Hello Fellow Radar Detector Fans!
I will be sharing with you my mini review of the 9500ix from Escort and my thoughts and opinions about the detector and its major features and how the all work together and independently. Let me start by saying I went over to my local Best Buy store and purchased the 9500ix. I paid $544 with tax out the door. I will be as detailed as possible when giving my views on different features as well as an overall feeling of the detector.
I bought my new 9500ix and went right from BB to my car in the parking lot and unwrapped the shrink wrap. After a few moments reading the material on the front and back of the box I said "It's present opening time for Ace!" I was careful not to tear the box in any way when opening in case I decide to return the 9500ix with-in the 14 day return period. Granted this isn't a lot of time but it allows me to get a basic feel for the operation of the detector.
It was a nice surprise to feel the nice smooth velvet feel of the carrying case which held the detector. Upon opening the case I easily found the 9500ix detector with the smart cord already plugged in and ready to go. Additionally I found the mount with the suction cups attached and also two spare suction cups for later when the first ones lose their suction.
After reading the first few pages of the manual I decided to just plug it in and drive. I put the mount in the middle of my windshield and made sure it was center and level with my eye. Then I put the 9500ix on the mount and pulled on it a little to make sure it was hooked good. After taking another look to ensure it was level and center I plugged it in and after two seconds I see Passport 9500ix and then right to highway mode and waited for about one minute for the satellite icon to stop flashing and remain lit on the display.
Before I continue with the first drive of my 9500ix I would like to state that I am keeping an open mind with this detector and trying my hardest not to compare it with my V1 since both are unique detectors and offer different features. With this said let me continue.
I did not change any settings or configurations and the detector is at factory default for all settings. I begin to pull out and my first alert is a K band signal most likely from the BB automatic doors. I was a little worried when I only got 2 beeps (K band tone) and the display went to full alert and I hear nothing. I am thinking at this point "Oh crap already not working and just out of the store". After a quick consultation with the manual I learn that under 20 MPH it will only beep twice in the band tone it receives. So I give a big sigh of relief in knowing that incorrectly assumed it was broken when all it was is a feature it was designed to do in action. I keep this in mind for future note in my head.
After getting a ways out of the parking lot and traveling for a little ways up the street headed towards the freeway and traveling the PSL of 45 MPH I get a tone with my speed displayed and then a nice X band voice alert. Since I was nearby other stores I guessed it was a security system or other X band transmitting device. As far as the ramp up on this particular alert I was surprised to hear a nice almost V1 linear alert. The display (still at the factory bar graph) gradually rose to 3/4 of the display and then decreased slowly until two little "hills" were left and then dropped completely.
I think it is important to point out that I did not have my V1 operating or even on the windshield while I had the 9500ix out and operating. I felt that in order to get a fair observation I needed to give the 9500ix a fair playing field.
I noticed that when not detecting an alert and while the word Highway is displayed with m unit the first three dots in the left side of the H seem to disappear until I move my head towards the center of the car and then I can see the word highway fully displayed so I am thinking there is something in the display that is at an angle that causes this also when displaying an alert say X or K or KA just like the H in highway the first three dots (or LED's) are blocked so just something to point out here.
At this point I am nearing the freeway and going 15 MPH due to traffic and what do I get? Two beeps but instead of X or K I see Ka band with two "hills" lit and rapidly increasing. It goes back and forth a bit between what I will call level 5 of a possible 8 and a possible 7 of 8. What I didn't like was that I couldn't hear the alert until I got over 20 which happened about 12 - 15 seconds later when the light turned green and traffic began moving. I then see the source of the Ka alert which was a black and white fully marked with light bar a top CHP cruiser. He was in the far right lane of 3 possible and was heading in the opposite direction as me. I was in my far right lane of three preparing to board the freeway. I was very pleased that after our paths crossed the 9500ix continued to alert to the Ka at full 8 of 8 bars (hills) until about 7 - 9 seconds after we passed and then went like this as far as descent: 8877665554442220. From the point it started descending I was going 35 MPH and could hear the tone slow down and then stop all together.
Overall I was pleased with my new friend the 9500ix and although I wished it was in spec mode so I could see the frequency he was using I can make a good guess it was 34.7 something as that is what is used around here to my knowledge. Unfortunately for its first day I only had about one hour and thirty minutes to test it due to I had to get ready to go to the gym to burn some calories, but I was excited and happy I got one of each band within one half hour of opening it up.
