TXCTG - R7 City Mode and Adv K=30% vs V1 and Max 360 K-Band Testing #1 - Van Alstyne - 06-08-2019 (1 Viewer)

Brainstorm69

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INTRO

So I’ve been wanting to do some testing of the R7 in City mode and in Adv with K=30% to see how it compares to other arrowed detectors, and I finally decided yesterday to run up to my Van Alstyne course and just get it done. A very spur of the moment decision.

DETECTORS
  • R7 – (fw R7 124.124.111 beta) – City mode and Adv mode K=30%, Ka narrow, K wide, KF on, TSF on, K Block on, MRCD off, X-Band off.
  • V1 – (fw 3.8945) – Custom sweeps (a single set of sweeps as close to 34.7 and 35.5 +/- 100 MHz as possible), TMF2 on, X-Band off.
  • Max 360 – (fw 1.10 SN 79xxxxxx) – Hwy mode, TSR off, X-Band off.
RADAR GUN

Bushnell Velocity Speed Gun

COURSE

Well, you've seen it before, it’s the Van Alstyne course in Van Alstyne, TX. I did things a little differently and turned the course around so the radar source was at the high school and the start was down the road. This was mainly because the place I normally put the radar gun was quite overgrown with weeds, etc., and we are getting into chigger season here in Texas. It was much easier to put the radar gun on the mowed HS grounds. The brick wall I set it on was angled about 20 degrees across the road (which made detection distances much shorter), but I did want some difficulty to the course anyway. The radar gun was also a little over 100 feet off the roadway. Here are some pics to help visualize things.

Van Alstyne Course.jpg


K-Band Gun Angle Van Alstyne 6-8-2019.jpg


K-Band Gun Distance Van Alstyne 6-8-2019.jpg


And here is a video of the course (V1 first run) [please ignore the time/date stamp, I think my capacitor has finally bit the dust in my dashcam and it won't keep the date after its sat overnight]



RESULTS

Front Detections K-band (Table by Detector, Table by Ranked Avg, Graph by Ranked Avg)


TXCTG K-Band Front Detection Range Table (By Detector) Van Alstyne 6-8-2019.jpg


TXCTG K-Band Front Detection Range Table (By Ranked Avg) Van Alstyne 6-8-2019.jpg



TXCTG K-Band Front Detection Range Graph (By Ranked Avg) Van Alstyne 6-8-2019.jpg


Commentary Front Detections K-Band

  • The R7 (Adv K=30%) led the way with three pretty consistent detections, but didn’t get the longest front detection of the day, which went to the V1.
  • The V1 was next, at 89% of the average R7 Adv K=30% detection. So pretty close. Its longest of the day detection helped its average.
  • The Max 360 was not far behind at about 87% of the average R7 Adv K=30% detection.
  • The R7 (City mode) brought up the back-end of front detections, as you might expect. But not by much. It was still able to squeak out 81% of the average R7 Adv K=30% detection. And considering it was going up against a V1 and Max at full K-band strength, not a bad showing at all.

Rear Detections K-band (Table by Detector, Table by Ranked Avg, Graph by Ranked Avg)

TXCTG K-Band Rear Detection Range Table (By Detector) Van Alstyne 6-8-2019.jpg


TXCTG K-Band Rear Detection Range Table (By Ranked Avg) Van Alstyne 6-8-2019.jpg


TXCTG K-Band Rear Detection Range Graph (By Ranked Avg) Van Alstyne 6-8-2019.jpg



Commentary Rear Detections K-Band

  • The V1 whupped the field in rear detection. It lost the signal on each of its runs at around the same point as the other detectors, but it was the only detector that then reacquired the signal after that point, for an impressive margin of victory (about 50% longer than the others).
  • The R7 (Adv K=30%) took second place, but I was surprised by how little it beat itself in City mode (a mere 2% of the leader’s average.). With the gun 100 feet off the roadway, and some vegetation between the radar and the road, it apparently made for a tough rear detection scenario.
  • The R7 in City mode did well enough considering it was able to just beat by the Max 360 by the very slimmest of margins (virtual tie).
  • The Max 360 brought up the back although in a virtual tie with the R7 in City mode. Frankly, I expected more of it, given that it has done pretty well on K-band tests in the past.

