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Cyclops Driver Safety System

11th March 2003

 Review by Darren Griffin

  

With the recent announcement by the Government that speed camera numbers are set to increase the availability of GPS based camera warning devices will be a benefit to anyone who spends any amount of time driving in the UK.

 

Cyclops are a new entrant into this market with their Cyclops GPS Driver Safety System.  It has a RRP £369.00 which makes it the cheapest GPS based warning system available at time of writing and has some useful features that help it stand apart from its competition.

 

Open the box and you will find all you need to get up and running quickly.  You get the GPS unit, 12v

Power Lead, Mains Power adapter, Velcro dash mount and a PC serial cable.  Instructions are basic but clear.  Included in the purchase price is 6 months access to the update facility through which you can add new camera locations to the unitís internal database.  After this initial period you can purchase updates in one or two year increments.

 

Getting Started

The Cyclops unit is manufactured in high quality black plastic with a prominent display.  On top are two buttons whilst at the rear are connections for power, optional remote antenna (for use in vehicles with coated windscreens or demist elements which block the GPS signal) and pc interface.  Unlike other similar devices it has a pleasant rounded design that will sit well in modern cars.

 

To get up and running simply find a convenient location on your dashboard where you can view the display and reach the buttons, affix the Velcro mount and plug in to a cigarette lighter power supply.  Once power is supplied the unit initially displays a red X which indicates that a GPS signal is not being received.  As with all GPS units the first time it is switched on it can take a while to download the GPS almanac data and initialise before getting a satellite lock. 

This is only necessary the first time it is powered on, warm starts take much less time and in tests the unit achieved lock in under a minute.

 

On the road Cyclops can be configured to display a basic compass heading when no camera alerts are operating, this is a useful feature especially for those whose sense of direction is poor!  It also has an overspeed function which can be configured to give an audible and visual warning anytime you exceed a pre-defined limit (This can thankfully be switched off!).

 

 

Alert Sequence 

When Cyclops detects that you are within 800yds of a safety camera location, it firstly displays the speed limit that is in force in green on the display (Knowing what speed you should be doing within a safety camera zone is really very useful) as you get within 600yds the speed display turns red and an audible alert sounds, both the audible alert and the flashing increase in frequency as you pass the 400yd marker and finally the continuous tone as you pass 200yds.  Once you have passed the camera location and the display shows a clear symbol and the system resets.

 

It is worth pointing out that Cyclops is also SPECS aware, for those that donít know, SPECS is the new digital speed averaging system that is being rolled out.  The system monitors your speed between two locations to obtain an average for that section of road; this prevents drivers from braking for the cameras and accelerating in between.  If you were to do this between SPECS cameras you would still be prosecuted if your average speed on the SPECS monitored section was in excess of the posted limit. 

Cyclops will warn you within a SPECS zone by automatically giving a visual and continuous audible warning if your speed exceeds the limit in force within the monitored section.  Iíve left the best bit till last!  Unlike some other GPS warning devices that use warn of all cameras within a preset distance regardless of direction, Cyclops uses intelligent filtering software to only warn of cameras ahead and on your carriageway.  It will not warn of cameras that are on the opposing carriageway unless they are mounted in the central reservation and can be oriented in either direction.  It will also not warn of cameras on intersecting roads etc.  In tests this worked superbly.

 

Cyclops Close Up
Actual Size Ė width 12cm, height 4cm, depth 10cm

 

Cyclops warns of fixed, temporary and regular mobile sites.  If you find a location that Cyclops does not know about (we never found any!) you can record them for submission to Cyclops.  Simply press and hold the new location button, when the letter C appears on the display let go of the button and press again to confirm you wish to record a camera location, thatís it!

 

Updating the unit and submitting new sites to Cyclops is done by connecting the unit via the supplied serial cable to a host PC.  Once you have logged into the website you can download the latest camera database and submit new locations simply and quickly.  Unlike its competitors there is no monetary reward for submitting a new camera location; instead you are entered into a monthly prize draw.

 

Front of Cyclops Rear of Cyclops

 

Its display is large and clear and was easily visible in bright sunlight.  The display has good contrast and in use was not distracting during night time driving.

 

I liked this unit, it was simple to install, didnít stand out like a sore thumb on the dashboard, did all it promised to efficiently and amazingly was 100% successful in alerting me to all the cameras on the test routes.  Although it does not currently offer a speed display function this is being introduced in April.  Suffice to say that as soon as Iíd returned the review unit I missed it!

 

 

Pocket GPS Ė Special Offer

As a special offer to all Pocket GPS visitors, we have arranged that you can purchase a Cyclops for only £356.70 inc. VAT through our website saving over £12!

 

To take advantage of this special offer, simply click on the picture to the right and you will be connected directly to the Cyclops website where the discounted offer price is displayed within the Purchase Online section.

 

Cyclops PROís

  • Excellent filtering software reduces false alarms

  • Cost

  • Ease of use

  • Design

  • Remote antenna facility

  • Software upgradeable

Cyclops CONís

  • Lack of GPS Data Out facility

Review unit supplied by Cyclops UK Limited on 0800 389 8180

 

Conclusion

Manufacturers Website

http://www.cyclops-uk.com

enquiries@cyclops-uk.com

Pocket GPS Reviewer

Darren Griffin

Pocket GPS Reviewer Website

N/a

Rating

 

Construction

Installation

Useability

Robustness

Overall Rating 97%

How did we achieve these ratings ?

Review Ratings

   

 

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