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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Guys,
I know I posted about a possible group buy on the Lidatek. I ended up just getting one, as the impression I got from the Lidatek guy was the group deal was more effort than I was willing to put in for the $$ saved, not to mention time.

At any rate, I had mine unit (w/ dual transponders) installed today. I took it to a place called Auto Sound, located at the NW corner of Preston & Beltline (972.960.7686). I had talked to these guys and felt comfortable (as much as one can be I guess when talking about taking a scalpel to my baby) with them, as they had obviously worked on alot of high end cars before. Lots of pics with local athletes' cars, such as likes of Anthony Dorsett's new 745IL, Brock Marion's M3, Michael Irvin, among others.

At any rate, it took them about 3 hours (with two guys working), and I paid them $130, which I thought was acceptable. I took JFB's advice and bought a 12volt rocker switch from AutoZone, and had it rigged up like he did. The guy you want to work on your car is Joe, the manager w/ 20 years of experience. The switch looks great in the dead panel, here are the details of installing the rocker, from JFB: JFB's Rocker Switch Tips I was very pleased with the installation.

All we need now is a Lidar gun to really test these babies out. In fact, one of the sites that sells Lidar guns to the police, will allow a 'test rental' which runs about $100 week (excluding transit time).....but like the group buy, maybe that's a pipedream for me. In the meantime, I will try to see about the unmanned units that tell your speed in traffic (in hopes of slowing you down)....Joe told me that some use laser in North Dallas and when jammed will show a 00 as the speed. Or I will drive the speed limit until I am painted, and hopefully confirm it with my Passport 8500, hopefully leaving the officer looking at his gun funny.

JFB~~many thanks for the assist on this one! I'll have to buy you a drink, or maybe a couple of quarts of oil!!

I hope they enjoyed it while they could, cuz the cops wrote their last ticket to this BeastMaster!!

JunFan out.

Here is a pic of my dash w/ the rocker:
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Sure....it costs $449 for the set w/ 2 transponders, shipping was like $5.

As a comparison, the store I had it installed at wanted about $1200 for a K40 unit installed (brand?)

JunFan.

2001 M5 Titanium/Black
 

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I'm assuming that you put both transponders on the front. Can you post picture of where they are? My M5 is due to arrive in mid-February and I'm seriously thinking about a Lidatek. Plano (everywhere) and Dallas (expressways) are heavy users of laser radar, and I want to be as invisible as possible.

Did the guys that installed the Lidatek have any advice as to where to install the transponders?

Where is "controller/beeper"? Photos?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
I talked to the guy at Lidatek (Chris I think ??) and he told me it was not necessary to cut an opening out of the grill for it to work properly, so I chose not to at this point...if it turns out I need to, I can always play around with it later.

Here is a pick of the left one, the right one is located similarly on the right side:



I tried to take a picture of the speaker, but they tucked it in somehow under the panel somewhere under there between the steering wheel and the pedals, it's not visible, but I can hear it fine. Based on the sound, it must be just above where my knees are, if that makes any sense. Mabye someone else has a pic. I plan on always using my Passport and my Lidatek in tandem so both of these should give me ample audio alert....by the way the Laser signal from the 8500 is a horrible sound. Maybe that's just with me, as the first time I heard it I was nailed!

Good Luck,

JunFan
 

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Glad to see that your installation went well.

However I just have to point out one thing...it's JFB that you have to thank, not JMB.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
thanks Atomic, I was just seeing if you were paying attention.

:typing:

And one other thing, the auto store had several colors of the rocker switches, I considered the amber one and the red one, as the amber one would match the backlighting of the guages in the M5, but the red one matches the needles...maybe one of the hardest $4 decisions I have made since gradeschool....lol.

JunFan

2001 M5 Titanium/Black

And once again, great call by JFB on the rocker :cheers:

The toggle and LED it comes with was not for me.
 

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Now I just have to get around to finally getting mine installed. Just have to wait for Lidatek to send me the updated transponders and then I'll start looking for parts. I think I'd be in the same boat as you were when the time comes to choosing the color of the rocker switch. My gauge colors is orange at night.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I don't think it was too hard, but then again, I wasn't the one doing it. I don't think the rocker switch caused the installer problems. In fact, I would think it would make it easier, as you are combining the functions of the LED & the toggle into one.

I'm sure some of the guys who did the install themselves would be able to better answer that.

JunFan

2001 M5 Titanium/Black
 

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Hi JunFan,

Looks like you got a great install :cheers:

I agree with you that testing the units would be nice. So far it has been the only frustrating thing. I have some faith :blink: but I would really feel better to have an end to end system test.
 

