All in all, it looks like an excellent device.
Review by: joebubba, 2008-06-22
I had never heard of the Argus until recently, when someone on one of my jumps had his fire due to a low opening on his main. About that time my 12-year old Cypres was about to expire, so I decided to research the three major AAD's, at least as much as possible.
As far as I have been able to tell, all three of the major AAD's on the market (Cypres, Argus, Vigil) are functionally equivalent. The differences are in the details. For one thing the Argus has selectable modes: Tandem, Novice, Standard and Swoop.
I think the Swoop Mode is a great idea, although I will never use it myself.
In Standard ModeThe Argus fires at a slightly higher altitude (820 ft)than my Cypres, which I personally like.
The Argus has had a few service bulletins with recalls, but so have the other AAD's, so I don't see Argus as being any better or worse in that area.
The one I bought has a DOM of March 2008, and is in compliance with all service bulletins.
The Argus is compatible with most containers on the market, but you should check with the manufacturer of your container system before buying an Argus. I was able to get a link directly to R.I.'s approval statement from the Argus website. Installation is the same as the Cypres, at least in the Talon 2, which is what I have.
I don't consider the lack of an expiration date a plus. As an electronic specialist, I consider 12 years to be quite a long time for a piece of electronically controlled life-saving equipment to last. On the other hand, I think we'll have to wait and see if not having to send the unit to the factory for a periodic check is a good thing. The Agus does have a periodic check required that they say can be done by a local rigger; only time will how that works out.
Like the Cypress, it also turns itself off in 14 hours, or you can turn it off manually.
My one complaint is that I had trouble turning the unit on (and off), and one of my friends who has one said he had the same problem. However, the instructions do say to press the button when the logo flashes, but this is not emphasized, and when I tried not pressing the button until the logo went off and the screen went dark, it seemed to work okay. If this is the correct way, it should be worded differently and emphasized in the instructions.
The Argus takes two CR123 batteries, which are available from Newark Electronics and others for about 5 bucks each. Argus recommends replacing them once a year.
The Argus doesn't have the track record of the Cypres, but according to the owner's manual, the Argus' "multi-sensor concept is the result of 14 years of intense Research & Development."
You can check out their websit at www.argus-aad.com