Author Topic: Thermal eye 4500, 3600AS  (Read 3946 times)

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Offline Collat3ral

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Thermal eye 4500, 3600AS
« on: November 30, 2018, 07:45:21 pm »
A couple of months ago i got these two thermal cameras on ebay for dirt cheap (30 pounds each, 4500 for me and 3600 for a friend). Today i've finally got JST-SH connectors to thest the cameras. Hard to find the 15 or 20 pin jst, so i got the 5 pin and modify to fit.
I must thank Fraser for providing me the software and documentation for the cameras. Big thanks!

Now I have a a couple of questions: Must you power the camera with 8+V to work or does it power from the USB for the programing? Currently it has a wierd colour overlay and i would like to turn it off.
Allso will it work below 8V? I plan to use a 7.4 li-po battery and try to avoid a voltage booster.
And when i power it up at 12v i have a battery monitor on the bottom of the screen. In the documentation i didn't find any reference about battery monitoring for the 4500 model
« Last Edit: November 30, 2018, 09:22:06 pm by Collat3ral »
 

Offline Hydron

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Re: Thermal eye 4500, 3600AS
« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2018, 10:07:24 pm »
I suggest testing it's operation yourself below 8V - it _might_ tolerate a little lower than that but there will be internal voltages that need enough headroom to stay in regulation so you do need to be careful. The camera doesn't draw too much power so using a small boost converter is probably the best way to go from a 7.4V battery.

As for USB communication, you need to power it separately as well as connect the USB wires - I suspect that the USB Vbus input is simply to signal that a USB host is attached. When you turn the core on/off (via the electronic power off pin as well as by removing the supply completely) the USB connection is disconnected.

Finally, I have found that a real Windows XP machine is required to talk to these cores - a virtual machine with USB passthrough is unfortunately not sufficient.
 

Offline Bill W

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Re: Thermal eye 4500, 3600AS
« Reply #2 on: December 08, 2018, 10:50:44 pm »
I think it unlikely to run below 8V, as there is probably a low battery cut off.

As I assume you know from the manual, 'High Voltage In' is:

8 - 32V for pins 14 & 15 (of15) of the 35xxAS

8 - 16V for pins 14 & 15 (of 20) for the 36xxAS
This also supports 'Low Voltage' of 2 - 3.2V on pins 1,2,3
They are insistent on connecting all the available power pins, not just one +  and one -

8 - 32V for pins 14 & 15 (of 20) for the 45xxAS.

The battery control is on pages 55 & 56, 3600AS only for some reason best known to L3

The 2000AS was the odd one out, powered from 2.5 - 4.0, or 6 - 32V unless you added the 'Power Board' to accept 4 - 32V.
This was probably due to use in Raytheon's own products that ran on 2 x AA cells, and the same for the 3600AS in the X-1
http://www.americaninfrared.com/ProductDetail.asp?ID=43



regards
Bill

Offline Collat3ral

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So a bit of an update:
I removed the expansion card and the weird coloring and battery level went away (don't need that atm, also I don't have the means to program it).
Printed a housing for the camera and a display that i hacked from a car DVR camera, but the resolution of the image is not that great. I think it's 320x240, so the text is blurry. Still looking for a small 640x480 display. Found this on eBay, anyone have any experience?
https://www.ebay.com/itm/640-480-DIY-Night-Vision-Scope-Viewfinder-Screen-FPV-Virtual-Monocular-Display/253609382006

As for the programming goes, i used an old pc at work with windows xp and got it to work. Found in the manual that the camera does not support hot plug, so you have to cycle it after connecting. Wish i read the manual sooner, would have saved me some frustration.

On the to-do list:
Sort out the messy wiring and get it to work on a couple of 18650 batteries
 

Offline Hydron

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Re: Thermal eye 4500, 3600AS
« Reply #4 on: December 14, 2018, 10:03:59 am »
Another option is to use the digital video output on the expansion connector. This should be 640x480 RGB, possibly even in a format usable for talking directly to a parallel input display. You would need to use the software to configure the output to do this.
 

Online Fraser

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Re: Thermal eye 4500, 3600AS
« Reply #5 on: December 14, 2018, 12:24:01 pm »
Regarding the micro display EVF you referenced .... it uses a miniature Kopin display and driver.

