Mouser Donation 2018


This is a great tool and can be used by many different groups. The temperature range is limited to 250C/482F so it probably isn’t useful pyromtery readings for molten metals, heat treating and really isn’t even high enough for annealing temps for most things.

But I’m sure where exact temperatures within it’s range are needed this is a fantastic tool. I can see it being useful in Science where exact temps are necessary (I’m thinking of distillation and separation points) and the ability to seen gradients in liquids for even temps. (How much body heat does a tarantula give off - can they be detected?) I think in automotive casing down leaks or tripping cicuits would be of great help. These were used widely at United Technologies in their Preventive Maintenance programs for detecting motors that were in early stages of wear both for bearings and windings (along with ultrasonic for bearings). I’m sure in tracing HVAC leaks or determining duct outlet temps this would be of great help. In 3D Fan used for checking nozzle temps: programmed vs actual. Of course they can be used in electronics - to what degree I’m no expert but it would they would be good at trouble shooting.

Read an article today they can be used in detecting lies by temperature changes in your nose! Might be great to have projected on a scene during meet the candidate meeting for the BoD or Chairs … or maybe they should be banned. Pinocchio effect

I see no reason it can’t stay in electronics - it like all tools could be checked out for use else where. This is a tool that has been talked about on and off over the last 3 years at least. I think it’s great we have a high quality tool. Art asked for input, apparently nothing of a higher priority was requested so this was chosen. I don’t think it a frivolous addition to DMS’s tools and capabilities.

I can think of some things I’d like to do using it in the Machine Shop when teaching milling: We talk about the effect that lubricants have on cutting temps - now when we demonstrate and show the change in real time. How cool will that be!


have you ever used one? it’s super useful when you’re powering up a new prototype to be able to see an individual overheating chip BEFORE damage is done, rather than waiting for the smoke/smell or burning your finger.


For some reason I was getting the Fluke and the FLIR backwards. The Fluke IR thermal goes to 1600f.


You can use it to try and track down shorts on a PCB… or defective chips by how hot or cold they are compared to surrounding components.


Yes, I’ve used them professionally over the years. However, I use a current-limited power supply to ensure no damage is done during initial bring up of a new PCB. By the time your FLIR says the chip is too hot, the damage has been done.

A $50$20 IR thermometer will do the same thing.


(Note that I do not think Art did anything wrong. He was given items by members, and he passed them along to Mouser.)

You are incorrect, sir. a four-quadrant SourceMeter (sink/source) was requested. With a 6 1/2 digit resolution and measurement down to 10nA, this is exactly the sort of tool which would further education into ultra-low-power IoT devices. They’re expensive, but we could have worked with Mouser to make up the difference.

Had I noticed the existing list (reading a bit closer), I would have said something. I didn’t, so shame on me. Based on how often ours sits in the lab, in its case, unused, I see this as a $1000 toy which could have gone into something directly useful to Electronics.

Not sure why I even give a damn, other than I want to see Electronics gain useful tools to further our educational mission.


Still not understanding why there needs to be passive aggressive complaints about a generous donation. If there was something you thought was needed over the item in question just say it and be done with it. That’s the only reason that seems plausible for questioning a high value donation that doesn’t take up a huge footprint at the space.

Passive-aggressive complaints

So your complaint is that we got a tool that several different committees have expressed interest in having as a part of the donation, instead of spending the whole donation budget plus a substantial chunk of money on a tool that likely you are the only one who will ever use. Especially after someone else tries to and lets the smoke out.

Expensive and fragile are a bad combination in the e-lab. And $7K is a LOT of money.

Good call Art.


Can that be used to determine if a custom case (like a Raspberry Pi ABS case) has good air flow?


sure, start with current limiting, but sometimes the current you need for a circuit to function is also enough to blow something in the case of a short. and even when current limiting, this can tell you where the fault is.

no, an IR thermometer is not the same because it’s averaging a huge FOV. big difference when you’re trying to figure out what’s broke or detect a small heat source.

if this is so useless for electronics, why is thermal imaging a top level board on EEVBlog forums?


Unless there are openings to have the flir look through, you can’t see the temperature of the components through the case. You would only get the external temperature of the case.

If the case was easy to open, you could run the system for a determined length of time under predictable load, then open the case and measure for comparison, but even variation in the length of time the case is open can lead to considerable issues with repeatability and comparisons.


The question I’m hoping to answer: “Is there air flowing in from the bottom through the case then out of the top vents?”

So the air does not radiate much heat making it mostly invisible to the camera.

Or is it? Can the camera’s sensitivity be adjusted so the small amount of radiated heat from the air can be detected?


Tool abuse and accidents are not an electronics committee specific issue at the makerspace. Committees handle this in a variety of ways.

Personally, I’m glad we now have the thermal camera. I do, however, think a 4-quadrant SMU is absolutely a perfect piece of equipment to compliment the lab.


Perhaps you and Zack can write up a description of what the thing would be used for and what it does.

I’ve been working with electronics for 40 years and in the test equipment business for 20. Never heard of one before this.

I’d personally rather see things like a good VNA first. Or a programmable AC power supply like the Elgar SW5250a.

Make the case for getting the thing Zack wants first.


Would love to try the imager for out YBCO project. The IR portion is just at the 900c we process the pellets at. The K-Type thermocouple jack will let us confirm the inside temp matches with our thermocouples.

I do think it will get used by multiple parties in the space. Just a matter of always getting it back to the eLab!


The gotcha is that most solids are hundreds of times more emissive than the air. So whatever solid is in the background will swamp the pixel. The best bet might be to take a view that sees the sidewall of the vent, and measure that, as an indicator of the approximate temperature of air in the vent.


I would love to have access to one of these. I’m bummed we didn’t get one.


Just chatted with a Keithley rep. Refurbished 2401 is ~$2900.


It is an excellent piece of lab equipment, and, short of dropping it on the ground, nearly indestructible from a user point of view. Some of the newer ones have USB ports to transfer over sampled current waveforms for power profiling. Want to know how many uA are consumed by running a SPI port on your micro? This box can tell you.


If we ever get one, some form of interface to a PC would be near mandatory. A manufacturer provided LabVIEW driver would be nice as well.

Your description is rather vague though. I still have no feel for why we need this.