Feniex 4200 Control System

eLightbars Reviewer

Official Review Staff
#1
Control System


Manufacturer: Feniex Industries


Model Number: 4200


Link to manufacturer: Feniex Industries Website


Product Type: All in one control system


Intended Usage: Whole system control


Intended Market: POV, Departmental, Commercial, Heavy Duty


Review Type: Preliminary Product Review


Product Description:


The Feniex 4200 is an All-in-one control solution that offers an integrated traffic arrow controller (8-channel LED flasher), a headlight flasher, several inputs, and multiple outputs to control all of your warning lights, sirens, and other related equipment.


Review:


The 4200 is the solution for anyone with lots of warning and duty equipment on their vehicle. Out of the box, the unit offers control of several individual outputs. The extremely flexible programming options allow you to tie any button to any output or group of outputs. The slide switch can be programmed to operate any output, group of outputs, or button activation/deactivation. The unit also offers a built-in traffic arrow function that consists of an 8-channel LED flasher with pre-selected arrow and warning functions for your 6 or 8 head arrow bar. The built in headlight/LED flasher offers a few flash patterns and can be overridden via input signals. For those with sirens, this unit can interface with any siren utilizing trigger wires for each tone or option. Feniex offers the Storm siren which, when hooked to the 4200 outputs, allows seamless integration of siren functions from your 4200 keypad. Positive and negative inputs allow for external manipulation of the system via programming options.


This pre-production unit was very recently installed and has been tinkered with for a short amount of time to date. It is being used in a daily work vehicle and will be put through the paces. More features and options will also be utilized in the near future to further demonstrate the system's capabilities.


Durability of Construction:


The main unit, sometimes referred to as the "brain" is solid. It consists of a metal bottom half and the top half is a plastic cover. standard plugs with screw terminals line the perimeter of the unit. The keypad is plastic and when held in the hand, it doesn't feel as solid as the main unit. However, when mounted to the bracket or console faceplate as intended, the keypad feels stable and durable. The buttons are a little more stiff than previous versions of Feniex switch systems. These buttons have less of a "pushed" feel to them, but the beep and activation of the button's red backlight assures the user the button is engaged. The slide switch doesn't' feel quite as solid, or stiff, as other brands, but that is not necessarily a bad thing. The slide switch moves nicely between the 4 positions and feels natural.


Performance:


To date, the system meets and exceeds expectations. Programming options are virtually endless and allow for heavy customization. The buttons are a little tough, but the unit is brand new and has only seen one day on the road (to date). When advanced through the positions, the slide switch allows for a very brief period when nothing is active. In other words, when going from position 1 to 2, a very quick period of nothing being active can be observed. This is, of course, related to the unit changing it's configuration from one program to the next (for each respective slide switch position). The keypad back lights are bright in day mode, and seem just about right for night mode. The red LED that indicates a button is activated does not respond the day/night modes, it will always be the same intensity.


Innovation:


Programmability is what makes this unit so flexible. Buttons are not locked to any specific function, output, or input. The unit can be used by just about any profession from volunteers with or without sirens to police, fire, and medical personnel. It is not geared toward a single industry, but instead allows for expandability to meet the needs any of the primary industries. The unit has many safeguards in place to protect the equipment and the vehicle, it offers short circuit protection as well as fused outputs with "blown fuse" indicators. The unit can also be controlled from your smartphone or tablet running the Feniex control software.


Ease of Use:


As with any vehicle installation project, users should have a basic understanding of 12volt systems and the equipment they are attaching to this system. New vehicles are also complicating installation practices by using more data bus control as opposed to "power switched" functions. As far as the installation and setup of the 4200, it can appear overwhelming, but to an experienced installer, it is quite simple. It would most likely take you more time to sit down and "design your keypad" than it would to actually hook everything to the main unit. There are so many options and features that allow for heavy customization. Provide 12v positive, ground, a night mode trigger, an ignition switched circuit, and you're ready to start connecting your equipment to the system's outputs.


For the end-user, it's even simpler. With all of the legends in place, and a basic understanding of how the unit was programmed, you could be operating this system without even taking your eyes off the road. After a few short minutes of getting familiar with the programming software (available on Windows PC's), you can design or redesign your keypad layout, it's functions, and any other options or features very easily.


Features:


The 4200 is full of features. From the traffic arrow controller (8-channel LED flasher) to the integrated headlight/LED flasher (wigwag), from the simplified wiring layout to the extensive programming options available, this unit doesn't disappoint.


