Why register? ...To Enhance Your Experience
+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 18 of 18
  1. #1
    MembersZone Subscriber SamsonFCDES's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    1,708

    Default ISI Viking Issues and Fixes???

    This was brought up in the Scott Vs. MSA thread. I didnt want to muddy the waters there so I started this thread.

    There is a lot to like about the Viking. User friendly, inovative, lots of bang for the buck. I have seen prices around 3000$ for a Viking that has all of the featrures that a 5000$ Scott AP50 or Drager PSS 100 has.

    But there remains one big problem...quality of the packs. They seem to have some teething problems. They are a very new pack that just doesnt have all of the bugs worked out.

    We have a department on county north that uses them, they love them. But then again they see less then 10 working structure fires a year and their packs last them until the bottles effective life or until the standard changes. They have had no troubles with they and they love the fact that they could buy extra SCBA and cylinders compaired to the cadilac brands.

    What I am looking for are high run departments using ISI Vikings. I would like to hear their opinions on these SCBAs. Who has put them through hell, what do you like, and what dont you like about them?

    Given the bang for the buck quotient I have the funny feeling that we are going to see more of these pacs in our area. There is a wild mix right now with Interspiro (on the way out), MSA (seemingly on the way out), Scott (seemingly on the way out), Drager (seemingly on the rise) and ISI (seemingly on the rise).

    With so many small departments and small budgets maybe the ISI makes sence, even if they may not be capably of handling 1000 working fires a year. As I said earlier, over the life of most SCBAs in this area they are likely to see <200 working fires in their 15 year service life. I dont count vehicle fires as doing much damage to SCBAs, but of course ther are the exceptions.

    I think that the fact that Drager and ISI are on the rise in our area is clear:

    - Drager has a strong distributer here who offers superb after sale service and support, Drager has the reputation of being the premier extream cold weather SCBA, and the Sentinel is very user friendly as is the entire pack. If price is no object then Drager seems to be the choice.

    - ISI has some strong advocats in the area. The departments that use them swear by them and as I mentioned they are not high working fire volume are are none of the area departments realy. You get nearly all of the features of the high end Drager for much less. One department purchased their Viking DX SCBAs for 2800$ IIRC.

    I am starting to think that ISI might have a market nich here. As I said they may not be ideal for a Metro or High run department that can destroy an SCBA overnight, but for lots of other lower volume FDs they may be the biggest bang for the buck in SCBAs right now.

    Some of the problems I can recall off the top of the head:

    - The electronics were fussy. The integrated HUD, digital pressure gauge, and voice amp had some issues. IIRC on some of the earlier packs they were suseptable to radio transmission. For example if you were in your engine and keyed the radio all of the packs on the engine would kick on their electronics. If this went unoticed then you would end up with dead batteries. Electronics troubles are not unique to ISI with all of the new stuff on SCBAs these days.

    - I have not heard the specifics of the Oring problems, but there seems to be one.

    - I have heard that the fresh air gate is fairly easy to break and takes some measure of care to operate.

    - I have heard that the straps like to twist in the buckles.
    -Brotherhood: I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.
    -Mistakes: It could be that the purpose of you life is to serve as a warning to others.

    -Adversity: That which does not kill me postpones the inevitable.

    -Despair: Its always darkest before it goes Pitch Black.


  2. #2
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    Pt. Beach, NJ
    Posts
    10,655

    Default

    ISI Vikings new? Maybe updated, not new. We had them in late 1980's/early 90's. Inexpensive, but low quality. Mask mounted regulators were replaced every other year due to broken parts (and there were very few parts). Biggest reason we got rid of them was their low air alarm. It was a whistle, which did not sound very loudly at all. Also found a small design issue in that the whistle could (and would) fill with water. Came to be a real problem during the winter when it would freeze. We upgraded from the ISI's to Survivairs in 1992. Volunteer company, around 250 calls per year. Nowhere near what I would call high volumne/damage users.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

  3. #3
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2000
    Location
    Marietta, Georgia
    Posts
    49

