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Old February 21st, 2013
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mayidunk mayidunk is offline
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Question 8500 S7 or 8500 X50 S7?

I just got a refurbed Solo S2 for the motorcycle, and so far I am liking it. So much so, that I am now considering a refurbed 8500 or 8500 X50, but I'm not convinced that the X50 would be worth the extra $50. Not yet, anyway...

They are both the S7 platforms, and I have become aware of the S7's 2-piece antenna horn being prone to becoming misaligned if handled roughly or left to bake in the Sun. However, I cannot seem to get a feel for whether one's antenna would be more prone to becoming misaligned versus the other's. Especially as they both use a slightly different antenna, which is not interchangeable between them. Reliability over the long haul is one of the things I'm looking for, yet I also realize that nothing lasts forever. To make it last as long as possible, my thinking is to treat it nicely, mount it out of the Sun, and never leave it in the cold or heat. Yet, I seem to recall reading that the X50, even when babied, will still often toss seemingly premature service messages. Might this also be true for the 8500? Between the two, is there a clear winner as regards reliability?

The X50 has higher sensitivity, and POP capability, yet I have read that the X50 can be slow to respond by as much as a half second as compared to the non-X50 8500! While the X50's higher sensitivity can be a plus, its slow response times (if true) would IMO significantly offset any increase in sensitivity as, even though it might detect the radar sooner, the delay (again, if true) would likely offset that advantage.

As regards POP capability, I seem recall reading that it's no longer as important as it once seemed to be. I'm not sure if that's because, like LASER, once you've detected it, you've been had, or if it's because POP isn't as prevalent as it was expected to be. (Perhaps I'm just misinformed about that all the way around?) In any event, having POP capability would not be important if other, more basic capabilities have been degraded.

As for the non-X50 8500, it seems to have held its reputation down through the years. It may not have all the bells and whistles, but apparently it still does what it has always done, and it does it better than most everything else on the market to this day! Sure, there are RDs that are now better, and more refined than the 8500, but you have to dig pretty deep for that kind of performance. At $149.95 shipped, the 8500 is a steal.

But, then again, at $199.95 shipped, the X50 may be an even better steal...

I've read at least one person in this forum who claims that the 8500 X50, with the S7 platform, is the best thing since sliced bread! Especially as they were only being made with the S7 platform for a relatively short time before Escort replaced it with the M4. I have to admit that their posting is influencing me to go for the X50 over the 8500, because sometimes the best things are the obscure ones that probably weren't around long enough to develop the good reputation they would otherwise have developed. From what little I know, it seems possible that the X50 S7 might have developed an even better reputation than the 8500, though I could be wrong about that. I also seem to remember reading that the X50's increased performance came at the cost of its being prone to needing to be sent back to Escort more often for tweaking.

Between the 8500 S7, and the 8500 X50 S7, I am most interested in the one that's the more reliable over the long haul, but it also has to be a good performer as well; no delays in detecting whatever is painting it. If the X50 was the sleeper that could have been, as I somewhat suspect might be the case, then if that increased capability really does come at the cost of it needing to be sent back more often, is it worth it?

So, please correct any misinformation I may have acquired, and convince me as to which is the better of the two. Is the X50 really a sleeper, or is it what might have been if not for the delay in responding to signals? Is the 8500 the epitome of old school that hasn't quite reached the end of its road yet, still giving many new, more expensive RDs a run for their money? Did the X50 significantly improve upon the 8500, or was it just hype, or hope?

Which of these two (and only these two...) are going to give me the best bang for the buck?

Last edited by mayidunk; February 21st, 2013 at 06:11 AM.
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  #2  
Old February 21st, 2013
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EscortRadar EscortRadar is offline
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The horn casting of the 8500 S7 and X50 S7 are the same, only the internal circuitry is different. Range-wise, the X50S7 will out detect an 8500 on K and Ka radar. An X50M4 silver will outdetect the S7 on straight ahead signals (off-axis detection is weaker on M4 than S7). The X50Black (M4 based) will beat them all and includes TSR anti-falsing and Escort Live app compatibility. If you use a bluetooth communication system on your helmet then I recommend using Escort Live on your smartphone to channel alerts to your helmet.

Of the two you mention I personally prefer the X50S7 over the 8500. I like the loud alert tones and better Ka detection range of the X50.

I would not let POP detection mode be a factor in my purchasing decision. It's a feature that we have to put in our products to keep up with the competition but the reality is you are more likely to be struck by lightning than come across true POP mode radar being used. The manufacturer of POP enabled guns recommends to only use it to preview speed and use normal mode radar to issue a citation. Enabling POP mode will also cause numerous false POP alerts from nearby leaky detectors. POP mode is disabled by default on all of our detectors.

