Stalker Radar Introduces the Spectre III Radar Detector
With radar detectors illegal in Washington, D.C. and Virginia, and completely prohibited in all commercial motor vehicles across the United States by Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Regulation 392.71, the Spectre III is the sensible addition to any patrol vehicle.
The Spectre III detects radar detectors by sensing microwave “leakage” from the devices. The Spectre III is capable of detecting all radar detectors certified for use in the United States by the Federal Communications Commission as of December 2004, including models that feature “cloaking” and “VG-2 Alert.”
The Spectre III mounts on the vehicle’s windshield and can be rotated a full 360 degrees. It can monitor traffic in front or behind in either stationary or moving mode.
The device displays signal strength and features operator-adjustable gain and signal volume controls as well as automatic high-temperature shutoff. Learn more about the Spectre III at: www.stalkerradar.com/rdd or email [email protected]
Read the FMCSA regulation at: www.fmcsa.dot.gov/rules-regulations/administration/fmcsr/392.71.htm
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Although radar detectors are legal, cops still use radar detector detectors (RDDs) to know if you have one. And if your detector doesn’t have cloaking capabilities, it’s easy for the police to give you a strange look. The question is, are you willing to accept that vulnerability?
We hope not. So, we’ve compiled the best stealth and undetectable radar detectors below.
Table of Contents
1. Escort RedLine Ex
2. uniden r3, 3. radenso xp, our top pick – escort redline ex, top invisible radar detectors.
The Escort Redline Ex is currently touted as one of the best radar detectors in the market today. There are two reasons for this.
One, this is the closest we can get to a completely undetectable radar detector. And two, the Redline Ex boasts of one of the longest tested ranges of radar detectors currently available in the market.
The Redline Ex (as well as its predecessor, the Redline) sets itself apart from the Escort roster with its proven claims of undetectability. In fact, the Redline Ex has TotalShield RF technology, a patented feature by Escort. This is what keeps this device undetectable by RDDs such as the older VG-2 and Spectre models including the Elite.
So while most radar detectors have little to no means of going invisible against powerful RDDs like the Spectre, this one can handle it.
But just to be clear, all states in the US besides Virginia and Washington DC allow the use of radar detectors. Still, many mid-range devices have cloaking against the once-standard VG-2.
As mentioned, the Escort Redline Ex also holds the record for one of the longest ranges around, and so does its older brother, the Redline. Both can go as far as more than 14 miles, which is dependent on driving conditions but still impressive nonetheless.
In addition to detecting most common signals such as Ka and X, it can also pick up international K bands such as Gatso, Strelka, and Multaradar CD/CT. What’s more, it can also detect laser signals in all directions.
Performance is at par with the older Redline model, although the Ex edges it out in two areas: false alert filtering and protection against red-light cameras and speed traps.
Furthermore, it boasts a list of useful features including GPS, AutoLearn technology, Bluetooth, Escort Live app connectivity, and IVT filter. What it does lack are Wi-Fi and directional arrows, which are considered luxury additions but are present in the upgraded Redline 360C .
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Uniden’s entry, the R3, doesn’t officially claim to be undetectable by Spectre models. However, many tests have proven that it can do so, even with the Spectre Elite.
However, results in our tests have not been consistent. Still, its cloaking abilities against RDDs are still more than what other models can offer. And often, the signals emitted by the R3 have only been identified in very close ranges.
That said, the Uniden R3 was not promoted for its ability to go invisible. Instead, it’s commended as one of the best radar detectors for its great overall performance, together with its non-GPS brother, the Uniden R1.
Many top-of-the-line radar detectors claim things that the Uniden R3 can actually deliver consistently. Among these is the increased sensitivity of the device against radar signals. Its accuracy is also great in both city and highway driving modes, so much so that it has earned the rightful comparison of being as good as the veteran Valentine One.
Another thing that makes the R3 stand out is its impressive range, which can detect even twice as much as other flagship rivals without the hefty price tag. Detection goes at 360 degrees, making alerts more accurate and swift.
The Uniden R3 also excels in filtering false alerts through the adjustment of sensitivity for particular radar signals. Still, the Uniden R3 doesn’t compromise its efficiency despite reducing its sensitivity in the city.
Additionally, Blind Spot Monitoring (BSM) systems are also addressed by the Uniden R3, allowing users to have a quiet drive even in the presence of vehicles from Honda, Acura, and GM. It also gives advanced alerts on radar guns, cameras, and speed traps due to a good GPS chipset.
One of Escort Redline’s faults is not being able to maintain its accuracy when the bands are segmented. Still, this is a reliable rig to have on the road.
The Radenso XP may not be at the top of Radenso’s offerings, but it can shield you against RDDs as far as 14+ feet. Specifically, it is completely invisible against the VG-2 and nearly undetectable by the Spectre[ 1 ] Elite.
But like the two previously mentioned products, its capabilities go beyond its ability to be undetected by RDDs. When this radar detector was released, it also boasted of long detection ranges as well as effective filtering of false alerts.
Currently, the long detection range may be off — after all, this has already been eclipsed by newer models. It’s still good enough for the average user though, especially for the price. (For other worth-the-money radar detectors, check out our review of the best radar detectors under $300 .)
In our tests, this device proved great on the highway, with some results tying it with the Valentine One. In other city modes, however, the Radenso XP did not yield as impressive results.
Laser guns can be detected as well, but as with other models, they are not as helpful because such signals are instant and provide no time for adjustment of speed.
But when it comes to suppressing false alerts, the Radenso XP is among the better ones. This is due to the effective adjustment of sensitivity for independent radar bands and segmentation for 10 Ka bands. As most states only use three of these bands for their equipment, all the others can be switched off with little fear of missing genuine threats.
The Radenso XP also has GPS, which makes users aware of the speed and red-light cameras. It can also store 200 locations that could be ignored should the vehicle pass by them.
When it comes to usability, this radar detector can trip up new users. Although the labels are legible and complete on the exterior of the Radenso XP, using it is a different matter. The operation is easier for those with previous experience in radar detectors, and even then, one may need to consult a manual.
There are many features that radar detectors can boast of, but when it comes to undetectability, the true winner is Escort Redline Ex. Aside from its bells and whistles that place it among the best radar detectors, the Redline Ex can hide from almost all common RDDs. Even the toughest Spectre models can’t detect it—something other detectors just can’t guarantee.
While it isn’t a total 100% invisibility, there’s no other radar detector that can match the cloaking abilities of the Redline Ex. So if you want a detector that can truly hide from the law enforcement, the Redline Ex is the best in the market.
William Johnson is the owner and founder of RatedRadarDetector.org. He writes about car accessories, with his passion stemming from a deep enthusiasm for all things automotive. His website, RRD, focuses on in-depth reviews of car accessories to help people find the best and latest products in the market.
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How the Spectre Radar Detector Detector (RDD) Works
By Radar Roy - 0 Comments
Are you a professional driver?
Or do you live or frequently drive in virginia or washington dc.
If you’re considering purchasing a radar detector and you have answered yes to either of these two questions, then this video is just for you.
Hi, my name is Radar Roy and I’m a retired cop, certified traffic radar instructor and in 1996 I joined the dark side by launching the website RadarBusters.com where I share videos and articles just like this one providing you tips and strategies on how to avoid speeding tickets and reviewing various speed counter measurement devices.
Now in areas where radar detectors are illegal they use a device that is a radar detector detector called the Spectre that can sniff out a radar detector hundreds of yards away.
However you’ll notice in this video that I also have a radar detector installed under the mirror that I am able to operated as I’m recording this video and that the Spectre is not alerting to it.
This is because it’s only one of four radar detectors that is available today that can defeat the Spectre and I’ll share more about that toward the end of this video.
Now let me explain how the Spectre works.
First off it was developed by an Australian by the name of Pete Taylor and his company Steath Miro Systems in1998.
The US distributor for the Spectre is Stalker and their customers include various police departments thought-out North America that enforce commercial vehicle laws.
Now on the front of the Spectre you’ll notice the green power LED, a red LED that will light if the unit overheats, an inter dial to adjust the sensitivity of the receiver, an inter dial for power and volume, and then a series of 5 LED lights from green to red that measure the signal strength of the incoming signal.
In basic terms the Spectre RDD is able to receive radio frequency or RF that is emitted from the radar detectors oscillators.
Now Because of the directional antenna in the front and the ability to adjust the sensitivity, a properly trained officer can quite easily identify a car or truck that has a radar detector.
Now in this first example I’m a couple hundreds of yards behind a semi tanker truck when you’ll notice my first alert of the Spectre RDD.
At this time I have the Spectre pointed straight ahead at maximum sensitivity.
Now as I begin to get closer to the rear of the truck I begin turning down the sensitivity of the Spectre until I am just a few yards behind the truck.
Now because of federal laws having a radar detector in any commercial vehicle weighing over 18,000 pounds is against the law.
And also because of federal laws a police officer does not need any type of search warrant or probable cause to do a commercial vehicle inspection.
So at this point if I was a police officer I could pull this truck over now, check his logbooks and do a full safety inspection, while also of course looking for his radar detector.
