Author Topic: Yet another cheap thermal imager incoming.. Seek Thermal  (Read 738509 times)

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Offline miguelvp

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Re: Yet another cheap thermal imager incoming.. Seek Thermal
« Reply #150 on: October 06, 2014, 02:12:18 pm »
No NIR, I thought that as well but the trees tops are dark, on NIR they will be gostly white.

Since they are test images we can't be sure they are IR images, but on a warm sunny day in LA and depending on the material used for the boat id, it might be hot.

The hull does show gradation from water temp to hot.
« Last Edit: October 06, 2014, 02:15:41 pm by miguelvp »
 

Offline Fraser

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Re: Yet another cheap thermal imager incoming.. Seek Thermal
« Reply #151 on: October 06, 2014, 03:19:22 pm »
As I stated, I may be wrong about the image, and it may be true thermal. It was the visibility of the boat ID and the 'TAXI' banner that made me suspicious. The boat images I am used to looking at are of a different nature and not normally in hot regions of the world so I may be just misreading the scene ? I attach an example of what I expect to see in cooler climates than LA.

There are some FLIR Voyager images here but they are small.

http://www.flir.com/cvs/americas/ca/lawenforcement/products/voyagerii/

Aurora
« Last Edit: October 06, 2014, 03:22:21 pm by Aurora »
 

Offline miguelvp

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Re: Yet another cheap thermal imager incoming.. Seek Thermal
« Reply #152 on: October 06, 2014, 03:26:34 pm »
If you ever been in a hot sunny day at the beach, you will know a lot of things are hotter than your bare skin or at least to the same temperature.

black, Red paint will be hot to your bare feet. Railings will be really hot as well, pretty much everything is really happy absorbing the Sun's heat.

Table salt also affects IR so that might be why we see some reflections from the sun.

At least that's how I am reading it.
 

Offline eneuro

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Re: Yet another cheap thermal imager incoming.. Seek Thermal
« Reply #153 on: October 06, 2014, 04:17:02 pm »
This is more likely a dummy imagery converted from visible.
Maybe they (Seek thermal) wanted to show something which will give you feeling of incredible accuracy and resolution of this thing to have more backers, while reality might be cold shower with blured imaginery which without aka Flir MSX additional visual image and good calibration will be difficult to understand what you see if environment ambient temperature and weather condition changes  :-DD
« Last Edit: October 06, 2014, 04:18:49 pm by eneuro »
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Offline frenky

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Re: Yet another cheap thermal imager incoming.. Seek Thermal
« Reply #154 on: October 06, 2014, 04:33:26 pm »
I gathered some photos which should be from real (preproduction?) SeekThemal modules:

Some look better than other...
 

Offline mvdswaluw

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Yet another cheap thermal imager incoming.. Seek Thermal
« Reply #155 on: October 06, 2014, 05:57:36 pm »
They all look better than what I've seen from MuOptics untill now :-(
« Last Edit: October 06, 2014, 05:59:49 pm by mvdswaluw »
 

Offline marshallh

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Re: Yet another cheap thermal imager incoming.. Seek Thermal
« Reply #156 on: October 06, 2014, 06:33:24 pm »
Probably some of the blurriness is due to the fixed focus. But yeah it's not looking as good.
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Offline miguelvp

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Re: Yet another cheap thermal imager incoming.. Seek Thermal
« Reply #157 on: October 06, 2014, 06:39:36 pm »
Well, my wife told me that the hold on my bank went away, I guess they will run it again once they process it for shipping, but so far nothing.

Current status: processing
« Last Edit: October 06, 2014, 06:42:56 pm by miguelvp »
 

Offline Fraser

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Re: Yet another cheap thermal imager incoming.. Seek Thermal
« Reply #158 on: October 06, 2014, 07:59:51 pm »
As someone who has ordered a SEEK unit, I should state that I am NOT expecting the imagery to be as good at that which I get from my other thermal cameras. Why? Well this is a new camera from a company that AFAIK has not written thermal camera image processing software before (unconfirmed) They may have an excellent microbolometer from Raytheon but as seasoned TIC designers will tell you..... there is much to be done in terms of image processing to make a decent image. SEEK are likely to refine their image processing software over time (just like FLIR did) and we should not expect too much in the first 'cut' of public release software.

The microbolometer is a compromise device....it always was and likely always will be. The compromise is in noise figure. The modern cameras are far less noisy than the early ones like my FLIR PM570. Ever since FLIR released the PM570 in 1997 they have been working on reducing the noise content of the images. Some has been through advances in core technology whilst much has been achieved with advanced image processing algorithms and filtering.
I remember when I first tested the PM570. I was one of the first in the UK to do so. I did not like its images at all and dismissed it as too noisy. Even FLIR admitted that the image noise content was an issue and this would be addressed in later firmware releases. Compared to what you may ask..... well compared to a FLIR PM550 Stirling cycle mechanically cooled camera. The PM550 looked like the later PM series cameras but it is the daddy of them all. The thermal imaging array was the same resolution as the PM570 at 320x240, but it was semiconductor based, cooled to -196 C (-371 F or 77K). At such a low temperature the sensor pixels and associated components within the FPA are extremely low noise. The images produced by that camera have none of the noise that we are used to with Microbolometers, even when set to a 2 C span. They are truly things of beauty. The uncooled Microbolometer based cameras will have a very hard job to equal the performance of such a cooled sensor as the law of physics is against such. For low noise you really want cooling and not room temperature. Just look at the technology used in the Low Noise Amplifiers of Radio Telescopes for more proof of this (they are cooled to the same temperature as the PM550 sensors array).

