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GAjumper84

mars m2 aad

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No AAD is "TSO'd". AADs are unregulated (almost) and have no mandated testing standard. Some manufacturers choose to 'approve or disapprove specific AADs in their rigs as part of the manufacturer's instructions which all US riggers must follow under federal law. Some manufacturers choose to.make no statement about any brand of AAD.

It is unique that the FAR's mandate that an AAD must be maintained according to the AAD manufacturer's instructions even though there are no 'TSO' standards for them.

As.to.the MARS specifically the lack of an adjustable firing altitude may be a negative. (Unless they've changed.) And frankly I don't know that I trust my life with any electronic device that has no maintenance or testing for 15 years. Too new to have much durability history although MARS as a company has been around for quite a while.
I'm old for my age.
Terry Urban
D-8631
FAA DPRE

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touche, you are correct good sir, i had seen an article on RI's website, and they are in fact "approved for use" and not TSO'd.

i will do as i always do, and gather opinions from many of my experienced rigger friends to help make my own conclusion. if there arent any problems that have caused misfires and fatalities, due to battery issues or the like, then the price is right for me. i do not swoop and i pull a little higher being that i only fly wingsuit.
gravity brings me down.........

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So far there have been no significant problems. There was a SB about a possible sensor problem causing a non start up condition in a few early ones. The serial #s affected were all offered repair, the repair turned out to be replacement with a new unit. I have sold about 15 of them myself, and use one in my own rig. I believe they have been in the field 3 years now.

That's the thing with electronic AADs though, only time will tell.
Always remember the brave children who died defending your right to bear arms. Freedom is not free.

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***No AAD is "TSO'd". AADs are unregulated (almost) ...

.......................................................................................

Ten or 15 years ago, the Parachute Industry Association looked into writing a Technical Standard Order covering Automatic Activation Devices. Airtec (aka. the Cypres factory) offered the exhaustive test procedures they used when developing the Cypres 1, then challenged other AAD manufacturers to publish their test procedures.
No other AAD manufacturers were willing to share their test procedures.
PIA's project stalled.

Back in reality, local riggers are bound to follow federal air regulations, which always loop back to "in accordance with manufacturers' instructions."
Ergo, if a container manufacturer bans a specific model of AAD, then no rigger can legally install that AAD in that container.
IOW If a rigger installs a brand "X" AAD counter to the container manufacturer's instructions, he has ignored "best business practices" and stands alone in court.

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And again some manufactures choose to be silent on aad's. They neither "approve" nor "ban" specific AAD's and leave it to the owner and rigger to decide what they want to use or not use.

PIA projects are only as successful as the volunteer(s) that take them on and as useful as the cooperation of various competitors.

Concerning the MARs M2, I did like the things presented in their seminar at the last PIA Symposium. I liked the cutter design and.some of the other features. I'm still a supporter of routine testing, updating, and maintenance. But don't have an issue with someone choosing a MARs. I may buy one myself.

This isn't the first time MARS tried to bring a product to the US. Ten or twelve years ago they displayed an AAD that required the rig to be specially designed for it. It was one small box that container the electronics, battery, and cutter. It had to be mounted at the reserve loop anchor site and the loop had to go through the box, IIRC about the size of a.pack of cigarettes or slightly larger. No manufacturers got on board with a compatible rig.
I'm old for my age.
Terry Urban
D-8631
FAA DPRE

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Quote

1000 bucks, with zero maintenance/battery replacement with a solid lifespan? im sold.



The warranty for the M2, as stated in the manual, is only 2 years.

Is there something backing their claim that the battery will last 15 years, or that the unit won't need maintenance beyond the 2 year warranty?

I think it is likely that there will be some issue with the units that will require some modification/update, or perhaps even just the reality that the battery won't really last that long. I think it is a bad bet to figure otherwise. Perhaps the mfg will cover such a need for a fix without cost to their customers to keep them happy, but I doubt it.

I'm sold on the unit that has a 12 year warranty, and a mfg that has shown they honor that warranty. The cost of ownership is at least known, compared to the hope that the unbacked claims of a mfg will be reality.
People are sick and tired of being told that ordinary and decent people are fed up in this country with being sick and tired. I’m certainly not, and I’m sick and tired of being told that I am

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The Vigil 2, Cypres 2, and M2 all have a 2 year official warranty.

Additionally, Cypres also calls it a Lifetime Warranty for the full life of the unit, in that the maintenance fees are fixed no matter what needs work, and it provides an opportunity to update the software a couple times. (Will Vigil do a free update if you send it in? I don't know the answer. They'll certainly do an inspection and test for a fee.)

