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Old Dec 15, 2011, 01:53 AM
AvB
Wind, hill, ... I'm keen ...
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Australia, QLD, Woody Point
Joined Nov 2006
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Comparing Stalker Pro 2 and Falcon DS Radar Guns

I've been searching for comments on the comparative performance and benefits of the 2 new guns. Apart from a few anecdotal comments there's not a lot. Spencer really likes both. I borrowed his Stalker when in the US and it was excellent. Eric likes his new Falcon a lot. I think John B favours the Falcon, which has a reputation for better performance at Weldon, while the Stalker apparently does better at Norco. But differences between individual units of the same model have been reported (Nick's Falcon works better at picking up Kinetics than Spencer's, apparently).

The Falcon DS from Skip Miller is $1395 and the Stalker Pro 2 from Radar Sports is $1139.

They've been out for a while now ... does anyone have any comments or preferences?

Any comments on the following criteria would be useful to me and other potential buyers:
  • Sensitivity to read high speeds of narrow-profile planes like the Kinetic.
  • Ability to also read sub-100 speeds when used for newbies or light DS.
  • User-friendliness (ability for newbie to pick it up while you're flying and get speeds without needing a lesson!).
  • Durability, waterproofness etc.
  • Peak speed recall, and ease of use thereof.
  • Practical aspects like battery life, ease of charging, 110 - 240V adaptation.

Andrew
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Old Dec 15, 2011, 03:28 AM
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Leicestershire
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I've heard the lads grousing about one of the Falcons that's found it's way over here being a bit unreliable in picking stuff up. This is high 200s and good accurate pilots, so not even approaching the Falcons upper limit. But unfortunately we don't yet have a Stalker to compare it to over here. I'll likely go for the Stalker myself, Andrew, after considering the same conundrum as yourself. I like the fact that it uses a shorter wavelength than the Falcon so if you decided to put a reflector in your model, there's higher chance it will actually work.

Z
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Old Dec 15, 2011, 09:40 AM
Just chillin @ 403 MPH
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Boulder Colorado
Joined Nov 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zimodile View Post
I've heard the lads grousing about one of the Falcons that's found it's way over here being a bit unreliable in picking stuff up. This is high 200s and good accurate pilots, so not even approaching the Falcons upper limit. But unfortunately we don't yet have a Stalker to compare it to over here. I'll likely go for the Stalker myself, Andrew, after considering the same conundrum as yourself. I like the fact that it uses a shorter wavelength than the Falcon so if you decided to put a reflector in your model, there's higher chance it will actually work.

Z
If your getting misses in the 200's the settings may be set incorectly for the speed you are flying,or I hate to say it but a poor aimer or operator.
I have had like little to zero missed passes well into the 300's with the Falcon.

Nick who will be buying another Falcon soon because I sold mine to Spencer.
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Old Dec 15, 2011, 09:53 AM
Just Fly it
USA, CA, Bakersfield
Joined Jul 2006
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Falcon

Falcon has better components, is simpler, and flat out works better. Everywhere. Nothing compares to it. The Stalker has machined stuff, and a lot of wiress, but the engineering and simplicity work.
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Old Dec 15, 2011, 09:59 AM
Just Fly it
USA, CA, Bakersfield
Joined Jul 2006
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Disagreeing

Its ok to disagree with someone..its part of life, and learning. But when i talk with e engineers, its more about how something is designed and tweeked, than just putting it together. Its a very complex project to make something that works so well. And in our application, i see the Falcon on top.
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Old Dec 15, 2011, 01:27 PM
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Lakewood, Colorado
Joined Aug 2002
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While either gun is capable of catching every pass into the low 300's for just about
any plane, I will say that's contingent upon actually flying the plane as close to directly at the
gun as possible (unless you're *really* close to it). In the mid/high 200's you'll start getting missed
reads if the plane is flying off angle to the gun and/or the plane is far away. The
old Stalker Pro seemed to be better at picking up off angle passes and was solid
right up to it's 308mph limit. The new guns will go much higher, but they need
precision aiming, and seem less forgiving of off angle passes. I also noticed at
Weldon that if someone opened up their circuit and went really deep, the guys
at the top of the hill and upper radar rock just couldn't get a read on em at all.

