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Jan 06, 2008 (9:05 am)
I'm begining to understand what you mean by smooth audio ramp-up. The 9500i (at least mine) definitely has a different alert system. Gone are the days when you here just one beep and search for the source then the alarm slowly gets more frantic. This unit likes to scare you right off the bat when it encounters a signal. It's going to take some getting use to.. With the 8500, that flurry of sound meant you were right on top of the signal, not so with the 9500i, Again this unit is much more sensitive than my 8500, blowing it out of the water with it's Ka performance.
#1160 of 1208 Re: Audio ramp-up [upstatedoc]
Jan 06, 2008 (12:40 pm)
Hey upstatedoc -
Look at the bottom of your unit - there should be a serial-number, with last four digits in the format of XX07. The "XX" part corresponds to the week of the year in which your 9500i was manufactured.
It is rumored that any unit bearing a manufacture week after week 40 (i.e. "4007" = 40th week, 2007) has, as a part of its production-line revision, the smoother, more x50-like ramp-up scheme. My unit, which I just received this past Thursday, bears a 4307 stamp, and it does ramp-up in a manner which is similar to, but still not quite the same as, my x50.
If you'd like to pursue this issue more with Escort, I know that they will reflash your unit's firmware, at their cost, so that you will receive the smoother ramp-up progression, akin to your x50. Just call their customer-service line, and make them aware of the issue. Typical turn-around is within two weeks, I believe, with many fellow hobbyists having reported that they've received their unit back within only about one week.
I unfortunately have not yet had time to test this unit with regard to Ka band performance. A local township uses 35.5 Ghz Ka-band - which is a frequency that gave the x50 some trouble on - but I have not been able to cruise around to test-out the 9500i.... On K band, I'm pretty happy with the 9500i's performance, even when set to "Auto" mode (which greatly enhances the comfort of my daily commute - more on this in just a minute), it seems to pick up K-band threats as fast as/with similar range as my Rev5 x50.
What I've really been able to enjoy the past few days is the quietness of the 9500i. Even with no GPS TrueLock lockouts set on the first day of my commute, I was able to get to work, and then home again, without *any* false alerts. Apparently, during regular-traffic hours, my road-speed is decreased sufficiently that the falses I do encounter are all successfully filtered via the "Auto"Sensitivity mode's road-speed based real-time sensitivity adjustments. Currently, I have 4 X-band signals locked-out (while the OH State Patrol does occasionally use X-band, my local enforcers are exclusively K, Ka, and LASER shooters), which covers the X-band falses on my normal commute, which I can still elicit when I travel those routes during off-traffic hours, which sees increased road-speed (even though I'm still within the PSL).
A good friend of mine, and a fellow BL/BP-chassis turbocharged Subaru Legacy driver unfortunately reported that he is seeing a laser-alert false at WOT. This is a not-uncommon issue with the top-flight Escort products, and was first noted with their 7000-series detectors, but has seemed to continue to present itself through both the x50 as well as the 9500i. My friend also comes from, as I did, an early-make Rev5 x50, which, on his vehicle (on the same exact electrical wiring setup), did *NOT* false laser alert at WOT.
It's rumored that the 9500i is much more laser sensitive than the x50 (and in-particular, the S7 chassis, early-make, Rev5 x50s) - as a remedial measure, Escort has told my friend that they'll "tune" his 9500i so as to hopefully prevent this falsing from taking place, but it will come at the expense of an appx. 30% decrease in laser sensitivity. We currently do not know exactly where this will place his 9500i, in terms of laser sensitivity, when compared with our old Rev5 x50s.
To-date, luckily, I have not yet seen this concern replicated on my own vehicle and with my 9500i/ZR3-integrated setup.
However, in addition to my friend, there are also more than a handful of others (who either are fellow BL/BP, turbocharged, Legacy drivers or owners of other vehicles) who are suffering from this persistent issue with their Escort detectors (x50, 9500i). To me, this is a big disappointment.
For someone like me, where the detector itself is no longer the first line of LASER defense, it really is more of an academic as well as strategic concern (i.e. that one receiver "up high" could help catch the "lucky scatter"). But for those who are relying on the detector as first-line laser defense, this falsing issue could be a serious concern.
One of the things that really gets to me about a detector that falses too much is that as the end-user, we may become de-tuned/de-sensitized to the detector's falses - in essence "lose confidence" in the detector and trying to second-guess it. The "spooky quietness" of the 9500i is something that many have listed as a tactical advantage, for, in this sense, *every* blip on the detector should then be taken seriously.
Living with falses on a detector that is specifically designed to minimize such - be it for reasons of convenience/sanity or for tactical concerns - is, in my most humble view, unacceptable, and I think that it is something that Escort should work to resolve, without degrading the detector's performance.
