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  1. #1
    Experienced
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    Jun 2005
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    Oz
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    263

    Default Upgrading V1/Escort/Bel cost effective?

    I've thought about this a lot and still not sure how cost effective it is to buy a V1 and upgrade multiple times. Perhaps some of you V1 owners can chime in. I've heard about how the original 8500 couldnt be upgraded so you had to buy a new X50. The question remains how long did the original 8500 last? How long will the X50 last? How many times has the V1 needed to be upgraded since the original 8500 came out and how much does it cost each time? How many times has the Escort 8500 needed to be "upgraded". I only know of one for the X50 since it's come out. I have no idea on the Bels, but I would presume they must be pretty similar to Escort.

    I guess what i'm getting to is that if you pay $400 for a V1 in 2000, and in the past five years you've had to upgrade multiple times does it equal the same amount as it would to have bought an 8500 in 2000 and a X50 in 2005? I know some of you have both so you may know that answer right off the top of your head. The X50 is still pretty new so I would hope that there wouldn't be any special needs to upgrade the software any time soon.

  2. #2
    Advanced Member
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    Dec 2004
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    5,709

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    Well........there is absolutely no doubt V1's really hold their resale value.....just look at what they are going for on ebay.... :shock:
    Sometimes more than the MSRP....

  3. #3
    Speed Demon
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    Jan 2005
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    The Big Easy
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    625

    Default Re: Upgrading V1/Escort/Bel cost effective?

    Quote Originally Posted by PassportToSpeed
    I guess what i'm getting to is that if you pay $400 for a V1 in 2000, and in the past five years you've had to upgrade multiple times does it equal the same amount as it would to have bought an 8500 in 2000 and a X50 in 2005? I know some of you have both so you may know that answer right off the top of your head. The X50 is still pretty new so I would hope that there wouldn't be any special needs to upgrade the software any time soon.
    If you bought a V1 in 2000 and a 7500 in 2000, the V1 wouldn't need to be upgraded because it was superior in the first place.




  4. #4
    Radar Fanatic
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    Jan 2005
    Location
    East Bay Ca
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    1,799

    Default

    I still have a 94 V1 with a $249 1997 complete gut swap upgrade and a $75 1999 band ID upgrade.
    It's first out of warranty repair was in March of 2005 no charge for repair or shipping second day air back.
    I have tried the 3.818 and sent it back as it was not any better for me at this point.
    Typically a V1 upgrade only comes out every 3 years or so.
    The current firmware madness is very funny.
    People are scrambling to get a V1 upgraded to POP which is used very rarely and might not even stick around as Nev had to send all their units back (don't know if that was a round trip) I'm sure someone is challenging it's legality in court somewhere.
    Then there is the Euro mode upgrade frenzy when chances are the unit will never see Europe.
    Then of course you have the glitches in the firmware but at least one is only out shipping and time without a unit.
    I have over 500,000 miles on my unit and with the countless citations that it has saved me what I have spent is priceless.

  5. #5
    Speed Demon
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    Default

    I bought a brand new V1.7 in 1997 for $399 and sold it on Ebay in 2001 for $365.

  6. #6
    Longsnowsm
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    Default

    Since 1997 I have done 2 updates, and 1 upgrade with VR. The first one I did to get the smaller footprint case with front and rear laser which was an upgrade(basically VR let me trade my old unit in on a brand new one for $225 or something like that and wasn't really needed, I just wanted it :-) ), the other two times it was for updates. If I remember right the first update cost me $55 or something like that, and I just did a second update and my V1 arrived back last Friday and that cost me $75 I think. So real cost for needed upgrades since I bought my original V1 has been roughly $130. The other upgrade was purely just something I wanted, and didn't really need.... sssssssshhhhhh.... Don't tell the wife :-)

    The cost of the updates have been pretty inexpensive. As far as value I would have to give it very high marks. As others have said here not only does the V1 hold it's value, but VR does a very good job taking care of me. If I had kept buying the Escort I would have been on my third or forth one by now to get the new features and improvements. As long as V1 keeps up the good work, and keeps making the product better I think I will keep updating my V1 or if they come out with a new product I will be looking to upgrade again. Unless the competition steps up and makes something that totally changes how we think about radar/laser detection/navigation systems sorta thing I think VR will have my business for some time to come. Besides I LOVE the arrows.

    Another very happy VR customer,
    Longsnowsm

  7. #7
    Speed Demon
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    Jun 2005
    Location
    North Carolina
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    575

    Default

    PTS,
    You are overlooking the cost of repairs. I see a lot of threads where x50's are being sent in for repair. Even under warranty it costs to ship the unit. In my case 2 months out of warranty the unit had to be repaired and with shipping it cost $60. I do not see much about V1's being broken and I also hear praise about V1 not charging for minor issues. I am biased because I have issues with Escort customer service. Just my thoughts.

