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AAD: cypres vs. vigil

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I'm AAD shopping (since nobody wants to sell their gear w/aad installed) and have a few questions-
After reading about vigil I thought surely this is the best out there... then I read some old posts and found out they have had probles misfiring. I realise cypres has had misfires too but there are a lot more of them than there are vigil aad.
Neither website is very helpful actually. So, here's my question: cypres dominates my dz right now, does anyone think that will change as they get older/need their 4 year replacement? I'm wondering if it will be the new standard. Also, does anyone know if you need special equipment to install these things or is it like cypres? Buying gear is rough![:/]
Thanks for your help,
Heidi

If the world didn't suck, we'd all fall off!

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A search revealed multiple threads on the subject, the longest of which has lengthy discussions comparing both AADs.

CYPRES doesn't just dominate the market at your DZ - it dominates almost everywhere. My personal opinion with regard to your question is that it's hard to predict market share, but I don't see things changing as a result of the Vigil's debut. Its early growth has been hampered by known difficulties.

To answer the rest of your question, I believe the Vigil installs in a pocket just like the CYPRES. To my knowledge there is no retrofit kit needed to change from CYPRES to Vigil in your rig. I have never installed one, but maybe a Rigger who has will chime in here and confirm this.

For further information, there are representatives from each company here on Dropzone.com. AirtecKai from Airtec (maker of the CYPRES), and kimgriffin from Vigil USA. I would suggest using email - you will likely receive a faster reply than using PMs with these two.
Arrive Safely

John

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I have been told by the factory, that since its early problems with static electricity were fixed, there have been no more "accidental" firings on the Vigil, and several saves. I have also been told that 5,000 are in use worldwide. These figures come from the owner of Vigil, and he has always been very honest with me, especially when there were problems. I personally know that DeLand Majik jumped them all the way through the World Meet with no problems. I also have a Vigil in my own rig.

Ps: In the interests of full disclosure: My company sells both Cypres and Vigil. They are both are fine machines, but we make more money on Vigils...for whatever that is worth.

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vigils are sold stating that they never need any service except for new battereis. my (still unanswered/unsolved) question is: every machine (like a car, a dishwasher, a camera - you name it) needs service and meintenance. and this electronic gadget doesn't need any during it's complete lifecycle? seems a bit ridiculous - at least to me.

do you have an answer to this or am i mistaken in my concern?
The universal aptitude for ineptitude makes any human accomplishment an incredible miracle

dudeist skydiver # 666

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yeah, my jaw dropped when i saw that on their website... i was so excited! I came across another website that said they need to be serviced every 4 years just like a cypres, which put them neck and neck. The misfiring problem was one of the things I was wondering about-- glad it's fixed. At least cypres has some competition now.. thanks for your help! Heidi

If the world didn't suck, we'd all fall off!

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I think Vigil's position is that the device is very sophisticated, and runs a complete diagnostic each and every time you turn it on, so it will tell you if something is wrong. In other words, each individual unit (and how it is treated) will determine its own "service interval". The Vigil has only four basic parts, and each is user (or rigger) serviceable (replaceable) with an allen wrench and a small screw driver, so you don't have to send it off to a service center. (It's so simple that even I can take one apart...put it back together...and it still works!) However, I wouldn't be surprised, with the passage of time, that something might come up that would require that you return your unit for service. Hell, it already has.

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My experience is that when you ask cypres a technical question you get a technical answer.

If I ask vigil a technical question, I get back a commercial answer or a fuzy statement.

My personal opinion: Buy a cypres, the company has much more experience with AAD's!

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Using your droque to gain stability is a bad habit,
Especially when you are jumping a sport rig

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I'm AAD shopping (since nobody wants to sell their gear w/aad installed)



Aye, the supply of used Cypres units is a bit drier these days. I need (well, desire) to acquire some AAD in the next 3 weeks for an incoming rig. If I have to go new, the Vigil is a consideration.