Now this all could had been avoided if the driver would had invested in a stealth radar detector, instead of one of those cheaper detectors which leak RF, making them so easy to detect.
Now here is an example of a common tactic employed by police officers and that is parking at an entrance of a truck stop or weigh station.
Here you can see several vehicles entering the truck stop as my Spectre RDD begins to activate.
Now it wouldn’t be hard for an officer to figure out which one of these vehicles has the offending radar detector if this was in Virginia or Washington DC where detectors are illegal.
Next I’ll share with you another common tactic used by police and that’s just sitting on the side of the road, waiting for their Spectre RDD alert.
Watch the video carefully and you’ll notice the LED signal strength and the audio tone get louder and as the signal gets to be the strongest point I pick the Spectre up and point it at a black Audi.
After the cars passed I pulled on to the highway and began to follow in an attempt to catch up with the Audi.
Well I was in luck as I noticed the Audi pull into a gas station and I pulled up directly in front of him.
Now take note of the windshield just under the rear view mirror and you’ll notice one of those real leaky Cobra radar detectors that they promote as being able to defeat the Spectre.
So a question you maybe asking yourself is there any radar detector that can defeat this radar detector detector.
Well yes and again I had one of these radar detectors hanging on my read view mirror the entire time of this video and you noticed that it never set the Spectre off and that is the Escort Redline.
The Escort Redline is perhaps on of the most popular radar detectors we sell on our website Radarbusters not only because of it’s ability to defeat all radar detectors but also because of it’s extreme range.
The Redline just like the Beltronics STi Magnum, the Beltronics STiR Plus and the Passport 9500ci are all built on Escort’s M3 dual feedhorn M3 antenna design enabling all four of these detectors to be 100% stealth to all radar detectors.
Now both the Beltronics STiR Plus and the Passport 9500ci are remote mounted radar detectors, which also enable them to be stealth to the eye.
Now the main difference between the STiR Plus and the 9500ci is that the STiR Plus is sold without the Laser Shifters, which enables laser jamming also.
Now you have an opportunity to save 10% on many of our selected radar detectors on Radarbusters buy becoming a member of our VIP club.
On our website you’ll notice a link on the main top menu.
Click on it and you will come to this page.
Buy joining our free VIP club you will get your own unique discount code that you can use on selected radar detectors that will save you up to 10%, my price match guarantee, entry into our quarterly radar detector give away and as my free gift a copy of my acclaimed radar detector eBook, a value of $19.97.
So take the next step and win back your enjoyment and freedom of the open road and become a member now by clicking the banner on top of this video now.
Thank you for watching and please remember
Drive safe, drive smart and most of all drive protected
(Transcript of How the Spectre RDD Works)
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What is RDD
Feb 17, 2006 – NIWOT, CO –
Know the facts about Radar Detector Detectors are electronic
Radar Detector Detectors are electronic, radio frequency (RF) scanners, designed to search for a specific radar frequency, called a local oscillator (LO) frequency. These devices, also known as RDD (we always shorten product names, don’t we?), are used by police to search for vehicle drivers using a radar detector. Two of the best radar detectors are the Bel STi Driver and theValentine One radar detector. This is important to police where the local laws stipulate that the use of radar detectors can not be used; i.e., illegal for use. Most of Canada, except BC, has a law against the use of a radar detector. The state of Virginia in the USA bans the use of radar detectors. DOT bans the use of any kind by commercial truck drivers. Most European countries ban the use of radar detectors; most notably France, Germany and Italy. These countries and Australia below have very harsh fines for drivers, who use radar detectors. All of the eastern provinces of Australia ban the use of radar detectors.
Japan and Korea ban the use of radar detectors. Taiwan and Hong Kong presently permit radar detectors . Singapore and Malaysia ban the use of radar detectors. China, who really knows, but I suspect they do not want to lose their speed photo trap income, so they may incorporate RDD technology. VG2 was the first tool used by police in the 1990s to search for drivers with radar detectors. VG2 was used around the world, but not much in the USA until DOT (Department of Transportation) and Virginia enacted their laws in the USA. DOT enforces commercial trucks, therefore, they regulate the use of radar detectors with truck drivers. That is to say, DOT outlawed radar detectors of any kind by a commercial truck driver in the USA. A brief understanding of how an RDD device locates a radar detector. All radar detectors are essentially a scanner, searching for the radar gun RF signals: X band is 10.525GHz, Ku band is 13.45GHz, K band is 24.125GHz or 24.15GHz, Euro Ka Narrow-band is 33.3 GHz, USA Wide-band Ka is 33.4GHz, 34.7GHz and 35.5GHz. The Radar Detector searches for the radar gun frequency, and the RDD searches for the radar detector frequency. The RDD searches for the local oscillator (LO) frequency emitted by a noisy radar detector. In the 1990s, the LO frequency used by all detector mmanufacturers was at 11 GHz (11 gigahertz, 11,000,000,000 hertz). OK, too technical. Anyway, VG2 was introduced to find this radar detector frequency. In the late 1990s, a competitor came out in Australia, providing the Spectre I, which searched for the same LO 11GHz frequency. Good Radar Detector companies fought back by changing their LO to 15GHz, and that worked for about a year, until Spectre II came out, scanning for 11 and 15GHz. So the Radar Detector manufacturers started trying to hide the LO. V1 came out with a Titanium metal case and reduced the V1 LO RF leakage, making it difficult for Spectre II to find a V1. Valentine made some very good improvements. Likewise with Bel Vector products and Escort Passport products, both who improved thier products, by reducing LO RF leakage and improving the outer enclosure. We focus on these companies, becuase they are generally the best manufacturers for radar detectors.
Valentine One, Escort 8500 X50 and Bel RX65 provided the best invisibility to VG2, Spectre I and Spectre II from 100 to 300 feet distance, which is quite good. Most poor radar detectors could be detected by VG2 and Spectre II as far as 1600 feet, which is pathetic. And then the world changed. In 2005 along comes Spectre III and VG4 radar detector detectors. The Spectre III and VG4 were supposed to be the “end all RDDs” for police. But, I didn’t think that either new RDD was a major improvement, as tested by SML in June 2005 in El Paso, TX. Then Bel introduced their STI Driver, tested by SML in October 2005, and it proved to be truly invisible to all RDD: VG2, VG4, Spectre I, Spectre II, Spectre III, also known as Stalcar in Australia, NZ and Asia. Talk about “Kick Ass” performance, the STi Driver proved to be 100% invisible to all RDD. Many companies say they are invisible to RDD, but they neglect to say “how invisible” to RDD their product is. Even Bel Vector, RX65 Pro, Escort 8500 X50, Valentine One say their products are invisible to RDD, and while these products offer superb invisibility to RDD, they are not 100% invisible to all RDD as of January 2006. The Bel STi Driver was to be available in January 2006, but the product release was moved to March 2006 to ensure STi specifications were adhered to in production products. Beltronics stepped up to the plate and made some additional advances to the STI. Most notably, it has dual, front radar antenna receiver.
X band is separate from K and Ka frequencies. This means the K and Ka can be calibrated more accurately and provide way more signal to noise (S/N) improvment. It means greater K and Ka distance detection, better than the RX65, which was already the best in the world. It also means fewer false radar alerts, again much better than the RX65. Nobody wants to constantly hit the brakes to false radar alerts. The STi Driver is packaged in a highly polished, metal carrying case. The STi includes a magnesium outer shell to help reduce its LO leakage. It is tough as a tank, looks very nice, provides a great alert display. More importantly, it operates like a dream to detect X, K, Ka, POP3 radar and does it without giving any RDD alert, even when the RDD is driving by your vehicle. The only thing I would add to it, is an RDD alert, so that drivers know Smokey is hunting for you. Having said that, while the STi DRIVER is 100% electronically invisible, some drivers will want to ensure the Bel STi DRIVER is not easily viewed from the outside of the vehicle as the police drive by. We offer high performance only. If you want the best, that is what we provide. Backed up by superb customer support.
Call 1st Radar Detectors in Canada at 250-324-8004 or in the USA at 309-681-5636 to discuss your requirements and we will figure out what what you need for your business or your vehicle, and find a US/Canada installer for you. Regards, John Turner
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Michigan's Radar and Laser targeting Tactics Tutorials.
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These are all ways the MSP and county PD operate in the state of Michigan. For the gentlmen that said that IO isn't used in Mi. Here you are. Figured you'd like to see that it's used in pretty much every setup they use. If not it's by choice. They have golden eagles and plenty of other IO radar guns such as the Pro-1000 K band gun, and lot's of Lidar/laser guns, it's just a matter of "WHEN, and WHERE" they choose to use them. If by chance you need to make the image larger simply click it, it will open it in a new window, then maximize the new window box. To exit, close the extra window for each individual scenario. AlPiNe~
Last edited by alpinestars_2002795; 09-07-2008 at 03:01 PM .
