Maxcam 360 Impressions and Issues

Heywood

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Try #3 setting?
I always find escorts way of doing things backwards.
Like auto mute. High means highest volume allowed. Not the most suppressive.
Just a thought. Wouldn’t be surprised… but I’m sure you’ve tried that.
 

Vortex

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Try #3 setting?
I always find escorts way of doing things backwards.
Like auto mute. High means highest volume allowed. Not the most suppressive.
Just a thought. Wouldn’t be surprised… but I’m sure you’ve tried that.
I tested Level 3 as well when it wasn't triggereing at Level 1 and ran into the same issues. Afterwards I reread the manual and it said Level 1 is the most sensitive so I've gone back to that.

I also just found some test footage from this morning testing with the MaxCam on the WS and same result as testing on the Blendmount.
 

VinsentPuhov

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Anyone running the MaxCam over WiFi? Are you getting EL alerts and PSL display over WiFi? They work fine for me over BT, but not for WiFi. I doublechecked this morning with my RL360c to see if it's my hotspot and it's able to display PSL and Live alerts over WiFi. Just not my MaxCam.

Also has anyone tested parking impact detection with motion detection disabled? Even at Level 1 (which is apparently the most sensitive option), it misses a lot of impacts. I have to whack my car pretty hard to get the dashcam to wake up and start recording. Motion detection works better to get the recording if someone approaches the car.
I would suggest pushing the bumper to simulate a car bump. Just enough to get it to rock on its suspension. I don't think thumping the window can transfer enough shock.

I don't have in-car wifi. I wish I could help more. I can try to wake up the camera. As for accessing videos via the app, I have no luck doing so yet.
 

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I would suggest pushing the bumper to simulate a car bump. Just enough to get it to rock on its suspension. I don't think thumping the window can transfer enough shock.

I don't have in-car wifi. I wish I could help more. I can try to wake up the camera. As for accessing videos via the app, I have no luck doing so yet.
Tried that too with the same result. Usually hitting the WS like this is an even bigger impact and it’s how I’ve been testing impact detection for years.
 

jdong

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Tried that too with the same result. Usually hitting the WS like this is an even bigger impact and it’s how I’ve been testing impact detection for years.
Yeah looking at the way the detector shook when you smacked the windshield, that's pretty reflective of the G forces of a fender bender.
 

VinsentPuhov

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Tried that too with the same result. Usually hitting the WS like this is an even bigger impact and it’s how I’ve been testing impact detection for years.
Interesting! Thank you for your reply. I would have thought more motion would be effective. I learn so much from you, much appreciated.

I have just found an interesting bug that is not a big issue at all. I have sound disabled so if I were to need the video in court, my voice cursing a bad driver wouldn't be played out loud. Well, during the startup, the first 5 seconds has sound in the video then it disables. Nothing big.

The past two days, during my commute, the detector was quiet as a Partisan! I then got a K band alert, with a nice ramp up, as I went down a state route. That was a couple of hours ago. The BSM filtering is fantastic. I don't even use K-notch or TSR. I am in Auto sensitivity.
 

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Yeah looking at the way the detector shook when you smacked the windshield, that's pretty reflective of the G forces of a fender bender.
Yeah I assumed that if it's not alerting to something that intense, something is wrong. I figure to get something harder than that, you'd probably need a car to not just tap your bumper while parking, but practically drive into you at speed.
Interesting! Thank you for your reply. I would have thought more motion would be effective. I learn so much from you, much appreciated.
To be fair though, it's possible maybe the G-sensor is looking for one type of "impact" and filtering out another?

Here's the test I mentioned earlier pushing on the hood. This one is also with the MaxCam directly on the WS, no Blendmount. You can see how the hood push test looks. I also added the overlay for when the MaxCam wakes up. Looks like it's right when I hit the dashcam. Still testing more...

