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Author Topic: I got it!  (Read 6033 times)

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ukv1290

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I got it!
« on: May 28, 2009, 05:24:29 PM »
Hey All!,

Thought I would bore you all and let you know that I have brought the Air Nav RadarBox.... I brought it from Waters & Stanton in Essex was amazed by the good customer service it involved a 2 hour drive (From Ashford Kent) bad traffic on the tunnel/bridge.

So far I have used the Box only in Ashford as I am on holiday... I am looking forward to seeing what results I get in London at the moment I am getting about 100 a/c I am thinking that this number will go down quite a bit once I get back into London... anyways I am enjoying it a lot!

:)   

GlynH

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Re: I got it!
« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2009, 07:33:18 PM »
Congrats on yor purchase. You have chosen wisely...the RB is a great piece of kit.

But good customer service from W&S??

A total contrast to the three experiences I have had when visiting their shop...

I would always prefer to spend my money with the specialist dealer rather than a faceless Nationwide chain (unless it is a Sunday and I want it immediately:-)

However I would rather buy from Maplins than Waters & Stanton any day of the week.

Picture the scene - two guys walk into W&S looking to spend the best part of £1000 on two RadarBoxes and associated antenna, cables etc.

If I knew nothing about the RB and was looking for a demo I would be sorely disappointed.

The demo unit was poorly setup with just the default blue/brown screen and to be honest at the time I wondered if I should be buying the SBS-1 as only 5 aircraft were listed and only three of them were being actively tracked. Very poor show...

After @ 20 mins with no staff coming to see if we were OK we went and stood by the row of desks where 3-4 staff were sat - some taking calls - some talking amongst themselves.

At different times a couple of them got up from their desks and wandered through another doorway in the shop.

I wondered if it was a dream or if I had put my invisible cloaking device on instead of my fleece...

About 30 minutes after walking into the shop we finally managed to attract someones attention and proceeded to be served.

As we had rang them before we turned up to help them prepare the cables we wanted I was surprised to find out that we had to wait while they made them up. Aah well...

I also purchased a Watson 1090 external antenna.

In a nutshell I bought the complete kit of RB, external antenna, cable & the poxy SMA adaptor to connect my RB to the thick Westflex 103.

My mate also bought his RB and a few other bits & pieces.

The following day when I had installed all of my gear I made the final connection to the RB using the aforementioned SMA Adaptor.

This immediately broke upon connection - the nut seperating from the body of the adaptor.

I rang W&S and asked if they could send me another one.

I was more than surprised when they told me I had to return the faulty one first and upon examination if deemed faulty they would send a replacement.

This for a two-penny connector, after spending the best part of £1000 only the previous day and without which my RB wouldn't work??

Not impressed.

I was even less impressed when I sourced another adaptor locally to find out that although they had fitted an N type plug at the antenna end they had fitted a bog-standard PL259 plug on the receiver end.

Hello?

I am not an expert but W&S with their supposed 35 years in the business should know better than to fit a PL259 plug onto a cable/antenna/receiver designed to work on 1090MHz.

The humble PL259 is really a UHF connector that limits its use as an RF connector to frequencies of up to an absolute maximum 30 MHz.

Even then care should be taken when using them. Low cost, and hence low quality versions are often sold, and these use inferior and cheaper materials. These connectors may be sold with CB equipment that is manufactured to a price and their performance will often be suitable to frequencies of 30 MHz maximum.

Great start...

Anyway armed with an (un)suitable adaptor I ploughed on and got it working.

Fast forward two weeks when my RB suddenly went deaf and from a maximum of 700+ aircraft struggled to resolve a lone aircraft flying overhead I took it round to my mates house to plug it into his antenna in a process of elimination.

It turned out to be the box.

I rang W&S who told me to return it whereby they would inspect & repair if it was deemed to be faulty.

Not good enough - if it was 6 months old maybe I would have conceded the repair option but it was just 2 weeks old FFS.

So a second 275 mile round trip was needed for me to argue the toss with first the counter guy, then the Manager who then had to refer it to Messrs. W&S.

They tried to blame me for the failure as I had not fitted a lightning arrestor or DC Block.

When I painfully explained that I had bought the whole kit from them just 2 weeks ago  and at no time did they advise that I should have one they reluctantly agreed to replace it.