Spectre III RDD, (2)VG2 RDD, Uniden LRD950 w/dfr7update, Uniden R7, (2) RPSE, Escort Max 2, Marksman LTI 20-20 Lidar, Ultralyte 100lr lidar, 2 Pro-Laser iii, Z-25 mph K-band w/pop 16ms, mph python iii-x band, mph python ii-k band, kustom falcon k band, Stalker ATR 34.7ghz Ka mov/sta w/remote, Laser Atlanta, stalker lz1, Talon Ka 35.5GhzKa, Vascar IIIC, Vascar II Plus, Vascar Plus, Kustom Pro-1000 K-band w/K55 remote better i/o, (2)K55 X-Band's, Laser Interceptor Tri Head, Cheetah C550 GPS with platinum trinity 3.0 databases, Wilson Pro 5000/little wil ant, cobra 29ltd classic, Galaxy 959b W/RF Gain SSB, (2) pro520xl, (2) Pro510xl cb, Waze via iPhone 6s/Galaxy s9, Roav C2 pro Dashcam with Sony Starvis nightview, Canon EOS7D, 1080p watchcam for roadside evidence 16Gb.
Re: Michigan's Radar and Laser targeting Tactics Tutorials.
Here is the rest of the More common setups I've encountered in michigan, and how they work them. AlPiNe~
Basically Michigan PO are the best trained at catching speeders. They do it because Michigan needs the revenue. And they are very efficient at it. If you live in Michigan and are used to their tactics than any other state is no challenge. Worst one is getting smacked by I/O Ka or K band from an unmarked car traveling in the opposite direction. I actually saw one today, luckily because I had the v1 up I had a good 1/2 mile detection.
Saw the whole 'LEO-backed-up-against-the-back-side-of-an-overpass' trick a few weeks ago. He pulled off of the right shoulder just passed an overpass and backed behind it. He had his door wide open and looked like he was puking but he had a LIDAR gun in his hand shooting SB traffic. It was the first/last overpass over 75 after/before the 23/75 split/merge. He was crazy though. The top of his head/door was just a couple of feet from 70mph traffic in the right hand lane.
Then maybe you've seen this one too foolish one. This is another enforcement tactic often used around overpasses. They sure seem to like to use the overpasses, and tree's in michigan to subdo themselves they have liked to use the tree's to subdo themselves here for years. AlPiNe~
This is maybe more like what you encountered then. Yes I've seen that too, around the Grand Rapids area. AlPiNe~
Last edited by alpinestars_2002795; 09-08-2008 at 08:22 AM .
Wow, that was a lot of work just looking at all of that Alpine.
Yeah, that last one in post 6 is the tactic I was referring to. Here's I-75 and Hill Road. Picasa Web Albums - Keith - Random That's what you see staring you in the face going 80+mph. Picasa Web Albums - Keith - Random
Yup, i've seen that one used in Grand Rapids on I-131 south bound although the officer refused to even try to shoot my Night rider explorer? Akward? Maybe he saw how blacked out it was, and all the Laser jammers I had on it, and decided not to waste his time..? Had an idoit threaten to call the fed's on me today for shooting radar? I was like ? I'm licensed, be my guest. Some people are just stupid though I guess. AlPiNe~
Last edited by alpinestars_2002795; 09-08-2008 at 08:55 PM .
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Valentine 1 Gen2 Review
May 6, 2020
- 41 mins to read
I’ve been running the V1 Gen2 since its debut in March and while many early units have been plagued with poor reliability and a variety of hardware failures, and even repaired detectors continue to fail, my (now repaired) Gen2 has nevertheless become one of my favorite windshield mount radar detectors, particularly when paired with third party apps. Here’s my complete review of the new V1 Gen2.
Full disclosure: This is not a paid or sponsored review. (I’ve never done those and never will.) I purchased my V1 at full retail and do not make an affiliate commission when you purchase one. These are my thoughts and opinions, good and bad, based upon my own experiences testing and after spending hundreds of hours reading and discussing things online will fellow V1 Gen2 owners.
New Interface & Design
The new V1 Gen2 features an all new look and design. It’s based on the original of course, but the new V1 is thinner and sleeker and has made a number of evolutionary changes to the look and feel of the radar detector based on customer feedback over the past 30 years.
New Volume Buttons
Gone are the two volume and control knobs, replaced with a single power/mute button up front and a pair of volume buttons up top.
This new design was chosen for two main reasons: First, a lot of people didn’t know what the outer volume lever was for (it controlled the secondary “muted” volume level) and if it was set too loud, they would think that their mute button stopped working. Second, it was designed to make it easier for motorcycle riders to adjust the volume while wearing gloves. I personally preferred the original muting volume knobs because they made it a little easier to instantly adjust my volume on the fly, but once you get your volume levels dialed in, most people don’t mess with them much either way.
The arrow LED’s now feature a special film in front of them to help diffuse the light and create a smoother look. It’s a great improvement in practice.
Why no modern multi-color OLED display though? Valentine chose to stick with LED’s because they are easier to see in direct sunlight. (This was very apparent in my convertible when direct sun would wash out the displays of my OLED detectors.) Additionally, LED’s don’t suffer the same eventual burn-in issues we see with OLED technology after months or years of usage. LED’s aren’t as fancy or flashy, but they are more reliable over the long term.
To identify which band the V1 is alerting to, the V1 used to have white text next to little red LED dots. This worked alright in the daytime when you could read the little white text, but now they’ve switched over to larger red LED’s letters which are easier to read at a glance, particularly at night.
I would have loved to have seen them make the bands different colors for even quicker band identification, a modification I made in my Gen1 concealed display , but this is a welcome improvement either way.
Long Range Performance
Long range detection and sensitivity is one of the biggest new improvements with the V1 Gen2. This new version is a beast. This is the first windshield mount radar detector that can finally run toe-to-toe with current king of long distance range, the Uniden R7 .
I tested the V1 Gen2 against all the other top options and here’s a look at the results:
Ka Band Performance
On 33.8, it beat out almost every other detector, only being surpassed by the R7.
On 34.7, it managed to beat everything else, including just barely edging out the R7.
On 35.5, it managed to again outperform all the other top options. Extremely impressive stuff!
If you want a detector with outstanding range on Ka band, the V1 Gen2 will not disappoint.
K Band Performance
On K band, things are a little more complicated given all the different filtering options available, but let’s take a look at some more test results.
With the BSM filters (now known as K Verifier on the V1 Gen2) enabled so the detectors don’t become falsing machines, the R7 is significantly more sensitive at max sensitivity. After multiple tests, the consensus is that the V1 Gen2 gives roughly the same range as the R7 set to 40% sensitivity. You can dial back the R7’s sensitivity to help quiet it down on K band, but you can never crank the V1’s sensitivity up to R7 levels.
Running the V1 Gen2 in All Bogies Mode (A mode) or Logic Mode (l mode), the V1 Gen2 outperforms other detectors like the Max 360c, Redline EX, Pro M, and V1 Gen1.
Switching over to Advanced Logic Mode (L mode) to get even more false alert filtering, range does drop lower than anything else, including the R7 in City Mode which dials the back R7 to only 18% of its max sensitivity.
Lightning Quick Scan Times
The new V1 Gen2 is completely different under the hood and it doesn’t share any internal components with the Gen1… One of the key parts of the new V1 Gen2 is the new Surface-Acoustic-Wave Dispersive-Delay-Line, or SAW DDL. This allows for absurdly fast sweep times across all of X, K, and Ka band.
Why does this matter? Well it basically makes the V1 immune to being defeated by quick trigger radar on Ka band. (Quick trigger is when the officer tries to quickly start and stop transmitting their radar gun, just long enough to lock in a speed while also being too quick for radar detectors to pick up the alert. See this video for more info. ) Most modern detectors have no issue picking up Q/T nowadays, but the V1 takes it to a hilariously absurd level.
Some police radar guns like the Stalker DSR 2X and Decatur Genesis 2 offer automatic Q/T shots that last 0.5 sec. The V1 Gen2’s scan times are just 0.002 sec per antenna, lol. This means that for a complete front and rear scan, it takes just 0.004 sec total, or 125x faster than what the radar guns are doing. Officers can do manual Q/T shots that are a little faster than the half second automated ones, but nothing even remotely quick enough to sneak past the V1 Gen2.
That said, on K band, the V1 Gen2’s false alert filtering does slow things down quite a bit so if you face a lot of K band Q/T, the V1 Gen2 will struggle to alert you reliably.
False Alert Filtering
The V1 Gen2 offers improved false alert filtering compared to the Gen1 and it is a noticeably quieter detector than the original.
The new BSM filter (now called K Verifier instead of TMF2 / Junk K Fighter) does a great job of filtering out many false alerts. I’d say it’s one of the best BSM filters in the business. It’s not perfect and will still false to certain Mazdas, Hondas/Acuras, GM’s, and Chrysler vehicles, but when it does false, it’s gives a very weak and chilled out alert. It’s very different than detectors that alert intensely and from far away. I’m a fan of not only the fact that it filters out more vehicles than most other detectors (only the Radenso Pro M / RC M filters more), but the new V1’s alert presentation when it does false is less panic brake inducing than typical. 🙂
Ka Guard has been removed as an option from the V1 Gen2. I do still see some false alerts on Ka unfortunately, but luckily they’re not excessive.
