Is dual head ALP obsolete in 2019? How about triple head? (Ohio)

thefrog1394

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Here's the situation: I purchased a quad ALP system a few years back and never installed it. Finally getting around to putting it in, and I'm debating whether its worth installing a dual head up front or whether I really need triples for adequate protection these days.

And, are triples even obsolete with the TX sensor available? With triples, I could potentially do my front install right away and then add on the second rear at a later date. Whereas with the TX sensor+GPS I'm talking about spending basically half the original cost of my system again.

I'm located in Ohio and do a lot of my driving on Ohio highways, so I deal with ohio highway patrol laser shots regularly. Well and in PA but they don't have laser AFAIK. I've got an e90 3-series, which doesn't have the greatest grill setup:

(not my car or dog)
14650-2007-BMW-335i.jpg


Thanks for the input guys!
 

thebravo

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So with BMW the TX head really solves a lot of issues up front. The RX heads being placed vertically with no TX head wont do well against the VPR guns, it will do ok for older stuff... when you add the TX up front then the two RX heads will do ok vertically as the TX will do the bulk of the firing. If you go with RX's in a horizontal placement they will be pretty low, even in the low placement I would still expect a dual to cover pretty well against Stalker XLR and fixed rate guns... Dragoneye though you would need a well placed three RX head setup and the low placement will likely not work against DE, which they do use in Ohio... even Two well placed RX heads wont cover against DE under say about 500 feet reliably, Center shots might do ok, but shots towards the edges will PT. So if you want complete protection add TX heads, otherwise Install the quads you have (horizontally) and you will be good against the bulk of whats out there, and DE will be covered at longer distances... close shots on DE you may have trouble.
 

thefrog1394

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So with BMW the TX head really solves a lot of issues up front. The RX heads being placed vertically with no TX head wont do well against the VPR guns, it will do ok for older stuff... when you add the TX up front then the two RX heads will do ok vertically as the TX will do the bulk of the firing. If you go with RX's in a horizontal placement they will be pretty low, even in the low placement I would still expect a dual to cover pretty well against Stalker XLR and fixed rate guns... Dragoneye though you would need a well placed three RX head setup and the low placement will likely not work against DE, which they do use in Ohio... even Two well placed RX heads wont cover against DE under say about 500 feet reliably, Center shots might do ok, but shots towards the edges will PT. So if you want complete protection add TX heads, otherwise Install the quads you have (horizontally) and you will be good against the bulk of whats out there, and DE will be covered at longer distances... close shots on DE you may have trouble.
Yea, the option for vertical placement with the tx is super appealing. Do you think the grill is wide enough to have TX + 2 RX vertically? I don't think the farthest outside slat would fit a head, so we're talking about pretty small horizontal spread which has me nervous. Would a shot at the headlight or fog lights be covered do you think? Anyone ever do vertical + TX placement in older BMWs with smaller grills?
 

thebravo

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another thing to consider is make sure your CPU is HW two if you are going for a TX head, if not it won't work, you can trade in a HW1 CPU and get a discount on a HW two CPU if you don't already have one. I'm still on HW one and I have a well placed triple RX on my van, still get PT's against DE in the low corners under 400 feet but it's solid in the primary target zones and DE is uncommon in my area...
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Yea, the option for vertical placement with the tx is super appealing. Do you think the grill is wide enough to have TX + 2 RX vertically? I don't think the farthest outside slat would fit a head, so we're talking about pretty small horizontal spread which has me nervous. Would a shot at the headlight or fog lights be covered do you think? Anyone ever do vertical + TX placement in older BMWs with smaller grills?
The TX head is super small... and lots of folks have done the vertical install on BMW's and it usually tests very well. do a little search hear for ALP installs on BMW's and you will find a bunch that were JTG so I expect it will do OK.
 

thefrog1394

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another thing to consider is make sure your CPU is HW two if you are going for a TX head, if not it won't work, you can trade in a HW1 CPU and get a discount on a HW two CPU if you don't already have one. I'm still on HW one and I have a well placed triple RX on my van, still get PT's against DE in the low corners under 400 feet but it's solid in the primary target zones and DE is uncommon in my area...
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The TX head is super small... and lots of folks have done the vertical install on BMW's and it usually tests very well. do a little search hear for ALP installs on BMW's and you will find a bunch that were JTG so I expect it will do OK.
Yea, I've definitely seen tests like this: ALP with TX - BMW install - Front and Rear JTG against the Dragon but I think the newer BMW grills are a lot wider.

