VEIL G5 Review/Test (1 Viewer)

jdong

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FOREWARD:
STS134 and I have been planning this for a while, but we finally got together and performed a test of VEIL G5 using it. We'd like to thank BestRadarDetectors for providing us with the free VEIL G5 container. Upon receiving the box, we were able to verify it is a sealed, retail box of VEIL G5 and were confident that it's the same product we would've gotten when purchasing it directly.


The Guns:
  • Fairly up to date DragonEye Speed LIDAR with ECCM. This is a long range gun that's advertised to clock at up to 6000ft.
  • Non-ECCM Truspeed S. This is a popular gun in our area and advertises a relatively short range (2000 ft)
The Cars:
  • My 2014 Audi A6: I was particularly interested because this car I think is "stealthy" by community standards, at least at the CM. It's a piano-black grill without much chrome around it, and only the front LP screams out as a target.
  • White Toyota Corolla
IMG_1334.JPG


IMG_1332.JPG


Test Course:
  • Residential street, 1700ft course. At the end of the course, the target car is a tiny speck that's fully engulfed by the aiming circle/rectangle in the HUD of both guns.
Test Setups:

BASELINES:
  • With Front Plate:
    • A6:
      • TSS: IPT entire course
      • DESL: IPT entire course
    • Corolla:
      • TSS: IPT entire course
      • DESL: IPT* (Some trouble locking into the license plate deliberately…. The DESL does not like its beam shot at the ground, and the LP hangs relatively low on the Corolla. But an operator within a split second learns to pan the gun up based on auditory feedback)
  • No Front Plate:
    • Same results.

Test 1: Painted Plate Cover:
Following the instructions exactly, I painted a clear plastic plate cover with VEIL. This I think is the most representative test because it is likely how most prospective customers would want to use VEIL. I will note, though, that VEIL G5 was very difficult to apply evenly, and the end result is blatantly dark:

IMG_1318.JPG


We then placed an unpainted, standard California white plate behind this. The LIDAR gun operator intentionally targeted front CM as if to deliberately shoot the plate, giving VEIL the best chance to perform its advertised job.


Results:
  • A6:
    • DESL: IPT whole course
    • TSS: Delayed readings down to 800ft, then IPT below 800ft.
      • The TSS usually locks in 1/3 of a second, or virtually instantly. We noticed that when deliberately aiming for the front LP cover, the TSS took anywhere from 1/3 to 2 seconds to obtain a speed reading, which is markedly different from the baseline run. We test the significance of this later.
  • Corolla:
    • DESL: IPT whole course
    • TSS: IPT whole course
Test 1b: Attempt to utilize passive VEIL as a CM:
Since my A6 exhibited slightly delayed readings at large distances with TSS, we put a Redline low on the windshield. The driver sped up to 30mph, and the instant the RD goes off, the driver braked full-force to attempt to get to 20mph. The shooter targeted the car at ~1200ft.
  • Clocked speed: 27mph. Driver was going 30 per speedometer (which is ~28mph GPS speed), when braking, emergency brake assist kicked in, tires screeched and left black marks on road, digital speedo instantly jumped from 30 -> 17mph.
  • Conclusion: Inadequate effect, ticket in real world, extremely unsafe. Nobody drops anchor at the first hint of their RD going off on laser. And even so, it did not shave off more than 3mph at best.
Test 2: Directly painted the plate

We directly painted the plate with VEIL G5, and a relatively generous application at that.

IMG_1329.JPG


Results:
  • Corolla: IPT against both guns
  • A6:
    • DESL: IPT
    • TSS: Delayed somewhat at far range, IPT below 800ft
Conclusion: Still ineffective despite ridiculous and blatantly illegal looking license plate. In fact, we subjectively though the TSS performance was slightly worse versus the plate cover.


Test 3: Stealthmobile A6

We covered my A6's headlights and the bulk of the chrome trim (including the Audi rings) with matte black construction paper.

IMG_1334.JPG


Results: Same as before. Additionally, we note that both LIDAR guns had no issues PT'ing the black construction paper too.
  • Corolla: IPT against both guns
  • A6:
    • DESL: IPT
    • TSS: Delayed somewhat at far range, IPT below 800ft


VIDEOS:

Video of the "final" run against the fully blacked out Audi pictured above. For those unfamiliar with DESL guns, the low tone = sees a car, no lock. High tone = continuous speed lock.

OVERALL CONCLUSION:

VEIL G5 seems largely ineffective as a countermeasure against a modern LIDAR gun. It was able to briefly delay readings versus the Truspeed S from 800-1500ft, but even despite that "advantage", we were unable to demonstrate that the delay is long enough to save even the most attentive/paranoid driver from getting a ticket. Furthermore, against the DragonEye, it showed zero effect whatsoever. We also note that VEIL G5 was very difficult to apply, and very very conspicuous even when trying to apply a light layer. One can postulate that a thicker coating of this material may possibly have more of an effect, but at that point it would look so ridiculous that you risk either tickets or severely compromised headlight function.

