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Nov 29

How to Set Up Your Uniden LRD950

Once you’ve purchased a Uniden LRD950 from here or here, you’ll want to set it up. This tutorial will walk you through getting the detector configured properly and customized for you.

The Uniden LRD950 is pretty straightforward to set up and the menu options are all pretty intuitive. You can watch the video above where I guide you through the buttons and menu options available on the detector, or you can read over my explanation of the different options below.

You can also check out the LRD950 manual directly. 🙂

Press the menu button on top to access the menu. Press the Vol – and Vol + buttons to go back and forth through the menu options. Press the menu button to change any setting. Press and hold the menu button to exit the menu.

Don’t press the Power button! It’ll turn off the detector and so you’ll want to avoid this when programming, haha 😀

GPS

Turn the GPS and GPS related features like lockouts, low speed muting, and redliight camera alerts on/off.

Speed Camera

Enable/disable alerts when you pass known speed cameras.

Redlight Camera

Enable/disable alerts when you pass known redlight cameras.

Voice

Enable to hear the detector let you know what band (ie. K band, Ka band) of radar your detector is picking up. If you don’t want to hear the voice and prefer listening to the beeps and the rampup, turn the voice off.

X Band

Most places in the country don’t use X band, with a few notable exceptions like OH, NJ, and a few places in OR and NC. X band is an older technology with large, bulky antennas so it’s been phased out in favor of radar guns with more compact antennas like K and Ka. Because X band isn’t in use in most parts of the country, most people can turn X band off altogether.

See this post to find out what bands are in use in your area.

K Band

Enable/disable K band detection.

K band is in use in much of the country. If it’s not in use in your area, consider yourself lucky and turn it off altogether. You’ll save yourself from many false alert headaches. That said, if you don’t need K band detection, you won’t need the K band filtering options the LRD950 provides and should probably look at the LRD850 which is the same thing but without the GPS. It offers the same performance but costs less. If you do need K band, the LRD950 is a good choice and you’ll want to leave K band turned on.

Ka Band

Ka band is almost always a legitimate alert when you receive it and it’s in use almost everywhere in the country so it’s generally best to leave it on.

Laser

Enable/disable laser detection.

POP

POP is a type of radar specifically designed to be super fast and defeat radar detectors by being too fast for them to pick up on. However, POP mode isn’t always accurate, it’s not legal to issue tickets, and it’s generally not used in practice. Turning it on on your detector generally hurts performance and leads to false POP alerts, so the standard recommendation is to simply to POP detection off and not to worry about it.

K Filter

Filter out some annoying K band false alerts. There’s two different versions of the K band filter, depending on which firmware version you’re running.

The earlier versions of the LRD950 firmware (1.37 and older) didn’t have any TSR-like delay with their K band filter and so they didn’t have the performance penalty that most detectors have with their K band filters. This was pretty awesome because you still get maximum range and reaction time with the filter on while also getting some K band filtering. However, if you have traffic sensors in use in your area, the lack of a delay in the filter meant that the detector was basically useless in those areas and would constantly alert to K band.

Because of this, Uniden released an updated version of their firmware with a delay (1.51 and newer) which added a ~0.8 sec delay to K band with the filter enabled. Any shots shorter than that would be filtered out. Any shots longer than that and you’d get an alert.

If you have traffic sensors in your area, and you can check by referencing the RDFGS and seeing if TSR is needed in your area, I’d recommend that you definitely run 1.51 or newer and enable the K band filter.

If you don’t, the K band filter is nonetheless very helpful for filtering out false alerts from vehicles with collision avoidance systems.

You can download various versions of the LRD950 firmware here.

Scan

Enable/disable the little dot that sweeps side to side across the face of the detector’s main screen. I find it a little distracting so I turn it off, but some people like it as it reminds them that their detector is like a sentry, continuously scanning the road ahead.

Display

Choose what you want to have displayed on the detector’s display while you’re driving normally and there’s no alert.

Speed / Compass / Voltage / Altitude / Off

I generally like to display my speed. The compass is handy too to help yourself get oriented when driving around. The altimeter is pretty cool when you’re driving through the mountains and are wondering what your elevation is. 🙂

Speed Unit

Display speeds in mph or km/h.

