R7 First Impressions

brettzo

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From a long time V1 user this detector, at least on paper had everything that I was looking for in an RD. All features I was hoping Valentine would eventually release in a V2 as a loyal user for over 13 years. Integrated GPS with speed cam and RL data base, 10MHz lockouts on K band, low speed quiet ride muting, MRCD fixes on 1.29 (was really waiting for all of this), arrows and incredible range on all bands to name a few. In watching just about every video out there and talking to some other users I figured that with 1.29 being recently released, now was the time to try something new.

Running the detector for a couple of weeks now, here are some of my initial impressions:
  • Ka band detection is very impressive. Did some 34.7 IO/CO testing last week with my Stalker ATR and another 34.7 gun, which provided several KM of advanced notice. So far that we ran out of time and couldn't extend our testing road, which was pretty hilly straight road with dips and spikes and provided incredible range on both IO/CO. We could have surpassed that I'm sure if we extended our distance, but this wasn't a data collection test and more so just a quick feel of the seat test. CO range can be a bit overkill but for those IO saves and winding road saves, having that level of sensitivity is extremely reassuring. Have yet to test K band, or encounter a legimate K threat, but based on other tests, results are looking impressive as well.
  • K band lockouts appear to be working well. I've been driving around with my Bushnell sitting passenger and testing lockouts within 10-50MHz and it's performing well and as expected. I'm alerting to anything over 10MHz when activating my Bushnell and it's quiet within the couple of tests I've done within 10MHz, though tough to find lockouts within 10MHz. I run sensitivity priority on my RD, as I'm in an area with K band predominance. As the lockout is pretty tight at 10MHz, I'm finding myself locking out signal drift a couple of times in a lot of areas before the detector is quiet in those false spots. Similar to my early days with V1 + YaV1, which I had been running almost silently in my area until a legit K/Ka threat. Small price to pay and would much prefer tighter lockouts.
  • No auto lockouts: So far not a deal breaker for me at least, but would be a nice to have in the future so as to be more hands off when the Escort patent comes up and they resolve their disputes. More so auto unlocks being reassuring for future proofing as I continue to use the RD. I am also finding that the mute/lockout button is in a decent position when mounted high on the windshield, similar to the position of where my V1 had been. The CLA adapter mute button is very convenient and I might eventually do the safe n sound hardwired kit.
  • Encountered one MRCD trap so far, with threat ahead of me targeting traffic in the opposite direction. Not a great test for a real world encounter, but it was nice to see the alert well in advance regardless and continue to alert on my rear antenna for a pretty impressive amount of time after passing the source. Unfortunately didn't get much of that one on camera, but seeing @Dukes testing in and around my area, I am sufficiently confident that MRCD detection will be enough for real world saves and excited to test more when I find a trap which will be soon I'm sure.
  • Arrows are very accurate and provide very good directional data. Especially helpful for BSM false identifying. As a longtime V1 user, going without the arrows was a feature that was hard to lose.
  • BSM filter is pretty good! Though not industry leading and I am still encountering some BSM's daily. Mostly GM and Acura so far within close proximity. I run both K block and TSF on and I find it pretty on par with my V1 with TMF2 on. I find that with TSF on, it really helps to cut down BSM falsing as well by a noticeable amount.
  • Redlight cam alerting is a bit odd in that if I'm sitting in a parking lot near an intersection with a cam, the detector will alert to the camera several times while I'm sitting stationary and won't stop until I move away from the source. This has happened a couple of times while I was on a phone call and pretty annoying. You would think one alert would be sufficient, especially when the GPS compass knows that I'm not moving and approaching a source. I'm not sure if it's because of my signal priority setting, or because I have locked out other K falses in the area and can see the detector going from my locked out source to the RL camera source until I move. I have noticed this in three different locations now. I also used to run a trusty old Cheetah C50 redlight/speed cam detector and the directional data and speed limit information was a lot better than that of the R7, though it's still very usable with the R7, having the detector alert to the speed limit on the road either audibly or visibly vs. the over speed alert would be nice. Also knowing whether I'm traveling in a direciton of actually receiving a ticket I found extremely nice with the Cheetah I was running for several years.
  • Tested LIDAR with an Ultralyte LRB, Laser Ally and Dragon Eye. Very inconsistent LIDAR alerting on this detector. I would rate it fairly poor actually as to providing any sort of real world scatter save, but RD's obviously aren't a good LIDAR countermeasure and I run ALPs on my primary vehicle. The secondary vehicle I will need to add soon. I did notice some PT's as well vs. my quad ALP's on an older gen CPU without HP Tx capability, but CPU is updated to the latest firmware. The rear, surprisingly enough jammed the DALA much better than the front and was almost JTG performance, but that's another issue I'll be sorting out. Might be attributed to all of the chrome on the front of the vehicle and not the rear. The ALPs did handle all other guns with JTG performance. I did find the V1 much more sensitive to LIDAR and could have potentially helped with a scatter save here and there much better than the R7 could have. That really is the only area that I can critique.
Overall some very rough testing in comparison to the other testing that's been done out there, but from a user who's been around for a while, I'm loving the R7 on my windshield so far and is proving to be a very impressive driving companion. It's also refreshing not to run a dedicated smartphone for V1 and makes is easier to transfer from car to car, though the apps out there for V1 are pretty incredible and kudos to the devs.

