Houston Radar DR1500 Hidden Settings

We dug into Houston Radar SS400 in an earlier post to uncover some hidden settings. It came useful on a few occasions when we had to configure the radars remotely. This time I looked into an older Houston Radar model DR1500. It was superseded by DR600 at the end of 2018, but there are a lot of DR1500’s around. You may come across one integrating our cam into some old VMS or a school sign.

Full list of settings

The list below is an export from Houston Radar desktop config app with a connected DR1500 unit. The list has all available settings:

Config saved at:Thu-Apr-04-2019-11-06-AM
Connected on radar serial port #:0
REV=439
ID=0000165427ce
OPT=1
TIME=Thu Jan 1 01:18:04 1970
TYPE=DR1500B01
MOD=1
BRD=4
CAP=0x1cff
STK=3996
BLVER=108
ENV=35
#
LO=15
SP=169
HI=120
SF=1
RS=56
ST=25
UN=1
BN=1
RA=53
MO=-32762
an=257
TA=30
t0=245
KY=5225
gn=3078
MD=0

Documented settings

These settings are documented in DR1500 User Manual.

  • LO / HI
  • SP
  • SF
  • RS / RA – no format given, see SS400 settings
  • ST
  • UN
  • BN
  • MO – only 1st 3 bits are documented

Undocumented settings

Looking through the list I noticed some undocumented settings. It took some trial and error to find out possible value combinations. They are listed below.

MO bit 4: 0=normal output speed, 1=fast. E.g. M0=38 is “fast output with ASCII on both ports”

MO bit 12: 0 – Instant target speed, 1 – Average speed. E.g. MO=2054 is “True Real Time Average” with the ASCII part.

MO bit 11: set to 1 to favour rejection of false slow targets over detection latency. E.g. MO=1030

MO bit 14: Turn on the tuning fork test. E.g. MO=8198

MO other bits: 0x‭FFFFFFFFFFFF80xx enable strict rain filter. E.g MO=-32762 stands for ASCII output on both ports and the rain filter on. It is not clear why this setting overwrites bits for other settings listed below.

TA: time average interval in seconds. Min value = 10, default = 30.

MD bit 5: enable / disable 5km/h record logging

an, t0, KY and gn configure hidden super-powers. In other words I could not figure out what they do. Dragons be there.