A few notes I would like to make at this point is that at no time did I see or hear anything be "stored" or "locked out" and nor did I press the mute button three times. When I arrived at the gas station to get gas and went to turn off my 9500ix I was confused becaused I pressed the power button but it did not turn off. So then I press and hold for a sec and still nothing. Finally on the third time I pressed and held it down until I saw and heard "Powering Down". I guess you need an little muscle to turn it off and on because after filling up I similarly had the same occurrence turning it on and again the third time was the charm here. I guess it will just take some getting used to and becoming familiar with my 9500ix.
I didn't really get a chance to test it against some K band speed signs yet but hopefully that will happen tomorrow along with some auto learning lockouts. When I do this I will set up my V1 and 9500ix up high and just to the left of the RVM (my normal spot) and test those speed signs again as to be fair to both detectors. Hopefully up there the GPS and all will work just fine as I am expecting it to but am keeping my mind open.
Stay tuned for some more tomorrow!
Thanks for reading so far
---------- UPDATE ---------------
Well I got a chance to run by some red light cameras this afternoon. This one stretch of road has two red light cameras with in a half mile of each other approximately. I was careful to observe my speed on this test run so I travel between 43 - 47 MPH.
I exit the freeway and head right in the direction of the two cameras. As I near the first one I am getting closer and closer and I hear no alert from my 9500ix. I was starting to think it was broken again but I remembered my mental note from earlier with the two beeps and waited.
It finally alerted to the camera when I was almost on top of it which was disappointing but I remembered how far away the 9500i I owned alerted like 1/2 mile going less then 55 MPH I believe. It was 300 feet with an arrow pointing forward counting down in 100 foot increments until I got just before the second crosswalk line and then announced "You have reached your marked location". which I laughed at first because I haven't actually marked any locations yet so I got a nice chuckle out of it.
With this first camera the 9500ix alerted just after the posted red light camera warning sign just before the intersection. While this didn't seem like a big warning time should the light turn yellow I reminded myself to keep an open mind and was thankful I didn't get a 1/2 mile warning waiting to get past 5 intersections before getting to the red light intersection.
The second camera was about the same experience only the 9500ix alerted literally just a smidgen before the posted sign of this intersection. Essentially if one were going 45 mph and the light turned yellow right at the 9500ix's warning with a little hard braking you could stop in time to avoid being filmed like the paparazzi with 4 different flashes going off simultaneously and getting your price of fame a week later in the mail.
I went a good mile and a half past the second camera before I made a u-turn because that was the point at which I could legally make one. Anyways now heading back the other direction proved better then the first round. To avoid confusion the second camera will be called the first camera now and the first camera I came upon will be number two since I am going in the opposite direction.
Coming back around for another pass was better in the sense that it alerted a little more before the camera posted sign but was probably due to my speed of 50 - 53 MPH. I believe that warnings given by the 9500ix are speed sensitive at least with red light camera warnings. I will have to better confirm this with a camera on a straight road. I should indicate that there is a slight right hand bend upon the second camera. And in the orignal direction it would be a slight left hand bend.
One note I observed was that upon reaching the second camera on my reverse trip it alerted then stopped as I stopped to a hault and then alerted again displaying 100 feet and finally announcing you have reached your marked location and then dropped after clearing the intersection. I will have to pass through again tomorrow to re-confirm this.
Overall as far as red light cameras are concerned I believe 300 feet is sufficient warning and you would be able to stop if the light turns yellow to avoid a ticket. I would personally like a little more warning of 500 feet or so. Again I have to remind myself it is speed sensitive so I am really trying to kep an open mind here.
Tomorrow I will do some more field testing and report back here what I find. Thanks for your comments and feedback everyone. I appreciate them very much.
------------------ DAY TWO -------------------------
I was able to get a better start today and was able to do some longer and more detailed observations and tests. I moved my 9500ix up to where my V1 is usually placed just to the left of the RVM and up high. I started with the red light that is one a relatively straight road until you get right to it and then it bears right and then afterwards a curve to the left.
