Thread: mdt/laptops

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    Default mdt/laptops

    Looking for some input on mdt in apparatus. Good and bad for brands.

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    Thumbs up Mct/mdt

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    hate them. Our town is small enough we know where to go. The mapping program only has one setting for the MDT and at night time might as well have all the cab lights on. My engine is a Pierce Contender custom, now lets talk about room on the CO side, AIN'T NONE and now a stinking screen is in my way of looking out helping the driver watch the roadway? My vote, two thumbs down - AND 8 fingers too!
    Am I being effective in my efforts or am I merely showing up in my fireman costume to watch a house burn down? (Joe Brown, www.justlookingbusy.wordpress.com)

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    Quote Originally Posted by LT2387 View Post
    hate them. Our town is small enough we know where to go. The mapping program only has one setting for the MDT and at night time might as well have all the cab lights on. My engine is a Pierce Contender custom, now lets talk about room on the CO side, AIN'T NONE and now a stinking screen is in my way of looking out helping the driver watch the roadway? My vote, two thumbs down - AND 8 fingers too!
    We started off with the computer positioned in front of the officer, but have found that sticking it on top of the doghouse over the engine was a better fit. Gets it out of the way of the driver, and being on a swivel, the driver can swing it around and get familiar with the street location and hydrants before releasing the brake.

    Controlling the brightness is an issue and I don't know what computer or what-not you are using, but most have a blue F'n key, holding the F'n key and finding the "Sun Up" or "Sun Down" picture will adjust that for you. Also, if you are running Windows, you can put a screensaver shortcut on the desktop, go into the properties and assign that shortcut to be Ctrl-Alt-S so that you can kick it into a dark screensaver with that key sequence.

    Just some thoughts.

    Brian

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    Quote Originally Posted by SWFD22 View Post
    We started off with the computer positioned in front of the officer, but have found that sticking it on top of the doghouse over the engine was a better fit. Gets it out of the way of the driver, and being on a swivel, the driver can swing it around and get familiar with the street location and hydrants before releasing the brake.

    Controlling the brightness is an issue and I don't know what computer or what-not you are using, but most have a blue F'n key, holding the F'n key and finding the "Sun Up" or "Sun Down" picture will adjust that for you. Also, if you are running Windows, you can put a screensaver shortcut on the desktop, go into the properties and assign that shortcut to be Ctrl-Alt-S so that you can kick it into a dark screensaver with that key sequence.

    Just some thoughts.

    Brian
    The aerial I was on before I was promoted we did mount it on the hump but to get it where the driver was only looking at a profile view of the screen (thinnest way) made it hard for the officer to operate the MDT. The Engine I was assigned to in Nov has it on the dash like in my original post. To move it in the center isn't a possibility due to the dash/hump design. Recently we looked at a new Pierce (the one with the ram horn mirrors) and it is totally HORRIBLE in the cab design for viewing across the cab. To prove my point they installed a big bus mirror on the front of the cab to aid you seeing the passenger side of the front end. Now put a standard mdt in that and see what happens... Tried the sun button you were talking about and as usual there is a give and take aspect. At night to see the map without turning on the screen floodlight you cant see the cad information as it is now too dim. I appreciate the thought but it is going to have to be in a program setting from the 911 service our city uses.
    Am I being effective in my efforts or am I merely showing up in my fireman costume to watch a house burn down? (Joe Brown, www.justlookingbusy.wordpress.com)

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    I think LT2387 is taking a short sighted view of what an MDT can provide; it can be used for more than mapping. And while your city might be small enough to know every street and address range, I'm guessing you couldn't name every hydrant location and flow you can get out of those... an MDT can do that for you and more.

    While mapping is probably the number one program used on a MDT, you would be shorting yourself if you forgot about other programs such as WISER, ERG, preplan data, NFIRS, ePCR, plume modeling software, and lets not forget Google if your internet connected.

    __________________________________________________ ______________

    As for mounting locations of MDT's I ran into the same problems on our new Pierce Impels. My fix for this was to "remote mount" or move the MDT to the back of the doghouse facing the firefighters in the rear of the engine. From this remote mount, I guess you could say I reverse layed all the parts to interact with the computer back up to the officers seat. This also let the firefighters see what we going on on the MDT too - a bigger advantage that I originally thought.

    For the monitor, I used a Planar 15" (and later 17") capacitive touch screen that mounts to the panel in from of the officer's seat. Using a regular heavy duty flat panel TV wall mount allows for the screen to be mounted much lower so it is out of the way of the officer and AO's view. Another advantage to this type of screen is it can be powered off when not in use. These screens have a illuminated power button that can be toggled to shut the screen down when not in use.

    The rest of the system consists of a RF keyboard (the type you would use for a home entertainment system), and a powered 8 device USB hub. Internet is acquired through the use of a Verizon MiFi unit that will allow up to 5 simultaneous devices to connect to it.

    The advantages to this system are many. Not only does this mean that you are not required to use expensive PC's like toughbooks, you are also able to upgrade the rest of the system modularly - screen, keyboard, etc. The laptop you choose does not have to be much, I even have a ASUS netbook running in one of our engines as a test unit, and it done well so far.

    Deluge2, visit my website Fireops.net if your looking for more ideas. I'm all about thinking outside the box. You can contact me there too. If you need anything else, please let me know.

    Naeg

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    Thanks for the input. Site is not that much of a help....
    Like the idea of the remote screen. We need something that can be pulled out for use time to time. The biggest hurdle at this point is the on going cost. Thanks for input again. Statement about being more then a map is right. We use Red Alert software for our records and you can have so much info at your finger tips. Again it does cost money. Looking to the future and being able to have things in place for the people behind us that will be doing this is what I want to try to do.

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    Sorry that the site didn't help more. At this point it's just me posting, so I haven't had much time to get the pages up about remote mounting and pricing for components. It's in the works though...

    I think rough costs on the system without a PC was around $1200 including the installation and GPS/12V-120 power switcher/and cellular booster.

    I'd be happy to get you a parts list when I can if it would help you out.

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