The full list of features:

  • 18 backlit push buttons
  • 4 position slide/pursuit switch
  • Built-in 8 channel LED traffic arrow controller
  • Solid state relays
  • 2 negative and 3 positive auxiliary inputs
  • Ignition, day, and night mode inputs
  • 17 programmable outputs
  • 1 programmable negative output
  • 2 programmable output groups
  • 1 constant power output group
  • Built-in 2 channel headlight flasher/LED flasher
  • USB port for system programming
  • 50 standard legends
  • On/Off, Momentary, or Timed outputs
  • Bluetooth control from Apple or Android Smartphones and/or Tablets



The required wiring (Ethernet and USB) is included with the unit. A bail bracket and screws are also included.


Price:


The 4200 retails for $765, but will typically be on sale for just under $500 without the bells and whistles. The Feniex Storm Siren and accompanying Typhoon Siren Speaker can be added to along with a Bluetooth module to allow for full control of the system from a smartphone or tablet. When combining the cost of a headlight flasher, a full-function control system, and a traffic arrow controller, the cost is very reasonable.


Overall:


The 4200 has impressed in just about every aspect of the brief preliminary review process. Comments and suggestions have been forwarded to the manufacturer and in true Feniex fashion, they will open a dialog with us to see what can be improved, what can be added, and to clear up concerns or questions.


Comments:


This is a pre-production model that was sent to us for real-world testing. We have not yet included any scores on this review because the process has only just begun. We are open to questions and comments about the content of this review. There is also an included "Quick Product Spotlight" video on our YouTube Channel. The review and the video will be improved as the process progresses. Questions and comments traded between eLightbars and Feniex will be added to this review thread as they are addressed.


Links:


Feniex 4200 Product Page


Feniex 4200 Instructions


Feniex 4200 Programming Software


Feniex 4200 Product Literature


Video:


Note about the video: This video is not intended to be the final review video. Instead, it will serve as a "quick demo" until more options are added to this system and a formal video can be produced.
 

foxtrot5

Gold Supporter
#2
I'd be very interested to see all of the available patterns for the TA and the other flasher included with the unit.
 
#3
would be better if ta was 10 channel instead of 8. also would be better with more warning functions/patterns for the ta or even user programmable patterns.
 
#4
bkn74 said:
would be better if ta was 10 channel instead of 8. also would be better with more warning functions/patterns for the ta or even user programmable patterns.
The majority of T/As on the market are 6 or 8 head... Making a 10 Channel T/A controller on the off chance someone had a 10-head T/A probably wasn't cost effective... I'm sure that a load of research and development hours went into this product...
 
#5
with all the outputs available on the 4200 it would be a nice option. I have a slicktop and my 10 head feniex/solaris bar doubles as a warning bar and t/a. also the warning patterns available would be nice if there was more. just my .02
 

FEVER

Platinum Supporter
#6
bkn74 said:
with all the outputs available on the 4200 it would be a nice option. I have a slicktop and my 10 head feniex/solaris bar doubles as a warning bar and t/a. also the warning patterns available would be nice if there was more. just my .02
I really don't know of any TRUE T/A's that are ten heads. Just home brew options like yours. You could always tie modules 1 and 2 together as well as 9 and 10 together. As far as flash patterns go, that might be something that they can revise in the next software updates for the units. The great thing about the unit is they will be able to push out software updates if they find a bug or find something they want to "add" to the programming package.


More flash patterns never hurt... until you get people crying about why this pattern was added or why that pattern was added.
 

JohnMarcson

Site Founder
Administrator
#7
FEVER said:
I really don't know of any TRUE T/A's that are ten heads. Just home brew options like yours. You could always tie modules 1 and 2 together as well as 9 and 10 together. As far as flash patterns go, that might be something that they can revise in the next software updates for the units. The great thing about the unit is they will be able to push out software updates if they find a bug or find something they want to "add" to the programming package.

More flash patterns never hurt... until you get people crying about why this pattern was added or why that pattern was added.
10 head TAs are usually achieved by tying the extra two heads in somewhere.
 

foxtrot5

Gold Supporter
#8
Hey feniex, want to REALLY impress me? Make a software update so the 4200 is fully compatible with an original halogen FS Vision!


On a serious note, any ideas on the operating temperature of the brain? Not so much the range in which it will operate but just how hot can/does it get during say a 30 minute period of full warning activation?


I guess what I'm really asking is does it need to be mounted to metal or can it be attached to another material as long as there is enough airflow for it?
 

