Author Topic: Temp gun vs Thermal Imager which one? Plus a little on wall scanners.  (Read 3002 times)

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Online SRSemenza

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Looking at a temp gun or thermal imager for general use. Not any type of specific task. Which is more useful for general stuff. If you were choosing just one (don't factor the cost difference ).  Not interested in the cellphone type.

Can the camera / imager do everything the gun does?   Is one better at some things than the other?

EX- Klein TI250  , Klein IR10

Seth

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Offline Reed Hoyer

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Temp gun vs Thermal Imager which one? Plus a little on wall scanners.
« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2023, 08:33 PM »
I have used a couple of flir thermal imagers (one cell phone operated and one stand alone unit) and they’re great for exploring broad areas to find things like leaks or insulation issues. You can get fairly accurate pinpoint temperature measurements with them but a temp gun is likely more accurate for that task. On the whole I think the imagers are significantly more versatile. You can walk around a house and just find all sorts of issues. Duct disconnected in a wall? You’ll see a hot or cold spot. Window frame poorly sealed? Insulation missing in a wall or ceiling area? Some random electrical thing burning up inside a wall? Unless you know exactly where an area of interest is you’ll probably never shoot it with a temperature gun. You walk around any house for 10 minutes with an imager and you’ll find 5 things that’ll need fixing.

I know you said you’re not interested in the cell phone options but you save a lot of money letting your phone be a much better computer than what’s in literally any unit you can buy. If you’ve got the money, though, might as well spend it.

Reed

Offline six-point socket II

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Temp gun vs Thermal Imager which one? Plus a little on wall scanners.
« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2023, 08:58 PM »
Generally speaking, the temp gun will give you a pinpoint temperature reading whereas the thermal imager will give you a temperature reading for every pixel it displays. This makes assessing/capturing a situation as a whole much easier.

A lot of the simple temp guns have a fixed emissivity grade, meaning that they are most accurate when whatever you aim for/ want to measure fits that emissivity grade. If not, your readings are going to be off, they don't have to be dramatically off, but will still be off.

Most thermal imagers can be set to specific emissivity grades you need for the task at hand, that requires you to familiarize yourself with typical emissivity grades for different surfaces/ applications. And when/if necessary to come up with corrective measures. Like a pitch dark black sticker, for example.

The ones I know come with thick manuals and to make the most of a thermal imager, it's reading time first. :)

Here's a pretty comprehensive list of collected emissivity grades/levels in english:

https://www.transmetra.ch/images/transmetra_pdf/publikationen_literatur/pyrometrie-thermografie/emissivity_table.pdf

Only one, definitely the imager.

Reality, the classic temp gun sees far more use, since it is less fuss to use and more often than not, I don't need a full image but rather a spot/ small area. And if I would get out the imager when checking the temperature of my salt blocks on the BBQ, my better half would probably eye-roll and vanish back inside the house ... ;)

However, looking at a breaker panel, radiant (floor) heating, insulation, water leaks, (...) the thermal imager is king.

Kind regards,
Oliver
« Last Edit: February 09, 2023, 09:09 PM by six-point socket II »
Kind regards,
Oliver

"... . Say yes to stuff, and it will take you interesting places." - Anne Richards, CEO Fidelity International

Offline Cheese

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Temp gun vs Thermal Imager which one? Plus a little on wall scanners.
« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2023, 10:48 PM »
Definitely a thermal imager guy...I own both and the thermal imager documents the condition while the gun only records the condition.

Like Reed suggested, don't dismiss the capabilities of a phone based imager, they are a great bang for your buck despite the recent issues. [sad]

Online SRSemenza

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Temp gun vs Thermal Imager which one? Plus a little on wall scanners.
« Reply #4 on: February 10, 2023, 12:23 AM »
As far as the phone imagers go ..............  it is not the capabilities or the price. The prices of the few that I have looked at (phone vs whole unit) don't seems that much different at least within the same brand. I just prefer a dedicated "tool".


