Interconversion of a DFR7 US model to a DFR7 NZ

KABAND

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Thanks for that!
:)

Did you figure out what 'span' does?


Okay,

Here's a video I just made for you...


When adjusting the tuning with the PH1 screwdriver bit, just use the bit in an extension part and turn it very gently in your fingers. If you use a screwdriver, you'll probably over do it. As long as you don't touch any of the main board you should be fine tuning this with the unit turned on (preferably with the Ka source frequency being visible on the display as you tune it).
 

Mithheru

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Did you figure out what 'span' does?

No, I haven't really played with that. However, I would imagine that would adjust the scanning width, as determined by the position of 'center'.
 

KABAND

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Ok, thanks ... :)

Is the frequency display now in line with your R7?


No, I haven't really played with that. However, I would imagine that would adjust the scanning width, as determined by the position of 'center'.
 

winterbrew

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OK, just tested out my converted DFR7 vs my R7 and my Kustom Signals Gear ;

K band ;
R7 - 24.109
DFR7 - 24.02

Ka Band (35.5) ;
R7 - 35.524
DFR7 - 35.39

Therefore 89 MHz low on K and 134 MHz low on Ka (35.5)
 

Mithheru

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I'm going to update someone else's DFR7 this weekend, so I'll also check the retuning. Looks as though they're all dropping a bit, but by slightly different amounts. The initial tuning looks to be done by hand, so its probably all a bit hit or miss. At the end of the day, as long as the scanning range is made correct for your threats, I think that is most important, rather than worrying about the exact and precise accuracy for the frequency displayed on screen. Obviously do your best if going to the trouble of attempting the retuning.
 

jonup

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OK, just tested out my converted DFR7 vs my R7 and my Kustom Signals Gear ;

K band ;
R7 - 24.109
DFR7 - 24.02

Ka Band (35.5) ;
R7 - 35.524
DFR7 - 35.39

Therefore 89 MHz low on K and 134 MHz low on Ka (35.5)
@Mithheru is it possible that the conversion doesn't add any additional frequencies to the bottom of the range, but just display readings that are ~100hz below the actual? As in the radar is physically limited at the bottom. I know people have confirmed mrcd detections after conversion, but just something to consider/investigate.
 

KABAND

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@Mithheru is it possible that the conversion doesn't add any additional frequencies to the bottom of the range, but just display readings that are ~100hz below the actual? As in the radar is physically limited at the bottom. I know people have confirmed mrcd detections after conversion, but just something to consider/investigate.

The difference is -100MHz :)
My unit displayed -180MHz on KA. I have not checked other bands though.

But I can confirm that the converted detector definitely now alerts to Gatso here in the UK,
 

Mithheru

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@Mithheru is it possible that the conversion doesn't add any additional frequencies to the bottom of the range, but just display readings that are ~100hz below the actual? As in the radar is physically limited at the bottom. I know people have confirmed mrcd detections after conversion, but just something to consider/investigate.

Like @KABAND I can confirm that the converted detectors are now detecting radar frequencies on K band that were below the range of the original US firmware. Uniden probably has no interest in updating the firmware particularly in the US as they need to keep selling detectors to stay in business. Doesn't make sense commercial sense to make the DFR7 at least as good as the DFR9 does it!?

My testing on the DFR9 indicated the range against Ka was better than the DFR7. However, I was running the detectors under real world settings (i.e. DFR7 with K band on, K filter On and Segment 1). Whereas I ran the DFR9 with Ka band narrow, K band off and all filters off. If I rerun the test with the same settings on the DFR7, I suspect those results would be similar. Therefore in my opinion the converted DFR7 probably gives you more flexibility than the DFR9, but is otherwise likely to be the same.
 

winterbrew

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When adjusting the tuning with the PH1 screwdriver bit, just use the bit in an extension part and turn it very gently in your fingers. If you use a screwdriver, you'll probably over do it. As long as you don't touch any of the main board you should be fine tuning this with the unit turned on (preferably with the Ka source frequency being visible on the display as you tune it).

OK, just re-tuned mine on K, as we don't have Ka band in WA. Re-checked Ka 35.5 again, and its much closer now ;

K_R7.jpg

K_DFR7_after.jpg

Ka_R7.jpg

Ka_DFR7_after.jpg
 
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UncleArthur

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Like @KABAND I can confirm that the converted detectors are now detecting radar frequencies on K band that were below the range of the original US firmware. Uniden probably has no interest in updating the firmware particularly in the US as they need to keep selling detectors to stay in business. Doesn't make sense commercial sense to make the DFR7 at least as good as the DFR9 does it!?

My testing on the DFR9 indicated the range against Ka was better than the DFR7. However, I was running the detectors under real world settings (i.e. DFR7 with K band on, K filter On and Segment 1). Whereas I ran the DFR9 with Ka band narrow, K band off and all filters off. If I rerun the test with the same settings on the DFR7, I suspect those results would be similar. Therefore in my opinion the converted DFR7 probably gives you more flexibility than the DFR9, but is otherwise likely to be the same.
Agree, There is a green Redflex van in my area which I pass in different places on occasions. My US DFR7 never used to alert on it, now it does (showing 23.98Ghz)
 

winterbrew

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Saw a 23.97 door opener false this morning since the re-tune, so it still seems to be detecting sub 24.050 now its tuned to read as per my R7
 

Mithheru

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Just did a conversion and retune for @Phil Mc this weekend on his US DFR7. Retuned with stalker on loan from @dudeinnz. Then took for test drive up to Paraparaumu. Got a confirmed Ka speed trap exactly where I retuned it. Also got a false on K band for a commodore I was following also in the right area, and also later a false outside supermarket at 23.96 (probably the same type of door opener reported by Winterbrew).

During tuning, since I had Ka segments 4,5 and 6, if I turned the screw too far, the Ka signal would definitely disappear altogether. Therefore, I suspect this is what happened on some of the other converted units. I also took photos of the Ka frequency before, and after the conversion. For the stalker gun, we had 34.79Ghz on the US firmware, which then dropped to 34.63GHz after conversion and before retuning.

Therefore, it does look as though the retuning may be worth doing, and that only the 'center' screw needs to be adjusted very slightly to get the frequencies back into range.
 

zuul

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the problem i have is even if i wanted to tune it properly i don't have a radar source to test against to make sure it was done properly...

as i said in an earlier post... i don't mind having to add a few more segments to scan to cover the +/- based on everything i've read... it's still detecting properly... it's just slightly off...

if for example... there was a significant range of frequencies that the detector was NOT covering after conversion i feel like either fine tuning or returning to us stock would be proper course of action... but as it appears that all the relevant frequencies are still being picked up... i don't mind my read out being slightly off...

in other words...it would seem to me that the benefits of the conversion are still there... the only negative being a slight skewing of the reported frequency...

if i'm missing something... let me know...
 
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Mithheru

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in other words...it would seem to me that the benefits of the conversion are still there... the only negative being a slight skewing of the reported frequency...

Yes, In general I agree with you. However, for some people, the drop in frequency may be more than others.

I probably see three situations/scenarios that apply to people:

i) Those people that apply the conversion (and perhaps add a lower segment in the menu), and that's enough. I.e. you get the alerts you expect, and don't care too much about the accuracy of the frequency;

ii) Those people that apply the conversion, and then experience that they loose part of the alerts that they need for their specific region. In this case, a retune would be needed, or else revert it back to the US firmware; or

iii) Those people that apply the conversion and want it to be precise regardless. For those people a retune would be needed, but I guess those people also have either a reliable false alert to retune off, or else a stalker of their own to use as tuning reference.
 

zuul

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the only way i will know for sure is with some long term testing and log keeping. my car isn't a daily driver and i don't encounter much radar until i'm out on the highways for road trips. i think what i will do is keep all the segments on for a while and start to keep track of what frequencies are registering when i get a hit and what the source is...

although if anyone in the portland/seattle area is reading this and has a gun or knows of a reliable Ka source i'll maybe have a go at fine tuning.

there is a K source near me that is stationary that theoretically i could use to tune my unit... but i would have to revert back to u.s. go to the source and see what frequency the source is and then go back after the nz conversion to see what the post conversion frequency is reporting... seems like a lot of work. lol. i might just keep the nz conversion for now do what i described above and keep my fingers crossed.

