Author Topic: Uni-t UTi260B  (Read 15019 times)

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Offline discrete

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Uni-t UTi260B
« on: November 15, 2020, 12:37:19 am »
Hi Guys,

I need something for occasional home use (building insulation, electric/electronic devices, PCBs). This one ticks many boxes, but there are no reviews or mention of it anywhere:

https://www.uni-trend.com/html/product/NewProducts/UTi%20industrial%20Series/UTi260B.html

- 256x192 IR pixels with some visible light blending modes
- 25 Hz!
- USB C connectivity with PC side software
- Suspiciously cheap at around USD300

EDIT: The more I look at the options, the more this one looks like a no-brainer. What am I missing? Would a Seek or HTi phone module be a better option?

Thanks for any thoughts on this!
« Last Edit: November 15, 2020, 12:35:09 pm by discrete »
 

Offline Fux

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Re: Uni-t UTi260B
« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2020, 11:17:31 am »
Hi,

sounds really good according to the technical data.
I would have the same usecases.
There is discount code for Banggood available: BGherra. So you can get it for USD 280.
Sounds like a good Christmas present (for myself :-)

 

Offline Fraser

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Re: Uni-t UTi260B
« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2020, 12:34:17 pm »
Just ensure that the 256x192 pixels are physical pixels and not the result of interpolation.

I have seen a description of the camera that states “80x60 to 256x192” for the IR resolution. That read as interpolation or an electronic zoom function. Such is an unusual way to describe the resolution unless it meant there were several different models with differing resolution.

Fraser
« Last Edit: November 15, 2020, 04:29:25 pm by Fraser »
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Offline Fraser

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Re: Uni-t UTi260B
« Reply #3 on: November 15, 2020, 01:24:19 pm »
UTi-260B would appear to have been replaced by the UTi-260K so the discontinued model may be available at a good price, as noted by the OP.

https://www.uni-trend.com/html/product/NewProducts/UTi165/

https://www.uni-trend.com/html/product/NewProducts/UTi165/UTi260K.html

I have not found any useful information to suggest interpolation is used on the cameras microbolometer but upscaling will be needed to fit the 320 x 240 pixel LCD display.

With thermal imaging cameras, you tend to get what you pay for unless heavily discounted for some reason. If a camera looks too cheap compared to similar offerings from other manufacturers, there is often a dirty little secret waiting to be exposed  ;D Interpolation of a low resolution FPA is one such ‘trick’ to catch the unwary buyer. The word “resolution” actually means nothing unless defined as physical or processed.

Fraser
« Last Edit: November 15, 2020, 01:27:00 pm by Fraser »
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Offline Unix5566

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Re: Uni-t UTi260B
« Reply #4 on: November 15, 2020, 01:30:09 pm »
i tend to buy this model too, atm i use the Seek Thermal Compact with the Hti Xintai Apps for more Options

so does the Uti260B hast the 256x192 Sensor Resolution?

On Banggood i fount this chart

[attach=1]


« Last Edit: November 15, 2020, 01:32:35 pm by Unix5566 »
 

Offline Fraser

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Re: Uni-t UTi260B
« Reply #5 on: November 15, 2020, 01:33:42 pm »
For info, the UTi-260K sells for around $700 which is more like what I would expect for the stated resolution.

Fraser
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Offline Unix5566

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Re: Uni-t UTi260B
« Reply #6 on: November 15, 2020, 01:37:48 pm »
but if you consider that thermal imagers that released this year got much better in price and resolution... if you search on Ali for the Hikvision H10 you get 160x120 @25Hz for 240€
« Last Edit: November 15, 2020, 01:40:06 pm by Unix5566 »
 

Offline Fraser

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Re: Uni-t UTi260B
« Reply #7 on: November 15, 2020, 01:41:30 pm »
Unix5566,

It is not easy to find out except to ask UNI-T what the physical resolution of the microbolometer is. Manufacturers sometime obscure that information deliberately.