Seth

Offline afish

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Temp gun vs Thermal Imager which one? Plus a little on wall scanners.
« Reply #5 on: February 10, 2023, 08:56 AM »
I agree with previous comments, I already own a temp gun and it is handy to have and if you are trying to use it to find energy deficiencies in your home. It can and will help but as others say its more of a pinpoint vs broad picture.  I have a few energy deficiencies I need to address at my home as well especially now that electricity is much more expensive.  For example I have a lot of south facing glass probably about 75% of total area, with no shade and knew it was a big issue but the temp gun will give you a better picture of just how bad a situation is. In my case the south glass was reading 126° while my shaded windows were in the 79-80 range. As I said I knew it was an issue but when you see the discrepancy in black and white it can be eye opening. So I think the best solution is to add a large continuous awning to shade all that glass. I also had my attic spray foamed a few years ago and while it made a huge difference I have some suspicions that it is not as air tight as it could or should be. So, I want to scan my attic with a thermal camera to see if there are any hot spots or spots along the eaves that might be leaking air,  I have very little access to my attic so a temp gun would never give me the full picture as the thermal camera.  A thermal camera will quickly identify issues in a situation like this.  I am most likely looking at the HIT-19 and I also prefer a stand alone tool to phone apparatus.  Its on my short list as soon as I finish up some other projects.         

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Temp gun vs Thermal Imager which one? Plus a little on wall scanners.
« Reply #6 on: February 10, 2023, 09:01 AM »
I agree with previous comments, I already own a temp gun and it is handy to have and if you are trying to use it to find energy deficiencies in your home. It can and will help but as others say its more of a pinpoint vs broad picture.  I have a few energy deficiencies I need to address at my home as well especially now that electricity is much more expensive.  For example I have a lot of south facing glass probably about 75% of total area, with no shade and knew it was a big issue but the temp gun will give you a better picture of just how bad a situation is. In my case the south glass was reading 126° while my shaded windows were in the 79-80 range. As I said I knew it was an issue but when you see the discrepancy in black and white it can be eye opening. So I think the best solution is to add a large continuous awning to shade all that glass. I also had my attic spray foamed a few years ago and while it made a huge difference I have some suspicions that it is not as air tight as it could or should be. So, I want to scan my attic with a thermal camera to see if there are any hot spots or spots along the eaves that might be leaking air,  I have very little access to my attic so a temp gun would never give me the full picture as the thermal camera.  A thermal camera will quickly identify issues in a situation like this.  I am most likely looking at the HIT-19 and I also prefer a stand alone tool to phone apparatus.  Its on my short list as soon as I finish up some other projects.         


What brand is this?  Link?


Seth

Offline afish

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Temp gun vs Thermal Imager which one? Plus a little on wall scanners.
« Reply #7 on: February 10, 2023, 09:09 AM »
Sorry, dyslexia kicked in HTI not HIT
LINK

Online SRSemenza

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Temp gun vs Thermal Imager which one? Plus a little on wall scanners.
« Reply #8 on: February 10, 2023, 09:58 AM »
Sorry, dyslexia kicked in HTI not HIT


   Thanks.  If I go with thermal imager it will be in the under $300 price range. The Klein seems nice and is only a bit more than Kleins cell phone version. Are there others worth considering that are under $300?

Seth

Offline Michael Kellough

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Temp gun vs Thermal Imager which one? Plus a little on wall scanners.
« Reply #9 on: February 10, 2023, 09:59 AM »
This one is interesting too.

Oops, at double your price range…

Offline Cheese

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Temp gun vs Thermal Imager which one? Plus a little on wall scanners.
« Reply #10 on: February 10, 2023, 10:15 AM »
The thing I liked about the phone mount imager is that it's small and I just keep it in my pocket, nothing extra to carry around really, it's about 2.5" x 1" x .5" These photos are from the Gen one version which came out in 2014. The resolution of the new imagers is quite a bit better.

HVAC leaks




AC duct in-wall




Surface temperature of a black car on a sunny 85º day


« Last Edit: February 10, 2023, 10:26 AM by Cheese »

Offline afish

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Temp gun vs Thermal Imager which one? Plus a little on wall scanners.
« Reply #11 on: February 10, 2023, 12:08 PM »
Sorry, dyslexia kicked in HTI not HIT


   Thanks.  If I go with thermal imager it will be in the under $300 price range. The Klein seems nice and is only a bit more than Kleins cell phone version. Are there others worth considering that are under $300?

Seth

10-4 if you get the Klein report back how you like it, Im not excited about spending 600 for one.

Online SRSemenza

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Temp gun vs Thermal Imager which one? Plus a little on wall scanners.
« Reply #12 on: February 11, 2023, 07:14 PM »
So another question.....................

              How well ( if at all ) does a thermal imager see into a wall? Probably a pipe with hot water will show? How about other things? Electric cable?

Seth

Offline PaulMarcel

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Temp gun vs Thermal Imager which one? Plus a little on wall scanners.
« Reply #13 on: February 12, 2023, 02:17 AM »
How well ( if at all ) does a thermal imager see into a wall? Probably a pipe with hot water will show? How about other things? Electric cable?

