Let’s face it, a thermal camera can change your world like no other. Call it your secret weapon. You may not realize it yet but an IR cam in expert hands can get you to places you may only have dreamt of and put up solutions you may never have thought possible. Just like that. Gone are the days when firefighters had to mount a mountain-load of thermal imaging on their backs to get going. Still, notwithstanding, there’s no doubt about it. Those first-gen thermal imaging cameras, as pricey as those heavyweights may be, saved countless lives decades ago. The good news is today, not only are thermal cameras getting more powerful, they’re as lightweight as can be. Telling you-you're in good hands. If only you knew how to make the most of them.
Never fret though. A quick re-evaluation should put things in order. Note that you cannot begin to explore the endless possibilities of what a thermal imaging camera can put on the table unless you put its essence in mind. First and foremost. And that is, a thermal cam is a tool that detects heat signatures. It won’t even matter if you’re operating in total darkness. If what you’re looking for emits heat, thermal imaging is your greatest ally. From this POV, putting the tool to good use is just a matter of being at the right place at the right time. Exactly what the methodologies pointed out here detail. Plus, we’re showing you how one diligent consumer made IR0005, a certified PerfectPrime hot seller, armed to the teeth. With thermal pics in all the glory.
Thermal Camera at Its Most Useful
Central to the uses of thermal imaging is its ability to detect the presence of warm-bodied animals - something that a ready-to-wear night vision goggle is hardly capable. Here, we look into curious ways you can pull out a handy IR cam to find creatures that run, hide and totally want to evade you. Funny thing is the first task featured here is done out of man’s pleasure while the rest is done out of his pressing need.
- Hunting Wildlife
The first rule in hunting is to find your mark. Without knowing where the prey is, it would be impossible to close in on the hunt. It’s for this reason that hunting is an exercise in patience; nuking the whole area is of course, out of the question. While a whole series of new cool tech gadgets have come forward to aid a hunting expedition - from powerful binoculars to night vision with light amplifiers - the usefulness of a thermal camera simply cannot be overemphasized.
Not only does thermal imaging show you animals you might not normally see during the day, but its biggest weapon also comes at night where the human eyes are severely limited. And this is where you draw the line between a night vision system and one that’s thermal. A thermal camera can operate even in pitch darkness for it requires no light whatsoever to come up with a clear image. In short, it’s your eyes in the dark.
That gives you a distinct advantage. Why? Simply because most animals rely on the cover of the darkness to hunt. With a reliable thermal cam at your beck and call, this wildlife won’t be able to hide in the black of night.
Even better, you can track game in all weather conditions with thermal imaging. It’s for this reason that the device has become a go-to tool for expert documentary makers and avid hunters worldwide. This means even in foggy or rainy weather, you would still be able to zero in on prey like a lion in the Serengeti.
Plus, it would take a lot of unnecessary work when a target gets hit. Oft-times foxes, wild boars, and deers may not go down as easily and will try to run for it even when hit. Having an infrared camera cuts to the chase even with a well-camouflaged boar for instance.
However, it doesn’t mean that you’ll have to ditch your binoculars or shooting scopes. No, sir. Definitely, these tools have a place in the hunt. So does a good bloodhound. Still, thermal imaging expands your reach to places not otherwise possible with human eyes alone.
Thermal imaging’s ability to find warm bodies isn’t limited to the wild. You can actually count the camera in when looking for junior, your two-year-old toddler who could be playing hide and seek. Or for that matter, it could also locate your fave canine hiding in the hay.
On the security side, relying on thermal imaging systems is a wise move for house protection. The camera is perfect for locating intruders who may use the blanket of the night to get in. In which case, there are other non-human intruders bound to put your home under threat.
- Against Rodent Infestation
Who says only humans can invade a home is naive. Ever since man learned to put two and two together to produce places to stay, houses have been under siege by an army of non-human infiltrators. Chief among them mammals of the order Rodentia which includes:
Of course, occasionally we get visits from furry invaders like skunks, raccoons, and opossums. Usually, these do not dwell inside the house as much as rodents do. So, we’ll take that topic up thoroughly in another blog.
What makes rodents dangerous is they usually feel more than welcome and treat homes as their own. Wreaking havoc in the process. For instance, they make use of wall insulation turning it to nests. Yikes! But it doesn’t end there. They’re digging in. As resourceful as these diminutive creatures are, they carve a network of tunnels via the wall cavities - running to and fro every now and then.
All these happen beyond what the eyes can see. Luckily, these changes, however, won’t go unnoticed with a thermal camera. You see, a thermal imaging system can be utilized to look for areas where insulation has been taken out of the interior wall picture. When these gaps are created, the temperature of the surface wall changes due to the pockets of air that gets created. Such changes create a contrast that would easily be noticeable with a thermal cam.
Additionally, rodents give off a heat emission that would be unmistakable giving you an obvious lead on the location of the culprit.
- Against an Ant Invasion
From big game to the minute. While rodents can be a hazard, their families grow to but a small number compared to ants. True, you can easily crush an ant under your weight. For one, carpenter ants, a most common pest in American homes, measure but 6 to 12 mm in length. Puny, right? But imagine thousands of these tiny creatures eating into your home-space. Before you know it, you got yourself a pandemonium waiting to happen.
