1. #1
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    Default Cairns IRIS Helmet mount

    We just got this unit used and so far and practiced with it some. Any advice for us. What are its best and worst points. We are a very small rural fire dept so this even though it's a older unit is a great addition for us. We plan to use it for search and rescue, Rit, ect.

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    Plusses...

    Hands free operation.

    Minusses...

    transferring to another user
    camera can be pointing off at an angle and won't notice
    when it fails, cumbersome to carry around when flipped up out of the way
    "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?

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    How is it as far as operation? Does the image work well under most fire conditions? Also am i correct in saying the while when you look at a person during training they apear light color (grey) but in a fire conditon they would probably be dark on color due to the heat of the fire area and air in the room being higher then body temp?

    P.S. Hello from Arkansas I grew up in Barnegat Light down on Long Beach Island. I have been to the Point many times.

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    I remember years ago, for a while, there was a beer named Barnegat Light. I think they dunked an empty can in the bay, put a top on it, and sold it as "beer".

    Objects show up according to their difference in heat level. In a hot room, a warm body would show up as a darker object. In a normal room temperature setting, a body will show up as a brighter object.

    Also take into account, the object will normally not show if it's being blocked by something, like behind a couch/bed/etc. Glass also has some interesting effects on TIC's.

    If you are like a lot of departments, most of your TIC practice/training will occur in smoke environments and very little heat. And that's Ok, you just need to make sure guys realize the difference in how a body will look in different heat conditions.

    I have seen many guys that can find everything in a non-fire room, but when there is actual heat, they can't find much.

    We have been using propane space heaters to warm a room up more so the body shows as the colder object.

    Also, and most important, don't forget normal sound basic firefighting search tactics...cuz when the battery dies and/or the camera fails, you still need to have some orientation of where you are and how you got there.
    "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?

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    No actually the Barnegat light beer was firtered through the screens of the dregde that tried to deepen the inlet lol

    Yes i have noticed some weird effect with glass. I was at my moms house looking at things in her house and i could see the wook stove in the imager even thought i was looking at the refection in a picture window. Yet if i went outside and looked at a picture window directly infront of the stove as i was looking at it, I could see anything looking like the outline of the stove. But inside i could even see my own reflection in the imager off the picture window. Weird lol

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    Yup. Heat don't show through a window, only the window temp itself.
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    About 10 to 15 years ago when the Cairns IRIS Helmet came out, my department purchased one. We went through extensive training to learn the pros and cons of these devices. Here are a few:

    Pros: (really big pros)
    - hands free
    - they detect heat (within 1/2 degree), and project a signature to a screen

    Cons:
    - the camera is mounted on the side (This makes it difficult for the wearer to actually grab objects. If the wearer wants to grab objects, you should reach with the hand that is on the same side as the camera. Make a "V" shape with your thumb and pointer finger and reach for the object. Ideally, you should direct other team members to perform the work while you stay back as a guide. This can be practiced by entangling a victim, blingfolding a rescuer, and have a person try to talk the rescuer through freeing the victim. You don't even have to wear the helmet to practice this)

    More to follow
    "...there isn't a firefighter in the free world who is forced to join this profession." -John Norman

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    part 2...

    - It will not read heat through water, glass or metal (You must practice, practice, practice to learn its capabilities.)
    - Chiefs (They will want to open up every wall that shows heat. You need to learn the difference between the signature left by radiant heat vs actual fire. Radiant heat appears as a soft glow. Fire (behind walls) appears very sharp and bright.)
    - You must still use good search practices. (I was pretty deep into a fire one time when my imager decided to call it quits. Luckily I had payed attention to my progress and had a few good landmarks. It is easy to get comfortable with what you are seeing and forget about good search technique.)

    Check out the Thermal Imager training evolutions in the "Training" section of Firehouse.com
    "...there isn't a firefighter in the free world who is forced to join this profession." -John Norman

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    Thank you for the great information. especially the part about heated walls and fire behind the walls. We will probably have to build a fake wall and practice showing both. thanks again

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    There are plenty of great firefighters on this site with a tremendous amount of knowledge on TICs. Don't hesitate to ask for help. AND... if there is anything else that I can do for you, please fell free to send me a PM.

