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NathanFooter

High End Research Gear And Equipment

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Bigtex

Hey Nathan.....is the 'TM-X' the brand name, and how much & where did you buy, if you don't mind me asking?

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NathanFooter

 I purchased it on Ebay from an authorized dealer for the product and I made an offer of 2,320 $ that was excepted.   

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Bigtex

Thanks Nathan......found more on Ebay, those look pretty cool, and will be anxiously waiting to hear how it performs in the field.......please post your review after use!

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NathanFooter

  With all the toys and tech you bring into the field you need power, well in pursuit of solving the problem I found what appears to be the answer.  

 

 Solar powered battery banks ranging from 7,200 mAh's to 23,000 mAh's { if correct my conversion calculation puts 1,000 mAh's at 1 amp hour } , these can power or charge GoPros, tablets, cellphones, GPS, cameras, dashcams and even audio recorders.

 

 

  28 $ for 7,200 mAh's   -->>  http://www.ebay.com/itm/Poweradd-7200mAh-Silicon-Solar-Panel-Charger-Battery-Power-Bank-for-iPhone-5-4S-/271238196627?pt=US_Cell_Phone_PDA_Batteries&hash=item3f270e6d93

 

  51 $ for 10,000 mAh's  -->>  http://www.ebay.com/itm/Poweradd-Apollo2-Solar-Panel-Charger-10000mAh-Dual-Port-Portable-Charger-Backup-/121284441622?pt=US_Cell_Phone_PDA_Chargers&hash=item1c3d1db616

 

  96 $ for 23,000 mAh's  -->>  http://www.ebay.com/itm/23000mAh-5V-9V-12V-16V-19V-Solar-Panel-Mobile-Power-Bank-Charger-Battery-PDA-/281199296785?tfrom=271328800926&tpos=top&ttype=coupon&talgo=undefined

 

  I just purchased the 10,000 mAh's model, I will let everyone know what I think of the product and it's performance when I receive and test it.

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NathanFooter

  That is a fantastic concept and unit design,  great post Kyle.

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NathanFooter

  I purchased the TM-X thermal camera and have done completed close and mid range testing with the unit.  Below is my impressions of the unit. 

 

  The unit is very strong and rugged made with a metal housing { heavy in hand } with a silicone cover over the corners and curves to protect from drops and water for the most part.     It takes 5 seconds to power up and about 10 to 14 seconds to go from the screen saver to the viewer.  The focus is completely manual and very easy to use even with gloves on, the eye piece is a little shallow for some one such as my self who needs to wear glasses but even then it is not bad. 

 

  It runs on AA batteries { comes with 4 Tenergy brand, 2500 mAh rechargeable AA's } , it recommends that you use only 2500 mAh's or higher AA's, The Tenergy batteries do not last long in the unit, you get about 30 minutes of up time { am going to test some really high end batteries in the unit soon, I will post details in my second half of my review of the unit }.  With cheap disposables { Duracell and Energizer have not yet been tested } it gets about 18 to 22 minutes of up time.  The other option for power listed { not yet tested, I will be doing so soon } is bus powering the unit off of a 12 volt system through the video out plug on the face of the unit.

 

 It can take still photos instantly at the push of a button { very fast capture with little distortion even when moving at the time of the photo being taken }, video capability is really good with smooth capture { 50 Hrtz } and really good detail { for a thermal } at close range { 4 Ft to 25 yards }  and even mid range { 25 yards to 60 yards }.  Movement of any subject being tracked is really clear, even when reviewing stills of a subject at high speed the subject has very little blur or image noise { again for a thermal camera }, I am beyond pleased with it's abilities in this respect. Taking a video is done by simply holding the photo button down about 1 second then recording begins. 

 

 Video and photo storage can be done both onto a 32 GB SD card { the unit comes with a 4 GB class 6 SD, I recommend a larger capacity card with class 10 or better speeds } or a external DVR system, reviewing video and stills is very easy to do on my computer and I have had no issues.

 

 For video and stills you have 9 options for color pallet { hot/cold } ranging from white hot to black hot and many more { follow up post will be in much more detail on these and other finer points of the unit }. I have not yet done anything in the way of contrast or calibration, I will be checking these options out soon.

 

 The 2X digital zoom is not very good for viewing a subject in detail while recording however it does allow you to zoom in on a subject enough to achieve a better over all image when using the manual focus, it helps you see distant objects larger on your screen so focusing in is a bit faster. After I get the subject in focus I then exit the 2X zoom and the image is very often in better focus than before.

 

 There is a tripod or mono pod mount on the bottom for mounting, there is also a removable hand strap on the unit for carry or viewing aid. It also comes with a tactical soft case for the cords, lens cloth, batteries, cards and the unit it's self.

 

  Images from the TM-X unit as follows.

 

  post-21566-0-09954800-1397064870_thumb.p

 1 - close range cat { 5 feet or so }

  post-21566-0-25584800-1397064955_thumb.p

   2 - close range cat { 11 to 14 feet }

  post-21566-0-21785900-1397065015_thumb.p

   3 - me at 10 yards

  post-21566-0-30884400-1397065093_thumb.p

   4 - me at 20 yards

  post-21566-0-00844200-1397065143_thumb.p

   5 - me at 30 yards

  post-21566-0-95249700-1397065192_thumb.p

   6 - cat 40 or so yards

  thermal horses 033.BMP

   7 - horses at 50 or so yards

 

  Edit to add, all of the above pics { except the horses photo } are stills out of video footage.  Also, the three stills of me at 10 to 30 yards are set for a medial focus range, the focus was set to cover a general range from 10 to 30 yards, if I had focused each time to specific yardage the detail would be much better at each position.