The V1 also offers several different logic modes to add in additional false alert filtering.
All Bogies mode (A mode)
In All Bogies mode (you’ll see an “A” on the face of the detector), the V1 visually and audibly alerts to all signals that aren’t filtered out by the K Verifier. This is the V1’s chattiest mode (which sometimes confuses people when they think the “A” stands for “Automatic” mode) and so I only really run this mode for testing.
Logic mode (l mode)
Logic mode is great for when you have a fair amount of K band in use in your area. It visually alerts to all the same K band signals, but it will audibly mute any weak signals such as many BSMs, door openers on the side of the road, or police officers at a distance. As you get closer to the source and the signal gets stronger, the V1 will resume alerting normally.
I like Logic mode for when I want to keep an eye on what’s going on around me and I still want a good amount of range on K band.
Advanced Logic mode (L mode)
For the most aggressive K band filtering, especially if there’s not a ton of K band in use around you, there is Advanced Logic mode. Valentine recommends this in urban areas and it is their default option. Advanced Logic mode both visually and audibly hides any weak alerts to keep the detector extra quiet. Once the signal gets stronger, only then will it alert and we see this reflected in test results.
Advanced Logic mode also offers some additional filtering to try and filter out door openers, independent of signal strength. I find this to be helpful, but kind of hit or miss. It helps against some door openers, but I find it works better when you initially drive into a shopping center and park. When you get back in your car, the V1 will alert to some of the door openers that it was filtering out before. So it does add some additional filtering against door openers, but false alerts may still punch through in certain instances.
Nevertheless, Advanced Logic mode is the way to get the quietest experience possible running a standalone V1 while still getting a fair amount of K band detection range in all but the most demanding of situations.
Like the V1 Gen1, the new V1 Gen2 lacks a GPS chip so it has no native ability to give you low speed muting, GPS lockouts, or redlight / speed camera alerts. IMHO GPS is pretty vital for a detector used in urban areas and it’s a reason why people often give the V1 a hard time. “How can a modern $500 radar detector not include GPS!?”
Valentine does offer low speed muting through accessories like Savvy (a $69 OBD-II module) or their free V1connection app so they do offer options to get some speed-related muting.
However, Mike is very much against GPS lockouts as he explains on his website . I also had a chance to talk to him about this more in our recent interview (skip to 1:03:03).
In short, there are potential risks with GPS inadvertently locking out legitimate signals which can and has sometimes happened with detectors that offer GPS. However, the third party apps available for the V1 that add in GPS lockout functionality ( V1Driver and JBV1 ) are designed more intentionally and with built-in safeguards to help virtually eliminate that risk.
So the V1 does lack GPS natively, but if you’re willing to pair a phone, you can add the functionality you’ll want while also doing a great job mitigating the risks.
Mike also brought up some of the legal restrictions regarding using GPS. GPS lockout functionality is currently patented and owned by Escort who now aggressively defend their patents after previously being sued by a patent troll over usage of GPS integration before eventually purchasing the patents themselves. In short, adding GPS to a detector can be a legal headache and so he’s chosen to simply avoid doing so altogether.
Now that said, a lot of people are going to be running the V1 out of the box without GPS. It can accomplish a a lot even without GPS and I think it’s gotta be the best non-GPS radar detector out there. At the same time, I also think that the V1 is best experienced paired with a phone to add the GPS functionality to add additional false alert filtering around town.
Integrated Bluetooth & Open API
While the V1 lacks GPS built-in the way other detectors do, it also offers a feature that other detectors don’t: an open API. This allows third party developers to design apps and accessories that directly communicate with the V1 and offer additional functionality.
As I talked about in the previous section, if you’re willing to pair a phone with your V1 and run a third party app, you can add an incredible amount of functionality, including the GPS false alert filtering that I think the V1 needs if you plan on running it in urban environments. It also helps add some additional useful features not available in any other standalone radar detector.
Bluetooth is now built in to the V1 Gen2 (and you’ll see a blue Bluetooth icon light up on the display when connected). With compatible Gen1’s (3.892 or newer), you had to purchase a $49 external Bluetooth module . Now with the Gen2 it’s built directly into the V1. This makes the wiring even easier, especially if you want to use a Mirrortap to grab power from your RVM and so now you don’t have to find a place to stuff and hide the BT module.
Personally I think the addition of an open API was a brilliant move by Mike V and I’m surprised other manufacturers haven’t implemented this too yet. It allows third party developers to add in additional functionality that we users want and it has allowed the V1 to become much more than it ever could have been on its own.
It does mean that you’ll have to run a third party app on your phone. The apps can visually display a bunch of useful information on screen, plus they also do a great job running in the background (even from your pocket) and quietly adding a bunch of additional useful functionality without you having to start and stop the app every time you get in the car.
That said, as great as all this functionality is, it’s also the biggest thing stopping me from switching over to the V1 entirely. While there are a bunch of extra features available with your phone, it’s not quite as seamless, integrated, and clean as I would want to get the experience that I like when driving. I really do wish the V1 could do everything I want without requiring a phone, but that’s just not the case with the V1.
Third Party Apps
If you’re wanting to run a V1, I would recommend running one of two apps, either V1Driver for iOS or Android or JBV1 for Android .
If you’re an iPhone user, you’ll want to buy V1Driver ($10). Think of it as a sophisticated false alert muting app. It seamlessly connects to your V1 in the background and adds GPS-based low speed muting and automatic lockouts. As you drive around with it, V1Driver will learn your stationary false alerts from speed signs and door openers and automatically begin muting them for you.
It also adds voice announcements, a frequency display, and it can log all your alerts for future reference.
Apple Watch alerts through V1Driver
Plus if you’re running an Apple Watch, it can visually display information there or allow you to mute your V1 simply by raising your wrist.
I like V1Driver as a way to just seamlessly add GPS-based false alert muting to the V1 without having to putz around with your phone while driving. It’s available for both iOS and for Android .
For the most feature-rich and complete experience with the V1, you’ll want to download JBV1 (free) for Android. IMHO, this is the very best countermeasure app on the market. It’s nothing short of incredible and often times people will get a V1 just to run JBV1. It’s that good…
You can run it quietly in the background like V1Driver or you can turn it into your rolling command center.
JBV1 in action
Here’s a quick list of some of the features and highlights that JBV1 offers:
- Automatic GPS lockouts
- Low speed muting
- Additional BSM muting for falses that punch through the V1
- RLC / speedcam alerts
- Speed limit display
- Can automatically reprogram the V1 based on where you drive
- Realtime crowd-sourced alerts on screen
- Historical data displayed on the map
- Overlay pop-ups for visual alerts when the app is backgrounded
- Voice alerts
- Alert logging
- Alerts to police aircraft overhead
- Realtime weather info
- TMG laser jammer integration
- Automatic startup and shutdown
- Standalone mode to run without a V1
It’s an incredibly powerful app with an unbelievable list of features. Plus the developer regularly releases updates and new features based on user feedback and requests.
That said, there’s definitely a learning curve associated with JBV1 as well so if you’re interested, I’d recommend heading over to the JBV1 section of RDF to learn more.
Personally I think the app is amazing. Since it’s Android only and it will not be coming to iOS, as an iPhone user I run a dedicated Android phone in my car for the times I want to run JBV1. That does mean extra hassle of having an additional phone, mount, and power cable, plus mounting and unmounting the phone every time I get in and out of the car so I think it works better on your main phone if you’re an Android user already, but it’s a very powerful option either way.
Programming the V1
Now when it comes to programming your V1, you can change certain settings directly in the V1 , but it’s not the most intuitive thing to do. It’s much easier to use Valentine’s V1connection app for iOS or Android (or JBV1 on Android) to change settings. Plus you have more options available to configure in the app than are available directly in the detector.
The V1 Gen2’s programming options have been simplified compared to the Gen1. For more info, you can watch the video tutorial above or read my V1 Gen2 programing guide .
Side note for V1 Gen1 owners: Custom sweeps are no longer available in the Gen2. Because the Gen2 sweeps so fast already, there’s no need to disable certain frequency ranges to speed up the detector and improve its performance. There is a similar feature now called “Custom Frequencies,” but that is purely for disabling alerts in certain frequency ranges in case you see strictly false alerts on those frequencies. Like with the V1 Gen1, 33.8 detection can’t be disabled, even with Custom Frequencies.
MRCD / MRCT
One thing that the V1 Gen2 lacks is support for low powered photo radar guns like the MultaRadar CD, CT, Gatso, Redflex, Mesta Fusion, etc. Most newer top end radar detectors are able to detect some or all of these guns, but the V1 wasn’t designed for them which limits the V1’s future-proofness. There is no MultaRadar in Ohio so it’s not a priority for Valentine to develop MRCD detection, even though it’s starting to make its way across the rest of North America.
I haven’t seen any V1 Gen2 MRCD testing done in Edmonton yet, but based on some initial testing , it looks like the V1 loses its ability to detect certain photo radar signals when the K Verifier is enabled, just like the Gen1. This is unfortunate because without that filter, the V1 will false incessantly . That, combined with the fact that the V1 doesn’t offer a unique alert for low powered radar the way other detectors do, means that when you get your 10,000th K band alert of the day, you’ll simply wind up ignoring it.
