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Looking for pros and cons on thermal throttle. Is it a feature that is needed on cameras? Does it really assist a FF in his search and reading conditions?

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I think the thermal throttle is a good thing to have if you know what you are looking at. By adjusting the throttle you are trying to get a "better" picture, but you lose contrast while trying to get that picture. This can be very detrimental if you are not aware of your surroundings and just paying attention to the imager.
I think the thermal throttle is best for situations such as overhaul and smells and bells type calls. Consider if the thermal throttle became engaged on accident while in a fire situation. This could lead to confusion and ultimately, compromise safety. If you have a thorough inderstanding of image interpretation, the thermal throttle is not needed.
I know for the Bullard T3max the thermal throttle will not operate if the super red hot feature is operating. This will prevent it from engaging in a fire room. Firefighters have to remember the basics. If it is to hot they need to leave or cool the room. A true understanding of the camera is a must to keep the crew safe.
Nice to have but do we need it??? When buying TIC's why not spend the savings from the Thermal Throttle and use it for something else. How did we get by on checking "bells and smells" before the camera came along? Are we so dependent on gadgets that we've gotten away from the basics? Don't get me wrong I believe that The TIC is the best thing that has come down the road for us in 20 years but we've become so TIC driven that we're getting away from the basics. The fire department is becoming "gadget happy". You see it everywhere...SCBA's with so many bells and whistles that you need a case of batteries just for routine maintenance. RIT Paks with so many tools and attachments that you need a mule just to carry it, never mind trying to search for a down jake with it. Guys carrying so many "gadgets" on their coats and helmets that they look like they're on the Nascar curcuit. So I throw out the question again....Does the TT help you in your search and in reading conditions or will a better understanding of your screen and how to interpret what your are seeing enough?
Need to have? No!
Brother Lasa,

You are right Brother. How many gadgets do we need? A TIC is a tool. Plain and Simple. The more we focus on the TIC the less we focus on sound firefighting tactics. A TIC should be used for a quick scan of the area and then let hang or at least not focusing on it. Use it periodically to monitor conditions then switch back to good techniques for Search and Rescue.

We have one TIC in my city that has the Thermal Throttle. To be honest, I don't even know if any of our troops have been trained on how to use this feature... Anyone else see an issue there???

Be Safe Brothers,

Our TIC's are older and don't have that feature. The few times I have seen it it could have use, but like Sandy says .. how many bells and whistles do you need and it's just another thing to break on the TIC. I would say for the limited use of it, it's not needed.
Hi Sandy, we met at the tow yard last year. I'm very sorry about your loss.

The entire concept of the thermal throttle is that it is the mechanism that is similar to the one that makes your pupil dilate or constrict. In some TIs the t/t is manual; in others it is automatic, such as the 'electronic iris'. All TICs need this engineering so that the sensor plate doesn't overload with thermal energy and fail. Sort of like when you look at the sun, you can put welders' goggles on, or you can squint.
In short, all TICs have it in one fashion or another. It is of great value as the Safe-IR instruction will tell you. The activity of the t/t essentially shifts the TIs gears. When it activates it goes into a low sensitivity to eliminate the big white cloud (white out) of thermal energy so that you make see a better image, and only the 'hottest' stuff regarding the fire. This is why the TI named below by Mike Dovel operates the way it does. This enables us to visualize the present conditions and objects in a clearer fashion.

Be Safe,
My department has decided to add a second Bullard TIC to the TIC line-up, for a total of three cameras. The member that researched the purchase agrees with the majority of the previous posts. TT is nice, when you know how to use it, but truely and added expense.
We should also be aware of the differences in just what the terminology implies. Some of what's been discussed can be misunderstood. What Dave G refers to is a combination of the automatic adjusting in gain and then shifting into the less sensitive range of the sensor when it detects higher energy levels. These inputs are automatic with little operator control. What Sandy refers to is the "Electronic Thermal Throttle" on a particular brand. This option does not actually duplicate it's namesakes function which was a manual IRIS or "gate" which mechanically opened or closed to allow full or lesser amounts of energy into the sensor. It was seen in Raytheon technology used in at least two different manufacturers' TIC's and was reffered to as the Thermal Throttle by the manufacturer. Confused? Or enlightened?

Dean Babineau said:
My department has decided to add a second Bullard TIC to the TIC line-up, for a total of three cameras. The member that researched the purchase agrees with the majority of the previous posts. TT is nice, when you know how to use it, but truely and added expense.


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