Road Angel - Review Long(ish) Post

sasha

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Been using Road Angel for a few days now (600 miles).

This unit is excellent so far, pre-warning me of gatsos and blackspots, I have not yet come across any mobile or average speed cameras (to my knowledge!!!)

I have used it mostly on routes I travel regularly so almost all cameras I knew about, but the key advantage is that you can relax whilst driving and do not have to keep one eye on the road 1000 yards ahead looking for your known camera and one eye on the road.

Obviously invaluable kit for unfamiliar routes.

Very interesting to be told about blackspots as well; looking at the road whilst being warned it is a blackspot, you suddenly realise that it is somewhat dangerous, junctions/blind corners etc etc the sort of thing you might miss as a threat unless you take the advanced driving courses.

So the biggest advantage I have found is that you can focus on your driving (speeding or not) and adjust your speed to the traffic around you (always mindful of the law). Even keeping within the speed limit takes away a degree of focus from the road as all modern cars are a pedal squeeze away from the speed limit.

I originally bought this unit simply to evade being caught speeding on camera and have found that it has actually made my driving more relaxed. Guess what? My speed has not increased at all (OK I confess occasionally when overtaking I may not be in such a panic to reduce speed after passing :) ). Also I no longer have to 'throw out the anchor' when I see a speed camera.

My conclusion so far is that with or without in-car detectors Gatso's are DANGEROUS as they are an additional burden to driver's concentration as the driver/other drivers try to react to them.

Clearly the safest way to enforce speed limits is with driver education and more coverage of the road network with average speed cameras.

If more of the network was covered with average speed cameras and warnings that "you are entering a monitored zone", drivers are likely to reduce their speed accordingly.

The only problem I can see with average speed cameras is the increased likelihood of people losing their licence and then driving without a licence, insurance etc - not sure how this problem would/should be addressed.

For what they are worth these are my thoughts - thx for reading.

Btw if you buy the Road Angel, don't go the USB adaptor route, stick to your serial port or buy the standalone modem.

Sashaaa
 
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Steve_Perry

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Great review sasha, thanks for that :)

BTW, what's wrong with a serial to USB adaptor? My current laptop only has USB 2.0, admitedly it's got 4x of them.

S.
 

marc777

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Great reveiw.

Thanks for that. Saw road angel for sale in Argos and am about to buy.

Marc
 
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OP
S

sasha

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From a purist's perspective Blackspot Road Angel do not support USB - so for some the debate ends there.

However for us diehards who always know better (often without reading the manual!), bought the USB adaptor and the first database download (the big download with all co-ordninates in it) would crash out.

However, subsequent downloads (much smaller, as they contain only new additions to the database) are fine so far.

I BELIEVE that USB data transfer rates are much higher than serial port rates and so when making a big download the USB is drawing data out of the computer at a faster rate than the serial port/device is receiving it and the device gets confused/buffers overrun etc

However, I was advised of this by both the reseller (Jimmy :) )and Blackspot themselves, so thankfully the smaller ongoing updates appear to work...

Sashaaaa

p.s. I would PM Jimmy before buying elsewhere, there might be a forum discount.
 
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GrahamC230K

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Nice running report. Puts it better than I could have and I totally agree, having had mine a good fews months now.
 

Ian B Walker

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I wouldnt dream of going out without it, part of the pre drive off check................Ignition, seats, mirror, Road Angel
 

pepe

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Ive found mine most valuable for the "specs" Average cameras. when i drive from Bristol to Leeds there are loads on the M6 around Birmingham and they would be quite easy to miss without the road angel. The other thing i like is the angel; will only warn if the camera is in your direction and wont go off if the offending camera is on other side of road (unless the camera is specifically designed to cover both sides,ie can be swivelled round)
 

jimmy

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Originally posted by marc777
Great reveiw.

Thanks for that. Saw road angel for sale in Argos and am about to buy.

Marc

Get in touch before you go to Argos!;)
 

Ian B Walker

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Advise worth remembering

For those of you who are in the market for a Road Angel your first bit of research should be Jimmy. Enough said but please if you are serious about investing in one this is the man to talk to. No I am not on commission before you all ask
:D :D
 

Aswall

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I know there are quite a few Road Angel fans on here, but if you do have the extra budget available have a look at the Road Pilot - does everything the Road Angel does but better, is much easier to read and looks much more modern and high tech

Cheers
Andy
 

sym

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Originally posted by Aswall
I know there are quite a few Road Angel fans on here, but if you do have the extra budget available have a look at the Road Pilot - does everything the Road Angel does but better, is much easier to read and looks much more modern and high tech

Cheers
Andy

Andy - have u actually bought one / are you using one ?

