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  1. #1

    Default Sending in your STi for a new firmware flash to fix 33.8


  2. #2
    Founder of Stealthvation
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Cleveland, Ohio

    Default Re: Sending in your STi for a new firmware flash to fix 33.8

    Quote Originally Posted by MEM-TEK
    • Forum moderators, please feel free to edit this post to be sure that it is accurate!
    • Forum members, please only consider this post to be accurate after a moderator has reviewed/edited and added his or her stamp of approval to this post by posting an approval response after his/her review and/or after editing any parts of this post.
    • This post is based on information I learned today after talking to Beltronics Customer Service.

    Hi all STi owners,

    Good news -- Beltronics does indeed have a new firmware flash which fixes the STi's intermittent 33.8 Ka radar detection bug!

    I just sent my STi in today for the new firmware flash which fixes the 33.8 bug. See my separate

    I'm sending in my STi for a new firmware flash!

    post about it. I specifically mentioned the 33.8 issue as the reason why I wanted to send my STi to them. The CS respresentative put me on hold, came back after a few minutes and then gave me a RMA number. Bel's CS will NOT confirm to you the existence of the issue. The CS respresentative will merely give you a RMA number.

    Packing up your STi

    (Or, from the movie Young Frankenstein, "How I Did It".)

    1. It is preferable to pack your STi either in pink colored anti-static bubble wrap, or in an aluminzed mylar anti-static bag and then in clear bubble wrap. The STi has a six pin phone jack and has a speaker jack. These two jacks present a static electricity hazard to the internal electronics if pieces of styrofoam peanuts or other packing materials get into them.

    2. Use packing tape to seal the bubble wrap and any anti-static bag. Always fold over one end of the tape to create a pull tab in order to make it easy for the Beltronics technician to remove the tape and open the bubble wrap and anti-static bag. Use a permanent marker to make farely a large "dot" on each pull tab. Why the pull tabs? You really don't want the technician to accidentally scratch your STi if he or she uses a knife to get your STi out of the bubble wrap and anti-static bag!

    3. Once your STi is nicely wrapped up, take a photo of it. Then place it in a suitable box which is already partially filled with packing peanuts or tightly crumpled up newspaper. Your goal is to pack up your bubble wrapped STi tightly enough such that it can not move around within the box during shipment! Take a photo of the STi in the box just before you finish packing in the top layers of peanuts or crumpled up newspaper. Make sure that the STi is protected by at least 2 inches of padding all around! Why the photos? They will be needed for your insurance claim should the box get crushed during shipment. We are talking about a $450 dollar item here! Play it safe -- take the photos and make sure that the 2" minimum padding requirement is observed as well. UPS requires 2" of padding, and the USPS requires 1" of padding. Stick with my recommended 2" padding requirement even if shipping via the USPS.

    What else MUST go in the box?

    Here is what Bel says to include...

    Enclose the following information with your Beltronics product:
    1. Your Service Order Number
    2. Your name and return address
    3. Your daytime telephone number
    4. A description of the problem you are experiencing
    5. Your sales receipt or dated proof of purchase (unless you ordered directly from Beltronics - as a courtesy, we maintain order records for customers who purchase directly from us)
    6. I also highly recommend including your STi's serial number
    7. For out of warranty repairs, include prepayment in the amount you were quoted by the Beltronics Customer Service Representative. If your Beltronics product has been damaged, abused or modified, the repair cost will be calculated on a parts and labor basis. If it exceeds the basic repair charge, you will be contacted with a quotation. If the additional payment is not received within 30 days (or if you notify us that you choose not to have your Beltronics product repaired at the price quoted), your Beltronics product will be returned, without repair. Payment can be made by check, money order or credit card.

    Shipping your STi to Beltronics

    • Ship with either UPS or with the USPS -- whichever you prefer.
    • Ship your unit fully insured for what you paid for it, including tax. Why should insurance be for the exact purchase amount of your STi? Because the USPS in particular has this specific insurance regulation.
    • Ship with delivery confirmation and (optionally with USPS) signature confirmation.
    • Mail your Beltronics product (and cord, if applicable) to:
      Beltronics USA
      Customer Service Department
      Service Order Number ______________
      5442 West Chester Rd.
      West Chester, OH 45069-2950

    Preparing an online shipping label with USPS

    Creating an online shipping label with the USPS Click-N-Ship has limitations regarding the address format and the length of each line. You will have to be a bit creative as shown in the following screen capture. This shows what to fill into the various fields:

    -- I had to shorten the full name to BELTRONICS CUST SERV.
    -- I decided to set the company name to RMA# plus my actual Service Order Number (RMA number).
    -- I set the reference number to my RMA number, since this will also get printed on the shipping label to the right of the Ship To address.
    -- Your STi's boxed shipping weight (assuming you followed the above packing directions) will be somewhere between 1 and 2 pounds. Thus, you must enter the shipping weight as 2 pounds.
    -- Insure your STi for the purchase price plus tax. This should be just a bit under $500. Note that $500 is the maximum insurance amount which you can purchase online.
    -- Be sure that you select the correct shipping date.
    -- Be sure that you select the correct shipment method. Note that you can NOT use a USPS Flat Rate box for shipping if you calculate the shipping cost based on the 2 pound shipping rate. USPS will catch this, return the box to you, and note that the Flat Rate Box shipping charge is more than the 2 pound shipping charge for a regular shipping box. You can NOT use a magic marker to mark over the red Flat Rate Box logos on the box to try to get away with using a Flat Rate Box along with the less expensive 2 pound shipping cost.
    -- Get your box scanned at your local post office and save the shipping receipt until you have received your STi back from Beltronics.

    Best Regards to Everyone,



    My STi is out of warranty!

