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Thermal camera for automotive diagnostics

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Hi, I am new to this sight but have seen many eevblog videos. I have been an automotive technician for 25 years and recently saw some videos on using a thermal camera for automotive diagnostics.  I can see the benefit to this tool in many automotive applications. What I would like to know is what resolution should I be looking for in a camera? Or better yet what is the minimum resolution that would let me take advantage of a thermal camera? Snap on makes a thermal camera but I don't care for there electronic tools.  I have read about the flir E4 and a hack to make it perform better, but that seems to have been corrected in the new versions.  Are the units tha attach to your phone any good? Are there any auto techs here using a thermal camera? If so how do you like yours and if you don't mind how much did you pay for it? 
I would be greatful for any help.
Thanks Chris.
Oh by the way toeorfinger is a game from the tv show Scrubs. :-DD


The ones that clip to your phone are all you need. Of the two common ones I prefer the Seek but I am sure that a poll would probably split preference slightly in favour of the Flir One.

I'd tend to go along with that general recommendation, adding only that it's well worth getting something with adjustable focus. That will make the difference between knowing "something in the fuse box is hot" and "fuse number 3 is hot".

But - and it's a big but - what sort of environment will you be working in? Clip-onto-phone imagers won't survive being regularly thrown into a toolbox; there are some much more robust (and expensive) options like those from Flir that might. Fuel, lubricants and other engineering fluids may not be kind to optics or electronics, and few affordable thermal imagers are what you'd call 'sealed'.

The good news is you don't need expensive high resolution if you have adjustable focus (or a very good depth of field). You can always move closer to see the hot bit in more detail.

Even the flir c3 isn't rugged or has any ratings for drop and water. It's a useless product anyway because the CAT S60 has the same sensor and more features (it's a full phone) for a cheaper price point.

The industrial rated cameras are really expensive.


Before I got my Seek I bought an Argus 3 and that was truly rugged. So rugged as to be pretty useless if you were anything less than a body builder but for the £80 I gave for it it was worth buying to find out.


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