MEVS06

Site Regular
#9
foxtrot5 said:
Hey feniex, want to REALLY impress me? Make a software update so the 4200 is fully compatible with an original halogen FS Vision!


On a serious note, any ideas on the operating temperature of the brain? Not so much the range in which it will operate but just how hot can/does it get during say a 30 minute period of full warning activation?


I guess what I'm really asking is does it need to be mounted to metal or can it be attached to another material as long as there is enough airflow for it?
I would also like to know this since I run my lights for 8 to 14 hrs at a time.
 

Nick@Feniex

Feniex Industries
#10
foxtrot5 said:
Hey feniex, want to REALLY impress me? Make a software update so the 4200 is fully compatible with an original halogen FS Vision!


On a serious note, any ideas on the operating temperature of the brain? Not so much the range in which it will operate but just how hot can/does it get during say a 30 minute period of full warning activation?


I guess what I'm really asking is does it need to be mounted to metal or can it be attached to another material as long as there is enough airflow for it?
The controller draws less then 100mA (0.1a draw x 13.8v operation= 1.38watts power output). Internal system runs 3 power regulators rated at 60watts each (180watts total). Semiconductor components are over rated to this level due to not having a heat sink in a plastic housing. So yes, the system can support an environment of 150C (300F). Your vehicle will fall apart before the power regulators in your controller give out.


FYI thats the difference between an American and China designed product. The other big 2 manufactures also take similar design approaches.


-Nick
 

foxtrot5

Gold Supporter
#11
Feniex said:
The controller draws less then 100mA (0.1a draw x 13.8v operation= 1.38watts power output). Internal system runs 3 power regulators rated at 60watts each (180watts total). Semiconductor components are over rated to this level due to not having a heat sink in a plastic housing. So yes, the system can support an environment of 150C (300F). Your vehicle will fall apart before the power regulators in your controller give out.

FYI thats the difference between an American and China designed product. The other big 2 manufactures also take similar design approaches.


-Nick
Sounds good to me! Now, about that ship date... :cool:
 

Jman423

Administrator
Administrator
#12
I can tell you that my lights will be on for hours at a time... and I'm down in Florida. The 4200 system I have installed has showed no signs overheating or malfunctioning throughout my long work days. It should be noted that the only things hooked up are LED warning lights, and I have not yet filled up the available outputs. It has only been installed for a little over a week now, but I've been doing my best to test the hell out of it. I've given some feedback to Feniex and they were very receptive. So far, the feedback has only really been about improvements or "it would be helpful if..." comments. The only issues, so far, that I've reported have been in reference to the documentation... and that should all be buttoned up before the units start to ship.
 

Nick@Feniex

Feniex Industries
#13
Hey guys,


Please don't judge Alex and I in this video. Its nothing fancy, just us working late in the lab. We wanted to share a quick cool tech feature of the 4200 relay board. Please tell me what you all think? We hope you guys will find value in this output circuit design. Took engineering a long time to nail down and refine.


-Nick


FYI, I am a mechanical engineer so I would of been satisfied with just replacing a fuse :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cngezcX4WwQ
 

OutletPSE

Premium Member
#14
Feniex said:
Hey guys,

Please don't judge Alex and I in this video. Its nothing fancy, just us working late in the lab. We wanted to share a quick cool tech feature of the 4200 relay board. Please tell me what you all think? We hope you guys will find value in this output circuit design. Took engineering a long time to nail down and refine.


-Nick


FYI, I am a mechanical engineer so I would of been satisfied with just replacing a fuse :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cngezcX4WwQ
Judging by testing. This thing really is a winner. Thanks for sharing the video Nick.
 

MEVS06

Site Regular
#16
This is definitely a game changer...
 

Jman423

Administrator
Administrator
#18
MEVS06 said:
This is definitely a game changer...
I agree.


A few of you have expressed concern about the nature of my comments about the 4200... suggesting that I am siding with Feniex for one reason or another.


I am not, nor is eLightbars (or Marcson) affiliated with Feniex. They are not paying us to promote their products. They are one of the few companies that reached out to us and offered to provide pre-release products for testing and review purposes. You can ask anyone at Feniex, they all know my name... when I have something to complain about it, I put it in writing. I'm sure my comments have been the focus of a meeting or two in the past. I was Alex's biggest pain in the ass about the V1 Olympian. As much as I loved the potential, it had several issues. Alex was on the receiving end of many rants about that.


I was surprised to find that comments & suggestions I made two years ago about the Olympian were actually evident in the design of the 4200. I'm sure I wasn't the only one to bring some of these suggestions to the table, but I was probably the loudest.


