easy to harvest from the PCB. It will plug straight into one of the Groupgets development PCB's designed for the Lepton 2 and 3.

It may well be possible to re-purpose the F1G2 PCB but I have no experience of that. The joy of the LEPTON is that it is a complete calibrated and configured thermal camera core so just needs interfacing to a host and there is no dead pixel mapping or calibration to worry about writing code for. It really is a neat little thermal imaging building block. I am looking into attaching a better lens assembly to the LEPTON as they may well improve the images produced significantly. The FLIR designed Silicon diffraction lens is very much a low resolution compromise solution and can be improved upon with conventional optics.

At the moment, and for the foreseeable future, faulty F1G2 dongles are the cheapest source of LEPTON 3 camera cores.


Just noticed that Lepton 3's are now in Digikey

Excellent news :) Thank Mike.

Maybe we will see some Lepton 3 autonomous adapters appearing that provide user friendly output like composite video etc. The drone brigade currently have such an adapter for the Lepton 2 but it does not support the Lepton 3 yet. I suspected it was due to the Lepton 3 not being generally available.
The Lepton 3 would be a good step up from 80 x 60 on a drone.



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