Author Topic: Yet another cheap thermal imager incoming.. Seek Thermal  (Read 733432 times)

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Offline jaybeez

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Re: Yet another cheap thermal imager incoming.. Seek Thermal
« Reply #2300 on: July 25, 2016, 01:23:05 pm »
Hi everyone,
I havent posted in a while but i have kept up on all the amazing developments and experiments going on here.
I just wanted to give an update on my original seek, and get some opinions from the experts.
Its a preorder original delivered in November 2014. I havent used it in several months, but i did recently update the app via google play store. I decided to use it on a job last week and when i turned it on there was a cloud of stuck/dead pixels at the top and bottom of the screen. Im attaching a screen shot of a flat field (face down on a table). Most of these pixels never change and stay the same from startup to 5 minutes (longest i've let it run).

Seek's customer service says im out of warranty. But i can pay to aend it back and they may be able to "recalibrate" it. I dont think thats the issue here. They asked if it has been dropped, and i dont recall any.

Opinions? Explanations?
 

Offline efahrenholz

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Re: Yet another cheap thermal imager incoming.. Seek Thermal
« Reply #2301 on: July 26, 2016, 02:22:07 am »
Give it a good smack against a desk. Could be the shutter. Honestly with Seek I'm not a bit shocked that their products are failing early. From what I've seen inside, it's a grim truth. It's sad that they flooded the market with very cheap products, but at least it drove the cost of higher end units down to a realm where ordinary people can finally afford something. I truly feel sorry for consumers that dropped money on this product long after it was determine to be fancy junk.
 

Offline frenky

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Re: Yet another cheap thermal imager incoming.. Seek Thermal
« Reply #2302 on: July 26, 2016, 05:57:14 am »
Do you hear shutter clicking?

The only time I saw a pattern like that was in one of the Mikes teardown videos where he was freezing the back of the board so sensor gain was changing rapidly.
 

Offline jaybeez

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Re: Yet another cheap thermal imager incoming.. Seek Thermal
« Reply #2303 on: July 26, 2016, 10:39:09 pm »
The shutter makes clicking sounds. I dont hear anything moving inside when i shake it.
 

Offline frenky

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Re: Yet another cheap thermal imager incoming.. Seek Thermal
« Reply #2304 on: July 28, 2016, 06:32:15 am »
Seek has made a substential refresh of the andorid app:  https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tyriansystems.SeekThermal
Based on latest reviews it's better to skip this one until they release fixed version...

Quote
The app was far from good But it was usable, now? Now it's just a mess, a complete mess.

Quote
Congrats... You have done something so extraordinary as to make me care enough to write my first review. The new version of this app is broken beyond compare. First... I kinda' get that now you have to create an account and sign in, fine... but it doesn't even keep your login. Each and every time you open the app you have to sign in, even if you accidently back space out or the app... click the app a third of a second later and... login required. And then... even if your login and password are correct a red bar appears and says, "Login Failed". Of course, it was just kidding and lets you in.
 

Online Fraser

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Re: Yet another cheap thermal imager incoming.. Seek Thermal
« Reply #2305 on: July 28, 2016, 09:11:42 am »
From day 1 the SEEK app has left much to be desired. Initially we forgave this as it was a brand new revolutionary product and even the OEM admitted that the app needed further development. EEVBlog members patience has worn thin since as they have seen 3rd party apps developed that far outperform that of the OEM.

I really do not understand the thinking at SEEK Thermal. They needed to seriously revise and improve their apps image processing and now I read that they have released a buggy app that demands a user log in for heavens sake.
Why on earth require a login ? FLIR see no need for such. What purpose does such serve. Talk about user unfriendly. SEEK Thermal appear to be focussing on ephemeral trivia rather than getting to the heart of their troubles and producing an app that gets the maximum performance out of the imaging core.

If the new app does not at least equal the image quality achieved by the clever members of this forum, they need to consider hiring a new coder who has the required skills to replicate such development.

