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Aug 14

Uniden R1 / R3 Teardown: Under the Hood

Let’s take a look under the hood of the Uniden R1. I popped mine open recently (as you guys know, it’s the same thing as the R3, just without the GPS chip) and we’ve been having a discussion on RDF about the internals here. Anyway, let’s take a look at a few photos of what you’ll find inside the new Unidens.

So once you remove a few screws, the top lid pops off. You’ll see a pair of wires you’ll need to remove, one set for the buttons on top of the detector and another set for the speaker.

Here’s a look at the main board and top of the horn. You can see a few screws on the horn casing which we’ll unscrew in just a moment to look inside the horn. You can also see the front laser sensor (gold mesh covering the silver box just to the left of the horn’s entrance) as well as a circular hole in that silver metal box where the clear plastic rear laser sensor still connected to the top of the casing (visible in the photo above) fits down into.

Unlike the buttons on top of the detector, the display and front buttons are soldered directly to the board.

Here’s a look at the backside of this primary PCB.

The orange ribbon cables connects the the display to the PCB.

There’s 4 screws on the bottom that help hold the bottom of the metal horn casing on. Oddly though, there’s more to removing the entire horn casing off of the PCB than the removal of those screws. It feels like there’s thermal tape or something between the bottom of the horn and the PCB and I wasn’t able to remove the horn completely, even with those screws removed. A number of us have played with it, but it feels like we may damage things if we were to try and remove the horn altogether.

That said, here’s a closeup of the Nuvoton chip on the bottom of the PCB.

Reading over the Nuvoton NUC100 series datasheet, that is the ARM Cortex-M0 core that can run up to 50 MHz.

We suspect the actual DSP chip is sandwiched between the metal horn casing and the PCB which is one of the main reasons we want to peek under there, but unfortunately we’re not able to get under the horn to see what lies beneath. In any event, let’s pop open the horn casing and take a look inside.

Here’s a look at the underlying RF circuitry within the new Uniden detectors.

Interestingly, there actually is no LNA (packaged, wirebonded, or otherwise) sitting just behind the horn. I would expect it to be right where the horizontal green bar is across the yellow microstrips. Just behind that green bar is what looks to be a mixer. So much to everyone’s surprise, Uniden is able to outperform the M3’s and everyone else without using an LNA at all. That’s extremely impressive…

Here’s a closer look at the RF circuitry itself.

So yeah, that’s a quick look at the internals of the Uniden R1!

If you guys see more interesting and noteworthy attributes to this detector’s design, please let me know by commenting down below!

Finally, if you’d like to buy a Uniden R1, click here.

If you prefer GPS and you want a Uniden R3, you can buy one here.

Thanks for reading! 🙂

4 comments

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  1. Brad

    Good afternoon. I bought the escort 360 for my wife who travels m-f about 30 min each way through the city of aiken sc.then on some weekends and about 6 times a year a 2 hour each way trip on mainly back road highway s average speed 60 mph except for the 4 or 5 small towns she goes through on her way.I see escorts now how the new improved redline.would you go with the new redline or stay with the 360?The 360 “seems” to have a very good detection range.does the redline have a longer distance of detection?besides the arrows on 360 and the invisibility on the new redline which is more advanced tech wise.Thanks for your help I know you are busy.

    1. Vortex

      Hey, sorry this post is about the internals of the new Unidens, not about comparing the Max360 and Redline EX. Anyway, I’ve covered those two detectors quite a bit, especially the Redline EX recently. I even tested those two together about a week ago. Please take a look through some of my previous posts and you’ll find plenty more info about the Redline EX and you can compare that to the Max360.

  2. Kirk Aubertine

    Is the R1/R3 manufactured by Attowave for Uniden?

    1. Vortex

      Yes. Lots of companies use them. Attowave does the production, but Uniden holds the exclusive right to use this design in a windshield mount radar detector like this.

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