The UNI-T camera range appears similar to others that offer different resolutions at different price points. They normally use a single microbolometer across the whole range but either artificially reduce the resolution in the lower cost cameras or use the opposite technique and create higher resolution models using interpolation.

At first glance the UNI-T UTi-260b does appear to be an ‘honest’ resolution of 256x192 pixels and I can find no evidence of interpolation being used to deceive the buyer. My earlier comment regarding the “80x60 to 256x192” resolution may be explained as a description of the complete range of cameras in this series. They offer 80x60 up to 256x192 pixels resolution, depending upon the model purchased.

This seems a very good price for a 256x192 pixel self contained thermal camera. It might be wise to buy from a source that accepts returns though as some thermal cameras disappoint once received.

Fraser
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Offline Unix5566

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Re: Uni-t UTi260B
« Reply #8 on: November 15, 2020, 01:43:52 pm »
in the BG Q&A's i found this

Version K is aimed towards measuing fever in people (Limited range around 30ºC but increased accuracy ±0.5ºC).
Version B is for industrial use, the accuracy is lower but allows for a vast measurement range

so the older K Version had a better sensitivity... sadly China is right now the only place to get this device
 

Offline Fraser

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Re: Uni-t UTi260B
« Reply #9 on: November 15, 2020, 01:46:14 pm »
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Offline Fraser

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Re: Uni-t UTi260B
« Reply #11 on: November 15, 2020, 01:54:05 pm »
Unix5566,

China is currently in the midst of a frantic challenge to produce accurate “fever screening” thermal cameras. It was an edict from the Chinese Government that thermal camera manufacturers focus on fever screening technology. The problem is that most/all thermal cameras are not accurate enough for the task when configured for general use. The error is commonly stated as +-2C or 2%, whichever is greater. The Chinese Government requires an accuracy of 0.3% for fever screening cameras. The best way to achieve such accuracy is to reduce the range over which the thermal camera provides measurements and very carefully calibrate the camera. That combined with lock-in thermography using a temperature reference in the FOV meets the desired accuracy specifications.

A fever screening camera may not be that useful for general use if it does not have wider measurement capability as well. Some cameras have general and medical modes to meet the needs of a more varied customer base.

Fraser
« Last Edit: November 15, 2020, 01:58:50 pm by Fraser »
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Offline Fraser

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Re: Uni-t UTi260B
« Reply #12 on: November 15, 2020, 01:57:05 pm »
Try finding the H10 on Hikvision’s web site  ;)

It looks to be an obsolete model so some may be available at a discount.

Fraser
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Offline discrete

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Re: Uni-t UTi260B
« Reply #13 on: November 15, 2020, 02:10:57 pm »
Thanks Fraser, Fux!

Good to know about the resolution trickery. I guess these could also be b-grade sensors, with high dead-pixels count or similar?

On the Uni-t site, the 260B is also under 'new products', but in the 'industrial series' category.
The 260K seems to be targeted to fever scanning as Unix5566 mentioned, so I am hoping the price premium is mostly due to the increased sensitivity and the current demand.

I pulled the trigger on that Banggood deal. I do not have anything to compare it with, but hopefully I can give some feedback in a month or two.  :D
 

Offline Unix5566

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Re: Uni-t UTi260B
« Reply #14 on: November 15, 2020, 02:15:20 pm »
what to loose  :-// i mean even if it may disappoints it will be easy to resell it on eBay or else

i think i will give it a try too
 

Offline Fraser

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Re: Uni-t UTi260B
« Reply #15 on: November 15, 2020, 02:21:38 pm »
Discrete,

It does look like a good deal  :-+

I hope it performs well for you.

Regarding the quality of microbolometers used...... whilst it is true that science grade microbolometers are of the highest quality with the minimum of dead pixels, most general use microbolometers are still of very good quality with 99.6% or 99.8% pixels within specification. Many microbolometers are far better than that specification. I am not sure that microbolometer makers actually release FPA’s with high dead pixel counts. The acceptance testing criteria for a thermal imaging FPA is pretty specific and tight. This is good news for buyers of the technology.