if there are more reports in this thread of people loosing KA altogether i might consider reverting back to u.s. spec but for now it doesn't seem to me that the variations reported are far enough out of whack that a i'm overly concerned about it.
Post automatically merged:

the only way i will know for sure is with some long term testing and log keeping. my car isn't a daily driver and i don't encounter much radar until i'm out on the highways for road trips. i think what i will do is keep all the segments on for a while and start to keep track of what frequencies are registering when i get a hit and what the source is...

although if anyone in the portland/seattle area is reading this and has a gun or knows of a reliable Ka source i'll maybe have a go at fine tuning.

there is a K source near me that is stationary that theoretically i could use to tune my unit... but i would have to revert back to u.s. go to the source and see what frequency the source is and then go back after the nz conversion to see what the post conversion frequency is reporting... seems like a lot of work. lol. i might just keep the nz conversion for now do what i described above and keep my fingers crossed.

if there are more reports in this thread of people loosing KA altogether i might consider reverting back to u.s. spec but for now it doesn't seem to me that the variations reported are far enough out of whack that a i'm overly concerned about it.
based on vortex's band segmentation article even with the variances noted by winterbrew and mithheru the DFR7 should still be pick up the 3 KA bands most used by LE here in the states although the frequency reported will be lower than what's listed:

View attachment 137871

of course my math could be bad or there could be other variations i'm not considering...
Post automatically merged:

the only way i will know for sure is with some long term testing and log keeping. my car isn't a daily driver and i don't encounter much radar until i'm out on the highways for road trips. i think what i will do is keep all the segments on for a while and start to keep track of what frequencies are registering when i get a hit and what the source is...

although if anyone in the portland/seattle area is reading this and has a gun or knows of a reliable Ka source i'll maybe have a go at fine tuning.

there is a K source near me that is stationary that theoretically i could use to tune my unit... but i would have to revert back to u.s. go to the source and see what frequency the source is and then go back after the nz conversion to see what the post conversion frequency is reporting... seems like a lot of work. lol. i might just keep the nz conversion for now do what i described above and keep my fingers crossed.

if there are more reports in this thread of people loosing KA altogether i might consider reverting back to u.s. spec but for now it doesn't seem to me that the variations reported are far enough out of whack that a i'm overly concerned about it.
Post automatically merged:


based on vortex's band segmentation article even with the variances noted by winterbrew and mithheru the DFR7 should still be pick up the 3 KA bands most used by LE here in the states although the frequency reported will be lower than what's listed:

Ka-police-radar-spectrum.png
Ka-police-radar-spectrum.png

of course my math could be bad or there could be other variations i'm not considering...
 
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Mithheru

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I think you could potentially retune off any radar source. If you have a local supermarket with a reliable K false, you could note down the frequency before conversion. After conversion take the detector back to the location without the external screws. Then just unclip the detectors case, and check and finely adjust the 'center' tuning if needed to put the frequency back where it started. Since only the 'center' needs to be adjusted, this should also put the Ka frequencies back in about the right place also.
 

zuul

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can you link the post with the instructions to convert back to US spec? this seems like a fun project. i will convert back to US spec.... go to my known radar source and get the correct frequency... then i will convert back to NZ and unscrew everything and take it back to the radar source and retune....
 

Mithheru

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I think I would rather not publish the files and instructions to go back to US spec as this could get potentially confusing. If someone accidentally downloaded the wrong instructions and files it could wipe out their detector. So I think it better I only send out the files to those requesting them.
 

KABAND

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The general problem I have with the retune procedure is that 'we' really don't know for sure what exactly we're changing and what the side effects are.


Why does a SW change impact what the detector is actually measuring?

Possibly the NZ version is a bit of a Uniden hack ....

It would be nice to get the factory service manual :)



I will give the 'retune' a go but not without having recorded the values of the trimmer positions by measuring.
@Mithheru : If you have a multimeter you could do the same on the NZ unit
 
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winterbrew

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Why does a SW change impact what the detector is actually measuring?

Possibly the NZ version is a bit of a Uniden hack ....

Exactly, as previously mentioned, it looks very much like the R7, where the top of the Ka band range is clipped, and added to the low K band end scan to get to 23.950.

I guess only Attowave and Uniden know the true answer :)

DFR7NZ was always advertised as being tuned for NZ Redflex use, so would be false advertising otherwise. I think though that this hack is not available on the Attowave DSP platform (R1/R3/NR DSP) for some reason, as they definately seem to have a 24.050 floor limit on K, limited by hardware, regardless of firmware.
 

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