It may be an unfair analogy but I picture SEEK Thermal in the thermal camera market as a fish lying in the bottom of a boat after capture..... Floundering and thrashing with no hope of reprieve. It just does not realise it yet.

Let us hope SEEK Thermal realise that they need to make significant improvements to their products, and fast.

Fraser
« Last Edit: August 08, 2016, 10:24:29 pm by Fraser »
 

Offline JcDenton

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Re: Yet another cheap thermal imager incoming.. Seek Thermal
« Reply #2306 on: July 29, 2016, 07:29:40 am »
Yes the registration thing now requires an email and password, in which get erased and need to be retyped in every time, quite annoying.  The frame rate seems smoother, and the image now has a bit more contrast, although more noise, but I think it is an improvement, and you can now see more overall detail that was washed out before.  Color modes have  significantly changed as well.
 
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Offline frenky

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Re: Yet another cheap thermal imager incoming.. Seek Thermal
« Reply #2307 on: August 08, 2016, 07:16:13 am »
0 = no Processing, no Shutter, only ID3
3 = no Processing, no Shutter, only ID3, with up to 30FPS (Yeea Baby O0)
5 = fast shutter mode, Shutter switch after each frame, Send: 3,1,3,1,3,1,3...
6 = fast shutter mode, Shutter switch after each frame, only ID3
8 = Normal (not deep known) Processing, Shutter rise frequently, Send: 4,9,8,7,10,5,1,3... later 3,3,6,1,3,3,3,3,3,3,3,3,6,1,3,3,3...
That is really interesting. Tnx for sharing...
 

Offline Bosniabill

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Re: Yet another cheap thermal imager incoming.. Seek Thermal
« Reply #2308 on: August 08, 2016, 09:45:45 pm »
I agree with the previous post from Fraser.
 The Seek is in itself reasonably OK for the price  but the new update App is absolutely RUBBISH, requiring you to log in(what the hell is that all about), full of what only can be described as advertising and self congratulations that does nothing but use up the memory of your Smartphone for NO GOOD REASON..
 The App itself (when you can find it amongst the dross) is ,as seek themself admit full of bugs and is far too complicated for what it actually does.
 Seek inform me that it is not possible to revert to the previous App!
 I am afraid I became so disallusioned with the device that I stamped my heel on it. Good bye Seek!

                                                  B.B.
 

Offline asterisco

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Re: Yet another cheap thermal imager incoming.. Seek Thermal
« Reply #2309 on: August 12, 2016, 09:38:47 pm »
Hi everyone,

this is my first post so please bear with me :)

It seems that on Seek web site the Seek Pro now can be ordered with a delivery time of 2 weeks and a price of 499$.
The page says that there is a "new enhanced mobile app".
I wonder if it's the same app that some of you recently tested or a newer (and different?) version just for this new model...

I am looking forward to some real life tests and comparisons with other devices.

Have a nice day :)

Luca




 
 

Offline Kilrah

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Re: Yet another cheap thermal imager incoming.. Seek Thermal
« Reply #2310 on: August 12, 2016, 09:43:02 pm »
Same app for all cameras.
 

Offline z01z

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Re: Yet another cheap thermal imager incoming.. Seek Thermal
« Reply #2311 on: August 15, 2016, 09:12:41 am »
Seek inform me that it is not possible to revert to the previous App!
You could still download the apk for the previous version of the app and install it manually.
 

Offline eternalone

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Re: Yet another cheap thermal imager incoming.. Seek Thermal
« Reply #2312 on: August 15, 2016, 06:13:00 pm »
i cant get 1.0.6 version to work properly on mine. Nothing but dead pixels...or it crashes.
The previous version 1.0.5 works fine though. :-+
 

Offline smbaker

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Re: Yet another cheap thermal imager incoming.. Seek Thermal
« Reply #2313 on: August 15, 2016, 11:39:28 pm »
The Seek is in itself reasonably OK for the price  but the new update App is absolutely RUBBISH, requiring you to log in(what the hell is that all about), full of what only can be described as advertising and self congratulations that does nothing but use up the memory of your Smartphone for NO GOOD REASON..