FINAL THOUGHTS

As I said in the intro, I was interested to see how the R7 in City and Adv K=30% would fare against the V1 and Max 360 at full strength. In general, I think it did pretty well. In this test, the V1 and Max 360 were nestled just in between R7 City mode and Adv K=30% on the front detections. However, the rear detections showed the V1 to be the clear leader in rear detection in this test. I was surprised the R7 in Adv K=30% wasn’t able to match the V1 in rear detections given the front detection results. But the R7 in City was the equal of the Max 360, which is saying something.

I will end with my usual admonishment: This is just one test. Don’t base your opinion of a detector on just one test. You need to look at various tests, by various people, at various times, on various courses to try to get to a complete picture of a detector. So make sure to look at as many tests as you can, and find out as much information as you can so you can make an informed opinion about a detector.
 
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InsipidMonkey

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Thanks for the testing @Brainstorm69! This is great data to have, as many of us cannot run in Highway mode due to frequent falsing. Having a more apples to apples comparison of K band settings for daily use is extremely helpful!

How does the filtering of the Max 360 in Highway mode with TSF off compare to the R7 and V1 when configured as above? Does running in Auto mode have a significant impact on K band sensitivity?

The R7 and V1 results make sense in light of the detector sensitivities Attowave reported (see below), and the decrease in sensitivity at 30% (-10.5 dB) and City (-15 dB) that would be expected from here: Uniden R1/R3 Advanced Mode Sensitivity Calculations

Assuming the R7 is approximately equal to the R1/R3 sensitivity (probably ~1 dB more sensitive due to the redesigned condenser lens), the R7 has a K band sensitivity on the front horn of -123 dB in Highway mode. Running Adv 30% would lower the effective sensitivity to -112.5 dB, which is slightly less than the V1's reported front horn K band sensitivity of -113 dB. In the above test, the V1 and R7 at 30% are quite similar, with the V1 edging out the R7 in one run.

In City mode, the R7's front horn effective sensitivity on K band would be -108 dB, which is the same as the V1's rear horn on K band. Comparing the V1's rear run (max 0.745, avg 0.723) with the R7's front run on City mode (0.635 max, 0.631 avg), it's close but not quite the same. I wonder if additional filtering is being applied to the R7's rear horn?

For some reason, the Max360's reported sensitivities don't translate to the real-world results seen here. The front antenna is reported to have a sensitivity of -117 dB, and would thus be expected to outperform the V1 and R7 in this test by at least 35%, which clearly was not the case. Additionally, the rear antenna is reported to have the same sensitivity as the V1's rear antenna, but lagged significantly behind in this test (avg of 0.446 for the 360 vs 0.723 for the V1). I'm not sure why there is such a discrepancy, maybe firmware/filtering effects?

Detector sensitivities as measured by Attowave (eg Uniden):
121511
 

Brainstorm69

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Thanks for the testing @Brainstorm69! This is great data to have, as many of us cannot run in Highway mode due to frequent falsing. Having a more apples to apples comparison of K band settings for daily use is extremely helpful!

How does the filtering of the Max 360 in Highway mode with TSF off compare to the R7 and V1 when configured as above? Does running in Auto mode have a significant impact on K band sensitivity?

The R7 and V1 results make sense in light of the detector sensitivities Attowave reported (see below), and the decrease in sensitivity at 30% (-10.5 dB) and City (-15 dB) that would be expected from here: Uniden R1/R3 Advanced Mode Sensitivity Calculations

Assuming the R7 is approximately equal to the R1/R3 sensitivity (probably ~1 dB more sensitive due to the redesigned condenser lens), the R7 has a K band sensitivity on the front horn of -123 dB in Highway mode. Running Adv 30% would lower the effective sensitivity to -112.5 dB, which is slightly less than the V1's reported front horn K band sensitivity of -113 dB. In the above test, the V1 and R7 at 30% are quite similar, with the V1 edging out the R7 in one run.

In City mode, the R7's front horn effective sensitivity on K band would be -108 dB, which is the same as the V1's rear horn on K band. Comparing the V1's rear run (max 0.745, avg 0.723) with the R7's front run on City mode (0.635 max, 0.631 avg), it's close but not quite the same. I wonder if additional filtering is being applied to the R7's rear horn?