Now that China is producing its own microbolometers, we may see a change in the production acceptance criteria for cheaper cameras, but that is not something I know about.

Enjoy your camera  :-+

Fraser
« Last Edit: November 15, 2020, 02:37:43 pm by Fraser »
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Offline Fraser

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Re: Uni-t UTi260B
« Reply #16 on: November 15, 2020, 02:36:08 pm »
Unix5566

 :-+
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Offline bap2703

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Re: Uni-t UTi260B
« Reply #17 on: November 16, 2020, 07:50:34 am »
Fraser: can you even know how many dead pixels are in a sensor?
I mean, after all the corrections it's pretty hard to notice them.
 

Offline Fraser

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Re: Uni-t UTi260B
« Reply #18 on: November 16, 2020, 03:33:47 pm »
bap2703,

It is difficult for a user to establish how many non functioning pixels are present on a thermal sensor FPA for the reason that you detail. All FPA’s will contain pixels that are either faulty or produce an output that falls outside of the acceptable specification. The image data from the ROIC is normally RAW and subsequent image processing stages create the Non Uniformity Correction and Flat Field Correction tables that both capture ‘out of specification’ pixels and try to correct other pixel outputs to achieve a good Flat Field output. The dead pixel map is created by the NUC ‘calibration’ process carried out at the factory. Any pixel that produces an unacceptable pixel output value is marked as ‘Dead’.

Once the Dead Pixel map has been produced the image processing stages of the camera do their best to disguise those pixels from the users view. This is relatively easy in most cases as the values of surrounding pixels may be used to create an average value to replace that of the dead pixel position in the array. Life becomes a little more challenging when a cluster of dead pixels or a dead column is detected. A cluster can cause a dead spot in the image displayed that cannot be concealed by the image processing and a dead column can be a challenge to hide from the human brain that sees pixel correlation and recreates the defective line in some cases. For these reasons a thermal FPA sensor specification normally states that the FPA shall not contain more than a certain number of pixels in a cluster and adjacent to each other. Dead Columns may also be a reason to reject an FPA.

Whilst dead pixel concealment is very effective, in applications where EVERY pixel output is being analysed, such as in some science applications, it is important for the user to know which pixels are not truly active and their data should be discounted from the results. This is limited to science applications though and not really an issue with general camera use.

If a camera is received and it is displaying dead pixels on its display..... it has suffered pixel failures since original calibration and should be sent for a new NUC and dead pixel map creation. Dead pixels are not truly a “Fault” in terms of a camera containing them..... they are a fact of life that the image processing system is designed to cope with.

So how can you find out how many dead pixels your cameras FPA actually contains ?

It is not that easy to discover the dead pixel count without entering the cameras engineering modes or accessing the dead pixel map. A dead pixel map often exists as an image file containing all the pixels present on the FPA but highlighting those that are market based. The image processing stages read the dead pixel locations out of the image file. Gaining access to the dead pixel map is not a simple task on many cameras unless access can be gained to the operating system and configuration files.

It may be possible to detect pixels that are bing disguised by image processing by sweeping a thin IR source wire across the FOV and analysing the image output for deformations in the imaged line. Not something I have ever done and a purely theoretical process. There is normally no need to analyse the dead pixel content of an FPA unless an issue arises in the cameras correction process or damage is suspected, such as laser induced pixel distortion etc.

Most manufacturers of microbolometers clearly state the percentage of functional pixels expected to exist on a production FPA. This is generally 99.6% or 99.8% as I have already stated. Many microbolometers provide far more functional pixels as tests on the E4 and it’s dead pixel map image showed. The service mode on many cameras tells you how many pixels are marked as bad. The service modes can sometimes provide the option to carry out a fresh NUC process and create a new dead pixel map to correct pixels that have drifted badly or failed in use. Thankfully most FPA’s work their whole life with the original NUC table and dead pixel map created at the time of production.

