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Review of the Poron Talking Backup Sensor

Hi ya folks.

Why minivan or SUV manufacturers don't make backup sensors standard or even an option escapes me. With the vehicle's size, you'd think this is a no-brainer… Hence the search for one.

Well, thanks to Chuck, he got the discussion, research, and actual testing started on this. He has installed the Ross system. It is one of a few that have garnered interest from Ody owners. It offers a multistage audio/beep alarm with LED indicator. Sensor installation is completely "invisible" since the sensors are mounted BEHIND the bumper. This however requires a LOT of work which includes removal of the bumper, rear lights, and some cutting of the bumper foams. I can only imagine my wife's face seeing all the parts on the garage floor. =0

Then came a post by OddyNewbie on the Poron system sensor with VDI. This is comparable to the Ross. But unlike the Ross which is microwave-based, the Poron is ultrasonic which prevents it from being installed behind the bumper. It however has the Voice Distance Indicator which is really neat. =) Most backup sensors have multi-stage audio alarm that changes tone as the vehicle approaches the obstruction. This model Poron system has the beeping sound plus a female voice that tells you what the actual distance is. Coupled with a simpler installation, the voice feature swayed me to choose it over the Ross.

I ordered the system from autotoys.com. Their site says Mini1T/LV. The Poron site says Micro3 with VDI. What I actually got was an Ultron3 with VDI. The sensors also are not the squarish ones. They are rectangular and more streamlined which I think looks better. Also there is no clear shield for the sensors as discussed with other poron models. I'm not worried about this since the sensors are weather proof. Unit cost is $105. Autotoys offers FREE processing/handling ($5 value) for Odyclub.com members. If you pay via paypal for orders over $50, you get FREE shipping. And shipping was fast. It only took two (2) days for the package to arrive.

