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Just bought a THERMAL IMAGING camera...

JohnNY
JohnNY Member Posts: 3,229
I've already found a roof leak that killed a bunch of insulation, located a chimney behind a brick wall, showed a homeowner the path of steam travel through a radiator (proving why the vent goes in the middle)...



What can I use it for that I'm not thinking of?



Share your experiences?



I've got the Flir I7.



Thanks all, and happy new year to all of you.
Contact John "JohnNY" Cataneo, NYC Master Plumber, Lic 1784
Consulting & Troubleshooting
Heating in NYC or NJ.
Classes

Comments

  • Wayco Wayne_2
    Wayco Wayne_2 Member Posts: 2,479
    Could I use it?

    to see where my wife disapears to when I get a notion involving inalienable rights? 
  • MikeyB
    MikeyB Member Posts: 696
    Camera

    We have used company's to scan our high/low voltage switches, fuse blocks, pecker heads on motors, etc, to locate hot spot's,  I'm sure you can put this device to alot of good use, very impressive tool. ME had some great thermal images of his windows a week or so ago.
  • Kal Row
    Kal Row Member Posts: 1,520
    live near brooklyn ny??

    need it to find a kinked pex tube in concrete - even a 009 with 34ft of head bearly gets any water through - the flir would locate the kink forthwith it would litteraly be visible 
  • nicholas bonham-carter
    nicholas bonham-carter Member Posts: 8,576
    uses for ir camera

    checking your tire pressures after a short run [lower pressure = higher tire temperature]. in the snow and ice, balanced tire pressure is more important for traction and control than any other time!--nbc
  • Devan
    Devan Member Posts: 138
    Just bought the flir i7 also

    but Grainger had it on back order. Can't wait.



    I have a auto mechanic wanting to add another lift but afraid to cut concrete because shop is RFH. I will use it to find tubing.



    I also need to look into walls with a bath/bed over an unheated garage. Of course owner thinks HWBB heating system is at fault. Everything my end checks out, I believe it's an insulation "cold 70" issue. So as soon as the flir arrives , I hope to be vindicated.



    But first I'll be taking a look at my house. : D



    Happy new year to you as well!
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 22,110
    showing loss in radiant slabs

    especially the edge loss.



    Stockyards use them for checking the animals for fevers and infections. I viewed my dogs and could see their aging joints running warm.



    Great for finding infiltration leaking in a building around electrical receptacles, sill . Hundreds of uses once you get the hang of them.



    hr
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • Wayco Wayne_2
    Wayco Wayne_2 Member Posts: 2,479
    What's the difference

    Between the i7 and the i5. The i5 is less expensive. Are the features of the i7 worth the difference? 
  • Mark Eatherton
    Mark Eatherton Member Posts: 5,853
    Hate to disappoint you Kal...

    But unless a head loop was physically kicked inward and kinked, you probably won't be able to find it with IR.



    If you do know which tube it is, and can trace exactly where it goes, and then go exactly over that area with an ultrasonic listening device, you MIGHT be able to hear the hydraulic HISSSsss where the water is being pinched.





    Been there, tried that, to no avail...



    ME
    It's not so much a case of "You got what you paid for", as it is a matter of "You DIDN'T get what you DIDN'T pay for, and you're NOT going to get what you thought you were in the way of comfort". Borrowed from Heatboy.
  • Mark Eatherton
    Mark Eatherton Member Posts: 5,853
    edited January 2010
    Show us your pictures...

    it is simplyt amazing what you can see in a different light spectrum...



    Here's a self portrait mirror image :-)



    What are the software programs like on them there Flir's? What all can  you do?



    What are the file extensions for the infrared images?



    ME
    It's not so much a case of "You got what you paid for", as it is a matter of "You DIDN'T get what you DIDN'T pay for, and you're NOT going to get what you thought you were in the way of comfort". Borrowed from Heatboy.
  • Mark Eatherton
    Mark Eatherton Member Posts: 5,853
    edited January 2010
    Infrared The Wall...

    I discovered a web site similar to the Wall, except all they talk about is infrared thermography. Great place to ask questions from people in the biz of infrared thermography.



    They also offer on line course for fairly inexpensive fee's.



    www.thesnellgroup.com





    The chat room is [url=http://www.irtalk.com]www.irtalk.com



    Enjoy!



    ME
    It's not so much a case of "You got what you paid for", as it is a matter of "You DIDN'T get what you DIDN'T pay for, and you're NOT going to get what you thought you were in the way of comfort". Borrowed from Heatboy.
  • JohnNY
    JohnNY Member Posts: 3,229
    Hi, everyone.

    I must say, the images reveal far more than I realized they would. I've inadvertently found bad steam traps, confirmed others were functional, found standing water in a 6" steam main ten feet over my head, found uninsulated walls in cold rooms where people were blaming my boiler, all kinds of stuff... I carry it everywhere.



