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Thread: Why did Bel replace the S7 antenna with the M4?

[P] Discussion related to Beltronics radar detectors and Beltronics radar detector accessories.

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    Why did Bel replace the S7 antenna with the M4?

    I keep reading about how the S7 antenna is superior in off axis sensitivity. Why would Bel go to a less sensitive antenna? Also how much difference is there between the two antennas? TIA

  2. #2
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    S7 = good off axis not so good reliability and more costly to make.

    M4 = Better long range, not as good off axis, better reliability, and more cost effective to make.

    I found the M4 though not as hot off axis as the S7, the decrease in bogus falses is a blessing, and the long range was more than sufficient.
    I use: Max with super DNA! 9500CI/ZR4 - LI Dual/ALP tri - RedLine - LIVE - V1 3.872/.893 YaV1{1,7,b,E,F,G (l/L)} I have used: 9500I Blue=x1 upgraded to ix. - 9500I Red=x2 - 8500 x1, 8500X50 Black, SmartRadar, PRO300, old Bel 9??, K40.


    -No one detector is perfect for everyone. And the one you donít like may be perfect for someone else.


    "trust, but verify"

    My install: http://www.rdforum.org/showthread.php?t=37598

    Old TL install: http://www.radardetectorforum.org/showthread.php?t=9654


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    Wasn't the S7 a welded antenna? That is why is was more expensive and less reliable.
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    Quote Originally Posted by CJR238 View Post
    S7 = good off axis not so good reliability and more costly to make.

    M4 = Better long range, not as good off axis, better reliability, and more cost effective to make.

    I found the M4 though not as hot off axis as the S7, the decrease in bogus falses is a blessing, and the long range was more than sufficient.
    The S7 platform did not like being subjected to high heat. I gave my wife my 8500x50 and she never took it down and it cooked and froze for a year and starting giving self cal errors. I got the 8500x50 repaired, but she never gave me the 9500i back and as much as she abuses that unit it still works really well.
    Last edited by Rocky2; 04-28-2012 at 12:00 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by fire65 View Post
    Wasn't the S7 a welded antenna? That is why is was more expensive and less reliable.
    No welding involved.

    The M4 is a one piece casting using the PCB board as the bottom half of the horn while the S7 is a two piece casting.

    M4 antenna:


    S7 antenna:



    Pictures curtsy of Nine_C1 from here: http://www.rdforum.org/general-radar-detector-discussion/8727-comparing-horns-m4-s7-m2.html
    I use: Max with super DNA! 9500CI/ZR4 - LI Dual/ALP tri - RedLine - LIVE - V1 3.872/.893 YaV1{1,7,b,E,F,G (l/L)} I have used: 9500I Blue=x1 upgraded to ix. - 9500I Red=x2 - 8500 x1, 8500X50 Black, SmartRadar, PRO300, old Bel 9??, K40.


    -No one detector is perfect for everyone. And the one you donít like may be perfect for someone else.


    "trust, but verify"

    My install: http://www.rdforum.org/showthread.php?t=37598

    Old TL install: http://www.radardetectorforum.org/showthread.php?t=9654


  7. The Following 6 Users Say Thank You to CJR238 For This Useful Post:

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    Less falses is a very worthy improvement as long as sensitivity hasn't changed. Thank you guys for the info and pics.

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    I have an S7 I purchased in 04. It has needed service once, and it lives on my wife's windshield...in SW FL, outside. (No garage space for that car) I have not experienced better range with my 9500ix than my S7. On-axis, they are comparable. Off, axis the S7 is more sensitive than the M4.

    My guess regarding motivations for switching to the M4 platform would be false alarm reduction, and money.


    And I really wish they had worked out the ramp-up before they committed to the platform.
    Past: Vector 985, RX 65, a couple Bel "express" units, ZR3, Vector 995 with TSR
    Present: X50 Rev 5 (S7), 9500ix, SRX, V1 3.864, ZR3, ZR4, LP 905 (Tied to the 9500ix), C100, STi-R,

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    Noticed that the s7 antenna has a full horn and so is level when the RD is level. The M4 is 3/4 of a horn using the circuit board as the "missing" surface. The M3 horn is simular. This means that when the detector is level the horn will be pointed a few degrees up or down depending on if the circuit board makes the upper or lower horn surface.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cusp View Post
    Noticed that the s7 antenna has a full horn and so is level when the RD is level. The M4 is 3/4 of a horn using the circuit board as the "missing" surface. The M3 horn is simular. This means that when the detector is level the horn will be pointed a few degrees up or down depending on if the circuit board makes the upper or lower horn surface.
    Interesting.

    Now you made it so people will be up at night either:
    a) trying to figure out if the RD should be level or pointed slightly down
    b) trying to figure out if there's enough logistics to fit this into the ECCGT test

    Not to scale:
    噢,這真是個快樂的進展

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    Quote Originally Posted by zr1 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Cusp View Post
    Noticed that the s7 antenna has a full horn and so is level when the RD is level. The M4 is 3/4 of a horn using the circuit board as the "missing" surface. The M3 horn is simular. This means that when the detector is level the horn will be pointed a few degrees up or down depending on if the circuit board makes the upper or lower horn surface.
    Interesting.

    Now you made it so people will be up at night either:
    a) trying to figure out if the RD should be level or pointed slightly down
    b) trying to figure out if there's enough logistics to fit this into the ECCGT test

    Not to scale:
    With the M4 design and depending on the model a slight angle up or down can assist performance ever so slightly. MEM-TEK and i discussed this quite a bit. Its also why we beveled the M4 in the 9500I did better than the M4 in the X50's since the antenna is upside down in the 9500I/IX. Basically allowing it to pick up reflections off the road/hood better.

    This picture is of a 9500I:


    I like this antenna set up because you can block the top half of the 9500I/IX with out loosing performance.

    9500I/IX can be tilted ever so slightly up with no issues. .
    Other M4's can be tilted ever so slightly down with no issues.
    I use: Max with super DNA! 9500CI/ZR4 - LI Dual/ALP tri - RedLine - LIVE - V1 3.872/.893 YaV1{1,7,b,E,F,G (l/L)} I have used: 9500I Blue=x1 upgraded to ix. - 9500I Red=x2 - 8500 x1, 8500X50 Black, SmartRadar, PRO300, old Bel 9??, K40.


    -No one detector is perfect for everyone. And the one you donít like may be perfect for someone else.


    "trust, but verify"

    My install: http://www.rdforum.org/showthread.php?t=37598

    Old TL install: http://www.radardetectorforum.org/showthread.php?t=9654


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