Author Topic: How to choose thermal camera  (Read 1675 times)

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Offline john645

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How to choose thermal camera
« on: July 24, 2021, 08:15:58 pm »
Can someone please suggest a thermal camera for thermal vision inside a car? This would mean traveling at high speed and still be able to see things. Better if it could connect to a small computer like RPI or screen or can you please point me to stuff I can read to understand these cameras better and choose something. Thank you :-+
 

Online svgurus

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Re: How to choose thermal camera
« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2021, 12:54:12 pm »
what size/distance to objects? do you want to look through open window? your car has space under hood to adapt other manufacturers thermal cam? your car/laws allow mounting camera on top and you ride there noone will steal it? looking through open windows is easiest way, others need much more skill/knowledge
 
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Offline Ultrapurple

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Re: How to choose thermal camera
« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2021, 01:52:37 pm »
And don't forget, long wave thermal cameras (the most common kind) cannot see through glass. So you won't be able to have the thermal camera inside the passenger compartment looking out through the windshield (or whatever).



« Last Edit: July 25, 2021, 01:59:14 pm by Ultrapurple »
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Offline john645

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Re: How to choose thermal camera
« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2021, 04:15:53 pm »
what size/distance to objects? do you want to look through open window? your car has space under hood to adapt other manufacturers thermal cam? your car/laws allow mounting camera on top and you ride there noone will steal it? looking through open windows is easiest way, others need much more skill/knowledge

I want to be able to see things like hot red lights and road lamps that have just been turned off but still hot and also small animals/birds on tree branches extending over the road. Would this be easier to do at night or day? Distance would be about 30 meters. It depends on what I can get for around $600 and 30m might be asking for too much. I wanted to have the camera inside behind the windshield but if that wont work then under the hood behind the grill.
 

Offline john645

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Re: How to choose thermal camera
« Reply #4 on: July 25, 2021, 04:18:34 pm »
And don't forget, long wave thermal cameras (the most common kind) cannot see through glass. So you won't be able to have the thermal camera inside the passenger compartment looking out through the windshield (or whatever).





I wanted it inside the car but it can also be put under the hood behind the grill or somewhere not everyone can see
 

Offline edubz

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Re: How to choose thermal camera
« Reply #5 on: July 25, 2021, 10:12:16 pm »
And don't forget, long wave thermal cameras (the most common kind) cannot see through glass. So you won't be able to have the thermal camera inside the passenger compartment looking out through the windshield (or whatever).






what about for bushes and trees? Is there some cameras that can see deeper in the bushes then others?
 

Offline Dark Volter

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Re: How to choose thermal camera
« Reply #6 on: July 25, 2021, 10:33:46 pm »
I can speak on this!

over the years, I've bought the FLIR Pathfindir II for my vehicle (which is still a aftermarket version of the cameras on BMW/Audo/etc ), and looked at the entire field for consideration- which includes Hudway's Thermal camera, and the Nightride.io thermal camera.

I can go over the advantages and downsides - and also have family who've gone for NON-thermal night vision on their cars...TLDR: They Don't compare, and are a far cry from a OEM solution- but one would have to buy a Mercedes for good NIR/SWIR night vision though...you can't get that type of system aftermarket. I strongly suspect true thermal vision (LWIR) is Definitely the way to go, given my experience now of a few years with the Pathfindir.

I ALSO, toyed extensively with driving slowly down roads while using my Therm-App cameras to get an idea for how it'd work, right before i got my Pathfindir II- so I can compare to the therm-apps as well...

and yes, you need to get a small aftermarket screen, like a backup camera screen, and mount it on your dash and then wire it, either alongside the door holes, or something (I know some go thru the firewall in their cars, i did not) - as thermal can't see through glass.

but given the current state of things, If i had to do it again, i'd seriously look at the Speedir cameras as they're slightly cheaper(tho they've come up slightly in price to about $1800 it looks like - but the FLIR pathfindir has NOT come down at all from about $2300, 240, though you can fine stores that sell deals of a few hundred off)

- then maybe the pathfindir....(due to price)- then maybe i'd look at the hudway after that...




Copying a post of mine on another forum from 2 years ago of the one funny that came with the PathfindirII, that still applies
"Ive run a FLIR Pathfindir II , (though lost it to other circumstances(it was destroyed in a unrelated incident), and just got another- Yes, I know, HUDWAY is about to come out with a $1000 one extremely soon, I might have jumped the gun on the replacement PF2 considering the cost of these FLIR units hasn't come down in about a decade and a half - oh well, lol) - But, I had one funny odd issue with it I ran into every now and then.

