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Snooper S4 Neo Safety Alert System Review
Author: Steve_R

Ok then, first off let’s see what it says on the tin:

- Detection of all fixed speed monitoring systems and accident black spots via Snooper's comprehensive database.
- Speed limit and road number or name at location of accident black spots and speed camera sites
- Memory retention of preferred settings.
- 360 degree laser speed monitoring detection systems.
- Genuine plug and play capability
- Super bright LED text display
- Speed limit alert
- 2 Year manufacturer warranty.

That’s the list in a nutshell. Basically, it downloads the co-ordinates of all the fixed speed cameras, accident blackspots, and schools. The blackspot and school warning options are optional and can be turned off if required, but I think they are a good idea to have on. Using the saved co-ordinates it compares them to your position via GPS (Global Positioning Satellites) and then obviously alerts you when necessary.


In The Box You Get:

- The Snooper Unit
- 240V Power Cable
- 12V Cigarette Lighter Power Cable (with curly wire)
- 12V Power Cable (for hardwiring to the fuse box)
- 9 Pin D-Type RS232 Data Transfer Cable
- Suction Cup Mounting Device
- 2 Velcro Pads
- Software CD
- Instruction Manuals

Putting It Together

Ok, fist off you need to register the unit, which you can either do on the Snooper website (which was down when I tried), by phone, or by post. I chose to phone up to register and it only took about 5 minutes. All they need to know is basic name and address information, the serial number of your unit, your method of payment. You get 6 months free subscription for the downloads to keep your Snooper up to date with the latest positioning of speed cameras. There after you can either pay a lump sum of £99.95 for 30 months, or £4.95 per month by direct debit. After that the registration is complete, and you have to wait approximately 1 hour for activation. This will obviously take longer if you register by post.

Once it activated you can start on with setting it up. First of all you need to install the software onto your PC and plug the data cable into the serial port on your PC. Some PC’s do not have these serial ports so make sure that yours does, or else you will have to purchase a USB cable or a modem separately from Snooper. The downloading of the data is very easy, and you just follow the on-screen prompts. Once the download is complete, it time to start setting the unit up.

There are far too many options to list on here that require setting up, but it only took me about 20 minutes, following the instruction manual, which is well written, I didn’t once get confused by it.

Installation in the Car


Here comes the easy part. As it is only one box to fit, it is very quick to install. You just have to decide whether to mount it using the suction cup stand, or by using the Velcro pads. I went for the suction cup mounting as the Ibiza dash slopes away at an angle. Then you simply plug it into the cigarette light, or hardwire it in if you so chose. It needs to be mounted with clear view of the sky upwards, so that it can acquire the satellites. I have mine in the centre of the dash, at the base of the windscreen, and it works fine. I will be hardwiring the unit in once I get a chance and it stops raining.


In Use

The first time it searches for the satellites, it takes a little longer than normal. Mine achieved lock in about 15 minutes, but it says it can take up to 45 minutes.

Now its time to go out and test it. For my test I went down to the A45 which is littered with about 8 Gatso’s and 5 Truvelo’s within about 6 miles, so it would be a good initial test for the unit. Whilst under normal driving conditions (i.e. not near any speed camera’s) you have 3 options for the unit to display. You can have either current speed, signal strength or an atomic clock. I chose to have my current speed on it. I had my pre-alert set to 400 metres, so I was hoping that at 400 metres to the first camera it would do something. Sure enough it sprang into action, with a woman’s voice (which you can switch off if you want) telling me “Caution Gatso. Check Speed. Speed limit is 60” It then counts down to the camera with a series of beeps, increasing in frequency the closer you get. I was very surprised with the accuracy of the unit, and as my rear wheels left the ‘Danger Zone’ the beeping stopped and the unit returned to my current speed. Next Gatso was in a 40mph limit, so naturally I was going slower than I was previously, and this is where I thought that the 400 metre pre-alert was maybe slightly too far, as beeping continues for quite a long time before you actually reach the camera. Again I was surprised at the accuracy of the unit. I knew the next camera was still in a 40mph zone, so I decided to alter the pre-alert setting to 300 metres, which was about right for that speed. So I decided to leave it on 300 metres, for now, but I soon realised my mistake as the next camera was back in a 60 mph zone, and the woman doesn’t have time to finish her speech before you are at the camera, so I reset it for 400 metres. The same can be said for the Truvelo camera’s as well, it picked them all up, and didn’t fail to warn me about anything. Even tried driving past a school on the way home and it alerted to that too.


So to conclude, I feel this is a very good product from what I have seen of it in operation so far and I am very impressed. Does everything it says on the tin, the only thing I haven’t tried out is the Laser detection system, but I’m sure that will work just as well as the rest of the system.

Good value and great service from http://www.Nav-Now.co.uk made this product even better.

Hope this review is of use to you, and if you have any questions feel free to ask me (by PM)

Steve
 
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