Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Escort Max 360c Review Preview: Industry's Highest Tech Radar Detector Yet

Escort Max 360c Review Preview

The Industry's Highest Tech Radar Detector Yet

Escort Max 360c Radar Detector

Escort continues to develop new and innovative radar detectors (at increasingly high price points) and the new Escort Max 360c is no exception.

Think of an Escort Max 360c as a smaller more capable Max 360 with built-in WIFI connectivity that can communicate directly through the Internet to cloud services, such as Escort Live! and potentially other services (hint, hint).

The Max 360's highlights:

  • Escort Max 360c has all of the features of the original Max 360
  • Front and rear facing antenna with directional arrows
  • GPS photo enforcement and red light camera database
  • Direct WIFI connectivity to Escort Live! and software updates
  • Magnetic mount found on the Escort iX and Escort Redline EX
  • K-band segmentation
  • Ka-band segmentation
  • Auto LoK reduced K-band sensitivity
  • New improved bright OLED display

To learn more, read our in-depth Escort Max 360c radar detector review preview.

Veil Guy

Saturday, October 07, 2017

Cedar Electronics' Escort/Beltronics/Cobra/WASP Companies Crackdown on Unscrupulous & Unauthorized Dealers

Escort Finally Crackdowns on Unscrupulous & UnAuthorized Dealers

Cedar Electronics Holdings is finally lowering the boom in a big way on unscrupulous & unauthorized dealers selling "gray" market products often below MAP pricing.

This activity has been rampant on sites like Amazon and eBay as well as on some independent dealers websites for years.

How it hurts consumers, like yourself

When you buy an Escort/Cobra/Beltronics/WASP product from one of these sources--sometimes at heavily discounted prices--you are actually buying a product that has no warranty.  If the products fail at any point, you are out of luck.

You may also be getting outfight counterfeit, refurbished, used (and repackaged shrinked wrap and all) product.  To make matters worse, the companies (online "stores") that choose to have Amazon fulfill their product offerings can their products pooled into other models that are offered by legitimate authorized dealers.  While it may appear like you are getting a deal in pricing or the benefits of Amazon Prime, you may be in fact, subjecting yourself to getting a gray market detector.

Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) for multiple stores has made it difficult on Cedar/Escort to crackdown on this activity. In fact, it has been taking them years to get their arms around this rampant problem.

The problem gets compounded even further because of Amazon's pricing mechanisms.

What happens is this.  A new store briefly pops up or long time offending unauthorized dealer (such as JB Tools) offers an Escort Max 360 for $509 ($140 below MAP), other stores, including Amazon, cascade down in pricing automatically.

So what happens is just one bad actor can undermine the whole pricing mechanism, even the outright fraudulent "fake" listings.  As a result, product pricing sometimes rapidly fluctuates (like the price of gasoline) with no stability.  The fraudulent stores quickly appear and disappear after taking your money, not delivering product, but harvesting your consumer information for potentially nefarious purposes.

That hurts the consumers who buy from legitimate dealers who paid the proper pricing. Imagine purchasing an Escort Max 360 or Escort Redline EX at their MAP pricing only to see that that same unit is now selling for $500 just a day later!  This sort of price instability also hurts your ability to sell your used high quality detector when you look to purchase a newer more capable detector.

What even more despicable are bottom-feeder sites pretending they are authorized dealers but in reality are not.  These fraudulent sites can also have sales affiliate relationships with other seemingly independent sites that are front-ending their sales.

Beware of sites that on the surface appear to be legitimate review sites but are in reality affiliate marketers masquerading as "independent reviewers."  These sites generally either have little useful or outdated information (often recommending products that have been discontinued) and direct to you to other faceless store sites on Amazon so they can get their sales commissions up-front.

Even social media platform sites (such as online forums) that do offer useful information but direct you to either unauthorized dealers/stores or to dealers who are masquerading as authorized but are not--are actually doing you a HUGE disservice, because they are directing you to gray market products and dealers that have no quality control or warranty support.

