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#1189 of 1208 Re: Laser alert on 9500i [upstatedoc]
Feb 28, 2008 (3:41 am)
Although the problem isn't exactly common, it's not uncommon, either.
Currently, speculation for the cause of this problem runs anywhere from RF interference (unfortunately, no real solution on this one) to electrical noise (where a snap-on ferrite choke should help cut down on the problem) to "other" causes (various IR sources, or even the "flickering" of modern vehicle's nav/entertainment system displays).
With the 9500i, an e-friend of mine (whom I met through the Legacy enthusiast's Forums) was also having this problem - even the ferrite choke would not solve the issue.
He eventually elected to send the unit back to Escort to have this issue addressed - the technician reported that the solution was to "de-tune" (further shield) the unit's laser receiver - and would likely reduce the unit's laser sensitivity by upwards of 30%.
Mar 11, 2008 (5:39 am)
LT, this may be a question for you.
Are the radar units that the police have able to switch back and forth from say, K to Ka band? The vast majority of law inforcement in my area (town,city,county,state) use Ka band but every once in a while I'll get "K'd" by the county sheriff. Maybe they're using an older unit?
#1191 of 1208 Re: Radar bands [upstatedoc]
Mar 11, 2008 (6:44 am)
Unfortunately, this is beyond my shallow knowledge pool - my instinct, however, is to say no, that there are no "switchable band" devices.
Certainly, though, different departments will have different equipment, and this can even be *within* the department itself.
Local to me, for example, there are adjacent townships using K and Ka band, respectively, as well as one township which operates both K *and* Ka band.
Mar 31, 2008 (4:46 am)
I think my laser falses coincide with bursts of bright sunlight. Yesterday as I was driving around a long curve that was shaded, my laser alert went off as I hit a patch of bright sunlight. No other reason for it to go off. I wonder if I should send it back to Escort for a tune up?
#1193 of 1208 Reply to Laser falses --->
Mar 31, 2008 (10:20 am)
^ That's certainly possible.
My ZR3's rear sensor is very sensitive to such falsing (particularly when sunlight is being "strobed" - i.e. driving on tree-lined secondary streets).
Although I have not yet had any sunlight-induced issues with my 9500i, I have heard of this happening.
[ Aside: this also happens on some other active laser-jammers, in addition to the Escort ZR3 mentioned above. ]
Would I send the unit back to Escort?
I honestly don't know - supposedly (coming from a good friend of mine, who sent his unit back to Escort for persistent laser falsing), their "fix" will decrease the laser sensitivity of this unit by up to 1/3.
Where this will place you, in terms of the absolute laser sensitivity of this unit (i.e. will it be as "bad" as a Rev.5 x50?), is still currently an unknown.
The good thing, though, is that you're almost guaranteed a fix.
#1194 of 1208 Re: Laser falses [upstatedoc]
Mar 31, 2008 (10:22 am)
Just wanted to be sure that you got notice to the reply.
#1195 of 1208 Re: Laser falses [lgtwrx]
Mar 31, 2008 (11:45 am)
Hey thanks for the reply LT,
So it seems I can either live with laser falses (which scare the crap out of me) or opt for decreased sensitivity. Now the other conundrum is that I must have been living w/ decreased sensitivity with my x50 all along.....or is the x50's adequate? Where is my philosophy professor when I need him?
#1196 of 1208 Re: Laser falses [upstatedoc]
Mar 31, 2008 (6:07 pm)
LOL - Philosophy professor, indeed!
I think that when we bring up the comparison to our older x50s, we're not really going to be missing much, even if we got our 9500i's "fixed," if you will.
But does this mean that you are indeed compromising a lot of your protection?
It's hard to say, but I'm inclined to answer yes.
Still, having to live with persistent falses is a definite and BIG problem - it erodes the end-user's confidence in the detector, and causes desensitization, which can be a deadly problem even for advanced detector users.
There's a case on RD.net where a fellow detector enthusiast came forward and offered-up his tale of having disregarded his V1's warning, only to end with a ticket....
Particularly for a detector like the 9500i, where "the only alerts are the real ones," this is a big problem, IMveryHO.
#1197 of 1208 X50 age problem??
