Author Topic: Yet another cheap thermal imager incoming.. Seek Thermal  (Read 750449 times)

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Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: Yet another cheap thermal imager incoming.. Seek Thermal
« Reply #2025 on: September 23, 2015, 07:20:40 am »
Perhaps they will release bigger thermal module in the class of Therm-App or i3-thermalExpert? (Because they renamed existing one to "compact").
That would really be good for us hobby users. Ofcourse if the price was right.
My guess would be either a standalone camera or maybe a drone cam.

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Offline encryptededdy

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Re: Yet another cheap thermal imager incoming.. Seek Thermal
« Reply #2026 on: September 23, 2015, 09:48:26 am »
Perhaps they will release bigger thermal module in the class of Therm-App or i3-thermalExpert? (Because they renamed existing one to "compact").
That would really be good for us hobby users. Ofcourse if the price was right.
My guess would be either a standalone camera or maybe a drone cam.
That brings up a interesting point - FLIR recently announced the FLIR Vue Pro - basically a FLIR Vue but with onboard digital video storage to MicroSD, 14bit image storage to MicroSD and bluetooth for configuration and operation (compared to the FLIR Vue which only has analog video out). It also has a GoPro-compatible mount, essentially making it a "Thermal GoPro".

I've always wondered about the normal FLIR Vue though... You can buy the 640x512 version for $3000, which is orders of magnitude cheaper than other 640x512 thermal imagers. FLIR openly states that it's a "Modified TAU core", so perhaps it's possible to modify it to get to the standard Tau camera interface (with the 14bit digital video).

The Vue Pro 640x512 (with the built in radiometric image storage) is also "only" $3600, which is also a extremely low price for what it is.
 

Offline in.Vitro

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Re: Yet another cheap thermal imager incoming.. Seek Thermal
« Reply #2027 on: September 23, 2015, 06:11:09 pm »
I dont think thats seeks new camera costs more than 500 bucks
 

Offline eneuro

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Re: Yet another cheap thermal imager incoming.. Seek Thermal
« Reply #2028 on: September 23, 2015, 08:56:05 pm »
You can buy the 640x512 version for $3000, which is orders of magnitude cheaper than other 640x512 thermal imagers.

Which is expected lifespan of those toys?  :-\
I mea,n bolometers vaccum will hold not for ever, so this expensive toy might be useless one time.. What time it might be? 10-20 years?

That is why MELEXIS sensors are probably still winners in automotive industry which doesn't like toys working a few years, but need technology for longrun...
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Offline Fraser

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Re: Yet another cheap thermal imager incoming.. Seek Thermal
« Reply #2029 on: September 23, 2015, 11:32:04 pm »
The earliest microbolometer based camera was the FLIR PM570 released in 1997. It has a proper vacuum chamber and my three PM570's are still working like new.

More modern and cheaper microbolometers have dispensed with the expensive metal vacuum chamber and rely upon silicon and gas tight glue seals. How long the vacuum will last is somewhat of an unknown on the latest cores.

The ULIS PICO used in the Therm App is a conventional metal vacuum chamber design. I believe the FLIR TAU is also a conventional build.

Vacuum in a glass thermionic valve lasts many decades. Quality microbolometer vacuum chambers are little different in terms of gas tight seals etc.

An issue that can affect microbolometer performance is contamination of the vacuum through outgassing of the materials contained within. Even a Getter cannot prevent such. Peltier temperature stabilisers are one source of contamination but these are not used in many cheap cores these days.

In short, microbolometers are very long lived unless abused. FLIR know this, hence the 10 year warranty on the Ex series microbolometer. My Circa 2000 BST core vacuum is also fine in the Raytheon Thermal Eye cores I own.

It is also worth bearing in mind the 10 year depreciation rule.... In industry and Government it is quite normal to depreciate an items value to nil over 10 years. By that time the technology is often unsupported, obsolete and superseded by a newer model offering better performance.

This is how I get to buy professional thermal cameras that cost $56K in 2005 for less than $1K ! The companies write them off as scrap. I bought three PM695's with all accessories and auxiliary lenses for $1000 each from a mining company. They had already bought replacements.

Fraser
« Last Edit: September 23, 2015, 11:40:44 pm by Fraser »
 

Offline Fraser

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Re: Yet another cheap thermal imager incoming.. Seek Thermal
« Reply #2030 on: September 23, 2015, 11:48:43 pm »
Further to my last....