    Final words of advice... learn the camera inside and out. Be able to change batteries blind-folded with your fire gloves on. (If I remember correctly, those batteries never seemed to last very long.)
    "...there isn't a firefighter in the free world who is forced to join this profession." -John Norman

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    The CairnsIRIS thermal camera was THE first fire camera in the world that used solid state FPA technology. ½ degree sensitivity, ferroelectric – and has a chopper wheel with lots of Germanium in it. Read – expensive to maintain – very.

    The fellow that designed the CairnsIRIS is a Scottish guy named Iain Matthews, who worked for British defense contractor GEC Marconi – who also made the sensor that went into the IRIS camera. 100X100 PbZr (lead zirconite). No one uses that material anymore. Today, alpha-silicon or vanadium oxide is used. The Cairns guy who envisioned bringing thermal imaging to market, and hooked-up Cairns with Marconi, was Chris Coombs.

    Iain Matthews then worked for us (in our UK plant) for a number of years after leaving Marconi. He left ISG and now works for a very small company that makes surveillance cameras called SSI out of the UK. He owns part of that company.

    Chris Coombs spun off the SCBA division of (what was then) Cairns and Brother (now owned by MSA). Remember the Cairns Pioneer airpak? Not the most stellar performer but was ahead of its time in the late 1980s in electronics. Actually the first with a mask mounted LED air pressure gauge. Today, the company and the airpak is gone as far as I know. Today, Chris is still working around the periphery of thermal imaging but I am not too sure where.

    Here is some trivia – who of you guys have EVER worn a Cairns airpak? I’ll be surprised if anyone responds to this question. It had flow of 360 lpm – barely NFPA compliant. In contrast, Scott 50 blows around 600 LPM into the mask. That’s one big reason very few bought Cairns.

    Cairns does not support the IRIS camera and will not repair it anymore. However, at ISG, we have some customers who still have some of the old IRIS cameras – and we have managed to fix them in the past as a courtesy to our customers – even if we didn’t make them. One caveat, if we can’t repair the old parts, you are S*** out of luck because we can’t get any replacement parts anywhere on the planet! We will try to fix the old parts however.

    If you have problems with the IRIS, call us, we MIGHT be able to help, with a little luck from the gods.

    David A. Little
    Chief Executive Officer
    ISG Thermal Systems USA, Inc.
    Atlanta, GA
    (877) 733-3473

    PS: ISG makes thermal imagers, in case you didn't know.

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    who of you guys have EVER worn a Cairns airpak?
    Only in evaluations at live fire drills. Didn't like the mask at all.
    "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?

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    If you got your Cairns Iris helmet for free then it's worth every cent you paid for it.

    If you paid more, not so much...

    It's better than nothing but only marginally, IMHO.

    Just remember the cardinal rule of using a thermal imaging camera: Never get yourself into a spot with one that you can't get out of without it.
    Last edited by DeputyMarshal; 03-05-2007 at 05:32 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by volfireman034 View Post
    Also am i correct in saying the while when you look at a person during training they apear light color (grey) but in a fire conditon they would probably be dark on color due to the heat of the fire area and air in the room being higher then body temp?
    If you want tips on training with and using a thermal imager, visit the Technology section of Firehouse.com. There are also monthly TI articles in Firehouse magazine.
    My comments are sometimes educated, sometimes informed and sometimes just blowing smoke...but they are always mine and mine alone and do not reflect upon anyone else (especially my employer).

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    Thanks for the "Trip Down Memory Lane" David!

    Glad to hear that you are trying to help out with keeping the IRIS in service.

    We also donated our IRIS to a Volunteer Dept when we went to Hand Held Units. I think they used them for a year or two and scrapped them due to operational issues.

    If anyone needs help on training with the IRIS, you may want to check with SAFE-IR (www.safe-ir.com). They partially came into existence because they were hired by Cairns to provide training to Depts who purchased an IRIS. I would say that you would have a hard time finding someone who has their background and experience when it comes to using the IRIS.

    While a lot of "Thermal Imaging Training Basics" would apply to the IRIS, it also has some unique and quirky issues that must be addressed. The biggest one is probably the issues related to depth perception and spatial reality.

    Good Luck and Stay Safe!
    Last edited by torichardson; 03-06-2007 at 01:39 PM.
    Mike Richardson
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    The information and views above are in no way associated with my employer, and are strictly my own.

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    Default get training!

    You need to get training on this equipment to use it properly. When Cairns sold thermal imagers, they would give training on it for free. The guys who did it were Safe IR. I think they are still in business. YOU SHOULD NOT FORGET BASIC FIREFIGHTING SKILLS! Electronic equipment can fail, so make sure you know where you are in a room / building and how to get out without the thermal imager.