I don’t know if this capability is something that can be added at a later date without a hardware update, but given that Mike V has described low powered radar detection development as more of a “science experiment,” it doesn’t sound like that is a huge priority at this time.
Thus, if you need low powered radar detection today or you’d like a more future-proof detector that can detect low powered guns should they appear in your area down the line, I don’t think the V1 Gen2 would be the best option.
Now one thing that’s pretty different with the V1 compared to other detectors is its ramp-up, or how progressive the signal strength meter “ramps up” as you get closer and closer to the source. While other detectors usually like to go bananas before the officer is able to lock in your speed, the V1’s ramp-up will be more laid back and chill and wait until you’re in the kill zone (usually) before it starts going off full tilt.
Here’s a video illustrating the differences between several different detectors:
The V1’s ramp-up is intended to be more communicative and let you know what’s going on with the signal instead of just screaming at you too early. Not everyone likes this behavior though and many prefer their detector to be more urgent with the alerts before you get close. The V1 Gen1 used to have an option for a more aggressive ramp-up, but that has been removed as an option with the Gen2.
One thing I definitely don’t like is how the V1 alerts to strong I/O hits. Normally when you get blasted with instant on radar at point blank, your radar detector will immediately start screaming bloody murder. With the V1 Gen2 though, it’ll alert as a weak signal first and then it’ll ramp up in signal strength and start alerting full tilt. I don’t like this behavior because it’s not representative of what you’re experiencing and it doesn’t communicate the urgency of what’s going on so I hope Valentine addresses this in a future update.
Update: I’ve already seen one person get a ticket with the V1 Gen2 when it took about 3 seconds to fully ramp-up to full strength against a point blank instant on hit.
Stealth & RDD Immunity
One big improvement with the V1 Gen2 is its stealthiness and undetectability by the Spectre Radar Detector Detector . Unlike the V1 Gen1 which was detectable from hundreds of feet away , the new V1 Gen2 is now undetectable by the Spectre III RDD.
Other testers have reported the same thing and so if you’re looking for a radar detector that is undetectable by RDD’s, the V1 Gen2 should be on your short list.
Laser Detection & Filtering
What about laser detection? Well for a variety of reasons, laser detection in any radar detector isn’t a reliable form of protection . That said, the V1 Gen1 has long been the gold standard in terms of laser sensitivity, even though it falsed quite a bit .
Is the V1 Gen2 just as sensitive? Honestly I don’t know. I haven’t bothered testing it. I find that it falses to laser so often that I’ve just turned off laser detection altogether. Unfortunately Valentine still hasn’t improved the laser filtering yet so it’s still going to false to the laser-based safety systems in some Infinitis, Mazdas, Toyotas, Lexus’, Cadillacs, and Audis. (Fortunately it does look like an update is in development for certain Mazdas and Volvos.)
V1 Gen2 laser false to Infiniti SUV
I’m guessing the new V1 Gen2’s laser sensitivity is still good, but given that it cries wolf so much, your best bet is to just disable laser detection on the V1 and rely on a set of laser jammers for proper protection.
Quality & Reliability Issues
Now speaking of things that I’d like to see changed, let’s talk about the quality issues and unexpectedly poor reliability we’re seeing with the V1 Gen2.
Note: Most of these issues have been resolved since launch and are no longer an issue.
Power Off Failures
First off, the most critical issue we’ve seen thus far is a power failure issue where the V1 dies and refuses to power on again. The display blinks on startup but immediately shuts off and the V1 no longer detects radar or operates properly.
There’s been 37 reports of dead V1 Gen2’s on RDF as of May 6, 2020 as well as additional reports in my YouTube video comments, social media, etc. Matt Farah’s new V1 Gen2 died a few days into ownership as well. Roughly 1/3 of V1 Gen2’s on RDF have failed in this way.
Now despite the COVID-19 shutdown, Valentine has been working to help affected users get their V1’s repaired. Here is the repair process for dead V1’s. (My V1 was repaired and shipped out the same day they received it.) They are helping out most customers, but they haven’t gotten in touch with every customer who’s reached out to them yet, presumably because of the pandemic shutdown difficulties, but it does look like repairs are the priority which is great to see.
I had a chance to speak to Mike Valentine privately about the issue and while he didn’t want to disclose exactly what the issue was, he assured me that they’re fully repairing affected detectors purchased by early adopters. Additionally, any new detectors shipped out when they reopen after the shutdown (sometime in late May 2020) will have the fix in place.
Update 5-27-20: Unfortunately there have been multiple reports of repaired V1 Gen2’s that have died again after being repaired . Most repaired detectors have been fine, but this issue continues to plague the new V1.
I’ve run my repaired V1 Gen2 on my desk 24/7 for about a week and it has been just fine. It’s also powered on properly every time in my vehicle since. This is great news. It does look like most people (myself included) have been just fine after repairs, if they even had the issue in the first place, but this issue has not yet been fully resolved.
Update 7-30-20: This issue looks to have been fully resolved. It was a software issue and an update has been released that appears to have fixed this issue. Luckily now V1’s are reliable once again.
Another issue we’ve seen with a few early V1 Gen2’s is display bleed where light would bleed through into different sections of the display it wasn’t supposed to be in.
V1 screen bleed, photo by @FoxFourSVT
Luckily this wasn’t a hugely prevalent issue (I only saw 3 people reporting this). According to Valentine, it appears they had some assembly problems that were addressed before the shutdown so this issue has also since been corrected.
Display Covers Peeling Off
One fairly recent issue that I’ve seen a few people report is the display cover popping off .
V1 display cover popping off, photo by @rth121
I’m not entirely sure what the cause is (maybe adhesive failing?), but fortunately most people are having luck simply pushing the display cover back in place. I don’t know what the story is with this issue, but just like with the previous issues, I’d assume Valentine will take care of it before resuming shipping later this month.
Update 7-30-20: This issue looks to be almost completely resolved now too. People send their detectors in for repair for the fix, but a few people had the issue again. Valentine has since switched adhesives that hold the display cover in place and so far that looks to have done the trick.
Mute Button Sticking
On a likely related note, my mute button sometimes sticks when I press it in. I don’t experience it in practice when I’m using the V1, but depending on how I press the button when shooting videos, I’ve noticed it sometimes gets stuck behind the display cover and doesn’t fully pop back out. I’ve also heard of this happening to others who’ve had to reattach their display covers and it’s created alignment issues with their mute button as well.
Sometimes when you pick up a police officer up close and get a strong signal, the V1’s bogey counter (the number on the display that tells you how many signals the V1 is seeing) may shoot up and start reporting a bunch of non-existent ghost signals. Several people, myself included, have occasionally seen situations when the V1 starts incorrectly reporting up to the max of 9 signals. I don’t know why this happens, but I imagine that Valentine can fix this via a future software update.
Internal Manufacturing Differences
I’ve also had a chance to look at the internals of 4 different V1 Gen2’s so far. While my repaired V1 looks pretty great inside , I’ve seen some that look worse . There are multiple hardware revisions of V1 Gen2’s and it looks like the soldering and manufacturing processes have improved over time.
While I don’t know if there are impacts to performance or reliability as we get to newer revisions and I don’t know if any of the soldering was to blame for any dead detectors, it is a bit surprising to see what was going on inside some of the initial detectors sold. Luckily though, it looks like things have improved as time has gone on and I would certainly hope this trend continues.
Wasn’t the V1 Gen1 More Reliable?
I can’t recall any radar detector having this many issues upon launch, and this is especially surprising given how solid and reliable the V1 Gen1’s have historically been. That said, the Gen1 has been around and refined upon for 30 years now. Valentine has had plenty of time to find and address any issues like this, including the various issues that the Gen1’s have experienced over the years.
Look, radar detectors need to be reliable and trustworthy. We depend on them to keep us protected on the road and we can’t have them dying on us, failing to alert when needed, or falling apart in our hands, especially when paying $500 for a detector. It’s for this reason that I’ve seen a lot of people dismiss the V1 Gen2 outright, despite its many good attributes, and I can totally understand this perspective based on the importance of reliability.
Fortunately Valentine’s focus right now as they start resuming normal operations is, first and foremost, fixing all these issues and taking care of current customers before resuming sales later this month.
My V1 has been solid after being repaired and I’m very happy with what I’ve got now. At the same time, I completely understand others not being confident at this time given the string of issues many of us seen thus far.
I don’t have a crystal ball and I can’t tell you what will happen in the future, but I am both hopeful and optimistic that once VR resumes shipping detectors, they will properly address the issues that we early adopters have experienced in our first batches of detectors.
Update 5-27-20: Seeing roughly one third of new V1 Gen2’s fail out of the gate and then seeing repaired detectors continue to fail, I can’t comfortably recommend a new V1 at this time, despite how great a properly functioning V1 Gen2 is. I continue to be hopeful that Valentine will fully address this issue.
