Laser System Failure Rate Poll

quandary

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Firstly, i am happy with the radar hardware and the vision of the system. I was just wondering if people have had failure in their laser systems? Since i don't have access to failure rates, i was wondering if others on this forum have had similar experiences.

It seems like my unit fails after 2 years and shorts out the computer (2017 and 2019). This is the older system and i live in Ontario, Canada. (I suspect our temperature variance and salts are wearing out the seals in the laser receivers.)

I am considering buying a third replacement system but have concerns of investing my money and putting my faith into this system. I am seriously considering the competitive products because of the track history.

If you live in the same salt, heat and cold conditions, i'd appreciate to hear your experiences.
 

doubledge

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I think you forgot to mention what system you’re using or are you just asking in general for any system?
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Additionally you could actually creat a poll in the thread to asses numbers more easily.
 

Vancity23

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Yes please provide more details of your system, type, how long you have had it, number of heads and setup etc. thanks.
 

quandary

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The system is the Stinger VIP v.4.4 with the small fiber optic lasers. With the change in design in the laser heads, it's not clear if there will be an improvement in the durability since the lasers seem to aggregate into another box that would be exposed to the elements.

I've had it about 4 years and the laser system shorted out the computer in both cases. I have a support ticket with Stinger and they will be quoting a new unit. I am not sure i will take their offer if i have to pay an installation shop and drive without alerts to replace my unit every 2 years. I'm just wondering if others have had similar issues.
 
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doubledge

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So you have the previous generation system called the Freedom Laser?

You’re saying the Freedom laser box that all the fibers plug into is what’s failing or the main CPU?

If you are asking if the new laser system with the latest fibers and the new Laser Center is any more durable that’s hard to answer because we don’t really know the reason for your failures. Where do you have the unit that’s failing installed? That said, I have not heard of any systems failing like you describe, new version or old. But, the new laser center is clearly noted that it needs to be installed in a dry location. It’s not designed to be exposed to water and salt etc. The older version, while sealed to some degree, should also be in a reasonably protected area as it’s not IP rated as far as I know. You’re going to find that’s the case with all jammer products.
 
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quandary

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I think the Freedom system came afterwards as a standalone. Sorry if i don't know the exact name since i know it as part of the VIP system.

The laser receiver head fails, then shorts out the LAB, then shorts out the Computer Console. This is the second time now each about 2 years apart. I have seen one reference that the new system has a box where the laser heads connect seems flimsy, so the design for the components exposed to the elements and heat/ cold are still similar.

I am looking to see if my situation is unique or if the local weather might be causing failure in the seals. In my part of Ontario, we see a range of -22f to 95f and have salted roads. I might also be the only owner in my area since my order was #22 from the previous US reseller.

Since i am out of warranty and the unit is not salvageable, I am starting the research on ALP but am still attached to Stinger. If i have to buy a new one every 2 years, i'm going to have to move on.
 

doubledge

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Wow. Ok. Thanks for that more detailed explanation. I assume then you have the laser squares?

I’ve not heard of this before with any of their hardware versions. Hopefully others on this forum can chime in but I don’t see any other threads here with that issue noted. There are some other users up in Canada who are on this forum and have or still do use a Stinger system. I also reached out to a local install shop in my area and asked if they knew anything and they have not heard of this being an issue. That of course might just be because we don’t see such extreme low temps in the winter here, though we do have salted roads and we see high temps like you do. You could be right about the weather but I would expect you would not be the only one if that's the case. Have you visually inspected the laser heads and can you see where they are compromised? You should also consider if they are getting damaged from road debris where they are installed. If they get hit with a lot of stones maybe they first get compromised that way and then the salt and water get in. Do you have a picture of the damage?

I believe that the square laser heads, which I don't think were fiber optic, had the electronics in the head. So if one of those gets compromised I can see how it would short out easily. I'm not sure about the first generation fiber optic versions which came next. The newest system has actual fiber optic tails that are about 18" long and terminate into a box that has the electronics and converts to the typical USB style cable that then plugs into the new laser center which replaced the LAB. In theory you could mount that box the fibers are attached to somewhere more protected or wrap them in plastic or spray them with a protective coating, etc. In fact a rubber spray or some of that clear film spray might be worth considering. Since there is not power in the fiber tails they will not short anything out. In fact there is nothing to really get damaged other than the finish on the end of the fiber which you might have to clean off every so often to keep it from getting etched by the salt if they are using plastic fibers. If they are glass there is nothing to worry about assuming you wash your car once in a while. As I noted previously, the new Laser Center is not designed to be exposed to the outside so you would have to locate that inside or at least in a protected area that won't get wet. It's not as convenient but typical of other systems as well.

I feel like the new system might serve you better but you really need to figure out exactly where the system in getting compromised. I agree that you don't want this to happen again and if Stinger can't help you or you can't figure out what is happening with some degree of confidence then another product might be better. But even then it will be helpful to understand exactly where the issue is because who knows of anything else is any better.
 

dblock05

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Just curious, why did you end up choosing stinger over ALP the first time? I am guessing you did not know about ALP at that time.

If I were in your shoes at this time, it’s a no brainer to go with ALP than putting a single dollar into stinger. The ALP system is the best there is when it comes to the laser defense and most likely cheaper.
 

doubledge

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Just curious, why did you end up choosing stinger over ALP the first time? I am guessing you did not know about ALP at that time.

