GroupGets Launches the PureThermal 3, a $200 Hackable FLIR Lepton FS Thermal Camera Board
Redesigned to add new features and work around component shortages, the latest PureThermal is the company's most tempting yet.
Crowdfunding platform GroupGets has launched a campaign of its own, aiming to find buyers for a low-cost hackable thermal camera with USB Type-C connectivity: the FLIR Lepton FS-based PureThermal 3.
"The motivation for the new [thermal camera] design was primarily to address component shortages, but we took it as an opportunity to make a new form factor," explains Griffin Covert, GroupGets' head engineer, of the company's latest in own-brand devices. "My personal favorite part of the new design is the JTAG breakout along the castellated edge at the top. This in combination with a custom jig, which will also soon be available for purchase, allows for more rapid flashing at the fab compared to DFU over USB."
As the name implies, the PureThermal 3 is GroupGets' third-general thermal imager: the original launched in October 2015, with the company running a total of 30 campaigns for various models in the family over the year since. Like its predecessors, the PureThermal 3 is built around a FLIR Lepton thermal imaging module — this time the low-cost Lepton FS, which is less sensitive than its stablemates and can have up to three percent of its pixels non-operable but that still offers a 160×120 thermal resolution.
GroupGets' carrier for the Letpton FS includes a USB Type-C connector for power and data, exposing the camera as a webcam device to a USB host, includes an STMicroelectronics STM32F412CG microcontroller with three general-purpose input/outout (GPIO) pins exposed for external hardware, a "partially mikroBUS-compatible breakout pin configuration," SPI access to the Lepton module, and a castellated connector at the top for the Tag-Connect EC-10-IDC programming tool.
The company has priced the new board at $199.99 plus shipping, and has launched a crowdfunding campaign seeking just 10 buyers as a minimum. The campaign closes on September 22nd, with the lead time on hardware claimed at just seven days.
Those who need higher sensitivity, a broader range, or fewer dead pixels, meanwhile, can opt to upgrade to FLIR's Lepton 3.5 thermal imaging module for an additional $50.