I guess my other option is three heads down low, risk PT with DE at close range and exposure when cresting hills.

Or 2 heads down low, PT with DE at close-medium range or outside shots, and exposure when cresting hills.

I do have HW2, so no issues with GPS/TX heads.

Does one head in the rear do anything? If I did 3 heads down low in front and one in the rear, is it even worth installing the single rear?
 

doubledge

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I appreciate the financial perspective with this decision but my point of view is that you're already invested in this system and own the bulk what you need. Get the most from it and go with the two parts you need to make it work the best it can be.
 

sdrawkcaB

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Yea, I've definitely seen tests like this: ALP with TX - BMW install - Front and Rear JTG against the Dragon but I think the newer BMW grills are a lot wider.

I guess my other option is three heads down low, risk PT with DE at close range and exposure when cresting hills.

Or 2 heads down low, PT with DE at close-medium range or outside shots, and exposure when cresting hills.

I do have HW2, so no issues with GPS/TX heads.

Does one head in the rear do anything? If I did 3 heads down low in front and one in the rear, is it even worth installing the single rear?
The specific generation of grill you have is not wide enough to hold the Tx horizontally (as is required for the Tx). You'll have to do some fine cutting work on one of your grill blades to gap it enough for a Tx to fit. I would recommend you buy a spare grill set off of eBay for cheap, and practice on the spare set. If you mess it up or want to redo it, get another spare set. You should be able to find lots of cheap aftermarket sets for less than $30 for both shipped from Asia (6 week average delivery time), or $50 shipped from within the USA.
 

OBeerWANKenobi

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Cheapest option that I think I'd still feel comfortable with in Ohio is 3 Rx up front which should give you enough time to slow down and put a Tx in the rear with at least one head and test it to make sure it's good. That's because of rear shots and dragoncam, which happen at much closer distances than most front shots. Cool part is that you can always add to this if it didn't test as well as you liked. There have been quite a few installs with 1 Tx and 1 Rx in the rear that have done well.
 

thefrog1394

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The specific generation of grill you have is not wide enough to hold the Tx horizontally (as is required for the Tx). You'll have to do some fine cutting work on one of your grill blades to gap it enough for a Tx to fit. I would recommend you buy a spare grill set off of eBay for cheap, and practice on the spare set. If you mess it up or want to redo it, get another spare set. You should be able to find lots of cheap aftermarket sets for less than $30 for both shipped from Asia (6 week average delivery time), or $50 shipped from within the USA.
Thanks for the info, yea, I was worried about that after looking at the pictures of that 440i in the thread I just linked.
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Cheapest option that I think I'd still feel comfortable with in Ohio is 3 Rx up front which should give you enough time to slow down and put a Tx in the rear with at least one head and test it to make sure it's good. That's because of rear shots and dragoncam, which happen at much closer distances than most front shots. Cool part is that you can always add to this if it didn't test as well as you liked. There have been quite a few installs with 1 Tx and 1 Rx in the rear that have done well.
Wow, didn't realize the handheld photo radar in Ohio was DragonEye based... My gf got hit with a ticket from one of those pretty recently. I was assuming we didn't have too many rear shots here, but I completely forgot about those cameras.
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How do the 3 RX sensors work against VPR guns? Does it work like a TX sensor with only the middle one transmitting? I think I recall that even doubles worked that way, which is why doubles are so bad against DE. And that would indicate that a single head would literally not work at all against DE?
 
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thebravo

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against DE ALP will receive only on the center head and fire back with the two outer heads, where as with the 2rx and 1 TX setup the outer heads receive and the TX does the return firing. so the benefit with the TX is you have two heads receiving so you have better coverage... that said if you well place the three RX it can do pretty well against DE. I'm JTG gun except for the foglights which PT about 400 feet on a honda odyssey. Vortex tested the three RX VS the two RX and a TX and he found both are pretty solid, but the three RX was slightly more likely to get short range PT's. as far as the single RX on the back, yes it is worth installing, it will stop most fixed rate and will probably do OK against XLR out past a couple hundred feet... DE will cut right through it though. and yes they do use dragon cams in Ohio so rear shots are possible meaning you might even want to add a TX on the back.

The one setup I havent seen tested would be the triple RX where you have the two outer heads lower and horizontal and the center head vertical in the upper grill. it might actually do reasonably as the center head is only receving against DE and it has a wide angle of receive that shouldn't be affected by the vertical arrangement like the transmit section... and against ones where all heads are receving and firing the outer heads would be in optimal direction to transmit... might be an option, haven't tested it though.
 

