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.

Gareth Halfacree
a month ago β€’ Sensors / HW101 / Photos & Video

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 β€” 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 160Γ—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.

Gareth Halfacree
Freelance journalist, technical author, hacker, tinkerer, erstwhile sysadmin. For hire: freelance@halfacree.co.uk.
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