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Working with the Cat S62 Pro and its thermal imaging camera

The Cat S62 Pro is a mid-range Android smartphone built to help you get work done. We took it into a Florida shipyard to check out electrical panels and machinery with the FLIR Lepton 3.5 infrared sensor.

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Topic: Mobility
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1 of 10 Matthew Miller/ZDNet

Cat S62 Pro is built for a shipyard environment

The Cat S62 Pro is available now in the US for $649 and as covered in our full review it is built for field work. I had the chance to use the Cat S62 Pro for a couple of weeks where it served as my primary smartphone and as an important tool in my arsenal during some shipboard testing.

The technical specifications have maximum temperature requirements for various surfaces while thermal imaging is also key to figuring out which electrical connections are energized and properly terminated.

While work days were long, there was also some time off to enjoy the beach where the Cat S62 Pro works well too thanks to its high water resistant rating, hardware button options, and solid battery life.

See also - Cat S62 Pro review: Integrated thermal camera shines in this rugged mid-range smartphone

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2 of 10 Matthew Miller/ZDNet

Using a Cat phone to check on a cat

Prior to heading out for the business trip, I tested out the FLIR camera on the S62 Pro on one of our pet cats. As detailed by Charles McLellan in his full review, the MyFLIR Pro app provides several modes, targeting options, settings, and report options to help you get the job done.

The spot meter on my cat shows the temperature of her measured at this one location, but you can also move this meter around and change the size of the region.

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3 of 10 Matthew Miller/ZDNet

Default mode view of a switch panel

The default view of the MyFLIR Pro app shows heat levels with the average temperature of the preview screen shown in the top left corner. A quick tap will pop up the temperature level indicator on the right side of the preview screen so you can see what temperature the various colors are measuring.

This view is good over an overall look, but I preferred shifting the camera into MSX (multi-spectral dynamic imaging) and alpha bending modes that added a bit more image detail for a thermal/visible image sense of the area.

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4 of 10 Matthew Miller/ZDNet

Another view of the same panel

MSX and alpha blending modes let you adjust the amount of thermal or visible content present in the image and as you can see here the visible content is much higher. While this is helpful for orientation of the subjects you are measuring, the thermal differences are not as readily apparent.

See also - Cat S62 Pro review: Integrated thermal camera shines in this rugged mid-range smartphone

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5 of 10 Matthew Miller/ZDNet

Power panel view

The Cat S62 Pro can be used to check breaker panels in various applications. This image shows a panel that is not energized with low thermal readings. It's important during testing to check that panels are not energized when they are supposed to be off, as well as checking "hot" panels.

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6 of 10 Matthew Miller/ZDNet

Active connection

This switchboard image shows one system that is energized with a clear and distinct heat signature. 

See also - Cat S62 Pro review: Integrated thermal camera shines in this rugged mid-range smartphone

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7 of 10 Matthew Miller/ZDNet

Checking main engine surface temperatures

The main engines in a marine vessel are large and generate a lot of power and heat. There are insulation requirements for sections where the vessel crew may bump against and other maximum surface temperature requirements to confirm during full load testing.

It's interesting to see the different hot zones on an engine that confirms which parts of the engine are working. You can move the targeting zones around to check areas so you can hold the Cat S62 Pro in one spot and move the zones around on the display.

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8 of 10 Matthew Miller/ZDNet

Default view with the MyFLIR Pro app

The default view shows the thermal results through the camera with no imaging overlay. The temperature in the top left is the average over the entire image in the viewfinder while the other average is contained within the box projected onto the engine surface.

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9 of 10 Matthew Miller/ZDNet

Checking out a Cat generator with a Cat phone

We have a few Cat generators onboard the vessel to create electricity for the vessel. I used the Cat S62 Pro to check the thermal readings of the generator engines.

I also talked with the technician who was hired for detailed thermal imaging during trials and he confirmed that the Cat S62 Pro provided readings within just a couple of degrees of his readings. While the S62 Pro wouldn't likely be accepted for official required testing, it serves as a great tool for those who are troubleshooting problems. It is also a sold daily smartphone so if you want to check on projects in the field then the S62 Pro is a great option available for a reasonable price.

See also - Cat S62 Pro review: Integrated thermal camera shines in this rugged mid-range smartphone

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10 of 10 Matthew Miller/ZDNet

MSX view of the Cat generator

Flipping from standard mode to MSX mode shows the visible details of the generator installed on the vessel. The hot spots aren't as apparent, but the temperature readings are the same so you can use the targeting tools to identify hot areas while getting a sense for where those areas are on the physical machinery.

See also - Cat S62 Pro review: Integrated thermal camera shines in this rugged mid-range smartphone

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