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Old January 10, 2017, 05:39 PM   #1
Gregory Gauvin
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LabRadar

Does anybody own a LabRadar? http://ads.midwayusa.com/product/523...uWIaAjkT8P8HAQ I have watched some videos and reviews and looks like a great unit. I have been tinkering with the idea of buying one.
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Old January 10, 2017, 05:57 PM   #2
DaleA
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???
What, and miss out on the excitement on EVERY shot wondering 'is THIS the bullet that's going to kill my chronograph???' That would be kind of dull wouldn't it?

I keep hoping some shooting range gets one and installs it on a lane and for a nominal fee would let folk use it.

Good luck.

Last edited by DaleA; January 10, 2017 at 07:11 PM.
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Old January 10, 2017, 07:06 PM   #3
RC20
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Ours lets you use the regular ones for free - unless you shoot it!


Good thought, the Radar might make it doable. but considering the people you see shooting.......

Mine just is dinged, nice shot actually, just enough to have done it and just enough not to have wrecked it. What I call character
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Old January 10, 2017, 07:09 PM   #4
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While I don't have it I have read some very favorable reviews from people using it. There are claims from some of getting it setup being a little difficult but once the end user understands how it works and setup is done they like it. I have been using an Oehler 35P for over 20 years which works well for me but if I were considering a new chronograph I would consider it. I am not sure how well it works with other shooters adjacent to you and have not seen results of that type situation. Anyway, once their initial probelems with release were worked out it seems well liked.

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Old January 10, 2017, 07:13 PM   #5
Doublehelix3216
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Very tempting, but at almost $600, it is an expensive temptation.

It solves most of the problems with regular chronos:

-Don't need a cold range to set it up
-Isn't light sensitive
-Isn't weather sensitive
-Not susceptible to "lead poisoning" (bullets)

Did I mention that it was expensive though??? I am really fighting the urge to go out and get one right now.
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Old January 10, 2017, 07:18 PM   #6
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I've used one for about 8 months. In general it works well, it's easy to set up at the range and to use with multiple firearms. It uses the sound of the shot to trigger the measurement, so you sometimes have to experiment with placement of the Labradar relative to the muzzle to ensure that it doesn't miss shots. It's a great unit for use at ranges where you don't have permission to set up in front of the firing line. The competing product in this case is the Magnetospeed, which is apparently more involved when switching among multiple firearms, but also has its fans. Any specific questions regarding the Labradar?
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Old January 10, 2017, 07:50 PM   #7
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I have used them, and the magnetospeed and a bunch of others. Magnetospeed or Caldwell for me. Both will give you actual MV, which is important, and no other will do without some math on your results.

They are cool, and it is neat technology, but way down the list in terms of "good to have" for me.

If I had $600 budgeted for gun stuff and could not think of anything else to spend it on, I would have one. Which for me, means I will never get one unless I win it somehow.
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Old January 10, 2017, 09:55 PM   #8
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I just got mine today. I hope to try it out Friday
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Old January 10, 2017, 10:09 PM   #9
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I have one and mine works as advertised. An occasional failure to trigger can occur, but that's true even with good opticals, and it happens much less with this unit.

I like that it can use a 32 GB camera memory card. That's room for a whole library's worth of text data, so more than a lifetime of shooting, so no more memory limit to worry about. I like that I can use one of those emergency cell phone charging batteries with it to get a whole day at the range. I like that it has multiple velocities so I can set one for the SAAMI 15 foot (5 yard) point and one for the military 78 foot (26 yard) point so I know I'm comparing apples to apples. I like that if a range fellow asks to let him shoot a string I don't have to worry about it being shot. I like that I don't have to worry about ground glints, powering IR light screens, diffusing light correctly or changing light. I like that I don't have to wait for a cease fire to set it up. I like that (so far) I don't seem to have to concern myself with ambient temperature (some of the optical's have problems operating in cold, but with lithium batteries, this unit doesn't). I like that the 0.1% minimum accuracy is believable, whereas some optical unit makers claim that based on their clock frequency, ignoring all other error sources (light, angle of screens, precision of sensor precision and exact match of sensor sensitivity, etc.).

I also considered the Magnetospeed, but don't want a mass on the muzzle affecting barrel harmonics, so, though it works, I eliminated it.

The only systemic flaw is a potential one I haven't yet seen. That is that sound from someone on an adjacent firing point could trigger it, particularly if the microphone is directed at their muzzle brake. Exclusion may be the one place where optical systems have an intrinsic advantage.
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Old January 10, 2017, 11:04 PM   #10
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I've been using a LabRadar chrono for a year. You can set it to trigger when the projectile enters the beam in addition to the sound trigger. Very useful for an air rifle, which I've done, or an arrow, which I have not. An external battery pack is a necessity - it eats batteries pretty fast - but they're cheap. The Magnetospeed is a lot cheaper, but it's no good on an auto pistol or a short barreled revolver. A feature of the LabRadar that I have not used yet is that it will read a round at multiple points downrange. Overall, I'm happy with mine. Worth the price? Only you can say.
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Old January 11, 2017, 01:31 AM   #11
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buy one they are worth every penny. I have one and works great, no more screens. make sure you buy the battery pack.
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Old January 11, 2017, 09:18 AM   #12
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I failed to mention, the one thing the LabRadar does that no other can...measure velocity 100 yards downrange (or close to it) which helps you true to BC which can improve the input to solvers and get you better data especially out far, like 700+ yards.
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Old January 11, 2017, 11:04 AM   #13
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One caution about BC's is that most rifle bullets have not yet settled out from initial yaw at 100 yards, so the drag can be a bit higher over the first 100 than it will be over the second. I think this is why the LabRadar web site says the unit is not meant for determining BC's. I should ask them That said, you can minimize initial yaw by taking extra care to get bullets aligned straight with the bore (use a concentricity gauge) and having a truly symmetrical crown to minimize that problem. For pistol bullets this is a non-issue as they aren't normally used beyond 100 yards anyway, and for low BC projectiles like cast flat nose designs for .45-70 that rarely are used past 200 yards, it will still read close enough for BC's.

