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FLIR camera for locating shorts?

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  • FLIR camera for locating shorts?

    I'm considering picking up a FLIR camera to locate the occasional short that is too minimal to locate from injecting voltage and feeling what heats up. Would a FLIR be able to locate such minor differences in temperature, when my hand/lip aren't sufficient? I've had a few shorts that are just so slight, it's nearly impossible to find them. I know a FLIR is considered "too much" for most cases, but there are some cases where I feel it would be useful.

    If anyone uses one; what's a good model to pick up? Has it helped in these cases?

    Thanks!

  • #2
    FLIR will mostly just show a big blob of heat next to the tiny component that is shorted. I have a FLIR i3.... If your going to get one that will be useful, it will be one of the really expensive ones.

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    • #3
      Does it show a "big blob of heat" even when a component/area of the board doesn't get warm to the touch? If I could have the area of the short narrowed down by even 50-75%, that would be great. Is the "big blob of heat" area more like a quarter-size, or half the board, etc?

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      • #4
        Lets say if a very small resistor is shorted, It will show around a quarter sized area. No Doubt they can help, but it can be hard to find exactly what is shorted sometimes.

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        • #5
          Thanks. Yeah, when there's a small short on a very extensive rail (i.e. ppbus_g3h-->s5_computing_isns), etc., it can be time-consuming to find the short, especially if there are no visual clues or heat eminating. I may pick one up, see how it does, then unload it if it's not useful. Thanks again!

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          • TCRScircuit
            TCRScircuit commented
            Editing a comment
            There are some really inexpensive ones now like the TG165.. Its around $300 i think.

        • #6
          IF there is No heat eminating. How would a flir Can have its use??

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          • #7
            Well the heat emission would be so slight that you can't feel it, but the FLIR would detect the difference in temperature. That's the idea.

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            • #8
              I tried an expensive FLIR once. There was one tiny ceramic cap shorted on a 2915 under the GPU. It showed 1/3 of the board as "being hot." Useless shit IMO. Great tool for telling where air leaks in your apartment are so you can insulate them, absolute shit for anything at this micro level.

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              • #9
                I know it is going back a long time, but if the flir was no good, how did you find the component, just diagnosis or looking for the heat in a different way?
                Last edited by leonattpcs; 01-25-2017, 11:48 AM.

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                • #10
                  Break up the circuit, remove most likely components one-by-one, and hope that it's not a major feeder rail that has a zillion sub-rails, basically.

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