Well, I got my V1 (3.864) a few weeks ago and just recently got back from a 1k-plus road trip to northern Florida in which I put the V1 head to head with my wife’s SRX.
Just so everyone knows where I’m coming from, I have used many radar detectors. (A few Bel express units -906-925-935-, Vector 985, RX-65, X50 rev 5, SRX, and two stand-alone ZR3’s on two different cars.)
So here’s my personal review of the V1…
My configuration: X-band off, K-band muting enabled for 30 seconds. 1 down, 7 down, b down, C + d up. All else is factory default. (run in little "L" mode)
K-band: The V1 owns K-band compared to all radar detectors I have ever owned.
One encounter, on the way home last night, involved over-the-hill detection that was amazing. We were on hwy 20 coming into Tallahassee when, about ¼ mile before the base of a good sized hill I get a K band alert at my preset, muted level. Signal=1, points forward. (SRX silent) V1 locks on, and increases to 2 just before the top of the hill. Just at the top of the hill, the SRX alerts to K band and the V1 breaks “mute” and gets loud. Still pointing forward. Here’s the best part. I didn’t see the cop for about a mile past the top of the hill. And then, in the parking lot of a closed doughnut shop of all places, there is a LEO firing down the road I just approached on. SRX stops alerting as I pass and the V1 points to the side and then the rear and stays locked on the signal until I go around a long curve and enter I-10.
While I think the SRX gave plenty of warning, the V1 dominated. This encounter was typical of all K-band encounters. As I said above, V1 simply owns K-band.
Ka-band: While not as decisive as the K-band match-up, V1 is still solidly ahead of the SRX (and all other detectors I have owned) on Ka band.
On the way up, in Ocala on I-75, V1 picked up an approaching FHP running Ka-band (34.7Ghz) 3-5 seconds ahead of the SRX. Unlike the K-band hill encounter this was pretty easy for both detectors. Also, as with other encounters, the V1’s arrows followed the radar. Both detectors gave more than enough warning to slow down, but the V1 did so much sooner. (3-5 seconds at a combined closing speed of well over155 MPH is a lot of distance.) The differences between the two detectors in around-the-curve/over-the-hill encounters were more condensed than similar K-band encounters. But in all such encounters, I was already applying brakes –thanks to the V1’s earlier warning- by the time the SRX alerted.
Laser: The V1 is amazing at LIDAR detection. While the SRX can, and has, jammed LIDAR, it has only done so when I, or my wife was being targeted.
My one and only LIDAR encounter came at the start of my road trip, near Tampa on I-75 N. I was rolling strong with not one, but two rabbits. The lead car was some version of an Aztec and the middle car was a mid to late 90’s silver grand am. We were running 10-20 over depending on traffic. The lead car had just made his way to the far right lane about1-2k feet ahead. The other car was only about 400-800ft ahead of me. We were making our way to the same general location but had to first use the far left lane to pass slower traffic. I was looking for opening holes in traffic when my V1 alerted; LASER! (Arrow ahead) Just as I was moving my foot to the brake and mentally processing this strange alert from my V1 that I had never before heard in person, the line of trees in the median stopped and there in the open was a CHP at a right angle to traffic. He turned on his lights and started rolling just as I passed his position. My stomach sank and I started to make my way to the side of the road, wondering why my SRX gave no alert. “LA stealth mode?” I was thinking. Before I could get to the side of the road, his cruiser blows right by me and pulls over the oblivious grand am driver. I don’t think he ever saw the cop in the median. This is the first time I have ever picked up laser “scatter” from any detector. I can’t call this a save because he already had his customer when the V1 alerted, and I hope the SRX would have taken care of business, as it has in the past, if I would have been targeted. The V1 has laser detection abilities I have never before witnessed in any detector. Just awesome!
A note on the arrows: They work!
A lot of people that don’t own V1’s have said that the arrows are an unnecessary “gimmick.” The accuracy of such a statement depends largely on what constitutes “necessary.”
Yes, a good radar detector without arrows will let you know that you need to slow down so you don’t get a ticket. If the only goal is not to get a ticket, you don’t need arrows. Of course, you don’t "need" a radar detector either. If the only goal were ticket avoidance, we could all just drive at or below the PSL and save a lot of money. The trouble with the “gimmick” assertion starts when one realizes that those who buy radar detectors aren’t just trying to save money on tickets. They often are trying to save time too.
V1’s arrows and bogey counter go a long way in helping the driver know when they are “done” with a given encounter. This information helps me save more time than detectors without the arrows.
BTW: I made it from Panama City to Fort Myers in 6 hours and 33 minutes. :wink: