A FLIR One Pro Sees Again, Thanks To Some Nifty Soldering

The Flir One Pro is a thermal camera that attaches to a mobile phone with a USB-C plug. [Gigawatts] has one, and unfortunately managed to drop it, breaking the USB-C plug and rendering the device useless. The plug is separate from the main PCB, an assembly of its own with a flexible cable, but FLIR are not interested in supplying spares. What was the answer? Wire data lines into the device’s charging port, of course!

The One Pro has its own battery, and to avoid draining the phone it is charged through another USB connection, this time a socket. The data lines aren’t connected, which necessitated some very careful soldering of wire-wrap wire to an SMD package to fix. When completed and secured with glue the resulting camera works with a USB-C cable, and there are plans to mount a tripod thread receptacle in the space left by the USB-C plug.

It’s disappointing that Flir choose not to supply replacements for the USB-C plug assembly, seemingly they see the device as a throwaway piece of consumer electronics rather than the expensive instrument that it is. This modification should at lease allow some unfortunate One Pro owners to revive their dead cameras.

If you’re curious about the Flir One series of cameras, perhaps you’d like to read our review.

23 thoughts on “A FLIR One Pro Sees Again, Thanks To Some Nifty Soldering

  1. I have a flir one (not pro). The *sensor* is amazing. The rest of it, absolute trash. I always assumed the built in battery was for noise reasons? But in any case it’s dead every time I go to use the thing. And I’m obsessive about taking good care of my batteries. There’s no way to put it at a storage charge, and I’m pretty sure the quiescent draw drains the thing in a couple of weeks anyway. On top of that the original uses a micro-usb connector and if you bump it at all while your working it looses connection to the app.

    Don’t get me wrong I’m still glad I have it, since at the time it was by far the cheapest way to get a flir camera, but it could have been so much better..

    1. I’m planning on writing a review on just how unbelievably horrendous it is as a product. The software especially is a total fucking mess.

      The only thing I can think of it that they want to give you a taste so you’ll buy their more expensive cameras. Thing is, after using this, not a chance I’d spend money on a FLIR device.

      Some of the missing basic functionality is bananas as well. They want £400 for the software to allow you to allign the IR and visible image in post as well. Something that should certainly be a free feature on desktop, or at least part of the the disastrous app.

      Did you know the app used to allow you to see the actual IR image from the sensor without all the processed crap they do to it? They removed this feature for fuck knows what reason. The only way to view the actual IR now is to use a third party app, which was released and immediately abondoned by the developer unfortunately.

      I’ll stop talking now, I could write a book on how terrible this thing is.

      1. There’s a third-party app that fixes most of the issues with software that you talk about (I think it’s called Thermal Camera+ on Android?) – but the whole battery thing is a gigantic pile of WTF.

        As the other poster said – mine’s dead every time I want to use it, and the battery life is horrible for something that is RECEIVING POWER FROM THE DAMN PHONE!

        1. I mentioned that app at the bottom of my comment. The biggest issues with it as that it was immediately abondoned and it doesn’t detect phone rotation (so no landscape IR images).

          As for the power issue, yes I left another comment questioning could we mod them to run off the phone supply.

        1. I will say it’s the worst product that I’ve ever bought that I didn’t send back.

          I’m not flush with cash at the moment and other thermal camera options are too expensive.

    2. you just made me appreciate my garbage toy digital microscope. the sensor is so-so and the optics are so-so and the stand is awful and the software is awful but about every six months i pick it up and the battery is always charged how i left it!

    3. Apologies for the spelling and grammer mistakes in the other comment, I didn’t realize HAD didn’t allow editing.

      I wonder could we rewire the charging port to work off the main interface USB port so it would get powered from the phone like it should be?

      1. [Author of the published hack here] Yes, you can! And only one 5v bridge wire is required to do so.

        In my research on this project, I found this hack first, to do exactly what you propose (https://www.eevblog.com/forum/thermal-imaging/disassemble-a-flir-one-pro-3-philip-infrared-camera-flir-one-pro-3/msg3420024/#msg3420024).

        That hack inspired me to think about doing the exact opposite (moving the data usb port’s functionality over to the charging port), and when I couldn’t find anyone that had previously attempted that, I just dove in and tried it, I had nothing to lose. I figured if I destroyed the Flir One PCB, I could just pop out the Lepton module and buy a PureThermal 2 or breakout and build up a new camera.

          1. From what I can tell, it only seems to be that flex PCB + USB Plug that are different between the models, the main board looks the same.

            I can confirm the test point they soldered to (in the image of the EEVblog post I linked to above) is the 5V pad that connects to the “male” USB plug of the Flir One Pro.

            In this picture (https://cdn.hackaday.io/images/2409071614465209215.jpg) from my IO project gallery, you can see the first test I did was connecting a USB-C breakout board up to those same test points to make sure I had the right VCC and Data +/- pads, and to make sure the camera still worked.

            Same 5v test pad in both images :)

            If you have any other questions, or would like some clarification or clearer photos, just leave a comment on my hackaday.io project page.

        1. I’ve realised it’s the PRO you’re talking about. It’s the standard gen 3 I have.

          I have scratched the shit out of the case trying to get it open, but can’t. Also can’t find a disassembly online for it, so I’m stuck.

          I lost my head when I went to check something and the battery was dead again!

        2. Sorry to double reply, but just in case anyone else sees this as well. There’s a sticker inception thing where they have a sticker underneath the sticker.

          Down two holes, one either side, there’s a T6 torx screw that needs to be removed.

    4. Yes! I bought one for work purposes. To help spot hot relays, contactors, solenoids etc. Every single time I pulled it out it was dead. It seemed like after less than a year all I could get were 3-5 days in storage before it had to be recharged. It drove me to look for a phone with a Flir sensor built in.

  2. This post seemed well timed with an iOS version of the Flir One Pro appearing on eBay (UK) with a broken lightning connector. I’m not bought in to the Apple ecosystem, so I’m hoping that internally the iOS and Android versions are the same and this USB rewiring trick will let it work with Android.

  3. If you put “Pro” in the title of your product, and then don’t provide the level of support a Professional would expect, such as spare parts etc, then you deserve all the comments above, and then some. What a bunch of tossers!

    1. They always have been. Solid state thermal IR has been on the market since late 90s, I don’t know why the patents aren’t up yet and why there’s nobody eating their breakfast, lunch and supper, and sticking their fingers down their throat to feed their stomach contents to their dogs, they deserve it.

      1. Simply because this is special care technology. One sensor firmware tweak and you have guided missile head for pennies and available anywhere in the world. Quite scary.

  4. I had a 1st gen Flir One from work, 3 years ago. It’s microUSB. My phone broke & it wouldn’t work with the new phone. I had to buy a used phone. After that, I had to find & sideload android apps to continue using a $300 thermal camera.

Leave a Reply

Please be kind and respectful to help make the comments section excellent. (Comment Policy)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.