How to Get Started with the PureThermal Micro Breakout Board in Thermal Imaging

How to Get Started with the PureThermal Micro Breakout Board in Thermal Imaging

Watch this how-to video on how to get started with the latest PureThermal board, the Micro Breakout Board. 






  • The board is so tiny that two machine screws can be used at the corners to hold it down. The socket caps need to be 3.8 millimeters or less in diameter.
  • Five of these pins are essential:
    1. The VIN
    2. Ground
    3. Chip select
    4. Serial clock
    5. MISO pins
  • VIN can be supplied with 3.3 to 5 volts.




To get video over SPI frame data, all you need to do is supply a clock signal. The maximum is 20 megahertz, but 18 megahertz is good enough. The Lepton also has a command control interface, or CCI, which uses an I2C bus for writing and reading from the Lepton 16 bit registers.



The CCI does a lot. Check out section 4 of the Lepton’s Engineering data sheet to learn more about what the CCI can do. 


The easiest way to do that is to use an FFC breakout. Connect the micro module to these pins. On the Raspberry Pi GPIO header. The FFC connector is double sided, so pay attention to the orientation of the cable to be sure one end isn't reversed.

Clone the Lepton module repository, make sure the SPI and I2C interfaces are enabled.

First, I tried installing QT-4 dev tools, but that doesn't work on the newer versions of the Raspbian operating system. If you also get this error, update app and try installing QT5-dev instead. Then navigate to the Raspberry Pi video folder and compile the code. This might take a while. Once that's done, it's pretty much ready to run!

If you're using a Raspberry Pi 4, there is one more thing you need to do before you can run the program. Just enter this line into the terminal:

sudo sh -c "echo performance > /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpufreq/policy0/scaling_governor"

Now, if you're using a lepton 3, 3.5 or FS, use this to run the program:

./raspberrypi_video - tl 3


You should see a little window pop up with the thermal video!

Congratulations. It's up and running. You can use this same procedure for the original PureThermal breakout board. The Lepton module repository has a lot more code that I didn't mention. Just have a look. We may have exactly what you need for you to get started with your project.



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