DIY-Thermocam – an open-source, do-it-yourself thermographic camera




The aim of this project is to give private persons, educational institutes and companies access to a portable, affordable and customizable thermal imaging plattform.

DIY-Thermocam – an open-source, do-it-yourself thermographic camera




There are various applications like finding heat leaks in the insulation of buildings, the analysis of electrical or mechanical components, the detection of persons / animals or even mounting it on a drone, together with the additional video out module.

Constructed as a self-assembly solution, the DIY-Thermocam allows you to take advantage of the versatile possibilities of thermal imaging and to save money at one go.

Everything, from software to hardware, is completely open-source! This allows everyone to modify or extend the functionalities of the device to their own needs!

GroupGets does now offer a complete self-assembly kit, so you don’t have to worry about buying all the parts on your own.

A scientific paper is also available, giving an overview about the whole project and its capabilities.

Update: haraldg has written a nice set of tools for post-processing the thermal raw data files. Check it out here. He also published a short article about manual calibration here.

HOW TO MAKE IT

You can make your own DIY-Thermocam V2 at home easily. For the tools, you only need a simple soldering iron, some solder tin, a nippers and a screwdriver. The design of the PCB is very basic: No SMD components, only big through-hole parts and modules. The enclosure can be assembled easily only with bolts & nuts, no glue required.

An illustrated assembly guide will lead you through the process of constructing the device, step-by-step. You should have soldered at least one small project before, but with that experience you should be fine.

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The DIY-Thermocam works with the FLIR Lepton2.x (80 x 60) and the FLIR Lepton3.x (160 x 120) LWIR sensor, including the radiometric versions (Lepton2.5 only at the moment). The hardware revision is detected automatically by the firmware on startup and you can change the sensor just with your fingers.

The Lepton2.0 and Lepton3.0 sensors do not have in an internal calibration. An external spot sensor, the MLX90614 is used to generate a transfer function for raw values to absolute temperatures conversion. When using a radiometric Lepton (Lepton2.5 only at the moment), the spot sensor is not required.

The firmware update guide helps you to update your device to the newest firmware. In order to understand to various device functionalities, have a look at the manual.

For going deeper, the structure of the raw data files is explained here, and the open USB serial protocol here.

Read more: DIY-Thermocam – an open-source, do-it-yourself thermographic camera




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