Author Topic: FLIR Micron A10 160 x 120 hiding in ‘disguise’ bought for $100 :)  (Read 5423 times)

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Online Fraser

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This is a bit of a teaser post just for fun, but it may also benefit anyone wishing to buy a very nice compact thermal camera (cased core really) at a relatively low cost. The camera is commonly available in 160 x 120 pixel resolution but 320 x 240 is also available in the same disguise :)

So where did I find a 160 x 120 pixel FLIR Micron A10 for only $100 ?

Well that is the tease...... I will reveal all as and when I get time today to post pictures and more detail.
The good news is that these disguised cameras are in plentiful supply but you have to be lucky to get one for only $100 others have sold for $140 but some go for higher prices around $400?

I bought a disguised Micron A10 knowing full well what I was getting. I am fortunate to have inside knowledge on this matter but have decided to share it here to help others.

Watch this space.........  :)

https://www.photonics.com/Products/Tiny_ThermoVision_A10/pr19556
« Last Edit: April 10, 2019, 04:55:15 pm by Fraser »
 

Online Fraser

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Re: FLIR Micron A10 160 x 120 hiding in ‘disguise’ bought for $100 :)
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2019, 06:18:22 pm »
OK, the tease continues   ;D .... next installment.....

So what is the FLIR Micron A10 and is it special in any way ?

Well the U.S. Military certainly seem to have liked it  ;D

The FLIR Micron A10 is actually the Indigo OMEGA that FLIR renamed after their acquisition of Indigo.
It is a very capable compact thermal imaging camera that uses a VOx microbolometer and offers the user impressive imaging even in its 160 x 120 pixel form. A 320 x 240 pixel version was produced as well.

What is the history of this diminutive little thermal camera from the early Millenium years ?
The Indigo Omega was a development progression from the Indigo ALPHA that directly preceded it. The improvement upon the ALPHA design is significant in all areas. The OMEGA is smaller, lighter, lower power consumption and produces superior imagery. What is not to like ? The military were quick to test the Indigo OMEGA with a view to mounting it on aerial platforms and infantry weapon sights. The small size and low weight made the OMEGA a prime candidate for such applications. This statement might also be of interest to modern drone pilots as the OMEGA remains a possible payload for such applications despite its age.

The military tested the OMEGA to destruction and it performed well. They even strapped the poor camera to a rifle launched projectile ! The acceleration and impact tests revealed a weakness in the lens element construction.

The OMEGA was such a successful camera core that it lead to the development of its successor, the Indigo PHOTON.  In some respects the PHOTON appears a retrograde step as it is actually a larger camera than the OMEGA ! There were improvements in image quality on the PHOTON however. The PHOTON lead to the development of the smaller and lighter FLIR TAU series and that remains a current and very capable camera core to this day in its TAU 2 revision. These well designed and high performing compact thermal imaging cores are the darlings of thermal imaging system designers around the world. They are compact and easily integrated into a manufacturers product, be it a thermal camera or part of a surveillance/weapons system. Most of the hard work is already done for the designer, they just need to provide power and a display in the cores simplest mode of operation (power in, video out). Control of the cores extended functionality may be via pre-programmed pin inputs or a serial communications link from a small controller that sends instruction strings to the core. The options on the cores, including the OMEGA provide most functions that a designer might desire, including radiometric temperature measurement. Remember, these cores were designed with the military in mind as a customer, so they were deliberately made to be versatile in their application and deployment  ;)

I have previously come across the OMEGA core in another 'disguise'. It was a specialist law enforcement 'Bullet' Camera used to carry out surveillance and evidence capture on buildings that were growing certain illegal 'weeds' ! The OMEGA was small enough to be used in a relatively covert manner. That cameras story is to be found here:

https://www.eevblog.com/forum/thermal-imaging/todays-mystery-camera-by-fraser/

I will add some relevant pictures to this Post and the OMEGA User manual in a separate post.

Fraser
« Last Edit: April 10, 2019, 10:06:59 pm by Fraser »
 

Online Fraser

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Re: FLIR Micron A10 160 x 120 hiding in ‘disguise’ bought for $100 :)
« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2019, 06:20:38 pm »
Omega/Micron A10 related documents.......
 

Online Fraser

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Re: FLIR Micron A10 160 x 120 hiding in ‘disguise’ bought for $100 :)
« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2019, 06:35:15 pm »
I have decided to do a reverse teardown on the source of the diminutive OMEGA/Micron A10 core just to add some fun to the thread  ;D

Are we having fun yet ? ;D

First a picture of the OMEGA core after it was extracted from its disguise........

More pictures and commentary later  ;)

Fraser
 
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Offline CJay

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Re: FLIR Micron A10 160 x 120 hiding in ‘disguise’ bought for $100 :)
« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2019, 06:54:26 pm »
Curse you Fraser, all these interesting threads, I could probably have resisted but  I had opportunity to play with a FLIR equipped CAT mobile phone today and I *WANT* one now.
 

Online Fraser

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Re: FLIR Micron A10 160 x 120 hiding in ‘disguise’ bought for $100 :)
« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2019, 07:02:03 pm »
Ok some more commentary from me .......


I am often asked if I have any bargain priced small thermal cameras for drone use or 'other' applications, or how they can be found.

Historically I did not tend to share my little tips and tricks to finding cheap thermal cameras as I was actively hunting for such myself  and did not need the competition  ;D  I did give some pretty hefty hints to how a reasonably priced camera could be obtained. Such cameras were often older, but still good, thermal imaging technology such as BST or the larger cored cameras that are not suitable for use on a relatively small aerial platform like a drone. I still receive requests for "drone thermal cameras" so I have decided to create this fun little thread to detail how I personally purchased a piece of equipment for only $100 that I knew contained a thermal camera core that is eminently suitable for drone use.... namely the OMEGA/Micron A10  :)

More later

Fraser
 

Online Fraser

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Re: FLIR Micron A10 160 x 120 hiding in ‘disguise’ bought for $100 :)
« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2019, 07:22:08 pm »
Next tip for you dear readers .........