Does it do accident blackspot warnings too ?

How much is the yearly subscription after the 1st year - is there a "lifetime" option, to avoid recurrent charges ?

I'd say the Road Angel was very easy to read . . . couldn't be easier in fact ! Highly visible at night as well. Agree that there are a couple of features lacking (actual speed limit, for example) - but all of these products are only as good as their database and shouldn't be relied on for that.

Road Pilot doesn't have laser alert as standard does it ? Think it was extra if I remember correctly.

I did look at it, and consider it at the time, and price may have fallen since then (was prohibitive then), but still think Road Angel is the best value for money out there. Would be interested to hear an in depth review of the Road Pilot from somebody that has actually used one, for comparison though.

S.
 

Shude

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I think this should be in the electronics section really...
 

Aswall

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Yes I've used a Roadpilot for about 6 months now and did borrow a Roadangel before buying (albeit only for 2 wks and it was the non laser alert version)

I found the display on the Roadangel was just that bit too small and needed a longer look away from the road than the Roadpilot. I also didn't like the look of the Roadangel, just looked a bit "first generation" to me. The Roadpilot doesn't have accident blackspot warning, but the Roadangel never alerted me to any in the time I had it so I think that feature is of limited use. The Roadpilot alerts you to the speed limit once you get close to a camera ( you can set the distance before it alerts you). The Roadangel also didn't identify 2 cameras on my daily route to work that the Roadpilot knew about - fair enough one had only been there 3-4 wks but the other had been there months (luckily I knew about it as my girlfriend had been zapped by it some weeks earlier, prompting my interest in these devices). That alone was enough to put me off the Roadangel, you need to be able to completely trust the device you use. The Roadpilot also gets a satellite fix quicker when setting off and loses it's signal less frequently. In the end it was a fairly easy decision, though admittedly a significantly more expensive one. The Roadpilot subscription is £50+vat a year after the first year and as far as I know, there is no lifetime option (not sure I'd want to do that anyway, things will have moved on significantly in the next 3-5 yrs). One interesting aside for me is that they are working on SatNav on the Roadpilot using the existing hardware.

As for the laser alert, to be honest that is of limited use, lasers scatter very little and you are reliant on a car in front of you being hit and enough bouncing off to trigger your alert. A laser alert is telling you that you've been booked after the event. If you want protection you need to go for a laser jammer, such as the excellent LRC100, that will jam the signal for 5 secs giving you a chance to slow down before they take their next reading, but you may not want to go down that route as there is a theoretical chance of prosecution (on the grounds that you are obstructing a police officer in their duty). I am having one fitted after having excellent reports from friends.

Overall I'm extremely happy with the Roadpilot and wouldn't consider changing it for anything else currently on the market, but different things suit different people so I would advise people to have a look at all the alternatives before deciding

Cheers
Andy
 

sym

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Thanks Andy - interesting info.

The Sat-Nav development sounds interesting !

Have to agree with you on the usefulness of the laser alert . . mine has lost its "stick" and fallen off the windscreen several times, and agree it is unlikely to save you from being booked unless you are behind someone else.

Never had the loss of signal problem that you had with RA (apart from in tunnels!) Also find that the sat fix is generally pretty quick - 15-20 secs max. Mine has also never missed a camera, and I get accident blackspot warnings all the time (although guess it will depend on what part of the country you are driving in, and what sort of roads)

I wouldn't consider the Laser Jammer though - the object of buying one of these devices was to avoid prosecution - not to open myself up to other, (potentially more serious) :eek: offences :eek: I have actually never even had a laser gun pointed at me yet . . . either before or after purchasing the RA, so I must just be extremely lucky !

Keep us posted on developments - always interesting to hear about what's on the market.

S.
 

GrahamC230K

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I like integration.

Having the Road Angel on my dash top is not ideal, but does at least function well and keeps it in my view without looking too bad.

However, what put tme off the Road Pilot the most was the "Reps Notepad" fixing for it.

roadpilot.jpeg


rp1.jpg
 

db1

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I can fully endorse what has been said about the RA, it is a great device. I use it all the time since and I agree with an earlier post in that it relaxes your driving to not worry about the camera.