The automotive industry will care little if a $3000 thermal camera fails outside the standard warranty period of say 3 years. Consider the modern ECU..... If it fails on an older car, it can make the car a write off. The price of an ECU can be as much as a thermal camera module and the OEM cares not a jot if it fails at 5 years old.

Just food for thought.

Also, thermal camera technology has never been cheaper. Only a very few years ago people dreamed of a camera costing as little as $3000. In 10 years time who knows where the Industry will be in terms of technology Vs cost.

Fraser
« Last Edit: September 26, 2015, 09:31:31 pm by Fraser »
 

Offline Fraser

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Re: Yet another cheap thermal imager incoming.. Seek Thermal
« Reply #2031 on: September 24, 2015, 10:50:43 am »
Correction to my comments on the ULIS PICO and FLIR TAU....... They do not use a metal vacuum chamber as found in Industrial thermal cameras. I only took a quick look at the pictures of their microbolometer capsules. Ooooops !

Fraser
 

Offline termal lee

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Re: Yet another cheap thermal imager incoming.. Seek Thermal
« Reply #2032 on: September 26, 2015, 09:17:40 pm »
quality long answer from Fraser  :-+

i study marketing strategies, and lets predict Seek's move from current condition.
my guess is, since Seek is now the strongest newcomer, who even surpasses Flir, in its class, and competes with only therm-app, if Seek makes new product, it will be below therm-app price, and will outperform Flir, to maintain their success, as the best in its class. not to mention that Seek uses chalcogenik lenses, which means they cut much of the cost. lets just see if Seek can come wity better lenses than therm-app, whose 35mm lens can do very long distance detection (human at 850m!).

 flir has been around for ages, and they are so used to overvalue their sensors (80x60 sensor camera is even more pricey than Seek XR). and they have too many products in each classes, with certain price tags, they will not be able to sell products  with low price, coz it will burn their current long market segmentation and other old marketing stuffs. the distributtor will burn too, since they have stocked many flirs with expensive price. flir is nowhere in Seek conpetition. but the only thing flir can contribute is, that whenever flir tries to make quality sensor for low price, Seek will come around with same concept, and beat flir with lower price and better sensor. and Seek cannot make its price go above therm-app, in the same resolution sensor, since Seek is known for its friendly price, and uses chacogenik lens. therm-app is much less known by consumers, and receives too much less publication. seek has got so wide publication for being cheapband reliable, too many people who arent even techies, have known about seek, and its reputation for being cheap but good quality. seek will definitely use all this market mind share to beat flir and competes with the newcomer therm-app. if seek is clever, they should focus on killing therm-app first, as it is much less known, so it has little market mind-share. coming up with long distance lens, same resolution, lower price.

conclusion: SAVE UR MONEY TO GET NEW "EVEN BETTER" SEEK CAMERA, MAYBE IN RESOLUTION OF THERM-APP, AND EVEN BETTER LENS THAN XR, CHEAPER THAN THERM-APP. DONT BUY A NEW FLIR PRODUCT, JUST WAIT FOR SEEK.
 

Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: Yet another cheap thermal imager incoming.. Seek Thermal
« Reply #2033 on: September 26, 2015, 09:28:26 pm »
I don't think phone cameras are a huge part of Flir's overall plans for the Lepton core. I doubt they are too worried about Seek.
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Offline ez24

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Re: Yet another cheap thermal imager incoming.. Seek Thermal
« Reply #2034 on: September 26, 2015, 09:53:40 pm »
conclusion: SAVE UR MONEY TO GET NEW "EVEN BETTER" SEEK CAMERA, MAYBE IN RESOLUTION OF THERM-APP, AND EVEN BETTER LENS THAN XR, CHEAPER THAN THERM-APP. DONT BUY A NEW FLIR PRODUCT, JUST WAIT FOR SEEK.

Seeing what country you are in, I can imagine you use these as emergency shelter finding devices.  Do you use these as emergency tools?
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Offline termal lee

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Re: Yet another cheap thermal imager incoming.. Seek Thermal
« Reply #2035 on: September 26, 2015, 11:09:46 pm »
wow, i got a reply from a living legend! this is super cool  O0
mike, i think people will get into this phone option prety soon, as the newcomers are all in phone version, and widely available , plus at affordable price.


ez, yep, this is for everyday use, ez... prety useful if u ask me. and the fact that it is so small and compact, utilizes ur phone's monitor and battery, this is a HUGE WIN! not to mention XR lens too which is awesome :clap:

seek is getting stronger into thermal market, and i think is trying to get into higher segmentation. with therm-app's agressive marketing (chopping price from $6k to $939, with 19mm germanium lens, that can detect human from 450m away :box: ), but less success, Seek will definitely learn from it and comes up with lower price (if seek ever tries to go into higher resolution, they will likely sell it below therm-app price).

i just cant wait for the dogfight in thermal competition  and more of mike's thermal tear ups   :-+ :popcorn:   
 

Offline encryptededdy

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Re: Yet another cheap thermal imager incoming.. Seek Thermal
« Reply #2036 on: September 26, 2015, 11:22:54 pm »
Hopefully all of this pushes someone to introduce a 640x480 consumer module. That would really be a killer product.

