Jun 16

How to Program and Set Up Your Uniden R1 and R3

If you have a Uniden R1 or Uniden R3, you can change the settings to give yourself better performance, filter out more false alerts, change the display color to match your vehicle’s interior, and basically tweak it to what you prefer.

Now there’s no universal “best” settings for everyone of course since what’s best depends on where you drive and even your own personal preferences. That’s why they gave us options. 🙂

You can download the R1 manual or the R3 manual and read over the details. Rather than just duplicating the manual here, in this article I want to go into a bit more explanation so you can better understand the benefits of the different settings, their pros and cons, and which one you should choose. At the very end, I’ll share with you the settings that I run. 🙂

Highway / City / City2

This lets you dial back the sensitivity of K band and X band to reduce false alerts around town. Ka band is always unaffected.

Highway: Full sensitivity on Ka, K, and X band.

City: Full sensitivity on Ka band, reduced sensitivity on K and X band.

City2: Full sensitivity on Ka band, reduced sensitivity on K band, X band disabled.

For K band testing between Highway and City mode, see here.

GPS (R3 only)

Turn the R3’s GPS-related features on or off.

Speed Camera (R3 only)

Alert you to speed cameras ahead.

Redlight Cam (R3 only)

Alert you to redlight cameras ahead.

RLC Q-Ride (R3 only)

High speed muting for redlight cameras. This is useful for muting RLC alerts on nearby surface streets when you’re driving down the highway.


Voice announcements for radar and laser alerts to make it easier to identify different bands by sound. This is especially useful while you’re learning what the beeps for each individual band sound like.

X Band

Enable or disable X band.

X band has been mostly phased out around the country. It’s still actively in use in OH and NJ and a few small areas around the country.

To find out what bands are in use in your area, click here.

K Band

Enable or disable K band.

K band is in use virtually everywhere around the country. The notable exception is virtually all of CA where you can disable K band and cut off the false alerts you’d otherwise have to deal with using the detector’s filters.

To find out what bands are in use in your area, click here.

Ka Band

Enable or disable Ka band.

This is a very common police radar band and it’s in use nationwide. Definitely best to leave this on.


Enable or disable alerts when you get shot by laser.


67 ms K band POP detection.

K band POP is virtually nonexistent in real life and it’s best to leave this turned off for reduced false alerts. However, turning in on (and disabling the K Filter altogether) will give you maximum performance on K band since the detector is constantly scanning for brief K band now. This won’t be a good idea in most situations due to the increased false alerts, but if you’re out in the middle of nowhere and require the absolute maximum detection possible on K band, you can turn this on.

If you’d like to see a demo of K POP detection on the R3, click here.


67 ms Ka band POP detection.

Ka band POP is also nearly nonexistent in real life so it’s generally better to turn this off. Testing has also shown that POP on reduces Ka range.

K Filter

Filter out blind spot false alerts from other nearby vehicles. Definitely run with this on.

Ka Filter

Filter out false alerts on Ka band. Turning this on does affect performance, but only in a very minor way. It slows down reactivity by about 0.1s, so not much at all. Even with it on, the detector is still very fast. It has much less of an impact to performance than Escort’s RDR or the V1’s Ka Guard does. If you’d like maximum performance, turn this off.


The traffic sensor filter is designed to filter out K band traffic sensors along the highway in some areas. Oddly, the R1 and R3 can filter out many traffic sensors even with TSF off. Enabling it does slow down reactivity quite a bit on K band so it’s generally recommended to leave it off. However, if you have traffic sensors on your highways and experience regular and repeated K band falses from them, turn TSF on.

K Wide / Narrow

This gives you the option to slightly narrow the range of frequencies that the detectors scans for on K band, potentially cutting out some false alerts. For example, Honda/Acura BSM’s often transmit between 24.198-24.201 so K Narrow will help filter out some, but not all of them.

Police officers are allowed to transmit throughout the entire range that K Wide covers so if K band is actively used in your area, it’s best to run with K Wide.

  • K Wide : 24.050 – 24.250 GHz
  • K Narrow: 24.080 – 24.200 GHz

Ka Wide / Narrow

Scan a narrower range of frequencies on Ka band, speeding up the detector to give you better performance including longer range and the ability to react to briefer alerts.

