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Would this thermal camera be able to spot an overheating 0603 resistor?

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KMoffett

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I have the FLIR version of that. I have usedit to spot overheating ICs. So, I think you could spot a hot surface mounted resistor. I've used a shot circuit cooler to see if components' temperatures change.

Ken
 

dknguyen

Well-Known Member
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I have the FLIR version too, but in my experience no. Thermal boundaries seem blurrier than you might expect when things are in physical contact plus the component being too small to be aimed on with such a big lens. At least, that's what I experienced with the camera. It did not have enough resolution to be effective.

I had two D2Packs with 1" spacing where one was at 80C+ and the other ~30C and it still required an IR gun to verify which one was heating up (or touch). Not tricky but on a component of that size and spacing it still took alternative verification. The crux was aimability.

It would have to heat up to the point where it would be destroyed to be visible in which case it would appear as a big circular hot spot much larger than the component. You could narrow things down though to an area if you could get it hot enough without popping but for something as small as a 0603 you wouldn't be able to specifically pick it out with the IR camera alone. You won't get a perfect rectangle outlining of the resistor with the camera. It'll be a big blob that could be anything else nearby unless you know exactly where the camera is centered but you won't know that since the lens is huge and obscured from you by the camera's casing.

How much overheating are you looking for? Contact probe would be better I think plus an IR gun to quickly run over the board to find warm areas. You have to run both IR gun and camera right up against the board anyways so there is little point to the camera. It won't work at a distance taking in a view of the whole board since it is not obvious where you are looking at. You'll get what I mean if you actually try it. Thermal vision bleeds everything together if at similar temps and in physical contact.

You need images with clear outlines like these:
1543591777598.jpeg

But I found that's never what I got. I'm rather surprised you can pick out the flange butt up against the casing and especially that you can read the text "PIONEER". You need a camera that can pick out outines like that in things that are in physical contact. Otherwise, cheaper alternatives are just as effective.
 
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