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Old June 14th, 2013
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CJR238 CJR238 is offline
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Default Passport Max review!

New Passport Max! (Pre-Production model review)

Updated review here: http://www.rdforum.org/showthread.php?t=32486

I had the privilege of testing out a Pre-Production model of the Passport Max courtesy of EscortRadar (Larry) and Escort. Thank you Escort for the opportunity!

The new Passport Max implements many of the most popular features Escort has been working on for years. Much of the new refined features have been in other models but they have been refined in the Max. It seems Escort has always been listening to the enthusiasts input over the years since some of the improved features implemented are improvements/ideas we have suggested.

Escorts most popular RD they sell is the 9500ix so its very logical they would implement much of what the 9500ix has. And since maximum range is also important to the enthusiast Escort gave the Max some serious DB's, which is all done with the refined M5 antenna and digital technology that sees more signals with more accuracy than any other RD made to date.

Some of the really cool features the Max provides:

New Sticky cup - Great adhesion and will never come off the windshield unless you choose to. Vibration Dampener: http://escortradarforum.com/forums/s...ead.php?t=9650

Advanced settings that allow access to all features and Novice settings to keep it simple.

Mini USB Jack - For downloading software updates.

Color display - Blue/Green/Red/Amber.

Speed display
- will show speed or voltage.

Cruise Alert - double tone you can set for below 20–90 mph (was only at 20mph on ix, many requested option to choose).

Over Speed - Announces "over speed" when you pass your preset notification 20–90 mph.

Meter Modes - Spec/Expert/Simple all modes show signal strength with the addition of frequency or multiple alerts. Simple announces “Caution” or “Slow Down. (many requests for better Spec mode and Expert mode with signal strength, both are much clearer now)

Tones - Normal ramp up tones, but also a mild doorbell chime tone for those who dont want the blaring ramp up.

AutoMute - Automatically reduces audio after initial alert

AutoLearn - Automatically learns and locks out false alarms

AutoPower - Powers off screen after 30min will power down 1,2,4,8 hours.

TSR - Automatically rejects traffic flow sensors.

Clear Locations - Marked locations, Lockouts, defender data, Format. (could not do this on the ix now you can clear what you wish directley on the RD. Many requested option to choose).

This is the first RD from Escort that has a full multi-color OLED display to help communicate all that the Max can see. I was impressed with its clarity communicating signal strength and the amount of alerts with expert mode, big improvement over the old displays. Spec mode also shows signal strength now.


Menu options and color options:


AutoLearn stored, displayed alert is in gray:


Nice Ka encounter:


Wow:


Max beat the CI:


K then Ka:


Just some fun:


So far the Max has done well with any real encounter i have come across. When testing its capability's the Max did as well as the V1C (depending on sweeps) and fell a little short of the RedLine. However with the false suppression the Max has you will be fine tuned for driving with less falses and reacting more appropriately to real alerts!

The GOOD:
-Cool OLED display with very good communication of whats happening. Locked out falses still show frequency/strength/amount but are grayed out.
-The Max is packed with programing features to fit the individual.
-Mini USB to update every aspect of this RD. Unlike the ix that needed to be sent in for TSR this unit can be updated directly through Detector Tools.
-Advanced signal processing by ridiculously fast microprocessors.
-Very good range to real threats and discriminatory enough to filter out falses depending on settings.
-Fastest RD to date!
-Ample range and beat my 9500CI almost every time, and was very comparable in sensitivity to the V1C.

The not so good:
-My unit was a pre-production model so new units will look a bit different and have updated finalized software.
-Got a lot of falsing from lain assist and odd 34.2 33.5 falses (Escort assured me final software will filter better).
-Couldn't quite keep up with the RedLine's ability to catch those extremely weak off axis signals. (Escort has said this unit will surpass the RedLine on final product)
-My StickyCup did shake a bit, but a little ingenuity fixed that.
-Though the engineers at Escort determined BS & RDR wont improve performance I would have like to see it on there anyway.

Max & Escort LIVE:
Escort LIVE will be getting an update specifically for the Max to utilize its features better.

AutoLearn:
This i will be extensively testing like i did with the 9500IX http://www.radardetectorforum.org/wi...AutoLearn_info. I have been running AutoLearn from the beginning and so far it has proved to be pretty discriminant and much more refined. It also shows in the OLED display as a grayed out alert instead of the spinning icon of the ix.
However I was able to get the Max lock out a real K band LEO, i did get an initial alert but it went to gray when i was withing the area I previously locked out manually (will test when not locking out manually). Hopefully Escort will implement lock out radius options in 1/10 1/4 & 1/2mi radius. But like the IX i would use my risk scenarios till i am able to fully test the final version of the Max.

This vs that:
Many will try to compare top dogs V1/RedLine and now the Max, however they each have there advantages and all have more than enough range to provide a save. What really does it for me is the Max's ability to be updated via DT in almost every way, no need to send it in anymore. But above all the GPS TrueLock/Autolearn feature is what really smokes the competition, eliminating every single false on the commute provides for a less distracting ride for me and my passengers/clients and coupled with better reaction times to real threats with the Max's very good long range detection this is a RD that will be hard to beat for some time.

