Leica 3500.com & 3200.com connectivity issue confirmed by Reps on the east coast

MAD10

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Over the past 7 months I’ve been communicating with two Reps at LeicaUSA, New Jersey in order to do a written piece from field experience in both LR hunting and LR training. I’ll call them “H” and “R” to protect their identity. The emails and phone conversations were open and forthcoming; I have not violated an NDA for the simple fact I did not sign one with them, nor did they ask me to. Oddly enough “prior” to me even considering posting this message they both recently blocked my email and will not take my text messages either which I find humorous.

On the last communication the reps confirmed the two Leica products will intermittently DROP the blue tooth connection between it and your Kestrel w/Link. Due to the fact the Magnesium housing used in these two products blocks the signal. This glitch is common knowledge from what I have been reading from online posts.

That said; some users might find they have no issue inside 6’ --- others will constantly be struggling to connect or remain connected at even less than 6’. Again, also common from what I have read online. What is not common are the two following pieces of information and the implication.

One rep spoke at length saying that Leica tried to remedy the glitch via a software update but came back to the conclusion: the housing itself is the issue preventing the BT signal to reach the Kestrel on any sort of consistency. Read that as …it would not be cost effective for Leica to retool its production line.
  • I will paraphrase the following comments.....
“hey if it works…great - if it doesn’t - then so be it”

“but the 3K distances and accuracy of the beam are outstanding nevertheless”

"Hey Todd Hodnett ordered three for their school so if it is ok with him connectivity must not be an issue" Sorry Todd not trying to throw you under bus < the rep named dropped you to try and validate a shortcoming in the device.

– the implied was - these comments justified the point of failure in the lack of connectivity! Really Leica? Not when I can buy a competitors CRF that will range similar distances for half the price and manually input the angle and distance to my kestrel as I currently do. It’s not ideal and the reason I was going to buy a 3500.com and 3200.com to do a head to head review. The fact of the matter - I take offense to someone ****ing down my neck and then try telling me it's raining.

Truth be told; I like the form factor of being able to use any bino I want and keep my kestrel 5700 Elite and CRF in my bino harness. In fact, I just used that system to hammer an early rifle buck here in Colorado at 840 yards on a +17º slope angle and manually inputted the previous mentioned values into my Kestrel to make the shot with my 7mm 08 and a 162 ELD-M. Firing solution was 5.2 MILS U / .1 Mil R. - I was at 10,700 buck at 11,500 - in case someone wants to fact check me lol.

Until Leica steps up and launch an “improved” housing in both products to complete the LINK < pun intended - I’ll pass on them and use a competitors CRF that gets similar distances at least they are not falsely claiming BT connectivity.

In closing; it’s apparent Leica knew all along there was an issue BUT marketing dollars spent and promises made of the much vaulted BT connectivity prevented a recall or a redesign of the housing. That is purely a corporate decision and literally says – LEICA does not care about the consumer. Fellow readers you can make your own decision - I've made mine.


 
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Texanjohn

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Thanks for bringing this to light, I guess I’ll stay with my Zeiss rangefinding binoculars and not spend the extra money yet.
 

C.O. Shooter

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I definitely had connection issues past 6 feet. Not a huge deal breaker for me though, as I can’t see myself using them apart from one another. Understandably, if I was running a wind vane yes. But the pair together, Leica and Kestrel, are awesome.
 

MAD10

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Attached is an update to my original post with Leica

In summary we consumers should not be asked to accept a single point of failure when its the very reason we are buying the product.
 

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