Mar 25

Top 4 First Radar Detectors

Are you looking for an awesome radar detector to help keep you protected from speeding tickets while you’re out driving?

Have you been reading reviews and watching YouTube videos to learn more and yet you’re still not sure which one to buy?

Let’s make this simple. ūüôā

In this article we’re going to go over the best¬†4 choices for your first radar detector, particularly¬†if you’re not interested in becoming a radar detector expert. ūüôā

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Mar 11

Radneso Pro SE Display Colors

The Radenso Pro SE is¬†available with different color displays. The Radenso Pro is available only with a yellow display, but the Radenso Pro SE is available in Red, Yellow, & Blue. Here’s a look at all 3 display colors side by side so you can see which one looks best to you.

Personally I prefer the red. I think it looks best and I like that red doesn’t impact your night vision as much. It’s one reason why most detectors have a red display. Additionally, my car’s interior is red so it matches it nicely. ūüôā

Purchase the red RPSE here or here.

(Note: If purchasing from Amazon, only purchase through Radenso Radar or Power Sports US. Scammers sometimes set up fake accounts and pretend to offer RPSE’s at unrealistically low prices.)

If you’d like a yellow or blue RPSE, you can pick those up from Radenso’s website here.

If you’d like the yellow Radenso Pro, you can pick one up here.

Mar 10

10% off sale on the Uniden DFR7

For the next 7 days, there’s a 10% off sale on the Uniden DFR7, a very popular city/highway radar detector.

Click here to purchase the Uniden DFR7

Normally the DFR7 retails for $299, but if you enter in the coupon code “VortexRadar” then you’ll save 10% and the price of the detector will drop down $30 to just $269 with free shipping.

 

Enter the coupon code VortexRadar

 

$30 Discount applied to a new DFR7

 Click here to purchase the Uniden DFR7

This coupon is valid for the DFR7 only and expires 3/17/2017.

Dec 15

Remote RD Testing, Dec 2016: Stinger VIP, Net Radar, Radenso HD+, 9500ci, STi-R Plus, STi-R O

This week @Dukes and I met up to do some remote radar detector testing. We had at least two of all the top remote RD’s and tested them on 33.8, 34.7, 35.5, and K band. We also used two different courses over three days so it was a LOT of time spent testing. ūüôā¬†It’s a test I’ve been wanting to do for a while now so a big THANK YOU to everyone who contributed equipment and helped make this test happen!

Radar Detectors:

-Stinger VIP 4.0.26 (@Dukes)
-Stinger VIP 4.0.26 (@Vortex, supplied by Stinger HQ)
-Net Radar 1 (@Vortex, supplied by @BestRadarDetectors, hand-soldered preproduction unit)
-Net Radar 2 (@Vortex, supplied by @BestRadarDetectors, production unit)
-Radenso HD+ connected to Bel 975 (@Vortex, supplied by @H√ľgel66)
-Radenso HD+ (supplied by @inbe2893)
-9500ci (@Dukes, standalone unit)
-STi-R Plus (@mikedotd, standalone unit)
-STi-R O (@Dukes, head plugged into Plus CPU)

Every detector was running the latest public firmware, including the Stinger with the new 4.0.26 that was just released a few days ago. (Great timing!)

Let’s take a look at all the detectors mounted on @Dukes‘ truck which is amazing for remote testing…

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Sep 30

Best Radar Detectors of 2016 for any Budget

How do you figure out which radar detector is best? There’s lots of great options that would work well on your windshield so you could read lots of reviews to figure it all out, try out a bunch of detectors yourself, or check out my comprehensive¬†radar detector buyer’s guide. In an effort to make this decision as simple as possible for you, however, let’s take a look at the very best radar detectors available at every price point so that you can decide based on your budget and easily see what you’ll gain by dropping more cash.

Now there are lots of other radar detectors available that aren’t on this list, but these are among the very best. There’s also many cheaper ones than what are on this list, but there’s nothing down there I’d solidly recommend below these price points. The two main issues with the cheaper detectors is that the range is very limited so you won’t get much advanced warning time, plus¬†you’ll get a ton of false alerts and will wind up either wanting to chuck the detector out the window or you’ll ignore it when it really counts… so considering you’re looking to avoid the cost and headache of not only expensive speeding tickets, but also any insurance premium hikes, points, court costs, and lawyer fees that come with the ticket, I’d recommend you avoid the bottom of the barrel¬†cheapy detectors. They’re simply not worth the money.

Additionally, no matter which detector you choose, you’ll also want to run Waze on your phone (free) so you can see where cops are setting up speed traps in real time as well as pick up a set of laser jammers to help protect you from laser. Radar detectors are designed¬†for radar. Laser jammers are designed¬†for laser. I’d recommend you get the AntiLaser Priority as it’s currently the clear winner, without question. If only choosing a radar detector was this simple. ūüôā

So anyways, let’s take a look at the different radar detectors, starting from the most affordable and basic entry level radar detectors up to the top performing and most feature-rich detectors.