If you see a piece of equipment that has a decal on it like that attached here ...... be interested, very interested  ;)

Indigo was the 'baby' of the William J Parish, the man behind AMBER. After leaving Indigo he created SEEK Thermal. He and his team were very experienced in creating excellent thermal camera designs that impressed 'difficult' customers like the Military. Indigo designed and built high performance miniaturised thermal camera cores. FLIR recognised the expertise present within Indigo and this was a driving force behind purchasing the company and gain that invaluable expertise and loyal customer base for future FLIR product lines. A very smart move on the part of FLIR.

William J Parish's BIO:

William Parrish is perhaps one of the most well-known luminaries in thermal imaging having pioneered the technology for multiple industries, including military, industrial, consumer and more, since the early 1980s. Bill’s first company, Amber Engineering, was acquired by Raytheon in 1992, and focused on commercializing advanced military infrared technology by applying novel engineering and business practices to dramatically reduce the cost.
In the mid-90s, Bill then launched and became the first CEO of Indigo Systems, another industry leader in thermal image technologies and products, and took the company through extraordinary growth (> $75 m Revenue in just six years) to an acquisition by FLIR in 2004. Seek Thermal is Bill’s third company in the thermal – infrared space and perhaps the most unique. With a vision to bring the smallest infrared sensor and thermal imaging technology to all, Seek is creating some of the most affordable products ever for smartphones, in addition to commercial, the outdoors, and heat sensing IoT data applications. Bill’s numerous papers, patents and awards (including MSS Fellow, The Levenstein Award for Infrared Technology Leadership and Management, South Coast Business and Technology Entrepreneur of the Year in 2002, and UCSB’s Narayanamurti Entrepreneurial Leadership Co-Award in 2004) attest to his enduring impact on infrared technology and business.

Bill received his engineering education at UCSB graduating BSEE ’73, MSEE ’74, and PhD EE ’76 emphasizing integrated circuit design and fabrication. 


More later.......
« Last Edit: April 10, 2019, 10:15:07 pm by Fraser »
 

Online Vipitis

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Re: FLIR Micron A10 160 x 120 hiding in ‘disguise’ bought for $100 :)
« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2019, 07:28:03 pm »
It's interesting to see how this older generation is in size. I would love to see a side by side image quality comparison from all the generations of Indigo/FLIR cores: Micron, Photon, Tau, Boson;

I started to browse eBay daily now and look for good offers that are no scams. The bargains are mostly older cores, but I have very limited comparison. BST for example produces an image I dislike, and all the Taus I see right now are 336 and scraping my imaginary budget. I will continue to look and If there is a QVGA micron core to be found at a great price I might start there with a platform that allows a core upgrade.
 

Online Fraser

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Re: FLIR Micron A10 160 x 120 hiding in ‘disguise’ bought for $100 :)
« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2019, 07:33:39 pm »
Next picture set showing the OMEGA camera with its associated control PCB that is not essential to the cores operation but an optional piece of electronics to provide more than just "power applied - thermal image output" mode of operation with the core in fully automatic everything.

Note another advantage when you remove a neat core from its disguise..... you often get all the unusual core connectors and cable looms etc, plus a control board that may, or may not prove useful  :-+

More shortly  :)

Fraser
« Last Edit: April 10, 2019, 07:39:19 pm by Fraser »
 

Online Fraser

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Re: FLIR Micron A10 160 x 120 hiding in ‘disguise’ bought for $100 :)
« Reply #9 on: April 10, 2019, 07:48:22 pm »
An interesting tear-down video of an OMEGA core that was being used in a CCTV camera housing. Such CCTV cameras do come along now and again but unless you are very lucky, they tend to attract higher prices due to their specialist use. I got very lucky and won such an external CCTV thermal camera in 'as new' condition for £75 .... it contained a TAU2 324 core  8)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=3&v=D0OlWmr5R10

Fraser

More pictures shortly  :)
 

Online Fraser

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Re: FLIR Micron A10 160 x 120 hiding in ‘disguise’ bought for $100 :)
« Reply #10 on: April 10, 2019, 07:57:36 pm »
OK, Time for a bit more of a 'reveal'  :) 

Can you guess what it is yet ?  ;D

Fraser
 

Online Fraser

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Re: FLIR Micron A10 160 x 120 hiding in ‘disguise’ bought for $100 :)
« Reply #11 on: April 10, 2019, 08:11:14 pm »
The Omega Core is held in a custom formed foam 'shell' for its protection and to hold it in the required position. The foam shell has been cleverly formed to also hold the control PCB in place. No screws used.

Fraser
« Last Edit: April 10, 2019, 08:13:59 pm by Fraser »
 

Online Fraser

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Re: FLIR Micron A10 160 x 120 hiding in ‘disguise’ bought for $100 :)
« Reply #12 on: April 10, 2019, 08:28:33 pm »
Next clue.....

The equipment that contains the Indigo Omega contains its own LCD display. The quality of the LCD does effect the image presented to the user by the core. In this particular equipment I find the LCD panel monitor wanting on the quality front. It may be just older LCD technology showing its age or age related degradation. It is also hard to take a good photo of an LCD display and the result is of lower quality than what the user sees on the screen.

Note the temperature scale on the right of the display and the green dot in the middle of the screen. This is spot temperature measurement can be a feature of the core or of the controller PCB depending upon the system design.

More pictures to come but it is getting easy to identify now  ;D

Fraser
 

Online Fraser

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Re: FLIR Micron A10 160 x 120 hiding in ‘disguise’ bought for $100 :)
« Reply #13 on: April 10, 2019, 08:50:23 pm »
An important matter has not been discussed yet ..... how to configure and control a thermal imaging core like the Omega/Micron 10.

Most thermal cores do not contain an on board web server for configuration. they tend to be configured using a serial data link, be it RS232, RS422, RS485 or modern USB. The core will obey and respond to a custom command set and, unlike Industrial Camera Link controlled VL cameras, there is no common industry standard for the control of thermal cores. Each manufacturer uses their own protocol but if you are fortunate, a manufacturer will use the same protocol on several generations of cores so a common command utility may be used. Indigo tended to use a common configuration utility for their cores so the Photon GUI contained support for the OMEGA.

