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  1. #1
    nj_lawyer
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Exclamation My live fire review

    No more posts from me.

    [This message has been edited by nj_lawyer (edited April 11, 2000).]


  2. #2
    dalittle
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post



    I find it not unusual at all that you liked the MSA best and it had the best image quality.

    Realize that of the four cameras you tested, the MSA Argus is the only one of those four you tested that incorporates custom firefighting specific systems to support the BST sensor, rather than a standard plug and play “camera kit.”

    Made a difference didn’t it?

    Image quality is comparable the bolometer you say. Again it shows you that it is not the core technology (i.e. bolo versus BST) that will determine the performance of the camera, it is what the manufacturer is able to do with the technology and how they drive it - this is where the rubber meets the road.

    The Argus uses automatic gain / iris, and high efficiency aspheric optics, projected on a CRT screen (don’t know if its conventional or flat screen CRT.) I don’t think they do any DSP though. I’m not sure.

    Incidentally, the Argus is made by EEV in England, the company who designed and built
    the very first firefighting thermal imager over 15 years ago. That’s pretty solid backing if you ask me.

    By the way, we’re taking about the Argus II, the BLACK one, not the older yellow one.

    NOW, I wonder where my distributor was and why he wasn’t at your burn? If you have insight into this mystery, of if he was invited and was “no-show”, please send me an e-mail, let me know.

    Take care...


    David A. Little
    ISG Thermal Systems USA, Inc.



  3. #3
    S. Cook
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    2 random thoughts -

    nj_lawyer, I applaud your initiative and efforts to do a side by side review. So often when departments do this type of thing they get one vendor at a time over a few weeks. If they're not careful, they'll buy the imager from the best salesman, not the best imager for them.

    dalittle - I like to see it when mfg's hold their reps feet to the fire. Just to let you know although we had already bought our imagers and were not in the market for another, we were looking to do a big eval and invite everyone in the business (at this time it's on hold). While I was working on the preliminary planning, only 3 vendors were agressive and ready to work hard and work together to help us get it set up. Your Texas rep was one of them (the Bullard and FireFlir reps were the others).

  4. #4
    IRalltheway
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Exclamation

    Another little side not. Remember that the Argus II will most likely be replaced by the Evolution 3000 or 4000 which ever the BST model is. I'm sure they will perfom the same, but the system design is quite different. So, make sure you take a look at it's replacement and don't buy something that is going to be discontinued.


  5. #5
    Eng 48
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    A few things I looked for in the cameras as well.
    1) How hot did you get the burn room. We had a problem with one camera not taking the heat.

    2) If your mask had fogged up or smoke conditions worsened, would you still be able to see the image in the Argus as you could with the backlit Bullard or Scott?

    3) We also looked to see not only fire, but superheated gasses rising over head. With the Bullard and the Scott, we could actually make out the mortar joints on the other side of the room in fire conditions.

    Just some things to keep in mind. Good luck with what ever you go with.

    ------------------
    Be safe everyone!

  6. #6
    FireTIC
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Question

    Eng 48, just a few questions regarding your post.

    If your lens is fogged, how are you going to see anything beyond your nose? or discern images in a TIC with a fogged lens?

    Would'nt you hold it up closer to try to figure out what you were looking at?

    If there is a dense smoke condition how are you going to see an image in a camera that MUST be held 8"-10" from your face?
    note: If a 15,000 candle power hand light cannot see through dense smoke, how can a TIC with a lesser monitor power be seen?

    Must be a magic TIC.


    FRD



    [This message has been edited by FireTIC (edited March 30, 2000).]

  7. #7
    old Bob
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Exclamation

    Just to correct Mr.Seattle......
    Argus2 will not be replaced,except in it`s distribution route,by the Evolution 3000 (which is the BST model of the two).
    The Argus2 is made by Marconi,formerly EEV,in the UK.It was distributed in the US by MSA.When Argus2 is replaced it will be by Argus3!

    ------------------
    old Bob M.

  8. #8
    Halligan84
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    FireTIC
    If the 8 to 10 inches from the face is in reference to the Bullard, Id say from practical experience so far you can hold it closer and get a good view.

    Everyone has different experiences with imager evals, don't disparage someones observation.

    In fairness, you should also post what camera you represent.

  9. #9
    S. Cook
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    One thing we've found regarding fogging - 99.9% of the time when one of our FF says "I can't see, the imagers fogged," someone will say "wipe your mask." They do and that fixes the problem.

    Hal. 84, He sells ISI cameras. Did you get my email on the fire hose tests?

  10. #10
    FireTIC
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    HAll84 & S.Cook

    Just a minor correction:

    HAll84,
    I never said Bullard. I merely stated a fact of the design of both cameras in my response to Eng48. I also did not hide my dealership. That is why i included my WWW address. Nor did i disagree with Eng48, I asked a question regarding the post.

    S.Cook,
    Even though my Website has an ISI camera picture on it, we switched to ISG about 9 months ago. The site is being changed very soon.

    dalittle,
    I was not invited to the burn at Prospect Heights FD. Had I been, I could have walked.

    FRD

  11. #11
    S. Cook
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    FireTIC - I stand corrected, my apologies.

    Scott

  12. #12
    JAPFPE
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Lightbulb

    We also recently completed a field evaluation of our four "short-listed" hand-held cameras. As I have mentioned in previous posts, we first conducted a paper evaluation of the 8 "big name" hand-held TIC's. We essentially performed the evaluation backwards in that we first identified TIC camera features/attributes that were "required" and then "desired". The required camera features (impact resistant, waterproof, fully automatic operation, etc) were just that and any camera not satisfying the "required" attributes were not considered further.