Additionally, we attempted to use black paper to reduce the reflectivity of the entire frontal area of a car. This was also not effective, which calls most passive countermeasures into question. Even if one argues that black construction paper still reflects some infrared light, then whatever stealthier passive CM must envelope the entire frontal area of a car.


Given these results, we are unable to recommend VEIL as a passive countermeasure or even a worthwhile defense-in-depth layer. It seems to have no appreciable effect on modern LIDAR guns.
 
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holeinthehead

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FOREWARD:
@STS134 and I have been planning this for a while, but we finally got together and performed a test of VEIL G5 using it. We'd like to thank @BestRadarDetectors for providing us with the free VEIL G5 container. Upon receiving the box, we were able to verify it is a sealed, retail box of VEIL G5 and were confident that it's the same product we would've gotten when purchasing it directly.



Given these results, we are unable to recommend VEIL as a passive countermeasure or even a worthwhile defense-in-depth layer. It seems to have no appreciable effect on modern LIDAR guns.
Awesome job! This level of detail is great. Thanks for all the hard work.
 

STS134

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Wow, those pictures really do not capture how blatantly illegal the license plate looked on your A6. I think the camera's trying to adjust to the black bumper and makes the plate look lighter than it actually was. Just FYI for those looking at the photos: the plate WAS NOT repainted with Veil between the time it was mounted on the Corolla vs. the A6 in the photos. It was simply transferred from one car to the other. The picture of my Corolla really is closer to how it looks with the naked eye.

Also, we did a 4th test.

Test 4: Stealthmobile A6 with no license plate
After we found that jdong's car was nearly IPT against both guns with the Veil covered plate and the headlights and emblem covered with black construction paper, we simply removed the front plate entirely, and kept the construction paper in place over the headlights and emblem.

Results:
  • A6
    • TSS: Delayed readings down to 800 ft (took about 0.5-1 second to lock on most of the time), then IPT under 800 ft
    • DESL: IPT entire course
  • Corolla
    • Not tested. The entire bumper, even without the license plate, was so reflective that putting the plate cover over the plate in Test 1 did absolutely nothing, so we figured we'd have a better shot at getting good results on the A6, plus it was getting late.

The results of this test show that while Veil is completely useless as a CM, it might not even be Veil's fault that it's useless. The entire premise that you can cover the reflective parts of your car with something and prevent modern LIDAR guns from locking onto it is flawed. That is, even if a 100% effective version of Veil were developed, which blocks nearly 100% of LIDAR, and can be put on a license plate, the headlights, and all emblems without looking blatantly illegal, this would still not prevent cars from being IPT against modern guns, because the bumper and grill themselves return enough light to the gun for the gun to get a nearly instant lock. This was true not only for white cars like my Corolla, but for dark cars with black grills like jdong's A6. The only effective CM against LIDAR is a good set of jammers.
 
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nicholat

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IMO, the shape and size of the front would be a bigger factor on the reflectivity of the vehicle then the color. I believe that why veil used corvette in his first test. You need to get that light reflected in different direction other then back to the gun.
 

JustinP

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Wow, those pictures really do not capture how blatantly illegal the license plate looked on your A6.
You mean it's actually "WORSE" than the pics?? Laughing out loud here at the pics.
 

STS134

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You mean it's actually "WORSE" than the pics?? Laughing out loud here at the pics.
It looks much worse to the naked eye than the pic of the plate on the A6 makes it appear, yes. Look at the pic of the Corolla and how dark the plate looks in that photo, and compare it to the photo of the same plate on the A6. What I'm saying is that it looks more similar to how it appears in the Corolla photo when you look at it with the naked eye.
 

hiddencam

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Awesome job fellas!
 

jdong

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You mean it's actually "WORSE" than the pics?? Laughing out loud here at the pics.

Yeah, @STS134 is correct. Phone cameras have a ton of postprocessing built in — they try to perceive what a photo should look like and then tweak brightness/contrast/etc to match its expectations. We spent a good deal of time laughing about how terrible the plate cover and the painted plate looks. With sunglasses on, it was impossible to read the license plate lettering from 20ft away. You are gonna get a ticket just for having something like that. I thought I've seen a lot of bad smoked plate covers in the real world, but nothing remotely compares to this. It looked so bad that for the last few runs, I was literally afraid I'd get a ticket doing this test.


Another objective point: 800ft is actually really far away in the real world. The shooter was sitting on the side of the road in a lawn chair, about one house down from an intersection with nothing in front of him. At 800ft, he is nearly invisible to the naked eye. I would estimate it was only at 300ft and below that it was obvious there was a person pointing a LIDAR gun at you. Or more to the point, at the ~1200ft point when my Redline went off, I saw 20 parked cars and 2 people walking dogs. There was nothing that screamed LIDAR trap, and in the real world, even with a selective laser-filtering RD like a Redline, I would not have braked immediately.