Control and configuration of a core is an important consideration when considering a purchase. buying an unknown core or one for which no support exists means that you will likely have to use it 'as-is' with little chance of enabling additional features or changing settings such as what is displayed on the video output or image orientation etc.

With Indigo products you have a good chance of obtaining the configuration GUI for any core that they produced ;)

Fraser
 

Online Fraser

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Re: FLIR Micron A10 160 x 120 hiding in ‘disguise’ bought for $100 :)
« Reply #14 on: April 10, 2019, 08:54:52 pm »
It is approaching 10pm now so time I released the rest of the reverse tear-down pictures and revealed the identity of the equipment that was the disguise surrounding the Indigo OMEGA  :)

Let the reveal begin  ;D
 

Online Fraser

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Re: FLIR Micron A10 160 x 120 hiding in ‘disguise’ bought for $100 :)
« Reply #15 on: April 10, 2019, 08:56:23 pm »
Continued.....
 

Online Fraser

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Re: FLIR Micron A10 160 x 120 hiding in ‘disguise’ bought for $100 :)
« Reply #16 on: April 10, 2019, 09:10:27 pm »
So there you have it, I purchased a battered and bruised MSA Evolution 5600 fire fighting thermal camera that was sold on a "buy it now" in a US auction. It looked tatty and that likely put people off of buying it. I knew that sat dry, clean and cosy inside that battered casing was a lovely little Indigo Omega. Fire fighting cameras tend to be very well sealed and the cores are well protected from bumps and drops. It is true that a core can fail in service, but they are generally pretty reliable. This is why spending only $100 is the sensible move when a unit is not stated as working.

If the seller had extracted that OMEGA core from the camera after testing it and auctioned it on its own with the connector, I suspect it would have sold for a lot more than $100 ! Sellers often have neither the skills nor the interest to do such however.

I bought this camera a couple of months ago and there were a few others sold around the same time for $150. I consider a working Indigo/FLIR OMEGA/Micron A10 for around $100 is a very good deal indeed  :-+

Fraser

« Last Edit: April 10, 2019, 10:22:48 pm by Fraser »
 

Online Fraser

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Re: FLIR Micron A10 160 x 120 hiding in ‘disguise’ bought for $100 :)
« Reply #17 on: April 10, 2019, 09:12:36 pm »
MSA Evolution 5600 User Manual.

 

Online Fraser

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Re: FLIR Micron A10 160 x 120 hiding in ‘disguise’ bought for $100 :)
« Reply #18 on: April 10, 2019, 09:19:25 pm »
Well that is all from me for now.

I hope that this little bit of fun has been of interest and you enjoyed the 'journey' to the 'reveal'.

So drone owners, if you want a compact thermal core for your aerial platform that will not break the bank, start looking for MSA Evolution 5000 series cameras. The series includes both 160 x 120 pixel and 320 x 240 pixel versions. Both contain a dinky little Indigo core that is well protected in the waterproof outer case and interior foam shell.

Happy hunting  :-+

Fraser
« Last Edit: April 10, 2019, 09:21:19 pm by Fraser »
 

Online Gyro

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Re: FLIR Micron A10 160 x 120 hiding in ‘disguise’ bought for $100 :)
« Reply #19 on: April 10, 2019, 09:20:28 pm »
Interesting thread Fraser.  :)

I see there's a battery for sale on ebay in Germany if you need it.

« Last Edit: April 10, 2019, 09:23:15 pm by Gyro »
Chris

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Online Fraser

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Re: FLIR Micron A10 160 x 120 hiding in ‘disguise’ bought for $100 :)
« Reply #20 on: April 10, 2019, 09:25:50 pm »
Hiya Gyro,

Thanks but the battery is nothing special, just a common twin cell Li-Ion pack  :)

I suspect the Omega core will be used without the old battered Evolution 5600 case and less than great LCD display. I can control the core easily from a PC and that allows me to release its full capabilities. In the 5600 the core is windowed down to 120 x 120 pixels but I can change that using the Indigo GUI  :)  The Evolution body, control board and LCD panel are basically scrap as it was always the core that I was interested in.

Fraser
« Last Edit: April 10, 2019, 09:27:30 pm by Fraser »
 
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Online Fraser

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Re: FLIR Micron A10 160 x 120 hiding in ‘disguise’ bought for $100 :)
« Reply #21 on: April 10, 2019, 10:35:19 pm »
An interesting side note.....

I just looked at the display shown in the 5600 user manual and that produced by my 5600. My unit is displaying the full 160 x 120 pixels rather than the 120 x 120 pixels detailed in the 5600 spec and images in the manual. MSA basically blanked the area around the temperature scale on the right side of the image.

The full 160 x 120 pixel display was provided on the more expensive Evolution 5200. Interesting  but not really of much consequence as I intend configuring the OMEGA core from a PC anyway. It does mean that the control board in my 5600 would be useable if I decided to keep it with the core for some reason. Had the controller board been setup to window the display to 120 x 120 pixels I could not have reprogrammed the MSA microcontroller as I have no access to their control board configuration software.

Some manufacturers decide to ‘upgrade’ some models specs as the product line ages in order to maintain a competitive specification at a certain price point. The 5600 was originally a ‘budget’ entry level camera for fire brigade use with the 5200 being the next model up in specification. 5200 better than 5600 .... I know.... illogical, but that is the ident they used for the budget model all the same. Maybe it was supposed to make buyers of the 5600 feel better about there decision to ‘go budget’  ;D

Fraser
« Last Edit: April 10, 2019, 10:38:36 pm by Fraser »
 

Offline oddbondboris

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Re: FLIR Micron A10 160 x 120 hiding in ‘disguise’ bought for $100 :)
« Reply #22 on: April 11, 2019, 07:31:23 pm »
nice, i always saw these come up (never that cheap but cheap enough) and wondered what core was in them and how impossible to extract the core was.
nice to see the core is literally a standard core in a standard form factor relatively divorced from the rest of the camera physically instead of the crazy level of integration found on isg cameras
 

Online Fraser

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Re: FLIR Micron A10 160 x 120 hiding in ‘disguise’ bought for $100 :)
« Reply #23 on: April 11, 2019, 07:38:21 pm »
The only ‘modification’ to the omega core is the addition of two machined aluminium plates to the bottom and side of the camera casing. There is no thermal paste between the case and the metal additions so they do not appear to be heat sinks.

