Author Topic: Lightweight device to read and record from Seek Thermal Camera?  (Read 881 times)

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Offline Tamiore

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Introduction: I have Seek Thermal Pro (amazing for it's price) and dji mini 2 drone. I want to try attaching the former to the latter.
Mini 2 can carry around 100 grams without too much of an issue (less is better, of course). Seek Thermal Pro by itself weights around 16 grams, so the drone should lift the camera by itself with no problems whatsoever. However, Seek camera dongle will not work without a smartphone (obviously).

Now, one way to go about it would be to buy the cheapest lightest android smartphone available (those exist for under 100$ and under 100 grams) and just strip it of everything other than the bare minimum components required to run the camera app. Then strap the resulting abomination to the drone and record away.
To clarify: an this point I don't expect and kind of real-time video feed transmission to the ground. Just a setup that would continuously record images in flight and allow you to view said images after landing.   


My question is, can someone think of a more elegant solution? Would it be plausible to run software required to record data from the Seek camera on something lighter than a (stripped-down) smartphone?
Speaking a bit broader — is there some other thermal camera (with comparable image quality and about as expensive as seek thermal pro) that would work notably better for this kind of setup? Perhaps even something easily compatible with lightweight wireless transmission module for real-time video feed to the ground?

 

Offline ArsenioDev

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Re: Lightweight device to read and record from Seek Thermal Camera?
« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2022, 07:54:02 pm »
Sigh
Unfortunately due to %current events% you are unlikely to find help.
 

Offline Tamiore

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Re: Lightweight device to read and record from Seek Thermal Camera?
« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2022, 09:16:07 pm »
Sigh
Unfortunately due to %current events% you are unlikely to find help.
Yea, looks like I picked the wrong year to quit smoking add thermal to a drone.
On a more serious note, the setup I'm trying to achieve is already widely available in much better quality for civilian purchase. The only different here is I'm trying to make it happen in a very crude way on a very limited budget.

 

Offline Vipitis

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Re: Lightweight device to read and record from Seek Thermal Camera?
« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2022, 10:21:08 am »
if you were to have a core with analog out, you can use any of the cheap and light DVRs that are already used for drones. I don't think there is such a miniature core available with the Seek QVGA sensor and analog out but I might be wrong.

There might be some project around where the seek phone dongles work with a single board computer, but I don't know that off the top of my head.
 

Offline Tamiore

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Re: Lightweight device to read and record from Seek Thermal Camera?
« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2022, 10:53:46 am »
if you were to have a core with analog out, you can use any of the cheap and light DVRs that are already used for drones. I don't think there is such a miniature core available with the Seek QVGA sensor and analog out but I might be wrong.
From my current understanding, the actual 320×240 imaging core exists in at least 3 products: dongles with usb-c and lighting ports and a stand-alone "Reveal" device (that's smartphone-independent).
It does make me wonder, in this context, what exactly is "Reveal" running as the software? Some simplified android build, or something else entirely? And, perhaps more to the point, if whatever "Reveal" uses for software can be extracted and ported to a different platform?
« Last Edit: May 17, 2022, 11:07:23 am by Tamiore »
 

Offline tonykids

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Re: Lightweight device to read and record from Seek Thermal Camera?
« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2022, 02:56:29 pm »
You can find the "protocol"(not official) of seek thermal USB some where on github
but you can not get the accuracy temperature.
connect it to raspberry pi zero or other board that running linux and record the raw data on sdcard
 

Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: Lightweight device to read and record from Seek Thermal Camera?
« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2022, 04:12:30 pm »
if you were to have a core with analog out, you can use any of the cheap and light DVRs that are already used for drones. I don't think there is such a miniature core available with the Seek QVGA sensor and analog out but I might be wrong.
From my current understanding, the actual 320×240 imaging core exists in at least 3 products: dongles with usb-c and lighting ports and a stand-alone "Reveal" device (that's smartphone-independent).
It does make me wonder, in this context, what exactly is "Reveal" running as the software? Some simplified android build, or something else entirely? And, perhaps more to the point, if whatever "Reveal" uses for software can be extracted and ported to a different platform?
reveal uses a Cortex A8, which seems overkill. No idea what, if any, software platform it runs on.
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Offline Tamiore

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Re: Lightweight device to read and record from Seek Thermal Camera?
« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2022, 08:44:47 pm »
connect it to raspberry pi zero or other board that running linux and record the raw data on sdcard
Sounds like an interesting option. The funny thing, however, is that — after checking the actual prices for raspberry pi zero — they are somewhat more expensive than the cheapest lightest android phones. And not even that much lighter, it seems, after you add the battery weight in. I guess I'll give those smartphones a try first...
 

Offline Tamiore

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Re: Lightweight device to read and record from Seek Thermal Camera?
« Reply #8 on: May 18, 2022, 06:36:46 pm »
Ok, so the plot thickens: I went to the nearby electronics store to try out the lightest android phone with the seek pro dongle. (Before buying anything, that is.)
Tried out the one shown in the picture: DEXP A440
In theory it runs Android 11 Go.
In practice it refused to install seek thermal app, siting that "this device is not supported". (Without any explanation as to why this model was not supported.)

And no one in the store could come up with good way to know beforehand which, if any, of the small androids phones WILL support the device.

Trying out these github repo's next, I guess.  :-//
 

Offline Tamiore

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Re: Lightweight device to read and record from Seek Thermal Camera?
« Reply #9 on: May 21, 2022, 11:41:28 pm »
In the meantime, I've asked around and got a fairly old galaxy-something smartphone (that was no longer in use) for free.

Guess what? You can strip it down to nothing but the motherboard and it still works! Even after you disconnect the display it keeps recording from the Seek camera.
And the motherboard itself is just 14 grams.

Trouble is, the stock battery is whopping 42-ish grams. Not the end of the world, I guess, but the Seek camera and the motherboard combined weight around 30 grams, so 42 grams for battery seems like an overkill. So I'm off to hunt for a smaller battery.
 
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