These sites often have embedded "real-time" pricing which favor the lowest priced products, which means you are being directed to the worst offenders and the most unscrupulous dealers!  Others' product ratings and their associated affiliate links are driven strictly by how high a commission they are getting paid, without regard to the quality or the legitimacy of their selection or that of the seller they direct you to.

These affiliate marketing sites basically have no vested interest in the legitimacy of your purchase because they have zero skin in the game and got their money upfront without concern of consequences to you.

You can easily spot these activities when your click gets redirected (sometimes multiple times) and then lands you on some buy page.  If you look at the URL address in your browser, you will generally see a string of text that may include something like "affid=" followed by some numbers or letters.

If you see this type of behavior when you are researching product, you may want to clear your cookies or at least browse in incognito mode so your subsequent browsing activity isn't being tracked by these and other sites.  

Bottom line, learn what you can from these sites, but avoid the click-bait and instead go to an authorized dealer to make your purchase.  You'll be happier and more protected in the long-run.

How it hurts the legitimate dealers and manufacturers

Authorized dealers, such as RadarBusters.com and it's sister companies PowerSports US Amazon and PowerSports US eBay, invest a tremendous amount of time, capital, and resources into providing real product education and class-leading pre and post sales support.

When sales are made by unauthorized dealers who offer no value other than the appearance of "good pricing," that undermines the ability of these companies to maintain the same level of support year after year.

And it even comes back to the manufacturer, Cedar.  They have to spend a lot of time and resources tracking down these gray-market products through blind product purchases and when customers--who attempt to get post purchase support--find out their purchases are fraudulent.  It also diminishes the sense of quality of the Cedar brands long-term, namely Escort.

What Cedar (Escort) is doing to combat this

Cedar recently retained a law-firm which is now actively engaged in sending cease-and-desist letters to all gray marketers with the very real threat of litigation and with the legal precedent to back it up.

They have also been more vocal and public in making announcements--both on their company websites and official support forum--of these unscrupulous dealers. (click on sample image below of one such recent announcement). 

Cracking down on patent infringing products

Cedar is also in the early stages of cracking down on patent infringing companies engaged in marketing competing countermeasures using Escort's (and their associaties) intellectual property without license.  This includes certain remote-installed detectors and laser jammers.

Cedar is not alone in in this effort, either.  Other manufacturers who's IP have been infringed are also beginning taking steps in this regard.  So it's imperative as a consumer to be aware of the changes that are happening in the background and so you are not trapped with a purchase of a product that may no longer be permitted to be sold and supported in the marketplace.

For those that have been around in the industry long enough, remember companies like Laser Pro Park, Drive Smart, to name a couple.  Ultimately, the consumers of their products were left holding the bag with no product support or hope of product updates or replacements.

As a side note, you may eventually see a lot of such products being "dumped" on sites like eBay or Craigslist.  Just know if and when this happens, while the deals may look to be enticing, they may not actually turn out that way.

Cedar provides an online list of unauthorized dealers, but be aware of the risks, the list is far from complete.  A good rule of thumb to follow is, if the products are heavily discounted or the store names look like they have nothing to do with the specialty industry, they're gray-market.

I'm pleased to see this development because it is in the long-term interests of the Cedar Holdings brands, especially Escort and ensures that their customers will continue to have the highest levels of customer satisfaction that Escort has long been known for since the days when it was first known as Cincinnati Microwave, nearly four decades ago.

It's also healthy long-term to this industry I have known and loved for so many years!

If I get permission from their law-firm, I will post the specifics of the cease-and-desist letter that is being sent out, in a subsequent post.

As the holiday season approaches, shop wisely...

Veil Guy

Friday, September 08, 2017

RadarBusters is NOW STOCKING Uniden R3 and Uniden R1

We've been informed that RadarBusters.com has received the second part of their replacement stock following up on a small amount of Uniden R3s that they had received earlier last week and that were shipped out.

They are currently working on fulfilling backorders of both the Uniden R1 and Uniden R3 radar detectors and will be working overtime over the weekend to get their customers' orders processed and shipped.

Once all backorders are processed they will process new orders.

