Hello and welcome to a discussion all about thermal imaging, also called thermography, from FLUKE. Recently, Fluke released new infrared cameras, also known as thermal imagers, to the consumer market. The purpose of thermography is simple; precise preventative maintenance. In many industries, including basic machinery, HVAC, utilities, etc., temperature plays a huge factor in performance and quality. Using an infrared camera provides an image with a color scheme overlaying it to show the difference in temperature in the area your image is focused on. Example: you use the infrared camera to take a picture of a fuse box. A fuse that has more current flowing though it (to power more equipment) is going to be a "hotter" color because the higher the current, the hotter the fuse:
Some of Fluke's infrared cameras can also capture video! This is just a simple one I took of a toaster heating up:
Hearing about all of this is nice, but many people ask, "Why would I use a Fluke infrared camera?" Well simply put, Fluke is a proven brand that you can trust. Since 1948, Fluke has manufactured the most rugged, durable, and accurate test and measurement equipment on the market. Ask anyone who has ever used any type of handheld test equipment and they'll tell you, Fluke is top of the line. That's no different with their infrared cameras. There are more practical uses for an infared camera than you might think. If you need to monitor peak operating temperature, find cold spots in roofing or HVAC for repair, abnormal hot spots in pipelines, leaks of any kind that could be detrimental, current overload, liquid/gas/air backup, or anything similar, you might want to consider looking into getting an infrared camera.
In addition to the name, they also come with many other features. You already know they capture pictures and video with thermal color schemes overlaying the image. I will say that there are way too many specs to cover in the space that I have so I'll touch on the best ones. First, like a regular camera, there are interchangeable lenses to add magnification or widen the field of view. You can select picture-in-picture, none, minimal, moderate, or maximum thermal overlay, depending on what you want to see. They have manual and auto focus on top of an already high resolution image. The newer imagers come standard with Bluetooth and other wireless capabilities. That means if you use a CNX 3000 wireless multimeter, they'll connect with it! Sure, you can connect to your computer via USB, and now via WiFi as well. But what if there's no WiFi network available? No problem. The infrared camera also acts as a WiFi hotspot! Fluke didn't just add in this hardware for no reason; they made their SmartView software mobile so you can upload them to your Apple device while you're still in the field! To see more specs and info on Fluke's thermography tools, check out the link below:
Also, if you're sold on infrared cameras but not the price, check out the VT02 and VT04, both recently marked down over 40%!:
Learning how to use an infrared camera and the principles of thermography is easy. Fluke offers a wide range of educational sources to learn about thermography. You can check them out at http://www.fluke.com. Click on the Training/Education tab at the top of the page and find the source of training that's right for you. Fluke also has a YouTube page, http://www.youtube.com/user/FlukeCorporation, with many helpful videos covering all of Fluke's fantastic products including their infared cameras.
I will be checking this thread at least twice a day, at 9:30am EDT and 5:00pm EDT. Please feel free to add comments, ask questions, or even contact me directly with your question(s) or for a quote. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org. Also note that anything with infrared technology is non-exportable. In the near future I will be posting discussions about emissivity and how it effects thermal imaging, Fluke's fantastic and free SmartView software, and the differences in meter calibration. Thanks for reading!
-Jake W. Rapp