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Old 17-10-2014, 17:31   #1
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Affordable Thermal IR Cameras!

The Seek Thermal Infrared Camera for iPhone and Android | WIRED

A new article in Wired discusses the Seek Thermal ($199 for Android or Apple phones on Amazon) and the FLIR One (about $350 and Apple only).

These gizmos plug into a smartphone and push an IR thermal camera image into the phone, and give you options for analysis and display besides just showing the image.

They aren't cheap cheap but they are way better than the ten grand for a "real" professional IR camera. Thoughts that come to mind are using one on an engine, to see exactly what "normal" looks like all over the engine and cooling system, which would immediately indicate a hot spot, or even an overheating bearing or pulley. Or how the alternator really is doing.

And I can't help but thinking, there's got to be some way this could tell whether a rudder is internally soaked, based on how the IR view of a rudder (on a recently hauled boat) changed in response to the heat of the sun cycling through it during the day.

Who knows what else. But at $200...this has got to open doors for new uses.
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Old 17-10-2014, 18:01   #2
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Re: Affordable Thermal IR Cameras!

Apparently one of those uses is to detect recent finger-presses on a keypad, like your PIN or access codes to a building. Maybe I watch too many spy movies.
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Old 17-10-2014, 19:02   #3
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Re: Affordable Thermal IR Cameras!

and it has a temperature sensor... wonder how accurate? but may be good for reading above mentioned engine temp...
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Old 17-10-2014, 19:25   #4
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Re: Affordable Thermal IR Cameras!

You can purchase an "IR non contact thermometer with laser pointer" for around $25 now that works really well for all those things. There seem to be 2 main grades, one that goes to about 450F and one that goes to around 1000F. I'd suggest getting one that goes over 900F as you can read exhaust temps with it as well. Plus they work great for all other sorts of things such as freezer and fridge temps, water temp, interior temps, and my favorite which is keeping your turkey fryer at 350F exactly when making french fries.
Something like this pic grabbed off the web:


For me the potential of a thermal camera would be to spot shipping when it is foggy, but I've never tried it so do not know if it would work well or not. I've spent a bit of time with one of the 10K thermal units and in regards to night vision it didn't really offer anything better than a 3rd gen NV especially when the other vessels have any lights on at all, but I never had an opportunity to try it in fog either.
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Old 18-10-2014, 16:41   #5
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Re: Affordable Thermal IR Cameras!

Well this is really interesting. They use an IR camera (a FLIR brand) to do termite inspections on our place in Australia. It's also useful to detect water leaks behind walls before they become a problem. Perhaps it could have the same use on a boat.
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Old 19-10-2014, 01:02   #6
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Re: Affordable Thermal IR Cameras!

Few years ago I did work with Customs and Fishery in Aus, had a good look at Flir (not sure if they come in different qualities), but for spy activity it was great, in antarctic waters we could zoom in and see all sorts of incredible stuff.
At home and at work, I have used a hand held devise such as in post#4, they are also pretty kewl. One use I have used them for in a old house was detecting dampness in the walls, when they were damper than adjacent area you could easily determine by looking for a temperature drop of say .8 Deg C.
I use them in ships engine rooms occassionally, at home looking for weaknesses in thermal insulation. Can't readily think of a use of a imaging camera, maybe if you had a security concern, or just curious.
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Old 19-10-2014, 04:52   #7
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Re: Affordable Thermal IR Cameras!

Perhaps pick up a warm battery (or a cell) in your battery bank.
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Old 19-10-2014, 07:26   #8
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Re: Affordable Thermal IR Cameras!

I just ordered a seek... they are on back order.

I plan on using it to look for wet spots in a deck, identify ways to improve my fridge, same with the engine. It will also be great for sailing at night, finding stuff in the water, etc.

Maybe I'll mount it to a drone!
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Old 25-10-2014, 13:06   #9
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Re: Affordable Thermal IR Cameras!

Did you get any kind of indicator as to when they'll be shipping?

I want to order one but I sent them a msg via FB and they never responded... but there's lots of people posting asking questions about when they will ship.
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Old 25-10-2014, 13:51   #10
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Re: Affordable Thermal IR Cameras!

Quote:
Originally Posted by MBWhite View Post
You can purchase an "IR non contact thermometer with laser pointer" for around $25 now that works really well for all those things.
Seconding one of these. I use ours on our hydronic heating system at home. I've also heard that they can help detect poor connections in a high-current circuit, by their higher temperature.
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Old 25-10-2014, 14:04   #11
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Re: Affordable Thermal IR Cameras!

Sounds great for fog and reduced vis at night!
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