Thread: TIC features

  1. #1
    FireTIC
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Question TIC features

    To All,
    I have a few questions regarding the features on cameras that are currently available.

    1. Have the manufacturers taken into consideration all the features you would like to have in a camera?

    2. Does anyone have any ideas on other add-ons you would like to see available for a camera?

    3. What percentage of your decision is based on other features (add-ons) for a camera?

    4. Does a manufacturers length of involvement in Thermal Imaging Technology play a key roll in your choice?

    5. How does a cameras price factor into a purchase decision?

    6. Although I realize price may be a large factor, Would you select a cheaper camera or wait for additional funding for your ultimate choice?


    FRD

  2. #2
    FF.FOREVER
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Talking

    This is all based on the ISG that my fire dept owns.

    1.Yes I do belive that ISG has taken in all consideration when adding features to the camera.

    2. At this time I can't think of any features.

    3.100% I believe that if people can get more for their money than that is what's going to sell. We have the temputure read-out and the transmitter for command to watch.

    4. I would say Yes. I believe that people are going to go with a name that's been around for awhile. Such as Scott,Bullard,Cairns. I will have to say at first I was against buying the ISG because I had never heard of the company.

    5.I will have to say YES again. If a a consumer can buy a camera for less money then that's probally what they are going to do. Not all fire dept run 2000-3000 calls a year so some of the cheaper cameras may be the way for that dept to go.

    6. Number six ia a hard one. In our situation I would have to say buy the cheaper camera. We don't run alot of strucure fire so most of our stuff is over-haul.In the bigger cities then maybe the answer would be different.

  3. #3
    no_name_FF
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    1. Features - yes, but being new to the whole thermal imaging field and not having a lot of experience using, this answer may be premature. Also, my dept. limited its evaluation to hand held.

    2. Not at this time (short of the cheap tiny camera mounted in the helmet that projects onto the face sheild and only raises the cost of the helmet by $100 or so....)

    3. Not much (probably less than 10%) because 90% of the cameras are basically the same. I realize that the cameras have differences, but the differences are generally "gimicky", trying to carve a niche (e.g. swivel displays and colorized fire etc.) In the smoke and heat, they are all generally the same with different levels of quality.

    4. Being a newer field, length of time isn't a huge factor, however, less than a year or two might present problems.

    5. My dept. --- PRICE (FREE) WAS 100% DETERMINING FACTOR. Without free option, would have been toss up between MSA Argus and Bullard based on bid price.

    6. Can't answer that without more specifics, for example, how much of a price difference? $3,000 - $5,000 might wait, but more, who knows?

    ------------------
    The above is MY OPINION only and not that of anyone else. I am not representing any organization in making a post here!!!!

  4. #4
    S. Cook
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    1. Have the manufacturers taken into consideration all the features you would like to have in a camera?

    For the most part yes. 2 things I'd like to see are smaller cameras and a heads up display (HUD) in the mask (and I don't mean I want a helmet mounted camera).

    2. Does anyone have any ideas on other add-ons you would like to see available for a camera?

    Yes, a HUD in the mask.

    3. What percentage of your decision is based on other features (add-ons) for a camera?

    25% to 50%. It gained more weight when we found out that the feature (transmitter antenna) was enclosed in the camera and not exposed to be knocked off or had to be added at the scene.

    4. Does a manufacturers length of involvement in Thermal Imaging Technology play a key roll in your choice?

    To a certain extent, but I think the length of involvement of the component mfg is a more critical factor.

    5. How does a cameras price factor into a purchase decision?

    It didn't in ours, but I'm sure it did in others.

    6. Although I realize price may be a large factor, Would you select a cheaper camera or wait for additional funding for your ultimate choice?

    Depends on how far away the ultimate choice was and if the one I bought would be upgradable at a reasonable cost.

  5. #5
    FireTIC
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    no_name_ff,
    I just wanted to clarify question #3. I was refering to ADD-ON features, such as transmitter (telemetry), video overlay, pyrometer (temperature measurement), annotation (your depts. name) date/time stamp and color. (I can't think of anymore off the top of my head). Not all cameras have these add-on features, so I was asking if it was or would be a factor in a decision.

