Whelen needs to wake up and start using multi colored diodes to compete with the new Fed Sig VISION SLR.
I feel the DUO liberty is too expensive. Cramming the bar with twice as many diodes just to make the bar have dual colors is I think a waste of resources and puts the bar out of reach to many PDs. Why not use newer technology diodes that have multiple colors in them, thereby saving optical space in the reflector that can be used for more linear coverage. Don't get me wrong, the Rebel diodes you use are seriously intense and very efficient, but you guys should be looking more to the future and get back to being the market leader, not follower.
The problem with multi-colored diodes is that in the end, you have to sacrifice power for size, and it's very difficult to squeeze one full watt out of a diode with four separate circuits without causing burn-out issues. Federal is making up for this by simply putting more diodes in each lighthead to bring up the light output. I agree the Duo bars are ridiculous in cost, but they do have some advantages that you wouldn't get with other designs.
Federal is using specialized processors and circuit designs to gain an edge of flash pattern creation and control. Whelen needs to get their act together and come out with something sensational, like a four color "Freedom Plus" in a diamond shape with extended optics that result in better intersection coverage for example.
I've seen this particular design, and I think FS
has created a new failure point for their hardware. LEDs are bright enough as it stands, but placing them on moving parts is just adding a point for mechanical failure (at least I think so anyway). I'm not an engineer, but I'd figure that the design with the least amount of moving parts would produce the lowest failure rate.
From what I have read about the upcoming CanTrol system, I believe whelen has almost hit a home run. Having a control system that will not only activate outputs but will sync all the LEDs together (including the light bar) would be a step in the right direction. Furthermore, how about adding an optional wireless remote controller that will allow an officer to power down the siren or lights from outside the car. Maybe it could have a "distress" button that when pushed activates the siren and lights in a special tone and pattern to alert people that an officer is down.
CanTrol is bad-ass, to put it simply. Three of our demo vehicles have CanTrol boxes in them, and the ability to change flash patterns with each siren tone is awesome. I'm designing some programs on the software to mess around with this, and if I get some done and loaded on our vehicles, I'll try to post videos of them for you guys to see. The system isn't perfect yet, and it's apparently been in development for a couple of years, but I feel that the concept will eventually take off once everything starts smoothing out.
One thing I'd like to see Whelen do is come out with their own versions of TIR4, straight TIR6, and even TIR8 optical heads (though one could argue that the Dominators are for that purpose). Also, a line of LIN8 or LIN9 heads for the Liberty series would be awesome (ones that aren't ballasted at least).