If I were in your shoes at this time, it’s a no brainer to go with ALP than putting a single dollar into stinger. The ALP system is the best there is when it comes to the laser defense and most likely cheaper.
He has the whole integrated Stinger system with radar too. Buying a new laser system it would be cheaper to get and ALP and they are for sure the best at jamming though the new Sinter fibers tested really well when Vortex did his review, especially considering the very temporary installation. The OP might only need to replace some parts though which will likely be cheaper to do and he gets to keep his integrated system.
 

quandary

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The damage does not appear to be visible, so i suspect that it is inside the laser receiver box with some seal broken down. This has cascaded down to the computer component in both cases. The laser heads are the small ones and not the legacy squares. The lab was wrapped in a plastic bag to protect it from moisture.

I chose Stinger over ALP because they were the only 2 systems at the time that tested well. ALP did not have integrated radar with arrows at the time and the hardware on the Stinger radar heads are still better than the rest.

I am seriously considering the ALP because it has been around so long and is cheaper than the discounted pricing that they provided. Neither vendors have any reports on "weathering" issues. I will also have to get a new radar unit, which is a shame but perhaps it's better to get the best of breed solutions.
 

doubledge

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Well the plot thickens. I’m sorry to hear all this. It is certainly a bummer no matter what you do especially since it’s now happened twice.

Regardless of what you choose to do in the end, I feel like it would behoove you to figure this out to some degree of confidence otherwise there’s nothing saying it can’t happen with any other system. On a personal note, I think you have a great system and it would be a shame to toss all of it. I don’t know what your tolerance is for investing but I would be sorting through all the hardware piece by piece to see what I could be.

You previously mentioned a specific chain of events where the laser receiver fails first, then the LAB and finally the Computer Center. How were you able to determine that specific chain of events? Is there a chance it could be something else like a fault with the power wiring, condensation buildup in the plastic bag around the LAB, a pinched cable or heat damage from the engine? etc etc.
 

quandary

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I have been working with Stinger to diagnose the problem modules for months. The procedure requires taking voltage and resistance across specific points in the hardware. We're now at a point where they want to sell me new equipment (basically scrapping the previous installation), so i have to decide whether to shell out a few thousand dollars again. Based on the history (failure every 2 years, slow support response times, and a failed US distributor), I am leaning against purchasing again. (If anyone has a working spare at a low cost, i'd be willing to try that.)

The cheaper price of the ALP tips the scales but they do not have the best radar solution. The decision is not only based on the hardware but also other aspects such as running a north american business. I loved the product when it worked but am not as willing to give them a third chance in such a short time frame. I was hoping this thread would convince me otherwise but i don't think they have too many installations in Ontario's weather.
 

dyn0mitemat

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I have been working with Stinger to diagnose the problem modules for months. The procedure requires taking voltage and resistance across specific points in the hardware. We're now at a point where they want to sell me new equipment (basically scrapping the previous installation), so i have to decide whether to shell out a few thousand dollars again. Based on the history (failure every 2 years, slow support response times, and a failed US distributor), I am leaning against purchasing again. (If anyone has a working spare at a low cost, i'd be willing to try that.)

The cheaper price of the ALP tips the scales but they do not have the best radar solution. The decision is not only based on the hardware but also other aspects such as running a north american business. I loved the product when it worked but am not as willing to give them a third chance in such a short time frame. I was hoping this thread would convince me otherwise but i don't think they have too many installations in Ontario's weather.
The net radar setup integrates with the ALP and is a comparable product in the radar world. Seems to test well, may be worth a look if you're considering ALP's and want radar integration
 

doubledge

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I was hoping this thread would convince me otherwise but i don't think they have too many installations in Ontario's weather.
Not sure why others north of the border have not chimed in but I assume they have not seen the same issue. Anyone? @whitewiskers @Dukes There have to be others.

I have been working with Stinger to diagnose the problem modules for months. The procedure requires taking voltage and resistance across specific points in the hardware. We're now at a point where they want to sell me new equipment (basically scrapping the previous installation), so i have to decide whether to shell out a few thousand dollars again. Based on the history (failure every 2 years, slow support response times, and a failed US distributor), I am leaning against purchasing again. (If anyone has a working spare at a low cost, i'd be willing to try that.)
This is a disappointment. Have you been dealing with Stinger HQ in the Netherlands or Mobile Solutions of Canada or the North American rep CarComputers USA?

It seems you’ve tested the system like they suggested to no avail. That’s worrisome. Maybe you can find some used parts. Do our have access to the classified section?
If you have access you can also post in the wanted forum.

Getting some used parts is an option but in the end it looks like this will keep happening until you figure out why. There is also no saying it won’t happen with another system. The ALP and NetRadar DSP is a great system. So is ALP with the Radenso built in. You might like the ALP and Radenso best as it uses the Radenso interface instead of requiring a paired phone.
 

whitewiskers

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My concealed Stinger radar antennas are within the passenger area of the car, not installed behind bumpers etc. I have not yet installed the 3x square laser receivers and transmitters along with the older version of the LAB. I am planning to do this when I get to the UK on a different car! The laser package is still in the original box from Stinger, but as you can expect, I would want a price close to what I have paid for them, as the are completely unused. If you were to want to purchase them, I would acquire the newer stuff from Stinger once over the other side.
 

quandary

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Thanks to all for assisting. I have been working with an engineer in the Netherlands. Since i have not heard anything from someone in an area that has salted winter roads, i would assume that there are not that many installations.

I've decided that it's just not worth installing the laser system again and inviting another purchase in 2 years. I'm going to stick with the radar system because it has not failed to date and purchase a used computer console. I will be researching the laser system but each has their pros and cons.

It really is a shame but i think this is the most prudent and economical way to go.
 

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