    Stay safe.

    Quote Originally Posted by volfireman034 View Post
    We just got this unit used and so far and practiced with it some. Any advice for us. What are its best and worst points. We are a very small rural fire dept so this even though it's a older unit is a great addition for us. We plan to use it for search and rescue, Rit, ect.

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    Hi Mike, good to see you on this board again. So, Mike, have you ever worn a Cairns airpak?

    Here is more “blast from the past” from the old timer:

    Mike Richardson (torichardson) was the first in-house TIC trainer at Bullard back in the day of the original Bullard TI thermal camera (big red non-digital one). This camera was released at FDIC of 1998 if I recall correctly. Mike used to go by the name “TIMan” although I think someone else is claiming it now – I have no idea whom, where he is, or what his credentials are. Back in those days, we had a number of manufacturers posting on this site, many with technical bull**** debates that were completely irrelevant to firefighters and the application of infrared to the fire environment. Sort of like thermal imaging experts beating their chests trying to outdo everyone else. Most of those folks are gone – as are the cameras they represented. Today, the latest independent market research reports indicate a very different landscape. 8 out of every 10 cameras purchased today are either Bullard, MSA or ISG. The remaining odd ones here and there are from other manufacturers. There has been further consolidation and the top three grow at the expense of the others.

    Back to Mike – he left Bullard eventually and went back to into fire services where I believe his heart really lies. It is tough for a fire services professional to jump the wall and work for a manufacturer – it is a different environment and many long for the job they once had at the department.

    Mike - Didn’t you join Safe-IR?

    Safe-IR is the largest independent training organization specializing in thermal imaging. It is run by Bobby Knabbe and Bobby Athanas – FDNY FFs. They have the most qualified trainers of any TIC training establishment. Very much in demand, so if you need training, you’ll likely need to schedule well in advance.

    Back in the day (when cameras were $25000 each) CairnsIRIS included Safe-IR training with every camera purchased. But today, with cameras at $10,000 and less, manufacturers would go broke if they did this.

    The IRIS really was different. As Mike said, it has issues with perception as a result of an offset sensor engine to the eye-line of the user. You really had to be trained and used to the nuances of this camera system. The camera is attached to the helmet – so, it’s THERE like it or not. Can’t drop it and bail, can’t get rid of it, can’t share, etc. etc. One of the reasons why virtually all departments end-up buying hand-held cameras. However, it is definitely better than nothing.

    Here are a number of other trivia questions – and Mike – don’t answer these unless no one else has come up with the right answer.




    1. What was the world’s first firefighting camera?
    2. What was the world’s first small form factor 160X120 camera?
    3. What camera was first to use BST technology?
    4. What was the first camera to use VOx technology?
    5. The first camera to employ wireless transmitters?
    6. What was the heaviest camera ever made for fire?
    7. There was a camera that was marketed at FDIC 2000 that used a sawed-off Makita tool handle bolted to an unprotected Raytheon S300 camera core. What was that camera? Hint, no one ever bought one.

    I really should be working – not posting useless trivia questions on firehouse.com
    So, I’ll see y’all later.

    David
    ISG
    Atlanta GA

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    OK, no one wants to take a stab at this so here are the answers.

    1. What was the world’s first firefighting camera?
    The EEV P4420, the predecessor to the P4428 NFTI. 1982. Made in England.

    2. What was the world’s first small form factor 160X120 camera?
    The original blue Bullard T3.

    3. What camera was first to use BST technology?
    The ISI Vision2 (manufactured by ISG for ISI)

    4. What was the first camera to use VOx technology?
    SafetySCAN. I don't think anyone bought one.

    5. The first camera to employ wireless transmitters?
    Original made in England version of the ISG Talisman using PEV tube technology. In 1995, it had an optional custom designed digital spread spectrum secured transmitter. If you can even believe that! Problem was, back in those days, the transmitter was so complicated it cost more than the camera!

    6. What was the heaviest camera ever made for fire?
    ICC FireOPTIC. Used to be distributed via private label by Draeger. It was basically an all aluminum box and was about 8 pounds, if I recall the weight correctly. Not many were sold.

    7. There was a camera that was marketed at FDIC 2000 that used a sawed-off Makita tool handle bolted to an unprotected Raytheon S300 camera core. What was that camera? Hint, no one ever bought one.

