PureThermal 3 board embeds FLIR Lepton FS thermal camera for $200

Groupgets PureThermal 3 (PT3) is a hackable thermal webcam that ships with the low-cost FLIR Lepton FS module, and is compatible with FLIR Lepton (2.x – 3.x) LWIR camera core.

The company explains the new model offers the same basic functionality as the PureThermal 2 but with a few changes and additional features, although the motivation for the new design was primarily to address component shortages. Some changes include the removal of pads to install an RF shield, and the Tag-Connect TC2030 programming connector is replaced by the Tag-Connect EC-10-IDC.

PureThermal 3 specifications with changes highlighted in bold:

  • Microcontroller – STMicro STM32F412 Arm Cortex-M4 MCU @ 100 MHz with up to 1024 KB flash, 256 KB SRAM
  • Camera support
    • Supports LIR Lepton (2.x – 3.x) LWIR camera cores
    • Ships with FLIR Lepton FS non-radiometric 160 x 120 resolution micro thermal camera module
  • USB – USB Type-C port with USB UVC (works on Windows, Linux, Mac, and sometimes Android)
  • I/Os – Partially MikroBUS compatible breakout pin configuration with GPIOs, UART, I2C, SPI (3V), +5V (V_IN), +3.3V (+3V), and GND
  • Flashing
    • Supports flash custom firmware with USB DFU
    • Castellated edge with full JTAG breakout for rapid flashing via Tag-Connect EC-10-IDC
  • Misc – Boot and Reset buttons (improved)
  • Power Supply – 5V via USB port
  • Dimensions – Small
PureThermal 3 board with Tag-Connect EC-10-IDC

The board works just like a USB camera, but requires specific software to visualize the data such as GetThermal open-source image viewer for Linux and macOS. The firmware will also be made available on the GroupGets Github account.

There are some caveats when using the $99 Lepton FS thermal camera module including reduced thermal sensitivity, reduced scene dynamic range, and up to 3% inoperable pixels, and it cannot be used for radiometric applications. But if it works for your application, you’ll save about $50 against the more accurate FLIR Lepton 3.5 module.

The PureThermal 3 board can be purchased for $199.99 plus shipping on the GroupGets group buying platform. It’s possible to replace the Lepton FS module with FLIR Lepton 3.5 module for $50, or $249.99 in total. Purchasing from the US should be a breeze, but all international customers will be considered suspected terroristic or Putin sympathizers (that’s a joke) and will have to fill out an End Use Statement document before shipment to comply with US regulations. At least that’s valid for Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, and countries in the European Union, aka the “international community” (another joke), as residents from other countries are out of luck, and GroupGets won’t be able to ship to them.

Via Hackster.io

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3 Replies to “PureThermal 3 board embeds FLIR Lepton FS thermal camera for $200”

  1. I bought a PureThermal2 years back, and it was a total waste of many hours and many dollars.

    I’ve never once succeeded in getting the GetThermal viewer to build and run, and there were no binaries I could just grab and go. (It looks like there are now? That’s awesome, I’ll try again!) Further, while there were hints of NTSC video output on a pin somewhere, when I dug into it deeper it seems that was only with some beta firmware that was never actually released, or maybe that was on a different hardware rev?

    And the board’s so small it doesn’t even make a good paperweight.

    I’m sure people who eat and breathe software will have no problem figuring out what I did wrong and making quick use of this gizmo. But for those of us whose favorite language is solder, the build process for GetThermal is absolutely Greek, and I found it insurmountable. I ended up buying an old firefighting camera with analog output and I just accept that it weighs 400x more.

    I’m still excited by the promise of the PureThermal product, I’m just a million miles away from its target skill-set. More power to whoever figures it out.

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