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The first commonly available civil fighting thermal imager. Widely sold in the UK, Europe and US as fire users moved towards one camera per truck. Although all were made under 'EEV', later repairs may bear 'Marconi' name. The cameras were also sold under the MSA and AUER (MSA Germany) branding 'from EEV'.


Data Table for P4438 Argus1

Sensing Method Pyroelectric effect in TGS crystal material. Temperature changes from the scene cause charge to build up / decay on the inner face of the target material.
Sensor Type / Size EEV Pevicon P8231 and yoke MA3000, 18mm circular target area. 'Hard' vacuum tube.
Lens Parameters 18mm f/0/7 giving 50 field of view. Fixed focus set at build by moving tube & yoke assembly.
Dynamic Range / Control 60C, automatic iris in lens
Display 38mm CRT with magnifier
Sensitivity (MDTD) <500mK
Power Source 8 'AA' cells cartridge fitted in the handle, primary cells as standard but a rechargeable cartridge was also available along with a mains battery charger
Power System Battery regulated to 8.7V using SMPS, camera ~4W
Video Output BNC, produced in 60Hz / 525 line and 50Hz / 625 line variants
Image Processing 'Chopped' with spiral shutter and a 1-field digital image store to give a constant image. Later builds had all-digital image combination rather than adding live analogue to delayed digital.
Manufacturer Status Obsolete, no longer serviced
Number and Years Built High 1000's from 1994 - 1999
Export Status Not controlled
Publicity Argus 1 datasheet
Argus 1 brochure
Argus 1 charger system datasheet


A few 'yellow' solid state cameras exist using a Raytheon ASi core, which at the time were not export controlled. These would however be controlled today. Datasheet link
A few cameras were also made including a spot temperature measuring module, as later used in many Argus 2.


The Argus 2 video transmitters would also work with the Argus 1
Rechargeable batteries and a charger, which later became standard. The battery pack contains 8 NiCd in series rated at 800mAh, and has blue (or black) labels. The later NiMH packs (green labels) can be used in the camera.

Hobby user information

These camaeras are common on eBay etc but care is needed to ensure a working model is found. Due to age any original rechargeable batteries (black or blue labels) are likely to be dead. The green label batteries from Argus2 are however generally compatible. Rechargeable batteries may be used in the 'AA' carrier, but the battery indicator will not be accurate. The rechargeable batteries contain a capacity measuring circuit feeding an analogue voltage on a third pin to drive the on-screen battery bar, the voltage mimicing the output of the 8x'AA' LR6 pack.
Camera is powered by 8.7V from a switch mode supply in the handle. As this is used internally the camera is sensitive to this voltage.
Common faults are stuck iris in the lens and general breakages especially of the battery door. Breakages may allow water ingress and cause significant damage internally.

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Heritage TICs EEV Argus1 page 13 March 2016  All tradename © respective owners