Labradar Opinions

Nik H

Constantly Learning
Supporter
Full Member
Minuteman
  • Jan 22, 2014
    9,116
    10,001
    Small town New England
    Hi All,

    Thinking of buying one as I have had an opportunity to use one for the last few days.

    I'd like to hear some opinions from long term users. I'm more interested in reliability than I am in accuracy. How do they hold up provided you take care of them?

    TIA
     

    DP425

    I’d rather be sleeping
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Feb 28, 2009
    3,245
    64
    MI
    I've had one for about a year; no problems so far. But, I also keep it in a pelican case. I'm pretty careful about how it's treated.

    The rubber flaps for the SD card and ports are prob my two biggest complaints. They could have done better; once those things are used a couple times, they will never stay closed ever again.
     

    Fursniper

    Captain, USMM (retired)
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Feb 13, 2017
    2,173
    52
    Arizona
    +1 on the pelican case. Get the settings right & it never misses a beat. Yes, the rubber flaps are a minor annoyance but if you store it flat & the flap side down they stay flat, at least for me.
     

    IanHusaberg

    Bad Actor
    Full Member
    Minuteman
  • Feb 19, 2017
    1,236
    154
    Rocky Mountains
    I own one and enjoy using it. After Frank broke his first one and reported back it was fragile and to being blow over easily. I rigged up a stable dual mount for 3d cameras, my spotter, range finder and LR are all on a night force tripod mounted next to the ground for field shooting. I think he has broken his unit a second time? I baby mine as not to drop or mis-use.

    I don't have a case for mine. I'm starting to think about one now.
     

    Fixr

    Sergeant
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Nov 13, 2011
    341
    364
    Northern Virginia
    I have only had mine for a couple of months but have used it almost every weekend and it's been great. I use it with the same tripod I use for my spotter and even my AR-50 muzzle blast doesn't bother it.
    NV0Jhiz.jpg
    I have an Oehler 35P for sale in accessory sale section and the MagnetoSpeed V2 is up next.
     

    Supersubes

    Heathen
    Full Member
    Minuteman
  • Sep 6, 2006
    6,346
    5,966
    Rural Nevada
    As chronos go, I love mine. Like padom, I’ve used the hell out of mine. Bought it right when they came out. My biggest gripe is the flow of the menus. I wish it would read out the es, sd, and average within the string as it’s being shot, instead of having to back out to get it. I’d also like to be able to one touch press into a new string, instead of backing out. Showing the the five downrange velocities is useless on the main capture screen. In fact, I could delete this feature all together. It’s catchy, but ultimately useless.

    Still, a great device that is unmatched at this time.
     
    • Like
    Reactions: LG65CM

    alaskalanche

    Private
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Dec 22, 2017
    502
    223
    Agreed on the rubber flap deal sticking out after only a couple uses. My buddy has had his over a year and have me the heads up about an external battery pack being a must as it chews through double As. We compared them side by side for roughly 40 shots (obviously set on different channels) largest difference was 5 FPS I would say all but 5 of those 40 shots were 2 fps or less difference with many exactly the same. I will say that mine I just got for Christmas seems to be slower in spitting out results than my buddy's though not sure why. Sometimes it takes close to 10-12 seconds after the shot. I did the latest firmware upgrade and he hasn't yet so maybe that is the reason?

    otyn8Fo.jpg


    I did like FixR and mount mine on a tripod just for more stability and I had a spare one laying around rather than buy the cheesy flat plate ball head deal.
    NGHTqro.jpg


    This is the case I bought for mine to hold the unit itself and the battery pack:
    https://www.amazon.com/Condition-Airtight-Watertight-Protective-Pluck/dp/B00ELQ659O

    Overall I like it a lot more than of course the Beta Chrony and Gen 1 magnetospeed I had prior.
     

    Supersubes

    Heathen
    Full Member
    Minuteman
  • Sep 6, 2006
    6,346
    5,966
    Rural Nevada
    Agreed on the rubber flap deal sticking out after only a couple uses. My buddy has had his over a year and have me the heads up about an external battery pack being a must as it chews through double As. We compared them side by side for roughly 40 shots (obviously set on different channels) largest difference was 5 FPS I would say all but 5 of those 40 shots were 2 fps or less difference with many exactly the same. I will say that mine I just got for Christmas seems to be slower in spitting out results than my buddy's though not sure why. Sometimes it takes close to 10-12 seconds after the shot. I did the latest firmware upgrade and he hasn't yet so maybe that is the reason?

    otyn8Fo.jpg


    I did like FixR and mount mine on a tripod just for more stability and I had a spare one laying around rather than buy the cheesy flat plate ball head deal.
    NGHTqro.jpg


    This is the case I bought for mine to hold the unit itself and the battery pack:
    https://www.amazon.com/Condition-Airtight-Watertight-Protective-Pluck/dp/B00ELQ659O

    Overall I like it a lot more than of course the Beta Chrony and Gen 1 magnetospeed I had prior.