Both Cypres and Vigil have in general tried to do free replacements in cases where they do have a bad batch, whatever the date.

However, as we've seen with the Cypres "stuck on zero" bulletin (#113), if something goes occasionally slightly wrong, they won't instantly take everyone's Cypres in for unscheduled maintenance.

And the solution to some other problems (under or over 2 years old) is similarly not a recall but new restrictions in the manual -- e.g., for door opening with a Vigil 2, or watertightness of a Vigil 2. Suck it up.

Or some things one just lives with -- e.g., the Cypres 2 cutter cable goes into a harder plastic fitting on the cutter than for the Cypres 1 cutter cable, and thus very occasionally is more subject to damage in certain rigs.

As for Argus, their warranty turned out to be, "Oh yeah? Well screw you too! We're outta here."

To summarize:
Everyone has a 2 year warranty. I figure Cypres maybe treats you a little better because you're already shelling out money for maintenance. But in general, you are trusting the company to do the best it can over the lifetime of your product.

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The warranty page of the manual for a Cypres is odd in that it contradicts itself:

Quote

Airtec GmbH & Co. KG provides a 2 year warranty on all CYPRES models and parts within. In
spite of that Airtec has always repaired all defects during the entire service life of each CYPRES free of charge, except for damages done intentionally, due to negligent, or use without the required maintenance.



Their website lists advantages including "12.5 year lifetime warranty".

It seems that they've explicitly made their commitment to fixing defects. This is what I mean by asking if there is something backing up the Mars claim that the battery will last 15 years and that there won't be a need for maintenance. Have they put something in writing that says they'll take care of it after 2 years?

This thread is about the Mars, and that should be the focus, but when advantages due to cost of ownership is being discussed there is good reason to talk about whether it is predictable.

I think there should be an even greater advantage in initial cost if the warranty is just 2 years.

Quote

However, as we've seen with the Cypres "stuck on zero" bulletin (#113), if something goes occasionally slightly wrong, they won't instantly take everyone's Cypres in for unscheduled maintenance.



If a unit did actually get stuck, a person did not have to wait until the scheduled maintenance to get it fixed.
People are sick and tired of being told that ordinary and decent people are fed up in this country with being sick and tired. I’m certainly not, and I’m sick and tired of being told that I am

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Here is the response from mars themselves about warranty, battery life, and optional inspection of the equipment.
Hello,

I send you answer on your question:

1) All the parts used in the m2 device, and its total correct function as per the specified limits, are covered by the manufacturer’s 24-month warranty, valid from the date of purchase. The warranty does not cover damages occuring from common use of the m2 device, incorrect installation, or non-standard and rough handling. The manufacturer reserves the right to decide wheter to repair or replace the unit.

2) The m2 device is designed to last its total lifetime without the need for battery replacement. It for any reason the battery fails during the device’s lifetime, it must be replaced by the manufacturer. The total lifetime of the aad m2 is 15 years or total of 5,000 flight hours, which is approximately 15,000 jumps (a jump is considered to be a maximum of 20 minutes from start-landing).

3) The m2’s main advantages is: 15-year lifetime without servicing required by the manufacturer. But if you want send it to inspection, it is possible. It will be free ( you will pay only postage – there and back)


So in other words if someone else above was correct, all three manufacturers have a two year official warranty with both cypres and vigil showing willingness in the past to offer some help outside the confines of the warranty. Mars is still young so we will have to see their customer service record unfold.

The battery is designed to last based on only hashing the aad on when you jump. If you jump alot and leave the aad on all day, with their numbers I would expect to replace the battery once, which does require it to be sent back.

Optional inspection being offered for free sounds great, but at how many are they going to cut you off? That remains to be seen, but at least they are saying they will inspect it for you. So for anyone not wanting to go fifteen years without it being looked at, you should be able to get it checked out for free (at least once).

Overall I was happy with their response, unfortunately I am impatient and came across a good deal on the vigil 2 which is a great deal for the money as well. I wanted something that was reliable and had a good cost of ownership. Ultimately with my limited experience with aads I went with the one my rigger suggested. I trust him as he has been a great source of knowledge on equipment. In his defense, he did not say anything bad about cypres, and only said he didn't like the m2 interface. In asking around, people seem to be very passionate about the fact that whatever aad choice they made is the best. I was glad to get an opinion from my rigger that was not "mine is the best! "

I figured I might as well lay out my findings for all three aads as I see them based off the hours of research I've done. This is intended only to help new jumpers that are looking to purchase their first aad, not to help people already in the know. Also be aware that I am no expert so I am not saying this is perfect. I do not feel however that I posted any facts that are incorrect. I did list opinions that one might disagree with however.
Between the three, the cypres2 seems to be at a distinct disadvantage on the economics. Mandatory inspections drive the cost of ownership way up, along with the inconvenience of not having your aad while it is out for service. They do have the best track record for proven reliability in operation which seems to directly correlate with the fact they have been in service the longest

Vigil has the best of both worlds from my research with the longest service life and a proven track record (in the vast majority of time it has been around) of reliability. keep in mind they have had some recorded misfires (firing when they shouldn't, not the other way around) in the past, but I was unable to find anything recent, so I believe that issue had been dealt with.

