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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
There are lots of radar detectors on the market today from Escort, Beltronics, Cobra, Valentine, Whistler, and more including jammers. Among these manufacturers, there are various models. The price range can be anywhere from $50 to $600. I’m not looking for any consumer reviews or such, but interested in what specific model YOU have and use, any pro’s and con’s, what you paid for it, how long you have owned it, how well it works, and YOUR opinion about it. A picture would be nice too. I’m not condoning speeding, but in today’s society of law enforcement working on ticket quotas, and many police departments suffering from lack of funds, often a few MPH’s over the posted speed will get you a ticket. I prefer to make sure I’m well under the speed limit when radar approaches.

ESCORT 9500ix BLUE
I purchased an Escort 9500ix Blue about 3 years ago. I paid $499 and then $39 more for 3 years of updates via the Internet. It was a birthday present from my wife. I like the blue color read out, especially since it now matches the CT blue gauges. It works very good. I’m not a speeder, but I worry when going down a large hill and your vehicle tends to speed up sometimes 10 or 15 MPH over the speed limit.

PRO’s = The red light camera data base is great as is the coverage. Unit is updatable via the Internet, just by plugging it into the USB port and your computer. Updates are not free, but are $19 a year or 3 years for $39. They also have European and Australian databases available. This detector has probably saved me from 2 or 3 tickets since ownership. The laser warning is very quick and unlikely to give you any real warning time to slow. I’m not aware of any laser detector that can give you any sufficient laser warning. Once your hit with laser, you have about 1 second to slow down; not really possible. Customer support is fantastic. They allow you to trade in your old detector. I actually traded in my 15 year old Escort. There is an Escort forum with lots of help available from other Escort users. You can program your Escort from menues via your computer once you plug it into the USB. Easy to customize it.

CON’s = It is expensive. There is a bug that will state “You have reached your marked location” when coming to a red light camera intersection. I’ve spoken to Escort about this and they are working on a fix. Even though you are able to remove stationary false signals, occasionally you get a false X band warning such as when passing a bank or other store and it can’t be removed. I’m told that these are X band alarm signals which have constantly changing frecquencies and therefore the Escort can’t figure out which frequency to lock out. When I was first hit with a laser radar gun, the sound emitted from the Escort sounded like a telephone ringing. I actually started to examine my cell phone believing it was ringing. It took me a minute to figure out a laser radar gun was being pointed at my car. I don’t think my car has been hit with laser more than 2 or 3 times since ownership. I don’t like the sound and would have preferred a voice message like LASER instead.

Escort has just (October 2011) come out with a new feature called 'Escort Live' which allows you to use your smart phone and gives you speed limit information. It’s just an app for your smart phone. Sort of like social networking for your radar detector. When one driver finds a radar trap, it can warn you immediately where the radar trap is. I haven’t tried this feature, but plan to get it soon. Having GPS on your radar detector can give you all sorts of advantages. This was one of the reasons I like this detector along with the massive red light camera database.
 

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I also own an Escort 9500ix.

I originally bought an Escort 8500 X50 for a little less money, but wound up returning it within a day or two and spending the extra money for the 9500ix. I had no problems with the X50, but I do a lot of driving around the Houston area and having the ability to lock out false signals is a huge plus.

As Crashmaster mentioned, there are a lot of advantages to having a GPS capable radar detector. I, too, extended my defender database subscription which loads a private database of verified speed traps, red light cameras and speed cameras to the radar detector. It saved my behind on a speed camera once when I was on an out of state road trip.

It was late at night in a small town on I-10 in Louisiana and we were trying to find a gas station with a good price. I was down on the main road running through this small town and as I approached the underpass going under I-10, I heard the "Warning: Speed Camera Ahead" voice readout. I think at the time I was doing about 5-10 mph over the limit and although I had verified that the light was green coming up to the intersection, I missed the speed camera warning sign while looking for a good station. The advanced alert gave me plenty of time to slow down and I went happily on through at the posted 35 mph. :D

In the 8 months that I have had it, I have had that save and a couple of other saves from its great radar detection capabilities. I would have to say that my only complaint with the detector, which is minor, is that the ramp up on KA-band alerts is not as good as it should be. Other than that, I don't have any real complaints.