    First, don't be upset if you have to pay a service charge for the latest firmware flash since your STi is a superb radar detector both in design and features. The 33.8 bug is intermittent and apparently escaped being caught during prototype testing of pre-production STi units. I've got a nearly brand new STi, and I am not upset. I am just happy that a fix is now available since I plan to use my STi for at least two or three years!

    • Remember to mention that your STi is out of warranty, and get a quote from their Customer Service Representative to get your STi flashed with the latest firmware upgrade.
    • Keep in mind that GOL discovered the 33.8 bug during testing in some unusual circumstances with exceptionally open and flat stretches of highway whereby extremely faint and intermittent Ka radar gun blips could trigger the STi'a anti-falsing algorithms against other radar detetors. I really don't believe that Bel was aware of the problem until GOL made them aware of it.
    • Also keep in mind that there are thousands of STi radar detectors out there -- all with this intermittent 33.8 bug. Do the math for just 5,000 STi detectors. Assume that the return insured shipping cost for Beltronics averages $15. That is $81,000 dollars in profits down the drain for them. Now assume 20 minutes at $30 per hour (just a guess) to re-flash each STi. That is another $50,000 in lost profits. I haven't factored in their 800 number phone charges nor the time spent by their CS representatives. I figure that is another $30,000. Add it up, and this is a potential loss of $161,000 in profits for Escort/Beltronics, and this is at a time when they don't need any hits to their marginally "in the black" bottom line! I am sure that my numbers are quite conservative.
    • I am not making excuses for Bel, but am assuming that they were unaware of the 33.8 issue. I also know that Escort/Bel now has a new CEO and that my experience with Customer Service today was superb. We all know that the technology within their products is cutting edge and that their radar detectors are expensive to manufacture. We all also know that Escort/Bel, Whistler and Valentine Research are continually battling for market share against the likes of Cobra and the imported brands of radar detectors. Most importantly, we all also know how uneducated the average consumer is regarding radar detectors!
    • Finally, the radar detector industry would be severely impacted if any one of the "big three" U.S. manufacturers (in terms of product quality and performance), namely Escort/Bel or Whistler or Valentine, were to fold. This is exactly what Cobra wishes would happen. I think we all dread the idea of Cobra gaining more market share!
    Thanks Mem-Tek because I had no clue how to ship a product especially a radar detector prior to your excellent post
    RIP Duncan my BELOVED black lab son 8/7/99-3/23/11. I will miss you DEARLY.


    You want to know what it is like doing something for the love and passion and not for the mighty dollar then look up GOL!

    buyradardetectors rocks!

  3. #3
    Scratonicity Groupie
    Join Date
    Mar 2005


    oh hell no. HELL NO. It's called a recall, if you buy a Toyota Corolla and the stereo on all the units starts to vibrate at speed they recall it and fix it for free. If you buy an XBOX 360 and they all start to die, you do the right thing like Microsoft you extend everyones warranty. If you buy a laptop and the battery starts to warp, you recall the old batteries pay for shipping both ways and send the user a bran new one good job Apple.

    What you don't do is hide that there is problem, expect your user to pay for shipping to them, and oh HELL NO do you expect them to pay money so a tech can reflash software.

    MEM-TEK you might as well disclose you work for them in some way because I see this thread as nothing more than a political tool and I'm seeing right through it. Please don't try and make the users on this forum buy your bull****. It reminds me of a physiologist who talks quiet to a patient and plays soothing music so they won't get pissed.

    BEL needs a class action lawsuit. I URGE all users who want this fixed and your product is under warranty or not. DO NOT pay for shipping to them, and if your unit is out of warranty no way in hell do you pay a cent. They don't want to own up to there screw up? Well raise all hell until you get what you want. If they won't give it to you, sell the thing on eBay and pick up a Valentine or Whistler. At-least there techs are 100% honest and they are striving to make there product better. If you live in an area where they are banned then sell your current one on eBay and buy another one brand new with a NEW WARRANTY.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Olive Branch, MS


    While its nice they fixed the problem, I would raise hell about having to pay for what amounts to a factory defect...intentionally designed that way or not.

    As far as a class action lawsuit is concerned, all that will do is cause the prices of their products to go up. Think about it, all they do is raise prices to cover the costs of legal fees and the settlements.

  5. #5
    Lead Foot
    Join Date
    Jan 2006


    Last time I sent my STi in I actually put it in the hard case that it comes with and then packed that up well with bubble wrap. That case is made to protect the STi... why not use it.

  6. #6



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  8. #8
    Scratonicity Groupie
    Join Date
    Mar 2005


    If you think anything what Belscort puts out is considered bleeding edge then I'm sure you enjoy driving a ford tauras or enjoy talking on your old nokia. they are both like an STi they are dull and won't attract any attention.

    I don't want to take over your thread with negativity but please don't imply for a second you think it's fair for a company to charge over 75 dollars by the time you pay for shipping to simply install new software that takes about 5 seconds. Not to mention this is at no fault to the customer.

    this is terrible, poor customer service at best.

  9. #9
    Yoda of Radar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    In front of my computer


    Quote Originally Posted by thestaton
    If you think anything what Belscort puts out is considered bleeding edge then I'm sure you enjoy driving a ford tauras or enjoy talking on your old nokia. they are both like an STi they are dull and won't attract any attention.
    The STI IS a very standout unit... the undetectability of it cannot be touched by anything near the price, and the performance is solid too (except maybe the 33.8 bug). OK to a "layperson" it looks like a black suppository like any other RD.

  10. #10
    Scratonicity Groupie
    Join Date
    Mar 2005


    The only plausible reason to own a STi is if you live in an area with Spectre and they are illegal. As per performance, the x50, rx-65, 9500i, & STi are all about the same. But I'm sure that's the way Belscort wants it.



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