Originally Posted by WaltBurkett
I am in the market for a 4 head jammer system to put on my 997 C4S and was leaning towards the LI since it did so well in the GOL testing. Steagal says to avoid it though since the LI was "juiced" in the testing as well as that they have serious reliability problems. He also said the Blinder did not have any issues with the Ultralyte, however in the GOL test it appears to have had burn through anywhere from 500-1000 feet. Although I am not a JTG worrier, the 1,000 foot range burn through is a problem for me.
My plan is to put 3 heads in the front and one in the rear.
For this section of your post, Walt, I'll break down into three headings.
Whoa there - Steagal claimed that the LI in the 2008 test was "juiced?"
If this is the case, and that this is a claim that Steagal did make the claim, as you cited, then it obviously is a claim that Steagal has against BOTH
the LaserInterceptor team as well as the GOL
And if we're to take in the bigger picture of what has been said on RD.net regarding Steagal's claims, then this is a SERIOUS allegation, and should be examined in no less such light. Given Steagal's past on the RD.net Forums, I am *not* inclinded to believe such claims, and I would, furthermore, as a true-independent hobbyist who has a fellow independent hobbyist's best-interest at-heart (this means you, Walt), ask Steagal to kindly provide PROOF of merit, of such a serious slanderous allegation.
Whether such claims are valid or not, it should be kept in mind that there have now been numerous independent hobbyist as well as hobbyist-group tests of the LI, and *all* such data have validated the performance seen from the latest GOL
tests: JTG/JFG, bar-none.
Were all these other tests "juiced" as well?
I'll address reliability further, below.
In terms of jamming effectiveness, you should keep in mind that the GOL
testing utilized a worst-case-scenario vehicle, with the jammers mounted at a set spot on the vehicle's frontal profile, without optimization for *each* jammer
(in order for the entire setup to be fair to all devices tested).
Based on your vehicle size as well as profile, as well as the fact that you will be able to optimize mounting - in addition to the fact that you hope to add one more head to the front (making for a total of 3) - I would say that you should put out of your mind any worries of effectiveness, particularly if you're not looking for "true-JTG" performance.
My only concern would be for your thinking of rear protection. Although it is debatable that some protection is better than none, I'm of the opinion that as the rear of the vehicle is distinctly harder to protect than the front (for a multitude of reasons, including both vehicle profile as well as the "rear-on" enforcement scenario specifics), on that aspect, you should either go all-out, balls-out, or just go home.
The reason for being so severe in this examination is due to my fear that in having "some" rear protection, it will lead you to become more complacent - which, in-turn, may cause you to expose yourself to more risk than you otherwise would have, without rear protection.
Also, isn't the LI software upgradable? My understanding is the next version of the blinder may be also. Having the ability to update to address new guns like the Truespeed would be a great feature.
Yes and no.
Yes, in that, as we have recently seen, LI has been the only company to literally JUMP to the new threat, and to insure that its owners are, indeed, not only protected against it, but also in that they have been honest enough to say to their owners: "look, there's no need to spend the $50 to upgrade to the 7.06 (TruSpeed enabled) box, when the 7.05 will protect you just as well, albeit without the specific algorithm and cannot guaranty 'true-JTFG'."
[ Aside: And here, it should be said that LI is to be commended, for not leaving their old hardware behind - in that although the 6.xx boxes physically cannot undergo the same technical upgrades as the 7.xx version boxes, they have not abandoned the 6.xx box, as had Blinder with the J11 to J15 switch-over, in offering to the 6.xx customers a similar "TruSpeed enabled" update to their box, at the same promised cost as the 7.05 to 7.06 revision update.
But no, in that you can't just reflash your own c-box - you still need to send it, box and all, to the US ( or your regional - for those of you who are reading this thread, and are from other areas of the world
) distributor, so that you can get the new box.
While the interface software for the LI allows more control of this unit than *ANY* other jammer on-market today, it still does not yet allow for end-user enabled reflashing of the firmware, nor software updating.
So far, although both LaserMask as well as Blinder, thanks in no small part to mhardy
of RD.net, an authorized reseller of both items and a true enthusiast/hobbyist, have been pressing forward with TruSpeed updates, neither have yet to come forward to properly address this issue. Neither has LPP (or AL, whose new G9 offering we're still all in the relative dark about), LaserStar, or PASS.
Originally Posted by happya$$
In all honesty the new Blinders are awesome and reliable. You can not go wrong with them. The LI has not proven itself in terms of reliability in the long run. As far as performance it is INCREDIBLE and on a league of its own but if it is not going to last then what good will that do for you? The Blinder is my personal TOP choice in terms of an overall package (CS,performance,reliability)
I think that the Blinder J15 revision is a very formidable jammer, and upon my recommendation, more than one local/national Subaru enthusiast has purchased this system for their vehicle.
And overall, as with what happya$$
said above, my banking on the Blinder product name is even more based on their years of solid customer-service (even though the J11 to J15 transition left in my mouth, as it did its other longtime supporters, such as thestaton
of RD.net, a bad taste) and a long track record of overall durability and reliability (matched in this sector of the industry only by Escort's offerings).
In terms of staying power (look at how many other compaines have come and gone) and miles on road - aside from Escort, whose products have been, performance wise, sadly, FAR from that of contemporary Blinder offerings - currently, Blinder sets the mark.
Is the Blinder product bulletproof?
No, certainly not.
No jammer, to-date, can claim that. Both the 0-suffix Blinders as well as the 5-suffix have been seen to have either down-the-road faults as well as the rare out-of-the-box problems (both RD.net and RR.net's vast databases will bear-out this observation), but overall, the failure ratio is far better than anything but the Escort, which, I think, can only be said to be an equivalent in this case, and not a better.