It's been a while and this detector has got me excited, so I wanted to post. I actually can't wait to test this bad boy out more come summer.
 
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Kimbospice

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👏 Awesome. I’ve had my max 360 for over a year now and have been looking to check out the Unidens. I always use Waze over the escort live app and the smart cord that came with the 360 originally bit the dust a couple of weeks ago. Luckily escort sent me another cord within the week without charging me. How is customer support with Uniden? Or it’s probably a little too soon to tell.
Are there any advantages you would absolutely choose uniden over escort products? Or is it really a personal preference thing? I’ve grown accustomed to hearing the particular Ka chirp from escorts down to the muscle memory, but if the range is increased with the uniden then I am curious of trying them out. (They have a pretty good price at sams)
Good review👍
 

brettzo

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👏 Awesome. I’ve had my max 360 for over a year now and have been looking to check out the Unidens. I always use Waze over the escort live app and the smart cord that came with the 360 originally bit the dust a couple of weeks ago. Luckily escort sent me another cord within the week without charging me. How is customer support with Uniden? Or it’s probably a little too soon to tell.
Are there any advantages you would absolutely choose uniden over escort products? Or is it really a personal preference thing? I’ve grown accustomed to hearing the particular Ka chirp from escorts down to the muscle memory, but if the range is increased with the uniden then I am curious of trying them out. (They have a pretty good price at sams)
Good review👍

Really personal preference depending on the threats in your area and requirements.The Max360 is a good detector too, but for me MRCD is a necessity in my area and the added sensitivity, arrows, tighter lockouts, etc. made it my preference. Customer support I’m not sure I’ll use, unless I run in to a warranty situation.
 

derek21023

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👏 Awesome. I’ve had my max 360 for over a year now and have been looking to check out the Unidens. I always use Waze over the escort live app and the smart cord that came with the 360 originally bit the dust a couple of weeks ago. Luckily escort sent me another cord within the week without charging me. How is customer support with Uniden? Or it’s probably a little too soon to tell.
Are there any advantages you would absolutely choose uniden over escort products? Or is it really a personal preference thing? I’ve grown accustomed to hearing the particular Ka chirp from escorts down to the muscle memory, but if the range is increased with the uniden then I am curious of trying them out. (They have a pretty good price at sams)
Good review👍
Customer support has been great for me. I had to send in a R3 for repairs and the turn around was very quick.
 

DChiJEllis

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I got one of the first batch of R3s that had a non-polarized screen. Uniden replaced it at no charge and had it back in my hands in 10 days. Support is very good IMO.
 

DC Fluid

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Very informative review and looking forward to future tests and long term reviews.
You Edmonton guys need to keep posting your best settings for us travellers to your land of unreasonable enforcement.
The R7 needs persons like you and Heywood and Dukes to get time with them against those threats and pass along the tricks.
Those facing Calgary Redflex should let us know if 1.29 helps any with that difficult threat.
Can't understate the value to the RD community contributing this feedback.
👏 Awesome. I’ve had my max 360 for over a year now and have been looking to check out the Unidens. I always use Waze over the escort live app and the smart cord that came with the 360 originally bit the dust a couple of weeks ago. Luckily escort sent me another cord within the week without charging me. How is customer support with Uniden? Or it’s probably a little too soon to tell.
Are there any advantages you would absolutely choose uniden over escort products? Or is it really a personal preference thing? I’ve grown accustomed to hearing the particular Ka chirp from escorts down to the muscle memory, but if the range is increased with the uniden then I am curious of trying them out. (They have a pretty good price at sams)
Good review👍
I had Escorts for nearly 2 decades before getting the R series.
With the option to change alert tones to my preference the transition was seamless.
I didn't even remember what the Escort tones where after my first few days.
 

bk0n3

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Hey, OP! Fellow longtime V1 user, and new R7 owner here too. Your review is great, and your must have features echo my own.

I haven't done any testing, but using the R7 in the city has blown me away with how quiet it is (compared to my V1), and how modern the unit feels -- I'm really digging the aesthetic and UI. It's strange how I'd become so used to the V1's simplistic interface...the V1 was/is nice in its own way, but the R7's stock feature set and display are refreshing (to say the least).

Anyway, glad you're impressed with your R7 too. Take care.
 

Beermonster

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Awesome, thanks for the review. You've made me more excited to get mine
 

brettzo

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Very informative review and looking forward to future tests and long term reviews.
You Edmonton guys need to keep posting your best settings for us travellers to your land of unreasonable enforcement.
The R7 needs persons like you and Heywood and Dukes to get time with them against those threats and pass along the tricks.
Those facing Calgary Redflex should let us know if 1.29 helps any with that difficult threat.
Can't understate the value to the RD community contributing this feedback.

I had Escorts for nearly 2 decades before getting the R series.
With the option to change alert tones to my preference the transition was seamless.
I didn't even remember what the Escort tones where after my first few days.

We’re definitely in the enforcement battleground, but it makes it more fun for us countermeasure guys. Ironically enough, there is a lot of attention in the media lately around how much of a cash cow stationary enforcement is. It’s everywhere and in several different forms/technologies. The city recently mandated yellow coloured “drive safe” MRCD trucks so as to be more visible to the public. They used to blend in pretty well and even hide in obscured ways. Can still be easy to miss at night if you’re not paying attention and they trigger at a pretty low over speed threshold.
Post automatically merged:

Hey, OP! Fellow longtime V1 user, and new R7 owner here too. Your review is great, and your must have features echo my own.

I haven't done any testing, but using the R7 in the city has blown me away with how quiet it is (compared to my V1), and how modern the unit feels -- I'm really digging the aesthetic and UI. It's strange how I'd become so used to the V1's simplistic interface...the V1 was/is nice in its own way, but the R7's stock feature set and display are refreshing (to say the least).

Anyway, glad you're impressed with your R7 too. Take care.

Agree, especially if you were just using the RD itself and not an app interface for lockouts. The R7 really is everything I had been looking for.
 
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fireparamed

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I really enjoy reading comparisons from those of you that have run so many different types of RD's over the years. I've really enjoyed my R3 and R7, but I have zero experience with the other stuff out there. I think I'd love the V1 and the stuff you can do with app's, but I'm an iphone guy and it sounds like it's a android world to really get the good stuff. (Plus the obvious fact that they aren't available right now anyway.)

I will admit, whenever the next thing happens at Valentine, I will be watching to see if I want in. I wish more than anything that Uniden would allow for open programming like V1 has done. It seems like most of the truly innovative stuff for the V1 has been app related, not hardware related. Maybe that is too simple of a statement. But when I did my original research 2 years ago, it seemed like most of the stuff that you guys talked about on here was stuff you could do because of the phone app and in many cases, it was stuff that Mike didn't think was important or good. But at the end of the day, Mike gave access to the system so that you guys could do what you wanted.....that is pretty cool. If only others would see that as a good option.
 

Heywood

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We’re definitely in the enforcement battleground, but it makes it more fun for us countermeasure guys. Ironically enough, there is a lot of attention in the media lately around how much of a cash cow stationary enforcement is. It’s everywhere and in several different forms/technologies. The city recently mandated yellow coloured “drive safe” MRCD trucks so as to be more visible to the public. They used to blend in pretty well and even hide in obscured ways. Can still be easy to miss at night if you’re not paying attention and they trigger at a pretty low over speed threshold.
 

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DC Fluid

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Have you noticed more creative hiding spots since the new paint jobs?
I would think they hide behind large parked vehicles, transports etc.
And do any oncoming drivers notice them and flash headlights?
Hard to believe there is a large public support of the driving population with such disproportionate enforcement.
 

RoadDogg

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I really enjoy reading comparisons from those of you that have run so many different types of RD's over the years. I've really enjoyed my R3 and R7, but I have zero experience with the other stuff out there. I think I'd love the V1 and the stuff you can do with app's, but I'm an iphone guy and it sounds like it's a android world to really get the good stuff. (Plus the obvious fact that they aren't available right now anyway.)

I will admit, whenever the next thing happens at Valentine, I will be watching to see if I want in.

I also like reading the comparisons. I hope Valentine resolves the “temporary out of stock” issue soon because I have been holding off getting an R7 until I see what is “going on” at Valentine. I am currently primarily running a R3 and a Max360c, but I have been seriously considering buying an R7 because my R3 is so awesome, but I have been waiting to see what (if anything) new is coming from Valentine.

I really love the performance of my R3, and I am sure I would be happy with the R7. @brettzo , excellent review of the R7.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

DC Fluid

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IMO if you are needing a detector and are holding out to see what is released soon that may one up the current crop, I suggest don't wait.
There are many very capable options that provides excellent protection.
The R7 1.29 with the ever falling prices IMO is the best windshield detector right now and arguably the best bang for the buck.
Only the R3 discounts could perhaps make a better bang for the buck option.
If you need or want a detector don't wait.
Sell or pass down detectors to the needy when you upgrade.
Or collect a collection worthy of a RDF obsession status.
Just use protection when driving! :cool:
 

Heywood

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Have you noticed more creative hiding spots since the new paint jobs?
I would think they hide behind large parked vehicles, transports etc.
And do any oncoming drivers notice them and flash headlights?
Hard to believe there is a large public support of the driving population with such disproportionate enforcement.

They’ve always been creative. Usually they’ll park in front of another vehicle so their not that visible.

Of course it’s Edmonton so there’s more trucks and SUV’s than other cities. Even with the more visable paint, they’re still hiding in plain sight.

When the speeds exceed 70 km/h, that’s where you'll see photo Lidar.

As for the public’s perspective? I’m sure that most do not like it. It’s a battle between the city administration and the elected officials. They are addicted to the revenue.

Then there’s a bunch of concerned neighborhood community league groups that want to lower the residential speeds to 30 km/h. They kind of remind me of the Revend Lovejoy’s wife from the Simpson’s, “What about the children?”, or Tipper Gore against the music industry.
 
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