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Discussion Starter #1
according to speed measurement labs it looks like the blinder continues to be the benchmark in active laser jamming. it scored better than the new lidatek laser echo LE-30. this is the first independent head-to-head comparison that i have seen. if you read the fine print at the bottom it indicates that they only used one transponder mounted in the center of the bumper for the laser echo, and if 2 are mounted the laser jamming increased.

the concerning thing about this is that the lidatek did not have successful jamming even when the laser was aimed a the license plate (therefore assuming close proximity to the transponder unit)

dare i say it . . . (seeing lidatek is a supporter of this board, and this is a pro-lidatek board) it looks like the blinder is a superior product.

for a review of the results: http://www.radarbusters.com/support/speedlabs-2005/active-laser-jamming.asp

bryon

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Seems to me that before we talk about which one is better, we need to look at an apples to apples comparison. If the Blinder uses two transceivers, it would make sense to compare the Lidatek with the same number rather than reading a footnote that indicates that the Lidatek has higher numbers with two rather than one and not getting a true comparison. Plus just look at the cost for the blinder- 399 Euro- significantly more than the Lidatek. Perhaps the best solution is to just put the 4" strip of reflective tape on the bumper and top of windshield and call it good!!
PCUT
P.S. I'm looking at buying a jammer, so this thread is particularly relevant.
 

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I have both, although the Lidatek is going in the new M3 so I can't vouch for its performance firsthand. I expect it to be perform well. I can say about the Blinder, however, that it really does work and work well. I have it mounted in two cars and it hasn't let me down yet.
 

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I'm a bit surprised at this report since it is in conflict with my real world experience.

I do not run a front plate, and have one LE30 transponder mounted in the middle of the bumper. To date it has never failed to alert and jam a laser that was pointed at my headlights. In my case, most of the laser incidents were quite a bit under 1000 feet, more like 600 or less.

It should be noted that they did say that when they ran the Lidatek with two front transponders the jamming percentage was much higher. Funny though they did not say how much higher, they did know, but chose not to say how much.

In any case, I know the Blinder to be a quality unit, but I also know the Lidatek to be one as well. How can I fault a unit that to date has not missed a single encounter?
 

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Wasn't radarbusters shown to be a biased testing facility because of sponsorships? I thought that issue came up before.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Anzir said:
Wasn't radarbusters shown to be a biased testing facility because of sponsorships? I thought that issue came up before.

i don't know about them being biased, however i thought that it was interesting that as one of their test vehicles they allowed what appeared to be company reps set up the car with blinder jammers. (it was the turbo viper that was in some of the pics, but i can' remember if they stated that it was the car used in the testing)

bryon
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Pete said:
It should be noted that they did say that when they ran the Lidatek with two front transponders the jamming percentage was much higher. Funny though they did not say how much higher, they did know, but chose not to say how much.
Despite the differing technologies that the Lidatek and Blinder jammers employ, based on what I've read here there is no question that they both work extremely well. Has anyone ever posted an account on this forum of getting a laser ticket using either? If it has happened I can't recall ever seeing it.

That said, it strikes me that much as in the world of high-end audio, location and installation (of the head unit/units) probably makes all the difference. In the M5 I have the Blinder head units mounted in the outside slats of each kidney grill, so they're pretty much equidistant from the license plate and each headlight ***'y. Each has been leveled and aimed. I have been nailed at very close range by a laser cop who was waiting for me and the Blinder performed perfectly...under those circumstances had the cop aimed accurately at say, my right headlight, and had I not had two head units, who knows what the result could have been? I would expect the Lidatek with two head units to be just as good.
 

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Anzir,
Your memory serves you well. There are several previous threads concerning radar detection testing and just how biased some of the testing sites really are. Bottom line was, if I recall, that those sites selling the products that for some reason win the test just are not unbiased - provide good info but not always unbiased. This issue came up in a discussion of whether the Escort X50 or V1 was the best. Those sites that had the X50 winning were all sites that were selling the X50. Sometimes the BEL won, but of course they were also selling the BEL.

RadarBusters was one of the biased sites IMO. Radar Roy as he calls himself is selling Escort, Bel, Cobra, Whistler, and Blinder. Funny how the products he is selling win the tests.

Concerning the Lidatek, he does admit that an "independent test" (not his test) did show that the LE-30 with two detectors scored high.

Blinder is probably a good product, but if one is selecting based on a test, then I would like it to be on an independent, unbiased test. There are a couple of websites that seem to do a good, fair test. Unfortunately I can't recall which ones at the moment.
 

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Sometimes I have to wonder about all this testing. For instance, when is the last time you can remember picking up a radar signal at 10 miles with a detector? That would be like 5 minutes at 60 mph with the cop moving towards you, 10 minutes with him stationary. Since I started using them back in '79 I cannot recall one time I ever picked one up that early, even with my new Escort 8500 X50. To be honest I doubt I ever picked one up at 5 miles. More like 3 on the highway, and in urban traffic probably not much more than 1 or at the most 2 miles.