I normally run mph since I live in the States, but I find the km/h option handy when I go up to Canada.

Auto Mute

Automatically reduces the volume of an alert after 3 seconds so that it gets your attention initially and then reduces the volume to a less annoying level while still allowing you to track the signal. If you get a new signal, it will alert to that new signal at normal volume.

Auto mute on is less annoying, especially for longer alerts or when you have other people in the car who aren’t as into radar detectors. Auto mute off is handy for tracking the signal at normal volume the entire time, especially if you’re running a dashcam and want to share your saves with others.

Backlight

If enabled, it makes the Mute and Mark buttons glow.

Quiet Ride

Automatically mutes all signals if you’re traveling below a preset speed. Very handy for keeping the detector quiet around town. You’ll still get visual alerts, but radar and laser alerts are audibly muted.

GMT

Set what time zone you’re in.

DST

Enable/disable daylight savings time.

BAT Warning

Warns you if your battery level gets low (below 11 volts). A handy feature if you’re running your car off your battery with your engine turned off. It will help reduce the chances of getting a dead battery.

BAT Saver

Automatically turns the detector off after 1 hour of sitting still (traveling at 0 mph) or if you have no GPS lock for 1 hour (like if you parked in a parking garage). This feature is handy if your radar detector is plugged into a port that doesn’t cut power when you turn off your car. This way the detector will automatically turn off after an hour and not drain your car battery.

Self Test

Run a self test on startup. I typically turn this off to minimize annoying beeps and chirps on startup and to get a quicker, quieter experience.

Factory Reset

Reset the detector back to factory defaults. (GMT doesn’t get reset, but everything else does.)

Delete All Mute

Delete all your saved mute memory (GPS lockout) locations.

FW Ver

Tells you what version of the firmware you’re currently running.

DB Ver

Tells you when the redlight camera / speedcamera database you’re using was released.

Highway / City Modes

Not in the menu, but an option nonetheless. Highway gives you full sensitivity on all bands. City settings basically reduces X & K band sensitivity around 30% to reduce the false alerts from door openers. Think of a signal on a scale from 1 to 9 in strength. Using city mode you basically tell it to ignore signals strengths of 1-3 and start alerting when signal reaches level 4.

 

You can purchase the LRD950 here. You can also get it from Amazon by clicking the link below. 🙂

8 comments

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  1. santo ferraro

    hi im santo from australia im interested in buying the uniden lrd950 radar detector will the gps in the detector work in australia or usa only.some detectors gps only work in usa.or do you recommend another detector that works in my country.regards santo.

    1. Vortex

      Hey Santo. The detector will certainly work in other countries, but you face some radar guns that we don’t have in the US that are harder to detect. You also have fewer false alerts than we do so your needs are a bit different. I’d recommend heading over here to find information from others who drive down undah. 🙂 https://www.rdforum.org/forumdisplay.php?f=104

  2. Jim Wilcox

    Thanks for the clear and concise reviews.

    You’ve made comments about the lack of lockouts (100) and their coverage (.2-.3 miles), leading to the use of more than one lockout in problem areas and thus using up the available limited lock outs.
    Setting the speed for Quiet Ride is an important step not much discussed, but an option that reduces the need for lock outs. The challenge is to keep the detector from falsing by using Quiet Ride without increasing the risk of blocking police radar.

    Setting Quiet Ride at 25 mph is a good compromise, with the weight on protection from police radar. I arrive at this number by considering that the minimum speed limit anyone would inadvertently exceed is in a posted 20 mph zone. Lower peed limits of 10 mph are in tight quarters like alleys. Hard to imagine radar there (or the tendency to speed).
    Setting Quiet Ride at 25 means that the detector would sense radar in a 20 mph zone at only five mph above the limit, a excess that never seems to garner a ticket. From 25 to 30 mph, the detector would sense police radar, providing some warning time, but still under a 10 mph excess or the speed that WILL lead to a ticket. Setting Quiet Ride at 30 mph of course means one could be at 10 mph over a 20 mph speed limit for the detector to register a hit.

