Manual Laser Lockouts Mystery . . . All Escort GPS Models

Discussion in 'Escort' started by poolmon, Oct 11, 2018.

  1. poolmon

    poolmon PSL +5 Intermediate User

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    Each of my GPS equipped Escort Detectors (9500ix, MAX, MAX 360c) has been able to manually lock out fixed-location laser Band Alerts (such as speed cameras and some toll booths). However, none of these models have been able to retain their laser lockouts for any reliable length of time. A manual laser band Lockout might last a day or it might last a week or two.

    According to ER, laser does not drift with temperature changes like radar can, so drift should not be a cause. Also according to ER, manual laser lockouts can be removed by AutoUnlearn if they are not present at a locked out location (either moved or turned off) and the AutoUnlearn's algorithm unlearns it after so many passes with no signal.

    I pass some 24/7/365 (not moved or turned off) noisy Poliscan laser speed cameras on a daily basis which I manually lock out. The problem is that these laser band Lockouts (not talking about the accompanying GPS voice alerts) are not reliably retained and require a triple press of the Mute button to re-lock out every so often. Now I did send my MAX back to ER to have this specific issue addressed but they found no problem. However, on my end the issue was still presenting after its return.

    I'm wondering if the issue might somehow involve the extremely long "laser latch time" ER incorporates into its RDs (as opposed to radar latch time). What I mean by this is that when I lock out a radar source it's usually during the active radar signal I am receiving and is reflecting all over the place. With respect to laser, the hit may be so brief due to it's narrow beam(s) that when I execute the manual lockout with the triple-press of mute, the Display is still signaling Laser and the Lockout is shown as successful, but at that point the RD may no longer be truly receiving the laser's actual signal because the alert is merely "latched" by ER's software for maybe 5 to 10 seconds after the signal is lost.

    I have tossed this possibility out on the ERF but it never went anywhere. I was wondering if anyone here may have run into this or tested the manual laser lockout with the laser beam actively hitting the RD vs locking it out during the extended latch period where the actual signal is missing? I have not been able to pin-down this non-retention of manual laser lockouts issue which affects all the ER GPS models that I have owned.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2018
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  2. Carbuff2

    Carbuff2 Lightness = Speed General User

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    Perhaps the loss of 'memory' is due to drift on the GPS signal coordinates? (Just guessing)

    We don't have any local speed cameras, but I also need to 're-learn' lockouts on "YOUR SPEED IS" signs on occasion. Signal frequency doesn't seem to change nor does the range of the sign's signal.

    Anyone who uses a GPS sat-nav with an elevation display can observe that this value will vary, even sitting at a traffic light. (Elevation is not 'snapped' to a road on a map.)

    Additionally, our GPS occasionally tells me I'm below sea level even though I'm not under water. ;)
     
  3. Vortex

    Vortex Making Videos Administrator Advanced User Premium Member

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    Interesting idea. Do you have a laser tester of some sort or some way to trigger a laser alert? If so, you could try creating a lockout while stationary, say in your driveway, and then keep retesting it over the next few days to see if the lockout continues to stick over time or not.
     
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  4. poolmon

    poolmon PSL +5 Intermediate User

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    Interesting Comments.
    The reason I don't think it's GPS drift is that the Marked Location GPS Voice warnings (as opposed to the locked-out frequency Band warnings) for each such camera remains spot-on with their feet-to-camera distance countdown and the camera arrival announcement.

    I too have to sometimes re-lockout "Your Speed Is" signs. However, each such one was radar based as opposed to laser.

    I welcome all thoughts and ideas as I've yet to stumble across an answer. I've even tested to see if perhaps updating the Software or Database could affect/erase the manual laser lockouts and neither does.
    --- Double Post Merged, Oct 11, 2018, Original Post Date: Oct 11, 2018 ---
    Unfortunately I do not have a laser source.
    I've always used one of the Poliscan speed cameras to test both my RD & shifters since we have so many cameras here.
     
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  5. westwind77

    westwind77 Premium Member Advanced User Premium Member

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    I would highly doubt that ER uses elevation in regards to their 'auto-lock outs'. I'm sure it is set to ignore that parameter and only use lat/long.
     
  6. Carbuff2

    Carbuff2 Lightness = Speed General User

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    It is not that they use elevation for location...That example was just used because on a SatNav the elev readout isn't 'locked' onto a map coordinate. Its just that the accuracy/repeatability of the GPS signal calibration is not consistent. Might have something to do with positioning of the satellite signals day to day.