 

$200
Uniden DFR6Uniden DFR6

This is the least expensive radar detector that I’d recommend. It offers¬†the performance of many of the higher end detectors and does a great job at filtering out false alerts from cars with blind spot monitoring systems around you which is unusual for detectors in the price range and is what makes it stand out.¬†However, it’s a pretty basic detector and¬†lacks a GPS chip to help it learn and filter out false alerts around town and it lacks¬†some of the other helpful bells and whistles that other detectors offer. It’s a great entry level detector. It’s best suited for primarily highway driving.

Purchase the Uniden DFR6 here or here.

 

$300
Uniden DFR7Uniden DFR7

This adds a GPS chip to the DFR6, making it a very well-rounded detector for both city and highway driving. Again it offers the performance of many higher end detectors and blind spot filtering as good as or better than many other detectors, but the added GPS chip really helps out in the city so you can teach it where stationary false alerts are from speed signs and automatic door openers in shopping centers (or when you pass them driving down the street or highway), plus you get low speed muting to quiet things down around town and redlight camera alerts for added protection. I think this detector really hits the sweet spot for price/performance with all the different detectors around.

Purchase the Uniden DFR7 here or here.

 

$300
Escort Passport MaxEscort Passport Max

Think of this¬†as¬†an easier to use and more refined version of the DFR7 that may be a better choice for most typical¬†drivers because the lockouts are automatic so it can learn where false alerts are around town without you having to teach it which alerts are false and which are real every time, the display is nicer, the redlight camera database is updated more regularly, and the colors can be customized to match your vehicle’s interior. The blind spot filtering is slightly less effective so I’d give the edge to the Uniden in that department¬†so the Uniden¬†ultimately will be a slightly quieter detector in the end. The Max’s forte is giving you an easy to use and plug-and-play experience. This detector is being discontinued so the price has dropped considerably from its normal price of $550. You can now pick it up around $300’ish.

Purchase the Escort Passport Max here.

 

Max2Note: Depending on where current pricing is since it does fluctuate, you can also consider the Max2 which is a Max with a bluetooth chip built in so you can pair it with your phone so you can not only use your phone as an external display or configure your radar detector’s settings more easily, but you can also share realtime alerts with other drivers in the cloud using the app Escort Live (Android and iOS). It’s only a couple bucks more to step up to the Max2.

Purchase the Escort Passport Max2 here.

 

$400
Radenso XPRadenso XP

If you took the DFR7 and added more refinement, more useful features, better customer service, you’d basically have the Radenso XP. It also offers¬†good range, excellent BSM filtering, manual GPS lockouts, more advanced filtering and muting options to quiet things down better such as the ability to delete individual redlight camera alerts plus a feature I like to think of as¬†“happy wife mode” where you can temporarily audibly mute all future X/K band signals while still getting high priority Ka and Laser alerts no matter what to minimize the audible nagging for other passengers in your car. It offers more fine tuned control over the experience than most other detectors and is quickly becoming popular among enthusiasts.

Purchase the Radenso XP here.

 

$400
Beltronics MagnumBeltronics Magnum

For maximum long range performance¬†above all else on¬†highways and backroads, the Magnum’s outstanding sensitivity¬†makes it ideal for both flat open deserts and curvy mountain roads where picking up a signal ahead is the number one¬†priority. It doesn’t offer the greatest filtering capabilities, plus it lacks a GPS chip, so you won’t want to use it as much in an area where there’s a lot of false alerts. That’s why I’d suggest it as a highway detector, especially for more rural highways without lots of other cars around with blind spot monitoring systems. Additionally if you drive in Virginia or Washington D.C. where radar detectors are illegal, this is a popular choice because it is fully immune to being detected by radar detector detectors.

Purchase the Beltronics Magnum here.

 

$450
V1Valentine 1 with YaV1 (Android) or V1Driver (iOS)

This is one of my favorite all-around setups. It’s rock solid reliable, offers great performance and lightning fast reaction times, provides tons of useful information, has the best arrows around, and effective BSM filtering. It lacks a GPS chip so you’ll need to pair it with your phone and run an app to add the functionality that other detectors can offer right out of the box. As such, it requires more parts like a phone, bluetooth adapter, and third party app, plus it involves additional setup and configuration so it’s best for those who like to tinker with stuff. Once you get it all set up, it’s an excellent all-around package. The apps will add the additional audio muting capabilities to help quiet down the false alerts, but the alerts will all still show up¬†and blink on the V1’s display so it can be a very visually active detector with all the blinking lights and arrows, especially around town.

If you’re running iOS, you’ll want to purchase the iOS version of the bluetooth module called the V1C LE, download the app V1connection, and purchase the app¬†V1Driver from the app store. If you’re running Android, you’ll need to purchase the Android only version of the bluetooth module called the V1C¬†and then download the app YaV1. Note:¬†The V1C LE is now also compatible with Android and you’ll see it recommended for Androids, but YaV1 is only compatible with the V1C so you’ll want to make sure you pick that one up to ensure everything¬†works properly.

Purchase the Valentine 1 here.

 

$500
RPSERadenso Pro SE

If you want maximum long range performance comparable to the Magnum for driving on the highway or backroads plus a GPS chip to get all the filtering options you’ll need in the city, the Radenso Pro SE is the way to go. It’s a very compact detector that packs a powerful punch. When it was originally released it had a number of bugs that needed to be fixed, but now that it’s running well with the latest firmware updates, you’ve got a great all-around detector with really long range, good blind spot filtering, and advanced muting options for false alert filtering around town, backed by some of the best customer service in the business.

