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Old October 7, 2018, 09:32 AM   #1
Brutus
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Labradar

Had big plans for the weekend, Friday I was supposed to take my new pup for his first pheasant hunt, got rained out. Wanted to go to our outdoor range to chronograph some reloads, got rained out. Wound up reloading and cruising the internet while waiting for the rain to stop, ain't going to. In the meantime I got caught up reviewing these Labradar units, really pricey but if they work well indoors I might have to put one on my bucket list and start saving.

Anyone out there pop for one of these and how do you like it? Does it work well inside a booth at an indoor range?
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Old October 7, 2018, 12:11 PM   #2
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no idea on the inside range, outdoors the unit is picky about being aimed correctly but once you have get the hang of it only misses a occasional shot. Bluetooth ap worked for the first couple of weeks then died. It won't connect on any of the 4 Androids devices I own, connects to my neighbors iPhone but not my daughters iPhone. 2 links to threads I made on that

https://thefiringline.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=598377

http://forum.accurateshooter.com/thr...blems.3961729/


Customer service has sent me a email saying they were aware of the problem but that was the last I heard from them. Blamed the connection issues on Samsung and Apple. It eats batteries for breakfast, buy a couple of 10 K USB power chargers if you do more than a hour or so at a time. Don't even bother with normal batteries, they don't last like they do in a optical chrono

My advice at this time is get a optical chrono and a indoor lighting kit or wait for Labradar version 2.0. I am this close to sending mine back to Brownells.
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Old October 7, 2018, 01:14 PM   #3
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Thanks for the report, just confirmed my belief to never buy anything when it first comes out, wait for the bugs to get ironed out. Besides it's only a matter of time before some competition arrives on the scene lowering prices.
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Old October 7, 2018, 01:40 PM   #4
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To be honest I will probably keep mine the SD cards raw data and it's reputation for accuracy being the main reasons. The bluetooth ap data functions is only so so anyway. Only real use of the bluetooth for me was arming and disarming the unit is more convenient and it is easier to see if the shots are being picked up.

The worthless little notch of a aiming device can befixed easily by making a home made "peep sight" and hot gluing it

I download the data from the SD card and put it in XL and a database. That is it's best feature as far as I am concerned. My old ProChrono had a good bluetooth ap as far as reviewing the dat in the ap but but it's export functions mangled the data

I am not trying to talk anyone out of buying one, but I want to be honest about my experience with anyone preparing to drop several hundred on a item.

If you decide to buy one get it from Brownells just for Brownells liberal return policy. I would not want to deal with the Labradar for warranty work or a return because I feel like I got blew off in the way their CS handled the bluetooth issues, I did not feel a lot of empathy from their representative
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Old October 9, 2018, 06:19 PM   #5
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Been using one for about two years--it has a few quirks that are really a pain to work around--still, it's the most important tool for load develop I use. If you are "super OCD" about load development and blueprinting--I can't see living without one.
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Old October 9, 2018, 07:54 PM   #6
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Quote:
-it has a few quirks that are really a pain to work around--still, it's the most important tool for load develop I use. If you are "super OCD" about load development and blueprinting--I can't see living without one
sadly I have to agree but I have a hard time recommending it to anyone who is not doing LR loads or just anal and persistent. Once you get the hang of aiming and positioning it works great but with every rifle there is a learning curve.

I am going to experiment with it using with a CZ .22 next range trip. I am taking a box of of Thunderbolt to adjust the positioning with before shooting the good ammo. Too much wind and rain for that to happen this week

I should have the combo hard case/base plate finished by then. I have been using my spotting scope stand with good results, but I want to use my spotting scope at the same time next trip.

How and when did making holes in paper get so complicated ? I used to be happy with a brick of CCI , a 10/22 and some tin cans
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Old October 9, 2018, 08:26 PM   #7
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I had one and sold it.
Dred is the expert on this board you want to talk to.
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Old October 9, 2018, 08:37 PM   #8
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I pretty much have the hang of mine now TXAZ, at least two of my rifles. The .223 and .260 FTR. I have a precision rifle in .260 Rem that has a muzzle break I have not tried with it nor have I used it with a AR15 or pistol. Next week I will try the .22 LR with it.

My last trip to the range was when my bluetooth stopped but the unit recorded the shots on the SD card which is what I am after anyway. It missed 1 shot out of 32 after adjusting its position while zeroing the scope. I can live with no bluetooth and the steep learning curve for the accuracy and SD card data
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Old October 9, 2018, 09:14 PM   #9
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Mine caused 48 hours of GoshaRudy head-scratching -- then the light bulb dawned (to mix a metaphor) on muzzle placement with the various naked/ported/braked attachments and a USB power cell . . . and I've had 100% success.

