Squirrel's Thoughts on the G2

SquirrelMaster

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Haven't typed up a detector review/thoughts in a while.... I am just the right amount of inebriated for it however, so lets go!

First of all, what a HUGE improvement over the G1 this is. I was very pleasantly surprised.

Lets start with the temporary bad stuff and get them out of the way:
Quality control
This is the big negative to the G2. The issues with it dying and not waking up (my take on that issue here) as well as the displays delaminating.
As much as both of these specific issues suck, they don't really speak to the design of the detector and really don't matter much as if it happens, you'll be taken care of by VR.


Packaging and Accessories
The G2 is packaged pretty well. It comes in a nice box, padded with foam, and chock-full of accessories. They include so many things in the box!
Not only do you get the detector and mount, you get two choices of power cables to go along with it (coiled or straight), an extra mount if you want to hide the detector up on the headliner, a hardwire kit, and spare suction cups. Super cool to see that much extra crap thrown in.

My one complain here is that they fit the product box perfectly inside a brown shipping box. This feels great but sucks when inevitably the carrier uses a baseball bat as the primary tool to load and unload the package. Wish it was a bigger box with maybe some packing peanuts or bubble wrap so the product box doesn't get damaged during shipping.
IMG_20200622_204718.jpg



Mounting
Overall, the mount is the same as the G1. I still do not like the way the windshield mount locks to the detector. On the G1, some units had their paint/coating rubbed off on the top ribs from being taken out of and put into the windshield mount. Probably will see the same thing here.
The windshield mount is alright. It seems a bit more wobbly and less stable than the G1 was. It would bounce around a lot on my windshield. The visor mount also aims it down on my car so not really a good option. I think that if I run the G2 permanently, I would use a blendmount for it.

Overall Build and Look
This thing looks super sleek. That combined with the metal case make the thing look and feel amazing. It definitely shows quality on the outside. The display up front kind of takes away from that but is not too bad. I like that its now dark with no letters or visible text on it until you power it up but I wish it didn't have the faint purple see-through layer. Could have gone for a translucent black layer instead.

A big change is the lack of knob. While the knob was awesome, I get why it is gone. Its far cheaper to use buttons instead. It's no less different to me to use than before however.

Overall, It feels nice, sturdy, and premium.

IMG_20200622_204858.jpg



Display
As I previously mentioned, I like the new display. It looks far better than the G1 did. That being said, it kind of sucks to see they didn't use this huge refresh to add a frequency readout. That would have made this detector far better.

Back to the display, it is easy to see during the day and doesn't bother you at night thanks to the automatic brightness option. Really good addition to the detector.
One of my biggest complaints about the G1 was not being able to distinguish what band the thing was alerting to by looking at the LEDs on the display. This solves that by making the LEDs light up the letter of the band. Super awesome change.

I guess I do have to mention this; there's now only 6 strength bars instead of 8.... cool..

A huge complaint I have is how unintuitive it is to program. The settings are not intuitive to get into and impossible to set without looking at a reference table. The table as well does not come with the detector. Its user manual (and what I could find on their website) say absolutely nothing about how to turn different options on and off using the detector itself.

Pic of the purple cutouts and the UGLY "Z" shape of the bogey counter:
IMG_20200622_205343.jpg



Performance
Here is the fun part. I did some basic testing against my collection and some more in-depth testing against my main detector, the R7. The testing I did was on windy. hilly, mountain roads as that's what I'm mainly on due to where I live.
Long story short, the G2 curb-stomped my R7. On direct off-axis, the G2 gave a marginal but significantly better alert than the R7.
On testing the range over a road with valleys and hills as well as curves, the G2 made the R7 its bitch. Against 34.7, the G2 first picked up the radar signal a whole mile before the R7 picked it up.
Not only did it consistently beat the R7 around curves, but it also picked up further over valleys and hills. I'd say it is better suited at tricky terrain from my experience.

False alerts are far fewer than the G1 was. I live in an area full of cars with BSM systems. For the most part, the G2 does a decent job of filtering them out. I do not get annoyed with it because of how occasional the alerts are. It is about on par with my R7 in terms of annoyance. That is, until my car's BSM triggers it. It for some reason doesn't filter out my car so at slow speeds in city driving, it constantly alerts to my BSM.

There are some issues that need to be mentioned.
First, the ghosting is ****ing annoying. It is not productive to my chakra to get a Ka alert that then turns into 9 bogeys. This happens way too often.

