HotRodding a Detector.

OBeerWANKenobi

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I've searched and read a few threads around here and I'm in agreement that some sort of manufacturing tolerance is probably responsible for unit's that run "Hot" as far as sensitivity is concerned. After seeing verifiable evidence of meaningful detection distance variation between two units I'd like to dig deeper into this issue and see if we can brainstorm some DIY ways to "HotRod" a detector.

Since I have a couple R series detectors and the difference between my R3 and @GTO_04 's R1 was what I observed, along with a lot of evidence from other R series tests, I'd like to start out with what might be done to the R series detectors.

So, assuming that manufacturing tolerances or allowable defects are the reason for a detectors sensitivity difference, how might we leverage that to our advantage?

For example, maybe the die-cast horn has some flashing at the parting lines that could be carefully removed to help it resonate better with frequency?

What I'm after here is anything that someone here at RDF could conceivably do to tweak a little more sensitivity out of our detectors. I think if we put all our skills together, maybe we could tweak a few hundred feet out of a colder detector instead of using tactics like buying and returning detectors until we find that diamond.
 

InsipidMonkey

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Component variance likely has the largest effect on detector performance. Most components have a +/-5% or +/-10% tolerance, so when you propagate that over a number of components performance can vary. I'm sure units go through quality control checks to make sure performance falls within a certain range, but short of removing, testing, and replacing any components that exhibit high variance (or otherwise have the technology to finely tune the detector circuitry), there is nothing the end user can really do.

More discussion here: www.rdforum.org: What makes a Unit hot?
 

OBeerWANKenobi

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Component variance likely has the largest effect on detector performance. Most components have a +/-5% or +/-10% tolerance, so when you propagate that over a number of components performance can vary. I'm sure units go through quality control checks to make sure performance falls within a certain range, but short of removing, testing, and replacing any components that exhibit high variance (or otherwise have the technology to finely tune the detector circuitry), there is nothing the end user can really do.

More discussion here: www.rdforum.org: What makes a Unit hot?
Yup, I had read that thread.

Your last sentence is the kind of stuff I'm talking about.

Assuming that these detectors use their FW to automatically adjust noise floor and so on every time they start up and further assuming that there isn't some "one time only updating" done at the factory that causes internal FW/SW setting variations between detectors.....................

A change like optimizing the horn should be adjusted for automatically and programmatically.

Sure, these are some pretty big assumptions but they seem to make sense to me from a manufacturing standpoint.

I had my R3 apart the other day to fix the mount latch. I'd be willing to polish the horn or something else if some people with more knowledge about horn design than me believe it might help.
 

InsipidMonkey

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OBeerWANKenobi

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Haha!
The horn extensions seem like the car Hod Rod equivalent of a gigantic hood scoop!
I went through the threads there and it seems that they actually work.
Although I'm more interested in tweaks that are more, uh, "stealth", I suppose I could make a quick ghetto horn extension out of aluminum or some such and give it a whirl!
 

Choose Life

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Insipid is right again
Insipid is the type of person to check his own term paper
Realize hes got an A- with no way to answer one question without cheating
So he makes up his own extra credit question when theres no extra credit to be had
Teacher likes it so much decides to give him 100
 

BlueV1

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OBeerWANKenobi

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There's no wrong or right in a brainstorming thread ;) Only good ideas and bad ones! LOL

Insipid is right again
Insipid is the type of person to check his own term paper
Realize hes got an A- with no way to answer one question without cheating
So he makes up his own extra credit question when theres no extra credit to be had
Teacher likes it so much decides to give him 100
I used to get extra points for creative answers to questions I didn't know from my teachers. I found if I could make them laugh, they wouldn't mark full negative points. LOL
 

Choose Life

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There's no wrong or right in a brainstorming thread ;)



I used to get extra points for creative answers to questions I didn't know from my teachers. I found if I could make them laugh, they wouldn't mark full negative points. LOL
I wish i learned that talent much earlier in life
 

OBeerWANKenobi

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BlueV1

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InsipidMonkey

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Insipid is right again
Insipid is the type of person to check his own term paper
Realize hes got an A- with no way to answer one question without cheating
So he makes up his own extra credit question when theres no extra credit to be had
Teacher likes it so much decides to give him 100
bd6e8c7a27ec63c020998a2f4a61e7b7.gif


Edit: Sorry for the triple post, don't know what happened there. Mods, please delete the other two.
 
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thesilverbullet

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OBeerWANKenobi - i agree 100% and often wounder why there are not performance and feature mods for detectors. maybe fcc concerns for the the performance side? you would think there would a mod to self update the RLC database and custom alert tones for the r3.
 

xydrine

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OBeerWANKenobi - i agree 100% and often wounder why there are not performance and feature mods for detectors. maybe fcc concerns for the the performance side? you would think there would a mod to self update the RLC database and custom alert tones for the r3.
That's why we're creating the RDFGSv2 (including a hardware device to go with it), to cover down on the things that traditional devices/apps don't do. In the age of the hyper-enthusiast, app/hardware development, there's a much bigger market for this kind of thing than there was even just 5 years ago.
 