Trust me, if I have something negative to say about a product or company, I will say it.


The feedback that I've given to Feniex has been received well for all of the products we've tested. For as young as the company is, they are pushing out some impressive products these days... and sure there will be a bump in the road here and there, but they are extremely willing to make it right. As you can see, they are here, in this thread, paying attention to every post. That's impressive for a manufacturer... some dealers (any brand) don't even do that, even if you bought the product from them here on ELB.


I have a select few brands that I tend to use on my own installations, or that I recommend to colleagues and friends... Feniex is one of them.


I probably sound like a Feniex :fangirl: running around trying to convert nay-sayers, but the truth is that I'm genuinely impressed with the customer service I've received and the quality of the products that we're testing... hence the positive comments.


We don't even have all of the possible add-ons for this system yet and I'm already more than happy to be using it in my truck.
 
#19
I agree with you 100% on the customer service of Feniex. Ive had a few problems with lights going bad, not working properly etc.(no more than with any other company out there whelen, fed sig, sos, etc) Everytime Ive had a problem the only delay in getting the problem fixed was the few days shipping time to wait on the product. Not like the other companies that want you to send it in and wait 6 months for a solution. I push Feniex more than any other product line on my installations. More for the customer service than the actual product itself. All lights are going to have problems here and there. Getting it fixed quickly is what keeps customers coming back and upfitters in business.
 

foxtrot5

Gold Supporter
#21
Jamey@NNE said:
Looks good to me...

aimg.tapatalk.com_d_13_09_05_guvy5evu.jpg
Looks like they're shipping! Hooray!
 

Torpedo

Registered Member
#22
I'm so old school I still harbor mistrust of electronics. That said this seems to be a really cool product. It is great to see the confidence displayed by shorting out that 30 amp fused load with a jumper clip that will vaporize at 20 amps or less. PS, when those jumper clips go up in flames they produce noxious gas. Smells like chlorine or maybe cyanide and damn near knocked me out. Yeah, I did that and I guess I inhaled. (No, I've never smelled cyanide)


:Zzzz:


Great products Fenix ! Thank you.


:fangirl:
 

Jamey@NNE

Silver Supporter
#24
Got to play with the siren yesterday for a bit. The siren starts at a low pitch that almost sounds like a rumbler coming from a d44 cyclone speaker. The high end is a little too high imo. It is very high and peaks for probably half a second in wail. Sounds really good other than the high end I was impressed. The horn is amazing sounding.
 
#27
Looks like a great product!


Feniex; if you´re reading this; please make a simpler version as well, with a "Wired HDH"-style switchpanel for those who only need a couple of switched realys, but would like to benefit from the compact size and technical performance of your relay-unit. Sure, the 4200 seemes to be well worth the money, but it´s still too much for many applications. Looking at the price of the competition, I´m thinking you could launch a "light-version" at a VERY competetive pricepoint and still make a good profit!
 

foxtrot5

Gold Supporter
#29

Jman423

Administrator
Administrator
#30
foxtrot5 said:
Technically the 4200 is not a siren...
acs680 said:
Siren tones video?
We are about to get our hands on the Storm Siren to be added to this review, and potentially a standalone review of the siren. Please give us a little bit of time to receive and install it, then we'll supplement the video in this thread.


Thanks!
 
#31

Kd8bao

Established Member
#32
I just got the 4200 with the storm and typhoon speake last night. Ripped out the HHS2200 and started the install today of the new system. Hope to be able to finish it up tomorrow. So far so good.


aimg.tapatalk.com_d_13_10_03_begybavy.jpg
 

Jman423

Administrator
Administrator
#34
To somewhat supplement the video in the OP, here is Feniex equipment hooked to a 4200 with a neat little added feature:

 

foxtrot5

Gold Supporter
#35
Jman423 said:
To somewhat supplement the video in the OP, here is Feniex equipment hooked to a 4200 with a neat little added feature:


OK. First person to hook their lights up to the OnStar app so they can turn them on from ANYWHERE, I'll give you ten bucks.
 
#38
The smart start app and/or dei (viper) systems could do this quite easily without the 4200. The funny thing is dei has something called a dball that is basically a 4200 control box with completely programmable in and outputs. We were talking about this at my last dei conference. Obviously not exactly the same but the proof of concept is the same
 

Eric1249

Veteran Member
#40
I am debating a 4200. I know the Storm will work with it, but what other sirens will work well with it? I would also like to see what flash patterns come with the 4200. How many amps will the flasher handle?
 

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