How to Set Up & Configure Your Escort Max 3 Radar Detector

Escort Max 3The Escort Max 3 (purchase here) comes with a bunch of settings and options to let you customize your experience. It does a good job out of the box as a plug-and-play detector, but you can tweak it even further. Let’s go over how to use your detector as well as how to optimize its performance and false alert filtering.

You can program your detector either 1) directly in the detector or 2) using the Escort Live app. Most settings are available in both places, but doing it through the phone is faster and easier.

Note 1: The Max 3 manual is also a good reference.

Note 2: This guide is current as of firmware 1.2 and will be updated as features are added or changed.

Max 3 Interface & Operation

Starting off, let’s get familiar with the detector’s interface.

Escort Max 3 Buttons and Interface

Sensitivity

Adjust the sensitivity of the detector on X and K band to balance range and false alert filtering.

  • Auto: Reduce the sensitivity of X and K band around town at lower speeds. Raises the sensitivity at faster speeds.
  • AutoNoX: Same as Auto, but disables X band altogether.
  • AutoLoK: Same as Auto, but always reduces K band sensitivity regardless of speed.
  • Highway: Full sensitivity at all times.

GPS Lockouts

With Auto Learn enabled in the settings (on by default), the Max 3 will learn stationary false alerts from speed signs and shopping center door openers. After several passes, it’ll automatically learn those false alerts, beep, and display “Stored” on screen.

Max 3 storing an autolockout near a shopping center

Max 3 learning and storing a shopping center false alert

Reporting Police to Escort Live

When connected to Escort Live over Bluetooth, the Max 3 will notify you of other people’s recently reported radar and laser alerts.

Max 3 alerting to an Escort Live Ka alert up ahead

Max 3 alerting to an Escort Live Ka alert up ahead

Your Ka and Laser alerts will get automatically reported to the cloud. For legit X or K band alerts, you can tap the button in the app to verify that this is an actual cop, not just a false alert.

If you pass a stationary officer not actively shooting radar or laser, you can press and hold the “Mute” button to manually report that officer to the cloud and the detector will display “Reported” on screen.

How to Change Settings

To change the Max 3’s settings, press and hold “MRK” and “SEN” on top of the detector to enter the menu.

  • MRK: Scroll through the menu
  • SEN: Scroll through a submenu (when applicable)
  • – / +: Change the current setting
  • Power: Exit the menu

Max 3 Settings

To configure your Max 3 using your phone, download Escort Live for Android or iOS.

Once you do, connect to your Max 3 and go to Settings.

Max 3 with Escort Live settings

Set “Over Speed Limit Alert” to “Off” if you don’t want to get notified if you’re over the limit.

Then go up to the top and click on “Radar Settings.”

General Settings

Max 3 General Settings in Escort LiveSensitivity

  • Auto: Reduce the sensitivity of X and K band around town at lower speeds. Raises the sensitivity at faster speeds.
  • AutoNoX: Same as Auto, but disables X band altogether.
  • Highway: Full sensitivity at all times.
  • AutoLoK: Same as Auto, but always reduces K band sensitivity regardless of speed.

Brightness

  • Dark: Display off at all times, including during an alert. Audio still sounds normally.
  • Minimum
  • Medium
  • Maximum
  • Auto: Automatically adjusts display brightness based on ambient light levels.

Pilot

  • Full Word: Hide scanning bar at top of screen.
  • Scanning Bar: Show scanning bar at top of screen.

Meter Mode

Choose how much (or how little) information to display about either the highest priority signal or both the highest and second highest priority signals.

Standard

Max 3 Standard Metering Mode

Display the band and strength of the primary signal.

Spec Display

Max 3 Spec Metering Mode

Same as Standard, except now it also shows the signal’s frequency.

Expert Meter

Display both the band and signal strength for the top 4 priority signals. Locked out signals will be grayed out.

Max 3 Expert Metering Mode

Simple

Gives you a much simpler display when a signal is detected.

When traveling above the speed limit (or the low speed muting threshold set via Cruise Alert when the speed limit is unknown), the detector displays “Slow Down.”

When traveling below those limits/thresholds, it displays “Caution.”

