FLIR-One thermal imager review - MP-Pistol Forum

FLIR-One thermal imager review

This is a discussion on FLIR-One thermal imager review within the Survival forums, part of the Armory category; It's very rare that I start a thread here, but thought I'd share this... Iíve not used much thermal-imaging in my life, and after playing ...


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Old August 13th, 2014, 12:10 PM   #1
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FLIR-One thermal imager review

It's very rare that I start a thread here, but thought I'd share this...

Iíve not used much thermal-imaging in my life, and after playing with the FLIR-One for a day now, I have to say that itís absolutely NOT the best thermal-imager Iíve used. But it absolutely IS the best sub-$1K thermal-imager Iíve used.

Currently made only for the iphone5 and 5s, itís a slip-on unit that looks a lot like an external battery pack. Actually, it does have a rechargeable battery pack in it, but thatís strictly for its use; it doesnít bleed off any power to the phone, at least as far as I can tell. The battery powers the flir-oneís own cameras, a thermal camera and a visible-light camera that it uses simultaneously, generating two images that it melds together for viewing. That one facet Ė the merging of the thermal with a normal image Ė is a VERY good thing. It gives the user visual references that they can see, combined with the thermal that we canít. The benefit is that you not only see the heat signature, you see it in relation to visible objects, which greatly helps in ďfindingĒ things. One example:


So in that image, I can see several things going on there. The dark blue square in the center is the air-conditioning register, the bright yellow rectangles are the fluorescent lights, and the orange splotches at the back edge are where there is apparently a lack of insulation above the ceiling tiles. With a normal thermal image, Iíd have the same color-based info, but with that info being superimposed with the visible-light image, Iíve got an easy, exact, visual reference of exactly where all those things are going on, in a spectrum that I can still see without any help from the thermal imager.

Also, I can instantly tell which A/C registers are blowing cold, which breakers in a panel are hot, etc. No need to go to each one & check; just crank up the camera and let it tell you visually and definitively.

It has different modes, presenting different viewing palettes. This is a monochrome, white-is-hot setting:


The graininess of that image is my fault, I'm almost certain. You have to occasionally Ďtuneí the camerasí imagers, and I wasnít doing so. (It has an icon that tells you to re-tune, but I didnít catch on right away.) This is the same cat just a minute later in the normal color mode, after a 5-second re-tune:


You can see that everything in this second pic is much more defined. Yes, the re-tune thing every few minutes can get to be annoying, and if this were an expensive unit Iíd definitely be annoyed about it. But the $349 cost and two-image superimposing combine to make it hugely worth it imo.

There are a few optional functions you can turn on or off at will. One is a spot-temperature icon. It shows the actual surface temperature (in either celsius or fahrenheit) of the point where the icon is:


The wall is 75.7 F, and the control panel and its power supply are obviously warmer. The control panel isnít enough different to tell by feel, but itís clearly higher.

Frankly, if thereís one serious negative about the unit, itís the lightness of the documentation packaged with it. Thereís a little fold-out start-up sheet, and thatís it. There doesnít need to be a 90-page manual or anything, but a 10-page booklet would definitely be helpful in reducing the learning curve. Itís also not a long-range unit; at least with my very limited capabilities with it so far. I may get better with it, but so far itís not something I can use much past 30-40 yards or so.

Lastly in the list of weaknesses, it does tend to eat up the phoneís battery relatively quick. I havenít used it a ton yet, but it seems to be roughly 1% or of battery life per minute or two of live-viewing use on my 5s. So youíre not going to be able to use this for hours on end of surveying an area. An hour or two of use and I suspect the phoneís battery would be pretty drained. That said, an hour or two of viewing this kind of stuff is likely to seem like a very long time unless youíre just playing around & passing it around a group of people.

(FYI, these pics weren't taken at my home, but at that of a family member last night.)
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Old August 13th, 2014, 12:11 PM   #2
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Other random pictures Ė

Is your A/C unit pulling heat out as it shouldÖ?


