Sunday, May 20, 2007

Does my particular Valentine 1 have an issue?

As part of continuing series of driving with the top-of-the-line radar detectors, while out in Ohio, I managed to hook up with Steve (co-founder of GoL). He rode shut gun as we compared the relative performance of my particular models of the V1 (v3.826) versus his (v3.861) and my STi Driver versus his STi driver (both rev: A4m9).

The purpose of these "experiments" was to explore the possibility of model/model product variance between them. During one pass through Sheffield Village, yesterday, we got a brief shot of instant-on K radar from a cruiser coming the opposite direction on River Road. Both STi's alerted to the K-band V1 stayed silent.

We drove around for another hour or two and were unable to duplicate the V1's behavior, as it alerted to X, K, and Ka (34.7) appropriately.

During our drive we compared the performance of Steve's v2.909 and v3.861 to my v3.826. Again it appears that my 3.826 appeared to lag, somewhat, behind either of his two units on K-band.

A couple of things may have accounted for the observed performance "gap" in my V1's K-band reception. Either 1, there was inter-detector interference going on (which I still highly doubt, considering the STi is a non-radiator in areas that would likely cause such interference) or 2, (I am more inclined to believe) that my particular V1 is either in need of a tune-up or an update or both.

Given this experience and my recent ones with the STi Driver (relative to the V1 on X and K) I have decided to purchase their latest model when I venture out to Cincinnati. When I get an opportunity, I will send my 3.826 into the lab to have it's specs checked.

This experience, in no way, curbs my enthusiasm for BEL's STi Driver, which is still, without a doubt, an awesome performer. But, if my particular V1 has an issue, I want it corrected along with the record.

I believe, my particular V1 also showed less sensitive at one GoL testing venue relative to other V1s tested that same day. I also have the feeling that my particular STi Driver is also a very sensitive one. My STi appeared to outperform the other detectors on Ka (34.7 Ghz) by a pretty good margin in one of our encounters around Sheffield Village to a cruiser who was approaching us off to our left at an intersection.

At any rate, if it actually turns out to be related to inter-detector chatter, I will report this as well.

Veil Guy


jwardell said...

It is possible that turning off the POP feature, as you said you did in previous posts, made it less likely to react to the quick Ka shot. Was his POP also disabled?

Veil Guy said...

Yes...POP detection was also disabled on Steve's V1.

Just spoke to VR and what we suspected may, in fact, be going on here...These reception issues we are experiencing may be tied to the temperature compensation circuitry that has since been modified in a model version subsequent to our 3.826. We are working with them to get to the bottom of this and when we know, we'll post our findings.

BTW, the quick shot was from K-band not Ka. The 34.7 Stalker was steady-on from an officer that was approaching the intersection off to our left.

I tried re-enabling the J-feature (POP2 reception) and started getting J-alerts on the Ohio Turnpike. I decided to turn it back off. Given that I will likely never actually encounter POP usage and the V1 can effectively filter out the likes of the Q7 (with side-assist) with J-off, that's where it's going to stay.

Unknown said...

I believe you are promoting turning POP off because with POP on the STI fails to alert, as I have personally seen when I had one. I understand that for now POP is not being used but if it does come into play one day, then the STI would unfortunately be rendered useless.

Veil Guy said...


I can't speak to the issue of POP reception [with the STi or any other radar detector for that matter] as I have yet to actually encounter a real speedtrap utilizing it in the three years of driving many miles with radar detectors.

The reason I have decided turning POP reception OFF in my detectors is because in the case of the STi Driver, it appears to improve performance a bit and with the V1 it makes the detector much less likely to alert with "false" Ka alerts coming from cheap radar detectors and therefore makes the V1 much more livable as a result. Furthermore, with the V1, by disabling POP-reception (J function) one can effectively filter out the likes of Audi's side-assist [and other related ACC/ADAS systems] FMCW K-band radar transponders, which render the V1 [and just about all other radar detectors] useless from inside the vehicle and which set-off radar detectors with strong K-band alerts that can appear like a bonafide radar speedtrap.

I am not "promoting" turning off POP reception to "hide" a perceived "weakness" in either radar detector -- it's just my particular doesn't have to be yours.

Unknown said...

When I first got my V1, I hated all the sensitivity it had. After a bit of drive time and using big L and small l mode, I did learn how to decipher which alerts are real, which by the way is the case with other detectors as well. You pickup the nuances of each machine.

What I was saying previously about the STI was this. I tested the V1 and the STI simultaneously. I found with POP turned on the STI failed to alert on two back-to-back occasions when my valentine did. The radar was not POP but was a constant one from two police cars on New Jersey's Route 208. When I turned POP off, the STI started working again.

Therefore, my conclusion was as follows. If and when POP does start to be used by police here one day, I'd rather own a Valentine that works with POP on, than a STI that does not work with POP on.

Veil Guy said...


Interesting experience.

I'd be curious to know what radar band you were hit with in NJ. Ka or X?

I've been living with the STi for about a year now and for the last several weeks have been driving with POP OFF. My own experiences over this time suggest that the STi Driver's performance improves a bit with POP disabled on K/Ka.

But it was only after living with it for an extended period of time and with a fair number of encounters.

Unfortunately, V1's don't specifically alert with a K POP or Ka POP alert (no real need to, I guess)so there's no direct way to know when one get's hit with a POP shot. (I know this doesn't directly tie into your point since you are certain it wasn't POP).

Unknown said...

Sorry, but I don't know which band it was. I keep the volume low and I still can't differentiate between the different tones, although at louder volumes I think it is easier to tell the difference. Multicolored LED's would not be a bad idea.

Keep up the good work; I enjoy reading your blog.


Veil Guy said...

Thanks very much Jeff for those kind words. It guys like you and Steve that make all this work worth it. :)

V1s can be tough to distinguish in tonal characteristics at low volume or when noisy inside the vehicle, as you well know.

Based upon your comments here, I am going to assume that it was likely X-band or K-band. I have found the X-band and K-band tones can sometimes be confused with each other in certain circumstances. It could not have been laser, because you would have known that because the "European siren" tone is unique as is the Ka alerts -- "double brap" which, too, is pretty easy to distinguish even at low volume.

I have seen some custom display mods offered by some on the net which provide distinct colors for visual band identification. Very cool, indeed, especially since V1s don't have the ability to display alert frequencies and/or a textual depiction or voice announcement of particular police radar bands.

WindsorFox said...

Interesting reading here. I had my V1 upgraded this past summer and since I got it back it has gone into non-stop fits, even on full Logic. Now it is not detecting POP, only 4 or 5 times Have I seen the J since I got it, but it is going nuts on K band now. Now what I'm gathering from reading her is the this over sensitivity is due to the POP detection and if I turn it off it will go back to the nice detector I had before??

Veil Guy said...

Hmmm. You could certainly try disabling the J-feature (which is POP detection). To be clear this will not completely eliminate any J-alerting but should go a long way to reducing "falses."

I now prefer to drive with the V1 with POP detection off myself and yes you will get a quieter detector in return.

If the behavior does not improve, I would suggest you contact VR and send it back in for another tune-up and/or flash update to the latest and greatest code.

BTW, Advanced Logic mode normally only affects X-band reception, unless the detector is specifically programmed to change K-band reception alerting by tying it to the Advanced Logic mode.

Good luck with your unit.