I sent in my 9500i for the flash which fixes the ramp-up bug. Escort received my 9500i this last Monday. I just got it back today (Friday) via UPS 2nd day air. That was quick! It came back wrapped in untaped bubble wrap and packed with peanuts. The packing could have been a bit better, compared to how carefully I packed it when I sent it to Escort, but my 9500i came back without a scratch unlike my STi which I sent in 6 months ago for the 33.8 flash. At least there were plenty of peanuts this time for padding!
Well, its a Friday night and I had to make a trip to town to go to the grocery store (ran out of TP). I was anxious to see how my 9500i's ramp-up would be while traveling near known falses and eventually into the shopping center where the grocery store is located.
The grocery store has two pairs of K band door openers. Driving through town towards the grocery store, I picked up a few additional blips for the very weak K band signals from another nearby grocery store. The few additional blips were unusual since the other grocery store's door openers are located 90 degrees off-axis. The extra blips matched rather well with my STi which also generates several blips for those off-axis door openers. This had me wondering if the new flash slightly improved my 9500i's K band sensitivity.
Onward to the grocery store. I always take a back road to the grocery store since the road ends at a side entrance to the parking lot in front of the grocery store and since I crest a small hill just before crossing the small intersection to enter the parking lot. I immediately noticed that my 9500i started alerting as I was about to crest the small hill, and noticed that the signal strength rapidly climbed to about a 4 out of 10 as I crested the hill. The ramp-up was fairly fast yet very smooth. Note that previously my non-flashed 9500i would only indicate a 1 or a 2 out of 10 when cresting this hill.
I crossed the small intersection and pulled into the parking lot, looking for a place to park. In doing so, I had to drive all but directly towards one of the pairs of door openers. My 9500i continued to steadily and rapidly ramp up to a full alert. It reached a full alert and produced a solid tone while I was still 40 feet from the pair of door openers. This is significant since previously my 9500i would only produce a solid tone at the same distance only if it was pointed directly towards the door openers. I swung down a parking aisle and both heard and watched my 9500 fairly rapidly yet smoothly ramp down to about a 3 out of 10. Swinging into a parking space, my 9500i quickly yet smoothly ramped up to a 4 out of 10.
Well, so far so good. I went shopping. When I came out of the grocery store I noticed that two patrol cars had a vehicle pulled over in the turning lane of the highway in front of the shopping center. I quickly threw my groceries into the car since this was too good of an opportunity to miss. I fired up my car and 9500i and noted that it was alerting to Ka. I left the shopping center since it was time for a test! I drove down to the next light, made a U-turn, and proceeded towards the parked patrol cars. The 9500i's ramp-up was smooth, yet smoothly fluctuated somewhat depending on whether or not vehicles ahead of me were blocking the patrol car's radar gun. I noticed that the signal strength would quickly yet smoothly peg out (full visual alert and solid tone) whenever I also visually confirmed that I was directly in the Ka radar gun's narrow beam. The ramp-up also rapidly yet smoothly ramped down to a 7 out of 10 when one of the officers chose to stand between the radar gun and me.
The following are my initial impressions based on the above. Keep in mind that these are initial impressions which haven't been followed up any thorough testing. So, what are my initial impressions?
-- The ramp-up issue appears to be fixed and is very smooth.
-- The ramp-up, while being very smooth, also quickly follows the actual changes in the strength of the received radar signal. My initial impression is that the integration time for changing the audio and visual strength seems to be about 1 second, maybe less. During that 1 second the intensity will ramp up or down as necessary (and do this quickly too if necessary) to accurately match the currently received true signal strength.
-- The ramp-up is NOT linear in the sense that 5 out of 10 is indeed half the received signal intensity of 10 out of 10. This is a BIG change compared to the ramp-up before my 9500i was re-flashed! Instead Escort seems to have moderately boosted the mid range of the ramp-up to generate a somewhat stronger mid range alert. Thus the ramp-up seems to follow a curve rather than following a perfectly straight line with regards to the actual received signal strength. It seems that Escort has listened to those forum members who wanted a ramp-up which was similar to the 8500 X50 and V1. Both of those RDs give you a fairly strong alert in the mid range even though the signal strength hasn't yet reached 50% of the maximum.
-- Tonight I did not notice any tendency for the ramp-up to suddenly jump from a very weak alert to a very strong alert. I need to test for any remnants of the original ramp-up bug using my X and K transmitters.
I am sure that on Christmas eve I will encounter at least a half dozen K or Ka band moving radar guns in Rome, GA, where my father lives. That will be a nice "real world" test which will allow me to observe how my reflashed 9500i performs against police radar guns.
Well, thats it for now. Any comments?
Best Regards and Happy Holidays to Everyone,