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SWIR Electrophysics Micronviewer 7290A - User manual ?

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Hi all,

I own a very nice example of an Electrophysics Micronviewer 7290A SWIR camera

I am writing this post here, in the Thermal imaging sub forum, as this camera falls into the region between Near Infrared and MWIR thermal imaging cameras.

The 7290A uses a PbS coated Vidicon tube and has a bandwidth of 0.4um to 1.9um. It can operate as a thermal imaging camera for items with a surface temperature of 250C or higher.

These cameras are commonly used on production lines to inspect food stuff (fruit etc) and in science for imaging Laser beam shapes. The military also make use of such SWIR imaging and even use image fusion with the output of LWIR cameras.

Now that I have such a camera I will experiment with its capabilities to see just how useful, or not, the SWIR band actually is for a hobbyist.

Does anyone else own one of these cameras please ? If so, would you care to share you experiences with it here and would you have a copy of the user manual that you can share as my camera came without one.


I now have the user manual thanks to excellent support from Sofradir in the USA :)


Given the vastly different spectrum of wavelengths, does this allow you to see through other stuff? Like LWIR let's you see through plastic balloons or plastic bags.

Yes. An example would be its ability to image a hot object through glass or to see through visually opaque silicon wafers. SWIR works somewhat differently to MWIR and LWIR. It can image reflected photon energy. This is used to good effect when examining works of art. The art is illuminated with suitable Tungsten Halogen lamps. In some cases the artists layout pencil sketch becomes clearly visible. SWIR cameras can also image through water vapour. It has military applications due to its better imaging of some targets than thermal cameras.


Just picked up one of these units listed as not working myself and fancy a repair attempt.  First things first, it came with no power supply, and while the documentation I've seen says 6W and 500mA (so 12V?), I don't know what connector it uses or whether there are other rails on the other pins for it.  If you have any info it would be helpful, but I'll probably crack it open to try and power it up (and maybe replace the connector with a more standard one) in either case.

Well I guess I asked too soon.  Took out some screws out of curiosity and found you can just remove the whole top with the top four little screws, nice easy access.  From there I could see the power connector only had two pins soldered, and the main TO-220 voltage regulator is an LM2940 rated for 10V, so the input has to be a minimum of about 11V to turn on, so I gave it 12V on the pins on the back connector from the bench supply and it powered up just fine.  Draws about 750mA tops when starting, settles to about 550mA.  Since the connector is panel mount, I'll probably just swap it for a standard barrel jack and use a 1A rated adapter.  Easy!

I need to connect a lens (didn't ship with one) and do some testing - preliminary video output doesn't look like the sync is correct, but it's changing brightness when I put my finger in the way of the aperture, so it seems the tube is alive.  Hope to be viewing in limited SWIR in short order!


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