The DIY-Thermocam V3 is a low-cost, do-it-yourself thermal imager, based on the popular FLIR Lepton long-wave-infrared array sensor.
The aim of this project is to give private persons, educational institutes and companies access to a portable, affordable and customizable thermal imaging platform.
There are various applications like finding heat leaks in the insulation of buildings, the analysis of electrical or mechanical components, the detection of persons / animals or even mounting it on a drone, together with the additional video out module.
Constructed as a self-assembly solution, the DIY-Thermocam allows you to take advantage of the versatile possibilities of thermal imaging and to save money at one go.
Everything, from software to hardware, is completely open-source! This allows everyone to modify or extend the functionalities of the device to their own needs!
You can build your own DIY-Thermocam V3 at home easily in a do-it-yourself approach. It's like Lego (for grown-ups)!
Buy the KIT over Paypal and acquire the remaining parts from the partlist below from three sources that deliver worldwide.
For the tools, you only need a simple soldering iron, some solder tin, a nippers and a screwdriver. The design of the PCB is very basic: No SMD components, only big through-hole parts and modules. The enclosure can be assembled with only bolts & nuts, no glue is required.
An illustrated assembly guide (will soon be updated for V3) leads you through the process of constructing the device, step-by-step. You should have soldered at least one small project before, but with that experience you should be fine.
The firmware update guide helps you to update your device to the newest firmware. In order to understand to various device functionalities, have a look at the manual. For going deeper, the structure of the raw data files is explained here, and the open USB serial protocol here. A scientific paper is also available, giving an overview about the whole project and its capabilities.
DIY-Thermocam V3 KIT
Pre-order now! Estimated shipment date is end of April. Worldwide shipping with tracking is included, leave your shipping address during the payment. The KIT includes the parts listed below and assumes components from Digikey, Robotshop and BuyDisplay are self-bought. It works with the radiometric version of the FLIR Lepton (Lepton2.5 or Lepton3.5). Get in touch with me if you have any questions.
Printed Circuit Board V3
89.4mm (w) x 68.4mm (h), 1.6mm thickness, 2 layers
2D laser-cut from 3mm black acryl plastic (one side frosted)
Lipo Charging Module
TP4057 including charging LED
Double-sided adhesive tape for the lipo protection on the PCB
Used as a stand for the device
The Hillman Group 2511 1/4-20 x 5/16 x 3/4 Inch Brad Hole Tee Nut
|4 x Screw M2x18|
|4 x Spacer M2x12|
|3 x Screw M2x8|
|4 x Screw M2.5x6 Black|
|4 x Standoff M2.5x12|
|4 x Standoff M2.5x20|
|4 x Standoff M2.5x5|
|3 x Nut M2|
|4 x Nut M2 Plastic|
|3 x Washer M2|
FLIR Lepton 3.5 (195,00€)
160x120 Radiometric LWIR sensor
Lepton Breakout Board V2 (58,90€)
Interface the Lepton over SPI / I2C
NKK Switches CWT12AAS1 (1,41€)
SWITCH ROCKER SPDT 6A 125V
RAFI 1.10107.0110104 (6,54€)
Display connector (1,90€)
40-pin 2.54mm female header
Lepton board connector (1,22€)
20-pin 2.54mm female header
Pin header strip (3,70€)
40-pin 2.54mm male header
Teensy Female Header (2,43€)
36-pin 0.1" Female header - pack of 5
Keystone 3001 (0,45€)
Holder for the coin cell battery
CR1220 coin cell battery (0,70€)
Battery for the real-time-clock
4.7K 1/4W 1% resistor (0,32€)
| 2 x
10K 1/4W 1% resistor (0,16€)
Teensy 4.1 (27,07€)
Cortex M7 Microcontroller
8GB MicroSD Card
Can be any size, but needs to be Class4 microSD
3.7V Lipo Battery (10,03€)
Or any other Lipo with 3.7V and max. dimens.: 65mm (w) x 55mm (l) x 6.5mm (h). An old mobile phone battery (f. ex. Samsung EB-BG355BBE GH43-04302A) can work, too
Pololu U3V12F5 (3,30€)
