Here’s a video to show you the update process, followed the step-by-step tutorial with important links.
What You’ll Need:
- Uniden R1 or R3 radar detector (purchase the R1 or R3)
- A MiniUSB cable (buy one here)
- A Windows computer (a Mac running Windows works too)
- Uniden update software (download here)
How to Check Which Firmware Version You’re Running
If you’d like to check which firmware version is loaded onto your detector at any point, say before or after updating, then while your detector is powered on normally, press the “Menu” button on top and the scroll left a few times with the “Vol -” button and you’ll see the firmware version listed like this.
Download & Install the Software
To download the latest firmware update software from Uniden, visit this website, scroll down, and click on the gray “Firmware” button.
For both the R1 and R3 you’ll find a pair of links. The first one is for the drivers you may need so your computer can talk to the detector and the second one is the firmware update itself. Download the latest firmware file and if it’s the first time you’re doing the update, download the drivers as well just in case.
Note for Mac users: The update software is only compatible with computers running Windows. If you’re running a Mac, you can install Windows on it, but it takes a good amount of time to do. One way is to install Windows in a virtual machine using Parallels. (Tutorial here.) Another is to dual boot Windows alongside OS X using Boot Camp. (Tutorial here.)
Anyway, if you download the firmware update for the R1, when you unzip the file, here’s what you’ll see:
In the “SW Download Tool” folder is the installer for the firmware update. The R1_xxxxxxxx file is the actual firmware itself.
If you download the firmware update for the R3, you’ll see some extra files.
You’ll also see the firmware update installer (SW Download Tool) along with the firmware itself (R3_vxxx.xxx.xxx), just like the R1.
You’ll also see two extra files for updating the redlight camera and speedcam database. You have the RLC installer (DB Download Tool) plus the RLC database itself (R3_DB_xxxxxxxx).
Note: You’ll find two versions of each installer, one that ends in _x64 and another that ends in _x86.
If you have a newer 64-bit computer, use the x64 version.
If you have an older computer or you’re not sure, you can use the _x86 version.
Either way, if you happen to pick one that won’t work on your computer, you’ll get an error message letting you know so you can’t mess anything up. If this happens, simply choose the other version.
Install the firmware update software if you have the R1 or both the firmware and RLC update software if you have the R3.
Plug In Your Radar Detector
You’ll need a MiniUSB cable to plug your detector into your computer. The detectors don’t come with one, but I wish they did. Most people have a spare one laying around the house, but in case you don’t, you can buy one here.
Note: Some people are reporting that their computer is not able to see their detectors at all. If this is the case, try a different USB cables. Some work better than others.
When you plug your detector into your computer, it may go through an installation process and automatically download the drivers for your detector. If it’s unable to find the drivers, you can manually install the drivers after downloading them from Uniden’s website.
Run the Firmware Update Software
Whether you have the R1 or the R3, you’ll next want to run the firmware update software.
Click the “auto connect” button at the top and make sure the program says “Connected!” at the top.
Note: Your radar detector’s display will not turn on when plugged in to your computer to be updated via USB. This is normal.
The program should automatically pull up your radar detector model and firmware version. If it doesn’t, click the “Read Version” button.
The program may automatically load in the firmware update file in the “Download File” section just underneath. If not, click the “Open” button and find the R3_vxxx.xxx.xxx.bin file.
Click “Start Download” to load your new firmware onto your detector.
Once it completes, close the update software.
Update the Voice Pack
If there’s an update to the voice pack like there is with 1.30, you’ll see a file called VoicePack.exe included as well.
Fire this up and click Start to begin updating the voices in the detector. This update process will take a few minutes to do so just let it do its thing.
Note, the software should open right up. However, you might see the following error:
If you do, you’ll want to move the update software to another folder. For some reason for me, it didn’t work when running it from my Downloads folder or moving it to the Desktop. However, I moved it to “C:\Uniden R Series Tools” and that did the trick. Not sure why, but FYI.
Update the RLC Database
To update the red light camera database (R3 only), you’ll need to run the DB Download Tool next.
Just like before, click the “auto connect” button and wait for the program to say “Connected!” at the top.
If it doesn’t load your current version in automatically, click “Read Version.”
Chances are under “Download DB” it will automatically pull up the correct RLC database update file. If it doesn’t click “Open” and select the R3_DB_xxxxxxxx.bin file.
See if the updated version is different than your current version. If it’s the same, there’s no need to update. If it’s newer, click the “Start Download” button.
Close the program once you’re done and unplug your R3.
Performing a Factory Reset
Uniden recommends that after you update your firmware, you perform a factory reset to ensure that the new firmware is loaded properly. You won’t clear your lockouts or manually marked locations by doing this, but you will need to go back through your settings afterwards and set everything back to where you want it.
To do this, press the “Menu” button, scroll left with the “Vol -” button until you see “Factory Reset?” and then hit the “Menu” button again to reset the detector back to factory default settings.
Then go back through your detector and choose the settings you want to run again.
That’s it! You’re all set. 🙂