Author Topic: Cheap FLIR E4 Thermal camera and how I came to get it (UK)  (Read 4372 times)

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Online Fraser

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Cheap FLIR E4 Thermal camera and how I came to get it (UK)
« on: December 30, 2015, 07:22:22 pm »
I thought I would share details of my latest purchase with you all. This may be of particular interest to readers in the UK.

Yesterday I spotted an auction on eBay UK for a FLIR E4 thermal imaging camera. What caught my eye was the asking price. The seller was asking £375 ONO for an 18 month old camera in great condition.

The seller has not been active for over a year and I had my suspicions that this could be a scam auction, as we often see. I decided to take a risk on the unit, and bought it at the asking price.

My concerns about the auction were soon allayed as communications with the seller were good and he has a btinternet.com UK email address. He despatched the camera yesterday afternoon and it arrived today.

The camera is in great condition with no marks on the display or lens. It has been very well cared for. Even better it was manufactured in February 2014 and is a Firmware 1.19.8 unit 😀 perfect.

Now the interesting bit for those looking for a thermal camera at a decent price......

Having had an email exchange with the seller I was told the history of my camera. He was the owner of a photo voltaic installation company and the thermal camera was used to inspect an installation as part of commissioning to ensure all equipment temperatures were within limits.

In the UK the Government subsidised the installation of solar power systems on domestic dwellings. Those subsidies have now ceased and the effect on the providers of such systems has yet to be seen. In the case of the seller of my E4, the loss of a major customer, and the subsidies, drove him to close the company. He no longer had a use for the E4, so sold it.

The use of thermal cameras as part of electrical installation commissioning is quite common. I suspect that we may see a down turn in the installation of solar photo voltaic panels in the UK and the boom may turn to bust for the installation companies. Used thermal cameras may start appearing at liquidation auctions and on eBay via technology resellers. Keep your eyes open for such if you are in the market for a camera.

I count myself most fortunate to have bought such a nice E4 for £375 and it included the hard case, all paperwork, charger, USB lead and a spare battery
😀

As the camera uses 1.19.8 firmware I can easily upgrade it to the full resolution and additional menu's, as on my other E4. Happy Days 😀

Fraser
 

Online Fraser

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Re: Cheap FLIR E4 Thermal camera and how I came to get it (UK)
« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2015, 07:34:57 pm »
« Last Edit: December 30, 2015, 07:36:54 pm by Fraser »
 

Offline SeanB

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Re: Cheap FLIR E4 Thermal camera and how I came to get it (UK)
« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2015, 07:38:24 pm »
Lucky Fraser, looks nice.
 

Online Fraser

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Re: Cheap FLIR E4 Thermal camera and how I came to get it (UK)
« Reply #3 on: December 30, 2015, 08:30:13 pm »
Yes, but sad that it is the result of a company closing.

The Solar Photovoltaic market has been booming in the UK whilst the Government were offering incentives. They stopped the initiative this month and I suspect the consumer demand may tail off sharply as a result. There may be many installation companies disappearing over the coming months as demand for their services decreases.

Time will tell but I knew a Government expert in photovoltaic technology who advised me that they make no economic sense in many cases and it is better to turn off unneeded computers, electronics and lights, rather than fit PV panels as a green initiative. This view is for the less than sunny UK of course !

I am very pleased to get my paws on another E4 though. I love that camera and it is just so convenient. I may look at fitting a better lens or a more advanced lens holder. That's a project that is some way off though.

Fraser
 

Offline Samogon

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Re: Cheap FLIR E4 Thermal camera and how I came to get it (UK)
« Reply #4 on: December 30, 2015, 09:27:11 pm »

Time will tell but I knew a Government expert in photovoltaic technology who advised me that they make no economic sense in many cases and it is better to turn off unneeded computers, electronics and lights, rather than fit PV panels as a green initiative. This view is for the less than sunny UK of course !

I am very pleased to get my paws on another E4 though. I love that camera and it is just so convenient. I may look at fitting a better lens or a more advanced lens holder. That's a project that is some way off though.

Fraser
Good catch!!! Make me jealous :)
 As for green, imo most of it is scam to spend taxpayer's money "wisely". Same with Germany closing nuclear plants and building fields of silicon panels. Just to produce this panels manufacturer spend power which is then will not be returned. Batteries for household installation how long they will last. How much energy spend on them?
Those just rhetorical questions :))
Again congrats with this bargain.
 

Offline Chanc3

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Re: Cheap FLIR E4 Thermal camera and how I came to get it (UK)
« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2016, 12:15:37 pm »
Ah you beat me to this! I had a notification it had been listed on eBay, but by the time I came to click on it, it has been sold! Great bargain there!
 

Online Fraser

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Re: Cheap FLIR E4 Thermal camera and how I came to get it (UK)
« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2016, 03:55:39 pm »
@Chanc3,

Sorry about that. I did hesitate as the seller had no recent feedback. I suspected yet another scam auction. I was very pleased when the chap was quick to respond to my messages with an offer to send the camera Special Delivery for arrival next day.

The camera is in nice condition but has seen use so is not mint. I wanted such an E4 for some experimentation. The E4 that I bought new is too useful to me so I don't want to risk it with experimentation on the optics etc.

The deal was a good one as the seller bought the camera VAT free as a business tool. As such he sold it cheaper than many who pay full RRP.

I really do love the neat E4 design. It is relatively light and sits well in the hand. I still consider it the best value for money thermal camera on the market (provided it can be upgraded to its full resolution).

I almost bought a FLUKE Ti20 this morning, but finances are tight so I cannot justify such a purchase at the moment. It is for sale on eBay UK at the moment.

Best Wishes

Fraser
« Last Edit: January 21, 2016, 04:31:30 pm by Fraser »
 

Offline Chanc3

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Re: Cheap FLIR E4 Thermal camera and how I came to get it (UK)
« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2016, 09:25:28 am »
It's not a problem! It's the nature of eBay! You win some, you lose some! I managed to buy a pair of cameras (FLIR InfraCAM & i50) for a total price of £200. They were in terrible condition, but I stripped them down, cleaned them, repaired them and then upgraded the resolution. Sold on for a nice profit! Was going to keep them, but I still want an E4 for myself!

I almost bought a FLUKE Ti20 this morning, but finances are tight so I cannot justify such a purchase at the moment. It is for sale on eBay UK at the moment.

We actually have an unused one in our store room! It has an issue with not holding a charge (despite fresh batteries), but I may see if my colleague will part with it - I'll keep you posted (and of course about the PM695 batteries).
 


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