Distance measurement device for radar testing

Dukes

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So [MENTION=2404]Vortex[/MENTION] and I recently used a device called "fast-measure" for radar testing to calculate distance. This device is WAY more accurate then using GPS/Phone map marking as these can be off by as much as 30 feet.

obd-ii.jpg

The "FastMeasure - OBD-II" is great for a few reasons. However this product is not cheap, it'll set you back around $500.

Some specs from the site:

• Large and easy to read backlight display
• Very accurate
• Easy to use - only two buttons, very intuitive - (My favourite part about it!)
• Easy to calibrate
• Measures distance in feet or meters
• Displays speed in mph, kph or feet per minute
• Measures at speeds at highway speeds
• Simple Plug-N-Play installation
• Complete with a handy carry case
• Quickly and easily pause and reset count on the fly
• Can be mounted in most cars and trucks 2006 and newer


So easy to use, press the "hold" button when the distance counter is at 0 and when you're radar detector goes off press "hold" again and it instantly starts counting feet. It sure made radar detector runs way faster and data collection was simplified because of this!
 

Vortex

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This thing is amazing and I don't wanna do radar testing without it anymore. :) You calculate the exact distances right there on the spot and no having to fiddle with Google Maps estimated distances afterwards or anything.
 

CJR238

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X2. A dedicated GPS devise is the only way!

And this looks perfect for what we need when doing accurate definitive testing.
 

Brainstorm69

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Their website isn't clear about what technology it is using. Is this a dedicated GPS device, or is it using info from the ODB-II port of your car?
 

Dukes

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Brainstorm69

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Yea, I agree their website could use improvement. The model I have uses your vehicle ODB-II port to calculate distance. http://www.fast-measure.com/obd-ii.html
Yeah, I thought maybe so based on their website. I just wasn't sure. So this tool requires you to drive the whole length of the course with each run?
 

lugnuts

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Except I can't enable it on the fly. It has a big delay and wouldn't be accurate.
what delay? this device is using the same data.

I don't understand the point of this device, if it is reading the OBDII data you already have that data through the speedometer, odometer and trip odometer. there are much cheaper ways to view OBDII data.
 

Dukes

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what delay? this device is using the same data.

I don't understand the point of this device, if it is reading the OBDII data you already have that data through the speedometer, odometer and trip odometer. there are much cheaper ways to view OBDII data.
It's much more accurate to measure in feet then KM and Miles. That's the whole point of it, I wanted the most accurate way to measure distance and this device provided it.
 

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A hand held GPS unit is what we have used in the passed, mark your way points and its a peace of cake. There really isn't anything else better to use. I had thought this used GPS.
 

Tallyho

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Yeah, I thought maybe so based on their website. I just wasn't sure. So this tool requires you to drive the whole length of the course with each run?
Exactly. When you're out doing testing and trying to get in as much as possible, as efficiently as possible one of the first tricks you learn is that after the first run there's no need for full runs each and every time.

As convenient as the device is, are you guys running the full length of the course each time or using it to establish distance markers? If the latter, then maybe that would optimize its capabilities.

I'd prefer to find a device which precisely records a snapshot of the GPS coordinates, which could be plugged into Google Maps post testing. This would show a snapshot of coordinates, at the first detection, each run by every detector.
 
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Dukes

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Exactly. When you're out doing testing and trying to get in as much as possible, as efficiently as possible one of the first tricks you learn is that after the first run there's no need for full runs each and every time.

As convenient as the device is, are you guys running the full length of the course each time or using it to establish distance markers? If the latter, then maybe that would optimize its capabilities.

I'd prefer to have a device which precisely records a snapshot the GPS coordinates, which could need plugged into Google Maps post testing to show a snapshot of each run by detector.
I never said you had to do the whole course. You could simply run the entire length of the course and measure it. Then start the counter at the start of the course and stop when the detector goes off and then you could subtract the distance from the total course length.

Honestly though, I enjoy running the entire course and hearing the ramp up. Besides how do you know if there is a big vehicle affecting the results if you don't run the whole course?
 

Tallyho

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I never said you had to do the whole course. You could simply run the entire length of the course and measure it. Then start the counter at the start of the course and stop when the detector goes off and then you could subtract the distance from the total course length.

Honestly though, I enjoy running the entire course and hearing the ramp up. Besides how do you know if there is a big vehicle affecting the results if you don't run the whole course?
Or in some cases if the course has been compromised by live radar from a LEO? :cop: I've seen that happen too.

Course selection and vetting is part of the process. It can be difficult as backyard testers but that's why it's good to see multiple tests from various sources. But you're right in an ideal world we would not have these variables. I've found that being selective with the course, the testing times, testing protocol/discipline and following up on unusual results can eliminate most variables.

For example, if a car pulls out directly in front of me on a run I'll abandon the run or time it with traffic cycles to get a cleaner run, within reason.
 
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Dukes

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A hand held GPS unit is what we have used in the passed, mark your way points and its a peace of cake. There really isn't anything else better to use. I had thought this used GPS.
I would argue this device is easier and better than a GPS device but its all personal choice :)

[video=youtube;qWCHhdNU4qk]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qWCHhdNU4qk&feature=youtu.be[/video]
 

PointerCone

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Exactly. When you're out doing testing and trying to get in as much as possible, as efficiently as possible one of the first tricks you learn is that after the first run there's no need for full runs each and every time.

As convenient as the device is, are you guys running the full length of the course each time or using it to establish distance markers? If the latter, then maybe that would optimize its capabilities.

I'd prefer to find a device which precisely records a snapshot of the GPS coordinates, which could be plugged into Google Maps post testing. This would show a snapshot of coordinates, at the first detection, each run by every detector.
X2 on this, no need to run a whole course with each unit, unless you're looking at ultimate distances for a particular unit initially. We have used for the last three testing events a handheld GPS that is pretty dead-nuts accurate, BUT yes, does have a slight update delay in the distance. Speed updates ever 500 MS or so, so its real accurate to speed within a 10th. BUT, and this is important, we pretty much know the distance anyway after a few runs since I hit the street signs with a lidar gun and register them from beginning of course to end. Are we up to 30 feet off, probably and only sometimes , BUT we're NOT 100 feet or more off. I guess if you want that extra 30 feet then the $500 is worth it.
 

Vortex

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X2 on this, no need to run a whole course with each unit, unless you're looking at ultimate distances for a particular unit initially. We have used for the last three testing events a handheld GPS that is pretty dead-nuts accurate, BUT yes, does have a slight update delay in the distance. Speed updates ever 500 MS or so, so its real accurate to speed within a 10th. BUT, and this is important, we pretty much know the distance anyway after a few runs since I hit the street signs with a lidar gun and register them from beginning of course to end. Are we up to 30 feet off, probably and only sometimes , BUT we're NOT 100 feet or more off. I guess if you want that extra 30 feet then the $500 is worth it.
You can also go back and take a look at the dashcam footage to make sure that the order of each detector is correct. +/- 30 feet is enough to change the order of the results and who did "best" and even if lots of detectors alert in right around the same location, people will still look to the results to see who won, who came in 2nd, etc., and you can always verify that with the dashcam footage. :)
 

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