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    Default question on thermal imaging cameras

    I am writing my senior thesis paper on thermal imaging cameras and I was wondering what TIC's are the best on the market. I have been looking for product reviews on TIC's but I haven't been able to come up with anything.
    Thanks
    Nick

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    Quote Originally Posted by lssufsstudent View Post
    I am writing my senior thesis paper on thermal imaging cameras and I was wondering what TIC's are the best on the market. I have been looking for product reviews on TIC's but I haven't been able to come up with anything.
    Thanks
    Nick
    You can do some quick searches here and find a lot of discussion about various makes and models of Thermal Imagers. Bullard, MSA, Scott are familiar brand names that pop into my mind. I know there are others.

    I wanted to address your question about product reviews. I am postulating a theory here, so other people may have different ideas. For the most part, thermal imagers are targetted and purchased by the military, fire departments, and law enforcement agencies. They are not consumer type products by any stretch of the imagination.

    Government agencies are usually required by law to use some sort of bidding or competition process to purchase items as expensive as thermal imagers. Product reviews would have little to no impact on this process. Targetted advertising materials from manufacturers, may get them an invite to the competition, but won't win the bid if their unit doesn't perform.

    Product Reviews, in general, are targetted at consumers who might possibly be gathering information for making their own purchasing decisions. Consumer Reports is an example of a company that writes product reviews like these.

    There are other product reviews out there written for enthusiasts or hobbyists. These folks will never purchase the item being reviewed, but they like reading about them. Examples of these kind of reviews are a review of an F-16 or an M-1A3 Tank. Their major purpose is to provide good press for the government or company that makes the product.

    Thermal Imagers are neat. They are a valuable tool and can be fun to play with. Fire Departments do press releases about how wonderful they are whenever they buy one. But these aren't product reviews.

    One other thing to remember, usually fire fighters will only have a lot of experiance with the brand and model of TIC that their department owns. They may have a passing familiarity with others because a nearby department owns it, they saw it at a tradeshow, or they were in another department that used one.

    In summary, I don't believe you will ever find a classic head to head type product review of different thermal imagers. The best you will be able to do is get opinions from various firefighters and read the marketing material from some of the manufacturers.

    I like the Bullard cameras. They do everything I want a Thermal imager to do. It's also a familiarity thing. We have a Bullard. The departments I mutual aid with have Bullards. I don't have experiance with other brands. But I am sure some of them are very good and some of them aren't.

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    for one of the sections in my paper I wanted to list a few TIC's and give some of the features that they have and give a quick overview of a few models. I want to use this section to inform anyone that reads my thesis about a few different makes and models and what they are capable of. the fire department that I did my internship with uses the msa and I just need a few more to write about.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lssufsstudent View Post
    for one of the sections in my paper I wanted to list a few TIC's and give some of the features that they have and give a quick overview of a few models. I want to use this section to inform anyone that reads my thesis about a few different makes and models and what they are capable of. the fire department that I did my internship with uses the msa and I just need a few more to write about.
    For info on the imagers, go to the manufacturers' websites:
    www.bullard.com
    www.isgfire.com
    www.msafire.com

    Those are the big three. You can also research Scott, ISI, Argus (by e2v) and Morning Pride.
    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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    If you go to the Thermal Imaging Forum, and go back and search earlier posts, you should find enough info to write a book:

    http://forums.firehouse.com/forumdisplay.php?f=332

    It will take some work and time to sort through it, but there is a lot of good info there.


    If you want some "unbiased" info on Thermal Imagers you can also check out SAFE-IR:

    http://www.safe-ir.com

    Good luck!
    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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    The boys from Safe-IR put on an excellent TIC class. I went through one a couple years ago and it was tought by a FF from Boston Mass. (Im almost positive it is the guy on the right in the pic on their homepage) If you ever get the oppertunity to take one of their classes, I highly recommend it

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    Texas A&M Extension (TEEX) runs or did until this year a product testing labratory for all types of Equipment used in the US&R world. I don't know if they ever tested TIC's, but it is worth looking into. It was consumerreports for emergency response equipment.

    There is a podcast called TIC Talk on itunes, I think it is four episodes, about six hours. It is the best overview of the available technology, the history of the technology in the fire service, discussion on different sensing modes, and a look towards future products that I have ever heard. It does lean towards one manufacturer, but back-ground is back-ground.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Geinandputitout View Post
    It does lean towards one manufacturer, but back-ground is back-ground.
    That's because it is produced by MSA and the narrator, at least on the first one, is the product manager for MSA TIs.
    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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