Update 7-30-20: Now that Valentine has addressed the power off issue and display failures, I’m much more comfortable using and recommending this detector. I’d still like to see them fix the ramp-up and ghosting issues, but things are now much better than before.
Updating Your V1
When Valentine has released new updates for the V1 in the past, you’ve always had to mail your detector back in and pay the upgrade fee. Then they mailed you back an updated V1. There was no way to update yourself at home.
With the V1 Gen2, there is now the ability to update your V1’s software using the V1connection app. It’s free, easy to do, and takes about 10 minutes. Here’s a look at the update process.
If you’d like to add additional features or functionality to your V1, there are several different accessories available to help improve the experience.
It plugs into your car’s OBD-II port for power (conveniently making it easier to hardwire your V1 as opposed to tapping into your fuse box) and tells your V1 to mute when you’re traveling below the speed that you set in Savvy’s control dial.
Most people wind up skipping this nowadays since you can easily add low speed muting (and much more) using your phone, but it’s a good option for people who don’t want to rely on their phone.
I really liked running the Gen1 CD. I’d have the V1 up high by the RVM with the display turned off and I’d put the CD on my dash right in my line of sight so I could keep my eyes on the road and easily see what’s going on with my peripheral vision.
I don’t know when the updated version of the CD will be available, but as a note to V1 Gen1 owners, newer ESP Gen1 CD’s are (mostly) compatible with the V1 Gen2. Almost all of the features work properly. The only exception the strength meter. The V1 Gen2’s strength meter maxes out at only 6 bars so it won’t use all 8 dots in the Gen1’s CD. It will only light up a max of 6 dots. Otherwise everything works as expected. If you’re using an older generation V1 Gen1 CD, it will not work properly with the Gen2.
Remote Audio Adapter
External Bluetooth Module
Valentine sells external Bluetooth modules ($49) that were designed for the V1 Gen1. Now that the V1 Gen2 includes Bluetooth built-in, this has become mostly unnecessary.
If you’d like a concealed display that also includes a frequency display, @SquirrelMaster on RDF is custom building his own multicolor display called the V1 ReCD .
V1 Gen2, JBV1, & beta V1 ReCD
This custom new CD (the white box in the bottom right) also adds remote muting and control of the V1 via Bluetooth. The beta unit I’m testing is white, but the final version will be matte black like the V1.
Price is still TBD. I’m excited about it to give me a dedicated frequency display for the V1 while V1Driver handles all the muting for my V1 in the background. 🙂
If you’d like to use the V1 ReCD and a phone simultaneously, you will need an additional external BT module since only one device can be connected via BT at once. For this reason, if you still have a V1C LE from your V1 Gen1, it’ll come in handy with your V1 Gen2. Head to RDF for more info about the V1 ReCD.
The Blendmount gives you a nice solid mount while keeping your V1 off your windshield.
As a bonus, if you already own a BM for your V1 Gen1, the same clip is compatible with the V1 Gen2. You’ll simply need to swap mounts and secure your V1 Gen2’s mount into the Blendmount.
The new V1 Gen2 retails for $499 , $100 more than the V1 Gen1. That said, the Gen2 has Bluetooth built-in and since you’d want to get the $50 Bluetooth module with the Gen1, it’s effectively $50 more than a Gen1 with BT.
If you’re upgrading from a V1 Gen1, you’ll get a $110 credit for trading in your Gen1. You can easily get more selling your detector yourself, but if you’d like a quick and easy solution, this allows you to get your V1 Gen2 for $389.
Where to Buy the V1 Gen2
Important: Valentine ONLY sells the V1 Gen2 ($499) direct through their website or over the phone at 1-800-331-3030. Do NOT buy a new V1 Gen2 from websites like Amazon, eBay, or third party sellers unless you like paying more than full price (they’re currently going for $650-$1000 on eBay) and getting no warranty.
There’s already been someone who purchased the new V1 from a third party, had their V1 die, and unfortunately found out the hard way that the warranty is not transferrable when Valentine refused to repair their dead detector because they weren’t the original owner.
There are websites that will sell you a new V1 for more than full retail (so the resellers can make a profit) so you’ll wind up overpaying for a detector that you can’t get repaired should it die on you. If you want a V1 Gen2, please wait for Valentine to open up later this month and resume sales so you can get a warranty should you need it, especially until we’ve been able to verify that the next batch of detectors are all solid.
Should You Get a V1 Gen2?
So boiling it all down, should you get a V1? This has turned out to be a pretty polarizing question.
If you want a long range detector, great BSM filtering, arrows, RDD immunity, and an open API to add additional functionality, the V1 Gen2 is a great choice.
If you want a fully standalone detector with integrated GPS, MultaRadar detection, and/or a built-in frequency display, choose a different radar detector .
I know a lot of people have complaints about the V1 not having GPS and needing a phone to get the lockout functionality. That’s understandable, despite the fact that a phone can do a better job than what’s available built-in to any radar detector directly. This is actually the main thing that stops me from completely switching over to the V1 full time. At the end of the day, depending on your phone, car, and personal preferences, relying on a phone (even one running an app silently in the background) may or may not be a solution you’re happy with.
As for the quality control issues, this was my biggest hesitation with the detector. I’d still like to see Valentine fix the ramp-up and ghosting issues, but now the detector is much more solid and reliable. I feel much more comfortable using it and recommending it. The V1 Gen2 isn’t perfect, but it’s pretty fantastic.
- Outstanding long range
- Great BSM filtering
- Updated Design
- Fantastic 3rd Party Apps
- Spectre Undetectable
- Downloadable Updates
- No MultaRadar Support
- No Frequency Display
- Requires Phone for Full Functionality
- Excessive Laser Falses
- No Redlight / Speedcam Alerts
- Very Poor Initial Reliability
Permanent link to this article: https://www.vortexradar.com/2020/05/valentine-1-gen2-review/
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- Fred G. on May 6, 2020 at 5:45 pm
About as through and honest as one can be…. Outstanding review and evaluation… as always, thanks so much for your time, conciseness and dedication to informing the radar detector community!
- Mark on May 6, 2020 at 8:27 pm
Great review Vortex! Honestly, if it had a built in frequency display and GPS low speed muting I think it would be a no brainer recommendation. Leaving out GPS because he doesn’t like lockouts isn’t reason enough. GPS can be used for other things!
- ROBERT J MEYER on May 9, 2020 at 6:18 pm
“This new design was chosen for two main reasons: First, a lot of people didn’t know what the outer volume lever was for”
Translation: “a lot of people are too dumb to read the manual.”
- LK on May 9, 2020 at 9:26 pm
Great analysis! its about time someone else talks the same language as me regarding radar detectors and specifically valentine. I think the Gen2 is great, big fan! thanks vortex!
- Jeff on May 14, 2020 at 6:00 am
Great review. But your rating system does not make sense (4-stars and the other “Best of 2020” are 5-star). Is this detector inferior to the other three “Best of 2020” detectors? They all have pros and cons, but not sure any stands out as the best of the best, or inferior in “absolute star rating” terms.
- Vortex on May 14, 2020 at 7:50 am Author
Yeah great question. The star rating is a relatively arbitrary rating to be honest. I plan on bumping the V1 up to 5 stars once they fix all the hardware failures, but for the time being, I’ve got it bumped down. Once it’s back up though, I think it’ll make more sense with all the best detectors being 5 stars.
- Steve on May 14, 2020 at 6:53 am
Excellent, honest review. I have been running a V1G2 since the middle of March, mounted with a blendmount/mirrortap. No reliability problems for me so far. I use V1Driver as my phone app. Great app, and really makes the V1G2 nice and quiet, particularly running in little L. I came from an R3, which I had run for over a year. R3 is an excellent detector for sure, but having now gotten use to the performance and quietness of the V1G2 (love the arrows), no way I’m going back to the R3. The automatic GPS muting of V1Driver is so much nicer than the “manual mode” required by R3, plus I believe the phone GPS is more sensitive and accurate than the built-in GPS of the R3.
- WGM on May 21, 2020 at 12:43 pm
“I can’t recall any radar detector having this many issues upon launch…”
The first run [from what I’ve seen on the RD forum (& with my G2) it’s only the very first ones] of G2s DO have problems…
There are RDs that have been on the market for YEARS that still have problems. I won’t list all of them here, but Uniden, Escort and Radenso are STILL trying to solve issues in their “older” RDs…problems that they’ve had since their launch.
If VR’s track record is any indication of what to expect, this will NOT be the case with the V1G2. I really doubt that VR will be trying to fix their displays or that G2s will just “decide to not announce even though they appear to be fine” several months/years from now.
- Gary on May 21, 2020 at 12:51 pm
So…the V1G2 beats the sensitivity of the R7 on 2/3 of Ka frequencies (which is easily THE most important band) but no knew crown?
- Vortex on May 22, 2020 at 4:51 am Author
Oh it may certainly become the new king of long distance range. I think we just need to see a bunch more tests first in different situations against more guns and in different terrains to get a better sense of the big picture and to fully verify, especially since the two detectors went back and forth on longest range depending on the frequency.
