FLIR M-Series testing #1, neat dets

Ben Ellison

Ben Ellison

Panbo editor, publisher & chief bottlewasher from 4/2005 until 8/2018, and now pleased to have Ben Stein as a very able publisher, webmaster, and editing colleague. Please don't regard him as an "expert"; he's getting quite old and thinks that "fadiddling fumble-putz" is a more accurate description.

9 Responses

  1. DaveV says:

    Ben- Thanks for all the work on the Radar comparison testing you’re doing. I hope you don’t hate me – but the FLIR is going to have trouble in Fog. Water vapor absorption of Infrared radiation is exceptionally high. While Flir systems are used on aircraft – they have big time issues with fog conditions. That is why radar is still being considered to create “psuedo images” of the landing approach. The frequencies are between 4 and 10 times higher than standard Marine band however (nearing 100 GHz) in order to provide exceptional range and angle resolution with low losses in fog (relative to IR).
    I’d be very interested in you flipping on the FLIR while doing fog rain testing of the radar systems. sounds like you need 2-3 assistants!!

  2. Anonymous says:

    I have been using a FLIR system for several years on 2 prior boats as well. Thermal-imaging, like most things, has its limitations. Light fog and rain is often not a problem, based upon my experience with the systems. The low-light mode helps in this arena as well. I have not used the M6 series yet, but I did spend a day at FLIR training in thier Santa Barbara office and found the systems to be pretty impressive.
    Outside of fog, it is amazing to see clearly at night. My first time using the FLIR was in a very busy harbor during Fourth of July fireworks. All you could see wre navigation lights all jumled up. Flick on the FLIR and each boat poped right out, including the unlit canoes paddling around in the harbor.

  3. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    Thanks, DaveV. FLIR makes no claims for seeing in fog, but as Anon suggests it may be variable. In fact, the M-626 saw fine through some fog remnants shrouding the top of Mt. Battie the other day. But that was ‘dryish’ fog.
    I did get out last night in pretty dark, mostly overcast conditions. I could see pot buoys fairly well on a somewhat choppy Bay, and I’ve got more to learn about balancing the M-626 screen modes and colors with the display controls of the MFD. Thermal was excellent for finding my way back into the harbor with usually distracting lights in the background. Also paired nicely with Broadband Radar.
    One thing I haven’t figured is how to document my testing. Photography is hard, and I doubt any of these MFDs will take a screen shot of a video image.

  4. Sandy Daugherty says:

    You might experiment with conventional high speed film in a Nikonos with a wire focus frame. A longer exposure might compensate for the scan lines.
    Better yet, just ask FLIR how they capture the images in their ads!

  5. Jeff Shukis says:

    You could try this method of grabbing screen shots:
    Use a $5 passive “splitter” cable on the video output from the FLIR. Send one “split” to your MFD and the second to a video capture device (e.g. a $50 USB stick) on your laptop.

  6. Jim Lichty says:

    Hello. Iam the Commander of the Anclote Key Sail and Power Squadron. We are located about 25 miles north of St Petersburg, Florida. We have monthly meetings throughout the year and would like someone to come and introduce us to the newest advances in marine electronics. Contact me Jim Lichty, 4240 Buena Vista Lane, Holiday, Florida 34691.

  7. Bill Lentz says:

    I have been using a FLIR Navigator II for this season. I have found it to be very useful for night cruising. While it isn’t the top of the line unit I like the “Home” feature as well as the different screens. The “Zoom” feature is also great. I had a problem with my initial unit the Thermal imager got stuck in one mode (white hot). After trying power resets and talking with the factory they sent me an advance replacement. This is unheard of in most industries today. I haven’t had a single issue since replacing the initial installation. I was hoping the problem was in the control joystick box to bad it wasn’t. It was in the imager/ pan/tilt unit. At that point I figured I would send the factory the entire system back and re-installed the new complete system. The images look excellent on my Garmin 4212 & 4210.

  8. Carl says:

    Do you have a part number for the ethernet inline connector from Allied, They have renumbered the catalog and the link leads to a different page.

  1. April 25, 2018

    […] and that Flir went to the effort of providing the nice weatherproof splice Ben Ellison mentions in his Flir M series testing article.  The manufacturers of these devices would do well to take the same lessons away and at least […]

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