I am also interested in the Escort Live program that they're getting ready to roll out. I may wait a while though to see if it really takes off before I decide to spend the money on the subscription. I could see where it may wind up being a really great, industry leading idea... but I can also see where they may need some time to work out any unforeseen issues that come up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I signed up for Escort Live last week ($79/one year) but the cables are on backorder. I don't speed (that much) but just wanted to try out the new technology of using my smart phone in conjunction with the Escort. Once I get it, I'll write a report and let everyone know how it does. I don't have high expectations; as it requires lots and lots of users, and at the beginning that can't happen. I see this sort of like the first FAX machine. Nobody wants to be first as they thought, no one else has a FAX machine, but we see how well that did.
 

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I signed up for Escort Live last week ($79/one year) but the cables are on backorder. I don't speed (that much) but just wanted to try out the new technology of using my smart phone in conjunction with the Escort. Once I get it, I'll write a report and let everyone know how it does. I don't have high expectations; as it requires lots and lots of users, and at the beginning that can't happen. I see this sort of like the first FAX machine. Nobody wants to be first as they thought, no one else has a FAX machine, but we see how well that did.
Fun fact #1:

The FAX machine was first used commercially in 1865.... over a decade before the telephone was invented.

Fun fact #2:

146 years later and I still don't own one.
 

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What Radar Detector Do you Use

I have owned an Escort 8500. Gave that to my sister. Bought a Valentine1.
I like the V1 best of all the detectors I have owned. It will tell you what direction the radar is coming from front, back left or right side. It gives a number as to the strenght of the radar signature, 1 being the lowest and the highest I have seen is 6. The unit will tell you what band is out there as well. I usually leave it in the "automatic mode" The only downside to the unit is cost, $400 I found a mounting unit that mounts the RD to the rear view mirror, it sits just below the rear view miiror, its clean and secure and at a great viewing point
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I have been an Escort Radar Detector user for many years and have used most all the other brands including jammers. I switched to the 9500ix about 3 years ago, and just last month joined Escort Live.

What is Escort Live?

ESCORT Live uses Bluetooth technology and a unique app for the driver’s smartphone. When alerts are detected, they are transmitted to the ESCORT Live “cloud” and then broadcast across the ESCORT Live network, notifying drivers of potential ticket threats.

Here’s how it works: Imagine departing for the morning commute. Your neighbor’s ESCORT radar detector encounters a laser gun; that alert information is relayed immediately to the ESCORT Live network as a confirmed ”laser detected” threat. Later, as you head in the same direction, even when you are miles away from the waiting laser gun, your smartphone equipped with the ESCORT Live app displays a red “laser spotted” alert before you are in range.

ESCORT Live alerts are displayed with band, signal strength and frequency. Events spotted previously in the network are indicated by an “approaching live alert” message with directional location arrow and distance-to-arrive to the alert source.

Alerts appear at their coordinate location and are marked with an intuitive “heat map” decaying icon that changes color and transparency based on alert relevance.

The ESCORT Live app provides the latest available information on speed cameras, speed traps and speed limit data. Important driving data is displayed for compass heading, vehicle speed and over-speed alerts. Users are automatically updated with the latest detector software to optimize performance and eliminate false alerts. The app features map and dashboard views with multiple alert settings based on user preference.

Escort Live offers an additional layer of protection over what any other detector offers. With Escort Live when you receive an alert on your detector, your detector alerts normally and also alerts on the Live app. The alert information is sent through your smartphone to the Escort Live cloud. Nearby other Escort Live users will see your alerts in real time on their Live app and on their Live connected detector when they are near them. For example, let’s say that bigalinwv gets a laser hit. CJR238, who is several miles behind bigalinwv, is then alerted that laser was recently detected in the area ahead. The app shows when and where laser was detected and CJR238's Live connected detector will also alert.

Below are key Escort Live! features:

- Ka and Laser alerts are automatically sent to the Escort Live! cloud to alert other Escort Live! users. No user intervention is required for Ka and Laser alerts.
- TrueLock. X and K alerts can be marked as threats or as false alerts on the app, smartcord, or detector by pressing the mute button three times. Have you ever wanted TrueLock anti-falsing on your X50 or RedLine? Then get Escort Live.
- Live alerts and Defender alerts are displayed on the app and on the connected detector.
- The Live app has two displays. Dashboard and map views. Map view shows all nearby Live and Defender locations placed on the map.
- Live alerts are shown by color, red, orange, or yellow. At a glance you can see how much time has passed since the Live alert was reported.
- Includes Defender database locations of red light cameras, speed cameras, and speed traps throughout North America
- Real time traffic data
- Speed limit data where available
- Over speed feature
- Compass direction displayed on app
- Dashboard app screen has music player controls
- Nearly every feature is user configurable. Only want to receive Live laser alerts? Not a problem.
- Radar alerts are shown on the app with strength and frequency data. Every alert is stored with band and frequency, when it was detected and if it was marked as a false.
- Ability to update the detector's firmware through the SmartCord Live

Escort Live compatible detectors: 9500ix, RedLine, X50Black, X50 (M4)*
The following Beltronics detectors will be compatible with Escort Live: RX65, GX65, STi Driver, STi Magnum.

