Maxcam 360 Impressions and Issues

Vortex

Making Videos
Observer
VIP
Lifetime Premium
Corgi Lovers
Advanced User
Joined
Jul 19, 2012
Messages
22,738
Reaction score
66,145
Location
Washington State
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.
Great point! Yeah I'll add that note in too, especially for people who don't have a separate card reader already.

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
Sounds similar to how things worked sometimes with previous Escort detectors. Crazy that it once took you a good half hour...
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.
That's a great point. I didn't think of that, but that's exactly how you approached it. I can add that in too. Thank you.
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.
Yeah it's hard to fully recommend it if you're gonna skip the app stuff, especially given that it's the only way you can update your detector. The RD testing I did was with fw 1.5 (labeled as 1.4) so that part should be current. I ran into a bunch of issues updating with the app when the app was reporting I had 1.2, but hopefully that's been improved with 1.5. I haven't been able to test it again since after updating over wifi. I love the idea of in-app updates like the V1, but it has to work properly...
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
haha well I've been discussing this stuff with Escort and so far they've been receptive to listening to issues. Apparently the stuff I'm sharing usually isn't news to them and often times when I share an issue, they're already aware of the issue and working on it so it's nothing new.

At the end of the day, I just wanna be fair in my assessment. If it's good, that deserves to be acknowledged. If it's bad, people deserve to know that so they have an accurate expectation. If manufacturers don't like what I have to say, well as long as what I'm saying is true, then just do a better job so I have better news to report. I dunno.

You're right about them overpromising and underdelivering regarding software updates. That's a big motivation behind the "hey don't buy it based on the promise of future updates" warning.
 

DJFroggy

The NJ Radar Guy
Beginner User
Joined
May 19, 2021
Messages
402
Reaction score
817
Location
Point Pleasant Boro, NJ
Interestingly the v1.5 release notes say:



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.

Firmware updates performed via Drive Smarter are done over Bluetooth. Video transfers are done over a WiFi direct connection because it's much faster than bluetooth.
 

jdong

Premium Plus
Lifetime Premium
Advanced User
Joined
Jun 5, 2013
Messages
7,578
Reaction score
12,003
haha well I've been discussing this stuff with Escort and so far they've been receptive to listening to issues. Apparently the stuff I'm sharing usually isn't news to them and often times when I share an issue, they're already aware of the issue and working on it so it's nothing new.

It's great that they're receptive to this feedback, and sadly the way the real world works, often if you're too harsh/rude they won't be as receptive in the future and will find a more loyal YouTuber... That's always a fine line to walk, but as you said, at the end of the day you have to be fair and do what feels right. As a whole, I think our community has benefited from your ability to chat with Escort and even Valentine in championing some of the issues that are important to us.

I'm not super surprised that they know about this stuff. In my professional opinion, they basically started shipping these things as soon as the hardware was ready/final, with little regard to either the software on the detector or the software ecosystem (apps). They probably printed the instruction cards before knowing for sure how the Drive Smarter app was going to work. Sure sometimes this approach works -- modern video games often ship nonfunctional with a launch day update. I've bought Sonos products before that had glaring issues with the original firmware. Heck even iPhones sometimes ship with certain features (those dual camera blended photos, ProRes capture, etc) coming later. But for me, this level of unpolishedness was surprising and just too hard to swallow. It's not some small bugs marring the experience, it's basically the whole connected experience plus dash cam setup being almost unusable.
At the end of the day, I just wanna be fair in my assessment. If it's good, that deserves to be acknowledged. If it's bad, people deserve to know that so they have an accurate expectation. If manufacturers don't like what I have to say, well as long as what I'm saying is true, then just do a better job so I have better news to report. I dunno.

