08-17-2000, 11:09 PM #1Pat CullFirehouse.com Guest
I BELIEVE THAT I AM LOOKING FOR THE SAME INFO AS MEDIC445. ANYONE WHO HAS A TIC I WOULD APPRECIATE YOUR INPUT: AS FAR AS WHAT MAKE YOU HAVE, YOUR EXPERIENCE WITH IT, AND ANY PROS AND CONS. WE HAVE A GRANT THAT IS ABOUT TO GO AWAY AND WE NEED TO MAKE A DECISION. THANKS FOR ANY HELP. BE SAFE.
08-18-2000, 12:50 PM #2FF.FOREVERFirehouse.com Guest
My dept uses the ISG K-90 with the new digitek system. The camera works very well,but we have recently had a problem with moisture in the viewing screen. ISG is going to give us a loaner while it's out to repair. This is the only camera I've ever used except the ISI vision. This was a older module camera. Picture was not as good as the ISG,but I've never used the new ISI Vision 3. Try them all is my motto. Hope this helps.
08-19-2000, 12:26 AM #3CAP182Firehouse.com Guest
i tryed a bullard that one of our vendors let us use, and challeged us to destroy it while teaching a class at one of our local fire schools. i had it in a burn house for almost eight hrs. during this time we drop it from up to six feet several times, got it soked and had it in temps that were redy to flash. that day we burned up the straps on several air packs and masks and the straps on the camera but they were still in tack and the camera worked like new. we liked them so much we purchased six of them one each for our first out apparatus, i will let you know in six mounths how they are still working we should recieve them in three to four weeks.
rember: try before you buy !!
08-20-2000, 01:10 AM #4ThomasFirehouse.com Guest
Are you a sales rep for Bullard? Your reply on here sounds a little hard to believe.
Also, why did you damage so much equipment during training?
Nonetheless, I believe that any item you can purchase to help out on a scene would be a smart one. As far as brand names go, I don't think any manufacturer wants a bad name, so if you are unhappy with the product you receive, you should take that issue up with your dealer. Chances are they will make it right-especially if they want any repeat business!
08-22-2000, 06:41 PM #5FireTICFirehouse.com Guest
Apparently Cap182 did'nt drop the camera on the handle, lens bezel, or the PLASTIC shell. If they truly used the camera 8hrs. it must have been outside over half the time. ( Bullard TI's have no internal cooling system). Saturation/Absorption would have occured in a very short time considering the place was ready to flash.
What a bunch of BALONEY!!!!!
P.S. One day these Reps. will get someone hurt or killed.
[This message has been edited by FireTIC (edited August 22, 2000).]
08-22-2000, 08:45 PM #6S. CookFirehouse.com Guest
We have 3 Bullards in service, only had one problem and it was fixed and returned in less than 48 hours, we had a loaner before it left. We've had nothing but good luck with them and Bullard has treated us right. I've had one in a burn house all day (about 8 hours), just taking it out long enough to change the battery and get the next group in. I've had to too hot to touch bare handed, it's been dropped, soaked and heated up. They have never failed or shut down.
Now that I've said all that let me say this...
Don't buy any particular imager off of what you read on this post. Do your own testing and evaluations and get the one that is right for your department. There are some good ideas for how to do your evals in this forum, just select "show all topics" from the drop down menu and have at it.
I can't stress it enough - do your own evaluation.
08-23-2000, 01:32 AM #7CAP182Firehouse.com Guest
first off i am not a rep for anyone just a fire fighter. secondly if you dont like bullard just say so. there is no need to get on here for any other reason. if you dept dosent train for the worst thats your deal not mine. but we want to make sure our members get the full effect of the hazzards of the situation, and to be prepared for it in a controled enviorment. i have used the bullard and it stands up to the test for my dept you will have to try and find what works best for your dept. besides as much as you know about the bullard maybe it is your competitor and you are trying to down grade it maybe you are a sales rep ??
hum ? makes you wonder
09-01-2000, 07:29 PM #8Pat CullFirehouse.com Guest
I APPRECIATE ALL THE INPUT. I BELIEVE IN "TRY BFORE YOU BUY" BUT, IT HELPS TO HAVE A DIRECTION TO GO IN. THANKS, AND KEEP THE INFO COMING.
