DC Fluids Ka 33.8 Testing Aug 2, 2020 (R7, R3, Pro M, 9500ix)

DC Fluid

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Hello RDF'ers!
Today I spend the most part of the afternoon performing my first Ka testing. Here are the results, videos will need editing and uploading later.
This is only one test. It is only the results of the equipment and detectors in my possession on this date. All comments are only my opinion based on the experiences with this equipment and detectors. No offense intended in any comment or results, just facts reported, and personal comments based on those facts.

I received a MPH Python II with K and Ka 33,8 antennas. Thanks to @croup!
The detectors: my second of 2 R7s as I am expecting the original back any day now from repair after dropping it.
The newest is my return to owning an R3, my first test of any kind with this detector. This was purchased to back up the backup to the original R7. (I have had multiple dropping incidents and am gunshy of having less than overkill on backups. Perhaps old age has rendered my hands unreliable. LOL.)
The Pro M I wrestled from the wife for the day.
The 9500ix. My everyday do everthing detector since 2012, the other 9500i since 2008. They were included as I've never had a chance to really see Ka performance against another detector. What was I risking the last decade? Shocking reveal ahead...

All detectors were set up for maximum Ka distance reception, 100%, Highway, Ka filters off. TSR off on 9500ix just to be sure.
All runs at 80 kph (50mph) the posted speed limit on this road.
I did notice if you turn around too close to the gun and didn't get up to 80 kph first, the detectors would alert at longer distances. Most noticable when running the Pro M.
So all runs ended going back to the course start other than the few last 9500ix runs.

Radar was set up on a long straight stretch, in a pull out I've seen RCMP use as a trap.
Ka Antenna was about 20° off parrallel to road, about 30 feet from pavement edge, and low on the ground sitting on a small pile of gravel.
Foilage is incredibly thick right now, the peak for this area. I used the pullout and trees the LEO hides behing for cover to stiffle signal range so I was not course limited.
I had no idea how much this could kill reception.
It took 5 different positioning sessions and multiple test runs before I nailed it. The final result was quite good.
Here is the view of the kill zone as seen standing over the Ka antenna. You can see it right at the bottom of picture.
IMG_20200802_154822.jpg


I tried several positions and locations. The only thing that could have made this more realistic would be to elevate it off the ground to windshield height. I tried that in a tree but just couldn't get it right with the tools at hand.

Explaining the results:
I ran multiple passes of each detector. 3 runs of each, then repeated to check for battery drain effects and average out results from power changes or traffic anomolies.
Light colours and r1, r2, r3 were the first set of passes. Dark colours were the second set. R7 had one last pass.
Order of detector runs, R7, R3, Pro M, 9500ix, 9500ix(2nd), R7(2nd) R3(2nd), Pro M(2nd), R7(3rd)
I called it a day when 2 vehicles of area residents boxed me in and wanted to know what I was doing driving back and forth in their area. Asked if I was scoping them out for a robbery.
Because I looked like a clean cut middle age guy with too many toys, and told them I was GPS logging and making videos for an internet blog on vehicle electronics, they had a good laugh and went on their way.
Sort of soured my enthusiasm however, and dinner time was coming. So I finished the last runs and called it a day, without playing around with Ka filters and their effects.

Results listed first by detector, then second chart by best reception distances.
Screenshot 2020-08-02 at 7.45.56 PM.png
Screenshot 2020-08-02 at 7.46.26 PM.png

