Uniden R1 & R3 adds Ka Band Segmentation with firmware update 1.31

Uniden has just released firmware 1.31 for the Uniden R1 & Uniden R3 radar detectors which brings 3 improvements to the radar detectors including:

  1. Ka Band Segmentation
  2. Purple & White colored display options
  3. Ability to change display brightness using the mute button of the power cable

Here’s a video showing you the new features and then below that we’ll go into more information about each new feature:

1. Ka Band Segmentation

Rather that having the detector sweep the entire range of Ka frequencies (33.4 – 36.0 GHz), you can improve the detector’s performance by telling it to not unnecessarily waste time scanning for radar frequencies where police radar doesn’t exist and only scan the frequency ranges where it does. (For detailed technical information regarding band segmentation, read this article.) Now the R3 is already incredibly fast and has fantastically long range performance, even in Ka Wide. However, segmenting the detector gives you even better performance still. Not night and day by any means the way detectors that are otherwise slow scanning the entire frequency range (ie. Redline and Valentine One), but it gives the Unidens a bit more of an edge.

Note: Ka segmentation is an advanced feature because it involves disabling certain frequency ranges and could potentially lead to your detector not alerting to legitimate police radar. It’s for that reason that I recommend sticking with Ka Wide in general. However, if you want to push the limits, we now have some new options for Ka band segmentation. In addition to Ka Narrow, 1.31 adds Ka Segmentation for each individual segment as well.

Ka Narrow is a simple solution to scan just for the frequencies where police radar typically exists in the US.

  • 33.8 +/- 100 MHz
  • 34.7 +/- 120 MHz
  • 35.5 +/- 100 MHz

Ka Narrow is a great simple solution to improve the detector’s performance. However, if you encounter police officers who are using out of tune guns (typically because the guns haven’t been certified and calibrated recently), they can drift out of spec and your radar detector won’t alert. Ka Narrow improves performance, but what if you want a slightly wider range of Ka Frequencies? Enter Ka Segmentation.

R3 displaying Ka Segmentation

Ka Segmentation Menu Option

Now you have complete control over all the different 10 Ka segments which you can enable / disable at will. Here’s what the 10 different segments cover and what they’re used to detect:

  • Ka 1: 33.399 – 33.705
  • Ka 2: 33.705 – 33.903 (MPH radar guns at 33.8)
  • Ka 3: 33.903 – 34.191
  • Ka 4: 34.191 – 34.587 (Stalkers that drift low)
  • Ka 5: 34.587 – 34.803 (Stalker radar guns at 34.7)
  • Ka 6: 34.803 – 35.163 (Stalkers that drift high)
  • Ka 7: 35.163 – 35.379
  • Ka 8: 35.379 35.613 (Kustom and Decatur radar guns at 35.5)
  • Ka 9: 35.613 – 35.829
  • Ka 10: 35.829 – 36.001

In most of the country, you’d typically run your detector segmented 2/5/8 to scan for 33.8, 34.7, & 35.5 respectively. However, people always wonder, “but what about where I live? Should I enable extra segments? Should I disable some?”

To answer that question, I’ve been working with people on RDF and we’re all reporting any out of tune guns that we’re seeing as well as if the police don’t use certain frequency ranges at all, ie. 33.8, and so you could safely disable those segments, and I’m maintaining a list of what states need additional segments enabled here: Learn which additional Ka segments should be enabled or disabled all around the USA.

In general I’d advise against disabling segments 2, 5, or 8 unless you really know what you’re doing. However, for all you advanced users, we now have true band segmentation available!

2. Purple and White Colored Displays

Next, there’s two new color options for the OLED display, purple and white. Here’s how they look:

R3 with purple display

Purple display

R3 with purple display

White display

(The white looks like gray, just brighter.)

3. Changing Display Brightness from the Power Cable Mute Button

Finally, if you want to change the display brightness, before you had to do it by pressing and holding the Mute/Dim button on the face of the detector. Now you can do it from the power cable as well. If you press and hold the mute button for a second, it will change display brightness levels and let you cycle through all of them.

Uniden cig. lighter power cable with mute button

Uniden cig. lighter power cable with mute button

Updating the Firmware

Now if you’re ready to update your detector’s firmware, you can download the firmware update from Uniden’s website here. (Scroll down, click on the gray Firmware button, and you’ll see the firmware available for the R1 and the R3.)

Here’s the firmware update walkthrough if you need it.


  • The firmware update is available for Windows only.
  • If you have a Mac, you’ll need to run Windows on your Mac via Parallels or Boot Camp to update your detector.
  • There’s two updates to run, the first is for the firmware, the second is for the voice pack update.
  • It’s recommended to do a factory reset after updating the firmware and the voice pack.
  • If you need help programming your R1 or R3, see my Uniden R1 & R3 programming guide.

If you need a MiniUSB cable to update your detector, you can purchase a MiniUSB update cable here.

If you have any issues updating your detector, please check out the firmware 1.31 discussion on RDF.

Last but not least, if you need to purchase either detector, you can buy the R1 here or buy the R3 here.

Thank you Uniden for making an already excellent detector better and better still!

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/2017/10/uniden-r1-r3-adds-ka-band-segmentation-with-firmware-update-1-31/


Skip to comment form

    • Brent on October 20, 2017 at 5:19 pm
    • Reply

    Awesome thanks Vortex. Cant wait it update my R3.