Max 3 Simple Metering Mode

Auto Mute

Automatically reduces the alert volume after ~5 sec.

  • Off: Don’t automatically reduce the volume after the initial alert. Always alert at full volume.
  • Low: Drops the auto muted alert to a low volume level.
  • Medium: Drops the auto muted alert to a medium volume level.
  • High: Drops the auto muted alert to a high volume level.

Audio Tones

Customize the alert tones when a signal is detected.

  • Standard: Escort’s traditional alert tones.
  • Mild: Sounds more like a doorbell.

ZR3 Mode

Controls your optional Escort ZR5 or ZW5 laser shifters, including having them automatically disarm after X seconds, giving you enough time to slow down and avoid suspicion from the officer.

Important: Double press the mute button during a laser alert once you’ve slowed down to manually disable your jammers.

  • Off: Disable laser jamming altogether.
  • Receive Only: Laser detection only from your jammers. (Separate from laser detection by the Max 3 itself.)
  • Shift: Unlimited jam time when shot. (Only to be enabled temporarily when testing.)
  • Shift 4 Seconds: Jam for 4 seconds, then automatically disable your jammers. (Recommended!)
  • Shift 6 Seconds: Jam for 6 seconds, then automatically disable your jammers.
  • Shift 8 Seconds: Jam for 8 seconds, then automatically disable your jammers.
  • Shift 10 Seconds: Jam for 10 seconds, then automatically disable your jammers.

Voice

Audibly announce radar and laser information during an alert in addition to the normal beeps. This also speaks the different menu options as you scroll through.

You can disable this once you get comfortable with the different alert tones if you want to pay attention to the signal ramp-up first and foremost.

  • Off
  • On

Auto Power

If the power source your Max 3 is plugged into is always on, including when you’re parked, the detector can automatically turn off after a set period of time so it doesn’t drain your vehicle’s battery.

If enabled, the detector will turn off its display after 30 min. The display will then turn back on once you drive >10 mph.

  • Off
  • One Hour
  • Two Hours
  • Four Hours
  • Eight Hours

Units

Adjust the units displayed for speeds and distance.

  • English: MPH & feet
  • Metric: KM/H & meters

GPS Filter

Enable the GPS-based false alert filters including GPS lockouts.

  • Off
  • On

Auto Learn

Automatically learn and lock out different sources of stationary false alerts including speed signs and shopping center door openers.

  • Off
  • On

Locked out signals will be grayed out and muted.

Max 3 locked out alert

Cruise Alert

Low speed muting. This is useful to keep the detector quiet around town, especially before Auto Learn has had a chance to start muting your stationary false alerts. When your detector alerts while traveling below this speed threshold, you’ll hear a double brap and then your detector will go silent.

This threshold is overridden by the speed limit for the road you’re on (requires an Escort Live connection and for Live to know the speed limit for your current road) so your detector will stay extra quiet when traveling below the speed limit.

  • Off
  • 20 – 160 MPH in 5 MPH increments

Over Speed Alert

Gives you an audible and visual warning when traveling over a preset speed.

  • Off
  • 20 – 160 MPH in 5 MPH increments

Language

  • English
  • Spanish

Display Color

Adjust the color of the display.

  • Amber
  • Red
  • Green
  • Blue

Speed on Display

Display your speed or your vehicle’s voltage.

  • Off: Display vehicle voltage

Max 3 speed voltage

  • On: Display current speed

Max 3 speed display

User Mode

Adjust whether or not you want to have access to just the basic controls in your detector or access to every setting and option.

  • Novice
  • Advanced

Band Settings

Max 3 Band Settings in Escort LiveLaser

Enable laser detection.

POP

Enable POP detection.

Ka Band

Enable detection of all of Ka band. Disable to use Ka band segmentation.

Ka band is actively used across North America.

K Band

Enable detection of all of K band. Disable to use K band segmentation.

K band is used throughout the country, but it’s also a common band for false alerts.

X Band

Enable X band detection.

X band is phased out of use by police departments in most of the US. It’s still actively in use in OH, NJ, and a few rural areas throughout the country. Most people can safely disable this.