09-03-2000, 01:43 PM #9dch419Firehouse.com Guest
FireTIC, if anyone is the rep here, it's you. We've all read your many numerous replies. I work part time in a city with 6 Bullards, and they have proven themselves every time. Do you have first hand knowledge of any of the damage you stated occuring? I've seen them dropped numerous times, in demos and on real incidents, never seen any of the damage you stated. Now, I'm not a rep for Bullard, or anyone for that matter. I'm the chairman for my primary departments TIC committee, and I can say that as much as I like the Bullard, we most likely will be buying another brands. So take it as you want, but lay off someone who's just offering input.
[This message has been edited by dch419 (edited September 03, 2000).]
09-07-2000, 12:31 AM #10FireTICFirehouse.com Guest
First of all I never, ever have hidden my loyalties to the TIC manufacturer I represent. Secondly, I never said Bullard had a bad camera. Lastly, I can recognize B.S. when I see/hear it, I dont have to be hit in the face with it.
Thermal Imaging 101,
BST based thermal imaging cameras have what is called a chopper wheel, which is suseptable to damage if not treated with some care. Drops from any distance could cause damage and ultimately a failure. Most cameras of this type have been drop tested from a distance of three feet to show durability. This does not mean it is insistructable. Multiple drops from 6 feet may not cause immediate damage, BUT it will fail when you most need it (like trying to escape a flashover).
Thermal Imaging 102,
The thermal sensor (BST) must be kept at a 45 deg.-C temperature in order for it to work. If the temperature of the sensor changes even a little, it will fail, or give an extremely poor picture. The Bullard thermal imager has no internal cooling/ temperature management system to prevent these things from happening. Considering the example given above, these things WOULD have happened in a very short time.
I have never personally seen the damage OCCUR to a Bullard TIC, but if people continue to abuse EXPENSIVE / LIFESAVING equipment someone will get hurt or worse.
P.S. - Obviously others saw something a little hard to believe. It was not my intent to slam any TIC, just the B.S. that goes with it. I've heard more junk info. at shows and demo's, I could write a book.
RING, RING, RING here is your wake-up call. Where have you been. I am a rep for a camera.
As i have said before, I did not intend to slam your decision, just your information. You may choose to use YOUR camera in that manner, but dont tell others they can abuse a lifesaving (maybe yours oneday) device and still expect it to work when they need it most.
P.S. I agree with S. Cook, Do your OWN homework and Evaluation.
09-07-2000, 12:09 PM #11TIManFirehouse.com Guest
First let me apologize for a long absence, to many things going on.
I really hate to single out any individual here, everyone should feel free to say whatever they like, without the fear of incurring a personnel attack if someone disagrees with what was said.
However, the comments made here by FireTIC merit a response. The first reason is statements were made that were completely false. Second, an agreement was reached by all members posting here some time ago that if you represented a TI manufacturer or sold TIs you would identify that in all of your post. Seems that FireTIC has conviently left that out of many of his new posts.
Here is my version of thermal imaging :
Thermal Imaging 101 – All BST based units do have a chopper wheel. However contrary to popular belief, or the sales pitch you may have heard, they do not have a high failure rate if they are packaged properly. Bullard has thousands of TIs in the field, some of them for over 2 years now. Less than 2% have ever been returned for “chopper wheel” failures. Many of the returned units were demo units that had been dropped in excess of 50 times. I can’t give you Raytheon’s exact numbers but I know they also have a very low rate of return. There is no question a “chopper wheel” could fail especially if subjected to repeated extreme shocks. However our data shows they are not failing in the field under day to day firefighting conditions. This does not mean you should use your TI as a forcible entry or ventilation tool, but it also means you should not have to carry it around like a piece of fine crystal.