5V voltage booster
Micro USB Cable (2,43€)
120cm A to Micro B USB Cable
3.2" TFT LCD Display Module (16,29€)
Configuration: Interface: Pin Header Connection-4-wire-SPI, Power Supply: 5V, Touch Panel: 3.2" Resistive, Font Chip: None
- Fast ARM Cortex M7 processor (600MHz), based on the popular, Arduino compatible Teensy 4.1
- Frame rate of up to 9 FPS (US export compliance)
- 18 different color schemes including rainbow, ironblack, grayscale, hot & cold
- 3.2 inch LCD touch display with bright colors, wide angle and resistive touch
- Save thermal images with a resolution of 640x480 pixels on the device
- Save real-time videos and interval images with different time-lapse settings
- Up to 8GB internal storage, accessible as an exchangeable SD / microSD slot
- 2000 mAh lithium polymer battery for long operation time (4-6 hours)
- Open-source firmware written in Arduino compatible C/C++ code
- Regular firmware updates with new features, flashable over a standalone firmware updater
- Standalone thermal viewer application to save high-quality thermal images & videos on the computer
- Fully compatible to the comprehensive thermal analysis software ThermoVision by Joe-C
- Use simple commands to receive all thermal & configuration data over the USB serial port with high speed
|Feature||DIY-Thermocam V3||FLIR E6|
|Thermal resolution||80x60 (Lepton2.5) or 160x120 (Lepton3.5)||160x120|
|Thermal sensitivity||< 0.05° C (50 mK)||< 0.06° C (60 mK)|
|Thermal temp. range||-10° C - +140° C or -10° C - +450° C (Lepton3.5)||-20° C to 250° C|
|Field-of-view (FOV)||56 deg HFOV, 71 deg diagonal||45 deg × 34 deg|
|Display||3.2" 320x240 , touch input||3.0" 320x240, no touch input|
|Spot sensor temp. range||-70° C to 380° C (Lepton2.0/3.0 only)||-20° C to 250° C|
|Spot sensor temp. accuracy||0.5° C over wide range||±2 ° C or ±2%|
|Temp. measurement mode||every position, multiple positions||spot (center) mode|
|Image modes||IR image||IR image, visual image. MSX|
|Color schemes||18 different color schemes||rainbow, iron, grayscale|
|Storage mode||picture and video||picture only|
|Storage capacity||8 GB internal storage||500 sets of images|
|File format||standard BMP and raw data||standard JPEG and raw data|
Sample Thermal Images
More thermal images in full resolution can be found here.
Thermal Image Comparison
This is a comparison between the DIY-Thermocam, the Seek XR and a FLIR E8 thermal imager.
The standalone PC thermal live viewer software allows you to capture HQ thermal as well as videos right on the computer. Various settings can be changed over the UI, including a calibration and two different transfer modes. The software is written in Python, so it can be modified to your own needs and executed on any OS. New firmware updates can be flashed to the device easily with the firmware updater application.
There is a powerful thermal analysis software for the PC, called ThermoVision. The image browser can show all thermal images on the internal storage, when the device is connected over USB. They can then be loaded with one click. The software allows you to analyze and edit the thermal raw data files right from the device and stream & record live images from the Thermocam. You can even set temperature thresholds, which trigger a specific action like opening a file, saving an image or sending a command to the serial port.
The second possibility to view and edit the raw data files right on the PC, is the thermal data viewer. It allows various functions to alter the thermal range, add measurement points as well as various filters. The program is also capable of converting whole folders of raw data frames into images (JPG, BMP or PNG) or avi videos. The live tab allows you to stream live images from the device and the calibration tab offers functions to edit the raw-to-absolution temperature conversion. You can also convert videos or interval pictures with the video converter to avi videos.