With the 640x480 FLIR Vue selling for $3000 (less than a 320x240 TAU 2, 640x480 TAU 2 is ~$6-7k), it shows us that 640x480 sensors at the moment carry huge markups.

As I've mentioned in other threads, BAE has had a 12um 640x480 sensor available to OEMs for over a year now. Being 12um, the actual sensor size is not much bigger than the 17um 384x288 sensor in my Therm-App, which means it can use smaller housing, and, more importantly, smaller optics.




Seeing Seek/Raytheon were one of the first with a 12um sensor out, perhaps they could push for a 320x240 or even 640x480 12um module. That would be very exciting (however it would fall under ITAR if over 384x288).
 

Offline termal lee

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Re: Yet another cheap thermal imager incoming.. Seek Thermal
« Reply #2037 on: September 27, 2015, 04:18:00 am »
eddy, wow thats some serious thermal cam, right there. 480 seems really detailed. even therm-app has got enough details.
ITAR is a serious problem though, and i dont think Seek will ever go beyond ITAR regulation, since they have always wanted to make their poduct enter mainstream consumer, they wouldnt want to mess too much with ITAR. but it realy seems like seek is going to aim higher in marker segmentation, as they already named their product as "compact" ( small, simple, affordable cam). i bet they wouldnt go higher than 288, just like therm-app did. but who knows, im just a newbie  :-//

notice u r from aussie. did u get therm-app 25hz or 9hz, mate? seems like aussie gets restriction too, as it is outside north america, and not even in europe. where did u get it from, eddy? therm-app.com or some distributor in aussie? and how much? dont buy from ebay though, they sell at high price for no reason, and it is 9hz, and from same country as the mabufacture but with higher price

about optics, did anyone notice, that seek XR has concave lens as the front lens? (all telescope front lens is convex, to focus light onto eyepiece). anyone understand the work of optics in seek XR or seek normal?  :-\
 

Offline termal lee

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Re: Yet another cheap thermal imager incoming.. Seek Thermal
« Reply #2038 on: September 27, 2015, 04:33:30 am »
did u say Flir has 480 for $3k ?! Seek will mess with even ITAR just to kill Flir, this time. i have much condidence in them. seek is best  8)
 

Offline encryptededdy

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Re: Yet another cheap thermal imager incoming.. Seek Thermal
« Reply #2039 on: September 27, 2015, 05:28:39 am »
New Zealand m8


I got the Therm-App from the Therm-App website. It's the 9Hz version - since New Zealand is a "friendly" country, it's not that difficult to get the 25Hz version (the local NZ distributor sells the 25Hz version to anyone, as long as you agree not to export it.)

The problem is that when I enquired about the price of the 25Hz version, it was $1699 :wtf:, considering it has the same sensor and presumably it's just a firmware change. They said all I had to do was sign a agreement (presumably to not export it etc.), no other checks needed.

As for Seek, while I would love to see them introduce a 640x480 camera, I unfortunately doubt that it will happen (however one can dream, right?). 384x288 is more than enough for most uses, and, as long as Seek introduce a 320x240+ camera with a good lens and a price below $1k, they have a winner. (do note 384x288 is 45% more pixels than 320x240)

Here's a picture from my Therm-App of some bubbles;



While 640x480+ would definitely be great, I think the more important thing is getting the price down below $1000 with a decent lens.

Also I think should seek really introduce a affordable 640x480 camera, FLIR is more than capable of dropping the price on the current products to beat/match seek.

I'll leave you with a 1344x784 image from the cooled MWIR FLIR SC8303. You can buy one yourself here. It's ex-demo but it's $45,000 off!  :-+

 

Offline encryptededdy

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Re: Yet another cheap thermal imager incoming.. Seek Thermal
« Reply #2040 on: September 27, 2015, 05:34:10 am »
Also the slow video version of the FLIR Vue 640 appears to be not under ITAR and are free for anyone to purchase off FLIR's website!?