Having said that, there are some features that are missing and some that are annoying. I am not sure if the Road Pilot addresses any or all of these.

Missing:
1. Current speed limit on the road you are travelling.
2. Name of the Road on which you are travelling (nice to have perhaps)
3. Audible warning only when you are travelling above the speed limit in force at the time.
4. Programmable distance at which warning activates. eg: 500m, 1000m etc.

Annoying:
1. Not able to turn off the audible warning when doing 5 mph (eg: M25) and with a camera coming up. (would be fixed with
2. Long delays before getting a sat fix.

DB1
 

GrahamC230K

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Originally posted by db1

Missing:
1. Current speed limit on the road you are travelling.

Would be a nice to have.

Originally posted by db1

Missing:
2. Name of the Road on which you are travelling (nice to have perhaps)
Personally don't care now I have Sat nav.

Originally posted by db1

Missing:
3. Audible warning only when you are travelling above the speed limit in force at the time.

Thought that myself but don't mind - I want to know about the camera, before I pull out and boot it past the car in front!

Originally posted by db1

Missing:
4. Programmable distance at which warning activates. eg: 500m, 1000m etc.

Are you sure? This can be set on mine - you can even have it vary with your road speed ie greater warning at higher speed.

Originally posted by db1

Annoying:
1. Not able to turn off the audible warning when doing 5 mph (eg: M25) and with a camera coming up. (would be fixed with

TOTALLY agree. Even emailed Blackspot as I'm sure this could be resolved easily. It's traffic on the M25 that annoys me. You queue from one gantry to the next with the RA going mad unless you manually mute it. Wish they would fix this one.

Originally posted by db1

Annoying:
2. Long delays before getting a sat fix.

Touch wood, never had this issue.


The new Micro Road Pilot caught my eye, but again it has "missing features" comapred to the Road Angel. You have to make your choice. I like the Laser alert as flakey as it may be.
 

Aswall

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Originally posted by db1

1. Current speed limit on the road you are travelling.

Yes the Roadpilot does display this, but only when within range of a camera. The only one which displays this all the time is the
OB2 (I think) which does run the Roadpilot close for features

2. Name of the Road on which you are travelling (nice to have perhaps)
OB2 again

3. Audible warning only when you are travelling above the speed limit in force at the time.
Yes the Roadpilot does this if you want it to, but as Graham said, it's not always a desirable thing

4. Programmable distance at which warning activates. eg: 500m, 1000m etc.
Yes Roadpilot does this

Annoying:
1. Not able to turn off the audible warning when doing 5 mph (eg: M25) and with a camera coming up. (would be fixed with
Living where I do I thankfully don't go on the M25 very often, but when I have done the way the Roadpilot treats the cameras is to assume that they are set at 30mph all the time, as it can't know what the limit has been set to, and the beeping every few hundred yards drove me nuts so much I unplugged until I was off the M25 as you have to mute it every time a camera appears. Also came across my first SPECS on the M1 coming away from London which was well handled by the Roadpilot.

2. Long delays before getting a sat fix.
Yes the Roadangel I tried often took 8-10 minutes while the Roadpilot never takes longer than 30secs

And Graham, that Roadpilot fixing you showed was truly awful, looks like it's halfway up a Transit screen. Will try and get a decent photo of my setup and put it up.

Cheers
Andy
 

GrahamC230K

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Originally posted by Aswall

Living where I do I thankfully don't go on the M25 very often, but when I have done the way the Roadpilot treats the cameras is to assume that they are set at 30mph all the time, as it can't know what the limit has been set to, and the beeping every few hundred yards drove me nuts so much I unplugged until I was off the M25 as you have to mute it every time a camera appears.

For comparisson the RA assumes the limit is 70 all the time.


Originally posted by Aswall
Yes the Roadpilot does display this, but only when within range of a camera. The only one which displays this all the time is the
OB2 (I think) which does run the Roadpilot close for features

I believe the £299 Cyclops device displays the speed limit all the time.
 

Aswall

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Here's a couple of quick photos. Sorry for the appalling quality but I had a 101 things to do and just snapped a couple quick before the light went and have only just looked at them and seen how shaky they are :(

clk interior 001.jpg


clk interior 002.jpg


I don't like a cluttered look with things stuck all over the dashboard and the Roadpilot just looks that bit more integrated and in keeping with the rest of the dash, hence the BT carkit as well

Cheers
Andy
 

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