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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. 🙂

Functions of All the Different Buttons:

  • Power: Turn the detector on or off
  • Menu: Enter into the settings menu
    • (R3 only) Long press will change between Highway / City / Advanced modes
  • Vol -: Reduce the volume
    • Go backwards through the menu options
  • Vol +: Increase the volume
    • Go forwards through the menu options
  • Mute / Dim:
    • Press once during an alert to mute the alert
    • (R3 only) Press twice during a stationary X or K band false alert to teach the detector that this is a false alert. It will remember this signal and automatically mute it for you in the future.
    • (R3 only) Press twice during a red light camera or speedcamera alert and it will delete that particular alert from the detector’s database and not alert you to it again.
    • Press and hold when no alert is present to change the display brightness
      • Bright
      • Dim
      • Dimmer
      • Dark: Display is disabled and only lights up when an alert is present. When no alert is present, there will be a blinking dot in the lower left hand corner so you can doublecheck that the detector is on.
      • Off: Display and buttons are completely turned off at all times, giving you a fully blacked out detector at all times. Your audio will play normally still, of course.
  • Mark (R3): Manually mark this location so that your detect alerts you every time you come back by it. Useful to mark locations that you know are regularly used as speed traps, for example.
  • City (R1): Change between Highway / City / Advanced modes

Settings & Menu Options:

Highway / City / Advanced

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.

Advanced: You can individually dial back the sensitivity on X, K, or Ka band anywhere from 100% sensitivity to 30% sensitivity in 10% increments. Helpful if you’re getting too much range and want to dial back the performance. (City Mode would be the equivalent of X/K dialed back to 10% sensitivity which is even lower than what you can select in Advanced mode so City mode is the lowest sensitivity option.)

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.

Note: If you’d like to delete an individual RLC/speedcam alert and prevent it from coming back again in the first place, double press the mute button when the alert is on screen and you will delete that particular camera from your detector’s database.

Voice

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.

Laser

Enable or disable alerts when you get shot by laser.

K POP

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.

Ka POP

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.

TSF

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 24.198-24.206ish 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

Alert to all the entire Ka band spectrum or only the Ka frequencies where police generally operate on.

  • 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), but in theory they should perform the same since Ka Narrow only changes what frequencies the detector alerts to, not the way it scans or if it scans a larger or smaller section of Ka band.

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

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

Signal / KA Priority

Signal Priority gives alert priority to the strongest (usually closest) signal.

Ka Priority gives you band priority alerts where if you’re seeing multiple signals, alert priority will be given to Laser, Ka, K, & X in that order.

So for example if you’re getting a strong K band signal and a weak Ka band signal, Signal Priority will alert you to the K band signal while Ka Priority will focus on the Ka band signal. If you have the all threat display option enabled (discussed next), the secondary signal will show up on screen next to the primary signal, but the audio will always be focused on the primary signal.

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.

Color

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

Mode / Time (R3 only) / Scan

Change what is showing up on screen when you’re not getting an alert.

Mode (R1 & R3) will display the words Highway, City, or Advanced on screen.

Time (R3 only) will display the current time, determined by GPS.

Scan (R1 & R3) will display an animated heartbeat scanner on screen.

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.

Tones for X / K / Ka / Laser

Choose between 12 different alert tones for any of the radar bands or for laser. Scroll through the different options to listen to what the alert tones sound like.

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.

Auto Mute Volume

Adjust how loud or quiet the auto mute option reduces the volume level to. Very handy if the quietest option is too quiet, for example.

Backlight

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. If you’ve set your time zone but the clock is off by 1 hour, change this setting.

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.

Ver.

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.

General Recommended Settings

If you’re wondering what settings you should run, I’d recommend that you read over this guide and take the time to understand what each option does so you can make an informed decision. If you’d like a quick general recommendation that would work for most everyone nationwide, here’s a list of generic recommended settings.

  • Highway
  • GPS: On
  • Speed Camera: On
  • Redlight Camera: On
  • RLC Q-Ride: 60mph
  • Voice: On
  • X Band: Off (If you drive in OH or NJ, turn this on.)
  • K Band: On (If you drive in CA, you can typically turn this off.)
  • Ka Band: On
  • Laser: On
  • K POP: Off
  • Ka POP: Off
  • K Filter: On
  • Ka Filter: On
  • TSF: Off (If you get regular and constant false K band alerts on the highway, you may have traffic sensors in your area and should turn this on.)
  • K Wide
  • Ka Wide
  • Ka Priority
  • All Threat: On
  • Color: Red
  • Scan: Time
  • Display: Speed
  • Speed Unit: mph
  • Tones: default
  • Auto Mute: On
  • Auto Mute Vol: 2
  • Backlight: On
  • Quiet Ride: 25mph
  • Limit Speed: Off
  • GMT – (Choose your specific time zone)
  • DST: On
  • BAT Warning: On
  • BAT Saver: On
  • Self Test: Off

My Personal 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 extra 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
  • Ka Priority
  • All Threat: On
  • Color: Blue
  • Scan: Time
  • Display: Speed
  • Speed Unit: mph
  • Tones: default
  • Auto Mute: On
  • Auto Mute Vol: 2
  • 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 1.30. 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.

24 comments

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  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 ????

  9. Dennis

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

    Leave a Reply

    1. Vortex

      If you have a GPS lock and thus the time is being displayed, but you’ve selected your time zone and it’s off by an hour, change the DST option.

  10. David

    Hey Vortex,thanks for all your time and effort for us out here.Quick question sir,is the audio jack for the R1 and R3 considered a mono or stereo jack?I just tried hookong up my external escort speaker i had running on my redline but i got no sound at all.Thanks for your time.

    1. Patacogs

      Have you solved this problem – I just did the entire install and am getting no sound – pretty frustrating … hope its an easy fix

  11. Howie

    Howdy,

    I saw your review of the Uniden R3 and after doing some additional research went ahead and ordered it a couple of days ago and received it today. I only found out today after recently relocating to California for work and driving around with an Escort 9500ix on my windshield for the past three months that it is illegal.

    Blendmount seem to be pretty overpriced for their RVM mounts, so wondered what the options are. I ordered a RVM mount for a vehicle a few years ago but cannot find them for anything. They’re mount was very similar to the Blendmount but a whole lot less expensive. Are there any alternatives to the Blendmount that isn’t a windshield mount?

    I also wanted to say thanks for all of your hard work. I will donate as I am able. Thanks again.

  12. Mike

    Great post. I would really like to run Ka narrow but I live in NY. Where in NY are people seeing out of tune radar? I know most of the areas I travel they use 34.7 and the NYSP in particular seem to run very low power because they are much harder to detect then other agencies. So if there out of tune I would see readings greater then 34.82 GHz and less then 34.58 GHz?

  13. Kenny Gall

    Thank you for all you do… For input to Uniden, I find their update procedure a little challenging.. I’m not a real computer guy. I use one everyday at work but unzipping and Bat files are a little much.. If they could streamline the update procedure that would be awesome.. With that said, as a long time Escort user, I can’t put into words how happy i am that they even do updates to support their products, but if I can gripe just a little, the streamlining of the process would be great..

    1. Vortex

      Agreed. That’s something people are bringing up a lot and would be a good next step for them to address.

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