"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 any detector" unfortunately, there are not too many tests like the comprehensive tests you've done. I'd like to see some test results with an unsegmented RL 360c.INTRO
@Vortex recently sent me his Redline 360c (thanks!) so TXCTG could do some testing with it down in Waco. So @Jag42 and I met up in Waco yesterday to put put it through its paces for a comparison to both the V1G2 and the Uniden R7.
As is always the case, we had a limited amount of time to test (and in this case also the threat of rain in the afternoon), but were able to test low-powered K-band, Ka 35.5, 34.7 and 33.8. Knowing this, we did only test one unit of each detector. Not optimal, but sometimes you have to work with limitations. In the future, it would be great to see some testing with multiple copies of each detector to see if there is much variability across units. Maybe @hiddencam can have another "calling all detectors" shoot-out like he has done in the past. Or maybe we can do something along those lines sometime.
Escort Redline 360c (Vortex) – (fw 1.3) Settings: Hwy and Auto, Laser on, Ka seg’d 2/5/8, K Wide, MRCD off, MRCT off, Pop off
Valentine 1 Gen 2 (Jag42) – (fw 4.1018) Settings: A mode and Big L, CF on, K Verifier on, X off (but see note at end of K-band rear testing comments re doing a reset to default settings, which turned CF off and X band on)
Uniden R7 (BS69) – (fw 1.29) Settings: Hwy and Advanced, Laser on, Ka seg'd 2/4/5/6/8, X off, K Wide, KF on, TSF on, K Block on, MRCD off, all Pop settings off
THE RADAR GUNS
MPH Python II FS with antennas tuned for 35.5, 34.7, and 33.8
Kustom Signals Falcon HR Low-power K-band
In the Ka tests, we were forced to angle the antennas across the road to cut down signal strength (35.5 ~20*, 34.7 ~30* and 33.8 ~40*), or we would have run out of course or raised the suspicions of the rancher whose driveway we would have had to turn around in. Realize that these tests are not necessarily representative of the real world in terms of detection distances you are likely to see from any of these detectors from LEOs shooting straight down a straight road. But it does highlight sensitivity differences (or lack thereof) between detectors for the purpose of showing those that have a better chance of catching weak signals, whatever the cause (distance, foliage, hills, curves, etc.). Note that the antennas were angled out over fields with little to nothing to reflect off of to affect results.
So, many of you have seen the Pioneer Pkwy test course before. It’s long, straight and flat. This time we ran it backwards since we had the threat of rain and could use the back my wife’s minivan to set up the equipment to keep it safe from rain. We set up in the driveway to a small pump station we normally just park one of the cars in anyway. We shot the radar out the side window at the back of the minivan.
Here’s an overhead of the course.
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Here's a picture of where we set up the radar car.
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Here’s a picture of the open fields towards which the radar was angled in the Ka testing.
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Low-powered K-Band Front Detection (Table by detector; Table by ranked avg; Graph by ranked avg)
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Low-powered K-Band Front Detection Commentary
- Radar gun (Falcon HR) was pointed on-axis
- The Kill Zone was a rather short 325 meters ( I think Jag42's car must have a pretty small radar cross section), so all the detectors in all modes gave plenty of warning.
- The biggest surprise was the Redline 360c’s front antenna K-band sensitivity in Hwy mode. But there were some drops of the signal between its initial alert and the point where the other detectors got their first alerts.
- We (somewhat by accident as we weren’t intending to test it in Hwy) did do one run with the Uniden in Hwy mode with KF on and TSF on at the beginning of the K-band testing, and it was not out there with the RL360c. It was 3622 meters. As it was only one run, we did not include it in the results, but mention it here just as a data point.
- Another noteworthy data point is that the RL360c in Auto mode at 55-60 mph does not appear not as sensitive as Hwy mode, as you can see from the results. It even lagged a bit behind the R7 in City mode and the V1G2 in Advanced Logic Mode.
- The R7 in Adv mode K=40% lagged just a bit behind V1G2 in A mode.
- The R7 in City mode managed to edge out both the Redline 360 in Auto mode and the V1G2 in Advanced Logic mode.
Low-powered K-Band Rear Detection (Table by detector; Table by ranked avg; Graph by ranked avg)
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Low-powered K-Band Rear Detection Commentary
- On the rear detections, things were a little more even between the detectors.
- The RL360c still led the pack, but not by that much. Strangely, in Auto mode, it actually beat its rear detections in Hwy mode. That’s a head scratcher.
