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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Has anyone else tried using an infrared thermometer to check engine temperatures? I bought one recently when the price of a basic unit dropped to $50. Mine is a Sentry model ST650 with a pistol grip, range to 999F, 12:1 focus spot, and switchable laser pointer. It basically reads the surface temperature of almost any non-polished surface. Direct contact is not necessary - spot size is about 1.5 inches at 10 inches, hitting maximum focus at 40 inches with a 3 inch spot. At a couple of inches it probably reads about a 1/2 inch spot.


The backhead and smokebox readings on my Ida are pretty close to expected. The main boiler readings are not very useful due to that empty saddle tank. With a little experience, it should be able to tell when you are overfiring or running low on water. Readings on fuel tanks, piston housings, etc. are sometimes interesting. It should not read steam unless reflectance is very high.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
So far, even white painted surfaces seem to be accurate. I bought it to check the house for heat losses and it found some unexpected locations. For steamers, I hope it will be able to quickly warn of overheating problems without loss of skin or eyebrows. Way to cold now to make any more tests - 1 degree at 9:30 in the morning.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
So far, only Ida's cylinder temp may be off, but it also a small target. Backhead, smokebox, and fuel tank are all pretty reasonable. Still too cold to try Willi or Mikey yet.
 
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