Purchase the Radenso Pro SE here or here.

 

$650
Max360Escort Max360

If you want a fully loaded detector packed with all the bells and whistles where everything works straight out of the box and is easy to use, take a look at the Max360. Other detectors may¬†have the edge in one or two areas like all out range or blind spot filtering, but this is more like the jack of all trades. Plus it doesn’t require you to add a phone and use third party apps to get the necessary core functionality you’ll need. In one integrated package you get¬†good performance with plenty of advanced warning time in most situations just like all the other detectors here, pretty good blind spot filtering, multicolored arrows, completely automatic GPS lockouts, low speed muting, redlight camera alerts and a frequently updated database, and a nice and customizable modern display. Like the Max2 you can pair it with your phone if you like (Android or iOS) and run the app Escort Live to add some¬†extra bonus features like changing settings from your phone or sharing realtime alerts with other drivers¬†through the cloud. I do wish the blind spot¬†filtering was a bit better and more¬†on par with some of the other options, but at the end of the day for your everyday driver going down highways and city streets who wants all the bells and whistles in one integrated and easy to use package, the Max360 is the one to get.

Purchase the Escort Max360 here.

Aug 31

How to Configure your Net Radar Radar Detector

The Net Radar is a remote radar detector designed to be installed in your grill and¬†plugged¬†into the AntiLaser Priority laser jamming system to¬†offer you a fully integrated radar detecting and laser jamming setup. You can check out my impressions of the Net Radar here.¬†Now there’s actually several different Net Radar antennas you can purchase, depending on your needs.

  1. Front antenna: Primary radar detector everyone will need
  2. Rear antenna: Optional to give you improved radar detection from behind. A firmware update is coming to add directional information, aka arrows, if you have both a front and rear antenna.
  3. Front MRCD antenna: Optional antenna for those who live in Edmonton, Alberta or around Quebec where the MRCD is in use.

Now to configure your Net Radar, there’s actually two ways of doing it. The traditional way is to configure everything on your computer via the ALP website, download the config file with your settings to your computer, take it over to your ALP in your car via a USB stick, and plug the USB stick so the ALP can apply those settings.

The second way is to do things through your phone if you have a Bluetooth module. You go into the app’s settings, find the section to configure your ALP online, click “Modify” to go to the website online, create all your settings on the website, save the settings, then download those saved settings through the app again to apply them to your ALP.

Bluetooth updates

Ultimately both methods require you to go the same website¬†and so you’ll find the exact same options either way. For the sake of this example, we’ll assume you’re doing it through your computer.

Start off by going to¬†alpupdate.com/Configure, select your region (ie. North America), and then if you’re running the HiFi module or Bluetooth module and not just the standard ALP control pad, click the “Use profiles” box over on the right.

Enable profiles

Profiles will let you build 3 different preset settings profiles that you can switch between on the fly using your phone or hifi module. These profiles affect both the laser jammer and radar detector settings. You can switch different profiles to do things like enable your jammers or set them to parking mode, change different filtering settings on your radar detector, and so on.

For now we’re going to dive down and just run through all the settings. To save yourself sometime, you can always choose all the settings you want, go back to the top and click the “options” button underneath “Use profiles,” and copy all the settings from one profile to the next, this way you don’t have to start from scratch with each different profile.

Advanced options

Under “Advanced options” make sure you select either “PDC & DLI” or “PDC & LID” in order to enable the radar detector functionality. If you have your jammers set to “PDC Only,” you won’t find any options for your radar detector and it will be disabled.

Radar antenna model

Scroll down to “Radar antenna model” and select “NET-Radar.”

Activate dual mode

If you’re running both the regular Net Radar antenna and the MRCD antenna up front, it’s recommended to¬†mount them¬†on opposite ends of the car at least 30-36″ apart. You can mount them closer if need be. If you do, you may get false alerts between the two antennas. To fix this, activate “Dual mode” which will reduce the sensitivity of your antennas but will take care of the false alerts.

Mark connected antennas

If you’re running the normal front radar detector antenna, turn “Front 1” on. (This will apply to virtually everyone.)

If also you’re running the MRCD antenna up front, turn “Front 2” on as well.

If you’re running a rear antenna, turn “Rear” on.

Note: The settings for each antenna are adjusted individually and by default all bands (X, K, & Ka band) are enabled. Some people have disabled certain bands on their front antenna but kept getting alerted on those bands because they didn’t also turn those bands off on their rear antenna. Make sure you adjust the settings for each antenna individually. ūüėČ

Radar bands

Here you can enable/disable individual bands as needed.

If you’re wondering which bands are in use in your area, I’d recommend checking the RDFGS. I’m also working on a simplified version of that so you can see what settings you need across the country at a glance. To see the latest version of the simplified map, click here.

POP you can generally disable since it’s¬†not actively used.

K-Traffic filter is TSR/TMF. If you have traffic sensors in your area (again reference the RDFGS if you’re not sure), enable this filter. Otherwise disable it for better K band performance.