    Zybron (I think they were from China).



    David

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    Hey David,

    Sorry for the slow reply, too much going on as usual.

    We had better be careful with this "memory lane stuff" or people might figure out that we would have to be in at least our "30s" to know all of this stuff!

    If anybody wants a good laugh, you can go back and look at some of the original posts which were made in this forum starting back in 1999. As David pointed out, there used to be some pretty good exchanges made, and unfortunately I was in the middle of a lot of them. Rereading 8 years of "TI History" really makes you appreciate where we have come from and where we have gotten to. While we have obviously made some significant progress, IMHO we still have a long way to go whether it is pushing the technology development or supporting training programs. I wish we could make some larger steps in progress, but I guess walking is better than crawling, and some day we may actually get things up and running.

    In regards to your comments,
    Yes I am back on the job. The time spent at Bullard was priceless, but as you pointed out I am not cut out to work for the “Corporate World”. Yes, I am also very fortunate to be currently working for SAFE-IR. With their help, I have been able to get my Thermal Imaging & Haz Mat Program (that I did at FDIC over the last couple of years) up and running, and it is now available for any Dept/Agency through SAFE-IR. Of course we are still doing the classes/training at the major conferences to include Firehouse Expo and FDIC. We will actually be doing a HOT Class and Classroom Session at the upcoming FDIC Show in April at Indianapolis.

    Unfortunately due to my current responsibilities as Dept Training Officer (and life in general), I am not able to devote as much time as I would like to Thermal Imaging. I wish I could spend the time like I used to, but I guess some time is better than no time.

    In regards to the Trivia,
    I never wore a Cairns SCBA, but I did wear a Sabre SCBA. Any ideas on that one?

    Who was the first Dept / Agency to use a TI in firefighting in the US?

    What “Cooled System TI” was first used by US Fire Service Personnel?

    How many different TI Models have been offered in the US to Fire Service Personnel?


    Thanks again, sorry for taking this topic a bit off course.

    Best of Luck, Stay Safe!
    Mike Richardson
    Captain, Training Officer
    St Matthews FD, Louisville KY
    "aka TIman"
    richardson@stmatthewsfd.com

    TI Training = www.safe-ir.com

    The information and views above are in no way associated with my employer, and are strictly my own.

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    Ok, here goes.

    Sabre SCBA. Mike, depending on which model, it was likely to be a really good pack. The Sabre Centurion (designed in England) was assembled and marketed by ISI here in the states under the name ISI Magnum and Magnum Plus. It was a great SCBA in its time. The second stage regulator only had TWO moving parts; the first stage reducer had one moving part – the piston. As such is was the cheapest and easiest pack to maintain. If you look at its performance on an NFPA breathing machine, the response curves of the regulator were very smooth – meaning it responded to you “demand” for air very very quickly and positively. It blew about 600 lpm/mv peak into the mask – which was unheard of in the early 1990s. (today virtually all major packs perform at that level.) How the hell does a thermal camera guy know all this about an SCBA? Don’t even ask. I will be forced to reveal more that will suggest my true age.

    Mike, if you are talking about the Sabre Contour SCBA, the one that I believe was the one in production at the time of the Bullard/Sabre JV, I believe the Contour had the same pneumatics as the older Magnum but had a dual curvature mask and updates to the backframe and electronics. It was never marketed in the US.

    FYI if I recall correctly, Sabre was eventually bought by Tyco (owners of Scott) and Tyco is rebranding Sabre as Scott in some international markets such as Australia. Sabre used to be the UK’s number one SCBA but has since lost a tremendous about of ground to Draeger Germany. In the UK, what London does, the country looks up to. Kinda like what some of us do here in the states with FDNY or Phoenix. London ran with Sabre for the longest time. (London also runs with ISG thermal cameras – we are very thankful for such an influential account.)

    Mike, you never said I could not respond to the trivia so here goes:

    1. Who was the first Dept / Agency to use a TI in firefighting in the US?

    FDNY – followed by Overland Park Kansas? Is that right Mike?

    2. What “Cooled System TI” was first used by US Fire Service Personnel?
    Cooled? No idea.

    3. How many different TI Models have been offered in the US to Fire Service Personnel?

    Good God!

