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PlasmaGlow Fusion Review/Complaints/Suggestions

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cheesy

Joined: Feb 18 2003
Posts: 752
Location: Los Angeles, CA / Seattle, WA


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Post Fri Mar 14, 2003 8:10 pm

I figured I might was well write an intial review of the Fusion kit while I waited for my replacement controller (and for my mouth to heal after getting my friggin wisdom teeth out today). Ao here it is:



Packaging

The packagin was nearly identical to StreetGlow's Gold Series kit packaging (I have nothing else to compare it to). The four tubes were clipped together with about 6 special clips, then they were wrapped in very small bubble wrap and put into a large tube, which was then put into a box, which was then put into another box, along with a smaller box which contains the controller, wiring, and mounting hardware. No tubes were visably broken or anything.

Grade: A


Tubes

The tubes seem sturdy. Someone actually too the end caps off both the Fusion kit tubes and a SG Gold Series tube and said the Lexan is exactly the same thickness. Of course since inside the Lexan is LEDs instead of a glass neon tube, they should be a lot more durable (unless you actually hit a large rock or other object...like I did with my SG kit)

All of my tubes work fine except for one small section of blue front tube. PG said they will replace a tube if more than 10% of the LEDs don't work. The end caps rotate around the outer tube so you can aim the LEDs, which is very important since the angle makes a big difference in terms of brightness, blending of colors, and the area which the LEDs shine on. Some people have mentioned that the LEDs do not seem to be in a straight line, and they are right, but it is not a big deal, especially if your car is not really low to the ground and you aim the tube correctly.

One thing I noticed about the tubes is when you have certain colors on, some LEDs that are not supposed to turn on light up very dimly. It is not a big deal at all (you can't see the light from those extra LEDs), but it makes me wonder if it signals a bigger problem with the controller or tubes themselves.

As far as brightness goes, they are VERY bright, but in a more concentrated area. They easily light up my entire room, but under a car I can't tell if they are brighter than a traditional neon underbody kit. Once again, this is mostly due to the way you aim them, and I think if you aim them correctly they will be just as bright (if not more-so) than a SG Gold Series kit.

Grade: B


Controller

The controller is the achilles heel of the Fusion kit. While the functions work well, I'd say at least half of all Fusion owners I know about have had to return their controller (myself included) to PG to get replacements. Hopefully this will be solved by the nexxt generation of controllers. PG definitely needs to have a better quality control program (if they even have one in the first place...)

Most users experience some sort of eratic behavior with changing colors and modes, as well the the color indicators not showing up. Personally, my controller always reverts back to blue on most setting unless I press and hold the color button. Color changing mode doesn't work unless I hold the color button. The color indicators do not show up unless I hold the color button. Etc etc...

That said, if the controller actually worked it still would not revcieve a very good grade. Yes the functions and colors are nice. I love all the different mode: the scans, the chases, strobe, music, fade, etc. But there are many problems with the controller.

First of all, it's HUGE. For what it is I'm sure PlasmaGlow could have fit it in a much smaller case. The wavy shape of it is rather anoying as well. Second, my biggest concern is that while it had indicator LEDs for both function and color it is nearly IMPOSSIBLE to tell what color or function you are on at night...which is pretty much the only time you'll be using the kit anyway. Did their engineers (if they even have more than one...) even think about this?! Also another minor quibble is my reset button got stuck a few times, no biggy.

Grade: D icon_sad.gif


Installation

Installation was simlar to the StreetGlow Blue Line type under body where you run a single wire from each tube back to the distribution block. Personally I find this easier than the Gold Series type installation where you have to run all the tubes in series. My reasoning behind this is that with the series wiring configuration you must run wires around 3 of your 4 wheels/suspention, etc, as well as the exhaust. With the Blue Line/Fusion wiring you have more flexibility. Both side tubes have the wires coming out of the tubes at the front end of the tubes, which is really near the engine bay (and in my case, the grommet in my firewall I used)

They say you should mount the distribution block in the engine bay away from where water could reach it, but I put mine jsut behind the firewall so theres no chance of it getting wet. Plus, that way I have a longer reach for the control panel cable, and it will be easier to add inside tubes once 9or if) PG ever comes out with them. The only problem is the front and rear tube cables wil not reach that far (although I don't think I could have gotton both to reach wherever I put it). The kit was supposed to come with extension cables, it didn't. PG said they will send me any I need if they have them in stock.

One more minor quibble are the connectors. They seem fragile and I worry about pushing them through the rubber grommet in my firewall. I'm afraid that one of the wires might come out or break, but as long as your careful it should be ok. Just don't pull the plug out by the wires.

