I'd like to hear opinions both good and bad about the Cairns Viper. Our department already has a Cairns IRIS and were looking at trading it in for the handheld. Purchasing another unit completely is not a option. The department wants to stay with Cairns products. Please include any experiences, problems, benefits, issues, etc with this camera on your reply's.
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Thread: Cairns Viper Pro's & Con's
12-03-2000, 04:49 PM #1Fireman95Firehouse.com Guest
Cairns Viper Pro's & Con's
12-04-2000, 08:41 PM #2IRallthewayFirehouse.com Guest
Well besides the turnaround time on the IRIS. In my opinion it's a phone book with handles. It's very heavy and akward to hold with one hand, so it makes it a two handed camera. I also think that when you have any external moving parts they will begin to fail in time. With the harsh environments that we are in, it's a matter of time before something gets in and around the display and makes it fail. Also, when we used it under live fire conditions the batteries only lasted about 30 min and we had to change those cartridges that absorb the heat several times. One other thing the sales rep mentioned is that they are changing to the Boeing chip instead of the Lockheed Martin, so they might be experiancing some technical difficulties with the change of that and the electronics.
12-05-2000, 08:14 PM #3Fireman95Firehouse.com Guest
Thanks, IR for the reply. I've been looking for some feedback. We've requested a demo from them, haven't heard from them yet. Maybe other manufacturers take trade ins? Selling it outwrite wouldn't go either. Our IRIS was donated. Were a small town, people talk, not good for P.R. This is why we wanted to upgrade. Let me ask you this, if you had to choose between the IRIS, IRIS2 (Upgrade) or the Viper which one would you pick?
12-06-2000, 07:38 PM #4IRallthewayFirehouse.com Guest
I think you should do what best for your situation, but if it was me. I would get the Viper if I had to choose between those three. Only because it has the newer technology in it. As far as trade ins go, you might want to check with some of the manuf they might offer some type of discount for a trade in. The IRIS 2(upgrade) is crap in my opinion. All the upgrade does is move your electronics up onto your helmet, so you still have to have that battery pouch. Also, with the electronics on your helmet they are exposed to a lot more heat and the camera will shut down more often. When the electronics were in the pouch they were some what protected and insulated.
12-06-2000, 09:20 PM #5Fireman95Firehouse.com Guest
Talked to Cairns today, customer service more or less said no deal. We'll sell you a new one. They're going to send a rep down for a demo. The Chief said this more or less now opens it up for everybody as far as purchasing a camera outright. Looks like we'll have to start a fundraiser or get a grant or something. The way its looking we'll keep the IRIS (It was free)& purchase a handheld. I think your right about the IRIS2(upgrade)stuff. I don't believe it would benifit us at all, its still the same hard to see image (Display).
[This message has been edited by Fireman95 (edited 12-06-2000).]
12-07-2000, 11:30 AM #6tony pericFirehouse.com Guest
My dept. was all set to buy a viper, we looked at one without looking at any other brands and said this is the one, big mistake!So after ordering a viper I decided to check on the order.Keep in mind Carins would not let our dealer order directilly from them. He had to attach our order to a big order from the state of N.J.Too make a long story short, we now are the proud owners of a Bullard TIC. The reason, Carins said that production would not start until 2001 for the viper. If I can give anyone a bit of advice, DO YOUR HOMEWORK!! I thought I had all of this TIC stuff figured out. But I forgot the most important part, which is the manufactuer. Had we known this this long order time was going to take place we would have looked elsewhere. One more thing guys, do not limit yourself to one brand, look around. Just because your neighbor is using brand x, dosen't mean it's right for you.
12-08-2000, 05:02 PM #7Fireman95Firehouse.com Guest
Thanks Tony for your comments. We cerntainly will look at other cameras before we buy. Your right about what works for your neighbor, may not work for you. On the flip side of that issue, I feel its good to know how other departments like there equipment. My reasoning, firefighters are more likely to give you a honest answer about quality, operation, & performance than a salesman looking to fly in and make a buck.(No harm intended, even vulcers must eat.)
12-08-2000, 08:40 PM #8firenresq77Firehouse.com Guest
Our dept. has 2 MSA 4000's on order. Do your homework. We had all the dealers (that were confident enough in their product at least) come out and let us use them so we could compare them. We had Cairns, Scott, Bullard, MSA, and the Talisman. No sales pitches at that time. Just gave us the basics on operation. We tested in a Marine Firefighting training Center. Committee got all the specifics later.
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