    The slowness could possibly be due to your sd card, if you’re running one. I’ve used a few in mine and the faster cards run noticibly better.
     

    BullzeyeNJ

    Sergeant
    Full Member
    Minuteman
  • Mar 17, 2007
    1,053
    86
    New Jersey
    I have had mine for over a year. Sometimes I dont get a reading of 223 rounds at 100 yards but other then that I like it. As someone said already the menu sequence could be smoother to check data and its best to have an external battery. And lastly, I still have my magnetospeed and would not think of selling it.
     

    Nik H

    Constantly Learning
    Supporter
    Full Member
    Minuteman
  • Jan 22, 2014
    9,116
    10,001
    Small town New England
    Agreed on the rubber flap deal sticking out after only a couple uses. My buddy has had his over a year and have me the heads up about an external battery pack being a must as it chews through double As. We compared them side by side for roughly 40 shots (obviously set on different channels) largest difference was 5 FPS I would say all but 5 of those 40 shots were 2 fps or less difference with many exactly the same. I will say that mine I just got for Christmas seems to be slower in spitting out results than my buddy's though not sure why. Sometimes it takes close to 10-12 seconds after the shot. I did the latest firmware upgrade and he hasn't yet so maybe that is the reason?

    otyn8Fo.jpg


    I did like FixR and mount mine on a tripod just for more stability and I had a spare one laying around rather than buy the cheesy flat plate ball head deal.
    NGHTqro.jpg


    This is the case I bought for mine to hold the unit itself and the battery pack:
    https://www.amazon.com/Condition-Airtight-Watertight-Protective-Pluck/dp/B00ELQ659O

    Overall I like it a lot more than of course the Beta Chrony and Gen 1 magnetospeed I had prior.
    What tripod and head are you using?
     

    GIXXER2000

    ELR Junkie
    Full Member
    Minuteman
  • Aug 5, 2013
    1,323
    502
    Bullhead City ,AZ
    I will be talking the them at Shot about any updates or new improved models. I too am looking at adding one and putting up the Magneto Speed.
    Will update after going to their booth.
     
    • Like
    Reactions: alaskalanche

    Nik H

    Constantly Learning
    Supporter
    Full Member
    Minuteman
  • Jan 22, 2014
    9,116
    10,001
    Small town New England
    I will be talking the them at Shot about any updates or new improved models. I too am looking at adding one and putting up the Magneto Speed.
    Will update after going to their booth.

    Interestingly enough, there was another shooter doing some load development at the range and we set up the labradar next to it. The MV readings were within 3 fps on a 10 shot string of rounds with an MV of ~2700 fps. It was pretty nice.
     
    • Like
    Reactions: LG65CM

    Kiba

    Major Hide Member
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Jan 13, 2011
    1,367
    368
    Central Valley, CA
    Been using my Labradar for a while, mine was from the first shipment. Still use it very frequently.

    There were a slight learning curve with it, but it's been solid. Was previously using a Magnetospeed but noticed it did throw off ladder/OCW tests slightly, especially on lighter profile barrels-- the Labradar lets me get MV/ES/SD numbers during load development without possibly skewing a ladder test.

    A few observations:

    Make sure your tripod or base is sturdy, the Labradar acts like a sail in the wind and I've heard it doesn't take falls or knocks well. If I'm shooting prone I use either the Labradar base or one of my Slik tripods set as low as it will go and haven't had any issues. If shooting from a bench, I use a heavier manfrotto tripod or labradar base and then tie them to the bench with a length of paracord so it can't get knocked or blown over.

    As mentioned, battery life with alkaline AA's is terrible. Lithium AA's slightly less so, but still not great. Get an external USB pack or use Kentli 3000mah AA Li-on rechargeable batteries; cheaper just to get an external USB battery pack though, the Kentli's aren't cheap. No worries about possibly damaging the micro USB port with them though.

    If someone is shooting next to you with a brake be prepared for a lot of false triggers. Also be prepared to hit enter every time that happens to acknowledge the "projectile could not be tracked" message that pops up. You can play with the trigger level sensitivity to help with the false triggers, but they still happen occasionally. I'm still waiting for Labradar to make that an automatically resetting warning message in a future firmware update (hopefully at the same time they enable the already built-in bluetooth functionality and release the matching phone app.)