Good grief. The new app is making me seriously regret my purchase. My smartphone must have been set to auto-update as I wasn't aware the app had updated until I went to use it and had to "log in" (log in to what? why on earth do I need to log in to anything to use a peripheral attached to my phone? It's not a web service. It's a damn camera). Then I had to try to figure out how to use the thing, and ran into the needless complication. The old app was so much simpler and easier to use.
 

Offline IwuzBornanerd

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Re: Yet another cheap thermal imager incoming.. Seek Thermal
« Reply #2314 on: August 16, 2016, 06:05:53 am »
Fortunately I don't have a stupid phone.

I see on the app store it says "This version will replace any older versions and work with all Seek Compact products. It will require one-time registration upon first use in APP entering basic information such as first name, last name, email, and geolocation." and in the list of new features: "One-time product registration to enable enhanced support & meet iTar compliance".  This doesn't explain the ongoing login problem, but maybe it's how they get away with selling the new 15fps units.  Maybe if you're in an unapproved location it disables the 15fps or won't let the thing run at all...which brings me to my next comment...

Thanks joe-c for the offer to answer questions.  A web search for the image processing mode turned up a more recent version of cynfab's code that I had not seen before wherein he documented the commands so I already answered my own questions before I saw your post.

But now I'm scared, seriously...After I made that post I said "Dang!".  What we just did there is exchange technical information on how to take a freely available, unrestricted item and turn it into an ITAR restricted device (as far as I understand the restrictions).  I expect our governments would frown upon that being published to the world like this.  While researching the matter in preparation for making this post.  I even found specific reference to restrictions on software that defeated the 9fps limit in such cameras.  I am surprised that Seek burned the patent pixels into their masks but left the frame rate in software.

If I am correct about this being an ITAR violation, we should delete the posts regarding the increased frame rate.  The problem is not so much doing it for our own purposes, it's publishing it where anyone on the planet can get it.  Like Fraser said a while back, why make it easy for our enemies.

I would like to hear Fraser's take on this, or others who are in-tune with the regulations, but if nobody can provide good reason why my fears are unfounded, I will drop out of the frame rate discussion.  I was hesitant even to join the discussion about cleaning up the image because I feared that could be taken as applicable to restricted devices as well, but once I found many research papers (such as this one: http://opticalengineering.spiedigitallibrary.org/article.aspx?articleid=2035077) on-line discussing that topic I decided it was safe to talk about it.  ITAR penalties are extreme; I don't think any of us want to be a victim.

I still think it is safe to share my code, though.  :)
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Offline Kilrah

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Re: Yet another cheap thermal imager incoming.. Seek Thermal
« Reply #2315 on: August 16, 2016, 07:43:57 am »
ITAR is a US thing, a German guy posting on an Australian forum doesn't have to give a damn about it. If anything, Seek would be the ones getting in trouble.

 

Offline b_force

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Re: Yet another cheap thermal imager incoming.. Seek Thermal
« Reply #2316 on: August 16, 2016, 08:19:51 am »
Penalties for tweaking software/hardware?

Sorry, but I don't think that's how it works.
In the past people have even published articles how to hack certain public transport cards.
If they can do it, it means that everyone can do it, sooner or later.
The fact that companies (or the government) are to 'stupid' to make something rock solid and safe, is not an excuse.
Of course this is only from a scientific point of view, if you try to use it with benefits on a bigger scale, know about the problems and don't report it, that's something else.

