Seattle Lidar Testing Meetup Results: ALP, LI, HP-905. 4-13-14

Vortex

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So we had a test today with 8 cars, 3 lidar guns, and a mix of ALP's, LI's, and HP-905's.

The results were pretty surprising.

We had LI's, ALP's, and 905's that were bulletproof.

We had LP's, ALP's, and 905's that all got nasty PT's.

Some cars/jammers had issues with certain guns while other cars/jammers had issues with other guns.

One thing that was very clear was that placement is CRITICAL. As always, a small issue with jammer heads being off is the difference between PT and JTG/JFG. Sometimes it was a matter of about 5 degrees. On a few cars, 1-2 degrees pointing up or toed out was enough.

Test course:

lidar course.jpg

The course was a long flat straightaway with several turnarounds options, including two at about 1350' and 1450' which were typically used.

The shooter was sitting up on a hill and also shooting slightly off-axis. This combination of the hill and off-axis often led to PT's at just about point blank ranges.

About 326' away was a light pole (which you can see in the pic down the sidewalk) which temporarily blocked the shot for cars depending on where the shooter was standing and what lane the car was in, but if the shooter moved all the way to the left, they were able to usually avoid the pole. It was sometimes an issue though.

Anything under about 150' or so was alright, especially below 100'. That's a crazy enough shot pointing sideways and down that it's not too realistic. The shots that registered only about 50' away were practically at 90 degree angles relative to the shooter as they passed by!

On this particular course, a distance of about 300' or more, while still pretty close, was a decent starting point for real-world shots, so any PT's above that I'm going to mark in red.

Here's a view of the course being run in both directions. You'll see the shooter up on the hill on the left at the end of the video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MgG8KZYt8cE

The road basically has a bunch of businesses on either side... ie. shipping stuff, commercial buildings, and a few shops. Traffic was pretty light.

Guns used:

Kustom Prolaser III: LI's often (but not always) had a problem with this gun while handling other guns better. To be fair, one of the LI cars was just fine with the PL3 and one of the ALP's had an issue with this PL3 while being fine with other guns. I was a bit surprised, considering this is a pretty easy gun to jam.

Stalker LZ-1 v3.3: This was nice because you can see the distance right in the viewfinder when you get a PT so you don't have to stop shooting and pull the gun away from your face. The gun must operate pretty differently than the PL3 because some vehicles that had a problem with the PL3 didn't with the LZ-1, and vice versa. This LZ-1 is error code city. It threw an E04 when being jammed by the ALP, LI, and 905's. That said, this is one of the older LZ-1's that apparently throws that alert all the time. We didn't see it in normal testing shooting other cars.

LTI Marksman: To see the distance in speed mode, you have to stop shooting, pull the gun away from your face, and switch it to range mode. This is a slow process on this gun so we shot it in range mode which we wouldn't normally do. Unlike some other lidar guns, even the range mode is jammed when a jammer is operating. We did see some bizarre punchthroughs that took a while to figure out. In range mode it picks up distances much quicker than in speed mode since it needs fewer pulses. As such, we were able to get distances off of those reflector things on the road which, at first, we thought were odd PT's until we realized what was going on. Because the gun was in range mode, the results from this gun won't be exactly equivalent to real world shots, but they do present an extra challenge to jammers. Jamming in range mode is actually even more of an accomplishment.

Hahns52 and I were the shooters.

Jammers used:

All jammers had been updated to the most current versions as of 4-13-14. This means:
Blinder HP-905 14.02.01
LI 8.15
ALP 4.3.5

Test results:

devinwwu:

devinwwu.jpg

His front LI's were mounted in the lower grill of his M5, not vertically in the main grill. His rear heads were mounted up just above the plate.

Considering how both of his rear heads were really close to his rear plate, I'm surprised about the CM PT's we got with the PL3.

Against the other guns, his car did well.