You're right about them overpromising and underdelivering regarding software updates. That's a big motivation behind the "hey don't buy it based on the promise of future updates" warning.
Yeah I think the last point about underdelivering is best kept here on RDF as informal whining. It's arguably unproductive to rehash their past behavior. A lot of it was under different management, and they really can't change the past. I think you're making the right call making it a general "like all tech, don't hold your breath about the promise of future updates" statement.
Post automatically merged:

Firmware updates performed via Drive Smarter are done over Bluetooth. Video transfers are done over a WiFi direct connection because it's much faster than bluetooth.
Not from what I saw on the MaxCam. The firmware download stage was between the phone and a HTTPS server from a CDN. Then, the phone disconnected from my wifi and requested to connect to a MAXC-<random digits> network broadcast by the detector. Then, the phone uploaded stuff to the detector over this wifi network (the first time the phone disconnected from this network and the app got upset and start over).

Finally, the detector said "Firmware Update Detected" and started going through its updating process on its own. Except in my case it rebooted and came back as v1.2.
 

Vortex

Making Videos
Observer
VIP
Lifetime Premium
Corgi Lovers
Advanced User
Joined
Jul 19, 2012
Messages
22,738
Reaction score
66,145
Location
Washington State
I'm doing some bench testing right now with the Stalker II to do some reactivity testing and the performance reminds me a lot of the RL360c. It's no QT beast on Ka band, but it's not bad either.

Surprisingly I just had a power off failure where the detector died on me like it did in my car. Unfortunately I didn't have a camera rolling so I just stuck a GoPro in front of it to see if it happens again. I guess we can rule out my vehicle as the cause of my power failures.
 

Heywood

Learning Something New, Still Dying Stupid
Lifetime Premium
Corgi Lovers
Advanced User
Joined
May 12, 2016
Messages
6,598
Reaction score
16,000
Location
The Tail Lights Pulling Away From You
@Vortex

There is a way to reset the Time Zone and DLS time. You can do it without the app.

I know... I know.... there was a lot going on and I did bombard you.

While the detector is just starting up

Hold Mark And Sen's together to get to the master setting reset. ( Same way you hold Mark and Program together to see the FW version)

It does reset your settings, but on start up, you'll be at the time zone and day light savings options. It doesn't reset the FW... just the settings.


Edit. Just so you know…. This will format your SD Card… so save anything you want before you do this.
 
Last edited:

jdong

Premium Plus
Lifetime Premium
Advanced User
Joined
Jun 5, 2013
Messages
7,578
Reaction score
12,003
I'm doing some bench testing right now with the Stalker II to do some reactivity testing and the performance reminds me a lot of the RL360c. It's no QT beast on Ka band, but it's not bad either.

If it doesn't have a lot of falses on Ka, I think that is an acceptable tradeoff. I've been a little annoyed that some of the lightning fast detectors like the V1G2 and even the R7 seem more prone to leaky detector Ka false alerts. Ideally it would be adjustable because I'm sure a lot of folks accept that tradeoff and want QT protection, but for me I see 50+ false Ka alerts a year and almost no evidence that my local police departments use QT.

Surprisingly I just had a power off failure where the detector died on me like it did in my car. Unfortunately I didn't have a camera rolling so I just stuck a GoPro in front of it to see if it happens again. I guess we can rule out my vehicle as the cause of my power failures.
Hmm is this still your long hardwire cable setup? The MaxCam gets pretty hot and I noticed that it says Powering Down when unplugging it, which seems to indicate it has a pretty different power supply design. Might be worth experimenting with moving the BoB to the near end of the cable if you haven't already. The voltage drop across a long telephone cord might be too much for this thing to handle.
 

DJFroggy

The NJ Radar Guy
Beginner User
Joined
May 19, 2021
Messages
402
Reaction score
817
Location
Point Pleasant Boro, NJ
It's great that they're receptive to this feedback, and sadly the way the real world works, often if you're too harsh/rude they won't be as receptive in the future and will find a more loyal YouTuber... That's always a fine line to walk, but as you said, at the end of the day you have to be fair and do what feels right. As a whole, I think our community has benefited from your ability to chat with Escort and even Valentine in championing some of the issues that are important to us.

I'm not super surprised that they know about this stuff. In my professional opinion, they basically started shipping these things as soon as the hardware was ready/final, with little regard to either the software on the detector or the software ecosystem (apps). They probably printed the instruction cards before knowing for sure how the Drive Smarter app was going to work. Sure sometimes this approach works -- modern video games often ship nonfunctional with a launch day update. I've bought Sonos products before that had glaring issues with the original firmware. Heck even iPhones sometimes ship with certain features (those dual camera blended photos, ProRes capture, etc) coming later. But for me, this level of unpolishedness was surprising and just too hard to swallow. It's not some small bugs marring the experience, it's basically the whole connected experience plus dash cam setup being almost unusable.

Yeah I think the last point about underdelivering is best kept here on RDF as informal whining. It's arguably unproductive to rehash their past behavior. A lot of it was under different management, and they really can't change the past. I think you're making the right call making it a general "like all tech, don't hold your breath about the promise of future updates" statement.
Post automatically merged:


Not from what I saw on the MaxCam. The firmware download stage was between the phone and a HTTPS server from a CDN. Then, the phone disconnected from my wifi and requested to connect to a MAXC-<random digits> network broadcast by the detector. Then, the phone uploaded stuff to the detector over this wifi network (the first time the phone disconnected from this network and the app got upset and start over).

Finally, the detector said "Firmware Update Detected" and started going through its updating process on its own. Except in my case it rebooted and came back as v1.2.

Ok, now I really think I have a bad unit. No lockouts auto or manual work and never have once. My fw updates were done over the standard wifi connection without the drive smarter app. Also, the mute button just stopped working out of the blue until I reset the detector. Something tells me I need a replacement. This isn't a fw issue but a suspected hardware issue.
 

jdong

Premium Plus
Lifetime Premium
Advanced User
Joined
Jun 5, 2013
Messages
7,578
Reaction score
12,003
Ok, now I really think I have a bad unit. No lockouts auto or manual work and never have once. My fw updates were done over the standard wifi connection without the drive smarter app. Also, the mute button just stopped working out of the blue until I reset the detector. Something tells me I need a replacement. This isn't a fw issue but a suspected hardware issue.
I really think you should get a replacement unit. I wonder if something went wrong during your update or if you indeed have broken hardware. Just to rant again: The Detector Tools Pro option to Update All Software / Update Bootloader were awesome because it clean wipes and re-flashes everything. An app only / wifi only update mechanism can't do that.
 

Vortex

Making Videos
Observer
VIP
Lifetime Premium
Corgi Lovers
Advanced User
Joined
Jul 19, 2012
Messages
22,738
Reaction score
66,145
Location
Washington State
@Vortex

There is a way to reset the Time Zone and DLS time. You can do it without the app.

I know... I know.... there was a lot going on and I did bombard you.

While the detector is just starting up

Hold Mark And Sen's together to get to the master setting reset. ( Same way you hold Mark and Program together to see the FW version)

It does reset your settings, but on start up, you'll be at the time zone and day light savings options. It doesn't reset the FW... just the settings.
Thanks for the heads up! I didn't realized that would format my memory card too though without asking. :( Either way, yeah thankfully there is a way to set the time zone now, you're right. Do you know of a way to do that without having to reset the detector?
If it doesn't have a lot of falses on Ka, I think that is an acceptable tradeoff. I've been a little annoyed that some of the lightning fast detectors like the V1G2 and even the R7 seem more prone to leaky detector Ka false alerts. Ideally it would be adjustable because I'm sure a lot of folks accept that tradeoff and want QT protection, but for me I see 50+ false Ka alerts a year and almost no evidence that my local police departments use QT.
That's a fair point.

The only Ka falses I've seen have been when running two MaxCams together to test non-radar stuff, but that doesn't count, haha. Running just one detector, it seems really quiet otherwise.
Hmm is this still your long hardwire cable setup?
This was with an AC to DC adapter that I use when testing stuff in my office at home. I've seen issues in my car with the long hardwire cable as well as the EL cig. lighter cable.
The MaxCam gets pretty hot and I noticed that it says Powering Down when unplugging it, which seems to indicate it has a pretty different power supply design.
Yeah that's to help cleanly save the dashcam footage and avoid corruption.
Might be worth experimenting with moving the BoB to the near end of the cable if you haven't already. The voltage drop across a long telephone cord might be too much for this thing to handle.
Yeah I've tried that and that seems to help. I did have some issues with the R7 and Max360c that made me add in a BoB in the first place, but I've been running lately without it just for the sake of troubleshooting and the MaxCam has been alright even when my stop/start kicks in and it drops to 10V. Given that the issue continues though with the EL cig. lighter cable and even testing out of the car at home, I don't think the BoB is the culprit anymore.
 