Similar with the difference between an hacker and a cracker. The cracker does harm to the software/device he hacked in or took advantage. A hacker reports the problem.
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Offline Bill W

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Re: Yet another cheap thermal imager incoming.. Seek Thermal
« Reply #2317 on: August 16, 2016, 09:44:02 pm »
I am not a lawyer etc, but this is my view of the Seek situation as described here:

Seek are producing a camera that is capable of over 9 images per second.  It does not have an effective method of limiting it to 9 Hz.

This therefore does not qualify for the exemption for 9Hz limited cameras and is Wassenaar dual use controlled regardless of the frequency it is set to at point of sale.

Refer to:
http://www.wassenaar.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/WA-LIST-15-1-CORR-1-2015-List-of-DU-Goods-and-Technologies-and-Munitions-List.pdf
and see section 6.A.3.b.4.b on page 104/105.  The 9Hz exemption is note 3 item a.

While this is controlled, it is NOT ITAR, export from the US is under the E.A.R. from the Dept of Commerce.

I would also suggest that any software that makes the conversion easier may well also be viewed as a controllable item and attract "appropriate attention".
[EDIT] - here it is:
CAMERAS
6.  D.  3. c.   "Software"  designed  or  modified  for  cameras  incorporating  "focal  plane arrays"  specified  by  6.A.2.a.3.f.  and  designed  or  modified  to  remove  a frame  rate  restriction  and  allow  the  camera  to  exceed  the  frame  rate specified in 6.A.3.b.4. Note 3.a.
[/EDIT]

My only doubts are whether as a phone peripheral it has somehow escaped being classed as a camera at all.

Bill

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« Last Edit: August 17, 2016, 12:48:26 pm by Bill W »
 
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Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: Yet another cheap thermal imager incoming.. Seek Thermal
« Reply #2318 on: August 16, 2016, 11:45:31 pm »

It seems that on Seek web site the Seek Pro now can be ordered with a delivery time of 2 weeks and a price of 499$.

There's one on its way to me, should land any day now  ;D
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Offline frenky

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Re: Yet another cheap thermal imager incoming.. Seek Thermal
« Reply #2319 on: August 17, 2016, 06:39:15 am »
I'm really curious to see what is image quality of production units... :-DMM
 

Offline IwuzBornanerd

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Re: Yet another cheap thermal imager incoming.. Seek Thermal
« Reply #2320 on: August 17, 2016, 07:31:41 am »
While the acronym ITAR may be just a US thing, most of the countries represented on this board have signed on to the Wassenaar Arrangement mentioned by Bill W, which is what the ITAR restrictions are derived from.  But certainly no entity is more uptight about it than the US government and we likely have more bureaucrats assigned to tend to the matter than anyone else, so it is understandable why others will be less concerned.  I suspect that the vast majority of people even in the US who have not worked in an affected industry have never heard of export controls and are not the least bit concerned.  Those of us who have worked in such industry have been "trained" into CYA mode.

The document I found referencing controls on software is http://www.osa.org/getattachment/fcdd3bf8-a4a1-421e-9672-560267c39600/U_S_Export_Reform_--_CLEO_2015_Slides.aspx.pdf and appears to be an outline for a presentation on export control "reform" which was given last year.  Slides 44 & 47 seem to describe this situation "to a T".

The quotes I posted from the Google Play store suggest to me that Seek is aware that the cameras are non-compliant & has obtained government approval to distribute them with the requirement that people register & allow access to geolocation.

I am not going to try to tell people what to do.  Due to my "training" I felt I had to bring the matter up.  I have done what I felt I had to do, so I can go back in my hole now...I'm sure nobody will miss any input I would have had on the frame speed.
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Offline Bill W

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Re: Yet another cheap thermal imager incoming.. Seek Thermal
« Reply #2321 on: August 17, 2016, 12:12:50 pm »
For those getting their ITAR / EAR / Wassenaar confused, a good diagram in the link above (it is from page4) which I have attached below.