Thermal Imaging 102 – It is correct that a BST detector (focal plane) must be thermally stabilized, however the exact number can vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. Bullard’s number is actually 35 deg C (95 deg F). Also all units must be thermally managed, once again how closely can vary from unit to unit. I also hate to correct the Bullard expert once again, but Bullard’s unit does have an internal cooling system called a TEC (thermoelectric cooler). This system can heat or cool the focal plane to stabilize it in the proximity of 35 deg C. Of course any BST unit without some type of cooling or temperature stabilization would not work for any period of time in the field, last time I checked the Bullard units were working.
That was not a Bullard sales pitch, I can only comment on Bullard because that is the hard data I have and I will not speculate on anything else for fear of providing false or misleading information.
During an evaluation you should abuse the equipment ! Why, because it is going to get abused on the job, whether intentionally or unintentionally. I would much rather see something work in person under realistic conditions than take someone’s word or numbers on a piece of paper. I also think firefighters can understand that abusing a piece of equipment in an evaluation does not mean you continue to abuse the equipment when you are using it on the job. You don’t prove a thermal imager is tough so you can use it in place of haligan, you prove it is tough so you have confidence it will not fail the first time it gets dropped, gets wet, or sees some heat.
As far as bad information goes, there is a sea of it out there, the above mentioned material being a prime example. The quickest way to weed through all of the crap is to verify everything you can for yourself in person. Don’t take the battery life to be what is on paper, have someone put a stopwatch on it during the evaluation and see what it really is. In a recent evaluation a department rep asked for proof of durability to include a drop test, dunk test, and heat test. Many pieces of paper came flying out claiming all kinds of numbers. When the Bullard rep was approached and asked for paperwork he responded by dropping the unit from waist high, dunking it in a bucket of water, and stated it will still work when it comes out of the burn you are doing, and then also handed the dept. rep the paperwork. When the dept rep saw this he went back to the other TI reps and asked them to do the same, they all refused claiming their paperwork showed their unit could pass those tests. If they can really pass any particular test then why not show it in person !
A rep recently responded when asked to drop his TI by saying, you wouldn’t take a brand new car and drive it into a wall would you ? Wrong analogy. A car will experience many bumps and shakes from things such as potholes. Likewise a TI is going to experience many bumps. If a car stopped working or fell apart the first time it hit a pothole would you want to buy it ? If a TI stops working the first time it is dropped do you want to use it ?
You can’t verify everything for yourself in person, but you should definitely verify everything you can. You should also check with other users as to what their experiences have been with the units. This should also include someone who has had a problem with a unit to see what type of service was actually provided. Any good rep should have a list of names and phone numbers for you to contact. The list should have more than 2 or 3 departments and should definitely have some departments who have had service issues.
You don’t have to look far to find depts. who have had a bad experience with a TI, some have even been mentioned here on the forum. That brings about the point that NO TI IS FAILURE PROOF. Any electrical component or system will have some amount of failure that can never be eliminated. Even with their outrageous standards NASA still has component failures. As such you need to :
1.) Find a unit with a verifiable history of solid performance in the field
2.) Determine how a situation was handled if a unit did fail
3.) Insure that your training prepares any user for a failure, so if one occurs safety is not compromised in any form.
Many depts. have purchased thermal imagers and had great success. Many other depts. have units that are sitting in a case somewhere collecting dust because they can not keep the unit in service or the firefighters have no confidence in it and refuse to use it. If you do all of the very hard work to evaluate and purchase a unit and train all of your personnel appropriately a thermal imager will improve the efficiency and safety of everything you do. If you take a shortcut anywhere in the process the results will not be good and may even be disastrous.
I hope I made the point !
Good information is out there if you look hard enough to find it, whether it is on evaluations or training. But be careful because there is also a lot of bad information out there as well. If you use your brothers & sisters as well as your common sense you can usually figure out what is good and what is bad pretty quickly.