Okay, enough of the preamble. On to the installation…
  • TOOLS NEEDED: Flathead screwdriver, Philips screwdriver, small very thin Philips screwdriver, steel tape, rachet/socket, utility knife (optional)
  • INSTALLATION SHEET: Two page manual is surprisingly good considering the product is made in China. =) Easy to read and follow directions and plenty of diagrams. Specifications and warranty info are also provided.
  • SUPPLEMENTAL MATERIAL: Printed info from Chuck's site and OddyNewbie's installation notes
  • INTERIOR REAR HATCH PLASTIC PANEL: : I removed the plastic panel inside the rear hatch behind the bumper. You do this by removing two hooks and the third row seat anchor. For the hooks, you pop up the screw cover by slipping a coin or a screwdriver behind the rounded side of the cover. Popping the cover will reveal the screw. Unscrew this. Do the same for the second one. To remove the seat anchor near the bottom center of the panel, pull up on the flat end of the anchor plastic cover. It will release quite easily. It will expose the anchor bolt. Get a socket/rachet and remove it. Note: Since you are oriented on the same side as the bolt, you'd have to reverse the direction of turn to loosen it. Turn right to loosen the bolt. Once removed, you can now take the plastic panel off.
  • LEFT INSIDE PANEL: Remove the top right mesh hook just like above. Remove the emergency kit access door by unscrewing the screw lock. Remove the small philip screw behind the tire iron. Next, pull gently on the left panel until the rivets on the top and left edges of the panel release. You also have to release the tab at the bottom left edge of the panel. You may have to use a screwdriver to help it along. Now, pull enough on whole panel until you have at least six inches of clearance between the panel and the wall panel.
  • MOUNTING THE SENSORS: You can mount it anywhere on the rear of the van, but I chose to mount it UNDER the bumper. Per the instruction manual, I used masking tape to temporarily affix the swivel mounts that came with the package. The temporary mount allows for one to make adjustments before using the permanent double sided tape. I installed the left sensor at 10 inches from the left edge. The right side is at 14 inches from the right edge to give enough space between it and the exhaust pipe. The last detector goes right in the middle of the van. The middle is easy enough to find since there is a hole at the bottom of the bumper right behind the mount location. All three sensors are about two inches from the front lip of the bumper. The middle sensor by the way is labeled on the wire end. So, make sure you use that for the middle location. The other two are not labeled so they are interchangeable. I made sure that the mounting surface are clean and dry before I permanently affixed the sensor mounts.
  • PATH FOR THE WIRES: OddyNewbie's tips made this very easy. There are several holes under the bumper to channel the sensor wires. You need to take out the two leftmost removable rivets from the bottom of the bumper which makes pulling the wires much much easier. The rivets pull out easily by sliding a screwdriver under the inner head. To get into the hatch compartment, you simply remove the leftmost plastic grommet on the inside wall parallel to the bumper. Now, you simply feed the wires through the bumper holes, through the grommet hole and up into the space behind the left inside panel. Note: If you are using the swivel mounts, make sure you thread the wire through it first before routing the wires through the holes.
  • CONTROL UNIT LOCATION: I've read that some have installed the control unit in the emergency kit area. I thought about this but decided against it since I don't relish the idea of the control unit and the wires exposed and subjecting it to possible damage when getting the jack/tire iron in and out. Also, there is really no reason for it to be "accessible". Once it is wired up, there really won't be any other frequent adjustments one would need to do. Yes, the speaker is adjustable but the manufacturer strongly recommends leaving it alone. Hence, I decided to put it BEHIND the left interior panel. First, I connected the wires from the sensors to the control unit. The wire ends are RJ-type (phone jack), so they plug right in. Just make sure the middle sensor wire plugs into the one labeled for it. Then with a couple of mounting tapes from the kit, I affixed the control unit halfway up the car chassis right behind the curve of the interior panel. I checked for clearance first in selecting this location.
  • POWER TO THE CONTROL UNIT: Power from the minivan reverse lights are sourced from a spare plug behind the left interior panel. It is a white eight pin plug with only four or five wires connected. This plug is for trailer/tow use. It is taped to the rest of the wire harness with blue tape. Cut the tape to release the plug. Look for the green and black wire with silver marks. This is the +12V (10A) reverse light wire. The black wire is the ground wire. Some folks have used the snaplocks that came with the kit to "splice" the control unit to the said wires. Since I don't foresee the need for towing ever, I made the connection much much easier and simpler. I connected the control unit power (red) wire directly to the trailer plug. Same for the ground wire. Since the wires of control unit are the right size, they plug in quite easily and securely. I tugged on them a few times and they were very secure. As added precaution, I looped and taped the wires to the plug. Another reason I opted for this is that I've read that the snaplock sometimes do not penetrate the minivan wire jacket enough to contact the wire consistently which cause intermittent operation. The direct plug-in eliminates this without having to cut the wire or do any solder work.
  • SPEAKER LOCATION: With the control module behind the panel the only thing that would be visible inside the rear compartment would be the speaker. I decided to put it above and just to the right of the top left round hanger for the side mesh net. This location elevates the speaker without being too obvious but deliver enough volume to the front passenger area. It is also at a location away from any of ingress/egress activities that might bump it out of position. But how do you feed the wire to that location without the wire coming out of any of the existing left panel holes or at the top or side of the panel edges? Easy! Through the top right round hanger for the side panel mesh net. I removed the said hanger by twisting it out. I then used a utility knife to cut away a small hole on the opening. I made the hole just perfectly sized for the speaker wire. I then affixed the speaker to the target location, threaded the wire through the new opening, then connected the minijack wire end to the control unit. Next, I reinstalled the round hanger and voila! All that is visible is the speaker and a very short wire originating from the side of the round hanger.
  • TESTING: The moment of truth. On level ground, I put the minivan in reverse to back up in front of my wife's other car. The system beeped to indicate its operation when the gear was put in reverse. While slowly backing up, the system responded with varying detection tones AND a female voice indicating promixity. The voice would say 8 ft, 5ft, 3 ft, 2ft, 12 inches… and then Crash indicating that the distance between the minivan and the obstruction is under 12 inches. Pretty cool! I tried this a few times and it worked just fine. A few tweaks here and there on the sensor angle (using a small thin Philips screwdriver)to optimize sensitivity and it was done.
  • BUTTON IT UP: I simply reversed the order of the panel removal and that was it! Make sure the weatherstrip are on top of the panels.
  • INSTALLATION TIME: It took me a couple of hrs to install the kit only because I was being very careful not to damage anything. The longest time was spent on carefully removing the panels. After the panels were removed, everything was simple and straightforward.
  • A FEW LAST POINTERS:
    - Get a bowl or can to hold all removed parts.
    - Instead of removing the leftmost plastic grommet in the wall parallel to the bumper, simply cut a T-shaped slit on it. This is OddyNewbie's idea. I didn't do this. Even though the metal edges of the holes are not sharp, it would make for a cleaner installation. I simply went back and put electrical tape to cover the edges.
    - The kit comes with permanent double sided tape and screws for the swivel mounts. I only used the tape since it is STRONG enough. You'd have to really pull hard with all your might to pry it off.
  • POSSIBLE "ENHANCEMENTS”:
    - I thought about installing an inline (10A) fuse, but didn't have one handy. I may do this in the future.
    - I may will get some hobby paint matching the interior to help make the black speaker and wire blend in.
  • VERDICT: Thumbs up! My wife, my kid,and I like it a lot. We feel much better now having this device HELP us maneuver the car with greater confidence. My wife and I realize however that it is only a supplementary safety device and that we still need to look behind the van to ensure that we don't back up into anything or anyone.
That's it. Hope you find the info useful.

