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    Are you in the market for a Thermal Imager? (35 Posts)

  • heatpro02920 heatpro02920 @ 3:42 PM
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    Are you in the market for a Thermal Imager? $5000 off msrp

    For those that are interested please be aware that it is in an ethical gray area, you can get a $6000 Flir E8 320x240 camera for $900...

    Ill give a little background, the flir e series offers a base model E4 and their flagship {for that series} the E8. They look identical except for the badges that say 4 or 8. Every single other internal and external part is identically the same between the $900 and $6000 unit, except the programming, the e4 has programming to "cripple" it to 80x60 which if you know TI equipment, is meager at best, it wont show much and very little quality, BUT 320x240 is amazing, and will show everything, it is an astounding difference... Flir saved money by making the same camera for the entire series and programmed each model except the e8 to be less than what they actually are..

    Think of it as if chevrolet used the same engine in their Sonic and their Corvette except the Sonic comes with an ecm that only lets it output 140hp and the vette is full open at 500hp {just an example, dont go buy a sonic and think it will be a corvette with a firmware hack}...

    So a friend of mine also in the hvac field owns a hacked e4, I seen it first hand today, the picture is better than my $8000 Camera {I bought it a while back}. This is very interesting and I figured I would share it, I am on the fence on if I am going to get one or not, I already have 3 others and they work well {none of them were $900 though, I wish}... I spoke with the rep I deal with at Value Testers {great place to buy everything from combustion analyzers to ti cams and any other hvac electronics} and he will sell the e4 for $895, thats $100 cheaper than any other place I have found.... You can buy them already hacked on ebay for $1500, but he said it takes 10 minutes to do... There are instructions on youtube available...

    So if anyone is interested, let me know if you need any more info if I know the answer I will give it. Like I said its kind of an ethical gray area, but if that doesn't bother you it may be a good opportunity to get more than you pay for a change...

    One more note, you need to keep a copy of the original firmware so that if you need to use the warranty you can revert to it so Flir will cover your unit for repair... I have had great luck with my Flir cams, the only thing I don't like about them is the price, but as for what they allow me to do and the time they save me, its well worth it...
    This post was edited by an admin on April 12, 2014 3:42 PM.
  • Gordy Gordy @ 8:06 PM
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    Black and White

    What they are doing is hacking software. Illegal.

    Maybe you dont agree with how Flir pays for their R&D. I think its a brilliant move in manfacturing the camera. The only thing that changes is upgrade in software which is built in.


    JMHO
    This post was edited by an admin on April 12, 2014 8:07 PM.
  • heatpro02920 heatpro02920 @ 8:22 PM
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    I spoke with the gentleman at the school

    who taught the class I took years ago when I bought my first Flirs, we still keep in touch, he knew of the hack situation and I asked if it was illegal, and he said no, that is why they are allowed to sell hacked models on ebay, if it were illegal ebay would kick them instantly.. He compared it to a hacked playstation that can play the new and used games, no cr infringement, just changing a product you bought and paid for to better fit your needs...

    So while it is not illegal, it is like I said a gray area, kind of like dubbing music for your friends, not selling it, but stopping them from needed to buy it, not illegal but morally questionable...

    This is not a new hack they have been doing it for months now, the rep from VT said they would have never sold so many if it were not for the hack, he seemed to think it was planned by Flir to increase sales, people that would have never even bought the e4 bought it because they got such a good deal, and the price difference from the e6 to the e8 kind of enforces that, $2500 and then the next model up is $6000, Flir marketing may just be genius, if it is true, because they sold a lot more units than they would have if it wasnt hacked... He said they ramped up production to keep up with the instant demand!!!!

    So all that aside, I just wanted to let everyone know if they were on the fence about a ti or need a new one, that is a great deal for a unit with that kind of image...
  • heatpro02920 heatpro02920 @ 9:58 PM
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    So I set one of these up today

    I figured for $900 I would give it a shot, I have to say I am very impressed. It came in a few days, I called the gentleman that could convert it for me, he did it over the computer in 5 minutes and it was done !!!!!!!!! The picture is better than my $6000+ IMAGER!!!!!! I am going to sell all of my other imagers on ebay this week and replace them with these.. I paypal'ed him $50 for his time, and I would never have gotten it done with out him, lol...

    I will post some pics of it tomorrow, I should have taken before and afters but I didn't... I have to say, the images are incredible compared to my I7's and 60... Plus a ton of options in the menu, it actually has more menu features than the e8 originally had...

    Anyway for those who emailed me about them, email me back if I missed you and didn't reply, I will give you the info..
  • metrorental metrorental @ 9:56 AM
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    contact info?

