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Light painting with temperature - cheap thermal imaging (maxjusticz.com)
44 points by maxjus 1810 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 11 comments

There might be a startup opportunity here. If these devices have a real economic use -- spotting heat leaks -- and the only available alternative is orders of magnitude more expensive.

I don't do hardware (although this project looks simple), but it would be interesting to own one of these and a lot of people like me might be willing to part with a few bucks for the privilege of owning one (especially if it helps spot leaks that are adding to the heating bill).

It's basically an IR thermometer that outputs a color instead of a number reading. Those "gadgets" are already pretty cheap, so not sure if replacing the expensive passive display with a 15 cent rgb led would make anyone profit.

I use this one for checking the oil on my pan to see if it's hot enough for my ribeye steak: http://www.amazon.com/Digital-Non-Contact-Laser-Thermometer-...

If they used an rgb led instead of the read-out, you might be able to buy one for $5.

Not sure how much profit it'd be able to squeeze out of the IR thermometer[1] market, which are already in fairly common use (the building maintenance people at work use them) and it looks like you can get one for as little as $25.

1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infrared_thermometer

Making something cheap, easy, and robust enough for building contractors to use might be handy.

Many people are having insulation installed (in the UK, at least) and having a simple method to show the effectiveness would be good.

It could even be put in the sales pitch. "Here's the heat pouring out of your home. See your neighbours? That money is staying in their home."

It's an opportunity similar to opening a steak house, because you managed to fry a really good steak.

Previously I saw a project which used a scanning pan-tilt head to collect data, but they used a narrow beam temperature sensor: MLX90614ESF-DCI which includes a black metal barrel. http://www.cheap-thermocam.tk/

Very clever! What would you say your cost of materials and time to assemble was?

Thanks! Total cost of materials was ~$50 or so excluding the Arduino which I already had. With most projects like this one I try switching to a barebones ATMEGA328 (the microcontroller at the heart of the Arduino) if I can to save money, but in this case I needed the Arduino's onboard 5V regulator. I assembled the entire thing this evening.

why not just get an external regulator then? those things are dirt cheap, around 20 cents for one.

Great point, but at the time I didn't feel like running to the store to buy one at 6:00 PM on New Year's Eve. I very well might still do exactly what you are saying!

I bet this would look pretty cool outside mixed in with some other light painting gear. Always a pain to get the background/environment the colours you want.

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