Escort ZW5 Laser Shifter Initial Impressions

This past Thursday I installed the Escort ZW5’s onto my wife’s car for a trip that we planned out for this weekend and sure enough, we headed out Friday and had our first encounter with the new setup. We ran into an officer who tagged us with the PL4.

ZW5 Installation

The ZW5 install itself I really like. Super easy to install with no cables to run through the firewall, no CPU, GPS antenna, or speaker to install and tuck away in the cabin. Just connect it to the battery, put your heads in place, mount the bridge box and wireless controller in your engine bay somewhere, and tuck away cables. Really simple install and I loved that part.

Escort ZW5's in the box to be installed

I’ll shoot a video this week and show you guys what is involved.

ZW5 Initial Impressions

I haven’t had a chance to properly test the ZW5 yet, but my initial impressions in terms of the Max360c / ZW5 combo are pretty mixed. I’m assuming the setup works fine against the laser gun, but I’m not super in love with the interface.

When it goes off, you have to slow down and double-press the mute button to JTK. It’s simple enough to do from the hardwire mute button, but the RD’s mute button doesn’t always work. I’ve noticed that there’s two indentations to the mute button and if you press it to the first click, it doesn’t always execute the button press. Sometimes, but not always. To consistently do it, you have to press it harder to get to the second click. I ran into this when trying to mute radar alerts and it wouldn’t always mute unless I pressed it harder. My other Max360c has this same style button while my original Max360 has just one click to mute so it’s no big deal. This has me wondering whether or not I’m actually muting/JTK’ing or not.

This brings me to my second point of having no confirmation that the JTK has been executed and the jammers have been disabled. With the ALP, it’ll say “Interference Detection Only,” but there’s nothing with the ZW5. The word “shifting” does disappear from the display, but there’s no audio confirmation while you’re busy looking at the road and checking your speedometer. Eventually (like 15 sec later or something) once the latch goes away, it will beep and display “Shifting Off” which is a little weird when you’re wondering if your jammers actually disabled in the first place or if you just inadvertently JTG’ed.

Here’s a quick demo of the whole process with the Max360.

Speaking of JTK’ing, there is no AutoJTK functionality whatsoever. I made sure I went over this with  her several times, especially since someone had messaged me the day before I left saying that he was running ZW5’s and didn’t realize that they didn’t automatically disabled so he got pulled over for JTG’ing… (WTF Escort, why is this not an option and why isn’t disabling the jammers even mentioned in the manual??)

Anyway, I made sure I told my wife about how the detector sounds when it goes off to laser, the importance of JTK’ing, and even had her practice ahead of time to find the buttons by muscle feel. However, in the heat of the moment she forgot about that and did a great job checking her speed, but she didn’t remember to JTK so I reached over the detector to kill the jammers for her. It’s super common for people to forget what to do in the heat of the moment, especially in the beginning, and so I always make a really big deal about having an AutoJTK as a backup if nothing else.

So without that feature, the possibility of not JTK’ing when you double press the mute button, and no audio confirmation that you’ve successfully disabled your jammers once you do, I’m less than enthused about the whole system. I know Escort can always update their product accordingly, but why wasn’t this stuff built in out of the gate? I don’t get it.

but hey, the install is definitely convenient so it’s going that going for it and it’s nice having everything integrated right into the RD for a cleaner and quicker install.

Read my full review of the Escort ZW5’s.

You can purchase the ZW5’s here.

3 comments

    • David on July 30, 2018 at 1:05 pm
    • Reply

    I am surprised that there is no audio confirmation that the shifters have been disabled as the shifters with the 9500 installed series did. Another reason that leads me away from this product.

    How ironic, you got hit on your way to/from Escort.

    Maybe, LEO’s have seen your videos albeit your wife’s car.

    1. nah this was just on a trip through the mountains to go camping. The Escort trip I’m flying out to next week.

    • Vince on August 29, 2018 at 11:03 am
    • Reply

    Can’t wait to see your testing results on the ZW5’s. I’m wondering how it will stand up for other laser guns.

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