As Always, Good Luck, Be Safe,
Bullard TI Training Specialist
09-07-2000, 07:56 PM #12S. CookFirehouse.com Guest
Thanks for clearing the "overheat failure" up TIMAN, I thought our Bullards needed fixed because they've never shut down on us when they got hot.
09-07-2000, 09:00 PM #13FireTICFirehouse.com Guest
Sorry for not posting my affilliation, but I did not realize my WWW address, and others were not being posted with responses.
I'm not trying to start a war with you or anyone else, but:
The information that I posted was directly from the Raytheon data sheet on the camera core most TI manufacturers use. You said something about packaging of the Bullard Ti's, that somewhat prevents damage in a drop test. Come on now, Bullard doesnt build the camera core which houses the chopper wheel. So how does this special packaging work?
I will agree that a chopper wheel is not a high fail item, except for the example given previously. You may want people to think you have something no one else has, but I wont do it at the cost of lives.
I never said I was a B-----d expert, just clarifying a few points on basic Thermal Technology. By the way a Thermoelectric cooler is not limitless. In the example given, it was stated that the room was ready to flash, the straps melted and so on. That kind of heat on the camera eventually would have overloaded the cooler. You must have trained that guy.
P.S. Can you say Bullard one more time.
I do respect your position and B-----d
but lets not add to all the bull. (pun intended)
P.S.S. maybe I,m getting to old for this stuff.
NJ,PA,NY ISG dealer
[This message has been edited by FireTIC (edited September 07, 2000).]
09-08-2000, 10:23 AM #14TIManFirehouse.com Guest
My intention was not to start a war just correct the bad information that was out there.
I generally research a topic and verify what I can, through multiple resources, before I make a statement others might use as a reference. That usually prevents a bunch of crap from becoming an accepted fact.
As for TI Design 101 –
If you protect the core that Raytheon makes, you are in turn protecting the chopper wheel. If your car is in a wreck (TI is dropped) the force of the impact is absorbed by many things outside of the passenger compartment (the TI housing) which will help to prevent you from being injured (the chopper wheel). If your car is a Yugo good luck, if your car is Full Size Sedan you are going to be in much better shape. All TIs are not built the same, but anyone who conducts a good evaluation can find that out for themselves, they don’t have to take my word for it.
It is correct that there is a limit as to how much thermal load any TEC can handle. Of course if you keep the heat out of the TI and away from the focal plane through proper housing design the TEC will not have to deal with the high levels of heat outside the housing. The same materials and design that are used in Bullard Fire Helmets to protect your brain from heat are also used in the TI to protect the Raytheon core. This does not mean the unit can take an indefinite amount of heat, but if your head is not burned from the heat, then chances are the core in the TI was not “burned” either. Once again, take the units to a burn building and find out for yourself which units have the proper design to protect the internal components from heat exposure, don’t take my word for it.
As for Thermal Imaging 102 –
1.) Not all thermal imagers are created equal.
2.) All thermal imagers can fail at any given point and time.
3.) A thermal imager that is rarely used because of fears that it will fail is useless.
4.) A thermal imager used to take out windows and doors is going to fail, much sooner, than later.
5.) Reliance on a thermal imager alone, without any form of back-up, is suicide.
6.) If you rely on data from paper or a sales pitch, and don’t verify the information for yourself, you may get a nasty surprise when you least expect it or want it.
7.) There is more to TI training than knowing how to change a battery (SAFE-IR)
FRD, you are not getting to old. The Fire Service needs everyone it can get to help educate the brothers and sisters on thermal imaging. We all just have to make sure we get our facts straight before we go out educating, and as we all know it is not always an easy thing to do.
We are all in this together and thermal imaging can help us or hurt us. Of course it is up to us what happens, not the thermal imager.
Good Luck, Be Safe,
Bullard TI Training Specialist
09-08-2000, 10:49 AM #15FF.FOREVERFirehouse.com Guest
To firetec and TIman..
