Products > Thermal Imaging

Off topic but food for thought ;) + my Gofundme

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I follow the adventures of Alex at NorthridgeFIX on YouTube and he is a firm believer in working efficiently and using thermal imaging to aid him in his repair work.

Today he posted a video about the value of knowledge and his experience of such as a 16 year old approaching a professional business seeking help.

Now let me just say that I do not agree with the actions of the Shop owner in Alex’s story. We are talking about a New York Shop though and New York has a reputation for being quite a hard nosed city. I personally would have either sold 16 year old Alex the correct cable at retail cost and explained why he needed it, or I would have just told him that two cable types existed and let Alex decide whether he wanted to buy the correct cable from me…. That may not have been the best business decision but Alex may have then given me repeat custom without fear of being charge a lot of money. $40 in 1996 was a lot of money !

I regularly share my knowledge on this forum without any expectation of reward. A simple “Thank you” is often enough and I get the satisfaction that I helped another person in their journey through life. There have been occasions when I felt very “Used” or was disappointed to be “Ghosted” as soon as I provided the required information but I have learned to accept such behaviour. I do object to being used like a human Google however as some people seem to use me as a short cut to knowledge and put no effort into research. I no longer provide knowledge to such individuals as you have to be cruel to be kind sometimes and they need to learn to research a topic of interest. If that means reading 300 pages of information on this forum, so be it.

The story that Alex shared did get me thinking though. All my life I have been a “giver” who tried to help others where able. It is just my personality type. I joined the Civil Service to help and serve my Country and there is a saying….to come out of the Civil Service Rich you need to enter it Very Rich !  :-DD  In the UK this can be very true and I know I would have earned far more money working in Industry. I look back and wonder whether I should have “chased the money” instead of taking a job that I considered a Vocation in the Civil Service. Too late now though and at least my life lead to me seeing the world and meeting my Wife. Some things are worth more than money ! Money does help lubricate the journey through life though !

So back to Alex and his business. He repairs equipment that would otherwise end up as scrap but he also reunites people with their data, repairs their beloved laptops etc that have sentimental value and even restores peoples access to their cars through the repair of car key fobs. He is a good man but also a businessman. He charges a fair fee for a repair, no matter how simple or challenging it may be. He also declares some faulty equipments beyond economic repair as they contain rabbit holes of unknown depth and as a business you have to be sensible on time taken to repair something. I still feel sorry for the 16 year Old Alex who entered that computer shop in 1996, asked for help, the help was provided BUT the store owner then demanded significant payment with no warning that such would be due. Not how I would operate ! That said, this experience may have helped Alex in his business life.

So what has all this to do with the thermal imaging forum ? Well I ask that those who request information on this forum consider that they are actually asking someone to share knowledge that has possibly taken many years and much research to gain. They are asking for free sharing of knowledge which, from Alex’s example is quite an ask ! I regularly receive requests to share my knowledge or to help with advice or repair information relating to thermal cameras. I do still help where able but some would say I am foolish as I could charge a fee for much of the knowledge I share. So am I a fool ?  :-//

I have just returned to work in the civil Service after a 6 year absence due to ill health. I work part time on a fee paid basis and I get paid for every minute that I share my knowledge in written or verbal form. I receive payment to compensate me for my time and I am employed because of what I know. I will never be rich in the Civil Service, but at least I know I am doing a good job that aids others. The ideology that “knowledge is power” is frowned upon in my World.

I am fast approaching retirement age so maybe I should have had a better business head on my shoulders when I first started contributing to the creation of what is now the best technical forum on thermal imaging technology in the World. Others, such as Bill_W have helped me to increase my knowledge of thermal imaging technology, without an expectation of reward, so I think this forum should be a free exchange of knowledge within the limitations of legal constraints applicable to this specialist topic. The membership are hopefully aware of how fortunate they are to have this knowledge resource though ! My only warning is…. Do not abuse the kindness and generosity of others and “free” does not mean “at no cost” to the provider of the knowledge or help.

I think Dave Jones is great to have hosted this amazing knowledge repository but I expect he earns money from it as well so it is a symbiotic relationship.


Further to my last message. It would have been interesting to see who would have been willing to pay me for the knowledge that I have shared on this forum. This is the age of people earning income from Forums such as this, YouTube, Instagram and Gofundme pages.
Knowledge does have value, but who outside industry would be willing to actually pay for that I wonder ? Maybe I should start a GoFundme page  ;D

Well I have gone and done it !

If you want to read the story of my challenging last 6 years battling Myalgic encephalomyelitis and make a small donation, please visit my Gofundme page


I read this forum for about a year, you are indeed very active contributor and your info on flir tau/scouts helped me, though i almost tore screen ribbon cable because you didnt mention exact way of opening flir 324 case) There are right-to repair movements and sites like ifixit where disassembly info is placed free of charge, but thermals are a bit less convenient hardware than laptops so your choice of being secretive can be respected) I think you can make a patreon page, there are tiers of support - say, for 2-5$ a month you put some more detailed repair manuals, for 5-10$ a month you can answer some questions about simple equipment, etc. Maybe one day I'll make thermal-imaging themed patreon myself 8)


If I did not mention how to dismantle a particular thermal camera, it was an oversight I can assure you. I only withhold information that could land me in trouble with the authorities. On other topics, I am an open book :) As I said, I believe in sharing knowledge and do not subscribe to “knowledge is power” As an example, many people have contacted me over the years with a specific weird problem with their AGEMA/FLIR PM5xx and PM6xx series cameras. I could have offered to repair them for a hefty fee but instead I told them to change the Dallas/Maxim RTC+RAM battery Powercap at a cost of £9.50 from Farnell and all would correct itself on the next boot sequence ! I will not go into the detail here as to exactly what causes the fault condition but it relates to the camera firmware reverting to a safe factory defaults condition when the RTC memory is corrupted or does not contain the correct data. That is the sort of bread and butter job that repairers love as it takes minutes to do, is easy, yet they can charge a hefty standard repair fee. The fault looks nasty enough to the user for them to not question the fee either ! That is just not me though. I will never be rich, that is for certain.


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