- The V1G2 in A mode was barely behind, and the R7 in Adv K=40% was a bit further behind still.
- City mode didn’t cost the R7 much in the long, straight, flat course.
- The V1G2 in Advanced Logic mode lagged behind, which seems a bit strange given that on the front detections, the V1G2 in Advanced Logic was right there with the R7 in City and RL360c in Auto.
- At first, Jag42’s V1G2 wasn’t alerting at all from behind. We used JBV1 to figure out he had rear X&K muted. So we told JBV1 to reset it to factory defaults and that did the trick. That said, we didn’t think about the fact that that also turned X on. So from this point forward (i.e., for all the rear K-band V1G2 testing, and all the Ka testing, the V1G2 had X-Band on, and the other detectors did not). However, it is my understanding that the V1G2 still scans X-Band even when it is turned off, so it should not have affected the results.
- I really think we need to reevaluate how we test rear detections and find a good way to mount the detectors with the rear antenna facing forwards. We noticed several instances during testing where we could drive away from the gun at a particular distance and not get a rear detection, but when we drove back far enough to get a rear detection and then drove away from the guns, the detector would continue to alert considerably beyond the point where it had failed to alert from the rear if we drove away from the radar source without having already acquired a signal. Due to this, as well as time considerations, we decided not to do rear detections for Ka.
Ka 35.5 Front Detection (Table by detector; Table by ranked avg; Graph by ranked avg)
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Ka 35.5 Commentary
- We initially had the radar antenna pointed on-axis down the course, but the initial couple of detections by the V1G2 were far enough down the course (3912 and 3924 meters) that we were going to have to be turning around in the driveway of one of the ranchs/farms rather than at an intersection or other public turn-around. The owner had already seen us make some turn-arounds in his driveway previously and had given us the “evil eye.” So rather than have him potentially call the cops on us for suspicious activity, we decided to angle the antenna and attenuate the signal.
- Not much to say otherwise here, except that all the detectors were pretty darn close in detection range. The V1G2 did manage the longest 35.5 detection of the day, but not by a lot.
Ka 34.7 Front Detection (Table by detector; Table by ranked avg; Graph by ranked avg)
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Ka 34.7 Commentary
- For 34.7, we knew we would have to attenuate the signal a bit more, so we increased the angle of the antenna across the road to ~30 degrees.
- Again, not much to say here as the detections were all pretty close. But the R7 did lag by a little bit.
Ka 33.8 Front Detection (Table by detector; Table by rank; Graph by rank)
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Ka 33.8 Commentary
- For 33.8, we knew we would have to attenuate the signal even a little more, so we increased the angle of the antenna across the road to ~40 degrees.
- We got a tiny bit more separation here, but not much. The Redline 360c led the pack.
- One thing to note here is that as we started the R7s runs (the last of the day), it started raining on the course, so the R7 may have been hampered a bit by the rain, but still did pretty well anyway.
It’s always exciting to take a new detector out for some initial TXCTG testing. We’ve seen some testing from others, and it’s always fun for me to see how the TXCTG results compare to others’ testing.
One thing I do want to note is that the similarity of the Ka band results may have people wondering if the was some course limitation causing the similar results. I don’t think that’s the case, as the V1G2 did have a couple of considerably longer 35.5 runs when it was pointed on-axis down the course on 35.5. However, I can’t see radio waves, so I could be wrong. ;-)
While the new Escort Redline 360c had a very rocky launch, with the 1.3 fw update Escort seems to have corrected some of the most problematic issues experienced by RDF members at launch. It looks like the Redline is right up there with the current best when it comes to sensitivity and range performance. I am beginning to think that with the current crop of top-line detectors, detection distance is much less of a buying factor then personal preferences with respect to other matters, like features, price, app availability, BSM filtering, and reactivity.
I will end with my usual admonishment: This is just one test. Don’t ever 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 any 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. Hopefully, we’ll see even more testing of these detectors, so you can get an even better picture of their relative performance against each other.
But then think about what people pay for the latest and greatest phones every year or 2. Most of the radar detectors are cheaper and will give excellent performance with constant updates for years as well as save you ticket money and give you piece of mind while driving. And kudos for Valentine for holding their prices from few increases. Still my favorite for the last 20 years!All 3 great detectors, nice to finally have 3 solid options with arrows contained in the unit. Sticking with my R7 for now but cool to see the Gen2 V1 living up to the Valentine name. As for the Escort, very happy to see they are taking things seriously nowadays....but that price tag is just highway robbery.