Trics Of The Trade: Search Camera

By looking around inside the debris pile we may be able to determine if there are any viable victims in this general location. Slideshow Images:Trics of the Trade: Search Camera - Life Location System 


To listen for sounds, you will have to adjust the volume control on the headset, located on the lower right side ear muff. (see photo 4) Start at a low setting and increase as you try to detect sounds. Should you come in contact with a victim while searching with this device, you can speak to them by depressing the fourth lever on the grip; this is the "push to talk" lever. It makes no difference which direction you depress this lever; it will activate the speaker in both positions. Speak into the microphone in a normal conversational tone for the best results. The lever must be released to listen for a reply.

The camera can be extended by releasing the clutch collar and pulling the handle section out. (see photo 5) You will need to feed the wire through the back of the unit when doing this. There are two collars and the extensions can add an additional five to six feet on to the existing four feet you already have. There is also an option available that will give the ability to extend the camera probe over twenty feet.

The display on this system has some great features that will help you to keep track of your probe, battery, amount of light you are emitting, and camera orientation. (see photo 6). The display is attached to the top of the apparatus by way of a quick connect/release fitting making it easily removable if necessary. It also has the option of adding extension cables so an additional display can be viewed up to thirty feet away and can also be hooked up to a recorder for viewing later during critique or training. The video display has a hood to shield it from bright light that may make it difficult to view. The features on the display include:

  • Battery Saver Mode: This is a feature that will shut down the system after it has not been in use for ten minutes. A symbol of a clock will appear in the upper left corner of the display and begin flashing in the final minute before shut down. To prevent shut down, depress the lamp or articulation lever to reset the timer. The system always starts in the battery saver mode. To shut this off depress and hold the articulation switch to the left and the illumination switch to the right when turning on the system.
  • Battery Level: In the upper right corner of the display screen there is a battery status indicator. When the battery is nearing complete discharge the symbol will begin flashing, indicating to the operator that the battery need to be changed. While we are talking about the battery, it is a high impact, no spill, encased system with a belt clip attached. (see photo 7) It will give you a minimum of 3 hours operational time which is plenty when you consider the battery is charged in less than three hours, thereby giving one charged battery at all times.
  • Camera Head Articulation: The articulation is controlled by the first lever switch on the grip. Depressing to the left or right moves the camera head in that direction. The camera head is only capable of moving to 90 degrees in either direction. The camera head position is indicated by a status bar on the bottom of the display screen. Flashing arrows will indicate that the head has reached its travel limit in that particular direction. The actual position of the head is indicated by the bar graph in 15 degree increments and the arrows at the center of the graph indicate direction of travel. An asterisk in the center of the bar indicates that the head is in line with the probe to within 7.5 degrees. When the system is shut down the camera head will automatically return to the center position before the batteries turn off.
  • Illumination: When the illumination lever is activated a symbol will appear in the upper row of the display screen once the lamp is on. In addition, an illumination symbol will appear in the center of the display screen for about 5 seconds when the lamp is first activated.

This system is designed to function in temperatures as low as 14 degrees and as high as 110 degrees Fahrenheit. When using the system in temperatures below 32 degrees it is recommended that you try to put the system in to an area that will provide some warmth, like a heated vehicle or other shelter. It is also recommended that you give the apparatus a warm up period in freezing temperatures and you can give the battery just enough warmth by keeping it under your coat for optimal operation time. And at the other end of the spectrum, the system will work in a hot environment, but the higher the temperature the greater the strain on the components, and under no circumstance should the system be used in areas exceeding 140 degrees.