Back to the SEEK TIC. This new core will likely have been built within a tight budget and so we should expect it to be a little noisy as it may not have the clever tricks of higher end microbolometers included. The lens size is a handicap due to small size and material used. This is another compromise that has had to be made in order to reduce cost. As stated, much will also depend upon the post capture processing carried out in the SEEK camera module and host computer (phone). It is reasonably straight forward to make a good looking image by filtering and softening of edges. That is not to say that such an image is good for radiometric usage though....it just looks pretty but some detail is lost as a consequence. If you wish to see a cameras true self, set it to the smallest span possible, usually 2 C and watch the image noise appear ! At such small spans its is very hard to suppress the noise content. Many manufacturers do not offer very small temperature spans as a result. This isn't fair criticism in this case though. $200 for the SEEK is an amazing deal IMHO which is why I bought one and my colleagues are dying to get their hands on it ! I see a bright future for companies like SEEK and they will hopefully keep improving their product and the software that processes the images. Its early days after all.

Which would I prefer.... the FLIR ONE with its fancy case or the mores agricultural looking SEEK ? No contest, the SEEK has far more potential with its higher resolution core and a potentially greater interface capability for Hosts. It does not need MSX to do a decent job. The FLIR PM series are respected throughout industry as high performing, reliable thermal cameras...... and none had MSX  ;)  It all comes down to intelligent usage and a trained operator  :)  MSX is a nice function to have though..... no argument there.

Aurora
« Last Edit: October 06, 2014, 08:11:45 pm by Aurora »
 

Offline callipso

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Re: Yet another cheap thermal imager incoming.. Seek Thermal
« Reply #159 on: October 06, 2014, 08:17:00 pm »
Is it possible to add a Peltier cooler to an uncooled TIC for better imagery?
I wonder... **BOOM
 

Offline miguelvp

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Re: Yet another cheap thermal imager incoming.. Seek Thermal
« Reply #160 on: October 06, 2014, 08:24:57 pm »
Well, thanks to marshallh there is source code out, not the library but the addresses to the library, And the whole navigation, sign in etc..

I guess I'll have to install the tegra android development pack on my current system, since I don't use my XP machine anymore, or at least not much.

https://developer.nvidia.com/tegra-android-development-pack

I'll see if I can recompile the project back to an apk before trying to modify anything.

In any event, I could use OpenCV, or Nvidia (or is it nVIDIA meh) CUDA libraries for the K1 if I get one of those Jetson dev kits. For now on my Tegra 4 Shield 1st gen I can use Nvidia's OpenCV libraries.
 

Offline David Hess

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Re: Yet another cheap thermal imager incoming.. Seek Thermal
« Reply #161 on: October 06, 2014, 08:35:19 pm »
Is it possible to add a Peltier cooler to an uncooled TIC for better imagery?

I assume you would also have to make provisions to prevent condensation.
 

Offline miguelvp

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Re: Yet another cheap thermal imager incoming.. Seek Thermal
« Reply #162 on: October 06, 2014, 08:37:13 pm »
Is it possible to add a Peltier cooler to an uncooled TIC for better imagery?

I assume you would also have to make provisions to prevent condensation.

I recall seeing a build on youtube for adding an HD camera sensor for telescope use and they used a peltier for cooling and styrofoam and other stuff.
 

Offline Fraser

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Re: Yet another cheap thermal imager incoming.. Seek Thermal
« Reply #163 on: October 06, 2014, 08:43:35 pm »
@Callipso,

Peltier coolers have been used in thermal cameras but AFIK not on microbolometers for low temperature cooling, only temperature stabilisation at around 30C. The Peltier cooled cameras used semiconductor arrays or single pixel detectors in scanned cameras. In order to obtain decent sub 0C cooling they used a 3 stage TEC (Peltier stack). You can have more TEC stages but it is a law of diminishing returns and great increases in power consumption. The 3 stage coolers resemble a stepped pyramid as each successive Peltier stage must be bigger than the one in front of it to dissipate not only its own heat but also that of the previous stage. The current consumption of the TEC makes it a problem for portable use on batteries. It is also best to cool as small at mass and volume as possible and place the sensor inside a vacuum chamber. Placing the TEC inside the vacuum chamber risks outgassing pollution of the sensor array and the vacuum around it. From memory the 3 stage Peltier cooler only managed a temperature differential of 70 C but I may have that wrong and it could be that the spec was -70C array temperature . My memory sometimes fails me.

The Microbolometer is basically an array of thermistors made from VOX. Cooled sensor arrays tend to be semiconductor based as that displays the most benefit from low temperature operation.

