ZistosHD Battery Technology Evolution

Portable Video Systems rely on batteries for power and are an integral part of any system design. Batteries are also a frequent cause for system failure, unreliable field performance, and cause for end-user complaint. The most common battery problems and complaints include;

  • Not having enough power to last for an entire operation
  • Recharge time for a battery can be excessive
  • It is difficult to tell if a battery is properly charged
  • It is difficult to know what the remaining charge that is left on a battery after partial use
  • One-time use batteries are expensive and inconvenient to constantly purchase and properly dispose of

The new ZistosHD systems are designed to address these issues of battery power. The new ZistosHD batteries (BAT-15XL) are lithium-ion, rechargeable batteries that have significant advantages over many of the batteries that are supplied with other battery powered systems.

These BAT-15XL batteries have a significant period of time they can power our ZistosHD system. They provide power for 6 – 12 hours of continuous operation. The exact time depends on the camera in-use and the user-controlled illumination levels. They also have a quick recharge time of 3 and a half hours if fully depleted. Our batteries can be charged using our system battery charger, that itself can be powered using standard AC power, or using a vehicle power source. All ZistosHD systems come standard with two BAT-15XL batteries. This allows for one battery to be charged to full capacity while the other battery is in use.

Another one of the big issues for battery life in portable video systems is knowing how much battery life is left on any given battery, at any given time. The BAT-15XL battery solves this problem by providing a power/charge meter on the base of the battery. This battery meter has an LCD screen that displays 5 segments that represent the battery life remaining on the battery. This window is visible whether the system is on or off, and is visible even if the battery isn’t connected to the system at all. An operator can tell how much power is left on the battery at a glance. This is especially important in those instances when a system is deployed that was previously used on a recent job and the batteries may not have been recharged.

The BAT-15XL batteries help keep ZistosHD systems powered and operating without having to worry about constantly maintaining a supply of disposable batteries, such as the CR123s. There is also no need to constantly deal with the nuisance of proper disposal of one-time use batteries.   All in all, our new ZistosHD Systems have been engineered to remove the inconvenience and problems associated with many of the other battery-powered video systems that are on the market. They help ensure that the ZistosHD system remains operational in times of crisis, when reliable system performance is essential.

Thermal Imagers: ZistosHD Dual Mode Thermal Camera vs Thermal Fusion Technology

Thermal cameras have come a long way since 1929 when the first infrared-sensitive camera was invented.  This new technology was initially considered exotic and it was expensive. In the last few years, the cost of thermal imaging technology has come down significantly, although thermal imagers with reasonable image resolution can still be pricey. Thermal fusion cameras, that utilize very low-resolution thermal sensors (80×60), which are enhanced by blending in a standard video signal, can be very inexpensive when compared to medium to high resolution thermal imagers. In certain applications the performance and suitability of images that utilizing thermal fusion can be questionable.

Thermal fusion is achieved when an image from a standard video camera is layered on top of an image from a low-resolution thermal sensor. This produces an image that depicts a black & white or colorized visualization of an object in the field of view of the thermal sensor that is outlined with an edge created from the standard video camera. The two cameras work in conjunction to give you a crude thermal image with enhanced edges. When used in this manner, the low resolution thermal fusion can produce a reasonable and usable thermal image. There are many applications where this approach is effective. It is useful in applications such as inspecting breaker panels, steam pipes, machinery, engines and other inspection applications where there is sufficient light for the standard video camera to produce a good image that can be utilized in the blending process. It also helps to know what you are looking at in advance, this is not always the case in many thermal imaging applications.

Image shows Thermal Fusion under perfect conditions

The shortcomings of this approach occur when the standard video camera that is producing the edge enhancement overlay on the thermal image doesn’t have enough light to create its outline. The image produced by the thermal fusion camera is now significantly compromised and may be of minimal value. Without the outlined overlay from the standard video camera, the thermal image has such low resolution that the image ends up looking like blotches of ill-defined color.  The image may not convey enough detail to make an accurate assessment of individuals and environment. When thermal fusion is utilized in tactical or victim location applications, you may not always have enough illumination for the standard video camera to produce a reasonable image. Additional external IR or white light illuminators will help, but they still might not deliver adequate illumination in all cases. This means that you may not be able to differentiate a partial or even full image of a human, from the background environment.

Image shows Thermal Fusion without enough light to produce outlines

The ZistosHD Dual Mode Thermal Camera (THC-51D-HD) allows the operator to instantly toggle between a 320×256 resolution thermal video camera and a 640×480 resolution, low-light, standard B&W video camera. The B&W video camera also has built in IR illumination that can further assist in low light conditions. Instead of overlaying an outline on top of a low-resolution thermal image, we use a higher resolution thermal camera in the same housing and an even higher resolution B&W low-light camera to switch between the two different images. We believe this construction is superior to thermal fusion for the following reasons.

