IF YOU ARE NOT INTERESTED IN READING THE ENTIRE STORY, BUT RATHER THE MAIN POINT ONLY, SCROLL DOWN TO WHERE I PUT THE "MAIN POINT" LABEL. PLEASE DO NOT TURN THIS INTO AN ALL OUT S7 VS. M4 DEBATE. QUICK OPINIONS OF ONE OVER THE OTHER ARE FINE, BUT THE ARGUMENTS HAVE ALL BEEN HAD OUT IN OTHER THREADS. I JUST THOUGHT YOU ALL WOULD LIKE TO HEAR MY STORY!
I would like to tell you all about the events that have unfolded since purchasing my RX65 back in May of 2006. This is not your average angry rant or pointless ramble, so please keep reading. I believe some of you may find this very interesting.
As I said, I purchased my RX65 in May of 2006 and it functioned perfectly well for almost a year. In about April of 2007, I began receiving "Self Cal" messages on the detector. I would get one and then the detector would stay on and basically act normal, hard telling if it actually was working right or not at this point. Less than a week after this began, I finally received the dreaded "Service Required" message. It would keep flashing "SERVICE" and then "REQUIRED" along with beeps over and over again. If I remember correctly, even pressing the power button did me no good. I'm pretty sure I had to actually unplug the detector to get it to stop. Unplugging and plugging back in got it to turn back on only to prompt me with the same message again immediately following power up.
Realizing that the 2 year extended service plan was worth it and that I could still order one as long as I was within the first year of owning the detector, I did so. Immediately following this, I called Beltronics and set up a repair order. The gentleman I spoke with set me all up with an RMA number, but to my dismay, informed me that I would need to pay to have the detector shipped to them. Anyway, no big deal, I shipped it to them. I should note at this point that when I purchased the detector, it came with v6.1 firmware.
Within two weeks, I received my RX65 back from Beltronics. The repair card stated that the antenna had been replaced and that the software had been updated. I excitedly hooked the detector up, and learned that it now had v6.2 firmware. I was glad to see that I was no longer receiving "Service Required" or "Self Cal" messages immediately after power up or for a while after power up. The detector seemingly functioned well for now.
It surely was within six months of the first repair when I started noticing something funny with the detector yet again. It no longer was alerting to my false alerts in the same manner. After you memorize where the alerts are, this will stick out to you like a sore thumb as it becomes pretty predictable the exact point at which it will alert and at which it will stop alerting. SOMETIMES it would alert normally, but MOST of the time I would have to get very close to the source of the radar before it would alert AT ALL. It would then alert to INSTANT-ON, even though I'm fully aware that the sources in these situations were not instant on. This happened with speed signs as well. I would get right on top of the damn things and suddenly get an alert of 7 or 9. Something was simply not right.
I did some testing. I own one of those Bushnell K-band radar guns that they sell at RadioShack. Now, always in the past I had been able to quick trigger this gun and not set off the RX65. I have read in many places that this is normal and have seen a video where Outrun proved that this is so. However, my detector often times would not alert to the Bushnell gun until I had the trigger held down for 7 ENTIRE SECONDS! I was flabberghasted. Just to further prove it was my detector and not something with the Bushnell gun (low batteries, drifting frequency, etc), I tested it with TWO other RX65's both owned by friends of mine. If the trigger were held down for even one entire second, both of their detectors went wild alerting to instant-on, as they should have.
I remembered reading on a thread on this site once that you can actually set up repair orders for Beltronics products through the Escort online help chat. I did just that. The person I spoke with said it sounded like my oscillator was "getting stuck" on a certain section of the band and that they would be glad to repair it. I was given an address to ship the detector, and I guess it was assumed that I would pay for shipping. I am unsure about the original 1 year manufacturer's warranty terms, but I know for sure in the extended plan agreement it states that Beltronics is responsible for shipping both ways. However, since I didn't do my research until after this fiasco occured, I wasn't able to bring this up to the person. Once again, I boxed the RX65 up and shipped it to Beltronics.
Around two weeks later, I received my RX65 back yet again. It still had v6.2 firmware. I'm not really sure why it wouldn't have been updated to v6.3, but I don't really care at this point nor did I at that point. All that was on the repair card this time was that the antenna had been replaced. Immediately I wondered if the problem had actually been resolved. I did some testing and learned that it hadn't been resolved. At this point I have to conclude that when it was tested by their techs, it just happened to operate normally and not wait several seconds before alerting. This could possibly be due to a reset that temporarily caused the detector to function properly for them, I don't know?
A tad upset, I got back onto the Escort help chat online and asked about sending it in a THIRD time. You've got to be kidding me? You don't set up repair orders through the online help chat? For Escort products or Beltronics products? Hmmm....that's interesting because I did just that a few weeks ago? I kid you not, people. I kid you not. This is what I was told.
The next day, I got back on the site and got someone to help me. I was informed that they were very sorry for the trouble, that it sounded like I knew what I was talking about, and that there is a problem with the detector. This time, though, since it was the detector's THIRD time being sent in, it would either be "swapped out with a pretested unit" or have its "components completely rebuilt." The person told me that I would receive a shipping label by e-mail by the end of the day that I could print out and attach to the box that I am going to send the RX65 to them in. Great, right? Not great, end of the day came, no e-mail. I got back on the chat in the morning the next day, explained this to the person which actually was the same person I talked to the day before, and was told that she would be sure I got it sometime that day. It was close to 4 o'clock that day and still no e-mail. AGAIN, I got back on the chat and told the same person and this time she claimed to have spoken with someone in a different department and that it would come within 20 minutes. Ok, so a half hour later (not 20 minutes), I got the e-mail, printed the label, and dropped the box into a UPS drop box. PHEW!!!!
MAIN POINT---->>>>Less than two weeks later, I received my RX65 back for the third time. This time, the repair card said "replaced printed circuit board." Immediately I felt relieved. I hooked the detector up and prayed that my problems were solved. Right away, I did a reset to check the firmware version. What? v4.5? I had an M4 horn in my detector. I have an S7 now? Hmmm, interesting, but FINE BY ME! The detector has worked wonderfully ever since. The sticker on the bottom of the detector has not been replaced and it IS INDEED the same detector I shipped to them. The same serial number, build date, and FCC ID ending in M4 are on the sticker.
While I get wonderful range and the detector is functioning perfectly for me, I did notice that in Threat mode, there is a very strange glitch. When it alerts to X-band, in between the X-band sounds, it will throw random K-band sounds, even though K is not showing nor is it present. When it alerts to K-band, in between the K-band sounds, it will throw random Ka-band sounds, even though Ka is not showing nor is it present. Being a dork, I turned Ku on, and was amused to find that when it alerts to Ka-band, in between the Ka-band sounds, it will throw random Ku-band sounds, even though Ku is not showing and I assume it's not present (can't be sure since I don't know what sources might use Ku). While I couldn't care less since I use Tech mode, I do plan on sending it in shortly before the 2 year extended plan is up and having this final issue resolved while it's still free, since I'm pretty sure I am going to want to upgrade from the RX65 at that point and will be selling it.
Another interesting tidbit: The first time, I was told I had to send the smartcord in along with the RX65. I did so and of course, received it back. It may have been a new one, I could not tell since mine was in brand new condition due to using a hardwire setup and leaving the smartcord in the glove box. I also received a new mounting bracket and 4 suction cups. Both subsequent times, I ONLY sent in the RX65 itself, yet when it came back it was accompanied by a new smartcord, mounting bracket, and 4 suction cups. As of now, I have 3 smartcords, 4 mounting brackets, and 14 suction cups.