There was no adjustment between runs as his heads are pretty fixed in place. The rear heads may be sliiiiightly pointed up, but this wasn't an issue for other guns.

drewdownkali:

drewdownkali.jpg

His install looks good and his car performed very well. Solid, no fanfare, just does the job. Good show by his 905's on his GTI VR6. Great stickers on it, btw! :D

Filibuster:

filibuster.jpg

He and I had tested before on a shorter course and his car did well front and rear against the PL3. This time on a longer course, we got a nasty long rear PT against the PL3. After this test, we stopped and realigned his rear heads (thanks s1000rr for the awesome long level!) and his rear started to do better. We'd still get the close range rear PT's like we did with most every other car, but his front performed even better.

Hahns52:

Hahns52.jpg

Outstanding performance by the LI's on his truck. I was really impressed. It was just about bulletproof. He did a few cool tricks with his front plate which he can tell you about. :)

He also created a portable battery for a lidar gun to plug in to. He attached a battery to a cig. lighter outlet so you can literally plug your lidar gun into this device and stick the whole thing in your pocket. VERY clever and handy! This way you could do your testing while being more mobile (not tied to a car) and you wouldn't have to either drain your car's battery or waste gas while shooting. Something like this would be highly recommended for future testing!

highvoltage, Elantra:

highvoltage elantra.jpg

He upgraded from LPP's to ALP's and these ALP's performed strong. His car was often virtually invisible to lidar.

Near the end we got a strange long distance rear PT. I was shooting the Marksman and got a 942 ft PT, especially odd considering how well his vehicle had been doing. It turns out that as the wind was blowing and the target was getting smaller in the viewfinder, I got a reflection off of one of those little reflector things in the road and the range to it popped up. So this was a mistaken PT that didn't happen.

highvoltage, Subaru Impreza:

highvoltage subaru.jpg

ALP did pretty well again. The one issue was the rear drivers side head. We got repeated PT's against it. After checking its orientation with s1000rr's level, it was off by literally only about 1 degree. Amazing how much of a difference things like that can make.

s1000rr:

s1000rr.jpg

Right off the bat we were getting PT's on the driver's side so we spent a little time working on his drivers side head and it started performing better. I don't remember the details of the issues and changes we made to his head so he'll have to share more with us.

Vortex:

vortex.jpg

My 905's performed well against the PL3 (which is great considering that's the main gun used here), but they didn't fare so hot against the other guns.

It turns out that the custom mount that I had the installer build has been starting to sag a bit. The heads are now pointing up a bit, and the passenger side head is kinda toed out. The doublesided tape has been worn down from the constant tweaking I've done over various tests and so it doesn't hold the heads firmly anymore. We tried applying fresh new tape onto the heads so it holds onto the grill better and we did a few extra runs, but we couldn't get it to stay in place properly. So to fix this right, I would need to pull the grill off and redo the mount behind the grill. My lease is expiring in a few months and I plan on giving the car back, so I'll probably not bother with it, especially since the PL3 is the main gun used here and I see lidar so rarely anyways. That said, I hope me saying this doesn't jinx it. ;)

That rear PT we got with the Marksman on my car we were unable to repeat. We tried a few times and were unable to repeat it.

Lidar plate cover:

s1000rr has a lidar plate cover on his front plate. We tested it against the PL3 and got IPT's over and over, including far away, medium range, and at point blank when the beam is just on the plate itself. I'm not sure exactly which plate cover it was.

Veil:

My car is fully veiled on the front. I did the grill, headlights, fog lights, and front plate. It was mentioned here earlier that Veil doesn't perform as well with Kustom guns, so I opted to use the Stalker LZ-1. With the jammers off, we got IPT's all the way from 1300+ ft to point blank range. At the distances we tested, Veil did pretty much nothing. To be fair, I applied the Veil just over a year and a half ago and since then it's faded a bit from facing the elements, but it's good to know that.

Random passerbys:

We had a lot of weird looks from passerbys.

One guy pulled up early on and wanted us to shoot his car as well to see how fast he was going, to see if our stuff works. :confused: He was kind of a sketchy looking dude in a beat up Honda and one of the first things he asked us was if we were selling our lidar guns and how much they cost. I thought that was a weird question for someone to ask right out of the gate. I asked him if he was from the forum and he said he wasn't. He was literally just some random guy who came up and wanted us to shoot his car... heh.