    This is going to be one of those things, like a cell phone, that I'll wonder how I ever lived without.



    (Thanks for the links, ME)
    Contact John "JohnNY" Cataneo, NYC Master Plumber, Lic 1784
    Consulting & Troubleshooting
    Heating in NYC or NJ.
    Classes
  • Mark Eatherton
    Mark Eatherton Member Posts: 5,853
    It's addicting...

    I'm trying to figure out a cool looking holster for it so I can take mine with me as well :-)



    Technogeek to the MAX.



    Actually, we should become salesmen for these companies. I bet we could sell a BUNCH of them.



    I am putting a promotional brochure together using various photos of my more interesting findings in the field. It justifies the cost associated with the use of the tool.



    What file extension do your IR photos get saved to?



    ME
    It's not so much a case of "You got what you paid for", as it is a matter of "You DIDN'T get what you DIDN'T pay for, and you're NOT going to get what you thought you were in the way of comfort". Borrowed from Heatboy.
  • DanHolohan
    DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 16,523
    Great image!

    You with your sidearm. :-)
    Retired and loving it.
  • Mark Eatherton
    Mark Eatherton Member Posts: 5,853
    DRAW PODNAH....

    A driveway snow melting system I was investigating,,,



    POOF, like having Xray vision :-)



    ME
    It's not so much a case of "You got what you paid for", as it is a matter of "You DIDN'T get what you DIDN'T pay for, and you're NOT going to get what you thought you were in the way of comfort". Borrowed from Heatboy.
  • JohnNY
    JohnNY Member Posts: 3,229
    Pics

    I can also see that I'll outgrow this camera sooner than I had expected. I'm already realizing its limitations. For one, I'd love to have had a wider lens.



    The images are jpeg but are not supported by Mac, so I have to load them onto my little PC laptop I use to travel and email to myself where I can deal with them on my Mac....

    Sheeesh!

    Still, I can't put it down. My wife is gonna kill me with it.
    Contact John "JohnNY" Cataneo, NYC Master Plumber, Lic 1784
    Consulting & Troubleshooting
    Heating in NYC or NJ.
    Classes
  • Mark Eatherton
    Mark Eatherton Member Posts: 5,853
    The color of heat...

    Was at my weekly meeting with the radiant window guys, doing some stress tests on relays, power drives and such. We blew up a radiant window, and I realized that there is a limitation to the infrared camera. My camera only goes up to 278 degrees F. The window exploded at around 490 degrees F (according to a smaller hand held point-n-shoot radiometer).



    Anyway, as we were stressing the drives and relays, we decided to hook up a 1500 watt element from a water heater and put it in  a bucket of water so we didn't blowit up. Check out these BTU's. We had just stirred the bucket up to keep the element from boiling.



    ME
    It's not so much a case of "You got what you paid for", as it is a matter of "You DIDN'T get what you DIDN'T pay for, and you're NOT going to get what you thought you were in the way of comfort". Borrowed from Heatboy.
  • Dave Stroman
    Dave Stroman Member Posts: 765
    Color of heat

    Wow!  This is cool!  We all need one.
    Dave Stroman
  • Devan
    Devan Member Posts: 138
    I like it alot

    John the new imac's have sd card port built in. I just take my card from the i7 and insert it into the mac, pics pop up on desktop.

    I can't use the report software though.
  • JohnNY
    JohnNY Member Posts: 3,229
    Devan, it doesn't work on my MacBook Pro...

    ...I called Flir and they told me that was normal and that I had to use a PC.



    Here is a pic of a steam trap not doing its job. Live steam straight through.
    Contact John "JohnNY" Cataneo, NYC Master Plumber, Lic 1784
    Consulting & Troubleshooting
    Heating in NYC or NJ.
    Classes
  • Devan
    Devan Member Posts: 138
    I see what you mean

    Just tried my MacBook Pro.

    What you need is an SD card reader. Less than $20. After uploading the software for the reader the laptop should handle the Flir.

    Or buy a new iMac with the reader built in.



    Have fun, great pictures btw. Are you charging for or charging more for the diagnoses with the Flir?
  • JohnNY
    JohnNY Member Posts: 3,229
    charging

    To tell you the truth, I haven't been charging to use the camera because it's just been so helpful in eliminating so much guesswork and helping me move through my day so quickly, that I feel like I'm using it for my own benefit.