I have just found an interesting bug that is not a big issue at all. I have sound disabled so if I were to need the video in court, my voice cursing a bad driver wouldn't be played out loud. Well, during the startup, the first 5 seconds has sound in the video then it disables. Nothing big.
Ah interesting. I noticed some audio quirks in the beginning too, but forgot to jot this down. @JSherbondy
The past two days, during my commute, the detector was quiet as a Partisan! I then got a K band alert, with a nice ramp up, as I went down a state route. That was a couple of hours ago. The BSM filtering is fantastic. I don't even use K-notch or TSR. I am in Auto sensitivity.
That's great news! Yeah the BSM filtering is some of the best I've seen. The MaxCam has its share of issues, but the false alert filtering is pretty effective. (I'm noticing it's also tougher to get it to alert to my Bushnell or Pocket Radar in my car for demo vids too.)
 

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Here's a motion detection test. This one works great. I'm surprised to see that it records before the motion starts. I've repeated this test multiple times with the same results. (This vid also has an overlay of the MaxCam so you can see it wake up.)

 

VinsentPuhov

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My suggestion to Escort is to make a polarizing filter accessory for the dashcam to get windshield glare out of the videos. That is my biggest gripe on the dashcam side of things. I checked the videos, sound cuts off at the 2 second mark at each startup. The location watermarks come in later once the gps locks on.

I can't help with the shock test since I haven't hardwired my MaxCam, yet. It is on my to do list. I think you could be right about filtering bumps. If you have a video folder full of pigeons and cats on your hood, it would annoy users. lol That was an exaggeration, but it is possible there is something to it. I am grateful you are going through this effort. The feature is important. I remember, your video on the parking feature. It caught a second person bumping you while they attempted to park. So it is a very effective tool and your work will bring it to their attention.
Yes, the MaxCam does have issues. I think none of the issues, that I noticed, will be a difficult fix in competent hands. However, I am nowhere near experienced in this as all of you here.
I did get an X band hit at 10.545 and the arrows pointed to behind me. I know someone here was interested in that. So I picked up that signal off the exit ramp of a major highway and onto a state route. I am liking the radar detecting side of things so far.
 

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Yeah it looks like in this regard, it's the same as the Cobra Road Scout. No computer updates available. Why? No idea. On Escort's page for Detector Tools, unlike for all their other detectors, for the MaxCam they advise you to use the app or WiFi instead.


Screen Shot 2021-10-08 at 1.07.19 PM.png
 

jdong

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Yeah it looks like in this regard, it's the same as the Cobra Road Scout. No computer updates available. Why? No idea. On Escort's page for Detector Tools, unlike for all their other detectors, for the MaxCam they advise you to use the app or WiFi instead.


View attachment 190608
Interestingly the v1.5 release notes say:

  • Improved OTA (over the air) updates for Wi-Fi updates using Drive Smarter

So maybe they fixed how glitchy the Drive Smarter based updates are? Doesn't help that it's a catch 22 situation if you can't get the app to work and if you can't get it to connect to your wifi hotspot. This is why they invented USB based updates.

The app is simply downloading firmware files, connecting to the detector via wifi, then uploading the files to the detector. It seems obvious that they should be able to give you manual instructions for how to do the same thing on a computer.
 

VinsentPuhov

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Didn't Escort announce that they will be making updates available over pc? As for now, MaxCam users are stuck with the Drive Smarter app.
 

jdong

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Didn't Escort announce that they will be making updates available over pc? As for now, MaxCam users are stuck with the Drive Smarter app.
EscortRadar made a post to that effect in ERF as a reply, but it mainly just said for now they don't do updates over PC.

Given that DTP doesn't even work for the MaxCi family at the moment and there's no response to that yet, I'm not holding my breath. Looks like they are moving away from PC app based updates.
 

