Using multiple devices with one car power port, Uniden’s new R1, R3 and R7 radar detectors are the best! (Week 22, 2019)

Sound Advice
By Don Lindich

Week 22, 2019

Q. I recently ordered the VicTsing Car Bluetooth Transmitter for my husband. After I ordered it I realized he has a satellite radio that plugs into the car’s lighter socket to play Bloomberg and some sports stuff when he’s on the road. How would he use both, and how would he power both from a single socket?

-M.S., Minneapolis, MN

A. To use both he would set two FM presets on his car radio, one for the VicTsing Bluetooth transmitter and one for the satellite radio tuner. He would press the satellite radio tuner preset to listen to the radio, and press the other preset when the phone rings to make a hands-free call with the VicTsing Bluetooth transmitter and his phone.

To provide power for both devices I recommend the Bestek 150W 2-Socket adapter, which sells for $12 online. It provides two sockets and two USB charging ports and features a 26-inch cord, which is very useful. I use one with my own VicTsing adapter and it works very well.

This is a good time to recommend some things to use with that second socket or the USB connections. The first would be the VAVA dashcam I wrote about last month. The promo code NC58Z5UC has been extended until the end of June, but the discount is now $30 instead of $40. That brings the price down to $89 from $119, still a great deal.

The next recommendation starts with a disclaimer. When I first wrote about radar detectors I received a few emails suggesting I not cover the subject because I am encouraging speeding. I can understand why people might feel that way, but I have never advocated using radar detectors as a tool to get around the law. I am a conservative driver and have not been pulled over for speeding in almost 25 years. Besides, if anyone thinks a radar detector will make them ticket-proof they are in for a rude awakening. The police have many ways to measure speed, from laser (which is pretty much impossible to beat with any detector) to aircraft, though radar is the most commonly used method of speed enforcement.

That said, if you would like advance warning to remind you to double-check your speed, or fear being fleeced by a revenue-producing local speed trap (look up the Summersville, WV, New Rome, OH and Ridgeland, SC speed traps,) having a radar detector may bring peace of mind.

In 2016 I wrote about the Uniden DFR6 and DFR7 radar detectors, which offered performance competitive with the very best detectors on the market, but at half the price. Their replacements, the $299 Uniden R1 and $399 Uniden R3, are big improvements. The new models not just match but dramatically outperform leading competitors, again at half the price. I tested the R1 on a recent road trip and the performance was extraordinary, sometimes picking up radar from almost 2 miles away. In one small town that is notorious for writing tickets for as little as 1 mph over the limit, it picked up a sheriff waiting in the bushes at the bottom of a hill, late at night, when I crested the hill over a mile away. (I rode my brakes at 5 mph under the limit the whole way down and past him, believe me!)

The$399  R3 is identical to the $299 R1 except it has GPS to memorize areas where false alerts occur from devices like automatic door openers or security systems. At the top is the $599 Uniden R7, which includes arrows that indicate the direction of the threat.

Incidentally, the the Uniden DFR6 and DFR7 radar detectors, which started the return of Uniden to the top of the radar detector rankings, are now available at a fraction of the original prices.  When I checked online pricing at the time of this posting, the DFR6 is only $109 (originally $199) and the DFR7 with GPS is only $155 (originally $299.)  They are still very fine performers that ranked among the very best not long ago, and now rate as absolute first-class budget buy. They don’t perform as well as the R1 and R3, but they are as good as almost anything else from competing brands.