I began this test by being at least a half mile away from the camera for my starting position. Upon the first pass I was alerted to the red light camera about 100 feet before the posted red light camera warning sign. I was happy I got more warning on this one then the ones I did yesterday for when my brain is on a temporary vacation for whatever reason.
Then shortly after almost right on top of the intersection I get a K band alert starts off very low and then boom right to 3/4 of the meter and then as I pass the intersection it more smoothly drops and fades away. I was thinking this was great because I can also test auto learn as well, but more on that later.
I go about a half mile away from the time the red light warning goes away and head in the opposite direction. This time I am heading up a gradual hill with a curve to the right then a slight bend to the left just before the camera. I received my red light camera warning maybe a good 200 feet this time before the sign. I was actually a little surprised at this one because I had a little mind set of it going off more down the road but was happy nonetheless. Trip #2 yeilds the same results with the 9500ix alerting to the K band as it did in the first pass. I should point out that when I passed the intersection and was headed back up to the camera the 9500ix did not alert to the K band source for whatever reason leading me to believe the source was on the right side of the road and was not powerful enough to pick up on the opposite side.
Ok here is where it got interesting on the third pass. As I said I traveled a half mile away after the end of the warning from the 9500ix in both directions. I begin heading towards the camera as in pass #1 and it alerts to the camera but also alerts to the K band signal. I was waiting for a beep along with the word STORED on the display but it did not do it. A final and forth time also did not prompt a auto-lock. Before I jumped to the conclusion of its broken again I said maybe I need to go a mile away in each direction before this will happen but was unable to get to do that as I ran into blocked roads and an accident so I said I will save this for tomorrow's adventure and proceeded in the direction of my home.
I then headed towards what some of you who watch my videos from the past know as my hill and curve combo complete with multiple K band Your Speed Is signs. There are a total of three signs along this route with the second and third ones having a sign in both directions. I come close to the first sign an received absolutely no alert all the way through and past the sign. Before I said "Holy Crap!" I realized the sign was turned off as they usually have the speed limit illuminated and will then change to Your Speed of you exceed that limit.
Alright the next intersection has one sign for each direction both east and west (no north or south as these are side streets). I get my first alert right at the signal ahead sign and it quickly goes to a full alert almost instantly but at the same time gradually. It varies between level 6 and 8 with level 8 being a solid tone. But then I receive a KA alert! At the onset switching from K to KA it is displayed at level 5 and then as I begin moving from the red light it goes to a level 8. The source you ask? A motorcycle CHP officer headed in my opposite direction but who turns right before me into the shopping center. After 3 seconds of having passed the CHP the 9500ix switches back to K band alternating between level 6 and 8. From the second group of signs to the third and final it hangs onto K band and only drops it for 2 seconds while I drove around a left curve in the road. Once I pass the third group of signs I begin heading down a hill and into a sharp left curve.
At this point I head to another area that has 2 YSI signs on both sides and equally aligned but with a straight path for the most part. I figure this will be a good spot to test auto-lock and finally get that beep with STORED on the display. The stretch of road goes like this: I turned a right hand curve and begin heading down a slight hill until I am level and straight with the signs until after I pass them and then bear left and then right again.
Pass #1 I get an alert while still heading down the hill so knowing that my V1 alerts just about the same spot made me feel good. At this point it is level 5 and 7 but not a full soild tone until I level out and can visually see the sign pointed at me. Once I am level I get a solid tone for most of the time with only a few level 7's in between. Once I pass the signs I get a solid tone for 0.1 miles past them and then it tappers downward in a gradual motion. I go at least 1.3 miles away from the last received signal as that is the earliest I can legally make a u-turn.
At this point I considered my remaining time and changed the volume up to 6 "hills" and changed the meter to expert. I am in for a surprise as on my return trip I pass a storage center and hear "Multiple Signals Detected" with the display showing two low X band signals. I had never heard this before and wondered if it was only specific to the expert meter. The return trip goes like this: I climb a bridge and then head downwards until I am flat and level with a slight bend to the left then right bend at this the signs.