Bluelinex

Learning to Fly
Beginner User
Joined
Jan 20, 2020
Messages
564
Reaction score
800
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.
I don't know, after reading all this stuff and buying more things to get it to work right I say just send it back. I did, who needs the aggravation and the $850 plus tax experience. If enough of us do that Escort will get the message. Don't sell a detector that isn't ready for everyday use. We are doing their job for them and paying them to do it!!
I have learned my lesson, don't buy an new Escort detector until they fix all the bugs.
 

Heywood

Learning Something New, Still Dying Stupid
Lifetime Premium
Corgi Lovers
Advanced User
Joined
May 12, 2016
Messages
6,598
Reaction score
16,000
Location
The Tail Lights Pulling Away From You
@Vortex

Ahhh yeah... sorry about that. I didn't even think of mentioning it.

That's the only way to get back to that setting AFAIK.

Just going to the "Format SD Card" option won't put you back there. Trust me... there's a lot of "On the Fly" learning I've had to do.
 

VinsentPuhov

Learning to Drive
General User
Joined
Oct 4, 2021
Messages
58
Reaction score
93
I don't know, after reading all this stuff and buying more things to get it to work right I say just send it back. I did, who needs the aggravation and the $850 plus tax experience. If enough of us do that Escort will get the message. Don't sell a detector that isn't ready for everyday use. We are doing their job for them and paying them to do it!!
I have learned my lesson, don't buy an new Escort detector until they fix all the bugs.
I'm not buying it because I need it. I just wanted it. I agree though with your sentiment. You did what is right for you. Hey, it is always there to buy again if you change your mind. Then again, something will come along and you maybe relieved and buy something that suits you better. The hardware of this unit gives me no headaches, I love it. Only pain was updating, which it successfully did, but it wasn't a good experience using that software. Now, I enjoy a radar detector and I come home plug in the detector and check out radar contacts I had on video while I go through my daily emails. It fits my life and my car. Vortex reviews educated me on my expectations for an Escort product. When you have the right product, you won't hesitate. So you did the right thing. :)
 

mtime

Learning to Fly
Beginner User
Joined
Jul 20, 2020
Messages
194
Reaction score
343
I'll repeat an earlier post/request....For a new intro/top of the line product; especially if it will take a few months to work out glitches and firmware/software, Escort ought to offer an "Extended Service Agreement" as it does for all its other products.
 

DJFroggy

The NJ Radar Guy
Beginner User
Joined
May 19, 2021
Messages
402
Reaction score
817
Location
Point Pleasant Boro, NJ
I'll repeat an earlier post/request....For a new intro/top of the line product; especially if it will take a few months to work out glitches and firmware/software, Escort ought to offer an "Extended Service Agreement" as it does for all its other products.

100% agreed. When they won't offer an extended service agreement, it's almost like they're saying "We know this will break sooner than later and will be expensive to repair."
 

Bluelinex

Learning to Fly
Beginner User
Joined
Jan 20, 2020
Messages
564
Reaction score
800
I'm not buying it because I need it. I just wanted it. I agree though with your sentiment. You did what is right for you. Hey, it is always there to buy again if you change your mind. Then again, something will come along and you maybe relieved and buy something that suits you better. The hardware of this unit gives me no headaches, I love it. Only pain was updating, which it successfully did, but it wasn't a good experience using that software. Now, I enjoy a radar detector and I come home plug in the detector and check out radar contacts I had on video while I go through my daily emails. It fits my life and my car. Vortex reviews educated me on my expectations for an Escort product. When you have the right product, you won't hesitate. So you did the right thing. :)
It's working as it should for you. If it worked for me I would not have returned it. I can always buy it back in the future. If they would have extended my 30 day return window I would still have it. Good luck with it.
 