Note that self/end-user effected "fixes" to address this "LASER WOT" falsing issue does exist - typically, one uses an in-line filter, such as a Ferrite Choke - to try to suppress the tapped power line's electrical noise, which is one of the biggest (speculated) causes of this problem. Alternatively, it's also been reported that RF interference could also be an issue - but due to the truly random nature (as well as the difficulty involved in tracing it down) of this type of interference, there currently exists no real end-user effected methods of addressing this problem, short of turning off laser reception on the detector.
#1161 of 1208 Re: Audio ramp-up [lgtwrx]
Jan 06, 2008 (6:07 pm)
Mine is stamped 5007, so I guess it has the updated scheme. Maybe it's just the sensitivity that has it acting more hyper. In regards to laser sensitivity, this may sound funny but if i lower the unit below the level of the top of the dash, the laser alert goes off (presumably secondary to the cd player). My x50 would only do that if I put it right next to the cd input.
#1162 of 1208 Re: Audio ramp-up [upstatedoc]
Jan 07, 2008 (6:21 am)
Agreed - the 5007 should qualify your unit into the updated/revised ramp-up units. (But if you want to know for sure, you can give Escort's C/S a call, and they should be able to provide confirmation via S/N. )
If you're in "Auto" mode and are at moderate road-speeds (between, reportedly, 25 to 50 MPH), remember that the unit is actively trying to figure-out if the signals it encounters are falses, and this, in and of itself, may cause sufficient temporal delay for you to have traveled "right on top of the target/signal." As-such, if your local speed-limits are in the 35 MPH range, and you habitually speed to 40/45 MPH, it may be worth it to suffer the additional false-signals, but switch to full-sensitivity "Highway" mode to insure full X and K-band coverage (alternatively, if X and K are less-used in your area, you could use "City" mode).
That's very interesting, what you're reporting about the laser alert behavior on your 9500i, as well as the x50. One can't help but wonder if this is because of RF interference from the actual player itself, or if it is from laser "peeking out" from, say, the player's physical casing (including the disc slot).
#1163 of 1208 Re: Audio ramp-up [lgtwrx]
Jan 08, 2008 (9:02 am)
So you're laser alert doesn't go off if your unit gets too close to the cd player? That happens in all my vehicles.
#1164 of 1208 Re: Audio ramp-up [upstatedoc]
Jan 08, 2008 (9:45 am)
^ You know, honestly, I haven't tried......
I've nearly always been a "high mount" kind of guy, so I can't really say that I've ever tried this - or had the detector located in such a way that this may have been an issue. I'll give it a run tonight, though.
What I do know, specific to the BL/BP-chassis Subaru Legacy, is that the '06+ models' navigation screen will set off the laser false.
#1165 of 1208 Press Request
by KarenS HOST
Jan 08, 2008 (2:33 pm)
A reporter from a national newspaper is looking to speak to consumers who use radar detectors. Please provide your daytime contact info to ctalatiedmunds.com no later than Wednesday, January 9, 2008.
Jan 11, 2008 (6:58 am)
What are your first impressions of the 9500i? I'm loving the lock-out feature however have not encountered radar/police car in a locked-out area yet. The alerts sound different so that is taking time to get used to. I have also switched to auto mode in the "city" with X turned off completely. Is there any advantage/disadvantage to this?
#1167 of 1208 Re: First Impressions [upstatedoc]
Jan 11, 2008 (11:12 am)
Hey [b]upstatedoc[/b] -
I'm still forming my "first impression" of the detector. I just don't feel like I've logged enough time nor distance behind-the-wheel, with this detector, to have formed a good "bond" with it, just yet.
What little I can tell you, so far:
During my commute, I'm finding that leaving the detector on "Auto" mode was allowing "automatic" silencing of just about all of the falses in my area, during my AM commute hours, due to my lowered road-speed at such times.
During my afternoon as well as off-hours commutes/errands, however, I do reach sufficient road-speed where I'm in that "transition zone" of sensitivity in "Auto" mode, and as such, I will sometimes encounter falses. As such, I've utilized, so far, about a half-dozen marked locations. Almost all are X-band, so I don't have to worry about my local enforcers, but for the two K-band related locations, I've yet to be able to test them for responsiveness to true enforcement signals, since none have yet been present, simultaneously. I also don't know when/if I'll *ever* get a chance confirm, as, for those two spots, I truly rarely see any enforcement activity at all.....
Aside from this, I've truly been enjoying the tremendous increase in K and Ka-band sensitivity, compared to my old x50.
With regard to your question -
It's stated that in "Auto" mode, X and K-band sensitivities are speed-dependent. At below 15 MPH - i.e. parking lot speeds - you should have X/K-band falsing only if you're within *very* close proximity to the emitter.
Nevertheless, if your local area truly has no X-band enforcement, completely disabling this particular band, which is the most common cause of in-city falsing, will make your commute quite enjoyable, I'd imagine. Just be ABSOLUTELY sure that your locals do not utilize X-band!
Jan 11, 2008 (11:24 am)
I can see how the automode would work in the 9500i because it can tell how fast you're going (GPS), but then how does the x50's automode work?