    Default

    We have approximately 300 ISI digital Vikings which we bought in 2001. They have worked well for us and we would buy them again. ISI has bent over backward to address any issues we have had which are all relatively minor.
    Lt. Dan

  4. #4
    Forum Member spearsm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Lowndes, MS USA
    Posts
    742

    Default

    we use the viking \ISIs. Better keep an eye on the regulators...We have noticed during the routine checks that the reg. is not functioning properly. The free flow would fail it. Out of sixteen packs, 6 failed due to the same reason. 3 were brand new. One failed after it's return from ISI. The problem seems to be over, and we love them. they are the basic model with the vibarators on low air alarms. We are careful to keep a check on them, but for the most part, we like `em
    YGBSM!
    Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines.

    If all you have is a hammer, then your problems start to look like nails.
    ___________________

    IACOJ
    Southern Division.

  5. #5
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Rural Iowa
    Posts
    3,106

    Default Re: ISI Viking Issues and Fixes???

    Originally posted by SamsonFCDES
    I have seen prices around 3000$ for a Viking that has all of the featrures that a 5000$ Scott AP50 or Drager PSS 100 has.
    Where are you getting your Scott pricing?

    804847-01 AIR PAK FIFTY 4.5 (SCBA) CARBON 45 MIN W/CASE $2,040.82

    If your local Scott guy won't match/come close call some more or order thru your state forester at www.gsaadvantage.gov

    We are bidding for Scott NxG2 purchase with fire grant $. No GSA contract yet on the NxG2. Low quote we have so far.

    200315-01 NxG2 4.5 Air-Pak 45 min carbon cyl w/case no SEMS no Pak Alert $2719.41

    NxG2 extra 45min carbon fiber cylinders $664.42

    We looked at ISI. Not much jumped out as exciting (the sales rep was broke dick which did not help them).

    AV3000 facepiece w/kevlar harness $150.16
    Last edited by neiowa; 10-26-2004 at 04:37 PM.

  6. #6
    MembersZone Subscriber SamsonFCDES's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    1,708

    Default

    AP 50 4500, 30 minute bottles, AV2000 facepiece, spare 30 minute bottle best price form Wheatland fire on our grant bid last year was 4500$. Interestingly enough our grant allowed for 4500$ per scba.

    http://www.wfeonline.com/

    We wanted voice amp and such.

    For that same 4500$ price our Drager dealer gave us PSS 100, 4500, 45 minute bottle, spare 45 minute bottle, Sentinel 2 computer, Buddy Breather, and voice amp.

    We realy like our Dragers, but we would have been very happy with AP 50s or NXG2s at the price you are quoting.

    In our evaluation the AP50 and the PSS100 scored pretty much equal with the exception of the Sentinal which realy impressed the guys.
    Last edited by SamsonFCDES; 10-26-2004 at 09:21 AM.
    -Brotherhood: I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.
    -Mistakes: It could be that the purpose of you life is to serve as a warning to others.

    -Adversity: That which does not kill me postpones the inevitable.

    -Despair: Its always darkest before it goes Pitch Black.

  7. #7
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Rural Iowa
    Posts
    3,106

    Default

    Additional

    Quotes Scott NxG2
    60 min high pressure carbon cylinder $840.35ea
    Voice amp $231.11ea + $13.00 for bracket (near essential).
    Radiocom II $594.95ea (damn expensive for what it is).
    RIT Pack $709.22ea
    Soft case $62.83ea
    SEMS base $2,654.17ea
    25' Airline Hose (50 and 100 ft. also available) $80.17ea
    Airline hose adapter $126.39ea
    Facepiece adapter $22.39ea

    Addon prices to Scott NxG2 prices
    SEMS $1,087.50ea
    Pak Alert $415.23ea
    EBBS $157.71ea
    Hard case $49.62ea

    Working on a group/consolidated purchase which should furtner reduce pricing.
    Last edited by neiowa; 10-26-2004 at 05:22 PM.