Apr 11, 2008 (4:07 am)
I have had two Escort X50 detectors. Both have started, constantly, displaying laser alerts. Laser is not particularly used around Columbia, SC. Both started after 1 to 20 years of use. The one I am using in my Towncar goes off every time I excelerate. Is this a normal problem? I am considering either sending them back for refurbish or just getting new ones. Which would be better? The 9500i is out of my price range at this time, but could be a near future option.
#1198 of 1208 Re: X50 age problem?? [izaclown1]
Apr 11, 2008 (5:29 am)
Hi [b]izaclown1[/b] -
You mean 1 to 2 years, right. 20-years would almost bring us to where all this stuff started!
No, the problem is definitely not "normal," even as the detectors "age." Although some will fall out-of-tune and suffer from various other "typical" small electrical problems due to their harsh use environment, it's still definitely NOT something that should be happening. Something is certainly wrong.
My 3+ year-old x50 still functions as well as the day I bought it, and there are many in the speed-detection countermeasures community who own detectors that are far older, again, with no such problems.
Something's definitely not Kosher.
You can do a little trouble-shooting, yourself --->
First, perform a "hard reset" of the unit. With the unit switched off via the rotary dial, press down on all three of the buttons on the detector's body, and while you're doing so, use the dial to power-up the unit. ( Note that after you perform such a "reset," you will need to go back through the unit's "Preferences" to re-tailor the unit to your end-user enabled settings, as this reset will take the unit back to factory-default settings. ) See if this doesn't take care of the problem, outright.
If that doesn't put a halt to such problems, let's try troubleshooting the detector-car axis.
First, will your detector false in the same manner in another vehicle? If not, then it's obvious that it's something to do with your car - have you changed vehicles recently? did you recently add new accessories (i.e. aftermarket nav/GPS screen or entertainment system/components)?
Also, if the detector is not falsing in other vehicles, you should try enabling the voltmeter function on the x50. See if, for some reason, the detector is pulling either insufficient or too much voltage. With the x50, anything less than about 10V of input or more than 14V could elicit such falsing issues (typically more common on the over-volt scenario [actually, laser-falsing with over-volt is a known problem with the x50], with unpredictable shut-downs more likely on the < 10V input scenario). Since the voltmeter function can be enabled while the detector is actively in-use, you should be able to keep an eye on things as you drive. See if provoking the accelerator will cause such voltage spikes. Remember, though, that this isn't necessarily your vehicle's output voltage - this is what the detector "sees" on its line. If your 12V accessory socket is dirty, or if the wiring leading to it is faulty, then the detector may see less than vehicle voltage - don't immediately jump to the conclusion that your charging system is at-fault, but instead, work the problem backwards, from the detector. If under-voltage is an issue, try taking remedial steps with the socket and/or wiring leading to it, first, or bypass the entire issue by hardwiring (which itself should be undertaken, then, only after you make sure that the vehicle's charging system is good-to-go, as it would be illogical to pursue such a bypass if a dirty socket or faulty wiring leading to it are not your sole problems). And even before you pursue the socket/wiring issue, you should, as logic dictates from "working backwards from the detector," check to see if your SmartCord could be at-fault. Since you have two detectors, you can try interchanging their SmartCords to see if it somehow solves the issue. And also along this line of logic, if your detector continues to false after you've transferred them to another test vehicle, you should also see if the issue can't be traced to the SmartCord(s). If you have a friend who has a non-faulty x50 (or any Bel/Escort detector that utilizes the RJ11 fitting power cords), you can try a cross-change, to see if you can isolate the issue. Failing these, it would likely be best for you to send the detector(s) in to Escort for a fix. Also, there are some cars that are just "electrically noisy." Late-model Subarus, for example, are notorious for this - the Escort detectors often false when in these vehicles, and our sub-community have pursued such concerns to great depth: http://www.radardetector.net/viewtopic.php?t=26821&highlight=armscrafter1
Hopefully, you'll be able to read that without having to sign-up. I stopped "lurking" on the RD.net hobbyist community about a year ago, and until then, no registration was necessary to simply read/lurk.
As you can see, there are various means you can undertake to try to solve this problem.
But honestly, start with the easy stuff, first. Best of luck!