Now that I’ve made some “thermal” New Year’s resolutions, I thought I’d best begin to adhere to them!
You may remember I resolved to “get out with an imager in my hands and look at my world at least several times each week.” I actually got a jump on this one when I went to the First Night celebration in my hometown of Montpelier, Vermont.
Though it is the capital city of Vermont, Montpelier is basically a village of 8400 souls! We also learned long ago that we needed to embrace the long winters or suffer miserably inside. First Night is our way to ring in the New Year with entertainment, food and lots of people.
Traditionally, we’ve had spectacular fireworks shows—but this year, in an effort to mix things up and make funds go further, people learned to make floating “sky lanterns.” This ancient design uses a three-foot tall paper lantern with a wax-fired flame providing lift. Several hundred were launched in a matter of minutes—a delightful sight both visually and thermally.
The evening quickly heated up with two additional thermal events! A fire hander spun torches and breathed fire–both displays were quite impressive. I was unable to get many good thermal images due to the crowds and the speed with which he displayed his art, but what I saw made me glad to be a thermographer, rather than have his job!
Another part of the festivities was a “fire organ.” This simple device consisted of pipes of various lengths and diameters welded to a large frame. The “organist” “played” the instrument by heating the pipes with a large gas flame. As the air expanded, it made a wild sound, the pitch determined by the pipe’s size and the intensity of the heat. The sound was unearthly and the thermal images were spectacular. Interestingly, WIKI has a page on a similar instrument, called a “pyrophone”, that has been around for more than 200 years.
What’s next? I’m not suggesting you should only image “weird” things! Actually, I helped a family member with an ice dam problem yesterday—nothing special, but always interesting and useful. Once he’s done some corrective work, I’ll check back with him to see how we did.
Bottom line: there is no shortage of interesting places to use your imager! I will continue to explore my world with both traditional and non-traditional imaging as a way to have fun and learn more using thermography.
John Snell—The Snell Group, a Fluke Thermal Imaging Blog content partner