    While some may suggest a lower, 15 mph Quiet Ride limit for more advanced warning, it should be remembered that advance warning by distance is relative to speed. Traveling at 30 mph gives the same advanced warning time as traveling at 60 mph. So a warning distance that is half that of the maximum range provides the same warning time as when the vehicle is moving at 60 mph.

    Utilizing Quite Ride in this manner (with K band filter also enabled), would reduce the need for lock outs, saving them only for areas where one is traveling above 25 mph.

    But, “your mileage may vary”.

  3. Jim Wilcox

    I have had some more thoughts about how the LRD950 could be programmed to add more versatility.
    First, the most important part of advance warning in a detector is how much time it gives you before you reach the “kill zone”. For example, a half-mile warning at 60 mph gives you 30 seconds to recognize the threat and take action. Seems to me that 30 seconds is pretty much all the time needed. This means time to react is the key factor.
    Now consider an urban environment with a 30 mph posted speed. One only needs the detector to give an advance warning at half the distance needed for 60 mph to still receive a 30 second warning. Assuming a detector with half the sensitivity would accomplish this, it makes sense that in order to avoid false alarms, the detector only need to be half as sensitive.
    Which brings us to the challenge. Since the detector knows through GPS your speed, the firmware could be designed to continually adjust the sensitivity as speed increases. For example, just as the detector now allows one to in effect, shut it down at set speed, one could mark the shut-off speed at 20 mph. With programming, the detector could step-up the sensitivity to half and still provide a 30 second warning. Similarly 3/4th sensitivity at 45 would achieve the same 30 seconds warning. In this way, the detector could continuously adjust the sensitivity to always provide 30 seconds advanced warning while maximizing the ability to avoid false alerts.

    1. Vortex

      That would work except there’s two issues.

      A detector has no idea how far away the source of the signal is. If a signal is weak, how does the detector tell if the signal is 2 miles away but the terrain is really flat and so you can get long range detections, or if there’s radar-blocking trees and curves and hills in the way and the source is only a quarter mile away? Signal strength isn’t the same thing as distance so we can’t use that as a gauge to figure out how far away a source is.

      Additionally, what happens if the officer is using instant on? If he were to only transmit for 5 seconds when you’re 50-55 sec away, that warning ahead of time may be the only advanced warning you get before it’s your turn to be clocked. If everyone used constant on, that’d be one thing, but instant on changes things up.

      1. Jim Wilcox

        These are good points. Adjusting sensitivity according to speed means the detector has a greater chance of not giving enough advanced warning for instant-on or over-the-hill or around-the-curve radar.
        As it is now, you can select a city mode, with is fine except one can forget it is engaged and not have enough warning in the two examples above. The idea I am suggesting is a variable mode that goes from a city setting to a highway setting as speed changes. One could in theory have not only the speed at which the detector changed modes, but also the slope. That is, the detector could not engage until 25 mph, then go to a city-like setting that becomes progressively more sensitive to full sensitivity at a certain speed, like 40 or 45 mph. This “full sensitivity speed” could be user adjustable.
        Of course the detector does not know the conditions described above. And some may never want the detector have less than full sensitivity (meaning more false alarms, and more location memory). But the current option to completely shut down the detector below a predetermined speed indicates an interest in a static approach to what I am suggesting. At the very least, considering it may only be firmware problem, it would make an interesting test, with everyone choosing at what speed they want to have their detector change sensitivity automatically.

  4. Jeff

    Hey Vortex, I just purchased and received a LRD950 and it currently has the 1.37 firmware (which allows the K band filter to be on without a performance penalty). I have checked your charts and there appears to be no TSR in use here in Tennessee where I live. Would you recommend just staying with the 1.37 firmware and not updating at this time or do you have any reasons why you would advise updating and taking the slight performance hit? Thanks in advance for the advice.

    1. Vortex

      If there’s no TSR, 1.37 is better since you don’t have to take a hit on K band performance. If you notice too much blind spot falsing, switch to 1.51 to quiet it down further. Quiet ride and lockouts will help a lot with the muting as well around town.

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