Trivia.... amateur and professional optical astronomers have been cooling the CCD chip in their digital cameras for some time. The CCD is a semiconductor array and its noise is reduced if you strap a Peltier cooler onto its rear ! There are articles on the Web showing how to modify consumer grade digital cameras in this way for better performance when imaging faint objects in the sky.

Aurora
 

Offline c4wd

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Re: Yet another cheap thermal imager incoming.. Seek Thermal
« Reply #164 on: October 06, 2014, 08:58:19 pm »
Good news! I just got mine from FedEx today (I had overnight shipping). Works well, minus a few bugs. Is anyone interested in me doing anything with it? Also, my order number was 39X, so they had at least 500 units shipped from my guess, more than like 1,000.
 

Offline sacherjj

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Re: Yet another cheap thermal imager incoming.. Seek Thermal
« Reply #165 on: October 06, 2014, 08:59:35 pm »
Good news! I just got mine from FedEx today (I had overnight shipping). Works well, minus a few bugs. Is anyone interested in me doing anything with it? Also, my order number was 39X, so they had at least 500 units shipped from my guess, more than like 1,000.

Did you get a shipping email, or did it just show up?
 

Offline frenky

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Re: Yet another cheap thermal imager incoming.. Seek Thermal
« Reply #166 on: October 06, 2014, 09:06:27 pm »
Take images of everything and post it here :)
 

Offline Fraser

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Re: Yet another cheap thermal imager incoming.. Seek Thermal
« Reply #167 on: October 06, 2014, 09:06:51 pm »
Great news.

Some sample images would be great  :-+
 

Offline c4wd

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Re: Yet another cheap thermal imager incoming.. Seek Thermal
« Reply #168 on: October 06, 2014, 09:47:25 pm »
Good news! I just got mine from FedEx today (I had overnight shipping). Works well, minus a few bugs. Is anyone interested in me doing anything with it? Also, my order number was 39X, so they had at least 500 units shipped from my guess, more than like 1,000.

Did you get a shipping email, or did it just show up?

No shipping email and the website still says processing, so I was rather surprised to see it on my doorstep when I got home!

Here are some sample images, the filters used were "White", "Tyrian" (the purple/red), and the default.

Brother at end of hallway (approx. 50 ft away from camera)


My brother:


My protein oatmeal:


My dog:
« Last Edit: October 06, 2014, 10:04:24 pm by c4wd »
 

Offline iRad

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Re: Yet another cheap thermal imager incoming.. Seek Thermal
« Reply #169 on: October 06, 2014, 10:20:45 pm »
Good news! I just got mine from FedEx today (I had overnight shipping). Works well, minus a few bugs. Is anyone interested in me doing anything with it? Also, my order number was 39X, so they had at least 500 units shipped from my guess, more than like 1,000.

Did you get a shipping email, or did it just show up?

No shipping email and the website still says processing, so I was rather surprised to see it on my doorstep when I got home!


Good to know, as my order number is lower than yours and when I checked this morning, my order also said it was still processing. I was beginning to become frustrated, but feel more reassured by your comments that Seek is just not able to keep up with shipping notifications. It seems that they are going through some growing pains with their website and communications.

I did not order overnight, so I'm hopeful that mine is also on its way...
 

Offline sacherjj

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Re: Yet another cheap thermal imager incoming.. Seek Thermal
« Reply #170 on: October 06, 2014, 10:23:19 pm »
I could see them processing over night orders first, regardless of order number.  Then following with standard by order number. 
 

Offline iRad

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Re: Yet another cheap thermal imager incoming.. Seek Thermal
« Reply #171 on: October 06, 2014, 10:28:35 pm »
I could see them processing over night orders first, regardless of order number.  Then following with standard by order number.

That is NOT a good way fulfill orders or to run a business in my opinion... Orders should be filled as they come in, regardless of shipping method specified (within reason and logistics of course).
 

Offline Fraser

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Re: Yet another cheap thermal imager incoming.. Seek Thermal
« Reply #172 on: October 06, 2014, 10:29:17 pm »
And at least SEEK deliver on their promises unlike Mu !

The images look pretty much as I expected. The noise processing needs some work. I don't know what thermal span was being used but the contrast is also pretty low. Thermal cameras work at their best with a scene that has a large range of temperature within it. Low differential images as often found in house walls etc, give pretty low contrast pictures. I use my feet as a test.... yes you read right. I aim the camera at my bare feet to see how much detail and sharpness can be achieved. It also should show a nice temperature gradient from the main foot area to the toes as they tend to be cooler.

As I stated before....for $200 we cannot reasonably expect the same image quality as that from a $1000+ camera but it is still early days. The limitation might be in the sensor technology though so that will need to be lived with.

Aurora
« Last Edit: October 06, 2014, 10:31:45 pm by Aurora »
 

Offline miguelvp

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Re: Yet another cheap thermal imager incoming.. Seek Thermal
« Reply #173 on: October 06, 2014, 10:53:50 pm »
I wonder if taking video leaves raw images on the phone. I gotta check the code when I get home.

hmm fedex ground and no tracking :(

Can you tell us where it shipped from?

 

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