TSR

Traffic Sensor Rejection is additional K band filtering to filter out traffic sensors that line the side of some highways. This will reduce K band performance, but if you get repeated blasts of K band as you drive down the highway, turn this on. Some people use it for additional BSM filtering as well.

RDR

Radar Detector Rejection is a filter that helps filter out false alerts on Ka band from nearby vehicles running poorly designed and leaky radar detectors. This filter does reduce Ka band range so people normally leave it off for the longest range possible.

K Band Segments

If K Band is disabled (above), you can individually select which frequency ranges you’d like the detector to scan for in K band.

  • K Band Narrow 1: 24.050 – 24.110 GHz
  • K Band Narrow 2: 24.110 – 24.175 GHz
  • K Band Narrow 3: 24.175 – 24.250 GHz
  • K Band Narrow 4: 23.950 – 24.050 GHz

Ka Band Segments

Band segmentation on the Max 3 does improve performance so you can disable any segments not needed in your area for improved performance. This is an advanced feature that can lead to your detector not alerting to legitimate police radar so disable Ka segments at your own risk. See this thread for info about what segments are needed where.

If Ka Band is disabled (above), you can individually select which frequency ranges you’d like the detector to scan for in Ka band.

  • Ka Band Narrow 1: 33.392 – 33.704 GHz
  • Ka Band Narrow 2: 33.704 – 33.896 GHz (33.8 MPH guns)
  • Ka Band Narrow 3: 33.886 – 34.198 GHz
  • Ka Band Narrow 4: 34.184 – 34.592 GHz (Stalkers drifting low)
  • Ka Band Narrow 5: 34.592 – 34.808 GHz (34.7 Stalker guns)
  • Ka Band Narrow 6: 34.806 – 35.166 GHz (Stalkers drifting high)
  • Ka Band Narrow 7: 35.143 – 35.383 GHz
  • Ka Band Narrow 8: 35.378 – 35.618 GHz (35.5 Kustom & Decatur guns)
  • Ka Band Narrow 9: 35.595 – 35.998 GHz

You’ll note that there’s only 9 segments here. The range normally covered by segments 9 & 10 have been combined into one larger segment 9.

MultaRadar CD

The MultaRadar CD is a low powered photo radar gun used primarily in Canada, including Alberta and Quebec. It’s also used in NYC, Maryland, & Washington D.C. If the MRCD is used in your area, turn this setting on. Otherwise leave it off to avoid the unnecessary false alerts.

MultaRadar CT

The MRCT is also a low powered photo radar gun used in NYC, Chicago, and Dallas.

Leave this off if not needed in your area to avoid unnecessary false alerts.

Marker Settings

Max 3 Marker Settings in Escort Live

Get notifications to various threats using Escort’s GPS-based Defender Database. These alerts are completely separate from your standard radar or laser alerts. When you approach any one of these areas, you’ll get a notification on your detector.

Max 3 marked locations

Settings Only Available In Detector

If you adjust the settings in the detector itself, they’ll be in a different order, plus there’s a few options available that aren’t in the app itself.

K Notch

This allows you to do some extra filtering against pesky false alerts coming from nearby Honda, Acura, and Chrysler vehicles with radar-based blind spot monitoring (BSM) and collision avoidance systems (CAS).

This notch filter will filter out any weak signals between 24.190 – 24.210. This way most BSM’s from those vehicles will be filtered out altogether.

Any strong signals, whether they’re coming from nearby BSM’s or nearby police officers with radar guns in that same frequency range will be alerted to.

You’ll get a full tilt and strong alert when the detector does go off to one of these signals, but it helps to otherwise cut out many of the false alerts that you’ll see within this range.

  • Off
  • On

Clear Location

Delete any of the GPS locations stored within the detector. Press “BRT” twice to clear.

  • Marked: Clear all manually marked user points.
  • Lockouts: Clear all GPS lockouts.
  • Defender: Clear all RLC / speedcam info from Escort’s GPS-based Defender database.
  • Format: Clear all these locations.

Interface

  • Mode 1: Choose when using the Escort ZR5 or ZW5 laser jammers.
  • Mode 2: Choose when using an aftermarket vehicle interface with your Max 3.