    The smaller the bullet, the more critical the aiming-- especially with .17 and boat tailed .223. I bonded a small section of plastic tubing into the sighting v-groove on top of my unit to make it faster and easier to aim-- like boresighting. Some people use a small construction square set against the front of the labradar to aim it, I've seen others take it even further by mounting low power scopes to their units... I don't find the aiming that picky, but the little v notch is barely adequate IMO.

    Triggering the unit can be a pain with PCP air rifles and I'd imagine suppressed rimfires (can't say about that, no suppressors here in CA.) The external mic kit solves that, but for PCP air rifles with very effective moderators I have to get the mic close to the muzzle and take the foam gust guard off the mic to get it to trigger reliably.

    Be careful shooting next to larger calibers in cold weather... the muzzle blast from a 7 SAUM cracked the case at the upper corners on my unit when doing load development on a 32F morning. I had the unit well aft of the brake, back near the ejection port, and the brake on the rifle did not have rear-angled ports. Cold weather, plastic with a large surface area, and overpressure just aren't a good combination. The Labradar people fixed it for no charge and said that's something they hadn't seen before.

    Other than that, the Labradar has been the only chronograph I've used since receiving it. My magnetospeed only occasionally gets used for quick checks of friends rifles, and I sold my Oehler.
     

    Nik H

    Constantly Learning
    Supporter
    Full Member
    Minuteman
  • Jan 22, 2014
    9,116
    10,001
    Small town New England
    Been using my Labradar for a while, mine was from the first shipment. Still use it very frequently.

    There were a slight learning curve with it, but it's been solid. Was previously using a Magnetospeed but noticed it did throw off ladder/OCW tests slightly, especially on lighter profile barrels-- the Labradar lets me get MV/ES/SD numbers during load development without possibly skewing a ladder test.

    A few observations:

    Make sure your tripod or base is sturdy, the Labradar acts like a sail in the wind and I've heard it doesn't take falls or knocks well. If I'm shooting prone I use either the Labradar base or one of my Slik tripods set as low as it will go and haven't had any issues. If shooting from a bench, I use a heavier manfrotto tripod or labradar base and then tie them to the bench with a length of paracord so it can't get knocked or blown over.

    As mentioned, battery life with alkaline AA's is terrible. Lithium AA's slightly less so, but still not great. Get an external USB pack or use Kentli 3000mah AA Li-on rechargeable batteries; cheaper just to get an external USB battery pack though, the Kentli's aren't cheap. No worries about possibly damaging the micro USB port with them though.

    If someone is shooting next to you with a brake be prepared for a lot of false triggers. Also be prepared to hit enter every time that happens to acknowledge the "projectile could not be tracked" message that pops up. You can play with the trigger level sensitivity to help with the false triggers, but they still happen occasionally. I'm still waiting for Labradar to make that an automatically resetting warning message in a future firmware update (hopefully at the same time they enable the already built-in bluetooth functionality and release the matching phone app.)

    The smaller the bullet, the more critical the aiming-- especially with .17 and boat tailed .223. I bonded a small section of plastic tubing into the sighting v-groove on top of my unit to make it faster and easier to aim-- like boresighting. Some people use a small construction square set against the front of the labradar to aim it, I've seen others take it even further by mounting low power scopes to their units... I don't find the aiming that picky, but the little v notch is barely adequate IMO.

    Triggering the unit can be a pain with PCP air rifles and I'd imagine suppressed rimfires (can't say about that, no suppressors here in CA.) The external mic kit solves that, but for PCP air rifles with very effective moderators I have to get the mic close to the muzzle and take the foam gust guard off the mic to get it to trigger reliably.

    Be careful shooting next to larger calibers in cold weather... the muzzle blast from a 7 SAUM cracked the case at the upper corners on my unit when doing load development on a 32F morning. I had the unit well aft of the brake, back near the ejection port, and the brake on the rifle did not have rear-angled ports. Cold weather, plastic with a large surface area, and overpressure just aren't a good combination. The Labradar people fixed it for no charge and said that's something they hadn't seen before.

    Other than that, the Labradar has been the only chronograph I've used since receiving it. My magnetospeed only occasionally gets used for quick checks of friends rifles, and I sold my Oehler.

    Thanks for the write-up...excellent information.
     

    eicas

    Sergeant
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Feb 1, 2012
    322
    170
    57
    Midwest
    Just received mine and have yet to use it. For those using a bigger caliber braked gun (mine is a .300) have you utiized a block (such as the cinder block they show) to protect the case from the shock?
     