Observations in testing and Escorts proactive approach in making the Max the best.

After my first week driving with the Max and getting alerts similar to my RedLine with BS & RDR I was pretty confident Escort really made this thing to be the best of all worlds having blistering fast response times that I have never seen before, range comparing to the best available today, and adding the very popular TrueLock/AutoLearn GPS filtering. I did notice quite a bit more falsing than i have with other models but utilizing AutoLearn, TSR & Auto mode seemed to quiet it down quite a bit (final released product will have false filtering update). Testing in a more controlled setting showed us the Max fell a bit short of the RedLines performance so we reported back all our findings to Escort.

It's been a great opportunity to not only try out a pre-production model, but also actively participate in real work to make this thing as good as it can be.

A few more encounters, but while running the RedLine so interference is certainly a concern.





Figured i would include my "Threat/Risk Scenarios" & how TrueLock works:

The Reason for TrueLock: The biggest complaint from RD users is the amount of falsing, the MAX is designed to dramatically decrease the amount of false alerts. You will no longer become so desensitized to common and frequent false alerts that you will be able to react more appropriately and quickly to real threats.
A driver who hears an alert and does nothing because they here it every day is at more risk than the driver that has the quiet detector and jumps out of there seat when the silence is broken. A driver is more likely to react to an alert on a quiet detector than a "noisy" detector.

What TrueLock does for You:
TrueLock allows you to "mute" a specific false alert signal at a single location. This allows you to "silence" common false alerts in your area without the extremely dangerous risk and tactics used in other detectors that do this by users turning off an entire radar band or blindly ignoring/muting alerts in that area. The GPS capability allows the MAX to know specifically where it is located at any given time and thus lockout the false signal frequency in that very small specific area without the risks associated by turning off the entire X or K band. TrueLock is nothing more than a very advanced means to "mute" a false alert area and not to have to physically press your mute button every time you pass that area. No more having to listen to countless local false alerts, no more repeated pressing of your mute button. Now when your detector does go off you will know its only because there is most likely a real threat in your vicinity.

K-Band is split into approximately eight segments of ~10MHz recording blocks depending on how it has self-calibrated, and derived from the received radar frequency.

X-Band is split into segments as well (13-15 MHz Ea), and derived the same way.


"Threat/Risk Scenarios"

I found its best to lock out dally commute or areas you know well and have surveyed closely. This will help to decrease the chances of locking out a real LEO and understanding the falses in that area. Most of the below applies to manually locking out with TrueLock. AutoLearn will work similarly but automatically.

It is a good idea to lock out the door opener false passing the false along your driving route you want quiet (This will prevent locking out additional unnecessary falses).

The MAX records/locks all signals it receives for a short time/distance, approximately 1/10mi to 1/2mi radius depending on how strong the signal is and how many falses there are after you lock out the location (Cumulative).
It will lock out the false frequency block/block’s you locked out for approximately 1/10 to 1/2 mi from last signal received (total accumulative distance).

Very important note: If you are too close to the false you can get a strong alert that can overflow into another 10MHz block (Ghosting), Therefore creating a larger lock out block. So try to lock out with less then 1/2 of a full alert. This will also help keep the lock out area small.


“The Scenarios”

1) In areas where police X band isn't used, lock out X band falses the first time you encounter them. (No Risk & best area for AutoLearn)

2) In areas where police K band isn't used, lock out K band falses the first time you encounter them. (No Risk & best area for AutoLearn)

3) In areas where police do use K/X band but never sit in that area it would be a Low Risk lock out point. You will most likely lock this point out. (You may not want to use AutoLearn and manually lock out)

4) In areas where police K/X band is used and they do sit in that area it would be considered a (High Risk) lock out point (You may not want to lock this point out, or use AutoLearn).

Even when a false is locked out you will get the same readout, but it will be in gray.

Contrary to some peoples opinions out there it’s unlikely to lock out real police radar. You would almost have to deliberately try to do it if you use the above scnareo rules. Besides, detection range will usually trump the small lock out area in the first place and provide ample warning/alert before the lock out point (react to any alert no matter how small). In most cases Auto mode will also do a good job filtering these falses if you chose not to use TrueLock/AutoLock.

If you decide to lockout a false in a High Risk area to mute the alert you should still drive through the area with caution if you suspect any chance it could lock out police radar. The same rules would apply if you were using any non GPS capable detector and instead pressed your mute button in false area. Simply treat the grayed out alert in your display as a silent alert and proceed with your own discretion and best judgment.
(There is all ways the option of turning off GPS when speeding in a "High Risk" locked out area)

Max AutoLearn Risk scenarios: Use the above threat risk scenarios to determine the usage of AutoLearn. I suggest turning off AutoLearn in High Risk areas and manually locking out if you feel its safe. AutoLearn should be used sparingly and according to your Risk area.
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Max, RedLine, 9500ci, 9500ix, 9500I x2, 8500, X50 Black, PRO300, SmartRadar.