You are welcome to try them both and return the one you don't want to keep for a full refund. I run our EscortRadar eBay store and will extend the trial period to a month (normally 14 days on our refurbs) if you purchase both. Just include a note with your order to remind me. Just DO NOT test them at the same time. They will interfere with each other causing poor performance. To test them, be sure to use them in Highway mode for non-filtered X and K detection. Find a radar source and drive towards it with one detector noting where it first alerts, then go back and do the same with the other detector. Ka radar is the hardest to detect so finding a Ka speed trap to test with would be ideal.
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Old February 21st, 2013
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I actually got a X50 black this week just to test it out. So far it really seems to like KA 34.7 and the audio ramp-up is good. I have a older S7 X50 and the black does seem to be more sensitive to Ka band at least. Also it's so light compared to the others. I thought I got the fake display model at first, LOL.
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Radar Detectors: Redline, 9500i, 9500ix, 8500 X50 (S7), Rx-65 (M4), V1 (3.819), Escort Max, 8500x50 Black
Jammers: Blinder M27
Radio Shack Pro-107
Radio Shack Pro-106


My Detector Videos
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  #4  
Old February 21st, 2013
Butcher318 Butcher318 is offline
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" Also it's so light compared to the others. I thought I got the fake display model at first, LOL. "

And it was super quiet, no false alarms. lol
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  #5  
Old February 21st, 2013
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mayidunk mayidunk is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EscortRadar View Post
The horn casting of the 8500 S7 and X50 S7 are the same, only the internal circuitry is different.
Thanks for clearing that up, as I had read that they were different, and not interchangeable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by EscortRadar View Post
Of the two you mention I personally prefer the X50S7 over the 8500. I like the loud alert tones and better Ka detection range of the X50.
But is it true that the X50 S7 delays reacting to signals? If not, then this is a real improvement that has to be seriously considered as Ka radar becomes more and more prevalent.

Quote:
Originally Posted by EscortRadar View Post
I would not let POP detection mode be a factor in my purchasing decision. It's a feature that we have to put in our products to keep up with the competition but the reality is you are more likely to be struck by lightning than come across true POP mode radar being used. The manufacturer of POP enabled guns recommends to only use it to preview speed and use normal mode radar to issue a citation. Enabling POP mode will also cause numerous false POP alerts from nearby leaky detectors. POP mode is disabled by default on all of our detectors.
Thanks for clearing that up for me. In light of what you're saying here, I have to agree with you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by EscortRadar View Post
You are welcome to try them both and return the one you don't want to keep for a full refund. I run our EscortRadar eBay store and will extend the trial period to a month (normally 14 days on our refurbs) if you purchase both.
Thank you for making such a generous offer, I'm really going to have to seriously consider that. I'm not quite sure of where I might go to test and compare Ka sensitivities, but I'll definitely let you know if I decide to take you up on it.

And Rocky2, it's amazing how the state of the art continues to increase like this, yet still manages to remain affordable to many. However, with my being on a fixed income these days, I'm afraid I'm not quite part of that "many" right now, and so yesterday's technology will have to do for the time being. Thankfully, my area doesn't have traffic flow control systems in place, so I'm able to get away with it for now.

Anyway, before I make any decisions, I'd like to see what others have to say, so let's see who else chimes in. In the meantime, thanks for your input, it's really helpful!
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  #6  
Old February 21st, 2013
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That's cool,even with a older RD if you keep your eyes open and pay attention you will get all kinds of saves. Being aware and using rabbits is almost more important than your RD. Also if you got a smart phone, Escort Live and Waze help on major highways quite a bit.
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Countermeasures:

Radar Detectors: Redline, 9500i, 9500ix, 8500 X50 (S7), Rx-65 (M4), V1 (3.819), Escort Max, 8500x50 Black
Jammers: Blinder M27
Radio Shack Pro-107
Radio Shack Pro-106


My Detector Videos
http://www.youtube.com/user/rockyb8663
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  #7  
Old February 21st, 2013
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Nine_c1 Nine_c1 is offline
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I'd recommend the RX65/S7 to you Mayidunk, but I understand EscortRadar is out of stock on these refurbed detectors......again!

It's Bel's version of the 8500/X50 with the S7 antenna, but USA mode makes it better. The USA mode Ka option focuses the Ka sweep to just those Ka frequencies used here in the US and it also turns off some of the Ka filtering which slows down response on the other Escort / Bel detectors.

When running in USA mode response to K-Band and Ka is near instantaneous and detection range on Ka is improved. Off-axis is also phenomenal on this detector.

If you can snag the S7 version you have yourself one heck of a detector.
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Old February 21st, 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nine_c1 View Post
I'd recommend the RX65/S7 to you Mayidunk, but I understand EscortRadar is out of stock on these refurbed detectors......again!
X2,the S7 RX-65 is a great value. Also I am positive NineC1 gets a commission on every one sold .
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Countermeasures:

Radar Detectors: Redline, 9500i, 9500ix, 8500 X50 (S7), Rx-65 (M4), V1 (3.819), Escort Max, 8500x50 Black
Jammers: Blinder M27
Radio Shack Pro-107
Radio Shack Pro-106


My Detector Videos
http://www.youtube.com/user/rockyb8663
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  #9  
Old February 22nd, 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocky2 View Post
X2,the S7 RX-65 is a great value. Also I am positive NineC1 gets a commission on every one sold .
Armchair experts work pro bono Rock.

It'd be cool if they re-labeled it the Nine_C1 though.
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  #10  
Old February 22nd, 2013
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We should have about 20 more Beltronics RX65s next week. We also manufacture Beltronics brand radar detectors.

The RX65 is pretty much the same functionally as a X50 but it also has voice alerts which the X50 does not. In Ka USA mode (Ka INTL mode default setting) the RX65 S7 will outperform the X50 S7 against Ka radar. The RX65 is the best performing refurbished detector that we offer. There aren't as many in the wild so there are less that we get back as trade-ins to refurbish.
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