Originally Posted by Veil Guy
Thanks for that thoughtful (and what appears to be very fair and balanced) encapsulation of recent history.
That's all I'm hoping to do - to set things right. To be sure that no side of the argument/debate is unfairly favored.
As a true independent hobbyist, I feel that I owe it to my fellow hobbyists - particulary newcomers into the active laser jammer sector - to paint to them an accurate picture of not only what is currently "State of the Industry," but to also put things a bit more in-perspective by accurately portraying past history, so that the end-customer of such product searches can better put things in to context.
And hopefully, in doing so, make the right decision for themselves.
To be frank, I really haven't followed this too closely, but I totally agree with your assessment about Blinder. |
I am pleased to hear that their policies vis-a-vis owners of previous versions of the Xtreme laser jammers may be more favorable than what they once were.
For those of us who tracked Blinder from its inception, and who favored this brand and its products, one of the biggest reasons was - and continues to be - their high level of customer service, and even more importantly, the consistency of that level of care, over the years.
As such, you can imagine the surprise, as well as the bitter taste it left in some of their most staunch supporters' mouths, when the J11 to J15 transition was not, many of us (myself included), handled in a manner which was representative of their past C/S efforts.
I know that I was disappointed, particularly as I had always vouched for Blinder's C/S, in various communities - but my own disappointment paled in light of some of the bitterness and anger that several of the previously more vocal Blinder supporters later voiced. But given their level of dedication to the Blinder brand and products in the past, I can certainly understand their anger.....
Regardless, I was very glad to see that Blinder took proactive steps, during the initial phase of worries about its TruSpeed performance, to insure proper "futureproofing" of its products, as well as to calm consumer fears (and appease us enthusiasts) with public announcements of their very reasonable and very in-line (with the rest of the industry) future update policies.
But I think that given the past history of what happened, someone in my position, as a simple member of the community of "average Joes," must still urge some caution, in trying to truly be fair to all parties involved.
Originally Posted by WaltBurkett
That was pretty much an all encompassing reply and an answer to all my questions. It will either be the Blinder or LI system I employ. Thanks again for your time and efforts to write the above. It took me a long time to read it so I know it took longer to type it.
And for the record, this is exactly the kind of information that I need to help make an educated decision on the matter.
Honestly, Walt, think nothing of it.
I'm just glad that I could help.
Truly, for me, there simply isn't a "perfect" system out there.
Each has its shortcomings: be it "performance" or durability/reliability, or secondary (i.e. purchase/import/warranty concerns - which, honestly, may not be so "secondary," time-comes) reasons.
To me, it's not about pushing one product or the other, rather, helping the end-user find the right product for his/her SPECIFIC situation, specific personal preferences and needs.
I have nothing at-stake here, other than my "on-line reputation" :lol: - I have no vested financial (or otherwise) interest in ANY product winding up in anyone's possession, or car. Being truly divorced from ANY kind of influence simply allows me a certain level of clarity and freedom, and I try to use that to the best of my ability, to help others.
Now, this does NOT mean that I think that any kind of testing/event where there are sponsors, vendors, retailers, or even manufacturers involved is automatically suspect.
Far from it.
I believe that good science is just good science.
I believe that the truth is the truth, and that it will stand on its own.
I think that even if such conflicting sources are present, that still, valid data can be obtained, and that furthermore, as long as the general public is aware of such potential conflicts-of-interest, it's still Kosher - and that the unmolested, unadulterated data will prove true, particularly when cross-examined.
My only problem is with subterfuge, with lies (which includes lies by deliberate misinformation, partial disclosure, or failure-to-disclose/omission), and with unfair manipulation of data.
OK, that's enough of that rant.
As you can see, Walt, I'm not afraid to type. I'm a child of the 80s - I grew
up in the beginning days of the Internet, on BBSs and mIRC, where the need to type fast and accurately meant one's social survival.
Even our office secretaries remark on my typing speed.
Originally Posted by WaltBurkett
I appreciate the well reasoned and thought out response.
IRT the longevity of the LI has anyone done a study as to what the actual reliability is or has been? A case study or interviews of LI purchasers if you will. Would it even be possible to get this info? It seems to me that the overall and prevailing attitude by some is that the LI won't last because they heard of someone that had a failure or possibly saw one not work as advertised in a particular test. That hardly qualifies as scientific or even as a wide system wide problem. But then again, maybe real stats are not available for the obvious reasons of selling more of them.
I'm definitely not VEIL Guy
, and I do not want to put words in his mouth, particularly when he is so eloquent and concise, himself.... but I'll share my view on this, if y'all don't mind.
There has been, to the best of my knowledge, no true "study" undertaken as to either what the actual reliability ratio has been (no interviews, no concise poll threads [which, even then, would demand relatively accurate participation rates, and I can tell you that just of the few first US-run
LI owners I "know," three individuals who own MULTIPLE
sets of the device are NOT active participants on RD.net, or on *ANY* such on-line community, due to a multitude of personal reasons - i.e. busy, security/privacy, etc.]) nor, for that matter, what the true final dissection/analysis of the "cause of death" of the faulted unit to be.