The two metal plates are secured with small screws and are simple to remove. You then have a standard Omega core.

Fraser
 

Online Vipitis

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Online Fraser

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Re: FLIR Micron A10 160 x 120 hiding in ‘disguise’ bought for $100 :)
« Reply #25 on: April 11, 2019, 07:59:54 pm »
Hi Vipitis,

No, afraid not. The FLIR A20 and A40 are in another class above that of the OMEGA/A10. They share much with the Pxx and Sxx series industrial camera designs but are in a static deployment format. Excellent quality industrial cameras but also quite expensive on the used market. I have an A40 and it is a lovely bit of kit :)

Fraser
 

Offline rhb

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Re: FLIR Micron A10 160 x 120 hiding in ‘disguise’ bought for $100 :)
« Reply #26 on: April 11, 2019, 08:21:26 pm »
So what's in the 5000 model?  It's also got an Indigo sticker.  A good bit more than $100, but there are several on eBay.  I've got an HT-18 which is all I need for now. 

But for $100 I'd bite just for the toy.  I'd like to have a thermal imaging microscope for PCB thermal analysis.  I took the HT-18 apart to study how it was constructed to see what could be done to reduce the parallax error at close range.
 

Online Fraser

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Re: FLIR Micron A10 160 x 120 hiding in ‘disguise’ bought for $100 :)
« Reply #27 on: April 11, 2019, 08:39:25 pm »
rhb,

Please clarify, which model camera ? The 5000 series comprises 5200, 5200HD2, 5600 and 5800.
The cameras have “Evolution 5000” on their casings and not the specific model number.
They all contain the OMEGA core but the 160 or 320 version, depending upon the camera resolution.

Fraser
« Last Edit: April 11, 2019, 09:02:43 pm by Fraser »
 

Offline rhb

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Re: FLIR Micron A10 160 x 120 hiding in ‘disguise’ bought for $100 :)
« Reply #28 on: April 12, 2019, 12:51:30 am »
For example this:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/MSA-Evolution-5000-for-PARTS-AND-REPAIR/292798861878?epid=0&hash=item442c2c1236:g:f8EAAOSwl5Jb2zIi

What are the differences among the versions and how does one identify them?  I rather suspect a lot of others are interested.  Even more so than I.
 

Offline rhb

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Re: FLIR Micron A10 160 x 120 hiding in ‘disguise’ bought for $100 :)
« Reply #29 on: April 12, 2019, 01:24:30 am »
BTW In regard to ITAR,  A USA or USMC colonel was sentenced to federal prison for sending  reflex optical sights for an AR-15 to three Japanese officers he met in Iraq or Afghanistan during a deployment.  He bought them in the US at a gun store upon returning home and shipped them to Japan without getting a permit.

Idiotic? Yes.  But that's the way it works. SARCO, a major class 3 licensed parts dealer will not ship magazines for *anything* out of the US.  Regulatory compliance costs too much.  And if you get it wrong, the consequences are *very* severe.
 

Online Fraser

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Re: FLIR Micron A10 160 x 120 hiding in ‘disguise’ bought for $100 :)
« Reply #30 on: April 12, 2019, 08:59:37 am »
rhb,

The whole series of Evolution 5000 cameras are detailed here......

http://s7d9.scene7.com/is/content/minesafetyappliances/Evolution%20Thermal%20Imaging%20Camera%20Bulletin%20-%20EN

The camera you referenced in the auction is the Evolution 5600.

The Standard 5200 is all black, the entry level 5600 is back and grey whilst the high resolution 320 x 240 pixel u its are either all black (5200HD2) or black and and green (5800). They all contain an Indigo Omega 160 x 120 Pixel or 320 x 240 pixel core (depending up the required resolution).

The most common ex fire service cameras found on eBay are the 5200 and 5600. The higher resolution 5200HD2 is far less common but does appear now and again, but at high prices.

Just Google “MSA 5000” for more information.

Hope this helps

Fraser
« Last Edit: April 12, 2019, 09:08:14 am by Fraser »
 

Online Fraser

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Re: FLIR Micron A10 160 x 120 hiding in ‘disguise’ bought for $100 :)
« Reply #31 on: April 12, 2019, 09:15:18 am »
In case you are interested, that 5600 camera you referenced is suffering from a common issue with these units. The ‘armoured’ LCD screen protection plastics are a laminated assembly and they delaminate with age and high temperatures over time. Mine was looking very tired indeed. It would be possible to replace the plate or may be possible to peel off the delaminated thin layer and clean away the adhesive to enable use of the thicker polycarbonate (?) part of the screen protector. The LCD is unaffected by this delamination as it is a separate assembly that sits behind the screen protection.

Fraser
« Last Edit: April 12, 2019, 09:40:59 am by Fraser »
 

Online Fraser

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Re: FLIR Micron A10 160 x 120 hiding in ‘disguise’ bought for $100 :)
« Reply #32 on: April 12, 2019, 09:52:29 am »
The 160 x 120 pixel 5200 and 320 x 240 pixel 5200HD2 can be hard to differentiate.

http://www.rockymountainphoenix.com/equipment/rescue/evolution-5200-tic.html

Fraser
 

Online Fraser

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Re: FLIR Micron A10 160 x 120 hiding in ‘disguise’ bought for $100 :)
« Reply #33 on: April 12, 2019, 10:11:27 am »
Some recent eBay.com auctions for MSA 5000 cameras at decent prices. Do not overpay on these, especially if untested !