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So I'm finishing up my review notes and working on my conclusion right now. Since a lot of you guys are also running MaxCam, I was curious to hear if you agree with my thoughts or not, or if I'm missing something big. I'm also trying to think of how to work around the issues and ultimately get the best experience possible.
  • Great radar detector
  • Decent dashcam for driving, limited functionality while parked
  • Very problematic app experience

  • If you want a RD/dashcam combo, this is the best one out there (but the others aren't very good so the bar is pretty low)
  • The app and cloud stuff is an exercise in frustration, even though Escort continues to push that as a competitive advantage. You'll likely be happier if you mostly skip it for now.
As far as app/cloud stuff:
  • Use Escort Live for configuring RD or for cloud alerts while driving and that works alright
  • Use Drive Smarter to initially set time zone for your dashcam (can't do that from the MaxCam itself for some reason)
  • Firmware updates are important, hopefully you can update with Drive Smarter as needed
  • Better yet, if you use WiFi (in-car or parked near home wifi), update over WiFi instead since that works better
  • PSL and cloud alerts while driving don't work over WiFi so rely on BT instead
  • Otherwise it's best to leave DS alone, especially for dashcam stuff
  • Want to view any recorded dashcam footage? Skip the app and plug memory card straight into your computer
I'm sure the detector/app/cloud will improve in time, but as a general rule with tech, it's best to buy based on how it performs today and not based on the hope/promise of future updates.

Is that a reasonable approach and conclusion?
 

VinsentPuhov

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I totally agree with this assessment. You can use USB to computer or remove the card. That is how I would interact with the Dashcam side of things. Thankfully, it uses the older mini usb and not the problem, plagued micro which wears out quickly and is easily broken. Sad it isn't USB-C! The bar is set low for combo units, but this one is good!!! The hardware is fantastic. The dial, even though the double click is awkward and I had a few rare moves in the opposite direction, is a great addition to a radar detector. Escort deserves all the scorn one can level at them for the software and how the updates work.
They could learn from the Valentine way of doing things in this regard. Escort should make it easy for someone else to make an awesome program or hire a company to make one for them.
Like I said, I knew this type of problem was waiting for me because I watched your videos for years. Though, I think someone who just remembers, "oh Escort!", could find themselves in a disappointing circumstance. Hopefully, they will see your video first to be informed what to expect. I learned so much from you so your work is very helpful. I can't wait to watch your review.
 

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So I'm finishing up my review notes and working on my conclusion right now. Since a lot of you guys are also running MaxCam, I was curious to hear if you agree with my thoughts or not, or if I'm missing something big. I'm also trying to think of how to work around the issues and ultimately get the best experience possible.
  • Great radar detector
  • Decent dashcam for driving, limited functionality while parked
  • Very problematic app experience

  • If you want a RD/dashcam combo, this is the best one out there (but the others aren't very good so the bar is pretty low)
  • The app and cloud stuff is an exercise in frustration, even though Escort continues to push that as a competitive advantage. You'll likely be happier if you mostly skip it for now.
As far as app/cloud stuff:
  • Use Escort Live for configuring RD or for cloud alerts while driving and that works alright
  • Use Drive Smarter to initially set time zone for your dashcam (can't do that from the MaxCam itself for some reason)
  • Firmware updates are important, hopefully you can update with Drive Smarter as needed
  • Better yet, if you use WiFi (in-car or parked near home wifi), update over WiFi instead since that works better
  • PSL and cloud alerts while driving don't work over WiFi so rely on BT instead
  • Otherwise it's best to leave DS alone, especially for dashcam stuff
  • Want to view any recorded dashcam footage? Skip the app and plug memory card straight into your computer
I'm sure the detector/app/cloud will improve in time, but as a general rule with tech, it's best to buy based on how it performs today and not based on the hope/promise of future updates.

Is that a reasonable approach and conclusion?
I think you have nailed all the issues and work arounds. What do you think about adding to the line below something about how it will be difficult to get the detector setup for WiFi because of the app being so finicky, but keep trying as eventually it may go through.
  • Better yet, if you use WiFi (in-car or parked near home wifi), update over WiFi instead since that works better.
Also, I have found if I'm having issues with getting the detector to work correctly with the app, I have to do the following:
  1. Close out the app.
  2. Go to the bluetooth settings of your phone and "Forget the device" for the MaxCam360.
  3. Re-run the app and wait for the "pair with MaxCam" popup.
  4. Try again.
  5. If it doesn't work, repeat from step 1 until it does. It took me a good half hour once to get the darn thing to connect and function enough to setup WiFi etc.
-Mark
 

jdong

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So I'm finishing up my review notes and working on my conclusion right now. Since a lot of you guys are also running MaxCam, I was curious to hear if you agree with my thoughts or not, or if I'm missing something big. I'm also trying to think of how to work around the issues and ultimately get the best experience possible.
  • Great radar detector
  • Decent dashcam for driving, limited functionality while parked
  • Very problematic app experience

