1. #1
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    Default Thermal Imaging Camera

    If FEMA only allows $12,000.00 for a thermal imager, do you have to get an imager with the original options, or just make sure you meet the 10% match?

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    I'd call FEMA to clarify, but I think the only stipulation they have is that you buy a thermal imager (as opposed to the one you spec'd), and their share does not exceed 90% of the cost. If you spend more than $1200 of your own money buying the original that you applied for, then they don't care, as many of us have done that very thing with no objections. It's called over-matching and it's allowed in all categories.

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    BC79er is correct. I asked when a received the "6 questions". I asked, "If we receive the grant can we go with our second choice; which was under $12,000." FEMA's reply was, " Yes you may use the lower bid for the termal imaging camera as long as it doesn't exceed $12,000." Hope this helps.

    Matt

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    You can go over as well but you have to make up the difference. Wild land gear was capped as well ($300.00 set)

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    What types of TIC are you looking at? And what are your opinions of each?

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    Question What are your thoughts on TICs

    kickinthedoor,

    We got a quote on a MSA 4000 for $16,000. I had talked to the Rep about a MSA 5000 for $12,000. We are wild open on the TIC we are going to buy. We have gotten info on ISI, MSA, ISG, Bullard, and Argus. This is the part of our grant I'm getting ready to work on. I'm sure other people are in the same boat. I would like people's thoughts on what which TIC is the "best" for under $12,000. Thanks for your help.

    Matt

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    I heard from a little bird that you can get an ISC K-80 for as little as $8000. Sure its not gonna have all the bells and whistles but its still a good TIC
    After I'm dead I'd rather have people ask why I have no monument than why I have one

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    IACOJ Probie Crusty of the year 2003

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    I talked to our grants management specialist yesterday and was told that if we were not going to get a TIC with the exact specs, we would have to do a grant amendement. Even though FEMA changed our original proposal by putting a limit of $12,000.00 for a TIC. I figured FEMA would just want to make sure the City paid their 10%.

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    Default Thanks

    Great information wbgofd. I would not have know that. This is our second grant and I still have never talk to my grant management specialist. I've left a couple of messages and no reply. I'm still looking for which TIC people are buying. Thanks.

    Matt

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    Check out the new Scott Eagle Imanger 160.....ITS THE BEST BY FAR!!!!!And we looked at both Bullards,both MSA's,ISI,and ISG. It has the clearest picture and most detail. It's cost will surprise you. Trust Me!

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    Like how much???

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    Originally posted by kickinthedoor
    Check out the new Scott Eagle Imanger 160.....ITS THE BEST BY FAR!!!!!And we looked at both Bullards,both MSA's,ISI,and ISG. It has the clearest picture and most detail. It's cost will surprise you. Trust Me!
    First, Bullard has THREE imagers currently available. Second, I am curious how you think the Eagle 160 could have a clearer image than the Bullard T3MAX, considering the both use the same, identical engine?

    If you have a tie to Scott, you should let people know. I have made it clear that I work for Bullard.

    To those evaluating TIs: do not necessarily choose what someone else has chosen, unless their needs are similar to yours. Perform your own evaluation, and make the sales person PROVE everything he says. If he says the camera is tough enough to be a wheel chock, then roll out your tanker and test it. If he says it can take 300 degrees F for 10 to 15 mins, and you don't have a burn tower, then use your kitchen oven. If he says the imager can get hit by a hose stream, take it out on the apron and knock it with a 1.75".

    For other ideas on evaluating cameras, visit:
    http://thermalimager.bullard.com/tec...Eval/index.cfm

    Jonathan Bastian
    TI Training Manager

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    We just put the Scott in service. Medium range on options, temperature sensor, tx etc. We paid under $11k.

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    Default firemanjb

    firemanjb,
    Hey easy Dude. I am not affiliated with any company, just another jake expressing my opionion. We just got our grant and are working on choosing our TIC. We looked at them together and saw a huge diffence between the bullards,scotts,msa,and ISI and ISG. Our committe even liked the small K-80 as a close second. Just my thoughts,not those of any vendor or dealer.

    quint1driver,
    How do you like yours and what was the delivery time?

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    Default Re: firemanjb

    Originally posted by kickinthedoor
    firemanjb,
    Hey easy Dude. I am not affiliated with any company, just another jake expressing my opionion. We just got our grant and are working on choosing our TIC. We looked at them together and saw a huge diffence between the bullards,scotts,msa,and ISI and ISG. Our committe even liked the small K-80 as a close second. Just my thoughts,not those of any vendor or dealer.
    Kick: I didn't say you WERE affiliated; I said that IF you are, you should identify it. My apologies...your comments were so "gung-ho" that they looked a little "biased". Sorry.

