Radar Detector Advice (Automobile Use)

Discussion in 'Travel Technology' started by Gaucho, Aug 20, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. Gaucho
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    Gaucho Gold Member

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    Yes... we are a flyers board, but Im guessing various folks here may have one of these in one of their vehicles....

    So, Im looking to purchase one of these gizmos. Whats the latest must have's in terms of detection capability and specs/features...? I havent bought a car magazine in ages so Im not up to speed on what I need to look for in these things.

    Any advice & tips would be greatly appreciated... ;)
     
  2. Gaucho
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    Gaucho Gold Member

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    One other thing.... does someone know how the speed traps that trigger photo tickets work...? Any ideas if these things are good against those.....??? Thanks.
     
  3. mhf
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    mhf Silver Member

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    I'm pretty sure there is a thread around here somewhere about this, but I'm pretty sure the best radar detector is still the Valentine V1. I've had one for years and it's been great.
     
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  4. Gaucho
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    Gaucho Gold Member

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    Beltronics seem to be an option for higher end units.... Im looking for windshield mount solutions, nothing that needs custom installation, etc.
     
  5. misman
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    misman Gold Member

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    Just remember that some of the US states prohibit windshield installation of GPS, radar, and other units. CA is one of them.
     
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  6. Gaucho
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    Gaucho Gold Member

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    Thanks, I did not know this.... will keep it in mind next time I visit CA and want to take along my new gadget... :)
     
  7. viguera
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    viguera Gold Member

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    Yeah I think CA has a law that makes them illegal under the pretext that it blocks your view or something.

    The overall problem is that law enforcement got into an arms race with radar detector makers, and as long as people have money to spend, law enforcement was never going to win.

    The earlier X-band based radar guns were "decent" at best, but leaked too much and could no discriminate that well.

    The industry responded with the earlier generation of radar detectors.

    Then came K and Ka-based detectors, which improved in range and were more discrete, and could pick a car in a lane (rather than seeing the whole lane).

    And the industry responded with better K/Ka dectectors.

    So out came LIDAR (laser), with a beam that's 3 feet wide at 1500 feet and provides the police with instantaneous speed measurements.

    And speeders responded with LIDAR jammers -- which are perfectly legal in 30+ states. I have one myself in CT and even though they're pricey they will "pay for themselves" after the first couple of times you're "going with traffic" doing 75 in a 55 and the cops are over the next hill.

    So knowing that they couldn't win, municipalities did the next best thing: they started passing legislation to outlaw detectors. And that brought the introduction of "radar detector detectors" which are really popular in states where detectors are illegal like Virginia.

    And of course the industry responded with "radar detector detector detectors" believe it or not, which can detect RDDs and shut themselves off so you don't get a ticket.

    It's crazy but like I said it's an arms race. :)

    I've owned detectors and jammers for about a decade now and the only times I've gotten tickets is when I'm too stupid for my own good. Rule #1 is always "a radar detector is not a police detector" so you can still very much get a ticket if you're speeding and the cops are just speeding behind you looking at how fast you're going by their speedo, without relying on a radar gun :)

    Right now I have an Escort Passport 9500ix and it's fantastic. It has GPS so you can "lock out" known false positives and IMO it's worth its weight in Gold.
     
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  8. Justin Johnson
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    Justin Johnson Silver Member

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    I live in CA, just out side of LA and I have had my passport 8500 on my wind shield for years. I've been pulled over more times then I can count and have yet to have an cop say anything about it. Mine is mounted kinda high on my wind shield, ~7 or 8 inches from the bottom of the glass so that it can clear my STI hood scoop.
     
  9. milchap
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    milchap Gold Member

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    Illegal in my province of Manitoba.
     
  10. AndyTLe

    AndyTLe Silver Member

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    I've had radar detectors for years and have always found them to be a good investment. If it saves you just once or twice, it has paid for itself.

    I suggest Beltronics or Escort (same company). Most recently, the Escort 8500 and now the Escort 8500 X50.
     
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  11. Jimmy28

    Jimmy28 Silver Member

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    +1 for the Valentine 1

    It's a great unit and still has the best detection of anything out there. Also while it might seem like a gimmick, the direction arrrows on the V1 are very useful. The V1 is upgradeable as well so as they come out with new tweaks and software changes, you can just send it back and it will be given new firmware. You don't need to buy a new one every couple of years to keep up with the latest and greatest.
     
  12. toddreg
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    toddreg Silver Member

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    V1, I've had one for 10 years' no tickets and sed my avatar
     
  13. viguera
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    viguera Gold Member

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    The V1 is a great unit but it's obviously long in the tooth. There hasn't been a firmware release in a couple of years and for good reason: there are no new features to enable with the current hardware.

    The GPS features on the Escorts might seem like a gimmick but they're actually pretty useful, plus the new cones and software on the X50s have significant better range than the older models.

    I think Valentine is sitting on the fact that they own the patents to the arrows, but that in itself shouldn't be a reason not to innovate and add a feature or two. If you've ever tried to reprogram a V1 to mute rear K-band or disable Ku (since it's not used in the US) you know how much of a pain that process is.
     
  14. N965VJ
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    N965VJ Silver Member

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    The photo radar database might be useful, but there is an additional subscription cost.

    I drive around 10 MPH over the limit, sometimes more, but gave away my detector in the late 90s after hearing an anecdote how you might get some leeway if you get pulled over. Since then I've received one ticket nine years ago, and the actual citation was a no-points fine of under $100. I get pulled over every now and then, but get sent on my way with a warning. A few months ago going down a two lane rural road, a cruiser going the opposite direction turned on the lightbar for a second and waved his arm out the window in a downward motion. Would that have happened if he had seen a detector on my dash? Who knows, but I seem to be doing okay without one.
     

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