Some Thermal Eye cores are equipped with an output to drive the Kopin miniature displays as found in the Thermal Eye X100 etc.

The only issues with the Kopin display is that it is tiny and even with the eyepiece magnification some users find the size of the viewed display to be insufficient and uncomfortable to use. The Colour LCD viewfinder from a 1990's JVC SVHS camcorder like the GR-AX 700 and 800 series may be a better option. The pinout is available in the service manual that is available on the internet. Make sure you get a unit with a colour display as there are also monochrome CRT versions in the camera range. Such cameras can be found for very little money on eBay and the whole EVF unit is easily removed and self contained, unlike more modern EVF designs where the drive IC is on the main PCB.

Nice project..... enjoy :)

Fraser
« Last Edit: December 14, 2018, 06:47:31 pm by Fraser »
 

Offline oddbondboris

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Re: Thermal eye 4500, 3600AS
« Reply #6 on: December 14, 2018, 10:29:52 pm »
Thats a seriously great price for those cameras,

you can in fact get digital video over the usb port albeit slowly and low framerate. i made a breakout board for the expansion connector a while back but my camera has corrupt firmware and was a development board anyway.

BE AWARE SENDING UNDOCUMENTED USB COMMANDS CAN BRICK THIS CAMERA

as for powering it off <8v iirc you could get it working down to about 5 but it wasn't happy about it.

the expansion digital video output could probably be easily fed into an hdmi transceiver as it's a relatively standard 3x8bit rgb stream with a pixel clock and frame sync pulses, you'd just need a micro to control the hdmi negotiation and such.

it can also output uncorrected sensor values, corrected values, kopin and a few other formats. the other nice thing is the camera can be powered off the expansion connector.  if i recall correctly the 3600 can be powered with a local 3.3v input and the 4500 can as well but not officially.

if i get around to it i'll post my libusb/pil python interface i was writing when i bricked the camera so it's probably a good idea to stick to the spec
 

Offline Hydron

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Re: Thermal eye 4500, 3600AS
« Reply #7 on: December 15, 2018, 12:01:27 am »
Thanks for the info, and please do post any useful stuff you coded/designed!

I've managed to get image data via USB myself but only through the horrible windows xp GUI - had a look at libusb but would have to learn a lot before I'd be able to write anything from scratch myself.

I hope to whip up a board at some point to plug into the expansion port and give video (maybe even HDMI or an LCD), power and USB I/O. If I manage to find the time to do it I'll share the design - sounds like it could be useful to some.
 

Offline oddbondboris

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Re: Thermal eye 4500, 3600AS
« Reply #8 on: December 15, 2018, 12:10:48 am »
will definitely post the code, it's python 2.x because i had pil installed and not pillow at the time but it seems to work well.
if you ever build a breakout and manage to dump the flash via jtag from the tms320 i'd love to have a copy so i might fix my board, i have a board out of some dead fire camera but the firmware is very different.

i made a footprint for the board with the connector in the right place in eagle if i can dig that up i'll post that as well
also have a nice little layout for a length matched breakout to cardedge .1 that fits on a pin header i made that is simple enough for the chinese cheap pcb houses to make

unfortunately my nice breakout board with a buffered output i accidentally designed upside-down so it doesnt stack nicely but i'll post that too

 

Offline oddbondboris

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Re: Thermal eye 4500, 3600AS
« Reply #9 on: December 15, 2018, 02:37:14 am »
so i did some digging attached are a couple of very rough python scripts and the start of a library of sorts
also tossed in all the docs i have

usbobj.py is the start of the library << this isn't that terribly coded
the next three are abandoned code that is just terrible looking
usbframe.py makes a png capture over usb
usbfun.py sends commands to the camera
usbfun2.py is a fuzzer of sorts from what i can see. you probably shouldn't run it

i know when the camera bricked i saved the entire terminal buffer somewhere but i can't seem to find it

syntax for usbfun.py i remember as being ./usbfun.py <command> <parameters>  i added it at the top of the file


all the scripts assume your camera conforms to the usb api pdf that has the camera at address 2
the spare board i found had the address set to 1 but also had all sorts of other quirks

basically the only thing you should really use this for is to see how libusb works in python and how the packets are structured.