Valentine had some good points about testing. Its how they react on the streets we drive that counts, not some imaginary flat road with no traffic. I have found that the best indicator of a detectors usefulness is best tested in an over the hill encounter. Thats where I separate the big boys from the also rans.

I dont have as much experience with laser jammers, but what experience I do have has proven that both the Blinder and the Lidatek do their job quite well. If I ever run a front plate no doubt I will get another transponder for the front, for now though, the single mid mounted front unit does an admirable job.

I certainly wish they would have done an apples to apples comparison though. Thats the least I would have expected from a test that claims to be unbiased.

Jammers, unlike detectors, have no breathing room for errors, so it becomes even more important to test them in the same exact way. How was running the Blinder with two transponders any kind of a fair comparison against the Lidatek with its one? Seems to be a glaring case of "errors and omissions" as we engineers like to say. Then again, as I stated in my previous post, the results of this test are in serious conflict with my own experiences.

Since as a group, I think here on the M5board are more Lidatek LE30 users than anywhere else on the net, I think that one must take into account the fact that not a single user has ever reported any failure of the Lidatek to do its job. Thats more testament to me than Radar Roys limited test.
 

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Sorry to say, my Lidatek is still in the box.Does anyone know of a reputable installer in Phoenix?
Sorry if this is a little off track.....
 

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Pete said:
How was running the Blinder with two transponders any kind of a fair comparison against the Lidatek with its one? Seems to be a glaring case of "errors and omissions" as we engineers like to say.
Didn't they just test them as sold "over the counter?" Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't the standard Lidatek come with one transponder and the Blinder two?
 

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YUp , Lidatek base units are a single transponder job, but they do sell a dual unit as well. It's pretty obvious that bang for the buck goes to Blinder. Their dual is 350.00 and Lidateks is 599.00.

What I did not like was that they could have tested the Lidatek with two transponders and chose not to.

I think from a performance standpoint alone, testing the Blinder that comes with two units, the ZR3 which also has two front units against the Lidatek's single unit model was not quite fair. From a purely informational standpoint, it would have been great to see how the Lidatek did single vs double transponder unit wise.

I dont quite get why they elected to mount the ZR3 on a truck and put that data against the others that were mounted in cars, and put its car performance in a footnote. That doesnt seem very professional to me. It should have been the truck data in a footnote.

Again, they are all very good units, and we are lucky to have a nice assortment to chose from.
 

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I don't think that you can necessarily shout bias with the results of this test.

First of all, remember that Lidatek persuaded many (if not most) people in the latest group buy that a single transponder should be sufficient.

This is an excerpt from a post by atomic80 during the last group buy describing his conclusion after talking with the Lidatek people while they were installing the LE30 in his car:

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While Kit went to work on installing the LE-30 in my M5, me and Andy had a lengthly conversation about it's operation.

An issue that I came up with was whether or not to go with one or two transponders, vertical or not. I decided that one horizontal transponder would be more than enough to suit my needs. I came to this conclusion based on the fact that most police officers will find it nearly impossible to accurately aim at your car especially from 200+ feet away. I tried doing it myself and believe me when I say that it's HARD aiming that tiny red dot at the car from 200+ feet away! The LE-30 transponder does an excellent job of providing plenty of coverage. What it does is fire off a "cone" laser pulse which will do it's job. It also has a "cone" scanning field too. The difference between the LE-30 and the LE-20 is not only the depth of the transponder unit itself but also the sensivity factor too. It's much harder for the transponder to detect lidar pulses on the edges but the LE-30 does a better job of that. Also, I wanted it to be as stealthy as possible and having just one transponder under the front bumper in the grille around is perfect. Having two vertical transponders or even one will do the trick but will be a bit more obvious. So, either way will work depending on your own preferences.

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Whether a system uses one or two transponders (or 4 for that matter) is a matter of system design. I think I would liken it to manufacturers choosing different engine technologies to achieve the same goals (i.e. high power, high reliability, more sales) -- some choose a normally aspirated V8, some choose to put on a supercharger, some choose to put on a turbocharger, some choose to put on two turbochargers, some choose to put more cylinders in and go to a V10 or V12. These are design considerations that are made by the manufacturer. You can't discredit a 1/4 mile time test solely on the fact that one manufacturer chose to put two turbochargers on their intake while your car's manufacturer chose to go normally aspirated. In the end, when you go to test the two cars, the cars are what the cars are.... Of course there are tons of other (some subtle and some blatant) ways to bias tests, but just because Lidatek chooses (for whatever reason) to promote its unit as being effective with a single transponder and Blinder chooses to use a two transponder system as its most basic configuration shouldn't be a reason to discount the results of a test out of hand.

