2 years with the Stinger VIP - A longterm review

Discussion in 'Stinger' started by mikedotd, Feb 14, 2018.

  1. GotWake

    GotWake Speed Kills Advanced User

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    I guess you can’t say 100 percent. But, I really haven’t noticed anything weird with the VIP/Redline and the VIP/R3 (rear patch only). When I ran the Redline with my STIR+ just for comparison, I've seen the Redline do weird things. Which you wouldn’t think would happen.

    The VIP does all the weird lockout K band LEOs, great Ka range one time, sleep on ka the next time with or without running another RD.
     
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  2. Jag42

    Jag42 TXCTG (Professional backyard tester) Advanced User Premium Member

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    Stinger lost thier Head Engineer on the patch antenna about 2 years ago. You would be surprised,what Rd engineers don't know. I would not down play another Rd's performance based on a dual in cabin setup. I'm guilty of it myself,but mostly do it to study interference patterns etc..
     
  3. Sommelier

    Sommelier PSL +5 Intermediate User

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    Every time I see a thread about the Stinger VIP, I wish there was an open source community supporting the device. How freaking awesome would that be?
     
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  4. beingaware

    beingaware Premium Member Intermediate User Premium Member

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    We already exported the SD card ages ago and dumped it semi publicly.
    The whole unpacked os...


    I'm sure someone could create an open source project if someone here had the skills.
     
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  5. PointerCone

    PointerCone M3 Kng Advanced User Premium Member

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    It would be great to have the firmware, but it does not resolve the largest issue: Price. Just like ER, Stinger positioned this at the way upper end of the market where the pyramid of buyers is the slimmest. I've been watching the Stinger market for the past three years and used ones are going at less than 50% their retail. If Stinger had positioned this new at $2000-$2500, they would've sold a lot more than they did ( nothing wrong with volume). Brilliant technology, poor execution.
     
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  6. whitewiskers

    whitewiskers Learning to Drive General User

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    As all have indicated in the various posts above, Stinger is a potentially fabulous product, but the handling of how it approaches upgrades and refinements leaves an awful lot to be desired. The lack of any reasonable interaction with the engineers except on rare occasions does not make users very comfortable with the product. Thanks for all the useful experience material.
     
  7. jdong

    jdong Premium Member Advanced User Premium Member

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    Ditto. With or without another RD running, the Stinger VIP filtering algorithms produced monster detections one minute and extremely odd behavior the next. Running alone, it's really easy to attempt to dismiss it as "oh maybe it's IO" or "oh maybe you actually find the first CHP cruiser shooting 1 bar of 35.5 from 20 feet away", but running it with another detector had been the only way I could've confirmed that the VIP was behaving oddly with police radar. Those confirmations were subsequently backed by logging.

    BTW, that is something really awesome about Stinger VIP. The logging modes can record a ton of data regarding your radar and laser encounters, and as long as you can get a slice of engineering time, it exposes a lot of data retroactively about what happened. It theoretically should give Stinger an advantage at debugging these kinds of issues, but it seemed like the engineers were always busy with something else.


    I would roughly say that "oddball detections" were maybe a 5% occurrence, but man, seeing your fancy top-of-the-line RD completely miss rolling CO or 34.7 speed signs a couple times is all it takes to completely shake your confidence in the system.
    [doublepost=1518804829,1518802714][/doublepost]
    I dunno, I don't want this to get off-topic and turn into an Escort thread, but IMO ER's similar-priced product actually works and is selling extremely well. And after using both for roughly the same amount of time, it's easy to understand why.
     
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  8. mikedotd

    mikedotd Arrow enthusiast Advanced User Premium Member

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    This is an excellent question.

    Regarding interference causing the VIP to filter police K-band and cause weird behavior I don't believe so, as Stinger HQ support has analyzed my logs many times before on this issue and confirmed that there was a legit signal and the VIP did decide it was something that should be filtered/muted, and they were always aware that I was running 2 RD's. More recently they've been forthcoming and offered an acknowledgement that the K-band filtering issue was known to them but still not resolved. I've also seen this behavior when running the VIP alone, driving through an area with no stationary falses and having a lone LEO pass, looking down and seeing the VIP display yellow showing "falselist".

    In regards to performance related testing, I've run the VIP/V1/Redline/Max1/Max360/R3 alone against some stationary on-axis sources and my VIP has consistently stood out from the pack. I also have 2 Ka off-axis spots (1 a local PD with a cruiser parked in the back and the other a speed sign in a state park next to a highway) where only the Redline and VIP have been able to detect the weak 35.5GHz signals so far. Of course this isn't apples to apples testing since the VIP's antenna is below the front bumper and the windshield mounts have been below my rearview mirror, but these represent real world configurations against real world radar sources.