The feature set is very good, and the price is $200 better, but the main consensus you'll find here is most people are waiting for it to prove itself, esp after the recall in the spring. Most people don't need to buy one this year - by the time their Cypres is out of service the record of the Vigil will be more clear. Doesn't help you or me, though. Bill's endorsement is pretty significant to me.

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Perhaps you could say something about these issues then;

The Swedish Materiel and Equipment committee has tested 3 Vigils, first one
"beta unit" and later on two of the latest revision and we have
decided not to approve it because of the following reasons.


A) We think the tolerances are too wide. The manual claims +/- 80
meter for the firing altitude. This is not accurate enough
in our opinion. The first device that we measured also did not
meet the company's own specifications, i.e., the device fired
outside the given (already large) tolerances.

We later did more measurements on 2 separate units which
Advanced Aerospace Design sent us. This time the tolerances
were acceptable. However, we still feel that a bracket of
160 meter around the predetermined firing altitude is too
much.

B) We feel that the statement that the Vigil has an unlimited
life time is unrealistic. Electronic components age. Especially
in such a harsh environment as being used in a rig that is
subject to very varying temperatures, vibrations, etc., this
claim is simply not true. To us, this is not something a serious
producer of a life-saving device promises. This in combination
with the fact that no periodic maintenance is mandated in not
acceptable.

C) We have our doubts when it comes to the sensitivity to moisture.
The box is not sealed with a rubber gasket and all the compo-
nents are in open air once the box has been opened. This may
prove not to be an issue but we don't think enough precautions
have been taken.

D) We don't think the electronics are mechanically shielded enough.
It is fairly easy to damage the electronics while replacing the
battery or the cutter. Some people *will* remove the circuit
board when the unit is open and may cause all sorts of damage.

E) The problem with sensitivity to electrostatic discharges may
have been solved but there are still other issues with the
electronics construction that we think are sub-standard.

For example, the fact that the manual says that the unit can get
stuck in some state where you have to open the unit and tempo-
rarily remove the battery in order to make it work again.

This is kind of like rebooting your computer by unplugging the
power supply and indicates an electronics design that is flawed.

F) There are other, recently added, notes in the manual that are
really strange. Firstly, you are now strongly discouraged from
using a negative landing altitude adjustment. That is, you can
no longer adjust the Vigil for a landing altitude below the
take off altitude. This was okay before.

We recently did some tests on the scenario when you adjust for
a *higher* landing altitude and the Vigil cannot handle that
correctly either. The Vigil appears to have a problem knowing
where the "zero-level" is when you do these types of adjustments.

For example, if you adjust the unit to a landing altitude that
is, say, 300 meters above your take-off altitude. Fly up well
above this altitude but cancel the jump (clouds!) and go back
down with the plane. The Vigil then fires when you pass the
300 meter level (intended landing site) if you exceed only 20
m/s in descent rate.

You are also strongly recommended to turn the unit off if you
are descending with the airplane, even if you are using it in
"Pro" mode. This was okay before. Not very convenient.

These two remarks clearly indicate that they have not been able
to develop algorithms that are good enough to handle these
situations. Simply put, the code in the unit is not ready yet!

G) When discussing the tolerances and the firing altitude with
people at Advanced Aerospace Design they claimed that the unit
has to fire 80 meters above the desired activation altitude in
order to compensate for "the burble on the back". This is simply
a ridiculous statement and just shows to us that they have not
done their signal-processing homework yet.

If their statement were true, how would the unit work for a
tumbling jumper or one in a head down position? It all just does
not add up and shows that they haven't figured out the signal
processing yet.

H) We also see a slight problem with the "3 units in one" concept.
Either you have a student that by accident happens to turn his
Vigil on in the Pro mode, which will make it fire much too low.

Or, perhaps worse, you have an experienced jumper who accidentally
turns his unit on in "student" mode and is surprised by a rather
unexpected activation up high.

The "three in one"-concept is a design choice made by Advanced
Aerospace Design and some people may argue it's a good one. We
simply see a potential problem here that needs to be addressed
in some way. This alone does not stop the Vigil from being type
approved, we are just pointing it out.