Mars has the best up front price and a low cost of ownership, but is unproven since they have only had the m2 on the market for three years. In the relatively short time however, they have had no failures I could find. I really can't say I would have any issue with putting a mars m2 in my rig, but it is a risk buying one. I'm not saying it's a major risk, but the situation with Argus is scary.

Keep in mind that I am speaking only from an opinion that I formed based on my own unbiased research and mainly focused on the economics of ownership.

Reliability wise, cypres2 and vigil 2 have a proven track record of reliability in operation, and mars is doing well so far at establishing their own record.

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New Vigils (Vigil 2+) do have to be sent to the manufacturer for battery replacement at 10 years. Its only once, but it does require rigger uninstall & reinstall, shipping, and down time.
When I was AAD shopping, these factors tipped the yearly cost comparison towards the M2.

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sammielu

New Vigils (Vigil 2+) do have to be sent to the manufacturer for battery replacement at 10 years. Its only once, but it does require rigger uninstall & reinstall, shipping, and down time.
When I was AAD shopping, these factors tipped the yearly cost comparison towards the M2.




The fact that people are concerned about downtime and +/- $250 in 2025 is preposterous. Even the Cypres, with a more aggressive maintenance schedule, worrying about a few hundred bucks in 2019 if purchased new today is rather silly. Over 10 years you're looking at about $.27 a day versus $.41 cents a day...less because I'm leap year lazy.

Not really directed at the quoted user...just a convenient jump off point.

[edit] purchase price today is different issue, I suppose.

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IMO, when buying a product with a lifespan of 12-20 years, the annual cost is a factor.

Cypress = $137.52/year plus 2 uninstall, reinstall, downtime, shipping costs.

Vigil = $69/year plus a minimum of one uninstall, reinstall, and shipping (battery life estimated to be 5 years or 15k jumps so there might be additional battery costs)

M2 = $66.6/ year with no uninstall, downtime, etc. Plus its cheaper at the outset.

Cypress: ($1399+$160 battery + $160 battery)/12.5 years = $137.52

Vigil 2+: ($1320+$60 battery)/20 years = $69/year

M2: $999/15 years = $66.6/year

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Thanks for the math on the total cost of ownership. It demonstrates how much more expensive it is to own a Cypres over the other two viable options on the market. I knew this to be the case, with Mars being the cheapest at initial purchase and over the total life, but you laid it out in black and white.

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Yea, a whole 3 jump tickets a year. To be honest this difference should not even be taken into consideration when choosing what could be a life saving equipment.
You should choose based on other factors not the price. If you can't afford extra 3 jump tickets per year maybe skydiving is too expensive of a hobby.
Just saying (and I'm not rich by all means)

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Well this is all based on the assumption that each of them performs equally when needed, Cypress has been on the market longer and therefore has more saves, etc blah blah blah. Buy what you want.

The initial price made a difference to me. As did seeing other people send off their AADs for service/battery/whatever. I dont want to ever be tempted to jump without an AAD while mine is shipped away. I'm a full time static line instructor now, I'm glad I made that choice.

If you really think people for whom two jump tickets per year is a 'big deal' shouldn't be jumping, I invite you to bring that up with your packer.

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3 jump tickets a year for the same exact product should be taken into consideration on a device that does the same job. That may not be a factor in your decision on what AAD to buy, but for many it is. I just shelled out over $3000 for equipment and the AAD was a significant portion of that. Your argument is like saying you should not compare the economics of new gear vs used gear because new gear is obviously better. Although your case is actually worse as you can not demonstrate that cypres2 performs any better than vigil or mars. If you read my earlier posts, I started clearly I was mainly comparing economics as in my opinion they have all proved to function correctly in the field (with mars 2 at a disadvantage due to time in the market)

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This applies to tandems, but I thought you might like to know: Wings Tandem approves the Tandem m2 in our rigs. So you can use the Cypres, the Vigil and now the m2. I'm assembling three demo rigs that each have a different AAD (and different canopies, but that's for another post.

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