Second is the laser detection. As it is on most detectors, laser detection is useless here as well. This, however, is not for the same reason as other detectors. First of all, once your detector alerts you to laser, if it is not a false, it means it's too late. Now that that is out of the way, the main reason that the G2's laser detection is useless is because of how sensitive it is and how little filtering it has. Every little thing sets this off - weird HID headlights, phone's IR sensor and autofocus, etc. The worst thing about it's lack of filtering is that it falses to my car's laser collision avoidance system. It is very much a boy who cried wolf system.
According to the patents, however, the lidar sensor is connected to the FPGA so it should be EXTREMELY simple to create a basic counter to filter out non-police lidar pulses. And this can all be done with a "software" update. I have hopes, but in its current state, it is unusable.

Finally, the most important issue is the lazy Ka alert. The G2 detects Ka almost instantly (usually). It, however, appears to average the signal over a period of time. This means that if hit with IO on Ka, instead of getting a full-tilt alert, you get a small blip for a second or two and then an immediate ramp up to full blast. I have observed this in my lab testing and others have seen it in real world situations. This is a HUGE issue.

Technical Things
I don't mean this section as a technical discussion, I just wanted to post some thoughts I had on the technical side of things that didn't fit anywhere else.
My hardware version is REV C on the main board and REV E on the RF board.
We have seen some really dodgy things from the G2 internally. There have been bodges, dirty solder joints, flux everywhere, etc. My unit had almost none of that crap. Overall it was very clean inside and there was very little after the fact hand soldering as we had seen before. Another thing was that the horn itself seemed cleaner. The first G2 I had was full of metal shavings embedded into the radar absorbing rubber. This one was clean.
IMG_20200622_210338.jpg



The one bodge that it did have was pretty bad though.
There was a capacitor soldered in manually with a terminal less than a millimeter away from a power rail..... I ended up desoldering it, cleaning the area up, and resoldering it so it was a bit further away from the resistor. Here you can see how poorly it was soldered in originally.
IMG_20200622_211222 (1).jpg



One thing I want to note is that in my attempts to figure out the power issue, I noticed that the unit draws virtually no power when it is shut off. It looks like they are not just shutting off the FPGA and microcontroller when you power it off but are also shutting off the internal power rail. This effectively means you can leave the thing plugged into your car (but powered off) when you're not driving for a while and it will have virtually 0 effect on draining your car's battery. It's the little things..... :)

It was nice to see the bluetooth inside of the unit now but I wish the antenna for it was routed a bit smarter. Seems to work fine though.
Also super cool to see a FPGA inside the detector. Hopefully they can use it to its full advantage.. A FPGA is far from the cheapest component out there. Them using one shows they actually care enough to make this thing a beast and not the keep their margins high. Kudos here.

Unfortunately, there is still no GPS on the unit for at least low speed muting but I get that it's hard to do that with a metal enclosure. GPS would take forever (if at all) to get a satellite lock.

Final Thoughts
I started off by saying the G2 is a huge improvement over the G1. It definitely is. It's a whole other beast... Aside from it being completely better than the OG model, it also seems to be better than most other units out right now.
It has great range, good filtering on radar signals, good build quality overall (besides little temporary QC shit), and was obviously designed with attention to detail.

The detector (once set up) can definitely be used standalone without any issues (or with an app if that's your kink). Yes, the apps may make it far better, but it by itself is rather good. It still lacks a frequency display which sucks for running it by itself, but for people that aren't huge enthusiasts or like to run apps as their primary unit, that's not a big deal.


The G2 definitely gets my humble recommendation with the caveat that Ka IO is lazy currently. Once the Ka IO issue is fixed, the G2 will replace my R7 as my main detector until something better comes along. If you're thinking about getting a G2, by all means, go for it. It's a good little unit.
 

benzr

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"Shipping guys LOADING with baseball bats"
got me laughing out loud ... literally

Great review for a great detector 👍👍

Still that soldering was Lazy Too ... sigh.

Oh .. and i really liked your tecnical jargon of
"" curb stomped "". I looked it up (not really)
And you are correct with that Tech term ... smile.

Enjoyed the review, the opining, and the summary.

Now I can go to sleep finally. Whew ... Long Day.

Benzr
 

Boozehound

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Haven't typed up a detector review/thoughts in a while.... I am just the right amount of inebriated for it however, so lets go!

First of all, what a HUGE improvement over the G1 this is. I was very pleasantly surprised.

Lets start with the temporary bad stuff and get them out of the way:
Quality control
This is the big negative to the G2. The issues with it dying and not waking up (my take on that issue here) as well as the displays delaminating.
As much as both of these specific issues suck, they don't really speak to the design of the detector and really don't matter much as if it happens, you'll be taken care of by VR.


Packaging and Accessories
The G2 is packaged pretty well. It comes in a nice box, padded with foam, and chock-full of accessories. They include so many things in the box!
Not only do you get the detector and mount, you get two choices of power cables to go along with it (coiled or straight), an extra mount if you want to hide the detector up on the headliner, a hardwire kit, and spare suction cups. Super cool to see that much extra crap thrown in.

