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Thermal Imaging Scopes


Fireman_DJ
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It depends on if I can pay for it on lay-by.

Money is always an issue, but if the picture quality and response time was to turn out pretty reasonable I'd try to allocate some cash.

Another issue to make sure is dealt with is heat issues. Not a big problem of the night, but even $23,000 cameras play up on a hot summers day.

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It depends on if I can pay for it on lay-by.

Money is always an issue, but if the picture quality and response time was to turn out pretty reasonable I'd try to allocate some cash.

Another issue to make sure is dealt with is heat issues. Not a big problem of the night, but even $23,000 cameras play up on a hot summers day.

All thermal cameras play up on a hot day, though these should handle it reasonably well. Anyway, they will work during the day but most thermal is intended to work at night.

Layby? Maybe, maybe not. I'm not actually selling them so it's not like I can choose to sell that way. It's more about travelling the path and documenting what I did. Locating hardware and other parts. Determining how to build the components. Much like the P8079HP spotter scope project we had here.

Response? Might be 10hz, might be 30... Depends on the core you buy... Used car parts... Modified parts from BMW's and Cadillacs and the like. Cars with Thermal Night Vision intended to pick up animals ahead of headlight range. Some have 30 hz, some only 10.

But it's a reasonably solid design for car use. I am just taking a vehicle design and converting it to non-vehicle use.

Regards

David.

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Bit exy for me, David.

C'mon - how can you go past the Turntable with AM/FM radio for $39.99???

Yes, Thermal is quite expensive... But then a commercial unit costs more than $10,000 and military upwards of $20K.

So a sub-$3K unit in Australia is pretty cheap...

But only if you wanted a thermal. :)

Regards

David

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Yes, Thermal is quite expensive... But then a commercial unit costs more than $10,000 and military upwards of $20K.

So a sub-$3K unit in Australia is pretty cheap...

But only if you wanted a thermal. :)

Regards

David

Just letting everyone know this project is progressing...

david-thermal-cars1.jpg

"First Light" - or should that be "First Heat".

Current specs - 30 hz, 320x240 resolution, UFPA.

More details to follow in coming weeks. :)

David

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That image is taken by a camera looking the the thermals screen correct? If so then is a short video possible?

Well spotted..

Yes and no.... Yes, as in, sure, it's possible and even trivial.

No as in not yet, because when I pulled my pocket DVR out of the box, it was stuffed and needs a new battery... So until that arrives ( maybe a week away? ) I can't do any video. I haven't had enough time this weekend that rewiring it was an option.

I was just fortunate I had a spare screen to hook up temporarily. It's just a 2" low resolution, so the screen doesn't quite match the thermal output. It also lacks recording functionality.

But as soon as I get the new battery, I'll make a recording for you - :) Given I set my goals to produce a high-frame-rate thermal DIY kit though, the project is going pretty well. I'm using a surplus Ratheon core, but a friend is also doing the project and is using a FLIR core.

It's running off of a car battery at the moment ( cig lighter plug ) but I'll modify it for Lithium's over the next few weeks and given time, will add a few more interesting features to it.

Regards

David

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Keep in mind though that thermal is only really used for spotting animals... You still need an intensified rifle scope to shoot them. Though I guess you could go-spotlight too.

for me, this is the real benefit - spotting the ferals. once i know something is there, id be happy to switch the spotlight on and nail it.

$3k :huh:

to be honest, itd have to be pretty darn reliable for me to go for it, but i would take comfort in the knowledge that you have a good understanding of the local conditions here David.

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for me, this is the real benefit - spotting the ferals. once i know something is there, id be happy to switch the spotlight on and nail it.

$3k :huh:

to be honest, itd have to be pretty darn reliable for me to go for it, but i would take comfort in the knowledge that you have a good understanding of the local conditions here David.

Local conditions? All snow and rain up Geraldton isn't is? :) LOL! I haven't been to Geraldton since my Twelvth Birthday... back around when the Fulong 11 "fishing boat" was intercepted. Got a Prop-shot for my present. Remember those?

