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  • Good value, works and looks OK

    posted by romandesign on 05/23/2008
    0

    Involvement:Expert (understands the inner workings) - Ownership:1 day to 1 week

    Pros:

    Looks good, works surprisingly good. Bright, colourful and informative display, separate 2 right and 2 left sensors visual indicators with sufficient number of steps. Distance readout, Beep speed corresponds with distance. Display looks nice and it's made of a good plastic and doesn't look cheap. Enough wire length to install it to a very big sedan with everything tucked neatly away under panelling.

    Cons:

    "black" I received is not really black, more like metallic charcoal dark grey. Looks OK on black, but it's definitely not the flat black (the photo looks like true black). There was label missing that indicates sensor connections (not a problem though, as they are shown here on the photo). Beep is a bit loud and cheap-sounding, not too bad though. When you start to drive and flip gear shift from P to D, it emits weird blip as it goes trough reverse position (it gets power when reverse light is on - smart, but it should have a delay of half a second so it won't blip when moving from P to D). The control box's cover fell off in my hand, had to wrap it with tape to keep it together.

    OtherThoughts:

    I managed to install it in my Chrysler Intrepid without taking the rear fender off, but on some cars you might have to.

    Very precise with a large object (a fence) - starts from 2 meters and goes down nicely. Less precise with very small car behind, maybe because on Intrepid sensors are about 75cm from the ground, maybe it would work better if they were lower. Anyway, when there was a tiny Hyundai Accent behind, it catched on from about 0.9 meters and was a bit erratic until I got closer. I experimented with a smallish trash can ("green bin") which is lower than sensor placement and thin (about 25cm wide) and it got it at about 80cm and reliaby bleeped constant beep and red warning when it was about 30cm. So it looks like it's good for rather small objects, if they are higher than 40cm or so.

    It starts with "-.-" on the sensor, then when it sees anything, meters go from 2.0 (or whatever it starts seeing from in that instance) to 0.3, beeps get closer together, then it's 0.0 and constant beep. It means you still have about 20cm and it's REALLY time to brake. Also, two right sensors display a bar on the right, growing as it closes, ending with blinking red. Same for the two left sensors. Two bars are independent, so you can see what half of the car the object is at.

    Took me 2.5 hours to install, but looks and work very neat. I did not test it in a real-life situations yet, just a couple of parallel parks near my house, a fence and a trash can. Oh, and myself - it's sensitive enough to see a person at about 1.5m.

    Bottomline:

    Very good value, if it will work for a long enough time.

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