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  • Thermal Imaging Camera HELP

    Need your help. My department has asked me to investigate thermal imaging camera's. What kind do use? What do you like? What do you hate? Cost? Maintenance?

    Any help would be appreciated.

  • #2
    Bullard has been great. Cairns has sucked. They've provided terrible service. Get each and every rep into your station that you can to demo their product. Seeing them and playing w/ them is the only way you can truly make an informed decision.

    Stay Safe

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    • #3
      The new Scott one is awesome the best I've seen yet. Thats the one for me.

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      • #4
        We have been using the Talisman for a while and have had no problems. It has also been the one many of our neighboring departments have chosen based on their own independent evaluations. When I was in Worchester for the seminar, they also had like the Talisman the best, and they have many different kinds on their trucks. However, you and your department should play with all of them, and choose the one that suits you best.

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        • #5
          Has anyone had any experience with new bullard TIC?, the one that is very compact, looks kind of like a monocular or a range finder that a hunter would use.

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          • #6
            We did a field test on the compact Bullard T3 (blue in color) about a month ago. I guess it's all in what you're looking for or can afford. Personally, myself and my shift as a whole didn't like it very much. The picture wasn't very good (I know that's not proper terminology, but it's the best I can do) for one thing. After the test, we got one to try out on the Truck and it lasted about a week before developing internal problems. We sent it back and haven't seen it since. We've also demo'd Talisman and SCOTT. Let me say that I liked the Talisman the best......but $$$$ talks, so we'll see.
            "Greater love hath no man than this; that a man lay down his life for his friends."

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            • #7
              Reguardless of what kind of camera you buy you need to try each camera you evaluate in semi realistic conditions, that means full PPE & SCBA, smoke and heat if possible, at least a very dark room. Passing the camera around in a well lit meeting room is fine for an overview but you need to do more to get a good evaluation of the camera. After you have bought the camera its too late to find out that the controls are hard to operate with gloves on, the battery pops out as you crawl, or the camera whites out at even low heat levels.

              If you can try to set up a cmaera review, have sereral reps bring their camera's to the training school or a building that you can at least smoke. Break up into groups and take each camera and see how they operate in diffrent evolutions. Compare the pictures, how the controls operate, does the camera white out, etc. Then have the camera's you like come back for a second look.

              Will you end up with your first choice camera, maybe, maybe not, thats a matter of company finances, etc.

              My department has a Bullard Thermal Imager, it was not our first choice, the Talisman was, but the Talisman was alot more expensive than the Bullard, there was no truck mount charger for the Talisman at that time, etc.

              More important than what brand of camera you buy is training with the camera, getting to know its operation and its limitations. A thermal imaging camera sent inside a buidling with a crew who has bad basic skills won't tansform them into great firefighters, it could get them into more trouble than the same crew with no camera.

              Stay safe

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              • #8
                Try the Thermal Imaging forum on Firehouse.com, just open up the period of showing messages to last 100 days or show all. There are a lot of good threads there.
                The above is MY OPINION only and not that of anyone else. I am not representing any organization in making a post here!!!!

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                • #9
                  Fire Rescue 43 has hit the nail right on the head. One trap to be wary of...a lot or TICs look and perform great in the station environment; but wait till you get them into a fire environmnet. I have found the biggest problem is that TICs can be too sensitive and EVETRYTHING seems to be on fire, when you might be trying to find the seat of fire or when you might be carrying out SAR. Also, watch out for white out. Funnily enough, I prefer to use our older Argus TIC (sorry guys, it's British made) than our newer Talisman. TICs are a great tool, but they're not infallible. When you do get your TICs, train and train and train your crews on them. Don't fall for the trap that all of sudden, the TIC will suddennly negate the need for usual SCBA SAR procedures. Despite all the lovely PR pictures in the adds, TICs don't work that way (sorry to sound like I'm preaching...I found this out the hard way).

                  One final piece of advice (I know, I've already said it). Take the TICs you are thinking of buying into the fire environment and then see how they perform; Don't be fooled by all the nice images you see in the 'office' environment.

                  AND STAY SAFE!

                  Kernin Lambert
                  Firefighter

                  Sydney, Australia

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                  • #10
                    researcher... COME IN TO THE LIGHT... Older Argus? Like driving a Model A Ford in a Nascar World. The argus uses a videocon tube, newer cameras use a BST or MB core that is light years better than the VC. Used a Argus in an evaluation once, it had MAJOR heat soak when the other cameras were giving great pictures. Like the Model A, they were good for their time, but times have changed.


                    [ 11-21-2001: Message edited by: fireman_387 ]

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                    • #11
                      Okay Fireman 387, You've got me!

                      Now, I'll just try and convince my fire service to oder some more talismans.

                      What's a nascar??

                      Cheers Mate. Stay safe out there!

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                      • #12
                        The Scott, Bullard, ISI and Talisman are all excellent cameras. Your really need to try them out in real situations. Get a rep for each camera and have them loan you one for a while. Evaluate them then make your determination. You will probably find that they are pretty close to the same quality and the price will be the determining factor. Grab and Go technology is the way to go. Dedicated units are limited by the user and time is wasted if the unit has to be transferred to someone else. It is easier to hand someone the camera.

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                        • #13
                          my dept went through the process in '99 and ran into many of the cost and unknown proformance problems that have been mentioned. after some testing we decided to get several cameras from the local dealer and test them @ a training fire we had scheduled. well after a small accident and a close call with some extreme heat a crew walked out w/ two partillay melted helmets and one melted Bullard MX that was still working. thats the camera that we bought. so my two cents is that Bullards are great, but test out your options and get the best fit for your dept.
                          Member IACOJ & IACOJ EMS Bureau
                          New England FOOL
                          "LEATHER FOREVER"
                          As always these are strictly my own opinions and views

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