Originally Posted by WaltBurkett
In regards to LI reliability. Was this the older units? What is the source of them not being reliable?
Originally Posted by happya$$
Well RD.net members note and djrams have had bad heads with their most recent purchases (latest versions). Until I see them out on the road for at least a year I am skeptical. As I said before their performance is incredible and on a league of their own BUT I am not sold on their reliability yet
^ I believe, rather, that it was djrams
, who had the problems with their purchases, and both were of the latest head variant, 8.5. The latter, I remember distinctly, as he cited this issue as a part of one of the first CT-group testing days. noTe
, if memory serves, had one of the earlier US-bound units. I'll try to verify this later, via RD.net.
Historically, the 8.0 heads were the ones that had trouble - these were the first that had headed (no pun intended) to the US (last year - September/October of 2007
) as well as to Taiwan.
Both the Taiwanese as well as US authorized LI distributors, interceptor.tw
as well as Cliff, respectively, have worked hard to address such issues with the LI mother team, and to the best of my knowledge, both have been taken care of via honored warranty claims, with no-questions-asked.
In terms of "time/miles-on-road," I have a slightly different perspective than happya$$
. Although I do still defer to and highly respect his time in this hobby as a true enthusiast, my criteria is somewhat more stringent than his, and I think you'll see why, below.
My two front LI heads, Regular configuration, are from the initial US batch. I was one of the early adopters of the LI, and although not among the absolute first-wave to purchase the product, definitely among the first, nevertheless. The fact that my c-box and heads both date to the initial US batch, purchased through the then LI-authorized stateside reseller, Elvis
proves this fact.
My two front heads have now survived on-road, through already one harsh NE-Ohio winter, for nearly one year.
And this is from what is now infamously known as "the bad batch" of heads.
Add to the mix that I have three LPP heads - which, originally, one of the three was supposedly among the last of the ones that was "Made in Croatia," and thus supposedly of lesser quality, that itself, expired just days before the one-year warranty period ran out.... Even now, that head, replaced under warranty, is approaching, itself, one year old - the others are, two and one and one-half.
My Escort ZR3 heads served me well for nearly 3 years (and countless miles) before one head faulted - the usual, water/moisture ingress. This, in-turn, actually caused a short-circuit that took out the upstream control-box.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that I truly think that long-term durability issues needs to be not only looked at in terms of the absolute chronology, but also with the understanding that these devices are "boutique" items, and that although *some* semblance of "data" can be drawn, a lot of what it comes down to is, undeniably, luck.
After all, even as we sit here and debate this issue of durability and reliability, and give the crown to both Blinder and Escort, it's still undeniable that reports of even their newest units suffering weathersealing - or other reliability - issues have been reported simply from within our own enthusiast circles on RR.net and RD.net.
I'd say, then, that if durability/reliability is important to you, Walt, hedge your bets more on the Escort, Blinder, or LPP (not noted in any particular order).
But still, realize that it's very much a "pay to play" game, and there are no sure bets.
Walt, I can understand your reservations regarding VEIL.
But honestly, if you can spare the dollars, I'd urge you to give G4 a try, particularly if you're set on using the Blinder.
While I think a M35 (three forward heads) setup will be more than sufficient for you to get *excellent* frontal coverage, I also truly believe in the synergy of active and passive protective layers.
What Veil Guy
likes to call "Depth of Defense," I like to borrow from Dieter, and call the "Complete Circle of Defense."
With speed-detections countermeasures, my personal philosophy is that we're playing a game of odds - one in which the enforcers only need that "once in a blue moon" punch-through (what you term as "burn through") to not only make it a bad day for you, but also likely a bad several years on your driving record and insurance premium.
In so far as the odds are heavily stacked in favor of "The House" - in that they can select, to an extent, their hardware, as well as, moreso, dedicate the physical circumstances of the trap setup - I am thus all for taking as many steps as I can to help even such odds.
Yes, many argue that having a good active jammer literally eliminates the need for any passive protection at all.
But my question to that is this:
What happens when your active countermeasure fails? or simply, you fail to engage the unit? (Both of these scenarios have played out, more than once, on RD.net.)
What if you faced a severe irregularity in the roadway during active "painting?" (CFL#1 proved to us not only the importance of having properly leveled heads, but also that the combination of not ideally leveled heads, along with a dip in the roadway, can easily cause PTs. Similarly, the infamous noory
's single-LPP head versus elevated LaserAtlanta SpeedLaser-III run, for which he was pulled-over and then cited, also testifies to this effect.)
What if your setup has fallen even slightly out-of-alignment? even from just everyday use? (CFL#2 taught this lesson to us, with Cliff's own LIs failing many of the early runs to produce what was otherwise "expected" JTGs/JFGs - why? because he'd used the vehicle, extensively, the week prior, and failed to properly maintain head leveling/adjustment.)
No-one's paid me to be here. And you can see my "testimonial" of VEIL G4 here: Veil G4 Sneak Peek (PICs)
My lighting output was barely affected, and the cut-off is no worse for wear, either.
I would bet that with only one coat of G4, your cut-off will be no worse, same as mine, due to the projector construct. Similarly, I would bet that your C4S, which has factory HIDs, IIRC, will barely suffer any lighting output degradation with that one thin coat as I have - as most factory HID systems offer more than enough "lumens on road" "to spare," so to say.
I'm an automotive lighting (and safety) nut. Many moons ago, I actually won a small prize from the SAE, in this very manner. It was also, quite honestly, as I've mentioned to Veil Guy
several times before, why I did *NOT* utilize VEIL G2 on my daily-driver (that can of G2, in the picture? I used that with my rental road-trip cars, highway drive, in-daylight).
G4 changed my mind.
If you're able to spare the cash, I'd honestly give it a try.