- Gary on May 21, 2020 at 12:52 pm
NEW…not knew. Sorry…I didn’t notice that the word got changed by auto INcorrect
- Bob Gant on May 22, 2020 at 6:24 pm
I’m a huge fan of V1 products and have been for many years. I have 4 vehicles with direct wiring and concealed displays for my V1 – Gen 1 units, I have 3. I just received my V1 – Gen2 unit and I really like it. My problem is that it works with the concealed displays in 2 vehicles but not the other 2. I even switched the concealed displays and 2 works and 2 do no work. The 2 that work will work in any vehicle. The unit works fine with the other 2 but it doesn’t use the concealed feature. All 3 of the V1 – Gen 1 units work in all 4 just fine. Any ideas?
- WILLIAM MONTGOMERY on May 23, 2020 at 9:15 am
It only works with ESP concealed displays. I had an older one (non ESP) but ended up selling it with my G1.
I should add that I called VR; that’s what they told me.
- Bob Gant on May 23, 2020 at 9:25 am
Thanks, that makes sense. When the new concealed displays come out, I’ll replace my 2 old ones. Until then, I’ll use them with my old G1 units. They look identical but after looking through receipts, the 2 that work with the G2 are the newest ones, within last 2 years. Thanks again.
- Roger on May 28, 2020 at 11:39 am
Got my Gen 2 Covid delayed unit yesterday. Yahoo! Can’t wait to try it out.
- Cameron on May 31, 2020 at 8:36 pm
Can you comment about how well the app does / doesn’t work when running in the background of an iphone? For instance, if I want to GPS lockouts, but don’t care about the add’l detail, can I safely run it in the background around town? And, would I be correct in assuming I have to restart the app every time I get in the car vs is being triggered somehow with the bluetooth connection?
Thanks for the great review! I’ve been a fan for years!
- Vortex on June 1, 2020 at 9:54 am Author
V1Driver and JBV1 do an awesome job of reconnecting in the background so you don’t have to mess with the app every time you get in the car. That’s how they’re designed to operate.
- Alex on July 2, 2020 at 10:25 am
Great honest review- thank you! I do have a question. I have a Land Rover and SUV has a front window defroster. If you look closely, you can see little wires covering the windshield. I’m wondering if this causes any interference and/or impacts the detector’s ability to pick up radar?
- Vortex on July 3, 2020 at 4:31 am Author
Likely yeah that’ll be blocking radar signals. Hopefully you have a spot somewhere for a toll pass, GPS, or radar detector? If not, you’ll need to get a custom installed detector in your grill.
- B P on July 4, 2020 at 11:41 pm
Great review. I would like to share my story on my purchase of V1 Gen2. I purchased a v1 Gen 2 on June 17th, the display keeps popping off from left side. There is one other small issue but the main issue is the display. I spoke to a lady that sounds like she is in her 60s or 70s. I was super nice and respectful when talking to her, however I got the runaround. They will not let me practice the 30 day money back gurantee either. I spoke to another female (I am not sure if I’m allowed to post names here) in some of my followup calls, I am told I can return the detector but I would have to pay for the shipping. She says they are not providing any RMA’s. Overall, the customer service has been horrible. They do not seem to care one bit at this moment. Shipping this detector back without an RMA does not seem right but I have no choice at this moment since I have a defective and having hard time getting exchange. (I am well under 30 days gurantee, I should atleast be able to get an exchange). Am I wrong??
- tester on July 13, 2020 at 8:45 am
Would you recommend purchasing a V1G2 now or wait a little longer? I can’t tell if the current issues have been resolved…
- Vortex on July 13, 2020 at 12:45 pm Author
It seems to be pretty good now
- Catfish Jack on July 14, 2020 at 11:06 am
Hi Vortex, Great job as always. I see the Valentine 1 /G2 is now available on the V1 website. Just curious if you have heard anything positive or negative about the quality issues this unit has had in the G2 series? I have used a V1/G1 since the 90’s but now with BSM issues from inside my wifes 2020 Chevy Traverse it has become useless and notifies constantly. So with that said what can you recommend out of the box to buy for her vehicle? Thanks Catfish jack
- Bob Gant on July 14, 2020 at 3:20 pm
I have 2 G2 and 4 G1’s. I like the performance of the G2, it’s been great. Much better at reducing false alerts but I like the old volume controls better. The new is fine but takes longer to set, usually while driving. Great units
- Chris Butcher on July 17, 2020 at 2:56 am
Sir, can you explain if you need to run a cell phone with apps simultaneously with the V1gen2? I’m contemplating buying one but it’s a deal breaker if you think a phone needs to be constantly connected and running.
- Vortex on July 17, 2020 at 5:49 am Author
Technically you don’t need a phone to use the V1. However, if you want the GPS features which are a must-have in the city, IMHO, you do need a phone. Luckily it’s something that can be run in the background and you don’t have to actively mess with the phone every time you get in the car.
- Ed Carp on July 24, 2020 at 4:37 am
AMAZING INFO !! So helpful and useful ! Thank you SO MUCH ! Ed
- Dustin on July 28, 2020 at 9:49 am
Hi there, I have a Gen 1 V1 and picking up a new Porsche this week. I’m debating between mailing in the v1 + $389 or buying a different detector all together. I always found the v1 so chatty in the suburbs (Sammamish) that is was pretty much useless unless I was on a road trip across I-90 or something. Do you have a recommendation? I’d be happy to meet for a consult if that is an option since we are in the same neck of the woods.
- Vortex on July 28, 2020 at 11:47 am Author
The new V1 is WAY quieter than the old V1. Apps only help quiet things down further. I’m planning on doing an updated comparison eventually now that the RL360c is out, but there’s still more comparison testing I want to do first. With Coronavirus, I’d rather not do any meetups or testing in person right now, but you can always book a private session with me on my website and we can chat over email/phone and go over what’s best for you. https://www.vortexradar.com/private-sessions/
- Joseph Friedl III on July 29, 2020 at 4:04 pm
it is now the end of July. Any verification that the V1G2 quality reliability issues are resolved with confidence? Mine shipped today. Fabulous service you provide!
- Joseph Friedl III on July 29, 2020 at 4:11 pm
Also, at this point in time, have you changed your opinion on recommending or not recommending V1G2 based on news gathered 3 months now from your original review?
- Vortex on July 30, 2020 at 5:11 am Author
At this point yeah, things do look to be resolved and the detector is much more reliable. I can go in and update this review accordingly now.
- Joseph on July 30, 2020 at 5:42 am
Thanks again – you ‘da man …
- Brijesh on July 31, 2020 at 12:50 pm
The issues may be resolved, but their customer service is still HORRIBLE. I’ve been super nice to them when I call, and I have gotten but attitude from Martha and Margaret there. If anything goes wrong, they are quick to automatically blame the owner. $499 and that type of customer service?? I ask people choose wisely before spending their hard earned money on a company that gives bad customer service.
- Vortex on August 1, 2020 at 10:58 am Author
Sorry to hear that. Yeah their CS has long been a complaint. I think they’ve been getting better, but it’s definitely not perfect.
- oneframe on August 1, 2020 at 8:33 pm
I wish they retained the actual volume knob that a button. I don’t know if I will be upgrading for now.
- Joseph on August 2, 2020 at 10:11 am
Agree on the hard knob….. was never an issue for me on the Gen 1. What focus group led Mike to change it? Simply not necessary …..
- Chris on August 6, 2020 at 7:29 am
I own the V1 gen 1 and have used it for over a decade, upgrading it to the latest firmware, and its been a great tool. Looking at the Gen 2 and the price point compared to competitors, i think it misses the mark. Not having built in red light camera warnings or MRCD greatly limits the expansion and future proofing of this detector. I am not in love with needing to use my phone/3rd party apps with a detector at this price point. I will stay with my V1 gen 1 and likely go with a uniden or 360c if i catch a sale. Too bad Valentine missed the mark (IMO) with the gen 2. How many decades will it be before we see the next gen?
- Joseph on August 6, 2020 at 7:50 am
I, too, am disappointed in the length of time it has taken for a modern day upgrade. LEOs have vastly improved capabilities and better RDD counter measures. That being said, I believe in the V1, always have and have had great surveillance. So I took the plunge on the Gen 2. But I agree, there is so much more that could be included to make this a dominant device. WIRELESS / Wi-Fi would be a great add altogether on addition to MRCD, GPS and redlight. Come on, Mike – we know you have the capabilities.
- oneframe on August 6, 2020 at 8:53 am
Agreed. The lack of understanding by Mike V for his client’s latest needs for MRCD/MRCT technology that’s making its way across the country is a big miss.
GPS? Fine I’ll give him that for now reasoning its a moving target. But even my dash cam releases updates on this feature to make it up to date. Even user-feedback to update it should be standard.
This is the reason why I won’t be upgrading to the Gen2. I had high hopes for it and it’s performance, which I don’t doubt is awesome.