Vortex

Making Videos
Observer
VIP
Lifetime Premium
Corgi Lovers
Advanced User
Joined
Jul 19, 2012
Messages
22,738
Reaction score
66,145
Location
Washington State
I've decided to return my MaxCam. I love the idea and I think it's the best RD/dashcam out there so far, but it needs a bunch more work. I'm kind of tired of testing it at this point and it's frustrating that I can't trust it with the poweroff issues. I'm open to getting another one again later on down the line once Escort has a chance to spend some time updating the unit, especially since it would be helpful to cover future updates and to do more comparison testing at a later date, but right now I need to move on. Time to shoot this review and then send the unit back to Escort. I'm feeling pretty let down and disappointed, but it'll be nice to get nearly $1000 back in my account.
 

mbcls

Learning to Fly
Beginner User
Joined
Feb 19, 2017
Messages
97
Reaction score
115
I've decided to return my MaxCam. I love the idea and I think it's the best RD/dashcam out there so far, but it needs a bunch more work. I'm kind of tired of testing it at this point and it's frustrating that I can't trust it with the poweroff issues.

good. now you give me another incentive not to get MaxCam. i was thinking of returning M2 and get MaxCam.
about the poweroff issues, did you happen to have Parking Mode on? it happened to my M2 with Parking Mode on, after i driving like over 1 hour, it automatically shut off. after i turned off Parking Mode, it doesnt shut off anymore.
 

Vortex

Making Videos
Observer
VIP
Lifetime Premium
Corgi Lovers
Advanced User
Joined
Jul 19, 2012
Messages
22,738
Reaction score
66,145
Location
Washington State
good. now you give me another incentive not to get MaxCam. i was thinking of returning M2 and get MaxCam.
about the poweroff issues, did you happen to have Parking Mode on? it happened to my M2 with Parking Mode on, after i driving like over 1 hour, it automatically shut off. after i turned off Parking Mode, it doesnt shut off anymore.
I usually do run with parking mode on, yeah. Maybe that's part of the issue? Escort yesterday recommended I try testing with parking mode off, motion detection off, and the auto shutoff off as well. Yesterday and today it's been okay, but that's a pretty limited timeframe. Hopefully Escort is able to reproduce the issue on their end and ultimately resolve it either way.
 

Bluelinex

Learning to Fly
Beginner User
Joined
Jan 20, 2020
Messages
564
Reaction score
800
WOW they recommend that you shut off 3 main features to get it to work as it should. They have got to be kidding somebody. How about we deduct $100 for each feature that doesn't work so instead for it costing $850 the price is $550. Even at $550 this detector/cam is over priced.
Nothing worked on mine that's why I sent it back. They manufacturer the detectors overseas put a basic software program in them ship them to us and tell their customers to call in with feed back on it's performance. We become the beta testers for Escort and pay them to do it. It's supposed to be the other way around.
I want this detector to work as it should and I may buy it back if and when it dose. Until then I say just send it back let Escort go crazy fixing it.
 

Vortex

Making Videos
Observer
VIP
Lifetime Premium
Corgi Lovers
Advanced User
Joined
Jul 19, 2012
Messages
22,738
Reaction score
66,145
Location
Washington State
WOW they recommend that you shut off 3 main features to get it to work as it should. They have got to be kidding somebody. How about we deduct $100 for each feature that doesn't work so instead for it costing $850 the price is $550. Even at $550 this detector/cam is over priced.
Nothing worked on mine that's why I sent it back. They manufacturer the detectors overseas put a basic software program in them ship them to us and tell their customers to call in with feed back on it's performance. We become the beta testers for Escort and pay them to do it. It's supposed to be the other way around.
I want this detector to work as it should and I may buy it back if and when it dose. Until then I say just send it back let Escort go crazy fixing it.
No, to be super clear, they asked me to try this specifically to troubleshoot the issue and see if those issues are what's causing the power issues I've been seeing. They are not saying that you need to shut those features off when using your detector.
 

Discord Server

Latest threads

Forum statistics

Threads
99,783
Messages
1,514,769
Members
25,367
Latest member
cjmackay
Top