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Infrared: A New Versatile Diagnostic Tool


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Originally posted by roadguy

My apologies. I mistakenly assumed that this forum would be like most of the others I have checked out where all grammatical conventions (punctuation,spelling,etc.) are tossed out the window so that participation excitation is increased via the challenge of "deciphering the code".[:-party]

Well, it's a good thing you've got that weather-toughened skin 'cuz home inspectors tend to correct each others' grammatical and spelling faux pas in the interest of helping one another become better writers.

That is, essentially what we are - technical writers - and it helps to have someone available here to correct those little niggling things that might make your work look/read less professional.

Most folks here understand and appreciate it, but every once in a while there's someone who gets highly offended and thinks that, instead of receiving constructive criticism, they're being dissed and they stomp off the board.

Kurt, I dunno. I've looked at photos from both and I really don't see that much difference. Do we really need to have the absolute best resolution when we're just showing them the differences in heat signatures emanating from an object or wall/ceiling cavity?

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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Originally posted by hausdok

Kurt, I dunno. I've looked at photos from both and I really don't see that much difference. Do we really need to have the absolute best resolution when we're just showing them the differences in heat signatures emanating from an object or wall/ceiling cavity?

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

That's what I don't know; I'm not sure it's worth the extra 4K to find out, but I hate buying equipment and then discovering I shoulda spent the extra money for the good stuff.

I need guidance from someone who's used the thing; I've only played w/Flir Rep demo's.....

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In my mind, it boils down to this: If I am going to use the thermal imager as a report tool, then I need high resolution so that the images will be fairly "self-explanatory" to untrained report readers. If, however, I will limit its use to an inspection tool that I simply make reference to in the report, then I would not need quite as much. IOW, I would rely much less on the image quality and more on my ability to interpret the image. The one caveat to this would be whether or not the lower resolution models would actually allow me to see everything I would need to. I have seen no evidence that they would not show what I need to see.

BTW, Hausdok, commas should appear both before and after an adverbial modifier (i.e., "essentially"). And there will be no "stomping off" on my part.

That is, essentially what we are - technical writers - and it helps to have someone available here to correct those little niggling things that might make your work look/read less professional.
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Kurt,

The $9,950 B2 has exactly twice the resolution of the $6,750 models. No sales tax when purchaed from PE whereas FLIR said they do charge.

FLIR is having a one day seminar for home inspectors and a three day building science seminar in Oakbrook end of February. I'll be at the three day with my B2 in a Brink's truck.

Erol Kartal

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I purchased the B cam in May.. The one complaint I've heard is flirs service has a lot to be desired. . I did have a problem and for over a week I could not get a reply or assistance from Flir or the local Flir rep.

I finaly went to the local company where I purchased it and after a week they were able to get me help. It turned out that they had some kind of problem with the photo part of it and they fixed it for free. Sending the camera in did take two weeks before I had it back.

Since then I understand they quit selling flir with that being one of their reasons and are now selling the Fluke camera.

Has any body else experienced simular problems?

Dan Harris

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Hi Dan,

I also had problem getting in contact with someone at FLIR which is why I went to PE for the purchase.

I've talked with many B and B2 camera owners that are very pleased with the products. There's always going to be problems with some of the cameras regardless of the manufacturer. Just like a new car, you never know.

Erol K.

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Whoa, there, O'Hausdok! I forgot to include the Angelic Smiley[:-angel] with that comma comment.The tongue was firmly in the cheek with the trivial correction! It certainly wasn't intended to drive you to the bottle,er...bucket.

Had a guy demo the RAZir mini cam (along with several other models) for me about 2 weeks ago and I am still impressed with its features/ease of use/value for the money as compared to the FLIR and Fluke models. www.imaging1.com/razir.html if you want to check it out.

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Pretty cool camera. However the B2....has twice the resolution.

Not sure I'm following you on that statement, Erol. As I understand it, the resolution for the IR images is determined by the FPA (focal plane array) microbolometer, which is a 160x120 on this unit, same as the B2. Please explain. [?]