The Uniden R1 and Uniden R3 radar detectors have been in extremely high demand (for good reason), so they are suggesting that if you are interested in either model, to place your order as quickly as possible before their stock is sold out.

We understand they have more Unidens coming, but with tropical storm Harvey, and now hurricanes Irma and Katia, unforeseen delays of future product shipments may be adversely impacted at least for a time.

In other words, they are recommending that you 'get them while you can!'

Where to Purchase the Uniden radar detectors:

Friday, September 01, 2017

Escort Max 360 gets an improved IVT filter with their latest firmware update

Yesterday, Escort announced the release of a long-awaited firmware update to the Escort Max 360.

There are two versions of the firmware depending upon the bluetooth chip set  incorporated, with the later Max 360s getting version 1.60.  Earlier models receive the version 1.30, but they are both essentially the same but simply with different version numbers.

Be sure to use the right firmware for the particular detector you have.  You can determine the serial number on your detector.

MAX 360 with Bluetooth Classic (serial number beginning with 79) has been updated to firmware v1.6


MAX 360 with Bluetooth Smart/BLE (serial number beginning with 85) has been updated to firmware v1.3

The key improvements are to the IVT (CAS/BSM filtering) of K-band systems of vehicles as well as the lockout feature.  Fortunately, you will not lose you previously stored false alerts and the detectors will immediately begin relearning more accurately.

It's safe to say other Escort detectors with IVT will continue to receive updates to improve the effectiveness of K-band collision avoidance systems filtering.

RadarBusters early allocation of Uniden R3 radar detectors now in stock

Despite the small weather delays that are effecting the delivery operations from parts of Texas, we understand RadarBusters received a limited early allocation of some Uniden R3 radar detectors.

We understand they are beginning to process back-orders and the balance of Uniden R3 and Uniden R1 radar detectors will be in stock sometime after the Labor Day holiday on Monday.

They have hundreds coming in, but the demand has been tremendous, so they are recommending that for those that you that have been waiting be sure to get orders in for either the Uniden R1 or Uniden R3 as soon as possible so you don't miss out on their allocation.

Uniden has been averaging about 30 days to provide allocations.

You can purchase them at the following links:

We'll post any updates as we learn more. In the meantime, have a safe holiday weekend and our thoughts and prayers go out to those affected by Harvey.


Tuesday, August 01, 2017

VeilGuy's In-depth Uniden R3 & R1 Review

Uniden R3 & R1 Review

An in-depth look at these two spectacular new radar detectors

Published 8/1/17, by VeilGuy

 Uniden R1 & Uniden R3 Radar Detectors

After a couple of months of driving with both the Uniden R1 and Uniden R3 radar detectors, it's clear to me that these two new detectors are simply amazing. There really is no other way to put it.

Not only do the R1 and R3 offer astounding levels of performance, they do it in a well-refined manner that I wouldn't have expected to see at this stage in their industry engagement.

Uniden has been in and out of the radar detector market over the years, but with these two radar detectors that they're marketing, it would appear that they've been committed to this industry as much as the more established players (if not more so).

I understand that Uniden has other things in the works that should continue to dazzle us, which will be no small feat, because already the R1 and R3 are exceptional and may hard to top, that's how good these detectors are.

Those of you who have followed me over the years know that historically my "go to" detector has been the Valentine 1 (and when it comes to laser detection, it will remain so for the foreseeable future).

Other detectors have come along that have, at times, provided greater sheer performance (such as the Escort Redline), but what has kept me coming back to the V1 is its overall balance and refinement.

Everything the V1 does, it does well. Every feature the V1 has, serves a genuine purpose. I've always maintained that a radar detector is greater than the some of its individual parts.  The V1 is a driver's detector.

So, if I were to say that the Uniden R3 is the radar detector that I would consistently choose now to protect me from police radar enforcement, that would be saying something extraordinary.

After driving with these two new Unidens, especially the Uniden R3, well folks, that's exactly what I'm saying.

When you finish reading my review, you'll understand why.

Uniden doesn't live in a vacuum, so it's going to be interesting to see how other manufacturers respond, but given my experiences with both the R1 and R3, they've clearly have their work cut out for them.

