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M232 Grainy Picture
10-27-18, 11:05 AM (This post was last modified: 10-28-18 10:58 PM by Tom - Raymarine - Moderator.)
Post: #1
M232 Grainy Picture
I purchased the FLIR M232 thermal camera when it was originally released. I have never been very thrilled with the quality of the picture and at times the picture becomes extremely grainy and almost unusable (see attachment). At other times there is very little contrast and you can’t discern the horizon or other objects. The camera has the original software when it was released. It is networked through an HS5 to two axiom 12s and one axiom 7 which have the software that was released in July. The picture looks the same on all MFDs. Anything I can do to improve the picture?
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10-28-18, 11:46 PM (This post was last modified: 10-28-18 11:47 PM by Tom - Raymarine - Moderator.)
Post: #2
RE: M232 Grainy Picture
Hello Robinsonh2o,

That looks and sounds like your camera isn't correctly performing its Non-Uniformity Correction / Flat Field Correction (NUC / FFC, the names are used interchangeably: NUC describes the objective, FFC how this is performed.) All of our marine thermal cameras do this periodically in order to zero out slight differences in the response of the individual pixels of the microbolometer detector. You'll see this as a slight pause (1-2s) in the image every few minutes as the camera flips a black-body shutter in front of the detector inside the camera and recalibrates the output of all of the pixels. If the NUC doesn't happen then the quality of the image will gradually degrade over time, until the camera is power-cycled.

There was a problem in early M232 software where the NUC could be set to occur manually rather than automatically (manual NUCs are used by some professional users, all normal users want Auto.) The solution is to update the M232's software and then perform a factory reset on it, which sets the NUC setting back to Auto.

The M232 software upgrade is a dealer/service-centre level process, so I would start by contacting the dealer who supplied the camera or your nearest Raymarine service centre about getting this updated. The latest software for M232 today is v2.07 (the webpage says 2.05, it looks like that's a little outdated. v2.07 is what you need.)

Regards,
Tom

Raymarine since 1999.
Interests: Diagnosis of problems in sonar/fishfinders, NMEA2000, ethernet comms, autopilots, thermal cameras
Location: Sydney, Australia
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