tCam-Mini IR thermal camera board ships with ESP32 module

While there are plenty of ESP32 camera boards, it’s much harder to find off-the-shelf solutions with ESP32 wireless SoC and an IR thermal camera.

That’s likely why Dan Julio decided to design tCam-Mini board combining an ESP32 module with a Flir Lepton 3.5 sensor with 160×120 resolution to capture radiometric data for thermographic analysis.tCam mini ESP32 thermal camera board

tCam-Mini board hardware specifications:

  • Wireless module – Espressif ESP32-WROVER-E module with dual-core ESP32-D0WD0V3 WiSoC, 8 MB PSRAM, 8 MB Flash, and PCB antenna;
  • Camera – Flir Lepton 3.5: 160×120 pixel radiometric LWIR camera with shutter operating in either Radiometric/TLinear (each pixel contains temperature data) or AGC modes (no temperature data in each pixel but better images).
  • Expansion – 4-pin I2C header
  • Debugging – Micro USB port with CP2102N-A02 USB to UART bridge for ESP32 boot loader control
  • Misc – Dual color (Red/Green) status LED, Factory/Wifi Reset button
  • Power supply – 5V input via micro USB port or 2-pin header; 3.3V, 3.0V, 2.8V, and 1.2V output

tcam IR Camera consoleIt’s possible to connect to the ESP32 thermal camera board in access point or station mode to control it with “tCam console” desktop application compatible with Linux, Mac OS X, and Windows. The application displays images or streams with multiple palettes, saves and loads images or streams with radiometric data, exports images as jpg, png or tiff files, comes with a graphics function to plot spotmeter and marker, export, save or print the graphs for analysis, and so on.

If you’d rather control the board from your own application a simple json-based command set can be used over a TCP/IP Socket. Both hardware design files (PDF schematics, Gerber files, BoM, etc…) and the ESP-IDF-based firmware source code are available in Dan’s Github repository. The desktop program can also be downloaded from Github but only in binary form.

The tCam-Mini camera board is currently offered for $69.99 plus shipping on GroupGets, but note that the price does not include Flir Lepton 3.5 camera sold as an option for $199.99. The only other ESP32 thermal camera I could find is Seeed Studio’s MLX90621 BAB Thermal Imaging Camera / 16×4 IR Array sold for $129.99 but currently out of stock.

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