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Widely sold in the UK, Europe and US to many civilian fire services and also navies. Although some were made under 'EEV', most cameras were sold under the 'Marconi' name. The cameras were also sold with MSA and AUER (MSA Germany) branding 'from EEV' or 'by Marconi Applied Technologies'. Significant for EEV as this moved away from in-house detector manufacture. Initially this was to an in-group detector from GEC-Marconi (ex-Plessey) but the main product used a Raytheon 'core' of detector and associated basic processing. This also saw a general acceptance of rechargeable batteries as power source.

   

Data Table for P4455R Argus2

   
Sensing Method Ferroelectric effect in BST ceramic material. Temperature changes from the scene cause charge to build up / decay on the pixel readout capacitor.
Sensor Type / Size Raytheon BST core 320x240 48um pitch. Controlled sensor temperature using Peltier.
Lens Parameters 15mm f/1 giving 50 field of view. Fixed focus by moving inner lens elements at build
Dynamic Range / Control 50C, automatic iris in lens.
Display 38mm CRT with magnifier
Sensitivity (MDTD) <100mK
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 voltage converted to several power rails using SMPS, camera ~5W depending on Peltier loading.
Video Output BNC, only capable of 60Hz / 525 line
Image Processing 'Chopped' with spiral shutter and a 1-field digital image store to give a constant image. The chopper wheel was clear / diffuse as opposed to opaque resulting in the signature dark halo around very hot objects. Additional circuits outside the bought-in Raytheon imager core added various functions such as spot temperature battery indication and iris control.
Manufacturer Status Obsolete, no longer serviced
Number and Years Built Mid 1000's from 1999 - 2003
Export Status Dual use controlled under Wassenaar arrangement today, although more complicated during manufacturing years.
Camera Customer CD Argus 2 Customer CD. More background information, part identification and customer software
Publicity Argus 2 datasheet
Argus 2 brochure
Argus 2 user manual

Derivatives

Many cameras were made including a spot temperature measuring module, and a few had digital zoom feature.
The camera was initially manufactured with a GEC Marconi core using a 256x128 pixel 'PZT' detector but only a few were produced (10's ?).

Accessories

Several options of video transmitters which sat on top of the camera
Rechargeable batteries and a charger, which later became standard. The battery pack contains 8 NiMH cells at 1600mAh (green labels).

Hobby user information

A relatively common find on eBay as fire services dispose of stock although good clean examples working with batteries are less common. The black labelled Argus2 battery charger is only intended to charge the 'green' NiMH batteries not the lower capacity Argus 1 NiCd (blue or black labels). Rechargeable batteries may be used in the 'AA' carrier, but the battery indicator will then 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.
Common faults are stuck iris in the lens and general breakages especially of the battery door. Main case breakages may allow water ingress and cause significant damage internally. Hard useage can also damage the exposed front lens element reducing transmission.



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Heritage TICs Marconi Argus2 page 22 January 2017  All tradename © respective owners