Seth

Oh I love my Flir (iPhone model). Not the most expensive and it's an older model, but I use it regularly to see into walls. Hot water would be easy. I don't think you'll see electric cables, but I honestly haven't tried to find any.

In these samples, you can see the studs in my dining room. The purple blobs on the ceiling shows where water got into a damaged soffit. Can't see it from the inside anymore without the imager so I'm leaving it until I replace the roof.

The second photo is of a second-floor room's outside wall. You can see the horizontal bracing clearly.

One thing I like about the phone-based Flir is that it takes a thermal image as well as a regular photo simultaneously. When you review photos, you can use an opacity slider to locate anomalies better.

This is the only imager I have any experience with so maybe all the others do the same  [tongue]

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Offline festal

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Temp gun vs Thermal Imager which one? Plus a little on wall scanners.
« Reply #14 on: February 12, 2023, 06:56 AM »
@Cheese  @PaulMarcel what model of the flir are you using with iphones?  looking to get one and can't decide which one to go with

Offline six-point socket II

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Temp gun vs Thermal Imager which one? Plus a little on wall scanners.
« Reply #15 on: February 12, 2023, 07:20 AM »
Seth,

if you have an acute thermal issue with any electrical cables/wires/stuff the thermal imager will most likely make it visible immediately.

If you just want to follow/find a circuit/line, hook up a vac, iron, fan heater, (...), to the corresponding outlet, let it run for a bit. The minimal rise in temperature of the outlet and circuit feeding it will most likely make it visible to the thermal imager.

I have to add, in case someone else later on reads this and tries it: you only do this when you have absolutely no reason to believe the circuit/line is compromised in any way. This is to find/isolate an intact & trustworthy circuit/line only!


I've had good results with this technique.

Kind regards,
Oliver
« Last Edit: February 12, 2023, 07:24 AM by six-point socket II »
Kind regards,
Oliver

"... . Say yes to stuff, and it will take you interesting places." - Anne Richards, CEO Fidelity International

Offline Sparktrician

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Temp gun vs Thermal Imager which one? Plus a little on wall scanners.
« Reply #16 on: February 12, 2023, 09:21 AM »
Seth,

if you have an acute thermal issue with any electrical cables/wires/stuff the thermal imager will most likely make it visible immediately.

If you just want to follow/find a circuit/line, hook up a vac, iron, fan heater, (...), to the corresponding outlet, let it run for a bit. The minimal rise in temperature of the outlet and circuit feeding it will most likely make it visible to the thermal imager.

I have to add, in case someone else later on reads this and tries it: you only do this when you have absolutely no reason to believe the circuit/line is compromised in any way. This is to find/isolate an intact & trustworthy circuit/line only!


I've had good results with this technique.

Kind regards,
Oliver

I would use this method ONLY in conjunction with a clamp-on ammeter placed at the breaker panel to assure that current on the circuit in use does not exceed the capabilities of the wiring and/or breaker.   [unsure]
- Willy -

  "Show us a man who never makes a mistake and we will show a man who never makes anything. 
  The capacity for occasional blundering is inseparable from the capacity to bring things to pass."

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Online SRSemenza

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Temp gun vs Thermal Imager which one? Plus a little on wall scanners.
« Reply #17 on: February 12, 2023, 09:54 AM »
Are all of these imagers FLIR or are there different types of thermal imagers? I see some using "FLIR" and some not, in descriptions.

Seth
« Last Edit: February 12, 2023, 10:46 AM by SRSemenza »

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Temp gun vs Thermal Imager which one? Plus a little on wall scanners.
« Reply #18 on: February 12, 2023, 09:58 AM »
Seth,

if you have an acute thermal issue with any electrical cables/wires/stuff the thermal imager will most likely make it visible immediately.

If you just want to follow/find a circuit/line, hook up a vac, iron, fan heater, (...), to the corresponding outlet, let it run for a bit. The minimal rise in temperature of the outlet and circuit feeding it will most likely make it visible to the thermal imager.

I have to add, in case someone else later on reads this and tries it: you only do this when you have absolutely no reason to believe the circuit/line is compromised in any way. This is to find/isolate an intact & trustworthy circuit/line only!


I've had good results with this technique.

Kind regards,
Oliver

I would use this method ONLY in conjunction with a clamp-on ammeter placed at the breaker panel to assure that current on the circuit in use does not exceed the capabilities of the wiring and/or breaker.   [unsure]

I would not be using this idea to find bad wiring. It would be to find good wiring so as to avoid hitting it during an install.  I don't see why it wouldn't be safe to plug something in and run it just as normal everyday.