https://www.ebay.com/itm/MSA-Evolution-5000-Thermal-Imaging-Camera-TIC-System-5200-Series-/192866604938?hash=item2ce7bed78a%3Ag%3AA3YAAOSw4S1clPlN&nma=true&si=gJx6nd1uQQZFvsu9EsCt%252FR2zWvA%253D&orig_cvip=true&nordt=true&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2557


https://www.ebay.com/itm/Msa-5000-Series-Thermal-Imaging-Camera-TIC-Missing-Battery-Door-Evolution-5600-/123699405614?epid=1870295636&hash=item1ccd0f232e%3Ag%3AjwsAAOSwDcJckTdW&nma=true&si=gJx6nd1uQQZFvsu9EsCt%252FR2zWvA%253D&orig_cvip=true&nordt=true&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2557


https://www.ebay.com/itm/MSA-Evolution-5000-Thermal-Imaging-Camera/223372682383?hash=item34020ca48f:g:3jMAAOSwZntcW2mK


https://www.ebay.com/itm/MSA-Evolution-5000-Thermal-Imaging-Camera-TIC-System-5200-Series-/192786063751?epid=1133731970&hash=item2ce2f1e187%3Ag%3ADuUAAOSwohVcNsmC&nma=true&si=gJx6nd1uQQZFvsu9EsCt%252FR2zWvA%253D&orig_cvip=true&nordt=true&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2557


https://www.ebay.com/itm/MSA-Evolution-5000-Thermal-Imaging-Camera-TIC-System-5000-Series-/202579607293?hash=item2f2aaf7efd%3Ag%3ARiwAAOSwwDJcT84m&nma=true&si=gJx6nd1uQQZFvsu9EsCt%252FR2zWvA%253D&orig_cvip=true&nordt=true&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2557


https://www.ebay.com/itm/Msa-5000-Series-Thermal-Imaging-Camera-TIC-With-Battery-amp-Charger-/273670923607?hash=item3fb80ee557%3Ag%3Ayz0AAOSwckVcSdHp&nma=true&si=gJx6nd1uQQZFvsu9EsCt%252FR2zWvA%253D&orig_cvip=true&nordt=true&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2557


https://www.ebay.com/itm/MSA-Evolution-5000-Thermal-Imaging-Camera-TIC-System-5000-Series-/202568025935?hash=item2f29fec74f%3Ag%3AxXcAAOSwmMNcP3yS&nma=true&si=gJx6nd1uQQZFvsu9EsCt%252FR2zWvA%253D&orig_cvip=true&nordt=true&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2557


https://www.ebay.com/itm/MSA-Evolution-5000-Thermal-Imaging-Camera-TIC-System-5000-Series-/202569639199?hash=item2f2a17651f%3Ag%3AHvwAAOSw8cFcQdSB&nma=true&si=gJx6nd1uQQZFvsu9EsCt%252FR2zWvA%253D&orig_cvip=true&nordt=true&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2557


https://www.ebay.com/itm/MSA-Evolution-5000-Thermal-Imaging-Camera-TIC-System-5000-Series-/192793120073?hash=item2ce35d8d49%3Ag%3AGvUAAOSwfBlcP3uu&nma=true&si=gJx6nd1uQQZFvsu9EsCt%252FR2zWvA%253D&orig_cvip=true&nordt=true&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2557


https://www.ebay.com/itm/MSA-Evolution-5000-Thermal-Imaging-Camera-TIC-System-5000-Series-/202559575525?hash=item2f297dd5e5%3Ag%3AmD0AAOSwqkRcNscP&nma=true&si=gJx6nd1uQQZFvsu9EsCt%252FR2zWvA%253D&orig_cvip=true&nordt=true&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2557


As you can see, these cameras are not rare at good prices ! Remember that I am not interested in the cameras outside condition, I would be looking to harvest the Omega Core, the rest is just scrap. If you want a nice condition MSA 5200 you will have to do some searching to find one that has had light use, preferably not in the fire service, and expect to pay around $700 including battery and charger.

Ex fire service cameras are heavily used and normally pretty heavily marked by the time they are decommissioned. The reason why bunches of these cameras appear on eBay is simple, Fire brigades either upgrade to newer technology or dispose of cameras that have failed and can no longer be supported by the OEM. It is not unusual to see regional auction houses in the USA selling 50 cameras in a lot for very little money. eBay recycling companies buy them and either dump them on eBay in multiple auctions or drip feed them into the market to maintain the market value.

I have seen excellent thermal cameras sold as part of a 50 unit lot at a regional State auction that in real terms cost the buyer less than $30 each !

Now a working Indigo OMEGA for $30 is sweet indeed. But remember, you would have to buy 50 to get that deal and then, presumably, sell the excess on eBay, like other dealers. If you are really lucky you might find the odd 320 x 240 pixel OMEGA amongst the cameras in the lot  ;)  Sadly such auctions are only available to our friends in the USA. There are auctions and surplus dealers for fire equipment in the UK but prices can be higher.  I know a UK technology recycler who was offered a package of 20 ARGUS 4 cameras at only £20 each ! That is an amazing camera that is current issue in many fire brigades ! They may have been the 160 model as opposed to the 320, but still an amazing deal !

Fraser
« Last Edit: April 12, 2019, 01:27:30 pm by Fraser »
 

Offline rhb

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Re: FLIR Micron A10 160 x 120 hiding in ‘disguise’ bought for $100 :)
« Reply #34 on: April 12, 2019, 11:03:22 pm »
Many thanks for the detailed explanation.  I'd seen your name mentioned many times, but never read any of your posts as I'm only mildly interested in thermal imaging.   I can see now why the high praise.
 

