I have one - and I couldn't be happier. It's well made, strong, excellent software, and the best bang for your buck. I would recommend it over Vigil or even (*gasp*) Cypres anyday.
When I invested, I asked to see their quality control and testing data. (I'm an Engineer, so sue me) and to my suprise, they gave it to me. Those boys and girls did their homework, that is a well engineered product.
At my home DZ we are moving in the Argus direction pretty rapidly.
The DZ is replacing timed-out AADs with Argus units in tandem rigs and student gear. The staff are buying Argus AADs when they need new stuff.
I have one and many of my friends now have them. Everybody is happy with them, except the people who are waiting for new units to arrive.
I like the cases that are milled from a billet of aluminum. I like the robust connectors that are used to attach the cutters and control units. I like that the batteries are off-the-shelf at local stores. (Sure, the batteries need to be changed annually, but they are a lot easier to change than the original CYPRES batteries were.) The swoopers like the swoop mode. The DZ likes that everything is interchangeable.
I am sure that if they start misbehaving we will adjust our opinions. But that's not happening so far.
So, for us, for now, we believe we are getting everything we want in an AAD with the Argus.
Disclaimer - yes, I got a good deal (though certainly not free) on my Argus. But I wouldn't use it if I didn't believe in it. I didn't get an Argus because they offered a good price. I begged them to help me get an Argus (when my CYPRES went end-of-life), and they responded to my need.
I've switched to Argus units as well... I've been really happy with mine. As a rigger, I think it packs up cleaner than the Cypres2, and I appreciate the SWOOP setting option. The cheap annual battery replacement was a great decision decision on their part. They're waterproof, easy to use and set-up, and are getting to be more and more proven with every save every month that goes by without a misfire.
In my opinion, they are built with more than enough robustness for an AAD. I'd have to disagree with folks that claim you need super reinforced cables similar to those on the vigil - it's not a power tool that you're throwing around it a back of a pick-up... AADs are protected by the container, the canopies and your body. I prefer the design choice to make very strong cables that pack up small an clean in the container rather than ones that are bombproof and pack up bulky.
On a rigger course recently canditates were going to remove an Argus from a Javelin reserve pocket (see DECI recent post) and they broke the Argus cable. As I mentioned it, a parachute system is subject to forces up to 2000 lbs at the opening. That force is spread out into the whole system and a reserve container is not a rigid thing either. Yes strong cables are very welcome. Everything in a parachute system has to be rugged and strong and what is inside of a reserve container is no exception.
I have one in my rig and have no complaints. Karl from Argus gave the whole DZ and great presentation and then answered questions on a individual basis. As my old units expire in my student gear they are being replaced with Argus. We are a dealer for them and its the unit we can sell NEW for less than $900.00.
On a rigger course recently canditates were going to remove an Argus from a Javelin reserve pocket (see DECI recent post) and they broke the Argus cable.
Hmm, that sounds kinda fishy. How were they removing it? Hell, any AAD if a young rigglet starts tugging on the cables just right, any connection is going to break... I like the Case milled from a Solid Billet of Aluminium. I've known two seperate instances where a Cypres case has been cracked by forces acting on the reserve container....
I have mine...its an aad Very hard for anyone to say how much the like or loath theirs unless it has a problem....am I right? All we can do is comment on our perception of its build quality.
If it ever saves me, I'll really love it ...if it ever prematurely fires, i'll hate it
All great points above, I spent a fair amount of time talking with the designers while they stopped at both zhills and xkeys. Its seems a very nice, well thought out product. It seems they have addressed complaints about other aads really...batteries, wetness, service life etc. Thats about all a new version of an existing product ever does right?
Only fault is that it takes other AAD users a minute or so to figure out how to turn it on (really just the same...push a button when it flashes )
Got mine for a good sub $1000 pricetag... which makes it my only piece of new gear i've ever bought (excluding jumpsuits)
I too have one. And couple of my friends too. It has all the advantages that previous posters said. The biggest benefit, at least for me and people in this country, is almost nonexistent maintenance costs. Shipping a Cypres from here for a check (and getting it back), is expensive. Very. And if you have several of them, well... It also has one feature that might come in handy if you don`t have some sort of skydiving computer (like Pro-Track). It has the ability to record last jump data for your reference.
Since I have been looking I have seen quite a few more of them than I thought were out there, two people I know have one on order.
It looks like that is my choice. I like the fact that the parameters during freefall are no different to normal, while in swoop mode on the Argus. The cutter simply wont fire after the parachute opens. On the Cypres the velocity needed to fire was altered.
There are pro's and cons for both of those configurations, but getting knocked out in freefall is my main concern along with the unit firing during a swoop. My next wingloading will be 2.6 and I will begin to train 450's after my next comp...
(This post was edited by rhys on Feb 9, 2010, 1:13 AM)
i bought an Argus for my first set of gear. I just got it in the mail an hour ago. The DOM is Jan 2010, which is cool..its not stale on the shelf. First impressions are its rugged and compact. I read a claim here that someone saw baby riggers rip the cables out of the housing or something like that.
I can't see how it would happen unless you're totally ham fisted.
I would be very suspicious with this kind of a story, where would-be riggers, trying to remove an Argus from a Javelin container, ripped-out the cables from the unit ... Later on, I asked some questions concerning the incident , however no other serious facts were provided !
Well, not that fishy. A good design needs to have all components having the same quality or sturdiness. AAD's are not an exception. You cannot have a good design by having a strong control box and weak cables or strong cables and a weak box like the broken box you mention. The quality of your design is equal to the quality of the weakest component and in AAD case the cables are of paramount importance. Vigil has both features, strong box (and ergonomic because slightly curved) and Kevlar reinforced cables (both) able to hold 100 lbs. Reports are that AAD's broken cables are not extremely rare especially with tiny ones. A manufacturer has to do his design strong enough not only for normal handling but for unusual handling and resistant to high forces acting on a parachute container at deployment time (we call that the safety factor). As far as parachute equipment is involved, strict standards like aviation ones should be observed. The problem is that for AAD's there is still no standards at all but the manufacturer's ones.
(This post was edited by erdnarob on Feb 12, 2010, 12:18 PM)
I also like this idea of a solid block of aluminium for the casing of an AAD. It's a simple and intelligent concept, from Aviacom Argus. You bore two holes and voila ! It could be stronger than your normal box design !
Now, concerning the two separate instances of a cracked Cypres, that you mentioned, I don't think we should get all agitated about this.. do we know the exact circumtances or the situation ?... On their website, Airtec mentioned that , since 1991, they produced 80,000 Cypres1 and 50,000 Cypres2; if there were issues with their plastic casing, we would certainly know by now. However, let see if someone else do have more info ...