Images show THC-51D-HD in both Thermal Mode & B&W IR Mode
  • The higher resolution thermal image produces a usable image without the need of any enhancement.
  • The secondary low-light B&W standard video camera can produce a video image that can convey additional visual details of the subject and environment.
  • In the THC-51D-HD, the Thermal and B&W IR Cameras are in the same housing. Therefore, there is no need to switch camera heads. It’s all done with system controls.
  • If the standard video camera in the thermal fusion process does not have enough light to produce a usable image the result is an extremely low-resolution thermal image which can be of limited value.
Left, Thermal Fusion Camera without enough light to produce outlines. Right, ZistosHD Dual Mode Thermal Camera in Thermal Mode in the same conditions.
  • The THC-51D-HD camera’s thermal mode can provide thermal detail regardless of ambient light levels.

All in all, despite thermal fusion being available as a new and low-cost thermal technology it may not be suitable as an imaging tool for many tactical and victim location/rescue missions, or any application where you can’t count on adequate illumination for the standard video camera to function. A higher resolution, standalone thermal image, such as the images produced by the ZistosHD THC-51D-HD camera, will in many instances be of more value than an image produced using a thermal fusion camera.

Visit us at the NTTC Conference 2019

New Wireless Video ZistosHD Tanker Inspection System

The wireless ZistosHD Tanker Inspection System enables a safe visual inspection of the interior of a tanker trailer or rail tanker for hygienic conditions, foreign objects, residual heel, cracks and corrosion.

This uniquely configured video pole camera system is inserted into the tanker hatch. Two horizontal stabilizer rods span the hatch of the manway allowing the pole camera to stay situated without the need for the operator to support its weight.

Learn More…

SafeAirLADDER for Safe Confined Space Entry (patent pending)

Keep safe by using redundant secondary atmospheric tests, which will help ensure a safe entry, when an entry is necessary.

Designed to perform a secondary test, as well as monitor and report environmental conditions — prior to an individual making a confined space entry, the SafeAirLADDER integrates gas metering electronics and alarm annunciation onto a ladder that is used to facilitate entry into a space.

The gas metering sensor is mounted to the base of the ladder and is designed to be inserted into a confined space — such as a tanker truck, rail tanker, processing tank, etc. The top of the ladder mounts onto the manway and has an integrated alarm console.

Learn More…

NTTC’s 71st Annual Conference & Exhibits – Floor Plan 2019

Visit us at NYTOA 2019

The Next Generation of Zistos Tactical Surveillance Gear has arrived!

In addition to having our standard definition, rugged & field-proven gear in the booth (208) at NYTOA, we will now be showing our New ZistosHD Tactical tools. The New ZistosHD Tactical tools are wireless, encrypted, support full 1080P resolution, and have an array of field-swappable telescoping poles and cameras as well as 6+ hour rechargeable batteries. This system design maximizes its suitability & availability for whatever your tactical operation may throw at you.

Learn more about ZistosHD Tactical Tools

Zistos Corporation
NYTOA – Booth #208
April 17-18
Turning Stone Resort & Casino
Verona, NY

Digital ZistosHD Tactical Systems

The ZistosHD system offers a state-of-the-art, high resolution tactical video tool that allows a tactical team to make a safe visual assessment of dangerous conditions, using highly detailed video images. The new ZistosHD encrypted wireless video system supports full 1080P HD video with most camera options. This new system design maximizes its suitability for use in many different tactical applications by offering interchangeable modules. They can be switched in the field to enhance the effectiveness of the system, in many different environments and applications. The system has been engineered to offer the highest resolution images that can be viewed on a variety of different digital display options, such as phones, tablets, laptops. The ZistosHD system will support up to three different simultaneous viewers. The images can be transmitted via wired or wireless methods and the phone display can be pole, or wrist-mounted.

Unlike the older easily compromised analog wireless video, our new wireless technology has been selected to provide a safe encrypted video stream that cannot be intercepted and is viewable without an appreciable delay.

The heart of the ZistosHD Tactical Video System is the ergonomically designed HD Handle. The handle offers integrated push buttons that facilitate all operations, including, illumination level control, still image capture, video record, zoom functions and motorized camera pan controls. The handle accepts a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that has an easily viewable, built-in battery charge level indicator. The battery charge level is even viewable when the system is off or the batteries are unplugged from the handle. The battery runtime will typically last 6+ hours depending on camera options and illumination settings. An external power input is also available as an option for alternate external power sources. The handle is ruggedly designed and all antennas are internal to prevent damage from rough handling.

ZistosHD – Tactical Overview Video

ZistosHD – Tactical Systems Sheet

ZistosHD – Component Catelog