22* to 45-70
pistols and rifles.




* the 22 M&P Compact pistol triggered the unit just fine with Aquila standard velocity. The 10-22 w/ that same ammo had so little muzzle blast (phtttttt !) that the LABRADAR did not trigger. So I switched to trigger on start on Doppler return (bullet physically enters the beam instead of just the noise), and it tracked those little 40 grainers all the way out to the 100-yd target just fine.

Get one of these to aim it; and one of these to power it (throw both in the padded case). . . and it's kept my Oehler35P in the trunk for the past several months.


.

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Old October 9, 2018, 09:24 PM   #10
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Yes. I am one of the early adopters and am happy with it at this point. The SD card data and the multiple velocity sampling distances make it easier to determine BC's, as compared to my old method of setting up my Oehler 35P near the muzzle and my CED near the target. The calibration is at least consistent with the one instrument. Aiming has not been my issue because I recognized the day I got it that the "sights" provided were more or less a joke. I went to Lowe's and grabbed one of those 8" fluorescent orange plastic carpentry squares and glued a straw along one edge that overhangs the corner. I just set that on the unit suspended by the overhang and aim with the straw (actually not a straw, but a straw-sized brass tube from K&M Metals, but the function is the same as that of a straw).
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Old October 9, 2018, 10:43 PM   #11
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Quote:
So I switched to trigger on start on Doppler return (bullet physically enters the beam instead of just the noise), and it tracked those little 40 grainers all the way out to the 100-yd target just fine.
Thanks for that info. I will make sure I remember that next week that little CZ barely makes a pfft

Quote:
Get one of these to aim it; and one of these to power it (throw both in the padded case)
I made a peep sight out of a old arrow and some dowel but I have a couple of the squares in the shop. I will give that a try and see which way I like best.

I have the wood and ambition to make a padded hard case for it. I got busy with making wind flags today but will plane the wood down for the case frame tomorrow. I shoot prone 99% of the time and off the bench the other 1% so I bought a tripod head off Amazon and am building the case to double as a mounting plate. I will post a pic when finished
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Old October 9, 2018, 11:46 PM   #12
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Well; I use mine ALOT--like several times a week in shootable weather. it is an instrument that can give you data that no other chrono can that is not a radar type unit--most of the others are basically snap-shotting the velocity of the bullet between point A and point B--the labradar actually tracks the bullet and returns in-flight data. That's it's big advantage in a nutshell.

Aiming the unit--that is perhaps one of the hardest parts, the v-notch leaves a lot to be desired--I took a piece of plastic tubing and taped it into the notch--that helps a bit. Aiming is also a function of getting the bullet to intercept the active radar "beams" so that is why it's ideal to use the ignition report to trigger the unit; it then calculates the muzzle velocity. Otherwise, the bullet has to travel a ways to intercept the beams since the muzzle is to the side of the unit.

Using the muzzle blast to trigger the unit took me a while to get used to--but I almost always position the gun correctly now on first try, I sometimes will drop a few distance returns which generally need a tweak of the unit's position to track the bullet all the way to 100 yds (the usual limit of the unit I have). I generally set the muzzle distance to unit setting at 12" and just leave it there--that basically sets a default of maximum distance to bullet intercept for tracking the path. Positioning the muzzle of the gun is a function of the muzzle type--target and linear comps, as well as pistols/handguns without a muzzle device will generally need to be have their front plane close to the front plane of the radar unit. Muzzle devices likes brakes, compensators, suppressors etc that send blast to the side or behind need to be further forward of the unit to avoid damaging it; the "parabolic" side/back blast of the report will be enough to trigger the unit. Mine has plenty of carbon "patina" on it but has never failed mechanically--other than a blast once blowing the external battery pack off the unit (my fault for getting my 458 socom brake a wee bit too close to the unit). The biggest engineering flaw IMO is the use of the flimsy connector port--the same type used in cell phone cables--if the battery falls or is blown of the unit--the connector is easily deformed which can create power connection problems. I don't like the rubber port cover either which puts a downward force on the cable connector--also potentially creating a leverage point for deforming the connector. I use a long cable for connecting the external power battery to the unit and simply set it to the side on the table or better yet on the ground--it has less distance to fall if it's already on the ground.