Fraser
« Last Edit: November 16, 2020, 09:50:44 pm by Fraser »
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Offline Bill W

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Re: Uni-t UTi260B
« Reply #19 on: November 16, 2020, 04:26:50 pm »

If a camera is received and it is displaying dead pixels on its display.....

You are likely to get displays with dead pixels too, commonly fixed on ones at that.  Those of course cannot be fixed, or maybe some black paint......   :-DD

It may be possible to detect pixels that are being disguised by image processing by sweeping a thi IR source wire across the FOV and analysing the image output for deformations in the imaged line. Not something I have ever done and a purely theoretical process.

This does indeed work, with any good edge.  How easily does depend on the replacement system being used.  A Raytheon BST does a simple 'copy next' so produces horizontal lines, some tend to copy down/right, some will do an average of the good neighbours.


What might be surprising was that a 320x240 (76k pixels) gives a perfectly acceptable image with over 1000 dead as long as they are scattered.
These were caused by assembly misadventure, not from the supplier like it.  One where the cross check between supplier test data ( say 10 dead) and final camera test (8 bit overflow error) came in useful.


Bill


 
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Offline ir.ukrm

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Re: Uni-t UTi260B
« Reply #20 on: November 17, 2020, 08:26:48 am »
How many dead pixels are there in E4?
 

Offline edigi

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Re: Uni-t UTi260B
« Reply #21 on: November 17, 2020, 01:55:36 pm »
I've pulled the trigger on this one and it arrived today (shipping was very fast).
A 16GB microSD card and an USB cable was included in the package as well beyond a brief but reasonable manual.
I don't have much experience with this kind of cameras, so far I've used only a Mestek IR01C to check PCBs or building insulation mistakes. This naturally will make it a lot easier.
Thus my expected use of the camera is pretty much the same as of the OP's.

It probably won't see much scientific usage so should there be any pixel errors it's not my concern (the display has none, and sensor pixel fault is hard to detect as probably similar interpolating algorithms are used as with photography cameras so I don't know if it has one).

The boot time is around 20s (mostly there is a progress bar) and the switching between the low and high gain takes also around 20-25s (there is no progress bar here). High gain is -15-150C, low gain 150-550C.
I suspect that the refresh rate is not reaching the spec (or because it's < it's not even close to it) and there is also some lag if I move the camera but for my use it's OK.
Sometimes there is some clicking noise that can be heard in silent environment.
It drains battery quite fast (or I've played a lot with it without noticing) but it seems to be charging when it's used while connected to USB as well (or at least battery indicator is stepping).

I can't say much about accuracy as I don't have anything similar to compare but it agrees with my other measurement methods (temperature probe of DMM included as well).

In overall I feel it will cover my use cases and I like it.
I have no doubt though that for more money there are better cameras but at this price point I have probably nothing to complain about.

Attached 2 photos (both high gain mode; I had to convert them to JPG as BMP does not seem to work). One from my laptop and second one is the towel dryer in our bathroom.
[attachimg=1]
[attachimg=2]
« Last Edit: November 17, 2020, 02:24:41 pm by edigi »
 
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Offline Fraser

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Re: Uni-t UTi260B
« Reply #22 on: November 17, 2020, 02:00:03 pm »
That is very respectable imaging at that price point  :-+

Fraser
« Last Edit: November 17, 2020, 02:02:33 pm by Fraser »
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Offline Fraser

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Re: Uni-t UTi260B
« Reply #23 on: November 17, 2020, 02:22:26 pm »
This camera looks to use the iRay Tiny1 imaging engine.....

http://www.infiray.com/tiny1.html

iRay are a big player in thermal imagining equipment manufacture in China  :-+

Fraser
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Offline Fraser

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Re: Uni-t UTi260B
« Reply #24 on: November 17, 2020, 02:24:34 pm »
Looking around at other thermal cameras that use the iRay Tiny1 imaging engine, you have got a camera at a very good price  :-+

Fraser
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