It's going to be very exciting to see what Uniden has up their sleeves for the future.  From what I understand, we're not going to be disappointed.

In the meantime, the R1 and R3 are here now for all of us to enjoy (provided they can manage to keep them in stock, given the overwhelming demand).

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Escort Redline EX Preview Review: Escort Takes "Extreme" to a New Level

Escort Redline EX Preview Review

Escort Redline EX Radar Detector
Escort Redline EX Radar Detector

It's hard to believe that it has been more than a decade since Escort released its first truly undetectable radar detector, the Beltronics STi Driver, but looking back at my early review it's right there in black-and-white.

In otherwords, that's how old the original technology of the underpinnings of the Escort Redline (the Driver's stablemate) is and to be candid, it's been showing for a good number of years.  So much so, I regarded the Redline more as an academic exercise in supreme engineering than one of practicality.

Clearly Escort's customers have felt the same way, as the Redline was never really a big seller by comparison to the more popular radar detectors like the Escort Max/Max2, Escort Max 360, and more recently the Escort iX.

Things may be poised to change, though, with the introduction of the new Escort Redline EX.  I became aware of its development in early January of 2017 and at the request of Escort, held my introductory article until a more appropriate time (ie; closer to the Redline EX's public availability).

Escort intends to remedy the weaknesses of the original Redline with capabilities that have been available on their other radar detectors.  This remedy includes the incorporation of GPS and its associated class-leading Defender database of photo and red light camera enforcement; advanced K-band filtering; and bluetooth integration, among other key elements.

As is customary with Escort, the new Redline EX pricing is expected to be $50 more than the outgoing Redline.

The Redline EX is a detector that at one time, Escort maintained that they "could not" or "would not" build, but with the advent of some new players on the block, including the Radenso XP and the new uber-sensitive GPS-enabled Uniden R3, Escort needs a new radar detector like this to stay relevant, in my opinion.

Read more about the Redline EX, here.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

RadarBusters getting limited allocation of the Uniden R3 and Uniden R1

RadarBusters getting limited allocation of the Uniden R3 and Uniden R1

I've just been informed that RadarBusters will be receiving their first allocation of both the Uniden R3 and Uniden R1 radar detectors and so they are now accepting orders on them.

Both the R3 and R1 radar detectors are considered by the early beta testers as being some of the hottest yet and in some cases, exceeding the detection performance of the mighty Escort Redline but cost for $150 to $250 less.

For those interested in being early adopters see the following link.

Uniden R3 Radar/Laser Detector
Extreme Range GPS Radar/Laser Detector

Uniden R1 Radar/Laser Detector
Extreme Range Radar/Laser Detector

Uniden is in the process of sending me a couple of units so that I can perform a real-world test of some actual production units.

In the meantime, a big shout out to Uniden for really stepping up their game and those in the online community that have helped in their efforts!

Veil Guy

Thursday, May 04, 2017

Preview/Review: Uniden R3 & Uniden R1 Radar Detectors

Preview/Review: Uniden R1 and Uniden R3 Radar Detectors

Hold on to your hats, boys and girls, the storm has arrived!
Uniden R1 & Uniden R3 Radar Detector
Uniden R3/Uniden R1 Radar Detectors

The last several years have been a momentous time for competition in the radar detector industry.

Just like our past Presidential election and BREXIT, 2017 seems to be the year of the anti-establishment making its presence felt.

Beyond the ostensibly tectonic-shifting merging of the establishment players of Escort, Beltronics, and Cobra into one organization (which runs counter to competition), there have been some new and (one long-standing) manufacturers establishing or re-establishing a presence in the U.S. market.  I'm going to refer to these two companies as the "outsiders" or "anti-establishment" manufacturers.

Radenso, one of these new comers, has released three radar detectors in particular that are noteworthy for their performance, feature-sets, and reasonable pricing--with their Radenso XP, Radenso SP, and Radenso Pro SE radar detectors.