On asking advice as to what I could do to reduce the risk of ESD in the future I was told that there really is no way to prevent this and if I did buy a lightning arrestor I would have to run a heavy gauge earth wire from the device to a good earth which depending upon my installation would probably not be practical.

I then had to pay for a second W103 N Type connector to replace the ill-advised PL259 they had fitted to fit myself - not an easy task if you have ever worked with W103 cable...

I would have brought the cable back but one end was already self-amalgmated to the antenna 17 foot up a pole on the side of my house...not happy.

Then earlier this year when trying to decide between the Icom IC-R2500 and the WinRadio G305 receivers I rang them to see if they had one or both on demo so I could take a look and get a 'hands-on' comparison test.

A positive yes was the answer so I set off on yet another 275 mile round trip.

Same experience...wandering around aimlessly until I enquired about the radios - don't know anything about them mate...you need to speak to someone else...turned out they had both in stock but were inside a glass cabinet and not connected or working...all I could do was stare at them through the glass cabinet...all I could compare was the boxes...so much for my getting my hands on to see which I preferred...

Heaven forbid I have to have further dealings with Wally & Standoff.

All further dealings for my radio requirements will be with Martin Lynch & Sons - in fact the pair of us were in there recently spending £1500 with the promise that I will now be spending a further lump of cash on a computer controlled receiver in the very near future.

I appreciate that not everybody will have suffered such an experience at the hands of W&S (YMMV) but I can only speak as I find.

Apologies for the long post - if this helps some other poor, unsuspecting member of the public from the W&S 'experience' then it would have been worth it.

Regards,
-=Glyn=-

CoastGuardJon

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  • Mullion Cove, Kernow --- sw Cornwall UK.
Re: I got it!
« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2009, 08:06:24 PM »
Last year, I sent them (W&S) an email asking for advice and prices - when a reply was eventually received (after prompting) it was look at the web-site.     I find Chris on Kinetic/SBS/ML&S site is a lot more attentive and helpful.
ANRB :  AOR AR8000 : Icom R-7000 : Icom IC-R9000 : JRC NRD-545 : OptoElectronics Digital Scout and OptoLinx Interface; Realistic Pro-2005 : UBC 800XLT - listed in alphabetical order, not cost, preference, performance or entertainment value!

daveg4otu

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Re: I got it!
« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2009, 08:32:45 PM »
I have to say that my experiences with them(W & S) were the complete opposite ...the RB  (Bought from Flightstore) had to be fixed (twice) but  both times the turnaround (all by post) was very speedy - second time it was away from me less than 72 hours.
5 Miles N of BHD at 50.28.28 N/3.30.43W...400ft amsl.

Hampshire, Devon, Dorset and Isle of Wight  Airfields Websites.....
http://devonairfields.tripod.com/index.htm

EGNXR

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Re: I got it!
« Reply #4 on: May 28, 2009, 11:33:03 PM »
Hi all,

If it helps somebody, bought my box from AOR uk @ Matlock.
Has SBS and RB set up and goes to great lengths to show the pro's & Cons of both set ups. No bias and no hard sell.

No connection to me just a satisfied customer.

Cheers John
Based in Derby 5Nm NW of EGNX

ukv1290

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Re: I got it!
« Reply #5 on: May 29, 2009, 12:37:48 PM »
hmm so mixed reviews!  I was going to buy the device at Transair in EGKA which, again would have been a good hour and half they was out of stock of both the RB and SBS.  W&S also matched Transairs price!  The sales guys I sow were really nice but some one who I spoke to on the phone (2nd time) did not sound like he was happy to be at work! I noticed this also when over hearing calls they were taking in the shop....  Do they provide some sort of support service for a product seems like they were getting a lot of calls?

Tom

CoastGuardJon

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Re: I got it!
« Reply #6 on: May 29, 2009, 01:49:36 PM »
Do they provide some sort of support service for a product seems like they were getting a lot of calls?

Probably RB owners with boxes that have gone deaf!     
ANRB :  AOR AR8000 : Icom R-7000 : Icom IC-R9000 : JRC NRD-545 : OptoElectronics Digital Scout and OptoLinx Interface; Realistic Pro-2005 : UBC 800XLT - listed in alphabetical order, not cost, preference, performance or entertainment value!