My one complain here is that they fit the product box perfectly inside a brown shipping box. This feels great but sucks when inevitably the carrier uses a baseball bat as the primary tool to load and unload the package. Wish it was a bigger box with maybe some packing peanuts or bubble wrap so the product box doesn't get damaged during shipping.
View attachment 153440


Mounting
Overall, the mount is the same as the G1. I still do not like the way the windshield mount locks to the detector. On the G1, some units had their paint/coating rubbed off on the top ribs from being taken out of and put into the windshield mount. Probably will see the same thing here.
The windshield mount is alright. It seems a bit more wobbly and less stable than the G1 was. It would bounce around a lot on my windshield. The visor mount also aims it down on my car so not really a good option. I think that if I run the G2 permanently, I would use a blendmount for it.

Overall Build and Look
This thing looks super sleek. That combined with the metal case make the thing look and feel amazing. It definitely shows quality on the outside. The display up front kind of takes away from that but is not too bad. I like that its now dark with no letters or visible text on it until you power it up but I wish it didn't have the faint purple see-through layer. Could have gone for a translucent black layer instead.

A big change is the lack of knob. While the knob was awesome, I get why it is gone. Its far cheaper to use buttons instead. It's no less different to me to use than before however.

Overall, It feels nice, sturdy, and premium.

View attachment 153441


Display
As I previously mentioned, I like the new display. It looks far better than the G1 did. That being said, it kind of sucks to see they didn't use this huge refresh to add a frequency readout. That would have made this detector far better.

Back to the display, it is easy to see during the day and doesn't bother you at night thanks to the automatic brightness option. Really good addition to the detector.
One of my biggest complaints about the G1 was not being able to distinguish what band the thing was alerting to by looking at the LEDs on the display. This solves that by making the LEDs light up the letter of the band. Super awesome change.

I guess I do have to mention this; there's now only 6 strength bars instead of 8.... cool..

A huge complaint I have is how unintuitive it is to program. The settings are not intuitive to get into and impossible to set without looking at a reference table. The table as well does not come with the detector. Its user manual (and what I could find on their website) say absolutely nothing about how to turn different options on and off using the detector itself.

Pic of the purple cutouts and the UGLY "Z" shape of the bogey counter:
View attachment 153447


Performance
Here is the fun part. I did some basic testing against my collection and some more in-depth testing against my main detector, the R7. The testing I did was on windy. hilly, mountain roads as that's what I'm mainly on due to where I live.
Long story short, the G2 curb-stomped my R7. On direct off-axis, the G2 gave a marginal but significantly better alert than the R7.
On testing the range over a road with valleys and hills as well as curves, the G2 made the R7 its bitch. Against 34.7, the G2 first picked up the radar signal a whole mile before the R7 picked it up.
Not only did it consistently beat the R7 around curves, but it also picked up further over valleys and hills. I'd say it is better suited at tricky terrain from my experience.

False alerts are far fewer than the G1 was. I live in an area full of cars with BSM systems. For the most part, the G2 does a decent job of filtering them out. I do not get annoyed with it because of how occasional the alerts are. It is about on par with my R7 in terms of annoyance. That is, until my car's BSM triggers it. It for some reason doesn't filter out my car so at slow speeds in city driving, it constantly alerts to my BSM.

There are some issues that need to be mentioned.
First, the ghosting is ****ing annoying. It is not productive to my chakra to get a Ka alert that then turns into 9 bogeys. This happens way too often.

Second is the laser detection. As it is on most detectors, laser detection is useless here as well. This, however, is not for the same reason as other detectors. First of all, once your detector alerts you to laser, if it is not a false, it means it's too late. Now that that is out of the way, the main reason that the G2's laser detection is useless is because of how sensitive it is and how little filtering it has. Every little thing sets this off - weird HID headlights, phone's IR sensor and autofocus, etc. The worst thing about it's lack of filtering is that it falses to my car's laser collision avoidance system. It is very much a boy who cried wolf system.
According to the patents, however, the lidar sensor is connected to the FPGA so it should be EXTREMELY simple to create a basic counter to filter out non-police lidar pulses. And this can all be done with a "software" update. I have hopes, but in its current state, it is unusable.

Finally, the most important issue is the lazy Ka alert. The G2 detects Ka almost instantly (usually). It, however, appears to average the signal over a period of time. This means that if hit with IO on Ka, instead of getting a full-tilt alert, you get a small blip for a second or two and then an immediate ramp up to full blast. I have observed this in my lab testing and others have seen it in real world situations. This is a HUGE issue.

