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For all my fellow Radar/Laser defense gurus out there, I thought you might be interested in a firsthand look at how the Blinder products (specifically the M-27) and the Cheetah wireless installation kit work with our E/M/T's and some little hints that might help ease your installation of such a kit if you're considering buying one. This is a very long post but it's full of information. (Pictures are coming soon I promise!)

When I first considered this purchase, I found myself reading every piece of information about laser shifters that I could get my hands on. I wanted to know everything from installation techniques to the legality of such a device, as I was not about to spend hundreds of dollars on equipment that I didn't know anything about. According to reviews on countless forums and websites, the most popular and effective laser shifter seems to be from Blinder. Test results from guysoflidar.com showed Blinder units to be a solid performer in the past, and most forum contributors seemed to agree.

I landed on the Blinder M-27 mostly for ease of installation and budgetary reasons. The M-27 is part of the newest line from Blinder and is their base model, consisting of a control processor and two laser heads, ideally for placement in the front of the vehicle. The processor they provide includes ports for two additional heads, if one wanted to install rear firing heads. I choose to opt of out this option for the meantime, as I wanted to see how well the unit preformed before I took the time to mount heads all the way on the rear of truck.
After prowling the internet for the easiest way to install a Blinder unit, the simplest way seemed to be to use a newly released "Wireless Fitting Kit" manufactured by Cheetah. The product states its "Blinder Authorized" so I decided to go for it.
I purchased both units from RadarBusters.com
-Blinder M-27 $449.98
-Wireless Fitting Kit $179.99

Both units arrived in about 9 business days, well packaged and ready for installation. Blinder is very good about giving you more than enough installation materials, but I found the instructions for both the wireless fitting kit and the M-27 to be sketchy at best. Blinder spends most of its time in its installation booklet explaining how to properly aim the heads which is crucial, but basically drops the ball in terms of explain how to program the unit using the USB connectivity port. (I'll explain this in a bit) The wireless fitting kit instruction manual is about the same caliber, it was actually the wireless kit manual that informed me I need to reprogram the Blinder unit so that it would function with the wireless kit properly, but it didn't tell me how to do that. Not that I don't enjoy a challenge, but for the average user, this may prove quite frustrating.

I started by picking where I would place the Blinder CPU and mounting the Blinder heads. The Blinder CPU is normally placed inside the cabin of the vehicle, but the point of the wireless kit is to avoid running any wires through the firewall, installing switches or tapping power/ground wires. To get around mounting the CPU inside the cabin, the wireless fitting kit comes with a weatherproof box for the CPU, which allows it to be placed inside the engine bay. I choose to place it in the back driver side corner of the engine bay, resting on top of the driver side wheel strut. The Blinder heads I decided to mount in the lower cavity on the front bumper. The older E/M/T's bumper is practically ideal for this type of application. I ran the wires up though the bumper and up to the CPU mounted in its weatherproof box.

Powering the Blinder unit is idiot proof using the wireless kit. You just connect the power cables to the battery, connect up the wireless kit components, and connect the plugs to the Blinder CPU. The wireless fitting kit senses when your truck is started, and turns the laser system on. When you turn off your truck, it shuts the laser system off. The wireless kit does this by monitoring the voltage running through the battery it's connected to. I mounted the wireless components using some Velcro and finding some places out of the way in the engine bay, mostly around my fuse box.

The wireless receiver gets placed inside the cabin and is powered by a power point or cigar lighter. I choose to hardwire mine and place it up above my rearview mirror next to my Valentine One. The receiver has three indicator lights. The middle red light, which indicates power to the receiving unit, the green satellite dish on the left, which indicates communication to the wireless transmitter in the engine bay indicating power to the wireless kit and blinder unit, and the yellow X on the right, indicating shifting is active. The yellow X is accompanied by an audible alarm, which has a volume control on the right side of the unit.

Once your installation is finished, start your vehicle and let the Blinder unit power up for the first time. Don't despair if it doesn't turn on immediately, as the wireless kit doesn't always immediately sense that the truck was turned on. I've never seen it take more than 30 seconds to notice the truck has been started. The wireless kit also comes with two remotes to turn the unit on or off, regardless of whether or not the car is on. This is also used to turn the unit off when your are being targeted if you do not wish to "Jam To Gun" (this will be explained a little further down). Once the kit turns on, let the blinder unit run for at least a minute to do its initial out of box start up and program the laser heads.

After your finished installing the unit and powering it up for the first time, the wireless kit requires you to reprogram the Blinder CPU to allow it to function properly with the kit. Remove the CPU from the car and take it inside to your computer. Connect the CPU via the USB port on the right side of the CPU. (The USB port is the same as many printers, so if you don't have a USB cord hanging around, check and see if your printer USB cord will work). Once connected, you have to download the Blinder Update software from Blinder's website. A quick Google search should point you in the right direction. Once downloaded and run, it will recognize your Blinder CPU. Uncheck all park assist head boxes,(these can be used to help you park your car if you use the M-27 with the generic installation kit from blinder, you cannot use them with the wireless kit) disable startup tones, select constant jamming (see description below), update USA software and then click save settings to CPU. Now your CPU is ready to work with the wireless kit.
-------Notes about jamming times: Blinder and forum communities around the internet have begun to address a growing problem among laser shifter users called Jam To Gun. Jam To Gun or JTG occurs when a user of a laser shifter encounters a laser trap, and continues to jam the laser gun throughout the entire event, even after they have adjusted their speed. This is agreed by many users and manufactures of laser shifters as an un-necessary move by any user. Not only does it raise the suspicion of the laser trap operator, it may cause him/her to pull you over for another reason, or even worse, add to the growing reasons to ban laser shifters in the USA all together. The point of a laser shifter is to be as stealth as possible. To help combat this issue, Blinder placed jamming times on their new products, which basically allows you to set how long the jammer will continue to jam once it's been targeted. The choices are 3 seconds, 7 seconds or constant jamming. The default is 7 seconds. For the wireless kit, you need to set the jamming time to constant jamming. Meaning that once your targeted the jammer will continue to jam until the jamming threat has ceased. This means it's up to the operator to shut off the jammer once he/she has been targeted and gotten down to a legal speed. Long story short, if you're up against a laser trap and your shifter activates, slow down to a legal speed, shut of the system and allow to laser operator to get a reading on you. This allows the laser operator to get a legitimate reading on you, and you can continue on your way.

I've been using the Blinder M-27 with the wireless fitting kit for about 3 months now and have been nothing but pleased. The only issue I have run into is that sometimes the wireless kit will place the M-27 into "park mode" for an unknown reason. This can be determined by the LED attached to the wireless kit flashing instead of being steady green. I have contacted Blinder about this issue, and they are currently working on a fix. If I hear from them I will gladly share the results.

I hope you've enjoyed this very long post about my experience so far with the Blinder M-27 and Cheetah wireless fitting kit, if you have any questions please post them and I will answer to the best of my ability! Please remember to stay smart and drive safe!
 
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