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Five Reasons that Scout is more expensive than other data collection cameras

An inevitable factor whenever purchasing technology – whether for business or personal – is price. But what is price? Price is the perceived risk that you’re willing to invest into a product hoping that it will meet your expectations.

Different products carry different expectations: If printer paper fails, you get a paper jam. If a critical business tool fails, it can have a catastrophic impact to business, relationships, and reputation.

So how does this relate to traffic data collection?

Our Scout camera is the most expensive portable data collection camera on the market. When Scout gets compared with other cameras, as it often does, the price-gap between us and the other guys is obvious.

So, why don’t we just drop our price to compete? The truth is, we can’t afford to; but neither can you. Scout is not a garage-built data collection camera for bargain hunters – it’s a purpose-built piece of data collection equipment with nearly a decade of customer feedback, engineering, and quality assurance under its hood.

Get the Project Done Right the First Time

Anyone that deploys equipment in the field, or manages a team of people who do, knows that in-field complications or equipment re-deployments cost huge amounts of time and money. Plus, it can devastate timelines, potentially delay projects, and add significant stress to get the job done.

That is why we don’t compete on price. Miovision’s customers are the elite engineering firms, data collectors, and DOTs that know saving a few bucks today isn’t worth the risk to their projects and their reputations tomorrow. That is why we build Scout with an unmatched passion for quality and reliability.

Below are five ways that we guarantee quality and reliability for our customers:

#1: The Anti-Fogging Camera

Fogged cameras can ruin a count and force redeployment

Cameras will fog when exposed to varying temperatures. Off the shelf cameras are susceptible to moisture from relative humidity in the manufacturing facility, and by ingress from the elements over time. This problem is why cameras are promptly disassembled when received in our facility.

When put back together, the cameras are reassembled in an airtight chamber, sealed with epoxy, then injected with nitrogen in the final step of reassembly. This process removes any existing moisture and seals it from ingress, while the nitrogen adds a lower condensation point better suited to broad temperature ranges; whether our customers are in Alaska or Dubai.


Pre-Shipment Quality Assurance Tests:

  1. The first is a heat and humidity test in our environmental chamber. In this test, fully-assembled cameras are submitted to a constant temperature to evaporate any inherent moisture. Then, to test humidity levels we use a special lens cooling fixture that cools the lens rapidly to a set temperature, then visually inspected for condensation;
  2. The second is a water ingress test. In this test, cameras are connected and programmed to record for 72hrs while they are submitted to simulated rainfall.

When all tests are successful, cameras are labelled with a blue stripe on the connector and packed for shipment.

Case Study: Fogging Cameras (mid-2013)

The fogging camera issue was first noticed in Florida by two of Miovision’s oldest customers. We, and our customers, were perplexed and frustrated at the fogging camera issue. It required further investigation.

Cameras were shipped back to our facility and tested in an environmental chamber where we discovered that moist air was present in our cameras, causing condensation – likely from small gaps on the camera assembly that allowed moisture.

We sealed the camera casing and injected nitrogen then retested the cameras with success. After further field testing in the humid Florida climate, the new process was implemented for every camera that is shipped by Miovision.

#2: The Internal Component Quality Control

Failed Components Can Take Units Out of Commission

The printed circuit board (PCB) is the heart and brain of Scout. Quality of this component is paramount to the entire system working properly. If the PCB quality isn’t assured, it may result in lost video or removing a unit from the field completely.scout-vcu-pcb

Environmental Stress Screen (ESS)

100% of the circuit boards manufactured are stress tested in an environmental chamber cycling between -40F to 185F (-40C to 85C). A single record failure on any board results in a Non-Conformance Record (NCR) and the part is quarantined for assessment to repair or scrap.


Printed Circuit Board In Circuit Test

By their nature, PCB’s have many potential points of failure. This is why we have invested in an In Circuit Test (ICT) fixture, which tests every circuit, chip, and component.


 Printed Circuit Board Integrated Systems Test

An Integrated Systems Test (IST) is performed by heating a sample board to 150℃ (302℉), and then cutting apart components and connections and inspecting them under a microscope. The test is performed to establish a reliability expectation and determine the expected field life by means of accelerated testing. Scouts are tested at 350 cycles, which meets military standards.


Case Study: “Blue Screen of Death” (2013)

At a similar time to the fogging cameras issue, customers were also reporting a blue screen on Scout, which was lovingly dubbed “The Blue Screen of Death.” The blue screen was a symptom of internal component failure that needed to be diagnosed and fixed.

Upon inspection of the recalled units, we found that the connection points on the board were cracking under extreme temperatures.

When the Integrated Circuit Test was performed, we discovered that the grade and amount of material used to make connections on the board cracked and failed over time.

Once diagnosed, we increased the grade and the amount of material used to make board connections. The upgraded material must continue to respond to temperature flex, but it can do so without breaking connections.

To ensure we never see another Blue Screen of Death, every board is subjected to extreme temperature and humidity before it gets assembled into Scout.

#3: The Unit Burn-In that Simulates Years in the Field


Before any Scout unit leaves Miovision, it gets subjected to 864 burn-in cycles over 72 hours to simulate several years in the field.The whole process consists of (i) Turn On, (ii) Boot Up, (iii) Proceed on Schedule, (iv) Engage at Correct Time, (v) Save to SD Card, (vi) Shut Down, (vii) Ensure Files are Written Correctly.

#4: The Purpose-Built User-Interface

Scout 14 Firmware, launched in early 2014, included a complete redesign of the Scout user interface to more closely align to the data collection workflow. After months of user research, including many in-field visits by our Product Management team, Scout 14 was developed and launched with a few important goals in mind.



  1. Reduce time spent at the roadside. Scouts can be scheduled in a matter of seconds – allowing technicians to quickly and safely deploy Scouts at study locations. Users can also deploy Scouts in the late evenings or early mornings to avoid heavy and potentially dangerous traffic.
  2. Ensure hardware is setup for success. Once Scout mast is fully extended, users can check to ensure Scout has a full view of the study area. Furthermore, Scout verifies if there is enough SD card memory and battery capacity to complete the upcoming study recordings.
  3. Catch errors prior to equipment take-down. Video recordings can be reviewed quickly and easily prior to dismantling the equipment – allowing users to check for traffic anomalies or other study interference. In the unlikely event of a video recording failure, Scout logs battery and firmware information for review by our Customer Support Team.

#5: The Customer Support

It can be very debilitating when experiencing a hardware issue in the field, or a software issue with your video and data; which is why our Customer Support Team is the best in the industry. In fact, they have a 9.57/10 customer satisfaction rate on closed cases.


Response Times:

To ensure that none of our customers are left in a lurch, we guarantee the following Response Times:

Contact TypeResponse Time
Phone120 seconds
Voicemail30 minutes
Email4 business hours


Advanced Replacement to Reduce Downtime:

As part of our Limited and Extended Hardware Warranties, Miovision offers the Advanced Replacement Program. Customers simply notify our support team of a part that is damaged or needs replacement and we will ship it out immediately – ensuring their projects can stay on track. After receiving the replacement part, customers then have two weeks to ship us the failed part for repair or disposal.

To take a closer look at all the Scout Video Collection Unit has to offer, schedule a demo with one of our Account Executives today.

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