Okay, here are some pictures.


Notice that it says Ultron3 vs Micron3 at the Poron site or Mini1T/LV at the autotoys site.


This is where you feed the sensor wires into the cabin.


Control module is affixed to the firewall.


Simple connections! No splicing or soldering!


Looks almost like factory doesn’t it. =)


Here’s a view from the side.


Here’s a view from the rear.

Thanks,
Errol

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Keohi Web Design
Keohi HDTV


[This message has been edited by errol (edited 08-25-2001).]
 

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Wow.

Geez.

Thanks Errol. I'm about to do this myself and between you, OdyNewbie & Chuck I think I've got it down cold.

I *HEART* ODYCLUB.


Thanks again.
 

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Great job errol! Nice write-up!

Jeff

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Jeff

'01 SS EX
Cassette, Rosen Video System, Fog Lights, Splash Guards
Full Nose Mask

See photos at:
http://www.fototime.com/inv/B5EC5C7BC6CFA07
 

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Great report, Errol. I think your report will encourage a lot of folks to go ahead and install these sensors.

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'01 Starlight Silver EX
Totally Newbie now, but learning quick.
 

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Ummm, Nestor?

Check the tech section. Its actually been over there since like Friday I think.
 

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I just realized that errol, Oddynewbie and myself all have bought the Poron talking unit and we all drive SS Odys!

Coincidence? Hmmm I think great minds think alike.
 

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by nyvram:
I just realized that errol, Oddynewbie and myself all have bought the Poron talking unit and we all drive SS Odys!

Coincidence? Hmmm I think great minds think alike.
</font>
That's pretty cool. I didn't realize that commonality until you mentioned it.

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'01 Starlight Silver EX
Totally Newbie now, but learning quick.
 

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Errol, Many thanks for the write up in the Poron Talking Backup Sensor. I just paid $300 to have the back bumper repaired on my '99 EX Ody so I can trade. I backed into a 18" stump. I have ordered a 2002 Ody EX w/ leather. I am impressed with the new 5 speed and 240 engine but still no back up sensor. Do you still feel this is the best for the money as well as easiest to install? I am no expert but believe I can do this job. Again, thanks, hope in can help you sometime.
I have not ordered the sensor yet but will as soon as the new Ody comes in in mid Oct.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Hi A.B,

I'm very happy with the backup system.