    This post was edited by an admin on May 9, 2014 11:27 AM.
  • heatpro02920 heatpro02920 @ 6:24 AM
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    Emails sent

    We played with it for a while last night, works great. If I missed replying to anyone that emailed me, message me again and I will forward the info along, I sent 8 emails but I may have missed a couple because I was deleting them as I sent them... thanks...
  • Ross Ross @ 10:42 AM
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    Good thinking

    Very smart! Although I know they have started producing them with updated firmware. They're saying all the new models (I think firmware version 1.21 or higher) cannot be "hacked".
    Cahill Plumbing & Heating, Inc.
  • heatpro02920 heatpro02920 @ 5:30 PM
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    Mine is firmware 1.21

    and my friend just did one today that is 1.22 there is a video on youtube on how to hack the newer models, they encrypted them so someone made a file to un-encrypt it and its all there in the youtube vid...
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oXJYv_MxIHw
    he also has a vid for the previous models..

    He also has links to all of the sites you need in the links tab on that video... He did mine from his pc on my pc and it took 5 minutes, I know a few other guys online that did the 1.22's, but I think the 1.21's are still for sale at valuetesters.com ...

    The new upgrade he did for me changed everything, now I have delta t readouts, red hot blue cold limits, condensation leak finding mode, and more, its great... Hopefully some HH members take advantage of it, I know a few ordered yesterday and a few more ordered today, so I am not sure how many more valuetesters have in the 1.21 and 1.22 configuration, but I have 1.21 and it works, and a friend did a 1.22 today {he bought it locally and did the hack himself from the video of instructions, I am not that pc literate although he said it was simple, and he is not much better than me}...

    I used it today to find where a pool heater was leaking, I thought it was the weld but it was lower than the weld, a cracked switch housing...
  • Ross Ross @ 2:18 PM
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    More uses than I thought

    I'm going to pick one of these up. Thanks for the heads up!
    Cahill Plumbing & Heating, Inc.
  • Steamhead Steamhead @ 5:50 PM
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    Does hacking these units

    void the warranty? 
    "Reducing our country's energy consumption, one system at a time"

    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists

    Oil & Gas Burner Service

    Baltimore, MD (USA) and consulting anywhere.
  • heatpro02920 heatpro02920 @ 6:21 PM
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    Good question Steamhead

    It does void the warranty, but he leaves your firmware on the unit, so you can easily erase the hacked version, he showed me how to do it, and after that is done there is no way to know it was ever hacked....

    I was worried about the same thing, but then when I thought about it, mine have been awesome, I never heard about any issues, and being they are only 895 each vs what I paid for my others, I will be happy if it lasts 2 years, lol... Which they are very well made and should last for 10 years being used everyday...

    I have done a single energy audit and charged more than this camera costs!!!! I am glad to see people taking advantage of it, I read on the internet a lot of people bought them that have no use for them, just as a hobby to see in the dark and look through peoples clothes yah, it kinda works :) lol, but in our field these can be very handy, this one is so sensitive I can see pretty small gas leaks {a friend of mine has the one made for gas leaks, not sure the model number but that one can detect a gas leak down to something like 9 oz's a year!!!] My other ones can find refrigerant leaks easily, I am going to test out the condensation leak finder tomorrow, that looks very cool...

    Maybe I just like new toys.....


    you compare other cameras with this type of resolution and the prices are crazy...

    http://www.valuetesters.com/fluke-ti32-60hz-thermal-imager-for-industrial-and-commercial-applications-1.html
    http://www.valuetesters.com/hvac/thermal-imaging-camera/testo-882-thermal-imager-camera-kit-0560-0882-70.html
    http://www.valuetesters.com/hvac/thermal-imaging-camera/flir-e60bx-thermal-imaging-camera-msx-enabled.html

    The cheapest is the ideal heatseaker which is crap, google it and you will see what I am talking about, its $5600 and its not ideal at all...
    This post was edited by an admin on April 23, 2014 6:33 PM.
  • What about

    i series cameras. Any upgrades : ) available? I have an i4.

    Thanks.
    Often wrong, never in doubt.
  • heatpro02920 heatpro02920 @ 7:00 PM
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    No I havent heard of any

    I have the i7's too...
  • RobG RobG @ 12:07 PM
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    It's so easy

    He makes it look so easy. I was lost after the first minute. Is there any way to send a camera off to him for a fee?

    Rob
  • heatpro02920 heatpro02920 @ 5:15 PM
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    LOL, yah the video is fast

    the easiest way is to log onto teamviewer.com, plug in your camera and let him do it from his pc to yours... Thats what I did, you just call his phone he logs in and 5 minutes later logs off... You can see everything he is doing rite infront of you on your screen, and then its done..
  • heatpro02920 heatpro02920 @ 5:58 PM
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    It seems they are out of stock

    2 people have let me know that they are out of stock at value testers, I should have 3 more coming to me since I bought them the other day when they were in stock, but not sure...

