Why the hell is my BSM filtering so good on an $80 detector that hasn't been updated since 2012??

dimensions4700

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This $80 detector I'm referring to is the Escort Smartradar. I got it new, unopened, in the box a few months back on eBay. This thing is literally so weird; nobody has talked about it in approx. 4 years, no firmware updates at all, just overall one of those forgotten things in Escort's history. I've been running this detector for a while, so I wanted to post my findings here.

I expected it to be kind of like an 8500 x50 only with Bluetooth built in; but when I have this thing on Auto mode, even in dense traffic, this RD is almost silent on K band. Behind a Chevy... Behind a Buick... Behind a Honda/Acura... Behind a Pacifica... It all gets filtered through some sort of black magic. The only things it falses to are the K-band traffic sensors on some of the traffic lights near me and of course all the supermarkets and drugstores, but for the most part I have those filtered out using GPS lockouts (still a PITA when the frequency shifts on those traffic sensors though). You might be thinking that my antenna is defective or something... but no, it's definitely not. When I go into a supermarket parking lot I haven't been in before it picks up the door openers from pretty far away. It also has great Ka and X reception (I actually haven't ever seen real LEO K band radar in the wild yet. My town only uses 33.8, and I've only seen OHP running laser and, one time, X band).

The weird thing I've noticed is that this largely seems dependent on Escort Live. Whenever I'm behind a car with BSM, EL has a K band alert showing on the screen, but it's greyed out, muted, and confined to a little bar at the bottom of the screen to indicate that it's been filtered. Since I have a phone dedicated to EL that auto connects when I start the car, as you may imagine, I don't often go around without Live connected to my Smartradar. However, I do think my detector falses much more often to BSM without my phone connected. I haven't had time to conduct more in depth testing, but today, I decided to follow behind my parents who drive a new Honda Pilot. I kept my phone disconnected this time, and as soon as I got somewhat close, my detector went wild on K band! For reference, earlier today on the highway, I was behind both 1. a recent model Acura MDX and 2. a Honda Pilot Elite, just like the one we own. No audio warning, and EL showed a greyed out, muted K band alert when I got close to them. I actually have gopro video of this happening if anyone's interested.

Nobody seems to talk about Escort Live, but I've noticed that my RD acts different when paired with my phone. I unfortunately have to run an outdated version of the app from 2018 since Escort dropped support for the Smartradar this June. Does anyone have any experience with this? If so, please let me know.
 

Up All Night

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What’s the K & KA range like with LEOs?
If it’s ‘deaf & dumb’ that could explain the quietness.
Posted from my iPhone using the RDF Mobile App!
 
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Run4donut

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That smartradar is not working properly. I have one that will go off to every vehicle made in the last 5 years.
 

yellowtibby

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I'm assuming the smart radar is an M4 platform. My Beltronics Vector 995 M4 with with TSR on will actually filter out most BSMs on cars. Including many Hondas, but the only reason it "filters" it out is because it's so blind to off axis. I have the same platform in my Beltronics Pro 300, however it has a new convex lens that is supposed to improve off axis, which is does but it's at the cost of more BSM alerts despite having TSR on. I think your smart radar is doing the same thing that my Vector 995 is doing.
 

TeamQuack

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the bsm may appear to be better due to the lack of range in both distance and frequencies. less for it to process, however, it still may be key on the most known bands which makes it effective at short ranges as you’ve experienced. just my 2 cents.
 

Choose Life

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I'm assuming the smart radar is an M4 platform. My Beltronics Vector 995 M4 with with TSR on will actually filter out most BSMs on cars. Including many Hondas, but the only reason it "filters" it out is because it's so blind to off axis. I have the same platform in my Beltronics Pro 300, however it has a new convex lens that is supposed to improve off axis, which is does but it's at the cost of more BSM alerts despite having TSR on. I think your smart radar is doing the same thing that my Vector 995 is doing.

You wrap a long sloping corner with heavy trees into 35.5 with that 995 it's over for you
 

200V

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On Ka it should go off lots of times, for most bsms. Put it in spec mode, ignor everything with 33.xxxx and you might be able to live with it.
Yes. M4 has very good on and off axis warnings on ka. In CA I don't run k band or laser on smart radar. Will only connect with older versions of EL.
 

yellowtibby

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I like to live dangerously with my vector 995. So I still run it knowing full well that it's blind to off axis lol.
 

dimensions4700

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I would agree with you guys that off axis detection isn't the greatest with this one, but it DOES display a full strength K band alert when I get close to a vehicle with BSM indicating that it picks the signal up just fine. If you're wondering what I mean it looks like this when I was coming up on an MDX

(Clarification: it's the gray bar at the bottom which shows the alert indicating it's being auto muted)
 

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dimensions4700

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What’s the K & KA range like with LEOs?
If it’s ‘deaf & dumb’ that could explain the quietness.
Posted from my iPhone using the RDF Mobile App!
Not sure how good the K range is (never encountered a LEO running K since I got this RD 2 months ago), but Ka range is pretty good on 33.8.
 

CPB

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My wife recently stopped using the Escort Smart Radar and switched to the R3.

The main negatives were that for any GPS filtering or other features to work, you had to have escort live opened and BT paired with the detector. Perhaps this has improved, but at the time the application and pairing was abysmal. The application tended to freeze up, run in background after close, and destroy battery life. It would frequently lose connection to the detector and would require manual intervention to correct it. The unit is sitting in a closet somewhere.
 

BestRadarDetectors

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That smartradar is not working properly. I have one that will go off to every vehicle made in the last 5 years.

That's what I was going to ask? Are you sure its working because filtering on that unit was very poor.
 

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