I have come to this forum seeking advise on purchasing a laser jammer for my BMW. I would ultimately like to have a system that protects me against the most common threats, is economical, is reliable, is easy to install, and does not distract from the looks from my car or becomes obsolete right after I purchase it. In my search for information (besides my dealer trying to sell me a very expensive jammer who's name I cannot mention on this site), there is very little information out on the net--and most of it leads to this site and forum.
There are several good posts here, but I am at a point of not knowing who to actually believe. I have spent hours upon hours reading all of the posts here, and quite honestly, the personality conflicts seem occupy most of the space. There are good technical advice posts mixed inbetween several of the "your an idot" type of posts. I see somebody talking about what I think is a great topic, and think they are very knowledgeable about what they are talking about. Then I see the threads disintegrate into heated name calling, personal character affronts, and open insults to other members. Who am I supposed to listen to? Especially when some of the most knowlegeable sounding members seem to be openly engaged in this tactic. I seem to believe that when you are right, you are right. You do not have to lower yourself to name calling to get your point across--it only reflects negatively on you.
I have read numerous posts by JTW and I have come to the conclusion that JTW seems to have a very high technical knowledge about radar guns, detectors, and jammers. He also has some very good ideas for features and methods for testing jammers. I have also read about how he did a service to some Blinder owners in getting their devices updated. Also, he seems to have a sort of "Ralph Nader" approach to consumer advocacy in that he goes head to head with the manufacturers and identifies faults and flaws and makes them known to others. These were the posts that were actually informative and I applaud JTW for taking the time to post all of this information for the benefit of others--such as myself.
I have also seen posts from Drive-Smart which seems to be JTW's arch enemy for what reason I could not fully figure out. On JTW's signature line (which supposedly lists what Drive-Smart did wrong) none of the links work for me to read what this feud is about. From what I can tell, Drive-Smart is a manufacturer's representative that is trying to bring what might be a revolutionary product to market. I have sort of got lost in what the actual name of the product is when it comes to the posts here--as it seems to be referred to by many names. Apparently this product has undergone a lenghtly development process and it has changed names a few times, as well as its packaging of the unit itself. There were also some comments about possible patent violations.
From what I can tell, Drive-Smart is the only manufacturer's representative that even participates here. I am not sure, but is Blinder Dude a manufacturer's representative also? I do, however, see more posts from Drive-Smart as a representative than I do others. In many of the posts made Drive-Smart seems to attempt to answer the questions asked of him. He seems very informed and knowledgable about the product he is trying to generate interest in. After reading his posts, I am very interested in his companies product. I am even more interested in his products because they do have somebody that is listening to, and interacting with customers. He appears easy to access and seems to reply to every reasonable question asked of him from other forum members.
For me, I presently own too many things which are almost impossible to talk to a factory representative about. Alot of them do not work as advertised, and I did not know what the "glitches" were until after I bought them. When was the last time you bought a very expensive device only to find out after the fact that it did not work right? At least he is here and is trying to answer (without giving up trade secrets) reasonable questions. I do not know everything that has been said or done, but I think this guy should be cut a little slack. For anybody that has ever tried to get a new product to market, the processes of initial design, prototype, development and testing, are extremely difficult with numerous changes that continuously change the the final product. And, if all of that was not hard enough, trying to release enough information to interest buyers, but not enough for competitors to counter your design and deny you a competitive advantige in the market place, is even more difficult. At least Drive-Smart is here talking--I do not see that with other companies.
What I do see on this forum, and what devests credibility in some of the posts here, is the personal attacks. I am more convinced by a so called "expert" when they identify the facts and descrepancies in a professional manner. By this, I mean to report the facts--in an unbiased manner without name calling or slandering the other individual. The experts should be arguing with the issues--not with each other. There seems to be conflicts of interest. Some are clearly evident. Drive-Smart has an interest in trying to generate future sales in his companies product--this is not a secret. I am not sure what JTW's interests are. Is he acting as a consumer advocate--trying to protect us all? Is he just a very experienced enthusiast? An antagonist? Does he have some other agenda? I do not mean this negatively; JTW I think you are an expert (especially compared to me) and I applaud you for posting so much of what I think is good information, but I think you lower yourself when you openly engage in this--you seem to be smarter than that. You too Smart-Drive--you are not going to gain customers by arguing or name calling--it makes you look very unprofessional. You both have a divestiture of your credibility and professionalism in my eyes.
For me, I do not know how a person can argue about a product that has not been produced yet. Surely, we can ask the manufacturer's representative for pre-production information, but that information should be judged--just as that which it is--pre-production information that the manufacturer provides about what he thinks his product will do or be like. Until it is finally produced, marketed, and tested, the product should still be considered developmental.
An example of this process is a car alarm manufacturer I recently purchased an alarm from. They put out pre-production information that their new alarm would be loaded with features controled by the remote that would lock and unlock the doors, close the convertible top, and roll the windows up and down. The design and prototype were produced, tested, and worked. Just before full production, there was a glitch that was found with rolling down the windows only on some vehicles. This caused a complete re-design and a time delay to final product. In the end, the final production version did not have the window roll down--and the remote was redesigned to eliminate the feature's button. What I liked most about this company was that the manufacturer's representative kept me informed of all of the changes that were taking place during development, and, now that I have purchased it, is available when and if I need assistance for installation and operation. They answered all of my questions pre-production, and actually listened to one of my requests that ended up in the final production version. I got exactly what I wanted--and built up a relationship with the manufacturer. Word of mouth--or in the case of a forum--cyber words, are the best advertising.
I think, reasonably, this same kind of manufacturer's relationship could come from Drive-Smart. There seems to be a large audience and some very experienced people on this forum that know the questions to ask about the design specifications and feature. I think this would be a better use of this forum and this manufacturer's representatives efforts--rather than continuously bringing up "you said this, or you said that"--and "by the way your an idiot". That does not seem to do anybody any good. I want to know what this product will do, what its limitations are, if it is something I want to purchase, and how I can install it.
I challenge all of you to do the right thing. Question the products, discover the facts, and report the findings without bias. For the manufacturer's representatives--listen to your prospective customers for what they want, keep them abreast of current developments--and make claims that you can honestly support. When differences of opinions occur--Attack the issues, not the people. And, remember the golden rule: "Sometimes you just have to agree to disagree". There is nothing wrong with having a difference of opinion--after all, the readers of this forum will form their own opinion from the information you provide.
This is just my opinion.