Truth be told, it's really hard when making stuff out of surplus parts to know how it will perform, but so far, this thermal has exceeded my expectations... It can spot tiles on a roof at 100m no worries. It can spot a canary at better than 20m ( no idea max range ) through plastic and shade cloth. I am very impressed. And all my neighbors are losing heat through their air conditioners on their roof. Great for summer, not so much for winter.

And the cores themselves are commercial but as good as anything military I've seen from about 10 years ago. Maybe not the best now, but they have better than 0.2 degrees C separation from what I can tell. And it's amazing how long cars stay warm for.

Anyway, this thermal core is designed to be left outside in the rain, has a heater for snow and is waterproof, because they self-clean with water spray.... It doesn't get much better than that. Even the plugs are supposed to be waterproof, but I'm waiting on the proper one.

The only "not so great" part is the screen. I just use whatever I have but am planning on making it finally with a 2.5" high resolution screen. The batteries and controls I can seal up and I can probably put the screen in a sealed see-through container too. These thermals have moving parts, but are still an uncooled focal plane array and work really well. They are intended for external mounting on vehicles ( and so sometimes have road chips ) and can be mounted on a pole next to a spotlight if you want to spot thermal and track spotlight ( and of course, they still work after the spotlight is turned on... ) so would be very good as a spotlight mod and would let you drive in the dark too, as long as you know how ( watch out for star pickets and other things, but if you can follow the road, you can drive on thermal ) They come originally with a mounting bracket anyway.

Price? If you budget around $3K, you're safe... You might even get one under $2K all up, especially if you were mounting it next to your spottie and using a screen in the car... Doesn't get any more comfortable than that does it? :) You could even get the heads-up display and integrate to your dashboard so you can drive with it *and* spot roos... They are worth it just for that.

Works OK during the day, but really suited for night. Great for having the passenger spotting roo's on the way home too...

Seriously, these are fantastic projects... Not all that cheap but work well and you can probably get them new here too. No idea how much they cost.

Anyway, no video yet, but I know how much you guys like cats...

david-cat2.jpg

But be nice to my cat... He's a guard cat. Goes for walks with me and takes showers and baths... Plays chicken with cars.

And besides, he's my model for such pics. He's only about 30m away, but it's not really in the depth of field until 50+ so he looks blurry.

:)

David.

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thats pretty impressive.. i reckon thatd be just the trick out shooting..

i wonder how it would go in the crop, like now its darn hard spotting anything because the crops are up, especially the canola, and its like a jungle out there!

i think i want one :ph34r:

Those two cats at 1:08 are hidden. I spotted the first about 80m away and couldn't work out what the bright spot was... When I walked closer, it turned out to be a cat hiding behind a railway sleeper and as soon as I got around the side a little, the second one became apparent. The closer one is actually hidden in tall grass and it was late afternoon when I took that footage. I could not see either cat with my eye until I got much closer.

So as long as a part of the animal is visible and there is a temperature difference between the two, you will see them... I can see canaries through a piece of heavy plastic and two layers of shade cloth where I would see nothing with a torch or a NV scope.

The easiest way to explain whether you'd see something - would you spot it ( Rabbit, Fox, whatever ) if it was painted High-Vis Green, yellow or red? If so, then you would spot it on thermal. Often, the grass or crop growing provides camouflage more than anything, as does the ground.

Thermal won't help identify what you see though - It helps you spot them, but doesn't help you know what it is.

Regards

David

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That last girl is pretty hot.

She must be at least 35 degrees Celsius!!!

Jokes aside, that's not too bad.

Overcast day??? The kids wearing shorts tells me it's hot, but not direct sunlight or you wouldn't get such a huge temperature differential.

I'm also very impressed that you went back in time to capture that footage. More impressed to see you found a time in the past where the cars look like they are from present day.

As David said, thermal imaging can't see THROUGH objects. But most of the time it's not that we can't see what we are looking it, it's that we can't see the difference between the background, the foreground and the target.