Here is all the results averaged.
Screenshot 2020-08-02 at 8.31.21 PM.png


Final thoughts:
I ran the 9500ix from 2012 and the 9500ix from 2008.
After my K Band testing which showed it hanging in there with the Max II and Pro M, but unfortunately BSM has rendered it use as a Ka only detector, I had high hopes this detector could be an emergency backup or a gift to relative who has no detector.
I now refuse to let the 9500ix or 9500i be used in any vehicle by anyone. It was pathetic against 33.8, one of the threats I have here.
I actually have every Ka band frequency and K band being actively used here for enforcement.
I can't believe I drove so many miles and years with the Escorts. Yes they were quiet on Auto Mode and Auto Lockouts.
I suppose this explains my Uniden love affair going from the 9500ix to the R3 then R7.
Not even 7% the range of the R7 on 33.8. The 9500i I did a quickie around the block vs the 9500ix and they seemed similar pickup of the radar from my house.
I recommend anyone who is running a 9500 series Escort to abandon it asap and go buy any of the mid-tier detectors that performed well in latest tests. It was alerting in the kill zone more times than not, full on I/O blast like alert. No ramp up.

R7: This R7 is my refurb backup. Multiple tests have so far have it edging my other R7 by 2% on mamimun K Band range, but it doesn't adjust down on advanced or city as much as the original.
For example 30% on R7B is like 50% on R7A. City on B is like 30% on A, or thereabouts.
So I am gungho to do the Ka band comparison between the 2 R7s. What variation is there?

Pro M: I really liked this detector. It is so adjustable, versatile, MRCD champ, light and compact for the ladies purse, many great features.
However, it has continuosly let me down in testing, to the point I deam this a CITY ONLY detector.
It will not be used on my BC highways where foilage, curves, mountains and hills dominate 90% of the province.
It simply does not have the range I now want from a detector in my area.
It will get pressed into service in Edmonton visits, unless R7 firmware increases it's performance on MRCD which for me leaves the Pro M as dead weight.

R3: I really like this detector. Huge respect. However with so much seat time running my R7s it just seems lacking in features.
R7 has arrows. Huge feature to me now. R7 display is bigger. More adjustments (mostly because of the arrows). That little extra range for those moonshot saves catching I/O use out of my sight.
R3 wins for compact size (great now for pocketing getting off motorcycle), front mute button easier 90% of the time, simpler menu and setup (no arrows menu related items), seems a bit quieter and lockouts are wider so easier to lockout heavy false areas.
As much as I praise the R3, and am forcing myself to use it, I keep missing the R7 and want it for any serious driving.
R3 I recommend for many who don't want to pay up to enter the top tier arrow detector club, and still want/need top tier detection range.

R Series strengths have to be the fact it has no weakness, on any band of Ka or K, they are always in that elite club of extreme range without compromising any band.
MRCD can use work, we will see what future updates bring.

This course is on the same stretch as my previous K Band testing, when I get time I will post a map view and load up videos after reviewing.
 
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SilenceDogoodNinja

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That was lots of work! Thanks for sharing. R3 did well!
 

milkman

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Thanks for sharing the test results!
 

DC Fluid

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Work has been really busy of late and will be throughout the fall.
I have a Max II returning to town soon and will be running tests with it as the Escort representative.
I have extensive K Band testing planned against the Python II instead of the Bushnell Velocity.
I am interested in a LEO radar setup like today and running extensive K band tests with multiple settings variations.
This test simulated a few traps I've seen this last week, hiding in the bushes around blind corners nailing you in the kill zone, even nailing you from behind as you pass and they are backed into the bushes.
Sensitivity and range and a rabbitt matters.
 

Vortex

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Wow great work with the testing and all those test runs! Great bit about the GPS and electronics testing, lol.

What a great showing by the R series. Pro M was definitely lagging there and the 9500ix, holy cow...
 

DC Fluid

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Currently reviewing videos.
Don't have many.
Had small micro sd card, wrong settings, forgot to record many times, overwrote on the way home, a whole comedy of errors.
I am salvaging at least one or more runs per detector.

Of note, the 9500ix alerts to the radar 1:14 later than the "average" R3 alert point travelling at 80 kph. WOW. No words how ignorant I feel running that thing so many years.
 

DC Fluid

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This video show a near full course drive with the 9500ix.
Please note that around 10 second mark was where the shortest scores for the R3/R7 came in.
The road on the right was a marker and was about 1700 meters from the gun.
This meant that at 80 kph it took an additional 1 minute, 14 seconds until first alert, right at the kill zone.
 

croup

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Great stuff....Thanks for the time, expense, and sharing your results....Your road is as bumpy as the one I test on lol....And folks seem to be as serious about unfamiliar cars running up and down the road repeatedly in their area....

Glad you tested the 9500ix as well.....been building up a stable of escort detectors through the used market for testing purposes, but will definitely scratch this one off the list no mater the price......

Share your thoughts on the R series and really appreciate the Big Screen on the R7 because I be dang the smaller screens are hard to see for these eyes....

Can't speak of the ProM because without frequency readout I never considered....But if MRCD was a threat for me you never know.....

Again thanks for testing and glad to see that thing getting use instead of sitting in a box in my closet....
 

R4D4RUS3R

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DC Fluid, great write up and testing! I feel the same way about the R3. Fantastic detector that is a real option for someone on a budget that stops at its price point. I would not be mad if thats all I had but I’m spoiled now with arrows like you. I really like to know where to look at least as a starting point. If I can find what I’m detecting I feel better about my awareness. Good reply for the locals. I had this idea a sign saying testing, just the one word, could be up so they could see it but it sounds like they were not too bad to deal with. If you use the spot again they might very well say nothing at all. Keep up the good work.
 

Brainstorm69

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Currently reviewing videos.
Don't have many.
Had small micro sd card, wrong settings, forgot to record many times, overwrote on the way home, a whole comedy of errors.
I am salvaging at least one or more runs per detector.

Of note, the 9500ix alerts to the radar 1:14 later than the "average" R3 alert point travelling at 80 kph. WOW. No words how ignorant I feel running that thing so many years.
Thanks for your time, efforts, and $$ for testing! I wouldn't feel too bad about running the 9500iX. I think if you had the radar gun above ground level, the 9500iX would have done better. Having the radar gun that low really can kill signal strength. That said, it definitely allowed the more sensitive detectors to shine.
 

DC Fluid

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Awake once again here on the West Coast.
Fell asleep drooling over the chromebook last night.
Trying to edit videos on this instead of my work laptop powerhouse is trying at best.
Can't complain I'm back in the office full time now instead of in my basement waiting for the call.

More thoughts.
The 9500ix thing really bugs me so I want to make excuses. With the note that the test shows hard numbers, verified over and over, not just with my posted numbers which were the official measured runs.
1) My 9500's are all very old with many miles on them, but in perfect condition other than some cosmetic wear. Perhaps detection from component age has decreased?
2) This LEO simulated trap was a real life trap I've seen in this spot. I was thinking there was a possibility one might show up. Heavy presense of late and it was our long weekend. Turns out not a LEO encountered after the initital Thurday and Friday rush hours. Probably all out patrolling the highways. The point on this point; it was an off axis, obscured by foilage trap, thereby reducing range significantly. This doesn't explain how every other detector could pull out 10 to 25 times the range of some of the 9500 receptions.
3) Battery power. The 9500ix was last. Power fade on my new ATV AGM battery. Nope. I reversed order and did my next set of runs (The runs of 4 and higher). 9500ix still sucked.

Did the R7 have a battery power advantage going first and pulling off a pair of 2500 meter runs? Nope, the gun had been running almost an hour before official loggong began, no hot start there. This was the 5th attempt at positioning the antenna location. I also forgot to mark the location in RD Test app more than once causing an aborted start. R7 also had the last run of the day and it was respectable, well above the R3 average.

I talked myself out of it, I have no excuses. The numbers stand, every single run. Even the hero R3 reception on one run. Maybe a lucky reception off a passing vehicle but that's why the 6 run average and real life testing scenerio.
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Thanks for your time, efforts, and $$ for testing! I wouldn't feel too bad about running the 9500iX. I think if you had the radar gun above ground level, the 9500iX would have done better. Having the radar gun that low really can kill signal strength. That said, it definitely allowed the more sensitive detectors to shine.
That would have been my preference however the fricken mosquitoes were having me for lunch and I didn't have patience to get haywire out of my drybox and make a tree mount. LOL. And that probably would have put at least the R7 over the end of the course.
Previously shooting radar on this stretch using the Bushnell I could get 7+ kms reception with a slight off axis and springtime foilage. Since I set up more in the middle a flat part of the course I went with the setup I had after seeing the 2 1/2 km R7 alerts and the started logging.
It allowed convenient turn around spots as well. (Visible by the neighbourhood watch apparently :D )
 
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Beachman64

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Great work! Thanks for all your effort and time you put in.

I love reading the test results.

I like my Pro M, very very quite and does have good range (not great, but good). Since Pennsylvaniais "K" band hell, it does that job good (again good, but not great) without me wanting to throw it out the window. Especially compared to my V1GEN1 that is overly noisy and drove my wife nuts. It's so nice to go for drives with the Pro M not hearing my wife constantly bitching. But lord I do wish the Pro M had more range, had a couple close calls. Would love to find a RD that is as quite as the Pro M but extreme range, especially for that I/O low powered K band crap here in Pennsylvania, plus MRCD and stealth for those trips out of state I drive. Oh yeah, affordable, don't want to mortgage off my house to get one.
 

DC Fluid

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Great work! Thanks for all your effort and time you put in.

I love reading the test results.

I like my Pro M, very very quite and does have good range (not great, but good). Since Pennsylvaniais "K" band hell, it does that job good (again good, but not great) without me wanting to throw it out the window. Especially compared to my V1GEN1 that is overly noisy and drove my wife nuts. It's so nice to go for drives with the Pro M not hearing my wife constantly bitching. But lord I do wish the Pro M had more range, had a couple close calls. Would love to find a RD that is as quite as the Pro M but extreme range, especially for that I/O low powered K band crap here in Pennsylvania, plus MRCD and stealth for those trips out of state I drive. Oh yeah, affordable, don't want to mortgage off my house to get one.
The Pro M does very well in my K Band testing. Only the R series was beating it and it edged out both the 9500i and Max II. (Which do well on K, must be their legacy)
The amount of adjustment combinations of the Pro M is mind boggling.
I would use caution if you are in K Band enforcement hot zone when dialing back your City/Auto City settings.
I prefer K2 TSRej Low as the city setting and accept the odd beep.
If needed go to K3 and TSRej Low for more filtering.
Last resort K3 and TSRej High.
Those all give real good K band range but excellent filtering.
The moment my Pro M goes to K4 it falls off the cliff for range, and becomes a brown streak making machine. IMO.
With more open roads the Ka range is decent on par most tests with Max series.
My beef is with the large amount of remote roads and nasty terrain for detectors that require extreme range to give every chance of a warning. Falsing is less of an issue here than big urban centers.
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I am abandoning this Chromebook and firing up the home PC and getting it going.
Of all the most disappointing things I've purchased of late this top rated Chromebokk can get stuffed.
Time to get myself a real laptop.
 
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Beachman64

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The Pro M does very well in my K Band testing. Only the R series was beating it and it edged out Both the 9500i and Max II. (Which do well on K, must be their legacy)
The amount of adjusment combinations of the Pro M is mind boggling.
I would use caution if you are in K Band enforcement hot zone when dialing back your City/Auto City settings.
I prefer K2 TSRej Low as the city setting and accept the odd beep.
If needed go to K3 and TSRej Low for more filtering.
Last resort K3 and TSRej High.
Those all give real good K band range but excellent filtering.
The moment my Pro M goes to K4 it falls off the cliff for range, and becomes a brown streak making machine. IMO.
With more open roads the Ka range is decent on par most tests with Max series.
My beef is with the large amount of remote roads and nasty terrain for detectors that require extreme range to give every chance of a warning. Falsing is less of an issue here than big urban centers.

What setting for highway? TSRej off, low?

Can you adjust TSRej separately between highway and city mode? With out going thru that long menu every time (wish it had a short cut) I know city you can micro manage bands...but TSRej i thought it's one size fits all bands.

How much adjustment can the Pro M have?
Maybe I have the settings out of wack.

Right now I have TSRej on low....we drive mostly highway with very little city...other then a couple of cars , I rarely get any other falses....my wife uses the Pro M more then I do (I'm still layed off with this dang Covid crap) so she uses auto city. (City: K4, x6, ka,3 ) autocity cut off 50mph+, auto mute 35-, TSRej low.

It would be nice if I could TSRej high in city, and 0 on highway

They are starting Redflex though in construction sites (I have web site for locations)

While we were driving to Florida and back in June on I95, there was so much BSM and adaptive cruise, I had to put TSRej on high, otherwise it wouldn't shut up.

Thanks for your help/advice.
 

DC Fluid

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@Beachman64
I would make some adjustments.
TSRej is always at the settings you have it on, regardless of city or highway.
Start with Low. High pays a small but noticeable penalty. Off makes the detector unusable in heavy K areas.
K Filter start with K2, no more than K3.
That is your filtering level in City Mode which works when your below the Auto City threshold speed.
For maximum filtering and still decent range K3 and TSRej high.
If you have to use K4 you have a real crappy environment.
Remember also City mode already reduces sensitivity from highway setting. Then you are applying TSRej plus K3 filter on top of that.
Highway mode only has TSRej filter affecting it and is at 100%.
I have Auto city speeds set at 30mph bottom and 50 mph high and threshold for radar alert setting at 15 mph.
Very quiet detector like that.
My wife loves it to death.
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@Beachman64
Change your Ka back to 0 in city mode.
Run Ka at full strength and be alert at the first beep.
I have X band off, no need other than a few rare places in NA.
You could run TSRej on high and K2, you would get good filtering on city and highway without too much penalty.
Go to K3 if the wife complains.
There is not much you can do for Redflex and still have a detector you can live with.
It's just nasty.
 
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Beachman64

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@Beachman64
I would make some adjustments.
TSRej is always at the settings you have it on, regardless of city or highway.
Start with Low. High pays a small but noticeable penalty. Off makes the detector unusable in heavy K areas.
K Filter start with K2, no more than K3.
That is your filtering level in City Mode which works when your below the Auto City threshold speed.
For maximum filtering and still decent range K3 and TSRej high.
If you have to use K4 you have a real crappy environment.
Remember also City mode already reduces sensitivity from highway setting. Then you are applying TSRej plus K3 filter on top of that.
Highway mode only has TSRej filter affecting it and is at 100%.
I have Auto city speeds set at 30mph bottom and 50 mph high and threshold for radar alert setting at 15 mph.
Very quiet detector like that.
My wife loves it to death.
Post automatically merged:

@Beachman64
Change your Ka back to 0 in city mode.
Run Ka at full strength and be alert at the first beep.
I have X band off, no need other than a few rare places in NA.
You could run TSRej on high and K2, you would get good filtering on city and highway without too much penalty.
Go to K3 if the wife complains.
There is not much you can do for Redflex and still have a detector you can live with.
It's just nasty.

Thanks for the info
 

DC Fluid

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Here is the videos after moving to the home PC.
9500ix, with cool childlike drawing to point out radar antenna, the little white dot below the arrow on the small pile of gravel.
It had a clear view of the road and kill zone was just as cars appear from behind the trees.
9500ix alerts well into the kill zone half of the time, just as you arrive on the best receptions.
I would be owned on every pass if I was 20 kph over.
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A Pro M full course run.
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One of the shortest runs for the R3.
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And the final decent video I salvaged, the R7 on it's shortest run.
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That was really bad arrow locating the gun.LOL.
I will post better.
 
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