  • Ka Wide: 33.4 GHz – 36.0 GHz
  • Ka Narrow: 33.8 +/- 100 MHz, 34.7 +/- 120 MHz, 35.5 +/- 100 MHz

Ka Narrow is generally recommended for both maximum performance (test here) and due to a ghosting bug with the Uniden covered below in Note 2.

Ka Wide is recommended if you encounter out of tune guns such as in New York.

Note 1: We’ve found that the 34.7 sweep actually scans up to 34.850 in Ka Narrow, possibly even higher.

Note 2: Currently if you run Ka Wide, K band signals will sometimes cause the detector to false to Ka band around 34.7. Setting your detector to Ka Narrow will cut down on this ghosting tremendously and is highly recommended until an upcoming update fix fully addresses this issue.

All Threat Display

When the detector is picking up more than one signal, it can show the band and signal strength of any additional signals (up to 3 more) on the left side of the screen where the speedometer/voltmeter would normally go. When only one signal is present, that left side of the screen stays as a speedometer/voltmeter.


Choose what color display you’d like. The options include: blue, amber, green, pink, gray, and red.

Scan (R3 only)

When enabled, the detector shows a heartbeat pulse type of monitor. It’s simply a visual element. If you disable it, the detector will display the current time on the display instead. Personally I find the time to be more useful.

Display (R3 Only)

Choose what you want to be displayed on the left side of the screen including your speed, speed and compass, compass, voltage, and altitude.

My preference is for speed. I like speed and compass too, but sometimes when you’re stationary, especially before you start moving when you’re stationary, the compass just spins around and I find this annoying, but the compass can be helpful when driving.

Speed Unit (R3 Only)

Display your speed in MPH or KPH.

Auto Mute

After 3 seconds, the detector will drop the volume to level 1. Helpful for quieting the detector down after it gets your attention initially, but it may be too quiet for some. Some people also leave this disabled to make it easier to record the rampup and beeps on their dashcam for sharing later.


Makes the front two buttons underneath the display glow from behind so you can find them more easily at night. You can turn it off if you want a stealthier look.

Quiet Ride (R3 Only)

Low speed muting. This automatically mutes any and all X band and K band alerts, whether they’re real alerts or false alerts, when traveling below the speed you select. This feature is incredibly valuable around town to help deal with false alerts.

LimitSpeed (R3 Only)

Audibly warn you when you travel over a preset speed.

GMT (R3 Only)

Choose your time zone and the time will automatically be set via GPS.

  • GMT-05:00 – Eastern
  • GMT-06:00 – Central
  • GMT-07:00 – Mountain
  • GMT-08:00 – Pacific

DST (R3 Only)

Daylight savings time adjustment.

BAT Warning

Audible warning when your battery drops too low (below 11v).

BAT Saver (R3 Only)

If your detector is plugged into a power source that doesn’t turn off when you turn off your car, turn this on so your detector doesn’t drain your car battery.

It turns the detector off when you’ve been stationary (parked) for 30 minutes.

It also turns the detector off if the GPS hasn’t connected for an hour (like when you’re in a parking deck or garage).

Self Test

Run a self-diagnostic test every time you start your detector. You can turn this off for a faster and quieter bootup process.

Factory Reset?

Reset your detector’s settings to factory defaults.

If you’re running the R3, this does not delete your lockouts or manually marked locations.

Delete All Mute? (R3 Only)

Delete all of your GPS lockouts.

Delete All User? (R3 Only)

Delete all of your manually marked locations that you created by pressing the Mark button.


Tells you the firmware and DSP firmware version of the detector.

You can check for the current firmware version here.

DB Ver (R3 Only)

Date (version) of the current redlight camera database.

My Settings

Here’s the settings that I run myself. This is not necessarily what’s best for you, but it’s what I typically use nowadays around here where it’s almost exclusively Ka and Laser. K band is very rare and so I really like the detector quiet on K band.