And now Uniden America (is looking to really shake things up) with two new extreme performance and "RDD-immune" radar detectors, called the Uniden R1 and Uniden R3.  Both of these detectors represent the third evolution of the well-regarded Uniden LRD-950 (and LRD-850) that were introduced a few years ago (which were updated to the Uniden DFR7 and Uniden DFR6, respectively).

In my view, it is really remarkable that both of these companies (Radenso & Uniden) have evolved their products so well in such short periods.  The pace of these improvements and refinements makes the more established manufactures look like they're going in slow motion, dare I say, resting on their laurels and past accomplishments.

Innovation drives competition and vice-versa.

But more than just innovation is at play here.  It's the engagement.  Engagement with the consumer.

It's the "connectivity."  It includes the staffing and the partnering with those who understand and have historical knowledge and interest in the health of the industry. It's the relationships. It's the knowing your customer-base; listening to your customer-base; and delivering on what they're asking for.

Given the rapidly changing (deteriorating) RF landscape and the appearance of new more-difficult-to-detect police radar and police laser, the most established radar detector manufacturers who are slow to improve their product offerings in substantive ways are going to find themselves less relevant.  The rapid pace of change that has been routinely effecting other industries, is now upon the shores of the radar detector industry.

Iconic products, like the Escort Redline can no longer afford to remain little changed for an extended period of time. I specifically mention the Redline because these Unidens are clearly taking aim at the Redline/Magnum. (Note: Escort is not standing still, either).

Uniden appears to be positioning itself in the market for the long-term.  To that end, it's also encouraging to hear from them that they intend to strenuously enforce tight pricing controls and consistency of these two fine detectors across the entire sales and distribution channel.

As a result, the entire sales channel and specialty dealer base that will do the heavy lifting in product education and customer front-line support will be protected, which directly enhances brand value, something that is essential for growing market share. To be sure, Uniden hasn't historically taken this approach, but they are sending the right signals now with these detectors.

When manufacturers do not; allow online entities (like Amazon) and big-box retailers to race to the bottom on price, and/or end up competing themselves (and undermining) their own sales channel, the only differentiator ultimately becomes price in the consumer's mind.  The products produced become mere commodities and long-term brand value suffers as a consequence.

These matters can be further complicated when other more nimble manufacturers increasingly offer products at lower price points (and better values), beating them at their own game since price became the driving factor, not brand distinction.

At least for now, Uniden (as well as Radenso) appear to understand this with the introduction of their latest Uniden radar detectors and are providing the critical end-to-end support from the manufacturer to ensure collective channel viability.  Let's hope they don't lose sight of this once their products (and brand names) become more mainstream.

So, without question, the game is on.

Despite some unprecedented consolidation of the marketplace, these two "new outside" players are going to ensure that innovation will continue to ultimately separate the winners from the losers.

These "new innovators" are the Tesla to the GM; the David to the Goliath.

The best part is the consumer (ie; we drivers) are going to be the ultimate beneficiaries.

And this my friends, is the real tectonic-shift in this small and specialized industry.

You can read more about these new detectors with our brief overview.

Best place to purchase your Uniden detector:

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Radenso SP Review: Radenso XP sans GPS for $150 Less

Radenso SP Review: Radenso XP sans GPS for $150 less

Radenso SP
Radenso SP Radar Detector Review

Radenso, the innovative new radar detector manufacturer, has recently released their new Radenso SP.

The Radenso SP, is essentially a Radenso XP without built-in GPS capabilities.  The SP retails for $249, which is $150 less than the GPS enabled XP, which retails for $399.

Even though the SP is now their entry level radar detector, it by no means offers entry-level performance.

Like the Radenso XP, expect the SP to offer best-in-class K-band blind-spot-monitor filtering as well as traffic sensor rejection, Ka band segmentation, K narrow, frequency display and POP mode.

Key features of the Radenso SP:
  •     LNA equipped antenna board for highest possible sensitivity on all bands
  •     Ka band segmentation (10 segments)
  •     K narrow band
  •     Low power / low frequency K band detection down to 23.950 GHz
  •     BSM / CAS filter to eliminate falsing from newer cars
  •     Separate TSR filter to eliminate falsing from Traffic sensors
  •     Spectre IV and Spectre Elite detection below 20 ft
At $249, this new Radenso represents one of the great values in the industry.