Technical Things
I don't mean this section as a technical discussion, I just wanted to post some thoughts I had on the technical side of things that didn't fit anywhere else.
My hardware version is REV C on the main board and REV E on the RF board.
We have seen some really dodgy things from the G2 internally. There have been bodges, dirty solder joints, flux everywhere, etc. My unit had almost none of that crap. Overall it was very clean inside and there was very little after the fact hand soldering as we had seen before. Another thing was that the horn itself seemed cleaner. The first G2 I had was full of metal shavings embedded into the radar absorbing rubber. This one was clean.
View attachment 153445


The one bodge that it did have was pretty bad though.
There was a capacitor soldered in manually with a terminal less than a millimeter away from a power rail..... I ended up desoldering it, cleaning the area up, and resoldering it so it was a bit further away from the resistor. Here you can see how poorly it was soldered in originally.
View attachment 153446


One thing I want to note is that in my attempts to figure out the power issue, I noticed that the unit draws virtually no power when it is shut off. It looks like they are not just shutting off the FPGA and microcontroller when you power it off but are also shutting off the internal power rail. This effectively means you can leave the thing plugged into your car (but powered off) when you're not driving for a while and it will have virtually 0 effect on draining your car's battery. It's the little things..... :)

It was nice to see the bluetooth inside of the unit now but I wish the antenna for it was routed a bit smarter. Seems to work fine though.
Also super cool to see a FPGA inside the detector. Hopefully they can use it to its full advantage.. A FPGA is far from the cheapest component out there. Them using one shows they actually care enough to make this thing a beast and not the keep their margins high. Kudos here.

Unfortunately, there is still no GPS on the unit for at least low speed muting but I get that it's hard to do that with a metal enclosure. GPS would take forever (if at all) to get a satellite lock.

Final Thoughts
I started off by saying the G2 is a huge improvement over the G1. It definitely is. It's a whole other beast... Aside from it being completely better than the OG model, it also seems to be better than most other units out right now.
It has great range, good filtering on radar signals, good build quality overall (besides little temporary QC shit), and was obviously designed with attention to detail.

The detector (once set up) can definitely be used standalone without any issues (or with an app if that's your kink). Yes, the apps may make it far better, but it by itself is rather good. It still lacks a frequency display which sucks for running it by itself, but for people that aren't huge enthusiasts or like to run apps as their primary unit, that's not a big deal.


The G2 definitely gets my humble recommendation with the caveat that Ka IO is lazy currently. Once the Ka IO issue is fixed, the G2 will replace my R7 as my main detector until something better comes along. If you're thinking about getting a G2, by all means, go for it. It's a good little unit.
Great review and summary. I hope firmware updates fix the lazy IO response and lack of laser filtering. I also think that anyone who cares enough about frequency to learn how to effectively use that information won't mind using a phone and JBV1 to maximize the benefits of the G2.
 

L4D44

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Excellent, well written review. Much appreciated.

Is there any speculation that a firmware update is on the horizon to fix the lazy Ka I/O and other issues?
 

Boozehound

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Excellent, well written review. Much appreciated.

Is there any speculation that a firmware update is on the horizon to fix the lazy Ka I/O and other issues?
I'm speculating sometime after we confirm speculation on the price and range of Theia and before the speculated delivery of Theia.
 

benzr

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I'm speculating sometime after we confirm speculation on the price and range of Theia and before the speculated delivery of Theia.
Hahaha You guys are Killing me tonight !! 😂😂😂😂😂

Benzr
 

BDrag

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Haven't typed up a detector review/thoughts in a while.... I am just the right amount of inebriated for it however, so lets go!

First of all, what a HUGE improvement over the G1 this is. I was very pleasantly surprised.

Lets start with the temporary bad stuff and get them out of the way:
Quality control
This is the big negative to the G2. The issues with it dying and not waking up (my take on that issue here) as well as the displays delaminating.
As much as both of these specific issues suck, they don't really speak to the design of the detector and really don't matter much as if it happens, you'll be taken care of by VR.


Packaging and Accessories
The G2 is packaged pretty well. It comes in a nice box, padded with foam, and chock-full of accessories. They include so many things in the box!
Not only do you get the detector and mount, you get two choices of power cables to go along with it (coiled or straight), an extra mount if you want to hide the detector up on the headliner, a hardwire kit, and spare suction cups. Super cool to see that much extra crap thrown in.

My one complain here is that they fit the product box perfectly inside a brown shipping box. This feels great but sucks when inevitably the carrier uses a baseball bat as the primary tool to load and unload the package. Wish it was a bigger box with maybe some packing peanuts or bubble wrap so the product box doesn't get damaged during shipping.
View attachment 153440


Mounting
Overall, the mount is the same as the G1. I still do not like the way the windshield mount locks to the detector. On the G1, some units had their paint/coating rubbed off on the top ribs from being taken out of and put into the windshield mount. Probably will see the same thing here.
The windshield mount is alright. It seems a bit more wobbly and less stable than the G1 was. It would bounce around a lot on my windshield. The visor mount also aims it down on my car so not really a good option. I think that if I run the G2 permanently, I would use a blendmount for it.

