Very simple AMG8833 thermal imager
(I took it through it's paces in this video)
For years I had felt he need for a thermal imager or thermal camera to help me find faulty electronic components. But the price tag was prohibitive.
|40mA - not very power hungry|
I experimented with a single temperature sensor, sweeping a range with model servos. Interesting and entertaining, but not really useful. That was back in 2013. Even later, the cost for the simplest "grid eye" was still a bit on the high side for an experimenter. Until recently.
Bare bones imager
I then found this bare bones / no frills thermal camera here on Banggood. It comes without any matching documentation, let alone a manufacturer name.
|PCB Version 5.1.2 from June2020|
It has a resolution of 8x8 pixels and sports the "high gain" version of the Grideye. While "high gain" sounds like a good thing, it actually limits the sensor's thermal range to 0-80 degree centigrade.
The Panasonic GridEye comes in different flavours that is easy to decipher from the part number:
The 88 stands for the 8x8 pixel resolution, the next digit shows the operating voltage 5 for 5volts, 3 for 3.3 volts. And finally a 3 for the "high gain" and a 4 for the "low gain" version, with the low gain version ranging from -20C to 100C. We don't have that in this device so on very cold days, the outside world looks like a blank sheet to the imager.
The next step up is the 32x24 pixels MLX90640 from Melexis, which has a -40 to 300C temperature range. Looking at what 8x8 pixels can do, 32x24 should be awesome. It comes at about twice the cost of the AMG8833 based imager, also from Banggood.
It all boils down to the question: are 8x8 pixels sufficient to identify hotspots in a faulty device?
|44c after just a few seconds|
|The GD32 ARM Cortex-M3 Microcontroller|