My 9500I/ix review and TrueLock info:
http://escortradarforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=96

My install: http://escortradarforum.com/forums/s...1131#post11131

Last edited by CJR238; March 28th, 2014 at 05:38 PM.
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Old June 14th, 2013
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fiberrich fiberrich is offline
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Thanks for the review CJR238!

Last edited by fiberrich; June 14th, 2013 at 12:35 PM.
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Old June 14th, 2013
RDSK1NS RDSK1NS is offline
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Great review!

In those pics, I'm seeing the display reflect off the sides of the trim around the recessed display. Is this fairly noticeable and annoying?
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Old June 14th, 2013
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BelsCortFan BelsCortFan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fiberrich View Post
Thanks for the review CJR238!
i see you just corrected that!!
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Old June 14th, 2013
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CJR238 CJR238 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RDSK1NS View Post
Great review!

In those pics, I'm seeing the display reflect off the sides of the trim around the recessed display. Is this fairly noticeable and annoying?
The full production models have a matte silver/gray peace around the display so you wont get any reflection.
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To embrace technology is not to blindly accept it. We must always question and test technology but never be afraid to use it.


Max, RedLine, 9500ci, 9500ix, 9500I x2, 8500, X50 Black, PRO300, SmartRadar.

My 9500I/ix review and TrueLock info:
http://escortradarforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=96

My install: http://escortradarforum.com/forums/s...1131#post11131
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Old June 14th, 2013
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Veil Guy Veil Guy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fiberrich View Post
Thanks for the review CJR238!
Agreed!

And I am certain now that they can appreciate how I felt when wringing out the nits of Whistler's new products for the benefit of production models and their users!

It's an incredibly gratifying feeling isn't it boys (CJ and Nine)? Especially when its publicly acknowledged (and promoted) by the very vendor. You don't even have to respond, I know it is!

I just hope some day down the road your integrities are NOT called into question or are not accused of collusion or faking results (yada...yada..) as I once was by some very mean-spirited individuals (you know who you are).

In any event, Lord forbid if that would ever be allowed to happen on this forum (which I know it won't), I'll always have your back. You guys will always be remembered (at least by myself) for having your very own DNA within the MAX.

And no one, I mean no one, will ever be able to take that away from you.

I'd like one day to buy you guys some beers! Nine is close enough to me, I am not sure where you are CJ.

In any event, it's folks like you that make all of the hard work worth it!

Bob
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Last edited by Veil Guy; June 14th, 2013 at 01:42 PM.
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Old June 14th, 2013
rhicks rhicks is offline
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Nice review. I know you have a preproduction unit but I'm already not liking the shell. It's too early to tell but for some reason my gut is telling me it won't be built nearly as well as the Redline is.
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Old June 14th, 2013
Glock21 Glock21 is offline
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Well done review! Is there any way to get rid of the MPH numbers on the left side of the display? I would rather be able to see the exact frequency in large enough numbers for these 54 year old eyes to see. If that is combined with a signal strength meter, that would be all the data that I need in the display......other than arrows which Escort doesn't want to copy.

Hey, here is a good idea that would leave the V1 "one up'd". Instead of simple 3 way directional arrows, develop a circular dial indicator on the display with a directional arrow, kinda like you see on a handheld GPS unit. Think hands on a clock. That way you get a 360 degree arrow indicator, that would leave the V1 in the last century. OK Escort, if you adopt this, you owe me a FREE MAX...

Last edited by Glock21; June 14th, 2013 at 01:57 PM.
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Old June 14th, 2013
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Thanks for the candid review, CJR238. Very much appreciated.
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Countermeasures:

Radar Detectors: Passport Max, 9500ix, 8500 X50 Black (retired), Escort Live!
LIDAR Defense: Escort LSP + Veil G4
CB: Midland 75-822
HAM: Yaesu FT-7900R, Baofeng UV-5R, UV-3R
Scanner: GRE PSR-500 (Triple-trunking)
GPS: iPhone 5 with GPS Plus and Waze
Dashcam: DOD LS430W (backup: DOD GSE550)
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Old June 14th, 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RDSK1NS View Post
Great review!

In those pics, I'm seeing the display reflect off the sides of the trim around the recessed display. Is this fairly noticeable and annoying?
Keep in mind, RDSKINS, that the units in the videos and photos are pre-production units. I suspect that the production units will have a matte finish inside the bezel surrounding the display.
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Countermeasures:

Radar Detectors: Passport Max, 9500ix, 8500 X50 Black (retired), Escort Live!
LIDAR Defense: Escort LSP + Veil G4
CB: Midland 75-822
HAM: Yaesu FT-7900R, Baofeng UV-5R, UV-3R
Scanner: GRE PSR-500 (Triple-trunking)
GPS: iPhone 5 with GPS Plus and Waze
Dashcam: DOD LS430W (backup: DOD GSE550)
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