I hit the top of the bridge and get an alert from K band. At this point and initial alert it is approximately 0.4 - 0.5 miles away from the sign. My V1 would alert just as I came close to the top of the bridge so very close with this set up. It hangs on to the signal until I get behind a super truck ( big whells and stands about 2 feet off the ground at which point it lost it and did no alert again until I began the slight left bend and very quickly went to full alert (solid tone). Seeing as how I could not visually see the signs due to big trees I was surprised it went full alert with out being directly level and straight with the sign. I pass the signs and it continues alert for another 0.3 miles until I get near the top of the hill where I started from. I turn a sharp left curve and head 1 mile away and then prepare for pass number two.
This pass was the same as pass 1 except I got stopped at the light just as I level out with the sign. While I am descending the hill and right at the first alert I hear Multiple Signals Detected again. I then get stopped at the signal light just as I begin leveling out with the sign. At the light I am now completely level and straight. As I am stopped the 9500ix continues to give a solid tone and then I hear a beep and see the word STORED on the display. Afterwords I see the satellite icon spinning indicating it has been locked out but still receiving the signal. As I near the sign facing me all is well until I just see the second sign on the opposite side of the road and get an alert. Almost right to a solid tone with little gradual increase. It went 1, 2 then 8 (solid tone). I came to the conclusion it only locked out the sign facing me. Also, while at the red light it was not showing the second signal so that could very well be the reason why. As I come back on pass 2 it then proceeds to store that sign. It alerted along with the sat icon spinning for the other sign now opposite of me then when the signal it was alerting to me dipped to level 2 - 3 it beeped and then stored.
Pass 3 was nice and quiet with no more alerts only a spinning icon. Now that they were locked out I had some real fun! I had brought my Bushnell K band speed gun with me to test this auto lock out. I begin like before heading down the hill and the icon starts spinning. I turn on my gun but do not pull the trigger yet. I wait until I just pass the signal light and then fire!
Find out what happens later on today as I need to get ready for the gym and will let all of you know whether or not it worked?
--------------- THE SAGA CONTINUES! -----------------------------
Well here is what happened. I will tell you tomorrow! Na Just kidding with you
After having auto learn lock out both signs I had just passed the signal light and waited until I was just past the second crosswalk line and held the trigger for 5 seconds. The result you ask? Well it alerted at full strength (being the gun was right there in the car I would hope it would and it did) showing me my speed followed by a bottom to top line next to the small letter k. After about 7 seconds it died down and then vanished. At this point the icon was spinning and the 9500ix remained silent.
What I will do tomorrow is change the meter to spec mode and turn the GPS filter off to get both the signs frequency and my bushnells frequency so I can get an approximate difference ( to see if it is within the 30Ghz ( or is it Mhz???) block. I tried this two more times in both directions. The first pull was after the icon remained spining for 4 seconds and the second pull right at the sign. I didn't pull it after I was past the sign so that will be scheduled for tomorrow's testing.
I was really worried it would lock my gun out and all the reports of people locking LEO's radar guns or real threats out. So now after 1/4 a tank a gas going up and down was gone I went to what I will call The Great Desert Highway to test the mark locations feature of the 9500ix which is set up like this as far as my testing goes: I chose the base of a hill curve combo with a signal light capable of a legal u turn in the opposite direction for turning around and ended on a flat straight road. Starting at the traffic light was a slight bend to the left followed by approximately 0.1 miles of straight road followed by a right bended up hill part and then a slight left bend going downhill and then finally straightening out for the remaining 1.5 miles. I chose an intersection that was located just as you would straighten out and have 1.5 miles to run past. Remember that after a marked spot you need to go 1 mile past it in order for it to alert you to it. I could have made a legal u turn at 1.0 mile but figured for a extra 0.5 miles I get a helpful signal light
For this test I chose to mark the intersection as a speed trap considering the 1/3 mile or 1400 foot warning as compared to a 300 foot for a speed or red light camera. I come to my mark location and mark it as a speed trap. I hit the mark button right in the middle of the intersection traveling in the far left of 3 lanes so it as centered as much as possible. The default marker is the speed trap label so this was nice as I am sure it will be the most common label used amongst users.
Like I said above I travel 1.5 miles away from marking the intersection. On my return trip I set my cruise (little traffic thankfully) at 65 MPH. Remember this road is all straight until after I pass the intersection with 0.3 miles before the curve to the left begins so everyone is clear.
