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Raspberry Pi: Turn the popular single-board computer into an inexpensive thermal camera

Raspberry Pi: Turn the popular single-board computer into an inexpensive thermal camera. (Image source: Martin Mander)
Raspberry Pi: Turn the popular single-board computer into an inexpensive thermal camera. (Image source: Martin Mander)
A new project has transformed the Raspberry Pi into a thermal imaging camera. Using the housing of a discarded microwave detector, the Apollo Pi Thermal Camera is based around a Raspberry Pi Zero W, a 1.3-inch display and a Thermal Camera Breakout.
Alex Alderson,

Published on Hackster.io by Martin Mander, the Apollo Pi Thermal Camera is built around a vintage Apollo X1 microwave monitor. While these are not the easiest to come across, the project would be compatible with other case designs.

Using a Raspberry Pi Zero W as the heart of the thermal camera, Mander added a USB power bank, a 1.3-inch TFT panel, and an Adafruit Thermal Camera Breakout module. The latter can register temperatures between 0 °C and 80 °C at a maximum frame rate of 10 Hz. The small display also has two buttons, added to which Mander included haptic feedback with a small vibration motor soldered onto the GPIO pins.

Mander used three Python scripts to control the thermal camera too, which he has outlined in the project guide. Additionally, the Apollo Pi Thermal Camera has two display modes, the differences between which Mander outlines in the same guide. While not as accurate as a commercial system would be, the Apollo Pi Thermal Camera is a fun way to put a Raspberry Pi Zero W to use if you have one lying around.

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2020 04 > Raspberry Pi: Turn the popular single-board computer into an inexpensive thermal camera
Alex Alderson, 2020-04-22 (Update: 2020-04-22)
Alex Alderson
Alex Alderson - News Editor - @aldersonaj
Prior to writing and translating for Notebookcheck, I worked for various companies including Apple and Neowin. I have a BA in International History and Politics from the University of Leeds, which I have since converted to a Law Degree. Happy to chat on Twitter or Notebookchat.