    Supersubes

    Heathen
    Full Member
    Minuteman
  • Sep 6, 2006
    6,346
    5,966
    Rural Nevada
    Just received mine and have yet to use it. For those using a bigger caliber braked gun (mine is a .300) have you utiized a block (such as the cinder block they show) to protect the case from the shock?

    I put it back near the objective of the scope on the left side for everything brakes up to 338 Lm. Never had an issue. Definitely don’t put it next to the brake. Mine will power off on the shot if I do that.
     

    christopher.dow

    I can use measuring things
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Apr 28, 2017
    372
    235
    San Francisco, CA
    I’ve had the same problem with the rubber covers. Definitely get a battery pack.

    When I put my LabRadar data into AB, the bullets hit the target quite nicely. Saving the data on an SD card and photographing my load labels before shooting saves me some recording at the range. I found it to be well worth the money.
     
    Last edited:

    Fursniper

    Captain, USMM (retired)
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Feb 13, 2017
    2,173
    52
    Arizona
    Just received mine and have yet to use it. For those using a bigger caliber braked gun (mine is a .300) have you utiized a block (such as the cinder block they show) to protect the case from the shock?

    I run mine about mid scope (left side) with a 338AI lapua that has a substantial T-4 Terminator brake and have had no problems whatsoever. Same with a 375 CT with a massive T-5 Terminator, no issues.
     

    arm017

    Sergeant
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Jun 5, 2017
    758
    379
    Texas
    I have only had mine for a couple of months but have used it almost every weekend and it's been great. I use it with the same tripod I use for my spotter and even my AR-50 muzzle blast doesn't bother it.
    NV0Jhiz.jpg
    I have an Oehler 35P for sale in accessory sale section and the MagnetoSpeed V2 is up next.
    what tripod is that?
     

    arm017

    Sergeant
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Jun 5, 2017
    758
    379
    Texas
    The negatives that folks mention about the labradar are essentially that it is not battle ready/ field capable- with some acounts of failures after dropping it (hence why dudes are talking about pelican cases for them).

    I have both the magneto v3 and labradar. - my preference? ehhh... They're all good. I like the labradar with multiple guns/ calibers as it is easier to just set up and shoot. There is little issues w/ all of them that people will mention, but either one is solid.
     

    missed

    nothing
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Feb 21, 2013
    2,147
    1,345
    TEXAS
    I'm happy with mine, I have mine on a Induro CLT404 tripod, I take a #25 lead shot bag to anchor it in the center. I have had no issues in 20-25mph winds. I have had thoughts of a kydex blast shield for when I get the 7 SAUM going, and see if it degrades the reading at all. I thought they were talking about a Bluetooth app for your phone or tablet. Either that or a remote would be nice when your in position. I use a 10k mAh battery to power mine, which has been great.
     

    Nik H

    Constantly Learning
    Supporter
    Full Member
    Minuteman
  • Jan 22, 2014
    9,116
    10,001
    Small town New England
    I'm happy with mine, I have mine on a Induro CLT404 tripod, I take a #25 lead shot bag to anchor it in the center. I have had no issues in 20-25mph winds. I have had thoughts of a kydex blast shield for when I get the 7 SAUM going, and see if it degrades the reading at all. I thought they were talking about a Bluetooth app for your phone or tablet. Either that or a remote would be nice when your in position. I use a 10k mAh battery to power mine, which has been great.

    How much time does the pack provide you?
     

    Kiba

    Major Hide Member
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Jan 13, 2011
    1,367
    368
    Central Valley, CA
    How much time does the pack provide you?

    The labradar draws about 0.5 amps powered up in standby mode with the radar off and about 1 amp when actively emitting.

    Under ideal conditions, it would take about 7.5 hours of radar on/active time to use 7500mah (75% capacity) from an 10,000mah external pack.

    My 10000mah pack lasts several range trips, even with the radar and display timeout set to 120 seconds.
     

    missed

    nothing
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Feb 21, 2013
    2,147
    1,345
    TEXAS
    How much time does the pack provide you?

    I have my timeout on 120 seconds now also, in active mode it should last 10 hours, in a range trip when I have had the thing on for an hour or two, my battery was still showing above 90%

    The only thing I would like to see would be like "saved rifles" in the menus, so I could just choose XXXX rifle and it will work off the saved profile for that rifle. That and be able to get back to the menu without cycling power. But I know I am behind on firmware updates by a couple versions. I have had my plate entirely too full to get to have fun!
     