K-filter is your blind spot filter. It’s very effective with the Net Radar and one of the best implementations of this filter around. It doesn’t filter out every false alert, but it does get most of them. Keep it enabled to cut down on false alerts from cars around you with collision avoidance systems and blind spot monitoring systems.

K band options

If you’d like to segment K band to disable certain sections, you have that option. However, legitimate K band can be seen all over the K band range so unless you have a specific reason to disable certain segments, it’s best to leave K band set to “Wide.”

Ka band options

You can also segment Ka band if you wish. The segments are set up the same as other manufacturers so you can simply set it up to scan for segments 2, 5, & 8 to get the standard setup for the US. There doesn’t seem to be much of a performance difference with different segments on/off so feel free to enable more segments to catch out of tune guns or disable segments if you know for sure that certain frequencies aren’t in use in your area.

Note: This is an advanced option so I’d recommend these standard settings unless you know what you’re doing. See this article¬†for more in depth information on Ka band segmentation.

Ka band at full strength

If you’d like your Net Radar to alert at full strength¬†for the first 3 seconds when you initially get an alert, enable this option. However, I prefer leaving it at the default setting of Off to hear the rampup of the signal and get a better feel for the threat level and what’s going on around me.

Radar filter profile

Here you can adjust the sensitivity of your detector to quiet it down around town. Highway mode gives you full sensitivity on all bands. The city modes will cut down on your sensitivity (you can adjust by how much) to filter out weak alerts.

If you’re using the standard control pad or the HiFi module, when the detector is picking up a signal that it’s filtering out, you’ll get no visual or audio alert.

If you’re using the bluetooth module, when the detector is picking up a signal that it’s filtering out, the City icon will blink on your phone but you’ll receive no audio alert.

Radar filter thresholds

Here you can set how strong the signal needs to be (from 1-9) before it alerts you.

Any signals that are weaker than your thresholds will be filtered out. When you detect¬†signal at or above your threshold, you’ll get alerted to those signals normally.

Radar automute

To quiet things down, if you want your Net Radar to automatically reduce the alert volume after 6 seconds once it has your attention, enable the automute feature.

Mute car radio during radar alerts

If you’ve attached the stereo mute wire to your stereo, if you’d like your Net Radar to mute your stereo every time you detect a radar alert so you can hear the signal better, enable this option.

Finally, once you’ve configured everything the way you want, scroll back up to the top to “Use profiles” and click on the “options” button underneath.

Switch profiles

You can copy the settings you just created to the other profiles and then go in to the other profiles, change any settings as you wish, and switch between different settings on the fly.

Once you get everything configured the way you want, to download the settings to your computer, click the Download button at the very bottom.

Save and download

It’ll take you to another page with some additional instructions. Basically it’ll download a file called “config.alp” which you’ll want to copy to a USB drive and then plug into your ALP.

download config file

It’ll take just a few seconds to load the settings into the ALP and then you’re ready to go!

If you’re using the standard control pad which doesn’t support profiles, you’re all set.

If you’re using the HiFi module, you can switch profiles by double-tapping on the right button on the control pad. The LED will change colors and it’ll say “Profile A” or “Profile B” or “Profile C” to confirm your new profile. Here’s a quick video demo.

If you’re using the Bluetooth module, tap on the profile letter on your phone,¬†give it a second to switch profiles, and you’ll see the next profile loaded on screen. Here’s a quick demo.

There you go! Now you’re up and running. ūüôā

Enjoy!

Aug 12

Updated Blendmount R Series Review

Blendmount R Mount Max360

BlendMount recently released an updated version of their rearview mirror radar detector mount which they’re calling their BlendMount R Series. (Review of the original version here.) The updated R Series has a number of different improvements over the original design that bring some nice refinements to just about every area of the mount so let’s take a look at the improvements in the updated version.

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Aug 05

Choosing the Best Radar Detector for You, A Flowchart

So the most common question people ask is “What is the best radar detector?” To help answer this question, I have a radar detector guide¬†I put together for you to help go over the main highlights of the best radar detectors on the market. The link is at the top of this website. To help simplify things even further, I’ve put together a flowchart you can follow to help determine what’s best for you based on your own personal needs, preferences, and budget. (Note: I’ve done one of these¬†previously, but a lot has changed since with new detectors and updates to old ones so this chart has been updated.)

For more information about any decision or radar detector listed below, scroll down below the flowchart.

Which Radar Detector to Buy Flowchart August 2016

Windshield Mount Radar Detectors:

Escort Redline: 

RedlineWhen it come to performance, this is the benchmark that all other detectors are compared against. It offers long range monster performance to help you detect radar way up ahead of you, giving you plenty of time to slow down before your speed can be acquired. It is also immune to radar detector detectors so it’s a popular option for when an undetectable detector is required. The downside is that its filtering abilities are quite limited so you’ll get a fair number of false alerts. As such, it helps to pair it with your phone and run Escort Live so you can teach it where stationary false alerts are from shopping centers and speed signs. It’s not very effective at filtering out false alerts from cars with blind spot monitoring systems so if you’re in a pretty populated area, you may want to¬†consider another detector. The Redline’s specialty is highway driving, especially in more rural areas.