  • City
  • GPS: On
  • Speed Camera: On
  • Redlight Camera: On
  • RLC Q-Ride: 50mph
  • Voice: Off
  • X Band: Off
  • K Band: On
  • Ka Band: On
  • Laser: On
  • K POP: Off
  • Ka POP: Off
  • K Filter: On
  • Ka Filter: On
  • TSF: Off
  • K Narrow
  • Ka Narrow
  • All Threat: On
  • Color: Red
  • Scan: Off
  • Display: Speed
  • Speed Unit: mph
  • Auto Mute: On
  • Backlight: Off
  • Quiet Ride: 35mph
  • Limit Speed: Off
  • GMT – 8 Hour
  • DST: On
  • BAT Warning: On
  • BAT Saver: Off
  • Self Test: Off

Note: This guide is current as of firmware 1.26. As new firmware updates are released, settings may be added or removed and performance may be impacted as well. I’ll update this as things change.

If you need to purchase either detector, you can purchase the R1 here and you can purchase the R3 here.


Skip to comment form

  1. Ftlaud911

    Thank you!! Exactly what I was looking for. I love the R3, but honestly feel semi guilty now when I look at my V1 on my desk. I know I have a more sensitive detector, but it has served me very well for like a decade. Since your in touch with Uniden I have some recommendations at this time.

    1. They need to get better suction cups – mine was constantly falling or hanging by one. The big suction mount is very nice but huge
    2. They need to see why the R3 gets so hot which will shorten the life of the detector – someone on you tube did a test and mine is very warm to the touch
    3. Keep the firmware coming – says a ton about their commitment to the product
    4. Include a permanent mount
    5. Sounds seem odd – sent links to two of my friends about getting one and both commented they hated the sound
    6. Most important – add arrows (I would pay more to have them)
    7. Offer an upgrade program if they do come up with arrows, (one can hope)

    Overall I am very happy with my unit. Need to test my sunglasses so that might make me slightly annoyed.

  2. "astaire" -(rdformum name)

    Great post and very informative. Have decided to buy an R3 once the availability improves.

    Noted once error — the Ka band frequency range:

    “Ka Wide: 33.4 GHz – 33.6 GHz”

    1. Vortex

      oops lol, thanks for the heads up!

  3. David Sammartino

    Can I please ask you if the k band filter will slow r3 down alot? I have k band in my area.

    1. Vortex

      Virtually none. Leave the filter on so that you pay attention when it goes off. You’ve got LOTS of performance with the R3. What you need is to trust it when it goes off. 😉

  4. Bill Wilson

    Mrcd Detection R-3 or future model coming?

    1. Vortex

      I haven’t heard anything. Check out the upcoming Radenso Pro SE M-edition for MRCD detection: https://www.rdforum.org/showthread.php?t=60845

  5. Mara

    I would like to speak to an expert regarding radar and laser on human bodies. Can you email a telephone number.

    1. Vortex

      I’m not the person to talk to on the subject. I’m not sure who to point you towards either. Perhaps a scientist or university where this is studied specifically?

  6. Anthony

    I just picked up a MAX 360, does it pay to return it for the R3. Most of my driving is in the NY city area.

    1. Vortex

      That’s a really common question and it’s one I find tough to answer. Do you want the arrows? Do you want the autolockouts? Do you want the Bluetooth and app features? Have you found those features helpful so far?

      The Uniden has better long range performance. Have you been lacking range with your 360?

      The Uniden is still new and there’s some bug fixes and firmware updates that are coming out.

      The Max360 has a firmware update promised to help address some issues too, but we’re been waiting a while for that.

      1. Anthony

        I love all the features of the MAX360, that the main reason why i purchased it. I just which it had a bit more range.

        1. Vortex

          Welcome to the unending search for the ultimate radar detector. 😄

  7. Dennis

    First time on this site
    Very lnformitive!!
    Just got the R3 ! It’s awesome
    Put my redline in the drawer
    Find it hard to read the manual
    Expected a comprehensive book like !

    1. Vortex

      Congrats on your new R3! 😀

  8. Dennis

    Hi, my uniden r3 won’t display correct time
    -5 should be the correct selection for eastern time wit DST SET TO ON ????

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