My first impressions were that it wasn't necessarily long enough due to the fact the if a LEO was parked on the side street and using laser we could see each other long before the 9500ix remind me of the speed trap. Keeping an open mind I waited until it went off and slowly braked to the PSL of 60 MPH which according to the 9500ix took from 1400 feet down to 1000 feet. I was keeping in mind of not braking hard to cause "the dip and rise". For the remaining 1000 feet I cruised manually at 60 MPH until I heard the "You have reached your marked location" message.
I made my u turn and drove to my marked spot and unmarked it as a speed trap and after maing a 0.5 mile away u turn marked the intersection on the opposite side but this time I marked is as a speed camera. After head approximately 1.7 miles away (first shot a t legal u turn) I drove back and did not get a warning until the signal ahead sign for that direction. I do not know how actual speed cameras work other then a general idea of having a sensor placed in the ground but it seemed short but I reminded myself I do not fully understand actual speed cameras so I put aside my feelings.
A nice mote here is during one of my marked location tests I did receive a brief and odd K band signal perhaps from another detector opposite of me. There is no radar what so ever to my knowledge on this highway. The 9500ix alerted to the K band until it was gone and then by that point I was right in the intersection so it flashed SPDTRAP and then said "You have reached your marked location".
So far the hardest part of doing this testing is remaining neutral and not thinking "Well my V1 would have alerted earlier then this". Overall with the marked locations which I will do some higher speed testing to get a feel of how fast can you slow down in order to get to the PSL without the dip and rise but fast enough to not get trapped.
I think I will do 70 MPH 75 MPH and finally 80 MPH to get a good feeling. Of course I will be really watching for CHP because I never know when they will decide to come in and "party" with me. I will investigate both the YSI signs and the frequency of those and my gun and further test the marked locations. I can't wait for spec mode!
More tomorrow! Thanks for reading my novel thus far and feel free to offer tips for my testing as well as comments on what has been done so far and ask any questions for more details if I have not fully given them to you for your peace of mind.
----------------------------------- DAY THREE ----------------------------------
Well today marks day number three with the 9500ix detector and thus far I have been pleased with the overall performance. Today I tested multiple speed trap locations ( 3 marked locations that were approximately 0.5 miles apart from one another) and the lockout of the YSI signs along with my bushnell gun. I changed the meter to spec mode today so that I could distinguish the signs freq and my guns freq.
First, I tried the multiple speed traps ( 0.5 miles apart with a total of three locations on the straight part of my desert highway as mentioned above). To save a long post from getting too terribly much longer it alerted 0.3 miles before the first marked location and was quiet for only 0.2 miles before the next marked location which makes sense and that part works just fine. Same experience for the return trip. My speed made NO difference as it always alerted 0.3 miles away when traveling at 65 , 70, and 75 MPH. I did not want to chance my luck any more by going 80 MPH so 75 was my highest.
Alright now I let me report my speed sign experience. i turned the GPS filter OFF and made a mental note of the frequencies. The first sign was 24.160 and the sign across the street for the opposite direction was 24.150. After I have had no alert for 0.5 I squeeze the bushnell and I get a frequency of 24. 135 alternating to 24.132 if I held it more then 10 seconds. I travel 1.0 miles away and make my legal u turn and turn the GPS filter ON. I approach the part where I start my descent down the slight hill and just like previously it starts spinning and I fire my gun. Unfortunately it remains spinning and does NOT alert to my gun. I was like WHOA! How did it alert yesterday and not today?
If I add this right in my head and feel free to correct me if I am not but 24.160 - 24.135 is 0.25 Ghz difference in frequencies so according to the thirty Ghz block this would be expected. Even at 24.132 Ghz for my gun it still falls in the 30 Ghz block. It remains spinning with my gun firing CO for 5 seconds for about 0.4 - 0.5 miles away from the last sign in either direction. After this distance it would alert to my gun like it should.
I can only guess that either my gun or the signs frequency drifted far enough or close enough to fall in the 30 Ghz block area. I tried to find another K band source that was 30 Ghz different from my gun but I was unable as all K band freq's around town were with-in this field block of 30 Ghz.
At this point after having seen this I am not too upset for the fact that K band isn't used by the CHP as only KA and laser are used. However, if it was used by say a local LEO from another town in which the town uses K band I would be hesitant the freq's would fall in that 30 Ghz block.
