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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Has anyone used them? I have used a Raytech before (same as Fluke) and was very happy with it. I'm working on some stuff (both cooling and heating) and would like to have one to make my measurements a little more scientific.

I see they retail for about 50 bucks, but I also see similar models on ebay for about 8. Anyone grab one of these cheaper models (mostly all shipping from Hong Kong) and have success with it? I imagine you would need another more reliable thermometer to measure accuracy and consistency.

Just wondering
 

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Yes, I have used fluke, raytek, and a cheap $20 autozone "oem" (brand) IR.

Generally they are pretty accurate, but you have to watch out for distance/spot ratios, and reflectivity. Even the cheapest does a decent job up close with the right reflectivity, but certain materials and colors have a different coefficient. What that means in the real world is aluminum tends to be off a little, and so does glass, amongst other things.

The cheap ones are non adjustable, the expensive ones are adjustable. Problem is you do not know where to adjust it unless you read the online charts, and will not likely remember to adjust for various materials.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Joe: Thanks for the input. The one I'm eying now is a Thermotech TT1022 with adjustable emissivity and a little chart with the different materials, -58*F through 1022*F which is plenty for most applications that I could think I'd need.

I'm interested in reading things like header tubes, supply ducts, panels, hoses, radiator, etc.
 

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I have the craftsman 0-1800* f I.R. 'gun' type. It seems fairly accurate for my needs. I used to have a have a naked eye kind of color chart to W.A.G. temps of aluminum in a furnace. But the Bob Vila model was just the thing to make it more accurate. And it's kind of hefty/well built. 
You might also look into Nitro R/C catalogs or web stores, such as Tower Hobbies, for cheap I.R. temp sensors, food processing and cafeteria catalogs too.
 

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I've got an Extech (about $90 I think?) and have found it very handy. Like Joe said, pay attention to the distance/spot ratios. It cracks me up watching the maintenance guys here at work point their lasers at a 1/2" pipe from 6 ft away and take a reading.
 

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The only ones we use are Raytech.  They have a problem on some of the materials in our plant.  Some of the stainless steel pipes read off the wall.  It may have to do with the grade.  That piping generally is dealing with about 50% H2S.  We try not to spend much time down there.  If a valve is out on a compressor, it won't take us long to shoot temps on the cylinder heads.  We would prefer to do it with a telescope.
 
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