1. #1
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    Default Mobile Computers

    We're thinking of adding some MDC units to some of our rigs for access to CAD, preplans, GIS mapping, reports, technical info (extrication guides, hazmat info, etc.) on scene and I have some questions.

    We cover a response area that is entirely mountainous and cell coverage is spotty at best. Most areas have no cell service. Is that a non-starter? Are these systems mainly reliant on web-access to pull up data?

    I suppose we could have a lot of stuff pre-loaded, but not the CAD stuff, eh?

    Anybody else with this issue figured out a solution?

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    I know that most of the newest mapping software offers something called Pre-caching to save maps and access maps when offline, but I am not sure how you would recieve the call through your dispatch on the computer when you are most always out of signal range. I don't have any reccomendations, but I am sure there is a workaround

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    Thanks for the reply. We do have wifi at our stations (volunteer, paged department) so maybe we could get the call information and map details prior to leaving, then disconnect and go...

    I'm sure there's a cost-prohibitive satellite option!

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    We are volunteer and paged as well. We are just beginning to look into a solution for our department, and we have chose Android Tablets. There's some really great software coming out to the market made specifically for tablets

    http://www.streetwisecadlink.com/

    Streetwise Cadlink has the option to receive calls from your dispatch center through SMS (Text messages), E-mail (Sounds like your best option), or they can set it up so that the dispatches can manually add the call to the tablets through software they install on the dispatchers computer. It also offers the ability to add pre-plans and hydrant locations with a user friendly interface. I watched a webinar the other day about it and it seems pretty solid.

    http://www.chirange.com/

    This looks like a much more sophisticated technology but doesn't offer the advanced navigation that Streetwise does. I think Chirange focuses more on on-scene solutions, such as tracking member locations, etc.

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    Also the android market offers apps that give detailed information on vehicle extrication points, hazmat placards, friction loss calculators, and basically anything you can imagine. Just another reason why I feel a tablet CAN be used in the fire service, reguardless of people thinking they can be nothing more than a toy.

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    That got my creative juices flowing and got me thinking about tapping into an existing resource in my department to see what can be created to piggyback onto an existing product one of our firefighters offers...

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    Do those apps require web access for use?

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    Sounds like problem solved! Stay safe brother

    It depends on the app. Ones like the hazardous placard app probably will work anywhere, but any app that requires internet access (Such as a weather app) would need a constant data connection

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    We use a product called Remote Access. The data resides on the unit and does not requre us to be connected. We have tools to push out updates to the units since the data is on the laptop and not on the Internet or Intranet. You can find more info at http://www.prointeltech.com/.

    Mark Voyles
    Technology Coordinator
    Edmond Fire
    Edmond Oklahoma

    Quote Originally Posted by Firetacoma1 View Post
    We're thinking of adding some MDC units to some of our rigs for access to CAD, preplans, GIS mapping, reports, technical info (extrication guides, hazmat info, etc.) on scene and I have some questions.

    We cover a response area that is entirely mountainous and cell coverage is spotty at best. Most areas have no cell service. Is that a non-starter? Are these systems mainly reliant on web-access to pull up data?

    I suppose we could have a lot of stuff pre-loaded, but not the CAD stuff, eh?

    Anybody else with this issue figured out a solution?

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    I may be alittle late for this reply but here goes...
    We are in the process of revamping out MDT's, they have gone un-used for a number of years now. We teamed up with our county sherrif's department and got a heck of a deal on the CAD software. We use Verizon air cards for wi-fi and garmin GPS software and antennas for positioning... the problem we were having, was due to the metal siding on the building we were losing wi-fi via the aircard... so now we have it set up so when we back into the station, the wi-fi there links, so when the air card drops out it is not an issue... and by the time we get out of range from the station wi-fi the air card is operational again... it actually works very nicely. However the several hundred per month to run air cards in 5 trucks is NOT so nice.

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    Would it be possible to have storage on the truck, such as a terabyte, that the computer could tie into so that you wouldn't have to keep it on the device itself? I have a terabyte of storage at the house that could easily fit under a seat and then run the wiring to the computer on the dog house. Just a thought...

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    Quote Originally Posted by CommanderSims View Post
    Would it be possible to have storage on the truck, such as a terabyte, that the computer could tie into so that you wouldn't have to keep it on the device itself? I have a terabyte of storage at the house that could easily fit under a seat and then run the wiring to the computer on the dog house. Just a thought...
    Just something to take into account, your storage should be solid state, no moving parts. Most trucks have a fairly rough ride and the moving parts and heat will take their toll on a standard external drive.

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