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Infra-red detector for measuring microclimates?

Posts: 1516
Location: Massachusetts, 6b, suburban, nearish coast, 50x50, full sun, 40" year-round even distribution
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Having a free energy audit from a non-profit. They have a cool gizmo that lets you see heat (infra red) intantaneously--

Has anyone experimented with one of these to see microclimates or meaure the effectiveness of a stone they've placed for adjusting heat?
Could it be used to determine soil content by seeing how much heat it absorbs relative to surrounding areas? like, heavy metal content??
There's an iphone app for $250 (holiday price) that turns your camera into an infa red camera--it claims--does that really work? could someone reverse engineer that and code a free app? couldn't you get the same effect just by adjusting the contrast /settings on your phone's camera?
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Joshua M. : We Are close ! Your Cell phone camera CAN see into the IR end of the light spectrum, As such it can be used as a tool to show you where hot spots are.

The top of a 55 gal barrel on a Rocket Mass Heater that is radiating off heat energy mostly in wave-lengths outside of our Vision range ! The hot Exhaust header
pipes on your car !

We have come along way in just a few years, When Thermal imaging Cameras were first introduced into the Fire Services, They Travelled with a cooler that had
bags of ice or cold packs like you would apply to a sprain, be cause when the 'Camera got hot ' the screen would grey out and the whole unit had to be cooled
down to return to some level of functioning !

The one thing these early cameras did was find 'hot spots' in the wall that could be missed by a tired crew of Fire Fighters,. Finding and extinguishing the 'hot spot'
nearly eliminated the number of re-kindles and callbacks to the scene of an earlier fire !

The cameras are I Think not yet capable of measuring actual temperatures just recording what is there, The Cold Outside walls of a house make the heat
energy leaking out through windows and other places on your house stand out clearly ! This is the way the Camera is used to find the leaks, the fact that you can
also get pictures to record exactly where the difference in Temperatures are found is a major plus !

There are also IR Remote sensing thermometers, they will measure surface temperatures ! Many of these gun type Thermometers come with a laser light that
shines onto the surface of the object you want to measure the Temperature of, These devices are cheap as they are commonly imported from China and the
Quality varies widely, better units cost more than $200.oo USD!

Actually, because these Remote Sensing units only read surface temperature of an object and not air temperatures, they have limitations on how much useful
information you can get ! They certainly can measure the surface temperature of a large dark boulder you have added to a given location, but because you can
not get an air temperature from these units, the effect on the Temperature of your new micro-climate needs a different tester !

Actually the old-fashioned mercury type bulb thermometer with its rising column of fluid is more than adequate for your requirement to measure air temperatures

Years ago these type of thermometers were given out as advertising as the were cheap! They are certainly much cheaper than most IR Cameras or 'Heat Guns ",

You can buy several of the bulb type Thermometers ( they no longer use mercury ) and tweak their calibrations so that you have several to place in a specific
area to directly measure the Temperatures !

The kind with a coiled bimetallic spring that moves a pointer in a circle around a clock face are much harder to calibrate, again most of these are assembled in 3rd
world places and quality control is not important !

Again we are very close, much of the equipment I have mentioned is available with remote sensing recording and reporting capabilities !

There are Arduino Units for less than $50.oo USD that can monitor and control many different Temperature sensing units, these are often sold in hobby stores as
Educational toys for children, You can Google these terms and perhaps interest a younger member of your extended family with (hopefully) great and extended
benefits to you and your family ! Good luck, If you follow up on this please let us Know how you made out !

For the Good of the Craft ! Big AL
Joshua Myrvaagnes
Posts: 1516
Location: Massachusetts, 6b, suburban, nearish coast, 50x50, full sun, 40" year-round even distribution
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Thanks Big Al!
That's useful info.
I'm not likely to do this for myself , but I Thought it might help other people. The idea is that you get a quick read on the microclimates in overview, just look at your whole yard from a distance and see where the hot spots are, then you can go in with an old-fashioned thermometer to get more precise detail. With hte IR detector you get relative heat from surfaces; with the thermometer you get to know what hte air is.

Also, is the air what heats the plant ? or is did the plant read Paul's article on heating the person not the air, and decide to get a lot of little electric heaters and plug them in and turn them on when it gets cold? is the ambient temperature more of an impact on the freeze or is the soil? if theoretically the ground froze before the air did, would that kill a plant faster? SO--maybe the surface temperature is more important than the air! or maybe the PLANT temperature is the thing to measure--stick our your tongue, rutabaga, say ahhhhhhhhhhhhh, come on!

Actually not rutabaga but whatever volunteer plant is growing there if there's a pioneer plant/weed...or you could "plant" one temporarily if you really need exact temp. Just stick it in the ground even if it's not really transplanted with full proper procedures. This could be useful if you're growing things that are very temp. sensitive like grapes for commercial sale or Idk things that are just on the border of eeking out a wintering-over or fruit trees that you want to chill especially cool.
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