Author Topic: Low cost Thermal Imaging Camera advise  (Read 979 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline sampler1

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 55
  • Country: ca
Low cost Thermal Imaging Camera advise
« on: June 04, 2021, 04:42:58 pm »
Hi,
I am totally new to Thermal Imaging Camera's and know little. I am looking to buy my 1st Thermal Imaging Camera. It will not be something I use a lot so I am trying to be budget conscious about this.
I really need some advise on what to buy for electronic repair. Any "constructive" advisee would be appreciated

Regards to the forum.
cheers
“Electronic devices are powered by white smoke. When smoke goes out, device is dead.”
 

Offline svgurus

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 58
  • Country: ru
Re: Low cost Thermal Imaging Camera advise
« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2021, 10:00:05 pm »
Hi, sampler1) if you're really tight on budget try seek thermal compact xr/pro with extension cord, in thread "ZnSe lenses on Ebay" people discuss examples of macro lenses for them, might be useful for repairs) I never used lwir camera for electronics repairs and dont quite get how to choose a single macro lens knowing its focal length but believe you will figure out) making lens holder is not always tricky, some folks made them from caps of tiny bottles that are sold in drug stores
seek is noisy but sees heated objects well and it can focus quite close, with bigger budget i'd go for flir e4/40, thermal expert q1 or xtherm  t3s/hti ht-301, which one is cheaper used in your country)
 

Offline Ultrapurple

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1006
  • Country: gb
  • Just zis guy, you know?
    • Therm-App Users on Flickr
Re: Low cost Thermal Imaging Camera advise
« Reply #2 on: June 07, 2021, 10:41:48 am »
I generally agree with svgurus.

The earlier Seek cameras weren't terribly good but the more recent ones are much better. There are people here who can advise on specific models better than I can.

Broadly speaking, almost any laser-grade zinc selenide (ZnSe) lens will work well-enough as a macro lens for any of these cameras and enable you to see closer-up, much in the same way you use a hand-held magnifying glass.

Here are a couple of quickly-made images of a Raspberry Pi taken with a Seek (Reveal Pro FF) 320x240 camera without and with a hand-held ZnSe lens. The camera is in the same place for both images. I didn't make any attempt to get maximum magnification, just something to show the difference.

Without the lens the Pi is just a blur. With the lens you can clearly see individual components. The actual field of view you get will depend on the focal length of the camera and the auxiliary lens; it's best to get a camera with adjustable focus if you can (several Seek dongles do this), because you'll be able to get much better-magnified lenses.

Don't worry too much about resolution, other than to suggest that 160x120 would be a practical minimum for use on PCBs. More pixels mean you can get a wider field of view or a more-detailed view of the same area, but in practice any camera will let you home-in on whatever part of a board is getting overly hot; you can then use the close-up lens to see what's going on at component level.

For this sort of application - looking at hot things - you won't need to worry about the camera sensitivity (usually expressed as 'NETD'). Any uncooled LWIR camera will easily see temperature differences of 1°C - and any component that is only 1°C above its neighbours is more than likely what we call in the trade "working OK"...
« Last Edit: June 07, 2021, 10:50:00 am by Ultrapurple »
Rubber bands bridge the gap between WD40 and duct tape.
 

Offline sampler1

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 55
  • Country: ca
Re: Low cost Thermal Imaging Camera advise
« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2021, 06:08:14 pm »
Thanks guys for the advice its very appreciated!
Cheers :popcorn:
“Electronic devices are powered by white smoke. When smoke goes out, device is dead.”
 

Offline LS_Prototyping

  • Newbie
  • Posts: 1
  • Country: de
Re: Low cost Thermal Imaging Camera advise
« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2021, 10:46:17 am »
Well still not terribly budget friendly imho. I was wondering whether there might be an open-source project about this maybe? Also, how does Seeker compare to Flir?
 

Offline Bill W

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 769
  • Country: gb
    • Fire TICS
Re: Low cost Thermal Imaging Camera advise
« Reply #5 on: June 25, 2021, 11:39:21 am »
Well still not terribly budget friendly imho. I was wondering whether there might be an open-source project about this maybe? Also, how does Seeker compare to Flir?

Depends on how much work you are up for.

In the forum there are thread about:
  • Open source rebuild of cameras from cars
  • Rebuilds based on ex-fire service cameras (see my posts)
  • Various teardown/tearups of cameras

All of those routes will give you a better camera (typically 320x240 30Hz and with focus) for an all-in price around GBP/USD/EUR 200 plus the fun of building it.  Depends what you can get via eBay or the forum as the base sensor core.

Bill


Share me

Digg  Facebook  SlashDot  Delicious  Technorati  Twitter  Google  Yahoo
Smf