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Observations on New Road Angel & Snooper S4 Neo

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by , Oct 6, 2003.

  1. FactionOne
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    FactionOne Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    [Jan 5, 2005]
    Hey folks,

    I know these gadgets have been discussed a lot, but I just thought I'd post some observations I made tonight when we put my RA side-by-side with my mate's S4 Neo on a bit of a drive around in case anyone's considering a purchase.

    First off, I know there's a bit of a difference in the average going-rate for each box, but I know for a fact the retail margins on RA's is pretty good and places can afford to discount (got mine for £320 inc. VAT and the seller was still in profit).

    Anyway, we got the two devices plugged in and mounted on the windscreen and then departed on our travels; the first thing I noticed is that the resolution of speed-readings seems to be higher on the RA - when going from a pretty constant forward-speed to a complete stop, the RA slowed and came to 0mph more accurately. Perhaps this is because of better satellite-tracking, perhaps it's a higher baud-rate from a more powerful GPS chipset; I don't know, but it certainly seemed more 'real-time' accurate.

    Secondly, and this was the part that amazed me - the difference in the number of warnings given. I must admit I bought the RA purely because I knew it was the weapon of choice for some individuals who normally use nothing but good kit (including some on here). I read on the box that they claim "no false alerts" - but I figured this was probably just one of those claims; but now I'm guessing this has received quite a lot of critical-acclaim.
    I didn't keep a tally of actual alerts this evening, but to give a rough idea...

    The Snooper was regularly giving alerts (90% of the total perhaps) for fixed-cameras that proved to be red-herrings (with the cameras actually being located on nearby roads, not the one we were on - in both tight-knit urban road layouts and passing under A-roads on the Motorways). The RA remained silent throughout all the alerts the S4 Neo gave in these instances.
    -It's important to note I think the Snooper is set to a higher warning range, but I don't think that this being lower would have given considerably more favourable results in the majority of cases tonight.

    We actually came close to only three fixed-cameras this evening...

    As we approached the first (on our side of the road), both the Snooper and the RA gave an alert (the Snooper a little earlier because of the increased range setting) - while heading toward it we had to stop at a junction, both devices were silent with the RA screen displaying the warning info on the red background and the Snooper displaying the distance to the camera. When the lights changed we made a left turn - within approximately 10 metres of the RA displaying a postive MPH speed the screen returned to normal. The Snooper gave another couple of beeps and then also returned to 'stand-by'.

    A short time later we approached another camera, this time on the other side of the road. When we came in range, the Snooper started the bells and whistles - but the RA remained silent.

    The third camera was also on the other side of the road, and the result was the same - Snooper alerted and RA stayed quiet.

    I for one was shocked; and I'm already glad I jumped-in. It seems to be a very capable tool and I think will prove to be less intrusive than competing products. I'm still not convinced that it will never give a false alert, because I can imagine some interesting programming-logic confusion in out-of-the-ordinary manouveres or road layouts (maybe with some roundabouts stuck in for the added direction-change) - but if tonight was anything to go by I don't think there'll be many.

    I would like to see the option to change the display settings on the RA a bit more though, mainly the addition of brightness control because I think that blue light is going to take some getting used to on un-lit roads, maybe even a time-dependant split level setting for day/night brightness like you see on stereos.

    Additionally, in favour of the Snooper, the speech alert system it has is very good. The RA chap only advises of the camera/hazard type, and then the beeps begin - the Snooper also verbally reports the speed limit at that point. That's something I'd like to see (or hear!) on the RA, or maybe even if it didn't actually announce the speed limit, it could alternate a display of your actual speed and the speed limit on the screen.

    That said though, I'm not going to let that put me off - at the end of the day I bought it to tell me where cameras/blackspots etc. are, not to tell me the speed limit of the road I'm on (I'm quite happy that's still my responsibility). Also, I wouldn't trade the accuracy of warnings (given tonight's little test) for the extended speech capability.

    I think they're both very clever bits of kit, and extremely useful. I'm certainly glad to have the added protection that comes from any decent camera warning system, and I'd certainly recommend them to anyone considering such a device.

    Anyway, just some observations as I said, hope someone finds them useful.

    Regards,

    Rob.
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  3. IanL-S3
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    IanL-S3 Member

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    [Jan 5, 2005]
    Cheers for the info..good to read this sort of real world back to back test.
    This site is gonna wear a huge hole in my pocket /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif
    But GoodWorkFella!!! /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif
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  4. AndyMac
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    AndyMac Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Jan 5, 2005]
    Rob, you have to keep the database up to date, so maybe the Truvelo was quite new and the RA dbase out of synch.
    The only camera's mine has ever missed are a couple of traffic light camera's in Southampton. These are really old and probably not live anymore as I've never seen them flash. Not too worried about TF camera's anyway as jumping lights is totally avoidable, whereas speeding isn't.