For some reason, the Max360's reported sensitivities don't translate to the real-world results seen here. The front antenna is reported to have a sensitivity of -117 dB, and would thus be expected to outperform the V1 and R7 in this test by at least 35%, which clearly was not the case. Additionally, the rear antenna is reported to have the same sensitivity as the V1's rear antenna, but lagged significantly behind in this test (avg of 0.446 for the 360 vs 0.723 for the V1). I'm not sure why there is such a discrepancy, maybe firmware/filtering effects?

Detector sensitivities as measured by Attowave (eg Uniden):
View attachment 121511
The Max 360 in Hwy mode w/TSR off is still very quiet as far as BSMs go. In fact, I drove up to Van Alstyne with the Max 360 set up that way just because I haven't driven with it in awhile. It's quieter than either the R7 (Adv K=30%) fully filtered or the V1 with TMF2 on IMO. I don't see any need to run it with TSR on unless you face traffic sensors and I don't personally see any reason to put it in Auto mode at all, especially once it has auto locked out all the stationary falses you normally see.

As far as the K-band sensitivity between R7 in City and V1, I assume (could be wrong) that the figures in the table are for unfiltered K-band. In this test, I had both units running fully filtered. Maybe that explains the difference?

As for the Max 360's reported sensitivity, that chart was done many moons ago. Probably even before Escort implemented IVT in any meaningful way on the Max 360. Also, there may be some component of off-axis, since the radar gun was a little over 100 ft off the roadway. And we all know how good Escort's M4-based products are at off-axis.

Yeah, lots of things to think about regarding why the results came out as they did.
 
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Elcid2015

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Awesome testing! Much appreciated! How did you test the rear sensitivities? By just driving away from the source with the detector facing the normal direction? Or by rotating the detector 180° and driving towards the source?
 

Brainstorm69

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Awesome testing! Much appreciated! How did you test the rear sensitivities? By just driving away from the source with the detector facing the normal direction? Or by rotating the detector 180° and driving towards the source?
Just by driving away from the radar gun. I haven't got the mounts to swivel everything 180°, although I'd like to be able to do it that way someday. Those results would be a bit more accurate as they would take latch out of the equation.
 

Jag42

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Awesome testing and presentation :)
 

Brainstorm69

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I love this testing. It’s the kind of thing that’s constantly speculated about and tested tangentially, and it’s great to see it approached head-on. Thank you!
Yeah, I know I've done a little R7 City mode testing on K-Band, but I've really wanted to do some testing that that more fully tested City and K=30% to see how they can hold up to the V1 and Max 360, since many with an R7 do need to dial K-band back in and near the city, and many of those folks also face real K-band threats. I wanted to do some testing to give those folks some idea of how a dialed back R7 compares to the V1 and Max 360. Although let's remember, it's just one test. ;)
 

milkman

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Thanks for testing there ole buddy! Another EXCELLENT JOB my friend! The V1 did pretty good on this test.
 

asleeper

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This is one area where testing to date has been limited and I'm not surprised by the results, the there was little spread between the three. Filtering settings (or penalty if you want to look at it that way) tend to "even" the playing field somewhat in terms of range and IMO, the biggest challenge for RD manufacturers is finding the right balance between range and sensitivity because you can't make everyone happy. Some will always want more range while others prefer a quieter ride. With that said
, thanks @Brainstorm69 for a well planned/run test.
 

Brainstorm69

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This is one area where testing to date has been limited and I'm not surprised by the results, the there was little spread between the three. Filtering settings (or penalty if you want to look at it that way) tend to "even" the playing field somewhat in terms of range and IMO, the biggest challenge for RD manufacturers is finding the right balance between range and sensitivity because you can't make everyone happy. Some will always want more range while others prefer a quieter ride. With that said, thanks @Brainstorm69 for a well planned/run test.
Agree with you about that ATM (by sensitivity, I assume you mean sensitivity to BSM), but hopefully that will change. For now, I think having variable sensitivity helps.
-- Double Post Merged: --
All, I modified the tables in my original post to make it easier to distinguish between the R7 in City and Adv modes. Also included the raw distance in meters for each run in the Tables by Detector for those that live in metric lands.
 
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croup

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Well done. Thanks as always and due to my terrain and multiple K band guns in use in my area, I have never even considered dialing back any of my R detectors. However, coming directly from the V1 to all of the R series models, this at least gives me much food for thought.
 