    I have to explain though, that your comments, while admittedly your opinion, are not supported by fact. The Bullard T3MAX and the Scott Eagle 160 both use the SIM500L thermal imaging engine from BAE Systems. The MSA, while a different engine, is at least a vanadium oxide detector, which tends to give generally better imagery. The K-80 by ISG uses the Raytheon 2000AS engine, which has an amorphous silicon detector. Of these four engines, the 2000AS produces the lowest quality image in heat because it has the lowest dynamic range.

    While you might like certain features or aspects of the Eagle 160 or K-80 vs. the T3MAX, it is physically impossible for the image on either of those to be better than the image on the T3MAX.

    But, image quality isn't EVERYTHING...you need to be comfortable with the service, support and features of the camera as well.

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    Well,

    I have looked at the Bullard T3, T3Max, MSA 5000, 4000 and ISG K-80, K-90. By far the best picture I have seen is the K-90 (but for a base model at $15000 it should be). The K-80 at $8000 is not stripped by any means.

    I think we are done we may see a Scott wednesday, but for our mode of operation I believe it will be either the Bullard T3max or K-80.

    Just a question for those of you who spec them. Why? Did you spec everything in the grant?

    Just wondering.

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    Originally posted by mjollnir
    Well,

    I have looked at the Bullard T3, T3Max, MSA 5000, 4000 and ISG K-80, K-90. By far the best picture I have seen is the K-90 (but for a base model at $15000 it should be). The K-80 at $8000 is not stripped by any means.
    Out of curiousity, was your imagery comparison done in live fire or in a meeting room? Generally, microbolometers give crisper imagery in high-heat than BST-based imagers (although the new BST engines from Raytheon are quite good), so I'd be interested to hear.

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    mjollnir
    We did not actually give the specs. I should have used the word "options". Example: The camera will have a wireless transmitter. Then explain that with this option the camera is also a valuble training tool.

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    Although firemanjb usually tries to be fair and accurate as well as unbiased, (if that's possible). I have to respond to a couple of points. First, don't be fooled by anyone that tells you to abuse their or anyones camera by putting them to the test using the antics suggested on this thread. I realize some cameras are represented in the way described. But, how many times do you think you can abuse highly sensitive electronic equipment before it fails? All of these cameras are designed to take certain pounding that firefighters will subject them to. I don't want to be using a camera that fails at 3am because it was abused one too many times at the station to show someone how tough it is. Second, BST units pictures improve greatly in the high energy of fire conditions. VOX microbolometers on the other hand provide a sharp cold scene picture, and with a wide dynamic range, provide a quality though very different picture in the same environment. I would say most peoples opinions are subjective and should be more objective, which is tough to do when such biased opinions are presented. Continue to educate yourselves and research information, Stay safe JF

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    JF beat me to it, but I have to agree that beating on any camera while not on a scene to test it's mettle really isn't a test anyway. Like he said, everything fails X amount of time after use/abuse, and any use/abuse shortens the time between now and that point of failure.

    The only real test of a camera, is in a live burn situation. Who gives a damn if you can wander around the station with the lights off and manage to not fall down the steps. Get a live burn scheduled, call the salespeople, and get a demo camera from each of them. Every manufacturer of anything has demo units for potential customers to test, so if they don't want to, guess what: maybe it don't work like it's supposed to. Take it to the fire field and put it in the heat, the smoke, and the oh-so-gentle hands of the firefighters that will be dragging it on the floor while doing search and rescue and all of that fun interior work. That's the test of a camera.

    Personally I don't care who's name is on it or if it's painted in pink and green checkerboard patterns, if it stand up to the job, that's the one for me.

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    Talking

    Quote: If he says the camera is tough enough to be a wheel chock, then roll out your tanker and test it. One of our guys did just that, left it on the bumper of the med unit, and ran it over when it fell off the bumper.

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    Originally posted by JForristall
    Although firemanjb usually tries to be fair and accurate as well as unbiased, (if that's possible). I have to respond to a couple of points. First, don't be fooled by anyone that tells you to abuse their or anyones camera by putting them to the test using the antics suggested on this thread. I realize some cameras are represented in the way described. But, how many times do you think you can abuse highly sensitive electronic equipment before it fails? All of these cameras are designed to take certain pounding that firefighters will subject them to. I don't want to be using a camera that fails at 3am because it was abused one too many times at the station to show someone how tough it is. Second, BST units pictures improve greatly in the high energy of fire conditions. VOX microbolometers on the other hand provide a sharp cold scene picture, and with a wide dynamic range, provide a quality though very different picture in the same environment. I would say most peoples opinions are subjective and should be more objective, which is tough to do when such biased opinions are presented. Continue to educate yourselves and research information, Stay safe JF
    JF...I think there's a compliment in there, so "thanks!"