Regarding cops, none stopped by. We did get a Ka alert on one of the runs and so we paused testing for just a sec, but that was about it. No biggie.


Finally, a big thank you to EVERYONE who came out! It was a real pleasure meeting you all and testing with you. I'm glad everyone had so many opportunities to really test out their installs. Also thank you to everyone who brought extra things like radios, laptops, donuts, lidar guns, and so forth. :) It was a fun way to spend a Sunday afternoon.
 
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Hahns52

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I'm thinking that Ka alert I got was a LEO crossing that intersection about a half mile down the street, my dashcam shows the cross traffic had a green light down there.

I had a great time and it was nice to meet you guys! Couldn't have asked for better weather.
 

Filibuster

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That's a perfect summary of the day, Vortex. (It was also a perfect, sunny day!) You nailed all of the salient bits. Thanks for taking the time to piece all of the info together. :D I had a great time meeting everyone, putting faces to some of the folks around here is always a good time. Seeing so many CM's in one spot is mightily impressive. Thanks to all who showed up. It was a blast!
 

drewdownkali

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I'm thinking that Ka alert I got was a LEO crossing that intersection about a half mile down the street, my dashcam shows the cross traffic had a green light down there.

I had a great time and it was nice to meet you guys! Couldn't have asked for better weather.
Could have been from the highway too.

---------- Post added at 11:09 PM ---------- Previous post was at 11:09 PM ----------

Awesome job Vortex!
 

pwrpuma

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Thanks Vortex for helping test their setups!

:hfive:

I'm glad yall had a great time and were able to identify some weak areas!!!
 

kpatz

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Good info, and more data to apply toward the "PL3 issue" that I've been researching lately. Perhaps this supposedly "easy to jam" gun isn't so easy after all. I'm beginning to think in some situations it can lock onto its own reflected pulses instead of the jammer's if the install isn't perfect.

At least no one had the IPT issue some have reported, but instead PTs due to installation issues (heads not perfectly level, etc). It can be surprising how a minor flaw in installation can cause PTs on one gun but still get JTG on another, supposedly harder to jam gun. There's so many variables, and without being able to see what the gun "sees", it's hard to know the cause of every PT.
 

hiddencam

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Awesome work fellas, thanks!
 

s1000rr

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I want to thank Vortex for organizing this event. It was highly educational and fun, and it was great meeting everyone. The weather was a bonus. :)

To answer the question about the PL3 on the front DHL, we adjusted the head by literally 1 degree inward. The final retest after the adjustment was JTG (as seen in his chart). Hard to believe that such a minor adjustment would cause this, but that's what we determined (Vortex, you should have a photo of my head on your phone that we took of the head prior to adjustment).

I have some in-camera footage that I can post if anyone is interested in seeing it (it's very noisy with my Escort Max going off).

So we had a test today with 8 cars, 3 lidar guns, and a mix of ALP's, LI's, and HP-905's.

The results were pretty surprising...

s1000rr:

View attachment 23790

Right off the bat we were getting PT's on the driver's side so we spent a little time working on his drivers side head and it started performing better. I don't remember the details of the issues and changes we made to his head so he'll have to share more with us.
 

alloy00

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we adjusted the head by literally 1 degree inward
Did the adjustment make it aim straight-ahead, or was it angled out "a lot" and now it only angles out "a little"?
 

V1Jake

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Nice testing! As for the M5 with the rear heads close together I think that's why I got nailed with a PL3 in Illinois. I gotta double check my setup or something
 

kpatz

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I'm surprised 1 degree made that much difference. The beam divergence is certainly a lot more than 1 degree. Are the heads level left-to-right?
 

