Whelen CanTrol Vs. Cencom Sapphire

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H0LLYW00D

I am looking at upgrading my controller to something with a little more control and programing ability than I currently have, but I am stuck as to deciding which one of these is a better fit for me. I know the CanTrol will do everything I want no problem but can I used the Sapphire instead. So I'm am curious to know the actual differences between the two units and how it would affect your ability to program the system.
 

jcpse

Senior Member
H0LLYW00D said:
I am looking at upgrading my controller to something with a little more control and programing ability than I currently have, but I am stuck as to deciding which one of these is a better fit for me. I know the CanTrol will do everything I want no problem but can I used the Sapphire instead. So I'm am curious to know the actual differences between the two units and how it would affect your ability to program the system.
I'm not an expert on the systems by any means... but I believe the cantrol will be of no use to you Unless you have a Whelen Cantrol Light bar and All whelen supplemental lighting. Plus, I believe that to get your hands on cantrol, you need to attend a 2-day class explaining its operation and installation.


It seems to me like the cencom may be a better fir for you...
 

fleetcomm

Senior Member
The CanTrol controlles the flash pattern of all the lightheads (you put the light heads on steady burn) you have connected to it and cencom sapphire only turn on the power to the lightbar or lightheads you have connected to it and it will run a wecan lightbar without the external wecan box. CanTrol also has inputs so you can control how many light you want it to run, change patterns,or dim the bar and lightheads. The CanTrol unit will do lots of features and is limited by your imagination and money. The CanTrol requires a 2 day class also before you can buy it.
 
OP
OP
H

H0LLYW00D

I bnow makes sense that they woudl recomend the CanTrol system and I want to control flash patterns and also have high and low output modes. I was not aware of the 2 day class, I thats for everyone that buys it or just for installers / dealers? I have a place where I live that has given be a quote to purchase the unit but not sure how good it is. I understand the Shappire is about 900.00USD but what is the price of a CanTrol, I was quoted 2000.00USD for it before install.
 

Sigma Safety

Senior Member
H0LLYW00D said:
I bnow makes sense that they woudl recomend the CanTrol system and I want to control flash patterns and also have high and low output modes. I was not aware of the 2 day class, I thats for everyone that buys it or just for installers / dealers? I have a place where I live that has given be a quote to purchase the unit but not sure how good it is. I understand the Shappire is about 900.00USD but what is the price of a CanTrol, I was quoted 2000.00USD for it before install.
You'd have to pick the Sapphire up out of the US if you wanted that price. The guys in Edmonton won't sell it that cheap. More like $1250 at best. RCMP is paying more than $900 on contract.


The 2-day class was a joke, I think. I suspect that the author of that post just meant that it's a very complex siren.
 

fleetcomm

Senior Member
leftcoastmark said:
You'd have to pick the Sapphire up out of the US if you wanted that price. The guys in Edmonton won't sell it that cheap. More like $1250 at best. RCMP is paying more than $900 on contract.

The 2-day class was a joke, I think. I suspect that the author of that post just meant that it's a very complex siren.
The 2 day class is not a joke, whelen requires the class and you will need it to do the programming. It is not like any controller software you have used before, it is very complex. The newer software is better than in the past.
 
OP
OP
H

H0LLYW00D

I dont plan in programing it myself I will have the install shop do that for me, Also I was reading the install manual and am curious to know if all the buttons on the standard control head are programable? for instance I have no need for a cruise or takedown switch.
 

lightguy256

Junior Member
Any button can be programmed to do anything with the CANTROL. It can control a WECAN lightbar but the Sapphire can do that too. The 2 day training is for Whelen authorized dealers and distributors it is not a class that just anyone can take and it needs to be installed by someone who has taken the class. Great article about CANTROL in PFM magazine page 50


Police Fleet Manager - AUG 2012
 

jcpse

Senior Member
Bottom line: the cantrol is cool... but do you have the $$$$,$$ ? or the real need....
 

fleetcomm

Senior Member
jcpse said:
Bottom line: the cantrol is cool... but do you have the $$$$,$$ ? or the real need....
The CanTrol unit is unreal on what it will do but, is going to be overkill for most people.
 

Hollywood

Member
lightguy256 said:
Any button can be programmed to do anything with the CANTROL. It can control a WECAN lightbar but the Sapphire can do that too. The 2 day training is for Whelen authorized dealers and distributors it is not a class that just anyone can take and it needs to be installed by someone who has taken the class. Great article about CANTROL in PFM magazine page 50

Police Fleet Manager - AUG 2012
Thanks for the link. Amazing piece of technology. Will be interesting to see how many agencies take advantage of the system and begin to acknowledge that just because you can install a ton of LEDs in a car show worthy pattern, doesn't mean it is effective.
 
OP
OP
H

H0LLYW00D

Good Read for sure, I talked to one of the engineers at Whelen yesterday and they recommended the CanTrol due to the complex programing I want to make things run a certain way. The CanTrol will allow me to program any button to do just about anything. Thanks for all the info and advice, now to get the coin together to get what I want installed before winter really hits here, though it might be spring before its in but ill be sure to post a review and info when its installed.
 
lightguy256 said:
Any button can be programmed to do anything with the CANTROL. It can control a WECAN lightbar but the Sapphire can do that too. The 2 day training is for Whelen authorized dealers and distributors it is not a class that just anyone can take and it needs to be installed by someone who has taken the class. Great article about CANTROL in PFM magazine page 50

Police Fleet Manager - AUG 2012
I wrote that, FWIW. Glad to hear it is helpful.
 