Which vehicle just recently pulled into the lot..?



Ever ďseeĒ a defrost cycle on a refrigerator/freezer..? (And yes, that freezer door is completely closed.)



This is an eight-inch-thick,east-facing, poured concrete wall. On the right half, thereís a simple metal canopy on the outside of the wall, keeping the sun off it. On the left (where thereís no canopy), even though this only gets morning sun, the concrete is much warmer.


And that temperature difference on that much mass is a huge thing thermally speaking. SoÖ if youíre in a cold area, keeping the canopy away from the wall can mean a whole lot of free (and welcome) btuís coming into your home. But if youíre in a hot climate, having that simple metal canopy/awning in place can mean a whole lot fewer btuís that your cooling system needs to remove. That can simply mean lower bills, but it can also mean a lot more efficient use of your system components if youíre off-grid or trying to be.
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Old August 13th, 2014, 03:07 PM   #3
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Very interesting. Thanks for sharing.

What model(S) M&P do you shoot?
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Old August 13th, 2014, 06:09 PM   #4
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I have two 9FS and one 9C. Seriously jonesing for a 9mm long-barrel CORE set up similar to Jerry Miculek's; hope to have one by end of year.

Was at the range this afternoon with one the FS's, running some of remington's "leadless" stuff thru it to try out. Works fine, but the lead-free priming compound allegedly has shelf-life issues, so I'll probably burn up the case that I ordered; just use it for blasting/training & toss the brass in the rotation for reloads.
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Old August 13th, 2014, 07:47 PM   #5
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I have a CORE but it is the 4.25" model in 9 mm. I think Jerry uses a Vortex red dot but mine has a Burris Fastfire III on it. You will really like the CORE. It makes a surprisingly nice carry weapon and the sight fits my Comp Tac paddle holster fine. Also this holster has a sight channel which accommodates the tall iron sights without touching them.
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Old August 14th, 2014, 07:44 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Holeshot View Post
...I think Jerry uses a Vortex red dot but mine has a Burris Fastfire III on it...
Can you change the battery in the Fastfire without dismounting it? I love leupold optics, but on their deltapoint the battery inserts from the bottom, so replacing the battery means dismounting the sight from the gun every time. The vortex razor has a slide-out on the side for battery replacement; that's the one I've been leaning toward so far. Haven't checked into them too deeply yet, a big thing for me personally is co-witnessing and I don't yet know which ones do & don't.
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Old August 14th, 2014, 04:20 PM   #7
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Show me a profile of a human carrying, can you see the gun?
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Old August 14th, 2014, 05:40 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John in ar View Post
Can you change the battery in the Fastfire without dismounting it? I love leupold optics, but on their deltapoint the battery inserts from the bottom, so replacing the battery means dismounting the sight from the gun every time. The vortex razor has a slide-out on the side for battery replacement; that's the one I've been leaning toward so far. Haven't checked into them too deeply yet, a big thing for me personally is co-witnessing and I don't yet know which ones do & don't.
You are correct about the Burris Fastfire II and original Deltapoint requiring removal to change the battery. The good news is that the Burris Fastfire III and Deltapoint 2 allow battery to be changed from the top. The Burris Fastfire III on my CORE does not co-witness although you can use both the red dot and the iron sights. So far as I know the Deltapoint 2 still allows co-witness with your iron sights.

Hope this helps. BTW Burris has changed the warranty on the Fastfire III from 1 year to lifetime no questions asked.
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Old August 15th, 2014, 05:02 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GlockBlock View Post
Show me a profile of a human carrying, can you see the gun?
Haven't tested it, but if the gun's concealed I'd imagine it'd be the same temp as what it's in and around; and if so, the thermal wouldn't differentiate it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Holeshot View Post
...The Burris Fastfire III on my CORE does not co-witness although you can use both the red dot and the iron sights...
How does that work; with the dot being between the iron sights and being able to use both dot & irons, but them not co-witnessing? I can't picture that.
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