I) Finally, a note on the mounting of the units in the rigs. It is
not adequate to simply say that the same mounting that works with
the Cypres works with the Vigil since AAD claims that *any* type
Spectra loop can be used. There were problems in the past with
this and that is why there is the "Cypres loop" material available
now.

J) AAD says that they are constantly improving the design and fixing
any problems. However, with no mandatory service interval there
is no procedure for updating all units in the field. With the
exception of the total recall this spring due to a severe problem
with sensitivity to electrostatic discharges, a unit that is out
there does not get updated.

However, AAD keeps updating the on-line manual for the Vigil,
imposing more restrictions on how it can be used. This information
is not relayed directly to customers in the field. What was okay
to do one week may all of a sudden be "strongly discouraged" the
next week and the only way to know is to keep checking the on-line
manual.


Obviously Aerospace don't find the swedish market interesting as they do not return on the questions and remarks raised by the committee..

All help appreciated..
Schwede
"Das Leben ist schön, nicht immer aber immer öfter"

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I am curious as to why the vigil should be switch off and back on again if the ground level air pressure changes by more than 10 mbars.
Maybe this is not a big problem as such pressure changes during the course of the day are not possible. Any weather experts out there?

Looking at the cypres user guide, it seems that cypres can cope with air pressure changes on the ground.
Dave

Fallschirmsport Marl

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the same issues you listed (thanks for being so thorough and for taking your time to type) are discussed in austria, where the vigil is not approved. it was also stated, that the manufacturers of vigil have not approached authorities for getting an approval to get their device in to the market yet.

another point for the cypres guys: they seem to have have done their homework really good - they test it with every new container. vigils "should" work with every container without testing.
the stuff about using "any loop" would worry me the most

so knowing about all these issues - if i were to buy a new aad, i'd stick to cypres and wouldn't mind the extra cash.
The universal aptitude for ineptitude makes any human accomplishment an incredible miracle

dudeist skydiver # 666

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However, I wouldn't be surprised, with the passage of time, that something might come up that would require that you return your unit for service. Hell, it already has.



wasn't shopping for an answer - but i'm really glad that you gave exactely this one. thanx!
The universal aptitude for ineptitude makes any human accomplishment an incredible miracle

dudeist skydiver # 666

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AFAIK the german approval of the vigil was based on the paperwork the makers of the vigil presented - that's it. they believed in the papers and then made a drawback when first problems became known and grounded the device. after the manufacturers stated they had a solution to known problems, the grounding was cancelled without further investigation :S


austria and sweden are the only countries where the use of vigils is not allowed. btw - do you know how this is refered to? austria and sweden are labeled "unwilling" >:(


for me it reads like this:
imagine i put a car of my own make into the market. the brakes are poor. when people start to complain i simply say: hey you just have to start braking earlier :S:S:S:S i wouldn't get away with this kind of business-practice for too long.

if vigil wants to sell units in austria they have to approach our authorities not the oher way round. so far (again afaik) vigil representatives have approached dealers and asked if they wanted to sell the vigil. but without approval - no legal selling and use of the unit


this whole story is just so weird.....:|
The universal aptitude for ineptitude makes any human accomplishment an incredible miracle

dudeist skydiver # 666

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It appears that most of the Vigil issues are isolated in europe. Why is it that people who complain have never owned, nor operated one? Can't we get unhappy Vigil owners to reply? Everyone here is just slamming them without any personal experience. Gear selection is a personal issue and that's why there are alternatives. Prudent buyers will do their research. FWIW, I have both.

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On a dutch forum (paraforum.nl) vigil will answer the questions put over there.



I saw the site but many questions are in Dutch language. I do understand it a bit and they look inetersting. Will you be able (willing) to translate and post them here?

Femke:)



If I have a little bit of time I will translate my questions and the answers

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Using your droque to gain stability is a bad habit,
Especially when you are jumping a sport rig

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