Why don't you to just relax and chill. everytime I get on one of the forums you guys got a 8 page explaination for a camera. There are alot of different cameras in the market and to me if they save a life then your jobs is done. To all you people that keep writing these stupid forums my words to you are TRY,TRY,TRY,. Put all the cameras that you are interseted in to the test and then go from there. I have nothing against any of the camera out there on the market. My dept uses the ISG K-90. I know some other depts that use Bullard and some uses Cairns,ISI and so on. You guys are out there to sell a LIFE SAVING piece of equipment. Lets not get into a who knows more debate.
09-10-2000, 01:08 PM #16Ohiofiremed57Firehouse.com Guest
My department did about 8 months worth of investigation into different kinds and brands of TIC's.
The first TI we explored into was the Cairns helmet mounted.
1. Helmet was bulky and "lop sided".
2. Only one person can view the image.
3. Hard to keep helmet in position to view the image.
4. Helmet gave false judge of distance and direction.
5. If/when a FF timed out, he/she has to doff head protection to transfer TIC.
The second we explored was the MSA handheld.
1. Image distorted when camera is jar'd.
2. Internal IRIS completely closes in high- heat conditions.
3. Image viewing angle not user friendly.
The third was the FireFLIR.
1. Throws off balance of helmet.
2. Only one FF can view image at a time.
3. Doning and doffing takes considerable effort.
The third we explored was the Scott Eagle.
1. Easy operation.
2. Screen able to view from several angles.
3. Image very clear to view.
4. Can be viewed by several FF's.
5. Cost is lower than other hand-held TIC's.
6. Very dependable in high heat conditions.
7. Holds up to Flash-over conditions.
The fourth was the Bullard.
1. Very easy to operate.
2. Single component unit(no seperate handle)
3. Very dependable in High- heat cond.
4. Clear image in all enviroments.
5. Resonable cost.
We decided that a hand-held unit was more versitile and practical. So we dismised the Cairns and the FireFLIR. The MSA was very unimpressive in it's image and ease of use.
The Scott and Bullard were the two "best" Camera's in our opinion. So we took them side by side, with the help of our local rep's, in a training fire. In very high heat and flame conditions. Both units were extremely comfortable and easy to use. The only benifit of the Scott over the Bullard was the tilt screen. And it did'nt hurt that the price of the Scott was about $4000.00 less than that of the Bullard. Considering a limited budget given for the project.
We bought two Scott Eagle Imagers. Both with Telemetry. The only problem that we have had is a battery failure. Which was corrected (by being replaced) with in two days. We use our TIC's often, mostly for training and for overhaul. We also use them for Size-up, haz-mat, and smoke investigations.
Hope this helped out a little, I can't stress enough the need for constant training.
TIC's are a tool, but remember the best tool to get off of the truck with is comon sence.
The few, the proud, the INSANE!
[This message has been edited by Ohiofiremed57 (edited September 10, 2000).]
09-11-2000, 04:30 PM #17FireTICFirehouse.com Guest
In your analogy of a car VS. camera, just one thing I dont agree with. You as a person are NOT the chopper wheel (in the passenger compartment), rather the chopper wheel is the cooling fan. With the way electronics are designed today (including TIC's) there is virtually no excess air space ( for passengers or cargo). In a collision, damage may occur to the cooling fan (chopper wheel).
Hitting "potholes" with a TIC? Remember a TIC does not have coil springs, shocks or inflated tires to absorb shock.
Lets dump this analogy.
TIMan, so basicly you agree with the previous comments I made ( instead of being "Completely False").
I hope this strand has informed some, amused others, but most of all I hope it made us all THINK.
I hope who ever owns or plans to own a TIC, not only receives HOW TO training, but also DONT DO training.
NJ,PA,NY ISG Dealer
09-13-2000, 12:46 AM #18Pat CullFirehouse.com Guest
I HOPE I'M NOT CREATING ANY HARD FEELINGS ON THIS TOPIC. YOU HAVE GIVEN ME MUCH TO CONSIDER. (NO DECISION YET) THANKS AGAIN FOR THE INPUT.