    ***This is total cost of ownership, not just upgrades***

  8. #8
    Experienced
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    Jun 2005
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    Oz
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Longsnowsm
    Since 1997 I have done 2 updates, and 1 upgrade with VR. The first one I did to get the smaller footprint case with front and rear laser which was an upgrade(basically VR let me trade my old unit in on a brand new one for $225 or something like that and wasn't really needed, I just wanted it :-) ), the other two times it was for updates. If I remember right the first update cost me $55 or something like that, and I just did a second update and my V1 arrived back last Friday and that cost me $75 I think. So real cost for needed upgrades since I bought my original V1 has been roughly $130. The other upgrade was purely just something I wanted, and didn't really need.... sssssssshhhhhh.... Don't tell the wife :-)

    The cost of the updates have been pretty inexpensive. As far as value I would have to give it very high marks. As others have said here not only does the V1 hold it's value, but VR does a very good job taking care of me. If I had kept buying the Escort I would have been on my third or forth one by now to get the new features and improvements. As long as V1 keeps up the good work, and keeps making the product better I think I will keep updating my V1 or if they come out with a new product I will be looking to upgrade again. Unless the competition steps up and makes something that totally changes how we think about radar/laser detection/navigation systems sorta thing I think VR will have my business for some time to come. Besides I LOVE the arrows.

    Another very happy VR customer,
    Longsnowsm
    Well from what I can tell thats $330 for the 3 upgrades since 97. It sounds like that is pretty much on par of having to buy the X50 after having an 8500. I guess it still comes down to personal preference over cost effectiveness. I like a lot of the features on the V1, but still had too many concerns to pay the extra $100. I suppose if it was a couple of years ago before the X50 came out, I would have gotten the V1 instead. Who knows maybe a couple years down the road if the X50 comes obsolete I would look at a V1. I wasn't completely sold though this year on V1. Its kind of like comparing BMW's to Mercedes. One year I like one, couple of years later I like the other.

  9. #9
    Longsnowsm
    Guest

    Default

    I guess you could look at it that way as far as the cost. I didn't consider the newer case really an needed upgrade, but I just liked the way it looked. I don't think there was any improvement in performance. So I don't really consider it really part of the cost of a normal users experience with a V1. I think the normal person will buy their unit and just keep doing the firmware or whatever updates. In real cost terms for the average V1 owner I think the $130 is realistic. Heck I have a co-worker still running his original 1997 V1 and hasn't done a single update. I just filled him in on the changes since his version so he is just now considering doing an update. So from an average users perspective I actually view this as a savings over what I would have spent on new Escorts. So as far as investment and value in preserving the money you spend the V1 really is pretty tough to beat.

    I have to agree with your feelings on how things change. Before I did each of my updates I looked around to see what Escort and Bel were doing and see if it was worth the effort to do the update. I like the per band counter on the Escort, but I don't like that it is hidden in the Advanced/Expert mode. Just seems convoluted to me to hide it. In the end I decided to stick with the V1 due to those arrows combined with the counter(it is just easy, and dare I say it "intuitive" to me). Just is too valuable to me to give up. I figured the other guys would have come up with something more creative than this rather dated look and ability of the V1, but apparently VR has the patents still locked up for locator and rear detection. Fortunately those cannot be that far from expiring and then the competition is really going to get heated. I think we will probably see some awesome advances once everyone can start playing with some of the stuff that VR has locked up. I am waiting for someone to combine a GPS with Radar/Laser locator that places you on a map and shows you approximately where the attack is coming from. I think something like this would be very cool to combine the functionality of GPS and the overlay ability of placing/locating radar and laser attacks on that map. I guess I am just dreaming, but I would think something like this would be possible given the accuracy of the existing V1 locator.

    I do think the V1 is worth the extra cost for the locator with counter. I do have a couple of complaints or suggestions for VR that I would like to see addressed. I would like different color LED's for the different bands so I can tell which band it is at night. Granted the sounds are different for the bands, but a visual would help also. I would like to see remote antenna/sensors that could be mounted front and rear of the car to make sure that laser alarms don't get missed and possibly enhance performance even further and the ability for complete concealment. I would like to have VR come up with a motorcycle mounting solution and watertight box/container for mounting and not get wet. And of course now we hear that there is a mod to make the V1 Spectre proof... I would love to see VR make the V1 completely stealth. The V1 is already one of the hardest to detect, but with these mods it looks like it would be almost undetectable with current technology.

    If your not in a hurry to buy a detector then just hang on. The V1 came on the market in 1992. I don't know when VR filed the patents, but I believe that patents are good for 17 or 18 years. I would guess that VR filed it's patents at the latest 1991 for the original V1 stuff. If the patents expire in 17 years then we are looking at approximately 2008 that some of this stuff becomes public domain. This is all pure speculation on my part, but I am sure there are some very sharp people here on the forum that will know more about this than I do. I would say if your running an X50 it should get you by for the next few years, and I think things will get very interesting about the time your looking at getting a new detector. I know that as happy as I am with VR, I won't rule out the competition if they are allowed to start offering the so far exclusive features of the V1.

    Drive safe, have fun,
    Longsnowsm

  10. #10
    Professional
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Daytona Beach, FL
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    1,406

    Default

    I didn't decide to buy a newer radar detector until after the CHP started getting radar units again, the new Ka Stalkers. I drove past an obvious radar trap and my X-K only detector at the time was silent. I ordered the V1 the next week.

    I'd feel sorta the same today if I had a detector that didn't do very well on laser, given the growth in laser usage lately. Thankfully the V1 seems to be at the top of the heap for laser detection.

    Ed

 

 

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