At our monthly business meeting the body had pointed out to the equipment committee that they would like to see us purchase a tic. I would like some input on the different types out there, and how well they are working after being in service for a while. What is the best out there for the money? We are not sold on any particular make or model as of yet, but I would appreciate any input.
Our neighbor has 2 of the same units and also have battery issues, they can't get them to charge and when they do it only last about 5-10mins. I'm not sure of their model number but it is big a black, they got them around 1 1/2ish ago I believe.
We have 2 of the MSA 5200EVO series and I would strongly recommend this camera to anyone.
We use an MSA Evolution 5000. We've used it for everything from, searching for lost people in the woods, to vehicle fires, to hot wiring in electrical boxes, and of coarse structure fires. It has always performed flawlessly for us. The charging unit is mounted between the seats in the engine for easy access, and does'nt take up much space at all. We've had it for four years, and use it atleast a couple hundred times a year. Battery life is good, but could be better. You can use it for about two or so hours on a charge, and then you'll need to put in the spare. The charging unit has a spare battery charging slot, and comes with the spare battery. The camera itself is of medium size compaired to some cameras I've seen. It comes with a retractable lanyard that attaches to your coats snap hook. It's light weight and easy to handle. We like it alot. Hope this helps.
1. Nick is the charging unit located on a vehicle?
2. Does the unit only charge when the shoreline (house power) is plugged in?
If so, each and everytime you start the vehicle and the shoreline unplugs, the unit charger is turning on and off, which in turn creates short battery life memory and also will count toward the total number of times a battery can be charged on it's service life.
I have seen people scratch their heads and say it works 5-10 minutes and will not hold a charge but the thing is still fairly new.
If so, remove the charging unit from the vehicle, use house power only and charge the battery without any interruptions. Change them out when you need to replace the battery due to low life.
You will first need to attempt to condition the battery with a battery conditioner, if the battery still has any life left...
What FETC said is great, I will tell you our story as well.
About a year or so ago we went through the same thing. We had an old Argus camera. One thing I will say is put together a committee and have your vendors bring camera out to you...don't just look at them and see their specs. My department put together a committee of anyone who wanted to be a part of it, we did not say that there were any requirements as to who was allowed to be on it. The chair had the vendors come out and show us their cameras and talked them into leaving them (one at a time) with us to show the department if we liked them. In the end we took our top 4 choices (Bullard T4, Scott Eagle, Fire Warrior (not sure who makes it), and the new Argus) to a local departments burn tower for a true hands on experience. The differences there showed up as they would in the real world.
I can't give an authoritative comparison, only having used a couple of brands, but I will agree with what a few others have said here- don't relax training on traditional searches or traditional ways of looking for hidden fire. The TI is a tool to enhance, not replace those skills. Practice replacing batteries in a blacked out enviroment. Also, it is very useful in other situations- finding lost persons in wooded or brushy areas, after dark. Try looking over a brushy area from an elevated position to find lost persons. We've used it to help the P.D. look for people at night as well.
We have bullard T4 but looking at the new t320 nice but there is a new one out there drager not a bad tic and a lot cheeper then bullard Bullard runs about 12.000 drager is about 8.000 take a look at it on drager.com
Not sure on the brandname or model, sorry, but in southern california we use them and i know it is very useful and is used a lot. Search and Rescue, Confined Space, any structure fire it is brought and used. Functionality wise they serve a great purpose and are simple to use. The one we have lets you change intensity settings so you can see the image clearer in any environment. Greatly recomended hope that was a useful thought.
dont remember name of ours, but they are a great tool to have.. we love ours...when we r showing people how to use them, we take it over into out hall or down in the basement in the dark.. u would be amazed what u seen in our firehall...
We use Bullard T3 & T4, however, I suggest you contact several dealers and try them all out, especially in live fire. Use a burn building or an acquired structure. Pointing it around in the drill hall won't tell you anything we can't tell you.