also attached the one image that survived my stupid script that overwrote the previous image.


icd is the usb interface specification
36-46Expansion_port_supplement.pdf are the docs for the expansion interface
 

Offline Collat3ral

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Re: Thermal eye 4500, 3600AS
« Reply #10 on: July 24, 2019, 09:38:41 pm »
So after a bit of down time, I got back on my little project. I've made a enclosure for the unit, but now everything heats up. You can feel the heat on the enclosure, after about 10min of use. I'm using 2 li-po batteries to power it (8.4v, too little?).

Do you have to disable the expansion port or is there a trick to get the thing to not overheat...
 

Online Fraser

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Re: Thermal eye 4500, 3600AS
« Reply #11 on: July 25, 2019, 10:31:33 am »
what You describe sounds unusual to me. The electronics package does create some heat, but it is not normally excessive. In your position I would want to check some basics to ensure that the core is not in distress....

1. Check that the correct higher supply voltage range pins are being used and not the low voltage input pins.

2. Remove the core from its housing and inspect it with another thermal camera or cheap IR thermometer to see where the heat is being produced. I recommend the pocket sized IR thermometers that do not use a lens. They normally have an 8mm cone aperture with the sensor window visible. These cost only a few pounds and are very useful. See if the component temperatures look reasonable.

3. If I recall correctly, these cores were actually acceptance test rejects. As such they could have faults that need rectifying before they work correctly. A unit that overheats could well have a fault on the supply rail, such as a failing Tantalum capacitor. The overheating may not be apparent when operated as a skeleton chassis in open air, but may become an issue when enclosed. These cores were used in fully enclosed fire fighting cameras so are not known to need ventilation.

I attach pictures of some IR thermometers suitable for close up work on PCB’s. You can get up close and personal with IC’s etc. Larger IR Thermometers with their Fresnel lens system are less useful for close in working.

Hope this helps

Fraser
« Last Edit: July 25, 2019, 10:36:23 am by Fraser »
 

Offline Collat3ral

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Re: Thermal eye 4500, 3600AS
« Reply #12 on: July 25, 2019, 01:55:00 pm »
I let it run for about 10 minutes. With the trusty lip test the most heat vame from the Spartan chip. Is it possible it's heating due to low voltage?
 

Offline Collat3ral

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Re: Thermal eye 4500, 3600AS
« Reply #13 on: July 25, 2019, 09:02:57 pm »
Tried higher voltage, still heats up. But it's like it gets to some temp and holds it. I think I'm going to put a little heat sink on the chip and a small fan to cool everything. For about 5 times a year this should work
 
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Offline oddbondboris

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Re: Thermal eye 4500, 3600AS
« Reply #14 on: July 26, 2019, 03:07:11 pm »
make your enclosure split, sensor in one compartment electronics in another.
a heatsink can't really hurt but keeping all that heat off the sensor might help a bit.
personally i'd just make my enclosure metal and thermal pad the chip to the enclosure
 

Offline vdeny

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Re: Thermal eye 4500, 3600AS
« Reply #15 on: September 26, 2019, 01:02:38 am »
I see 3540AS lenses on eBay without logic boards. Im curious if its possible to connect 3500AS camera cores to 4500AS logic boards? Does anyone know?
Here is an abstract from PDF integration guide:
“The 45XX AS Camera Core is a high performance thermal imaging camera core. It features a high-resolution 320 X 240 pixel detector. The core includes all the customizable features of the 3XXX series camera, has multiple lens options, and a backward compatible daughter card interface. The 45XX AS core electronics are packaged in a 2-board set using the same card cage as the 35XX AS camera”.
« Last Edit: November 07, 2019, 02:40:20 pm by vdeny »
 

Offline Collat3ral

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Re: Thermal eye 4500, 3600AS
« Reply #16 on: February 29, 2020, 01:41:31 pm »
Hello.
So I'm back on my thermal project. I'm trying to connect a mini ctr from a viewfinder. When I connect the viewfinder there is no image. In the 4500as manual it says that you need a 75 ohm termination to display an image (Video out must be terminated in order to get a video signal).

