TrioVision Pole Camera

Within Reach: Pole Camera Differences and Applications

If you’re just getting into underground asset CCTV inspection, or are simply looking to broaden your services with some new equipment investment, you may be finding the range and type of pole cameras somewhat confusing. Don’t worry, you’re not alone. That’s why this post is something of a pole camera primer.

What’s The Difference?

Mainline and lateral cameras are carried on tractors or crawlers, and used primarily for horizontal applications, viewing down long stretches of pipe that run from manhole to manhole. They are launched from access points that allow man entry to set up and operate the equipment.

Types of Pole Cameras

Pole cameras, on the other hand, are lowered from the top of a manhole on a handheld pole. There are two types: manhole and zoom cameras.

The manhole camera doesn’t require a long depth of field, since its job is confined primarily to televising the vertical stack of the manhole. It examines the walls for defects such as loose or missing bricks and mortar, cracks, evidence of water infiltration, and overall construction quality. Its main attributes are

  • excellent close-up optics
  • clear, variable lighting
  • and light weight.

These cameras can also perform well in any enclosed environment, such as industrial plant stacks, chimneys and smaller tanks and vessels.

The zoom camera is also lowered down the vertical stack, but it rests on the bottom of the pipe and is used to look down the pipe horizontally. It’s a great tool for areas that won’t accommodate access for an inspection truck with a crawler. It’s good for a quick look around to identify blockages or a collapse, in preparation for a full crawler assessment, because it can’t see the condition or location of laterals.

Zoom cameras aren’t intended as a replacement for full assessments, but they’re good at justifying the costs of creating access for a full inspection by identifying whether or not one is needed.

Important Pole Camera Features

The important features of zoom cameras include:

  • excellent analog and digital zoom quality
  • flexibility and quality of the lighting (including the ability to intensify the light a focus as needed)
  • light weight
  • quick setup time
  • wi-fi and battery operation, which provide operator flexibility in tight spots.
  • An attractive option is a laser, to act as a distance measure while in the pipe.

Both types of cameras have the advantage of quick setup and the ability to do a fast inspection, which saves time and cost on any job. Good ones should mesh seamlessly with coding and reporting software. Powered tilt makes either one more versatile, and therefore more useful.

Retrofit Inspection System 2

Retrofit vs. New Inspection Truck: Is It The Solution For You?

Retrofit Inspection System 1

So your dedicated pipeline CCTV inspection vehicle is aging out, or maybe just showing signs of wear and tear. Worse yet, your inspection equipment and recording system have seen better days. Maybe your system is so old, it doesn’t even allow for PACP coding, or perhaps it no longer plays nice with your upgraded computer system. Or worse yet, it doesn’t allow you to use mobile input devices.

Whatever the reason, you’ve begun thinking seriously about upgrading your inspection outfit. Now the question is: New or retrofit? There are several considerations you need to make.

New or Retrofit Inspection Truck?

The ideal client for an inspection vehicle retrofit is the contractor or municipality who needs serious value for a large cost savings.

Retrofit Equipment 2The disqualifier would be if your vehicle is really old, has very high miles, or is exhibiting excessive maintenance requirements. Is your vehicle okay, but your generator is on its way out? That can also be a disqualifier, because replacing it might well wipe out any cost savings of a retrofit. Once your truck or van reaches that point, putting new equipment into it is like putting the proverbial new wine in old skins.

Cost vs. Benefits

If you’re in the group whose vehicles are still basically sound but whose inspection system is sorely in need of an upgrade, there are serious benefits to be gleaned from opting for a retrofit.

For example, you save the capital expenditure, since you already own the vehicle. A new vehicle plus conversion and installation will run you in the area of $180,000, while a retrofit will cost around $80,000. You can do a lot with that $100K savings.

Retrofit Inspection System 2Not to mention that you won’t have to get used to a whole new vehicle. You already know how yours works and have a comfort level with its operation, which means not a lot of ramp-up time in learning your new system and getting into a highly productive groove.

Saving Time, Too

Another prime consideration is how soon you need the new system to be online. A total new build-out takes 2-3 months, by the time the vendor gets the vehicle into production, while a retrofit usually takes 2-3 days, tops.

Retrofit Equipment 1Of course, there is the consideration of warranty. Our Cobra equipment is warranted for a year, but in a retrofit situation, chances are your vehicle and generator warrantees are long gone.

One thing to keep in mind in the long run: Taking good care of your vehicles and their maintenance up to date is the primary determinant of whether they will ever qualify as retrofittable trucks.

In summary, when deciding on going for a retrofit, take into account
• the age of your vehicle
• how much maintenance you have to do on it, and
• how much money you’ve sunk into it already.

If maintenance is too high on your existing vehicle, it’s probably not worth retrofitting. But if you’ve kept up with required maintenance and it’s still in serviceable condition, a retrofit may be exactly the right solution for you.

AssetDMS screen

AssetDMS – Robust, versatile pipe inspection reporting and coding software

In our wrap-up of show season, we didn’t mention having exhibited our new AssetDMS CCTV asset inspection recording and reporting software. We were saving it for this post, because it’s rich and special enough to deserve its own space.

AssetDMS screen

Our AssetDMS team members, Leti and Hildemar, stayed busy in our booth, demonstrating this robust software for contractors and municipal representatives who are looking for a more versatile package that offers both:

  • NASSCO-certified PACP/LACP/MACP coding without the need to remember all codes and rules (though it does offer PACP reference photos for codes), and
  • the ability to import and export from ANY certified PACP/LACP/MACP database.

AssetDMS Features

They walked our visitors through a full demonstration of AssetDMS screens and controls. They explained that we developed the data collection process specifically to enable users in the field to collect data without having to manage multiple screens and complex database software programs. A touchscreen interface, like those of today’s smartphones and other modern electronics, makes the use of AssetDMS more second nature than work.