Sigma Safety

Senior Member
fleetcomm said:
The 2 day class is not a joke, whelen requires the class and you will need it to do the programming. It is not like any controller software you have used before, it is very complex. The newer software is better than in the past.
Wow, sorry. I thought you were joking. I can't imagine selling a siren controller that requires a 2-day training course.
 

fleetcomm

Senior Member
leftcoastmark said:
Wow, sorry. I thought you were joking. I can't imagine selling a siren controller that requires a 2-day training course.
You can not get the programming software untill you attend the class and I thought why would you need classes to program a controller but, after the class I know why they require it.
 

Storm4200

Veteran Member
C2Installs said:
I wrote that, FWIW. Glad to hear it is helpful.
great read! thanks a lot!! how would i go about getting in to this two day class?
 

dg0223

Member
C2Installs said:
I wrote that, FWIW. Glad to hear it is helpful.
Very well written article. It was also very informative. I'm not a professional critic, but you did a great job.


Now, I'm going to have to start looking for back issues of this Police Fleet Manager. It is a police car nerd and a lightbar nerd's magazine for sure. I remember going to the public library as a kid and reading Police Chief magazine. It was the only magazine that had anything to do with law enforcement, and I loved it whenever they had their annual product magazine.


It is definitely nice to see emergency equipment technology start catching up with the rest of the tech that's already out there. I know that Carbon Motors car is mostly a joke, but it would be nice to start seeing smarter tech like this CANTROL system, as well as other technological advances such as heads up displays incorporated into your vehicles. I don't know how feasible this suggestion might be, but it would be nice to see the portable computers you police officers have in your cars integrated with a CANTROL type touch-screen emergency equipment control. Maybe it could be installed flush to the right of the instrument panel somewhere so it doesn't get in your way.
 
dg0223 said:
Very well written article. It was also very informative. I'm not a professional critic, but you did a great job.

Now, I'm going to have to start looking for back issues of this Police Fleet Manager. It is a police car nerd and a lightbar nerd's magazine for sure. I remember going to the public library as a kid and reading Police Chief magazine. It was the only magazine that had anything to do with law enforcement, and I loved it whenever they had their annual product magazine.


It is definitely nice to see emergency equipment technology start catching up with the rest of the tech that's already out there. I know that Carbon Motors car is mostly a joke, but it would be nice to start seeing smarter tech like this CANTROL system, as well as other technological advances such as heads up displays incorporated into your vehicles. I don't know how feasible this suggestion might be, but it would be nice to see the portable computers you police officers have in your cars integrated with a CANTROL type touch-screen emergency equipment control. Maybe it could be installed flush to the right of the instrument panel somewhere so it doesn't get in your way.
Link to most of my other submissions. Still have three pending publication (all regarding Whelen Products) and a list of stuff waiting on me to find the time to write...


Article Archive Search Results | Hendon Publishing
 

factorone33

Member
fleetcomm said:
You can not get the programming software untill you attend the class and I thought why would you need classes to program a controller but, after the class I know why they require it.
I've taken the class myself, and it's ridiculously complex. The new generation of CanTrol is even more complex than before, but it has a lot of the idiosyncrasies worked out from the first gen software/hardware. They've also added "expansion modules" that allow you to add up to 16 outlets per module, so you could realistically do an entire fire apparatus or an ambulance (or law enforcement vehicle or what have you) with one box and cover literally every possible situation you could encounter or think of.


Myself and another guy in the shop who is infinitely more brilliant than I will ever be have played around with it and came up with a "Command" setting that utilizes 45 "states" on one button and a software input to simulate some pretty kick-ass visual ideas. If I can find the program and put it on a demo box and then put a bar and lights with it, I'll try to get video of it and post it.
 

armyboy125

Junior Member
just a quick question i wanna get either a whelen cencom sapphire or gold but i just wanna use it for a switch box i dont need a siren right now i just need alot of switch capabilities is it possible to program a cencom to use as a switch box and not have the siren on it
 

Paramedic

Member
Seriously, is it even possible for an individual or a department to purchase the CanTrol system and program it themselves? Or Whelen specifically prohibits individuals from using it in order to make money by forcing people to have a Whelen rep to do the programming?
 

Hollywood

Member
Paramedic said:
Seriously, is it even possible for an individual or a department to purchase the CanTrol system and program it themselves? Or Whelen specifically prohibits individuals from using it in order to make money by forcing people to have a Whelen rep to do the programming?
Someone will chime in with a confirmed number but I recall there being a way for agencies with large fleets to have their install guys take the class and install the system themselves.
 

fleetcomm

Senior Member
Paramedic said:
Seriously, is it even possible for an individual or a department to purchase the CanTrol system and program it themselves? Or Whelen specifically prohibits individuals from using it in order to make money by forcing people to have a Whelen rep to do the programming?
Your whelen distibutor can set up the training. If you have a large enough fleet or do alot of installs, whelen will put on the class for free. I went about a year ago to the class and was impressed with the amount of things CanTrol will do. I can see whelen's point of view because they don't want there product out there without the end user knowing how to make it work.
 

OTFD122

Member
The new CanTrol WC is now available through any distributor (doesn't have to be "authorized CanTrol dealer"). The WC supposedly has more user friendly, "drag and drop" programming designed for ease of use for the end user. I would still recommend going to a dealer that has experience with the CanTrol stuff to assist with questions... Because even though it is easier, it is still a complex system not for the novice.
 

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