Thermal imagers, or infrared cameras, capture infrared radiation from objects that are invisible to the human eye. The thermal imager has a matrix that transmits the temperature value in the investigated area in different colors to the screen depending on the settings.
Thanks to the thermal imager, you can identify abnormal temperature zones, detect the source of heat leakage. This device is very often used in industry, where such leaks can not only affect the efficiency and profitability of production, but also become life-threatening for employees. When building and operating a house, thermal imagers are also useful: using an IR camera, you can check the quality of installation of thermal insulation and quickly find problem areas, find problem areas in the heating system.
The search for defects can be carried out in two ways: call a group with equipment that will conduct a thermal imaging survey, or buy a device and conduct it yourself. The first way will require a lot of your time and effort to find a contractor, agree on the scope of work and date, and then wait. Without a doubt, this option will also cost a pretty penny. But your own compact thermal imager will always be at hand and will quickly recoup its cost.
Having decided to buy your own device, when choosing a model, you will probably be guided not only by the quality of diagnostics, but also by the ease of use. The optimal combination of these parameters can be considered the world’s most compact mobile thermal imager from Seek Thermal. The founders of the company set themselves the goal of introducing the general public to thermal imaging technology, and therefore focused on the ease of use and affordability of their devices. By the way, this is not just another Chinese know-how: both development and production are carried out in the USA.
Three models have already been released in the Seek Thermal line of mobile thermal imagers – Compact, Compact XR and Compact Pro, each of which has different characteristics of the lens and matrix: the higher the class of the device, the higher the sensitivity range and range of vision. The viewing angle also depends on the model. The main indicators that affect the price of each of the three options are matrix quality and data processing speed.
The simplest basic Compact model has a fairly wide viewing angle (32 degrees) and a decent range of vision at a distance of up to 300 meters. The camera creates and displays thermal radiation visible to our eyes on the smartphone screen using more than 32 thousand thermal pixels, which are sufficient even for most professional purposes. You will be able to see what you need even at night in complete darkness. Matrix resolution – 206×156 pixels, frame rate is 9 Hz.
The Compact XR model is more professional, this thermal imager is suitable for the tasks of engineers, law enforcement officers, yacht owners, hunters. The matrix resolution and frequency remained the same as in the usual Compact, but the device already “beats” at 550 meters. Compact XR’s viewing angle has been reduced to 20 degrees, but the option to adjust focus has been added.
Today’s top model of compact thermal imagers Seek Thermal, Compact Pro, is equipped with a matrix with a resolution of 320×240 pixels, making the tiny device on a par with professional thermal imagers in its capabilities. The frame rate of this version is 15 Hz, the visibility range is up to 550 meters. The viewing angle is 32 degrees, the focus is also adjustable.
The cases of all of these devices are made of magnesium alloy, which provides high strength and water resistance. In case of falls or unexpected swimming, all Compact models come with a waterproof case. Using chalcogenide lenses and a VOx sensitive microbolometer, these thermal imagers capture infrared radiation from 7.2 to 13 microns and are capable of detecting temperatures in the range from -40 to 330 degrees.
To work with any of the three mobile thermal imagers Seek Thermal, you will need to install a free Russian-language application. With it you can take and save photos and videos, change the color filter and temperature display format.
Of course, Seek Thermal IR cameras have their drawbacks. The main disadvantage is the incompatibility of these thermal imagers with a number of devices on both Android and iOS. It is worth finding out in advance if your smartphone is compatible with the selected model.
Incompatible Devices: Amazon Fire Phone & Tablet, Google Nexus 4, Google Nexus 7 (2012), HTC Desire 620, HTC Desire 626, HTC Nexus 9, Nexus 9, Samsung Galaxy 2 (old), Samsung Galaxy Mega, Samsung Galaxy Note (original), Samsung Google Nexus S , Samsung Nexus S, Samsung Galaxy S3 NEO, Samsung S4 mini, Samsung S5 mini, iPhone 4s or earlier, iPad 3 or earlier, iPod Touch 4 or earlier.
Due to the different types of connectors, the models of Seek Thermal thermal imagers are not universal: each of them has versions for Apple devices with a Lightning connector and for Android devices with MicroUSB. A thermal imager designed for Apple will not work with an Android device and vice versa. For Android devices with a USB Type C connector, an adapter must be used. Also, the adapter is required for devices with a connection connector located on the side or at the top of the smartphone, since the bottom connection is required for correct positioning of the camera. Adapters and adapters must have OTG support.
The Compact family does not have its own battery, thermal imagers consume the power of your phone or tablet. However, the power consumption is quite economical: with continuous use, the phone will be discharged after 4-5 hours.
|Seek Thermal Model||Compact Pro||Compact XR||Compact|
|Price||49 900 rbl.||24 950 rub.||RUR 19 950.|
|Compatibility||iOS / Android||iOS / Android||iOS / Android|
|Viewing angle||32 °||20 °||36 °|
|Visibility range||550 m||550 m||300 m|
|Detected temperature range||-40 … 330 ° C||-40 … 330 ° C||-40 … 330 ° C|
The price for the Seek Thermal Compact, Compact XR and Compact Pro models is 20, 25 and 50 thousand rubles, respectively. The main competitor of Seek Thermal in this functional category is the compact device for smartphones FLIR One. This device is equipped with its own battery, and therefore is larger in size. Its main advantage is the presence of two cameras: in addition to the infrared, the thermal imager uses a regular smartphone camera, and the images from both are superimposed on each other for greater clarity of the final image. Hosting and compatibility requirements are similar. Such a device, like the base Compact, will cost about 20 thousand, but at the same time, the matrix resolution of the FLIR One is an order of magnitude lower, as is the visibility and temperature range..
If you want to have a standalone device with its own battery and display, then take a look at the Reveal line, all from the same Seek Thermal – in terms of their technical characteristics, three devices of this series are absolutely identical to their mobile counterparts..
At the end of the article, let’s return to the important question at the very beginning. Heat or cold leakage can occur anywhere hidden from your eyes and turn into a drain of your money. The problem may be in the electrical wiring, in the piping in the wall, in the heating in the floor, in the ventilation system, improperly installed insulation in the walls or roof, errors in the installation of windows, etc. If you feel that heat is leaving the house or bath, or just want to check, just in case you don’t have to take apart the wall, floor or ceiling.
The thermal imager will help you determine the state of the server room and check if your laptop or boards of other devices are overheating. It will also come in handy for a motorist who wants to carry out an independent diagnosis and identify (or prevent) a defect in the exhaust system, radiator or a minor puncture of a tire. You can even check if the kebabs are ready.
It can be argued that in terms of technical characteristics, household Seek Thermal does not differ from professional equipment, while they are compact, easy to use and cost less than analogues. Such devices are even given to children so that they can feel like superheroes who see the invisible at night, and even in unusual colors..
In general, if you are used to figuring things out on your own and love reasonable economy, then we strongly recommend that you get yourself a home thermal imager.
For readers and subscribers of the site there is a promo code for a 10% discount Our site GADGET for the purchase of Seek Thermal in the Inspector Gadgets store.
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