    • Jonathan on October 22, 2017 at 5:35 am
    • Reply

    The link you provide goes to bestradardetectors.net. They are clearly listed as a non authorized reseller on Escorts website. Since you are affiliated with bestradardetectors.net, why does the website still sell Escort’s products? It makes me feel like you and the website are shady

    1. We’re talking about Uniden detectors here, not Escort.

      BRD used to be an authorized Escort distributor and sold tons of their products for many years, but has since started selling way more competitive brand products, Escort got upset about that, and the two companies recently have parted ways. You can read more about that here: https://www.rdforum.org/index.php?threads/67867/#post-959504

      BRD has since returned all of his Escort and Beltronics inventory https://www.rdforum.org/index.php?threads/67867/page-2#post-959515 and is updating his website accordingly.

      Thank you for asking! I hope this clears things up.

    • Dal G on October 22, 2017 at 7:10 am
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    I have my R3 set at KA Narrow. Will segmenting it to 2/5/8 increase my range?

      • Serge on October 23, 2017 at 8:07 am
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      I would like to know the difference as well. What was Narrow covering? Was Narrow equal to havaing Band Segmentation to 2/5/8 only?

    • Greg on October 22, 2017 at 3:02 pm
    • Reply

    Thank you for keeping us all up to date and in the know… your work is always educational!

    • Mark Wild on October 24, 2017 at 2:38 am
    • Reply

    do you have any recommended settings for the uniden R1 for Ontario Canada..
    Thanks in advance!

    • David on October 25, 2017 at 7:41 am
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    If 2,5,6,8 are on is it a lot faster then narrow? Does narrow go off when you segment?
    I’ve seen more k falses since my update to 1.31 on R3? I have K filter off like I always did before. May have turn on. Have you seen this? Run highway quite ride 30mph
    What are you running R3 on?

    1. Narrow is roughly equivalent to 2/5/8. I wouldn’t get too too caught up with if an additional segment makes it faster or slower. That was a bigger deal with detectors like the Redline and V1, but less so with the Unidens that are fast even with Ka Wide. Just scan for the segments that you need and don’t worry about it. https://www.rdforum.org/index.php?threads/58040/

      As for K falses, definitely turn K filter on. There were no changes between 1.30 and 1.31 in terms of falsing. Some people are reporting that it’s quieter, some are saying that it’s noisier, but that doesn’t have anything to do with the detector itself. See here: https://www.rdforum.org/index.php?threads/68053/

      As for my settings, please see here: https://www.vortexradar.com/2017/06/how-to-program-and-set-up-your-uniden-r1-and-r3/

        • Brent on October 26, 2017 at 7:55 am
        • Reply

        Hi Vortex, a question I had on segmentation was how do we know it is only using the ones we selected? For example we are used to “turning off” other features ex. K filter, but I dont think we turn off Ka narrow and wide so it only uses the segs…?

        1. Change it from Ka Wide or Ka Narrow to Ka Segmentation. Then you’ll see the individual segments show up as available options and the detector will only be scanning for the segments you’ve selected.

    • John on October 25, 2017 at 4:13 pm
    • Reply

    I have been running the new R3 along side the older 9500 escort and the increase is performance is marked, the one thing I am noticing is that the range on the R3 is so long that if a speed sign is on a straight road the R3 will pick it up long before the muted memory kicks in and if I set it to far out then it will come back on before the sign has passed and alert. It seems to me that the GPS circle placed around a muted memory should be a bit large if the detector is going to be that good.

    1. Yeah sometimes you may need multiple lockouts if the radar gun is aiming down a long straightaway.

      Regarding testing with other detectors, be sure to run only one detector a time or else they’ll cause problems with one another.

        • John on October 25, 2017 at 4:18 pm
        • Reply

        Sorry I should have been more clear side by side = on in the Nissan and one in the Ford 🙂 Is there a total allowed number of lock outs? I am getting a fair number and is there a way to download the user mutes and marks?

        1. Ah phew! Good. 😉 Yeah you can store up to 200 lockouts. I haven’t seen anyone use all of them so I don’t know what happens when you do, but I’d be curious to hear what happens if you run into that issue. As for downloading locations, there isn’t. The detector doesn’t interface with a computer like that beyond just firmware updates.

    • Joe Blow on October 28, 2017 at 3:44 am
    • Reply

    Have yet to experience one of these amazing super long range detection’s. My X50 did a better job than the R1.
    R1 sucks off axis, and sucks with curves and even slight hills. Someone else out there needs to do some independent testing and see what they come up with on these Unidens

    • Ph on November 1, 2017 at 10:24 am
    • Reply


    I notice that escort max 360 has air patrol feature and it really work in nevada and California, and R3 doesn’t have that feature, is it really matter or big deal to have that feature in the detector because I am still thinking about R3 and max 360, I just need the best and long range performance, I dont really care about other feature much, because the air patrol feature on escort max 360, I am still not sure which one to pick

    thank you

    • Neil on November 6, 2017 at 5:46 pm
    • Reply

    I can NOT find the R3_v131.196.110_3.bin after extracting the R3 Firmware zip file from the Uniden site.

    I see where the app is asking to open the R3_v131.196.110_3.bin file.

    Am I doing something wrong.
    Am I extracting wrong file.

    Everything but the darn file

    1. hm, I just downloaded the update file again and the file is still included in the zip file. There’s 4 files total: x64 and x86 update software, the voice updater, and the .bin file you’re referring to. Are you sure you’re telling your computer to extract all the files within the zip file?

      • Mana on November 13, 2017 at 2:42 pm
      • Reply

      If you have an antivirus, it can automatically delete unzipped files.

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