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General Chat Thread, Fire department breathing aparatus in General; Dearest edugeeks, I could really use your wonderful minds to conceive a system/method to track the usage data/whereabouts for the ...
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    DT2
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    Fire department breathing aparatus

    Dearest edugeeks,
    I could really use your wonderful minds to conceive a system/method to track the usage data/whereabouts for the above mentioned equipment.
    Each breathing tank requires refilling every 90 days whether used or not. There are 60 tanks in total for the whole department. Due to the voluntary nature of FD's over here the cost needs to be as near to $0 as possible.
    My suggestion was to track using the test serials (each tank has to be hydro tested every x amount of years) and logged once filled/used. This is all well and good, but the tanks are distributed throughout the department vehicles/trucks and as long as 60 are accounted for then the books balance. So half the time no one person knows when each tank was last refreshed or on which truck it resides.
    I'm thinking along the lines of proper tank serialisation, monitoring and accounting; after each "incident" recording the tanks used, as well as their fill date and truck assignment. Now I'd like to assign tank serials to specific people for purposes of responsibility/accountability but not every member is guaranteed to attend every incident, so some kind of tank rotation between the trucks (as some used more than others) might be favourable.
    I have some ideas, but I want yours too.....
    Please help

    Much appreciated.

    Darren
    Last edited by DT2; 14th November 2012 at 03:16 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DT2 View Post
    My suggestion was to track using the test serials
    How - in an automated fashion, with a barcode scanner? Every time you refill a tank at (I assume) the refill station you run the barcode scanner over the serial number, log it on a database, then have a portable system for doing the same at each truck as you load the tanks on. This needn't be expensive - USB barcode scanners are cheap ($50?) off eBay and should run off a laptop / tablet well enough (not a iPad, mind - no USB port). If a barcode might not be hard-wearing enough, you could try a near-field RFID chip - MyFare or similar. Readers are also dead cheap off eBay and are seen by the computer as USB keyboards, so easy to code for.

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    DT2
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    No, just using pen and paper, then writing back to a spreadsheet. I think anything that will need to be attached to the tanks will have to be heat resistant, as they are exposed to some quite high temperatures at times. I like the idea of an RFID chip, but again it's the whole heat issue raising concerns.

    DT

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    RFID is just some passive electronics and a big coil of wire, should be good to at least a couple of hundred degrees centigrade UHF RFID Heat Resistant Near Field Tag , 260-300 for 15 min, if the tank is in that for 15min you are not going to need to refill it,

    I'd go the RFID route as it is proximity based, long range ones and a scanner by the filler.

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