I realize there are wall scanners too. Just want to know how far the imager capabilities go.

Seth
« Last Edit: February 12, 2023, 10:06 AM by SRSemenza »

Offline Cheese

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Temp gun vs Thermal Imager which one? Plus a little on wall scanners.
« Reply #19 on: February 12, 2023, 10:04 AM »
Seth,

If you just want to follow/find a circuit/line, hook up a vac, iron, fan heater, (...), to the corresponding outlet, let it run for a bit. The minimal rise in temperature of the outlet and circuit feeding it will most likely make it visible to the thermal imager.

I've had good results with this technique.


Ya I agree with Oliver, these Flir units seem pretty sensitive to small temperature differences so I'd just load the line you want to trace with a heat gun or soldering iron and it'll probably become pretty evident. I'd also take a before and after photo of the area in question because that may be easier to isolate exactly where the wiring travels.

@festal I've used the original Gen one with an iPhone 5, 6 & 10, then the Flir battery went south.  [sad]   I'm now looking at purchasing either one of these but I can't make up my mind. It'll be coupled to a 14 Pro.

The Flir One Pro is nice because of its size, it easily fits in a shirt or jeans pocket. The Flir One Pro works with iPhone 14 thru iPhone 7.
https://www.flir.com/products/flir-one-pro/?model=435-0006-03&vertical=condition%20monitoring&segment=solutions

The Flir One Edge Pro is nice because it operates attached to or detached from the phone...think remote applications like holding it over something or around a tight corner. Because this is detachable, it communicates with BlueTooth and it can be used with either iOS or Android
https://www.flir.com/products/flir-one-edge-pro/?vertical=condition%20monitoring&segment=solutions
« Last Edit: February 13, 2023, 09:48 AM by Cheese »

Offline Michael Kellough

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Temp gun vs Thermal Imager which one? Plus a little on wall scanners.
« Reply #20 on: February 12, 2023, 10:05 AM »
If the wall will be covered with cabinets another option is to drill a hole and insert a borescope and have a look around inside the cavity.

Offline Michael Kellough

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Temp gun vs Thermal Imager which one? Plus a little on wall scanners.
« Reply #21 on: February 12, 2023, 10:09 AM »
The Flir One Edge Pro will not be orphaned when future iPhones have USB-C ports rather than Lightning.

Offline MikeGE

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Temp gun vs Thermal Imager which one? Plus a little on wall scanners.
« Reply #22 on: February 12, 2023, 10:12 AM »
I would not be using this idea to find bad wiring. It would be to find good wiring so as to avoid hitting it during an install.  I don't see why it wouldn't be safe to plug something in and run it just as normal everyday.
Seth


I use the Bosch D-tect 150 to identify the location of wiring, plumbing, and rebar in my concrete walls.  I tried the inexpensive stud finders, but they all failed miserably.

The D-tect 150 has been replaced with the D-Tect 200, but the changes are not worth upgrading for me.  The D-tect 150 and 200 use microwave technology (RADAR) to penetrate walls and alert when live conductors are detected, as well as a visual indication of the depth in wall.

Offline Cheese

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Temp gun vs Thermal Imager which one? Plus a little on wall scanners.
« Reply #23 on: February 12, 2023, 11:03 AM »
Are all of these imagers FLIR or are there different types? I see some using "FLIR" and some not, in descriptions.

Seth

They are all Flir images, note the first photo I posted "HVAC leaks", in the upper LH corner you can just barely see the Flir logo.

One more thing to dig into is how large does the final image size become on the Klein?  With the original Flir Gen One, the resolution was around 5000 pixels (80 x 60) and that would be enlarged to a standard VGA 640 x 480 image.
The Klein has 10,000 pixel resolution while the new Flirs have 19,200 pixel resolution.

Offline Sparktrician

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Temp gun vs Thermal Imager which one? Plus a little on wall scanners.
« Reply #24 on: February 12, 2023, 11:09 AM »
The D-tect 150 has been replaced with the D-Tect 200, but the changes are not worth upgrading for me.  The D-tect 150 and 200 use microwave technology (RADAR) to penetrate walls and alert when live conductors are detected, as well as a visual indication of the depth in wall.


The D-TECT 200 seems to not be available in NA, and if it was, the price would be upwards of $750, near as I can tell.   [eek]
- Willy -

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Offline six-point socket II

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Temp gun vs Thermal Imager which one? Plus a little on wall scanners.
« Reply #25 on: February 12, 2023, 11:36 AM »
Highly sophisticated & reliable product for when rebar (or other stuff) absolutely must not be cut. Comparable to Hilti's PS 85 and the likes.