There have been many times at Weldon where I knew my plane was going really
fast on a powerful line, but I had to change to a sub-optimal line (usually
steeper angle), just to make the guns happy. In fact, often that is pretty much
the only thought going through my head, how to get the plane pointed at the
guns and not simultaneously splat it against the ground. You'll notice that
often the very fastest pass picked up by the guns in a session is the last
"oh sh*t" one where the plane disappears below the hill for a second and the
pilot is pulling full up to recover.

ian
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Old Dec 15, 2011, 03:36 PM
AvB
Wind, hill, ... I'm keen ...
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Australia, QLD, Woody Point
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Ian, I second everything you said there! I observed the same.

My Prospeed seems to catch at least as many readings as the other guys' guns but when it gets up towards 300 I get lots of misses. But my main concern with it is that it doesn't recall the peak speed of a session - that's such a useful feature. Plus, now that we have a couple of sites capable of bigger speeds the 310mph limit has actually become relevant!

Spencer pointed out that the Falcon also has removable charge leads which would make it easier to use a field charger.
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Old Dec 15, 2011, 07:25 PM
Just chillin @ 403 MPH
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Boulder Colorado
Joined Nov 2005
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As far as battery life is concerned I have used my Falcon for 4 days strait at weldon without recharging it then another week without charging in between when I got home..its never even got low..my stalker would run out in a day of use. And would never last 2 days
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Old Dec 15, 2011, 08:08 PM
Can you DS it??
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Australia, NSW, Berowra
Joined Aug 2008
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I like my Falcon. The best thing to do is to get someone who is good at aiming, and you'll have no problems. When Pete is holding the gun, we get very few missed reads. Might have something to do with him representing the state in Practical Pistol Shooting.....

Seems to work in the rain too, which is something my prospeed always had issues with.

I cut the lead off my charger and put banana plugs on it so I can plug it into a normal battery charger. Not that I charge it very often, it seems to last for days.
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Old Dec 15, 2011, 08:11 PM
AvB
Wind, hill, ... I'm keen ...
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Australia, QLD, Woody Point
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Wow, that battery life is a big advantage!
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Old Dec 15, 2011, 09:08 PM
Objects in mirror are losing
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USA, NV, Reno
Joined May 2003
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I don't disagree with any of the above statements.
I love the falcon's audio feedback, both as an operator and pilot.
Side by side they really are close as far as picking up plus 300 speeds.
I'd love to get one with a 20 ft pole and periscope or remote display.
Is Norco an easier place to fly a more radar friendly line?
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Old Dec 15, 2011, 11:54 PM
U down with EPP? Ya u know me
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United States, CA, Ventura County
Joined Sep 2008
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They both work, but you get the edge with the more expensive unit. And aren't both units able to receive firmware upgrades? Such an update could help either unit pull ahead in the future.
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Old Dec 16, 2011, 04:57 AM
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Leicestershire
Joined Sep 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jantar2A View Post
As far as battery life is concerned I have used my Falcon for 4 days strait at weldon without recharging it then another week without charging in between when I got home..its never even got low..my stalker would run out in a day of use. And would never last 2 days
Now you're just p*ssing me off 4 days straight DSing - how I WISH we got conditions like that here - I really do need to come and visit you guys!!!

re the operator - may well be, Nick, it's not my gun, and I wasn't the operator - just an observation. There's two Falcon's out here now - I may get a Stalker just to have something which might offer a point of difference and hopefully give us all a broader scope of equipment on the hill - might work better in one set of conditions than the Falcon or something, and then would be useful to have as well as what the other lads already have.

Z
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Old Dec 16, 2011, 07:17 AM
More like crunchman....
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United Kingdom, Cheshire East
Joined Mar 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jantar2A View Post
As far as battery life is concerned I have used my Falcon for 4 days strait at weldon without recharging it then another week without charging in between when I got home..its never even got low..my stalker would run out in a day of use. And would never last 2 days
Might be worthwhile modifying the Stalker's battery handle.

Modified one a couple of years ago on my ancient Stalker Pro, by fitting a 3700mAh 7.2V sub-C Nimh in place of the original small capacity Nicad.
Never any concern of losing power.
Just required a bit of surgery to the handle's interior to obtain a fit.

Also added a small Futaba style plug to the terminals, which barely protrudes from the handle, so it can be charged either from the mains or regular TX/RX battery charger. But it only requires recharging after many days usage.
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Old Dec 16, 2011, 07:23 AM
More like crunchman....
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United Kingdom, Cheshire East
Joined Mar 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spotterone View Post
I like my Falcon.......
Seems to work in the rain too, which is something my prospeed always had issues with.
Does the Prospeed have a low-speed cut-off facility?
The Stalker does, so it can be set to ignore precipitation.
That is perhaps the difference, & maybe the Falcon has it too?
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