FYI, regarding the listed "automatic" features, these could be toggled on/off as needed by the operator (i.e., looking for areas that indicated only a certain temperature range, etc.). The camera can automatically adjust the color display range to reflect the temperature span being viewed, however, that is also determined by the operator. Similar to a 35mm SLR camera, you can go full manual to full auto or almost anything in between.

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Probably doesn't matter what we buy anyway because we'll always want the newest one.

Ain't dat da truth, Erol. In fact, what I'd actually hoped was that as I was busy chattin' here, somebody was rollin' out a super-scanner that produced a 3-D floorplan of the structure just by doing a walk-around, with voice-to-text conversion of verbal notes I made as I walked around (no keyboarding![:-party]), with positive ID of all water heaters, furnaces, etc.(Recall notices/problems automatically updated in its database), and it all being recorded to a DVD that it pooped out when the "inspection" was finished. Is that too much to ask?!? Wait a minute. Then the potential property owners wouldn't need me...[:-bigeyes

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Hi, Chris

The RAZir as shown to me was priced similarly to the B2 (about $10K). No real deal-decider there. I cannot speak as to the service; in fact, I was kinda hopin' that someone would be able to chime in on that area. The unit is small (not much larger than a flip-type cell phone) and did not seem to me to be designed for use in a "rugged" environment. Not that it was chintzy, just not as "field" oriented as the FLIR/Fluke types. That small size could be a big benefit (just tuck it in a holster while climbing around), or durability/service could be a big issue, one that might recommend the more durably designed units. A plus, though, is that the report software seemed much easier/more functional for this type of work. That is one of the reasons I'm considering it.

The unit was demo'd to me by an independent dealer named Jeff Leake of the Leake Company out of Dallas, TX. Seemed very knowledgeable and straight-forward regarding the various unit's capabilities. Am not sure as to what geographic areas he covers, but here is his e-mail: leakeco@mindspring.com

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Nope. That's the B.

The B2 is $9950.

Another consideration is the software. The Flir software has "data detectors" that indicate temps as you pass the mouse over areas of the image; you can then markup the photo, save it as a .jpeg, and import it into whatever program you want.

The software package w/the Flir is kinda cool; does the irRazr have that going on?

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Hi, Kurt.

Yes, the software is similar in regard to marking data points (up to 4, if I recall correctly), as well as MIN-MAX, changing color scale to fit temp range, etc. Quite frankly, there were many features that, while kinda neat, would probably serve no purpose to the average HI. One thing that did stand out was the fact that each image creates an IRI file, which will have standard image (CCD) file, infrared image file, and voice annotation (if used) all in one file. When you pull up that image file, the standard view is displayed side-by-side with the IR view and any verbal notes you made at the time are played back. Exporting the images (like to a Word doc or something) was very simple; standard image files (J-PEG, bmp, etc). I also appreciated the fact that uploading to PC/laptop is accomplished simply through USB connection.

I'm not completely sold on it yet, though.

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How 'bout lenses?

Flir has a choice when you purchase of wide angle, standard, or telephoto.

I think the wide angle is the ticket for HI work. irRazr got wide angle?

(Lense choice is critical @ the time of purchase; it's the single most expensive item on the device, somewhere around $3300.)

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Haven't been here for awhile. Lots of good info.

There is an inspector in Idaho (I think) that uses infrared and sells software for it. I originally got his site from Mike ) on this board - now I can't find it and can't remember his name. He knows Mike. Anyway, He has software that puts the thermal image inside the digital pic and it impressed me. He told me what it was when I asked him via E-mail. (can't find that either) He also writes a newsletter of some sort. Mike - help. I put a digital next to the thermal in the report and try to show with arrows, boxes, etc., the area in the digital where the thermal shows the anomaly. Otherwise the thermal looks like a multi-colored blob and doesn't show the reader/viewer where it is.

50 pics is plenty for a single residential inspection. I usually do not exceed 5-6. If you needed more than 50, just recommend a D-8 (dozer).

I looked at the Razir on their website. I do like the size. Sounds impressive. I did not know the price - read it hear.

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