    Once the above was completed, we then developed a list of 10 desired attributes (low weight, small, large FOV, low MRDT, low price, long warranty, large screen, display vs. lense offset, etc.). These desired features were then weighted with the most important attribute(s) being assigned a value of 10 and the other attributes assigned lesser values based on importance.

    The six remaining TIC's (two were tossed out since they did not meet the required attributes) were then graded from 1-10 based upon how well they met each of the the desired attributes. For example, camera size was assigned a weighting factor of 10 since we wanted a camera we could easily hold in one hand. One of the cameras (ISG) was the smallest of the six and therefore was assigned a "score" of 10. The MSA/ARGUS camera was the largest and therefore was assigned a "score" of 1. These scores are then multiplied by the weighting factors such that the ISG would get 100 points on size and the MSA 10 points.

    We felt that this type of a front-end evaluation resulted in a very OBJECTIVE evaluation. I didn't want to get caught in the all too common trap of buying a product based on how "snappy" the rep's presentation is or what type of trinkets are passed-out to the members after the demo. This happens all too often and is a dis-service to your CUSTOMERS since they have entrusted YOU to make the best BUSINESS choice. (As I step off the soap box and regain my composure).

    We ended-up with four cameras after the above paper evaluation (Viper, Bullard, Scott and ISG). We then arranged a live structural burn to conducted our field evaluation. The evaluation criteria was established and checklists were developed such that the evaluators could record their results. We came up with 14 evaluation attributes which ranged from ease of battery change with a gloved hand to image quality in high heat conditions. Each evaluation criterion was score by circling a number from 1 to 5 on the evaluation sheet. This makes it very simple and again OBJECTIVE.

    We also controlled vendor manipulation of the cameras during the field evaluation by providing ground rules such as only ONE camera per vendor unless the reason another camera was being used was documented and all battery changes were documented.

    We chose the Viper in the end primarily due to easy of handling (quite different from nj_lawyer, must be the P.E. vs, J.D. thing !!) and also versatility with the 180 degree rotating screen. Second was the Scott followed very closely by the Bullard. The ISG experienced some significant condensation problems (no, it wasn't my face piece).

    Here's the advice. 1) DO you homework (research), 2) Perform an OBJECTIVE evaluation, 3)Buy what is best for YOUR department.

    The ONLY thing that I would have done differently would have been to not identify the cameras by name when performing the initial evalaution. I would have left it at camera #1, #2, etc.

    Please respond via e-mail if you have any comments/questions.

    Joe Pechacek, P.E.
    Hamilton Fire Department
    Hamilton, NY


  13. #13
    nj_lawyer
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    No more posts from me.

    [This message has been edited by nj_lawyer (edited April 11, 2000).]

  14. #14
    IRalltheway
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Angry

    nj_lawyer keep posting. This forum is for everyone to share their dislikes or likes about any TIC and talk about experiances. That vendor must have something to hide or can't handle the truth.

  15. #15
    JAPFPE
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Red face

    nj_lawyer,
    Just a personal note to state that I have always found your posts informative, candid and to the point. That it the intent of this Forum (as far as I'm aware. Someone correct me if I'm wrong).

    If there is a situation where our freedom to provide candid feedback in response to inquiries of others is being adversely impacted, I suggest we get all the issues out on the table. That said, what exactly transpired with regard to a rep's effort to censure your discussion on this site ? Better yet, please leave us with which manufacturer's Rep was involved as your parting comment?

    Joe Pechacek, P.E.
    Hamilton Fire Department
    Hamilton, NY


  16. #16
    nj_lawyer
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Red face

    No more posts from me.

    [This message has been edited by nj_lawyer (edited April 11, 2000).]

  17. #17
    FireTIC
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    nj_lawyer
    Do not let ANYONE, especially the dealer, raise questions regarding YOUR opinion of the evaluation. Everyone has thier likes and dislikes in a head to head evaluation (that is why the chief is not the only one in attendance). Keep up with your posting, i like to hear why someone picked camera C over camera B. Everything should be considered in an evaluation - EVERYTHING.

    As a professional salesman with over 15 years of service to my customers, I live by and die by my word. Once you have lost your integrity, everything is lost.
    I personally have lost orders to other dealers because they LIED to the customer. I have and never will lie to get the order.

    SHAME on the dealer - you deserve everything that is coming to you!

    In your corner,
    FRD

    [This message has been edited by FireTIC (edited April 05, 2000).]

  18. #18
    S. Cook
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Keep posting nj_lawyer.

    I trust that your eval was fair and you'll get what's best for you, not what the mfg called said was best for you.

    Isn't it funny that vendors do stuff like this and then wonder why we don't want to deal with them?

    It's too funny and really makes the vendor and mfg look terrible. If I owned a business and one of my employees did that, he/she'd be looking for another job - and he/she "wouldn't be eligable for rehire" when the call came for a reference.

  19. #19
    Jim M.
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Angry

    NJ_Lawyer - please keep posting. I've been following these various threads for months and the information that is passed on from manufacturers is good but the actual "hands on" reports passed on by fellow FF's is even more useful. Your comments have always been precise and professional. Any sales rep who takes offense is in the wrong profession. I hope that your Chief understands the valuable service you are performing by passing on your personal experiences. Please don't let one clown (the sales rep) stop you from continuing.

    [This message has been edited by Jim M. (edited April 11, 2000).]

  20. #20
    jerseyfire
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    I don’t know which is worse. The fact that a vendor went crying to your chief or the fact that your chief gave you crap about it. Either way it’s pathetic.

    As long as posts are not malicious and people try to pass on what they believe to be good information…just keep it coming!


    ------------------
    Rob Donnan
    Captain, Metuchen FD
    President, Jersey Fire & Rescue

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