Click here to purchase an Escort Redline.

Beltronics Magnum: 

Beltronics MagnumThe Magnum is essentially an Escort Redline with a different name, case, and sounds. However, there are two critical differences under the hood. 1) Performance and maximum range is just slightly less than the Redline, but still one of the very best detectors on the market. 2) Its ability to filter out cars with blind spot monitoring systems is slightly better than the Redline. Since its filtering is better than the Redline’s, it’s the preferred choice for people who want high end performance while offering the ability to filter more of the false alerts emitted from other newer vehicles nearby.

Click here to purchase the Beltronics Magnum.

Escort Live: 

Escort Live alertBoth the Redline and the Magnum lack a GPS chip to give them the ability to learn where stationary false alerts around town are located and mute them for you in the future. To compensate for this, you can buy a power cable with a bluetooth chip inside it, pair your phone to your detector using the bluetooth cable, and use your phone’s GPS and the app to tell your detector to manually mark false alerts and tell your detector to mute next time it sees this signal (aka lock them out). This makes the detector much more useful around town.

There’s other benefits to running the app as well such as making it easier to change your RD’s settings, using your phone as a secondary display for your detector, alerting you to redlight cameras and speedcameras, or sharing realtime alerts to/from the cloud. The cloud-based stuff is definitely cool, but you can run Waze on your phone which has far more users and thus many more alerts. Personally I find the lockouts to be the most useful feature in Escort Live.

Previously there were separate cables for Android and iOS users, but now you can get a cable that works for both platforms. You can either get one that plugs into your cigarette lighter for easier installation and more portability or you can permanently hardwire a cable (instructions here) for a more clean looking installation.

Click here to purchase an Escort Live cig. lighter cable for Android or iOS.

Click here to purchase an Escort Live hardwire cable for Android or iOS.

Uniden DFR6: 

Uniden DFR6This is the least expensive radar detector I would recommend. It offers long range performance that in some cases can rival detectors at double to triple the price. It also features one of the best blind spot filters on the market as well. There are less expensive detectors out there, but they don’t offer nearly the sensitivity and filtering abilities as the DFR6 so if you’re on a tight budget, this is the least expensive detector I would recommend.

Now it is missing a GPS chip so it doesn’t offer all the functionality you’d want around town. If you do a lot of driving in the city, I would recommend the DFR7 instead. The DFR6 is best¬†suited as a highway detector.

Click here to purchase a Uniden DFR6.

Uniden DFR7: 

Uniden DFR7The DFR7 offers the best bang-for-the-buck and is a very well-rounded detector. You’ve got both great performance and the ability to filter out many cars with annoying blind spot monitoring systems (something many detectors struggle at these days) plus it adds a GPS chip to give you the features you’d want around town such as the ability to learn and lock out known false alerts, red light camera / speedcamera alerts, and the ability to simply mute the detector at low speeds to really quiet things down. This makes the detector far more manageable around town and at just $299, it’s hard to go wrong.

Click here to purchase a Uniden DFR7.

Escort Passport Max: 

Escort Passport MaxThis is the easiest to use, relatively inexpensive city detector. It’s got all the core features you’d want like reasonable performance and the ability to filter out many false alerts. It’s similar to the DFR7 except it can learn and lockout false alerts for you automatically so it requires less user intervention. I would give the edge in performance and filtering effectiveness to the Uniden, but the Max’s display is nicer, the redlight camera database is updated much more frequently, and the customer service is better as well. As a plug-and-play detector, it’s a recommended pick for being easy to use, especially if you don’t want to be a radar detector expert.

Click here to purchase an Escort Passport Max.

Escort Max360: 

Max360This is the most feature-packed, plug-and-play, all the bells and whistles detector. It’s got arrows like the V1, but it doesn’t require a cell phone to get all the features so it’s a self-contained package, better for traveling, and significantly easier to set up. It costs more than the V1 and its bluetooth module, but if you want all the bells and whistles in an easy to use package, this is the one to get. The Max360 is Escort’s best selling detector and it’s no surprise.

Click here to purchase a Max360.

Valentine One: 

V1This has long been the go-to detector among driving enthusiasts. It’s known for having arrows (the Max360 and others now offer this too) and offers great performance and blind spot filtering capabilities. It does require a fairly considerable amount of setup and configuration, it all but needs a cell phone and an app to add the GPS functionality, advanced display, and to take full advantage of the performance and configuration options that you wouldn’t otherwise get so it’s awesome for someone who loves to tweak and tinker around with a radar detector. It offers a lot of control and a lot of information to the user, more than any other detector. It’s great at letting you know what’s going on around you and that’s what I love best about it.

Click here to purchase a V1.

YaV1: 

YaV1 alert displayThis is an Android-only app that allows you to take full advantage of your V1, custom program it, and add important GPS-based filters like GPS lockouts and low speed muting. It’s the definitive V1 app to have and I’d consider it basically mandatory for using the V1 if you’re an Android user. Note: You need a newer version of the V1 (3.892 or newer) plus the Android only bluetooth module (V1C) to use YaV1. The iOS bluetooth module (V1C LE) is now compatible with Android too, but if you want to use YaV1, you need to use the V1C.