09-13-2000, 01:56 AM #19TIManFirehouse.com Guest
Let me make it clear up front, some of the “discussions” or “arguments” here have probably gone farther than they should have. However, as long as people are still telling me (and they are) that they are learning something from what is being presented then I will continue my participation.
However there is one thing that must hold true, if this forum is to have the benefit I am sure its creators intended, the information being presented here must be clearly identified as to what is fact, what is fiction, and what is opinion or conjecture.
As much as you would think it would be easy to identify what is fact and what is fiction if you read some of these post you would definitely find it challenging at times. I would hope and think that this has largely been due to unintentional errors, but I really have to wonder at times. Hopefully we can all work together to make sure it is clear when something is fact and when something is bad information trying to become a fact.
Being that this is the U.S., everyone is obviously entitled to their opinion. Everyone should fell free to voice their opinions, as long as it is clear what is opinion and what is an opinion trying to become a fact.
As a group I also hope we can all work together with tolerance to exchange various view points and learn from our differences. I also hope we can lower the hammer when necessary to make sure that this forum does not become a breeding ground for bad information.
TO : FFFOREVER, sorry you don’t think these exchanges have had a lot of value, but remember not everyone has the advantage of a strong TI program like Maine does. To many brothers and sisters out there, this Forum and the information exchanged on it, is one of the very few limited resources they have on thermal imaging. Obviously if things get to a point where the material is a worthless sea of babble, then it is of no value. But I am currently speaking to 3-5 people a week (outside of the forum) who say they have really learned from the exchanges that have taken place on the Forum.
TO : FireTIC, first let me once again applaud you for efforts here to educate your fellow brothers and sisters on thermal imaging, there are not a lot of people who have taken the time or made the effort to post information here. But let me also say we will have to agree to disagree.
You made a statement (on not one, but two occasions) and I quote “The Bullard thermal imager has no internal cooling/ temperature management system”. Myself and many others can prove beyond any shadow of a doubt that this is a false statement. I have a real big problem with this because :
1.) This is a classic example of bad information that could have become fact if the statement you made was accepted by others and not corrected by myself or someone else.
2.) The correct information was readily available (it is on any Bullard TI brochure) so you would have known your statement was incorrect if you would have researched the topic before you made such a statement.
3.) Your comment was expressed as if it was a fact not an opinion, and your comment was specifically directed at Bullard, meaning you took a direct shot at the Bullard TI trying to make it appear there was a problem with its design when in fact it was completely false.
If this type of thing went on a regular basis no one would have a clue as to what the real story was on anything, and many people would be wasting to much time trying to figure out what to believe, and what not to believe.
On the other hand the whole analogy issue is like an opinion, you have your view and I have mine, and everyone here can decide for themselves which one they think will work best.
However I must once again make a correction on the core protection issue : One of the reasons you wear a fire helmet is to protect your head from impact. You will not find any springs, shocks, or inflated tires in a fire helmet, but there is no question that the combination of materials and design of the helmet will protect your head from impact. A Bullard TI is built just like a Bullard Fire helmet. The outer shell (tires on a car) is Ultem thermoplastic which can absorb heat and dissipate shock well. The Raytheon core is also surrounded by the same high temp foam (springs on a car) that is used in the impact liner of a helmet, which also provides protection from heat and impact. The core also “floats” inside the shell with numerous soft connection points (shocks on a car) very similar to the suspension in a fire helmet. Unlike many other TIs the core is not hard mounted or bolted directly to the outer housing. Not to mention there are rubber bumpers on the corners, large thick kevlar and leather straps, a multi-layer plastic and rubber bezel on the front, a rubber gasket all the way around the unit, and a rubber boot on the rear of the unit which will all also absorb shock as well. This is not a sales pitch, just a factual explanation of how things really are.
That may not make a difference or be of any real value to many readers out there. But if it means one person will now have the knowledge to make an informed decision in an evaluation and bad information on TI design or TI performance has been corrected or eliminated then it was worth it, IN MY OPINION.
Good Luck, Be Safe,
Bullard TI Training Specialist
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