Uniden R1 / R3 Teardown: Under the Hood

Let’s take a look under the hood of the Uniden R1 to learn about the R1 and R3 internals. I popped my R1 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.

Uniden R1 Internals Under the Hood, Case Opened Up

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.

Uniden R1 Internals Under the Hood, main board and horn

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.

Uniden R1 Internals Under the Hood, underside of 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.

Uniden R1 and R3 nuvoton chip

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.

Uniden R1 Internals Under the Hood, main circuitry inside of horn

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.

Uniden R1 Internals Under the Hood, RF circuitry

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!

If you’d like to see my review of these detectors, check out my Uniden R1 and R3 review.

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! 🙂

This website contains affiliate links and I sometimes make commissions on purchases. All opinions are my own. I don’t do paid or sponsored reviews.

Click here to read my affiliate disclosure.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.vortexradar.com/2017/08/uniden-r1-r3-teardown-under-the-hood/


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    • Brad on August 14, 2017 at 11:48 am
    • Reply

    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. 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.

    • Kirk Aubertine on August 15, 2017 at 5:28 am
    • Reply

    Is the R1/R3 manufactured by Attowave for Uniden?

    1. 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.

    • Mark on September 26, 2017 at 7:56 am
    • Reply

    Hi there vortex
    Cool YouTube channel
    I wondered if you know about a UK release date?
    Would the R1 do the job if I managed to find a US seller?
    Thanks for creating this post, very interesting inside.

    1. Hey Mark, so Uniden doesn’t plan on releasing it there. I also don’t closely follow how things work in the UK or what the best options are there so unfortunately I wouldn’t be a good resource for you. Hopefully you or someone else in the UK can do some research and testing (if they don’t already) and post up helpful information the way I aim to for the US.

    • Robert Johnson on September 27, 2017 at 6:43 pm
    • Reply

    Does anyone know which wires are positive and ground on a 2013 dodge avenger auto dimming rearview mirror?

    • William Wright on October 1, 2017 at 11:00 am
    • Reply

    Is Uniden planning a software update for the R1/R3 to allow a brighter display when you have dark mode selected? I love the dark mode but when it alerts during daylight it is hard to read. Thanks, your posts are great!

    • Mo on March 6, 2019 at 5:28 pm
    • Reply

    My speaker died on my unit do you know if there is a replacement part for sale. Googled the number printed on speaker but nothing.

    1. I don’t know it. You best bet is to contact Uniden tech support directly or on the forums. https://www.rdforum.org/index.php?forums/169/

    • oho on March 31, 2019 at 7:46 am
    • Reply

    Hi, I have a W221 and it has an infrared reflecting windshield with two clear spots on both sides of the rear-view mirror.

    The problem I am facing is that the clear spots on the windshield are too small for my Uniden R1 to fit properly, the mirror comes to way.

    I am asking is it possible to remove the sensor and connect it back with long wires so that the detector would be under the sunvisor for example and sensor on the clear spot of windshield?

    • TTBB on September 19, 2019 at 11:15 am
    • Reply

    Hi, im wondering if R1 and R3 have interchangeable displays?

    1. I suppose it depends on what you’re asking. They are the same part, yes, but they’re not designed to be user interchangeable.

        • TTBB on September 20, 2019 at 9:38 am
        • Reply

        Well, what if im very good with soldering? Ive got second hand R3 with “burned” (faded) display, I also got brand new R1 from your recommended last year Black Friday sale (Thank you for that) and im trying to swap displays if its possible and sell R1 with faded display, keeping R3 with newer display for myself!?

        1. Go for it. 🙂

            • TTBB on September 25, 2019 at 6:08 am

            THANKS, and just to verify your saying mechanically it should be identical with the same amount of pins/interchangeable!?

            • Vortex on September 25, 2019 at 8:11 am

            I have not tested that to confirm 100%, but again, they are the same detectors using the same parts and the only difference is a GPS chip (or lack thereof), and different labels on the front buttons accordingly. Different color case too depending on which color you get. Otherwise the display, speaker, and all those fundamental components are the same.

    • tom b on June 10, 2020 at 8:09 am
    • Reply

    Love to know where I could purchase a replacement for the internal speaker of my year+a day old r3?

    • Leo Guy on June 26, 2020 at 2:27 am
    • Reply

    Uniden R1 and R3 still the best radar detectors for the money, thank you for the teardown.

    • Alex B on August 1, 2021 at 8:50 pm
    • Reply

    I have a Uniden R3 attached to my rearview mirror with a mount from BlendMount. I also have a subwoofer in my trunk which causes the vibrations to resonate through the RD quite vigorously unfortunately. I am concerned that this may damage the internals or at least decrease the lifespan of the RD. What are your thoughts on this? Should I be concerned?

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