When I ran my first FLIR Pathfindir II- it was  and still is amazing how phenomenal it works, in a million different conditions from smoke from forest fires, doing decently in fog, hell, even spotting cops sitting down the road in speed traps- sure jammers and detectors are unbeatable as a combo- but hot car engines show up really well at night, and no one realizes how badly cars sitting on the site of the road stand out(and turning them off does no good , you'd have to sit there for over 12 hours ) - (It reminded me of my handheld thermal Cameras, which introduced me to the super power of long wave infrared vision) -

BUT, There was  maybe 5% of the time, one funny case I ran into regarding water, that I didn't get to fully solve and would like to tackle now that I just received my second one.
The FLIR Pathfindir II sees through Downpours easily, no problem-
but eventually, unless it's really recessed in your vehicle somehow-
Water droplets from the rain tends to start to collect on the lens, over time

When this happened long enough, a bunch of big and small water droplets sticking to the front of the camera lens would cause the picture to darken.

I can simulate this perfectly with my handheld thermal camera(if i don't feel like flicking water drops onto the front of it which also works) , which lets me control the span-

By taking the lower bottom number of the two numbers of the temp span and raising it, the environment gets darker, then the warmest subjects get darker as the cooler environment washes out in darker and darker black- until it starts getting to the warmest subjects. I can take a video of this effect with my handheld since my new Pathfindir II isn't installed yet at this point in time - but this is EXACTLY what it looked like when the water droplets had built up for a while on the front of the Pathfindir II's camera

And yep, as you might have guessed- this is easy to fix with my handheld camera- take the lower number of the span, adjust it DOWN- and suddenly the environment comes into view again.
Except, the Pathfindir II doesn't let you control the span, or any settings. {Some other FLIR modules seem to let you do so, but they aren't suitable for driving or IP 69/ water proof/water resistant  like the PF2 or IP 67 resistant like all automotive ones are }
"

end old post




[FLIR DID get back to me years later when i bugged them again and mentioned it's a known issue with the pathfindir adjusting funny upon encountering rain)
Note: Years back i contacted speedIR, they implied theirs would act the same way...oddly..


if you life in a state that gets heavy rain(I live in FL, we get constant rain and constant HOT temps all the time , thoguh i've taken my camera on road trips north where it did well, but sometimes the environment appeared super dark, though it always gets deer, pets, people, bicyclists, etc- very well)


As for the future of the field, i'm drooling  really badly over the ADASKY cameras - but they aren't out yet



Their software doesn't sudden darken the image in Rain like FLIR's does, and they look to be at 640X480 for resolution....
With their cameras being better during the 5% edge case of moisture , i can't wait..

Anyway, ignoring that , the Pathfinder has been amazing- and I wish I'd had thermal sooner...on my car.


Let me know if you have any questions, or whatnot- I might see if i can dig up a video recording of my pathfindir i have, as i've run into deer over the years and seen them from way farther than my high beams could ever see. I also like it during forest fires down here- as the smoke means nothing to my thermal vision. July 4th, there was a LOT of firework smoke around- and it was making road visibility hard at night- but no problem for me.


Regarding seeing stuff through bushes - they all work for that really well. A higher resolution will be better, but i think all are 320X240 or 384X288, which is mostly the same in practice(i have cameras that are all of the above, and even a handheld that's 640X48 0 so i can compare them all).

I think the main thing, is the control-how well the software keeps things visible. I know FLIR's focused on seeing  creatures, but i think seeing the environment is important at times-which is why during rain when the environment gets dark and dissapears first, I dislike it. That's a matter of software though on the automotive ones.
« Last Edit: July 25, 2021, 11:29:25 pm by Dark Volter »
 
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Offline JcDenton

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Re: How to choose thermal camera
« Reply #7 on: July 27, 2021, 12:34:48 am »
You might check ebay for the flir pathfindir.  I bought a new pathfindir 1 for 680, and recently a new flir ADK for 850, so from time to time, you can get some good deals. Just be aware there are people selling thermals from bmws titled as a pathfindir which will not be functional outside the car it came from.  I mounted my flir pathfindir on a rack on the roof, to lower the chance of pebbles hitting the lens, and this goes to a android 10" headunit.
 

Offline tcq1000

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Re: How to choose thermal camera
« Reply #8 on: September 26, 2021, 09:55:12 am »
I also bought a FLIR ADK (auto development kit) 500-0892-02. After testing, it can produce pictures normally, and the effect is good. I just can't find relevant information, and I don't know how big the lens is. Who has shared it? Thank you first!
 


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