Looking for information on having computers on apparatus. Need to know what you can and can't do, type of computer (brand), and also any pros and cons. We just recieved a donation to equip our apparatus with computers and we are looking for some input.
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Thread: Computers on apparatus
03-02-2006, 07:59 PM #1
- Join Date
- Nov 2005
Computers on apparatus
03-03-2006, 09:43 AM #2
- Join Date
- Jan 2001
I would probably look into the Panasonic Toughbook. They are much more durable than your standard laptops you get from Dell and so on... However, you do pay for the durability.
03-03-2006, 10:18 AM #3
- Join Date
- Dec 1999
- Swanton Fire Dept. Swanton, Vermont
Try looking at these guys. http://www.glaciercomputer.com/M5.htm
Saw a demo of one of their computers. It runs normal windows software but is made tougher than the average computer. You could read the screen from the back of the car in bright sun light, little to no glare.
My understanding is the company makes systems for warehouse applications and then expanded out. Computers riding on forklifts need to be a little tougher than your Dell.
03-03-2006, 11:27 AM #4
Thanks for the plug ChiefDog.
I am a call firefighter in NH and I am the Senior Support Engineer for Glacier Computer. We are a NH based rugged computer company and the Northeast distributor for Data 911 computers out of California. The M5 is the latest in their line of vehicle mount computers. They are primarily designed for police car applications but many fire departments are starting to use them.
They are similar in price to the Toughbook but are designed as a modular system (I.E. the display is mounted to the dash and all the other stuff can be hidden (protected) under the seat.)
Please feel free to email me with any questions. firstname.lastname@example.org
I'm not a salesman so you won't feel like taking a shower after talking to me
03-03-2006, 07:46 PM #5
- Join Date
- Aug 2005
I would suggest the Motorola MW800. Have tried these out and they are working great. Many options and it all comes back to you get what you pay for. Its real rugged and tough. Just my two cents.
03-04-2006, 12:45 AM #6
- Join Date
- Jan 2006
What kind of specs do those things run, ie: mb's or RAM, hard drive size and rpm, etc.
03-04-2006, 01:11 PM #7
1. Be careful where you mount them. Our tablets were installed on the engine doghouse, and can block the driver's view of the officer's side mirror. Also difficult for the boss to turn sideways in his seat to use it while belted in by seatbelt or SCBA.
2. We have one rescue truck that had to have the computer removed due to it's rough ride. Not only did you bounce too much to actually touch the computer while in motion, but the rough ride corrupted the software and broke components loose inside the computer.
3. Whatever computer you pick, take it outdoors to see how the glare affects the display. If it is a touchsceen, practice touching the screen while driving down a bumpy road and see if you can select the right icon. It's a lot harder than you think.
4. If you're looking at integrating your dispatch info/staus/mapping, avoid VisionAir Software like the plague. Over a year in use and still doesn't work reliably.
My personal opinions, not that of my Dept.
03-04-2006, 04:32 PM #8
The Data 911 M5 is a standard PC. It uses a Intel P3 processor up to 1GHz (the CPU is sealed so the heat of a faster processor is difficult to remove), up to 1GB of RAM and a standard 2.5" laptop hard drive (I believe 40GB is the current minimum size). It will run any operating system that a PC will run, but we recommend Windows 2000 or XP.
The display brightness is rated at 1200 NITS. A standard laptop is 300 NITS. It is easily read in direct sunlight.
03-06-2006, 11:40 PM #9Originally Posted by SMNFirefighter
03-08-2006, 04:26 PM #10
Each apparatus has at least one computer mounted in front of the officer for dispatch information, maps, overhead pictures. All trucks will soon have a second for computerized patient care reports, and some trucks will have a third for the in cab mounted traffic camera. ALL computers are Panasonic toughbooks. We have had great service from them. Some of these trucks are running 4-5k calls/year on terrible streets.
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