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New User First Impressions: LOR1602W


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Got my LOR1602W package today. I thought I'd post a few of my thoughts, both good and bad, about what I received.

The first impression, actually, was a bit of a potential scare.

The box looked like it was slightly compressed on the sides. Opening it up revealed that it had insufficient shipping protection. UPS would have denied a warranty claim. Basically some extremely thin styro wrap around the unit itself. Looked more designed to protect it from scratches than shipping damage. Protection on top was provided by cables, protection on side provided by RS484 serial converter in a box. I believe most major shippers want to see 3" of foam or bubble wrap to process a shipping insurance claim. NOTE: This does not take into consideration any of LOR's policies and how they might handle the situation in a positive way if UPS did not honor a claim. Just that the shipping looked a bit risky.


The metal box was absolutely solid. Looked exactly what I'd expect for the breaker box for my air conditioner condenser outside. Metal, rugged. Great stuff. I don't think they make great mention of it, but it has an eyehole that can flip up so that, optionally, you can put a lock on the front cover of the device. At first, the screws worried me in terms of security.

However, as a negative point on security, I was hoping that you could bolt it from the inside of the case onto a surface, and then with the lock on the front, prevent someone from removing it. From what I can tell, the only mount points built in are four external ones (two above and two below) that someone could use to remove the unit. Not that theft is an extreme worry. But I kind of wish that someone without access to a lock on the front couldn't remove and walk away with the box.

After plugging in the box, I was kind of curious as to its status and to make sure everything was working okay. I wish that it had an external status light that was visible through the case. This really is more than a _want_ than something I see as a product deficiency. Because, on the other hand, I don't think I want to draw attention to where the valuable electronics are stored.

Nice touch on the ethernet cable. Green. A little touch like that tells me that someone really thought about it. Not that 10' will get you far, mind you. But it would have been unrealistic to expect a 50' cable. (However, it would make a great 'starter OPTION' up-sell on the website.)

I think the most pleasant surprise was a simple one. As I plugged in my first light, I wondered how I was going to figure out which cable it was supposed to go into. I figured I'd have to open back up the box and trace it, or do some trial and error. And then the white labels at the end of the connectors caught my eye. I don't know how long they'll last, but it is exactly what I needed to get started in a hurry. Again, just a very nice little touch that added a lot of value.

My only other comment would be on the software. I think generally, combined with the default options, it isn't intuitive how it should be used. I remember. months ago, playing around with the demo software and not getting much of anywhere. (I built my timing points based on the tap wizard. Ouch.) But probably the greatest help there was the online demo/show that showed a sample of building a musical sequence. Once I saw that, suddenly, I understood the 'right' way to build a song.

That's all I got. This thing is nice and professional. So very glad I didn't try to hack together something myself.

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I think with the shipping that the box doesn't need to be protected much because of the LOR enclosure

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Ok I have had 12 cards shipped to me in about 4 shipments over the years with absolutely no problems. Second, if there was a problem, Dan stands behind his product and would have replaced it. Third, I myself, find it annoying when any user on here complains about a vendor without contacting them first. Jmcorn probably wasn't trying to disparage Dan but look at the replies already. Jon there is nothing to worry about.

Jeff

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I think he was reporting what he saw.

I am not in the least discouraged by his experience; I'm sure Dan is good for it.

Just something to consider, is all -- if it is damaged, then it'll take 2 or 3 times as long to get up & running. Not that I'll be out my money, just that there is a chance I won't get to play as soon.

But hey, I'm HERE (LOR) because, for one thing, I can see Dan's dedication.

ok
-j

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Just my .02 cents...

I ordered 5 1600s and they made it all the way to Florida without a scratch. And the shipping was much faster than I expected (I imagine it might be a bit slower once the big sale starts). Also, shipping was less than what was quoted on my order and I was charged the lesser amount. I give Dan & Co. an "A++!"

~K

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I received my first hobbyist board and starter kit back in April. It was packed in an outer cardboad box with plenty of styrofoam peanuts around it. No damage or crushing to anything inside and the outside container was in good shape too.

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digital analog wrote:

Just something to consider, is all -- if it is damaged, then it'll take 2 or 3 times as long to get up & running. Not that I'll be out my money, just that there is a chance I won't get to play as soon.


Jon,

Let me assure you if you had a bad board, the new one would arrive much faster than you think. Dan and Mary will take care of you.

Jeff
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Jeff, sometimes I miss a good opportunity to shut up.

All one has to do is look at the number of LOR posts as opposed to other vendors (which is what I did, & one reason I'm here) to see that Dan rocks 'n' rolls & people are satisfied. I can't wait to start playing with his system.

Just thinking out loud earlier, ya know.

-jon

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Well I've dug this hole pretty deep; think I'll stop digging. Except to say (as he drags the shovel back out of the truck) that I have lurked enough here to see that Dan is dedicated to his customers.