Overall Build and Look
This thing looks super sleek. That combined with the metal case make the thing look and feel amazing. It definitely shows quality on the outside. The display up front kind of takes away from that but is not too bad. I like that its now dark with no letters or visible text on it until you power it up but I wish it didn't have the faint purple see-through layer. Could have gone for a translucent black layer instead.

A big change is the lack of knob. While the knob was awesome, I get why it is gone. Its far cheaper to use buttons instead. It's no less different to me to use than before however.

Overall, It feels nice, sturdy, and premium.

View attachment 153441


Display
As I previously mentioned, I like the new display. It looks far better than the G1 did. That being said, it kind of sucks to see they didn't use this huge refresh to add a frequency readout. That would have made this detector far better.

Back to the display, it is easy to see during the day and doesn't bother you at night thanks to the automatic brightness option. Really good addition to the detector.
One of my biggest complaints about the G1 was not being able to distinguish what band the thing was alerting to by looking at the LEDs on the display. This solves that by making the LEDs light up the letter of the band. Super awesome change.

I guess I do have to mention this; there's now only 6 strength bars instead of 8.... cool..

A huge complaint I have is how unintuitive it is to program. The settings are not intuitive to get into and impossible to set without looking at a reference table. The table as well does not come with the detector. Its user manual (and what I could find on their website) say absolutely nothing about how to turn different options on and off using the detector itself.

Pic of the purple cutouts and the UGLY "Z" shape of the bogey counter:
View attachment 153447


Performance
Here is the fun part. I did some basic testing against my collection and some more in-depth testing against my main detector, the R7. The testing I did was on windy. hilly, mountain roads as that's what I'm mainly on due to where I live.
Long story short, the G2 curb-stomped my R7. On direct off-axis, the G2 gave a marginal but significantly better alert than the R7.
On testing the range over a road with valleys and hills as well as curves, the G2 made the R7 its bitch. Against 34.7, the G2 first picked up the radar signal a whole mile before the R7 picked it up.
Not only did it consistently beat the R7 around curves, but it also picked up further over valleys and hills. I'd say it is better suited at tricky terrain from my experience.

False alerts are far fewer than the G1 was. I live in an area full of cars with BSM systems. For the most part, the G2 does a decent job of filtering them out. I do not get annoyed with it because of how occasional the alerts are. It is about on par with my R7 in terms of annoyance. That is, until my car's BSM triggers it. It for some reason doesn't filter out my car so at slow speeds in city driving, it constantly alerts to my BSM.

There are some issues that need to be mentioned.
First, the ghosting is ****ing annoying. It is not productive to my chakra to get a Ka alert that then turns into 9 bogeys. This happens way too often.

Second is the laser detection. As it is on most detectors, laser detection is useless here as well. This, however, is not for the same reason as other detectors. First of all, once your detector alerts you to laser, if it is not a false, it means it's too late. Now that that is out of the way, the main reason that the G2's laser detection is useless is because of how sensitive it is and how little filtering it has. Every little thing sets this off - weird HID headlights, phone's IR sensor and autofocus, etc. The worst thing about it's lack of filtering is that it falses to my car's laser collision avoidance system. It is very much a boy who cried wolf system.
According to the patents, however, the lidar sensor is connected to the FPGA so it should be EXTREMELY simple to create a basic counter to filter out non-police lidar pulses. And this can all be done with a "software" update. I have hopes, but in its current state, it is unusable.

Finally, the most important issue is the lazy Ka alert. The G2 detects Ka almost instantly (usually). It, however, appears to average the signal over a period of time. This means that if hit with IO on Ka, instead of getting a full-tilt alert, you get a small blip for a second or two and then an immediate ramp up to full blast. I have observed this in my lab testing and others have seen it in real world situations. This is a HUGE issue.

Technical Things
I don't mean this section as a technical discussion, I just wanted to post some thoughts I had on the technical side of things that didn't fit anywhere else.
My hardware version is REV C on the main board and REV E on the RF board.
We have seen some really dodgy things from the G2 internally. There have been bodges, dirty solder joints, flux everywhere, etc. My unit had almost none of that crap. Overall it was very clean inside and there was very little after the fact hand soldering as we had seen before. Another thing was that the horn itself seemed cleaner. The first G2 I had was full of metal shavings embedded into the radar absorbing rubber. This one was clean.
View attachment 153445


The one bodge that it did have was pretty bad though.
There was a capacitor soldered in manually with a terminal less than a millimeter away from a power rail..... I ended up desoldering it, cleaning the area up, and resoldering it so it was a bit further away from the resistor. Here you can see how poorly it was soldered in originally.
View attachment 153446


