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Thermal imaging

2910 Views 8 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  P38J
looking for a reasonable thermal imaging camera for checking electrial equipment and terminations. any recomendations?
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Flir makes pretty good camera's, kind of pricey though.
The Flir "B-Cam" is what guys seem to use most for day-to-day troubleshooting (not reports for money). It's on my list of things to get in the next year or so. You can lease it from Flir for $199 bucks a month, or you can buy it outright for about 6K. The big guns from Flir are in the 50-60K range. There's only about 2 or 3 companies making thermal imaging cameras, so there's not much to choose from.
Thermal cams are way cool, but for the average (small) guy they are an absolute (unnecessary) luxury IMO.
You can do a lot with an infrared thermometer.
Im currently bidding on a large school project. as part of the commissioning they a requiring Termal test of the terminations. (gear, MCC,Starters). so im just checking into the possiblity of buy vs rent vs sub.
Unless you can build the $6k-$10k for the camera into this job (and others) I see leasing/renting as the only viable option.
I've never had the luxury of being able to do any of the larger precommissioning testing myself. It's normally been specified to be done by a third party with certain qualifications/certifications.
We do 3rd party testing, commission and IR scanning as a service, our Main camera is in use everyday, it has to to pay for itself. Our IR thermographer is Level III certified. This is out 4th camera bought last year for 42,000.00 I THINK.

Fliuke has some newer lower priced cameras...I CRY everytime I am told by Flir or Fluke that they have a newer lower cost camera...MORE COMPETION.

I have been involved with IR for 26 years in the OLD DAYS there were two firms doing IR in my area, now there are countless. Some doing substandard work (IMO) and others doing top of the line work, mirrioring other types of electrical work and life in general.

Not much help on cameras...Except IMO unless you do IR on a regular basis and have an understanding of reflections, temperature VS load, it is easy to mis-diagnose.
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"Except IMO unless you do IR on a regular basis and have an understanding of reflections, temperature VS load, it is easy to mis-diagnose."

I would have to agree with Brian on this statement. I just finished a 1st level class and was amazed how easy it is to think there is something there that is just a reflection of say, a different type of lug, one shiny and one a dull look.
Our company just bought one of the low end Fluke models so that it was easier for me to show someone else how to use it. If it gets too complicated, we have another guy that uses one all the time and we use him when we think we may have a problem and it needs a second look.

I bet that's the difference between 26 years and just out of the class eh brian? :)
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