Online Fraser

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Re: FLIR Micron A10 160 x 120 hiding in ‘disguise’ bought for $100 :)
« Reply #35 on: April 13, 2019, 09:15:52 am »
Just go back through my past posts and you will see that I help where able and I am relatively open about what I know of the technology. I learnt about thermal imaging and thermal camera technology through professional use, collecting, maintenance and repair of thermal cameras from all era’s. I received invaluable help and guidance from fellow knowledgeable forum members and even the designers of such technology  :-+ I am very grateful to all who have helped me to better understand this technology, especially Bill W  :)

Fraser

 

Offline rhb

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Re: FLIR Micron A10 160 x 120 hiding in ‘disguise’ bought for $100 :)
« Reply #36 on: April 13, 2019, 09:49:10 pm »
I bought a copy of "Infrared Thermal Imaging" by Vollmer and Mollmann.  I've not yet read enough to know if it is any good.  If you have any other recommendations I'd be grateful.  My general rule is to get 2-3 references on a topic.  There is too much for any one text to cover it all.  The book would get too thick.  768 pages is quite enough.  A lot of times I just don"'t get it until I read the 2nd or 3rd explanation.
 

Online Fraser

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Re: FLIR Micron A10 160 x 120 hiding in ‘disguise’ bought for $100 :)
« Reply #37 on: April 13, 2019, 10:03:24 pm »
I made a list of free books and guides a while back.

https://www.eevblog.com/forum/thermal-imaging/free-thermography-and-camera-use-guides-books-the-list-)/msg1220186/#msg1220186

I will look at the reference books I have and see which I can recommend but Infrared Thermal Imaging by Vollmer and Mollman is an excellent reference.

Fraser
« Last Edit: April 13, 2019, 10:13:31 pm by Fraser »
 

Offline rhb

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Re: FLIR Micron A10 160 x 120 hiding in ‘disguise’ bought for $100 :)
« Reply #38 on: April 13, 2019, 10:30:23 pm »
FWIW I have a 5000+ volume personal technical library.  I just recycled about 500 lbs of old journals to make more room for books.  I'm very much interested in upper graduate level texts that are thorough and well written and either include or cite references to the detailed mathematical physics.

I bought "Electromagnetic Compatibility Engineering" by Henry Ott.  After about 50 pages I gave up trying to read it.  The man could not explain a hammer.  Rather sad as the material covered is excellent, but it is so hard to read that it's only usable as a reference.  It's not usable for a quick survey of the topic.

One paragraph appeared to be completely incorrect.  But after discussing it with a friend via email over the course of a day it became apparent that it was because he used the language of DC charges for an AC circuit.
 

Offline jumpy9734

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Re: FLIR Micron A10 160 x 120 hiding in ‘disguise’ bought for $100 :)
« Reply #39 on: April 16, 2019, 01:55:59 pm »
I'm interested in buying a MSA Evolution 5200 (160x120, 30hz).Seller has the option to ship from US to Romania (EU), is there anything i should worry about regarding the ITAR stuff/legal aspects? I wouldn't want to get in any sort of trouble, and i'm sure you have greater knowledge on these kinds of matter.  :)

Thank you.
« Last Edit: April 16, 2019, 01:59:44 pm by jumpy9734 »
 

Online Fraser

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Re: FLIR Micron A10 160 x 120 hiding in ‘disguise’ bought for $100 :)
« Reply #40 on: April 16, 2019, 02:15:59 pm »
ITAR, BIS and Wassenaar are all applicable to the shipper and not the recipient but I do have personal experience of this specific case that may help.

My MSA5600 was being exported from the USA and entered US. Customs as it departed the USA. It did not reappear for overseas shipping for 20 days ! The Customs declaration stated “thermal camera” and I believe it was intercepted by US customs for export compliance reasons. It was likely checked with MSA or other reference sources and then released. US Customs appear to have considered the camera OK for export. The sender was not contacted by US Customs or USPS about the parcel contents. When the parcel arrived in the UK, complete with its honest customs declaration and true price paid, it was intercepted by UK customs and kept by them for 7 days ! They then released it, along with a fee request for the VAT due on the consignment.

When I picked up the box it was covered in US Customs and UK Customs tape. The Post master commented, saying it appeared to have attracted a lot of interest en route and “had quite a complex journey”.

So basically, my MSA 5600 160 x 120 pixel camera got inspected by both US and UK customs and did get released to me in the end. The customs declaration should be accurate and honest, anything else is risky and can lead to confiscation. I recommend sellers detail thermal cameras as “Pyrometer” in order to avoid theft in transit. Thermal cameras are often high value items and there are definitely thieves active in some countries postal systems and they read the Customs Declaration. I had a £600 HF receiver stolen out of the USPS US Customs Bond Warehouse because I was too detailed in my Customs Declaration :( It attracted a thief.

Fraser
« Last Edit: April 16, 2019, 02:19:30 pm by Fraser »
 
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Offline jumpy9734

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Re: FLIR Micron A10 160 x 120 hiding in ‘disguise’ bought for $100 :)
« Reply #41 on: April 16, 2019, 02:20:29 pm »
So from what i understand, worst-case scenario it could be stolen/confiscated.I'm being tempted to take that risk  ;)
Again, thanks for the helpful insight  :-+
« Last Edit: April 16, 2019, 02:23:17 pm by jumpy9734 »
 

Online Fraser

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Re: FLIR Micron A10 160 x 120 hiding in ‘disguise’ bought for $100 :)
« Reply #42 on: April 16, 2019, 02:27:37 pm »
In my personal opinion you would be very unlucky to suffer either if you have the unit declared as an “MSA5200” or “MSA5200 Pyrometer”. You can explain to the sender the absence of the words  “thermal camera” as theft avoidance. They may insist on calling it a MSA5200 Camera, which is also accurate. Ultimately the sender takes responsibility for what is written on the customs declaration and it is totally up to them what they describe the item as and its true value. Do not ever try to ‘bully’ a sender into making a false customs declaration. That would be very unfair.

Fraser
« Last Edit: April 16, 2019, 02:57:50 pm by Fraser »
 

Offline Kiwiinusa

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Re: FLIR Micron A10 160 x 120 hiding in ‘disguise’ bought for $100 :)
« Reply #43 on: April 27, 2019, 11:02:05 pm »
Hi. Love the forum. Just got a dead indigo a10 camera for $100 (ebay). Had been reverse polaritied, blew the fuse and protection diode. Repaired and can see digital data but no rs170. Have been trying to connect using Tau2 software, rs232, 57200 bps.
I can see gui communications and camera  responding but no connection is created..
Can not find control software for a10 anywhere on the web.
Does anyone have software that would give me register access to the a10 configuration so I can turn on the rs170 output?
Many thanks john
 

Online Fraser

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Re: FLIR Micron A10 160 x 120 hiding in ‘disguise’ bought for $100 :)
« Reply #44 on: April 27, 2019, 11:12:25 pm »
I do not think the TAU GUI recognises an A10. I may be wrong though.