One thing I want to note is that in my attempts to figure out the power issue, I noticed that the unit draws virtually no power when it is shut off. It looks like they are not just shutting off the FPGA and microcontroller when you power it off but are also shutting off the internal power rail. This effectively means you can leave the thing plugged into your car (but powered off) when you're not driving for a while and it will have virtually 0 effect on draining your car's battery. It's the little things..... :)

It was nice to see the bluetooth inside of the unit now but I wish the antenna for it was routed a bit smarter. Seems to work fine though.
Also super cool to see a FPGA inside the detector. Hopefully they can use it to its full advantage.. A FPGA is far from the cheapest component out there. Them using one shows they actually care enough to make this thing a beast and not the keep their margins high. Kudos here.

Unfortunately, there is still no GPS on the unit for at least low speed muting but I get that it's hard to do that with a metal enclosure. GPS would take forever (if at all) to get a satellite lock.

Final Thoughts
I started off by saying the G2 is a huge improvement over the G1. It definitely is. It's a whole other beast... Aside from it being completely better than the OG model, it also seems to be better than most other units out right now.
It has great range, good filtering on radar signals, good build quality overall (besides little temporary QC shit), and was obviously designed with attention to detail.

The detector (once set up) can definitely be used standalone without any issues (or with an app if that's your kink). Yes, the apps may make it far better, but it by itself is rather good. It still lacks a frequency display which sucks for running it by itself, but for people that aren't huge enthusiasts or like to run apps as their primary unit, that's not a big deal.


The G2 definitely gets my humble recommendation with the caveat that Ka IO is lazy currently. Once the Ka IO issue is fixed, the G2 will replace my R7 as my main detector until something better comes along. If you're thinking about getting a G2, by all means, go for it. It's a good little unit.
Echo all the comments on the review. Straight to the point with the issues and highlighting that VR will fix the issues. I was on the fence for a bit but dove in and bought one a while back and haven’t regretted it. I did notice the box had a set of wider suction cups so that helped with having my Gen 2 behind the black tint above the rear view mirror. Nice touch to have two sizes of suction cups included.

Just got a new car and the portrait mode will work nicely there. Have a road trip before the end of the month and can’t wait to see the Gen 2 perform as usual. Thanks to everybody and their comments on here. Once again, great review @SquirrelMaster.
 

RoadDogg

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@SquirrelMaster , Thanks for taking the time for this very well written review. And as others have mentioned, the baseball bat thing and the shipping box was funny. They have boxed the V1 like that as long as I can remember (I bought my first V1 early on in 1992 or 1993 ) and probably since their inception, and fortunately I have never received a V1 with a beat up box, but you make a very good point.

I agree with you that the V1G2 is a very good detector and a significant improvement over the Gen1. I was definitely happy to see the V1G2 when it was introduced.

I was also hoping for more of an updated specific frequency display, but pairing it with an app is no big deal for me. For me, it is just a solid radar detector that works very well. I am extremely satisfied with my V1G2.


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barry

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Excellent review SM; enjoyed the comedy as well. By the way, I thought your photos were especially nice. Did you use something special to take them?
 

Bloovy One

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I have a few preliminary minor corrections / additional info to offer from the regular-user side of things. :)

Quality control
This is the big negative to the G2. The issues with it dying and not waking up (my take on that issue here) as well as the displays delaminating.
As much as both of these specific issues suck, they don't really speak to the design of the detector and really don't matter much as if it happens, you'll be taken care of by VR.
As I have come to understand it, VR recognized and began addressing the power-up issues that some units had as of 3/23. There will undoubtedly be a few currently out there that haven't died yet but will in the future. The fix has been implemented at VR and might be part of a firmware update. (I don't know about that last part)
Minor point of correction; The displays aren't "delaminating", some of them are coming unglued from the plastic faceplate. Delamination implies that layers of the display are coming apart from each other. :) This glue issue also has been addressed with the display vendor recently.

Mounting
On the G1, some units had their paint/coating rubbed off on the top ribs from being taken out of and put into the windshield mount. Probably will see the same thing here.
The windshield mount is alright. It seems a bit more wobbly and less stable than the G1 was. It would bounce around a lot on my windshield. The visor mount also aims it down on my car so not really a good option.
The top paint rubbing off in the ribs is something I've only ever seen in one unit posted here by Vortex. I've not seen any other units with the problem online, or personally. It was not a problem on my 14 year old v2.619 V1 either when I upgraded in 2016.

I'm aware that other examples can exist, but it's rare in my observations.
The difference might be in how a person slides the V1 in and out of the carrier. Press the lever down while sliding in both directions and release when it's where you want it. It's not meant as a ratchet design. (Plastic against painted metal is not an intended ratcheting mechanism.)