It allows you to understand depth, shape & material including even plastic piping & water filled plastic piping.

Miles ahead of any regular stud finder or even less sophisticated/reliable alternatives like the Bosch D-tect 120 -> https://www.bosch-professional.com/gb/en/products/d-tect-120-wallscanner-0601081370

Paid by for itself when it prevented a single hit. For example, I used a less sophisticated tool and it gave me the green light. Went ahead and drilled, hit an old-school lead-sheathed low-/ no-voltage telecommunication line. (Shouldn't have been there, not the slightest indication that it could be there.) But nothing special really - not even the repair. Repair costs still exceeded a little over 1000,-. Insurance covered it, but still. GMS-120 didn't find it. Would have most likely found it with the D-tect 120, with the "older" 150 or now the 200 for sure.

Kind regards,
Oliver
Kind regards,
Oliver

"... . Say yes to stuff, and it will take you interesting places." - Anne Richards, CEO Fidelity International

Offline tsmi243

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Temp gun vs Thermal Imager which one? Plus a little on wall scanners.
« Reply #26 on: February 12, 2023, 11:58 AM »
Are all of these imagers FLIR or are there different types of thermal imagers? I see some using "FLIR" and some not, in descriptions.

Seth

Some guys call any thermal imager a "FLIR".  Like saying Channellocks or Skilsaw.  I don't think the core technology differs between brands, just the refresh rate, resolution, etc.

The actual sensor in some brands could be made by FLIR, that may be what you're seeing in the product listing. 

Online SRSemenza

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Temp gun vs Thermal Imager which one? Plus a little on wall scanners.
« Reply #27 on: February 12, 2023, 12:37 PM »
Are all of these imagers FLIR or are there different types of thermal imagers? I see some using "FLIR" and some not, in descriptions.

Seth

Some guys call any thermal imager a "FLIR".  Like saying Channellocks or Skilsaw.  I don't think the core technology differs between brands, just the refresh rate, resolution, etc.

The actual sensor in some brands could be made by FLIR, that may be what you're seeing in the product listing.

Aah, it's brand name. Got it now.

Seth

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Temp gun vs Thermal Imager which one? Plus a little on wall scanners.
« Reply #28 on: February 12, 2023, 12:47 PM »
The D-tect 150 has been replaced with the D-Tect 200, but the changes are not worth upgrading for me.  The D-tect 150 and 200 use microwave technology (RADAR) to penetrate walls and alert when live conductors are detected, as well as a visual indication of the depth in wall.


The D-TECT 200 seems to not be available in NA, and if it was, the price would be upwards of $750, near as I can tell.   [eek]

The  D-TECT 200 is on Amazon for about $1,100.000 USD I can't find any good reviews that really show what it will see. Even earlier version reviews are sparse and most show them working on perfect fake walls.   

In any case seems that for looking into a wall a scanner will be much more effective than thermal imager?

I realize they are different tools but I am just thinking of the extended use of the thermal imager.


Seth

Offline six-point socket II

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Temp gun vs Thermal Imager which one? Plus a little on wall scanners.
« Reply #29 on: February 12, 2023, 01:59 PM »
It's too sophisticated for the average youtuber/influencer, they lack the experience with this type of tool to really convey what it will do/ not do. It's not a "magic trick" that suddenly allows the user to really look inside the wall, you need to interpret what the readings mean/ tell you, besides the over obvious warning when you're over a life circuit with it.

Filming actual use of such a tool, to make the audience really understand the product's capabilities, would require screen in screen times 3 and voice over. You need to see the display, movement on the wall and at best also the wall in "open state" with pipes/wire/rebar to see.

No clicks because it would be boring as heck to the general audience, no sparks, no dust, no ranking, no failing tools, (...). ;)

It would resemble professional training (that can be had from various manufacturers/distributors) and those youtuber/influencer don't have the audience for it nor the experience with the actual tool or use of it.

And the fun only starts with the Bosch.

Take a look at the 15k$ Leica Geosystems C-Thrue for example:

https://leica-geosystems.com/products/detection-systems/concrete-scanner-c-thrue

https://shop.leica-geosystems.com/buy/utility-detection/ids-c-thrue-concrete-scanner


Kind regards,
Oliver
Kind regards,
Oliver

"... . Say yes to stuff, and it will take you interesting places." - Anne Richards, CEO Fidelity International