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Open Roads Forum  >  Class C Motorhomes

 > Infrared Thermometer with Laser Targeting

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mikeleblanc413

Texas

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Posted: 02/20/12 07:24am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I'm considering purchasing a non-contact Infrared Thermometer with laser targeting for reading tire pressure (OOPS...I mean temperature). If you're using one, I'd appreciate hearing from you: good, bad, satisfied, not satisfied.

All input appreciated!

* This post was edited 02/20/12 08:43am by mikeleblanc413 *


Mike LeBlanc
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jmtandem

western nevada

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Posted: 02/20/12 08:18am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Quote:

I'm considering purchasing a non-contact Infrared Thermometer with laser targeting for reading tire pressure. If you're using one, I'd appreciate hearing from you: good, bad, satisfied, not satisfied.

All input appreciated!



Yes, very satisfied. However are you sure you want to measure tire pressure or tire and brake temperatures? Tire pressures should be established cold and the pressures will naturally heat up some as the tires warm up as that is normal. I think you would be more interested in the temps not pressures.


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Johno02

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Posted: 02/20/12 08:20am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I use one for various purposes, including checking tire temps when traveling. It does NOT check tire pressure, only indicates a difference in tire temps, which may indicate a pressure difference. Generally speaking, all tire temps should be pretty close. Any observable difference should be further investigated.


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Gale Hawkins

Murray, KY

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Posted: 02/20/12 08:37am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We use ours often but not for MH tires anymore after getting the TST TPMS.

If it dies it WILL be replaced.

Desert Captain

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Posted: 02/20/12 08:40am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Watch the sale flyers at Harbor Freight. I finally picked mine up for $29, they are usually more but did see them for a couple of dollars less once (but I missed the expiration date). It is a very handy tool.

BB_TX

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Posted: 02/20/12 08:47am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Desert Captain wrote:

Watch the sale flyers at Harbor Freight. I finally picked mine up for $29, they are usually more but did see them for a couple of dollars less once (but I missed the expiration date). It is a very handy tool.

I bought the same one. Use it to check tire and hub temps when traveling.

fisher60

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Posted: 02/20/12 12:01pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Got mine at Lowes. $38


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Posted: 02/20/12 08:51am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Johno02 wrote:

I use one for various purposes, including checking tire temps when traveling. It does NOT check tire pressure, only indicates a difference in tire temps, which may indicate a pressure difference. Generally speaking, all tire temps should be pretty close. Any observable difference should be further investigated.
For tire use you're looking for a hot tire which could indicated low pressure.

Tires on the sun side will be warmer, front and drive tires are different as are toad tires. But you'll soon get a feel for what is OK.

I especially like to know how the inside dual is doing since it's harder to see.


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Bob


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Posted: 02/20/12 09:07am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Harbor freight, got one for $ 20.XX watch for flyers

Works excellent for monitoring tire/hub/rotor temperatures

Helps when doing the BBQ thing also.

Batteries seem to get sucked up pretty fast, I guess I could turn off the Laser feature and the battery will last longer.


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Normk

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Posted: 02/20/12 10:16am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Having both sold these and used them in the vehicle repair industry for more than 10 years, there may be some information I can offer:

As others have said, very handy for comparing brake and tire pressures. There can be quite significant differences in the indicated temperatures between units so one should not trust temperature comparisons unless both are referenced. Not a big deal but have seen some issues where brake temperatures were read as different between axles when they were not.

The laser sighting feature is remarkably useful for entertaining pet cats and such but has almost no value in use. One issue regarding the targeting is that the laser is usually not "sighted in" so doesn't necessarily point to the center of the target area as expected.

In use one pans the scanning area over the target surface and looks for the highest/lowest, size of area indicating the temperature range of interest, etc. The laser doesn't contribute anything useful, IME. Many people believe that the laser is responsible for measuring temperature but it is simply a pointer for targeting. Marketing..

Another factor regarding the use of these devices is that they scan an area determined by the distance from the surface being scanned. They are "looking" at a diverging cone so scanning from different distances can reveal different temperature indications. Look on the unit in question and you will see a description of the area of scan.

Typically they scan a 10:1 ratio but there are differing ratios. The indicated temperature is not that at the point indicated by the laser but simply the average temperature over the area being viewed by the sensor. If one is intending to view a small area, such as a heated wire, these units are not very reliable although one can attempt to improve accuracy by scanning as closely as possible and by reducing other variables such as background temperature.

Try scanning your palm from a few inches and then move your hand back to arm's length and the indicated temperature will change as some of the background is included in the area being scanned.

Shiny surfaces seem to scan differently than textured ones at the same temperature. Keep in mind also that the unit measures the infrared light from the surface being scanned so attempting to measure the temperature of the parking lot by scanning through a window will not read the pavement but rather the temperature of light coming through the window.

The units with which I am familiar need to be at ambient temperature so stepping out of a cool RV into a hot environment and scanning may not reveal the same temperatures as after the unit has warmed to ambient temperature.

Did I mention that they indicate surface temperature only? Racers differed as to whether they believed these temperature measurements to be useful because some preferred to read temperatures at a small depth within the tire tread, while others preferred surface sidewall temperatures.

If one has no need to entertain cats and can buy a unit without the laser for a lot less, as used to be the case...

The vehicle repair industry uses infrared thermometers for many purposes from comparing tire temperatures in order to indicate a tire problem. Tire temperatures should be close when comparing tires on the same axle but, as someone mentioned, a tire sitting in the sun may have a very elevated surface temperature. The temperature within the carcass may not be nearly as high as indicated if sunlight was the heating source.

Typically drivers compare tire temperatures after some operating time while mechanics will check tire and brake temperatures after a road test in order to help in diagnosing a "pull" to one side which may be caused by tire pressure (this will already have been checked before the road test), break down of the tire carcass, brake dragging or not applying, wheel alignment, etc.

Other chdrive shaftfrom checking driveshaft universal joint temperatures after a heavy truck has run for a few miles in order to indicate a failing universal; comparing upper and lower (inlet/outlet) temperatures of the radiator tank as an indication of radiator efficiency; oil cooler performance; oil pan, transmission and differential temperatures; heating of wiring/wiring connectors; crefrigeration heating; refridgeration unit insulation; etc.

I sold units to highway maintenance operations who needed to adjust salting according to road temperature and to drivers who would point the unit out an open window to periodically check for freezing road conditions.

The prices have dropped from the $500.00 range when first on the market to almost free so no reason not to have one if one has an interest. Just keep the limitations in mind.

HIH

Norm

Apololgies to the grammer nazis...

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