I forgot the review system, regardless of memory size, can only handle 9,999 strings of 100 shots per string—a mere one million shots—so the memory isn't infinite. But you can download and clear it if you really shoot that much. I suppose a club-owned unit might conceivably reach the string limit. The individual will have to shoot out a lot of barrels to do that much testing. The memory holds the records in .CSV file format that any spreadsheet can read.
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Old January 11, 2017, 02:09 PM   #14
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LabRadar an often misunderstood term...in common usage it's easily identifiable by the 'cocked-ear' display of interest and denotes suspicion that 'the Big Guy' is holding out on the Puppy Treats. Oh wait, you meant....

Best Regards, Rod

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Old January 11, 2017, 02:24 PM   #15
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Good one, I got a chuckle out of that^^^^^
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Old January 11, 2017, 02:39 PM   #16
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When you google "LabRadar" it almost always returns a search of "Labrador"

The internet is so smart :-/
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Old January 11, 2017, 03:58 PM   #17
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Unclenick, yeah, I know me well enough to still have to shoot at several yardages to get the right BCs. My current solver for my .243Win match load has 4 BCs in it.
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Old January 11, 2017, 06:45 PM   #18
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Yep, got one. Love it! I shoot my pistols in an indoor range. Pretty quick setup and I don't bother anyone. So far it's worked as advertised. Some of my loads have surprised me with what they are actually reading, while others may be accurate at the target but vary considerably by Extreme Spread. Love the output of the data and the downrange info at the distances you set.

Wrote to them about the Bluetooth symbol. That's a feature coming in a firmware update sometime this year. Vaporware at the moment.
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Old January 11, 2017, 07:20 PM   #19
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Rodfac, almost didn't see the little guy. Adorable pups.

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Old January 11, 2017, 09:40 PM   #20
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Yep and my grand daughters stole her from. Little wretches.
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Old January 15, 2017, 12:06 AM   #21
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The Labradar seems like a great piece of engineering and probably worth the price, but the real Labs are priceless...... Thanks for the picture!!
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Old January 15, 2017, 10:56 PM   #22
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I took mine to the range Friday. Once I eliminated operator error, it worked great!
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Old January 16, 2017, 11:22 AM   #23
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I am thinking that one of the reasons for the high cost of the Labradar is that they are the only product like it in the world that I know of. I am sure the technology is not cheap either, but when there is no competition, you can charge whatever you want.

I'll bet that someday, Caldwell or some other manufacturer will have a similar product, and then the costs will come down somewhat. It may come down to patent issues, and then of course the wait will be longer.
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Old January 16, 2017, 12:01 PM   #24
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There are numerous systems in industry and military applications that use the same, or substantially similar technology as LabRadar. But yes, the only one in the shooting sports market. I too suspect that will change, and it would not surprise me to see that change come in 2017. When the price comes down, I will reconsider.

I played with a system that used similar technology in 2008 that was built by a friend who is an engineer.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Continuous-wave_radar

He also built a 3'x3'x3' box that you shot 5 rounds through at 25, 50, 100, 200 and 400 yards and for that bullet and environment, you get an equation that is the dynamic BC of the bullet. It was cooler than cool and very cutting edge, but with the current solvers, there is really no way to utilize an equation, instead of a constant, in a solver. I am not sure if that will change or not, but there are some advanced systems that are attempting to use such an equation, especially for ELR shooting.
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Old January 18, 2017, 09:36 AM   #25
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There are lots of radar modules out there that are not expensive and are used in robotics. I haven't looked at the details to see how power levels compare. There is an FCC limit to the power of an unlicensed radar unit, and that's the only reason a version of the Labradar isn't available that can reach out two or three hundred yards, the way military and licensed industrial Doppler installations can.

I have to point out the Oehler 35P optical chronograph costs $595. The German Kurzzeit B19 optical chronograph is $1199. No quality instrument that is not made in China is inexpensive. The original pre-release price on the Labradar (made in Canada) was going to be about $100 lower than it currently is. I'm thinking they nudged it up to be $50 less than the Oehler, since it doesn't come with a stand or case like the Oehler does. That lets them recover some of the initial investment before the Chinese knock-off's show up. At that point I expect they'll come down a bit.


MarkCO,

The RSI Shooting lab lets you use custom drag functions. So does the QuickTARGET Unlimited software that comes with QuickLOAD. Indeed, it has hundreds of Lapua bullet individual drag coefficient tables based on Doppler radar readings, plus some tables the BRL created for bullets used by the military thirty years ago. With such a table, the bullet becomes its own reference projectile and is used a BC of 1.0000. Works fine.

I know Hornady now has a licensed Doppler unit that reaches out 300 yards, and is getting G1 BC's for their bullets from that. I am hoping they will eventually follow the example set by Lapua and convert that data to drag coefficient tables for their bullets that they publish.
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