You could see the pleasure and, yes, even relief on the faces of these visitors, as they watched how easily they could manipulate AssetDMS, using its intuitive design and self-guiding prompts in a streamlined, simplified process that ensures critical information is always captured.

Designed To Perform

This unique CCTV pipeline inspection process is faster, easier and more productive than anything users have previously experienced. AssetDMS achieves this through several forward-looking features, based on recommendations from NASSCO for optimal performance:

  • AssetDMS userComplete on-screen/context-sensitive help file
  • Drop-down menus and intuitive prompts provide quick access to common PACP Standard reference points,
    such as:

    • Defects
    • Pipe materials
    • Survey purpose
    • Locations
    • Pipe usage, etc.
  • Extensive reporting and easy-to-understand analysis tools
  • Data exported from a PACP database or ArcGIS® software can pre-populate work orders and inspection header information, based on historical data.

There’s so much more to learn about its capabilities and features. If you’re interested, call or click today for more information. For free demonstration of our AssetDMS soft­ware suite, call toll-free 800.443.3761 or email.

WWETT show booth, day one

Show Seasons: Thanks for a great February!

February is always a busy month here at TrioVision/Cobra Technologies, and this year was no exception. It’s big show season, and we took ours on the road to Perry, Georgia for the APW Show, and to Indianapolis for the WWETT Show.

It’s always so great to see our current customers face to face, and to meet and make new ones. Technology is great (it’s our business!) but there’s nothing like being able to put a face with a name, and to really get a sense of our clients the way it’s only possible in person.

The Big Shows

At both big shows, we had the distinct pleasure and pride of being able to showcase a few of our customers’ custom inspection vehicles, in which we had installed various of our systems, software and pieces of equipment.

Randy AskeaWe wish to thank Randy Askea of Continental Pipe Services in Atlanta, for allowing us to use the Cobra Technologies mobile CCTV inspection van we created for them at the GPWA show.

We were really proud to display our TrioVision TVT 150 Pipe Inspection System at both shows. This robust, Windows-based system performs complete CCTV pipe inspections, recording pipeline defects and synchronously transmitting video to the control unit. Our daylight-readable touch-screen monitor, along with our portable control unit, processes and saves videos in the field. Show attendees were pretty impressed, too.

TrioVision Xplorer FreeHD Pole Camera SystemWe also showcased our new Xplorer FreeHD Pole Camera System, a wireless high definition (Full HD 1920×1080) lightweight, portable video inspection system operable by one person. The system is capable of capturing stunning 1080P video and photos that your clients will appreciate and your community deserves. The control unit is based on user preference, and can be an off-the-shelf Windows® 10 Professional tablet PC, convertible laptop or standard laptop.

Cobra inspection truck and equipmentWe had a blast demonstrating our new Cobra C-801 belt drive mainline crawler and the C510 steerable storm crawler, as well as our muscular new King Cobra steerable transporter, with tracks or wheels on demand, automatic freewheel and automatic drive engagement, variable speed and versatile remote/manual elevator. It looks as cool as it sounds.

King Cobra Crawler

We gave away FREE NASSCO-certified PACP Software at the WWETT Show, just for stopping to visit us in our booth—just another way we always try to go above and beyond expectations.

All in all, it was a memorable show season, in which we proved our commitment to helping take the industry to the next level. As always, though, we couldn’t do it without you, and we really appreciate everyone who supports us as we support you.

AssetDMS – Setting A Higher Bar

AssetDMS screen

One of the products we’re most proud to introduce to the market is the latest version of AssetDMS, our highly engineered CCTV asset inspection recording and reporting software.

Employing an operator-friendly, intuitive touchscreen interface, AssetDMS condition assessment software makes data collection and analysis more second nature than work. Collection of data is highly streamlined, simplified and accurate with the use of built-in user prompts, so critical information is always captured.

Robust and Versatile

It’s all in the touch… AssetDMS is compatible with a wide range of manufacturer’s CCTV systems

  • Import/Export from ANY certified PACP/LACP/MACP database
  • No need to remember all PACP codes and rules
  • PACP reference photos for codes
  • Extensive reporting and easy to understand analysis tools

Learn More

Call or click today for more information, or a free demonstration of the AssetDMS software suite, or any of our full range of CCTV inspection technology. Call Toll-free 800.443.3761 or email.

Show Season: See You In Indy!

Our WWETT Show booth

Stop by and see us in Booth #6048 to see exciting new products and get show special pricing!

Having just come off our exhibit at the Underground Construction Technology Show in Ft. Worth, we now head to Indianapolis for the granddaddy of trade shows in our industry, The WWETT Show.

WWETT – The Show of Shows

If you’ve been there before, you’ll know it’s the largest annual U.S. trade show for the wastewater management industry. We know we’ll see many of you before the actual show floor opens, attending the many sessions during Education Day.

With so many offerings to choose from, including everything from safety and how-to, to business management and best practices, we know you’ll be stuffing your brains with the most up-to-date information concerning our industry.

Then, we look forward to you taking all that knowledge onto the show floor to help you choose the best new products to help you do your job faster, more easily, efficiently and effectively. That’s where we come in!

We’re really looking forward to having you stop by and visit us in Booth #6048, where we’ll be displaying and demonstrating several exciting new products this year!

Keep your eyes open for:

We’ll also be featuring the latest version of our feature-packed AssetDMS inspection recording and reporting software. You’ll want to see its new features, and especially the special show price we’ll be offering on this state-of-the-art technology.

See you in Indy!

WWETT Show 2018

For the first time, all three of our product lines will be showcased together. These include: