Public Lab Research note


Thermal Flashlight REVA -- first tests

by donblair | March 02, 2014 00:12 | 97 views | 0 comments | #10094 | 97 views | 0 comments | #10094 02 Mar 00:12

What I want to do

Test out a design for the Thermal Flashlight project.

To measure from the IR sensor, I'm using the Adafruit library, here: https://github.com/adafruit/Adafruit-MLX90614-Library

The current firmware on the thermal flashlight device is here: https://gist.github.com/dwblair/9297914

My attempt and results

A big shout out to Rui Wang of http://rayshobby.net/ -- not only did I base my thermal flashlight design on the innards of his awesome (open source) SquareWear project, but he showed me how to assemble the resultant board (for which he had most of the components readily available) -- he did it nearly completely himself, including working around some goof-ups in my design.

Also -- thanks to Jake Wheeler of Hacker Farm for sifting through HF's stockpile of electronics on short notice, and finding the crucial 32u4 processor part for this device!

And the result of all of this collaboration is ... it works!

Here's a video that describes the design, and shows a basic demo of the flashlight in action:

Issues with the design (to be fixed in the next iteration):

  • The "reset" pin on the ISP programmer part of the board (necessary to load the bootloader onto the chip) was disconnected -- Rui found a way around it by connecting to the RESET pin on the reset button

  • I left solder mask on top of the IR sensor pads (was able to scrape it off). Need to fix that.

    Questions and next steps

  • Need to write more sophisticated code for testing out the board, and try it out with the web app that has been written for this purpose.

  • Test out the geiger counter-like buzzer.

Why I'm interested

A thermal flashlight device would be a super cool way to assess e.g. thermal leaks in the home.


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