    Kiba

    Major Hide Member
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Jan 13, 2011
    1,367
    368
    Central Valley, CA
    That and be able to get back to the menu without cycling power.

    I'm trying to remember the menu flow without having the thing powered up in front of me, but you can get back to the options/setup menu after you've started taking data without power cycling. I think you do a long press of the arm button when disarmed (blue light on) to go back to the series review mode and then you either short or long press the display button to get back to the setup menu.

    Wondering what the upcoming phone app and Bluetooth firmware update will bring to the table, although it's been promised for quite a while now.
     
    Last edited:

    Nik H

    Constantly Learning
    Supporter
    Full Member
    Minuteman
  • Jan 22, 2014
    9,116
    10,001
    Small town New England
    Thanks to all for the great information. Will be ordering it tomorrow along with the battery pack and a case. Still need to figure out the stand. I may go with the labradar one to start. I have wanted a tripod for a while but I am one of the buy once, cry once people so it is a large investment
     

    sass2924

    Private
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Mar 28, 2009
    34
    0
    58
    Southern California
    I don’t own one but have been looking st them. Seems that they are very slow coming out with upgrades or improved model. I talk to them last year at the Shot Show and they said a Bluetooth upgrade was coming out. Saw them again this year and still no software update.
     

    alaskalanche

    Private
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Dec 22, 2017
    502
    223
    I bought my battery pack (you can see it in the pics I posted above) for $43 off Amazon. 32KmaH so I just check to see how full it is when I click the button on top. Unless see its down to 40% or less I won't bother charging it. Seems like a decent value for $43.
     
    • Like
    Reactions: Nik H

    KWilson

    Sergeant
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Jan 30, 2012
    516
    68
    44
    Sydney, NSW, Australia
    They will be launching an Android app in a few months which will allow you to display recorded data on your phone. I'm guessing it will sync in with the bluetooth feature they're supposedly adding.
     

    CaptNemo

    Sergeant
    Supporter
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Apr 8, 2009
    992
    671
    56
    Southern Alabama
    I just bought a LR around the 2nd of January and have been very impressed with the data so far.
    I've used mine twice - 1st time was in the back yard with my bow and the second time was at the gun club rifle range.
    My previous chrono was a PACT professional that I bought about 1993. It was the new hotness at the time if you weren't buying an Ohler 35P.
    It finally died last year so I dropped the $ 500.00 on the LR. I have a couple tripods that I accumulated over the years, but I did buy the bench plate.
    I'll add a few holes to the bench plate to adjust locating the LR on the bench and plan on using a sandbag to "Gravity Clamp" the plate to the bench most of the time anyway.
    Here are my suggestions:
    Watch the youtube videos on setting the unit up.
    Set it up at the house and go thru the menus, changing strings, deleting strings, etc.
    Shoot your bow with it if you have one - more experience is better.
    Glue / tape a tube / straw into the V-Notch to help with aligning the LR to the target.
    Get a good External Battery - Amazon has Battery packs with solar panels to help keep up with the amperage draw
    Right now I have an Amazon Basics laptop case - It holds everything with some padding to protect it for about $ 17.00
    Get Rechargeable AA NiMH batteries and a charger for the primary power source - Because screw leaky Duracell alkaline batteries - I've had too much stuff destroyed by their shitty batteries.
     
    • Like
    Reactions: LG65CM

    ultrarunner7

    Quiet Professional
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Nov 20, 2012
    821
    20
    JAX
    Read the instructions! I set mine up and was used a MS. I was cussingnthe thing trying review. Once I got it rolling, it was nice
     

    brent.eastman

    Private
    Minuteman
    Feb 28, 2017
    1
    0
    I have only had mine for a couple of months but have used it almost every weekend and it's been great. I use it with the same tripod I use for my spotter and even my AR-50 muzzle blast doesn't bother it.
    NV0Jhiz.jpg
    I have an Oehler 35P for sale in accessory sale section and the MagnetoSpeed V2 is up next.
    What do you want for the Magnetospeed v2
     

    whatsupdoc

    Major Hide Member
    Full Member
    Minuteman
  • Dec 12, 2017
    1,727
    1,925
    Spoke to labradar today with some questions, they said that an android app would be coming out sometime in February and an apple app a bit later.
     

    DDRH65CM

    Private
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Jun 27, 2017
    606
    244
    Spoke to labradar today with some questions, they said that an android app would be coming out sometime in February and an apple app a bit later.
    I hope they setup the app to be able to control the interface from the phone/tablet. I checked their firmware and my unit was up to date when i checked. (updated from out the box)