Mounting the tubes is the same as most underbody kit, they have little plastic clips you screw into whatever. I would actually recommend using the supplid clips rather than zip ties, which some people prefer. This is because the clips are designed to break if excesive force is put on the tube, so the cheap little clips break, rather than the expensive tube...

Grade: B

Customer Service

Their customer service is decent. The guy I talked to didn't know what I meant by a "section" of blue LEDs on my front tube. The second time I called I left a message and they called back the next day. Not much else to say.

Grade: B


Overall, I would give the kit a B-, but if PG can get their act together and fix the issues with the controller, as well take some of the suggestions below I would definitely give the kit an A.


Suggestions:

Controller:

1) Indicator lights

As it is, there is NO way to tell what color or mode your controller is set on, besides either looking out the window, turning on a domes light, or guessing. Maybe have a RGB LED (one that can display red, green, and blue, or any combination...i.e. essentially like the Fusion tubes) for each section of the tube (five sections I believe) and have those five LEDs mimic the five sections of the tubes. This would easily show the status of the color and mode of the tubes.

I'm sure that would be possible, but if for some reason PG doesn't like the idea they should at least come out with an indicator bar that can be plugged into one of the spare slots on distribution box and mounted somewhere visable.

2) Size and shape

The current controller is wayyyyy too big. They need to make is smaller, and not all wavy and stuff. The wavyness may seem cool but its annoying to mount. I'm thinking something the size of a pack of cards would be the perfect size.

3) Remote module

There are rumors of a remote controlle. This would be AWESOME. I do thinkg that the remote should be small as well...maybe the size of a normal keyless entry (or even a pack of cards if they have to...but not a fullsized TV style remote control)

4) Speed and function

Our controllers are supposed to be digitally upgradeable. I asssume at this point it means sending the controller back to PG to get new software...but it would be really cool if we could do it ourselves using a home computer (not just PCs...Macs too!)

Also, I assume that we are only limited to the colors by the control box...It would be awesome if we could adjust the color to any color we want. I assume this is possible becase there are 3 colors of LEDs (red, green, blue) and the fade mode demonstrates it is possible to fade...so why not be able to partially fade out certain colors. I think a knob (or a knob for red, green, and blue) that could adjust the color would be cool...or a fade between colors...ooooooo

As far as functions go, I like the ones that come with it. It would also be nice if (like I mentioned above) we could download more settings from our computer. Another thing, the color changing mode should be syncronized with at least strobing, maybe the other modes too. It would be nifty if the color could change on the beat of the music.


Misc:
1) Include the extension cables they promised, or at least increase the length of the cables
2) Improve the conector so it doesnt seem so fragile




Feel free to add comments
cheesy

Joined: Feb 18 2003
Posts: 752
Location: Los Angeles, CA / Seattle, WA


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Post Fri Mar 14, 2003 8:44 pm

Another idea I posted in a different thread...


Quote:
I was thinking about this and I think Phil mentioned that PG would also be releasing splitter cables. What they should do is release a splitter cable with switches on both outputs of the splitter. That way you could choose to have your interior tubes on, or your exterior tubes on (or both), or you could even get really fancy and have different combintation and stuff.

One thing that bugs me about the PG Fusion kit is that you have to have the tubes on while you are switching colors/modes. This would be especially anoying if people were watching you mess with your kit while you try to get to the mode or color you want. I would like to be able to set the color/mode THEN turn it on. (Also I'm sure it's illegal to drive while changing color and settings)
PTCruzr

Joined: Feb 12 2003
Posts: 394
Location: Woodstock, GA


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Post Fri Mar 14, 2003 10:04 pm

That's a very good review Tom. The most thorough so far. I think your suggestions are right on the money.
vice

Joined: Feb 12 2003
Posts: 898
Location: Baltimore,MD


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Post Fri Mar 14, 2003 11:10 pm

yup i think you covered everything
silentalero

Joined: Feb 12 2003
Posts: 1047


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Post Sat Mar 15, 2003 1:06 am

cheesy9999 wrote:
(and for my mouth to heal after getting my friggin wisdom teeth out today). Ao here it is:




Feel free to add comments



i can feel you piant....literally...mine are growing in now, n hurt like a MOTHER ***!!!!
cheesy

Joined: Feb 18 2003
Posts: 752
Location: Los Angeles, CA / Seattle, WA


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Post Sat Mar 15, 2003 1:10 am

thats what the vicodin is for!
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