    Bullard TI
    Bullard TIx
    Bullard MX
    Bullard T3
    Bulalrd T3 Max and LT
    Bullard T4

    MSA 3000
    MSA 4000
    MSA 4100
    MSA 5000
    MSA 5200
    MSA 5200HD

    e2v Argus
    e2v Argus 2
    e2v Argus 3
    e2v Argus 4
    e2v P4428

    ISG K90 Talisman
    ISG K90 Talisman XL
    ISG K80
    ISG K80 lite
    ISG Elite Lite
    ISG K1000 Elite

    ISI Vision
    ISI Vision2
    ISI Vision3
    ISI 2500
    ISI 3500
    ISI Navigator
    ISI Surveyor

    Scott Eagle
    Scott Eagle 2 (carpet stretcher)
    Scott Eagle 160
    Scott Eagle X

    FireFLIR
    CairnsIRIS
    Cairns Viper
    Morning Pride (Sage) – whatever that thing is called.

    FireOPTIC
    SafetySCAN
    Zybron (this one really does not qualify)

    Fire research Lifesight series

    Is it 43 cameras in total?

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    Quote Originally Posted by dalittle View Post
    Ok, here goes.

    Mike, if you are talking about the Sabre Contour SCBA, the one that I believe was the one in production at the time of the Bullard/Sabre JV, I believe the Contour had the same pneumatics as the older Magnum but had a dual curvature mask and updates to the backframe and electronics. It was never marketed in the US.

    That would be the one, nice SCBA to bad that it never made it into US distribution.


    Mike, you never said I could not respond to the trivia so here goes:

    1. Who was the first Dept / Agency to use a TI in firefighting in the US?
    FDNY – followed by Overland Park Kansas? Is that right Mike?

    That one I believe is disputed. FDNY would have to be in there, from there you might also have to include:
    - US Forest Service
    - Depts that Larry Stevens worked with
    - Depts that David Kearney / Raytheon worked with

    Those all go back into the 70's and 80's, well before the mid 90's boom. Funny that the "Amereica Burning Study" published in 1973 talked about Thermal Imaging.


    2. What “Cooled System TI” was first used by US Fire Service Personnel?
    Cooled? No idea.

    To the best of my knowledge it was the Hughes "Probeye"

    I almost fell over when I found out there are actually two up for sale on ebay right now.
    http://cgi.ebay.com/PROBEYE-IFNRARED...QQcmdZViewItem

    There is also an original Argus TI up for sale
    http://cgi.ebay.com/Thermal-Imaging-...QQcmdZViewItem


    3. How many different TI Models have been offered in the US to Fire Service Personnel?

    Good God!
    Is it 43 cameras in total?

    The number I came up with was 45 (you got the majority, there are a few more name/model variations), can you believe there has been that many TIs made!

    Thanks for the exchange David, see you at FDIC in a couple of weeks!
    I hope everyone who is using a TI can appreciate where we have come from. Hopefully we can continue the progress.

    Thanks again!
    Last edited by torichardson; 03-22-2007 at 09:09 AM.
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    Captain, Training Officer
    St Matthews FD, Louisville KY
    "aka TIman"
    richardson@stmatthewsfd.com

    TI Training = www.safe-ir.com

    The information and views above are in no way associated with my employer, and are strictly my own.

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    My engine still has the last of our original Argus 1 cameras, just like the one on eBay. We have 1 Argus 2-looks the same but different display/optics- and 3 of the new Argus right angle style cameras. The dept didn't bother to look around after the first on died, they just kept buying ones with the same name.

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    Default Problems with CairnsIRIS thermal camera and helmet.

    I am currently with Australian Bush Fire Brigade and have had donated a CairnsIRIS thermal camera and helmet.

    However the unit displays a very static image.
    High heat objects are barely visible.
    The display is very unclear.

    Is this a problem with the image sensor?
    Has it been overexposed (burnt in)?
    What would the cost of a replacement sensor be?

    Your prompt reply and advise would be appreciated

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    It could be a sensor problem, or it could just be the limits of quality of that paticular sensor, or a host of electronic gadgets in between. ISG (www.isgfire.com) has offered in the past to estimate repairs on older units, even those not made by them, but if this is a sensor issue, I think this might be beyond their resources. Dave L. can answer more if he reads this in time.

    Frankly, with the costs of thermal imagers dropping to the USD 6500-8500 range, you'd probably be better off buying a new, inexpensive imager rather than spending a small fortunate repairing your antique.
    __________________
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    Default eev p4428

    i am looking for manuals and shematics for the eev p4428 thermal camera that was used in firefighting. any information would be helpful. thank you

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