Additional Settings

Restore Factory Defaults

To restore all settings back to factory defaults, press and hold “SEN” and “BRT” while powering on the detector.

Check Current Firmware Version

To find out which firmware version is currently loaded onto your detector, power off your Max 3. Press and hold “MRK” and “MUTE” (think M&M) and then power on the detector while still holding down the two buttons.

It will display your firmware version and serial number.

Max 3 firmware 1.1

Vortex’s Recommended Settings

Here are my general recommendations for the Max 3’s settings. In practice you may want different settings based on where you drive or simply your own personal preferences, but this is what I’d recommend as a starting point for most people. Please customize these as needed.

General Settings

  • Sensitivity: Auto
  • Brightness: Auto
  • Pilot: Full Word
  • Meter Mode: Spec
  • Auto Mute: Medium
  • Audio Tones: Standard
  • ZR3 Mode: Shift 4 Seconds
  • Voice: On
  • Auto Power: One Hour
  • Units: English
  • GPS Filter: GPS Filter
  • Auto Learn: On
  • Cruise Alert: 35 MPH
  • Over Speed Alert: Off
  • Language: English
  • Display Color: Red
  • Speed on Display: On
  • User Mode: Advanced

Band Settings

  • Laser: On
  • POP: Off
  • Ka Band: Off
  • K Band: Off
  • X Band: Off (On in OH & NJ)
  • TSR: On
  • RDR: Off
  • K Band Narrow 4: On
  • K Band Narrow 3: On
  • K Band Narrow 2: On
  • K Band Narrow 1: On
  • Ka Band Narrow 9: Off
  • Ka Band Narrow 8: On
  • Ka Band Narrow 7: Off
  • Ka Band Narrow 6: On
  • Ka Band Narrow 5: On
  • Ka Band Narrow 4: On
  • Ka Band Narrow 3: Off
  • Ka Band Narrow 2: On
  • Ka Band Narrow 1: Off
  • MultaRadar CD: Off (On in Alberta, Quebec, NYC, Maryland, & Washington D.C)
  • MultaRadar CT: Off (On in NYC, Chicago, & Dallas)

Marker Settings

  • Red Light Cameras: On
  • Speed Cameras: On
  • Speed Traps: Off
  • Other: Off
  • Red Lt Speed Cams: On
  • Air Patrol: Off

Additional Settings

  • K Notch: On
  • Interface: Mode 1

Vortex’s Personal Settings

Finally, here’s the settings I run on my personal Max 3:

  • Sensitivity: Auto
  • Brightness: Auto
  • Pilot: Full Word
  • Meter Mode: Spec
  • Auto Mute: High
  • Audio Tones: Standard
  • ZR3 Mode: Shift 4 Seconds
  • Voice: Off
  • Auto Power: Off
  • Units: English
  • GPS Filter: GPS Filter
  • Auto Learn: On
  • Cruise Alert: 35 MPH
  • Over Speed Alert: Off
  • Language: English
  • Display Color: Red
  • Speed on Display: On
  • User Mode: Advanced

Band Settings

  • Laser: On
  • POP: Off
  • Ka Band: Off
  • K Band: Off
  • X Band: Off
  • TSR: Off
  • RDR: Off
  • K Band Narrow 4: Off
  • K Band Narrow 3: On
  • K Band Narrow 2: On
  • K Band Narrow 1: On
  • Ka Band Narrow 9: Off
  • Ka Band Narrow 8: On
  • Ka Band Narrow 7: On
  • Ka Band Narrow 6: On
  • Ka Band Narrow 5: On
  • Ka Band Narrow 4: On
  • Ka Band Narrow 3: Off
  • Ka Band Narrow 2: On
  • Ka Band Narrow 1: Off
  • MultaRadar CD: Off
  • MultaRadar CT: Off

Marker Settings

  • Red Light Cameras: On
  • Speed Cameras: On
  • Speed Traps: On
  • Other: Off
  • Red Lt Speed Cams: On
  • Air Patrol: Off

Additional Settings

  • K Notch: On
  • Interface: Mode 1

Finally, if you still need one, click here to purchase your Max 3.

Escort Max 3

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.vortexradar.com/2020/08/how-to-setup-configure-escort-max-3-radar-detector/

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