I'm surprised to hear your opinion that it's more wobbly and bouncy. For a few months I had both my Gen1 and my Gen2 hardwired (so that I could easily switch between them) and stuck to the tint band at the top of my windshield and I hadn't noticed any differences in behavior. The mounts are almost identical and solid.

The visor mount will definitely work better for some situations and worse for others.

Display
Back to the display, it is easy to see during the day and doesn't bother you at night thanks to the automatic brightness option. Really good addition to the detector.
One of my biggest complaints about the G1 was not being able to distinguish what band the thing was alerting to by looking at the LEDs on the display. This solves that by making the LEDs light up the letter of the band. Super awesome change.
I'm unsure whether you are saying that this is a new thing with the Gen2 or not. Automatic brightness has been part of the V1 since the first one as far as I recall. It's also built-in to all of the Concealed Displays. (For those that don't know; when a CD is plugged in, or is already plugged in with the V1 powered on, the main display goes dark. Unplug the CD and the main display lights up again. A CD cannot be shut off with an app.)

I've also really come to like the new display even though I don't use it. :)

A huge complaint I have is how unintuitive it is to program. The settings are not intuitive to get into and impossible to set without looking at a reference table. The table as well does not come with the detector. Its user manual (and what I could find on their website) say absolutely nothing about how to turn different options on and off using the detector itself.
It's right here off of the main page. V1 Info tab. (See screenshot below)

The thing that I'd like to impress upon people is that they have had an easier way to program the V1 since 2012. The apps they provide are free. The only roadblock until 2020 was to purchase the bluetooth module for $49 and then you had the abililty to use the app freely from then on for programming and/or a much more detailed custom display.

If you didn't want to pay the $49 from 2012 to 2020, there was the manual chart programming method for those that just wanted to change a setting once in a great while. With the Gen2, it's now easier just to download the free app and use it right away rather than go through the chart.
Right here.jpg


Pic of the purple cutouts and the UGLY "Z" shape of the bogey counter:
View attachment 153447
I have no official information on this; but you can almost see it in this picture. How many pin connections are on that ribbon cable vs how many traces being used? 🤔 ;)

On to your review. :)
Performance
Here is the fun part. I did some basic testing against my collection and some more in-depth testing against my main detector, the R7. The testing I did was on windy. hilly, mountain roads as that's what I'm mainly on due to where I live.
Long story short, the G2 curb-stomped my R7. On direct off-axis, the G2 gave a marginal but significantly better alert than the R7.
On testing the range over a road with valleys and hills as well as curves, the G2 made the R7 its bitch. Against 34.7, the G2 first picked up the radar signal a whole mile before the R7 picked it up.
Not only did it consistently beat the R7 around curves, but it also picked up further over valleys and hills. I'd say it is better suited at tricky terrain from my experience.

False alerts are far fewer than the G1 was. I live in an area full of cars with BSM systems. For the most part, the G2 does a decent job of filtering them out. I do not get annoyed with it because of how occasional the alerts are. It is about on par with my R7 in terms of annoyance. That is, until my car's BSM triggers it. It for some reason doesn't filter out my car so at slow speeds in city driving, it constantly alerts to my BSM.

There are some issues that need to be mentioned.
First, the ghosting is ****ing annoying. It is not productive to my chakra to get a Ka alert that then turns into 9 bogeys. This happens way too often.
It sounds like you are still on v4.1018 with your test unit.

Second is the laser detection. As it is on most detectors, laser detection is useless here as well. This, however, is not for the same reason as other detectors. First of all, once your detector alerts you to laser, if it is not a false, it means it's too late. Now that that is out of the way, the main reason that the G2's laser detection is useless is because of how sensitive it is and how little filtering it has. Every little thing sets this off - weird HID headlights, phone's IR sensor and autofocus, etc. The worst thing about it's lack of filtering is that it falses to my car's laser collision avoidance system. It is very much a boy who cried wolf system.
According to the patents, however, the lidar sensor is connected to the FPGA so it should be EXTREMELY simple to create a basic counter to filter out non-police lidar pulses. And this can all be done with a "software" update. I have hopes, but in its current state, it is unusable.

Finally, the most important issue is the lazy Ka alert. The G2 detects Ka almost instantly (usually). It, however, appears to average the signal over a period of time. This means that if hit with IO on Ka, instead of getting a full-tilt alert, you get a small blip for a second or two and then an immediate ramp up to full blast. I have observed this in my lab testing and others have seen it in real world situations. This is a HUGE issue.