While carpenter ants do not actually eat wood as they cannot digest cellulose, these create a network of tunnels through it, nesting within in the process. They do so by cutting “galleries” right into the wood grain, providing a highway where all the others can travel through from section to section. Preferring moist environments, these creatures are bound to infest roof eaves, under windows, deck, porches, and attics.
Worse, carpenter ants often have more than one satellite nests within the structure with parent nests located outside.
Come to think of it, an ant infestation is nothing short of an invasion. Unless located with speed, carpenter ants will wreak havoc - causing serious structural damage to your precious abode.
Good thing finding those damp sites and various ant sites is a walk in the park for a thermal camera. Ants, much like any warm-blooded animal, do emit heat and would easily register a heat signature. Especially when the creatures have gathered an army, which is what a nest is all about. In fact, you can use the IR camera to locate dung heaps outside.
IR0005 and an Amazing DIY Project
A Most Affordable Topseller
A camera that would cater to the uses mentioned above, finding the smallest to the largest warm bodies, is PerfectPrime’s IR0005. Small wonder then that it’s a global bestseller.
Weighing about 7.2 ounces and boasting a 35,200-pixel resolution, the IR0005 is a lightweight heavyweight. In short, it packs a punch. Considering that the latest iPhone offering, ‘waterproof’ iPhone XR (iPhone XS sibling)is just about a quarter of an ounce short, at 6.84 ounces. That means PerfectPrime’s top seller is one camera you can put in your pocket and take on the go. Everywhere, anywhere.
But that sleek compact design is just half of the story. The better half that’s getting it’s closest rivals a tingle in the spine is its amazing 220x160 high thermal resolution that can capture temperatures from -20 to 300 °C (-4 to 572 °F). Such would be a great power to harness for any professional. Making it a perfect fit for a wide range of fields:
- Home inspections
- Manufacturing (electronic)
For that case, all kinds of work that requires accuracy in temperature readings.
Plus, of course, you won’t have a problem with accessing your thermal pictures via your laptop/PC as the IR0005 has internal storage which with its 3Gb memory can take in up to 2 million images. Imagine that!
IR0005 with its “small and powerful” capacity is actually cutting the work in half. Add to the mix a micro USB port (charging) and visible light camera and it’s not hard to see why this one has risen to the ranks.
The visible light camera allows you to see pictures as your eyes would, a useful point of comparison for thermal. What makes this model a winner is its incredibly low price. Couple that with PerfectPrime’s passion for excellent service highlighted by 60-days money back guarantee and you know why IR0005 is giving other manufacturers a run for their money.
A DIY Tripod for Ease
Carrying a lightweight thermal camera like the IR0005 is a cinch. That should be clear by now. But as one consumer found out, using a tripod makes a lot more sense at times. A 3-legged camera support will hold the camera steady. That should be perfect if you’re wanting to establish an observation post - to track rodents for instance. We’re talking about zero movements and absolutely no vibration. Saving you from tired muscles.
Our most ingenious user, however, chose to utilize a mini-tripod. For a reason. To keep the IR0005 in its place, he deployed a mini tripod (3.54 inches tall) and a phone holder (i.e., 16 inches) to keep the thermal cam from falling. A quick look at the pictures below should give it justice.
Putting the IR0005 on a Home Made Magnifier System
What makes this DIY project worth pursuing is its ability to give great-looking thermal images even from far away. As pictures would show, the avid consumer produced thermal shots of a building from 250 meters away. That’s a whole lot. When put side to side to the thermal image of his wife caught from a minimum distance of 6.5 meters.
The trick, of course, is putting a good set of camera zooms to good use. And putting them stable in the system.
To do this DIY project you need:
- Mini tripod with phone holder
- Universal rotary mobile phone lens
- ZnSe (76.2 mm focal length lens)
- 12X optical zoom camera telescope lens
- 2 pcs. Of polystyrene (85 mm x 36 x 4 and 85 mm x 16 x 4)
- 2 pcs. Screws
- Tap (4mm)
- Small ledge (as camera holder)
- PVC recovery pipe
- O ring
To start, find yourself a suitable optical zoom camera telescope lens. For our purpose, a 12X magnifier should do. You should cut it 70 mm from the edge. The goal is to remove the objective lens without doing the focus adjustment mechanism any harm. As you may know by now, that objective lens would be of no use as we’re talking about thermal imagery here.
In lieu of that lens, install ZnSe (Zinc Selenium) lenses. These are an excellent choice for IR applications as these carry a broad wavelength range. The reason why they’re also a fave for military and medical application.
For this project, a 76.2 mm focal length lens should be spot on.
To add depth, use two other ZnSe lenses: one (D = 20 mm, f = 38.1) attached to the rotary mobile phone lens and the other attached to the PVC recovery pice which is connected to the optical zoom lens.
To have the rotary mobile lens fixed on the phone holder, screw them to the polystyrene transparent slabs. Put in place the screws should prevent unnecessary movement of your rotary mobile lens. After putting in the small ledge, you should have a homemade magnifier up and running.
Please refer to the pictures below for best results.
Now, all you need is PerfectPrime’s IR0005 thermal camera to kickstart your adventure to the wonderful and exciting world of ever-changing thermal anomalies.