Yeah this is an excellent summary. Even if you're not necessarily interested in the dash cam functionality as a primary selling point, the RL360c is pretty much impossible to find right now, and this gets you most of what the RL360c offers minus stealth and 35.5 performance. It's definitely a lot of appealing points but the connected/app side of things is a huge detractor.

  • If you want a RD/dashcam combo, this is the best one out there (but the others aren't very good so the bar is pretty low)
  • The app and cloud stuff is an exercise in frustration, even though Escort continues to push that as a competitive advantage. You'll likely be happier if you mostly skip it for now.

I'm not sure how much you've tested the radar detector side of things under firmware 1.2 versus 1.5, but if there's important radar fixes in 1.5, getting the app/wifi experience to work enough for that could be a dealbreaker. Otherwise, I'm 100% with you. Just don't bother with the Drive Smarter app experience until Escort fixes. Not like connecting it to wifi gets you anything other than firmware/database updates at the moment anyway.
As far as app/cloud stuff:
  • Use Escort Live for configuring RD or for cloud alerts while driving and that works alright
  • Use Drive Smarter to initially set time zone for your dashcam (can't do that from the MaxCam itself for some reason)
  • Firmware updates are important, hopefully you can update with Drive Smarter as needed
  • Better yet, if you use WiFi (in-car or parked near home wifi), update over WiFi instead since that works better
  • PSL and cloud alerts while driving don't work over WiFi so rely on BT instead
  • Otherwise it's best to leave DS alone, especially for dashcam stuff
  • Want to view any recorded dashcam footage? Skip the app and plug memory card straight into your computer
I'm sure the detector/app/cloud will improve in time, but as a general rule with tech, it's best to buy based on how it performs today and not based on the hope/promise of future updates.

Is that a reasonable approach and conclusion?
This is a great comprehensive list. I would also add that I had really good luck connecting it to an iPhone hotspot, while it struggled on my home wifi until I changed a few settings on the network. But of course to make things frustrating, you can't set it up from the same phone you're broadcasting a hotspot on because the app only lets you configure networks it thinks you're connected to *facepalm*

It might not be worth souring your goodwill with Escort over, but I'll be harsh and say that Escort historically has overpromised and underdelivered in terms of software updates. It might takes weeks or longer for basic fixes to things that are horribly broken, but hoping to wake up one day and have Drive Smarter be the promised revolutionary all in one app? I will buy everyone here a MaxCam if that happens :D

Escort has never extended their test drive period due to the bugginess of their products, so unless you bought from somewhere with a generous return policy, it's fundamentally risky to hold on to it if you're unhappy, especially based off Escort's track record.
 

VinsentPuhov

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I think you have nailed all the issues and work arounds. What do you think about adding to the line below something about how it will be difficult to get the detector setup for WiFi because of the app being so finicky, but keep trying as eventually it may go through.
  • Better yet, if you use WiFi (in-car or parked near home wifi), update over WiFi instead since that works better.
Also, I have found if I'm having issues with getting the detector to work correctly with the app, I have to do the following:
  1. Close out the app.
  2. Go to the bluetooth settings of your phone and "Forget the device" for the MaxCam360.
  3. Re-run the app and wait for the "pair with MaxCam" popup.
  4. Try again.
  5. If it doesn't work, repeat from step 1 until it does. It took me a good half hour once to get the darn thing to connect and function enough to setup WiFi etc.
-Mark
I ordered a AC to DC 12volt car adapter so I can power on the radar detector in the home and update the detector in the future. I see no need to idle my car that long. I shouldn't have to do something like that though.
 

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