Also, these are the most flattering test conditions for VEIL. No operator deliberately aims for specific targets on a car. They generally start at a headlight or CM and pan… and there were plenty of surfaces that would've yielded IPT that VEIL could not be reasonably applied to.


And, just my personal opinion on the stuff: I think this is in the category of snake oil. There's definitely a popular sentiment for newcomers on the forum that they would rather not install laser jammers (whether it's because of the hassle of an install, or the perceived illegality, etc)… It's definitely tempting to paint magic goo on your headlights/license plates, and I think VEIL caters to those wishes in a borderline deceptive manner. For what amounts to a can of smelly black shoe polish, they sure charge you a lot! And it doesn't help that it virtually does not do anything. And the only way to make it do something would be to put ungodly amounts of this uneven black stuff all over your car, which goes against the premise of wanting a non-invasive, "legal", easy-to-install passive LIDAR solution.
 
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BhamGuy

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Great job, guys. As someone who looked into the stuff a long time ago, but got great feedback from here to keep me away from making that error, I really appreciate those efforts. Really highlights the (lack of) effectiveness of the product.
 

THRASH

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Wow you guys did a great job. Excellent write up. Thanks for taking the time and effort to inform us in the CM community.
 

protias

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At a couple of MWTC events, we used some radar absorbing material and had some decent results against LIDAR.
 

PointerCone

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FWIW, we have tested various materials that did redce or eliminate IPTs on cars and/or motorcycles. [MENTION=39]lugnuts[/MENTION] has a material that does work. Application is a whole other issue though. Not hear as bad as Veil G5, but obvious nonetheless. But, the film worked in all of our tests. [MENTION=1677]RedRocket[/MENTION] recently tested a BMW bike that was able to slow or eliminate PTs with modern guns using [MENTION=39]lugnuts[/MENTION] film. So, aside from ALPs, there is hope........
 

JustinP

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FWIW, we have tested various materials that did redce or eliminate IPTs on cars and/or motorcycles. @lugnuts has a material that does work. Application is a whole other issue though. Not hear as bad as Veil G5, but obvious nonetheless. But, the film worked in all of our tests. @RedRocket recently tested a BMW bike that was able to slow or eliminate PTs with modern guns using @lugnuts film. So, aside from ALPs, there is hope........
Wonder what would happen if you covered your car in Vantablack?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vantablack

All people would see if a black spot driving down the road. Bet it would work great for LIDAR, though. And still look better than Veil. :D
 
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jdong

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FWIW, we have tested various materials that did redce or eliminate IPTs on cars and/or motorcycles. [MENTION=39]lugnuts[/MENTION] has a material that does work. Application is a whole other issue though. Not hear as bad as Veil G5, but obvious nonetheless. But, the film worked in all of our tests. [MENTION=1677]RedRocket[/MENTION] recently tested a BMW bike that was able to slow or eliminate PTs with modern guns using [MENTION=39]lugnuts[/MENTION] film. So, aside from ALPs, there is hope........
Don't get me wrong, there's sound physics behind this: If you truly have a LIDAR non-reflective material, it will reduce PT ranges on modern guns. But that also requires the operator to shoot an area you have covered with the film, which in turn means you have to cover pretty much all of the front of the car/motorcycle with said film.

On a car like my A6, I simply don't see how that'd be practical. There's headlights, bumpers, fog lights, and all the black and silver trim around the front. You'd basically have to do an even more ridiculous version of my construction paper job...


Maybe if you have a motorcycle or a C6 Corvette, you can practically apply such a film. But I'd guess that would look so absurd on a car like mine, that I'd rather have big bulky jammer sensors....
 

chconline

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Haha great test. I laughed at how ineffective this junk is. :roflcopter:
 

Vortex

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Great work with the testing! I love your scientific and objective approach.

I'm glad that Veil can do *something* in some situations, but realistically speaking, it's just not effective and even causes more problems than it solves. While I like the idea of it in theory (other than the lack of ability to control it and manually JTK), it doesn't look to be an adequate alternative to or even addition to a set of laser jammers.

I'm not a fan of bashing anyone and giving people are hard time, but at the same time, the facts are the facts with this product and I'm really glad you guys did such a great test as well.
 

croup

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Learned a lot from this thread....Thanks guys for such an awesome test and presentation of the results...
 

Tallyho

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Excellent testing methods and thorough review to showcase your findings in an objective manner.

Do we have a forum section that categorizes "Less Than Effective" CM's? It would be helpful to reserve a special forum place for the RMR and Veil's of the world so that people can view these results as easily as forum threads for our favorite CM's.
 
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