    Perhaps my writing did give the impression of "abuse," but it was not intended to. I do, however, challenge your notion that fire departments should just "accept" that the camera can take a pounding. It is one thing with fire helmets, where you have independent labs doing performance testing. There is no independent performance test of an imager. Let's be honest: sometimes, salespeople stretch the truth. Do you really think you are going to have a saleperson trying to sell you a $10K to $15K piece of equipment say, "Yeah, we're told they are really durable, but we've got 12 of them in for repair right now?" Some of the cameras on the market may be "designed" to withstand the pounding, but do not survive in the field. Heck, there's a major manufacturer out there that claims a 6 ft drop test, yet the directions specifically say "do not drop the camera". The idea of the testing process is not to beat the snot out of a guys camera; it is to ensure that WHEN (not IF) your firefighters drop it on a fireground, they can still go to work with it.

    While the BST images are good in high heat, and have improved over the past 2 years, I also disagree on comparing them to VOx microbolometers. The dynamic range of a BST is a few hundred degrees; a VOx microbolometer has a range upwards of 1150 degrees. This means that BST will "artifact" in high heat; VOx generally does not.

    JF, I may have trouble clearly differentiating fact vs. opinion sometimes on the board, but I try to be careful keeping facts as facts. I won't claim to be "unbiased", but I do try to be "fair."

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    Sometimes all the scientific data that comes with the latest greatest technology looks good on paper. My opinion is based on a great amount of hands on experience combined with a good understanding of the technology and how it works for firefighting operations, and if I need to explain how a BST could outperform (picture clarity) when compared to a VOX in some situations on the fireground I'd be happy to if you care to e-mail me. It's been demonstrated by us in a completely unbiased way 100's of times around the country. No argument here that VOX provides an often outstanding picture over a wide dynamic range but that won't allways be the best way to accomplish every objective. If I ever have a question about what makes a tic tick, I'd gladly call you, that is a complement. When it comes to practical experience, I don't call myself an expert, I do however, enjoy a ton of practical hands-on time in live burn and actual fireground experience. WITH EVERYONES CAMERA, I've seen cameras excell and fail side by side so I stand by my unbiased opinions. Take care, stay safe JF

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    Originally posted by JForristall
    My opinion is based on a great amount of hands on experience combined with a good understanding of the technology and how it works for firefighting operations, and if I need to explain how a BST could outperform (picture clarity) when compared to a VOX in some situations on the fireground I'd be happy to if you care to e-mail me. It's been demonstrated by us in a completely unbiased way 100's of times around the country. No argument here that VOX provides an often outstanding picture over a wide dynamic range but that won't allways be the best way to accomplish every objective. If I ever have a question about what makes a tic tick, I'd gladly call you, that is a complement. When it comes to practical experience, I don't call myself an expert, I do however, enjoy a ton of practical hands-on time in live burn and actual fireground experience.
    JF...I don't challenge that you have more fireground usage than I with a camera. I guess that's the perk of being on an urban squad instead of a small suburban engine! I also concur with you that a BST has better flexibility in real life than a VOx or aSi microbolometer. The only real negative to a BST is its size. So, I think we are roughly on the same page....Stay safe. JB

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    Default Thermal imaging

    Roughly the same page, maybe? BST size is negative? Only if your comparing them in relative size to a small format camera, or if your profit margin is greater on the smaller cameras. Sorry, but which one is it? You do agree their both flexible! Rather than focusing on the negative aspects of anyone's camera, (and every camera has strengths and weaknesses)I think it would be more beneficial to the people asking questions that trainers and educators be as honest and acurate as possible in our responses. I'm not accusing you of being inaccurate where the technology is concerned your facts speak for themseves. I realize you have a vast technical backround and corporate support. But it's often difficult to see anything but your biased opinions, nothing wrong with being a company man. I think we can do a better job of educating firefighters if they understood just how complex and potentially dangerous a tool this can be. I'm sure you agree this is not a Buy, point and shoot tool! BST may not match VOX dynamics. Large units may not deploy as easily as small format. The best small camera can't compete with most large units viewscreen and image read-ability, which leads to easier image interpretation. The truth is no one camera is perfect and when we try to rank good, better or best most opinions are based on limited often biased experiences. My opinion if that matters is all the cameras available on the market are quite good! Especially if you take the time to train on them. Instead of ranking a camera, I prefer to say that they are all DIFFERENT, learn how to use yours and understand its capability. I'll continue to educate firefighters with honest unbiased opinion and encorage you to do the same. JF

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