Brainstorm69

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As for the Max 360's reported sensitivity, that chart was done many moons ago. Probably even before Escort implemented IVT in any meaningful way on the Max 360. Also, there may be some component of off-axis, since the radar gun was a little over 100 ft off the roadway. And we all know how good Escort's M4-based products are at off-axis.
@InsipidMonkey - I went back and checked. That chart is from back in March of 2017. Max 360 fw 1.6 (the first "real" IVT implementation on the Max 360) didn't come out until Aug 2017. So those numbers are definitely pre-IVT for the Max 360.
 

BlueV1

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So, if someone wanted to match the V1 in this test, maybe set K to 50% or 60% on the R?
 

asleeper

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Agree with you about that ATM (by sensitivity, I assume you mean sensitivity to BSM), but hopefully that will change. For now, I think having variable sensitivity helps.
-- Double Post Merged: --
All, I modified the tables in my original post to make it easier to distinguish between the R7 in City and Adv modes. Also included the raw distance in meters for each run in the Tables by Detector for those that live in metric lands.
Correct, what I meant to say is finding the balance between filtering and range/sensitivity. Agreed on the point between having variable filtering settings. It's not a perfect solution but for the time being it's probably the best option for anyone driving in areas where K band is used.
 

InsipidMonkey

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@InsipidMonkey - I went back and checked. That chart is from back in March of 2017. Max 360 fw 1.6 (the first "real" IVT implementation on the Max 360) didn't come out until Aug 2017. So those numbers are definitely pre-IVT for the Max 360.
Thanks for checking! This actually suggests something interesting:

I would argue sensitivity =/= filtering. Perhaps the new firmware lowers K band sensitivity across the board in Highway mode with TSF Off, which doesn't sound like Highway mode anymore (although I certainly wouldn't put it past Escort, and the results seem to suggest this is the case). All else being equal, assuming the numbers in the Attowave chart are accurate for the V1 and pre-IVT 360, and your test results reflect only the difference in sensitivity between detectors under the tested conditions, that suggests the IVT update lowered the K band sensitivity of the 360 by about 4-5 dB (consistent between front and rear horns).

Front horn: 360 range ~88% of V1 range (1150m / 1302m) = ~ 1 dB less sensitive than V1
V1 front horn K band sensitivity: -113 dB
360 pre-IVT front horn K band sensitivity: -117 dB
Observed 360 front horn K band sensitivity: -113 dB - -1 dB = -112 dB, or ~5 dB less sensitive than pre-IVT

Rear horn 360 range ~64% of V1 range (771m / 1199m) = ~ 4 dB less sensitive than V1
V1 rear horn K band sensitivity: -108 dB
360 pre-IVT rear horn K band sensitivity: -108 dB
Observed 360 front horn K band sensitivity: -108 dB - -4 dB = -104 dB, or ~4 dB less sensitive than pre-IVT
 

Brainstorm69

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Thanks for checking! This actually suggests something interesting:

I would argue sensitivity =/= filtering. Perhaps the new firmware lowers K band sensitivity across the board in Highway mode with TSF Off, which doesn't sound like Highway mode anymore (although I certainly wouldn't put it past Escort, and the results seem to suggest this is the case). All else being equal, assuming the numbers in the Attowave chart are accurate for the V1 and pre-IVT 360, and your test results reflect only the difference in sensitivity between detectors under the tested conditions, that suggests the IVT update lowered the K band sensitivity of the 360 by about 4-5 dB (consistent between front and rear horns).

Front horn: 360 range ~88% of V1 range (1150m / 1302m) = ~ 1 dB less sensitive than V1
V1 front horn K band sensitivity: -113 dB
360 pre-IVT front horn K band sensitivity: -117 dB
Observed 360 front horn K band sensitivity: -113 dB - -1 dB = -112 dB, or ~5 dB less sensitive than pre-IVT

Rear horn 360 range ~64% of V1 range (771m / 1199m) = ~ 4 dB less sensitive than V1
V1 rear horn K band sensitivity: -108 dB
360 pre-IVT rear horn K band sensitivity: -108 dB
Observed 360 front horn K band sensitivity: -108 dB - -4 dB = -104 dB, or ~4 dB less sensitive than pre-IVT
Interesting observation. I would like to see if it is borne out by additional testing.
-- Double Post Merged: --
So, if someone wanted to match the V1 in this test, maybe set K to 50% or 60% on the R?
That's a good question. But then it's likely the V1 would be getting beaten pretty soundly in the front, given it was already beat by the 30% setting in the front in this test.
 
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