    I know 5 or so other HH members go the order in time and a few local friends of mine, I used mine today to track some condensation issues and it worked great... I have a feeling they are going to get hard to find soon...
  • A.J. A.J. @ 8:28 PM
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    Don't understand big buisness

    I'm not a big business man so could someone please tell me why you would intentionally make one of your products worse by crippling it. Why not sell many at a fair profit instead of one or two at a ridiculous margin ? I would love to get an TI but anything that is decent is just to expensive.
    A.J.
  • SWEI SWEI @ 8:43 PM
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    Blame the marketeers

    who know more about how their customers think than the customers themselves know.  This is at least superficially true.  True enough that they can make more money off the same product over a longer period -- or so they think, since it usually works.  Obviously the cost of a good microbolometer has plummeted.  The value add is all in the packaging, the display, and the software.  That's a perfect environment for market disruption.
  • dpeart dpeart @ 12:57 AM
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    Its cheaper

    I'm in the electronics industry and have been doing this forever.  Why?  It's cheaper.

    Today to send an advanced electronic chip to fabrication will cost you ~3million dollars, just to get started.  This is non-reoccurring engineering (NRE) cost.  Then you have to test the part.  There is a big NRE cost associated with this as well.  Then you have packaging, etc.  These costs are on a per part basis, not a per piece. The per piece cost is very small.  So if I can build a single part, and in software enable/disable different functionality I can then charge different prices for the different products allowing me to sell a more parts, expanding my customer base. 

    We've been doing this in CPUs, graphic cards, cell phone chips, everything, forever, and people have been modifying the software to enable the extra functionality forever as well.

    dave
  • earl burnermann earl burnermann @ 1:06 PM
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    Intel did it back in the day...

    Years ago you could buy either a 286 or 386 machine. The two where the same chip, but the 286 was crippled. Guess it's sometimes easier to make the high price version and then just find a way to make some of the features unusable for the cheaper model. Think that is kind of how heating oil and diesel are today in New York; The same product, but one is colored red.
    If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy!
  • SWEI SWEI @ 2:46 PM
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    Intel not only did do it, but still does

    However, the 286 was a completely different generation that the 386.  The fun probably started with overclocking the early Slot 1 Celerons (which would then run faster than many of the Pentiums of the time did.)
  • heatpro02920 heatpro02920 @ 6:42 AM
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    What

    LOL, I have to send my laptop into the repair center if I need a new screen protector...
  • Gordy Gordy @ 8:59 PM
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    Production

    From a production stand point it's probably much cheaper to make them all with same components, and disable certain functions than to produce several different lines with differing functions, and components. Pretty smart really. Who wants the best options buys them with out even knowing their really all the same. I wonder how the cat got out of the bag.

    Think of it this way most modcon boilers have two or three sizes where the HX is the same size but btu outputs differ what changes to make them different is really not much for the cost differences.
    This post was edited by an admin on April 27, 2014 9:03 PM.
  • NJ, Designer NJ, Designer @ 12:39 PM
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    Hacking

    Does this hack also give the PIP feature of the e5 e6 etc..
  • heatpro02920 heatpro02920 @ 4:56 PM
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    yes

    pip works for me plus a few other features the e6 and 8 dont have
  • metrorental metrorental @ 11:28 AM
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    contact info for the remote hack?

    contact info for the remote hack
    hello,

    can someone please supply the contact info for the person who can do the remote hack. i would really appreciate the info.

    thanks

    neil
  • heatpro02920 heatpro02920 @ 11:05 PM
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    message me

    and I will forward it to you, thanks
  • metrorental metrorental @ 11:04 AM
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    Contact info?

    hi heatpro, i have tried to message you. have you received the messages? please let me know if i should resend.
    thanks,
  • metrorental metrorental @ 2:59 PM
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    Contact info for Software Upgrade

    Hello All,
    I am still looking for contact info for the tech who can do the software upgrade hack remotely. If you can help me out, i would really appreciate it.
    thanks
    neil
  • metrorental metrorental @ 2:27 PM
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    Anyone? Please help and provide a contact!

    Anyone? Please help and provide a contact!
  • heatpro02920 heatpro02920 @ 6:25 PM
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    I emailed it to you

    what is your email?
  • Zman Zman @ 4:04 PM
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    Ebay

    There is someone on Ebay that is advertising the service. I would think any of the folks selling the "upgraded" model would be happy to help you for a fee.
  • metrorental metrorental @ 10:52 AM
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    THANK YOU

    THANK YOU
  • heatpro02920 heatpro02920 @ 6:27 PM
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    I take it you

    go the email, good luck..
  • Ross Ross @ 10:08 AM
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    Flir One

    A new Flir One is coming out as an iPhone attachment. It's not out yet but you can reserve if interested.

    http://flir.com/flirone/explore/
    Cahill Plumbing & Heating, Inc.
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