The Omegascope from Omega Engineering Inc., Stamford, Conn. (www.omega.com), lets technicians measure the temperature of objects that are moving, difficult to get to, too hot to touch, or dangerous to approach. And readings can be automatically and wirelessly sent to a PC. Software that comes with the device lets users chart and analyze up to 32,000 readings.

The battery-powered thermometer relies on an IR sensor, so technicians must know the emissivity of the material they want to measure. The manufacturer supplies a reference chart so they can set the emissivity factor from 0.1 to 1.0 in 0.01 steps on the device. There are a variety of models in this line with temperature readings ranging from –10 to 1,000°F and –10 to 1,600°F. Prices range from about $300 to $650.

The laser sights, which pinpoints where temperature readings are being taken, can be switched from a flashing to a constant signal. It can also be switched from a single spot that shows exactly where the temperature is being taken to a circular array of smaller dots that show the general location. The device is accurate to 1.8°F (1°C).

Four AA lithium batteries power the unit for roughly 10 days; four alkaline batteries power it for 60 hr. A tripod, which comes with the thermometer, lets technicians set the unit to take temperatures from the same spot over an extended period of time.

Edited by Stephen J. Mraz