Now if I understand this correctly I must wire a 75ohm resistor between video out and ground and then to the viewfinder?
I don't want to ruin anything so I'm asking for advice  :)

And yes, the viewfinder wokrs on the camera
 

Online Fraser

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Re: Thermal eye 4500, 3600AS
« Reply #17 on: February 29, 2020, 02:36:16 pm »
The Thermal Eye cores do have a need for a 75 Ohm termination on their video output.

Normally this is provided by the monitor that has a 75 Ohm termination inside it. You can check your EVF input with a meter to see what resistance it presents to the Thermal Eye core. If the reading is not 75 Ohms you should place a 75 Ohm resistor across the video output of the Camera PCB or inside the EVF.

Best practice is to place the termination resistor across the EVF end of the video cable.

Make sure that the Camera video output standard matches that of the EVF. NTSC or PAL. EVF’s tend not to be auto switching multi-standard, unlike modern TV’s and Monitors.

You cannot damage the core doing this.

Fraser
« Last Edit: February 29, 2020, 02:48:05 pm by Fraser »
 

Offline Collat3ral

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Re: Thermal eye 4500, 3600AS
« Reply #18 on: February 29, 2020, 04:52:47 pm »
Measured 1k ohm between gnd and video in. Will add a 75 ohm resistor and try it out (when I get the resistor :))
 

Online Fraser

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Re: Thermal eye 4500, 3600AS
« Reply #19 on: February 29, 2020, 05:00:48 pm »
Ah, that is your problem then. The EVF is operating in ‘unterminated’ mode. Any resistor close to 75 Ohms should work. Maybe even 100 Ohms for testing.

You could also test the core by feeding the video output into a TV’s composite video input as that will already be terminated in 75 Ohms ;)

Fraser
 

Offline Collat3ral

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Re: Thermal eye 4500, 3600AS
« Reply #20 on: February 29, 2020, 06:44:47 pm »
Found a trimmer and set it to 75 ohm. It woks  ;D ;D
Fraser thanks again for sharing your knowledge.
 

Online Fraser

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Re: Thermal eye 4500, 3600AS
« Reply #21 on: February 29, 2020, 06:57:11 pm »
Excellent news  :-+

You may have to adjust the brightness of the viewfinder to suit the output of the camera core as it will likely be different to that of the original camera that used the viewfinder module.

Have fun  :-+

Fraser
 

Offline hitechtalent

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Re: Thermal eye 4500, 3600AS
« Reply #22 on: August 20, 2020, 11:29:45 pm »
Hello!

Do you or anyone else know if the 3540AS camera is compatible with the logic board supplied with the 3500AS camera?

I have a working 3500AS camera and board.  While looking for the a suitable card cage on eBay, I've come across a 3540AS camera head paired with an empty card cage and no board.

Thanks!
 

Online Fraser

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Re: Thermal eye 4500, 3600AS
« Reply #23 on: August 21, 2020, 10:30:45 am »
The camera head is just the lens and microbolomter. The logic boards have to be calibrated for the specific  camera head and are not interchangeable. Mixing different camera heads and logic boards will likely result in a less than great image with lots of uncorrected dead pixels.

Fraser
 
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Offline hitechtalent

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Re: Thermal eye 4500, 3600AS
« Reply #24 on: August 29, 2020, 01:50:30 am »
Thank you, Fraser!

I've learned a lot about the Thermal-Eye reading everyone's posts, especially yours!  I don't have it wired up to my drone yet (still reverse engineering my Gten UpAir One wiring) but I'm now much closer to having a thermal drone than before I had stumbled upon the EEVblog!

I had previously reached out to Raytheon, L-3, SPi, and ICI (who's logo is shown during start-up) and they stonewalled me just like everyone else here.  I was hesitant to tinker with it knowing I'd burn it up if I didn't have proper connections but after reading posts here and realizing the JST SH 15-pin connection used the same first 15 pins as the 4500AS CCA board's 20-pin connector, I was good to go!

« Last Edit: August 29, 2020, 09:07:33 am by hitechtalent »
 


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