The punch line to the old joke, “How do you get to Carnegie Hall?” is three simple words, “Practice, practice, practice.” The same would hold true if there was a thermographic equivalent to Carnegie Hall. You’d get there with practice … lots of it!
Some folks who come to Level I infrared training, however, express that they have limited access to their infrared imager, or that they only do inspections a few times a year, and that when they take their camera out that they feel kind of rusty. The easy cure to feeling rusty with your infrared camera is more practice. What if you have limited access to the systems you’re going to be inspecting, how do you get your time in on the imager to keep your skills sharp?
The fact of the matter is that no matter where you aim your thermal imager, there are thermal patterns to be seen. You can get plenty of practice with items you normally would not inspect. Regular household items, wildlife in the park, pets, kids, all of these objects are opportunities to fine tune your imaging skills. Will your cat look the same in your imager as a motor control center starter? Of course it won’t, but taking a high quality image of Fluffy the Cat requires the same attention to detail and the same image optimization skills as imaging a motor starter.
ANY opportunity to image objects is a good chance to practice focusing sharply, adjusting the span and level, freezing and storing an image, and changing palettes. The more you work with your infrared imager, the more comfortable you’ll feel using it when it counts in the field. So, go out there and image your lawn mower, your bird bath or your dog. Practice makes perfect!
Think Thermally, www.thesnellgroup.com The Snell Group, a Fluke Thermal Imaging Blog content partner