    Our Garmin and our Max take about the same time to display a speed after not being used for a couple days. (~ 1.5 miles)
     
  7. westwind77

    westwind77 Premium Member Advanced User Premium Member

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    I deal with GPS a lot with my line of work....yes it take a bit to acquire the signal once the unit has been powered down, the longer down the longer to get a fix. Once it locks onto the birds then the position is typically very accurate and will continue to be. The only time you will run into issues is if you happen to be running in the city with a lot of building as they will block a lot of birds at angles reducing the accuracy. Assuming the RD has a clear view as it has a lock there should be little to no issue with position. You can verify that with EL on the map as well.
     
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  8. LazerBoi64

    LazerBoi64 Learning to Drive General User

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    If you have a newer phone, there's a good chance it has an IR LED on the front which is used to keep the phone on when you're looking at it. Wave the front of your unlocked phone in front of your RD for several seconds to see if it triggers the laser detector. I have not tried this myself, but I have read numerous reports of detectors falsing due to these emitters. Good luck!
     
  9. poolmon

    poolmon PSL +5 Intermediate User

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    I have an old flip phone so I will be unable to test with it.

    Interestingly, a couple of weeks back I had a dealer loaner Acura with a large Navigation screen. I had my 360c with me and after I plugged it in, as I moved it toward its mount, the car's NAV Screen set off the laser alert in the detector (per your comment).

    I guess I will have to wait until someone with a radar gun,some excess time on their hands, and the desire to try to solve a mystery gives it a try.
     
  10. johnboy00

    johnboy00 Geaux Tigers! Advanced User Premium Member

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    Below sea level doesn't mean under water.

    Anyway, GPS elevation uses a simplistic geometric formula. It's so far off from true elevation in many parts of the USA that I stopped showing it in my app.
     
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  11. TJP

    TJP Learning to Fly Beginner User

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    Hi poolmon. I also live in Maryland, but I welcome all those laser alerts from speed and red light cameras. They continue to remind me to be cautious while driving hereabouts and reconfirm the excellent laser detection ability of my 9500ix.
     
  12. poolmon

    poolmon PSL +5 Intermediate User

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    I lock out only those I encounter on a daily commute (which is a lot). It really helps with the noise, especially since my shifters are also sounding at the same time (unless it was a rear shot, which the front-only shifters cannot normally pick up, but the RD can through its rear facing light tube).

    I still get the GPS Voice alert for those locked-out on the RD. For any newer laser cameras I still get both the Band and Voice alerts which I like in areas with which I am not familiar.
    Just wish I could figure out why those laser lockouts only hold for a short period of time. I first noticed the issue with my 9500ix and it persists through both a MAX, and now the 360c.

    On the 9500ix I could back up the lockouts on my computer, but unfortunately the individual lockout files could not be viewed to see if they were still there. I believe Escort has that capability because when I sent in my MAX to check for this laser lockout issue they told me they did not see any laser lockouts in its memory (after I had recently stored some additional ones).
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2018 at 9:51 AM
  13. sdrawkcab

    sdrawkcab sdrawkcaB|Backwards Advanced User Premium Member

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    Escort's "Auto Learn" feature is also an "Auto Forget" feature as well. Four subsequent passes through a lockout without a matching signal and it will be forgotten completely.

    Here's a theory. What if the lockout radius for laser is hard set to be smaller than it is for Radar? What if the lockouts when programmed, are not overlapping, and you are actually programming a few different lockouts in that actual physical area? And... perhaps when you encounter the laser alert, you are actually "skipping" an existing lockout one time, then making a new one as you lock it out again with a GPS coordinate that is a few hundred feet off. You go through the area a few times, and the laser alert is early or late, enough so that a single lockout may get missed 4 times and be forgotten...

    I know you said you have a flip phone, and possibly not a smart phone...
    You could check this theory if you had a detector with bluetooth and a mobile smart phone. When lockouts are made and you have your detector paired to your smart phone, the lockouts will be synchronized to your phone, and stored online on your escort live account. A paid subscription is not needed in order to store your lockouts, that is available with the free account level. If you could use a smart phone with a bluetooth connected detector, you'd be able to open up the app when you get home and see a map of your lockouts. You could do this every evening after getting home, and see if they're changing... new, removed, etc.
     
  14. poolmon

    poolmon PSL +5 Intermediate User

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    Very interesting idea on the lockout radius.
    I'm wondering why Escort indicated it could find no laser lockouts on my MAX at all when I sent it in (having recently re-locked a few before I shipped it).
    I'm wondering what level of file detail they can access in its memory (lockouts vs GPS passes 1-3).

    Unfortunately my flip phone is not a smart phone so I can't try the Bluetooth test.