  8. #8
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    West Central Michigan
    Posts
    39

    Default

    My department switched to the ISI viking packs last year. So far we have only found minor problems with ours. Departments to the east of us have also switched to the packs. The only problem I am hearing about is ice getting into the fresh air gate and causing some jamming problems there. I have only heard of that happening a couple of times. I personally really like the packs. That switch is a great feature and as ltdancobbfd stated ISI has really been great in working with us if anything goes wrong. Another drawback however is fitting all our firefighters with masks. The regulator mounted masks can get costly. Overall great airpacks.
    Steve
    Lietuenant 107
    Morton Township Fire/Rescue
    "Good to Go"

  9. #9
    MembersZone Subscriber fallujahff's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Eastern Shore, Va.
    Posts
    337

    Default

    We use a combination of the Magnum/Vikings and we hate them. I wish we could afford new Scotts right now but we in the middle of getting a rescue truck. The MMR on both types break constantly with little use and repair is a pain (they always seem to never have parts).

    Just 1 hour ago came back from a school yard demonstration and wouldn't you know the ISI magnum I was wearing broke when I attached the MMR!

    As my kids say, 'Draeger is the bomb' but I personally like the Scottsbecause there are fewer moving parts that could get broken easily.

    BTMHO...
    "When you are safe at home, you wish you were having an adventure-when you're having an adventure, you wish you were safe at home"

    --Thornton Wilder

  10. #10
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    1

    Angry ISI Viking

    My Department only runs about 10 fires a year, but we train at least twice a month. We spend a lot of time in our packs.
    I cut my teeth on ISI and for a long time I thought they were great. Now I think the ISI Viking is not that great of a deal. My department has used ISI since the early 90's. First the Magnum then the ISI Viking pnumatic, and now the ISI Viking DXL. We have had a number of issues of late.
    First, the chest strap issue; the shoulder straps tend to loosen up and can be a pain while you are working. The fix, ISI said they would send us chest straps. It took them almost a year to get them in the mail. Now they have a new design to overcome the loose straps, it is a new buckle. It just happens to be the same buckle as the old magnum.
    Next; battery consumption, these packs kill batteries like nothing i've ever seen. While we don't go to fires every day, the batteries don't last more then 6 mo. This is a major expense.
    The Air Switch; we have had a lot of problems with the "Air Switch". It seems that it only takes a little dirt inside the track that the switch slide runs in to lock up the "air switch". This means that you can't go "off of bottle air". Not a big deal unless you run out of air. The slides seem to get harder and harder to operate as time goes on. While this could be a cleaning issue there seems to be a number of problems that are croping up in the last couple of months. ISI has been to our station twice and so far we have no resolution. They admit that there is a design problem with the switch cover but we have not received new cover plates and we are still strugling with the slides sticking.
    The biggest problem I have seen is the lack of information that the company is getting out to the people that have paid good money for these packs. Have any of you received any info on any oof these issues? I bet not.
    Any pack is going to have problems but when a company isn't open and honest with problems that their packs are having, that concerns me.

  11. #11
    Permanently Removed CALFFBOU's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    CA
    Posts
    6,520

    Default Yo...

    After quickly scanning over all of the postings here,
    I have an answer- Buy the Scotts!

  12. #12
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Rising Sun, MD
    Posts
    168

    Default

    Ahhh, pooh on the Scotts. You can read my thoughts on them http://cms.firehouse.com/forums2/sho...294#post513294

    As far as ISI..

    The good points were that it seemed to be the only pack that isn't added on to. Everything is contained in a nice package. I also thought that the facepiece meshed well with our hoods & helmet. It was also one of the lighter packs, nearly 4 pounds lighter than the NxG2.

    The bad points we found were that we had problems with the AirSwitch and found it hard to operate using firefighting gloves. We also found the PASS activation button was too easily pressed. I, for one, activated it while trying to turn my flashlight on.

    The pressure gauge was hard to see in the daylight. And when we dunked the entire facepiece in a bucket of water, as was their big selling point, we had problems with the voice amplifier for a good time afterwards.

