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If you've been thinking about adding an infrared (IR) camera to your tool bag but weren't sure how difficult it would be to learn to use or how much you would use it, your decision just got a lot easier. Fluke has introduced three IR cameras that address the key demands expressed by customers.
When we asked potential customers what they wanted to see in a new generation of IR cameras, their wish list was quite simple. They want to be able to:
We took that information and added some of our own particular tweaks to produce the new Fluke Ti200/Ti300/Ti400 Infrared (IR) Cameras. In addition to the rugged reliability that you expect from Fluke, these cameras include several innovative features and functionality that makes them incredibly easy to use and incredibly versatile.
Laser sharp focus at the touch of a button
To make it even easier for users to get the maximum benefit from all the new IR camera features, Fluke has created brief web-based video training sessions on each feature.
Many IR cameras have auto-focus systems that in theory let you just point and shoot at a target to take a measurement. In practice, however, some auto-focus systems can only capture the near field subject. So if, for example, the inspection target is protected by a chain link fence, the camera will focus on the fence rather than on the actual target. If the target isn't in focus, temperature measurements can be off by as much as 20°F (6.6°C), which can definitely affect your ability to accurately assess the situation.
The new Fluke Ti200/Ti300/Ti400 cameras are equipped with the new Fluke LaserSharp™ Auto Focus capability that helps you achieve perfectly focused images every time. Unlike laser pointer auto-focus systems that don't send data back to the camera, LaserSharp technology uses a laser distance meter - kind of like a rangefinder - to spot the image target, measure the distance to it, and then set the focus distance. The signal from the laser distance meter connects to a high-precision internal mechanism that electronically moves the infrared sensor array by thousandths of an inch to achieve just the right focus. The result is a precision sharp image, often sharper than what experts find they can achieve manually. Of course the cameras also offers advanced manual focus if you prefer to focus manually.
This pinpoint accuracy not only saves time for experts, it helps less experienced technicians quickly get accurate readings every time. For closer review, you can stream video to a PC, mobile device, or a high definition monitor, hit the pause button and capture a still image for more detailed analysis. The ruggedized high resolution capacitive touch screen makes it easy to quickly navigate through the menu.
With the infrared image blended with the digital image, you can see any potential problems in visual context.
Adding wireless capabilities
Bluetooth connectivity in the Ti200/Ti300/Ti400 make them compatible with the Fluke Connect wireless system so that you can connect the camera to up to five wireless modules and view live measurements (AC/DC voltage, AC current, continuity, resistance, diode test, capacitance and frequency measurements) on the camera screen and integrate the data into the infrared image. (This feature is available as a free firmware upgrade.)
"You can incorporate those wireless signals into your camera so that you can look at a variety of electrical parameters along with a thermal heat pattern of the devices you're looking at," says Tony Shockey, IR Cameras Product Manager at Fluke. "That's brand new and it's going to change the way people do their jobs. Rather than having one person taking electrical measurements and one person doing a thermal inspection (or one person doing both separately) one person can capture both sets of data simultaneously from up to 20 meters away from the target."
The new Ti200/Ti300/Ti400 each have wider thermal sensitivity than previous Fluke IR cameras, which makes them applicable to both troubleshooting and maintenance applications. The new Ti400 more than triples the maximum upper temperature limit - to 1200°C (2190°F) - which makes it a great choice for high temperature applications.
"The great thing about these Fluke infrared cameras is that they make it very easy to be very precise and efficient when focusing on an image," says Shockey. "They help people become more confident of capturing good data so they can work faster and smarter."