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Does anyone else have an ycomments on putting the transponders behind the grill? that seems liek a really, really bad idea to me. I know that lidatek said it was ok, but I just dont see how that could possibly not negatively affect the units. Any other thoughts on this?
I'm still having a real struggle on whether or not to take the plunge and buy the dang lidatek system or not....especially after I posted a poll and a lrge gruop of people responded that they did not like the units or had had problems...argh

Parker
 

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OH yea...another question. My local dealer told me that the Plano police do this scenario a lot:
The police get someone shooting laser (mounted on a tri-pod)from an overpass. They then get a ton of cruisers sitting on the on-ramp to be fed victims by the stationary shooter.
Would the Lidatek unit help at ALL in this situation? It seems that because the units are mounted under the front bumper they would not be able to 'see' the laser beam, and thus would not be able to jam. Any thoughts on this?
 

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Mike

The install looks great. I hope that it works when you need it!

Sorry for the poor cell phone connection, I was backpacking with the Boy Scouts when you called. I hope the installer understood what I was saying.

He did not seem to know that, even though they transponders look the same, one is a Master and the other a Slave. I told him to try switching the connections.
 

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BostonRocket said:
Was it hard for the installer to retrofit the rocker switch?
The Lidatek unit ships with a cheesy-looking LED and toggle switch. The lighted rocker combines the two, and is a lot more attractive.

I did the Lidatek installation myself, including the rocker switch modification. It's very easy to install the rocker switch with some pretty basic tools. You just have to cut and strip the wires and crimp on some connectors that plug into the switch. You mount the switch in the existing opening beside the fog lights. You have to cut a rectangular hole in the little panel insert, but that's not too difficult. The insert is inexpensive, so if you screw it up you can get a new one from the dealer.

Mike provided the link above, but here's the Rocker Switch Installation link, which includes a wiring diagram, photos and text instructions.
 

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analysis within...

beanboy said:
...shooting laser (mounted on a tri-pod)from an overpass...

Would the Lidatek unit help at ALL in this situation?...
beanboy,

I looked at the beam pattern info in the back of the LE-20's owners manual and then applied a little trigonometry to come up with a Height Divergence Angle of 6 degrees and a Width Divergence Angle of 12.5 degrees. Knowing these angles, it's easy to extrapolate this to make it apply to any range. ( :typing: ) See summary chart below. It looks like we're pretty well protected against any cops who might try to use high AOA (Angle-Of-Attack), even at close distances for a LIDAR shot. ;)
Code:
 		Pattern Spread (off centerline)
Distance		Height		Width
-------------------------------------------------------------
10 ft		1.05 ft		2.2 ft
100 ft		10.5 ft		22 ft
500 ft		52 ft		111 ft
1000 ft		105 ft		222 ft
1500 ft		157 ft		333 ft
2000 ft		210 ft		444 ft
2500 ft		263 ft		555 ft

Math here:
Height Spread = Range x TAN(6 degrees)
Width Spread = Range x TAN(12.5 degrees)

Note that these spread distances are based off the centerline of the LE-20 unit. So, for instance, at a 500ft range, you're "protected" as long as Johnny Law isn't:
  1. more than 52 feet above the road surface, or
  2. more than 111 feet off to the left or right side of the front of your car (i.e. 222ft total beamwidth), or
  3. more than 52 feet below ground. :p
FWIW, I became curious about the unit's beam pattern when I first bought my Lidatek. I wanted to empirically determine whether or not we could get away with mounting the LE-20 units behind the cross-hatch openings of the M5's grill... This math, along with some very detailed measurements of the LE-20 unit and the M5's grill itself, and also some e-mail exchanges with the guys at Lidatek, told me unequivocally that the grill must be cut away to provide the LE-20 transponder unit with a clear field of view! As others have already mentioned, Jeff (AKA sysvr4) shows how it's done correctly here.

Yes, it's true that the units do sit a little behind the front edge of the bumper…but note that the beam pattern in/out of these units is actually quite narrow. Let take a look at that math here:… if you say the grill is set back 6 inches from the front edge of the bumper, you're going to want to position the LE-20 units in a location that is at least: 6"*TAN(12.5 degrees)=1.33" off the left & right side edges of the bumper. This assures that the bumper doesn't reduce the LE-20's lateral field of view. Similarly, in the vertical sense, you'll want to assure the units are mounted least: 6"*TAN(6 degrees)=0.63" below the top edge of the bumper. (BTW, I'm not exactly sure the grill set back is really 6" or not… I just used that # for the sake of this discussion… You should probably measure the grill set-back distance yourself to be sure).

So, in summary, to get the maximum coverage/protection from your LE-20's make sure that nothing interferes with their front-facing 6x12.5 degree field of view.

Hope that helps! :cheers:

Russ

P.S. I'm quite confident that the half-angle spreads of 6 and 12.5 degrees are indeed correct since this agrees well with industry standard beam widths available from current-production silicon-based LASER diodes & IR detectors.
 
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