    We didn't care for the way the voice amp worked, it's sensitivity is software set and on the units we had wasn't sensitive enough.

    On first impression, the way the buddy breathing airline shoves up into the backplate was cool, but in use we found it hard to reach, too short, and hard to shove back into the backplate.

    The backplate doesn't have any carrying handles, which sounds like a dumb thing, but they sure make it nice when trying to carry a pack around or put it in a jumpseat.

    I also though that it didn't set on the hips well.

    The other thing about ISI which was unique to them, is that when I sent them a letter thanking them for participating in our evaluation & telling them that we didn't select them, then giving them the reasons why (which read like above) they replied with a four page rant to our Board of Directors complaining that we didn't give them a fair evaluation, our minds were already made up before we started, and questioning our evaluation procedures.

    I don't have an electronic copy of it, but maybe I can get that done and post it... it's quite an interesting read!
    Last edited by jpsmith2; 03-27-2005 at 10:37 PM.

  13. #13
    Forum Member DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    Somewhere between genius and insanity!
    Posts
    13,575

    Default

    Ahhh, pooh on the Scotts.
    Yes, can can "pooh" on them, and when you are done burying them in the crap, they will still work!

    In my career, I have worn the Scott 2A, MSA, North (truly the bottom of the barrel in the world of SCBA), the Scott 4.5 and now the Scott AP50.

    "The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price"...
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

  14. #14
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Upstate NY
    Posts
    487

    Thumbs down

    quote

    pooh on Scotts


    I agree 100% I have nothing but Scott since entering the fire service. I never had any problems and never doubted that my scba would work, until recently.

    My area use 100% Scott, local department went to live fire training using the brand new units delivered recently and one unit failed on a memeber in the burn room (no air @ all).

    My units are constantly acting up (low air alarm for no reason) and have had units rebuilt twice. Too much crap hangning of the unit, HUD display is too dam bright, waist straps keep pulling out AGGHHH.

    Scott SCBA is not the same air-pak it used to be and now we are regrenting it.

  15. #15
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Posts
    100

    Default isi

    we don't have a HIGH run volume but ours get good use, and my own personel opinion is that they need to be researched closely, the thing with drager is that they have been used for along time both in the states and especially in europe where they are the pack to have. not a big fan of the mask and bottle hook-up on the drager. isi eats batteries way to often. had first fire in 3 years with isi where i did not have a compliant with isi on saturday. those are just be very picky opinions. i do like the msa i did demo it on a couple of training fires, and the drager is very practical.
    michael umphrey
    captain higgins twp fire/rescue/ems
    roscommon,mi

  16. #16
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Posts
    100

    Default isi service

    i apologize but i forgot to mention that the service we have gotten from isi, and it's dealers have been great they have went above and beyond to help us!
    michael umphrey
    captain higgins twp fire/rescue/ems
    roscommon,mi

  17. #17
    Forum Member Rescue101's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Bridgton,Me USA
    Posts
    8,162

    Default

    If the Dragers and ISI's work for you, neato! But it does lead me to a question.In these hard financial times if these packs are so economically feasible,why isn't everybody using them? Take any high run Dept. in the USA and see what they're using for packs. I'll bet you lunch they aren't Drager or ISI.A couple depts not too far from me probably "try" fire equipment more than anyone else in the nation.Pack of choice for Boston and FDNY? Go ahead,take a guess.Why? I don't think they're buying just on price.My guess is reliability and ease of service probably enters strongly into the decision.FFFred,you wanna help me out here? T.C.
    Last edited by Rescue101; 03-30-2005 at 10:35 AM.

  18. #18
    Forum Member ThNozzleman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Jefferson City, TN
    Posts
    4,334

    Default

    I have an answer- Buy the Scotts!
    Yes, can can "pooh" on them, and when you are done burying them in the crap, they will still work!
    There are a lot of things that these guys and I don't agree on...but this is not one of them. Give me a Scott, any day.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts