R3 1.54, Max 3, Pro M w/ Ka filters, CR97, and Road Scout vs. 33.8, 34.7, & 35.5

Vortex

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So earlier this week I went back out to the red barn test course to run a few detectors, including some detectors I don't normally run, as well as to test out different settings / new firmwares. Here's the lineup of detectors I tested:
  • Uniden R3, fw 1.54 (provided by Uniden) $300
  • Escort Max 3, fw 1.3 (retail purchase) $400
  • Radenso Pro M, fw US22 (Ka filter on and off) (provided by Radenso) $450
  • Whistler CR97, fw 2.1A (on loan from @Bossdad71, thank you!!) $200-$250
  • Cobra Road Scout, fw RScoutR08 (retail unit) $450
Every detector was configured similarly: X off, K/Ka on, segged 2/5/8, Ka filters off (except Pro M which I ran both off and on).

The main things I wanted to check out were:
  • How the $450 Road Scout compares to other detectors in a similar pricepoint/class
  • How the Pro M's Ka filter affects things (I grabbed a different Pro M this time compared to previous testing to see if it'd perform differently than the one I usually test with)
  • Make sure everything's still good with the R3 w/ 1.54
I was also intending to test with the K40 Platinum100 and RMR Judge 2.0, but I completely forgot about getting the K40 in time and I simply forgot to grab the RMR off my shelf. Bummer... Sorry about that!

Also again hat tip to @ferius and his amazing RD test app! That app is insanely fantastic. :)

Anyways, you guys know the red barn course and how everything goes so I'm just gonna dive into the results and then add a little commentary.

R3 at Red Barn course.jpg


First up, here's the Bee III on 33.8:

33.8 Results Chart.png
Vortex's 33.8 Radar Detector Test Results, Red Barn Course, 11-2-20.png
Vortex's 33.8 Radar Detector Test Results (Averaged), Red Barn Course, 11-2-20.png

In this case, the R3 smoked the competition. It was consistently able to alert just after the red barn while most every detector required me to get closer to the radar gun. The Max 3 was the only one that was able to once give me a longer detection. I was wondering if maybe the radar gun was getting weaker or something (I ran the R3 first) so just to verify, I gave the R3 a 4th run at the very end after running all the other detectors and sure enough, it still did outstanding.

The Road Scout had one shorter run than everything else, but again most detectors were terrain limited here.

Next up, the DSR 2x on 34.7:

34.7 Results Chart.png
Vortex's 34.7 Radar Detector Test Results, Red Barn Course, 11-2-20.png

Vortex's 34.7 Radar Detector Test Results (Averaged), Red Barn Course, 11-2-20.png

Again, R3 smoked the pack.

I was expecting a little more from the Max 3, but it couldn't keep up.

Oddly enough, the Pro M did better with the Ka Filter on vs. off. I specifically wanted to test this because in a previous test earlier this year, I had accidentally left Ka Filter on by mistake. Because of that, I wanted to go back and see how much that filter impacted things. I don't know why it did better here with the filter on, but there ya go.

I did cut one Pro M Ka Filter Off run where the suction cups started failing and I was quickly trying to remount the detector to my WS mid-run. It did better on that run (2292 ft) than it did on all the others, but because I was fumbling with the detector just before it alerted, I think it was necessary to cut that run and redo it.

I also cut and redid a CR97 run because it started BSM falsing during the run which apparently delayed when it went off to Ka. I'm not sure how the band prioritization works and if it has to wait for one signal to stop with the initial alert before it can sound a second alert, but it didn't start alerting to Ka until 1283 ft, around 300 ft after the other 3 Ka runs. Because of the weird alerting thing, I cut that run too, but I think it's interesting to note about how the CR97 presents alerts and it's worth mentioning.

Finally, let's look at the Genesis II on 35.5.

35.5 Results Chart.png

Vortex's 35.5 Radar Detector Test Results, Red Barn Course, 11-2-20.png


Vortex's 35.5 Radar Detector Test Results (Averaged), Red Barn Course, 11-2-20.png

So fairly terrain limited here again. R3 had two longer runs. Max 3 had one longer run. Pro M's Ka filter didn't affect the results. Road Scout lagged a bit behind everything else.

There was also one Road Scout run that I cut and reran. On run 2, it gave a dismal run of only 838 ft instead of the usual 1300-1400. This happened when I was following a pack of cars. All the other runs without traffic blocking the signal it did better. So again I think it's worth mentioning.

Road Scout poor 35.5 run in traffic.jpg


Conclusions:

Starting with the R3, every time I run it, it impresses me. Sometimes I forget and it fades in my mind a bit, especially since I'm usually running the R7, V1 Gen2, RL360c, etc. I don't know what Uniden did with this guy, but it's a beast...

Max 3, I was hoping it'd run closer to the R3 and it didn't this time, but it still managed to edge out everything else.

The Pro M, I intentionally ran a different Pro M this time (an older one with the previous case design) hoping it could do a little better. It wasn't bad, but again it's not an R3 when it comes to range specifically. Speaking of range, I didn't see any evidence of disabling Ka Filter improving the range. If anything, it did better with the Ka Filter on. That's totally unexpected and I don't know why, but hey, those are the results...

CR97, it managed to hold its own. It wasn't able to keep up with the best of the best, but it also still managed to beat out the Road Scout.

Road Scout, well it came in last. I suppose it's to be expected that combining a radar detector and a dashcam in one unit means that you're going to compromise on both somewhat, but hey, there's some results to show exactly that. I was expecting a little more, based on what I've seen previously with the Cobra DSP9200BT, but as other detectors keep improving, it looks like that platform doesn't stack up to the range offered by other (often times cheaper) detectors. I'm gonna use these results for a Road Scout review and I think the conclusion will be you're going for convenience here with sacrificing a bit on the RD and dashcam side to get them integrated. You can get something better by going for individual options (ie. Uniden R3 and Viofo A119 v3), but if you want an integrated option, you're gonna sacrifice some which honestly makes total sense.
 

nomore55

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Who would have ever thought the Uniden R3 could gain such honors!

Thanks for the testing, Vortex!!

(Are you feeling any luv for 1.54? Should we be moving up when there's no MRCD threat in our radius of travel?)
 

Vortex

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Are you feeling any luv for 1.54? Should we be moving up when there's no MRCD threat in our radius of travel?
Sure, I mean you might as well. If you don't have MRCD, there's no real reason to upgrade from 1.53, but at least we know that that 1.54 didn't inadvertently neuter the R3's range... :D
 

Boozehound

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Excellent report as usual, thank you! You know how the CM hounds at RDF always want more...so, how are you doing finding a course for Theia? But with home ownership, other work, and the taking care of the family I don't know how you get so much testing on so many different products out. Much appreciated!
 

Vortex

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Excellent report as usual, thank you! You know how the CM hounds at RDF always want more...so, how are you doing finding a course for Theia?

haha I may have to find another course at some point, but that's okay. There's nothing particularly special about the red barn course. It's just convenient to go back to since I don't have to think about finding another course that may show reasonable separation and has decent turn-arounds on both ends.

I'm totally open to finding another course and will probably need to, but I'll definitely head back to that course for Theia either way. In my head I'm hoping that it alerts at some ridiculous distance well before anything else does and we'll all be laughing at how much range it gets.

But with home ownership, other work, and the taking care of the family I don't know how you get so much testing on so many different products out. Much appreciated!
Honestly I've been pretty burned out lately. With the stress of covid, politics, and wanting to make sure I spend time with family, my productivity has been in the drain lately. It's really hard to focus on videos nowadays. I'm trying to go easy on myself and ease up on things, but I feel a constant obligation to push and to contribute, often to my own detriment.

This test was good to get out of the house and clear my head for a bit, spending all day driving back and forth fairly mindlessly, lol.
 

NorEaster18

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Thanks for the awesome test @Vortex! R3 is still a beast! Of course, range isn't everything, but it certainly still holds it's own in 2020.

Interesting seeing the Pro M and CR97 trading blows. That's not what I would have expected from previous testing.
 

Vortex

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Thanks for the awesome test @Vortex! R3 is still a beast! Of course, range isn't everything, but it certainly still holds it's own in 2020.

Interesting seeing the Pro M and CR97 trading blows. That's not what I would have expected from previous testing.

Agreed. It may just be one of those situations where the course precludes us from seeing the inherent differences in sensitivity between detectors. It’s a good reason why we need to look at lots of tests and yada yada yada. :)
 

Ropchips

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I feel a constant obligation to push and to contribute, often to my own detriment.
The constant obligation feeling should be for your family only. You owe us nothing...and that's why you're like a drivers license. It's a privilege for us to receive all the info you provide...we have no right to expect you to provide for us.
You're awesome dude. I do have one demand though.
Don't push yourself to the point of burnout. Not for our sake but for that of your loved ones.
 

Too3zln

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Thanks for the testing. Interesting results with the pro m ka filter.
Just curious. What is your average mpg when testing?
 

Vortex

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The constant obligation feeling should be for your family only. You owe us nothing...and that's why you're like a drivers license. It's a privilege for us to receive all the info you provide...we have no right to expect you to provide for us.
You're awesome dude. I do have one demand though.
Don't push yourself to the point of burnout. Not for our sake but for that of your loved ones.
Thank you. As fun as all this stuff is, family still matters more.

This is a marathon, not a sprint. :)

All this YouTube stuff has been a great lesson in setting boundaries. Lots of people want things from me and I want to give, but I can only do so much and I constantly have to find how to nicely say no while still helping them find the help they need. ie. Need tech support? Go to RDF. ;)
Thanks for the testing. Interesting results with the pro m ka filter.
Just curious. What is your average mpg when testing?
haha good question. Probably not that bad. It’s lots of 40-45 mph driving, stopping to switch detectors and turn around, and eventually stopping to switch radar guns or take a bathroom break. The quicker I can get to the next passes, the faster I get through the whole test.
 

Brainstorm69

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@Vortex - Great job once again! Thanks as always for the time, effort and gas.

Interesting to see some of the other next level down detectors. I knew the R3 would do well. I'm honestly a little bit disappointed in the Max3 after some of the earlier testing, but it picked up some of the slack on 35.5.
 

VariableWave

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Good to see these numbers as tested..... and ya, that app is so nice to have, as I we (@Kennyc56 ) have used it to do that same.

Be nice to have that Escort Max3 and BDs previous unit to have to reflect your findings as well. The Escort RL-0 & R3 should be the bare minimum, in sooo many tests to set that baseline. CR97 if a perfect world pulls a flag of here and statement, but BSM and filtering breaks it........sound to be a replacement in the works.. better work.

Thanks to @Vortex to continue these, what one can relay on, and with as needed.
 

Kennyc56

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As usual, the R series Kicked @ss! I still have to admit however I get a kick out of seeing that CR97 fighting it out with some of the big boys! Great testing once again @Vortex !
 

skd

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Thank you, Vortex. I love that red barn course, never change it! Things are getting so much clearer with these tests and results firsthand. The theory is a good thing but the practice gives us really what we need as useful numbers and we know better what should be expected from this or that detector. Just one humble request, if I may. Would you next time include a K-band radar if you have got one? Second time now I believe I didn't see any K-band comparison results. And I think many folks would be interested in K band results as well. The whole world in fact.
 

Vortex

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Thank you, Vortex. I love that red barn course, never change it! Things are getting so much clearer with these tests and results firsthand. The theory is a good thing but the practice gives us really what we need as useful numbers and we know better what should be expected from this or that detector. Just one humble request, if I may. Would you next time include a K-band radar if you have got one? Second time now I believe I didn't see any K-band comparison results. And I think many folks would be interested in K band results as well. The whole world in fact.

Oh I’d love to and even just picked up a Genesis II Select on K band specifically to do this. Again I ran out of time. Testing K band and a bunch of different settings would have to take its own day some other time.

There’s a lot of things I’d love to test, but given that I see almost exclusively Ka, that’s what I choose to prioritize when time is limited.
 

yellowtibby

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If they sold the CR97 for $125 and fixed the K/Ka Band mix up issue, it would be the value leader. With TFSR on the cr97 as pretty decent BSM, honestly not that far off my R7 at K band 50%, the problem is that damn K/Ka band confusion, it's tragic.
 

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