That's where thermal imaging will kick ass. I couldn't have put it better then how David said it. If the rabbit were fluro pink standing in dull green grass, would you walk past it without seeing it?

I disagree with not being able to tell what an object is however.

At 9sec, the kid is wearing a bike helmet.

At 18sec, kid on the left of screen on the scooter, no helmet. If I'm not mistaken that's a full 1.25l bottle of coke. (or some other liquid in a coke bottle).

At 41sec, Holden Commodore Wagon. I'm not that great at specific models, but if I had a chart to reference I'd be able to narrow it down to a year. I could also make out the Jeep at 22sec and the Ford Falcon Ute at 33sec or the Ford Falcon Sedan with spoiler, tow bar and driver side window wound down at 1min 34sec.

You just need to be familiar with the devices and their limitations. And familiar with the objects you may encounter and how they transmit heat (or lack of heat). Do you know we can use these cameras to tell how full a LPG cylinder is? And track a fuel spill in a water way.

Is the resolution limited by the imaging device, or the viewing screen/recording device?

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That last girl is pretty hot.

She must be at least 35 degrees Celsius!!!

That's my Daughter :growl: ! LoL! :lol:

Yeah, it wasn't all that hot, but it is Perth over here... Early evening. Even now, it's a nice comfortable temperature outside.

She wasn't too happy with me I dragged her outside to stand and move about.

Is the resolution limited by the imaging device, or the viewing screen/recording device?

The core resolution is 320x240 - Many thermals are 160x120 and are a quarter of the resolution. 320x240 @ 30Hz is pretty good and much of what is around there is around the $10K mark.

Very high resolution cameras are around 640x480 but are not cheap, usually up above the $20K mark.

A little bit of resolution is lost to the codec. But generally the recorder can handle 320x240 and 640x480 so it's the core. I down-sampled through Movie Maker to edit a quick clip and that lost a bit of quality too - and dropped the frame rate 50%.

It's not Commodore's you need to recognize :) It's Foxes from Sheep and Dogs, and Rabbits from Lambs and Cats. Image intensifiers are much better to confirm the target and take the shot, though if you have a spotter or you know what you're shooting, you can shoot off thermal. Snipers do anyway.

Here's a middle-of-the-day video. This one was recorded at 320x240 and looks a little less sharp IMO, or it might just be the contrast is much higher.

Anyway, you clearly have some experience with Thermal... Do share :)

Regards

David

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Need I say more then this?

work.3695806.2.flat,550x550,075,f.some-colour-in-a-grey-world.jpg

Generally speaking, I don't carry a camera when doing thermal work (or any other fire fighting). The cameras just too big and I can only do one job at a time. But here we had a crew of three, CFS were with us and so was our vehicle. We use the TIC for so many jobs we almost need one on every truck. House fires, grass fires, "false alarms", coal mine fires.

One of the best examples of it's use was at a coal mine fire. We were given the orders to wonder about, mark anything we found and generally just help out. We cam across a crew using a ground monitor to hit a hot spot. The steam was pretty thick. And TIC's are not meant to see through water vapour.

Somehow ours did and we saw that instead of getting into the crack, they were hitting a bit of coal that stuck out. We asked them to move the monitor across and then talked them into the hot spot. After a couple of minutes in the new position it was out. They then asked were we had been, they'd been trying to get that one spot out for about an hour!

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The easiest way to explain whether you'd see something - would you spot it ( Rabbit, Fox, whatever ) if it was painted High-Vis Green, yellow or red? If so, then you would spot it on thermal.

oooh yeah.. i def want one.. now, where to steal the bits from? :devil:

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oooh yeah.. i def want one.. now, where to steal the bits from? :devil:

They are not that expensive to buy... OK, that's not true, but they are worth what they cost. :)

Fireman_DJ - It's a shame our fire departments don't have their own R&D Budget, because I bet they could make their funding go a whole lot futher...

SWIR is good too, but I don't know if they use it much over here... It sees straight through most smoke and water vapor -

Regards

David

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