I'm no authority in this matter and can't say it is the best because it is the only one I've ever installed, tested, and used.

There are other systems out there which could be close or of similar performance.

The Ross of course is also very good based on Chuck and other folks' reviews. I don't have first hand experience with them though.

But like I said, I chose this LARGELY due to ease of installation and the Voice Distance Indicator feature! Cost is almost not even a factor.

Thanks,
Errol



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Keohi Web Design
Keohi HDTV
 

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Hi Errol, I agree with you from what I have seen. I sorry Marvyn had bad luck but it happens. I will try to keep up informed when I get my new van and install the unit.

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Errol--

Thanks for the great writeup on the Poron installation! Now that you've had the system for a few months, is it accurate when it's raining (from a drizzle to heavier rain)? And does it accurately detect objects (people, animals, balls, bikes, etc.) that move within the coverage area of the sensors?

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(o: Terry :eek:)
'02 GG EX-L RES
Splash guards, mod floor mats & cargo tray, soon-to-be TV tuner, soon-to-be Zaino
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Hi forgaming,

It has been working well. Accuracy is within inches of the actual distance. Lots initial adjustments to get it to this point but when it's done, you're all set.

Yes, it detects moving objects like people crossing your path in the parking lot. Each time a person is within coverage area, it sounds a series of loud fast warning beeps.

Its performance is unaffected by rain or drizzle.

False readings do happen occassionally as I've noted in other threads. Most of them happen when I reach the bottom of my driveway which is on a moderate slope. The sensors read the pavement and not necessarily an object. I double check each time I back up.

Also, with the sensors installed at the bottom of the bumper, they are below the recommended elevation location of 16" from the ground. I knew this before the install but you can compensate for it by tilting the sensors up. Best install of course is to mount them on the bumper face or the hatch face but I'm adverse to the idea of drilling holes into the van. The location I chose learned from OddyNewbie however works just fine.

As noted in my review, my wife and I use this as a backup aid. We still and always look for possible objects or obstructions just as when we didn't have the sensors.

Safety first!

Thanks,
Errol

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Keohi Web Design
Keohi HDTV


[This message has been edited by errol (edited 10-17-2001).]
 

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Anyone know if there is a Canadian retailer who carries Poron? If not, wondering if anyone has heard of "Quanan Technologies" who have a system very similar to Ford's with 2 or 3 sensors on the bumper (these can be spray painted to your body color). The total cost to me (for the digital display and 3 sensors) is $599 Cdn. installed. Any comments? Check out their website:

http://www24.brinkster.com/parkinge/

2002 RRP EX
 

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by dsgp:
Anyone know if there is a Canadian retailer who carries Poron? If not, wondering if anyone has heard of "Quanan Technologies" who have a system very similar to Ford's with 2 or 3 sensors on the bumper (these can be spray painted to your body color). The total cost to me (for the digital display and 3 sensors) is $599 Cdn. installed. Any comments? Check out their website:

http://www24.brinkster.com/parkinge/

2002 RRP EX
</font>
I ordered directly from www.autotoys.com since I liked the Poron 3-sensor product and could not find a Canadian retailer.

The cost was 167.37 CAN (included shipping via UPS) + 40 CAN for duty.

It came in about 2 weeks so I'm now confident about ordering other products from autotoys.com that I'll indeed get them.
 

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by dsgp:
Anyone know if there is a Canadian retailer who carries Poron? If not, wondering if anyone has heard of "Quanan Technologies" who have a system very similar to Ford's with 2 or 3 sensors on the bumper (these can be spray painted to your body color). The total cost to me (for the digital display and 3 sensors) is $599 Cdn. installed. Any comments? Check out their website:

http://www24.brinkster.com/parkinge/

2002 RRP EX
</font>
I installed a Coligen DX-4300.

It is ok. Sometime too sensitivity.
info link
more info link
Azon Chan
 
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