How It Works
So now you know the features of this tremendous device, your wondering how it actually works? I'll try to explain it as best as possible, considering I'm no genius at this type of technology. The MT4 uses infrared thermometers which measure the surface temperature of an object using a laser. The MT4 optics are sense emitted, reflected and then transmitted natural energy (which all objects have - however, you will find that if you point the MT4 at the sky it will register a temperature, the sky does not have a surface, it registers a temperature because of the density of the atmosphere you point it at) is collected from the object and focused back onto a "detector", on the gun. The information is then collected by the detector and converted into an electrical signal at the decoder stage and is then translated into a temperature reading which is displayed on the LCD display. If you want a more detailed explanation of this technology, I have copied something from the Raytek Q&A sheet which they included with the review unit...
"Infrared Thermometry thermometers capture the invisible energy naturally emitted from all objects. Infrared radiation is part of the electromagnetic spectrum which includes radio waves, microwaves, visible light, ultraviolet, gamma and X-rays. Infrared falls between the visible light of the spectrum and radio waves. Infrared wavelengths are usually expressed in microns with the infrared spectrum extending from 0.7 microns to 1000 microns. In practice, the 0.7 to 14 micron band is used for the IR temperature measurement."
The laser on the MT4 is used for aiming purposes only, there is another MiniTemp model called the MT2, it is exactly the same as the MT4 minus a laser and is cheaper in price.
Just quickly, as what I'm about to say could have a article dedicated only to it self. You may also wish to skip this section is the above information has already confused you enough. Emissivity, if you are measuring a temperature of something with a shiny surface, the MT4 may not like it as the emissitivy is set a 0.95, which is the emissitivy value for *most* organic materials and painted or oxidized surfaces. If the object you are pointing at appears to be rather shiny, you can try compensate by covering the surface with masking tape which will even out the emissivity of the shiny object which the MT4 may have trouble measuring.
Better than a Thermal Probe?
Yes, I think the MiniTemp MT4 is indeed better than a contemporary thermal probe, in the view of myself as a person who needs to evaluate and test different products for review such as coolers on a regular basis. Using the MT4, it is much easier and quicker than spending time setting up the probe and making sure it doesn't fall out of place, for example. Infrared thermometry is quicker and more convenient to measure surface temperatures of objects as it provides fast temperate reading without physically touching objects. All you need to do with the MT4 is "point and shoot" and the temperature is displayed on the LCD display, accurately. The only thing the MT4 can't do over thermal probes is supply a constant temperature reading or displaying a reading in Windows with such programs as Motherboard Monitor. The MT4 is also more accurate (to a certain distance from object) at gathering the temperate of a certain object or spot on an object, the laser light is dead accurate. So in my opinion, the MT4 is better than a thermal probe and I will be using it in future reviews instead of a thermal probe, simply because it is more efficient and looks better in all accounts.
We were suitably impressed with the high quality Raytek MiniTemp MT4 noncontact thermometer and so was everyone else in my family which had a play around with it. The technology is by no means new, but Raytek have been one of the first companies to produce this type of technology to the retail market for consumer level use. For reviews at TweakTown, the MT4 will be replacing my contemporary thermal probe, in the view of myself as a person who needs to evaluate and test different products for review such as coolers on a regular basis. The MT4 is capable of measuring objects and liquid, so this device might be handy for those with water cooled systems who need something to accurately measure the water temperate. There are hundreds of other objects you can use the MT4 to measure. At US$99.00 (around AU$180.00) this device isn't cheap but a worthy investment for those that need to measure the temperature of objects on a regular basis whether it be for work or pleasure. As much as you may think, the MT4 is not something you buy off telemall shopping and use once and pack away never to be used again - I will be using it all the time and I'm sure many others will who intend on buying this product from the friendly people at Raytek!
Rating - 9.0 / 10 and TweakTown's Editors Choice Award!