I am contemplating returning the unit but want to do some further testing to ensure my findings thus far. Other then that the 9500ix works perfectly. It also auto - locked some more X and K band sources that today would mark the third pass so really the only issue is the 30 Ghz block.
-------------------- THE FINAL DAYS ---------------------------------------
I decided to further test the big issue of the 9500ix locking out my K band bushnell with a lockout source with in 30 Ghz. I had to travel 40 miles to another city to finally find one. It was a nice set up street though having 3.8 miles of clear and straight road with a K band speed sign at the very end. I good easily get up to and maintain 90 MPH if I so desired but I was not that stupid. This road somewhat resembles the desert highway I refer to above except without curves and hills.
The frequency of the sign was 24.194 according to the 9500ix and my bushnell was at 24.135 so it was a nice 60 Ghz difference. I made a total of 25 passes on both sides and used almost a whole tank of gas just for this testing. No worries though I am happy to do it for my fellow enthusiasts and myself as well. I began by traveling 3.0 miles away from the sign which worked out perfect as there was a legal u turn spot right at 3.0 miles so call it luck for Ace!
The first three passes it alerts about an average distance of 2.0 miles away from the sign. I had it mounted up high and to the left of the RVM where I normally have Valerie (My V1). Upon the forth pass it alerts right until I am about 0.4 miles away from it then I see the stored message along with a beep. On the reverse direction it would alert about 1.3 miles before going altogether. The reverse pass would be considered forward facing radar if you were behind the sign in that direction so everyone is clear on this.
We are now on pass number five and I am traveling at the PSL of 65 MPH set by my cruise control to be fair. As with previous passes about 2.0 miles away it begins spinning which I find was odd since it was only 0.4 when it locked it out. Anyways, I wait until I am 1.0 miles away and I fire a CO stream for 5 seconds. What happened you ask? Well you will find out in two months! Just kidding as I am having some fun with you (needed for a long post such as this you know).
It does alert to my gun at full alert (8 of 8 and solid tone) and lingers for about 8 seconds after having stopped firing my gun. I do the same for the reverse pass and get the same result. Now pass number 6,7,8,9 and 10 are very interesting. On pass six I unlock the K band YSI sign. I get a unlock this signal prompt and press mute to confirm and get signal unlocked. It alerts both ways and I begin pass seven and to my surprise I get stored again along with a beep to confirm. It does it at the same distance of 2.0 miles away. I am confused by this action and begin to think that unlocking a signal stored by auto learn only unlocks it temporarily.
I then go back to my starting position and power down the unit and wait for about 2 minutes before powering back up. I then begin pass eight and see that at 2.0 miles away I get a spinning icon and I then unlock it via mute two times and then power down the unit and return to my start position. Pass nine I receive the alert again with no lock out or stored message. Pass ten amazingly reveals the same result as does frequent passes 11, 12, and 13. So it seems that after unlocking a signal you need to power down to actually save it from being locked out again.
Now we begin passes 14, 15, 16, 17, and 18 I use pass 14 to manually lockout the YSI sign before auto learn did to test out what I will call true lock instead of autolock. I lock it out at a distance of 0.5 miles before the sign and it has a strength of full alert and level 7.On pass 15 I fire my bushnell and it alerts just fine as with autolock. Passes 16 and 17 have the same result. Upon pass 18 I unlock the sign and it alerts as originally. I power down and on again just to make sure it was fully unlocked.
On pass 19 I lockout the sign at a distance of 1.0 miles before the sign. A strength of about 4 - 5 is heard (using spec mode). Pass 20 it begins spinning at 2.0 miles away just as with all other times and I am still traveling at 65 MPH. Somehow I think it “learns” how far from the first alert the locked out source is to the point of full alert to determine the lockout radius. So like others have reported the true lock portion is based upon strength and distance.
For the remaining 4 passes I alternate my speed by 10 + and 10 - the PSL and true lock the sign and I get no difference in the lockout radius which still holds at 2.0 miles when it first received the signal.
In the end I was satisfied with the 9500ix but the V1 still had a hold on my heart. I am too far attached to the style of the V1. The 9500ix is a great detector but the V1 has the features I like more. I am currently testing the Cheetah C100 unit and hope to have that review up soon.