Click here to download YaV1.

Click here to buy the V1C bluetooth module.

V1Driver: 

V1DriverV1Driver is an iPhone-only app that adds important GPS functionality to your V1 such as GPS lockouts and low speed muting. It really helps quiet the detector down around town and if you use an iPhone, it’s the app to get with your V1. You’ll still need the factory app for programming your V1 initially, but for day-to-day use, you’ll want to run V1Driver to add the filtering and muting functionality.¬†It can be run actively on your phone or simply run in the background, even while the phone is in your pocket, and your V1 will still benefit nicely from its muting functionality.

Click here to purchase V1Driver.

Click here to buy the V1C LE bluetooth module. 

Radenso Pro SE:

RPSEIf you do a lot of highway driving and want high end performance similar to what the Redline and Magnum offer, but you also drive in the city and want the ability to learn and filter out false alerts and alert you to redlight cameras / speed cameras without having to putz around with cell phones, the Radenso Pro SE is the one to get. It’s a high end city/highway detector. It admittedly still has some quirks like the lockouts take a few attempts to work and the frequency display isn’t as precise as other options, but it’s a well-rounded high performing detector that is quickly becoming more and more popular.

Click here to purchase a Radenso Pro SE.

Remote Radar Detectors:

Stinger VIP: 

Stinger VIPIf you want the most feature-packed remote mounted radar detector. It offers high end performance, effective blind spot filtering, automatic GPS lockouts, doesn’t require a phone to get everything working, immunity from radar detector detectors, redlight/speedcamera alerts, and so on. The detector still has some quirks that need to be ironed out and it’s taking a while to become fully refined, but nonetheless, it’s the most advanced and capable radar detector on the market. The standard setup comes with a single front facing antenna like most detectors. You also have the option of adding a second rear facing antenna to give you directional information (aka arrows) for added information. I run the two antenna version because I love the added situational awareness, but honestly the single antenna version works great too.

Click here to purchase a Stinger VIP. (Use the coupon code “VortexRadar” to save 10%)

Beltronics STi-R Plus (standalone):

STi-R PlusIf you¬†want a well-rounded remote detector like the Stinger but don’t want to pay for it, the STi-R Plus is a great option. It offers many of the same features as the Stinger and is surprisingly comparable in terms of performance, you get your RLC alerts, low speed muting, automatic GPS lockouts without a phone, RDD immunity, and so on. The biggest difference I’ve found is that it’s not as good as the Stinger at filtering out blind spot falses so you will get more false alerts in practice. It’s also not doing to receive any more updates it looks like while the Stinger continues to be updated and improved, but it’s kind of like a budget Stinger without quite the level of blind spot filtering abilities.

Click here to purchase a Beltronics STi-R Plus.

Escort 9500ci head for the ALP: 

9500ci headIf you like the idea of the high end performance for highway driving, the 9500ci is going to be a top pick for long range monster detection.¬†The standalone 9500ci is like the STi-R Plus except you get Escort’s not so great Laser ShifterPro laser jammers. If you get the AntiLaser Priority instead (much better laser jammer), you can actually get a 9500ci head and plug it into your ALP and get the same level of performance. You won’t have¬†the GPS lockouts so it’s really best suited as a highway detector, and you won’t get the RLC alerts without using an app like Waze, but it’s a great way to get high end performance for even less than the cost of a standalone STi-R Plus. This is especially good in places like California where you can turn off K band, not have to deal with filtering K falses, and run with Ka only.

Click here to purchase a 9500ci head for your ALP.

You will also need an RGv2 module for your ALP.

Radenso HD+ for the ALP: 

Radenso HD+ antenna top frontIf you like the idea of the 9500ci plugged into your ALP but you want K band enabled, take a look at the Radenso HD+. It offers comparable performance but much better blind spot filtering, so it’s a better choice if K band detection is necessary. You won’t get your GPS lockouts and you will lose RDD immunity, but it’s a better choice for most places where K band is still in active use.

Click here to purchase a Radenso HD+ for your ALP.

You’ll also want an RGv2 module. A GPS antenna, HiFi module, and Bluetooth module are helpful too.

Net Radar w/ bluetooth for the ALP: 

Net Radar antennaIf you want a remote to pair with your ALP and you want the GPS lockouts, get the new Net Radar. It integrates nicely with the ALP¬†and if you pair it with your phone using the Bluetooth module, you can run the app on your phone and manually teach the detector where the false alerts are so it can mute them for you in the future. None of the other ALP remotes can do this. Performance isn’t up to par with the 9500ci or Radenso HD+, but it’ll still offer you plenty of range in most situations so it’s a great all-around pick. Additionally you can add a second rear antenna if you want directional information (arrows) or even a third antenna if you need MRCD detection as well.

Click here to purchase a Net Radar antenna for your ALP.

Click here to purchase a bluetooth module for your ALP.

Decisions:

Windshield mount vs. Remote mount?

There’s two forms that a radar detector can come in. A little box that mounts on your windshield or a hidden custom installed detector installed in your grill. Each option has pros and cons. Let’s take a look.