    Really good write up Rob, agree with you that the speed limit needs to be displayed. Have you tried yours with SPEC's camera's? That's really impressive.
    #3
  5. Online

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    [Oct 6, 2003]
    [ QUOTE ]
    M3s are not worth washing unless they're posh CSLs /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/rofl.gif /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/rofl.gif

    /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/poke.gif

    [/ QUOTE ]

    More like you dont want anything to compromise the weight loss diet that "apparently" the CSL has undergone /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/blush.gif. Wouldn't want anything to affect that performance now /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/poke.gif /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/rofl.gif
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  6. AndyMac
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    AndyMac Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Jan 5, 2005]
    Expert witness or expert whinger?
    #5
  7. jdp1962
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    jdp1962 Grumpy Old Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Jan 5, 2005]
    [ QUOTE ]
    rob.a3.quattro.sport said:
    Cheers Rob,

    Good to have a real test of how they actually work.

    Are there any cameras it has missed at all? I only ask as I was following a Jag down the A21 the other day and there is a Truvelo camera (facing forward one) and I followed the Jag as he had an RA and I wanted to see how far away it turned red. To my shock it stayed blue right the way through, didnt even register.

    This put me off a bit as I was going to get one and was a bit shocked it didnt get it.

    The blue screen is quite annoying as well, but funny when you see boy racers with cars that only just do the speed limit with them sat on their dash like they are outlaws!

    Do you have a mate with an Origin B2 you can go out and trial with?

    Thanks again for the test

    Rob

    [/ QUOTE ]

    That Truvelo you're talking about, is it the one on the southbound side, just before the Tonbridge & Tunbridge Wells junction? If so, it's been there a few years now, & my RA picks it up no bother. Don't be put off. Get one, they're magic. I got really lucky with mine. I got an RA Classic, with 3 years' subscription for £200 on Ebay. I wouldn't be without it now, & even the wife is convinced it was money well spent.


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  8. W8 Performance
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    W8 Performance Member

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    [Jan 5, 2005]
    Thats the camera jeff. How far in advance does it pick it up on your RA?

    Off to look on Ebay for one.

    Rob
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  9. jdp1962
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    jdp1962 Grumpy Old Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Jan 6, 2005]
    [ QUOTE ]
    rob.a3.quattro.sport said:
    Thats the camera jeff. How far in advance does it pick it up on your RA?

    Off to look on Ebay for one.

    Rob

    [/ QUOTE ]

    It usually picks up just as you come into the left hand curve, where the lay-by exits back onto the carriageway. You can actually adjust a setting for the length of warning time on the unit, but on any given setting, you'll find that the pick-up point varies from camera to camera. There's a section of the A2 near me, between The Danson interchange and Greenwich flyover where there are six cameras in four miles, and the RA is going permanently!

    Hope you find one on Ebay at a good price. If it helps, you don't have to get the new version. The original one, or "Classic" as it's now known, does the same job, but is just not so neatly packaged. It costs quite a bit less, though.

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  10. W8 Performance
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    W8 Performance Member

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    [Jan 6, 2005]
    Cheers Jeff,

    I know where you mean on the A2, that is a money pot for the revenue collectors there.

    Will have a look on Ebay for a Classic.

    Rob
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  11. bainsyboy
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    bainsyboy Guest

    [Jan 6, 2005]
    hi ive got an s4 neo and not getting into a debate regarding ra and the neo, although the neo looks better than the old ra, regarding it going off with camera on the other side of the road this is due to a setting on the neo which you can set to either go off, with cameras on your side of the road or another setting for it to go off no matter what side of the road the camera is, dont ask me why its in the manual somewhere, false alerts are usually down to the distance that you set for the unit to advise you of cameras, My only complaint regarding the unit is that the warnings are not loud enough if you have the radio etc on,they did a test in auto expresse which swayed me to the the neo but if the new ra was out at the same time i might have gone for that instead.
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  12. ajmackie
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    ajmackie Member

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    [Jan 7, 2005]
    never thought of an exteranal antenna. suppose you're then stuck with no display, unless you mount it in view, which'll prob be in thieves view too!
    #11
  13. CJ A4
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    CJ A4 Active Member

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    [Jan 8, 2005]
    Have any of you guys tried or tested the Origin B2 i hear its ment to be one of the best.
    #12

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