We'll follow-up with a more thorough review shortly.

You can purchase this Radenso radar detector from RadarBusters

Saturday, April 08, 2017

Our industry loses another luminary

It brings me great sadness to write that yet another luminary, of the radar detector industry, recently passed away.

R. Gregory Blair, joined the Escort team late in 1984 and was largely responsible for the turn around of the company in the wake of Cincinnati Microwave's reorganization.  Mr. Blair acquired Escort in 1997 as part of their asset sale.

During this time, Mr. Blair made a purchasing play for Whistler, but eventually was successful at acquiring Beltronics--who themselves were experiencing financial difficulties--in an interesting twist of events.

He managed to put together a highly successful team which took both brands of Escort and Beltronics to new heights through his years at Escort until his retirement in 2013.

One of his colleagues recently told me that Greg was one of the very best CEO's that he has ever worked with.  Greg's approach to management was to assemble the best talent possible, then get out of the way, and let his team succeed without having to resort to micro-management.

His successes with Escort culminated into his recognition by Ernst & Young as Entrepreneur of the Year" in late 2002. Under his guidance of Escort and Beltronics, Greg was responsible for what has been the only (major) North American manufacturer of consumer electronics.

Craig Peterson (of RadarTest) summed up Mr. Blair's talents, succinctly, as being "smart, savvy and the guiding force behind the resurrection of Escort."

His influence continues well beyond his time here and he will be missed by many.

Additional References:

Friday, March 31, 2017

Escort Max 360ci Beats ALP, Stinger Laser Jamming in Early Testing

Escort Max 360ci Beats All Comers in Early Testing

Escort's new shifters dominate the ALP and Stinger VIP jammers

BREAKING: 03/31/17

Escort Max Ci 360
Escort Max Ci 360

Hold on to your hats boy and girls!

Escort's new Escort Max Ci 360 and Escort Max Ci are going to shake things up in a big way.

Early testing has shown that their new laser shifters (which will be available as a separate stand-alone system) dominated a recent "closed" test.

DragonEye Compact
DragonEye Compact (VPR)
When pitted against a late model Dragon Eye Compact (VPR) laser gun the results of jamming performance were:

  • AntiLaser Priority (Triple): 70% effective
  • Escort "Shifters" (Dual): 100% effective
  • Stinger VIP (Triple, non fiber): 0% effective (including no detection)
More testing is, of course, in order, but initial tests are demonstrating that Escort will be establishing themselves as a provider of class-leading laser jamming systems.

Expect some more test results (along with videos) when our install is formally completed, the test mule will remain a Silver E39 BMW and I'll be retiring all the previous remotes: the Beltronics STiR, Beltronics STiR Plus, and the Escort Passport 9500ci.

ALP, K40, and Stinger...there's a new sheriff in town.

Veil Guy

Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Escort Max Ci and Escort Max Ci 360 Radar Detectors Take Extreme to the Next Level

Escort Max Ci and Escort Max Ci 360 Radar Detectors Take Extreme to Next Level

Escort to release two new custom-installed remote-mounted radar detectors to update the aging Escort Passport 9500ci.

Escort Max Ci & Escort Max Ci 360 Radar Detectors
Escort Max Ci & Escort Max Ci 360 Customer Installed Radar Detector

Key features of the new Escort Max Ci & Escort Max Ci 360 Radar Detectors:

  • Updated Platform
  • All-Digital Back-end Processing
  • More Advanced IVT Filtering
  • Stealth Undetectable Design
  • Front & Rear Facing Antennas
  • Front & Rear Laser Jamming
  • Improved Laser Jamming
  • Built-In GPS
  • Built-In Bluetooth
  • New Four Color OLED Graphic Display
  • More Steamlined Install Modules & Connectivity
  • Easier & More Flexible Install
  • Easily Updated
  • Available in Front-Only (Escort Max Ci) and Front/Rear (Escort Max Ci 360) Configurations

To learn more visit: Escort Max Ci 360 and Escort Max Ci Review/Preview