InsipidMonkey

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OBeerWANKenobi - i agree 100% and often wounder why there are not performance and feature mods for detectors. maybe fcc concerns for the the performance side? you would think there would a mod to self update the RLC database and custom alert tones for the r3.
Without manufacturer buy-in, it's going to be tough to develop these things ourselves. VR is the only company that has provided an API, and look at all of the amazing things developers here have been able to do with it!

Hopefully companies like Uniden and Radenso are paying attention and appreciate the boost an open API can provide, and are looking into ways to incorporate them into current or future models. Unfortunately, Escort owns the patent on built-in wireless connectivity for several more years, so this will likely have to be implemented with a dongle like VR has done.
 

Tallyho

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That's why we're creating the RDFGSv2 (including a hardware device to go with it), to cover down on the things that traditional devices/apps don't do. In the age of the hyper-enthusiast, app/hardware development, there's a much bigger market for this kind of thing than there was even just 5 years ago.
Wait, what???
 

OBeerWANKenobi

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So....I was looking at this..

58468.jpg


And I'm thinking to myself.....
There is a bit of room there to extend that horn internally.
Sure, it will get in the way of the laser sensor, but the R's suck detecting laser anyway....
Hmmmm....
 

xydrine

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Without manufacturer buy-in, it's going to be tough to develop these things ourselves. VR is the only company that has provided an API, and look at all of the amazing things developers here have been able to do with it!

Hopefully companies like Uniden and Radenso are paying attention and appreciate the boost an open API can provide, and are looking into ways to incorporate them into current or future models. Unfortunately, Escort owns the patent on built-in wireless connectivity for several more years, so this will likely have to be implemented with a dongle like VR has done.
I have no problem doing things outside of the mainstream/taking advantage of non-disclosed communications methods for the purposes of interaction between our apps/software/hardware and said devices. Sure an API would be great but sometimes you have to do things the hard way. Of course, I'm really talking about data interception, not modding of performance/etc features on devices, so it's a tad different than what you are mostly referring to.

Wait, what???
I've talked about it a lot, and though it's going to be something that's developed alongside the RDFGSv2 software, and is not 100% necessary for RDFGSv2 interaction, devboards/LCDs/displays and 3D printing has opened up a very big world of opportunities that we're going to be targeting with the project.
 

InsipidMonkey

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I have no problem doing things outside of the mainstream/taking advantage of non-disclosed communications methods for the purposes of interaction between our apps/software/hardware and said devices. Sure an API would be great but sometimes you have to do things the hard way. Of course, I'm really talking about data interception, not modding of performance/etc features on devices, so it's a tad different than what you are mostly referring to.
I was mostly responding to @thesilverbullet, but you bring up a good point. In order to have an RDFGS2.0 hardware device that truely integrates, there needs to be some form of communication between the detector and the device. This is not currently possible with the Radensos, and I don't believe the Unidens support any sort of serial data protocol over their RJ14 connectors. VR provides a serial data connection (and BT connectivity, in addition to a fully documented API), and I believe parts of the ALP BT protocol have been reverse engineered. Likewise, the Escort protocol is understood at some level (eg Escargot), but I'm not sure what the extent of the capabilities are. It will be really interesting to see how all of this pans out, with or without official manufacturer support :)

And I'm thinking to myself.....
There is a bit of room there to extend that horn internally.
Sure, it will get in the way of the laser sensor, but the R's suck detecting laser anyway....
OBeer, check out this discussion on RD condensers as well: https://www.rdforum.org/index.php?threads/51751/
The lens in front of the horn is important, and I'm guessing the geometry was designed that way for a reason. If not, why have so much empty space there?
 

OBeerWANKenobi

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OBeer, check out this discussion on RD condensers as well: https://www.rdforum.org/index.php?threads/51751/
The lens in front of the horn is important, and I'm guessing the geometry was designed that way for a reason. If not, why have so much empty space there?
This post https://www.rdforum.org/index.php?threads/51751/#post-699657
actually encourages me to give something a try. Also, IIRC, there isn't much shaping to the lens on the R series.

From what I gather, the space in front of the horn shouldn't do very much, it's all in the thickness and shape of the plastic in the condenser lens which is used to change the shape of the waveform to compensate for a short antenna. Does that seem accurate?
 
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So....I was looking at this..

58468.jpg


And I'm thinking to myself.....
There is a bit of room there to extend that horn internally.
Sure, it will get in the way of the laser sensor, but the R's suck detecting laser anyway....
Hmmmm....
I really don't think a modern detector is "user modifiable" to improve performance. Back in 1987 I had a Bel 844 Express LR detector. The "LR" version cost just a bit more and stood for long range. They were removed from the assembly line where the 844 models were made and then re-tuned by hand to much more precise specs. They claimed a boost in raw performance by doing this. As I recall it was a beast on K band.

I think this would be your best bet or approach for what you are trying to do. Try and talk Uniden into offering this as a service upgrade or something. I just don't think you trying to modify your very expensive and complex piece of modern electronics on your own will turn out well.
 

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