- Brijesh on August 6, 2020 at 9:06 am
Mr. vortexradar has done a great job with his reviews, the amount of time he puts in, priceless. The v1gen2 is performing well, although it lacks the features. But yes, V1 as a business seems 1.) Complacent 2.) Not in tune with clients needs. 3,) If you’re upset about the features, try utilizing the 30day money back gurantee, you will get to experience their poor customer service that will give you pushback. If you go to homepage, you will notice, there are no details mentioned on the 30 day money back gurantee, and it is that way by design for their own benefit.
- Patrick Kim on August 22, 2020 at 5:29 am
Recently got V2 Gen2. 4.019 .. Sometimes and randomly Bluetooth off and on.
Temporally using my old Bluetooth dongle : LE to be connected. and stable connected by LE . Is it known issue? S/W or H/W issue?
Thanks for any comments
- Steve S on August 25, 2020 at 5:15 am
I bought a V1G2 a month ago based on your recommendation. I am very happy with it. The range is very good. I run it in logic mode with K band and X band off (police around here use Ka band only). When I first got it I ran it with K band on and it wasn’t too noisy. But the issue I am having is that I get continuous laser falses if the forward laser detection is turned on (I drive a 2018 BMW X5). I suspect it is picking up laser from my forward collision warning system. Have you heard about this being a problem? My Max360 did not have the same problem. I’ve turned the laser detection off on the V1 (knowing that laser detection isn’t particularly useful to prevent a ticket).
- Chuck on January 25, 2021 at 8:58 am
I had the V1Gen 2 for a month now, I got it in late Dec 2020 and it came already with the latest firmware. There are a bunch of things that I don’t like already but before I continue I would also say that I purchased a Uniden R7 at the same time. Well, first of all, the suction cups on the Valentine are horrible!!!!, my Radar detector falls an average of 3 or 4 times on average per day. It is so unacceptable to sell a $ 500 product and not do the basic research and development on something as simple as a decent set of suction cups. It is regrettable to own a $500 radar detector that falls from your windshield everyday several times a day, what a shame!! Secondly, the power cable doesn’t come with the basic mute push button like most radar detectors, this is a cheap budget cost shortcut. The radar detector sometime (depending on the vehicle) could be completely out of reach for a driver. Another thing is the lack of a carrying bag, it should have come with a small pouch. s far is the performance, I like it. It has excellent range, the other day I got very strong signal in the city from a motorcycle cop at 2.2 miles away, he pulled over someone on the other direction and my Radar signal was very strong, I kept looking left and right for 2 miles while the radar detector was beeping until I finally spotted the motorcycle cop parked behind a van, it was impressive. I love the magnesium frame of the radar detector, I am sure that will help with the Arizona heat on the summers, it feel very sturdy. The screen of the radar is a love or hate affair, I personally think that it looks terrific(looks great), that is their trademark, simplistic and raw but I also wished it came at least with the frequency reading but that is OK with me, I knew what I was getting. After owning the Uniden R7 and the Valentine V1 GEN 2 I have to say that the Uniden R7 is without a doubt the one that you want to have on your car, it is as good as the Valentine but it also offers a lot of other performance stuff(remember the suction cups, mute button on the cable, pouch and display?).
- Joe on April 4, 2021 at 4:24 pm
Great review and accurate. I had a V1G1 for the past 10 years and have always found it extremely accurate and dependable. It has saved me from countless tickets. I was originally planning on sending mine in to get it upgraded, however in late February when I was ready to buy, the supply chain challenges had the upgrade program on hold. I decided I didn’t want to send my existing V1G1 in and leave myself unprotected in my primary car. I went ahead and bought a new V1G2 which didn’t ship until March 30th. I’ve now had the weekend to drive around with the old V1G1 my other car and the V1G2 in my primary car.
Overall the biggest benefit is the reduced chatter. I run both in Logic mode. WIth limited experience, the V1G2 is a bit quieter. The same great early warning for K and Ka are present in both. I use V1Driver for both. Between the GPS lockouts and the improved filtering a good thing got better.
If you are a long time V1 user and you’re happy with the experience you’ve had with it, I would recommend upgrading. If you only want one of the absolute best that doesn’t rely on a phone app for some functionality, you would need to looks elsewhere. Having the sound of Ka band chirping like a V1 will always make me sit up and pay attention. I looked at some of the other detectors but I don’t feel like having to go through the learning curve to set GPS lockouts or read up on all the other features other detectors have. It’s really only the R7 that I would consider.
- Arik on May 14, 2021 at 11:18 am
I plan to buy a V1 Gen2 and will use it with a smart phone. I am curious and want to know how it “could” see MRCD/T. From what I understand it doesn’t, but reading some forums, it appears it can, but doesn’t show it as such, and may not be consistent. Reading the Manual, it says EURO mode allows the detector to see Multaradar and looks at more of the K band. Is this multi rader mentioned referring to MRCD/T bouncing frequencies? Looking at the mode function charts for USA or EURO modes, I don’t really understand the differences, of how each will actually work, if all I care about is that I am told something is there. What are the differences between the two modes? Any perks to using Euro mode in the USA? Could it be just the labels will not show up properly on the screen showing K/Ka/X ect.
- DAVID Scott on September 9, 2021 at 5:58 pm
Recently Noticed that on a number occasions the ka alert showed a much higher number of alerts even though there appeared to be only one source any thoughts on this??
- DAVID Scott on September 9, 2021 at 5:59 pm
I currently have the latest update, yet still seeing the ghosting
- Marc Edelman on September 12, 2021 at 7:50 pm
I like my V1 Gen 2, it has been very reliable and good. However, the suction cups that come with it are not very good. My radar detector was coming loose regularly. I called customer service twice and I was told to put the suction cups in boiling water. That did not result in any improvement in the suction cups holding on to the windshield. I went on the internet and found some larger suction cups with screws that worked great. It is disappointing that you spend that much money on a radar detector and Valentine 1 supplies such crappy suction cups. However, without their help, I was able to resolve my issue. So I suppose that small issue does not sour me against this radar detector, I think it is overall very good. Just be ready to get different suction cups.
- Dave Lynch on December 3, 2021 at 9:06 am
Valentine 1 users, how much better is the G2 over the last G1 both running JBV1 with the Bluetooth adapter?
Is it really that much better that I should upgrade?
My G1 (3.8945) runs pretty good using the JBV1 so that’s why I’m questioning if anybody has compared them. JBV1 makes me wonder if the unit even works sometimes since it quiets it out so much!
- Evan Ben on February 19, 2022 at 4:09 pm
I am really struggling on buying a new RD. I just purchased the Max 360 and this thing goes off ALL THE TIME. I will be returning it. I am not technically savvy so I don’t have the skills to jump in and tweak settings. I’m looking for a high quality radar detector that won’t flag every time I pass a new Toyota or truck. Can you make any recommendations? I have several V1, Gen 1’s and they’re almost useless these days…as I think they’re too old. I have 2 Passports, one of which is the 9500ix (which I think is the best one all around). I just want a good radar detector that doesn’t give a bunch of false alerts. Advice needed if you are willing.
- Sal Lopez on March 19, 2022 at 3:39 pm
I love all your inputs on the V1 Gen 2. I came from the V1 and at one time had 3 of them. Now I have two Gen 2 and love them specially with the JBV1 app. I do have a few minor problems like everybody else and that is the extra bogies it reports when it is only one. I’m also having a hell of a time hooking up my Galaxy 21 to the Gen 2s to download upgrades. I’ve tried deleting the app, restarting the phone, etc,etc. Very frustrating. Also on one of the Gen 2’s logic mode I have an extra dot. I don’t know how to post picture.
- Razvan on March 28, 2022 at 12:02 am
Hello I am in a predicament: ValentineOne gen 2 or Uniden R8 I live in Europe and here the police uses laser hand held guns – a lot. They also use regular radar, nu multaradar yet.
I do not wish to use a V2 connected to my phone since I use Waze also….but with my V1 I have used save – and it was amazing.
Considering these aspects, which one would you say that is more reliable to laser and radar detection? Is the new R8 matching the laser capabilities of Valentine?
I already received ticket with my actual Uniden R7, from laser gun, and it didn’t even make a sound.
Thank you in advance for the answer.
Also thank you for all the useful information’s which you provide to all of us.
- Vortex on March 30, 2022 at 3:19 pm Author
Since things are different all over the world, including in Europe (even varying by country), your best bet is to ask someone who also drives in your area. https://www.rdforum.org/forums/35/
For laser, a laser jammer is your best bet. The V1 is more sensitive than the R7 on laser, but even it will not be a reliable tool for protection against laser.
- Barry on April 15, 2022 at 3:39 pm
It’s now April of 2022 and it doesn’t look like the V1 Gen 2 is on back order any longer. Have you had a chance to test them again, and if so, what are your thoughts?
- Vortex on April 19, 2022 at 1:33 pm Author
It’s on backorder again now. It goes in and out of stock pretty often. I’ve tested it again recently and I like it, but the Ka falses with the latest firmware are really annoying.
- Keith on April 21, 2022 at 9:15 am
Their website says back-ordered/delivery delays/out-of-stock, but I ordered one back in March (said at least a months delivery time) and it was here within a week.
What version firmware messed up the Ka false rate?
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