As I stated in the second of my twin posts above, I truly believe that the stats given by Ivan (interceptor
, on RD.net - literally "the man behind the LI"), of approx. 70% failure of proper weathersealing of the heads, to be a decently honest estimate, given again, how many posts of "hey, I just got my LI" that first appeared in the initial excitement over at RD.net, the warranty-fulfillment notices that Cliff sent out on the LI Forums' "General" sub-Forum, and also how many private owners of LIs that I know, from my time/participation on various countermeasures and auto-enthusiast communities.
As for whether this figure, as well as the associated remedial actions (and the debacle that surrounded the entire issue, until Cliff stepped up to the plate to resolve things, finally - and this also includes the MazdaForums "Group Buy," I should add) to address it either helping or hindering the sale of this product, I honestly don't know. I can see both the bad, and the good. To me, as an outsider and a non-vested individual, it's truly a toss-up.
With regard to what was the cause, as well as how to address it, currently, no-one has yet offered a good technical "post-mortem," shall we say.
The biggest issue remains, in *ALL* cases, moisture (or outright water) ingress into the head (typically forward, but not-infrequently, rear). This has, historically, been true not only of that troublesome initial batch of the 5th-generation LI heads (the first to bear laser-diode usage, and the first to have come across the pond to the US), but also that of AntiLaser, Laser Pro Park, Escort ZR3 and ZR4, and yes, even the Blinder (both the current 5-suffix iteration, as well as the previous 0-suffix).
To what extent each was affected, that differs greatly -> and no, it's not necessary what you'd expect: take the case of the Escort ZR3, which, after the first year of its inception, actually saw a HORRIBLE rash of head failures, due to moisture/water ingress - Escort then fully addressed this issue, much as LI did in more recent history - and now, some 5 years later, with the ZR3s literally becoming defunct and replaced by the long-overdue ZR4, it can also be said that this venerable unit was, in-retrospect the MOST durable/reliable/weatherproof....but not that it got there, without having shed some blood, first
At the same time, one must also think of what is it that's so different about these devices that their makers are either unable to - or unwilling to - put into it the engineering and/or cost sacrifice (perhaps it would simply make these devices too costly to afford? or with too low of a profit margin?), so that they can simply have the durability/reliability/weathersealing capability that we see, every day, as drivers of common, mass-manufactured automobiles, with it's plethora of front-end lighting elements and other electrical concerns.
Why is it that the AL G8 - which serves as a prototypical construct of nearly all modern laser-diode based jammers - continued to suffer water ingress issues, despite the epoxy coating of its circuitboard (which should have made the area impervious to such), and the same separation of its optics/emitter component from the more delicate innards? Why is it that the extreme weatherproofing we can see from MEM-TEK
's dissection of the new Escort ZR4 head still yet insufficient, given the reports of early failure by Escort heavies in the RD.net community, such as djrams80
(and another hobbyist there, too, saw the same issue with his first set of ZR4 heads, but I cannot recall his name at the moment)? Why is it that such issues were not completely worked out of the 0-suffix Blinders, but continues to be reported by the likes of Radar_Nutt
on RR.net, whose friends' 5-suffix units still suffers that fate?
Or perhaps is it that this isn't so much a true syndrome, and that in us being in this community itself, we see, selectively, those who come here to either vent their frustrations or come specifically seeking resolution to their problems, and thus, we wind up working with a corrupted data set to begin with?
These are all questions that I, myself, Walt, are dying to have good answers to.
As I mentioned previously, IF the manufactures made a quick disconnect at the actual head it would be very easy to change out if and when it failed. Currently the process of changing out bad heads is not consumer friendly, that's for sure.
+1, and +eleventybillion.
I totally agree to both.
Maybe that too is by design. I could simply test the LI heads often and when a failure is identified replace it with a spare and send it in for replacement under the current 2-year warrantee.
Unknown, and I honestly am not sure if that's reading too much into things.
I truly think that it's partially cost-prohibitive, and partially quality-control prohibitive, rather than these makers thinking that those of us who own these devices will not routinely test them, to insure proper function.
I think that the nature of these devices, and by that extent, their owners, would require such routine "pre-flight" (if you'll excuse that attempt at both some humor, and trying to paint an accurate analogy). I know that I routinely check my heads for function, and even more frequently for leveling/alignment/aim. Again, this goes back to the fact that we're running a game of odds, one for which, unfortuantely, we're not favored.
As also mentioned, the LTI Ultralyte results from the recent GOL testing gives me pause as far as the Blinder is concerned. I have seen and heard about purposeful targeting here in the DFW area of less than 1,000 feet and there appears to be a weakness with the J15. Maybe I am reading too much into this however. As you said all jammers perform differently at different times and environments.
No, in this case, I do not think that you're reading too much into things.
I think that it is accurate to say that that may be a selective weak-spot of the J15s.
But again, this is a case where the GOL
selection of a "worst case scenario" test-vehicle (see MEM-TEK
's analysis of this vehicle's hardpoints, on RD.net) likely exacerbated the issue.
Meanwhile, with your proposed frontal 3-head setup, on your much more favorably profiled vehicle, I'd put good money on wagering that even if the J15 truly has a weaknes in this area, you will *NOT* see it, in a true real-life setting.