ITAR - International Trade in Arms regulations - US - Dept of Defense. 
UK equivalent is 'Military list' and Ministry of Defence.
Does not include commercial grade thermal imaging, does include tanks and the like.

EAR - Export Administration Regulations - US - Dept of Commerce.  These are the US rules to implement Wassenaar.
UK/EU equivalent is EU Dual-Use List [Annex I to Council Regulation (EC) No. 428/2009] and through Dept of Business
Includes commercial grade thermal imaging and other dual use technology.

Wassenaar - Multinational agreement on what items have some 'potential military use' and so need some control.  What that control is, is a question for the national authorities.

The only link back to ITAR / ML is that the dual use list controls things that ITAR / ML do not, those items that are not weapons or military grade in their own right but still have some potential to be militarily useful.

Bill

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« Last Edit: August 17, 2016, 12:53:20 pm by Bill W »
 
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Offline b_force

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Re: Yet another cheap thermal imager incoming.. Seek Thermal
« Reply #2322 on: August 17, 2016, 01:55:58 pm »
I don't even understand why we are talking about it?
We are not exporting anything here on a professional level? :-//
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Offline Bill W

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Re: Yet another cheap thermal imager incoming.. Seek Thermal
« Reply #2323 on: August 17, 2016, 02:47:53 pm »
Exporting is exporting, quantity is irrelevant.

Whether it is FLIR shipping a container load of One's from US to Estonia or an individual putting one in the post to Norway / Canada / Bolivia.  Internal EU movements are slightly different.

Bill

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Online Fraser

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Re: Yet another cheap thermal imager incoming.. Seek Thermal
« Reply #2324 on: August 17, 2016, 03:17:06 pm »
Bill W,

Thank you for explaining ITAR etc so clearly.

As you have previously noted, I get confused over ITAR as I have spent my working life within an environment that involved ITAR and ML products.

From my understanding in that world, it was the specific microbolometer chip that was ITAR liable as it was military grade and no different to that used by Raytheon in a missile guidance system. I have never had to delve deeper into the military grade / non-military grade components that are covered by the Wassenaar Arrangement.

All I know for sure is that if a USA produced component is mishandled under ITAR, ML or the Wassenaar Arrangement the offender does face the potential for quite serious charges. As we have seen recently with US hacking offences, the USA are quick to request extradition. Then there was the case of the IRAQI supergun and the Special batteries suitable for missile systems. All offenders were pursued with vigor by the US authorities.

Whilst I agree that common sense should apply, especially to using thermal imaging technology within Europe and other friendly countries, I personally would not wish to openly break the regulations. The potential consequences are not worth the risk. This is why I have provided ITAR warnings in the past and chosen to not discuss how the FLIR 9fps cameras might be changed to 30 or 60fps.

In truth, if I had been on the board that set the thermal imaging frame rate limit for civilian use, I would have set it much lower than 9fps. As military and ex military forum members will attest, 9fps is more than enough to acquire a target and kill it. 9fps does limit multiple target acquisition Delta T,  but not by that much. IMHO we should be grateful that the frame rate is set so HIGH for civilian general release thermal cameras.

Will the news that the SEEk can run at 30fps rock the world ? I seriously doubt it. the camera is so lacking in other areas that it is not a serious contender for a military weapons system. Now the SEEK Pro has been released, that may change however ?

"Why are we disussing this" has been asked.... Simple. those unfamiliar with the current regulations surrounding thermal imaging technology may wish to know why the 9fps cap has been set and what are the implications if they upgrade a camera to a higher frame rate with the intention of selling such on ebay to an anonymous buyer. Remember, Ignorance is no defence in law.

I am always happy to discuss thermal camera related issues, including restrictions, but I will not engage in helping people to remove the frame update restriction. That is just asking for trouble if I want to work for my previous employer again. I do not want to end up on a US watch list !

Fraser
« Last Edit: August 17, 2016, 07:47:45 pm by Fraser »
 
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