Thread: Clear Command

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    Default Clear Command

    Clear Command by MSA.

    1) Is this a system worth investing in? Pros and Cons of the system please, we are debating whether to go to this system or an alternate.

    2) What is out there for alternates?
    IACOJ
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    Out of curiosity why are you needing something like this now anyway????

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    We are a small department trying to improve.
    We clearly understand the need for interior communications and are trying to explore the possibilities carefully in order to make the best use of our budget.
    IACOJ
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    I am willing to learn.

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    is that the voice thingy on your SCBA to make it clearer ?
    IACOJ both divisions and PROUD OF IT !
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    looks like a radio mic with something that clips onto your ear to hear better. The voice amps for SCBA can get sketchy sometimes from what everyone around us has said. The guy teaching my chem. of hazmat class said that there hazmat team has something similar except the mic is voice activated(i'm sure the expense is there) but if thats up your alley let me know i'll see if I can get some more info from him.

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    BUMP

    C'mon folks....help me out, here!
    IACOJ
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    I can't help that much Rook, because we don't actually use any of these systems yet, but I have demoed a few so far for future consideration.

    First off, voice-activated or VOX is largely considered a waste of time, and can actually be undesirable in many situations. It comes in late, which combined with a repeater delay means it can cut off the first 2-3 seconds of your transmission. You have to train your crew to use an "activation" word to start the system before sending the message. Instead of starting off with "Engine 1 to Command", you would have to insert a long activation word that might sound something like "Transmission: Engine 1 to Command".

    Also, the vox will be activated by team-talk (i.e. FF to FF), and can sometimes be activated by heavy breathing, or even background noise, which can inadvertently tie up your channel. I feel the large in-line chest-mounted activation button is best, as you simply push the front of your coat, and it activates your PTT. I thought the lapel-mic style would be nice for command officers and operators who don't need the entire system to be internally mounted.


    Our primary MA department uses the MSA system, and they are relatively happy. Like all bone transmission systems, they are most effective for non-hooded applications like operators and officers. Once you start hooding up, it begins to muffle and decrease the effectiveness of the pickup. For departments running thicker or even dual-layer hoods (i.e. The new CF hoods), you may have more serious problems. Since you are in a typical Canadian cold zone, winter ops require warm headgear which will certainly cause some additional interference.

    I have demoed a similar one that uses a skull pickup mounted in the helmet suspension system. I didn't particularly like the idea of something in the void of the helmet, as it seems to reduce the effective space of the suspension on top of your head. It worked very well with skin contact, and like the MSA, effectiveness decreased with the addition of the balaclava and the SCBA mask itself.

    I have also tried the mask-mounted systems (both internal mics, and external amplifiers), and they are no better. The resonance in the mask distorts your voice any way you cut it.

    The best system I have ever used was the old military neck mounted vocal cord pickups. It could be vox if you really wanted, but we chose either in-line ptt, or chest mounted. The huge downside for FF'ing with that system is that it does not go on quickly like the helmet mounted systems. You do have to remember that you are constantly connected with the helmet systems though, so don't pull your helmet off and drop it or you will rip out your radio or wires.


    The biggest benefit I found to any of these systems is that since you use small earpieces or headsets instead of open radio speakers, you eliminate the feedback caused by transmissions made in proximity to another radio, and increase privacy (i.e no media or bystanders can hear both sides of the conversation or additional radio traffic).

    In many situations the helmet mounted units work well, but you have to try them all at a practice or two (or better yet, ask for a long-term demo so you can try them on a few runs). For pump operators, the best system is definitely the ear muffs with integrated noise cancelling microphone. For interior work, it seems to come down largely to personal preference.
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    mcaldwell: that's exactly the kind of reply I was looking for. Explanation and personal findings; Thanks, Bro

    any more out there?
    IACOJ
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    We have to clear command voice amplifier mounted to the mask, you can talk with out yelling and you can talk on the radio clearly. Only draw back is you have to make sure they are shut off when done or next time it does not work.