You need to find the Indigo Photon GUI as that should work with the A10. The Photon GUI is downloadable from the archived pages of Indigo on the Wayback machine.

Kind Regards

Fraser
 

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Re: FLIR Micron A10 160 x 120 hiding in ‘disguise’ bought for $100 :)
« Reply #45 on: April 27, 2019, 11:19:07 pm »
Hmmmm, looks like you need the Omega specific GUI as the available Photon version needs later camera firmware than your Micron will have loaded.

In case if interest, here is an Omega/Micron FAQ....

http://web.archive.org/web/20061103164702/http://www.corebyindigo.com/service/FAQ_Micron.html

I will see what I can come up with on the Omega GUI front as I cannot access my software archives at the moment.

Fraser
 

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Re: FLIR Micron A10 160 x 120 hiding in ‘disguise’ bought for $100 :)
« Reply #46 on: April 27, 2019, 11:24:53 pm »
OK, I have found the Indigo Omega/A10 GUI for you.

It is at the bottom of this support page.......

http://www.flir.tw/cores/display/?id=53130

Make sure your communications are +-5V and the correct mark space polarity !

Enjoy  :-+

Fraser
 

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Offline triplex

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Great info, thank you very much.
I've seen a lot MSA evolution 4000 firefighter cameras on ebay, is the core inside them valuable/fun to play with too?
 

Online Fraser

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Triplex,

See this thread.

https://www.eevblog.com/forum/thermal-imaging/%28repair%29-help-needed-msa-evolution-4000/

The MSA 4000 contains the BAE SCC205 core. It is an ‘open frame’ rather than cased core. Still good though and very well built. I have no connection or control data  for the SCC205 though so it’s current configuration as a fire fighting camera core may not be reconfigurable.

Fraser
 
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Offline KRYDER

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Re: FLIR Micron A10 160 x 120 hiding in ‘disguise’ bought for $100 :)
« Reply #50 on: October 28, 2019, 11:52:14 pm »
Hello,
First let me thank you for this post. I operate an exploration, research and recovery group and have used an A-10 Micro since 2007. and just a few weeks ago ours failed. And since we are self funded out of pocket I didn't think I would ever be able to replace it. However, after I read your blog here I ordered a used MSA 5200HD for quite a bit more than $100. and after I looked inside, it doesn't have an A-10 core? I can return it no problem, but I'm confused as to why it didn't have an A-10 core and curious how to make sure I get one next time.

The 5200HD I bought contained a core that was aluminum, short and seemed to be fully integrated into the PC board. Looks to be a Photon ??? Is that better than a A-10?


I found an MSA Evolution 5000 - Will this have the A-10 Micro core?

Also, the core itself, will it put out full resolution out of the AV output without any setup?

I appreciate your experience with Thermal imagery devices and hope to be able to get your advice as well.

Thanks,

Robert Kryder
Kryder Exploration

« Last Edit: October 29, 2019, 12:39:32 am by KRYDER »
 

Online Fraser

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Re: FLIR Micron A10 160 x 120 hiding in ‘disguise’ bought for $100 :)
« Reply #51 on: October 29, 2019, 10:35:23 am »
Hi Robert,

Did the 5200HD have the Indigo label on its handle ?

I was not aware of an ‘open chassis’ core being used in that model. It must have been a change dictated by non-availability of the 320 x 240 pixel core at the time of production. Did you take any pictures of the core ?

All ‘standard’ 160 x 120 or 120 x 120 pixel 5000 series cameras contain an Indigo Omega / A10 core. The higher resolution HD model that you purchased clearly did not use the OMEGA 320 x 240 pixel core for reasons that are unknown to me.

If you just want a 160 x 120 pixel Omega, look for any of the 5000 series cameras with that resolution. I have detailed the different models earlier in this thread.

Fraser
 
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Offline KRYDER

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Re: FLIR Micron A10 160 x 120 hiding in ‘disguise’ bought for $100 :)
« Reply #52 on: October 30, 2019, 09:43:12 pm »
I didn't take a picture but this is the closest I could find. I believe it's a "Photon". (it has a little different lens)

I have a few questions if you don't mind:

Are you very familiar with these and how the Photon would compare to the A-10?

My A-10 seemed to have great resolution- Does the A-10 come with higher res than 160x120?

Am I correct to assume that the photon is twice the resolution of the A-10?

Finally, I'm wondering if the photon is "power in-video out" so I could connect power and get a video signal direct from the camera. And what it would take to connect to it and set it up for stand alone use.

Thanks for your help,

Rob
 

Online Fraser

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Re: FLIR Micron A10 160 x 120 hiding in ‘disguise’ bought for $100 :)
« Reply #53 on: October 30, 2019, 10:14:31 pm »
Core Chronology:

First there was the Indigo Alpha
Then there was the Indigo Omega (FLIR A10)
Followed by the FLIR Photon(using Indigo expertise)
Then the TAU
Finally the TAU2

Performance improved with each successive core name.

The Indigo Omega (aka FLIR Micron A10) came in 160 x 120 and 320 x 240 pixel variants.
The Photon was a direct development of the omega core and was also available in 160 x 120 and 320 x 240 pixel variants. The Photon would normally provide a slightly lower noise image than the Omega due to improved microbolometer noise processing algorithms. The TAU cores are even better.

All of these cores can be configured in fully automatic mode with “power in - video out”. The configuration GUI is available from FLIR but you may need to construct a USB to UART interface to connect to the camera. See my TAU repair post in this Thermal forum for details of the interface. The full installation manual is also available from FLIR free of charge. Many of us have both this and the GUI.