    Answer #4 - Most people may not believe this, but more TIC manufacturers are NEW (less than two years) to the technology than those who have been around.

    S. Cook,
    Answers #1&2 - You may not be aware of the FIRST helmet (not hemlmet mounted) Thermal Imager in existance. This device was/is called the SOLO. It was a TIC internally mounted in something like a motorcycle helmet with a hologram above the nosecup of the internal SCBA facepiece. You could look directly ahead into the smoke, or look down at your nose to see it as a thermal image. Unfortunately, this product did not pass NFPA about 10 years ago. But, we were set up as a dealer in case it did. I will try to locate a picture of this, it was pretty amazing. Cost was about $30,000.00 ten years ago, maybe priced better now (if its still on the market).

    Answer #6 - I would like to present you with an updated question in two parts. First, How long would you wait for this ultimate choice to be made (if you don't see it now)? Second, As you know this market is changing on a regular basis, have you considered the camera you currently own may not be avialable in a few years, therefore not being upgradeable?

    FRD

  6. #6
    S. Cook
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Here you go...

    1&2 - Not aware, but would like to see it if you can find a pic. I was thinking something along the lines of ISI or InterSpiros (I think) SCBA info that is HUDed into the mask. Maybe by remote transmitting.

    6 Part 1, good question. For my part I would have to say just a few months, maybe 2-3 max. (need the extra time to raise the extra money anyway). Just like computers, if I wait for the next best one, the next best one will be just around the corner from that, so why not wait and ultimately keep waiting. Got to draw the deadline somewhere.

    A lot of the add-on features I'm not too thrilled with anyway. I think you can get to an info overload. The maint. department at my real job has a color TIC with all the stuff you mentioned in your reply to no_name_ff, and that thing is a pain. For fire fighting use (works great for engineering evals) there are too many colors to discern, too much data on the screen, it requires recal often to adjust the color scheme, I could list more...

    Give me the good BW imager with a transmitter. One local dept has the temp. option on their TIC and they don't trust it (the temp readout) at all. In fact, last fire we worked together, they grabbed our TIC (easier to use was their reason). Funny, they wouldn't even consider, and didn't even look at, the brand we have. The simple reason that's what we have and you know how bonehead we (FFs) can be in rivalry.

    However, that being said, I reserve the right to extend the time depending on the features that will be available on the next best one. If I was buying one today and a mfg with a good reputation asked me to wait we'll have a HUD on the next model in 6 months, I'd consider the wait to review the product before the final decision.

    6 Part 2 - Yes we've considered this. And upgrades have not been a problem yet. In the event it's no longer upgradable, it is still servicable and a reliable TIC. I would think it would be servicable and repairable for years to come. Should we want to change to a newer style TIC, we always have the option of selling it to someone who can't afford a newer one, or maybe trading it in, and putting the proceeds towards the next purchase.

    Scott

    [This message has been edited by S. Cook (edited June 13, 2000).]

  7. #7
    no_name_FF
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    FireTIC, my comment in #3 about swivel displays was probably just a pot shot at a certain manufacturer, however, I considered all of the other options you mentioned in my reply. I realize that not every manufacturer has every option, but most have most.....

    Transmitter - maybe with the next unit
    Temperature display - I've yet to be convinced on the accuracy and/or benefit.
    Video overlay - I like it, but couldn't get my chief's convinced....
    Annotation/date stamp - if you don't have the transmitter, kinda pointless....

    ------------------
    The above is MY OPINION only and not that of anyone else. I am not representing any organization in making a post here!!!!

  8. #8
    FireTIC
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Lightbulb

    Re Direct Temp Measurement (Pyrometer),
    I do not believe this feature was intended to accurate to 1-2 degrees. However, you might want to know if something is 150 deg. or if it is 650 deg.. Remember, the camera does not care either way.

    FRD

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