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    We use the clear commnad on our MSA's. They have a mic in the facepiece where the exahalation valve is (you get a new valve with the mic in it), and this is wired into a amp that is on the outside of the facepiece (hangs on the left side). You turn it on to use and it amps everything you say, no button to push and nothing to hang on your ear. They take two AAA batteries to operate. Nice feature to have, make talking much easier. One thing to remember if you happen to buy them, do not yell when speaking. Talk normal because it is an amp. If you yell, well it amps the yell and starts to distort what you are saying.

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    Hi,

    We have the amp fitted on our mask with the MSA SCBA and we have the Clear Command system for our hazmat team. But, to my knowledge, both of those systems are not "Clear Command".

    The Clear Command system is fitted on your helmet with an earphone and a mic that picks-up your voice from the back of your skull.

    I would not go with a VOX system, they are too sensative and will react to heavy breathing, etc.

    If for using in the hot zone (gloves, under Class A suit, etc), go with the big mushroom type PTT. If for IC, the small PTT can do the trick...

    They're pretty expensive though, but effective...

    One more thing to consider, they are basically mounted permanently on the helmet so you have to figure who will be using them in advance because changing the system from one to the other take a little time.

    Also, I don't know if you are using all the same type of radios, because the jack is tailor made to fit a specific radio (upon your specs) and can't be switched from one radio type to the other...

    Stay safe!

    Sly

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    Hi,

    Disregard what I said in my previous post, both systems are made by Clear Command...

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    Just like in 2 of the other previous posts we have recently obtained a few aditional items to our arsenal of coms gear all purchased from Drager

    Skull Mics:-
    Headpieced placed inside helut with intergrated ear phone on one side, Activation button is located on your chest and it a pushh and talk system when u stop talkin it turns itself off, have used it personally and is great very very effective and cuts out all that interference from the SCBA

    SCBA integration:-
    We had these on trial in which the hole system is intergrated within the SCBA mask and when in storage is placed on a trickle charge so it is always ready to go and always full with power, only drawbacks were that when things started to get hot and your SCBA began to pick up sweat inside it somehow decreased the effectives of the system

    Single Line Transmition:-
    Again another trial for us, revelutionary stuff this, from the back of the pump a unit sends the radio waves down the length of hose (ie: vibrations through the water) and u recive them direct to your handset.....and yes i hear all you sceptis out there, and beleave me I'm one of them...but thank god we held off on purchasing them unti future trials are done

    SCBA Control board:-
    We have recently bougth Drager SCBA "BodyGuard" set's. And let me tell u I love them, there a 70min duel cylinder duration with only a little weigth difference from a single cylinder, the system is intergratd with the control board and has a radio telemetry onboard, which basically means that on viewing the board you firstly can see
    1:- How much air the guys have and what there current duration will be within the fire before they run out
    2:- The tempurature that the set and its wearer has been endureing and gives a sligth warning if tempuratures rise to high
    3:- With Push buttons on the set the wearer can let the outside know if they need to extract, if they found someone, if the fire is out, if the need assistance, the list goes on
    And last but not least they are currently upgrading it to use GPS, which means u know were everyone is at all times within the fire and u know were all the heat is...

    Hope this helps bro...and whatever u purchase good luck
    Dublin Fire Brigade

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    Bumping this thread back from the dead.

    Anyone have any recent experience or feedback from using this system, particularly with the helmet mounted bone mics?

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    Yep, we used the bone conduction mics for a while. Found them unreliable. Least little movement of your helmet could cause loss of contact and loss of use.
    We are using the Scott TALK-AROUND® Communication System. I find it very reliable and it give you the use of a crew specific channel and with the touch of a button you are on the fire ground channel. It has a priority over ride that bring you back to the radio channel when it is keyed. The crew radio feature can be used with or without an external radio. It has one knob for channels and power (OFF\Ch 1\Ch 2\Ch 3\Ch 4), a switch for Crew\Fire Ground (on the officer model), one button for transmit. The fire fighter model only has 2 channels and a PTT button.
    We use Ch 1 as a common channel, and channels 2,3,4 for individual crew use. Uses 3 AAA batteries, which lasts about 8 hours. Rechargeable AAA batteries are the way to go with a 15 minute charge.

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    Don't know em, but the voice amplifiers on the scott masks help make you better understood. Of course, it takes a little practice.
    I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

    "The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list."

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