Hope this helps

Fraser
« Last Edit: October 30, 2019, 10:37:35 pm by Fraser »
 
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Offline KRYDER

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Re: FLIR Micron A10 160 x 120 hiding in ‘disguise’ bought for $100 :)
« Reply #54 on: October 30, 2019, 11:21:57 pm »
I cannot thank you enough. Sometimes the simplest information can be the most elusive and most helpful. I/we appreciate your expertise!

I've been researching the Photon and it seems I should be able to use it for our needs.
So basically it will be the same resolution as our 320x240 A10 but with more advanced circuitry and software. Its a little larger and heavier...
Yes I will have to build everything else from scratch...

To start, I assume I would need to build or obtain what I've seen called a "break-out connector" to put power in and get raw video out. That would be all we need at this time... **Unless**  it requires something else and or using the GUI to set it up to send NTSC video or other req etc...?

Do you have a posting showing how to build a simple break-out connector for the photon?

So from your above I assume the Photon and Tau have the same connector and pin configuration?





 
 

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Re: FLIR Micron A10 160 x 120 hiding in ‘disguise’ bought for $100 :)
« Reply #55 on: October 30, 2019, 11:24:46 pm »
"All of these cores can be configured in fully automatic mode with “power in - video out”"

By configured, do you mean by wiring it directly or that it must be configured through a GUI first?
 

Online Fraser

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Re: FLIR Micron A10 160 x 120 hiding in ‘disguise’ bought for $100 :)
« Reply #56 on: October 30, 2019, 11:49:06 pm »
That depends upon the original deployment of the core. In the case of a core that is used in a fire fighting camera, it is common for the core to be factory configured for fully automatic mode and provides video output upon power being applied to it. There is often a separate controller board in the camera that deals with the cameras power management, display and sometimes, special video overlays. That board is usually designed and provided by the camera manufacturer and not the core manufacturer.

The GUI is used to setup the operating state of the core at startup. This can be such things as electronic zoom level, image orientation (flipped vertical, flipped horizontal or just inverted), and things like on screen graphics, measurement and colour palette. Once the configuration is set and saved, the camera core remembers it and applies the settings on every start. The configuration data is held in non volatile memory on the core. That is to say, the core does not need an external controller board or a PC to start and operate. Just like your A10.

In a 5200HD camera the core will be configured to start up in fully automatic monochrome mode as soon as power is applied.

Fraser
« Last Edit: October 30, 2019, 11:55:16 pm by Fraser »
 

Online Fraser

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Re: FLIR Micron A10 160 x 120 hiding in ‘disguise’ bought for $100 :)
« Reply #57 on: October 31, 2019, 12:05:26 am »
A side note,

The imaging cores provide a composite video output on their high density I/O connector and often also on a coaxial connector or contacts on the case exterior (for Video transmitter or DVR use). The quality of the image produced on a decent external monitor is often far superior to that seen on a fire fighting cameras internal monitor. Display technology has moved on since these older cameras were built.

Fraser
 

Offline KRYDER

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Re: FLIR Micron A10 160 x 120 hiding in ‘disguise’ bought for $100 :)
« Reply #58 on: October 31, 2019, 03:03:43 am »
And yes per your question above... it did have the indigo logo on the handle. I'll attach a pic...
 

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Re: FLIR Micron A10 160 x 120 hiding in ‘disguise’ bought for $100 :)
« Reply #59 on: October 31, 2019, 03:14:33 am »
Excuse my lack of knowledge of terms.
I'm not sure what this is: "high density I/O connector"

The case on these units has a sm coaxial video out.... However I'm curious, does this feed come from the separate controller board or the camera itself?

Also I am still curious as to how to assemble a simple "break-out" adapter for "power in - video out" use.  I've included a picture of one but it doesn't indicate how to build one or what parts to acquire.

Thanks again!
 

Offline Cat

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Re: FLIR Micron A10 160 x 120 hiding in ‘disguise’ bought for $100 :)
« Reply #60 on: June 29, 2020, 11:19:41 pm »
Here is the teardown of a FLIR Micron A10 core. It's more or less the same what can be seen in the already posted teardown but in pictures  ;)
An interesting tear-down video of an OMEGA core that was being used in a CCTV camera housing.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=3&v=D0OlWmr5R10

Unfortunately the core does not work :-BROKE
Current consumption seems OK (~185mA @ 5V) but there is no FFC event and the video out has 3,2V DC instead of the RS-170 video signal.
RS-232 lines stay at 0V but this seems to be the auto shutdown feature of the MAX3221.
Voltage regulators seem to work, on the power board there are 5 switch mode regulators:
LT1308A (SEPIC converter, 6,43V out)
2x LTC1877 (marking LTLU, buck converter, 1,50V and 1,78V out)
LT1613 (marking LTED, boost converter, 1,78V in, 3,38V out)
LT1617 (marking LTKA, inverting converter, -17,5V out)

Nothing gets unusually warm or hot, the DSP and the LT1498 (OPA on the ADC board) get a bit warm and the FPGA stays cool.

Interesting thing is the photoelectric sensor (IR LED + phototransistor in one "black" 4-pin package on the connector board in the corner near the green bodge wire). With a NIR-Cam it can be seen lighting up and it seems like the current consumption is a bit higher when there is no reflector while the power is supplied (202...198mA @ 5V without reflector, 192...178mA with reflector).

If anyone has a hint what could be wrong, let me know  ;D
Unfortunately there is another report of a dead A10:
I operate an exploration, research and recovery group and have used an A-10 Micro since 2007. and just a few weeks ago ours failed.

I'd try to get a serial connection, does anyone have a copy of the software mentioned here?
OK, I have found the Indigo Omega/A10 GUI for you.
It is at the bottom of this support page.......
http://www.flir.tw/cores/display/?id=53130
Maybe some settings are wrong but I doubt the imager can be completely halted by software.

regards
Cat
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Offline Cat

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Re: FLIR Micron A10 160 x 120 hiding in ‘disguise’ bought for $100 :)
« Reply #61 on: June 30, 2020, 12:56:37 am »
Seems like a few pictures didn't upload with the previous post...
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