Another "gotcha" in the learning curve is the unit's tracking of projectiles--it works very well for everything from archery arrows to higher velocity rifle projectiles--but it has a software algorithm of some sort that requires the choice of either handgun or rifle when selecting the default projectile velocity type. Problems can arise when your handgun (like my 9 x 25 Dillon) can exceed "common" handgun velocities--or your rifle projectile is a fairly slow one--as might be expected in a reduced load. That transitional borderline is around 1700 fps +/- 100 fps--it will be obvious if the unit is having trouble when it returns impossible velocity figures (or else your next shot might be your last if there's a real hyper-velocity issue! )

Another thing that I hope they improve at some point--as far as I know once you add a new group you can't go back and record extra shots to a previous group. That's a PITA to me if I need to record an extra group for the missed shot.

For all it's short-comings--it's still an instrument "par excellance" for determining what your handloads are actually doing.
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Old October 10, 2018, 05:50 AM   #13
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Ditto stagpanther's review.

One thing-- according to LAB's techs, the trigger distance (e.g., projo offset 6", 12", 18" etc)
only sets the geometry for beam intercept. The sensitivity is fixed via the Trigger Level (1-5).

"1" is good.




post:

Two Velcro tabs on the battery pack "cement" it to the mounting base. it ain't goin' nowhere.

One 6" springloaded clamp on the base/bench, and the base ain't goin' nowhere either

Last, a coupla extra mounting holes drilled on that base gives you 6 extra inches of flexibility when you have a long (32") Sharps barrel on that bench

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Old October 10, 2018, 06:13 AM   #14
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Quote:
Quote:
Ditto stagpanther's review.

One thing-- according to LAB's techs, the trigger distance (e.g., projo offset 6", 12", 18" etc)
only sets the geometry for beam intercept. The sensitivity is fixed via the Trigger Level (1-5).

"1" is good.
That's correct; good catch, my bad on the distance offset vs muzzle blast trigger setting--by using a smaller projectile offset that "shortens" the window for bullet path intercept, I've found that seems to increase the likelihood of failure to acquire/track depending on the gun's muzzle position relative to the unit. My unit I think only has a max setting of 12", but I haven't changed it in the past year and it generally works with everything as long as I get the relative positioning of the muzzle correct. I also forgot to mention in the discussion of the "borderline" between handgun and rifle velocities--the obvious solution is to switch between the two types if there's a problem--so for example my 9 x 25 Dillon handgun commonly shoots in the 1800 to 2000 fps range so I will set the velocity type to "rifle."

I don't have a fixed bench--so I have to set up and move around fields, gravel pits dumps etc when I shoot. The best all-around solution for me is to use a camera tripod to position the unit--though it can be vulnerable in windy conditions, in which case I've hung a weight on it.

Bottom line is this IMO--at first few uses I freaked like too much stuff going wrong--that's partially because the instructions are only "fair" at best. It takes a while to learn how to balance the over-all system, in my case I fire a large variety of handguns and rifles so the downside is it took me a bit longer to get a feel how to balance the over-all system--the upside is that I got most of the "nagging" issues up front and really enjoy the unit and the valuable information it gives; though there is lot's of room for improvement.

You won't regret spending the money on it., you have my word on it.
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Old October 10, 2018, 08:00 AM   #15
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I do 90% of my handgun shooting at indoor range. LabRadar was the only one that would work for this and I’ve been 100% satisfied. I’ve never had any other chronograph but used other chronographs of family and friends. They have all bought Labradars now after using mine.
I also have not had any issues with sighting it with the v notch". The only issue I’ve had was with my iPhone but with the lastest LabRadar software update it works as it should.
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Old October 10, 2018, 08:22 AM   #16
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I also have not had any issues with sighting it with the v notch". The only issue I’ve had was with my iPhone but with the lastest LabRadar software update it works as it should.
The longer the distance to target--and the more varied the terrain, the trickier it is to get "sighted" to the target. I could be wrong about this--but I think if you have a narrow lane to target--like a narrow clearing between bushes, I think that can also create clutter for the Doppler radar.
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Old October 10, 2018, 09:37 AM   #17
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My brother in law who only shoots rifle has one and has not had any issues other than he uses a cheap plastic triangle square to aim the LabRadar at his targets. His buddy and him have a 300 yard range set up at his farm that isn’t very wide and lots of bush on either side.
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Old October 10, 2018, 12:27 PM   #18
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I love mine. Totally, 100% and can recommend it without hesitation. I am almost to the point of fanboi!!!

I have used it several times at indoor ranges without issues. Just adjust the sensitivity. One time I got stuck next to a cement/cinder block wall and was convinced there was no way it was going to work. Worked perfectly.

I do have to say I use it outdoor 99% of the time however.

I have no trouble aiming it.

The App (now) works 100% - they have upgraded the unit's firmware a couple of times since the app release. Makes a difference.