 

 My over all impression of the unit at this point is that it is a great unit at ground breaking price. I hope this is helpful to anyone looking into getting this unit.

Edited by NathanFooter

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Bigtex

Good work Nathan......you look like a Zombie in the 10 yard photo:)

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Explorer

Nathan,

 

Thanks much for the review.

 

Got a few clarification questions:

 

1) Assume that you took all pictures at night?  Did performance change with different outside temperature contrasts to your body temperature?

 

2) The picture of you at 30 yards, did you use zoom?  The image looks closer than 30 yards. 

 

3) I was surprised by the 30 min battery life (seems kind of low).  That is a concern.  Is this the norm in these type of units?  When you borrowed the FLIR previously, do you recall if it had the same type of battery life?  I guess we can always haul lots of batteries into the field.  I have a NV unit (different technology) and am used to battery life of hours.

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NathanFooter

Nathan,

 

Thanks much for the review.

 

Got a few clarification questions:

 

1) Assume that you took all pictures at night?  Did performance change with different outside temperature contrasts to your body temperature?

 

2) The picture of you at 30 yards, did you use zoom?  The image looks closer than 30 yards. 

 

3) I was surprised by the 30 min battery life (seems kind of low).  That is a concern.  Is this the norm in these type of units?  When you borrowed the FLIR previously, do you recall if it had the same type of battery life?  I guess we can always haul lots of batteries into the field.  I have a NV unit (different technology) and am used to battery life of hours.

 

  1  - All of the tests where performed at night in either complete darkness { maybe a bit of moonlight on some tests } except for the first 2 cat photos witch where taken at lower dusk { not completely dark but about 75 % dark }.  The conditions of the environment and the over all ambient temp do seem to effect how well an image contrasts from hot to cold but it can manually calibrated or auto calibrated at the push of a button.

 

   2 - No I did not use zoom for the on the 30 yard still, I too thought it looks closer than 30 yards { when you compare the other 2 photos, the size of my body being reduced from 10 to the 20 yard mark does not seem to follow trend to the 30 yard mark } but I very carefully measured off the distances and marked them with a particular feature I could detect at night.  I did the test again in black hot had the same results , still a bit perplexed myself.

 

   3 - I am not sure if this is a norm for these units but the L3 systems I used on public expeditions did have a battery life of about an hour { with top brand energizer lithums }.  I should note that the batteries that come with the unit { Tenergy } say 2500 mAh's on them but off brand batteries are well known for lacking the claimed capacity, these cases can average as bad as that there is less than half the amount of energy in the batteries than claimed. At this point the batteries I am using could be as low in capacity as 1300 mAh's or something, this is why I will do a part 2 review so I can test better batteries for lifespans.  Higher end batteries for high drain devices are not seen in walmart or many other stores but they can be found online,  a few brands that offer rechargeable pro batteries that have longer life spans are   Sanyo Eneloop XX 2550 mAh,  and   Maha PowerEx 2700 mAh,.  Both of those brands offer tough long lasting rechargeable batteries.  Here is an ebay listing of the PowerEx batteries that also has a very detailed informative performance chart just for selecting the best high end batteries down on the Ebay page.   http://www.ebay.com/itm/230821654758

 

 SIDE  NOTE - for charging batteries in the field one could buy four 4 packs of good batteries and use 2 packs a night and recharge them via 12 volt AA charger in the car over the course of a day, but caution this might pull on your battery hard or if left running unattended may over charge your batteries. I am purchasing a marine battery with a 5 watt solar panel that will sit in the back of my car just for recharging batteries or bus powering the thermal all night over looking my campsite.

 

 Please, everyone who has questions feel free to ask. 

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Guest

Sounds good N8.

 

Of course, I'm getting more and more NOT finding BF, but....

 

Say you get 2 shots at this before they come on to you. You'd better not blow it!

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NathanFooter

 Here is a mini update on battery life, I bought a few sets of the Tenergy batteries { same make and model as the ones that come with the thermal } and am glad to report that when charged on a good charger give an average 105 minutes of non stop juice, this test was done with Stand By off {  just like the original test } so the viewing screen was constantly on. It may be that I just got a bad set with the thermal.  I figure with the stand by option on I could get around the full 2 hours { if stand by really does save power }. 

 

 I am currently testing another brand with a higher power rating claim and I soon will test the bus power option as well, I will update soon as I can finish the tests and report.

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NathanFooter

 I did a test with the 2,700 mAh Powerex rechargeable AA's and found them to be a bit odd, they perform fantastically in audio recorders but not so well in the thermal, not sure if it was just a single bad battery dragging the units performance down or what.  I should also note that I only tested with 4  AA's by this brand as a sampling so I am not sure what the problem is yet but further testing will be done when I get another set to test with.

 

 The unit would flicker sometimes and turn it's self off with these batteries when at full charge { I did double check the voltage and have verified they where of the correct voltage for the units rating } but would normalize as the power was being consumed. As said above, I need to do more testing.

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thermalman

Head over to the product website and inquire about the batteries through customer service.

Edited by thermalman

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branded

I just got a mini thermal attachment for my Android phone from thermal.com

Its only $200 for the budget minded.  I had to upgrade my phone to a Samsung S4 because my old phone was not supported.  They have an iPhone version.  Its very low res compared Nate's thermal camera, but it will fit in my pocket, and I always have my phone with me.  

 

Don't be confused by the images that they show on the home page, they are not from the camera they sell.  I would recommend a usb extension cable, so you can study the image while moving the camera separately.   I will post images later.  

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