The other comment I wanted to make is that while radarbusters.com clearly has a sales agenda, I think that the company that actually does the testing is Speed Measurement Labs. I don't think they sell anything at all. I'm pretty sure they make their money by consulting (to both the detector companies and law enforcement agencies simultaneous, interestingly enough) and training. I remember meeting the principal of SML at an NSX event back in 1998, I think. He was very knowledgeable and did not appear to be biased towards any particular brand of product. But I remember him stating, even at that early juncture, that laser detectors would be useless against the laser guns and that you would need an active jammer in order to get any sort of protection from these measurement techniques.

I will have to say that I have used the Lidatek LE30 product for about a year now on two cars and it has saved me twice. I have no doubt that it is effective. But I did use two front transponders and, as mentioned above, with this configuration the cost is significantly higher than the Blinder product. Looking at the results of the above mentioned test makes me fairly confident that the Blinder product should be at least as effective as the dual transponder LE30 product (and more effective than a single transponder LE30 product) at a better price.

The engineering compromise that Blinder appears to have made is that their transponders are noticabily larger than the LE30 transponders. I have just received a Blinder X-Treme M20 today and will photograph the physical unit differences soon.

David
 

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Well, I hate to gloat, but I recently received my Blinder X-Treme M20 laser jammer and it got its first test already.

I had a trip planned to New Jersey for this past Thursday to pick up a hard top that I had purchased for my C4 cab. I had received my Blinder jammer a couple of days before but didn't have the time to install it. But it was now Wednesday evening and it was crunch time. I thought it would take a couple of hours to mount the transponders and at least get the electronics hooked up. By the time I started working it was after 10pm.

As a result of never having worked on a P car before and the mounting options for the transponder being somewhat limited and non-ideal, it took me quite a while to figure out where and how to mount them on the front bumper. By the time I figured that out and mounted them it was early in the morning. Then I took about another hour trying to figure out where to get switched power from and hook up the electronics inside the car.

So I basically pull an all-nighter doing that and getting the car cleaned up a little bit for my road trip.

By the time I'm ready to go early in the morning, the system is hooked up (I promise I will have some pictures of the installation process soon) via a hotwire into one of the interior lights in the ashtray which is also where I got my ground. There is an annoying buzz/hum, but I figure this is a grounding issue more than anything else.

The Valentine 1 picks up a couple of Maryland state troopers along the way without incident. While I'm in Delaware, I'm just past Wilmington on 95 right before 495 merges back with it when I crest over a small hill and not 200 or 300 feet in front of me is one of Delaware's finest standing in front of his patrol car pointing his LIDAR gun at me. The Blinder unit goes crazy (it is quite loud) and does its thing. I hardly had time to slow down to the legal speed limit before I'm passing him already. As I go by, it is clear that he did not get any reading on the LIDAR unit and was shaking his head (probably saying "darn it" or "shucks") with obvious displeasure at what I'm sure was supposed to be an easy nab. A priceless moment in time that I wish could have been captured on video somehow.

No more than a quarter mile or so down the road were no less than 5 more of Delaware's finest revenue collectors gathered on both sides of the highway. By this time I'm going 55 mph and notice their three customers as I tiptoe away into the horizon.

That was the only laser encounter for the rest of the 600 mile trip, although there were plenty of radar encounters, but none very threatening. But the new laser jammer paid for itself and justified a sleepless night already!

This is the 3rd LIDAR ticket avoided for me in the year or so since I've been using these devices. This encounter reinforced a couple of concepts for me.

First, at that range and at that speed no form of radar/lidar detector is going to save you from a conversation with the officer. Since this was LIDAR after cresting a small hill there was NO forewarning as there was, unlike for radar signals, essentially no scatter for a detector to pick up.

Second, at that range, the laser "cone" must be very narrow. I can't quote the numbers off the top of my head, but it's going to be around a foot across, I think. I know that it was narrow enough for the Blinder transponder(s) to pick up (as they are reasonably close to the license plate and front lights -- the two targets law enforcement officers are taught to aim for) but NOT set off the Valentine 1 (with front and rear laser detection capabilities) which was more than a couple of feet away near the top of the passenger side windshield.

Lastly, after driving for a prolonged time on our nation's highway system for the first time in a long time, it became clear that even with an armamentarium of electronic ears and countermeasures, there is no substitute for a high degree of situational awareness and the human eyes for scanning and processing tons of information on a constant basis. Even with all these devices, if you blow by a trooper a couple of lanes over going 30 miles over the speed limit and he doesn't have his radar unit on for some reason or another, you are playing with fire and asking for trouble. Just recognizing their presence and slowing down to posted speed limits can prevent needless expense at the "ticket window".

I'll have some pictures showing how I tried to make the transponders less noticiable and how I ran the wiring from the front into the passenger cabin. Definitely worth the $250 investment for me even if it never goes off again!
 
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