Windshield mount benefits: Easier to install, less expensive, cheaper to install, more options for detector, can easily be moved¬†between vehicles, easy to remove if you sell your vehicle, almost plug and play install, can be hardwired for a cleaner install without using your vehicle’s cig. lighter plug.

Remote mount benefits: Hidden install, not visible to potential thieves or police, nothing to take down and take off your windshield when you park, cleaner look in the cabin, no cig. lighter cable hanging down your dash, cig. lighter port is free for other devices, no black box on your windshield, looks much more OEM.

Do you live in VA or D.C.?: (Magnum, Redline, STi-R Plus, 9500ci, or Stinger VIP)

In Virginia and Washington D.C. (as well as every province in Canada except BC, AB, & SK), radar detectors are illegal and in those areas, radar detector detectors are used. Some people choose detectors with special stealth technology that makes them fully undetectable by radar detector detectors. Those detectors include the Magnum, Redline, STi-R Plus, 9500ci, and Stinger VIP. All the other detectors are detectable at varying distances.

Note: Radar detectors are also illegal on military bases anywhere in the country or in any commercial vehicle over 10,000 lbs or any vehicle over 18,000 lbs.

Budget? 

Radar detectors can help you avoid the cost of not only a speeding ticket, court costs, lawyer fees, and especially insurance premium hikes, not to mention the headache and stress of dealing with a ticket, so it’s worth making an investment in a quality product. $300 or so will get you a solid mid-tier detector. You can occasionally find some good detectors below that, but it’s not worth trying to cheap out too far, especially considering the issues you’re trying to avoid. Above that price you’ll start to run into the top tier detectors that offer the highest level of protection.

Do you drive in the city much?

If you drive in the city, you’ll want some features like GPS lockouts so the detector can learn where known stationary false alerts are located from speed signs and automatic door openers in grocery stores and drug stores. Using GPS, your detector can learn where these falses are located so it mutes them for you every time you drive past. That feature is pretty much a must-have feature in town. It’s also nice having low-speed muting so your detector is quiet when you’re driving around slowly or sitting at a red light. The GPS can also alert you to redlight cameras or speed cameras in the area, so if you drive a lot in the city, a GPS based detector is very handy. Some detectors have a GPS chip built in while others will pair with your cell phone over bluetooth and require you to run an app on your phone to use your phone’s GPS to add that functionality.

Do you want arrows to help locate the threat?

Radar detectors are all about helping you locate the source of the threat and know when you’re in danger. Is the cop in front of you or behind? Did you pass a cop but there’s a second one up ahead? Arrows can add some very helpful information in practice and while most of the time you can avoid a speeding ticket without arrows, they are a¬†great addition to your radar detector if you want to better understand what’s going on around you.

Plug-and-play integrated RD or tinker with your cell phone? (Max360 vs. V1 w/ app)

Most people aren’t radar detector experts and don’t want to be. If that’s the case for you and you want an easy to use radar detector, go for one like the Max360 which is¬†plug and play. It requires minimal setup, the GPS chip is built into the detector so it doesn’t rely on your phone, and you can put it on your windshield and you’re ready to go.¬†However, if you’re the type of person who likes to tinker around with tech products and you want more control, the V1 is a great choice. You get a lot more fine tuned adjustments and even more information if you pair it with your cell phone and run YaV1 or V1Driver. The setup is more complicated with the V1 and you’re really going to need your phone and an app whenever you’re out¬†driving, but that combo offers you the highest level of control if that’s what you prefer. For most, and even for people who just want to focus on driving and things other than their radar detector, a plug and play detector is the way to go.

iOS or Android? 

Pretty self explanatory. Whichever phone you regularly use, get the setup that matches your phone. A quick note about the different platforms:

Escort Live works better on iOS than on Android. iOS is pretty smooth while Android is kinda buggy.

On the V1 you have good options for both now. I’m an iOS guy in general and V1Driver is really easy to use and fantastic as a plug and play detector to add the GPS functionality to your V1. However, I still run a dedicated Android phone for YaV1 because I prefer the additional customizability and alert presentation since it shows me all the information for every signal. It’s not as automated, but it gives me a ton of useful information and so I love that. However, for simple driving, the iOS option is great and really offers the core features people would need and works great.

Plug-and-play detector? (Max vs. DFR7)

Most people really want a simple and easy to use detector. Put it on your windshield and it basically does the rest. Some detectors require more user intervention than others. One perfect example is the Max and the DFR7. They’re very comparable detectors. Both have the ability to use GPS to learn and lock out false alerts, but due to patent issues, the Max can do it automatically while the DFR7 requires you to do it manually. So the Max is great because you can install it and let it do its thing and for most people who don’t want to try and figure out if the beeping alert should be locked out, it’s a nice benefit. If my mom wanted to use a radar detector, and she’s not very tech savvy, I’d want a more automated detector for her.