Vortex

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I want to thank Vortex for organizing this event. It was highly educational and fun, and it was great meeting everyone. The weather was a bonus. :)

To answer the question about the PL3 on the front DHL, we adjusted the head by literally 1 degree inward. The final retest after the adjustment was JTG (as seen in his chart). Hard to believe that such a minor adjustment would cause this, but that's what we determined (Vortex, you should have a photo of my head on your phone that we took of the head prior to adjustment).
Oh yeah, here's the shot of your front driver's side head. The red level is straight with the front of the car. That's how off the head was. Once we adjusted it, it was then JTG. It's amazing how much such a small difference makes. It still blows my mind.

s1000rr head.jpg

What's particularly interesting is that when his car was driving towards us, the shooter was on the other side of the street. Meaning the head, while not point straight, was actually pointing more towards the shooter, not away! You'd think it'd actually help if anything, and yet we were getting consistent PT's. Once we pointed the head straight, it actually worked better. Go figure.

I have some in-camera footage that I can post if anyone is interested in seeing it (it's very noisy with my Escort Max going off).
That'd be really cool. At one point someone's Redline or Max started alerting to scatter while still sitting in the parking lot. That was both hilarious and impressive, considering the way the cars were all pointed and the fact that the gun was shooting in a completely different direction!
 
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V1Jake

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^ Just went to check my rear heads, toed out just a tiny bit too. I will have to redo them
 

OpenRoad

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Nice work. Too bad you could not set up to shoot in the opposite direction, since what you were testing simulates being shot from the center divide. Your test results may be completely different if shot from the opposite side. Just sayin.

---------- Post added at 04:19 PM ---------- Previous post was at 04:16 PM ----------

For those that got PT's... did the jammers stop alerting? I found that in all of my tests on my vehicle, if the jammers were alerting, they were jamming 100% of the time. Once they went silent, it was a PT.

---------- Post added at 04:22 PM ---------- Previous post was at 04:19 PM ----------

^ Just went to check my rear heads, toed out just a tiny bit too. I will have to redo them
We should do an exhaustive test on this..... our testing tends to be always from a fixed point. I think an truly effective test means shooting from off axis left, right, then center.
 

PointerCone

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One very important thing not addressed above is, Do you all have front plates on your cars? If yes, then CM PTs are that much easier than if no plate as many states do not require a front plate. Some of the passing cars in vid have front plates and some do not and this is why I ask.

I have also found in lidar testing that because of pan error, it's possible to get a pt through on a HL , when in fact you may be getting reflection off the front plate and you think it's off the HL At the ranges you shot, starting approx 1400 feet, it's possible that the beam is indeed 36-40 inches at that point, even though the display shows you're pointing at the HL, the beam is much wider at that point. Obviously, it converges as one gets closer.
 
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Vortex

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One very important thing not addressed above is, Do you all have front plates on your cars? If yes, then CM PTs are that much easier than if no plate as many states do not require a front plate. Some of the passing cars in vid have front plates and some do not and this is why I ask.
Good question. Most cars did.

devinwwu's M5 had his plate mounted off to the side.
s1000rr did, with a protective laser plate cover.
I did, but it had veil.
highvoltage's cars did.
Filibuster's Challenger didn't.
drewdownkali's vehicle did.
Hahns52's truck partially did. It's been kinda damaged over time, plus he applied a clear tape over the plate that reduced the lidar gun's return.
 

PointerCone

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Good question. Most cars did.

devinwwu's M5 had his plate mounted off to the side.
s1000rr did, with a protective laser plate cover.
I did, but it had veil.
highvoltage's cars did.
Filibuster's Challenger didn't.
drewdownkali's vehicle did.
Hahns52's truck partially did. It's been kinda damaged over time, plus he applied a clear tape over the plate that reduced the lidar gun's return.

See my edit above about plate reflection even if you're shooting at HL, you can still get plate reflection.
 

Vortex

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See my edit above about plate reflection even if you're shooting at HL, you can still get plate reflection.
Your comment is very true. Not only that, it was windy and hard to keep the gun steady (we shot handheld, usually standing, I sometimes crouched, Hahns sometimes bent over on his side mirror), but especially at the far end of the course beyond 1,000 feet or so, the gun moves around enough to cover much of the whole front of the vehicle. We can aim for CM or DHL or whatever, but the shot itself is still all over the place.
 

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