From here:

“Who cares if it doesn’t fly all that great, the damn things fly off retailer’s shelves because they are such eye candy.”

This was a comment from a manufacturer when I asked them why they were planning to sell a product that I’ve tested and verified to be very poor quality. In one sentence, this manufacturer summed up exactly what is wrong with a large number of vendors selling equipment. As a business, the primary goal is to make money. Otherwise, the business won’t last long. Some businesses try to make money by selling whatever they can get their hands on, often “tricking” the public with clever marketing campaigns. Quality isn’t as important as marketing and quick sales, very little thought seems to go obtaining high quality equipment , and supporting the equipment they sell is usually the last thing on their minds. I, on the other hand, feel that the best way to continue to stay in business for the long term is to give the customers the best equipment and support possible. I’m not going to try to trick someone or sell them something that is junk just to make a few dollars. I can’t continue to sell equipment because it is a “trend” when I know that the equipment is poor quality or equipment that the manufacturer offers no support when there are problems.

I’ve always striven to offer the best products and the best customer service possible. In the past, I’ve discontinued products that didn’t live up to my performance and/or reliability expectations. Sometimes, even if there are minor reliability issues, I can continue to carry products if the manufacturers show that they are willing to back up their products and are also willing to make improvements to remedy the reliability issues. Other times, I have tolerated equipment that had lower quality standards than I would have expected just because the public demand for that particular brand was high enough, and I didn’t want to go against public opinion.

We’ve tested and rejected equipment from Hubsan, AEORC, Boscam, and many others. All of those products could not live up to our quality standards. Unfortunately, due to the continued quality and performance issues I’ve been seeing with Lawmate equipment, and because of the manufacturer’s unwillingness to remedy the problem, or even repair or replace faulty units that have been return to them, I can no longer justify carrying their equipment. Unfortunately, for some, the Lawmate name has gotten a reputation for quality and performance, but my long term experience shows otherwise. Although many people have had good success with Lawmate equipment, the failure rate has been many times that of any of the other video transmitters and receivers I sell, and it’s even worse than some products that I’ve already discontinued because of quality issues.

So, the short reason for dropping Lawmate equipment is because there have been many long term problems with Lawmate transmitters and receivers, and the manufacturer has refused to even admit that there are problems. While Lawmate has looked for excuses to keep from replacing faulty items and refuses to make any changes to remedy their design flaws, other manufacturers are asking us how to improve their products and making changes based on our suggestions. Some of the problems with the Lawmate equipment seem to be from poor design, and some are just because of sloppy manufacturing.

If you have time to read it, here is a longer summary of the issues I’ve been seeing with the equipment:
• Incompatible with many small video monitors and portable DVD players, especially if the impedance of the monitor isn’t a “perfect” 75 Ohms. Unfortunately, there is a lot of equipment that doesn’t fit the video standard “perfectly”, and other receivers can tolerate some variation in the video impedance, but Lawmate receivers will do some very strange things if the video impedance of the display isn’t perfect, and sometimes if there is just a video coupler inline. The resulting problems can include distorted video, no video at all, and sometimes it can even cause the receiver to tune to a totally different frequency than it is set to. Lawmate’s solution? “Just add a 75 Ohm resistor to the video line”. For anyone that understands impedance and video equipment, they would understand quickly how this shows that Lawmate doesn’t even understand the products that they are supplying. This issue has caused a significant amount of frustration for customers, and has cost us significant amount of time for customer service.
• Audio signal is distorted. This has been a big problem for systems using the audio line for telemetry. This is bad engineering and they have no desire to fix it.
• Video levels are often significantly distorted. This can cause lots of issues, often brought out when OSD’s or other overlays are included in the video signal. All the wireless equipment can affect the video levels, but I’ve seen more problems with the Lawmate equipment than with any other brand.
• Often not compatible with other brand transmitters. I’ve seen some very strange behavior when used with other brand video transmitters. I’ve had to help customers work through this, and often the receivers have to be set to a totally different (wrong) channel to get them to work with other transmitters that were verified to be on the correct frequency. I honestly have no idea what’s going on with this.

• I’ve had continued and repeated issues with Lawmate supplying transmitters with power/video cables that were either not soldered properly, or the wires were too thin to be up to the task of transferring the power or signal. I’ve seen these wires literally fall off of the transmitters before they were even touched. I sent a large batch of these back to Lawmate, and they actually want to CHARGE ME to fix the wires so they can decide if there are any problems with the transmitters. This was the reason they were sent back, and it was how they were delivered to me, yet they want to charge me to even look at them. The problem with thin wires has occasionally also caused some of the transmitters to shift frequency or output low power because the ground connection was so poor.
• I’ve had continued issues with transmitters not staying on frequency, or not working with some cameras. Again, the impedance on the video line may have something to do with this, but the failure rate for Lawmate transmitters compared to other brands for this type of reason is at least 5:1.
• Audio levels being distorted. This is similar to the issues I’ve seen with their receivers, and can make operation with audio based telemetry nearly impossible with some combinations.
• Manufacturer’s unwillingness to lock transmitters or to offer US legal versions. All the other manufacturers are able to lock their transmitters at the factory, and they don’t charge extra for this. Lawmate initially didn’t want to have anything to do with locking the transmitters, and later after some pressure said they were willing to lock them if I paid more for the transmitters and ordered a quantity much larger than I have ordered from any manufacturer to date. Add to this the complete lack of US legal versions of the 500mW and 100mW 1.2GHz transmitters, and their unwillingness to modify their design, and I can definitely see how they care about their customers.

I must say that this decision has been very difficult. There are still people that have and will have good results, and some that will still say that Lawmate is the best brand out there. People can have very strong brand loyalty and opinions when it comes to equipment like this. I can say, without hesitation, that Lawmate equipment is far from the best choice for quality FPV equipment. They aren’t the best performing. They aren’t the most reliable. Most people have anecdotal evidence for their opinions, but I have the history of shipping and supporting thousands of wireless video systems, and the Lawmate equipment just doesn’t measure up to even the lowest price “budget” systems I carry. I have been avoiding speaking out about all the Lawmate problems so I don’t start any of the forum arguments about the issues, but at this point I must. You should be aware that this has been a large hit monetarily for me as well. Not only have I lost the large number of transmitters that I had to ship back to Lawmate which they are refusing to repair or replace. I’ve had to pay for shipping to exchange them for customers in the first place. I have 1000 custom designed and built power supplies sitting here that were designed specifically to plug in to the 5V Lawmate transmitters and supply clean 5V power to the TX and camera from a 2s-4s lipo. This was a large investment, but I’m willing to lose it or sell them off at a discount rather than to continue to carry inferior products.

If you purchased Lawmate equipment from us, we’re still here to support you! If you are having good results, as actually the majority of people will, then continue to use the products. If you have problems relating to the quality of the Lawmate equipment, then contact us on our support system and we’ll get you taken care of.

Tim Stanfield
President: Ready Made RC, LLC