Technical Things
I don't mean this section as a technical discussion, I just wanted to post some thoughts I had on the technical side of things that didn't fit anywhere else.
My hardware version is REV C on the main board and REV E on the RF board.
We have seen some really dodgy things from the G2 internally. There have been bodges, dirty solder joints, flux everywhere, etc. My unit had almost none of that crap. Overall it was very clean inside and there was very little after the fact hand soldering as we had seen before. Another thing was that the horn itself seemed cleaner. The first G2 I had was full of metal shavings embedded into the radar absorbing rubber. This one was clean.
View attachment 153445


The one bodge that it did have was pretty bad though.
There was a capacitor soldered in manually with a terminal less than a millimeter away from a power rail..... I ended up desoldering it, cleaning the area up, and resoldering it so it was a bit further away from the resistor. Here you can see how poorly it was soldered in originally.
View attachment 153446


One thing I want to note is that in my attempts to figure out the power issue, I noticed that the unit draws virtually no power when it is shut off. It looks like they are not just shutting off the FPGA and microcontroller when you power it off but are also shutting off the internal power rail. This effectively means you can leave the thing plugged into your car (but powered off) when you're not driving for a while and it will have virtually 0 effect on draining your car's battery. It's the little things..... :)

It was nice to see the bluetooth inside of the unit now but I wish the antenna for it was routed a bit smarter. Seems to work fine though.
Also super cool to see a FPGA inside the detector. Hopefully they can use it to its full advantage.. A FPGA is far from the cheapest component out there. Them using one shows they actually care enough to make this thing a beast and not the keep their margins high. Kudos here.

Unfortunately, there is still no GPS on the unit for at least low speed muting but I get that it's hard to do that with a metal enclosure. GPS would take forever (if at all) to get a satellite lock.

Final Thoughts
I started off by saying the G2 is a huge improvement over the G1. It definitely is. It's a whole other beast... Aside from it being completely better than the OG model, it also seems to be better than most other units out right now.
It has great range, good filtering on radar signals, good build quality overall (besides little temporary QC shit), and was obviously designed with attention to detail.

The detector (once set up) can definitely be used standalone without any issues (or with an app if that's your kink). Yes, the apps may make it far better, but it by itself is rather good. It still lacks a frequency display which sucks for running it by itself, but for people that aren't huge enthusiasts or like to run apps as their primary unit, that's not a big deal.


The G2 definitely gets my humble recommendation with the caveat that Ka IO is lazy currently. Once the Ka IO issue is fixed, the G2 will replace my R7 as my main detector until something better comes along. If you're thinking about getting a G2, by all means, go for it. It's a good little unit.
 
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Randath

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Great review and chock full of good info. Makes it easier to wait for the release of Theia before deciding which way to go. Hopefully Valentine fixes all their issues so when I decide I'll have a good chance of getting a solid V1.
 

BIGGER Dave

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“The windshield mount is alright. It seems a bit more wobbly and less stable than the G1 was. It would bounce around a lot on my windshield.”

I have noticed just the opposite. With my Gen1, it would bounce around and make a banging noise whenever I went over a bump in the road. My Gen2 doesn’t do that. Totally silent. Maybe it has something to do with the rake angle of the windshield? (I believe my windshield rake angle is a steep 65*).
 

Delta9

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The one bodge that it did have was pretty bad though.
There was a capacitor soldered in manually with a terminal less than a millimeter away from a power rail..... I ended up desoldering it, cleaning the area up, and resoldering it so it was a bit further away from the resistor. Here you can see how poorly it was soldered in originally.
I would have a $500 paper weight if I even attempted to look inside that metal case. The one time I *tried* to replace a battery and an old iPhone it ended up in the paper weight role.
 

SquirrelMaster

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Glad to hear you guys enjoyed my thoughts on this! Guess I'll keep these styles coming :)



Excellent review SM; enjoyed the comedy as well. By the way, I thought your photos were especially nice. Did you use something special to take them?
Nothing special. Used my phone (oneplus 7 pro)

“The windshield mount is alright. It seems a bit more wobbly and less stable than the G1 was. It would bounce around a lot on my windshield.”

I have noticed just the opposite. With my Gen1, it would bounce around and make a banging noise whenever I went over a bump in the road. My Gen2 doesn’t do that. Totally silent. Maybe it has something to do with the rake angle of the windshield? (I believe my windshield rake angle is a steep 65*).
Both my Gen 1 and the Gen2 windshield mounts are totally stable and quiet. No bouncing or wobbling at all in my car and I drive windy rough mountain roads regularly at speed.
Interesting... I can go try it out on one of the other cars but it was like this on both of my commuters.

The best i can describe the issue is that the mounts two points of contact are not solid. It hands off of soft suction cups. To get the detector on enough so that its COM is far enough forward to cause the whole thing to pivot forward on the cups and wedge itself into the windshield securely would mean sliding it so far forward on the mount that it would be pointing down.

What kind of soldering station do you have?
I use a hakko fx-951
 

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