Long range, monster performance or generally sufficient range? (Redline, Magnum, Radneso Pro SE vs. Max & DFR7

If you demand the highest level of performance because you drive in rural terrain, whether it’s on the highways, it’s on backroads with lots of radar absorbing hills, curves, and trees, or if you live in flat open deserts where your only shot at picking up radar is getting notified when a car several miles ahead of you is being clocked, then you’ll want a high performing detector that offers monster range. If you’re willing to sacrifice all out range for sufficient range in most situations while adding some other benefits like improved false alert filtering, a better experience for city driving (lockouts, redlight camera alerts, etc.), a more well-rounded detector would be a better choice over a long range specialist.

Willing to pair your detector to your phone? (Redline or Magnum vs. Radenso Pro SE)

Some detectors like the Radenso Pro SE have a GPS chip built in so they can give you the GPS functionality right out of the box. Others like the Redline and Magnum lack the GPS chip, but they have the ability to pair with your cell phone (if you add a bluetooth module) and use your phone’s GPS and run an app to add that functionality. It’s more hoops to jump through to use a phone every time, but there may be other benefits to using a detector without GPS built in such immunity from radar detector detectors, you want to pair your detector with your phone to get realtime alerts to/from other drivers in the cloud, and so on.

Mostly rural driving or lots of other cars around? (Redline vs. Magnum)

The Redline and Magnum are virtually the same detector, just with a different name, case, and sounds. However, there are two small but important differences. Both detectors feature a low noise amplifier to help boost the strength of weak signals and get longer range, but the¬†Redline’s LNA is slightly better and so it has slightly better range. Realistically speaking though, both detectors offer outstanding performance. However,¬†when it comes to filtering out false alerts from blind spot cars, the Magnum is more effective once you enable the filters. It’s for that reason that if you have a bunch of other cars around, the Magnum would be the preferable choice. If you’re in mostly rural areas where you don’t need the improved filtering, go for the Redline for maximum performance.

Basic, fully featured, or top end RD for max performance? (9500ci head, STi-R Plus, or Stinger VIP)

If you want a detector that gives you outstanding range, especially for rural and highway driving, you can plug a 9500ci head into your AntiLaser Priority laser jammer and get phenomenal performance in a remote detector without spending a ton of cash.

If you want high end performance but you also want improved filtering abilities in the city with GPS lockouts and whatnot, the standalone STi-R Plus is a great all-around package.

If you want everything including really good blind spot filtering, the ability to get a detector with arrows, and basically all the bells and whistles, the Stinger VIP is the one to get

Do you need/want the top end detector? (Stinger VIP vs. the rest)

If you’re the type of person who wants to go for the best option possible, the Stinger VIP is it. It offers all the bells and whistles, high end performance and filtering, and pretty much ticks every box when it comes to features.

Now I gotta say that it still needs some firmware updates and refinement to be a detector that fully satisfies most all of its customers, but nonetheless it still offers more than virtually any other detector out there.

Are you using the AntiLaser Priority?

Every countermeasure kit requires a radar detector to handle radar and laser jammers to handle laser. The best laser jammer on the market is the AntiLaser Priority and it’s basically the universally recommended jammer. I wish choosing a radar detector was this easy! ūüėÄ Anyways, if you’ve already ordered your ALP or if you’re going to be getting one, it has the ability to pair with a variety of different radar detectors to give you an integrated radar/laser system in one very nice package.

Want good BSM filtering or arrows? (STi-R Plus vs. Stinger VIP)

One of the biggest differences between these two very good remote radar detectors, the STi-R Plus and the Stinger VIP, is that the Stinger VIP can do more sophisticated signal analysis to recognize and filter out those annoying false alerts from cars with blind spot monitoring systems while the Plus uses older technology that simply can’t do that. It’s a great radar detector, but it lacks the modern filtering that’s really needed these days. Additionally, if you want the ability to get arrows, the Stinger offers the ability to add a second rear antenna for directional information. These are two of the biggest differences between the Plus and the Stinger.

Jul 14

How To Hardwire a Radar Detector

Radar detectors need to be plugged in for power and generally ship with a cigarette lighter plug to make it easy to power your detector. However, it looks kinda ugly to have a long cable dangling down your windshield and dash and it can get in the way of using your stereo. It also makes it obvious to others while driving or parked that you have a detector so many people take their setups down when parking and put everything back together every time they get back in their car.

A good alternative is to hardwire your detector by creating a permanent power plug for it.

Hardwired DFR7

Rather than taking up your cig. lighter outlet, you power your detector from your car’s fuse box and run a power cable hidden along the trim of your vehicle to create a much cleaner and professional looking installation. It allows you to mount your detector high up near your headliner for better radar detection, your detector can be more stealthy behind your tint strip without the cable dangling down so it’s less visible to police or potential thieves, you can leave it in your car with less chance of someone else seeing it, etc. There’s lots of great benefits to doing this and it’s the preferred method to¬†power your¬†radar detector.

You can hire a professional to do this for you. Most any car radio installer can do this and it doesn’t take a lot of time or money, or you can do it yourself. In this tutorial I’ll show you how to do it yourself. Read the rest of this entry »

May 24

How to Set Up & Configure the Radenso Pro & Radenso Pro SE

Here’s a tutorial to walk you through the different features and options available on the Radenso Pro and Radenso Pro so you can set it up the way you want. ūüôā

Purchase the Radenso Pro here.

Purchase the Radenso Pro SE here.

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