Was I wrong in thinking this whole time that ITAR also applied to >111k pixel cameras in addition to >9Hz cameras?
 

Offline termal lee

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Re: Yet another cheap thermal imager incoming.. Seek Thermal
« Reply #2041 on: September 27, 2015, 11:13:05 am »
never heard of the resolution restriction before, but i have been thinking it might be silly for ITAR to give such restriction too, as it doesnt have particular use to have such high resolution, unless for porn industry  >:D lets hope ITAR wouldnt be too much crazy about restricting everything. they made resolution 9hz, that has created much problem already.

the 720 resolution of dog is so addictive, thats too much of awesomeness. i can spend hours just watching people across the street by the cam  :popcorn:

flir vue 640 only costs $3k, new breakthrough to kill therm-app and seek's next product. i bet seek will hit back hard, this time. it doesnt seem to affect therm-app though, too much of price diference, and such high res is not very useful, since thermapp has got good resolution already
 

Offline sguyader

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Re: Yet another cheap thermal imager incoming.. Seek Thermal
« Reply #2042 on: September 30, 2015, 12:03:55 pm »
The new device from Seek Thermal is listed for preorder at 399USD on their website : the Seek Reveal.
It's 240x320 resolution, it is handheld, autonomous, and come with a LED spotlight.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2015, 12:07:05 pm by sguyader »
 

Offline termal lee

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Re: Yet another cheap thermal imager incoming.. Seek Thermal
« Reply #2043 on: September 30, 2015, 12:34:58 pm »
exactly as i predicted some days ago  O0  right in the face of other competitors!  :box: i bet flir is having a big headache right now. now the only adventage that therm-app have over seek is their optics. and their optics are still too expeisive.
nice job, Seek! :-+


so thats why they cut the price of the lower end "compact" version
« Last Edit: September 30, 2015, 12:38:30 pm by termal lee »
 

Offline Fraser

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Re: Yet another cheap thermal imager incoming.. Seek Thermal
« Reply #2044 on: September 30, 2015, 12:38:06 pm »
An interesting development. I am pleased that they now have a unit with inbuilt screen. This product development is a sign that SEEK are either making good profits on their current line up or that they have investors confident in their viability in the marketplace. I am pleased for SEEK.

It will be interesting to hear whether a new version of the microbolometer is being used as SEEK stated they were going to produce one that does not have the FLIR Patent issue requiring every 15th pixel to be disabled.

Looking forward to hearing about the image quality that the new unit produces. When it comes down to it, a decent image is what it's all about. Having to write dedicated software that runs on a bulky host is not an elegant solution IMHO.

Fraser
 

Offline termal lee

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Re: Yet another cheap thermal imager incoming.. Seek Thermal
« Reply #2045 on: September 30, 2015, 12:40:54 pm »
i bet Fraser is placing pre-order right now. lets see his review in a few days  :popcorn: and mike's tearup  :-/O   ;D
 

Offline in.Vitro

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Re: Yet another cheap thermal imager incoming.. Seek Thermal
« Reply #2046 on: September 30, 2015, 12:44:05 pm »
Not Bad! For 399 Bucks a standalone Thermal imager with 320x240 Pixels.
Nice thing....but is it still so noisy?
 

Offline termal lee

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Re: Yet another cheap thermal imager incoming.. Seek Thermal
« Reply #2047 on: September 30, 2015, 12:51:34 pm »
range:
compact = 1000ft
xr = 1800ft
reveal = 500ft_????


in.vitro, we dont know yet, but seek's sensor was 200x150, being pushed into bigger resolution. maybe thats why they are noisy. now that the resolution is so much better, we can expect more from seek
« Last Edit: September 30, 2015, 01:08:00 pm by termal lee »
 

Offline cynfab

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Re: Yet another cheap thermal imager incoming.. Seek Thermal
« Reply #2048 on: September 30, 2015, 02:30:23 pm »
The new Seek Reveal quotes a DISPLAY RESOLUTION of 320 x 240, not necessarily a sensor resolution.
Their sample images look quite good, but they are the same sample images they showed for the original Seek.

Didn't Mike build something similar out of a Lepton salvaged from a Flir One G1... Funny how that works...
   ...ken...
 

Offline in.Vitro

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Re: Yet another cheap thermal imager incoming.. Seek Thermal
« Reply #2049 on: September 30, 2015, 03:01:37 pm »
Oh okay then..., my guess is now that Seek build the old Sensor/Optics in a bigger case, plugged a crippled down android/linux based device with low res display and sell it as a new inuvation :D
 


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