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Keychain / EDC micro thermal scanner 493

Newbie Posts: 23
Keychain / EDC micro thermal scanner
« on: September 29, 2016, 06:27:24 PM »
As an electronics engineer I needed a tool to quickly scan circuit boards for thermal variations, which usually indicate bad parts or some other kind of useful information. Until the last few years, thermal cameras were very expensive and not something you could just toss in the toolbox. Nowadays I think you can get one that works with your phone for maybe $170. Still an expensive and fragile combination.

The tool I developed was a pen-sized thermal scanner.  Like a point-and-shoot IR thermometer, it reads temperature non contact. But thats where the similarities end.

Instead of displaying the absolute temperature of the surface, this device emits a continuous tone whose pitch changes with temperature, and its relative to the starting point.

So for an extreme example, if you started scanning on an ice cube, and then move the scanner over to your hand, the pitch would go very high to indicate the change in temperature.

The scanner has a few sensitivity ranges, the highest is just a couple degrees F, and can easily detect the residual temperature change left on a wood table by a finger.

Basically it acts as a linear thermal scanner, with an audio output. It can be used in place of a thermal camera in many instances.

Troubleshooting electronics, machinery, etc.. anywhere where temperature variations tell you something. Flow in a pipe being blocked, friction causing heat, etc..

I'm thinking of converting this pen-sized device to something much smaller, that would fit on a keychain, and therefore be an EDC tool.

I already did a kickstarter campaign for it in its pen-sized form, but I had a very high goal, and the pictures and video were something only true electronics nerds might like.

For a relaunch, I'd make it a very mass appeal sort of EDC tool, something that anyone who likes gadgets might want and also find handy. The pen is good if you are a technician who keeps it in your toolbox, but its not something the everyday EDC person would want to carry around. So I'd make it so it would be key-fob size.

Pricing probably around $30 shipped

Heres a couple videos of it being used:
















« Last Edit: September 29, 2016, 06:29:13 PM by carinson43 »


Head Turd Polisher Administrator He who has the most nuts, wins! Posts: 57,822 Optimum instrumentum est inter aures
Re: Keychain / EDC micro thermal scanner
« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2016, 01:48:25 AM »
It looks interesting, and I can certainly think of a time or two when it would come in handy even though I am not an electronics guy.  Question though, is the pitch relative or does each frequency/note whatever mean a different temperature?  I mean, does it simply establish as baseline tone for whatever it encounters first then go above and below to announce temperature variations, or is a sound wave of 520 hz (for example) always mean 23 degrees?

As a nerd (not an electronics nerd, but general nerd) I think that it would be handy to mold a number of other functions into this- a bottle opener springs to mind as an absolute must, but I can also see that a small slot for torx heads or other small screwdriver bits could come in handy when working on electronics.  I'm thinking something along the lines of this:

http://www.homedepot.com/...iver-Set-70381H/204664390

I have one like that and I use it all the time for disassembling knives and tools.

The bottle opener wouldn't increase the cost by much, and I am not sure the screwdrivers would increase the cost by a lot either.  Heck, for that matter, maybe you could throw in a small LED light as well, similar to a Photon?  If you aren't familiar with the Photon (or it's more popular knockoff version, the Fauxton) you can see them here in Lynn's post, to the left of the Swiss Army Knife:

http://forum.multitool.org/index.php?topic=43884.0

Although maybe I'm asking too much now.... but I'd be more inclined to buy it if it had a few other functions.

Def

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Newbie Posts: 23
Re: Keychain / EDC micro thermal scanner
« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2016, 01:53:41 AM »
It looks interesting, and I can certainly think of a time or two when it would come in handy even though I am not an electronics guy.  Question though, is the pitch relative or does each frequency/note whatever mean a different temperature?  I mean, does it simply establish as baseline tone for whatever it encounters first then go above and below to announce temperature variations, or is a sound wave of 520 hz (for example) always mean 23 degrees?

As a nerd (not an electronics nerd, but general nerd) I think that it would be handy to mold a number of other functions into this- a bottle opener springs to mind as an absolute must, but I can also see that a small slot for torx heads or other small screwdriver bits could come in handy when working on electronics.  I'm thinking something along the lines of this:

http://www.homedepot.com/...iver-Set-70381H/204664390

I have one like that and I use it all the time for disassembling knives and tools.

The bottle opener wouldn't increase the cost by much, and I am not sure the screwdrivers would increase the cost by a lot either.  Heck, for that matter, maybe you could throw in a small LED light as well, similar to a Photon?  If you aren't familiar with the Photon (or it's more popular knockoff version, the Fauxton) you can see them here in Lynn's post, to the left of the Swiss Army Knife:

http://forum.multitool.org/index.php?topic=43884.0

Although maybe I'm asking too much now.... but I'd be more inclined to buy it if it had a few other functions.

Def

Yes a given frequency indicates a given temperature relative to the starting point. But not in an absolute sense, since it doesn't operate in an absolute mode. All measurements are done relative to the starting point. So its focused more on finding temperature variations than knowing what the actual temperature is. Like a thermal camera showing colors but not showing any numbers. Everything becomes relative.

I'd like to put as much functionality into it as possible, but its really hard when the goal is to make it as inexpensive as possible. Most of that will depend on how the housing gets made, since that could be shaped to have different functions.


Head Turd Polisher Administrator He who has the most nuts, wins! Posts: 57,822 Optimum instrumentum est inter aures
Re: Keychain / EDC micro thermal scanner
« Reply #3 on: September 30, 2016, 02:09:48 AM »
I think that was where I'd originally started at- a bottle opener and a couple of other easily formed features.... but then I went a bit overboard.  My bad.  :D

Given the shape of the housing, including a bottle opener would be a snap- simple extend a small lip from the lower part of the bend so that the bend itself can be used to pull a cap off.  As we have seen from a million other bottle openers on other tools, a bottle opener doesn't have to be great, it just has to be functional enough.

Def

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Newbie Posts: 23
Re: Keychain / EDC micro thermal scanner
« Reply #4 on: September 30, 2016, 02:13:24 AM »
I think that was where I'd originally started at- a bottle opener and a couple of other easily formed features.... but then I went a bit overboard.  My bad.  :D

Given the shape of the housing, including a bottle opener would be a snap- simple extend a small lip from the lower part of the bend so that the bend itself can be used to pull a cap off.  As we have seen from a million other bottle openers on other tools, a bottle opener doesn't have to be great, it just has to be functional enough.

Def

I could probably pull off a bottle opener (pun intended)

The housing is going to be especially tricky for this device though. In order to get the cost down, and also the kickstarter funding goal, I'm going to have to some up with some really clever way to make a good looking and cheap housing. This most likely means aluminum. But I think anodized it should handle bottle opening duties pretty well. Once I get this into cad I'll be able to figure out whats possible.

 

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