    As an aside v4.x does seem to have addressed the weird strong Ka signals disappearing issue that many had seen in testing and rear world on v3.x. If it didn't autolearn stationary Ka-band signals and mute them I'd have no concerns running it for Ka duty. K-band I have 0 confidence running it due to the way it filters police K-band so often like BSM. I've seen this behavior on all sensitivity settings.
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2018
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  9. Shanetrain

    Shanetrain PSL+10 Intermediate User Premium Member

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    Stinger need to work more closely with the community to develop the firmware further.
    I believe it can get better if they share a bit more.

    If we knew what
    -BSM’s filtering are active
    -Algo’s for LowK are active
    -Priority frequencies are turned on
    The VIP could be optimised better for specific regions.

    Is my Australian VIP filtering out US and Euro cars that it will never encounter, wasting resources?
    Same for the US firmware, is that filtering cars that it will never see?
    Is the US firmware running LowK detection in the background wasting resources and scans?

    We need more control of the VIP, I would love a simple menu that I could see all the cars/BSM active and what LowK were active and have the ability to turn them off.
    I believe filtering is killing our performance
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2018
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  10. hiddencam

    hiddencam Premium Member Advanced User Premium Member

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    Enjoyed the review thanks for the contribution @mikedotd !! It seems like you've been supremely patient with what I would harshly describe an expensive piece of (insert respectable word for the one I'm thinking of) ... at least until it's fixed. It's a crying shame they don't have the desire and/or ability to fix those not-effing-insignificant issues. There's no way I would run one, and I'm not big on two detectors in the same cabin anymore.
     
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  11. NPark

    NPark -NNJCTG- Rollin', windows down, music up Advanced User Premium Member

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    Thanks for the write up mikedotd! Very informative! Thanks for including some vids as well.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  12. te37

    te37 Learning to Drive...secretly Advanced User Premium Member

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    I have had my stinger for about two years now and I can parrot the same feeling everyone else has had. One time the detector is amazing and the next encounter might detect ka band slower than my eyesight. Never the less (knock on wood) the stinger has never left me with my pants down so that’s nice. My auto brightness has never worked and lockouts can be a joke on this thing. The filtering is old and can be annoying with punch throughs and it seems to get confused at times with multiple signals. Very poor 1st gen touch screen and washes out easily in the sunlight. I don’t think I will be transferring the stinger to my next car but I will not be removing it just to replace it with something else.
     
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  13. ohmygodoui

    ohmygodoui Learning to Drive General User

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    Hi i have 4 laser at the front, do you mean to say you drove around with one laser all that time ?

    I have my stinger vip since november 2016, and i deactivate K band and put my Speedsense depending the environment , little road or highway ( belgium is a little country which small roads not nice long stretches like Australia.

    I deactivate X,K band altogether .

    you say :
    Ka radar source, the Stinger VIP will learn and mute them. There's no way to limit which bands are auto-learned, it's an all or nothing proposition. You can't turn off auto-learning either, only FalseList entirely with no option for manual only lockouts.

    Do you mean i need to deactivate falselist to be certain about KA band ?

    Is there somewhere some sort of experience and how to use interprete guide for the stinger - vip
    i see you are very knowledgeable and experienced

    thanks for the review
     
  14. mikedotd

    mikedotd Arrow enthusiast Advanced User Premium Member

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    My laser system was 3 pairs of the square RX/TX's on the front of a VW Golf R.

    You are very fortunate that you can turn off X/K-band. You are correct, to prevent Ka-band from being added to the FalstList you must turn off FalseList. Because you do not have X/K enabled this should not be a problem for you. The FalseList feature is primarily used to learn stationary radar falses and mute them. Here in the US it is very rare to have a stationary Ka signal that is not a threat, and the police often will park in the same spot with their radar guns. Other radar detectors that can auto-learn stationary radar and mute them only apply this logic to X/K, as Ka is almost always a true threat. Stinger for some reason choose to also learn Ka, which at least where I live is very dangerous.

    I don't know of a how to use guide for the VIP, unfortunately Stinger has not done a great job of explaining the features so we have had to learn it's behavior "in the field". The support person at the Stinger HQ email address I mentioned has been very helpful explaining how things work though, which is why I recommended contacting them. Their support is very good, but their product development has been very slow and buggy. The last update we received was May 2017, 1 year ago. I really hope they release something soon.
     
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