Plenty of threads on that already. It is the antenna and POP capability. The x50 has POP but according to most on here, an inferior antenna compared to the 8500.
The older 8500 uses a different radar horn that many people here believe is better than the one used in the X50 version.
I think the X50 uses the "M4" horn while the 8500 uses the "S7," but I could have the numbers swapped or wrong so don't take my word for it, someone will be along to correct me I'm sure.
S7 horn only
no pop capability
quicker response time
either S7 horn (older) or M4 horn (newer)
M4's are slow at q/t, have tunnel vision, and crappy ramp up
So basically if you can find a 8500 you are golden vs a 8500x50?
I bought my refurb off ebay and it has been an excellent RD despite me having to send it back during the 6 month warranty. After getting the RD back from warranty repair, it'll compete with many of the top contenders of today!
I think the refurbed 8500 have an m4 antenna, but I'm not sure
All of the original non-X50 8500s use the S7 horn, even those that we offer now as refurbished. Early 8500 X50s also used the S7 horn but the internal antenna circuitry is different than the older 8500. The X50 offered POP radar detection and a slight boost in K and Ka sensitivity over the 8500.
For the last several years X50s have used the newer M4 horn which is also used in many of our products.
ok, so if you have an early model 8500 x50 with the S7 horn you have the best of both worlds (POP and faster Q/T Ka response time).
ANyway to tell if you have the S7 horn in your 8500 x50 ? (like by serial #?)