Sometimes I think too loud.

ok
-jon

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Dan is great.. Mary is great. I just got an email from Mary saying my board was fixed and ready to be shipped back.. BUT.. Dan had already overnighted me a new board so that just tells you how great they are. Never had a problem with packaging either.. We had 6 shipped last Nov and came fine. Not the first scratch. In short.. do not worry about shipping and like Jeff said if by some chance lightning struck twice in the same spot and something did get damaged in shipping.. Dan would make it right.. and the cords.. well you can order 50 footers from the website. It was more of a freebie so who should complain about getting a 10 footer free.. I have used them! =)

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digital analog wrote:

I think he was reporting what he saw.-j


Correct.

This was a quick _review_ based on first impressions, not an attack on the product or service, or a "sponsored review" where a manufacturer sends a 'free sample' to an 'unbiased reviewer'. Who then writes a glowing review so he'll get more in the future. My first impressions includes items as I saw them, both good and bad.

Perhaps I didn't put enough emphasis on it, but I think this is an awesome product. But I did identify a few areas that I personally found could be improved.

I appreciate that several have replied to fill in the blanks regarding the level of service. And the expectation that, should there be shipping damage, the vendor would make it right. The service aspect appears great, and I should have included it in my review.

In any case, please read this with the 'product review' glasses, and not the 'product complaint' glasses. Bottom line, would I buy again? Yes. In fact, I already see myself ordering more.
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BTW, I ordered my LOR1600W when theree was a "two week shipping delay" in November. It came in 3 days

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If you order the DIY boards and don't get around to finishing them for awile how long is the warrenty?

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jmccorn,

Thanks for the review. I believe that we have only had one reported unit damaged during shipping. If anyone has problems I recommend that they go directly to us and we will set things straight and deal with the shipper.

If you really need to "lock" down a unit for security reasons, you could remove the top two #10 screws/nuts that hold the heatsink/mounting-bar and put screws through providing "blind" mounting.

I agree is would be a nice to have a status LED on the outside of the enclosure. We will look into that when we go with the new, plastic enclosures.

The numbers on the end of the wires should hold up well. They are rated for outdoor use (as is everything on a LOR160xW....

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jmccorm wrote:

The box looked like it was slightly compressed on the sides. Opening it up revealed that it had insufficient shipping protection. UPS would have denied a warranty claim. Basically some extremely thin styro wrap around the unit itself. Looked more designed to protect it from scratches than shipping damage.

I had 5 units shipped to Georgia recently and they arrived without a scratch. It was my impression that the boxes were strong enough to ensure that the cards inside were protected and that the wrap was to ensure that the shiny paint didn't get scratched.

I think the priorities are in order here - I would much rather have a tank for the enclosure because I'm sure I'm going to drop one eventually.
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jmccorm wrote:

After plugging in the box, I was kind of curious as to its status and to make sure everything was working okay. I wish that it had an external status light that was visible through the case. This really is more than a _want_ than something I see as a product deficiency. Because, on the other hand, I don't think I want to draw attention to where the valuable electronics are stored.

This has been discussed here and I think the consensus is that it would be better to not have something blinking that draws attention the most valuable thing in the yard.
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digital analog wrote:

All one has to do is look at the number of LOR posts as opposed to other vendors (which is what I did, & one reason I'm here) to see that Dan rocks 'n' rolls & people are satisfied. I can't wait to start playing with his system.


Jon,

If and when you meet Dan and Mary, Alex, Mama Baldwin and Dan's sister you will understand why so many of us are very protective of LOR. We, customers, feel like part of the family. At the bi-annual PLUS conventions, the whole Baldwin clan comes and helps out just like they all pitch in to put up the display every year. It's very Norman Rockwell.

Jeff
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I had 2 hobbiest boards and cables shipped to Western Canada and no problems at all. Hope to have a couple more shipped this year.

Many thanks to all at LOR for their great product and service

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jmccorm wrote:



The first impression, actually, was a bit of a potential scare.

The box looked like it was slightly compressed on the sides. Opening it up revealed that it had insufficient shipping protection. UPS would have denied a warranty claim. Basically some extremely thin styro wrap around the unit itself. Looked more designed to protect it from scratches than shipping damage. Protection on top was provided by cables, protection on side provided by RS484 serial converter in a box. I believe most major shippers want to see 3" of foam or bubble wrap to process a shipping insurance claim. NOTE: This does not take into consideration any of LOR's policies and how they might handle the situation in a positive way if UPS did not honor a claim. Just that the shipping looked a bit risky.
Shippers, whether it is UPS or Fedex or another, every once in a while they will completely destroy a package. Think about how many packages you have had shipped and none have came damaged.


However, as a negative point on security, I was hoping that you could bolt it from the inside of the case onto a surface, and then with the lock on the front, prevent someone from removing it. From what I can tell, the only mount points built in are four external ones (two above and two below) that someone could use to remove the unit. Not that theft is an extreme worry. But I kind of wish that someone without access to a lock on the front couldn't remove and walk away with the box.
I had 25 light controllers left out in a field in the middle of no where. They would have been easy to steal, but I think most people have know clue how they work and would not know what to do with them. We worry about them because we paid a lot of money for them. You should worry about vandals more then theft. If someone is going to steal something, it will be a cute blowmold or wireframe. You can also paint your boxes black, so they will not stand out.
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