I recently splurged and purchased a second valentine one for my other car. It arrived Friday (1/19/07). I opened it and put it in my truck and ran it on the way home next to my old one, which I think is 3 or 4 years old. (plugging the serial number into the valentine web site says my old one is version 1.8).
I was surprised to find that the new unit in A mode beeped like crazy while the older unit in A mode stayed silent. It was catching every automatic door while the older unit was not. My original unit used to do this when I first got it but I had (stupidly) assumed that door technology had changed over time. The new unit would pick up automatic doors from hundreds of feet away, but I just about have to drive the truck through the door to get the older unit to go off (K or Ka band). I have been studying this behavior since then and have observed several times where the new unit has its signal strength pegged out with multiple signals yet nothing on the older unit. I have also passed three different patrol cars that the new unit detected from a good distance away but never registered on the old unit at all (even though other times it seems to work fine detecting police radar)!
So I guess this means that my old unit has fallen out of tune. This bothers me because I had no idea this could happen. The unit has never been dropped. What causes this? Time? Heat (I live in Birmingham, AL) and keep it mounted high on the windshield)? Do all high-end radar detectors do this? Or, do other units self-calibrate or otherwise self-test? I have spent the day searching the forum and have not read of many other brand owners sending their detectors back for tuning.
I tested a friends v1 today (also 3-4 years old) and it also has the same symptoms as my older unit does, so now I am nervous about trusting my units and am second guessing my purchase. I don't want to worry that my units are functioning correctly. So, to summarize:
1) Do all high end radar detectors go out of tune periodically?
2) If so, why? Does it get too hot in Birmingham to leave it on the windshield (If I have to take it down every time I get out of the car, then I really don't need two units)?
3) Should I feel good that I have a v1 and can send it in easily for a tuneup, or worry because it has no self test that indicates that it has gone out of tune.
4) how often should I expect my v1 to go out of tune?
5) do other high end units self diagnose and/or self calibrate tuning problems?