OBeerWANKenobi

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Yes, IMHO Tx on the rear is mandatory in Ohio if you want to avoid getting nailed by the Dragoncam. Because the head placement options aren't great on the rear of most cars and because rear shots are at closer distances and often from overpasses, the Tx is the only safe bet. Like I said though, you may only need 1 Tx and 1Rx to be protected. Testing is mandatory of course, especially with more minimal setups.
 

thefrog1394

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The one setup I havent seen tested would be the triple RX where you have the two outer heads lower and horizontal and the center head vertical in the upper grill. it might actually do reasonably as the center head is only receving against DE and it has a wide angle of receive that shouldn't be affected by the vertical arrangement like the transmit section... and against ones where all heads are receving and firing the outer heads would be in optimal direction to transmit... might be an option, haven't tested it though.
Yea, this kind of setup is what I had in mind. Hmm. Likely still some trouble cresting hills against the DE though, as even if the center channel is receiving and the outside heads are firing they could still be below the sight line of the gun.
 

InsipidMonkey

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You should be able to find a cheap set of the newer-style dual slat kidney grills on eBay that will fit your car. IMO gloss black looks better than the chrome and will help the heads blend in better as well. You should have no issues with a 2xRX 1xTX install that way.

Edit: Something like this:
s-l400.jpg
 
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sdrawkcaB

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You should be able to find a cheap set of the newer-style dual slat kidney grills on eBay that will fit your car. IMO gloss black looks better than the chrome and will help the heads blend in better as well. You should have no issues with a 2xRX 1xTX install that way.

Edit: Something like this:
View attachment 129839
@InsipidMonkey is correct, the newer dual slats used on the 2014+, which have been copied in the aftermarket world, will be the perfect width for the Tx.
 

thefrog1394

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@InsipidMonkey is correct, the newer dual slats used on the 2014+, which have been copied in the aftermarket world, will be the perfect width for the Tx.
Can't say I'm a huge fan of the look of the newer style grill on the e90, especially on the older ("pre-LCI") sedan front end... but interesting option, thanks for sharing

maxresdefault.jpg
 

Gothamnyc

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edit...just saw not your dog! Someone has a gorgeous pup though.... I just got my ALP's so can't add much other than the TX is very small....
 
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thefrog1394

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edit...just saw not your dog! Someone has a gorgeous pup though.... I just got my ALP's so can't add much other than the TX is very small....
Hah yea that’s why I mentioned it wasn’t my dog, figured otherwise I’d get a thread full of discussion about how cute the dog is in the google image result result for “e90 pre-lci new grill” lol.

Revisiting the DragonCam, I’m thinking I deprioritize that and here’s why: photo radar shots are $100-$200 with no points. Meanwhile, front shots are a traffic stop (and all the fun/risk that goes with that) plus license points and potential reckless + jail time if you are going fast enough. Thoughts?
 

OBeerWANKenobi

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The problem is distance. Front shots usually come from further out than rear shots. PT happens at closer distances with DE so your rear is more susceptible. That being said you're right about the risk of a pullover being worse than the speeding tax of the dragoncam. Add in the possibility of a rear shot from an officer though and only 2 Rx on the rear?

Of course the best option is Tx on both ends but there's no harm in testing a triple head front and a single TX single RX rear. If it works well you're golden, if it doesn't you move an RX to the rear and the TX to the front which will give you what you are suggesting right now.

Testing is the key to all of this. Without testing things thoroughly in all installs or you don't know exactly how everything is going to do. Proper testing will let you know right away if you can feel confident about your install or if it's borderline.
 

thefrog1394

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Update here: planning to pick up a single extra RX sensor and run 3 front two rear, all RX. I like the idea of sticking to RX heads if I can to avoid the GPS hassle and cost. Used RX heads are fairly common, so the price differential between +1 RX and +1 TX+GPS is somewhat substantial.

My current plan is to run the middle RX vertically in the grill with the two outer RX heads mounted low on the sides. My thought is that this should give some protection cresting hills for non-VPR guns and give the unit a head start to start transmitting for VPR guns since the receiver would be up high. Guess I'll need to do some testing to get a good idea of how this performs in the real world.
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My primary outstanding concerns are:

Middle RX head vertical -- will this impact performance? Is receive performance confirmed to be the same on both axises?

Rear double RX -- how bad will DE performance be?
 
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