    Here's a new construction job where a bathroom zone never calls for heat, yet is always more than 75º. It turns out the boiler flues run behind this uninsulated wall, creating a surface temperature of 87º.
    Contact John "JohnNY" Cataneo, NYC Master Plumber, Lic 1784
    Consulting & Troubleshooting
    Heating in NYC or NJ.
    Classes
  • Hollis
    Hollis Member Posts: 105
    Nice

    But aprox how much do these cost? Last I checked they were pretty expensive,..
  • Devan
    Devan Member Posts: 138
    The Flir i7

    costs $2,995.00



    The i5 is the entry model and is less.
  • Hollis
    Hollis Member Posts: 105
    Testing things

    Sometime it would be interesting to see if certain things really matter.

    IE, if the paint color of radiators really matter (so many are painted w/aluminium paint. I've heard its a bad idea but not sure if it indeed does impede heat transfer as its right against the metal with (i think) no reflective space. and I'm not sure it helps. I have heard that darkers colors work better, but I'm thinking just the thickness of the paint and whatever it contributes to slowing down transfer offset the color.



    Also about ceramic paints,..(Ie SUPERTHERM) that  The This Old House Former host  (is it TOM Villa?) Anyway he touts as being wonderful (I have my doubts)  But on their web site he shows how much it slows heat to the outside of a shed. A few years ago when I had use of one for a short while, I couldn't show that with the ceramic paint that I had used on a wall.
  • archibald tuttle
    archibald tuttle Member Posts: 1,085
    whats da difference

    there may be a thread already, but what is the difference between the i5 and i7. They seem to have the same screen, same image storage capacity. But can't find a resolution listed for the i5.  the i7 lists 120x120.



    That doesn't really seem like that aggressive of a resolution, but maybe, even though that would give a pretty 'fuzzy' picture of a larger object, e.g. the side of a building, the resolution would still help you focus on problems and then hone in.



    Or do you use these smaller units at a closer focus from the start.  Survey a 10' by 10' area of building at a time and then move over?



    brian
  • Devan
    Devan Member Posts: 138
    That's right

    the i7 has a detector lens 120 x120 pixels



    and the i5 is 80 x 80.



    I'm sure for basic building diagnoses the i5 is ok. I remember going to a trade show and looking at the Extech (i5) and to tell you the truth, looks the same to me. But I suppose some pros need to see behind walls in greater detail.
  • JohnNY
    JohnNY Member Posts: 3,229
    The difference

    To tell you the truth, Flir calls the i7 the perfect one for basic plumbing and heating use and the i5 for basic electric imaging.

    I'm not sure why but didn't want to find out the hard way.
    Contact John "JohnNY" Cataneo, NYC Master Plumber, Lic 1784
    Consulting & Troubleshooting
    Heating in NYC or NJ.
    Classes
  • Mark Eatherton
    Mark Eatherton Member Posts: 5,853
    What about the software....

    Can you do a pixel by pixel evaluation?



    Can you change colors?



    Can you do image fusion (IR in the middle, regular photo on the outer edge)?



    What about report generating capabilities?



    My fluke can store images as either BMP or in the Fluke format.



    What all can your Flir do?



    I suspect Flir's stranglehold on the market (read patent) must have expired, because there are a host of low cost IR cameras hitting the market recently.



    As for charges, if I am there ONLY for the IR camera, I charge $125 per hour, three hour minimum and include a report for that fee. Good value for the money.



    If I happen to use it for any other reason while I am on site, I add an instrumentation charge, just like I do if I am using any one of my other $10,000 worth of instrumentation.



    ME
    It's not so much a case of "You got what you paid for", as it is a matter of "You DIDN'T get what you DIDN'T pay for, and you're NOT going to get what you thought you were in the way of comfort". Borrowed from Heatboy.
  • Gordy
    Gordy Member Posts: 9,546
    edited January 2010
    Aspect ratio?

     Just curious of aspect ratios.  If you wanted to do say a side of a house that is 60'  long how far away would you have to be?  Or your radiator shot in the initial post how far back must you be to get the whole image?



    Gordy
  • Devan
    Devan Member Posts: 138
    side by side comparisons

    Mark you can change colors and emissivities levels. comes with quickreport software I have yet to use, I'm sure your fluke has more features for the higher costs. I'm not using my IR as intense as you seem to be, nor am I charging extra for it, yet.



    http://www.flir.com/thermography/eurasia/en/content/?id=24076
  • Devan
    Devan Member Posts: 138
    pumps

    Here is a system I installed, first pump on right is high temp baseboard zone, middle is radiant, last pump is off for dhw. Pipes are insulated, surprisingly bolier cabinet not losing a great deal of heat loss, nor the expansion tank and storage tank.



    You would think someone would come up with insulated formed pump covers.
  • nicholas bonham-carter
    nicholas bonham-carter Member Posts: 8,576
    other uses for an ir camera

    pictures by someone else of a gravely garden tractor--nbc

    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/gravelyclub/photos/album/953657182/pic/list
This discussion has been closed.