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Warning symbol

Posted: Wed Nov 29, 2017 11:11 am
by LEQFireBlue
Hi all, new to the forum,

We have recently purchased a 2nd hand Argus3 thermal imaging camera online, for our small CAT 3 airport fire service. I went through it today to do an acceptance check and noticed next to the battery symbol is a red triangle with an exclamation mark inside, which according to the manual means:

General System Failure Warning
The general system failure-warning symbol will appear to the right of the battery status indicator if either of the following faults is detected:

High humidity within the sealed camera body.
Failure of the lens iris assembly.

The symbol may appear briefly during normal operations but if it remains on, the camera must be withdrawn from use and the defect reported to the Duty Fire Officer.
Failure to do so may result in permanent damage to the camera.

When we had these TICs on our pumps within Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service I seem to remember most, I know ours at St Ives did, had this warning symbol but all other functions worked as they should. What I’m wondering is if you had any other information on this problem or anything that needs to be done.

Any help or suggestions would be much appreciated.


Alex :D

Re: Warning symbol

Posted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 12:34 am
by forum_admin
Hi Alex,

Have you got a computer lead with it to get the 'status report' out ? The software is on the Argus 3 page here if you do not have the CD, might need an older PC though. If you can get it then post it and I'll decode it for you.

Otherwise by far the most likely is the iris sticking. You can test this by showing the camera a hot object, like a home gas fire or cooker, does the image adjust ? You might also hear the gears going if they are OK.
The problem for users comes if you get a fire as it could overload the image just when you need it.

What happened over time was that the oil in the motor bearings would spread out, pick up a bit of dust and turn into a glue between the two iris leaves.

It is a bit of a strip down to get to it but still doable with hand tools, mostly hex drivers. The iris blades need to come out for a good clean with a degreaser like isopropyl alcohol. If the worst comes to the worst I can do an exchange lens for you.

The alternative fault of 'humidity' again needs opening up. If it really is humidity just let it dry out, bin or refresh the dry bag. A lot of cameras were put away wet into the sealed case and eventually water vapour got in even when the seals were OK. Long term wet will damage the electronics and optical coatings hence the dire warnings in the manual. This was especially the case when cameras were still in warranty - the expensive sensor was not under warranty for getting wet.

A final possibility (as in I've seen it before) is if the humidity sensor itself has failed making the camera think it is humid. It is the 3 pin part on the smaller PCB that connects everything.


Re: Warning symbol

Posted: Fri Dec 15, 2017 2:04 pm
by LEQFireBlue
Hi Bill,

Sorry for the late reply, I have had a right drama trying to get the status report. I have finally managed to get it tho. :D

Thank you for offering to help, any and all advice would be much appreciated.

Argus®3 Camera Setup Summary

Date: Dec/15/2017, 14:01:52

Serial Number: 137

Camera Micro Version: = v2.20
Camera FPGA Version: = v16
Camera Lens FPGA Version = v98

Sensor Selected: = BST 200
NTSC/ PAL switchable option: = Off

Camera Run Time (Hours): = 21 Hrs
Camera Run Time (Mins): = 26 Mins

Humidity state: = Enabled
Max Humidity Level (EVER): = 27 %
Humidity reading now: = 25 %

Max Heatsink Temperature (EVER):= 46.1 °C
Heatsink reading now: = 24.4 °C

Gain Settings: = 78
Offset Settings: = 200

LCD colour value: = 10
LCD brightness value: = 10
LCD contrast: = 4

Iris Pulse Width settings: = 6

Cold Starts: = 179
Warm Starts: = 36

Factory Amb temp setting: = ON
Factory Spot temp setting: = ON
Factory Tx Settings: = OFF
Factory Tx number of channels: = 0

Customer Zoom Settings: = ON
Customer Time/Date Settings: = ON
Customer Amb Sensor Settings: = ON
Customer Spot Sensor Settings: = ON
Customer Tx on/ off state: = ON

Picture colouration: = Soft red spot

Custom splash screen state: = OFF
Number of pictures stored: = 1

Temperture units: = Degrees C

Lens failure: = 1

Humidity ADC on threshold: = 673
Humidity ADC off threshold: = 641

Over temperature ADC low on threshold: = 473
Over temperature ADC low off threshold: = 526
Over temperature ADC high on threshold: = 379
Over temperature ADC high off threshold: = 424

Thanks again Bill, I eagerly await your reply.


Re: Warning symbol

Posted: Fri Dec 15, 2017 2:14 pm
by LEQFireBlue
Although I have just got a fresh report and I notice that the lens failure is now set to = 0. and I cant seem to get it to go back to = 1, If that's any help. :lol:


Re: Warning symbol

Posted: Sun Dec 31, 2017 1:05 am
by forum_admin
Hi Alex,

This is the lens iris getting stuck.
The humidity readings are very good.

The lens fail is cleared each time the camera turns on, until the next time it does not operate fast enough.
The logic behind the '1' and the warning is that if the iris has been trying to close (or open) for 'too long' it gives up and puts up the warning. I think it is about 3 seconds but could be wrong.

Unfortunately you have no way to adjust the iris drive pulse, 6 is a bit lower than usual suggesting it was unusually free running when new.


Re: Warning symbol

Posted: Tue Jan 02, 2018 9:36 am
by LEQFireBlue
Hi Bill,

Happy new year, hope you've had a good Christmas and new year.

Thanks for the info. Whats the best course of plan from here? Is it repairable at all or is it a lost cause?

Thanks again


Re: Warning symbol

Posted: Sat Jan 06, 2018 8:15 pm
by forum_admin
Hi Alex,

This is easily repairable, as long as you get all the screws out OK. There's a lot to get out and they are your main difficulty as they are exposed to all the water etc.

4 at the sides if you have side straps. Big crossheads
8 front, 8 back to get the handles off 2mm Hex I think
14 around the sides. 2.5mm hex

Then the front and back come apart, the camera chassis stays in the front.
Unplug the lead to the display.

Undo the 6 screws holding the camera chassis in.
Unplug the flexilead and 6 way plug at the bottom. Record the orientation.
Remove carefully, the small white device on the bottom board sometimes gets caught and breaks off.

Turn the chassis over and then you'll see the lens. You might find the lead is unplugged - easy fix.
Otherwise there's two locked screws on the top of the lens to remove the front part of the lens and release the iris leaves that probably need cleaning. Before taking them out record how they go back and the way the small notch on them lines up.

There's a few ways to test it as you reassemble it.

I'll see what I can get as photos.


Re: Warning symbol

Posted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 8:14 am
by LEQFireBlue
Hi Bill

This is great, thanks for your help. I had stripped it right down to the chassis before when I was attempting to dry it out so im confident of getting that far. You are right there are a hell of a lot of crews!!! :D

Im pretty confident I can strip it down and put it back together, when I get to the iris how is best to clean then and get them back up to scratch?

I look forward to seeing the pics if you manage to find any.

Thanks again


Re: Warning symbol

Posted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 12:53 am
by forum_admin
Image of the top of the lens. You have to free these two screws to get the iris leaves out.

What has usually happened is that the lubrication in the motor leaches out and flows between the leaves
it also picks up some 'grot' and basically sticks them together.

Clean them with IPA / white spirit etc once well away from the camera.

The trickiest bit is putting them back where they came from so the iris still opens and closes, reaches the limit sensors etc


Re: Warning symbol

Posted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 10:25 am
by LEQFireBlue
Hi Bill, I presume there was meant to be a picture attached to your last message. If so I cant seem to see it.

I presume the bits I need to clean are the circle shaped thin paper discs?