To Summarize: There are millions of Escort and Beltronic radar detectors in use in cars today. Using Live, will allow them all to ‘network together’ to help each other, sort of like the CB radio of yester-year. I have been using Escort Live for the last 2 weeks and even though I only bought this to play with, I was notified by Live of numerous radar traps that were quickly set up. Laser is one of the hardest modes to detect, and getting any advanced warning on Laser is helpful. Whether you speed or don’t speed, this makes the radar detector much more fun and accurate. One feature I really liked was the overspeed notice. The detector will tell me verbally when I go 5mph over the posted speedlimit. Often you will be driving and not notice the changed posted speed limit. The smart app will verbally tell you if you are over 5mph over the limit.

Radar detectors have really come a long way in the last few years. If anyone has any questions about this new service, please ask. Escort is still changing the smartphone app as more and more people use it and ask to have it tweaked.
 

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I have two Valentine1's. Keep one in my Crosstour and one for the other cars. It's a love/hate relationship. I love the way it works, with the arrows letting me know which direction to look for the cop but the damn thing has a horrible mount. I always have trouble with the suction cups not holding onto the windshield.
 

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Kyras: I had terrible trouble losing suction with the V1 in my previous T&C minivan. I had pretty much decided to get an expensive mount to attach the V1 to the mirror in the CT, but when I realized how low it would hang (and block my view), I decided to try suction again. After three months, The V1 has not dropped even once. I may have to change plans when the weather gets hot again.
 

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Kyras: I had terrible trouble losing suction with the V1 in my previous T&C minivan. I had pretty much decided to get an expensive mount to attach the V1 to the mirror in the CT, but when I realized how low it would hang (and block my view), I decided to try suction again. After three months, The V1 has not dropped even once. I may have to change plans when the weather gets hot again.
Hmm. Are you saying you have more trouble with the suction cups when it's hot? I have noticed the problem hasn't happened lately and it is "winter". Only 71*F here today. ;)
 

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Had a whister XTR-540. Quite good and battery powered. It died after 2 years. now -Bel RX65 amazing !!!
 

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I recently picked up a Beltronics Vector 995 on clearance at Radio Shack for $80. It seems to be a really solid detector IMO. My wife has a passport 8500 X50 in her IS350, and it works great. Overall weather Beltronics, Valentine, and Escort you should be covered. Now I just need to hardwire my detector in the Crosstour.
 

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I have a Passport 7500S that I purchased in 2005. I like it, but have had to send it in for repairs three times over the years. The last time was in 2010. Richard
 

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Bel RX65Pro

Had my bel for well over 5 years.
Overall, been a decent detector - it has saved me, and it has failed me.

But I can't blame the unit for MY lead foot now, can i?!

Many many false alerts due to microwave/cell phone tower interference with false LASER reports (scares the bejESUS out of you!), and Bel was less than cooperative about paying for their so called "update", or guaranteeing it would correct the false alert issues. :rolleyes:
Needless to say, Escort and Bel are the same company nowadays -- so, it's either these guys or Valentine.

I'm looking to replace the RX65Pro soon with a 9500ix or a Solo.
I need the battery operated aspect so I can take the unit seemlessly from my car to my Motorcycle, but I'm affraid i'm going to give-up functionality and/or sensitivity.

Does anybody have any realworld experience with the Solo?? Or better yet, the Solo vs. a higher-end model like the 9500???

Love to hear your feedback!

Thanks,
gr
 

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Best Radar Detector.....

I have had the same radar detector for 28 years now and has only failed me once.

It's a W.I.F.E. model, I got the one with all the options too. I really like the option that punches me in the right arm if I do not listen to the audible alert. The only issues is that there is no volume control on the unit. On the plus side; it never needs to be updated and does not use suction cups.
 

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too funny Chef! does your wife know you said that? LOL! =P
 
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