Close to 100% reliable. The only issues I have are when I rush my shots. It takes a second or two to reset between shots. Slow and steady, and it works.

Always have used external USB battery packs, never the internal batteries.

Read the directions on how to set it up, and how to position your barrel and you should be golden.
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Old October 10, 2018, 12:53 PM   #19
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The App (now) works 100% - they have upgraded the unit's firmware a couple of times since the app release. Makes a difference.
No it does not. I have 2 Samsung devices it will not work with at all and a Apple iPhone it does not work with. It will connect sporadically with another Samsung but will stop in the middle of a string and disconnect and disarm the Labradar ending that string which as pointed out you cannot restart.

It worked with all three Samsung devices when I first received it on September 4th only occasionally disconnecting. On September 28th it stopped connecting at all. I contacted Mr Tom Mouser at Labradar with the problem he suggested resetting my devices network settings. That did not work and after several more emails from me he responded that the connectivity issues were know about and it was Apple and Samsung's fault not Labradars. Odd because my phones and tablet have never experienced a bluetooth connectivity problem with any other device I attempted to connect with. From the hands free in my car to Chinese drones they work just fine with everything except my Labradar

I started two threads on the connectivity issues. One here and one at Accurate Shooter and invited Mr Mouser to participate. So far he has not. As you can see from the replies to these threads I am not the only one with connectivity problems.

https://thefiringline.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=598230

http://forum.accurateshooter.com/thr...blems.3961729/

I am happy yours works for you, and I hope yours does not start disconnecting or failing to connect at all like mine did. Luckily I consider that ap to be worthless for data gathering anyway. It is handy for arming and disarming and think for $600 the ap should work for everyone all the time if they are going to list it as a feature.

I stand by my original post, wait for version 2.0, too many problems for most people and I would go back to a optical in a minute if it were not for long range load development
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Old October 10, 2018, 03:15 PM   #20
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That sucks but the only time I have had an issue with mine and both my iPhone and iPad was with the first software. After they updated it has never disconnected.
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Old October 10, 2018, 03:23 PM   #21
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I don't even bother with the phone ap--maybe that's why I have no issues with it. ; )
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Old October 10, 2018, 05:07 PM   #22
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^^^^ What He Said ^^^^
--------- -------
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Old October 10, 2018, 11:48 PM   #23
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Same here. Don't use the phone app. Sighting in can be a PIA. I need more time and use with mine to get the hang of it.
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Old October 11, 2018, 07:32 AM   #24
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Quote:
No it does not. I have 2 Samsung devices it will not work with at all and a Apple iPhone it does not work with. It will connect sporadically with another Samsung but will stop in the middle of a string and disconnect and disarm the Labradar ending that string which as pointed out you cannot restart.
I should have been more clear and said "It works *FOR ME* 100% of the time".

That sucks that you are having problems, and I hope somebody figures it out. I agree that for a $600 device, the app needs to work with everyone, especially Samsung and Apple, who are the top two selling devices in the world.

I am now using a Google Pixel 2XL (as of July), but had a Samsung S7 Edge previously, and it worked fine on that phone as well. When it was first released, I had a heck of a time getting it to connect to the Samsung, then they upgraded the firmware, and everything was fine. With the first release, I had to try to reconnect over and over again, and sometime I could get it to connect, and other times I would give up after about 10-15 tries.

They just released a new firmware update in the last week or two. Did you try that one as well? I upgraded even though I was not having issues. (This is a Labradar device firmware upgrade, not a new version of the app.) I think this is the 3rd (or maybe 4th???) firmware upgrade since the release of the app.

I am pretty sure this is a hardware device issue, not an app issue. Maybe an older BT chip or a non-standard chip???

I personally love the app. I can arm from the app rather than the device, and see the data displayed much more easily from my phone than from the device. I like being able to review the data on my phone, etc.

It is also interesting to note how long it took them to release the app and the BT functionality. They promised it over and over again for well over a year before it finally saw the light of day. They were obviously having issues with it for a long time.

Hope you get things working soon.
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Old October 11, 2018, 11:18 AM   #25
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@Doublehelix

Yeah I am running 1.2.3 rolled it back to 1.1.5 just to see if that helped, it did not. Reinstalled 1.2.3.

As long as the SD card gets the data I will just operate it on the unit like most of the people here do. I just find it irritating and my first impression of Labradars CS is that it sucks.

I am glad I bought mine from Brownells so that if I have any serious issues I won't have to deal with the distributor again. I got the impression that he doesn't really give a damn if it works or not and will find a way to blame something other than the product if it fails completely
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